Monday, March 5, 2012

The Last Feeding

I must admit I feel really weird writing about this topic on a public forum.  Especially one that my friends and family read.  But I don’t think this blog would be complete without it.  You would think after 6 months of breastfeeding I would be more comfortable with the topic, but honestly I still think it’s really weird and uncomfortable.

I have been weaning Rory for the last couple of weeks and tomorrow is our last day.  I feel so many mixed feelings about it.  I am so thrilled to be done.  BF is hard, no matter what anyone tells you.  Its time consuming and emotionally and physically draining.  You feel tied to your house, tied to your baby and stuck on a 2-3 hour schedule.  I am so excited that to feed Rory I won’t have to go off into a private room and separate myself from people.

At the same time, I am really sad.  This means that Rors is growing up.  She is on formula for 4 of 6 feedings a day and that will go up to all feeding in a couple of weeks when we run out of milk.  She is eating cereal and veggies.  She is turning into a kid before my eyes.  It’s awesome but its happening too fast!

I’m also a little sad that Rory and I will no longer have that special bond.  Yes, I am her mother and no matter what we have a bond no one else has.  But she no longer depends on me in a way that she can’t depend on anyone else.  Daddy or Grandma or Miss Ariel can provide her all the same things that I can. 

The best advice I got about BF was from my friend Raney.  She said, “No matter what, don’t quit the first 3 weeks, don’t even think about quitting”.  This seemed like an attainable goal so I took it to heart. 
 Rory was having trouble learning how to swallow so our routine was complicated by needing to give her supplemental milk.  So I would BF for 20 minutes, pump for 10 and then we would finger feed her with a dropper one mL.  Eventually the supplement went up to an ounce and then two ounces so we could give her it in a bottle.  The whole process took about an hour and a half, we would get a 30 minute break and then start all over again.

Whenever it could too hard, I just reminded myself that I just have to make it through the first 3 weeks and then I could reassess.

The first 3 weeks were a blur of feedings and no sleep and if I didn’t have this advice in the back of my head I don’t know if I would have made it. 

At 3 weeks I was able to think clearly and I decided I wanted to continue BF and try for 6 months.  I am so lucky and grateful that Rory and I had very minimal problems and I was able to feed her for 6 months.  It was tough and exhausting and I always worried if Rory was eating enough – but I will do it all over again in a heartbeat.

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