This is incredibly hard for me to admit to anyone but you, my mostly anonymous blog readers. I'm completely struggling with breastfeeding. During my pregnancy, I had feared a struggle, but I was much more afraid that my body would fail me and I would have supply issues or something like that. Instead, my struggle is almost entirely emotional. I feel trapped in my home, unable to go anywhere or do anything. I find I can't do anything I want to do because I'm the only one who can give the baby food. I resent my husband, too, who hasn't missed out on hot meals (whereas I've had maybe 5 hot meals since the baby was born), who can sleep through the night if I let him (and even if I don't want him to, he can fall asleep during the hour that it takes to feed the baby every 3 hours or so), who runs to get us dinner (I don't feel like I can leave the house). His freedom just makes me even more aware of my confinement. Add on top of that the fact that he is and will always be the "fun" parent and that I want him to have time with our daughter (and therefore he spends most of the baby's awake and non-feeding time with her) and I just feel like a big old milk machine, like that's my only purpose in life.
All that said, the lactation consultant said we should start offering a bottle at least once a week so the baby doesn't refuse the bottle when I return to work--and that makes me sad, too. Yes, it would be expressed breastmilk, but what if she decides she likes it better? We already have some latch problems (she fights the latch for about 10 attempts each time) and I'm afraid she'll resist even more once she realizes how easy a bottle is. And that would break my heart, too.
I'm a stubborn person. I don't want to take the easy way out (easy in my head--not supposed to be a criticism of formula feeding). I want to keep breastfeeding for a long time. I don't have a goal because I'm afraid if we need to stop before then I'll feel like a failure. But in the back of my head, I'd like to make it to a year so we never have to buy formula. We'll see. I know if I admitted my feelings to my mom, MIL, SIL, or most of the people in my life, they'd say if I'm feeling so trapped I should just stop breastfeeding. That's not what I want. I want to keep breastfeeding and just hope it gets better. DH has been wonderful and keeps reminding me why I'm doing this, but it's just very hard sometimes. I can honestly say I've cried at least once a day since she's been born--mostly because of my breastfeeding frustrations.
Beyond the breastfeeding struggles, I'm happy being a mommy. I love this little girl. I just long for the day when I become more than a milk factory to her.
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