Sunday, January 15, 2017

The Weaning Struggle

This weekend is dedicated to weaning our 2.5 month old daughter from breastfeeding. She is not a huge fan of me right now, and my heart is more than a little broken. So far, she will only take a bottle from Daddy. The same bottle she started taking at 4 weeks old. Not any of the other 6 types of bottles we tried, naively assuming the bottle was the issue.

We started mixing pumped breastmilk with formula in a 3 to 1 ratio to get her to take it because she would not take the formula alone. There has been lots of tears and screaming (on her part and mine), but she successfully took 4 bottles total today. And to my surprise, she didn't choke on the milk from the bottle. She spit up much less than usual. And she had significantly less gas. Logically, I know that means we made the right decision to wean. But my heart still needs convincing.

I attempted to feed her with the bottle multiple times only to be screamed at and given a look of betrayal (or maybe I just imagined the look). Instead, Maya found comfort in her Daddy. Don't get me wrong. I'm incredibly grateful that my husband is helping with the weaning process. And I'm glad that he has this chance to bond with his daughter. But it hurts not to be the one soothing her when she cries.

With breastfeeding, I often didn't have to know what was bothering Maya in order to soothe her. She would take a boob and magically fall asleep with little effort. However, it was short-lived, as she would inevitably wake up with gas pains and projectile vomiting.

I realize I probably sound like a crazy person who is clearly ignoring reason. But my motherly instinct is the part that is messing with me. That hormone released at the sound of my baby crying, making me physically uncomfortable, is screaming that I made the wrong decision. How could I simply let my little girl cry when I could fix it just by breastfeeding? Although, breastfeeding wouldn't really be fixing anything, would it?

So we press on, despite all of the physical discomfort and unsettling emotions. Because in the end, I know this will be for Maya's benefit. And that is what being a mom is all about.

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