Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Today was my last day breastfeeding...

I haven't had a chance to dive deep into parenting on the blog yet.
Every night before bed I write these touching, pull at your heart strings, Huffington post worthy articles in my mind.

I think about writing them down, at least a little note in my phone... but I'm so tired.
I am sure I will still remember in the morning.

What was that profound thing I said last night? think brain. where is it? where is it? hmmm.
nope its gone forever.

So tonight I thought I better write..

I *tried BF-ing with Elliott, it lasted about 5 days.
Tried as in I knew I wasn't going to be dedicated to forcing anything, breastfeeding had to come to us naturally or I was peacing out of there.
so I peaced.

It was hot, hot mid July I was recovering from a 4th degree tear surgery and Elliott was smacking his face into my boob, sloshing around screaming because he didn't know how to latch.
The hospital was terrible to be honest.
I knew he wasn't latching from the start, I'm sure the poor boy didn't eat for the first 4 days of his life.

I remember the staff coming in and going "oh yeah that's fine."
No bottle option.
No latch checking.
No "Oh hey you're probably completely overwhelmed with 100 new things right now, any questions?"
just "Bye."
sent us home and within 24 hours of that Nick was buying formula.

Of course I had to call the 811 (health care info line) because I didn't even know if I could just give him formula...

what kind of formula?
how much?
what bottles?
what style? powder, wet, baby led weaning style? (that last ones a joke. hehe)

811 sucks by the way, they just keep asking you questions then tell you to consult your family doctor.
Oh, great, glad I wasted 23 minutes chatting to you.

so Nick came home with 3 different formula options and we narrowed it down to the wet pre-mixed form. (something like bacteria can land in the can of dry stuff.. so newborns should have the pre-made.)

That was the end of breastfeeding Elliott and I was A-OK with it.
I never wanted to do it in the first place, I'm not very snuggly, I get overheated just looking at another human and I knew our bond was going to be just the same in either scenario.

Getting through the next couple of days with super engorged breasts was brutal though, again something no one ever mentioned... I'm still not sure if I should've gone cold turkey like that but I didn't end up with mastitis and the milk just went away, so all's well that ends well.

When pregnant with Noelle I made a pact with myself that I would really attempt breastfeeding.
Mainly because I wanted to lose the baby weight.
a close second being that I wanted to save money.
and bringing in the rear, the fact that I am so lazy and didn't want to trek up and down stairs warming bottles at night.

by a stoke of luck Noelle was born knowing how to latch and immediately the situation felt different from Elliott's. She smooshed her little duck lips into me and I knew I could do it this time.

That was until the nipple pain stepped in.
The razor sharp blinding pain that makes your toes curl into your foot, your nails burrow into the mattress, while you purse your lips and muffle your screams, your baby just suckles away peacefully.
that pain lasted weeks.

I cried and whined and swore I would quit.
Then I would try "one more day" and eventually it eased up, then disappeard practically all together.
I was in the home stretch.
I wouldn't say it out loud but I secretly had a timeline of 6 months in my head.
Breastfeed for 6 months.
that was the holy grail goal, my measure of success.

and once the pump stepped in, they say wait 6 weeks before you pump.
I waited maybe 4 because I needed a break!
there was a little relief, I could pump and leave Noelle with Nick for longer periods of time.

The pump was as much a fixture to me as my cell phone.
she's in the background of every photo and I had pump part sterilization on rotation like clockwork.

Then at 2.5 months something changed.
I could tell I was making less milk, it was stressing me out bad.

I asked the doctor and he said just keep feeding.
I said I wanted a prescription for milk production and he said no.
"if she's not crying, she's fine. just keep feeding."

I hate it when doctors don't listen.
I feel like this is the story of my life.
I KNOW my body, I know what it needs and I NEED more milk!

So I googled...and I drank 20 thousand glasses of water a day, I powered through the Fenu greek pills, I fed, then pumped, then fed and pumped and fed and pumped and fed and pumped.

every minute of the day I was thinking about MILK.
it was horrible.

Nick said "let's just top her off with formula."
super nonchalantly.


I've been working my ass off for 3 months now to solely breastfeed and you just think we can 'top her off' like it's nothing??!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

does he know anything about BF-ing?!?!?!?!?!?!?!
once you 'top off' its a very slippery slope.

Well I'm not very good with slippery patches, so we slipped. we fell. we've fallen and we cant get up.
that's it.
end of story.

I could tell Noelle was hungry.
she was feeding happily at first bite but then the milk would dry up and she would claw and push me away, it was right back to that Elliott way of feeding where frustration and heat overwhelmed me.
but this time it was particularly upsetting because I was trying.

the latch was there.
the nipple pain was gone.
I really, really tried.
the sweet spot, I wanted it, I paid my dues and I wanted to coast through the next 4 months.

My body had other plans so we started to top up.
Its been about a month since that day and slowly I've been drying up more and more.

first we would top up just a little.
then 50/50.
then I gave up feeding from the breast altogether because she was getting too little milk, she wouldn't even take a starter feed.
I started just pumping.

Today September 26th, a good pump day is 4oz. total. all day.
4oz for a baby who eats more than 25oz.

I am prepping, washing, feeding formula bottles, I also need to find the time to sit and pump for 20 minute sessions, then sterilize and do again. Its just not worth it.

So our breast milk journey is over, I am retiring the pump.
its just another thing that I may never, ever do again and I feel like my body forced me into finishing when I wasn't quite ready to give it up. I'm not disappointed in myself, I am proud of how far we've come but its just a tad bittersweet.

a bittersweet ending.
but that's the word that best describes every moment of parenting.
excited for the future but sad to say farewell.


  1. I'm sorry it's been so frustrating for you and I'm sorry that you feel like your doctor wasn't listening. I think that's the most annoying thing, when "professionals" are so condescending when we tell them something about our own bodies. I think it's great you made it as long as you did, but I think it's even better that you've made the tough decision that it's best for both of you to be done. Nobody knows what's best for you except for yourself! Sending all the positive mom vibes your way!

    1. Thanks so much Justine! ♥️

      I feel the same way! I always say "I KNOW my body" I just know it and I feel like shaking the doctor when he brushes me off. I can practically predict what my body will do next, listen up man!! Haha

      So happy I get to chat with other mamas and exchange notes, share stories and support one another! xoxox

  2. Dont be disappointed. There are a lot of woman with the same story. I dont know what it is, but it happens to a lot of moms today! I think it is the "civilization", which erases us from nature more and more. But the most important thing I want to tell you: it was not for nothing!!!Every drop of breastmilk was good for your baby and will help to increase the immune system. Be proud of you and your body, you dont know what it was, that bar your body from producing milk. I had the same problems and had to supplement the nutrition with organic formula, which I thought was the best choice I had. Be happy about your lovely little family and the opportunity to experience breastfeeding. :)


    1. Thank you so much for the kind words Amelia!

      You are right about everything! There are so many of us in the same boat and just wondering what we did wrong or wondering how much more pain we can take before it breaks us! It's definitely not an easy task but I am happy with how long we were able to go, also happy I get to share my story and hear from others as well :)