I am breaking my rule tonight of no technology after a shower. But something happened in the shower, a momentous occasion. The roadmap that once covered my chest, the sign that I had a full supply of milk for my precious Master X, has almost gone. Disappeared. Drained.
And so I break this rule so that I can acknowledge the ongoing grief that I have every time I make a bottle, feed him a bottle, hear him cry, experience minor leaking from one or both breasts, see other women breastfeed. I am trying to accept that this pain is part of the process of letting go and growing and that there is nothing that I can do now. It is done. Finished.
I need to talk about it more though, so I know that this will not be the last time that I overtly experience grief about our sudden cessation of breastfeeding. It is cruel, the way that this has worked out. I can’t even.
But it is only feeding, and as long as your baby is happy and healthy…
Yes, we are healthy and on our way to happiness (today, uh huh uh huh uh huh uh huh) but breastfeeding
is was so much more than food. Breastfeeding is was
The way we chose to feed our baby
The way that we chose to comfort our baby
And so, so, so much more
I know that these things can all be said about formula babies too. And this is not an anti-formula thought that I am having, but more of an ‘I didn’t want to feed my baby another species’ milk before they were one years old’ kind of thought. Because I believe that human milk is best for human babies, and cow’s milk is best for calves.
We struggled with supply over multiple bouts of mastitis, and were afforded the opportunity of accepting donor human milk for human babies from two very special mums. This milk was our saving grace whilst my supply regulated and we were just able to feed Master X again after a supply drop due to transfer back to Canberra (see ???? for how that transfer went) when three weeks later I had to stop breastfeeding.
One morning at the 6am feed. I didn’t even realise that it was the final time until it finished. But I also didn’t really believe there was going to be a final time any time soon.
And so I write here with a broken heart, of moments passed, when I could have weaned him at our own pace had we ceased those two previous occasions when I had wept to my dear friends and family that I was done.
I have to go and express now, before bed. And hand my once liquid gold to my dear Mr. A to pour down the sink, one more time, for who knows how many more times. Because the other cruel element is that Risperidone is known to cause breast milk production by stimulating the prolactin hormone that is required for making breast milk.
If you or someone you know is experiencing thoughts of suicide please contact Lifeline immediately 13 11 14