Wednesday, March 02, 2005

The Real Question

Tigger had a very good question a post or two ago. Why do I want to breastfeed so bad? If I am pumping, she's still getting the breastmilk, which is sort of the point. (By the way, we decided against going the formula route. I figured that I am already producing about a free gallon a day, so I might as well save that money for diapers.) Interesting that she should ask me that, because my husband has been asking me that for about a week now.

Answer: I am not sure. Truthfully, it's not for her sake. She is well-fed, and actually much happier with the bottle. It's really all about me. Part of it is that in my dreams of motherhood, breastfeeding was part of the scenario. I guess giving that up is giving up a dream of mine. I know that even when the breastfeeding is working like clockwork, it isn't always sunshine and roses. But it's just something that I always wanted to do, peer pressure having nothing to do with it.

Another reason is simplicity. I would love to be able to take out the middle man ("middle man" being that pump and all the bottles to wash.)

But honestly, a big part of my anxiety and frustration probably lies mixed up in my lifelong struggle with depression. People who have dealt with depression will probably know what I am talking about...with depression, there is a fair amount of emotional self-battery that goes on. Through therapy and medication (and let me say, you would be seeing a whole different Ellen entirely if I wasn't still taking my Wellbutrin), I have managed to combat the negative self-talk. I learned to start saying to myself, "That's not true" when the little voice in my head (metaphorically-- I am not going crazy) tells me that I am hopeless or worthless. But motherhood opened a whole new can of worms. Every time, since that first day when she refused to latch, I've had a little voice saying, "FAILURE." Rationally, I know that this is not true. But depression and all it's nastiness is not rational.

Which... is leading me to believe that, for my own sanity and to ward off possible post-partum depression, I should probably just let it go and accept the situation for what it is: a healthy baby who is still getting breastmilk. Part of accepting the situation is accepting myself yet again-- the Ellen who has a "not normal" aspect to consider when making "normal" decisions. Not falling into the Depression Pit.

Because trust me, that would suck ten times more than having to pump seven times a day.


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