I have been agonising over this question for days now, ever since our doctors visit and I had to give Preston formula. Should I give breastfeeding another go (if I even can after this long!) or continue giving Preston a bottle?

I decide to go and find out my options and talk to a health nurse at the chemist. It was the only way to decide and make the right decision by being completely informed. I explained the whole story and what was going on with the both of us.

The main reason that it was so difficult was nothing really had been solved. Preston’s pulling off and feeding would be exactly the same if we were to give the breastfeeding another shot. If we couldn’t fix this, then what was the point in trying again. It would most likely result in the exact same problem! If anything I would get maybe another month or two (if we were lucky) and it would be the same struggles as before.

If I was going to breastfeed again I would have to work very hard to get my milk supply back. I hadn’t been able to express as much as I would have liked to, to keep my milk up in the time I wasn’t able to feed. On the Monday when I went to use the breast pump to express, my worst nightmare happened…a healing crack in my nipple opened and started bleeding. That’s when I decided I couldn’t pump as much as I should, as it was just undoing everything we were trying to fix. The health nurse told me everything I would have to do if I was to feed again, suggesting things I could take to improve my supply and how I would have to ease back into it.

We talked for a very long time about the pulling off and she could completely understand where I was coming from and my reluctancy to feed.

That’s when I decide that it would have to be the bottle. It made me so sad to think that this is how it would end, with the bottle being able to give my baby something I couldn’t. I had to take comfort in the fact that I had given him nearly 5 good months of the breast, giving him the best start to life that I could offer. I’m lucky really, some people can’t even do that, having issues with their breasts from day one!

I had seen changes in Preston in the last few days. A content, well fed baby. Sleeping well, smiling and happy. Not crying everytime I fed him. I was a happy Mummy and he was a happy baby. I guess that sometimes the bottle is best.

 

Categories: Uncategorized

2 Responses so far.

  1. Gran says:

    Melissa, I’m so glad you have shared your story here as I’m sure there are other mothers who face this choice for various reasons. I am amazed at how you endured pain for so long and I know your recent illness and the following colds for Preston just complicated it all for you. He has had a wonderful start to life and couldn’t have a more dedicated and loving Mum. There are still lots of ways to give your love to him. I love you all so much, Gran

  2. Melissa says:

    That’s what it’s all about. Hopefully it will help others to know they are not alone in all the challenges we face as parents. Sometimes it can be a very lonely world but it’s always nice to know that someone else is going through similar.

    I don’t know how I put up with the pain for that long, I guess I felt like I had no choice but to just keep going. I wasn’t fond of the alternative, but it turns out that he is happier for it. Getting a full tummy..finally!

    I’m glad I made it for as long as I did, and if we lived in a perfect world he would have of course been breastfed for much longer. But it’s not and decisions had to be made to do what’s best for him.

    People could argue I could have tried again and done many other things before offering formula (but was there ever going to be a solution to the pulling off? I guess we will never know). I’m sure that others would have made suggestions about donor milk, but in all honesty, aren’t there so many more much younger babies that need this? Preston is 5 months, will start solids soon, and formula will gradually become less and less as the months go on. He will eventually transition to other milk (just like I did for Addison, his was just a transition from breast milk instead).

    Both our boys are two of the most loved children in this world, so what he eats really isn’t all that important in the grand scheme of things. All we want is for him to be happy and healthy like any other parent.

    Love you too and am so thankful for your support, you know this hasn’t been easy by any means and it’s nice to know that I always have people in my life that are there for us xo.

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