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.