Pros to weaning
- No more sore boobs (Did you hear the collective sigh of relief coming from my battered cleavage?)
- More time with Azure
- Fewer demands on me/my time
- Easier to prepare bottles & easier to travel
- I can stop spending money on Domperidone which is no longer helping (or maybe that is what is allowing me to get the little bit I still can?)
- I can have a real lunch hour again. Time to myself, time to run errands or time to visit Azure.
- Fewer restrictions on my diet!!!! (Think of Homer’s voice saying, "Mmmm, peaeaeannnnnnnnuuuuts" and drooling.)
- I can get the breastpump off its place on the back of the livingroom couch (for all the world to see)
- I can sleep comfortably on my stomach again
- It will allow me to be a better mother
Cons of weaning
- No more antibodies for Azure, her health/immunity is a huge concern in this decision
- Formula Poop, blehck!
- I wanted to get to one year and will only make it to around 9-months-actual using the remainder of the freezer stash before it goes bad
- Formula is more bubbly in the bottle, I worry about her getting gassy
- I worry about drive-by parenting when seen with a bottle (Of course this happens with breastmilk too but at least now I can say "Hey, lay off, it is breastmilk!")
- I spoke to the neonatologist who attended at Azure’s delivery the other day and she said she has been researching breastmilk and formula and has found that the donated breastmilk gives no more benefits over formula. The way it is frozen and processed, etc. destroys whatever special qualities the fresh milk has over the formula so you might as well use formula. She also said that no matter what they do to synthesize the breastmilk they just can’t get it quite to the point where it is equal. This blows. I wonder if my freezer stash is any better than formula at this point. (NOTE: The freezer stash will last us well into November.)
- I dread pumping now since I used to get 4-6 ounces per session and I am now struggling to get 1 ounce per session
- I worry about Azure’s digestion. She seems to really struggle to get the poop going. She is having a dirty diaper or two every few days but she gets gassy and uncomfortable while trying to get those out and I don’t want to make that worse. We are still giving her juice each day.
- We have been told by more than one health professional that Azure would probably not be doing as well as she is if she had not had the breastmilk this whole time.
- It will make me feel like a bad mother
I am glad I made it this far (6months / 2-1/2months adjusted). Many women would not have in my shoes, but I want Azure to have more time with the breastmilk (because she is a preemie and because she has had digestive issues). It used to come so easily for me and now it is a struggle and I don’t know why that changed and I wish I could go back to the way it was when she was in the hospital and I was just swimming in it. I thought that going back to work would help and it did at first. I actually added more pumping sessions to my day since I had a quiet place to do it with no distractions. However, I think the stress of transporting Azure and milk and our colletive stuff and getting to where we need to be on time plus trying to get her to sleep through the night (we are close, it is hit or miss at this point) is taking its toll on me.
There I was typing this out in a calm and rational manner when the thought struck me, "I am failing her", and I had to stop to CRY and pull myself together.
What do I do when what is best for me conflicts with what is best for her? Is her nutrition more important than quality time with her mother? Why does she smile more easily for others than for me? Is she reacting to my own stress?
I always figured that when I got to the point where I would move on from pumping to formula it would be by choice and that I might feel conflicted about it logically. What I did not expect was that I would feel so strongly emotionally. I think my feelings about this decision are all wrapped up with my missing her so much due to my return to work and the helplessness I feel at the fact that T is not as actively involved with the parenting as I had hoped he would be*. I am tired. I am depressed about my situation and I don’t have any time to myself to process these feelings. (Could hormonal changes be effecting my supply and also/therefore my mood?) (Does it matter that I am now on CD 57? I did test last week and it was negative. I was relieved. For the first time in 5 years I was happy to see a negative.)
Therefore, it must be time to blog about it.
I know that if I were reading this post on someone else’s site I would offer support and let them know that they did the best that they could, and their child is so much better off for it and they can now go on to building a better relationship without all of the pumping getting in the way. I know what I would say to someone in my place. I think though, that since it is me, I do not necessarily believe what I am saying. (Lala, feel free to slap me at any time!)
*I do not mean to make out like T is a bad father. He is helping by doing everything else, cooking, cleaning, shopping, everything that has nothing to do with Azure. He leaves her to my care, 100% my responsibility. It just gets draining sometimes never to get a break from her. Sometimes it would be nice to let him feed her and I could do the dishes, ya know? He does hold her and play with her but I provide all of her care.
PS. I told you I write when I have issues!