I unexpectedly (and reluctantly) moved back to my hometown. I unexpectedly fell for an old high school classmate, and he unexpectedly proposed to me. We unexpectedly found out I was pregnant, and we got married sooner than expected. Now, we're experiencing the unexpected daily...the good, the bad, the funny, the frustrating. Read all about it...

Monday, December 6, 2010

F* Without Guilt!

ANYWHERE!
ANY TIME YOU WANT!
DO IT!
AND DO IT WITH PRIDE!
YOU CAN DO IT BY YOURSELF.
OR WITH A PARTNER.
OR YOUR BEST FRIEND.
HECK, YOUR NEIGHBOR.
EVEN YO’ MAMA!

Huh?! What?!

Just listen (or read, rather).

I felt two types of guilt.

The First Type: I felt guilty because I thought my husband felt left out, and I wanted a way for him to feel included.

The Second Type: I felt guilty because, when I chose to do it, I thought I was a bad person.

I’M TALKING ABOUT FORMULA FEEDING, PEOPLE!

Get your mind out the gutter.

While I was pregnant, I was adamant about being the type of mother who breastfed for at least the first six months of my son’s life. I planned on pumping out bottles like a Coca-Cola factory when I had to go to work, or if I ever just needed a break. I was prepared to have my son attached to my hip, so that I could feed him every two hours, round the clock, day in, day out.

I was convinced that the best moms breastfed their babies.

However…

The First Type made me realize that if I breastfed exclusively, my husband might feel useless (for lack of better words). If my baby cried out of hunger while my husband held him, I felt so bad having to take him so he could eat. It seemed like I was taking away quality time between father and son.

The Second Type made me feel like a lazy, careless mother for not going the all-natural route of exclusive breastfeeding. I felt selfish for wanting a break from constantly waking up to feed my baby. I felt selfish for wanting to go back to work, instead of being at my son’s beck and call 24/7. I also felt bad because older mothers were proud of my decision to breastfeed, since it does take a lot of dedication (and pain tolerance!).

I came to the conclusion that combining breast and formula feeding would please both sides. My husband could feed him and I would not feel bad about them not being able to bond at all. My son takes to formula well, unlike some babies who get sick from it. I could still give my son what’s considered the best diet for his growth and development.

However…

My son screeched constantly after feedings, and unless I gave him a bottle to supplement, he was not getting enough to fill his little tummy.

Then I realized that my own diet was actually hurting my son. I barely ate anything, and when I did eat, it sure as heck wasn’t the right amount of vitamins and minerals and stuff like that. It wasn’t enough for me, let alone me and him. I figured that formula would always supply my son with the important stuff that may not always be available from me. Sometimes, people do not realize that breastfeeding is a lot like being pregnant still. You have to eat for two, meaning eating sensibly for two. I could get by with eating only a sandwich or two, with a few snacks in between. But that wasn’t going to be enough for both me and my son, nope!

So I came to the conclusion that formula works better for us.

Oh no! (Gasp!) No way! Not formula!!

Whatever.

My son is developing very normally, even slightly faster than some breastfed babies. He is extremely happy - I’ve said this a dozen times - he smiles and laughs way more than he fusses and cries.

And most importantly…he is healthy.

In the battle of Breast Milk v. Formula...ding, ding, ding! a happy child with either diet wins.

If you feel alone in the world because everyone hates you for being a "quitter" for turning to formula, don't worry about what other people are thinking. Every baby is different. Every situation is different. Formula is made to be almost exactly like breast milk (unfortunately, it's the word "almost" that gets people's panties all tied up in knots). I say...

F* all you want, sister!

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