Sometimes things just don't work out like you had hoped not matter how much you pray or how badly you want it.
Even with a second chance at breastfeeding I'm left with the same outcome - my body is just not able to produce enough for what he needs. It has been two months since I had Levi, and for two months he has been so hungry. He was gaining weight just fine at the beginning, but I didn't realize that nursing every hour to every two hours when they are two months old isn't normal. I finally started pumping and realized I was only making one to two ounces. At this point he needs about three to four ounces per feeding, so I would definitely say he was hungry.
I finally gave him a bottle of formula and he scarfed it down like he had never had milk in his life. It was so sad and I cried. I felt like a terrible mother for not knowing how hungry he was. I felt like a terrible mother for not being able to exclusively breastfeed. I was just overwhelmed with sadness and guilt.
The thing is that I've been in the place before and I promised myself I wouldn't put my heart through it again. I promised myself that no matter what I was going to do what needed to be done, and if that meant formula that's okay. It's just knowing the breastmilk is the healthiest thing for my child and not being able to give it to him KILLS me.
I feel embarrassed every time I pull out a bottle in public and instantly my mind is filled with a bunch of excuses of why I can't breastfeed so that I can defend myself to random strangers. So dumb, right? Have you been here too? At my church there is a "nursing room," so does that mean I can bring a bottle in there or not. Why can't it just be called a mother's room?
But you know what?! Levi is so, so happy. He is babbling all of the time and he is sleeping so much better. And you know what else, I'm still breast feeding for five to ten minutes to give him that tiny ounce to two ounces that I have, and at least it's something. But even if I didn't have that I'm just happy I have a healthy baby, and I'm so thankful that I have formula. Imagining my child starving and failing to thrive because my body can't do its job right is a horrifying thought.
I'll spare you all of the visits with my lactation consultant and the triple feeding and the herbs, etc. I did it and it didn't work and who cares, right?! At the end of the day I am at peace with knowing that I'm being the best mother I can be. That's all we mothers can do, and I need to remember that every day. Perfection is not something to desire as a parent. Peace is, and that's what I have today. And that's perfect.