Big eyes that want the booby but can’t have it

After coming to terms with the fact that my baby had a poor suck and thus pour milk transfer, We had to revise her feeding schedule so that all of us would be a little bit more sane. What that entailed was reducing her nursing sessions from six times a day to four times a day, and also having me do one or two of the bottle feeds to relieve Chris. Unfortunately, my pumping increased from 6 to 7 times per day given my desire to become an exclusive pumper, but it is what it is and I chose this path… sort of.

The first time during the evening when I did a bottle feed for the baby after nursing her, I nearly started crying. It wasn’t that the bottle feeding was particularly cumbersome or emotional per se, but it was more the big eyes that she stared up at me with that got me. That evening, I nursed her on both breasts for about 20 minutes, and knowing that she would almost never get full off of my breasts given the poor milk transfer, I gave her the bottle I had prepared. But immediately, she seemed very confused. She looked up at me with these big, glassy eyes, as though to say, Why? Why are you giving me a bottle? I want the booby!  Then, she proceeded to move her face towards my breast and start biting my breast area, and I realized that this was exactly what she was trying to communicate to me. I want mommy’s boobies. I want to eat from your breasts. Why are you giving me a bottle? I want you.  

And that was what almost made me cry. I wanted to tell her, Mommy wants nothing more than to nourish you directly from her breasts, but unfortunately, we can’t do that because you have poor milk transfer and thus will never get full that way. We need to make sure that you are gaining weight and growing, and this is the most sustainable way for all of us. We don’t want you to get frustrated on the breast because you have to work so hard. We just want you to eat and be nourished. And in the meantime, mommy is trying her best to increase her milk supply without your help to get you as much breastmilk as possible.. Because you love mommy’s milk, and mommy knows this.

She is never going to understand that message now, and she may never understand that message even when she gets older. But I hope that someday, she will understand the sacrifices that I have chosen to make to ensure that she has the best life possible. And for now, in my opinion, the best life possible is her having as much breastmilk as possible.

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