On the baby front: He is amazing. Just turned 9 weeks old and took his shots like a champ. He weighs 11 lbs. 5 oz now (3 lbs. more than birth) and he's the best thing ever. I'm in love. I'm also done breastfeeding. Hallelujah!!! I had never breastfed before. Both girls did formula and they turned out great. But since I knew Mason was and is my last, I decided to try something different. He was a natural at it. Come to think of it, so was I. I mean, my body knew what to do but my mind realized it's a lot. A lot in the sense that ALL OF THE FEEDINGS are my job. As in, no help from Gabe. As in, just me, awake, sobbing, nursing Mason while Gabe saws logs next to me. I cannot tell you the level of resentment that results from this. The word "unfair" kept playing on a loop in my mind.
I know that "breast is best" and all the slogans that go along with the breastfeeding world but for me and my life, I've decided "bottle is the way I stay sane." Seriously. Breastfeeding Mason for 6 weeks was really neat and bonding and special. But it was also a ton of work, exhausting, and made me feel like a prisoner. I know this isn't everyone's experience but with 2 others kids that have a lot of needs, it became too much. Oh, and did I mention the crazy amount of reflux issues Mason was experiencing while nursing. No bueno. So formula it is and formula makes all of us much happier :)
However, there is judgement from others when you either give up (or never attempt) breastfeeding. Silent judgement. I've been through it before. That look of surprise when another mother asks and I give the answer that he is bottle fed now. Then I feel some need to explain. Like I need to give reasons why I'm not nursing. The same way I used to answer the "What do you do for a living?" question by responding that I am "just" a mom and then reciting my resume to prove that I'm indeed educated and started a career at one point in time. Ugh. I don't do that anymore. Thank God.
Back to judgement. My cleaning ladies were here the other day. They've been here several times since Mason arrived. They are very sweet, Latina ladies. They are always nice to the girls but very happy that I had a son. (This is a theme in the Latino culture; boys seem to be the desirable sex and until I had one I would always get questioned about when we would be trying for a boy.)
As they were cleaning, Mason woke from a nap and I headed to the kitchen to prepare his bottle. My cleaning lady looked at me, then the bottle, and asked " Why you aren't breastfeeding?" I responded that I did, but I'm done, and he has reflux, and this is better, and....
Did I just get judged by my cleaning lady? I heard her then recite to the other cleaning lady in Spanish that I nursed for 6 weeks but not anymore. I don't know what she said after that.
Here's the thing, it shouldn't matter. It doesn't matter. It's up to each person and each family and it's no one else's business. It's another one of those parenting/mothering/woman things where there is a ton of judgement in each respective community and none of it is valid. The proof is in the pudding and so far I think my puddings have turned out pretty awesome; formula and all :)