I didn’t breastfeed. the moosh had a bottle within the first 24 hours of her life.
She was bottle fed with formula for her entire first year of life.
And guess what? She’s darn healthy and well adjusted for a little kid who had a bottle shoved down her maw for the first 12 months of her life.
Now some die hard breastfeeding mother out there is grumbling at me.
Boy howdy did I try.
In the first few moments after she was born, I nursed her. It was so easy, so natural. Even the nurses said I made it look too easy. After the first day, things weren’t going so well. I was bleeding, I was chapped, I was sore. I dreaded nursing her. Nurses and lactation consultants came in to help (read, lactation consultants came in and felt me up something fierce.) Yet nothing came out, not even the colostrum they promised me would come. the tiny moosh screamed, and after a bottle she calmed down, she fell asleep, and I felt relieved. (And when I say relieved I mean I felt a huge amount of guilt for giving my child a bottle because I was going to be nurser extraordinaire.) There was no physical change in my boobs. Not throughout pregnancy, not after birth. (Well, except for the saggy thing. Darn you sag.)
Pediatricians and nurses kept telling me to KEEP UP WITH THE NURSING! My milk would come! Don’t give up! Don’t be one of those moms! Nursing will save society! I promised them I would.
Thus began my ritual of nurse, feed, pump. Every time the moosh woke up to eat I would start by nursing her, even though nothing was coming out. I would then have to bottle feed her because homegirl was hungry and pissed that all I did was shove an empty boob in her mouth. When she was finally settled down it was time for me to pump.
Encourage those puppies to produce!
Yet nothing ever came out. The only thing that hit the inside of that bottle was my sore bleeding nipple.
I did this at every feeding for two weeks.
I tried Reglan.
Correction, I was prescribed Reglan but the good pharmacist caught that I had a history of anti depressants and encouraged me to talk with the doctor that prescribed it. When I told the doctor that I was prone to intense depression he said “DO NOT TAKE THAT REGLAN.” Apparently Reglan, let loose in a postpartum woman’s system with a history of depression can lead to the postpartum woman jumping in front of moving cars and stuff.
Way to take a good history DOCTOR.
This is when I began to realize not a single doctor or nurse who forced nursing upon me was aware of my sickness while pregnant. I got pregnant at 180 pounds, I went home from the hospital with a new baby at 120 pounds.
That’s how sick I was.
No one bothered to consider that I was so emaciated from cooking that little baby that I had absolutely no reserves left for making milk. How could they? As soon as the moosh came out I was done with the puking.
I called the lactation consultant assigned to my boobs and asked her if there was a possibility that it would be physically impossible for me to nurse due to my HG while pregnant.
“I suppose” she said.
“Well then I’m done, this is ridiculous. You can come pick up your machine (pump) tomorrow.”
“But ma’am! There’s so much you haven’t tried! Brewer’s yeast! Supplemental nursers!”
I cut her off. “I am bloody, I am tired, my body is physically incapable of providing milk for my baby. I was bottle fed and I turned out okay. I’m sure my kid will too. Thank you.”
And guess what? The guilt was gone. the moosh was bottle fed, which was actually a huge blessing for me because it allowed others to watch her while I recovered from some serious postpartum depression.
So there you go.
I didn’t breastfeed. I tried. My body failed me.