Fed is best

I have totally written on this topic before, but I have come a long way since, even added a baby into the mix since! Breastfeeding has come such a long way, even since I was born. It was not as popular, not really spoken about, and there sure weren’t pictures everywhere of mamas nursing. I am so for breastfeeding if you can do it, but why should those of us who can’t, or even who choose not to, feel guilty? Isn’t there enough mom guilt out there?

I had such a struggle with my first son and breastfeeding. I was determined to make it work though. My body, and my baby were just not having it though. My feeding journey started off rough with my first, and never really got easier. My milk had to come in through pumping, rather than my baby causing it to come in. My son could not eat the first day, he was only able to have IV fluids, due to being in the NICU, and being too weak. While in the NICU, for almost his first week, he was not wanting to eat in anyway. He would latch on to me, and then stop from being too tired. We would try the bottle, and he wouldn’t want that either, so my poor boy was on a feeding tube until we could get him to the point of eating.

Once he finally got it down, we were home trying to figure it out too. He didn’t want to latch. I tried nipple guards, dripping breast milk on my nipple, sugar water to trick him, and nothing would work for a while. Eventually he got it, and then he became colicky, so my diet drastically changed due to all the sensitivity. I was not myself, I had imagined it all differently. That’s motherhood though, it is nothing you expect, but worth every single struggle. It is all about trial and error. I felt like I was just failing.

I made it about 5 months breastfeeding my first, and I should have stopped sooner. We both were just miserable, and I was trying to force something that didn’t need to be forced. I never made enough milk, I wasn’t myself due to a mix of not being able to eat what I wanted, and all the hormones and emotions that go with being a new mom already. I wish I could have given my first time mom self more patience, more grace. I wish I would have given my son my whole self sooner. Once I stopped breastfeeding, I could finally be the mama I wanted to be. I was there, and happy. Even better, he finally was a happy baby too.

Then came my second son, 13 months later. I decided in the hospital after starting breastfeeding, that I didn’t want to put myself through what I did the first time. I didn’t want to put more stress on myself, my baby, my toddler, or even my husband- who has always been my biggest supporter. I gave him colostrum, and went to formula. The worst part? The guilt I gave myself for not breastfeeding, the guilt the nurses made me feel, and walking into the pediatricians office feeling like I had to explain why I wasn’t breastfeeding. My milk was there, and it was so emotional for me to get through that fact, and feel like I didn’t fight for him.

But really, what is so wrong with formula? If it’s for the better of your family, the better of yourself? My first was always off the charts in growth, and he had formula? He eats great to this day, compared to some breastfed babies, so why can’t fed is best be a great thing? Why does one way have to be the “better” way? I am so not here to put any way down at all! I support breastfeeding, and I support formula fed babies. I believe FED IS BEST, and I had to eat my own words of what I use to say before having babies.

I have the same bond, in fact my second is more attached, and more needy of me, I have fed my sons to the point of them being in the 90-95th percentile every doctor visit, they are smart, and isn’t that what every mama wants? A happy baby! My sons deserved a mom that was happy and there emotionally, these decisions were made to make that possible, to be the best mama I can to them!

Honestly, most of my days in the beginning, with two babies under a year and half, was giving them both a bottle at the same time! I don’t know how I would have done it. Most days they both wanted me at the same exact time, they were both babies, and I needed to give them myself at the same time.

I want to be the person telling the mama struggling like I did, if she hasn’t heard it, that it’s okay if breastfeeding doesn’t work out like you planned, there are so many options in today’s world. I wish someone had repeatedly said that to me, said that it’s okay mama! Motherhood can’t be planned out, these babies are in charge, and YOU are exactly what they need.

About

My name is Chelsie Overgaauw. Born in New Mexico, grew up in California, and now living my adult life in Texas. I am a 26 year old stay at home {new} mama to my sweet boy and I am married to my best friend. I have experienced a lot in life already, good and bad, and have a lot more to experience. I am a lover of cooking, writing, photography, and design. Follow along to learn more.

1 Comment

  • Stephanie February 8, 2019 at 1:46 am Reply

    This was SO well written!!! Your story is powerful and this is a message that needs to be heard!! I felt so guilty when I had to stop breastfeeding when Jonas was six months because he wasn’t gaining enough weight. It took me months to move on and not feel bad about it. FED IS BEST!!

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