I’m so glad that Maria wrote about her initial experiences with nursing. I didn’t. Of course, I didn’t have a blog back then, but I can also admit now that I was struggling so much with it – I wouldn’t have been able to write about it. I could pull out our nursing logs and accurately and succinctly sum up why breast feeding didn’t work for me, because, unlike for my sister-in-law, things did not get easier when my milk came in. At the hospital, they kept saying, “she’s upset and not latching on because she wants milk.” The milk came within one hour of getting home from the hospital on Sunday afternoon (I had Joelle on a Thursday evening) and it did not get easier.

I remember going in to see my OB at the 2 week mark. I was on the verge of tears in his office and he could tell I was on the brink of slipping into depression. He was the one who finally allowed me to even accept the idea that I could quit. I could use formula. I call them the breast nazis now, but they succeed in getting what they want. The nurses, the media, everything and everyone makes you feel like nursing is the only viable option. Dr. Syal said, “You know we tried breast feeding. Then, I came home from work one day and my wife (who is also a doctor) was crying, the baby was crying and even the cat was crying (because he hadn’t been fed). We quit after that.” I remember being shocked. A doctor, in fact two doctors, that didn’t breast feed! I mean, I know that a whole generation of kids, including myself and Chris, were raised on formula, but we know better now, right?

So, I did fail. Maria mentions not wanting to fail in her blog, and it’s the best way to put it. I don’t disagree with her saying so and I certainly think she actually gives me more credit then I deserve with the hardship of my experience. It was rough for me, but it’s also rough for a lot of moms who get through it. I think it’s one of the biggest reasons I didn’t have a second baby sooner. I just had such a horrible, horrible first go with Joelle. I distinctly remember telling my mom, “I liked my life better before!” Of course, this isn’t true. My life has so much more depth, color and joy with both my girls, but those first few weeks of Joelle’s life were not the best of times.

With Elise, I did make sure she had the colostrum from the first nursings and she did get a couple of weeks worth of milk, but I just didn’t want to repeat the same experience I had with Joelle. The breast nazis know that second time moms are immune to their wiles, so, for the most part, they left me alone in the hospital. Every now and again, I do catch a comment indicating that Joelle and Elise are missing out because they didn’t get breast milk. Something like, “oh, this is Elise’s 4th cold.” (with a knowing undertone) Usually, it doesn’t bother me and I ignore it, because I know that Elise was certainly happier to have a mommie that was happy and that Joelle desperately needed something other then my milk. Those who know me best know that if you catch me in the wrong mood, I might snap back though.

Anyway, I’m so, so happy that it’s going better for my nephew and his mommie. I still think it’s the best answer for the babies and what God gave us to feed them. I just happen to think it’s also ok to use formula. I think I turned out ok and I know Chris did.

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