I Stopped Breast Feeding

I have breast fed Riley since the moment they placed him on my skin right after birth. It was easy for me. It happened naturally. I decided to breast feed for a year because of how easy it was at that moment and I was against formula. I had no idea of what was to come. 

We were home from the hospital & this thing called cluster feeding started. This was the reason I decided to breastfeed for six months. I was feeling as if I were chained to Riley. I could not leave him with anyone or take a break because I was his only source of nutrition. Most importantly I was not sleeping.

I did the mistake of not pumping consistently from the beginning. I would only pump if my boobs were engorged or if I had to go record a podcast episode. This was my only time away from Riley for a few months. My extra milk supply consisted of about three or four bags at a time. 

As I am writing this, six months after, it feels as if those first few weeks were a blur. I just remember crying a whole lot. I felt trapped. While other new moms were enjoying a "date night" on a Friday night looking beautiful with their snap back bodies. I was home with nipples full of pain and a baby that would not stop eating, skinnier than before I was pregnant. "He's not eating enough, it's time to give him formula." I heard about 5 different versions of this daily. It would piss me the fuck off.  Here I was doing one of the hardest and necessary things for my child and I was basically being told to give up? There were times that I even started to doubt myself. Knowing that breastmilk was the best form of nutrition for Riley kept me going for as long as it did. 

Its been about three weeks since I have completely stopped breast feeding. Riley was waking up to five times a night and I felt as if I was not producing enough milk for him. I turned to formula as a way to supplement so that I can start pumping more milk and build my supply. Riley started solids around the same time. I was using my stored breastmilk to puree his food. It started with one or two bottles of formula a day and slowly started giving him more formula even though that was not the plan.

I tried to hold on to the last bottle of breast milk for as long as I could. I started to feel like a failure. My hormones were all over the place again and still are. I feel sad in one way but there is a good side to it as well. I feel free. I am now able to FINALLY have time for myself, go on interviews, work out, have a social life and wear dresses. Feeding Riley in public has also become easier. The diaper bag is little heavier but I'll take it. The "mom shamers" will probably have a field day with this and comment for me to keep going. Sorry not sorry, I tried my best and I did better than most and MY perfect time to ween arrived and I took it and rolled with it. 

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