Saturday, October 9, 2010

breastfeeding: my reality

The last few days have been difficult. The turtle isn't sleeping nearly as well as he was a few weeks ago. He fights sleep to the bitter end and hasn't slept "through the night" in a week. This change might be the result of a couple of things. He had his six-month vaccinations last week (and will be getting his flu shot today). He also continues to teeth.  But I worry that part of the problem may be the turtle's feeding schedule.

We are officially "mixed feeding." Meaning that the turtle receives a combination of breast-milk, formula, and solid foods.

As I'm sure is obvious from my previous posts I am not producing enough milk during the day, so the formula is a must. However, I don't want to stop nursing all together. Likewise, we are slowly introducing new foods to my little guys' diet. To date he has had: banana, avocado, sweet potato, mango, rice cereal, and a little broth. And he transitions well from breast, to bottle, to spoon. But I'm not sure how to tell if he's getting enough to eat. Especially at night, when we have, in the past, exclusively breastfed.

It's not only frustrating, but demoralizing as well. Especially given that the evenings are mine. And when the turtle is clearly upset, fussy and unable to sleep I feel like I'm not doing my "job" well. And, as to be expected, I start to resent the time I don't have with my guy during the day, though I know intellectually my being home or not being home isn't the actual source of the unrest.

So, I think it's time for me to stop romanticizing certain aspects of motherhood- especially breastfeeding. Someone this past week was telling me that she expressed so much milk when her daughter was little that she never even used an electric pump. I just wanted to cry. I work so hard for so little. But I have in my mind this idea that as a working mom, nursing is the only way to keep up the strong intimate bond I have with my son. And it's not true. Yes, I want to continue breastfeeding, but I need to get this romantic ideal (mommy walking in the door: suit, high heels, and cooler full of breast milk) out of my head. It's just not my reality.

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