How I’m convincing myself this is okay

Monday I hit sort of a low. I was coming down with a raging illness, and with Leo’s sensitivities, there was nothing I could take beyond a couple of regular strength Tylenol. I had all the hopelessness one normally gets when sick (WILL I EVER BE HEALTHY AGAIN? UNLIKELY) with an inability to have cough drops, tea, ibuprofen, or ANY cold beverage other than water. So pretty much the world was ending, dogs and cats were cohabiting, and Chicken Little was doing laps around my brain. I told Matt I couldn’t do it anymore. Go buy the formula.

The only wrench in my plan was that Leo had his 4-month well-check scheduled for 8:40 the next morning. I didn’t want to send an overtired, hungry, fussy baby in for his first immunization. We agreed we’d start after the appointment. I ate a small bit of a turkey sub — literally the first cold food I had eaten in three months, all the rest was hot, cooked food — with a whole mess of enzymes. I figured I’d give it one last test. Maybe his system was stronger, maybe I could get away with “bad” food every once in a while. Maybe maybe maybe. My last ditch effort to keep this bond with my last sweet baby.

In the past his reactions have been a slight flare in the eczema on his forehead, gas, and the pinpricks of blood in the diaper. I assumed that would be what I’d see if he reacted to what I ate. HA! Ha. This morning, after his first feeding, I noticed a bit of red around his mouth. I thought maybe my hand had been pressed against there, or his had, or something. But it didn’t go down, it got brighter. And it was hot to the touch. It’s still there, nearly four hours since he last nursed. He also threw up most of the feeding.

So I gathered my resolve, and I sterilized the bottles, and I started to come to terms with the fact that this is happening. After three solid years of nursing my daughters (well, with 8 months of pumping for Vio, but it was still all breast milk that she got) I am going to have to give my baby formula. Even though I know that I would tell ANY OTHER WOMAN in my situation that absolutely this is one of those cases where breast milk is no longer best for everyone involved (and may not even be CLOSE to best for the baby) I am having trouble forgiving myself what I perceive to be my own personal failing.

There have been things I’ve been reciting in my head the past few months, trying to prepare myself for this moment. Ways and words to convince myself this IS okay. I don’t know how convincing any of them are, but I’m putting them down here so I can read them over and over again until I believe myself.

First and foremost, the diet I have had to be on to keep him happy and minimally bloody is not sustainable for my health. When this first started was around that point after you get the baby home that maternity pants are NO LONGER AN OPTION. When he was about a month old, I went to Old Navy and bought myself some pants in what I called a “depressingly large size”. I am now comfortably wearing pants that are three sizes smaller than that. That’s a pants size A MONTH. I weigh less now than I ever have in my adult life. (I’d be almost a little bit excited about that if not for the fact that I am REALLY SAD right now, and there are bags upon bags of Halloween candy in our kitchen. Plus Thanksgiving in two weeks, HA HA HA.) That aside, I have had nagging symptoms off and on since starting the low salicylate diet. I finally put it all together, and I think I have some vitamin deficiencies. My skin is dry and awful. I’m getting headaches. And if I’m not getting enough vitamins (read: NONE), Leo isn’t either.

Second, what is best for Leo (if that were somehow breast milk) may not be best for the rest of the family. Matt, saint that he is, has stepped up to take over a lot of the dinnering for the girls. It was too much on me to try to make them a meal AND make me a meal, and try as I might, there just weren’t meals I could make myself on this diet that I could adapt for them. What that boiled down was that they were more often than not eating food from cans/the freezer section/the magical blue box. Now, I am FINE with kids having those foods, but for my family, I try to keep them in moderation. These children were used to fresh vegetables with their dinner every night taking up half of their plates, and I feel as though I have undone YEARS of work by them eating less nutritious food for the last three months. (Not years of the nutrition they got, but years of them eating plate after plate of vegetables without whining for something else.)

Going along with that is the resentment I feel toward the ENTIRE WORLD for eating things I can’t eat. I go in the grocery store and I’m actually angry at the people in there. They can just buy whatever they want! Such freedoms they have and do not appreciate!

