I've read your comments at least three times, its given me comfort to know that its okay to feel the way I do about breastfeeding. In case someone comes across this blog looking for information, I wanted to share the articles people left in the comments that I found fascinating and have helped me make sense of what I'm going through.
Anonymous shared this article about the studies about breastfeeding. While perhaps better than formula the over hype may be unwarranted.
Suzanne Jones (can't seem to link to your blog!) shared this about the rise of women pumping exclusively. This made me feel so much better.
Alyssa shared this website about a condition called Dysphoric Milk Ejection Reaction, an emerging condition that is being researched where a breastfeeding woman has a drop in dopamine due to the act of feeding which triggers negative emotions just like I've been feeling.
Yesterday I pumped exclusively all day and felt like a fog was lifted from me. I could enjoy my baby without the hormones clogging up space. I didn't celebrate just yet because I couldn't be sure if I was out of the woods.
At night though, when I planned to breastfeed him, he grew frustrated and cried so much trying to eat, probably because a bottle is much easier and he had gotten used to it. Eventually he ate but it took a long ten minutes to get to that point. I began wondering if I needed to breastfeed him more so he didn't lose the ability. . . so today I breastfed him before going to the dentist and all the emotions bubbled up again. It's like an instant reflex, feed = blues. But then, at the dentist I began missing him and despite wearing breast pads I was a leaking mess. When I got home he was hungry and I didn't have time to pump so I fed him directly and did not have the negative emotions. It could because the emotion of missing him was stronger.
Jack was talking with a colleague who used to be a lactation consultant (It is SO weird that he keeps meeting lactation consultants) and she said for some women there is an instant trigger of tears with breastfeeding, particularly women with good supply, and that it can take a month or more to resolve that and she said I'd naturally want to breastfeed more than pump as time went by. I don't know if that's true or not but its nice to think so.
It feels weird to pump, clean the pump and bottle, feed him from the bottle. I'm adding steps that don't need to be there but at least now its what works. I literally fantasize about going to Costco and buying buckets of formula. I sit and just visualize it and smile. It would be easier but I've heard this is the hardest time so I feel determined to push through. . .