Exclusively Breastfeeding – But Not By Choice


Breastfeeding is such a special bonding time.

I really do love being able to nourish my baby and have her so close to me. However there are times when I would give anything for her to take bottle. Sometimes you just need a moment or two to yourself. Unfortunately, when you are exclusively breastfeeding because baby refuses a bottle, alone time is unheard of.

I have tried everything. I have read and tried all of the tips and tricks. I have purchased all of the bottles that swear to be the best for this sort of thing. I have even left her, once, with my mother. Instead of taking a bottle, my sweet love cried the entire time I was gone. It was then that I gave up.

Baby wins and mommy will just sacrifice a little longer.

So many of my friends cannot believe that after 4 months I am still exclusively breastfeeding. One friend told me I’m a great mom, and that she is just an ok one,  because there is no way they could give up all of their freedom. I have been praised by so many and also questioned by others, like I’m doing something wrong because she won’t take a bottle.

At first I struggled. There were many tears, hers and mine. And finally after the leaving fiasco and me feeling like the worst mom in the world, I made a choice. One, I would never leave her that long again until she was eating something other than my milk, and two, it wasn’t as bad as it seemed. 

I’m a mom. Sacrifice is part of the job. I spent 9 months making sacrifices for her, I even sacrificed while I was trying to conceive her. My life has not been my own since I decided to become pregnant. I can do this. She will only be little for so long and instead of stressing about alone time I am going to enjoy every moment with her. She deserves that. I made a choice to be her mom and that choice involves losing myself for just a little while. Losing myself is a part of me gaining her, loving her, and soaking up every precious moment we have together. 

For all of you breastfeeding mamas you are not alone in this. Whether your babe takes a bottle or not this time is precious and hard, and you mama are amazing!

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Stephanie Walsh
Stephanie has lived in AZ since she was 5 years old and considers herself an AZ girl. She lives in North Phoenix with her husband Kevin, her toddler Kylee, and her brand new baby girl Ellie. Stephanie has a BA in Elementary Education and a Masters in Educational Leadership. For the past 12 years she has taught 3rd-6th grade students with an emphasis on social/emotional education for gifted students. She has recently decided to take some time off to be a SAHM and is loving it! To stay a part of the teaching world she has started a side business called “Joy of Learning Tutoring” that offers tutoring, homework help, and gifted enrichment. Stephanie loves to travel with her family, scuba dive, and say yes to new adventures.