Choosing Formula

3:49 PM

Anyone who can breastfeed, should breastfeed!

This one sentence ruined me. These 6 little words made me feel like this worst mom on the planet. They tore me up inside. Kept me up at night. Brought me to tears on an hourly basis.

This one sentence broke my heart. Because I believed it. And I still do.

But let me tell you how I swept my little mommy heart up off the floor and glued it all back together again...

I think it goes without saying that there is nothing more stressed out than a new mom. Grey hairs literally start sprouting on top of our heads from all the stress and worry these tiny humans bring with them when they enter this world. We want to give them the very best of everything, and breastfeeding is one of those things.

But what if you cant?

What if you try and fail? What if your milk never comes in? What if you are forced back to work and your job leaves no time to pump? What if your child isn't growing? What if you suffer from a medical condition? Ok, then you turn to formula. And you feel ok about it because you tried your best.

But, what if you can?

This is my story...

I was terrified that I wouldn't be able to breast feed. My mom struggled with milk production, and I had breast implants removed. There was no way my dysfunctional milk machines were going to produce. So, I prepared. I researched and researched and researched. If I couldn't give my new baby breast milk then I wanted to give him the second best option. I wanted organic, but not just USDA Organic (which I think is bullshit, and probably deserves another post completely!) I wanted organic that I felt I could trust. So I searched and searched until I found a brand I loved. All the way over in Germany. I ordered $500 worth. Yes, my husband questioned my sanity, but I didn't care. I wanted to be prepared.

Imagine my surprise when Smith came into this world and, woop, look at that, my milk machines are working!

But we struggled, oh did we struggle. I felt like all I did was nurse. And I wasn't comfortable doing it in public, so I felt like all I did was sit at home. If you know me, you know sitting around snuggled in bed is not my style. Smith was sensitive to everything. I tried giving up coffee....kill me. I tried giving up dairy...kill me again. I became depressed. (my body was likely responding to the lack of caffeine, ice cream and mac n cheese) I went to a lactation consultant because things just weren't feeling normal. Why was my baby on my boob all day long and still screaming like he hated me? She sweetly explained that I might just have to nurse every half hour day and night...without coffee...or ice cream...or mac n cheese. I almost slapped her.

By 2 weeks Smith had dropped so much weight it was considered dangerous. He just couldn't get full. That's when my pediatrician recommended supplementing with formula. I wasn't thrilled, but at least I had my german gold waiting for me at home.

But it didn't work. Smith spit it all up.

So, let's recap:

  • my non fat breast milk wont fill up my kid
  • my milk producing machines will only work if used around the clock day and night
  • my fancy formula is all over my couch
What the fuck am I going to do now?

I didn't want to nurse anymore. That is the honest truth. The stress it was causing me that Smith wasn't getting full, wasn't gaining weight...I couldn't take it. But I also didn't want to give my baby conventional formula. I was torn. I was sad. 

I started researching alternatives. I came across a lot of information about making formula. Some were ridiculous, like...
"Oh, it's easy, just take this liver partially cook it and sift it through a cheese cloth. When you're done with that, boil the juice for exactly 1 minute and 30 seconds. Take the juice and..." 
WTF? I couldn't even remember if I showered this week. That wasn't going to work.

Finally, I came across something that seemed easy enough for me to do on a daily basis. It was a goat milk based formula created by a chemist, and dad, for his daughter who was sensitive to dairy. I studied it and compared it, and became obsessed with it. Most importantly...I liked it! To read about this family's journey with goat milk formula and to get the recipe please click here.

So, that's what we did. I started making formula every day. By 10 weeks we had completely switched and I stopped breast feeding. By 6 months I was only having to make it every 2 or 3 days. And today....today I made my very last batch of formula! Today, I will fill up my 1 year olds last bottles. Today I cried. Today I cried because I thought back on the struggle. The search. The solution. I cried because of the guilt I felt for choosing not to breast feed my baby for his first year when some mothers would kill for that choice. But then I cried because I know I did what was best for us. I cried because even though it was sometimes hard to get up at 5am to make formula before the baby woke, I did it. I cried because I know every ingredient I put in my child's body even though it wasn't ingredients from my own body.

I cried because I did my very best. 
I cried because, to Smith, I am good enough.

xoxo,
Krystin

To follow along on our journey as first time moms please follow us on instagram.


If you have any questions about making your own baby formula, or choosing to give up nursing please leave us a comment of email me at smithandjunie@gmail.com

The recipe for the formula I chose can be found here:
http://www.mtcapra.com/discover-how-this-homemade-goat-milk-infant-formula-changed-my-daughters-life/

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