With Erica, her issues were major which caused me to quit work and stay home. She hated to be held for more than 5 minutes, including during breastfeeding. She cluster nursed all day long. I did manage to nurse her for 9 months before giving in to her. Then she went on soy formula. And was much happier.
Angela nursed for 18 months before self-weaning. No bottles or formula. Dylan nursed for 2 1/2 years. He hated bottles, no matter what was in them (and I was never any good at pumping), so he had maybe 3-4 ounces of formula at dc during the day and reversed nursed at night for over 2 1/2 years.
Erica was relieved to learn that she could breastfeed her Matilda despite having to take Prozac for her Bipolar. But she was prepared to use formula if was necessary. Better a formula fed baby than a mom suffering from PPD and bipolar.
While I agree that breast is best, each mother (and dad) chooses what is best for their children and if breastfeeding doesn't work out for whatever reason, I totally support formula feeding.
I am new to this website and I am thrilled to see this blog. It appears that this has been inactive for over a year but I hope this changes. I truly can't bf it happened with my dd1 and now again with dd2. I really wanted to bf but when my milk never came in and my girls were facing starvation I had no choice but to ff. I don't want to go into all the details of all that I did but I do remember with dd1 the ped said "Don't let anyone make you feel bad .... you tried hard and this is now a matter of your daughter's life." even my own sister-in-law said "everyone can make enough milk...you just aren't trying had enough." I finally accepted my fate but was hit with severe depression and anxiety over what emotionally I could only see as my fault. In fact I was told that in cases like mine that milk production would most likely not occur in subsequent pregnancies.(and yes-- both my girls latched on very well everyone said so when I demoed it to check to see if that was a problem and supplementation came only after bf was done at every feeding --- and I tried pumping but after an hour I would have less than a cc)
seven years later......When my second daughter was born I tried hard to bf and did everything "right" but by the end of the 1st week home she was jaundice, dehydrated and lost significantly more than the acceptable amount of weight. I was so extremely sore from her constant nursing and super sleep deprived. when I went to the dr he said that it was a matter of biology (because of my previous history and complete lack of milk) and we talked about possible reasons for why this was happening to me. Science had no real reasons but he assured me that it did not mean I was less of a women OR a mother. I tried supplementation but my little one wouldn't even take to the breast after the first day of formula. I and the dr knew my fate. I thought that it would be easier the second time but my sister-in-law (the one I quoted before) had a daughter at the same time-- she likes to remind me of all the health benefits her daughter is getting because she is bf. So now I cry constantly feeling that I have failed both my girls and that there is nothing I can do to change it.
I read all over about how wonderful bf is and how women that ff are basically poisoning their babies and some people have come right out and said that we should not have even had children because we were lazy and self serving. My husband (who is extremely supportive and a registered dietitian) continues to remind me that it was not my choice and that our older daughter is amazing, healthy and smart and that I am a wonderful mother, but yet he cannot truly understand my grief. Now I can only take solace in the fact that they both received colostrum-- I hope anyway-- I nursed the second they were born and with dd1 almost 2months with supplementation at every feeding, after an hour of bf each time she would drink an entire bottle (so really she did not get milk from me just the bonding) my second I only went a week-- I could not go through the emotional and physical stress like the last time but I take care in ff and have a lot of physical contact as if I was nursing. I knew I was one of the rare ones that truly did not produce the milk but it is not easy to accept.
I spent the past week torturing myself re-reading about all of the wonders of breastfeed (I almost feel as if I am trying to punish myself) ... then I found this blog and finally feel as if there are people out there with my same beliefs that have experienced my same heartbreak. I hope that more people respond and continue this blog because I think it is fantastic!!! I feel like I can't talk to anyone-- I am afraid I will get the "you didn't try hard enough-- your poor baby will suffer for your laziness" attitude OR the "don't worry about it it is no big deal" well it is a big deal to me and I am not a lazy self center person and I don't want to hear how my children will not be as healthy or smart as they could be. I hope that perhaps now I can begin the healing.
