From Boob to Bottle

We accomplished a pretty big transition with Em this month.  We went from full time breast feeding to formula all the time.  Of all the children, Em was nursed the longest. KC didn't nurse MaddSkillz very long because she couldn't keep up with supply and demand at the time.  Ladybug and Celi never would latch on and Disco nursed for three months.

When KC was nursing Disco, I was conflicted.  Sure with her nursing it meant she was the one getting up in the middle of the night and not me, but all nurse and no sleep make KC a grumpy grump.  Disco would nurse ALL the time.  When she wasn't nursing, she was pumping (I don't know where it all came from).  When I would feed Disco with the stored milk, he'd take the bottle contents and then be done eating pretty quick.  

So I suggested to KC that maybe she pump and then we feed Disco via bottle, that way she's not feeding him 23 hours a day and I could help out more.  I also needed her available more often than she was.  Apparently it didn't come across very nice because my suggestion was not taken and I even believe I was called a jerk.  Then at three months old, Disco pretty much took himself off the breast.

Unknown to me at that time, a special bond develops between a mother and her child while nursing.  To me, I saw a symbiote draining the life out of my wife.  I wasn't trying to come across like an insensitive jerk, I was trying to come up with a solution to our issues.  With those issues mainly consisting of her being a grumpy grump because she got no sleep the first three months of my son's life.  Couple that with trying to take care of things at home while I have to go into the office and work over time.  I was just trying to offer a way to help out.

So when it came time for Em to breastfeed, I didn't say a single word for fear of her cashing in my life insurance.  I was a pro at being a dad by this point and she would do her thing with the Emsters and I would take care of the other things.  I was at home more and actually worked from home so it helped a lot.  But still, the Em would eat all the time.  I made the suggestion about pumping and me feeding her again being a bit more sensitive about the issue.  The idea was shot down, but I was not called a jerk.  At least verbally. 

KC would pump and store for times she had to be away from the baby.  We rarely gave her formula. 

I preparation for her week of pampering, KC pumped and stored like a banshee.  We also started giving the baby formula more regularly.  The formula was usually given by me, but Em wouldn't take it.  She would spit it out, turn her head and push the bottle away.  It became a battle of wills.  I thought she'd eventually get hungry enough to take the formula, but she knew that Daddy is a pushover and gives in pretty easy.  Sure enough I was going to the freezer to defrost some milk for her.

I came to the conclusion, Em didn't trust the slop I was trying to pass off as sustenance.  I had told KC that if we want Emsters to take formula, she would have to feed it to her.  That way Em would know it is okay and safe for Daddy to feed it to her if needed.

It worked.

The week leading up to KC's trip, she decided that it was probably best to change her over to formula full time.  It was a hard decision for her to make, but it helped that she was out of town when it was done.

Emsters has taken the change quite nicely.  She's on more of a schedule for feedings than eating all the time.  We're also getting her feeding and sleeping times in sync up with the other kids.  I know it's easier for KC because we can get the baby down by 8:30 at the latest, which gives KC time to do her own thing.  

I know it's tough severing that bond she had with Em, and I know it's something I will NEVER understand.  Yet everything is going well.  Everyone is happy.  Well maybe not Daddy, because he's the one getting up at night to feed her now.  Now Daddy is the grumpy grump.

I know the topic of breastfeeding versus formula is very heated.  What are your thoughts on the subject?  Dads and Moms.

Have a great week my friends.