I think there always comes a time in any new mom’s life where she feels her first real pang of guilt over something she does as a mother that really isn’t her fault. Whether it’s seeing your child take a fall you couldn’t have predicted and subsequently couldn’t save them from, feeling pressure from other moms to do a certain thing a certain way, or having something happen that you just can’t change… it’s bound to happen to every mom. And maybe not just new moms; moms with any number of kids, any matter of years of experience. I don’t know, I only have one kid and a mere eight months of experience.
But I’ve been feeling that guilt lately. Guilt over something that isn’t my fault. Guilt over something that I can’t really change. Guilt over something that relieves me from time to time, and makes my child happy. Logically, it shouldn’t make me feel this way, but it does. Lately, I have been giving Asa a bottle of formula more often than not. Every day, sometimes twice a day. And it makes me feel guilty, and sad, and like I have failed at motherhood. But my milk production is not what it used to be; most days I don’t even feel letdown when he nurses. He seems much happier and fuller when he’s given a bottle, and with two teeth now, sometimes it’s just a relief not to be bitten, not to have a child who constantly fidgets and pulls away and looks around and takes forever to get a few mouthfuls of milk in. It’s nice not to worry that he might not be getting enough while breastfeeding.
But just because it’s good for him doesn’t mean I have to like it… even if I do like it sometimes. See, I used to feel like everything was working out so perfectly for me — I had a perfect pregnancy, a relatively easy labor and delivery (not counting the 72 hours of false labor), an easy time getting him to latch and nurse and nap, I lost all of my baby weight and more… and he’s such a happy baby, it just felt like everything was perfect. I was one of those “ideal” pregnant women, ideal first time moms, Asa was the ideal baby… it was all good. I don’t mean to sound braggy, it just… was. But then somewhere around six or seven months, my milk supply started to drop. At first, I assumed this was the leveling out I’ve heard about, where your milk begins to lessen as your baby gets more regular and eats less with each feeding. Lately, though, it’s more than that. In the last month, he’s not always happy after he’s done nursing, unless it’s in the morning when I have more in me. We’ve been supplementing with a bottle more. Solely giving him a bottle at least once a day. And it relieves so many of my fears and frees up some of my time that I feel guilty about it.
But I also really miss the nursing, knowing that my body could completely nourish this precious baby, that I didn’t need anything else, that everything was working perfectly. I miss his really needing me to fulfill all of his needs. He still prefers me over anyone else most days, but he gets more excited and is more filled by his bottle than he is by me.
It’s rough accepting the fact that I may have to eventually only give him the bottle until he is weaned from milk entirely, but I keep reminding myself that in the bigger picture… he nursed for nine months, nearly, and he’s a happy, growing, healthy baby. And so long as he continues to be healthy and happy, it’s okay.
Plus, it gives my husband a chance to bond more with him through feeding. So today, especially, I feel like a not-so-super mom. I’m just feelin’ all that guilt especially right now, as I just fed him a bottle instead of breastfeeding. I don’t want to give up nursing yet. I don’t want to feel as though I’m failing by my body providing less than he needs. And I almost don’t want to feel that little bit of relief that I’ve got a little more time freed up to do other things.
Dress, tee, and tights, Target | shoes and belt, thrifted | maple leaf necklace (as headband), c/o Oasap | earrings, gift
But it’ll pass! I’m not trying to be too depressing here, sorry! That’s just my life right now.
In much happier news, our at-home date starts in a couple of hours, and I’m really excited! I’m going to be making Paleo Mongolian beef (with cauliflower rice), which is ridiculously delicious, and I hope to make a fun night of it. Movies, cuddling, good food, time to ourselves at home… that rarely happens.
I hope you all have fun plans for the weekend! Happy Friday!