Who Cares How you Feed your Baby...Just Feed the Babe
When I became a mother I felt so much pressure to conform to how society wanted me to raise my child, I cried for the first two weeks and had no idea how I was going to make it through. I didn’t feel like me anymore. However, the smile on sweet Mila’s face gave me strength as I tried to navigate this new world of Motherhood. I felt as though I had been relatively good at most things I tried in life, but this was a battle that I felt I was constantly losing, the fear of judgement from other mothers, the fear of anything happening to Mila while she was in my care…I lost sleep stressing about every single little detail. The constant voice in the back of my head of “breast is best”, will haunt me to this day. Due to complications during delivery, Mila was not having it and what I did for the next four months, not only drained me emotionally and physically; it proved to me that all mom’s are badasses. I would bottle feed our baby girl and then continue to pump right after to make sure that she would be provided the same benefits of breast milk that she deserved. It was in my power to control this one thing and I did it. After sleepless nights, Roberto would sweetly say - “we were all formula babies and we survived!” In my mind, there was nothing wrong with formula, but the fear of people finding out and thinking I “gave up” caused me intense fear to not give her formula. I remember the pediatrician almost scolding me and saying “she must always go to the breast first”, I sat there with a blank stare and cried and cried. It was just something that wasn’t going to happen. The moment I let go of society caring, I felt an instant sigh of relief. I kept going and pumped for four months and then transitioned her to formula. That’s right, we moved her to formula. Introducing her to formula was another low point of motherhood, that first projectile vomit, because she was allergic to cow's milk, that first snuggle in your chest because she doesn’t feel good…its heartbreaking.
Throughout those first four months, I leaned on so many of my friends who also recently had babies and asked for advice, what I realized is that everyone was doing something different, every kid was different (and alive) and you could hear the glimmer of hope in their voices as they made it day-by-day. To my friends (you know who you are), thank you. I wouldn’t have made it without your encouragement. To my mother, thank you for constantly reminding me that I'm killing it at this motherhood thing and that I was too a formula baby and am as healthy as ever.
No one ever tells you how extremely hard breastfeeding is. Something so natural is so unnatural and difficult. You do have those women that it comes easier to and to be honest, it irritates me. Not because they can do something I couldn't, but because I feel like they're flaunting it. Case and point, I follow this blogger, she just had a baby 2 months ago and she will Insta story while breastfeeding her baby (luckily, we get the ultimate close up of her face). She has a full face of makeup (rude), hair done (ugh), and all smily. My exact thoughts...you lie, you know you're in excruciating pain and your nipple may or may not bleeding. Ok, I know I said I wasn't going to judge. But, I just wish she would come out and speak about how her baby didn't magically latch. That it took time, a lactation consultant; etc. Or maybe, it did happen that magically. But, in my experience and in chatting with my friends - that's not always the case. I just want people to be honest about their experience instead of hiding behind the nursing cover and act like it was so easy for them. If it was...share why, help mother's, empower them. If it wasn't, talk about it.
Apologies, I digress. During my 4 months of becoming a cow, I had the strangest things happen to me, secondary to the immense lack of sleep. I mean, think about it...I would feed the baby (when I wanted Roberto to get some sleep - because I'm literally the best wife). Then put her back to sleep, then I would pump for 30-35 mins (had to get that gold juice up and running) and then clean the parts, label it, run down to the fridge and then close my eyes for 20 mins and do it...ALL. OVER. AGAIN. I remember looking down at one point and cringing as I turned on the pump, those first few pumps I would see red and have to remind myself to breathe. But, I looked down and saw blood pumping into the utters..err I mean bottles. I instantly panicked. Called my best friend and we went on a Googling rampage of what in the world was wrong. It sucked. I was in pain, I cried and then of course had to pump because..well, my baby needed to eat.
Listen...every mom has a journey and I truly believe in doing what is right for you and your family. No one should judge another parent for their decision on how they want to raise their kid. We are all just trying to survive, raise decent human beings that will someday change the world and make us proud. If feeding your baby formula is what you want…do it, if you want to pump…do it, If you want to breastfeed...go for it! if you want to give your baby Chick-fil-a...do it (but, maybe ask your pediatrician about that one) Whatever keeps you sane and happy…DO IT. So, let me do what I need to do and you do what you need to do.
I’m just out here trying to raise a lady boss.