So, until pretty much this week, I've been breastfeeding exclusively. In case you don't know, there's this pressure to put a lot of pride into your ability to breastfeed. It's kinda like before you have the baby, there's pressure to take pride in your ability to handle pain (or your psycho-ness) and have the baby "naturally" or with no meds. And while that's great for some people, a good friend reminded me right before I had Jack that having a baby naturally means you push him out! Not that you do it with no help from that adorable epidural needle. Anyhow, you can guess that I did not take pride in my ability to handle pain, and wanted to hug the epidural man with all might...but I was in the middle of a terrible contraction and couldn't! So I was in the "stab me in the back" group.
Breastfeeding is the same thing. There are entire organizations devoted to making you feel bad if you don't breastfeed your child until they can tell you they're hungry. Now, before you say anything, I know. I know breast milk is best, nothing can replace it, all the antibodies, etc. I know. And Jack's been doing great breastfeeding. In the beginning, we had a little trouble with latching on, so I've been using a nipple shield (it's like this nipple protector thing) which also helped with the excruciating pain that resulted in scabbing and made me cry when he would try to feed! But with the shield in place, he's been a champ.
One of my breasts is a much better milker than the other, which might be TMI...if so, quit reading now! In fact, if you look at me, I'm totally lopsided. Don't look at me. I called the lactation consultant (yes, they have those) and she said that's fine, no big deal.
Two weeks ago, we introduced Jack to a bottle so that we could have family babysit and go more than a 1.5 hour radius from the house. Well, he fell in love. With none other than the plastic bottle that gives that milk so much easier than mom's bossom. The night after the first bottle was terrible, resulting in a lot of crying, from both Jack and me...and probably Jeff, he just hides it well. Jack didn't want to work so hard to get his meals, and was screaming at the top of his lungs to let us know it! Now, Jack is not a crier. He cries when something's wrong, and even then, it takes him quite a while to get into a full fledged screaming cry! Something was definitely wrong...he wanted the bottle over his mamma! Oh my aching heart.
Now, I'm not in love with breastfeeding. I'm just not. It's great, I get to cuddle with the little guy, hold him close, and thinking that I am producing exactly what he needs is pretty great. But I am surely not a mom who will nurse until he's old enough to walk. It's the pressure of the pride that makes me want to do it! And that's a little shameful.
Anyways, this week, after Jack gets what mamma's made, he's screaming and wailing like he hasn't been fed in days. In fact, usually, before he even is off the boob, he's squirming around and grunting like he's trying to get water from a rock.
Enter formula. My doctor told me from my first visit, when Jack was 2 days old, don't feel bad about giving him a bottle. He said sometimes mamma needs a break! So from that perspective, I'm proud that I've waited this long. From the breast feeding camp, I can't believe he's only 5.5 weeks old and I'm giving him formula. But you know what, if it fills his little tummy and makes him happy, pride be gone! I'm giving that precious thing formula.
Last night he got 2 ounces of formula after his last day time feeding. Oh my goodness... you should have heard those grunts and toots that formula virgin tummy produced!!!!!!! All night long.
Just look at how precious he is! Imagine that sweet face screaming at you, right after you've fed him all you've got...and tell me you wouldn't resort to the bottle!!!