Life goes down, and then up again

by Line

I have decided to stop breastfeeding and start with formula, and I believe you would think it’s because it hurts, or that I don’t have enough milk, or some other normal, accepted reason. Because if it’s not that, you should breastfeed. That’s what’s best for you. And the baby. Go, go, go breastfeeding.

It doesn’t hurt anymore, and when it comes to amount – there is often so much Kasper can’t seem to eat it all at once. So I guess I should breastfeed, because that’s what they tell me. That I should continue trying, that it will give Kasper a better immune system, that it’s so cozy and the times of your day that you should value the most because they mean the most during this precious period of time when he is an infant.

.. err – hello? Why do I have to feel like I do something bad just because I don’t want to breastfeed? It is seriously the worst time of the day if I try to even think about giving him breast, and that affects him – so he doesn’t like it either. I feel like society (in Norway, at least) looks down on you if that is why you decide not to give your baby the best option and the best basis during the first months of his/her life – because you don’t like it (here you are even “supposed to” breastfeed until your baby is one year old, the thought makes me shudder).

So here comes the main reason (and the one that seriously should be accepted) why I won’t breastfeed, on top of the disgust and all the stress that my boobs have been through the last three weeks. I want them off public display, I don’t want to think about milk explosive and tight ducts (this have to be translated wrong?), and I want Kasper to be happy.

His mom is not. His mom doesn’t eat enough, and haven’t been doing so for more than a year. That is true folks, and I have finally gotten the guts to bring it up, even though it is one of the most painful topics and thoughts I have, that I have been hiding for so long. It was a lazy habit that started because I had gained some weight, moved to Spain to live by myself and there was no one to make me food. When I got home last September I realized I had lost a lot of weight, but I still didn’t feel good. I felt sort of.. fat. So I continued not eating. It worked last time, right? Oh, the logic that comes with a mind trying to convince itself what they are doing is correct. When I didn’t work I could have mom’s dinner for breakfast, but at that time I was so hungry I didn’t eat more than half a plate, and then went back to bed – because in the beginning, not eating takes away all your energy. Other times I would eat some chocolate and have soda just to get a sugar-rush. After a while I got used to eating almost nothing, and I kind of liked the dizzy feeling I was continuously having in my head. Even though you have no energy left you learn to function, and when November came I had a lot of practice behind me. When I worked I ate some more, but always just enough. I was terrified that I would gain weight again. And that lump on my stomach.. Why couldn’t it just disappear?

Then I got pregnant. It was hard. I needed more food than I could possibly manage to get in, and the word hunger suddenly got a new meaning. I slept more, and I had no energy at all. When I was in Canada I almost fainted several times because I wouldn’t eat until I really needed food. So nice to get a visit from that girl.. I continued on the edge, and only ate when I had to. But food got better, and I started to eat some more. After all I was pregnant and had to make sure that someone inside got some energy to grow too. After a while I just ate enough for him, and was still hungry all the time again. The good part was that I didn’t feel fat anymore, so I didn’t feel that bad eating either, but I had that bad habit with me of not eating more than I had to, more than just enough so I wouldn’t get really sick, or faint in public, or something embarrassing like that. I also started to become more active, and being pregnant, not eating and walking around like a maniac doing everything I probably shouldn’t made me “thin”. I have never been so active my entire life.

It was only a few weeks until Kasper was going to be born, and I had finally started to get some good habits of eating. I made myself eat breakfast everyday, maybe a small meal between that and dinner, and yes – I made dinner everyday. And I ate it, and it was a huge step forward. Sometimes I even ate before I went to bed, because I knew I had to change my habits. And because I didn’t have any other stuff to do, I made it my goal to make sure I at least got better when it came to eat more than I previously had. I wasn’t hungry all the time any longer, and I felt better. I felt happier than I had in a long while, and it was good.

Then Kasper was born, and they told me he was healthy and had had enough food throughout the entire pregnancy. I was so surprised, and happy – because I knew hadn’t gotten enough food.. Anyways, now I had to breastfeed. I know that it’s not that much extra energy the body needs to produce milk, but imagine this; you need two slices of bread extra everyday, and one glass of milk. Some days that’s all I eat. Problem? Yes.

And this is more or less where I am today, constantly walking around with a feeling of hunger that is worse than anything else. It is like having a huge black hole inside your stomach, trying to eat you from inside while making sure your heart and soul rots with it. It is hard walking straight up because all you want to do is lay down like a baby so the pain goes away. And it feels like eating makes it worse. One slice of bread and the pain is almost unbearable. Getting back on the right track will be a painful road, but I’m getting there. Slowly, I am eating more – and my head is at the right place because I know breastfeeding isn’t right for me, and I know quitting was the best decision I made for myself. Only you know you. Remember that.