For 10 months you carry this child with you and dream of the day you get to meet him or her. Then that day comes and you realize how ill-prepared you are. I mean you have every type of diaper brand just in case they don’t like one….as if they can really tell you that they don’t like one over another anyways. You have this idea on how you are going to feed your child based on all the articles you read. Maybe you plan to breastfeed for 6 months until they can be introduced to solids. Maybe you plan to breastfeed for the first year. But then there are those moments where you realize your plan isn’t going to work out. You’re left sitting there feeling as if you already failed as a mom. The reality of it is that you aren’t failing as a mom but learning the first lesson of motherhood, nothing goes as you plan.
There is only what works for you and your child.
I planned to breastfeed until he was 6 months old. What I didn’t plan on was him not latching properly. Two weeks of pure torture for him and for me trying to breastfeed as the articles tried to guide me through the process. They told me it would get better after two weeks, that he would figure it out and we would learn how to “dance”. But we didn’t and I started to dread every time he got hungry. How could I get mad at him for being hungry? What kind of mom feels that way? I sat there at 3am almost every morning on my phone trying to figure out what I was suppose to do. But guess what? There is no “suppose to do” out there. There is only what works for you and your child.
I finally gave up breastfeeding by breast and I breastfed by bottle. I excessively pumped for him since I had a good supply. Once I made that decision I finally bonded with him. I had time to take care of myself which made for a happier mom. I no longer dreaded the moment he was hungry because I knew I had food for him.
Then the time came where pumping every few hours was draining me. I was getting little to no sleep. I was going crazy counting the times…the last time he ate…the last time I pumped…how long has this milk been out. Aahhh I felt like a failure. I failed at breastfeeding by breast and now I want to quit pumping for him. How could I want to quit when I have a great supply? How could I not offer him the best food option? Guess what? Food is food. Formula isn’t going to kill my child. Breastmilk isn’t going to make him a genius or immune to all the diseases out there. But, having time back to myself, now that will make for a better baby. I was not failing my child. I gave my child food which at the end of the day is all that matters. I also gave my child more time with me. I no longer had to sit there watching him cry because I couldn’t pick him up while attached to the pump. I had more time to play with him instead of putting him down to try and rest my eyes for even 5 minutes.
I was not a failure at feeding my child. My child was fed. The end.