The Milk Diaries Part 2 – Bottles formulas and pumps -oh my!

Oh where to begin! As I sit here trying to recall the early days with my son, I realise that whilst it was the most magical thing I have ever experienced, it was also one of the most stressful.

Once at home there were so many things that needed to be done.  Buying a sterilizer, choosing bottles and formula and  renting a breast pump. Oh and then yes learning to breast feed as well as navigating the world of parenting ! Buying  a sterilizer was the easy part,  but everything else seemed to require some figuring out.

Choosing the formula was  difficult because I wanted to give my son an organic brand, but it was out of the question as it was so expensive. Who knew that suddenly formula alone  ( non-organic) would be costing us about $160 per month! This was something that I hadn’t wanted to consider as I was positive it wouldn’t be needed.  We stuck with the hospital brand without naming names, because after looking at all the options this seemed like the best one around for the moment. The formula was pre-made and I am so glad we chose this in the early days as it really helped cut down on the work.

I remember standing in the aisle of a large pharmacy , just two days after my son was born. Barley able to walk as I tried to choose bottles for my son, it was all I could do not to cry.  There was a sea of them before us and I  didn’t know where to begin. In the end we chose the bottles we thought were best and as the months have gone on we have slowly changed them until we have ones that best suit our baby.

My midwife recommended that  I see a breast feeding specialist, so within just a few days of coming home with our son I had to take him out into the world – yikes! I wasn’t ready for it but it had to be done. the breast feeding specialist gave me some tips and then we made another appointment to follow-up. On her recommendation we rented a hospital grade breast pump, because I would be pumping and then feeding our baby, it seemed like a good option. After several days of failed attempts at trying to get my son to latch on . I realised that it seemed unlikely that I would be able to breast feed.  I remember feeling thoroughly miserable and inadequate. Returning to the specialist only confirmed my fears.  I left that appointment and knew that I had to get past the emotional turmoil I felt, and learn to accept that this wasn’t the path for my baby and me, but that it didn’t mean I was any less of a mother because of this. But  more importantly, that my son would not  suffer irreversibly because of it.

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The Milk Diaries Part 1- Breast Feeding and Formula Feeding

Like many women, I had a traumatic birth. By the time  our baby arrived into this world I felt frazzled to say the least! Once I saw our baby though, it all melted into oblivion. Now as the months slip by it has become  irrelevant in the greater scheme of  things.

One thing I hadn’t bargained for  when my son was born, was to be unable to breast feed. My midwife had warned me that, I may be at risk from being unable to, but I have to admit I had brushed this notion aside and was positive that myself and my baby would figure it out. I hadn’t even brought a single bottle, so strong was my belief.

In the hospital I felt thoroughly  devastated. My efforts to get my son to latch on were unsuccessful. We tried  and tried and then tried some more – but nothing. The pain was excruciating, not only could my son not latch on, but at that point I was producing nothing. I believe it must have been  from the stressful birth. I felt thoroughly unhinged and believed that even before our son was out of the hospital I had already failed him as a mother. Unable to provide him with the  very basic essentials on which he needed for his survival. I can still remember watching as my husband attempted to feed him sugar-water from a dropper ! With assistance from one of the nurses – how thoroughly dreadful for a new mom.

As the day went on, I did begin to produce a tiny amount of colostrum, which I carefully fed to my baby. The amount wasn’t significant enough to  satisfy him, so I had to also begin to feed him formula. When I saw those tiny bottles I felt a whole range of emotions. Firstly OMG I can’t believe I am feeding our new baby formula, but also  I felt an immense gratification. There is a means by which to feed our baby ! One that we would not have had hundreds of years a go. So there at that very moment, my relationship with formula began……….

 

The Milk Diaries – coming soon !

The Milk Diaries is coming soon ! A diary of the trial and tribulations of breast feeding, and how I learned to accept bottle feeding my son. How my son is doing now and what we have learned from our experience. I am hoping that the diary  will help other moms, who have had similar issues and those who are experiencing them now.

I hope you enjoy  it, and that it goes some way in bringing  comfort to you. There are many bottle feeding mommies out there in the same boat, so don’t feel alone on your journey.