I wanted nothing more than to breastfeed my baby. What a beautiful moment between mother and child. A woman, nurturing a tiny human being, uniquely crafted from within her own body. It is a process that has occurred over and over again yet is still pretty amazing. When I became pregnant, I knew without a doubt that I was going to be a mother who breastfed her baby. Why wouldn’t I? It’s beautiful, it’s natural, it’s extremely healthy for the baby, and it’s free. Seems like a logical decision. When I gave birth to my baby, I was not prepared for how incredibly hard it turned out to be.
I had no idea that something so natural could be so hard. It was like a full-time job and I was losing my mind trying to keep up. I was concerned I was not producing enough and my frustrated baby confirmed that. After each feeding, she would scream and wail for more and I could not give it to her. So, in fear of not providing the nourishment that my baby needed, I substituted what I lacked with formula. As my baby’s appetite grew, regardless of how much I fed and pumped, I could not meet her demands. After two months of struggling between wanting to give my baby what was considered the best nutrition and keeping her nourished, I gave up my fight with breastfeeding and switched to formula.
Breastfeeding for some women comes more naturally than it does for others. I won’t say it’s easy for anyone because no matter how well you are producing it is still hard. Breastfeeding mama’s still have to deal with pain and soreness, leaking, pumping, lack of sleep from having to constantly feed, and not to mention the negative stigma our society has created around feeding in public. If being a mom isn’t hard enough.
Being stuck between wanting to breastfeed and having to bottle feed has given me the opportunity to understand both sides of the debate. So, for that I am thankful, but nothing is more depressing than sitting in a “Baby and Mama” yoga session and watching other mama’s beautifully bond with their babies while they feed, and I am the only one holding a bottle. It was just another painful reminder of the opportunity I was unable to give to my baby. It’s a hard pill to swallow.
This topic has been extremely hard for me. Of course, there is nothing wrong with choosing to formula feed your baby. As a mom, you make the best choices for your baby and your family and no one should ever judge you for that. Personally, however, I would have loved to breastfeed my baby. For nutritional reasons, for bonding reasons, and for slightly selfish reasons.
I was not a “Glower,” as I like to call it, during my pregnancy. I did not enjoy it and my delivery was chaotic and traumatic, (Me, Baby, and HG), (Surviving a C-Section). Far from what I had imagined it would be. Yes, I know, “New Mama Alert!” I get it never is, but when you plan on an organic pregnancy and birth, and medical emergencies rip you from that plan, it’s selfishly devastating. The overall experience has left me a little dramatized. So, breastfeeding was the last bit of hope I could grasp on to; In the end, I lost that too.
My baby is six months: she’s beautiful, she’s happy and she’s healthy. Her Pediatrician has given me an A+ on her growth and development every time we take her in for a check up and I am a beaming Mama. Yes, I failed at breastfeeding, but that doesn’t mean I failed at being a damn good Mom. I am coming to terms with my decision to switch to formula and as I sit here and watch my giggly girl I know she doesn’t mind.