I’m really really FAIR is what I’m saying here.

Seriously, though. I should copy and paste the food log I’ve been keeping since August. It is a sad, sad document. Every day basically looks like, “Quaker oatmeal, sugar, salt, white rice, green peas, potatoes, sunflower oil.” Copy and past that 90 times, and you get the basic idea.

Now, as far what is best for Leo, nothing else considered, I don’t think the breast milk was going to work. No matter how carefully I ate, the blood was still coming back. Sometimes I could trace it to something I did (like taking a multivitamin I desperately needed, researched the hell out of, and even rinsed off the sucrose coating to make it as safe as possible) but sometimes it wasn’t easily explained. And that is MADDENING. With the formula, I will know there is one constant input. If he continues to have flare-ups on that? Well, then we may need to get some testing done.

There was a short period of time when I think the stars aligned and we got everything right. He had no blood, and he was STRONGER. You guys, though we know he CAN do the mini-pushup (because he did it that week when everything was awesome) he mostly doesn’t. Sometimes, when he’s flared up, I can tell he’s trying, and he just can’t. I don’t know if it’s related. He’s got some other physical/motor skill things we’re keeping an eye on, and I feel like it would be negligent for me, at this point, not to at least give the formula a try.

Formula feeding comes with so many negatives. The bottles to wash, the loss of that closeness, the bottles to wash, the cost. The GUILT more than anything. The feeling that every single anything that he deals with later in life that his sisters don’t deal with will leave me feeling like it was somehow tied to the formula. But I guess I’m hoping the good will outweigh all the bad. I won’t get a pit in my stomach whenever it’s time to change his diaper. I will be able to cook my family a proper meal at night. I will be able to trade off sleeping through the night.

I am so afraid of what is going to come next when it is time to start solids. I want his body to be as healed as possible before we can even think about it. Starting today means he can get two solid months of easy-to-digest nutrition before his little body has to think of breaking down anything more complex.

This does not undo what I have already done. That’s the hardest bit for me to accept, but it is so important, and my heart knows it is true. I still breastfed three children for a total of 39 months. If he had been my first baby, Roo my last, I would be ending on a positive note, and I would feel content. I can’t beat myself up that they came in this order. This does NOT undo what I have already done.

I am going to pump. I’m going to keep pumping as long as there is something there to pump. I’m going to file it all in the freezer, just in case. Maybe I can donate it? Maybe it doesn’t have to go to waste. (I’m also afraid of dealing with the hormonal drop from weaning. IT IS NOT FUN, and I’m already a ball of anxiety. Let’s deal with that NOT RIGHT NOW.)

I always thought there was no breastfeeding situation I couldn’t rise to the occasion and beat with research and discipline. Maybe I could have beat this if I tried harder, I can’t really ever know that. But I don’t think I’ve got any fight left in me. And he needs me to make this change, even if he isn’t going to like it. This IS what is best.

So. Deep breaths. Enough giving myself a pep talk. He’s starting to wake up now, and it’s time.

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52 Comments

Filed under Little lion man, Motherhood uncensored, Probably too serious

52 responses to “How I’m convincing myself this is okay

  1. Oh lady. *HUG*

    Also LITTLE LION MAN = best tag ever. And you can do this, and you’re so awesome.

  2. I’m not going to give you a pep-talk. Maybe I will when I’m back on Monday, but not today. Just a cyber hug and a pat on the back.

  3. We know I don’t have kids and may never have kids. But I can tell you this, I know myself well enough to know I wouldn’t have gone to the lengths you did before switching to formula.

    You two being healthy matters more than anything else. This will give you two a chance to get that way. At least we live in a time where there is formula he can have that will get him what he needs.

    You are not a failure.

  4. Oh, hugs! That would be super duper hard. And I think, at this point, you really are doing what is best for your little man! Heart wrenching as it is!

  5. I’m so sorry for all that you are going through. I remember going through that roller coaster of emotions when my baby couldn’t latch on. You have to do what you think is best for you and for your family.

