Thursday, January 25, 2007

Still thinking about it

Breastfeeding. I'm still thinking about it. There are no special triggers or anything. It's not like I have to see someone breastfeeding or hear about a breastfeeding friend to get the idea back in my head. It's already there. I thought about it two days ago as my baby turned 3 months old. I remembered all the relactation articles claiming that as a particular point at which hormone levels drop dramatically, thus making relactation a bit harder. But then I remembered several case studies and stories from women who were successful in inducing lactation despite having an adopted baby or one older than three months. Those stories make me feel the worst because they act as little voices telling me: "if you really, really wanted to, you could do it...if you were absolutely dedicated, you would do won't stop thinking about it until you finally do it." I even researched the cost of the hospital-grade electric pumps that are recommended for inducing lactation, thinking I might buy one with the extra money my husband and I are getting on our tax refund.

I even find myself wishing I could have another baby now (or soon) just to get the chance to redeem myself by breastfeeding again. When my baby stares into my eyes while she's eating a bottle, I'm reminded of how my first daughter used to do that when she nursed, and I miss it all over again. I hate myself all over again. I feel the urge to try all over again.

I want to not think about it anymore. I wish there were a trigger for my thoughts, because then I could just avoid it. I wonder what miracle might happen if I just started putting my baby to the breast every hour. I believe in miracles, you know.

My husband doesn't understand this. He thinks I'll keep thinking about this until our baby starts eating solid food. What if I do? I wonder how many other women have gone through this? I wonder if they had any miracles? I feel silly, and sad, and crazy, all at the same time. I'm embarrassed to talk about it, but I'm not really sure why. Or maybe it's because there are just too many reasons why.


wwwmama said...

I understand it, I think. I'm one of those moms who can fully support other moms deciding to give up on things that turn out to be very difficult (like breastfeeding) but somehow I have a really, really hard time letting myself off the hook. And it is hard to let go of the attachment to the pleasure and bond that come out of breastfeeding, especially once you've experienced it and know what you're missing.
Just try to go easy on yourself. It's hard, and that's ok. Does writing aobut it help? Then keep writing!
I appreciate your honesty, and I know others going through the same thing will too.

M said...

First, I'm not going to say I understand how you feel because I don't. I've been lucky enough to successfully breastfeed my son, and if I have another child I hope I'll be able to breastfeed him or her. But I do understand what it feels like to believe I've failed. I feel like I need to say this to you, I want to say this to you: you have not failed. You tried, and you tried damn hard to make it work. For whatever reason, it didn't work with your youngest; I can only imagine the guilt you must feel knowing it worked with your oldest. I've seen you with both your daughters, and you have the same bond (well, maybe not the same b/c they are individuals) with each. You are a great mother. Don't forget that.