So I have this beautiful baby, everything is wonderful. My mom came for 3 weeks to help, incredible. He nursed great, slept...well...in between eating. By the way, they don't really impress upon new moms how a baby eating every 2 to 3 hours means from start to start. Well, it took James about 45 min to eat, and he ate every 1 1/2 to 2 hrs. You do the math. But I typically slept when he slept...we snuggled a lot. But everything was normal as far as I knew, all checkups were good. He continued to be a bit small, but head, length, and weight were all on the same curve, so no concern. When he went to his 4 month appt., things started to change. He had not even gained a pound in 2 months. He did, however, grow sufficiently in length. And you know, we noticed that he was skinny, and not fitting in or growing out of clothes, but everyone (nurses included) that we asked would say: he's just small, he's fine. So we tried not to worry. Well, now we began to worry. We thought the issue might be too much foremilk in me, because he would pull off the breast and gag a bit sometimes, and was becoming a fussy eater. So I began pumping before feedings to get him to the hind milk. 2 weeks later, he had gained about a 1/2 pound a day. Good news. 2 weeks later, very very little weight gain. So it was time to switch to formula. Honestly, I was devastated. I mean really, logically, I don't know why it was so bad. My sister said it best, I suppose. Nursing was how I mothered him. Without that, I felt unnecessary. It was also something I was very proud of doing for my son. I wanted to solely give him breast milk for one year. But as most of us know, whenever you get attached to an idea with kids, it's probably just not going to work out. :) Anyway, he wouldn't take a bottle. He had had bottles before, but it had been a while. If he even saw a bottle, he would scream and cry, which did not help my emotional state. My sister saved the day yet again when her neighbor overnighted a supplementer. What a great device! I wouldn't have known it existed, and it really saved us a hospital visit. So then I would pump before feeding him, and then he would get more formula through his little straw than breastmilk. This worked well, and eventually we found a nipple he would take (Playtex Natura nipple--honestly most like a boob that I've seen in regular stores). So he gained 2 ounces a day the first two weeks, one the second two weeks, and then one ounce total in the last 3 weeks. Sigh. We ran a ton of blood work, everything was normal. But for some reason, his stool was never checked until this last appt. Oddly enough, we found trace blood in his stool. Possible dairy allergy. Suddenly, things start to add up. He doesn't often get diaper rash, but when he does--blisters, hot, red, horrible. I think the doctors/nurses thought I left him in a dirty diaper for a long time. Doesn't happen. He had visible blood in his stool one time, but it was written off as a one time thing. He was pulling away from the nipple and arching his back. So we go see a GI doc. He has a bunch of signs of not only a milk allergy (or lactose, we'll see), but acid reflux, probably caused by the allergy. Again, sigh. He doesn't spit up massive amounts, and I thought that was what reflux was. Sooooo, if we had figured this out, I could have changed my diet and kept nursing. Would I have wanted to? Actually, I probably would, even though the diet kind of sucks (ok, really sucks). But I'm sorely disappointed that the choice was taken away from me. I'm still having to get over this, which is funny because before James was born, I was completely indifferent to nursing. If it worked, I was going to do it, but if it didn't, I wasn't. But it is interesting how you just get into something. Another shout out to my sister--she said that when you have a baby, you have to embrace everything you do and really believe in it. That's just the only way you can make it through. So when something falls apart, it's really hard.
It was even hard if my husband offered to take over a feeding. I couldn't do it. I could not let go. No matter how tired or frustrated I was, it was what I did. Every time I pumped or fed James a bottle, my heart broke a little. Again, so silly in reality. I have a healthy boy who is getting better (thanks to Alimentum and Zantac--which he hates with a passion-he'll never eat strawberries happily, that's for sure!), and he doesn't have some horrible disease. But man, it's been hard to get over. And I'm a pretty darn reasonable person. Time moves on though, and I still am a little sad about it and wish things had been different, but there is just as special a bond with bottle feeding. Thankfully, I have an incredibly understanding husband who has put up with my crazy and still loves me.