2 days ago I think I hit the wall. The lack of sleep while cosleeping with Caelan. Him being up every 1-2 hours during the night for a feed followed by a slow but active day with him and his 2 and a half year brother. I woke up one morning and felt I need to rethink why I am doing this. Why do I want to carry on like this. Should I just stop breastfeeding and give him the bottle? Knowing Brendan became an amazing sleeper at 11 months when I stopped breastfeeding. But would that be the case with Caelan as well at 8 months? There is no guarantee. I became unsure what is the best moving forward. I felt I really had to measure up what is going to work for us and if I am really ready to give up breastfeeding? After dotting down in my head the reasons I came to the conclusion and the answer was no, I am not ready to give up yet. So here are my VERY personal reasons why…
#1 I absolutely love it. Despite the dependency, sore nipples, accidental bites, the thought of feeding my own baby and giving him the best he can have, should be enough but I am going to carry on with another 10 points.
#2 I know he loves it too. It is our special bond. Just him and me – maybe with Brendan running and jumping around – but ultimately this is the closest I am ever going to be with my baby. Once I give up breastfeeding I feel another chain will fall – the first being when giving birth – even knowing that it is absolutely normal for our babies to get unchained / freed from their mothers I don’t think either of us is ready yet.
#3 Equality. I know it is mad to think this way because it is just impossible but with certain things I am trying to give both my babies the same attention and care. One of that is breastfeeding. I feel they deserve it even thought I know I can’t possibly parent them / love them / care for them equally. Still I want to give them my best shot. So if it was 11 months with Brendan I want to carry on till 11 months will Caelan as well.
# 4 Guilt-free. Because I know there is no better alternative to breastfeeding. I know that when Caelan comes home in 10 years with a D in spelling it wasn’t because he was deprived of my docasahexaenoic acid. Breastfeeding is environmentally friendly – if you know me, you know that is a huge bonus for me. No wrappers, canisters, disposable bottles, plastic measuring spoons mean no guilt in that department either.
# 5 I hate washing up and making bottles. With breastfeeding there is no bottles to wash and sterilise. No kettles to boil or formula to measure. No mixing, heating or refrigerating. No having to choose between brands. No worrying that the feed is at the correct temperature. No remembering to pack feeds when you go out. No having to come home early because you have ran out of feeds or locating a Boots to get some more.
# 6 Breastfeeding works for everything. I almost never have to wonder why Caelan is crying – chances are a quick breastfeed will solve the problem. Hungry? Thirsty? Sick? Hurt? Sad? Overtired? Struggling to wake up? No problem – breasts to the rescue! Works every time.
#7 I don’t have to check the clock. What time was he last feed? How long has it been? I really couldn’t care less. Whenever there is a sign from Caelan I am right there for him.
#8 Take the time out. When I feed, I just sit down and do it. No washing up is getting finished. Laundry is half folded. The food under the table is still waiting to be mopped up. Although Caelan feeds quickly I love that he reminds me to stop. Nothing is more important (even with a toddler around) to take 2 maybe 5 minutes for a cuddle. Just to be for those minutes. Look at my baby. Smell his little head and look into his eyes. So special.
# 9 What if this will be the last time I will be able to do it? Who knows what the future holds but if we were to have 2 kids . I am saying goodbye to something I will never ever experience in my life again. Am I really ready for this? The answer is no.
# 10 No dairy. Taking part in #veganuary and learning more and more about the dairy industry and cow milk itself I absolutely 100% want to avoid my baby having to take too much of any formula at this stage. All formula sold in the UK made from cow’s milk. Somehow it is off putting enough for me to carry on and introduce cow milk (if ever) to Caelan as late as possible.
#11 No periods. – I mean that is just a no brainer. Selfish – maybe but let’s face it. Life is just so much better without it.
Whatever your reasons are for loving the way you feed, let us all just take one thing from this, it doesn’t have to be a feeding war, breast vs. bottle, breastfeeding doesn’t have to be associated with pressure to feed or that if you breastfeed you are a formula hater, by loving breastfeeding and being proud of myself for my achievement at overcoming the struggles I have overcome I am not raining anybody’s parade I am simply celebrating my own. Please don’t take my list, my thoughts as an attack on anyone / any mother. It is a simple list with some simple reasons on why I am not ready to give up yet and why I want to carry on.
Thank you xx