Feed Me.

Ahh where to begin. The logical start I suppose would be Oscar’s birth. He was an 11lb baby, who quickly lost almost 2lbs and we have been on an uphill battle to help him beef up ever since. I exclusively breastfed him until 5 months when Jerry and I made the decision to add 1 bottle of formula to his diet daily. We chose to do this, not to acheive some magic weight number, but because no matter how often I nursed, how much fenugreek I took, or the amount of pumping I did, he. was. always. hungry.

I was so SO nervous about introducing anything other than my milk because of all the horror stories I had read. You know the ones. Like, the minute I showed my son a bottle, he cried every time I reached for my shirt kind of stories. I was so worried that it would become a slippery slope to early weaning and that was not my goal AT ALL. So we decided that his last feeding of each day would be a bottle of formula and that Jerry would feed it to him. We have since increased this to 2 bottles in the evening, but the 2nd bottle is adding another feeding, not replacing one. THE BOY CAN EAT.

Oh the doubts that come with a decision like this. Was I failing my baby somehow? Was I failing myself? All these questions. This was not what I had planned. Another change? Can we do this? The doubts….. and yet, the freedom! Wow, I now had the ability to make dinner, pump milk for making cereal and create an opportunity for Jerry to have those precious moments of feeding our son. I still nurse him all day and if he needs to eat overnight (he eats 7-8 times a day) so I don’t feel as if I am missing out. After a while, the doubts gave way to confidence. Interesting how it works that way. Jerry loves his time with Oscar and I love standing in the doorway watching the two of them study each other. I know that moment. I LOVE that moment and now we both get to have it!

No, it won’t work for everyone. And yes, I have to really watch my supply and make sure that I don’t fall behind. But for the past month, combo feeding has made us a MUCH happier family and we seem to have found some balance. I am proud that I made it to 5 months exclusively breastfeeding despite the circumstances and hope to continue partial breastfeeding for many more months. It just goes to show that flexibility is the key to raising a happy family. And what works for someone else, might not work for me. And that is ok.

  • Emily

    That is awesome y'all have found your balance. And you are an awesome mom and wife for doing what you know is best! I struggled with BF'ing in the beginning, not because Emma was huge, but because she was 5 weeks early and tiny. We had to supplement. It is a hard decision, but since you are okay with it (and Oscar)…that is all that matters!

  • Jessica

    I agree with Emily you are an awesome mom. I think almost all women have the capability to exclusively breastfeed their baby for a long time but it's ALOT harder than it sounds. Babies Eat ALOT and Often. No one really prepares you for that. I applaud all moms who are determined to breastfeed their child no matter how long or challenging it may be.

  • The Land of Luke & Ella

    I was able to breastfeed both of mine excuslively but at about 6 months I was able to pump for Luke and give him a bottle if I had to leave (working at the time) and Greg really liked the participation. Luke weened himself at 10 months once he mastered walking! Now Ella, she would NEVER take a pumped bottle or any bottle for that matter. I honestly WISH that Greg got the opportunity to feed her. It is such a precious time and it is important for daddies to feel that as well!! And Ella…well she is 19 months and I STILL have to fight her off of nursing with a sippy cup. She now asks…"nurse" ….so for me… it is just time to quit. So yeah….good going there Andrea! =) I accepted long ago that God equiped me to be a mother and I know what is best for my children. I pray and make a decision. I try to spend very little time concerned about what other moms will think. No two children are alike and there are no absolutes. You just learn your baby and go from there. It is a beautiful thing as you see=)

  • The Land of Luke & Ella

    I was able to breastfeed both of mine excuslively but at about 6 months I was able to pump for Luke and give him a bottle if I had to leave (working at the time) and Greg really liked the participation. Luke weened himself at 10 months once he mastered walking! Now Ella, she would NEVER take a pumped bottle or any bottle for that matter. I honestly WISH that Greg got the opportunity to feed her. It is such a precious time and it is important for daddies to feel that as well!! And Ella…well she is 19 months and I STILL have to fight her off of nursing with a sippy cup. She now asks…"nurse" ….so for me… it is just time to quit. So yeah….good going there Andrea! =) I accepted long ago that God equiped me to be a mother and I know what is best for my children. I pray and make a decision. I try to spend very little time concerned about what other moms will think. No two children are alike and there are no absolutes. You just learn your baby and go from there. It is a beautiful thing as you see=)

  • Amy

    I saw a mom refer to her kid as a leech once, and it cracked me up. I feel like no matter how much of any and everything else Micah eats, he nurses so frequently! I agree with you, adding an extra bottle of formula definitely won't hurt the kid or you, especially if you are not even replacing one of the nursing sessions.

    Good job!

  • Angie

    Good for you! Being a 'MUCH happier family' is more important than exclusive breastfeeding. Babies can tell if you're stressed out, unhappy or tired. I'm glad you have the courage to recognize what Oscar needs even if it doesn't fit your original ideas of what being the perfect mother entails.

  • Gerald L. Updyke

    I also applaud you for being determined to breastfeed Oscar, and continuing to do so!

  • Paige

    Would you like to breastfeed mine too, since you are already doing 8, what's another feeding? He doesn't want to give it up, and I am quite certain I've done the time (18 months!)

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