Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Half Birthday Update!

Milo is the big 6 months today! Here are some things about him:

  • He's sleeping well through the night with only 1-2 feedings.
  • He loves to chew on absolutely anything. Especially plastic cups.
  • He is a rolly-polly kid now! I think I've seen him go 3 or 4 consecutive rolls just today. 
  • He always is willing to taste new things. He loves ketchup. We haven't really found a fruit he loves but we'll keep up the search.
  • He is definitely in 6-9 month or just 9 month clothes and fits in some 12 month stuff. 
  • He's getting really good at sitting up on his own! 
  • His highchair is definitely a great chill zone.
  • He is super interested in the animals and we can't wait to take him to the zoo this summer. 
We took some super cute pictures of him for his half birthday. He's seriously photogenic.

I'll upload more as I get them edited.

As for the holidays, we were busier than cuss but had a really great few weeks spending some much needed time with our family. Milo has been a real trooper with all these non-routine days and random naps but hopefully we'll get back into the swing of things soon.

Milo slept all through the night on Christmas Eve Eve and it was a Christmas MIRACLE! (He's done it before, but it's been a while.)

So I did write that on his actual half birthday but you know... Whatever. Now it's nearly midnight, Milo's been awake for about an hour and wouldn't stop crying in his sleep for 2 hours before that and I've tried a trillion things to try and get him back to sleep. I guess this is what we get for straying from normalcy for so long.

The moral of this story is STICK TO THE ROUTINE: GET HIM TO BED ON TIME.
I said he was a trooper? More like we both were. And now I'm paying for it in lost sleep and streams of mental swear words.

Send prayers that we can get back to things or else someone will soon be consumed in the belly of unhealthy eating and uncontrollable laziness. (that would be me.)

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

On Formula Feeding: MY STORY

I've been sitting on this thought for maybe a month now and it's been weighing heavily. Bear with me.

Yes, I feed my child formula.
No, he won't die because of it.
Yes, he still loves me.
No, I'm not against breastfeeding.

It really all started in the hospital when multiple lactation consultants and nurses came and shoved my hours-old baby's face into my boob while he just continued to scream. He would suck for maybe 30 seconds and then fall off and continue to cry. They tried sugar water, nipple shields, every position imaginable, all pillows, no pillows, he was checked for tongue-tied, all to no avail. Our second night there, they left him with me in the middle of the night to try and nurse without help. After so long trying to get it to work, I guess they just thought we had to muddle through it alone. We tried and fell asleep and then tried and then slept back and forth for maybe 5 hours. It wasn't pretty. At maybe 4 in the morning, we gave up and gave him a bottle.

I had to continue to tell myself it was okay as long as he was eating. It was hard. I was beyond exhausted and so was Milo.

When we got home, I kept trying to nurse and he kept falling off all the time but we got up to maybe 20 minutes of nursing at a certain point, after my milk came in. He ate and was still hungry. So we had no choice but to continue to supplement.

Long story short, I kept trying to nurse, we kept having to supplement. We bought the wrong formula which made him constipated and even less comfortable nursing until he just wouldn't even try anymore, just scream at my boob for however long till I just gave up and fed him from a bottle.

My heart broke. I knew all the benefits of nursing and I really wanted the best for him. I sobbed over it. I prayed about it. I fretted over it for weeks. And I had to just come to one conclusion, really.

I know what you're thinking. "UH, PUMPING?" and yeah. I tried that too. But honestly, I'd rather spend time playing and taking care of Milo than confined to a pump for however long only to get less than enough for even one feeding. It just wasn't worth it.

So I only have a few things to say on the topic generally.

WHY should it matter how I feed my child? Why do I feel so awful every time someone says anything on the subject, no matter how offensive they're being, even if they're not being offensive at all? I shouldn't have to feel the need to defend myself for making sure my baby is being fed. That's ridiculous. With all the hype of breastfeeding and negativity associated with formula, it just makes moms who are trying so hard to do their best feel so needlessly guilty.

And although there are trillions of benefits to breastfeeding, formula feeding has it's perks too. I can easily let someone else feed Milo if I'm unavailable. I get to sleep a little longer sometimes because Sean can take him for a shift. I can leave Milo with a babysitter without worrying if I've pumped enough. I don't feel like my eating habits need to be altered if he's having a gassy day (also known as I can more easily pinpoint why he's having tummy trouble).

Go ahead, breastfeed in public if you're so inclined. Pump exclusively. Nurse privately. Formula feed from birth. WHATEVER. Seriously, you shouldn't have to explain how you feed your kid as long as they're being loved and cared for. Isn't that all that really matters when they're all grown up? I don't think I know a single person who is mad at their parent for feeding them a certain way when they were an infant. That would just be a waste of so much time and energy.

I still have sad days where I wish I was nursing. I do miss breastfeeding sometimes even though it hurt way more than I ever imagined and was just so difficult. But I do feel better about things now that I can just focus on being a mom and making both of us happy rather than how uncomfortable we both are. I try really hard not to get offended when people bring up the fact that I'm not nursing, but it's really difficult. Even if they don't mean anything by it, it sort of feels like an attack sometimes. I know plenty of breastfeeders who aren't judging me but it's still not the easiest thing to talk about.

And I keep saying that I'll try harder with the next baby but I'm not going to be mad at myself or my baby if it still just doesn't work. If that's how it must be for us to have a happier life, then that's what's going to happen.

And we will both be better for it.

As I was writing this, I found a really great blog that helps people in my situation feel less alone:
It's so nice to know I'm not on my own in this because it sure feels like it.

Thanks for reading. I'm so happy to get it off my chest.
Love, Miss Ellen

P.S. -  MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!! I'll post about Milo's first holidays once things settle down. We've still got family in town and have been seriously busy the past few weeks.