Wow, I bet ya’ll are all tired of hearing about Ruby and breastfeeding! I’m tired of thinking about it, and talking about it, and worrying about it. Seriously.
So, I wanted to clarify some things. First, and I heard this one a lot – Ruby doesn’t hate breastfeeding. She’s not miserable. She loves it. She adores clawing at my chest, and pulling back on the nipple, and biting down with her gums. She pulls at my shirt to get to my boobs. She dives towards them like she’s starving. She plays with them, and smiles at them, and cuddles them in her sleep. She doesn’t hate nursing, and I’m not forcing her to nurse. She just has NO IDEA how to nurse without hurting me. Her behavior changes when I don’t allow her to nurse for an extended period of time, and I feel like she misses it. It breaks my heart a little bit. I’m not making her miserable when we keep trying… only me.
Second – I don’t feel guilty. How could I possibly feel guilty? I have fought and fought for this little girl. I have questioned everything, everyone. I have TRIED everything. I have done everything possible to make this work; when it doesn’t, it wont be for lack of trying. When I give up nursing and start pumping for good, it will be because I have exhausted every option, tried every trick, called on every resource possible to me and NOT because I backed out and didn’t try hard enough. I have no reason to feel guilt, so I don’t.
I am raising a beautiful, happy, healthy, smart, funny, wiggly little girl. She makes me smile every single day. She loves her brother and adores her daddy. She is growing like a weed, meeting and exceeding all of her milestones… she just wont nurse. That doesn’t make me a failure, or make her a bad baby. It doesn’t mean we wont survive this.
But it also doesn’t mean I wont be sad about the loss of the sweet nursing relationship I had dreamed of as I grew her inside of me. And it doesn’t mean I wont try again with my next child. I have learned. A lot. I wont make the same mistakes again. Maybe someone out there will learn from my mistakes, and be more successful than we have been. Maybe good will come of this.
I haven’t given up yet. Not quite yet. I have a plan, I have a few more cards up my sleeve… and if they don’t work, it’s okay. We will be okay. I keep trying because when this ends, which it will, I will be able to look back knowing fully and completely that there was nothing else I could do – and be proud of all that I did.
I AM proud. No matter what, I am proud of Ruby Kate, and I am proud of myself. We are doing pretty good.
And we will be okay.