The day I gave my daughter formula...

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

To the moms who exclusively breastfed, the moms who exclusively pumped and bottle fed, the moms who formula fed and the moms who did both.  The one thing that we all have in common is that our babies were fed.  It didn't matter which route we chose or in some cases, didn't have a choice; at the end of the day our baby was fed.  That is what is important and what matters the most.  Not whether they were breastfed or formula fed, but that they were fed. 

I'm not going to lie though.  That was easier to type then it was for me to believe at first.

A few months ago, my littlest one, Charlotte got sick.  She started the first day with a fever of 101 that lasted two days.  On the third day, it jumped up to 103, which resulted in a call to our pediatrician at 3am.  It was awful, but up until that point, she seemed fine.  I though it was just teething and tried not to worry about it.  They told me what to do in order to get her fever down and it worked.  She seemed to be having a little trouble nursing, but it was more biting than anything which was a big reason I thought it was teething.

Then came day 4.  Charlotte woke up in the middle of the night again with a fever of 104.  At this point, I really started to worry.  My husband and I were able to get her fever to drop some (103 the rest of the morning) and get her in to the doctor.  

At this point, she had quit nursing all together.  She just stopped, cold turkey.  No warning, no heads up, no "Hey Mom, you might want to get your hormones ready for this"She wouldn't even try to latch.  On top of me worrying about what could be wrong with her, now I'm worried about her not eating.  If you followed her monthly updates, then you know we struggled with weight gain as it is.

Charlotte nursing for the first time
I no longer had a breast pump because she was almost a year old and I stay at home full time so it's always been easier to just breast feed her.  I didn't know what to do.  I actually ended up hand pumping into a bottle to try and get her to drink something.  It would take about 20-30 minutes just to get a couple of ounces.  It wasn't fun or comfortable and I knew I couldn't keep that up.

It turned out that Charlotte had a virus and that next day her fever went away completely.  Our pediatrician told us to try and keep her hydrated the best we could, but there wasn't much else to do but wait it out.  Even after feeling better, she didn't want to latch.

My husband and I talked, well I mostly cried, but we agreed that we would need to buy formula just for the time being so she could get better. I hated it.  The day I gave my daughter formula, was a hard day for me.  I felt guilty and I'll admit, a little bit like a failureI just kept wondering if there was something I could have done.  I knew that formula wasn't going to hurt her, but it was hard to give it to her.  

I tried a week later to see if she would try latching again, with no luck.  I finally accepted the fact that she had basically weaned herself as a result of being sick.  She was fine and drinking formula with no problem.  We made it 11 months strong and I should be proud of that.  It wasn't anything that I did wrong or could have been doing better.  It was just what happened.  Of course, my hormones took a little longer to understand, but we made it through.   

Point being, you should be proud of yourself no matter what the situation or what your journey has been.  Be proud that you made the choice to breastfeed.  Be proud that you made the choice to formula feed.  Be proud that you made the decision to have a healthy baby who is fed.

For every mom out there who has struggled at some point in their breastfeeding journey, I hope this helps. 

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