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No one, and I do mean no one told me that I would lose my mind breastfeeding! At first, I didn’t catch on. Too busy trying to gain steady ground becoming a “geriatric” mother recovering from a nightmare of a c-section.
I always knew that this time I wanted to breastfeed much longer than the whopping 3 weeks I did with my son. So, while I was focused on getting it right, feeling proud of myself, and dealing with all those left-over pregnancy hormones, I didn’t catch on that I was losing my mind.
Around the 6 month mark I remember wondering why it felt like every person I encountered in the whole world was here to destroy me. Everybody and everything made me either want to bawl uncontrollably or murder them. There was no in between. I was a monster!
I was a starving, sleep-deprived, overly sensitive monster! People were keeping their distance and I don’t blame them.
Feelings of giving in
I introduced formula at about 5 months and hung on another 5 months breastfeeding primarily and throwing a formula bottle in there a couple times a day. It wasn’t until she was 10 months old that I gave it up completely due to a diminishing supply.
I beat myself up about that constantly! Breastfeeding thoughts consumed me all day and night. In the beginning I resisted and resisted the thought of formula. I would look up ingredients in formula and freak out thinking how can she go from having one ingredient of pure natural mother’s milk to some powdery substance with 30 ingredients!
With that being said though when we started formula it took a few weeks for us to find one she really liked but then she was all about it. My girl liked to eat! She didn’t care if it was breast milk or formula, she was happy either way.
Now that she is 14 months I can look back and see that it was the freakin hormones! Now that everything has had time to even out, I feel like my old self again.
With the exception of the lactation consultant and the pediatrician I really didn’t have anyone else on board supporting me or offering insight. Having a support system also would have helped encourage me, but none of the women in my family had breastfed and they certainly didn’t understand why I would want to or have any advice when times got hard.
That first period was rough! I’ll spare you all the details. However, it did result in me taking a trip to the doctor to make sure I wasn’t going anemic.
Do I regret breastfeeding? Absolutely not!
Once a full week had went by without her breastfeeding or me pumping (man was I glad to give up the pumping) then I had to deal with all the sentimental feelings.
How was it over already?
Did I appreciate it?
Will I always remember what it was like?
How will we have those super special bonding moments now?
When I was exclusively breastfeeding, we had such a beautifully dependent relationship. I needed her and she needed me. We were one. Where she went, I went and vice versa. All of that was gone and it struck a whole new batch of emotions.
It was sad.
It was a longing. I was closing a chapter I knew I would NEVER revisit. It was watching my boobs fill up and be lumpy and intentionally not doing anything about it. Cringing at the fact that the healthiest thing on Earth for her was just being wasted. I pumped a little bit just to put in the freezer and save, careful trying not to signal to my boobs to make more and start the cycle all over again.
Cold, Hard, Realization
There is not much information that doctors are readily able to convey to women with PCOS. I have a theory that because my hormones were never completely aligned anyway, that something like breastfeeding just obliterated them more.
Most people lose weight while breastfeeding. Not this girl.
My hair didn’t grow, my body packed on the pounds and I was an emotional wreck. I felt like I was losing my mind. Add to that the depression that has always lingered around me and it was not pretty!
What got me through was first off that I was physically able to do so with no problems and very little soreness, and secondly it is the most holistic approach for babies. So, ladies, if you feel crazy during breastfeeding know that you are not alone. Once you stop, give it a couple months and your authentic self will return! Those hormones are no joke.
Needing more insight feel free to ask me any questions.