Feeding my baby formula made me a better mother.
Let me say that again...

Feeding MY baby formula made ME a better mother. 

Every new mother has their own journey, new challenges, and own experiences, and breastfeeding was not meant to be part of mine. When I was pregnant, I already felt like it wasn’t going to be for me, BUT, I wanted to at least try it—especially while I was in the hospital and would have professional help.

Now, when I say I tried it and it wasn’t for me, I kept going like you’re told to. "It gets better", they said. Nurses encouraged me to not give up so soon, so I didn’t, even though every part of my being said to stop. I kept trying, but the thing is, I HATED every second of it. I would count down the minutes until it would be over. My baby could feel my stress, which made him stressed, which made me even MORE stressed. It was a never-ending battle that I did not have the energy to fight.

When we left the hospital after our 24-hour stay, I got home with a 6lb baby who was STARVING and refused to latch & refused to breastfeed. I was sitting in bed with him thinking I was not cut out to be a mother—I wanted to give it all up right then and there. My mind was racing. I was overcome with anxiety, thoughts of doubt filled my mind, and I felt helpless. I was in tears as my baby was screaming and crying because he was so hungry.

It had been more than 8 hours since he hadn’t eaten, and that was it for me. I knew I needed to take care of MY baby MY way. My husband called the hospital to talk with one of my nurses who walked me out and helped me into the car just a little over 8 hours prior to the call. She walked us through the process of feeding our baby formula, and thankfully, we had some formula that was sent to us by a brand, because at 3 in the morning, we would have been out of luck finding an open store.

We put a 1 oz. bottle of formula on the bottle warmer for him, and I felt a weight be lifted from my shoulders. The second I put the bottle to his lips, he sucked that formula down so fast. Tears of relief streamed down my face, and for the first time in 8 hours, I could smile again. My husband and my mom were there with me, and they could both see how much happier I was—within an instant, and so was my baby.

As I’m writing this 3 months postpartum, I reflect back on that moment of pure relief. If I had let society bully me into thinking breastfeeding was the ONLY way to feed my baby, mentally, I know for a fact, I wouldn’t be okay. Listening to my body and my heart when my son was 33 hours old was a pivotal moment in motherhood for me.

Some would say giving up after “only” 33 hours was too soon, and for me, I say it was too long. I wish I had listened to my heart sooner. My baby was hungry, so I fed him, and I fed him formula. Don’t ever let lies fill your head. You know your body, and you know yourself. Make the right choice for YOU and YOUR baby, because everyone’s journey is different.

Listening to myself in that moment is why I truly believe I didn’t suffer from postpartum depression like my husband and I thought I might. Instead of being overcome by anxiety & depression, I felt empowered, I was confident in who I was and am now as a mother, and I don’t regret it--not even for a second.

So, I’ll say it again:
Feeding my baby formula made me a better mother. 

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