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Breastfeeding (Susi)

June 14, 2013

Number of pregnancies – 2
Number of children – 2

I am a mother. I have two beautiful kids, a 5-year-old boy and a 2 ½ -year-old girl. They are awesome—they make me laugh, cry, smile, get angry, and love more than I’ve ever imagined.

When I was growing up, I always had irregular periods. When I was 29, I went to the OB because I’d had a 2 ½ week period (blech!). She diagnosed me with PCOS at that time and told me it would probably be difficult for me to get pregnant without medication. I didn’t want to take medication, but I had ALWAYS wanted kids, so I left her office dejected and cried for days. My then-boyfriend (now husband) and I stopped using birth control (why bother, you know?) and I got pregnant one cycle later. I went back to that same OB, and it was a terrible experience—she basically told me that I’d probably miscarry, told me what it would feel like, and she didn’t even give me the “congratulations on your baby” gift that was in the room. Again, I left her office crying. I went back two weeks later and her nurse was astounded that I was still pregnant.

I refused to go back to that awful doctor after the third appointment. I found a midwife, who was WONDERFUL. We saw her at every appointment throughout my easy, complication-free pregnancy, and she delivered my baby boy. The only problem with the whole pregnancy was that my son was late, and we ended up having him induced at 41 weeks (it was Christmastime and we were worried he’d be born on the 25th if we didn’t induce). The induction was as non-invasive as possible—he was really ready to go—and I had a natural, drug-free labor. It was beautiful, and so was my gorgeous baby boy.

At first, things went well with feeding my son. He ate really well. But problems started when he was 10 weeks old and I went back to work. He would cry every couple of hours for food all throughout the day and night. I would feed him and feed him, but he just kept crying. Eventually, my husband suggested that we try formula. The night he first had formula was the first night we slept well since he’d been born. I felt terrible! What was wrong with my milk?

It turns out that I wasn’t producing enough milk. In fact, by the time we realized it, he was barely getting any milk at all. I felt so bad—he had been literally starving and I didn’t know it. Everything I’d ever heard or read said that you should breastfeed for at least the first 6 months, and I couldn’t even make it to 3. I was so worried that he’d have allergies, or that he wouldn’t get enough antibodies, or that his general health would decline. I felt so guilty that my body didn’t work right, that I couldn’t feed my own child. After all, women have been feeding their own children for centuries, but I couldn’t make enough milk. It was terrible. As it turns out, my son is fine. He is perfectly healthy. He’s strong, smart, and very sweet and caring. I love him so much.

After I went through all this with my son, I started finding out that other women go through this, too. Not everyone’s body is capable of producing enough milk to feed a baby. It is grossly underreported on pregnancy and baby blogs, and yet so many women go through this. It is terrible—as a mother, you want to do the right thing. You want to give your kid the best nutrition, send him/her to the best schools, etc., but if you can’t for reasons beyond your control, there’s no one soothing you and telling you that you’re still a good mom. YOU ARE STILL A GOOD MOM even if you can’t breastfeed, or if your kid goes to public school, or if you work outside the home. I want to say that again – YOU ARE STILL A GOOD MOM. I like to think I’m a good mom, too.

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2 Responses to “Breastfeeding (Susi)”

  1. Autum Says:
    June 15th, 2013 at 8:02 am

    I didn’t breastfeed my 2 girls, and never once did I feel guilty. Of course, the nurses tried to make me feel like a horrible mom because I would be depriving my children of the best. I managed to breastfeed for a week so they at least got the colostrum and all that, but after that it seemed they weren’t getting much. I became too engorged they couldn’t latch properly, so i gave up and gave them formula. Best decision i ever did. I didn’t feel i was missing out on bonding with them during breastfeeding. I carried them and birthed them. I had a bond with them the moment i found out i was pregnant, and i kept them safe for 9 months. They are 5 and 2 as well, and they are smart, healthy, happy girls. My beautiful babies.

  2. Sarah Says:
    June 15th, 2013 at 11:36 am

    PCOS makes it difficult to produce enough milk.
    As pro-breastfeeding as I am, I want to be pro-mom way more. Thank you for encouraging moms who have gone through what you have. That’s very important. :)

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