So in closing-- hug your children, trust in your heart you are a good mother and person, support each other-- know your words can heal and hurt with great force.
big hugs, mari56. formula is not poison, it is the only appropriate food for babies who cannot be breastfed. you tried everything within your power and really, anyone ought to give you your due credit for that! there comes a point where you have to put the child's best interest above one's ideals, and if the child's best interest indicates that you MUST feed formula, you do so, and you're doing the right thing. a starving baby is certainly a verified medical reason to switch to formula, and anybody who tells you differently needs to give their head a shake.
this thread has given me back a sense of "rightness" in a very dark time.
After months of reading a billion blogs and forums, this was the first time I felt like it would not only be "ok" to write something, but also something i HAD to do. Thank you so much for starting this support group, Laurel.
So many of your stories resonated with me.
My short story is this-- my son was born 2.5 weeks early-- quite healthy and strong, but with meconium and fluid in his lungs which required him to have a catheter for suction after birth. Despite being placed on my chest right away, and rooming in, including no pacifiers and bottles in our birthplan and a half a dozen LCs and nurses trying to "help" he never latched in the hospital. The speculations ranged from Sore throat from the catheter to "born before his suck reflex developed". One LC at the hospital tried to pry his mouth open by forcing his chin down... of course my brilliant stubborn baby kept his mouth clamped shut. From day 2 he has SCREAMED whenever he was put to breast. He's maybe "latched" (and who knows if it was ever entirely successful) a dozen times in his 11weeks of life. I started pumping in the hospital, did everything I could to drip colostrum on his lips because he refused to open his mouth. His blood sugar started dropping and they allowed me to wait an additional day bc I was SO hell bent on breastfeeding him, but my milk wasnt coming in, the pump was only producing tiny droplets and his life was in danger. They started him on formula, via SNS. We went home with a syringe and my husband would finger feed him and i would put the tube on my nipple to "trick" him... he would never open his mouth wide enough to latch... though he was again brilliant (and stubborn) enough to just lick the drops of formula coming out of the tube!
I pumped every 2 hours from day 2 onward. In the beginning I could get about 2.5oz at a time and we only needed to supplement a half ounce or so, if that. I was taking Fenugreek & Blessed Thistle, drinking the tea, staying hydrated etc. I continued to see LCs & each one continued to seem "baffled" at why he wouldn't latch. He isnt tonuge tied. They'd simply keep shoving his face on my boob and he'd scream and flail and arch his back and kick off with his legs. Very early on id noticed that his eyes would go buggy if he even SAW my breast. i tried "re-birthing" him in the tub & while it was a lovely bonding experience (and we still take baths together to this day) it didnt "teach" him anything... he wriggled up my chest and flopped his head down... but as soon as i lifted my breast he started freaking out. Not one person I've ever gone to see for help (and ive seen about a dozen) has been able to help. The most they can tell me is to keep trying & eventually he'll get it. But in the meantime, he seems completely traumatized by the very idea of BFing.
We've used 5 different kinds of nipples for his bottles, have tried delaying the flow to simulate breastfeeding, limited his paci use (which we only gave him to begin w bc an LC told us that he didnt know how to suck and that would teach him)> He DOES have reflux, but its not that that keeps him from BFing, bc he will take a bottle in any position, but wont BF even completely upright in a wrap or weightless in the bathtub.
I've pumped and pumped and pumped--- and if i did anything "wrong" it was not renting the "hospital grade" pump to begin with... but i was doing just fine with my playtex double embrace and the avent isis manual... in fact i get MORE milk with the manual. I managed to stock pile a freezer stash of a whopping 6oz.
eventually, he was a formula baby with BM supplement.
This was NOT what I had planned. I am an AP, we co-sleep, i wear him kangaroo, he was born natural w/ no meds, i did prenatal yoga, i took the classes... i bought a boppy for goodness sake!
