During my pregnancy I was preparing myself for everything imaginable when having a newborn. I read ALL the baby books. I felt ready for this little boy to come in to our lives. What I was most ready for was that special bond every mother has when they breastfeed.
I told myself to try for six months. I had my breast pump (free, by the way, thank you insurance), I bought all the books from Amazon. I informed my employees that this is what I was doing. Until my son showed up 4 weeks early.
Oliver was born via emergency c-section and needed oxygen immediately. He managed to wrap his umbilical cord around his neck four times. We had our first glance and cried together on the operating table, then he was taken upstairs to NICU for the remainder of the four days spent in the hospital.
No skin to skin.
No immediate breastfeeding.
He was placed next to my head and I knew he was mine.
A few hours later I went to NICU to visit Oliver. The amount of pain and perocet was unimaginable. What was even more upsetting, Oliver wasn’t latching. He was so tiny and his little 5 pound body had wires hooked up to monitors, making it so difficult to get a good position. I had nurses arriving in shifts trying to do everything they could to get Oliver to latch until we made the ultimate decision that he needed a feeding tube for the time being.
I was failing.
I failed to go full-term with Oliver.
I was failing at breastfeeding.
I was failing within 3 hours of this mom-business.
My husband and I saw a lactation consultant for the first two weeks. I always looked forward to the appointments because for some miracle she could get Oliver to latch. And then we would head home and it was like I had to start all over. I wanted that bond between mother and baby. I didn’t want to pump. I didn’t want to use a nipple shield. I didn’t want to use formula. I didn’t want to consume oatmeal during every meal. I wanted to provide naturally. But I couldn’t. And I had to come to terms with ‘Fed is Best’.
We tried for six weeks. We made the decision that formula was our next option. I had to put my pride and ego on the back burner and realize that no matter how my son receives nutrients, he is being fed. And he is happy. Boy is he so happy.
I want first time mamas to know that I understand the struggle. The emotions. The hormones. We are in this overwhelming state of emotions with a newborn and we need to support each other with the decisions that we make for our families. Will I try breastfeeding my future children, yes. If that doesn’t work out, we will do formula. And they’ll like it. Because Fed is Best.