I always thought breastfeeding would come naturally to my baby and I, and be a part of our every day life in a very different way than it is now. It’s so important to me and Allie that she has breast milk as opposed to formula, even though I know either way she will grow up healthy and strong and beautiful and perfect as she is. For me, this has become more of a personal struggle, having more and more to do with myself than I ever thought it would.
From the beginning breastfeeding was difficult. Cadence had a hard time latching in the hospital after having to supplement with bottles and while recovering from a c-section, I was not able to move myself and her into different positions to make it more easy and natural for us. I almost gave up then. Allie was disappointed because she wanted me to just keep trying, and I tried to explain it’s not that easy, and I cried and felt like a failure and thought it was the end.
Once we got home and I got a decent pump, and I saw how much milk I was getting, I felt the biggest sense of accomplishment. I had finally found a way to breastfeed my daughter, even if it wasn’t directly from the breast. Almost a month into exclusively pumping, I have almost given up a thousand more times, but for some reason I keep pushing through. I can’t deal with whatever guilt I would be feeling if I were to quit now. There have been several tears shed over this and I am beginning to feel selfish. I want to continue so Cadence can have the best. I want to continue so I can keep losing weight. I want to continue because if I quit it will be so hard to ever build up a good supply again (which I already semi-destroyed, after getting lazy with the pumping sessions).
It’s difficult to find 30 minutes to myself every 2-3 hours every day. This has become a hurdle that I must jump over, quite literally, all day every day. I have to talk myself into it every time and I resent the stupid pump for the entire half hour I’m attached to it. I feel like I’m constantly hooked up to a machine. And then once I’m done I feel satisfied, and happy that I didn’t give up no matter how badly I desperately felt I should. I will continue as long as my willpower is stronger than the devil on my shoulder.