My CCRM IVF Journey

Our successful journey through IVF #2 at one of the world's top fertility clinics


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!


9 Responses to “33w2d”

  1. LisainSK said

    Em…i had to quit bf due to my high blood pressure and crazy headaces after birth too. LN10 has been formula fed since day 4. I try not to feel guilty but I do and cringe what other ppl think. But just tell them, for those that ask, that you r formula feeding for medical reasons and they quit asking. I do not believe its any easier compared to bf, but i share ur exact feelings. but totally understandable given ur complications. And i am on the surgical wait list for tubes tied too…my latest post talks about both issues. not much longer!!

  2. Cassie said

    You should absolutely not feel guilty at all about not breastfeeding. You are indeed putting your babies first, by making sure that you are strong enough to take care of them.
    And the tubal ligation sounds like a great idea. I wish I had had that done during my c-section, especially since I knew about the c-section ahead of time. But in reality I only had a few days of advance notice about the section, which wasn’t enough time to come to the realization that tying my tubes would have been smart. I could have saved DH the pain and trouble of getting a vasectomy. Oh well. He’s fine with doing it.

  3. soulshine said

    hi auntiem,
    you have really been thru the ringer with that fall. i can only imagine what it has been like for you during this pregnancy, the amazing thing is that you have kept such a positive attitude and outlook about it all. i really am looking forward to when they are born and your sacrifices ‘pay off’ in parenting these two sweet girls!

    i support whatever decision you come to about how you will feed them, but i wondered, can you breast feed them or pump for them for a few days or whatever, in the beginning? will that effect the estrogen? forgive my lack of knowledge about this- i just thought since you were prepared to b/f, and feel somewhat bummed about not doing it, is there a way to compromise on it, even if only a few days time? that way the babies would get that colostrum, and yet you could wean almost immediately, so the estrogen could then begin to come back up? i am sorry even to suggest such a thing as you probably have already thought this thru, i just wondered about doing it for a few days… uggh, i hope i didn’t offend you!

    i am so excited for when your babies come! only a few more weeks!

  4. MabelB said

    Hi, I was going to suggest what soulshine said, feed them your colostrum until your milk comes in and then switch to formula? That way they still get the main benefits from Breastfeeding anyway?
    I totally respect your decisions, they are hard ones to make and it sounds like they are the best for your babies and your family. Not long to go now, good luck!

  5. Pie said

    Yup, Soulshine beat me to it – give them the colostrum then switch to formula. There is such a good immune boost from just that small amount of colostrum, you can feel good about doing that for them. And honestly, I think you are already being a good mom, making choices that keep you healthy so you can be there for your little ones. Keeping what’s best for the babies (current and future!) in mind, and guiding your decisions, that’s what being a good mom is all about. 🙂

  6. MyTwoLines said

    Formula is fine! No guilt, no worries. You have been through so much, cut yourself some slack and get ready to enjoy those little girlies!

  7. Little Diiorios said

    No need to explain….totally get it. You are a loving person…that is clear…and no decision affecting your family would be taken lightly. Really sounds like you’ve got it all thought through. And yes, so happy and glad that your girls are fine after your accident. Can’t wait to hear more about them!

  8. Wishing and Waiting said

    Dear Auntie Em, I am glad that you have made this decision now. I hope that by the time the girls are born, you have come to terms with it and aren’t feeling guilty. They need a mommy who has the strength to care for them and you have made the best decision for all of you. Take care. Less than 4 weeks until they are in your arms!

  9. Not sure how I even managed to find this blog, but I wanted to tell you congratulations and also to say that with your preeclampsia it’s entirely possible you would never make enough milk for twins anyway. I had pre-e with both pregnancies (2nd time around was ID twins from CCRM) and both times even though I made milk and the babies did nurse, it was only in tiny amounts and I had to give up and use formula. Several of my doctors said they see that with pre-e patients a lot. Anyway congratulations again!

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