Before Daughter was born, I was intent on breastfeeding to the point where I refused to acknowledge that there might be an alternative out there. It was stupid, I thought, to bother wasting money on formula when my body could do exactly the same thing but better and for free.
As it stands, I haven't resorted to formula yet - 11 weeks in - but every night is a battle not to. I have something called D-MER which is basically a disproportionately high drop in dopamine levels when milk let down occurs. Since knowing that all the horrible feelings I've had whilst breastfeeding - not least that I am a wicked person, that I don't deserve my daughter, that I should hurt myself in some way - were down to hormones and not depression has made it easier to bear. I can tell myself that the feelings aren't real and that they'll stop at the end of a feed.
I know that breastfeeding is nutritionally best for my baby, but I'm torn between meeting her physical needs and our emotional ones. People talk about breastfeeding being a bonding experience, a time to get to know one another, but for me it has become an endurance test. But here's the kicker: every time I go to feed my daughter, I resent her for being hungry.
Don't misunderstand me, I love my daughter and nothing in the world could stop that. But when I start to feel bitter about having to sit down and feed her, knowing it will make me feel as though the world is ending, I start to think that actually, formula would probably be better for us.
In addition, her father could take part in feedings. My partner has had some degree of trouble connecting with our baby because he feels he can do nothing for her when she cries. We've fought about this in the past and I can't help but think that our relationship would benefit too if we were on something of an even keel where Daughter is concerned.
I will persevere with breastfeeding for as long as I can, however as soon as money is more readily available then I will seriously consider making the switch.
At the moment, I feel so terrible feeding her that it is putting me off ever having another child.