Real Mom Sh!t – Part 3

#RealMomShit: A first-time mom who struggled with breastfeeding and the guilt and anxiety around learning to feed a newborn. 

How many kids do you have and what are their ages?

One super cool 13 month old daughter

Did you breastfeed, formula feed or both? Do you do bottles as well?

I’ve done it all! From day 1 we were breastfeeding as well as tube feeding. To say tube feeding was a pain in the ass is putting it lightly! My daughter was jaundiced so the doctors wanted us to give her formula to flush the bilirubin. That involved taping a tiny tube to our finger, attaching that to a syringe of formula, and getting her to suck on our finger/the tube. The idea was that it was closer to breastfeeding than giving a bottle, thereby avoiding nipple confusion. Yeah… fuck that! My next kid will be getting a bottle if necessary. 

We continued formula for several weeks for many reasons (tongue tie that wasn’t diagnosed until week 3, low weight gain, my nipples were on fire, my milk didn’t come in…)

I finally came to my senses around week 2 and gave her a bottle. Game. Changer. Unfortunately, once the tongue tie and milk issues were sorted, I was so happy to be able to properly breastfeed that we ditched the bottle and now my kid refuses to take one. Not ideal. 

How many months or years did you breastfeed for and did you enjoy it? Did you ever feel guilty about the length of time you breastfed for?

We’re still going strong because my kid is a milk fiend! I can’t get her to drink cow’s milk to save my life. In the dark, dark early days, my goal was 6 months. Then when that passed, I figured I’d be happy to make it to a year. Now at 13 months I’m wondering if I’ve created a monster. We may end up those creepy people you see online who have a 6-year-old still breastfeeding (I don’t want to be that person, just to be clear!).

Do you breastfeed after having a few adult beverages? Or do you “pump and dump”?

I’m not a drinker but once my kid started sleeping through the night I definitely indulged in some red wine! 

At what age did you start feeding your child solids and how did it go?

6 months. At first, I tried yogurt, homemade purées, and all that fancy shit. I quickly learned my daughter is an independent woman and she likes to feed herself. I plop steamed anything or any form of carbs in front of her and she’s happy. She also likes squeeze packs a heck of a lot. 

What would you say was the hardest part of the first 6 months with your baby?

For me, it was defffffinitely breastfeeding. From day 1 there was so much anxiety. At 3am on night two my nipples couldn’t take the torture anymore, so we gave her some formula. I’ll never forget the shocked response from the nurse who walked in mid-feed. Looking back, I should have told her she could just f*ck right off but instead I tried to explain myself. Every feed for the first 4 weeks or so left a feeling of dread in my stomach. 

After we got feeding figured out, sleep, or lack thereof, was the next hardest thing. I waited until month 9 to wean night feedings which was a stupid idea. Next kid, I’ll be on the sleep training bandwagon much earlier!