At first, I wasn’t ready to give up the life Preston and I had together. I loved all of the crazy adventures we had together and how we were able to do pretty much anything we wanted to do at anytime. I was nervous to put a career (that I wanted to start) on hold until after I had Myla (I had been through 4 years of school and I was ready to start).
I was nervous about so many things but at the same time I was SO anxious. Anxious to become a new mom (even though I had no idea what I was doing), anxious to start this new chapter in our life, anxious to take TOO MANY pictures of our sweet new baby, and even more anxious to see the beautiful little girl we had created.
Almost the minute we walked in our front door the first day home together, it HIT me. I no longer felt like myself and I didn’t know why. I was angry with Preston for nothing, I was angry that people wanted to help (I could do it), I was angry that I wasn’t “me” anymore, I was angry that the tears wouldn’t stop, I was angry about SO many things.
I struggled with SO many different things and no longer felt like myself, but I ESPECIALLY struggled with BREASTFEEDING! Myla would finish nursing and I would have to continue to pump while Preston took her from me (which was hard after taking the time to feed her). Then, other times, before I fed her I’d have to pump and pump and pump before I could even feed her so that she could get my “good” milk. Then I’d feed her. Then I’d have to pump AGAIN. Then, she’d be up from her nap again and ready to EAT (I felt like I wasn’t spending hardly any time with her or my husband)! It was a vicious cycle that was totally out of my control and seriously frustrated me. I wanted to spend time with my new baby and I didn’t feel like I even had the TIME to do that. I was crying all the time and felt like I was CONSTANTLY pumping or feeding (which was now becoming a chore).
In my overloaded milk and sleep deprived daze, I felt more and more distant from Preston, Myla and especially myself. I didn’t have the energy or strength to enjoy getting to know our new baby girl or take those pictures that I so anxiously wanted to take in the beginning.
As I reached out for support from lactation specialists, I found more support from those who encouraged me to do what was right for ME instead of trying to find more solutions to slow down my milk supply.
Breastfeeding made me feel STUCK. I felt like I had to nurse or pump all day and couldn’t go anywhere. And if we went anywhere we couldn’t go for long or else I would be in pain until I could pump. I had PLENTY of milk (and I am so glad there are women out there that have PLENTY of milk to SHARE with mothers who can’t help their babies in the way they’d like to – PROPS TO YOU!) but I couldn’t keep up with the demands of nursing, pumping and pumping some more! I had not imagined that motherhood would revolve SO MUCH around breastfeeding.
I pushed through so many sad and hard days, continuing to breastfeed because I thought that’s what was best for Myla . I pushed through tears and luckily had a patient husband with me to help me through all of those hard days. As it turned out, breastfeeding wasn’t what was best for me as a new mom.
I searched desperately for “permission” to quit from my husband (who would support me in whatever I chose), my family, and my new mom friends. I felt like I was going to let someone down. I finally made the bold decision to STOP BREASTFEEDING when Myla was six weeks old (which seemed like SO much longer). I decided this is what I had to do to become a “happy” mom and wife. I wanted my days home with my daughter and husband to be, simply– happy ones. I didn’t care what others tried to convince me to do, I didn’t want to push through anymore, this is what I needed to do to feel more like “me.”
I decided to quit cold turkey so that I couldn’t change my mind and I’ll tell you what, it was the BEST decision I had made as a new mom. Almost INSTANTLY I wasn’t upset anymore. I was back to being ME and I was HAPPY. And I felt like I actually had the TIME to be happy. Preston and I took turns feeding her formula (it was no longer a chore), we all started sleeping more, getting to know Myla more, and actually ENJOYING every minute of our new life with our baby girl.
For me, being a mom who isn’t breastfeeding, makes me feel like such a BETTER mom and wife. I didn’t miss it or regret it like I thought I might, instead I felt free. FREE to enjoy being a mom and free to spend more time with my baby that I had so anxiously waited for. Getting to spend that extra time with Preston, getting out of the house for a few hours and actually having FUN became a new part of motherhood that I didn’t know existed. I could actually enjoy this new title of “mom” without feeling any extra weight on my shoulders.
I could be me and I could enjoy being a mom– most importantly, Myla’s mom.