Thursday, January 12, 2012


before I begin this let me say about a million people have told me not feel guilty about this subject, because the outcome couldn't have been helped but, I still feel guilty and probably always will. As I prepared for the arrival of my daughter, I was totallly gung-ho about breast feeding, I read two books on thsubject and had all of theggizmos agadgets that a working and pumping mom might needI was planning on breast feedinfor a year +.

But hen life happened. after Charlotte was born Ihad to gostraight into brain surgerysoI didn't get to feed her right away, luckilythe hospial I was in had awonderful milk bank, so she got her colostrum once surgery was over Icouldn't feed her because of how many drugs were inmy system my earliest memories are of feeding her and pumping so she would have milk for the night, so she's had plenty of my milkOnceIwas moved to rehab it was difficult to find time to pump and feed because my schedule was so packed with therapy Ialso had a lot of visitors and Iwasn't always comfortable with whiping it out when neededThe final nail in the coffin came with y ant-seizure medicationth that you can't use when breast feeding. And now we are doing some thing Iswore we wouldn't do: formula feeding. I feel like I've failed my little girl and that because of this she doesn't have the best tart to life she could.

IMy my milk is now gone and I am still on th anti-seizure mrdic, ineImiss feeding her and how close Ifelt to her during hose times, since that was the one thing Icould do fo her. It enabled me to be a part of evrything, but now allIdo is sit on the sidlines and watch as other people get o enjoy the theactivities sIcan't: bathing, bouncig, playingIfearIam missing the baby time and by the time Iam able to do those thingsshe will be too big


  1. Christina Applegate had her baby shortly after Jack was born and I read an article with her in People magazine. She is a breast cancer survivor and because of the cancer, she underwent a double mastectomy. She talked about how an unknowing nurse would ask her about breastfeeding at the hospital and she'd have to explain that it wasn't possible. She talked a great deal about how her daughter helped her heal and that she just couldn't dwell on the fact that it was physically impossible for her to breastfeed. This is a clip from that article and I hope you find comfort in hearing from someone in your exact same position:

    "I am sad that I didn't get to have that with her, you know? It's the kind of thing I always thought I would have. That special bond that mom and baby are the only ones that can share."

    Looking down at Sadie, Applegate takes a moment to breathe her in and then smiles. "But then we do this," she says, kissing her daughter's head and nuzzling her. "And we sleep like this for hours."

    I love this because she says that it's ok to have your feelings about it, to grieve, but that you can find the joy in other special moments too. I think motherhood is a series of complete pride in what we've done and acceptance of the things that we cannot do whether that's breastfeeding, staying at home with our kids, keeping an all organic diet or any of the other things that keep us up at night. I wish you many lovely moments that are special to you and Charlotte!

  2. Don't worry about what you are missing - treasure what you've been able to experience. Her smiles, her instant love, your joy, Matt's joy, the way she kicks her socks off, her red hair (!).

    And don't worry about the start - a great many things get off to rough starts and turn out exactly as they are supposed to. Remember that night I put your forehead into my windshield? And look at what good friends we turned out to be!

  3. she has a mother who intensely loves her--i think that is a wonderful start to life!

  4. I read that Christina Applegate story as well and found it very touching. I also have had to deal with this guilt, 4 times over. If you're interested in my perspective on the matter:

  5. Liz, I just wanted to say you have been in my heart since I learned about all you've been though. I think it is so good that you are writing, sharing your experiences, and giving voice to your grief. You are a courageous woman. How very lucky your daughter is.

  6. My heart goes out to you. As a mom who had a rough start with breastfeeding, I can empathize with feeling the guilt of giving her formula or having to pump all the time. Others told me not to feel guilty too, but we do because we care so much and because they're our babies that we just want to protect and provide the best for. Sending some mama love your way tonight...

  7. There are lots of ways to bond and connect. I know the feeling of helplessness with not being able to nurse since Spencer was unable for the first few weeks while he was in the NICU. As good as this upswing of breastfeeding acceptance is, we are probably focusing too much on breastfeeding = bonding. I know plenty of people (one who is extremely dear to me) who weren't breastfed as babies and are warm, caring, wonderful people who have deep emotional connections to others and their mothers as well. Charlotte can feel the bond between you two no matter what.