When I saw the opportunity to write my breastfeeding stories I was ecstatic. So many Mommy's go through a similar situation as mine, but no one talks about it.

I never thought about breast vs bottle. I always assumed I would breast feed because that's what moms do. Thats why we have breasts.

So after laboring and birthing my first child, Lori, they put her to my breast and she latched right away perfectly. I was so excited. There's something indescribable about having your child at your breast. We were in the hospital for a week(because of me, not her) and I nursed. She was a champ. She did so well. Then the devil worshiping spawn of Satan Lactation Consultant came in to make things worse help. She said her latch was wrong, her suck was weak, I held her wrong, ect, ect, ect. After all that, my daughter's latch hurt my breast and she sucked ALL THE TIME. She came back and told me again how much better things looked and kept touching my breast and nipple without even asking. I explained how much her latch hurt now and was informed "That isn't pain, that's pressure and the sucking, you'll get used to it." She had no explanation for why it hadn't hurt previously.
So at the end of our 6 days, we went home. I continued nursing on demand, which equaled all the time. She had to nurse to sleep, comfort, everything. It wasn't about hunger, it was comfort. And it was exhausting. I ate like I was supposed to and took it easy. I was just devoted to her needs. Her first check up they told me she wasn't gaining weight like they'd like. The ped. reviews what I should be eating and sends me home. I continue nursing on demand. I eat even more in an attempt to get as much good stuff into her as possible. We go back in for a check up, she's still underweight. Ped. recommends supplementing with formula.
I cry but start offering formula after nursing and she CHUGS it down. She was nursing all the time because she was starving. On the advice of the Lactation nurse at my ped. office, I pump a feeding session worth of milk and put it in the fridge. I call her after it's sat there for a few hours and she asks if it's separated while in the fridge. I explain it has. She asks how much fat is at the top of the bottle of milk. I told her a thin layer, with a hole in the middle. I bring a sample in to her to see for herself because she's sure I've misunderstood. There was not nearly enough fat in my milk, she declares, and lectures me about eating enough to feed my child. I saw red but left. So my daughter now nearly a month old is formula exclusive because my milk stopped. I still pumped and nursed, but it stopped. I never even had engorgement.
After I stopped nursing her, we went camping with friends(it was warm she's a summer baby) one of my friends mother is an RN. While feeding my daughter a bottle, my friends mother comments "Well we didn't have options when I had my children, we couldn't just decide to not breast feed." I encountered more of this for the next 6 months or so. People judging me and telling me I just "didn't try hard enough" to nurse. Because it was clearly a choice I made for convince, not so my child wouldn't STARVE to death.
With Infamil with Iron, she was constipated and projectile vomiting with it. I went to several doctors who said she was fine, it was normal. Until she started losing weight. Then they took me more seriously. And she'd scream. She'd scream with tummy aches, scream because it hurt to poop, everything. And no one would help be help her. Those were the worst 6 months of my life. Thankfully she outgrew it.

When I became pregnant with my son 5 years later, I decided I was going to try again and this time I would succeed. I read everything I could get my hands on. I researched the ideal breast feeding diet. I did everything I could think of. When my son was born and they gave him to me I put him right to my breast and he latched, sucked twice, and fell asleep. This was a trend we'd encounter often. He was just a sleepy baby. So I'd stroke his cheek and make him wake up and eat. He ate well and I was happy. This time when the devil worshiping spawn of Satan the Lactation Consultant came to "help" I told her I had had a baby, he was nursing fine, and please don't touch me. She left but came back at least 4 times to make me allow her to "help". I told her it didn't hurt, he was eating and sleeping fine, so f*ck off. Ok not exactly the last part, but I made it clear I think. And we go home. I feel great, I have a HUGE appetite and am eating and logging everything I eat. He's nursing well and sleeping well. We go to his first checkup and they weigh him. He hasn't even made his birth weight yet. Ped. sends us to the Lactation Nurse in his office. She doesn't believe me when I tell her I am eating healthy, extra calories, and nursing on demand because "clearly if that were the case, he'd be putting on weight wouldn't he". Lactation people are horrible bi*ches. I bring out my food log and breast feeding log(I learned!) and showed her them. She said she just didn't understand. I explained about last time, the lack of fat in my milk, ect. She says she's never seen anything like it. We switch the little man to formula. First it's Infamil with Iron. He goes through the same thing his sister does. He vomits, he has constipation, he screams. I ignore my ped. about formula and put him on this new(ie. wasn't around when my daughter was born) formula Infamil Gentle Ease. He puts on weight and feels great. He's a happy baby.
I encountered the same criticism about not breast feeding. I was told my child wouldn't be bonded to me if I didn't nurse. I was told I didn't love my child enough to sacrifice perky breasts(heh yeah right). People are so judgmental. I've had people tell me that it isn't that I "couldn't" breast feed it was that I didn't try hard enough. I'm sure if I had just put a little more effort into breast feeding my boobs would have magically complied.

I can't explain how lacking I feel/felt. What kind of woman can't feed her baby?? What good are boobs if you can't feed a child with them?? I can get pregnant like no ones business(I got pregnant both times on an oops and one time oops), I can push out a baby in no time flat(first one 8 hours start to finish, second one 1 hr 45 minutes) but I can't feed them. And people don't help when they judge me. I started talking to people and found out this isn't uncommon. My mother couldn't nurse my brother or me. My good friend couldn't nurse her daughter, her mother couldn't nurse her or her sister. All the same reason. So I wasn't the only one, but other mommys will make you feel that way.

Bottle feeding Mommy and proud of it. I have two beautiful, healthy, smart children who don't suffer at all from being on formula instead of breast milk.


Sarcastic Mom (aka Lotus) said...

Great story! It's rough when others judge a bottle-feeding mom, and it REALLY PISSES ME OFF. A lot!

That's part of the reason I wanted everyone to talk about this, so that there is a greater awareness. Anything to start building a greater awareness!

Rebecca said...

Thank you for sharing your story. I have learned a lot.