    I’m going to drop a few links here and hope that doesn’t get this sent to spam.

    First, I love the idea of you donating if you can and want to. You can either donate to a non-profit milk bank (they are so short on milk right now) or through an informal network like Human Milk for Human Babies. Here are the links:
    http://www.hmbana.org/
    http://www.hm4hb.net/

    With regards to the closeness of nursing, Attachment Parenting International has some great info on bottle nursing. It is a great way to help preserve as much of the closeness of breastfeeding as possible, even when you cannot nurse: http://www.attachmentparenting.org/principles/feed.php

  6. Don’t feel alone. I can so empathize. Your little man is going to be fine. So fine, in fact, that he’ll give you lots of other things to worry about!! 😀 I hope you feel better soon.
    p.s. – Your writing style is really direct and honest and lovely.

  7. Love you so very much, lady. It’s scary to sit here and read about the health problems that you and Leo are going through as a result of this extreme dieting and hyper-awareness of everything that gets anywhere near your body. I worry for you two, most especially for YOU. We already sacrifice enough as parents that we cannot be enemies of our own physical and mental well-being.

    I hope this works, or helps, or just makes SOME sort of positive impact on your life. You’re a success. Making the right decision, even when it’s not the one you want to make, isn’t failing.

  8. You tried & in that gave a Herculean effort. You can’t sacrifice your health when you are still responsible for taking care of this sweet little boy.

    I’m sending all my love to you. You are doing what is best for everyone involved & that is the single most important thing. It really is the best for everyone. I’ve been in your situation of having to stop breastfeeding. My twins are growing & surviving just fine no matter what.

    Never feel guilty for feeding your baby, no matter how you do it. At least you are feeding him. Hang in there, little mama. It will be okay. (((HUGS)))

  9. Miss Britt

    From one mother to another – this is MORE than OK.

    We promise you.

  10. Oh, Diane, there is no “if I’d tried harder.” You did EVERYTHING and you gave it tons of time. It sucks that breastmilk isn’t going to work for this baby and giving up that relationship is definitely something to grieve. Good luck with the bottles/formula today – I hope they work perfectly.

  11. I can’t offer any advice, but I want you to know that lots of people are thinking about you and rooting for you as you struggle with this. Best of luck.

  12. Love you. You’re doing what’s best for him. No shame because there shouldn’t be any. Good moms do what’s best for the individual child. This child needs formula. Hug, hug, hug.

  13. Manda

    Oh Diane. I’m so sorry you’re going through this! It seems like you KNOW that it’s time without any doubt, and your reasons – your son’s health and YOUR health – are very, very sound. Formula is NOT that bad. Just imagine what life would have been like if formula wasn’t an option. Babies like Leo wouldn’t have many safe alternatives. I formula fed Sydney for 8 months. It was hard but I know it was the best thing for her. I beat myself up terribly and it was not right for me to do that. Wish I could give you a big hug! It’s going to be ok!

  14. The only person who could have tried harder could also walk on water. And He couldn’t nurse in the first place.

  15. Diane, I’ve been following your BFing journey here and on Twitter and have SO BADLY wanted to say something, but I didn’t want to be crazy internet lady. But now I feel like I have to say this – I have sat here, time and time again, stunned by your committment to this. I BF’d my two kids for a combined 6 months and didn’t have the strength to carry on. The guilt has never gone away, b/c I know I could have kept going if I tried harder. You have NOTHING to feel guilty about. You have, literally, exhausted every option.

    In my opinion, we BF b/c it’s what’s best for baby – and sometimes, it’s just not, and it’s through no fault of the mom’s. You are an amazingly dedicated
    mom and Leo (and your girls) are lucky to have you. This IS okay.

  16. Yes, the good WILL outweigh all the bad. A healthy mother is the best thing you can do for Leo and for your girls. You’ve walked through fire for him and getting both of you healthy and strong is nothing to feel guilty about.
    Big hugs to you.

