Next week is my spring break, and Mr. Bunny and I are ditching our baby for a lightning quick trip to Chicago. We’ll only have one night and part of a day, but that’s enough time to have dinner at my favorite restaurant and spend some time watching TV in a hotel. That’s about all I need out of a vacation. The thought of leaving my child in an entirely different city makes me feel very…sick….but I have a strong suspicion that it will be good for us. Even after my sister in law asked me if I was leaving our overnight caregiver with power of attorney. And, when I said no, adding, “Oh…well…they probably take verbal consent.”
[Perhaps she was getting back at me for the whole DOG thing. Which has resolved in a way that seems like a reasonable compromise. She wants to bring the dog because she enjoys the dog’s company during the drive, but she’s found a daycare place here, and if she can’t get care, the dog will go in the basement. As it did yesterday, and I must say, the whole visit was just heavenly. I got to move around in my house without feeling threatened! I didn’t even have to think about the baby-dog interaction!]
My milk supply has been slowly dwindling. I was pumping five ounces a day, then four, then three, now about 2.5… On days when I’m at work, Bun Bun typically takes 4 ounces, so I’m no longer keeping up. And I’ve been in denial about the need to do something, but the Chicago trip is forcing my hand. So I sent Mr. Bunny out to buy some formula so we could make sure she’d take it before leaving someone else with our baby and not enough milk. (You’ll be happy to know he got the kind with MAGICSTUFF. Sigh!) On Friday, he tested it out. She loved it. He said she went at the bottle like a starving wolf.
I’ve been trying to take Bionic‘s outlook–Bun Bun’s eating so many different things now, formula’s just another food. But I find the whole thing very painful. I think about all the posts I’ve commented on where a woman was dealing with feelings of guilt or inadequacy because she was unable to breastfeed or was having to supplement. I was so sincere in telling these people not to feel bad. You’re choosing what’s best for your baby and what’s best for you…you’re a wonderful mother… Yeah. All at bit useless. And I have Extra Zero reason to feel bad, as the reason my body can’t provide for my baby anymore is that it’s busy providing for my fetus. So I should really not find myself tearing up or feeling unwomanly, should I? But I do. It hurts.
And the other thing that hurts, like really fucking hurts, is my nipples. A month ago I thought I could play through the pain. I was so totally unprepared to begin any kind of weaning process. But two weeks ago I started toying with the idea of cutting back to just morning and bedtime feeds. Pumping hurts a lot, and if I lower the suction it takes me a billion years to suck out my measly ounce per session, and it’s hard enough to fit in sessions between meetings and classes without it taking a billion years…And on days when I’m home I just hurt all day and wince at the thought of feeding her…and she opened up a little tear on one side AGAIN…and no amount of working on latch or changing positions or anything else helps. So I’ve been taking it day by day, not quite ready to pull the trigger on anything.
And then yesterday I found myself with formula in the house. And I realized I could just do it. I could cut back, and start a process I’m going to have to/want to start eventually.
And so I did. I had Mr. Bunny give her a bottle instead of feeding her out of my tore up tits. I felt like a selfish whore. And when I realized we’d need a shitload more formula if we were going to be doing this every day, I found myself scuttling through Target with my containers, feeling like every other mother’s eyes were on me, JUDGING. CONDEMNING. And then today I gave her a bottle for the first time ever, and yeah, she loved it.
However illogical, my heart aches a bit at this small separation, this tiny shift in how necessary I am.
But I tell you what, my nipples are ever so grateful.