5.14.2012

Breastfeeding or Bottlefeeding? (The ironies in life)

I am a parent that neither formula fed, nor breastfed either of my two kids.

Can you say awkward?

It's a weird spot to be, because I wanted to be able to breastfeed SO badly with all of my heart (both times)- and I never got the choice in the matter. By the time my first son, Judah, could actually eat by mouth, he was 8 months old. By the time Gabe can eat by mouth... Whenever that happens (I hope it happens)- he will be too old to consider it.

With Judah, I tried- but for months it never worked- just screaming and turning away ensued... and he wouldn't take a bottle either. He wouldn't eat at all, really. Then he ended up having surgery for laryngomalacia and needed a feeding tube exclusively (due to aspiration) for three months.

With Gabe, I hoped. I'd heard that it could happen, but he had major heart surgery at 15 days old. And then, he didn't recover easily. He had to get a g-tube put in, and he hasn't had anything by mouth for... well- his life. I mean, he did have a couple drops of sugar water and formula here and there, but nothing substantial.

So when the arguments come up (as they do) between breastfeeding and formula feeding, how long to breastfeed, lactation consulting... well- I can't say anything really.

I think breastfeeding is AWESOME. How COOL is it that we get to have milk on hand constantly for our little babies and don't have to worry about mixing and cooking and stirring anything up for them. (not that it's always easy for everyone)...

Bottle feeding is probably cool too- I wouldn't really know very well. Judah cried every time he was forced to have a bottle- he wasn't a fan, and we pushed him hard to take one to get him off of his feeding tube.

Well, now Judah eats like a champ and loves milk. So that's nice.

But this weird thing happens to you when you don't get that opportunity with two children in a row.

Every time I see a baby take a bottle, my heart gushes in this weird way. It's not really jealousy, though that might be mixed in there.. But it's more like awe... It looks so easy, so right... So abnormally normal.

So, being the woman who wants to breastfeed (or bottlefeed, really, I would take what I could get), I get in these weird mindsets where I think... It would be so nice to have another baby- just to have them eat normally. Breastfeeding or bottle feeding, that argument doesn't really matter to me. As long as they eat, they don't get pneumonia from eating... and they are healthy and happy...

Not that I am slightly at the point where I would like to have another (not even close...) but, yes... I do have dreams of the eventual day where that will be MY normal too.

Where I won't always have such a strange sense of normalcy.

What is that anyway? ;)

1 comment:

Hope's Blog said...

I know so well how you feel. My first would not take the breast at all. I pumped and bottle-fed him breast milk for 6 months. I would get weird stares, but I didn't mind. I knew I was doing the best I could, but it still hurt that women were so judgmental. I did the same for my second because it really was easier and it let my husband feed him too. I also liked my handy/dandy pump. It was like a huge bag of happiness for me when I had to work. Hope was a different story altogether. We knew she would need surgery soon after she was born. I was totally stressed out. I pumped as much as possible, but in the hospital and between spending as much time with her as possible, my production was nothing like my earlier experience. I got more and more disappointed and that further decreased my production. I felt and still feel a lot of guilt (mainly because of media) about not providing for my daughter because she needed it so much.

I hope you find your sense of normalcy. I have found that normal is whatever you do for your little ones.

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