Friday, July 13, 2012

Baby Formula

I started off at motherhood with intentions of doing everything perfect.  I think a lot of us start off with that pressure on ourselves.   Just like most people, when my daughter was born, I honestly was so happy and in love.  She had the right amount of tummy time, we did Early Childhood and Family Education classes every week, she was read to at nap time, and at bed time, and I explained everything that was happening around her.  I only watched gentle shows around her, (well, to be honest, her first movie at 6 weeks was Saving Private Ryan, in which she cried the whole time.  She was colicky, but whatever.)  I nursed her for an entire year.  I didn't drink when I was nursing (much) and if I did, I pumped and dumped (most of the time.)  It was hard, but it was easy.  One kid is a hobby.


When my boy was born, I did much of the same things.  I only nursed him for 6 months, because he started biting.  Our nursing relationship ended immediately.  I felt slightly failure-ish, but he got good formula and did just fine with it.

Up until that point, I was proud of how big my kids grew, and how chubby they were off my super-powered breast milk.

The twins came into the world, and I nursed for three days out of the hospital and quit.  They weren't latching on, they didn't WANT it.  They were given formula in a bottle at the hospital (they were born low blood sugar and needed to eat) and they preferred it.  I cried and cried over the fact that my milk wasn't coming in.  Right off the bat, I felt like a failure mom because I couldn't nurse these two babies.

So I did what any normal mom would do.  I went to the liquor store, bought a six-pack of Mike's Hard Lemonade and a pack of Marlboro Lights and sat on my deck, shaking at how I was going to manage this, and got drunk.  Normal right?

Those little dudes ended up on generic formula faster than you can say...generic formula.  I let it go pretty fast, and guess what?  My daughter and son had ear infections, allergies, tonsil and adenoid removals, colic, and eczema.  My twins...healthy as can be. It kind of takes away my super-powered breast milk title I guess.

9 comments:

  1. One child is a hobby!
    I think the deck smoking and drinking is an understandable reaction to what you were facing....4 kids - two newborns! It burns me up when I hear "new moms" judging and condemning the choices of other moms. Breast milk vs. formula, cloth vs.disposable, outlet covers and furniture bumpers vs none, letting your kid fall at the playground vs. catching them every time....etc. AND it seems like no matter what choice you make SOMEONE will disapprove. I think to myself- that self righteousness is gonna come crashing down around you one day.

    At this point: because my kids are now over 20 and I can look back with a different perspective- I totally get "the Grandma" mode of being with babies and little ones. The stress and worry simply doesn't pay off in long run...but of course no one tell a first time mom anything...the chemical reactions of MOTHERING in the brain is like a really confusing super power . I often wonder HOW DID I DO THAT and keep all of us alive?

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    1. I know. I had days where all I offered them was keeping them alive. It isn't easy. The twins are nine now. I am surprised we all survived. Whew!

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  2. Mom guilt over Mom-milk. Story of a year of my life. I often thought I should quit breastfeeding or my husband would divorce me. I'm glad he didn't. Hardest thing I ever did and, in retrospect, should have dealt with it by drinking more.

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    1. You seriously can't tell who was nursed and who wasn't. Relationships are the same, health is the same (although as I pointed out before, the twins have been healthier) and so on. I sure beat myself up for it. And now I never even think "if I had just nursed that one longer." Crazy what we do to ourselves huh?

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  3. My son wouldn't nurse, so I pumped for months. I hooked that machine up to my udders and let 'er rip. He came out fine.

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    1. I had the top of the line breast pump, the lactation consultant and my milk wouldn't come. Then I would try to pump while someone wasn't crying. But with 4 kids 5 and under, that never happened. To save everyone's life, I gave up. They all turn out hopefully. Those pumps work though!

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  4. Just started reading your blog. It is really compelling and interesting. I'm so glad you are writing it. Keep it up!

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    1. Thank you so much. I just read your last post on your blog and loved it. Awesome.

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  5. With my first two, my milk supply was terrible. I was pumping, hand-expressing, meeting with ladies from La Leche League and the lactation department at the hospital, and taking galactagogues. Still ended up having to supplement Trin by four months and Gabe by two weeks (the pediatrician said they were "walking the line" when it came to the physical description of failure to thrive). They've both been EXTREMELY healthy. Simon, so far, has had exclusively breast milk. I only pump when I'm at work, I don't take supplements, and my supply is great. I'm really hoping he's as healthy as his siblings. I've got friends with kids the same age as Trinity and Gabe, and they all comment on the fact that they're so healthy. Many of them were exclusive breast feeders, and they ended up with kids with chronic ENT issues.

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