James' sleepy, non-interested feeds are just getting worse and worse - to the point that most of them end up with a full bottle rather than just a 'top up'. Even when he's wide awake, he'll just lie there with the breast in his mouth, or very half-heartedly suck.
It's clearly a result of introducing the bottle and him finding much less effort than the breast. But we were left with very little choice a few weeks ago when he was losing weight, not pooing and clearly not getting what he needed from me.
Either way, whatever anyone says about me having done well to get this far - I still feel like I've failed him. I am so disappointed not to have even made it to six weeks, let alone three months or the four and a half months I managed with his big sister.
I so wanted to give him the same start as her - and it's all the more disheartening because it had started so well in the first two weeks. I was optimistic from the outset that breastfeeding would be a success this time, as it mostly was with Charlotte - and every morning recently I've tried to think "today will be better" - or even more recently "this feed will be better". But it never is.
The compromise at the moment is to give him as many bottles of expressed milk as possible, and formula when I haven't been able to express enough. But it means going through the rigmarole of feeding, expressing and sterilising even more so than if we just gave bottles of formula.
Everyone is telling me not to be too hard on myself and beat myself up over this - and I keep trying to remind myself that surely a more relaxed and happy Mum is better for James (and Charlotte) than a miserable one who is stubbornly trying to persevere.
But I can't help feeling a failure - it's such an emotional decision. Is not breastfeeding denying James what's "best" for him? Or is what's best for him actually a Mummy that's not stressed out over every feed...?
Oh, and he remains a very lazy, sleepy little boy - but we've definitely had smiles and a little more lovely awake time in the past few days.