Monday, March 18, 2013

The dreaded weaning

It's after 8PM and Kate hasn't breastfed at all today. It was kind of a spur of the moment decision on my part. Technically I have until Thursday to wean her completely so that I can safely do my cancer treatments in six weeks, but I was thinking that she'd probably need to be weaned off of the tons of medicine I'm taking so if I stop now I can still breastfeed her a couple times before I have to stop entirely and she will be less likely to go through withdrawal.

I found myself embarrassed in the checkout line as I purchased this large canister of powdered formula. It's as if I was buying condoms or tampons or a copy of the National Inquirer. Embarrassed. I felt like I needed to explain to the cashier that I have cancer and if I didn't need to be radioactive to kill it off I would be breastfeeding my baby. But the cashier didn't seem to care that I was buying formula.

Reminder, it's not the end of the world.

Kathleen did OKay on her first full day off of the boobs, although she was extra gassy. In fact, she even spit up a lot less and her face looks much clearer! I almost feel relieved to be switching her over because I hate that she is taking all of these crazy medicines, too.

So far, since this was my choice to stop today, I'm feeling pretty good mentally. I think that if I waited until my doctors appointment on Thursday and had to leave that office knowing that I was no longer allowed to feed her how I chose it would've been much tougher on me. We're starting this journey on our own terms and we're doing just fine. 

Until I see notices like this on the back of the formula container:


And a part of my heart breaks a little.

But formula is not the end of the world, it's just not my first choice.

In the long run this switch to formula will be no big deal. She won't remember breast feeding when she grows up and she won't care either way whether she drank formula or breast milk. I do feel a huge loss with this change but only because I don't know how to mother her differently. She's currently fast asleep against my chest, buttoned up close to me in my sweater as if she were still in the womb. We don't need my boobs to bond. I can still make sure she is getting her nutrition and growing strong even if she gets her nourishment from soy milk and fancy powders.

I'm still her mama and no amount of formula can take that away from us.