When Brittany started her journey into motherhood the breast vs formula debate never played a significant role in any decision she made.
I love it when I hear moms who do not feel guilty for feeding their babies formula! Wether that be out of medical necessity or by personal choice.
I knew that breast milk was the best for my child but I also knew that formula was there in case, if like my mother I was unable breast feed. I was 24 years old when I got pregnant with my Christmas miracle, I was told at 13 I would not be able to conceive my own biological child. My oldest Amazing, Clever, just like Momma, Daughter Mia was Born on her Great Grandmothers birthday December 19th, 5 days before her due date.
I had suffered from the flu up until my fever along with my water broke on the night of December 18th. My waters were green, our baby had had a bowel movement in utero. As soon as I reached the hospital I was induced, we were going to meet our baby! She came naturally although fast. The doctor did not even have her gloves on, nor was she able to catch her before she made her grand debut, healthy and crying at 6:32 am and 6 lb 3 oz. I immediately started breastfeeding. Within 24 hours I had cracked, bleeding nipples. I was in misery. I was crying in pain. I saw the lactation consultant and she was latching perfectly. I endured the pain and bleeding and a miraculous thing happened. I developed the most amazing bond with my daughter even through the initial 2 weeks of agony. I was in bliss, my baby was thriving and growing. She mostly slept for the first week but then she “woke up”.
She screamed and she puked. For 5 weeks my beautiful amazing baby cried and puked. She was 6 weeks old when I broke down and called my big sister crying because I hadn’t slept in a week. She insisted I take my little girl to the Stollery Children’s Hospital. At the appointment I was informed that my little girl not only had GERD, but also a cows milk protein intolerance. She was prescribed an anti acid to help with the GERD and a special hypoallergenic formula to hopefully help her not throw up as much, even though she was growing at an amazing rate.
I was devastated. I had such an amazing breastfeeding bond with my little girl that even though it was medically necessary, I was sad to end the journey. It had only been a 6 short weeks.
We started trying for our next child when Mia was 6 months old. A fast 2 months later I became pregnant with my second Daughter Kierra. She was born exactly 17 months to the day after her sister on May 19th at 3:23 pm and 5 lb 7 oz. The only one available to deliver Kierra was a student doctor she came so fast? She latched on perfectly right from the start. I was expecting the same sore nipples and bleeding as I had experienced with Mia but it didn’t happen. Everything was perfect. Except I was running after a 17 month old that didn’t understand. That wanted mommy’s attention. Even though everything was great physically with breastfeeding my second, I never developed the same strong bond to breastfeeding. When I needed to be put on medication that was not breastfeeding compatible it was an easy decision for me. After 2 months our breastfeeding journey was over.
After Kierra was born we did not think much about having another child. I had an IUD implanted and life carried on. When Kierra was about a year old we decided that we would try for our boy in the fall. After having some minor issues with my IUD I had it removed in November of 2017, at which time we started trying for our boy. I wanted a boy so much. My husband agreed to try for baby number 3, he was hoping for another girl.
In October of 2018 after a grueling pregnancy and traumatic birth our third Daughter Savannah came into this world in such a rush that it was miracle a doctor was even in the room. She arrived at 6:28 pm and weighed in at 5 lb 14 oz. I was determined to breastfeed, and I did.
Days then weeks went by and I noticed my baby wasn’t growing like her sisters had. She was tiny and stayed tiny. At her 2 month check up the nurse was a bit worried about her lack of grown. She advised Savannah was at 0.9% for height, 11% for weight and 50% for head circumference. Nothing super alarming but she wasn’t growing very much. Supplementing was brought up and although not opposed to formula I chose to continue breastfeeding. We had a great breastfeeding routine, she was eating regularly, was a happy and content baby. Always smiling and rarely cried.
At her 4 month check up she had lost weight and gained no height. The nurse was a bit concerned and suggested supplementing with formula and coming in for an extra check up at 5 months. At this point I chose to switch to formula not only for her health and growth but because mentally I was completely wiped from dealing with not only her not growing but also battling post partum depression because of her traumatic birth. Within days we could see that she was finally growing! At her 5 month check up she had gained a whopping 4 lbs and 0.5 of an inch! It was an amazing transformation to see. My girl, who you wouldn’t believe was slowing starving, was growing! She is now 10 months old, thriving and growing like a weed. Happy and healthy as always. She is now in the 80 th percentile for her weight. She’s still on the shorter side but that’s just the genetic make up she was given.
I sit her today with a 4.5 year old, a 3 year old and a 10 month old and am incredibly thankful for even the short amount of time I was able to breastfeed my children, and the ability to continue feeding them with formula to help then grow, thrive and survive. My daughters are here happy healthy and surviving thanks to a combination of Breastfeeding and Formula. Without my children would not be here.