Brooklynn (born September 2013):
When Brooklynn was cooking, I had every intention of breastfeeding. My mom and mother in law did a great job of encouraging me and exposing me to the amazing advantages of breastfeeding. When she was born, we immediately tried to have her breastfeed. This was the start of a very disappointing journey. She never latched, maybe one or two times she held on long enough to get some milk, but would start crying after a few minutes. She would scream and scream and we knew she was hungry but she still wouldn’t latch no matter what method we tried. (We also met with three different lactation consultants.) So I started exclusively pumping and giving her bottles. She did really well with that. I had tons of breast milk saved up (at one point I was pumping and dumping because I didn’t know you could save it *smacks forehead*). When she was around 6 weeks, my supply started getting lower and lower. I started getting breast milk from my friend to give Brooklynn because I was so sure that anything but breast milk wouldn’t be good for her body. I remember one night, B was crying so hard and I was pumping so I could give her the milk. I finally finished and gave her the bottle, only to find out I hadn’t screwed the lid on all the way and it dumped out everywhere. And then, we both cried. That was the first moment I just said f*** it, and gave her her first bottle of formula. Around 2 weeks later, my supply was completely gone. I cried and cried. I didn’t know what to do because I didn’t want to give up. My husband and I talked and decided we would supplement formula when we needed to. As soon as we started giving B formula, she didn’t want any breast milk anymore. To be completely honest, I was devastated. The way people talked about “formula moms” made me feel like a horrible person.
Harlym (born September 2014):
When Harlym was cooking, I was determined to have a better breastfeeding journey. But at the same time- I wasn’t obsessed. I wasn’t going to put this insane pressure on myself and my baby. After my journey with B, I had a newfound respect for moms that didn’t have the option to breastfeed. B was 1000% healthy and always ahead of the learning curve. When Harlym was born, she latched right away. She breastfeed 90% of our time in the hospital. When we got home, I swear I breastfed 36 out of the 48 first hours. My boobs couldn’t take it and I just wanted to give up right then and there. BUT I pushed through. After a week and a half, there was no more pain and she was breastfeeding like a champ still. I’m so blessed to say she breastfed for 6 months exclusively until she self-weaned. I truly think it had a lot to do with the fact that we didn’t give her a binky AND the fact that I didn’t put so much pressure on our success.
I’m so glad I had the journey with Brooklynn that I did, because it opened my mind and heart to the fact that there’s a lot of moms out there who can’t breastfeed. And there’s a lot of breastfeeding moms out there who make moms who formula feed feel terrible about it. It’s so sad because the most important thing should be that your baby is being fed. And I’m so grateful for my journey with Harlym, because it gave us an incredible bond from the moment she was born.