you already did it

November 9, 2012

i know.
i’ve written more about breastfeeding/pumping than anyone ever wanted to read.  but ever since i wrote the epilogue to my saga, i really have been at peace over the whole issue.  and of course — the lack of stress ended up helping my supply a little.  more than fenugreek ever did, anyway.  who would have thought!?

for anyone jumping in through the huggies site*, i’ll catch you up.  in summary:

✔ i spent WAY too much time over the past 6 months worrying about my milk supply [or lack thereof]

✔ i don’t pump very easily or very well, and despite hooking myself up to the ol’ pump in style 3-4x in each 24 hour window, i struggle to get ~12-13 oz/day while annabel drinks about 15 oz at day care.

✔ at 7+ [omg, 7!!?] months old, she has yet to taste formula.  and she is definitely not underfed — in fact, she is one thriving happy muffin with the softest sweetest full cheeks and some pretty serious thighs.  

really looks like she’s suffering, huh?

up until now, i’ve been relying on my milk stash in the freezer to make up the small difference each day — and amazingly enough, i’ve been able to hang on.  but the bags in the freezers are now countable.  and though for some reason i can’t bring myself to figure out exactly how many ounces are left, i know it’s not terribly many.  

therefore, this month is going to be it: 
the month that annabel gets some formula.  just a few oz/day is all that i’m planning — enough to make up the difference that i’ve been getting out of the freezer.  for the foreseeable future, i am still going to pump.  i’m still going to get up at night.  and i’m still going to breastfeed as much as possible [hoping to continue not having to supplement on weekends].

the topic of this post was not supposed to be breast milk.  instead, the topic was to share the best advice i’ve received from the pediatrician.  so, i wanted to share what my ped. [also a friend, and also my very first senior during residency] told me at our 6 month visit just a few weeks ago.  i was working myself up into a froth over this issue, as i had been daily, and she basically put her hand up and said:

“sarah, stop.
you gave your baby breast milk for 6 months, and much more important than that — 
you love her and care about her enough to drive yourself crazy over these issues.

she will be fine and whatever you can give her now is just bonus.
you already did it.  
if it’s a gold medal you’re after, you’ve already won.”

what she said was simple — but i really heard her, and her words truly helped me.  in fact, i credit her and this little speech for enabling me to write the much more at-peace epilogue post just 2 days later.  and as i get closer and closer to topping off a’s bottles with — well, not my milk — i hear that voice of reason in my head once again.  and i really am okay!

i have a feeling that many new mothers have issues like mine, though perhaps it’s not specific to milk.  it might be sleep training [or not], fear of not giving your baby the ‘right’ kind of play, or not knowing how to work through the challenges of teething or sickness or every-30-minute wake ups.  and the truth is:  if we’re sitting there stressing about it . . .
it probably means we care.  a lot.  and therefore that we are good mothers — actually, excellent ones.  so if you don’t have a pediatrician to reassure you right now, let me do it for you.
you are awesome for even worrying about whatever it is you are flipping out about . . .
and you are therefore a wonderful mother who deserves not only a round of applause, 
but also to enjoy her baby and her life as a new mom
you already did it.  
if it’s a gold medal you’re after, you’ve already won.

best prize ever.

* this post is officially a huggies series post, though the only difference is that the topics are selected for me, and there’s a banner at the top

Check out the Huggies Mommy Answers Facebook app and find more posts from bloggers sharing their experiences of motherhood on the Huggies page on


  • Reply Penny March 10, 2019 at 7:17 pm

    I really, really needed this today. Thank you.

  • Reply Katie March 10, 2019 at 7:17 pm

    Amen to that! She is seriously one happy baby! Nice work!

  • Reply Wendy March 10, 2019 at 7:17 pm

    I have been following your blog for a long time and I enjoy reading it. I have not enjoyed reading your anguish about the stresses of new motherhood, however, particularly those related to pumping/milk/formula. Believe me, I totally get it. While my kids are older than A – I have two, ages 9 and 6 – I can still recall the stresses related to the infant and toddler years and the craziness that surrounds those times. I remember feeling anxiety about BF and not formula feeding and all that. I had trouble BF and had to pump only and gave up with both kids around 3-4 months because it was just too much to handle with the pumping and work schedules. It’s easier for me to say this after the fact, but really your pediatrician is so right. Absolutely 100% correct. You did the best you could, and in fact was much more than adequate in terms of health and setting A up for a life of being part of a loving family. I love so much how you sound at peace with your decisions now, which you really really should, and I applaud you for coming forth with this so publicly. Enjoy your sweet girl. I know you have heard it before, but time passes so fast and the infant stages are soon replaces by other stages, which are awesome too but very different. A will thrive because of your love for her, not solely because of the source of the milk that she drinks.

  • Reply Siobhan March 10, 2019 at 7:17 pm

    i love the first pic of a!! does her hair look auburn or is it just me?

  • Reply Liz March 10, 2019 at 7:17 pm

    Lots of crying here – I really needed this. Thank you Sarah!

  • Reply Chelsea March 10, 2019 at 7:17 pm

    It’s so hard to accept that sometimes we have so little control over things we care about so much. It’s the sum of all the things you do for A that show her how much you love her. You’re doing a great job.

    Things have gone kind of crazy with my own pregnancy in the last week, and in some ways I feel like I’m grieving what I hoped was going to be a normal 40-week pregnancy, natural child birth, and being able to bring the baby home after he’s born, and it’s a good reminder that everyone has his best interests at heart, and one day I’m going to look back on the situation and it just won’t be that important anymore.

    • Reply theSHUbox March 10, 2019 at 7:41 pm

      chelsea i’m so sorry 🙁 if it’s anything you want to vent about feel free to email me. whatever is going on, i am wishing you the absolute best possible outcome!

      (although don’t get me started on how UNIMPORTANT i believe natural childbirth to be. i realize probably controversial but — that is just my opinion.)

  • Reply Susannah March 10, 2019 at 7:41 pm

    Love this post, Sarah. Sometimes when I beat myself up over still not figuring out my son’s sleep issues at three years old, I try to remind myself that the fact that it worries me at all shows I’m doing the best I can! Thanks for the reminder.

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  • Reply Marie March 10, 2019 at 7:17 pm

    You’re doing such a good job! I love that statement, "you’ve already won."
    Months 6-7 were the hardest for me too, she was barely on solids and still needed so much milk. When we went down from five feedings a day to four it was FREAKIN’ AWESOME.

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