A mother’s dilemma

3 Jan

Tonight I am wearing the Anne of Green Gables nightgown my mother-in-law got me for Christmas. She and my father-in-law went on a cruise through Prince Edward Island this fall and of course they stopped at the Green Gables. Who wouldn’t? That’s one of my favorite books of all time. However, I’m pretty sure no one up there would actually wear this since they’d freeze to death at night, even in those cold Canadian summers. It’s a thin shift with no bra support for a nursing mother. That’s OK though, I’ll wear it once I’m done providing food for baby.

I am now constantly thinking about how long I will breastfeed. During the day we have developed a routine, and I like it. I feed him when he wakes up, then again at 9, 12 & 3 (give or take depending on the day). That is the easy part. The hard part of our day comes at night. We give him two 6 oz. bottles of breast milk at 6pm and 10pm. This has allowed him to sleep fully through the night. Miracle of all miracles!!!

I, however, must not understand the process of making breast milk, because some nights I can pump 6 oz no problem during one session, then other nights I can’t squeeze a drop past 3 1/2 oz and I have to pump every two hours from 6 to midnight to get enough for the next night. It is very stressful. I tried recently to change our routine to alleviate this problem, by nursing him to sleep at 6 and then giving him his regular bottle at 10, but this  somehow has ruined our wonderful routine of him sleeping from 6pm to 7am that we had going on for almost two weeks. For whatever reason (not enough milk?) the two nights I did that he woke up several times throughout the night. I just keep thinking that one bottle of formula at the end of the day would make my life SO much easier.

But why do I feel like giving him formula would be giving up? This reminds me of when I gave up chocolate for Lent in high school and when Lent was over I couldn’t bear giving up all my hard work and I didn’t eat chocolate for two years. My best friend at the time never believed me that I was allergic (the only excuse I could think of for not eating that yummy sugar and cocoa treat). When I did finally eat chocolate again it was on vacation at this dude ranch my mother and I would go to every spring and they had the best white chocolate chip cookies ever. Giving in again was so good after that long wait.

There are so many reasons to continue BF. 1: I get to eat an extra 500 calories a day (not only do I get to but I’m supposed to!) 2: formula is expensive 3: nothing beats mother’s milk 4: diapers are more manageable 5: once I pop, I might not stop the formula train.

Time to go pump again! I wish it was time for bed.

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