I'm not a breastfeeding mom, but I could recite ten struggles breastfeeding moms go through from worth of mouth alone. I hope at least some of them are urban myths, because they sound downright dreadful. However, there's a lot less written about the struggles only moms who don't breastfeed know. Stinky, smelly formula that you'll have to refinance your house in order to afford? Lugging around ten pounds of formula on every outing, just in case you run out? Yeah, I know those struggles and they are real.Perhaps less of a pain in the boob, so to speak, but real nonetheless.
As an adoptive mom, I didn't have much choice in the matter when it came to how we were going to feed our daughter. In theory, I could have started hormone treatment so that I could feed her myself, but seeing as we found out six hours before meeting her that we would be her parents that wasn't such a viable option in the end. Plus, adapting to life with a newborn only five weeks after we began our adoption licensing was probably enough of a shock to my system. No reason to add wacky hormone treatments into the mix. After all, we didn't even have a crib.
When the NICU nurses asked if I wanted to feed my daughter a little while after we met her, I burst into tears for the sixth time in a single hour. It was a holy experience even with that tiny two ounce plastic bottle of formula; a memory that is etched into my mind forever. We had many cozy feeding times together after that night; her eyes locking with mine as I told her how brave she was for coming into our world with such a splash. She'd hang on tight to my finger when that was all she could grasp. Later, she'd play with my hair and wave her little arm in the air (we used to call it her interpretive dance).
So, it's safe to say I loved formula feeding my daughter, but man; it sure did provide a long list of struggles I'm going to assume all non-breastfeeding mamas know all too well. Struggles that definitely include the following: