Wednesday, September 10, 2014

the switch.

the switch. 
I recently stopped nursing Rogue and switched him to formula.
I didn't want to write this blog post but felt compelled to explain why.
Some moms might read this and go, who cares, so you formula feed, no biggie.
But I am SURROUNDED by nursing moms and at times feel judged.
(but that could very well be in my mind)
I have actually heard, "You're a stay at home mom, why wouldn't you nurse?  Have you tried x-y-z?"

So here's my story.
 
I nursed Solis for a year.  It was not easy.
She had terrible reflux and was constantly pulling on and off during her painful months.  That resulted in my supply dwindling.  She didn't gain any weight from months 3-6.  We saw so many specialists b/c my baby girl was "failure to thrive."

Solis at one of her procedures....trying to figure out why she wasn't gaining weight.
As a breastfeeding mom, I blamed myself for not being able to provide for my baby.
She never took a bottle.....
You would think we were torturing her!
 So I was left to use a supplemental nursing system that my lactation consultant gave me.  "You won't have to use this long to get your supply back," she told me.  But unfortunately my supply never came back and I used that thing from 5.5 months to the day she weaned herself at 51 weeks old.
 
That contraction was miserable.  I always clipped it to the blinds in my bedroom and sat in a chair right next to the window.  If we were at someone else's house, my husband would have to hold the device while I "nursed".  At first, we put donated breastmilk in the tube but after that ran out, we put formula in it.  The milk would always squirt out of those little tubes and go all over me, the chair, Solis.
Turns out, after an endoscopy, Solis had pretty bad erosions on her esophagus from the reflux.  At 6 months, they adjusted her meds and she slowly started to gain weight again b/c eating became less painful.  At 51 weeks, she popped herself off and started drinking milk out of a straw cup.  

Here she is just a few days after she weaned and trying to learn how to drink from a straw cup.
She was a cuddle bug during those days!
We burned the supplemental nursing system.  It was a happy day.
Then I had Rogue.  I was nervous to nurse again but he latched on great from the start and everything was going smoothly.
6 weeks into life, we began to see signs of reflux.
Not again, we prayed.
But he had it pretty bad and the same eating issues were happening again.
However unlike Solis, Rogue took a bottle.  In fact, he downed a bottle of formula so fast and continued to take a bottle daily.  After talking to his doctor, I recently made the decision to switch to formula.  I already watched one baby struggle to eat and put on weight for months and I was not about to see it happen to Rogue.
This decision was so so hard.  Everyone around me breastfeeds.
I belong to a baby group who is 110% pro nursing and I felt very ashamed to even say I was formula feeding.
There are moms who can keep nursing through reflux.  But with my low supply issues to begin with, it just wasn't the best decision for my Rogue.

There are so many choices parents have to make:
breastfeeding or formula fed
disposable or cloth diapers
co-sleeping or not
working or staying home
making baby food or buying it
to vaccinate or not

And regardless of the above decisions, I think the most important thing a parent can do for their baby is to LOVE them.  For Shaun and I, raising our kids in a Godly home takes priority above everything else.

Moms can be very judgmental of each other.  Me included.  I used to judge those formula feeding mommas before having kids.  Never thought God would give me reflux babies, making nursing extremely difficult.  I have taken a slice of humble pie and will now proudly say I am one of them.

If there's one thing this has taught me, it's not to be so quick to judge others.  Everyone's situation is different and until you walk a mile in their shoes, you really don't know what their life is like.  I've learned to be more supportive of moms for the decision they make for their families.  To build them up, not tear them down.

Yes, formula is butt expensive (especially the spit up kind, which you can't buy generic of!) and it smells so gross BUT Rogue is gaining weight and thriving.  I am SO much less stressed and even though he has reflux still, I am more relaxed and better able to handle it than I did with Solis.
I hope this post can encourage any mom out there who might be struggling with the decision to stop nursing for whatever reason.  It's ok.  I won't judge you one bit :)

John 13:34
"A new command I give you: Love one another.  As I have loved you, so you must love one another."

10 comments:

  1. Wow! To say the least I really needed your post today. I've been having problems too, being surrounded with breastfeeding moms who make it seem so easy and don't realize how some of us other moms feel. It's nice to know I'm not alone :)

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  2. You are a great mom and know what is best for your family! Thank you for the reminder that we (moms and non-moms) should build build each other up! :)

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    1. Sara(h)-thank you for your sweet comment!

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  3. This post makes me feel so much better. My 4 month old son is the exact same way your daughter was. My supply is dwindling, he isn't gaining weight and he won't take a bottle. We're in the process of trying to figure it out but it's nice to know we are not alone. Thank you for sharing your story.

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    1. Megan,
      If I could do it all over again, I would do bottle boot camp with my daughter and "make" her take a bottle. That would had been way better for her and I than that darn contraction we were doing with the tube. I encourage you to keep trying with the bottle! Good luck and hugs!!

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    2. Having been there, how would you "make" her take a bottle? I try a bottle every day and try not to make it a battle. I've left for several hours and he hasn't taken it from another person. Any advice as to how to go about it?

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    3. I guess what I meant was, in perspective, she would have gained weight if she took formula (instead of my dwindling supply) so I would have just stopped nursing her and went away for the day while my husband tried the bottle. B/c seriously, she would have to eat eventually, right? But I was always too chicken to try it. So I used that "tube over the boob" for 6 months, which was miserable. If you think your supply is disappearing, I would just try it-if the daddy or someone else is willing to be with your son all day long. I don't think the mom should be around, too hard on us!!

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  4. I agree! Thanks for the advice and sharing your experience :) I really appreciate it!

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    1. ps-just saw you're a 2nd grade teacher (or were?) I was too!

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  5. I was! I saw you were too! I'm staying home with my little guy this year but it's a great grade to teach :)

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