For those of you out there following my breastfeeding story, I thought I would give you an update.
I left off when Jared was roughly about 4 weeks old. We were struggling but on the right path. We continued breastfeeding and fighting the fight. However, the short nights of 3 hours or 4 hours of sleep was starting to take a toll on my body, and it didn't help we were PCSing (moving) to California a few short weeks after Jared was born. I was stressed A LOT of the time, and I heard stress can effect your breast milk, but I never believed it until now. I noticed my son went from breast feeding every 3 hours back to 2 hours and sometimes 2 1/2 hours. He was still spitting up a ton, and he wasn't sleeping much at all. The most sleep he would get was from around 11pm until 2 or 3 sometimes 4AM (if I was lucky).
We were back and forth with the doctors and we just kept getting the run around with the acid reflux. The amount of times we changed medicine and then the number of times we were suppose to give it to him changed, and then we had to buy some $80 pillow to help him sleep (Which I didn't buy, I made one, check HERE to see how). It all was just so frustrating. I felt so pissed off at myself for making this milk that was upsetting his stomach, and that his body was refusing my milk. I just felt so worthless and my spiral of depression just got worse and worse as Jareds reflux got worse as well. It was just a horrible downward spiral.
My husband finally said he couldn't take it anymore, seeing me tired, seeing me upset, and seeing me the way I was. I really was glad he was seeing it, and not just ignoring it; as thats what I felt for awhile, but he just didn't feel right saying anything. Once he did, we both discussed the formula that worked the best for our first son (who also had a VERY sensitive stomach). The formula is by Enfamil, its called Gentlease. This formula helps with gas, and fussiness. I was unsure about it at first, but we tried it once or twice a day and I was still breastfeeding him as well. He was getting a little of the formula throughout the day and a little of the breast milk as well. It was amazing how much the formula helped not only with his gas, but as with his acid reflux. He wasn't spitting up as much, and he was keeping down about half of what he was spitting up before.
Eventually we decided to just do breast milk with the formula so that way we could just have all the bottles ready to go and it made it easier on me during the day with my 1 year old and also at night because I wasn't sleeping well anyways. With the change I was pumping several times a day and I started out pumping about 8-10 oz a day. Which was perfect for the amount he was eating during the day. Then I had my 6 week check up, started my birth control and noticed a HUGE lack of supply. I was frustrated, so for a week or so I drank my mothers milk tea, the mothers milk drops, and the fenugreek to help my supply improve. After a week of attempting that I noticed my milk supply just kept dropping. By the 8 week mark I was pumping 3-4 times a day and only getting 1-2oz a day.
My heart was heavy, and I was (shockingly) sad that I wasn't producing anymore milk. In the end I came to terms with it and I was happy that my sons reflux was almost all gone, and he was completely gas free. We slowly used up all the milk we had on hand, and then we moved to California. When we moved we were on the road for two days and it was extremely easy to drive and feed a bottle vs stopping and having to breast feed. It made our trip a lot shorter and I was happier. I was sleeping 6-8 hours a night thanks to the formula which was now making Jared feel more satisfied, and I was even feeling a lot more joy again!
My sons reflux today (hes now 3 months old) is almost 90% gone. He still spits up here and there but it has been a major change in the amount he spits up. He also has absolutely no gas, and when he does have gas I am seriously shocked at it. He sleeps almost 12 hours each night, and yes this is more then likely due to the formula, but it helps me out a lot. Finally, he and I are bonding and so much happier together. We hangout and laugh together, and I feel so much closer to him then I have since he was born! I am a thousand times happier and its amazing how much I love my kids now.
Last time I talked about breastfeeding vs formula I had said that BF wasn't for everyone and it just wasn't for me. I still stand by that and I realize now that I am a happier mom being a bottle feeding formula mom! Its okay to feed your child the formula, especially if its going to help your child's reflux and gas issues. I am glad we made the change, even though it wasn't really our plan to go full formula, but I am still glad we did. I always said that you should do whats best for both of you. If your happy, and baby is happy then thats what matters!
Remember what makes you happy is all that matters,