What I Suck At

Do you ever feel like bloggers only share the pretty or funny parts of their life? Yeah, we usually do.  I’m actually a little iffy about weather I really want to post this.  Usually I’m pretty open because most of my failures are kind of hilarious, but this one is extra dear to me.

Yesterday I shared how I have quick and easy labors, or at least that the part that’s hard is short and kind of funny. Today I’m going to tell you something that makes me really sad.


Photograph courtesy of Rebekah's Photography.

Photograph courtesy of Rebekah’s Photography.


I SUCK at nursing my babies.


I have a really hard time for the first couple months and all of my babies have been skinny and needed formula supplements because of it.

With each baby I hope it will be easier this time.  I’ve seen the pediatrician, my midwife and lactation consultants(one of which watched me try to nurse and handed me a bottle of formula), I’ve joined Kelly Mom. I’ve taken fenugreek, swilled Mother’s Milk tea, hot packed my boobs, pumped and pumped and pumped. I’ve tried, dang it, and I just can’t get it right soon enough to avoid giving formula. I will never be one of those women who can simply nurse her baby and watch her grow.

And that makes me cry. A lot.

Even long after the baby is fat, even years later, when the baby isn’t a baby any more, and I’m not pregnant, or sleep deprived I still feel sad and shed a tear when the topic comes up.

Why do we feel so bad, we moms who have a hard time nursing? I think it’s because somewhere deep inside we know that we can never be all our babies need, and that is just an awful, scary feeling.

It doesn’t help that we know on an intellectual level that formula is not the end of the world. It doesn’t help when the doctors (or our husbands…ahem) tell us it’s okay to give ourselves a break and feed the baby some formula.  Maybe I should only speak for myself.  It doesn’t make me feel better to try to think of it that way.

Giving my baby formula doesn’t feel like a break, it feels like a failure.

It goes against everything I’m trying to do here. I HATE it.

I don’t want to feed my child, who is already going to be predisposed to diabetes, a lab created concoction of which the first ingredient is corn syrup.  Why can’t I just do what millions of women have done since forever?  Why does this have to be the thing I suck at?

But I hold on, keep nursing, give a few ounces of formula and pumped milk here and there throughout the day, and try not to dwell on how sad it makes me.

Sometimes we have a great nursing day and I don’t have to give any bottles. Other times she just won’t latch on or won’t stay awake.  Yes, I’ve undressed her, played with her feet and pretended to drop her, sometimes it just ain’t happenin’.

The good days are finally outnumbering the bad, and I know that soon we’ll have it together and might be able to eliminate the formula. Until then I’m just trying to keep my chin (and milk supply) up, and love on my baby the best I can.

So there you have it. Not everything on the Half Acre is easy, or successful, or funny, but by golly we keep on trying.

Disclaimer, I hope I don’t sound judgmental when I say I hate formula. I’m too busy worrying about my baby to care what you choose for yours.  Thank goodness we live in a time when there are options.   

One thought on “What I Suck At

  1. Caroline

    Sorry for your struggle. Everyone has problems in different areas and this is the one you have. I’m sure you are a great mother and your kids will do great with formula, which is specifically designed to fit your babies needs. It’s not the end of the world. Hugs


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