I’m a planner by nature and love to research the sh*t out of things. According to all my research, what I knew and talking with other Moms, the best thing for you and your baby was to breast feed.
I was fully on board and ready to sacrifice my perky ladies for the nursing cause. I bought my nursing bras, went to a lactation class before the baby was born, had the cutest nursing cover ready for use and was emotionally ready to own this situation.
But guess what, that wasn’t going to be my story.
My nursing journey started like everyone else’s in the hospital. The lactation nurses said everything looked good, the baby was latching and sucking, I had good form but my milk hadn’t come yet. No big deal, the baby had my colostrum, that should be good till my milk comes in.
Fast forward 1.5 days after being home, my baby is crying non stop, I don’t know what to do and we end up in the ER. The ER Dr is a young McDreamy, he took one look at us and our hot mess of a situation and went pale. After assessing our screaming baby he suggests we take him to Children’s. I’m a puddle of hormones and bewilderment.
As a last ditch effort, he calls the birthing wing of the hospital looking for advice. The first thing the nurse says is, give the baby a bottle, he’s hungry!
What do you mean my baby is hungry, I’m nursing him. This wasn’t part of the plan.
As I watch my new baby suck down 2 entire bottles of formula in record time, I have a realization, I could have accidentally starved my baby! The flood gates open and I cry for a solid two weeks.
My husband and I go into overdrive and ‘fix it’ mode. I have biweekly appointments with lactation consultants, I’m pumping, drinking mothers milk tea, eating foods that help with milk supply, and I’m still crying….
As I’m crying my 100th bucket of tears and feeling like a complete failure as a new mom, one of the many lactation nurses I’ve seen, looks at me and says, ‘not all Moms can nurse. Sometimes your milk just doesn’t come in.’ What?! My head literally exploded. What the fuck was she talking about?! In all the books I read and all the Moms I talked to, not one said that nursing was NOT an option. Everyone good mom nursed their babies, everyone’s milk comes in, that’s what they said.
Well guess what ladies, I’m here to say, sometimes your milk doesn’t come in, sometimes you just don’t want to nurse, sometimes the baby can’t nurse and guess what, that’s totally ok!
That same nurse told me, ‘a good Mom feeds her baby. Whether it’s breast milk or formula’. At first I was devastated, then angry, confused but finally I was thankful. I was thankful to have a healthy baby, thankful for the option of formula but also thankful for this life lesson.
Lesson one, feed the baby.
Lesson two, plans change, and finally,
Lesson 3, boobies can be just boobies and that’s ok.
My hope is that my story is heard, that I reach that one mom who is feeling overwhelmed, alone, afraid and judged. What I learned during my journey is that there are a shit-ton of Moms that have had this same issue. There is also a shit-ton of moms that use formula for a shit-ton of different reasons.
Let all boobies unite!
PS – a certain upside to formula? License to DRINK. Try this classic cocktail…