So Breastfeeding never worked out the way I hoped. It was a combination of latching problems, which I solved with the use of a nipple shield, and the fact that Ivy is a lazy nurser. She snacks! Like, she’d spend 20 minutes nursing, fall asleep or otherwise become disinterested, and then 20 minutes later would be hungry again.
I’d been pumping and giving her bottles so we eventually just fell into a pattern of bottle feeding pumped breastmilk with the occasional formula bottle thrown in there. I just felt like when I was trying to nurse her exclusively I constantly had her attached to me. Now I’m back to work and it’s been like a month since I’ve even tried to nurse her. I suppose I could have tried harder to stick with it, not offering bottles and getting her to nurse constantly until she “got” it. Shoulda, woulda, coulda didn’t .
I’m not super down about it, the most important thing to me was that she got breastmilk because of all the benefits, and we’re accomplishing this. Yes, it is sort of a pain in the ass to be pumping all the time, and don’t even get me started on waiting to warm up a bottle that’s been stored in the fridge while Ivy wails away in hunger. Not to mention the cleaning and sterilizing bottles or making sure I have enough milk with me when we go somewhere.
But all in all, everyone’s happy. Ivy certainly isn’t having any problems growing. I don’t feel like I cheated her out of an important thing – she’s getting breastmilk, growing like crazy, hasn’t gotten sick or an ear infection and now daddy and other family get to feed her while mommy goes off to relax.