So, by week 6 i got my period and there went my supply. I've been pumping and taking herbs like crazy for the past 5 weeks to try to up my supply. I dont mind being an exclusive pumper, but the supply is nil. i went back to the hospital & shelled out more money we dont have to rent the medela symphony. went home thinking "imma pump like hell & get a freezer stash until we can figure out his nursing issues!"... 3 days later i'd pumped a full ounce. after a week i went back thinking the suctiion was weak.... the first thing that b***ch says to me is "well, did you plug it in?"
its no wonder so many ppl stop trying to BF. there is such a lack of compassion out there for women who genuinely DO want to do this and cant. I would never choose to be up all night with a machine attached to me instead of my son, or frantically trying to mix powder & water while hes screaming if i could just lift my shirt. i wouldnt be drinking entire boxes of tea and downing capsule after capsule of herbs if i didnt HAVE TO.
our last LC appointment ended with the woman saying i'd made my son lazy (hes 2.5 months old... hes not lazy, hes a baby) and hed never breastfeed if i kept "giving into his cries" (this person is also a doula... nice). its also apparently my fault i cant get more when i pump and i "must be doing SOMETHING wrong". i refuse to take Reglan and im afraid to shell out the big bucks for Dom in case it doesnt work for me. she also told me i needed to stop stressing about it. thanks. i'll try.
so now im wondering if he'll ever learn to nurse (and what is keeping him from it in the first place) if i cant get my supply up... and i cant get my supply up if he wont suck, since the pump doesnt work for me.
deep breath. thanks for letting me vent without judgement.
big hugs to you all.
(and if anyone has any ideas here, id love to hear them!)
Wow, thank you so much for this thread. So many of your stories resonate with me, and I'm sorry for anyone who has had to feel the pain of so desperately wanting to breastfeed and doing everything in their power, and still not being able to. I pray for this little one that we have a successful breastfeeding relationship but I have to accept that things may go the same way and learn to be at peace with that. I'm going to do my damnedest though.
Christ-centered loving wife & mama to 2 miracles! One & one . We live simply and mindfully. Expecting another blessing Feb 2015
I'll join this little group since it's been resurrected. What a ride DD and I have been on! Whew!
I've been on MDC for over 3 years and had so many plans- breastfeeding, cloth diapering, co-sleeping, etc. DD has plans of her own, apparently. I started her out completely naturally with a home birth and that went really well. But she was small (not really in weight, just her body) and my boobs are HUGE, so she had some latch issues early on. I had major PPD and worked very closely with my midwife and LC to correct her latch. My milk didn't come in until day 6 and she was very upset about that. She lost more weight than she should have and they were all concerned with fattening her up. The latch seemed to be corrected by the second week. But it only looked right on the outside. She was causing vasospasms (where all the blood leaves the nipple and the pain of the blood coming back in is BAD) in my nipples and it was excruciating! The nipple tissue was being killed and huge chunks of my nipples were coming off in white clumps!!! I guess because of her clamping down constantly on my nipple on her hard palate, she wasn't getting much milk out of there. She was miserable and crying litterally non-stop unless she was on the boob. But on the boob meant my nipple tissue was dying and I was bawling my eyes out and screaming in pain. We were both miserable!
Finally at one month I said it's over and I pumped for the first time. She's been exclusively bottle fed breastmilk ever since. Her personality changed almost immediately. She turned into a happy, smiling, loveable little bug. She loves bottles and she now gets the amount of milk she should. She is 3 mo old now and still has the hard palate latch issue with the bottle nipples and is constantly collapsing them and we have to readjust to get the milk flowing again, but at least it's not killing me anymore. I'm still upset that I can't have a normal, happy breastfeeding relationship with her, but it's what had to happen for us, I guess. Now if only I could get her to like cloth diapers...
Beth- WOHM -Madly in love with my Wife- SAHMandSophia, born 11/2/10, at home! Expressing love, one ounce at a time!