A picture says a thousand words…
It was the day of Audrey’s weight checkup at the pediatrician’s. When the nurse placed her on the scale, my heart sank. She regained some of the weight she had lost after birth (as most babies do) only to lose it all again. I will never forget that daunting number the scale displayed as my little baby lay there crying.
I went on to answer the nurse’s questions…
Is she breast fed? Yes, exclusively.
How many times does she nurse a day? At least 12…
It wasn’t a roller coaster of emotions that I felt. In that doctors office, there were no high points. It was a downward spiral. It took everything I had to keep it together. I was scared, and I felt like I failed her. There is not a feeling worse than that of failing your baby.
We were told that we would have to supplement.
Let me be clear; supplementing was NOT what hurt my heart that day. What crushed me was knowing that she needed more of something that she depended on me for. As a matter of fact, supplementing was what, almost immediately, brought me back from that dark place I was in.
We left the doctors office and headed straight to the store to purchase formula. When we got home, I fixed a bottle and suggested that Derek give it to her. It was her first bottle, and I thought it only right that her dad had the chance to feed her. I was nervous that she wouldn’t know what to do with it, but that wasn’t the case.
RELIEF. The amount of relief that we felt was indescribable. A huge weight was immediately lifted off of my shoulders when I saw her truly “milk drunk” for the first time.
I now pump. I now breast feed. I now fix bottles of formula. It is what’s BEST for us.
Yes, I still get a sinking feeling when I remember that number on the scale. However, I do not for one second feel the slightest bit guilty for feeding my baby formula. So when I look at the picture of Derek feeding Audrey for the first time, I feel joy. I feel comfort knowing that she is now satisfied and back on track.
Before having Audrey, I was oblivious to the fact that there was even such a thing as National Breastfeeding Week.
While I do find breastfeeding worthy of such recognition (it is HARD work), I want to remind you that there are circumstances that people, not just mothers, face where breastfeeding isn’t an option. I find the “breast is best” statement to be an opinion.
Parents who adopt or foster.
Mothers who cant breastfeed due to medication.
Mothers who simply don’t produce enough despite every attempt to up their supply.
Mothers who have other children to take care of and no time.
Mothers who supplement.
And yes, mothers who simply do not want to breast feed for their own personal reasons.
The bottom line is that while breast milk is amazing… science has proven it and it has been preached to us constantly throughout the duration of this week… a baby’s full belly is what’s important. We need to remember that while breast milk is ideal, everyone’s circumstances are so very different.
So let’s just continue to do the best we can! It is ALL hard work, and I commend anyone who is giving it their best…breast or not. ❤