Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Bottle Battle

Feeding Kate has always been an interesting thing. From the beginning she was a great nurser, lots better than my other kids ever were. I prayed and prayed while I was pregnant that I would be able to nurse her, and I was thrilled that I could. But, she was a terrible sleeper, and partly because she was horribly gassy. The doctor suggested that I go off dairy for a while to see if that helped, and it did, almost immediately, but I felt tortured. I had no idea how much dairy I used to eat on a daily basis! Seriously, I could not figure out what to eat! Also, from the time Kate was a week or two old we had given her a bottle every day or so because I can't handle the pressure of a baby that doesn't take a bottle, and she did great...until we got lazy and weren't giving her bottles regularly, then she decided she would not take one, no way, no how! So, a small fortune and lots of time later we found a bottle she would take, but only if we gave it to her really often. So I started pumping every chance I got to keep up with her, and tried a few formulas. We thought soy would work being that she doesn't like dairy, but she threw it up, and threw it we moved on to the lactose free formula and that seemed to do the trick (and cost a fortune). By this point I was wondering if it was all worth it. Pumping is hard when you have three kids and you still have to feed the baby, so time consuming. I agonized and fretted about what to do, go back to nursing exclusively and deal with a baby that won't take a bottle, or give up nursing and let her have the bottle. I really struggled. I changed my mind daily, if not hourly. Kate is most likely our last baby and I just didn't want to give up on nursing when this is the first time I've really been able to enjoy it, but it seemed I couldn't have it both ways. I finally decided I would pump as much as I could and bottle feed during the day, supplementing as needed, and breastfeed at night as long as my supply would hold out, since I obviously wouldn't be pumping every 3 hours. I finally decided a couple days ago that I just needed to make a clean break and switch to complete bottle feeding. But, of course, the first day I made that decision I was an emotional wreck. I was teary all day. I nursed her that night to go to bed and was heart broken and questioned my decision all over again. But, after another day of agonizing I've decided I really just need to wean or I will torture myself with this decision for months and end up making myself miserable. So, I'm slowly weaning so she'll still get some breast milk for a while, and I still plan to nurse her at night if I have anything for her for a few more days, but I've had to just bite the bullet. I, of course, keep asking myself if I'm doing it for selfish reasons, this has truly been hard on me. My other kids were exclusively bottle fed by six weeks, so you'd think I could handle this decision. She actually seems to be thriving on formula, she's really chunked up the past couple of weeks and is happy and sleeping a little better, so I need to just take a deep breath and know that this is the right thing to do. Why are decisions so hard! I just want to do what's best for her and for me...

Anyway, decision made. I'm dealing. And I'm looking forward to a boat of alfredo sauce and a gallon of ice cream. Thank you very much.

1 comment:

BensonFam said...

I will join you in your boat of alfredo sauce my dear. Girl's night out at olive garden? :) Good luck this week.