Beauty, Health, motherhood, Relationships, Self-Help, Women, Women Empowerment

The Baby Feeding Battle

When I found out I was pregnant, I was flooded with a million emotions. These emotions haven’t really left me even though I gave birth in late January to my child. I feel happiness. I feel sadness. I feel rage.

I could go on and on.

Motherhood is the best and worst thing at the same time. You’re scared probably 90 percent of the time you’re doing something wrong and the other 10 percent you are actually enjoying your child.

That brings me to the topic of this blog: feeding your newborn.

You’ve heard it a million times. You’ve seen it everywhere. And like it or not there is, unfortunately, a war between breast feeding and bottle feeding. What’s truly unfortunate about the whole war is that it is hard enough battling outside forces when it comes to feeding your child. The last thing on any woman’s mind should be fighting that battle with another woman that feeds differently than her.

Around week 20 of my pregnancy people had started to ask me if I planned to breast or bottle feed. Some of these people were health care professionals while others were counselors. Then, of course, there were the family members and strangers that would come up to you. I always responded truthfully with, “I am going to see what the baby wants. I plan on breastfeeding but if it doesn’t work out I will happily switch”

You would swear that I just told them I was going to drown my child in the ocean.

“Breast is best.”
“Don’t you care about your child?”
“You know your child will be smarter if you breastfeed.”

It happened every time I was asked. Eventually I just told people I planned on breastfeeding forever to get them off of my back. Which in hindsight, I should not have folded to societal demands.

It is said that research shows that breast is best. I’m not even going to argue that point because it’s not worth it. I encourage women to breast feed and I encourage women to bottle feed.

What research doesn’t tell you is how you, as a mother, will react to breast feeding.

I mean the emotional demons.

My child was breech and I had a c-section. Also, as a first time mom, my milk did not come in immediately. Actually, my colostrum didn’t even come in immediately. To top it off, my baby had low blood sugar. I wouldn’t say the deck was stacked against me, but it certainly made it very difficult to feed. I remember the hospital stay. Trying to get my colostrum to come in was the worst. They hooked me up to a pump and nothing came out. Absolutely nothing was coming out of me. So as I laid there listening to my child cry for nourishment, I felt pretty useless. The nurses kept putting her on me to feed and she would just get frustrated. They too would get frustrated. Well. I would be frustrated if I was trying to eat and nothing was coming out. Finally after her sugar went too low for their liking, they gave me some formula and a syringe to feed her. I felt relief because she finally was going to be fed.

It took six days for me to get my milk in. I became a slave to the pump and to my kid. But I was willing to do it to give her the best start in life. I supplemented formula only if absolutely necessary.

Then. All hell broke loose.

First, no one told me about lactation migraines. Every time I fed my baby for a prolonged period of time, my vision would blur and I would get this debilitating migraine. I would have to take my child off the breast just so I could see normally again. But again, I wanted what was best. Second, my baby became ill with a 24 hour bout of vomiting and diarrhea. I tried to feed from the breast, she would vomit. The next day I tried formula and she finally kept it down. I decided to try breast again and she would vomit.

I went like this for a week

Then, the demon known as post partum depression reared it’s ugly head.

I cried. I felt useless. Then I realized something: I’m not going to let my motherhood be defined by my boobs. I switched to formula and haven’t looked back.

Motherhood is not defined by a biological relation. Motherhood isn’t defined by how you feed your baby. Motherhood is the love you give to that little human being. Motherhood is making sure that child never suffers.

Breastfeeding wasn’t for us and I don’t regret that. My sanity and life has been saved by this decision. I can sit with my child and feed her and she smiles. She hears my voice and she smiles. I wasn’t going to let a failure to breastfeed take that away from me.

To all the mothers out there: you are beautiful. It doesn’t matter how you feed your baby, what does matter is that you respect that some women feed their babies differently than you. Next time you encounter a mom that feeds their baby differently, I encourage you to give that mom a pat on the back and tell her she is doing an awesome job. I still get crap for my decision to bottle feed from the pro-breast movement.

We need to #NormalizeFeeding.

And I mean all of it.

Check out my princess in this cutest baby contest and vote for her to win 🙂
https://www.bidiboo.com/baby/4581274260099263-Anya/

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Adventure, Beauty, Bucket List, Family, Feminism, God, Health, Ideals, Life Lessons, Love, Relationships, Self Improvement, Self-Help, Tragedy, Women

I Did Not Live Until

The internet is a vast source of information. One can pretty much get anything and everything he or she wants instantly, that is with the exception of things he or she must order and receive within four shipping days. There are pictures everywhere: pictures of cats, pictures of puppies, memes of television shows (personally, I love Gordon Ramsay memes) and quotes from your favorite movies. You can stream live videos. You can steal people’s identities……..

And now I have gotten completely off of my original topic.

Back to reality. Okay, the other day I was browsing the internet.  I had up tabs from Facebook to used car dealerships, to quotes about life, to pictures of various animals, to Game of Thrones spoilers……You name it. I happened across a saying that said, “You haven’t truly lived until you have created life.” I can’t even remember what search engine or quote site it popped up in because I had to leave right after I saw it. Nonetheless, the quote stuck with me…..

and it left a terrible taste in my mouth. There are two reasons why it did.

First, the whole notion of, “You haven’t lived until….” is rather crazy and stupid in my eyes. I mean, I could end the sentence rather easily and say, “You haven’t lived until you have died,” or rather literally with, “You haven’t lived until you have been born.” The notion that someone else could possibly live the same life as me is completely ridiculous; it’s my life and it is lived my way for a reason. That reason is not for someone else to try to tell me what I should be doing. I could compile a list of things that I have done that I think are the greatest things in the world, like, going to Walt Disney World. However, I am not naive enough to think that every, single person on this planet should go to Walt Disney World.

Second, the statement itself is just completely and totally ignorant. There are millions of women in the world that are physically unable to get pregnant. Millions of couples try to get pregnant each year, whether it be by intercourse or insemination. Guess what? A good portion of those women don’t ever get pregnant. Some of those women get pregnant but are never able to carry to term and miscarry. These couples then look to adoption to care for a child. My point is, how can anyone in the world have the nerve to say a statement like that when there are millions of women out there that cannot have that blessing. Motherhood isn’t defined solely on carrying a child in your womb. Yes, the blessing in and of itself exists, but to be a mother takes something more than just carrying a child for nine months. Being a mother is a calling, and I know many people who were called to it though they were unable to have children. I know some women that carried their babies and didn’t take care of them. Being a mother does not always mean just “carrying a child.” There is far more to it than that. With that being said, I feel it is apparent that it is grossly unfair to say that creating life is the pinnacle of living.  Many people do not get to create life, and they live. Many people who have created life abandon life.

And don’t think I’m one of those people who thinks that being in love is the pinnacle of life either. It is for me, but I know it isn’t for everyone.

Instead of everyone telling each other what that major, life-changing, “I lived” moment is, we should all have our own moment.

For me, “I did not live, until I understood death.”

What’s your moment?

And whatever it is, make it your own, not someone else’s.

Enjoy the Memes:

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Gordon Ramsay Meme
Gordon Ramsay Meme