I would really like to continue to do partial breastfeeding, but these plugged ducts (or whatever else is the culprit) have caused a major supply drop for me, and I think I may be done sooner than I want. I am a little surprised at how much grief I feel over this; it's just as bad as what I felt over infertility, even the second failed IVF. I was just so sure breastfeeding would work for me (and my rack is robust right now - what the hell is in there if it isn't milk?). The things I worried about were sore ni.pples and leaking and a bad latch and all that other stuff that everyone gets - I didn't get any of that. I never even considered low supply. It's another one of those things that 5% of people get, and I manage to be in that 5%.
I'm trying to retain some perspective. I have a beautiful, happy, healthy baby. And it's nothing compared to other stuff that's going on with people I know. One of my best friends got a mammogram recently because her mother had had breast cancer at an early age, and they found precancerous cells all over the damned place. She then got a genetic test, which showed she has the BRCA2 gene mutation. So she's having a double mastectomy next week and has to have her ovaries removed by age 40. And another good friend's mother is very close to dying from metastatic brain cancer that began as a non-smoking-related lung cancer. So my life ain't so bad.
Still, I just feel so much more on the verge of tears than I have since my one day of postpartum hormones crashing. I have therefore been compelled to make a list of pros and cons of quitting breastfeeding.
- Baby doesn't get benefits of breastfeeding, such as, oh, brains and health.
- I don't get benefits of breastfeeding, such as effortless weight loss and natural birth control (ha! like I need that!).
- Bottlefeeding requires use of both hands, unlike breastfeeding, which allows for reading, remote-control-handling, eating, and one-handed typing.
- I would lose my bodacious rack.
- Intense guilt, feelings of inadequacy, jealousy/bitterness over others who successfully breastfeed, etc.
- No middle-of-the-night pumping. In fact, no pumping at all.
- More time to interact with the baby since I wouldn't nurse, supplement, and pump each session.
- Anyone can feed the baby - ie, I could leave the house for more than an hour or two at a time.
- I could sleep in a position other than flat on my back. No more plugged ducts.
- I could eat fish that contains mercury.
The pros are compelling but are all very me-focused. And one thing I've grown accustomed to with pregnancy and now nursing is that my diet affects two people. And I kind of like that. I've always been more responsible with other people's property than my own.