Overheard at the Spudly household:
Mommy: "Having a baby is like having a pet shark. You take care of the shark. You feed the shark. You may even love your pet shark. But you live in constant fear of the shark because one loud noise, one quick movement, or one false move and the shark will rip your arm off.
"Having a newborn baby is just like that.
"You speak a little too loudly around the baby and then you spend the next two hours dressing a gaping wound from being bitten by the shark. Two hours of crying and screaming and hair pulling (mine, not hers) and changing the diaper and changing it again because maybe that wasn't right and feeding and pleading and rocking and begging and crying (mine, not hers).
"It's best to tread lightly around your little pet shark."
Daddy: (singing) "Baaaa-by shark, doo doo, doo da dooo doooo..."
Thoughts on bottle-feeding:
Now, this may be a controversial subject but I'm going to go for it. I am strictly bottle-feeding my little Tater Tot. I weighed my options and decided that this would be best for both me and the tot.
I am disgusted how people will try to guilt you into breast-feeding your baby by saying that she'll become a mentally retarded axe-murderer with hay fever. Half of having a smart and healthy baby is to love and take care of her and the other half to have a happy and healthy mommy. I truly believed that it just wasn't the right choice for me to breast-feed and that if I did, I would just be miserable. I'd grow to regret my decision and to resent my baby and her constant feeding.
So I saved myself the trouble of trying to learn to nurse, infections, latching on troubles, and enduring cracked and bleeding nipples only to have to give up and feel like a failure. I went straight for the bottle and didn't look back.
I had a moment of post-partum blues one night after a particularly troublesome night and day of trying to get the tot to take enough formula and at the right times. Because I could see how much she was getting at each time, I was obsessively focusing on the amount of each bottle and I was crying in the bath tub, afraid that she was going to starve. I toyed with the idea of trying to start to supplement with breast-feeding because I still had some milk available.
But, eventually, she and I worked out what was wrong and learned to accept that sometimes she's just not as hungry as she may be some other days. Switching to a gentle formula helped too and I learned to let go a little bit. As long as she's peeing and pooping and happy and healthy and chubby - that's all that matters! She's still eating and I need to stop worrying about exactly how much down to the 1/4 ounce!
Don't let anyone tell you that bottle-feeding is so much easier. I just assumed that you stick the bottle in their mouth and it's done, but sometimes it's a long process with the same latching and sucking problems one would have if they were nursing. Feeding a baby can be frustrating, but it is important to realize that no matter how you do it - you're still providing nurishment for your child! I still have a chance to bond with her, snuggle close, and look into her eyes. And I don't feel pulled apart in every direction by being forced to nurse because I can hand Spud a bottle if I want to go have some "Mommy time" and not feel guilty about it at all!
In the end, if she is ever upset that I bottle-fed her, I'll just say that I did it to benefit her because she deserves the happiest and best mommy she can get. It's important to do what's right for you and your lifestyle, and not to let the "Breast-Feeding Nazis" influence you. I was comparing it in my head to being pro-choice. While an abortion may not be my personal choice, I'm not about to tell someone that they shouldn't have one. That's not my place because I have no idea what's best for them in their lives. And bottle-feeding is what's best for me in my life right now.
We'll see what will happen if I ever have any other Taters.....