Being a parent is hard. It is so challenging and we are faced with having to make decisions every day from the moment you get pregnant. You give up your body for almost a year to carry this precious human being and then afterwards you give everything you have to take care of the baby that you now have in your arms. The love Dan and I have for Charlotte is nothing I have every felt before and we only want the best for her.
Since getting pregnant I was determined to attempt to breast feed. We took the class, talked to friends, read tons of information on it, bought the tools, etc. I was very determined to make it work but on the other hand I have said I am not against using formula. Dan and I were both formula fed babies and we turned out just fine. I feel that today there is a lot of pressure to breast feed. After having a baby everyone asks you about it. I don't mind talking about it, but I don't want to be pressured to do it. In the hospital they provide wonderful lactation consultants and they are even free of charge to see after you leave.
I can honestly say that breast feeding is one of the hardest things I have ever done. First of all, your milk doesn't come in for a few days. Charlotte was born on Thursday and my milk didn't come in until Monday night. Man that was painful. Prior to your milk coming in you still have to attempt to nurse your baby to help the process. That was even more difficult. When you are trying to feed your baby and there is hardly anything to feed them and they are screaming because they are hungry. Talk about testing your patience. Once my milk came in I produced so much more than Charlotte needed. It was incredibly painful and I thought that's just what breast feeding felt like. I couldn't even get my shirts on by myself because it hurt so bad. After meeting with a consultant I learned that I was over producing so I would have to nurse Charlotte and then pump to avoid infections that I kept getting. When Dan was home it was fine, but after he went back to work it was really hard to do both nursing and pumping every three hours. But if I didn't pump, I would get clogged ducts. The past couple of weeks I have really struggled with what to do. I have so many friends that have breast fed their babies for 6+ months and were very successful at it and enjoyed it and here I am at the 6 week mark so discouraged. You always hear that "breast is best" and they lead you to believe that if you don't breast feed your baby will be sick all the time especially if they are in daycare.
After meeting with our pediatrician and talking it to death with Dan and me shedding many tears we decided it would be best to stop. I had to think about my health as well as Charlotte's. I was beginning to dread feeding time and when you feed 7-8 times a day that's a lot of time you are unhappy. I have a lot of "liquid gold" saved up in the freezer so Charlotte will continue to get breast milk for a while which makes me happy. I can honestly say that I gave it my best shot and at the end of the day it didn't work for Charlotte and I for the long run. I am proud of myself for going for almost 6 weeks but I still feel majorly guilty. I guess only time will tell if she will get sick often. I know that this is the first of many tough decisions we are going to have to make for Charlotte. I guess it's all part of being a parent.