I'm considering exclusively pumping and need some feedback.
Our story actually begins with my older child's extremely premature birth. He was born at 26 weeks and, after working very hard at breastfeeding, we found out that be was aspirating the minute amounts he was able to transfer into his lungs. It was recommended that we move to bottlefeeding, as his swallow was only safe with very thick liquids. So I pumped for him for 9 months and fed him my milk, thickened, in bottles.
I remember finding out that he was aspirating. I was sitting next to his NICU isolated, holding him and crying and his precious nurse rubbed my arm and brought me kleenex. She knew I was heartbroken. Then, an hour or so later, he had his first thickened bottle. His nurse fed him to make sure he did okay with that thickness (and, frankly, I was so sad that I really didn't want any part of it). I just cried while she fed him. He drank that bottle down in no time. We'd worked for so many feedings, trying to get him to transfer more than a few milliliters and he took the bottle like he'd been doing it his whole life. I was so sad.
Fast forward almost 4 years and now I'm nursing my almost 3-month old daughter and it's been one challenge after another. Currently we're dealing with her crying through many feedings everyday. She really only nurses peacefully while asleep. I don't know why. I'm working with a great IBCLC and a LLL leader friend, but so far we can't seem to figure it out. All I know is that my sweet baby cries when I move her into feeding position and I want to quit.
If I knew I wouldn't regret it later, I'd just start pumping and giving her my milk in a bottle and be done with these struggles. But I'm scared of feeling the same disappointment and sadness I felt with my son...
I guess I came on to ask if those of you who EP feel fulfilled with the closeness and bonding you have with your babies when bottlefeeding. I wish I could say I did with feeding my son his bottles, but our story didn't end there. Unfortunately, he began crying with every bottle and eventually became completely orally averse, was diagnosed as failure to thrive and had a feeding tube placed.
So, you can see where my own aversion to my babies crying during feedings comes from...
I feel like I'm so preoccupied with trying to figure out why she's crying that I'm missing out on enjoying her...
Any feedback, things to think about, etc are appreciated.