For my first baby, I combo fed breast milk and formula. My milk took 5 days to come in and we struggled with supply and latch issues the whole time. I went back to work at 12 weeks old and pumped enough for half her feeds. At 8 months, she quit wanting to nurse so I exclusively pumped around the clock to continue providing her breast milk. She got breast milk one way or another until she turned 1. It was the hardest thing I've ever done, and while I'm proud, I had some really strong feelings about the whole thing. It got in the way of our bonding and contributed to my PPD. LO never seemed that keen on nursing anyway and I didn't like the sensation and constant exposure/stimulation required for nursing. There was never a time where we both could relax and enjoy the experience. It was all awkward football holds and mastitis and uncomfortableness.
For this baby, my goal was to BOND with my kid first and foremost. Bonus points if he and I both could enjoy the feeding experience. After a lot of therapy, I was even open to try nursing again, but only if it was enjoyable for everyone.
I nursed him once in the recovery room after my c section. It wound up involving a lactation consultant helping to shove my nipple into my baby's mouth and I knew instantly that this was not the path I was going down again this time.
Since then we have been formula feeding exclusively and I LOVE it so much. Feeding and caring for my baby is finally a joy and feels how I always wished it would feel. If he goes a longer stretch overnight, I can just enjoy it vs. worrying about my supply or having to pump. Mixing up and cleaning bottles is so much less work than bottles plus pump parts plus us both being covered in breast milk. I dont have to constantly whip out a body part. He's healthy and growing and satisfied.
I'm very thankful for this surprising experience! I was so disappointed last time to find motherhood unnatural and unenjoyable (in the early days). This (plus an amazingly uncomplicated birth) has really redeemed things for me.