  17. I breastfed my oldest longer than my youngest for many reasons. I do still get the pang of guilt that the younger won’t be as smart as the older, and then I kick myself in the ass and realize I’m being selfish. If they are different, it’s not because one was nursed longer, it’s because they are different people.

    What you’re going through is especially hard because of how hard you’ve worked to try to make it work. Unfortunately, it’s not working, and you’re doing the right thing by making Leo and your whole family healthier.

    You’re a mother trucking rockstar mom.

  18. I want to scream that you are beating yourself up for this. You are not well, which is not good for your child. Ever. If you’re not getting enough, neither is he. You cannot go on like that. It’s not fair to you, to him or to the rest of your family.

    You are not contemplating dosing the child with poison, it’s nutrition. I had to switch my son to formula when he was a few months old. At nearly 13, he’s as smart as a whip and has the best immune system of anyone I know. He’s rarely sick, and when he does come down with a cold, he shakes it off in a day or two.

    I’m sorry you have to go through this. It sucks. Know that did everything in your power to make it work, and now you have to do what’s best for both of you. It will be OK. Promise.

  19. LizScott

    So, I know you know this– I KNOW you know this, but just because I have the benefit of zero hormones at play in this scenario — if Leo experiences problems in the future that his sisters did not, it’s not the formula, it’s what ever is going on with him that causes him to have problems with breastmilk (problems that his sisters did not.) I promise. Something’s going on with your little guy, and it’s not the fault of the formula. You are doing the absolute best thing for him, which is recognizing that he needs something different.

    You are such a rockstar. Good luck to you this week!!!!

  20. You are SUCH A GOOD MOM to go through all of this. You are making the right decision for you and for him. My first was hellish to breastfeed, and after my third bout of dangerously bad mastitis, I was done too. (Not that I didn’t cry every day and have extreme guilt for over two years.) Breastfeeding is so, so right for so many babies, but so, so wrong sometimes. You’re making the harder decision, which means you’re NOT giving up. I think you’re doing the opposite.

  21. Oh, Diane. I wish I could jump through the computer and hold your hand and somehow convince you of all these things that your head is clearly telling you are true, even though your heart is breaking. You said it all in this post–all the right things, all the true things. This situation was NOT sustainable. Your health and well-being ARE important, as is the well-being of the rest of your family. Formula is NOT a bad thing; it’s food, and it might be the very thing Leo needs in order to heal.

    Here’s the other thing I’ll say, though: The lengths you have gone to in order to preserve a nursing relationship with Leo are nothing short of heroic. I hope that there’s a small voice somewhere inside you reminding you of that fact, and that this small voice will ultimately drown out anything inside that’s telling you to feel guilty or like a failure. You are NOT a failure. You are an amazing mother who has gone above and beyond for her baby, and I’m in awe of you. Leo–and your girls, too–are so incredibly blessed to have you.

  22. No advice, just reassuring thoughts that you are doing the hardest thing and also the right thing for you, your baby and your family. Good job, mom.

  23. Lauren E.

    I needed to delurk to tell you how incredibly impressed I’ve been by your dedication to Leo and to breastfeeding. In my opinion, your efforts have been truly heroic. You’ve done every possible thing you could to fix this miserable situation. You’ve gone above and beyond what most women (myself included) would be able to handle. Be kind to yourself. Trust your instincts. Know you’re making the right choice for you and every member of your family. What you’re going through is really hard, but given the strength you’ve shown throughout this ordeal, I have no doubt you’ll come out the other side a happier and healthier woman. Good luck to you and a big cyber-hug from a fellow mom who is routing you on!

  24. I think you did the best you could, the best! But that little guy needs a healthy Mama, first and foremost, and it sounds like you’re not as healthy as you should be. I know it’s hard, but there are plenty of formula babies out there who are healthy too. So you stop beating yourself up, you’re doing what’s best. It’s OK, you’re OK, the baby is OK, you’re smart and clear headed about this, take care of yourself. Sending many big cyber hugs to you and Leo.

