Hello, cabbage leaves!
I'm guessing you guys have figured out by now that we have decided that formula feeding is the way to go for us and I feel like a giant weight has been lifted off of my chest...and it's literally getting lighter by the minute as this milk dries up!
When I wrote my first post, Is Breast Best? a few days ago, I think I wrote it with the choice already made, and just needed some reassurance and confidence that I was doing the right thing. After a few nights of prayer (I bet God has heard many women weep to Him over sore boobs and lack of supply!) and a TERRIBLE bout of mastitis the day after my first post (there's an answer for you!) and a carefree day of keeping my boobs in my bra, it's been overly apparent that parenting has become so much less stressful and much more enjoyable. Obviously this is not the choice for everyone but for us, it's changed many parts of our day for the better. Let me explain...
Some people may be thinking that we made a selfish decision to deprive Chloe of the liquid gold my body was (barely) producing but here's what I think. First of all, I wish breastfeeding would have been easy and wonderful for us...but it wasn't. For all of you moms who are having success...YAY for you! :) But for me, it was dreadful. Not altogether torture, but I literally dreaded every time I had to pop open that nursing bra. I needed a schedule, I needed to know how much she was eating, and I needed to keep my boobs "put up" for more than a couple hours at a time. I am just the type of person who needs structure to keep sane and breastfeeding seemed quite chaotic for me. Again, I'm not saying breastfeeding is bad, the few times it worked well for us were beautiful. I think the Lord designed it wonderfully to feed and nourish new life....but I'm also thankful he helped put formula on the shelf! PRAISE.THE.LORD! Can I get an AMEN!?!
This bout of mastitis has been A.W.F.U.L. Quite possibly the SICKEST I've ever been. I just don't want to deal with that possibly coming back again. Easy reason, right? If you disagree, let me know how you feel after having an extremely bad case of the flu + a boob the size of a bowling ball that you can't touch or move without cringing. It's that bad.
Another reason is that I really enjoy the help of having people feed Chloe occasionally. Not only does she get the chance to bond with other people, I get to jump in the shower (AHH!), maybe even shave if I'm lucky!, grab a couple extra hours of sleep, or just chill out for a few minutes. It's a little piece of heaven for a new mom. Mom's have needs too...even after baby arrives. Mom meeting her own needs doesn't mean she loves her baby any less or will let any of baby's needs suffer...I think it just means Mom is smart and knows that to take care of others you have to take good care of yourself. Selfish? Naw. Smart? Yes!
I can see that formula is gonna drain the pocketbook a little and my hands are gonna be a little dry from washing all the bottles (a good reason to get some new hand cream...score!) but hey, I'll trade that any day over sore nipples, confusion if my sweet girl is getting enough to eat, and being confined to the pump like a ball and chain. I'm happier. Chloe is JUST as happy. And hubby's happy too, even more so when ESPN is on during his turn.
So there you have it. Thanks SO VERY MUCH for all your comments, advice, and support for either way. And best of luck to you all who are on the same journey, whether it be by breast or bottle. As moms, we all just want to do the very best we possibly can for our child. We want our child to be healthy and happy. We want to be healthy and happy, too. Ultimately, it's not breastmilk OR formula that nourish, protect, and grow our children. It's the Lord who does this and I trust him to help Chloe grow stronger and healthier every day despite the means we choose to put food into her body.
So pop open a can of Similac or pop out a breast and let's make a toast. Here's to the efforts we're all making to become the best moms that we can be! Cheers!