Please note, these stories are for the most part unedited, and do not necessarily represent the FFF’s opinions. They are also not political statements – this is an arena for people to share their thoughts, and I hope we can all give them the space to do so.
Censie Sawyer’s FFF entry made me think about the argument against formula samples. In a self-reported study, she’d probably have provided data in favor of the samples-impede-breastfeeding hypothesis. But there were obviously multiple layers to her story; if there was no formula in the house, she would have probably sent her husband out to get some (and he sounds like a sweetheart so I bet he would’ve done it even at 3am in the snow, if that had been when Censie asked for it). This mother tried breastfeeding even though she had no real vested interest in the practice; she gave it a fair shot and had ample assistance, and in the end, found that formula was a better option for her family. And she’s still open to breastfeeding the next kid, so perhaps formula saved her from the hell that has made some of us so adverse to giving it another go.
Thanks to Censie for sharing her story, and as always…
Happy Friday, fearless ones,
I am a Fearless Formula Feeder. I am proud to say that I fit that category perfect! Let me start from the beginning with a little introduction of myself and my family.
My name is Censie (pronounced Kenzie) I am married to Jeremy and we have a son named Jude. Jude was born on June 25th 2010! We fell in love instantly when he arrived. You can find more of Jude and our stories on our family blog called Building Our Story. (For the record the reason there are turtles everywhere is because we love Turtles and that is Jude’s nickname- since about 1 month he has been “Turtle”!)
My pregnancy went just as planned and pretty much the normal. I never had any medical problems and Jude was healthy the whole time too. Now when I first got pregnant I started reading everything I could about pregnancy and birth and about bringing an infant home. I was prepared – I am a bit anal like that! One example – Jude’s nursery was planned at 10 weeks! Lol Yeah I am a planner too. Well because that is my personality it also led into how I would be feeding my son as well.
Okay – another background story. I am adopted. My brother is also adopted. Breastfeeding and nursing has never been a topic around my family, in fact I never remember talking to my mother about nursing EVER.
Well because of my up-bringing I honestly was not really committed to nursing from the beginning. Now this is where the pro-breastfeeding groups would just ring me. I wasn’t committed, I can say that now. I look back and I was nervous about nursing – maybe because I couldn’t imagine myself in the mall or out to dinner with a baby attached to my boob or maybe because I knew that my womanly support (my mom) had never done the nursing thing either. On top of that it was pretty clear that my brother and I were alive and healthy so formula must work fine! 😉
Now for the story of feeding baby Jude. Jude was perfect (duh!) 😉 He latched on perfectly and ate well while we were at the hospital – even had a few of our nurses praise Jude and me for the great nursing! Fantastic! I left the hospital happy, excited, and proud of myself and my baby. Our first night home was great. The second day was HORRIBLE. This child would not stop crying! He would not latch. My boobs were sore and huge and my milk was in.
I was very confused. Yay for my milk but OMG what happened to my happy latching baby? Talk about tear fest! My poor hubby! We were lucky enough to have a home nurse visit us every day for the first 4 days at home after our release from the hospital – THANK GOD! I am pretty sure we would have been back in the hospital with a screaming baby in tow if we didn’t have those nurses visiting us at home.
Now the nurses helped a ton but they too were very confused. This kid wanted to eat and from our notes it was clear that he was a GOOD LATCHER. I had those nurses all up in my junk, tugging at my boobs, pushing my baby onto the nipple, trying new holds, massaging my boob, ect. Yeah truly exciting – all with a screaming baby! The nurses were at a loss. I was too.
It was decided on the 2nd day home that Jude needed more food. He had lost a lot of weight – more than a pound. Thankfully we had a sample can of formula. Jude drank that formula like he was one starving baby. For the next 2 days the nurses tried to help me get him to latch. He wouldn’t. Queue one sad and frustrated mommy! I wanted to feed him but I couldn’t. It is funny, like I said I wasn’t completely committed in the beginning but when it came down to it I think I really did want to excel at this nursing thing. It just didn’t work.
Over the next couple of days of Jude’s life we decided that I would exclusively pump and then supplement with formula. Actually it became more of using formula and then supplementing with breast milk. I just wasn’t producing much at all. In a whole day of pumping in would maybe end up with 5 ounces of breast milk. So frustrating! I even tried taking Blessed Thistle and Fenugreek in hopes of a little help but nothing seemed to do the trick. I did this exclusive pumping routine for almost 6 weeks. It was seriously the most exhausting 6 weeks of my life. I don’t know if I will do that again because of how much work it was for the little amount of breast milk that I produced.
I look back at how I was feeling and now I have used that experience to help other friends with struggles in the nursing department. The bottom line is that you need to feed that life you created – bottle or boob! No matter how you do it that kid has to be healthy and happy and so does mom (and dad!). We are going to start trying to conceive in the beginning of 2012 – God willing we will have another baby soon and with that birth I hope that nursing works. But if it doesn’t there is formula. And formula provided my son with nutrients and food for 12 long months and let me tell ya, he is one healthy 16 month old now.
Maybe Breast Feeding isn’t for you. Maybe it is. Either way remember to be respectful of every woman’s choice.
I am honored to be a Fearless Formula Feeder!
Viva la revolution. Send your story to firstname.lastname@example.org.