I never called the lactation consultant.
I thought that was what I needed to do, that at least doing that and finding out if relactation was possible was what would give me the push I needed to move either way.
As it turns out, the thing I needed most was to write about it and then talk about it. Your comments were really wonderful, really insightful. I always love hearing from you, so thanks for engaging in the dialogue.
Truthfully, I am really happy with the way things are going with Charlie. We seem to have found our groove as a family, and that is no small feat. And also, I think that is what is most important. We have found what works for us as a family, and part of that equation is formula feeding through a bottle.
I never meant to imply in my last post on this matter that I thought I was a lesser mother for formula feeding. It's just that my expectations don't always match up to my reality. And that can be quite jarring at times.
I was surprised at how many of you told me I was being too hard on myself. To me, I was just being honest and forthright and all the rest, but Roy reminded me that I can be honest and too hard on myself at the same time.
You are probably right. I probably was too hard on myself about this whole breastfeeding thing. It's hard not to be when there is such an anti-formula vibe going on these days. It's all "back to nature" and it definitely affects the way I see myself as a mother at times. I don't think there's anything wrong with the "back to nature" movement - after all, I actually subscribe to a lot of these beliefs, but I also find that going back to nature can bring out the crazy in a lot of people, like Maggie Gyllenhaal's character in Away We Go.
To be completely honest, my motivation for at least considering relactation was purely for the experience of further bonding with Charlie, not for anything having to do with nutrition. But as so many of you reminded me, there are so many other ways that we can bond and that we have already bonded.
Last night I wrapped Charlie up in his blanket and we hung out together on the couch. I fed him and while I was doing so, he kept his tiny little hand on mine and gazed into my eyes.
No one can ever tell me that I'm not feeding my son with love.
Thank you for helping me get here, for helping me let go of what's trivial and for helping me embrace what's important.
I'm ready to really move on now.