Thursday, October 21, 2010

Formula 1, 2, 3

Baby formula has been around for a long long time.  I get it...boobs have been around longer.  I would bet that most moms plan to breast feed their children but sometimes things happen and that's not possible.  As a mom who was forced to formula feed (but incredibly glad that it went that way) it makes me want to throat punch someone when they get all hoity toity about their breast milk and have the nerve to imply or worse yet, SAY that the best parents breast feed.

Let me tell you a little story.

When I was pregnant with my Moose, I decided that breast feeding would be best.  I wanted him to have the benefits of all that breast milk has to offer as far as immunities and pretty much being the worlds perfect food for human consumption as far as fat content to nutritional value.  I read the Bradley Method book (Husband Coached Child Birth) and I'm not even going to get on that subject today...and then I read the book The Womanly Art of Breast Feeding.  I was all stoked and ready to go.  Well...I was ready to go, can't say that the idea of a baby hanging off my front side ever really STOKED me.

23 hours into my labor, Moose's heart rate began to drop significantly with each contraction.  Each time it dropped, it took longer for it to come back up to normal, then it stopped coming back up to normal.  My BP had gone up to 197/128 and the decision was made to do an emergency C-Section.  You natural birth nazis can say whatever you want, but my little guy was stuck due to a combination of 75th % head having a smaller than normal pelvic opening...and him being at a really really jacked up angle.  If they had waited and allowed me to try to birth naturally, he would have died.  And I may have stroked out due to my increasing BP.  It was THE RIGHT decision hands down and I know that every time I look at my baby boy. (Just for the sake of not ruffling feathers...there is a difference between pro natural birth people and natural birth nazis...we will cover that another day.  I am pro natural birth, but when medical conditions arise that could be fatal to mother or child I'm all about doing a c-section).

When Moose was born, he had what they first told us was a cyst under his tongue.  I wish I had a photo of it, it was really something to see.  It wasn't small!  Picture this:

but blue, and in his mouth...and minus the frog.

 It was a HUGE blue bubble under his tongue that was so large that it forced his tongue to the top of his mouth.  He couldn't get a nipple (mine or bottle) in there at all.  They called for a specialist, and then he called for another specialist.  the following afternoon (almost 24 hours later) they drained the bubble...turned out it was a blocked salivary gland.  Yup, my baby boy was born with a giant blue spit bubble!  Sadly it came back, then was drained, then came back again...over the course of 2 months we battled this thing.
You will be happy to know that it hasn't affected his speech.  He is 10 months and has a vocabulary of 27 words and 5 phrases (which = a proud mama!), I'm sure it's because he has a huge brain inside that 75th% noggin of his!!

Anyway, the LC (lactation consultant) at the hospital was awesome.  She spent hours and hours and hours working with me and the Moose.  No go.  I went home and worked and worked and go.  The bubble just made it too hard for him to latch.  After 3 weeks of trying I gave up but I pumped for every single meal, every hour and a half, all day and all night long for 6 weeks...even through a few tear filled nights of me looking at my husband and exclaiming, "LOOK AT ME!  I'M LIKE A FUCKING COW AT A DAIRY FARM!  THIS SUCKS!!!  I HATE THIS!" (which always ended with us both laughing our asses off...).

When I was pumping, I had to supplement with formula.  Even though I pumped every hour and a half roughly, ate the stupid lactation cookies, drank a shit ton of milk, ate oat meal until I thought the site of any white haired old man in a black coat and cowboy hat would make me hork...I was never able to pump enough for his entire meal.  It started off as me producing ALMOST a full bottle for him...but by the 6th week, I was producing less than a third of each bottle.  Did you read that slowly enough to let it sink in?  I pumped...every hour and a half...for 20 only get 1/3 of a bottle worth of  breast milk...and I did it for 6 weeks.  I'd like to know how many other women are stupid enough to do that.

At week 6, I got sick.  My medical history is also a story for another time, but suffice it to say...crossing military blockades in areas completely devastated by an epic hurricane only 48 hours earlier...not wearing a mask and tromping past bodies, rotted food and sea life, and around moldy giant rolls of not the healthiest decision one can make.  As a result, even 5+ years later, when I get sick I get SICK.  It was  bad enough that I needed heavy antibiotics, and I was told I would have to pump and dump for 10 days.  Pump and dump when I'm only getting 1/3 of a bottle each time...fuck that.  I was done.

