Besides my low milk supply and my overabundance of eternal guilt about not providing enough food for my child, Charlie also had acid reflux and colic. Oh yay! Another reason to feel even more guilty. I took personal responsibility for his “immature digestive system” as it was called by the doctors. It was my milk that was making him reflux. It was my milk that was hard for him to digest. Rationally I knew I was a good mom, but I felt horrible that I couldn’t make him better.
When Charlie was 4 weeks we went to a pediatric gastroenterologist who suggested we switch Charlie from breast milk to a prescription formula. The name escapes me now, but I do remember that it was over $200 for 6 cans. She thought that his digestive system may have been having difficulty processing my breast milk due to reflux.
We tried the formula for 2 days. I pumped like crazy to make sure my milk supply didn’t dwindle any lower than it already was. I remember crying hysterically for those 2 days. I was prepared to breast feed for the first year of Charlie’s life and I was told by the doctor to try formula. What?! I was not ready to stop breast-feeding AND it was going to cost a crap load of money for formula each month. I was so resentful of the situation. I loved breastfeeding and the time it gave me with my son. I loved our closeness and I loved that no one else could give him what I could. In reading this I sense a very selfish pattern of what were my needs over his own. Unfortunately, I did not have that type of insight during this process.
After 2 days I could not take it anymore. I had to breast feed. It didn’t seem that the formula was making a difference. I decided that I would just eliminate everything from my diet in order to help him digest his milk easier. I was also told that changing my diet could help with the colic. For a little over a month I didn’t eat dairy, soy, wheat, gluten, spicy foods, ethnic foods or any other type of food that could be difficult to digest. He was also put on Zantac and we gave him Mylicon and/or Gripe Water with every bottle. Long story short, the formula didn’t help him with his reflux or colic. Neither did my diet change or his prescription medicine. He just was the way he was. So we continued on with breast-feeding and I allowed myself to eat a well-balanced diet again.
As far as I know, I actually had it easy on the guilt front. I pretty much felt really guilty, but just around one issue. I have a lot of mom friends who feel guilty about many things, even though they are doing nothing wrong. That’s the thing, as a mom you take personal responsibility for the well-being of your child. When anything may compromise it we take it upon ourselves to feel bad about it.