Posted by auntiem10 on August 15, 2011
My husband and I decided this weekend that we are going to formula feed the babies instead of trying any sort of breastfeeding. This decision makes me feel sad, guilty, and selfish. I had planned to try breastfeeding with the ultimate goal of exclusively pumping so that my husband could also participate in feeding the babies. But after my accident, my feelings about this began to change.
The absolute best thing for my body right now is to regain a normal supply of estrogen (which will bring on AF, booo). Without a normal supply of estrogen, my bones will continue to be brittle and my joints will continue to be loose, leading to greater risk of fractures and joint dislocations. My doctor said that a “normal” woman needs about six months after pregnancy (and breastfeeding if she chooses to do so) to replenish her natural bone density. With my bone disorder, we are talking a year or more. Most women function just fine with this lack of estrogen, but I am apparently an exception to the rule with my fragile, crumbling bones. So basically, the sooner my body can start pumping out estrogen, the more quickly my body will return to the way it was before pregnancy. I can have bone density scans performed periodically to make sure my bone density is improving in the months after the babies are born. I want to be strong and sturdy for our babies, so I feel like this is the best decision for us.
I also feel like due to the fact that I still need pain medication for my injuries, and that medicine can end up in breastmilk, I would rather keep that exposure away from the babies. It’s bad enough that I had lots of mor.phine during my eight days in the hospital and have been needing hydro.codone and tyl.enol since I came home, so our babies have been exposed to that. They’ve obviously done fine, but I would choose to give them formula without any of that stuff rather than breastmilk with harsh medication in it.
But as settled as I am with this decision, I feel guilty and selfish for prioritizing my body over the benefits of breastmilk. I know that our babies won’t receive the same antibodies from formula, and I hate robbing them of that advantage. I feel like a mama should put the needs of her babies first, and herself second. And yet, I’m doing just the opposite in this case and placing myself first. My husband reminds me that the babies need me to be in good health, and he is right, but I can’t help feeling like I am selfish. I hope to reach some kind of peace with this before they are born.
I’ve also decided to have my fallopian tubes ligated during my c-section. We decided a few months ago that we are officially done adding to our family with these miracle girls. We have three frozen embryos, but I won’t choose to become pregnant again because of the bone and joint issues. If one simple fall in the shower resulted in three broken bones, two dislocated knees, and major knee surgery that is taking 11+ weeks to recover from, I shudder to think of what could happen during pregnancy #2. I wouldn’t have the luxury of lying in a hospital bed for seven weeks again, recovering while my husband struggled to take care of two toddlers and two dogs. I’m also traumatized by the experience of badly injuring myself and not knowing for quite some time whether I had hurt and/or killed my babies. We found their heartbeats after some time in the emergency room, so we at least knew they were alive, but we didn’t know whether they had suffered injuries from my fall until the next day. We got lucky this time, with no apparent trauma to them (thank goodness, thank goodness, thank goodness), but what if there was a next time? It’s just not a chance I desire to take, even for the miracle of a third child. Our only other option is to ask someone to carry a pregnancy for us, but we already know that we are just not comfortable with that. We know that what’s best for us is to accept ourselves as a family of four and feel blessed that we conceived not just one but two babies. But I must say, it’s such a weird turnaround to render myself sterile after doing everything I could to make myself fertile. My brain still has to catch up to this new development!
Tomorrow is my next NST. Friday’s was wonderfully uneventful, as was our limited ultrasound. No contractions, amniotic fluid levels and everything else looks perfect, and everyone was very pleased with how things are going. My ankles and feet are HUGE, my back is killing me, I feel like a beached whale in bed when I try to roll from side to side, my belly is growing by the week, I feel hiccups all the time, and I constantly feel like I have little feet in my ribs. It is wonderful! Our c-section date is in 29 days, if we make it that far!
Thank you for reading my ramblings!