Tuesday, March 22, 2016

My Decision to Stop Breastfeeding

Recently, I made the decision to stop breastfeeding.

Now, I don't want to get an earful from hard core lactation Nazis advocates on how "breast is best" and women who don't are lazy, or bad moms. I am all for the promotion of breastfeeding, but unfortunately, it stigmatizes formula feeding at the same time. Let me say it here - for the record - that there is nothing wrong with formula feeding your child. Breastfeed. Formula feed. You do what is best for you and your family. I stopped breastfeeding, but I'm not a bad mom because if it.

Well, truth be told, I never really breastfed the babies (with the exception of one time with Lauryn), but I had been pumping breastmilk since they were born. I was renting an $80 a month breast pump from the hospital in order to get the strongest suck and the most breastmilk that I could. I had issues breastfeeding Brayden, so I knew I would need all the help I could get with these twins. I was determined to make it work this time. I had the very best intentions to breastfeed for as long as I possibly could.

I lasted 10 weeks.

Honestly, I wish I could have gone longer, but it was time. I had to give it up.

I. Was. Miserable.

Basically, I had no life. It's hard enough with one baby, but with twins - I can see why a lot of moms opt not to do it. Between pumping, feeding, and soothing crying babies...I had time for little else before the routine would start all over again. Meanwhile, Brayden is roaming around the house somewhere. Or finding Spongebob on the TV because he totally knows how to work the remote. It's kinda hard to reprimand your kid when you're stuck to a rocking chair for most of the day.

Oh - and have you ever had a blister on your nipple? Oh. My. Word. Holy painful. And that's just with a breast pump. I can't even imagine having those blisters while having a baby nurse at the same time. Why, oh why, does it have to hurt so bad?

There was also the problem of not having enough to pump for a whole feeding. At the twins' one month doctor appointment, the doctor asked how much they were eating. Apparently, 4 ounces is A LOT for that age. But that's what they eat at just about every feeding. That's 8 ounces every 2-3 hours. My body just wasn't havin' it. Those babies literally drained me.

Do I feel guilty about it? A little, not to mention the fact that our life is about to get a whole lot more expensive. I just couldn't do it anymore. It was a happy day when I realized that I had to take care of me so that I can better take care of the babies. And you wanna know what?

I enjoy them so much more.

To be clear - I have never not enjoyed them, of course, but I'm no longer the zombie that I was for the first 10 weeks of their lives. I'm no longer waking up in the middle of the night for no other reason than to pump. I'm as well-rested as I can be with babies that still wake up at night to feed. But rested I am.

And happy. So, so happy.


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