One of the hardest breakups I've endured
I originally posted this on my personal Facebook page on May 5, 2018. Being open about this topic was important to me because I know many women struggle in silence fearing judgment or criticism. So often I had private (and not so private) messages recommending all kinds of things to help me. So many caring people gave me recommendations of products and consultants. We did have help but ultimately exclusively and even, in the end, intermittent breastfeeding as well as pumping, just wasn't working out. I had to really make peace with this.
Last night I ended a relationship. It was a long time coming and became really toxic after a while. And even though it’s for the best, I can’t help but long to try again, one more time, to make it work.
Maybe you’ve had this relationship too. You see how well things go for others like you but then realize your relationship is just — different. Time, money and dedication just wasn’t enough to make it work so you unplug that breast pump for good.
Yes. This is about my breakup with pumping. I have so many layers of things I realized over the nearly five months I gave to this relationship. And most of all I know that it’s the least important one in my life. Even with friends’ cautionary tales of what COULD happen and don’t beat yourself up, I did. So I kept the relationship going.
There were a lot of factors that led to my milk supply not working how I hoped. But eventually breastfeeding Miah clicked, just like it did in the hospital. However by that point my supply suffered and pumping eight times a day as recommended wasn’t ever happening. Often I was lucky to get in four times. But I did what I could, nursed when I could, and was comforted that at least she was getting something even if it wasn’t replacing formula bottles.
Now after all the prayer, supplements, lactation cookies, lactation consultants (the first one completely overwhelmed me with her recommendation in the SECOND week of Miah’s life to nurse, then pump, then supplement with formula), lactation centers, hospital-grade pumps, skin-to-skin that slowly became more difficult as Miah got more active, and coconut water — I’m done. And my body is telling me so between the exhaustion, big life changes, and of course, the hormones.
She’s happy. She’s healthy. She’s loved beyond measure. If we nurse, we nurse. If not, she’s happy, she’s healthy and she’s loved beyond measure anyway. Forget in the end. From the BEGINNING, that is the relationship that matters. #artislifemotherhood #realtalk #momlife