Life has a funny way of working out.
I was talking to my sister recently about the incredible shifts I’ve had with breastfeeding. One of my biggest concerns while pregnant was being able to breastfeed Eleanor until 1 year. I wanted everybody in my life to be on board – my husband, my family, and my pediatrician. I took it very seriously and did whatever I could to make breastfeeding a success. My biggest fear was being told that I would need to stop breastfeeding.
Fast-forward to 9 months. Wow. Things had changed. Working full-time had transformed me into a mom who primarily pumped and only breastfed nights and weekends. Eleanor’s MSPI needs dramatically changed my diet, and the stress of her ongoing health concerns had run me ragged.
The pressure of being her sole provider of food had become too much. I was crumbling and my milk supply was taking a hit. I was producing less, and I could tell just by looking at the bottles that my milk was thinner than before.
I cried to Eleanor’s GI on more than one occasion that I didn’t think I could continue exclusively breastfeeding. Each time she told me to go home, think about it, and call her if I still felt that way. With Eleanor’s restrictive dietary needs, the GI felt formula wasn’t a viable option. I felt trapped. What was I supposed to do?
Here I was, 9 months later, in a situation totally opposite of my biggest fear. I was being told I COULDN’T stop breastfeeding – it’s ok, you can laugh here. I sure did!
Each morning I had to prepare myself with a mental shift to get BACK on board with breastfeeding.
After a very candid conversation with Eleanor’s primary pediatrician, I was given the “ok” to try Alimentum Ready to Feed (aka, the expensive stuff that **hopefully** wouldn’t send her tummy into trouble). I immediately headed out to Babies ‘R Us to buy a case.
That same case sat my pantry. I didn’t open it. I didn’t need to. Eleanor was slowly but surely continuing to gain. The pressure was gone. I knew that if my body were to give out tomorrow, we have “Plan B.” It was no longer completely on my shoulders.
It’s amazing what this small action has done for me both psychologically and physically. I’m happier, more relaxed, and I am once again producing enough for Eleanor. Best of all, I can see a positive change in the quality of the milk. All from one little case of formula!
Since then, we’ve started giving Eleanor 1 bottle of formula a day. It’s a no pressure way to get her used to the taste of formula before we begin weaning around 1 year.
So here I am, pushing 10 months of breastfeeding with a totally new mindset. I truly understand what it feels like when breastfeeding just. doesn’t. work. The unknowns with Eleanor’s food intolerances have made breastfeeding an even more important part of our lives, but I also have a new respect for looking out for myself.
I’m glad I spoke up for myself when breastfeeding wasn’t working. A crumbling mom doesn’t do my baby good. For now, my “Plan B” is all I need to maintain a level head, and we’ll just keep taking it day by day… and laugh when life has a funny way of working out :)
Can you relate to my “funny moment?”
What’s the biggest surprise life has thrown your way?