I touched on this a little bit when I posted about Joseph’s birth, but I felt that I wanted to say a little bit more. I went into this thinking that I would breastfeed. I mean with these boobs, I thought that I would be the blue ribbon milker at the county fair. Unfortunately, things turned out differently.
The breastfeeding thing was hard. I was really wanting to do it and was pretty upset at first that it wasn’t happening. He latched on great at the hospital, but when I was home and got sick, my milk wouldn’t come out. I mean it was definitely in, I was swollen beyond belief. I was pumping with every feeding trying to get it to come out and nothing. My body was not letting me give up any fluids. I have to admit that I was really hard on myself about this, I was upset and felt that there was something wrong with me that I couldn’t do this for my child.
Well, it ended up that there actually WAS something wrong with me. I went to the hospital and was treated for the postpartum preeclampsia. This led to my milk drying up along with all the other fluids leaving my body. After some discussion with my doctors and with Shawn, I decided then that I did all I could to try to breastfeed, but I wasn’t willing to go on more medication to try to get my milk back. I just went through hell trying to get my body to regulate and get back to “normal” and I didn’t want to have a relapse or any other health issues so I could take care of my baby. He seemed to be happy and healthy on the formula and that is what mattered most to me.
Now, I must admit that I haven’t had too many bad comments from anyone yet, but I feel a lot of guilt about bottle feeding and also the need to explain WHY I’m not doing it. It’s a messed up thing. Society pushes the “breast is best” idea pretty hard and I understand the merits of breastfeeding, but for those who cannot -for whatever reason- do so, there is a great stigma there. I have some friends who were bullied by other moms about their choice and I truly feel for them. It is an emotional time and you are already wracked with guilt and anxiety over doing the right thing. It’s horrible to think that others would play on those feelings to make you doubt yourself and what you are doing for your child.
I am not saying either way which is better, I am only sharing what happened in my situation and how I am dealing with it. Bottom line: Joseph is thriving and that is all that matters to us.