Mommy guilt is Strange
Here I am at another crossroads. As Remi was getting her top two teeth her, her latch became painstakingly loose. No matter how much I tried to fix it, she just didn't want to. I nursed through the pain for weeks. But I noticed myself starting to dread the feedings, especially the nighttime ones. One side was worse than the other so I decided to give a break to my right side for a few days to allow it to heal. On the day I decided to try again, she pulled away with bloody lips and I look down to no joke see a piece of my nipple missing.
I felt defeated.
I tried to reason with myself that I could just pump in order to make our 1 year goal. I've never had a problem with pumping. Then a few more days in, I felt myself fall into a depression. It took all of me to get through the day. Then to top it off, my supply dropped. Normally I wouldn't worry too much cause I had a pretty large freezer stash. But just a few weeks before, I donated 180 oz to two mothers in need. So here I was, with only a few more bags in my freezer, nothing in the fridge, and barely producing, and in pain.
During my days of depression, I cried over realizing that Remi is to be my last baby. Which means when my milk dries up, this will be the last time that I breastfeed a baby. Breastfeeding was no easy journey for me with either kid. Riley had latching issues for her first 4 months, and as we came to the end of her journey she was enjoying locking her jaw as she fell asleep making me have to literally pry myself out of her mouth at 2 years old. When I was done with Riley I told myself I wouldn't breastfeed again. It was too hard, too time consuming. But enter Remi. With 4 years between them, I had time to heal and regain my determination. I was ready to try again thinking it cannot nearly be as bad as Riley was. I was overjoyed when Remi latched without hesitation. But to my surprise, she didn't know how to suck! So we were back on the supplement train with a lot of exercises to get her going. But after her first month, we were rocking it.
I was asked if I would nurse until 2 with Remi. I honestly had no idea. I thought I'd stop earlier but there was a piece of me who wanted to make it to 2 again. But here we are...at 11 months and feeling our journey end. I KNOW there are so many mothers out there who have trouble keeping up with their babies, or breastfeeding at all. I know I am lucky to have made it this far.
Yet, the mommy guilt is real.
We never feel like we do enough even though literally everything we do every day is for our children. You feel like you should've tried to do this or that. Or you feel crappy cause you didn't make it to a goal even though deep down you know your child is loved and cared for and that is all that matters. Our kids aren't going to care how far we breastfed for. If they got formula or breastmilk. They just need to know they're loved and by the very action of having this guilt, it inevitably shows they are loved.
I mourn knowing that a day is coming where I will pump and see nothing come out. Or I will latch her soon for the very last time. The very last time for the rest of my life. I feel like Riley was born just such a short time ago, and now she is 5 and lost her first tooth. I feel like Remi is only a few months old, yet in a short 2 weeks, she will be 1. I am a mother who is done with babies. How crazy to think of the days me and Tony were planning what our future family would look like, and we blink and here we are. No more will I have to deal with explosive diapers, spit up, counting pee and soiled diapers, swaddling, baby swings, nursing, labor, pregnancy, tummy time, those first milestones, and so much more.
Oh sweet Remi. You have given me this wonderful gift of being your mama and doing this journey for my second and last time. I know you will be fine judging by how you start yelling at me so excited when you see me grab you a bottle and follow me around the house if I'm holding it. You love stuffing your face with all the foods. I'm sorry I didn't get to breastfeed you as much as I wanted to but I know even this time I gave you with my breastmilk is perfect as is.
I'm happy to say, after chugging a gatorade a day, I believe I will make it to my 1 year goal even if it's only nursing once a day, and pumping the rest.
If you are feeling the depression from coming off nursing, please don't hesitate to reach out whether it's to me, a friend, or your medical professional. Luckily mine seemed to really only tank for a few days so know some blues can be expected. Anything more than that, definitely reach out.
And no matter where you are in your breastfeeding journey, know you are doing AMAZING.