Friday, February 28, 2014

On My Mind

I'm trying not to stress about it and convince myself not to worry.  I'm trying to act like it's no big deal and whatever happens happens.  But it is a big deal and I am worried about it.  I want it to work out so badly.  It didn't work with E and I honestly think I will always hold a little bit of guilt in my heart, guilt that I gave up to soon, that I didn't try harder.

When I was pregnant with E I had all intentions of breastfeeding.  I didn't even consider using formula at all.  On my birth plan, I specifically said "No formula to baby."  But looking back on E's birth, nothing went like I had planned.  I tried nursing hours after the c-section.  We got a few good latches but nothing was coming out.  I was in the hospital for 5 days and tried every 2 hours to nurse and nothing was happening.  All the nurses and lactation consultants were helpful.  I had to use formula because E was loosing weight.  I wouldn't let them use it in a bottle, we used it in a supplemental nursing system.  The last night in the hospital, Mike and I needed a break.  We had E stay in the nursery so we could get some sleep.  He ended up scarfing down 2 2oz bottles of formula.  I was sad that he had a bottle so soon but I knew my baby was probably starving and needed it.

I continued to try to nurse at home and I pumped after every feeding.  It was so much harder than I thought it was going to be.  Somedays it seemed I would nurse E, pump and then he was hungry again.  I constantly had something attached to me and I resented when E wanted to nurse.  When I would pump, I would barely get 2oz.  I was using everything I pumped in order to avoid formula.  Mike said he supported me in whatever I wanted to do.  I was grateful for that.  I could tell he wanted me to use some formula so I could get a break now and then but he also knew how important breastfeeding was to me.

I remember the day I made the decision to stop breastfeeding.  It was a Friday, E was just over a month old.  Mike had left earlier that day for a golf tournament in his hometown and my mom was coming up later that afternoon to help out for the weekend.  It was a hard day.  E wouldn't stop crying, I tried everything I could think of but in my gut I knew he was hungry.  I broke down and fed E some formula I had from the hospital.  I cried while he inhaled the bottle.  I felt like a failure, like there was something wrong with me.  But then I looked down at my baby's face and he was so content as he looked up at me.  We looked into each other's eyes and I remember feeling a real bond with him for the first time.  It's like he was finally content and I knew I made the right choice in giving him the formula.

I still pumped as much as I could until I went back to work, then E was 100% on formula.  Looking back, I do wish I would have tried harder or gotten more help.  But at the time, I made the best decision I could, I was just a mom trying to feed her baby the best way I knew how.

I don't know how things will happen with Baby 2, especially since I know I'm having a c-section again which can sometimes delay milk production.  This time around I will know how truly hard breastfeeding is.  I will understand that it takes time and patience and I am going to do my best to take a relaxed approach.  I'll also have a 2 year old who will need me as well so I have to be realistic with my plans.  All I know is that I will try my hardest to breastfeed but one look at E will remind me that if I have to use formula, that will be ok too.


  1. I'll be your cheerleader! It gets so much easier after the first month! Just think of all the bottle washing's you won't have to do. I nursed Cavan until he was two and Maeve is going strong at 11 months. I'm here if you have any questions. - Mandy