Sunday, December 27, 2015

Dear Bottle Feeding Momma,

I get you.
You are a great mom!

Now, if you’re on social media you may have noticed so many post about
Breast Is Best
Normalize Breast Feeding
Boob hats.
Breastfeeding  sit ins
How women who breastfeed are warriors
Women feeding their babies with blankets on their own head
How is natural and wonderful and amazing and such a bonding experience.

Not for all of us and quite frankly I am sick of seeing the posts about it.
Because it just exacerbates the mommy wars.
It makes us bottle feeding moms feel just like those breast feeding moms claim to feel.
As moms we put so much pressure on ourselves and we don’t need other moms shoving their breasts in our face.
We don’t.
We are all warriors.
Motherhood makes you a warrior.

Here is how breastfeeding worked out for me.
It was awful and heartbreaking and I hated every single minute of it.
So did my kids.

The Farm Manager cried so much.
Like 4 hours one night in the hospital.
He couldn’t latch on and if by some miracle he did latch on nothing came out.
Keep trying they said.
It’s so important for your baby they told me.
Here use this broken off syringe to attach to your nipple and suction it until it feels like it will rip your skin open both by jagged edges and by suction.
Then drops, but not enough to sustain him for any period of time
We went home.

I kept trying
He kept crying.

I pumped every two hours around the clock without fail.
I took brewers grain. 15 capsules a day.
More advice.
I would pump more.

It would go like this.
Set up pump, get cleaned catch bottles, connect tubes, turn on.
Rrrrr rrrrr rrrrr
The pump would hum
drip drip drip
For 30 minutes.
Less than an ounce.
My body wasn’t doing what came naturally.
I had no milk.
My baby was only weeks old and I already had failed him.

If I was a cow I would be sent to the feedlot.

2 hours later I would do it again.
Meanwhile, I would feed The Farm Manager what I pumped plus 3 oz of formula.
He was hungry ALL THE TIME.
He cried a lot.
I cried a lot.

When Jer would leave for work I would be pumping, when he came home for lunch, when he came home from work.
If he woke up in the middle of the night.
Each time I would pump less than an ounce.
One time I set the bottle of pumped milk with no lid on the counter while I got myself back together I turned
And knocked it right off the counter.
I cried.

Another time I called Jer at work bawling begging him to come home because I couldn’t feed my own baby.

I know I know,
“how could a women with such large breasts have no milk”
Because from the looks of me I could nurse a small country right?
Nope, I can’t.
I can’t even sustain one single baby.
Not for lack of trying.

After two weeks of this I gave up and switched to formula full time.
What a relief!
It changed everything.
My baby cried less once we figured out which formula worked best for him.
Costco brand soy formula.
That's right.
Generic formula!

We could leave the house!
No longer would the whir of the breast pump fill our house for hours a day.

Fast forward a few months.
I was at a candle party.
A room full of moms one of them nursing and my baby was hungry.
I went to feed him a bottle in the kitchen.
I was so ashamed.
How could I feed my baby a bottle in plain sight.
These moms would know I failed my child.

I didn’t fail him.
I didn’t
Jer and I made the decision that best suited OUR family.
A happy full tummied boy
Bottle or not
Things didn’t go much different with The Fancy Farm Girl either other than she knew how to latch on.
No milk though.
She got generic formula too.

Our kids are healthy and no more of a germ factory than any other kid.
They are bonded to me like rubber cement.
Sometimes I feel like they would climb back inside if I would let them!

I don’t think being bottle fed has wrecked them for life and in no way does it mean I failed as a mother.
Believe me when I say you will often feel like you’ve failed them for one reason or another, but bottle feeding doesn’t equal failure.
They may end up in therapy because of the things we make them do like stack wood, scoop poop, pay for their own things, don't let them have cell phones and occasionally hand washing a sink full of dishes, but not because their nourishment came through a rubber nipple.

We mothers can be on the same team!
We can be supportive and realize there is more than one right way to do things
and we can come to a truce! 
I wont shove my kids bottle in your face
 and you wont
shove your breast in mine.

Breast might be best for some and bottles for others, but  think we can all agree that fed babies are best.

Blessed Is Me..


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  2. I have to admit, when I read the title of your blogpost on Facebook, I thought.."Oh, interesting...she wrote about her kids bottle-feeding calves, or something." Haha....However, I think you summed up the underlying directive of the ever-annoying dispute of bottle-fed vs. breast-fed.

    "...that fed babies are best." Because at the end of the day, you are the one responsible for taking care of your baby. The baby you brought into this world. No one else could have brought your baby in. You know what's best...a baby that is being fed, so it can live.

  3. I did both. My last two were by c-section and I could not produce any milk. My body just couldn't figure out that yes, I had the babies. I was distraught at first and literally bruised myself with the pump trying to get my milk to come in. I went to formula and the sight of happy fed babies was totally worth it. My sister just had a baby and is doing both...but she seemed upset when she mentioned she had to supplement with formula because she couldn't keep up...I told her to forget about it and just enjoy her new baby...was not worth the stress. I think people who breeze through breast feeding don't always understand the struggle. Good Job Kallie.