It’s been a tough week.
On Monday I waited in vain all day for a call back from the GI doctor, but in the high point of the week so far, Baby Guy slept for a consecutive 5 hours and 3 minutes: his personal best! I felt like after the emotional stress of our stool testing worries, etc., it was a nice little pick-me-up to get some extra sleep and it helped us feel like there was light (or maybe dark?) at the end of the sleep tunnel.
Obviously that sort of extra sleeping isn’t something that we’d want to make into a habit or anything, though, so when the call finally came from the GI’s office on Tuesday morning it wasn’t surprising that everything got turned upside down.
Upon hearing of Baby Guy’s symptoms and continuing issues, the doctor recommended a switch to special hypoallergenic formula. The nurse relayed this news to me and let me know that they’d have some samples for us to try, because the cost of the formula is a bit excessive. I assured her that we’d be there to claim the samples as soon as possible, and then I hung up the phone, texted my husband the news, and sobbed.
Breastfeeding has been hard. It’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do, in spite of the fact that I haven’t had many of the problems that moms often have with it. But, even if everything works exactly the way it’s supposed to, the sheer incessancy of it is taxing.
No matter how difficult it has been, it’s also been the most beautiful time of my life. I’ve been living in 2-3 hour blocks between feedings for more than six months and it’s been challenging, but I’m so incredibly grateful for all of those times I’ve had my baby in my arms in a dark, silent room, with nothing to do but be with him. I guess that’s why my heart broke a little bit when the doctor told me that formula would be better for my little one.
From the beginning I’ve wanted to breastfeed Baby Guy because I know how healthy it is, physically and emotionally, for both of us. I was quite underprepared for the challenges breastfeeding presented, especially with the dietary changes I’ve had to make. I’m pretty stubborn, though, so sticking to the plan was relatively easy.
Even this stubborn mama knows, however, that the plan is not more important than the baby, so even though it’s been harder on me than I ever would have thought, I’ve begun feeding my baby with a bottle. I’m not giving up on breastfeeding completely yet; I’m hoping that at some point in the next few months I’ll be able to begin again. But first his intestines need to heal from whatever is irritating them, because my dietary adjustments just weren’t enough to relieve his inflammation.
I’ll tell you that there was more than one sobbing session on Tuesday, and I remember at least one again yesterday. I’ve felt better about it today. The transition from breast to bottle has not been an easy one for Baby Guy, either, so we still have our share of long days and nights ahead of us.
If you would do one thing for us, I’d ask that you join my husband and I in our prayer that our little boy’s intestines have a chance to heal with this new change, and that we have the strength we’ll need to help him complete the switch to formula and bottles with as little disruption as possible to his happiness and comfort. We’d appreciate it.