*Above: The healthiest, strongest baby on the planet! Kidding. Sort of.
Couple of updates: I received a bunch of requests for more info on breastmilk testing, and for more info on my friend who just had a baby very recently and had decided to breastfeed. I'm sorry to say I can't post much on either yet... BUT
I last spoke with my LLMD's PA, and sadly, she didn't seem very knowledgeable about the breastmilk testing at all and offered, "Regardless of testing options, I don't think Dr. ___ would recommend breastfeeding to you anyway." I couldn't get an actual appointment with my doctor until February 16th, so please hang in there.
There is one person who knows how this all works, and that's my friend with the new baby. From what I know, her little one is absolutely perfect and healthy (and cute as a button--she sent me a birth announcement!) but as much as I want to hound her for information, I have to respect that she is a very new mom, and her priorities involve getting settled and healthy, and of course spending time with her new family.
In the meantime, I ordered the milk testing kit from IGeneX (I might have mentioned that in a previous post--my brain is fried as usual). I'll post pictures and info soon, I promise.
As for me, I feel comfortable sharing that I am a proud formula feeder--it has worked out well for us for a few reasons:
1. In the beginning bottle feeding was less stressful on my body and by not breastfeeding I was able to rest at night and heal faster (nights up with a newborn are treacherous, whether you're sick or not). I know, "Why not pump?" Because it's a pain in the ass (and the boob), and I know this might make me sound selfish, but I swear, my intentions have always been to give my son the best, most normal childhood possible, and if my health and sanity are at stake, no one is happy or feeling normal at all.
2. There's no chance of my passing Lyme on by not breastfeeding. I'm not sure whether this is a legitimate fear--there are a bajillion different opinions. It's just one less thing we have to stress out about.
3. For all of you fearing that formula kids get sick more frequently or aren't as healthy as breastfed kids--I haven't seen that. Wyatt is an ox. Knock on wood, he has not gotten sick yet, and I'm even thinking that he SHOULD get sick at some point so his immune system can get more exercise.
4. When nosey people ask me if my kid is breastfed (yeah, they really do ask sometimes), I just lie and say yes because it's much easier than feeling like I have to defend myself. One lady at our local farmer's market responded, "Oh I can tell--he's such a strong healthy baby!" And I was like, "Ha! Sucker!" No one can tell the difference. Really.
5. Most important to know: My baby is well fed, happy, and meeting all of his milestones early even though he arrived a month ahead of schedule. So no, formula does not make dumb, slow, weakling babies. If I hadn't been able to take the medication I needed to start beating this Lyme, I would have felt and acted like a dumb, slow, weakling mommy. That first month was ROUGH. But the medication switch made the biggest difference in the world, and it allowed me to care for my baby in the best way possible.
Newbaby (that's it's name for now--original, I know!) will be formula fed as well. Done deal. I'm not even stressing about it this time around.
I can't say enough that I am not trying to push a decision on anyone. There are some women who are dead set on breastfeeding, and that's awesome. I don't expect everyone to share my opinion. PLEASE do what you feel is best in your heart and what works for your family. The only reason I'm mentioning this is because when I was first searching for Lyme pregnancy info last November, I had NO IDEA what anyone did when it came to ANYTHING.
So this is just a note about what I do when it comes to feeding. It's just one way to do it. So far it's worked out beautifully. If you have other feeding experiences to share, please leave a comment. We are all searching for answers, and your opinions really do help.
I am a mother and writer with Chronic Lyme, on the road to acceptance and recovery. I was bitten in 1996, diagnosed 2008. I am living proof that it is possible to live meaningfully and have happy, healthy children while battling this terrible disease.