April marks one year since I said, “Not no mo,” to breastfeeding.
Actually, my birthday was the day I made the selfish decision to take steps toward a mentally healthier me (and if you can’t be selfish on your birthday, when can you?) and stop all breastfeeding and pumping.
The second picture is a pretty accurate representation of the first 6 months of the twins’ lives- I sat on the couch, reclined in a lazy boy or laid in bed-switching babies and switching boobies. I would feed one while the other waited (sleeping or doing tummy time) and by the time I got them both fed, it was time to feed again.
Some moments were magic-playing with little fingers and toes, bonding and smiling. But a lot of the time I felt overwhelmed by their crying, worried about my supply and overstimulated. Bottle-feeds always left me a little less stressed and feeling less like I’d failed.
So, we chose to begin exclusively formula feeding. I went from crying all the time to feeling like I’d gained back a bit of my sanity and a bit of independence & freedom.
In the first year of the twins’ life, we ventured down just about every avenue to get these kids fed: I breastfed/nursed, we bottle fed my breast milk and breast milk that had been donated to us (a special thank you to my SIL) and we formula fed.
I didn’t hit a lot of my goals with breastfeeding, nor did I feel like it was something that came naturally to me. BUT I have come to terms with and processed my journey and guess what? I am so PROUD of myself. Proud of what my body did, proud that I persevered as long as I could and proud that I stopped when I hit my breaking point.
So I guess all of this to say-fed IS best. And your journey is YOUR journey. And you’re mom which means that journey and those choices are YOURS to make. (And I hope your partner is supportive of those choices). I see you and I’m proud of you-whichever feeding avenue you have chosen to embark on. Go easy on yourself, set little goals, and take it one feed at a time. I will always preach a mama’s mental health is integral to the home, so don’t forget to take YOU into account when making decisions.