Thursday, May 11, 2006

Second Best

With Mother's Day right around the corner, I think it is appropriate for me to point out how much being a Mother can totally stink sometimes. No one warned me how I would experience growing pains each time my child would hit a new milestone. With each development Camille reaches, another piece of my heart hurts.

Last week Camille began needing more in her bottles. Six ounces was just not satisfying her any longer. I had been dreading this day since I began pumping. I knew once it hit that point, supplying her breastmilk would become a bit more challenging. And as if my body has a grudge against me, my milk supply has plummeted to nearly nothing. I came to the hard decision Sunday morning that something has got to give here. My daughter needs more food, food that I can no longer supply for her. I fight for every ounce that I feed her. I stay up until 1 a.m. just to get that extra ounce or two but the problem that has arose is that that extra ounce just isn't coming anymore, no matter how long or how frequently I pump. It just isn't working any longer.

I haven't really posted that much this week because I have been a little down about it. I feel like less than other Mom's right now regardless of how ridiculous that may sound. I try to encourage myself.

I try to remind myself that I gave Camille a great a start. Four and a half full months of breastmilk. I try to remind myself that there are plenty of babies who have been formula fed since birth and are thriving and are perfectly healthy.

I think of my niece, she was formula fed at 4 months. My sister's milk dried up. But she had a excuse, her husband had lost his job due to 9/11 and they were now living on a salary that had been cut significantly.

I think of my dear friend who's son had been formula fed beginning just weeks after his birth and he is just to amazing for words. But she too had an excuse. Her mother, her best friend had died right after the birth of her son. The sadness was just overwhelming.

I think Amy, and her amazing words of encouragement to me. But she nursed. She tried. Her milk dried up. She had no other choice.

In my hormonal mindset right now I have failed. I have let myself down and can't help but question if I really had tried hard enough. Did I really give it my all or did I use my illness as a cop out? Yes, it took over a week for my milk to come in. Granted I also didn't have enough energy to get through a shower without a power nap afterwards. But still, I should have tried harder.

So now here I am, with my newly formula fed baby who smells of formula spit up and has the worst diarrhea because of it. I don't like this one bit. I don't have a choice anymore. We've reached the end of the road. I know intellectually all that matters is that she is fed and happy. But what I don't know is how to allow myself to be okay with this new arrangement. To me, it's just second best. I don't want Camille to have second best.

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