Things I don’t talk about, volume 1

I have becoming a blogging chicken (interesting mental picture, I admit), choosing not to blog rather than jump into the mommy wars by throwing together a stream-of-consciousness post because that’s all I have time for. I hate being a chicken, but it comes naturally to me, so I have to identify increasing chicken-ness and attack it before I end up a scaredy cat.

Chicken –> Scaredy Cat

So, let’s consider this the first of many posts about things I’ve avoided blogging about. In my Weddingbee days, those posts I published through a clenched jaw and while averting my eyes turned out to be the most affirming and with the most interesting discussions.


I’m happy my kid is formula fed. I know, I know, I’m supposed to preface any statement about feeding my kid formula with a self-flogging disclaimer like, “Of course I wish I’d continued breastfeeding because clearly and obviously that would have been best and I will continue to undo any positive feelings I might have about formula by returning to my attempts and failures to make sure I don’t find joy in anything related to formula anymore, amen.”

I’m tired of that. Yes, I failed at breastfeeding. Yes, I wish I’d succeeded – mostly. And no, I don’t think that if you breastfeed something is wrong with you, nor do I care how you feed your kid, quite frankly.

I have made mistakes in my personal and professional lives before and after some mourning and flogging, have resolved to learn what I can from the experience and move on. And then I did.  So this is that, applied to parenting, which after all is just like life but squared, right?

{See, I’m already chickening out. Deep breaths.}

So, the learning part: I am too rigid in my wanting to follow a set of rules and not deviate, something that will not serve me well as a parent. One formula supplement via bottle does not a breastfeeding failure make, but somehow I didn’t grasp that.

Now, the moving on part: my kid gets excited at the sound of the bottle being shaken to mix the formula and it cracks me up. Though he doesn’t get to “taste” different foods and spices through breastmilk, he also doesn’t have to suffer through my husband’s and my admittedly stupid decision to eat a whole bag of bok choy for dinner one night. Two out of three Martins struggling through digestive issues was enough, thank you.

He has gained weight spectacularly via formula after being born tiny – 5 lbs, 13 oz . Dude beat his birth weight within a week and tripled it by four months. He’s still sub-50 percentile, so it’s not like he’s a sumo wrestler, but we’re comfortable that he’s growing and has made up for that little birth weight.  My body neither grows-to-full-size nor births babies well, evidently, but it’s fan-effing-tastic at hitting the “order” button to get some formula, let me tell you.

{Eek, this is hard. If your kid was born small and you’re breastfeeding and they’re still small, THAT’S OKAY TOO. IT’S ALL OKAY.}

I could go on but I’m giving myself hives. Do chickens get hives? Ha.


13 thoughts on “Things I don’t talk about, volume 1

  1. And what a cute well fed Javi he is!

    My favorite parenting advice “You are mom, you know your child and you know your family. Follow your intuition to do what’s best for you! And don’t stress about what everyone else is doing!” Oh yeah – and parenting is trial and error – the decision you make today doesn’t have to be the same decision you make tomorrow 🙂

    My babe was pretty big (8lb 11oz) and was breastfed and at 15mos had just made it up to the 25% for weight. I don’t care 🙂 He was 3% for a while and that was AFTER he started solids and according to daycare he eats more than any kid they’ve ever seen. Lucky guy just stays skinny! And I love that skinny little guy to pieces! Plus he’s easier on my back to carry around 🙂

    I love to talk about what works for us – but I also know it doesn’t work for everyone… AND who knows what will work for baby 2 🙂 I think it’ll be a whole new learning experience.

    Here’s to hoping you keep blogging about how life is going for you 3 and how you ‘mommy’ because I love hearing and learning from EVERYONE!

  2. I say that if you’re baby is healthy and happy and you’re not harming anyone to make him/her that way, you shouldn’t feel guilty about any of your decisions as a mother. 🙂

    I just published a piece about why I don’t cloth-diaper or buy used clothes, and it’s been sitting on the back burner for a while now because I too, was afraid. (And as expected, I’ve already gotten some flack for it.) But at the same time, I’m proud of myself for being honest and putting myself out there. I encourage you to keep writing about the things you don’t talk about, and be proud that you’re doing such a great job as a mother.

