I'll post over here too.
I cried my eyes out one day when my lovely oldest son was well somewhere between 6 and 9 months old because it was summer and it was after I stopped exclusively pumping for him. I had just been to a meeting of our local homeschool group at the park, and some mom there asked me what my child eats then if he's allergic to all things dairy and soy and I don't breastfeed. She'd seen me feed him his bottle and was in on a conversation I was having about his allergies--now outgrown.
I probably was not very nice when I informed her it was Nutramigen. I'm not sure I added any more of my story.
FOUR LC's could not figure out how to undo what the hospital's policies had done to us.
I pumped exclusively for 6 months and listened to my child go through colic HELL till we figured out his allergies. I eliminated those things from my diet while pumping. I'm not sure when I stopped crying when I'd make a bottle of formula because I just could not pump enough. Or how much time I spent online learning about what I could do to make more milk...how much time I spent attached to that pump instead of my baby.
I now have a happy, healthy, thriving 6 year old--and by the way, we didn't end up homeschooling.
I still get angry if I think back too much on that...now that I have 3 other babies who I *have* been able to breastfeed, I know what I missed with him, and it makes me FURIOUS. I know what I should do with that energy is take it into being part of the change I want to see...I just heard a fabulous speaker last weekend who pointed out that people like the nurses I had are overworked and not educated in natural birth and practices that support breastfeeding.
I am not exactly sure where I'm going to go with that.
If I could go back though, with only the knowledge I had then, and nothing that would change the fact that we did not get breastfeeding established, I would NOT pump again. Why? Well, for me, I got focused on the fact that he was not 100% mama milk fed and obsessed with finding ways to get us to that point. While I was doing that, I lost sight of how much time I spent hooked to the pump and into a computer looking for answers. It took a whole lot of joy out of raising my baby.
I remember telling my email 'breastfeeding challenges' group when my baby started solids that this was the first time I truly enjoyed feeding him.
I think feeding felt 'normal' again....it wasn't about what didn't work out anymore.
That's all me and my view. *I* felt like *I* failed my baby.....but now I realize what matters is a happy, healthy kid who was and is loved and has always known it.