F never really latched well, well enough to maintain her weight for a month, but then she started to lose it again and my doctor said enough is a enough and demanded that I switch to pumping. She was very forceful about the fact that she wanted F to receive breast milk but was not flexible at all about how she would receive it... ie through a bottle not the breast.
So I kept it up for 6 months... I pumped at first ever 2 hours to build up my supply, then every 3-4 hours to give myself a break, then every 5 because the schedule worked out better for me, and that was about 4 times a day, and then I decided to start actually weaning my breasts from the pump and made the switch to 3 times a day thinking that schedule would work for a month, but it didn't, I kept forgetting that middle pumping cause it didn't work out to be next to anything important at about 3pm. so there wasn't a marker in my day to remind me about it, and I'd often remember at dinner around 6pm that I hadn't done it yet.
So then I decided "I can't remember it anyway I'll just drop that middle one" and I'd only been doing that for 1.5 weeks.. well once I switched to 3 times my supply went from 24oz to 16oz and it seemed stupid... but when I started doing 2x a day the drop wasn't that big 14oz... so you'd think I could just keep it up, but no, after 2 days of the new schedule I just decided I can't keep playing this game anymore.
The only reason I was still doing it is because I never set a cut off date, and I just wanted to make it till 'tomorrow' only tomorrow never really came, it was just another tomorrow and I'm sick of it! You'll all be thinking 'just stop then!' but if any of you have ever been through this you will know it is a hard decision, like when to wean a baby from your breast, how long do you provide 'the good stuff' and when do you stop feeling guilty about not providing it any longer.
The answer with C was 1 year, and I stopped two days before he turned 1, and I felt guilty, but I was only nursing once a day at that point anyway and two days in a row I had things that would take me away from him during our normal nursing time so I stopped two days early and convinced myself to be ok with it, even though I felt horrible.
When I was pregnant with F and rocking C in his rocking chair and reading him stories before bedtime I would dream up little moments when I'd still nurse my new baby at C's current age (the age he was when I was pregnant for F)... I convinced myself that I really did want to nurse longer this time, to have that special bond with my baby, to provide the antibodies against illness (especially since right after quitting with C we moved and the whole family got sick and we are looking at that same time frame for F and a big move plus a trip to New Zealand), so it seemed like the best option to let her self wean, and just see how long we could hold onto that special bond.
So you can imagine when the Dr told me to start pumping, my first question was "how long do you think before I can start bringing her back to the breast?" and her answer was a short "never"... it hit me hard. And now I'm so glad to be rid of the pump, but I'm also really sad because every once in awhile I will sit with my breast exposed next to F as she sips from her bottle or suckles her paci, hoping that once she falls asleep I can convince her that she wants 'me' instead of the imitation... and if I am not pumping anymore then I'm going to stop producing and if I stop producing then there is no hope of her EVER taking my breast, or having any reason to.
I feel torn. It took forever for me to bond with her, and now I feel like I can, but i also want to provide her with all the same opportunities as I have with C, partially out of guilt because I bonded instantly to C and it took weeks/months for F and I to bond, but partially because I just want to give my kids the best. I know that a lot of you will say that I am doing that, and that giving her breast milk as long as I have is great and that formula if it is better for our family life is better since it creates less stress on me, but honestly I know all that, and my therapist tells me it too, but I'm still angry because I know also that the antibodies, the bacteria, and the nutrients in breast milk are SO much better than formula.. not that formula is bad, it just isn't as good... so I feel like a major looser quitting when everything was going just fine with the pump just because I'm sick of it. And that really is the only reason I'm quitting, I'm just sick of pumping.
Ehh... give me some soothing words to relieve my mind PLEASE!