They are the only words I hear as the non-mother-guilt rational side of me tries to battle back.
“You were just doing the best you could.”
Back and forth it goes.
The arguing… trying to hide the sense of loss and sadness I feel.
I never thought you could feel like this. With Kalyra I was ready and whilst I was happy to have the odd occasional rest with Savannah, I was not prepared for her to reject it so soon.
She no longer wants to breastfeed.
She is addicted to the formula, like her Mumma is to coffee.
For the past couple of weeks she has been fussing during the witching hour at my breast. On and off, on and off, for hours.
The voice kept telling me, “It’s your milk, it’s your milk. There just isn’t enough for her.”
I’d give her a bottle and watch her guzzle it down, knowing that there was no way she was getting that amount from me. And then always after the bottle, she’d lay there, tapping her feet in quiet contentment.
“But, she is thriving,” the doctors, family, friends always tell me when they see her. And she was, but lately she’s just not been happy.
I left her for a day. She had bottle formula because I can never express anything more than half a bottle. I returned and she’s no longer interested.
“Give me that filling stuff” she roars as she squirms and shouts.
I try to battle back. I can’t hand her over yet. It’s too early.
It’s not the best thing for her. I’ve failed miserably.
Its all my fault.
I watch her squirming as I try to get her to have one more try. She’s not happy and she’s not full.
I boil the kettle
I think about how I must have created this through talking about how drained it made me feel this time, of my hectic lifestyle and me leaving her for the day.
All I can think about is how she might get constipation now, or reflux, or how her immune system won’t be as strong.
God I am so selfish.
My senses soon return.
Whatever is best for her. Whatever she needs, not me.
I can’t ignore the way she greedily gulps it down, how she looks at me like a king well fed, and she lies so quietly after.
I’m sad and I miss her already.
She wouldn’t have a clue that something major has happened for her Mummy. She just has a full tummy and to her that means Mummy loves and looks after her.
Not a scerrick of firmness or mild milk producing feeling can be felt. My breastfeeding days are over, for life.
Note: Since writing this post a couple weeks ago, Savannah is so happy and content on the bottle and doing so well that I feel at peace and happy.
How did you feel once you stopped breastfeeding?