If you're one of those people that wants to talk shit and say I should have tried harder...that wants to say that I should have dealt with being sick and kept say that I shouldn't have given up on say that you're a better mom than me because you provided breast milk to your child when I chose to switch to me and I'll be happy to give you my address so you can come say that to my face.

Some of the best moms I've ever known in my life (my mother included) formula fed for all sorts of reasons, both by choice or because of a set of circumstances out of their control.

Some of the worst moms I've ever known in my life have breast fed and been all wonderful 'it's a bonding experience' while their rack put out milk by the gallons only to neglect and beat their kids later in life.  I photographed a baby months ago whose mom insisted on breast feeding but even when he was 2 months old, her milk wasn't plentiful.  The baby looked like he was starving.  He was skin and bone and a color I have never seen a child before.  Her breastfeeding did NOT make her a better mother.  She was starving her child because she refused to supplement with formula.  That makes her a horrible mother.

Being a good parent is not some magical chemical that is housed in your tits.
Your boobs are not magic.  They will not end world hunger, they can not provoke world peace.  They can't stop genocide.  They can't keep douche bags like Michael Vick from abusing animals.  They won't make your child a better member of society or prettier or happier or Lord knows, more well fed.

Guess what.                             IT              IS              JUST            FOOD.

My baby is healthy.  He's gonna be a shorty because both his daddy and I are.  He's 50th% for weight, 50th% for height and 60th% for head circumference (yeah, his body's finally catching up to that big beautiful head).  Does this look like an unhealthy face:

I'm not against breast feeding, but how about those of you who can and do breast feed back the hell off and stop trying to make the rest of us feel bad.  

Want to join the movement and show your support for mothers who choose to formula feed or who are forced to formula feed?  Check out our Facebook page!  


Anonymous said...

I'm really sorry that breastfeeding did not work out for you. I hope you can get over it.

21st Century D.G. said...

I'm sorry not being a douche didn't work out for you.
I was never upset about it...I'm upset that other broads try to put women down if they formula feed like they're poisoning their kids. News flash...they're not.

~Carla~ said...

Wow. An "anonymous" comment. That's SUPER ballsy! What about women who can't have kids? Guess they should get over it too, huh?

21st Century D.G. said...

Carla. You left ME speechless. Do you know how rare that is? Well, I guess you do...but wow...good point. Guess they should!

The Fearless Formula Feeder said...

This is rad. You've got balls, woman. I love it. And your son is ridiculously gorgeous...

I had a really similar experience with the exclusive pumping... I only made it 4.5 weeks, so I'm amazed that you did it for 6. It sucks (no pun intended).

Thanks for standing up for formula feeding moms. You're totally justified angry about how we are made to feel. Anger is so much healthier than guilt, in my opinion.

21st Century D.G. said...

Guilt and depression are just anger without enthusiasm! :) And thanks, I think my Moose is pretty damn cute!

Annie said...

From one who can't have kids-- I was soooo happy when my son arrived from Korea that I never thought about not being able to breast feed. I was just happy that he was here and happy that I was here for him! Think of the life either of us would have had without each other.... Thank God they make formula or we would both have been s**t out of luck!

21st Century D.G. said...

I wish there was a 'like' button.

Anonymous said...

I linked to your blog via the disgusting Marie Claire blog. My son is almost one and I'm nursing him once in the morning and the rest of the day is bottles (now past formula, thank god, and just plain ole' regular milk.) You are right- the BFing Nazis are HORRIBLE. My toot was in the NICU and I battled every day to get milk for him. When I went back to work I pumped in my office seemingly constantly. I would cry, get angry and put myself in a foul mood when I'd go home with THREE ounces total. I decided to quit pumping and now nurse him basically because he is going to be my only child and I crave the closeness! But nearly all of his nutrition comes from formula/milk/and solids; he's just about wayyyy done with nursing. he'd rather gulp his bottle (*gasp* he still gets a bottle and he's almost one!) and squirm out of my arms to play then hang around cuddled in my arms to nurse *sniff*

I read a yahoo answer the other day that you would have LOVED. A mom asked about the best nipple for her (obviously bottle-fed) child. First response was "the one on your breast when you breast feed your baby." What a tool! The mom responded that she had been very ill when the baby was 4 months and could no longer nurse, and it broke her heart when she quit so thanks very much for the reminder. Ass hats seriously annoy me.

I dunno- I had to say hi. Your blog totally rocks. You tried really hard with the pumping- and to those women who pump enough for twins- I hope it leaks into a puddle on your next trip to the store! (just kidding :)