Becoming a mom has become one of the most incredible experiences of my life. No one tells you how much love you will feel for this little human the moment you lay eyes on them. But what everyone else also fails to tell you how difficult being a new mom can really be. I was a younger sibling, so I was never used to being around babies before; I’m pretty sure that I changed a total of 5 diapers in my life prior to having William (now I feel like I’ve changed 500).
My biggest struggle over the past month has definitely been breastfeeding. My milk was slow to come in and in the beginning we had to supplement with formula. About 4 days after having him, it finally came in but I was still not producing enough to satisfy him. Over the course of the next few weeks we continued to supplement and I was seemingly attached to my pump morning, noon, and night in an effort to increase my supply. I had great success with one of my breasts, while the other one lagged behind; it was incredibly frustrating. I sought out help on every blog, baby website, and through the assistance of a lactation consultant, my pediatrician, friends, and my OB. Everyone kept telling me not to stress about it, but it was hard; you have this idea of how things are going to go while you are pregnant and when it doesn’t pan out like how you thought, you feel like a failure. Especially when our society is so incredibly verbal about how breast is best.
After discovering William was tongue-tied and getting his tongue clipped, we battled with what we thought was acid reflux, and finally discovered today that he has a milk intolerance. After Paul had seen the difficulty I was having with breastfeeding and listening to me cry on end about how I thought I was a bad mom, we decided that instead of changing and deeply restricting my entire diet in an effort to continue breastfeeding, to go with formula full-time. This was a very hard decision for me to come to, but ultimately I know it is what is right for my baby and for me in order to be the best mom ever. Thankfully I have had nothing but support from my friends, family, and medical practitioners as we made this decision and going forward I feel very positive about the future.
I hope that as first time soon-to-be mom’s are doing research while they are preparing for baby they hear the stories from women like myself who struggled in the beginning, but ultimately found the best fit for them, their baby, and their family.