Sunday, January 9, 2011

My New Favorite Thing

This morning in the quiet hours I quietly sat with Z while I gave him his bottle. It was was wonderful. I never realized how comforting and relaxing it could be to bottlefeed my baby. I loved nursing him, I loved the closeness and the cuddling and that wonderful feeling of contentment when he fell asleep nursing and I would just sit there and rock him for awhile but lately that hadn't been our nursing experiences. There was a lot of stress and a lot of tears. I could never tell whether or not he was getting enough, and I don't think he was. As soon as we'd finish feeding, there would be a lot of tears. I tried nursing him more to get my milk supply up but he would latch on and then rip off screaming. Mike finally suggested that I try formula, and even though I was never really all that attached to breastfeeding (or so I thought) I was shocked at how against that I was. I never planned to nurse him the full year, I always thought around 9 months but actually stopping - thats a HUGE step. You can't go back. Once you make that decision, its almost impossible to change. But after days of Z screaming, I needed to try something. And an amazing thing happened, he happily took a bottle of half formula half breastmilk from Grandma and then he stopped drinking and smiled. It had been weeks since he had finished a nursing session with a smile. After that, we decided to go for it. It was still so hard on me, I was surprised but I knew for me, it was the right thing to do. I know a lot of people think "Breast is Best" and I agree. I think everyone should at least try to nurse and they should nurse as long as they can because it is best and however much you can do will help your baby. But at this stage in Z's life, formula is the best thing for him. He's a whole new baby. He's happy. He sleeps better. He's even almost back to going through the night! He wakes up at 5:30 or 6:00 for a bottle and then sleeps until 7:30. Life has just been easier for us. And gently holding him while he quietly and contently has his meal, best feeling in the world!
I don't think people realize that bottlefeeding can still be a time of connecting with your baby. I think I was so scared to stop nursing because then would Z still love me the same way. Would he still be comforted immediately by me? Would I be any different than Daddy? I know he loves Mike but I also know that Z and I have a special connection, would that be gone when I stopped nursing? No. Nothing changed except I had a happier baby. I am DEFINATELY NOT trying to advocate formula because I truly believe that nothing is better for your baby than breastmilk. It's amazing. I LOVE how God designed our bodies. We have this amazing way to feed our babies that changes as he grows to be exactly what he needs, heck it changes during the day to be exactly what he needs. But I also know that just like I now give him medicine when he's sick and have the health care system to take care of him, there are alternatives to breast milk. Safe ones that will still allow my baby to be healthy and happy. And I think that a lot of people judge me for that. Especially Christians. It's not natural, it's not the way God intended, etc, etc. I've heard it all. And I've told myself that. But you know, I'm sleeping better, Z is sleeping better, I'm handling life better these days and now Mike can even help with feedings which really is huge. And I'm okay with that.

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