  25. shriekhouse

    Isn’t it just awful to know something intellectually but your heart just won’t cooperate? There’s nothing anyone can say that you haven’t already said about why this is the right step for you and Leo, but I know what it feels like to remain unconvinced on the inside. I hope this transition goes really, really well for your both, and that in time you *feel* peace with the decision that you so thoughtfully arrived at. Hang in there mama. xo

  26. Cristin

    Reading your post makes me increasingly grateful for the easy to feed 5 children I have! Never a problem until my oldest stopped breastfeeding and tried regular milk… lactose intollerant. That’s it.

    Good luck to you my new twitter friend… and snuggle-loves to your babe in arms!

    Cristin

  27. Dude. It really IS okay. Really, really, really.

  28. Oh, sweetie. This is painful to read – I can’t imagine how it must have felt to write. I wish I could come fix it for you. So so so so much.

    You know it doesn’t get much more pro-breastfeeding than I am, but I have to say that formula seems like something you have to try here. Leo’s sick, in a way, and he needs treatment, and you’ve tried to come up with a treatment that will incorporate breastfeeding but it hasn’t worked and you need something else. It’s not a feeding decision, it’s a medical decision, and you have researched the hell out of it and are a zillion times more educated than most people would be about the problem. If you can’t fix it, no one could. You haven’t failed Leo, you’ve done a totally kick-ass job working and advocating and eating oatmeal and peas and sunflower oil, for Pete’s sake. And now it’s time to try something else and it is absolutely the best choice for you.

    Formula might just be the right medicine for Leo and for you so that you can both get back to health again. (And that includes your mental health!)

    I hope someday you’ll be able to see what we all do – that you haven’t failed even the tiniest least bit, and are in fact a smart, loving, incredibly strong mother whose kids are so, so lucky to have her.

    XOXOXO

  29. I want to give you a hug so badly. You are an amazing mother for persevering so long in the face of this. I guarantee you that I would have switched to formula sooner; you are a rockstar for your dedication to nursing. I know that what I say won’t have an effect on your feelings about this situation, but a happy, healthy mom will have a large effect on Leo, as well as on your sweet little girls.

  30. Stevie

    Wow – I am in tears. I was in the EXACT same position almost 4 years ago. The reasons why I had to switch to formula were different but the anxiety, guilt, emotions etc that you are having – I could have written this post. My heart goes out to you. I could tell you how my baby, who is now 4 – but my youngest and probably last so always my baby, is totally fine, healthy, smart and fabulous. I could tell you how everything worked out great with the formula and bottles and how it was fun for my husband to get to feed him after not being a part of all that with our other two etc. But all of that won’t help you right now because you have to get through your feelings about this. I will keep you in my prayers for sure. Remember, this too shall pass. Parenting is HARD and this is the kind of stuff you don’t think about when you hear people say that. You will all be better for going through this struggle.

  31. Celeste

    Wishing you peace with the formula. I hope your little guy does so well on it that your sorrow melts away. You have no control over why breastfeeding isn’t working, and when it doesn’t work, it REALLY doesn’t. Blood in the diaper is something no mother should have to see.

  32. Celeste

    PS…you can sign up for formula coupons with the manufacturer, and you can even buy them on eBay (as counterintuitive as this sounds).

  33. Erin (anislandmom)

    *BIG HUGS* I can’t say I’ve been there and I can’t say I know exactly what you are going through but I’m sorry you are going through this. I’ve breasted both my babies and I know it would be hard for to give them formula, not because it’s bad but because I would feel its my fault.

    But it’s not your fault And you are doing what is best for Leo and you. I hope this helps and his tummy is happy with the changes. I also hope that you get to have a night out on the town eating it up.

  34. ebj123

    I just want to tell you that I think you are amazing, and the lengths you have gone to to try to make this work are incredible, and you are not a failure. You are a Super Mom, in fact, and yes, I know all those feelings, I know that exact feeling of “There;s nothing wrong with formula but i just don’t want to give it to my baby”, I totally get that. Stay strong sister, it’s going to be ok.

