Wednesday, August 22, 2012

I'm Not Baby Friendly?

While still pregnant I had registered on the website of 2 different formula companies to recieve free samples, coupons and mailings. In one of the offers, I received in the mail, was a card to take to the hospital. You were supposed to ask for a gift bag that would have a formula sample as well as some other coupons, etc. It did say, on the card, that they were available at "participating" hospitals so I knew there was a chance that my hospital might not have it.

On my day of my release I asked my nurse if they had either gift bags from these companies. She proceeded to tell me that they are a "baby friendly hospital" (yes, those were her exact words) which meant breastfeeding, so they did not give out formula. She told me that she would be happy to make me up a plastic bag with some diapers and wipes instead.

Now, my disclaimer is this...I have absolutely no negative opinions regarding breastfeeding. I admire women who nurse their children and I do think it's the best way to go if you are able.

I have had difficulties nursing my children so I need to use formula. There is a protein in my milk that does not agree with my children. It was a problem that my mother had with nursing me, and a problem that my grandmother had as well. I struggled for 3 months nursing my oldest daughter, only to have an extremely fussy baby. Many, many nights of sleep (and sanity during the day) were lost because she was crying and in pain. After 3 months I caved in a tried formula with her. It was like a switch was flipped and she was noticeably better within 24 hours.
After 2 weeks, with my son, we started noticing the same fussiness and discomfort. I did not hesitate to make the switch. My baby girl is now 3 weeks old and I've been formula feeding her for over a week now.

I have no regrets.

Do I agree that breastfeeding is a better choice for most babies? Absolutely! But is it the best choice for my babies? No.

I could struggle and struggle trying to change every little thing in my diet and it probably would not make a bit of difference. Even if it did, would that make me super mom? Probably not. It would probably make me a really unhappy, grumpy mom and is that a good mom? No.

So that means I'm not baby friendly?

Because I formula feed, I am some sort of heathen?

My children are happy and healthy. They aren't obese, they don't have major medical problems and I felt like I bonded with them really well during those times when I bottle fed them. In fact, I felt like I bonded with them more than I did when I nursed.

When I nursed, it was usually painful and I was usually exhausted. They were facing towards my chest and sometimes, when out in public (or when we had people over), they were concealed by a nursing cover so I couldn't see them at all.
When I bottle feed they can look up at me and I can stare into their eyes (or just stare at them when their eyes are closed). My daughter even has this sweet way of grabbing onto my bottle holding hand. She holds my thumb with one hand and my pinky with their other. Oh how I love that.

I love being with my children, but I also love that I'm not attached to them all the time. I love that other people have the opportunity to feed them when the time comes. My mother-in-law just left  today, after staying with us for a while to help, and she was able to spend a fair amount of time with her newest granddaughter by doing some of the feedings. I know it was a really special time for her and I'm glad she was able to experience it.

Even though switching to formula was a neccessary move for me, it turned out to be a blessing. I'm a happy formula feeding mother.

I contacted both formula companies to let them know about my experience at the hospital. I'm sure that I'm not the only person who has written them and said they weren't able to receive their offer. I received responses with 24 hours from both companies and I've already received some things in the mail (and my understanding is that there is more to come).

Here is what I recieved from Enfamil today...a nice tote bag, an insulated bottle holder and cold pack, a sample of Bourdeaux Butt Paste (with a coupon attached), a can of Gentle formula (which all my kids have needed) and a cute Fisher Price turtle toy.

There was a card inside saying "Thank You" for contacting them. Well, thank YOU Enfamil for making me feel loved and for making me feel baby friendly...because I am.

Love and no regrets,


Thursday, August 9, 2012

Welcome To The World

Wednesday, August 1st, our family of 4 became a family of 5.

Miss Leona Lee Bloomfield was born at 2:33pm via c-section. She was 7lbs 9oz and 19 1/2" long.
Here she is about 3 hours after birth.

The delivery went well. I have an amazing OB doctor (he delivered Emmett as well) and the entire staff at Sky Ridge was wonderful. Even though it wasn't my first c-section, it's still scary going into it. The unknowns can always make me nervous...not just about the health of the baby but how I will handle the procedure. Luckily we both came through with flying colors.
Since I have a history of endometriosis, the doctor did some looking around while I was opened up. I did not have any active endometriosis in me...which was a relief since I did have some when Emmett was born, but I did have a lot of scar tissue (which can be caused by endo). So much so that my bladder (and another organ which I forgot) were slightly attached to my uterus and even more scary was that my left fallopian tube was completely closed off with scar tissue. That means that this determined little one made her way into our lives with only one open tube to try and go through.

Nora and Emmett came to visit later that day along with my parents, who were taking care of them while we were at the hospital. They just couldn't get over their new little sister. Well, actually Emmett was more concerned about seeing the doctor and they both wanted to see my "owie".

Here we are the next day after I had a chance to get up out of bed, brush my teeth and feel a little more human.

 Here she is with a rare shot of her eyes open. She really is so precious.

If you're wondering where Leona came from, it's sort of a funny story. As you noticed from our other kid's names, we like the older sounding names....not just the older names that are popular now but some that are a little off the beaten path.

Nora was the name of a great aunt of mine, who I loved dearly. Her middle name is Marie, which is my middle name along with my mother and grandmother (technically her middle name is Maria but it's close enough).

Emmett was my husband's pick. It was just a name he liked and I thought that since it was a boy he could have more say in the name. It actually took me a while to be ok with it but I'm glad I agreed on it. It's a sweet name. His middle name is James, after my husband.

And then there is Leona (pronounced Lee-O-nuh)...
When talking about names that we liked, we weren't having much luck agreeing on something. Jim brought up the name Leona. He didn't know anyone by that name and just liked the sound of it. As soon as he mentioned it I smiled. That was the name of my Great Grandmother (my maternal grandmother's mom). Jim didn't realize that it was a family name which makes it really funny.
Even though it was a name close to my heart (I do remember my great grandmother a little...bits and pieces) it was a name that had to grow on me. It was a name that just sounded old...probably because it does remind me of my great grandmother.
Over time I took to it, knowing that it would be even more special because of family tie in. The name Leona also means "Lion" and Leona was born under the astrological sign Leo so that just seemed perfect. Leona's middle name, Lee, is Jim's mother's middle name.

We are over the moon with this little one. She has been so good. She doesn't cause too much ruckus unless she's hungry. The main issue is that she wants to be held when sleeping at night (she does fine sleeping on her own during the day) but the last couple nights she's had longer stretches of being on her own so I think we are making progress.

Thanks for reading my story...

Love and little Leona,