Every mom have their own breastfeeding journey to tell. I actually was not sure if I should share this with you. Because I don’t feel so fulfilled about it. But for some reason, I have decided that it could be therapeutic for me to write about it.
It looks like my breastfeeding journey is finally coming to an end. After almost 10 months, my milk supply has just not really been keeping up. To begin with, I was not really blessed enough with a lot of milk. That’s why we were not exclusively breastfeeding. We were mix feeding because of other circumstances (which is a whole other story).
I remember feeling a lot of pressure after giving birth at the hospital how important it is to breastfeed. But because of our situation, it was not possible for me to direct latch right away. It was only after 3 weeks that I was able to direct latch. So we tried to manually express the milk (which was so painful) and also pump out the milk. It just really did not work out quite how we wanted it to be. I would always feel so insecure about the other moms who would deliver in their milk with a full bottle and there I was giving a size of a urine bottle not even full — both boobs combined.
To be honest, I am feeling so emotional about it because it is really something so special, a unique bond between me and my baby. It’s like magic that I am able to produce something to nourish her even if it was not a lot. I did try and give her my best. It was not an easy feat but I did enjoy it. Especially after each feed when I can see her face — so sweet like an angel. That angle, I must say is the best view of all times.
There were a lot of night wakings, engorged breasts, sore nipples, biting during the teething phase but all were worth it after all. I remember the first time Amy latched and it was a funny, weird feeling. Until it just became second nature to me.
Often times I would hate on myself for not being able to exclusively breastfeed. I felt weak — like, why can’t I just be like other women who have enormous amounts of milk? I would always envy those moms who will post their expressed milk overflowing. While mine would not even cut the half of what they have. But then, I look on the brighter side and see my baby full and gaining weight because we give her enough of what she needs. I am also glad in a way that I was able to share this with my husband. That he was able to feed her and make that bond with her too.
There is a constant battle in my mind that this should be my task alone, that I should be her main source of food. It’s like I should only be the one having this privilege. It’s as if I should be the one superior in this role. That it is only the mom who have this power to provide. I think this is the reason why I feel most ashamed of. But then again, I will come back to my senses and think of the good things that came out about this.
My husband was fully involved in taking care of our newborn. I did not feel alone as it has been really a shared responsibility. As compared to what I hear from a lot of people; that most dads are useless in these times because it’s always the moms duty to pacify the baby. I was able get a lot of rest because my husband was kind enough to give me time to recuperate. Our baby developed a closeness with her dad — that she does not need to cling on me ALL the time. I can leave her alone with her dad and not be worried. I think it has made our tiny family to grow closer together because we just did everything hand-in-hand all the time. It has kept us happy — just really happy that we have this little bubble.
I think I am just my worst critic because I judged myself, and I was just too hard on myself. That I was not like the other moms. That maybe I should have done this or that. But hey, it is what it is and I did the best I could. A fed baby is always best no matter the method used. Maybe this is me writing to remind myself that it is okay — I am enough. I have done my part to nourish my baby the best way I can.
I hope if you are in the same situation as I am, know that you are not alone in this. All moms have their own struggles so please don’t judge. Don’t pressure them into doing something that is not comfortable or acceptable to them. Just let them be. Whether you’re an exclusive breastfeeding mom, a mix feeding mom, a bottle feeding mom, etc. You are doing great!