I'm a formula-feeding mama.

Yesterday was one of Seb's routine doctor's visits. "He grew really nicely this last month," the nurse told us. We smiled and the doctor (my and my brother's pediatrician growing up!) chimed in, "You're doing a great job, parents." "We're trying our best," I said. "Well, you're doing great."

It might sound silly but in that moment I felt really proud. Feeding, growth and development are always on my mind. When I got pregnant I knew I wanted to try breastfeeding. It wasn't something done, and if so-spoken about, in my family so I didn't know much about it. Aside from the fact that I wanted to do it. I viewed it as THE be all-end all of feeding. (Kind of how I viewed natural birth...and we all know God had different plans about that.) The preferred method. How to best bond with my baby.

There's been so much literature going around about its benefits and there's a relatively modern movement surrounding it and its acceptance in public places. I read about it and I was happy to eventually know I was producing towards the end of my pregnancy. One less thing to worry about, I thought to myself. 

I was ready to take it on! Except when I wasn't. For me, latching wasn't the problem--it was the excruciating pain. Sebastian was in tears wanting to be fed, and I was in tears because of the pain and my inability to withstand it. I googled about the pain and read it could last weeks but then would subside. How horrible, I thought, it would be to resent this process and feeding my baby, though. And so we had just been home from the hospital for a few hours at that point when I yelled/cried/told my husband, "PLEASE JUST GO BUY FORMULA!" It seems dramatic... but that's what happened.

And that's how and why we started formula feeding and pumping...until I eventually stopped. Cue the guilt. For all of it. But you know what? I've since come to embrace formula-feeding. It gives me so much more freedom, involves my husband more, does not hurt me, and does not make me resent feeding my baby in any way whatsoever. 

I'm confident that Seb and I are bonding just as much as we would have and quite frankly as much as we possibly can. Plus, as my husband put it: there's so much more to being a good mom and parent than breastfeeding. I gave up coffee and restricted my diet during pregnancy to be as healthy as possible. I try to wake up in the middle of the night for feedings to spend some time with Seb then since I work. We read to him, listen to classical music with him, play with him and practice developmental exercises with him. We limit his exposure to electronic devices and he doesn't really watch TV.  

These days, I no longer care what people (see: mainly other moms) think when I pour formula into his bottle in public. All I know is he's happy, loved beyond measure, well fed and growing... and really, that's all I could ask for. We're all just trying to be the best for our kids and there are, in fact, a lot of different ways to be the "best" for them. Your parenting decisions are yours. Just as ours are ours... And we're pretty proud of them so far. :)