This post has been a long time coming and every time I want to sit down and write it, I talk my self out of it. I am not one for confrontation so I just normally sat back and let people run their mouths and offend me, but today I take my stand.
With the birth of our friend's little girl, I am reliving the first few weeks Allen and I had with Noah. Allen and I talk all the time about how much we loved the stay in the hospital, and we truly did. When we got home, we of course were on cloud nine with our little man and could not have been happier. Noah was born on a Monday and had his first check up with his pediatrician on Friday. When he was born he was a whopping 8 lbs 7.5ozs! A big boy! I had always plan to nurse Noah, never considered anything else. I always knew that there could be complications with it and it was possible that I would not be able to but I figured I would just cross that bridge if I got there.
I tried while in the hospital with the help of lactation consultants to nurse him, and I thought I was doing pretty good and we had gotten the routine down. There were some struggles along the ways but I was feeling comfortable enough with it by the time we got home. When we went to the Dr's appt. that Friday they of course checked his weight, little man was down to 7lbs 6ozs. Not good, but (in our Dr's words) "nothing to light your hair on fire about" either. (I LOVE our pediatrician!!!) He told us he wanted to see us back in on Monday for a weight check. My milk had just come in and he was pretty sure Noah would start putting his weight back on.
Monday morning came and we went in for our weight check, which I was confidant we were going to Ace (like it was a math test or something) and again Noah still only weighed 7lbs 6oz. He was a week old and over a pound under his birth weight. Our Dr. sent us to see the lactation consultants at the hospital to get some help and a feeding plan.
We went to the consultant Monday after the doctor and Noah ate like a champ! She even said if he ate like that every time he should gain weight in no time, they had us come back the following day because babies should gain 1/2 oz a day (i think that is right...sorry if I am wrong but you get the general idea) we go the following day and Noah has again gained nothing. We feed again with the lactation consultant and he eats so well! We pretty much repeat the process. We are to come back Wednesday for a weight check. We go back again Wednesday and Noah has gained some weight but not enough to get excited about. At this point they recommend that we rent a breast pump, and I rotate pumping and bottle feeding with nursing. While doing this I am recording how often he is eating, how much he is eating, and how much I am pumping. They have advised me to go to the health food store and get a pill to help with my production.
At this point it is Friday, we have been to the lactation consultant every single day that week. By Friday she has me solely pumping and bottle feeding as she is feeling that I have low production along with the fact that Noah is a little bit of a lazy eater. With me pumping, we can know exactly how much my body produces and how much he is eating.
We visit the consultants a few more times and I talk to her several more times over the next week or two. We figure out that the health food pill is not really helping me at all so I get a RX that I can only take for a week to help production. This pill works and I am so excited because for the first time I am producing enough to feed Noah, not have to supplement with formula and actually had some to store away for later!
I took my last RX pill and two days later it was like I was a different person, I was only producing about two ounces and Noah needed a lot more than that, so we were back to supplementing with formula. Huge disappointment.
After talking again, for what would be the last time, to the lactation consultant. I had to make a decision. It had been 6 weeks and for four and a half of them I had been pumping every 3-4 hours (on top of bottle feeding Noah every three hours.) I was pumping and I was still having to give Noah formula on top of the breast milk. My body simply would not produce enough milk to keep up with Noah's needs, period. I had to make one of the hardest decision I have had to make and stop pumping. Noah was going to be, from then on, a formula fed baby.
What bothers me is this, there are people out there that want to bash moms that choose formula for their babies but they have no IDEA why the mom has chosen formula. I know that there are some moms that are 100% breastfeed, (and luckily these moms have not had any problems) and I know there are some moms that never even try breastfeeding, because they simply just dont want to, and you know what. It is none of my business and it is none of yours either. That is between them and their doctor. I saw someone on facebook post an article about breastfeeding recently and then have the nerve to type with it "...Formula is bad." Really?!? Formula is what is keeping my child alive and so many other children alive, so is it worse to give my child formula or to let him starve? Answer me that...
I just want people to know that there are other reasons out there why moms "choose" not to nurse. It may or may not be thier choice but it happens and no one should be judged for it, because in 5 years when my son is going into Kindergarten with all of the other kids, you will never know who was formula fed or breastfed. You will only know that this child is loved and cared for very much and has been since the day he was born.