two weeks ago, we made the switch from nursing to bottle feeding.
it has been one of the hardest things i have done.
what was i doing wrong? why was she not eating? why couldn't i do this?
i called her doctor. i called nursing hotlines. i talked to moms. i spent hours doing online research. nothing helped. after a lot of talking and crying (on my part), cory and i made the decision to bottle feed jude. i was determined to pump because it felt like the whole mommy world was telling me "breast is best" and if i didn't get breast milk into my baby, shame on me.
i had pumped a a few times before to save up for that blessed nighttime feed, but pumping for a whole day was a different story. when you pump, you have to keep a rigorous schedule in order to keep your milk supply up. so every three hours i pumped for an hour (20-30 minutes on each side) and prayed jude would stay asleep. i cried when i saw i'd barely gotten two ounces from both sides (and that was on a good day). there was nothing more devastating to me than seeing five drops of milk in a 4 oz bottle after 20 minutes of pumping. talk about kicking a sister while she's down.
i have all the love and respect in the world for mothers who consistently pump.
you are incredible.
cory came home to two bawling babies.
"i can't do this. i just can't."
"okay. then brissa, we're done. we're going to formula feed her because this isn't worth it."
"but cory. she needs breast milk. i am supposed to be able to do this. why can't i do this?"
and then he looked at me and said, "no. stop it. you are not a bad mom. this isn't something you did wrong. this is not your fault. she just won't eat. so many babies take formula. look at maty. look at how healthy and happy he is. he never had breast milk. jude will be okay."
so we switched. we switched and i had to learn how to not feel like a failure or a quitter or a bad mom because of it. and, honestly, how stupid is it that? how dumb is it that because of everything i read online and the pressure i put on myself, i felt like a failure because my baby simply didn't want to nurse?
it's amazing how quickly we all calmed down after we made the switch. jude was getting enough food and she was getting it fast. i don't think i was producing as much as she needed and she wasn't getting it quick enough. homegurl likes to eeaaattt. cory and i got more sleep and my crying sessions spaced themselves out a bit more. which was a blessing in itself. i finally felt like i was able to focus all my attention on being a good mom.
now that i've written this out, i'm wondering why i did. i guess what i'm trying to say is that we need to be kinder to ourselves. we need to remember that we are all doing the best we can. it's sad to see that so much of the mom-shaming going on today is mostly self-inflicted. no one is better than someone else. we need to do what works best for us and our babies. because, honestly. as long as they're happy, what else matters?
jude is happy.
jude is healthy.
jude is formula fed.
and that's okay.