Saturday, July 18, 2009

Nursing...a complete failure.


It finally happened. Every mother knows what this means. A day I’ve been dreading since my daughter was born. Almost 6 months to the day. I did everything to prevent it from happening and nothing worked. I have been defeated in one of the tasks that was the most important to me as a mother. I failed at nursing. I know this because the final straw came this morning. I got my period.

I knew it was coming. I could feel it but I acted like I couldn’t. Getting your period is nature’s way of telling your body that you are ready to get back to business as usual. It’s your body saying, I am ready to start again and prepare to have another baby, but this won’t be happening. River was my last chance to do it right and I tried as hard as I could, but I failed. While I know it isn’t my fault and that I did what I could to nurse her much, much longer, that just wasn’t in the cards for me and I find it very painful.

Nursing is better for babies, it just is. There is nothing wrong with giving your baby formula and I will obviously continue to do so but I could never understand how some mother’s don’t even try. I often hear my friend’s complain about how engorged they are and secretly wish I had those problems. While I wish happy and successful breastfeeding for all mothers, I’ve never been able to discuss this with another mom because I’ve never heard of it happening. I did everything I was supposed to and I still failed. Why did this happen to me? Does it happen to others? Am I the only one?

I had planned to nurse River for at least a year but because of health issues, I have had trouble since she was born, as I did with Owen. I’d hope to enjoy nursing for well over a year with both my children and never made it past six months. I mourn the middle of the night feedings that were so exhausting when it was just the two of us and I would sing while they giggled. I mourn the morning feedings while we lay in bed together and cuddle and possibly fall asleep together while warm from each other’s bodies. I mourn times when they were infants and my milk was all that sustained them.

So, today isn’t a happy day for me, it is a day of mourning. I have to make a trip to the store to buy tampons. I haven’t done this in ages and am not happy about it. I will wear black to make this purchase because that’s how I feel. If I didn’t always wear black it would be more noticeable, but still.

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