Sunday, March 15, 2015

The Formula Debate

As I sit here watching my 8 week old sleep soundly in front of tired eyes, I am grateful for Science.  It may not be the best choice for everyone, but for me, my son, my husband, my daughter, and even my dog, I believe it is the right choice for us.  I had so many beautiful visions of nursing my son; of us lovingly enjoying long nursing sessions…ones that I would look back on and truly miss.  When I was pregnant, I would day dream of breastfeeding him in the wee morning hours; the sun just poking out behind the clouds and taking over for the moon.

I believe in the power of breast-feeding: I believe that it's natural, and real, and the best option for a baby.  But then, I also believe that it isn't.  What comes easy to some, say my first born daughter and I, does not come easy for another, my son.  These last few weeks I have felt so out of control, like my earth is spinning and I am grasping at every which way for an answer, a solution.  His cries are not that of a normal fussy baby, and yet are that of a wee one in pain.

Tears roll down my cheeks as I stare at his sweet face, and already I know the pain of of panic and not knowing how to fix something when I am unsure what is wrong.  I hate to compare to Brooke, but with your second child it is hard not to!  Sure Brooke woke throughout some nights and cried here or there, but nothing like this one.  Her fussiest times were when she was getting her two year molars just over a year and a half.  She never came into our bed and I distinctly remember one night, as she was a few months old, I had to stop rocking her to sleep…I didn't want to make bedtime a nightmare, so I laid her in her crib awake and she simply just fell asleep.

Maybe I was too cocky, sure of myself, or just assumed all would be pretty much the same with Bradley as with Brooke, but I was certainly wrong.  I told myself I would give things until Friday 3/13 with breastfeeding, but if nothing had improved, I would opt for trying formula.

Well, I made it until Thursday 3/12 and made yet another pediatrician appointment.  The problem was, even with my dietary changes, we still had some pretty rough days/nights.  I would have a good day with him, and then prolonged screaming and crying. More than anything, I was constantly stressing out about what to eat.  What if he has an allergy to something in a baked good?  Was the spinach too much?  OMG I had parm cheese….it was awful.  Plus being extremely sleep deprived and on no caffeine, I really felt like I was in a hole.  It was time to stop the madness.  I was literally drowning in trying to keep up with the baby, Brooke, my husband, dinner, cleaning, and myself.

When we got to the Dr's, we did the normal weigh in etc, and it showed no weight gain. ZERO.  The Dr made me go to the previous scale he had been weighed on to double check, and it did say he gained about 5 oz, but in two weeks time, the Dr felt that was not good.  Last time  (two weeks prior) she was concerned he gained too much weight…being 13 pounds at 6 weeks.  That was because he was so fussy and so I would nurse him to calm him, but that was happening every 1-2 hours. Exhausting.  And making our issues worse.

So, she said that some people are just really bent on breast-feeding and continue to, just kind of deal with the issues at hand.  Others try something else, like formula.  As much as I wanted to nurse for at least 6 months, I was desperate to find a solution and try to help my baby feel better.  She gave us two sample cans of this to try.

Ladies and gentlemen, I cannot describe to you the joy, the amount of sheer and utter bliss this house has been in since we have begun this formula.  No it's not organic.  No, it's not breast milk.  But you know what?   It is helping this little dude SLEEP!  Babies need sleep to grow and be well.  When he was in so much pain and agony, he would be up and fuss all day and night.  Poor thing was exhausted. Now?  He's getting solid 2 hour naps and although not sleeping through the night, he will get up twice to feed and go right back to sleep.  No more hours of trying to console him or rock him forever.

This formula is rather pricey [read upwards: $38 a can] but we cannot put a price on our boy's health and all of our happiness.  I hear we may be able to get a script and get insurance to pay for it…that would be nice!

He was so upset that Thursday I took him in, and the first bottle of this formula he guzzled right down.

And instead of tears, we now get way more of these…

And a lot more of this.

My friend Amie recommended this bottle and it is wonderful!

I was beginning to really doubt my ability to be a mother.  I didn't think it would be easy, but I really knew it should not be so hard.  That mama bear instinct made me get us back to the Dr. though...

I'd be lying if I wasn't excited to add caffeine back into my routine.  A coffee now and then and a daily Spark---I am flying around my house and able to get so much done, WITH a huge smile on my face.

A part of me wishes I had tried the formula sooner, but I am also glad baby boy got at least 2 months of my antibodies and such in my milk.  I cried some major tears, wondering if I am making the right choice.  I questioned if I should just eat chicken and rice and deal with it to see if that would help.  The Dr still claims there is  no evidence to prove that what I eat goes into my milk and affects him, but I am not here to argue that.  I am grateful we have found something that is working (more than working!) and I pray that it continues.

I'm in the process of trying to stop pumping.  I'm still saving the milk in case he can take it later on, and I don't want any more plugged ducts or mastitis again…so that's the only annoying part now is having to still pump when he's taking formula in a bottle.  With Brooke it was a slow and natural process. I supplemented with formula and got her down to just a few nursings, then to one before bed before we stopped our breastfeeding journey. So this is something that is new to me. I know it will all be over soon, and I just feel like a new person, or like I've been given a new chance at life.  Dramatic much, perhaps, but I cannot express how rough some days and nights have been.  Total fog.  But you get to the point in life where you need to make a decision and though it may be tough, you just know when enough is enough.

I want to write all these thoughts out so one day if Bradley's wife or Brooke have issues, I will remember and be able to tell them about this. I think we forget about some of the not so perfect moments because they are so tough, you kind of block them out.  But coming out stronger and happier is what is important.  I believe in turn that makes us healthier too.  Let's keep growing baby boy and give us those giddy smiles that melt our hearts.


  1. You did what was best for you and that sweet baby boy and that is all that matters! So glad things are leveling out! <3

  2. I am so glad this is working for him!!! YAY!!! You do what is best! You rock mama.

  3. when Julian was a baby I had him on enfamil and it did cost way more. May sound silly but I went on the web site and emailed them and told them how much I LOVED the product and if they have any coupons to help me out. They sent my a lot of coupons. I was like oh my god.. it worked. He should email them , it worked lol

  4. Aw mama I'm so sorry it was so hard. All that matters is that babe is eating and growing! And you are doing better too.


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