  35. This was heartbreaking for me to read, but also inspiring. I cannot imagine how much strength and determination it took to live through this experience and to so thoughtfully and conscientiously explore and try every option, as you have done. What you are doing is more than just okay in my book. You are making a hard decision here to do the right thing for you and for your child, despite knowing that it will not be without pain of its own. I admire you so much for the commitment you made to breastfeed, and I admire you even more for doing something you don’t want to do, because you know it’s best for you and your baby.

    On a related note, a friend of a friend is a pediatrician who had a similar experience with both of her sons. She has become an expert on this type of issue. If you’d be interested in contacting her, I could put you in touch.

  36. I was unable to nurse my younger son (different issues but same outcome.) I wish you all the best right now. I know–I truly do–how much you don’t want to discontinue nursing the baby. I also know that you will need to make an extra effort to be close to this child since he will not be nursed. Finally, I know that you don’t have to sacrifice the closeness to achieve the best nutrition possible for your baby, yourself and your family. How do I know this? It happened for me. My prayers are with you!

  37. Diane, you are in my thoughts and prayers – this is a tough, tough place to be mentally. It’s where I was with Asher, though he wasn’t having any MEDICAL difficulties, so I felt absolutely AWFUL when I decided a happy me would be better for the whole family, rather than the person who was a wreck for 23 out of 24 hours of the day. And do you know what? Five years later, I can say that I do not even think about it anymore. Never. Time heals a myriad of wounds, and yes this is going to be super painful and super guilt-ridden for a loooooong time (not lying to you there, it was HARD for me, and I only nursed A for 10 weeks) but then eventually, you just… forget. When babies are so little, feeding is pretty much their entire lives, you know? And you know that when they turn 2 and 3 and 4 and 5, you don’t have to think about what goes into them nearly as much as you do when you’re dealing with a baby who reminds you how they’re eating every two hours.

    You are amazing – you have tried beyond what any person I’ve ever KNOWN would have tried, and I don’t believe I could convey my personal level of admiration for you. Someday, when Leo is being a little shit as children will eventually do to their parents, I am going to call him on the phone and tell him about the SUNFLOWER OIL, because OMG DIANE. You are amazing. AMAZING.

  38. You are absolutely doing the right thing. Lots of hugs from the internet, because we know that sometimes even the right thing is really hard.

  39. Diane — I’m sure this is one of the hardest things in the world for you to do, but it seems like it is time to at least try. Hopefully the formula is the answer and you can all get back to being healthy and happy soon. You are amazing and I don’t know that many people would go to the lengths you went to in order to nurse Leo for so long. I wish there wasn’t so much guilt associated with breastfeeding. I wish it worked out perfectly for everyone. At this point you have nursed him for far longer than many, many people, so be proud of that (and most people don’t have to go through nearly the restrictions and difficulties you did). And be proud of how hard you tried, and how much research you did. Hopefully eventually you will feel confident in your decision.

    Rejoice in all the yummy food you can now eat! I’ll be thinking about you guys often. You are amazing!

  40. Margaret

    Diane- I’ve been following your story a bit through Arwen, and I must say, I have been so impressed by your commitment to solving Leo’s troubles. All the best to your family; I hope that little Leo continues to improve.

  41. Diane,
    I will join the chorus of VERY SMART, LOVING women who are saying: You did everything you could! You tried SO HARD! NO ONE could accuse you of not doing your best for your baby! And, as my mother often says: it doesn’t do the children any good if you kill their mother! I admire your incredible efforts, and my heart breaks for you that you are losing something you fought so hard for =(!!
    We all love you and think you are an AMAZING person! I hope you will be able to think that someday soon too =).

  42. I’m finally at my laptop and not my stupid phone. I shall comment now!

    Please PLEASE know that you’re absolutely doing the right thing for you both. You’re not well physically which, my GOD your poor body. I know it takes a bit for your heart to meet up with your mind but you are an AWESOME mom and have done EVERYTHING possible for Leo. Which is why you’re going to formula. Because you want him to thrive and be well.

    Hugs to you from a million miles away, lady friend.

