I don't mean this to be a big whinge session.
We had no luck with breastfeeding. I saw 3 different lactaction consultants and persisted and persisted but my little girl had trouble latching on (big breasts) and when she did it wouldn't last and she'd fall asleep soon after. She lost too much weight so I began expressing.
3 months later, my wrists and elbows are killing me and I've had to start physio to get some relief. I own an electronic pump (the Avent Isis) but I am in a lot of pain from holding the machine, holding my breasts in such a way that the milk comes out best and from slightly hunching so the milk flows into the bottle better. I feel more stiff than I did at the end of my pregnancy and I'm in the process of throwing in the towel. But the guilt plagues me.
We can only breastfeed with a shield and it doesn't last too long. I enjoy it when we do but I certainly can't rely on it being her only food source. She simply doesn't drain my breasts or come close and gets fussy after a while and annoyed (because of my breast being on her. It must be heavy) after a while. I've also been getting blocked ducts but most breastfeeders get those I suppose.
In the last few days I've begun the process of weaning her. I've cut down one of my pumpings and have introduced formula and have already noticed my milk has dwindled. Part of me is relieved and part of me is down. I think I am after validation for my decision. I'm so pleased that no one has told me to just 'keep going'. I understand that breastmilk is the ideal start for a baby's immune system and I've done my very best under the circumstances. But as you can see, here I am writing to you all, so I'm not at peace with it yet. There's no other answer for us though, is there? My hands and elbows are so sore and weak that I honestly can't lift my daughter properly at the moment. I just want a break