The thing about breastfeeding is, it can feel like both a blessing and a curse.
It is wonderful in so many ways-- you feel so incredible to be able to feed and nourish this little person and watch them grow, thanks to you. It also feels pretty great knowing that you are giving them the best food they could get, that you are providing them and yourself, too) with so many great benefits. No matter how busy the day is, you have pre-scheduled cuddle sessions all day long. You bond. There's all the conveniences along with it, like not having to wash bottles everyday, being able to simply unlatch your bra to feed them when they're hungry (as opposed to listening to them scream while you mix formula and heat the bottle), not having to bring bottles with you when you go out. And then there's the way it sets you apart from everyone else in your baby's world. I remember in those early days, when I was so tired and overwhelmed, and the one thing I knew I could do for my son that no one else could was to feed him. If I hadn't had that, I think I would have immediately gone into personal crisis mode, feeling like there was nothing special about me, as opposed to, say, my mom who seemed to deal with him so well when I felt clueless.
But it can also feel so limiting at times. Yes, it made me feel special in those early days to be the one to nourish him-- I also at times felt trapped, knowing that I HAD to be the one to feed him, that I had no choice but to wake up and feed him whenever he needed it, day or night. Sure, Zach helped sometimes with night feedings but I still would have to get up and pump, so even though I'd get to bed a glorious 20 minutes earlier than otherwise, I was still waking up every 2-3 hours. D hasn't been taking bottles at all lately, and frankly I'm not sure I want to keep on trying with him. Maybe by giving him bottles with water, but when I have a few minutes to myself each day do I really want to spend them pumping milk (and then scalding it on the stove so it lasts, and washing all the pumping equipment) that will probably end up being poured down the sink anyway? I don't know if it's worth it at this point. Even if he did, I could get a few hours away if I wanted to... but I won't be able to get away overnight for probably at least a year. I may get a break here and there, but in the end I'm still at his beck and call every 1-2 hours (yes, he's eating that often these days) and there's no telling when that will ease up.
Most of the time, day to day, the pros greatly outweigh the cons. I'm glad and proud to be able to breastfeed him, and while in that first month I often was tempted by sleep deprivation and seriously sore nipples to give in and go with the canned stuff, I KNOW this is the right thing for us both, and have no intention of stopping anytime soon. But every so often the weight of this responsibility will push down on my shoulders a bit, and I'll dream a bit about the days when I don't have to wear nursing bras, and will have a bit more freedom to spend some time on my own.
Of course I bet by the time we get there, I'll look back on these days and miss our bi-hourly cuddle sessions terribly.