Failed Breastfeeding Woes

Erin • I'm 22 and engaged to a hard working man, we are extremely excited to welcome our first little family member to this world

After three days, my son experienced terrible nipple confusion after the doctor suggested that we start supplementing because he wasn't peeing enough. We did and he automatically refused to latch. Everyone kept telling me to keep trying so I did, but it would end up the same way every time. My son would be laying in front of my, my boobs out, me crying, him screaming bloody murder from hunger, I would try so hard to get it in and he just refused downright. It would go on for about 10-15 minutes because I really did not want to give up.. But I always had to because I couldn't just let him starve.. I tried pumping after I gave up direct breastfeeding altogether, and, from both sides combined, I would only get an ounce or less while he was up to 3-4 oz of formula. It hurt me so much. I wanted nothing more than to breastfeed my son. My mom was so excited to teach me (certified lactation consultant), saying I had the "perfect big boobs" for it lol.. She kept comparing me to my sister who had it down immediately and flawlessly with her son. I gave it a up completely about a month post partum. It still hurts so much. I really did try. I think about it with every formulated bottle I make for my son and every single time, I feel like I'm less of a mom, like I'm less of a woman. I feel like I'm letting him down. I feel like my mom is disappointed, she still tells me to keep trying. I would think she would know what it's like since all four of her kids were raised on formula, I would think she would know the emotional and mental toll it takes, knowing you can't provide the one thing for your child that your body is literally created to do. I blamed myself. I blamed my diet, I blamed the food I ate before, during, and after my pregnancy. I blamed my water intake even though I was at a gallon a day. I drank milk production teas, going through two boxes a week... My son is still beautiful and my fiance is so supportive and understanding after being there with me, seeing how hard I tried to give my son this part of myself. He saw the meltdowns I went through, he saw the most raw part of my heart as it burned with the desire to have that bond with our child.

If breastfeeding is your child's main source of intake, just know that, while natural, it is so precious and it is a gift. Be glad you don't have to feel what I feel on a daily basis.