  43. It sounds like in this case, breast milk is in fact the wrong choice for this baby. That is very, very hard to handle when you want to breastfeed and have breastfed before, and I would feel so disappointed, I think, if I were in your shoes. But standing at a pleasant distance, as I am, it looks SO SO RIGHT, what you’re doing. You tried; you tried harder; you tried way harder than most other people would have; you tried even harder than that; then you tried harder than that. This is not working. The baby is suffering and losing health points. (Yes, I have been playing video games. WHY DO YOU ASK?) It sounds to me like it got to the point where it was actually the WRONG CHOICE to keep trying. I don’t mean for convenience, I don’t mean for happiness—it sounds like those points were passed long, long, LONG ago. I don’t even mean for your health, which also sounds like it was passed long ago. I mean for the health of the baby.

  44. This was reminding me of something and I couldn’t figure out what it was—and then I figured out what it was: it’s reminding me of that Rh thing some babies have, where it’s different positive/negative than their mother’s. I don’t know much about it, but I remember the mothers have to take preventative measures to keep their body from rejecting the baby’s body. And no one says “Oh, what a bad mother, she should have tried harder, she must not be TRULY COMMITTED to this pregnancy or else it would have worked out!! She should try SOMETHING ELSE to make this WORK!! Because non-injection-interfered-with pregnancy is BEST!!”

    No. We say that biology is crazy sometimes and thank goodness medical science etc. has stepped into to counteract that craziness, and then we say give the mother the shot she needs to keep her body and the baby’s body from being in conflict.

    Biology is crazy sometimes. Thank goodness we have overrides and alternatives.

  45. Oh honey, please don’t beat yourself up over this! I made feeble attempts at BF’ing three children…over and over again I said “this time I’m going to try harder; I’m going to be less selfish; I’m going to do what’s right for my child.” But, each time I ended up realizing that the pressure I was putting myself through was making everything worse. You have done an amazing job – way more than I’d be capable of, as well as many many many moms out there. I admire you for both your sacrifices as well as the wisdom to know when enough is enough.

    You’re doing the right thing – for you, for him, and for your entire family. You know it, I know it, 40-some other commenters (so far) know it, and anyone else who has ever read your words here also know it. You’re an amazing woman; don’t doubt that for a second.

  46. If rinsing the sucrose off a vitamin is not trying as hard as anyone can possibly try in their entire lives, which would mean you reached the end of Trying, I do not know what is. I salute you, Diane, and I’m thinking of you tonight.

  47. Hillary

    Lady, you are doing what’s right for you, for your family, and for your sweet little Leo. It’s a difficult decision but one that is so SO right. Please try to be gentle with yourself. You are an excellent mom.

  48. I love you so much girl. You are amazing, strong, and so very, very loving. I think you are the only person I know who could last as long as you did, working as hard as you did to try make it work. But remember there is strength and wisdom in admitting something isn’t working. And in that strength there is pure, selfless beauty. You are a beautiful, beautiful mama. Hugs, Hugs, Hugs. LOVE YOU!!!

  49. Diane- I have so much to say and I will via email when I have a better keyboard than just my phone, but I wanna make a deal with you:

    I won’t beat myself up for giving Olivia formula if you don’t beat yourself up for giving Leo formula.

    And then we’ll go eat the largest motherfucking quesadilla we can get our hands on.

    Rock on, lady.

  50. I am so sorry you have had such a struggle. But your points are so strong and so valid and I hope hope hope that you and Leo are able to move forward in a way that makes you BOTH happy and healthy. Thinking of you.

  51. I was out of town so I’m just reading this now, but I’ve been up to date the entire time via twitter, and I support you 100% and you’re doing the best you can, doing so much more than one person should even be capable of, and I am sending you all kinds of good thoughts and I really, really, really hope you find a good solution for you and Leo and this all works out. You’re a great mother.

  52. Jen

    You are absolutely doing what is right for both you- I can’t imagine how physically awful you feel right now eating what you’ve had to eat! You have gone SO FAR beyond what anyone (including you!) should expect. I just hope hope hope that the formula route works for little Leo and this ends here. xoxo