Recently I let go and finally stopped trying to kill myself and gave my daughter a few bottles of formula while she is at her babysitters 3 times a week. If my husband and I go out for a date, I don't try to kill myself to make sure enough is pumped and I let her have another bottle of formula. The girl is still mostly breastfed, but the stress is gone now that I've allowed myself to give her some formula. A less stressed out mom is better for everyone. I also don't resent breastfeeding anymore.
Then I saw the video of Salma Hayek breastfeeding another woman's baby in Africa. The baby was hungry, and her mother wasn't lactating due to malnutrition. Salma was still nursing her daughter, so she agreed to feed this baby. The look of gratefulness and peace on that baby's face as Salma fed her broke my heart. And to think I hated doing it and I'm having such an easy time with it.
A co-worker told me, as I whined about having to go pump, "You can do it!" and she rubbed my shoulders Rocky-style. We talked for a while about breastfeeding (she nursed her son until he was 13 months old, which is what most doctor's recommend). She said her in-laws weren't the most supportive people about her nursing her son. I never understood that, how people could be UN-supportive about something that is the absolute best for your child. I mean, I've had my days of absolutely hating it, but I never denied that it was what was best for Story. Anyway, she told me how she would nurse anywhere, just pulled out her nursing cover and went for it. She did it at restaurants, her in-laws' house, anywhere. That kind of amazed me. I could never do that.
Finally, yet another co-worker, a woman about my mom's age, told me that it was because I was breastfeeding that Story was doing so well. She's big and healthy and happy and already teething at 4 months old. She told me she still has dreams about nursing her two girls. That really touched me.
So last night, instead of stressing out about Story being hungry in a restaurant, I asked my husband to get my nursing cover out, and I let go and fed Story right there at the table. It was weird, I'm not going to lie, and we totally freaked out our waitress, but it was ok. You can't see anything because the cover is so big, and it helped that the restaurant wasn't very busy and we were seated at a booth instead of a table in the middle of the place, but still, I was so proud of myself.
I am not anti-formula. It's every woman's decision how she wants to feed her baby. I will continue to give Story several bottles of formula a week to keep myself sane. But medical reasons aside, I hope everyone at least tries to nurse her baby. When I work from home and all weekend, I will nurse Story every time. Give it a couple weeks, read all about it before you give birth, and just try it. It's a pretty amazing thing. Its taken me 4 and a half months, but I finally appreciate how much it means to Story to do this for her. I've fought against it for so long, stressing out about where I would be if she needed to eat, not wanting her to fuss and disrupt others around us, but last night I finally just gave in a let go and did it. And in the end, my husband and I (and Story too) just enjoyed our meal out, without stressing or worrying or fussing, and I finally had one of those content evenings that I've been wanting for so long. I just had to let it happen.