Monday, February 13, 2012

Breast or Bottle?

I didn’t really want to bring this over to this blog. I got tons (as in most) of my blog hits at the old blog on my posts regarding breast vs. bottle, and I really don’t want that here. As a matter of fact – before you even continue reading this – know this, this post is not a debate on what is best, it’s me trying to work through my own feelings on this in relation to the fact that I’m about to be having another baby.

And another for the record – the fact that I would even need to add a disclaimer is freaking ridiculous.

I have never ever gone into these weeks leading up to having a baby trying to figure out how I would feed said baby. I just always knew that I would breastfeed. After having Zach I was like determined-obsessed because nursing him was wonderful and I was able to nurse him until he self-weaned around one. Ryan refused to breastfeed. I tried. I tried until we were both red faced and crying and angry. This, however, just made me so much more determined to breastfeed Bella; I was desperate to have that same sort of experience that I had with Zach.

Those first few months breastfeeding Bella were wonderful. It was just like with Zach all over again. She took right to it, my milk more than came in, she seemed to be attached to me constantly – but I didn’t mind too much, I was just so happy to have a good experience with breastfeeding again.

And then it all came crashing down around me. Bella was diagnosed as failure to thrive after only gaining two pounds in the first four months of her life. We went into massive debt taking her to different doctors and getting tests done. She constantly got sick. One boy having a slight stuffy nose would cause her to have pneumonia or bronchitis. I held her down so that the doctors could take vial after vial of blood from her, so they could poke at her, so they could do yet another set of x-rays. And when all was said and done it was determined that since they could find nothing wrong, and since she started gaining weight beautifully when she was switched to formula that the problem was, well, me. There must have been something wrong with my breast milk. How the hell do I reconcile myself with this?

So now here we are. I’m weeks (hopefully) from having Mason and I don’t know what to do. I deep down ache and long to nurse him. I dream about it. I can picture it in my mind. I can remember what it feels like to have that warm little body cuddled into me and nursing. And I want it again so badly. After going through all we did with Bella, and Ryan refusing to nurse, I’ve kept a firm line of no, I can’t do it. I can’t put myself through that again. I won’t. Deep down inside me, right next to that longing to breastfeed a child of mine again, is a deep dark fear. What if it happens again? Can I seriously go into this knowing I might be endangering another child?

I know that Bella was probably just a fluke. I know that Ryan refusing to nurse was just a fluke. But lets face it, my track record kind of sucks. I don’t know if I can put myself through all this again emotionally. Even if Mason is a champion nurser, even if he stays healthy and gains weight, I’m going to live in fear that the doctor will have to tell me bad news again… and that again it will come down to this. I am just so tied up and confused about this all and I just don’t know what to do. I’ve tried praying about it, but obviously I haven’t determined an answer from that. I don’t talk to people (well, other than my mom and John) about it. I can’t. I’m so sick of people saying with Bella and Ryan I should have just tried harder, or ignored the doctors and continued breastfeeding. I’m sick of having to even justify the idea of not even trying to nurse. So tell me, how am I supposed to sit down and talk to someone about it?

Oh, and if even one person comes on here and says – “Well, just remember, it all comes down to the fact that the breast is always best” I will delete your comment and find some way to make your life hell.


  1. I tend to thing that what is best is whatever works for you and your baby, so there is no reason for you to feel guilty either way. I wasn't breastfed, and look how good I turned out. ; ) It sounds like you really want to try it, so maybe you could start now thinking that you're going to try, but that if it doesn't work, that's okay. But I dunno, sounds like you're a little more hard headed than I am.

  2. But Triiissshh.... Breast is best. Unless it's not for this baby or that baby. ;)

    Remember when it's this choice, if you choose to BF and it leads to you feeling anxious, worried, and even depressed, it's just plain NOT worth it.

    If you're wanting the best of both worlds, do both. *shrugs* B gained wait from the formula, got extra cuddles and made mama happy by nursing.

    No harm in trying it out and adjusting as necessary. No matter what choice you make, or *have* to decide, you will do whatever is necessary for Mason. <3