So...this is the new me. Well, it was a couple of days ago. Sans tattoo, sans 30 pounds of makeup. Okay, I looked like good ol' Pamela Anderson between the throat and the waist. Because even if you're not nursing your newborn, your body still insists on making milk.
Some of you may wonder, "Why in the world would you deny your baby her mother's milk? After all, 'Breast is best'!" I love my baby, but honestly what I've found works best for me is not nursing. Let me take you through a little history of my experiences with nursing.
Jakob: He ate every hour and a half. And during growth spurts, it was every 40 minutes. My land, just feed me hay and call me Bessie! FYI to those of you who have never had a baby: EVERYTHING is emotional, from getting your mail to what you had for lunch. So feeding him that often really took a toll on me emotionally. We did alright though, but when I started him on solids at 5 1/2 months, I started formula, too, and felt...light and free.
Brock: We just couldn't get our act together at night. He was in a bassinet next to our bed, so I would just lift him out to feed him. But when it takes three or four tries to get a good latch going, in between I would be spraying him and myself and my bedsheets. So after finally getting it all worked out, and it was time for me to attempt to sleep again, I would have to either lay in my own milk or sleep in a position even contortionists would find uncomfortable. At two months I tried supplementing just one feeding, which quickly turned to two, and so on. I was never happier.
Troy: I started right off with formula. He was sleeping through the night at three weeks old (nope, not a typo-three WEEKS). And before that he would get up only once or twice during the night. He was a super chill baby, but also it takes longer for formula to digest, and it's easier for a baby to drink from a bottle. It rocked. I could one-handed feed while helping my other children with things during the day. I could even let other people hold him and feed him.
Ivy: Her brothers LOVE holding her, and feeding her. And they can! And because I had experienced the Pam Anderson look with Troy, I was more prepared for it this time around. Thanks, Vicodin and ice packs! So far she gets up about twice a night to eat.
Obviously, I'm pro formula, but that only goes as far as pro formula for myself. Each to their own. Some women love to nurse. Some women can't stand it. Some babies can't handle formula; some do better with it. I say do what you want; I'm just grateful that formula has come as far as it has so my baby can get what she needs, and I can get what I need emotionally. I still feel like I bond with my baby, maybe even more so with a bottle because she looks up at my face instead of in toward my armpit.
Yes, formula is expensive, but it's worth every penny for my sanity. And since there's very little of that right now (YAHOO for hormones!) I'll take every bit I can get!
And now I'll get off my soapbox.