When I was asked to be a part of a group of moms to share our personal experiences of becoming a mother – I waved a huge flag saying “YES!” We’ll be chatting about a few different milestones when it comes to motherhood but I was especially interested in talking about feeding. It’s about to get REAL honest around here about feeding because I’ve had friends reach out to me about my experience. If you have no interest in babies or motherhood I promise more inspiring posts will be up for your to enjoy in a few days.
Before becoming a mom I had gone to the classes, read a few books (not many) and talked to new moms about feeding, but I didn’t know that it would be such an emotional roller coaster. They tell you that your baby will find your breasts on their own and latch. You may have to help them, but then they will get the hang of it. Friends, that was not my case. When Jackson was born I was all about breastfeeding – I was excited for the bond we would have while he fed and the quiet moments we would share together. Well, this wasn’t the how it turned out.
He had no interest in latching on – they said it was because he was so tiny. We had to syringe feed him. At the hospital we tried over and over again to latch him on. Nothing. We tried it with a nipple shield – something I didn’t even know existed. Nothing. So, the nurses and doctors said I would have to hand express in order to feed him with a syringe. This is not something any mother dreams about. It was exhausting. It lasted a week and a half. After appointments every other day with the lactation consultants, we finally got him to latch but he wasn’t gaining any weight. Something no mother wants to hear. Finally, they told me I would have feed him with a bottle along with breastfeeding. He wasn’t eating enough on the boob.
At that point, you just have to do what’s best for your child to be healthy. Believe me, there were a lot of tears. We introduced the bottle and he took it like a champ. Eating much more, which led to him sleeping a bit more. But he still wasn’t gaining the appropriate weight – we were going to the lactation consultations two times a week. It basically felt like home.
They told me that my milk, because he didn’t latch at the beginning wasn’t producing the fatty milk. It was producing skim milk. It felt as though someone had punched me in the stomach. What did that mean? What could I do to fix it? How could that be when I was producing so much milk with my pump? These were all of the questions I had swirling in my head. It turns out there wasn’t much I could do but he needed certain nutrients that I wasn’t providing. So, we introduced formula mixed with breast milk.
It was probably one of the hardest moments I had after giving birth – it wasn’t the lack of sleep, it wasn’t the change of lifestyle, it was the fact that I couldn’t give him what I thought would be the closest bond we would have together. But, in the end it was the best decision we ever made. About two days into introducing formula to Jackson he was a different baby. He wasn’t fussy, he slept more, he just loved life and that’s the way he has been ever since. We lucked out in the baby department because we have the happiest baby on the block.
Now, we’ve moved onto solids and this little guy loves it all. You name it, he’s had it. Not once has he spit it up. He may make a funny face and look at me saying “what is that mom?” but then he eats it and opens his mouth for more.
The hurdle we faced early on was something that I’ll never forget. Although it wasn’t how I pictured feeding my baby, I wouldn’t have it any other way. He is now the kid that will sit there drinking his own bottle on my lap looking up at me. I cherish those moments of him looking into my eyes.
Since I’ve talked with other moms about what I went through I’ve had a handful of friends reach out to me asking questions because they find themselves in a similar situation. If you are going through it please don’t hesitate to reach out. Honestly, it’s so important to bond with other moms when you are going through these trying times. If I hadn’t had my mommy and me class at DayOne each week to go to, I’m not sure how I would’ve dealt with the situation. Those moms and I will forever have a bond for what was said behind those doors and this was one topic that struck a chord with me. Just remember, you aren’t alone, this happens to many moms and you should do what’s best for you because that is what matters most!
Make sure to check out the other mama’s of the series, talking feeding:
Hope you enjoyed this post – next month all of us will be talking about work/life balance!
Photos by Delbarr Moradi (Jackson was 10 days old)