    • @Geek in Heels, You know, I read your post and thought, “Huh, different perspective.” I thought about it, then decided I’m good with my decision to use secondhand clothes or toys… and that’s the point, isn’t it? We all have our own inputs and decisions, and knowing how other people do it is SO helpful as long as we don’t get all weird about assuming that people talking about THEIR decisions somehow equals judgement. It doesn’t!

  3. I’m also very happy that my baby was formula fed! I tried breastfeeding and failed miserably. I got over it (kind of) and can honestly say that I found so much comfort in formula feeding my baby. He’s healthy and happy and was never sick once in his entire first year of life, despite 9 months of day care. My son is also sub 50% but the dr said there was nothing to worry about. Boys are active!

    I was very insecure about not breastfeeding, feeling like a failure and also felt like I had to make comments about how I wish it were different- even though I didn’t.

    I bet there are a lot of people out there that feel like we do about formula feeding, but are afraid to say that same thing. Hooray for formula fed babies! And hooray for the moms that make the best decision for their baby and their families- whatever that may be!

  4. I was happy we made it to three months breastfeeding, but I was THRILLED when we made the switch to formula. Nursing was just kicking both of our asses. Charlie likes to play with her food, take breaks, and kick back. That isn’t really a conducive eating style for effective breastfeeding. Toward the end every feeding became a battle, so finally I just threw in the towel. We’ve both been happy since!

    I know the whole Breast is Best is practically beaten into us, but millions of babies flourish on formula. We can’t keep beating ourselves up over it.

  5. Thank you for admitting this. You made the right choice for you and your son and that’s all that counts. Your son is adorable and he’s clearly flourishing! I had a very similar experience with my now 9 month old baby. I tried breastfeeding and she ended up in the ER with dehydration at four days old. I never produced enough milk for her. It was absolutely devastating to me not to be able to breastfeed her, but I am so happy with my decision now. I tried to pump as long as I could, but ultimately she was formula only by 3 months. Boy, is she flourishing now! She was big to begin with (8 lbs 5 oz) and she’s now 90% for weight and over 100% for height. Keep posting the hard stuff!

  6. My lil guy is just over 5 months old, and I am able to breastfeed– but I also returned to work fulltime when he was 12 weeks old. I stressed so much about how much I can pump at work (HATE IT!), so when he turned 4 months I told myself it would be OK to supplement with formula. Why the heck did I feel so badly about it?? It’s the best! I never feel like if I don’t pump enough he’ll be starved at daycare and he now loves breastmilk and formula. If we take him out to a resturant, he loves to enjoy a bottle and check out the waitstaff while we have our meal.
    I need to give myself high-5’s and encourage my husband praise me for breatfeeding– because it is hard, and I’m the one who gets up with him at night, and feels badly if I am ever home late– but I do love feeding him and looking at his cute little face. It’s my very favorite thing in the world. But it would be the same with a bottle.

    Really enjoyed this post 🙂

  7. Yes, yes, yes, yes. You know what, you may have a completely different experience with another kid and grow him huge then push him out – and if that happens, that kid will probably be just as cute as Javi is. But you’re clearly doing nothing wrong when you have a baby with cheeks as big as Javis’!!! My sister couldn’t nurse for more than a week with her twins, but with each of her other kids, she’s nursed for months and months. And you know what? They’re all smart, cute, healthy, and funny little kids.

  8. I breastfeed, but I applaud you for posting. The thing is, it seems to matter so much now – but in the scheme of things, its so insignificant. We aren’t asking who was breastfed during Presidential Debates. We aren’t promoting people in companies because they were breastfed vs. bottle fed. Don’t beat yourself up for making a decision you thought was best!

    • @Alicia, Exactly! I realized it would someday not be such a big deal when my husband noted he had no idea if he was formula- or breastfed… and I assumed I was breastfed and discovered I was formula-fed while I was pregnant!

  9. Yup, I feel similarly. I wanted to breastfeed and I did for 2 months despite my daughter’s issues with gaining weight and getting enough based on an issue with her nose that ended up with surgery. I also just felt so stressed and tied down while breastfeeding. I never had some wonderful bonding experience.

    I felt so guilty when I gave up and we switched to formula, but in the end, it’s awesome. She’s still a little munchkin – 5-7% in weight so I’m happy to have whatever “ill effects” on weight that formula might provide. Fatten that baby up please!

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