It’s ok to not be THAT mom

Note: I may earn money or products from the companies, products, or links mentioned in this post.

I would like to tell you why I was not able to breast feed, and why I will have to have a c-section if I decide to have more kids. We live in a society where people feel trampled and looked down upon for having a c-section and not breast feeding. And heaven forbid you don’t use cloth diapers to diaper your child. I am sick of people feeling bad for getting an epidural, needing a c-section, or not being able to breast feed because of circumstances out of their control. People need to learn why some people aren’t able to do these things before making people feel bad, bad about the situation and bad about themselves.

I know there are people out there who may be lazy and not want to breast feed or do natural childbirth or whatever, but you should always find out someone’s reason before assuming the worst. And even if they decided not to do these things for no good reason, who cares? Is it your business to know and make them feel bad? Let them live their life and you live yours. You cannot Change everyone. Why should I have to feel bad when I know I have good reasons for what I did. Or that I know I made the best decision for my situation or for my family. Y
ou don’t have to do these things to love your baby or to be a good mom.

Why I was not able to Breast Feed
After I had Adam, I tore so badly that it took several hours for them to stitch me up. They told me they needed to give me some meds, because I was just too uptight and my doctor wanted to do her job properly. They told me the meds would put me to sleep, and I would not be able to breast feed. I was pretty upset. So when they gave me the meds I decided I would do what I could to stay awake so I could feed my baby. And although I was a bit out of it, I was able to stay awake and they did let me try and breast feed Adam.

Adam was a hard baby to feed from the beginning. He did not want to take to me, and we tried with a shield and he still would not. That night I was pretty out of it so they decided to let me try again in the morning, I was not able to keep in him in with me because of how tired I was. I had been in labor for 24 hours and had no sleep as well. That combined with the meds, they said there was really no way I would be able to care for the baby that night. The next day Adam still would not eat. He did not want to latch on and did not really want to eat at all. At that point, they said he would have to have a little bit of formula if he did not eat soon. I saw the lactation consultant and she spent much time with me trying to get Adam to latch on, but we both just had a hard time with it. Adam later had to be fed with preemie bottles so that he would get nourishment, and in between I would keep trying to get him to latch on.

It also would hurt incredibly bad when he tried to feed. I was crying almost every time, and almost scared for the next feeding time because of how bad it hurt. So many people told me that was supposed to be normal so I just tried to get through it. Meanwhile I found out about how bad my tare was and that it was fourth degree, and I was put on a bunch of meds. The lactation consultant had showed me how to pump and so I had been pumping to keep my milk up and trying to get Adam to latch on the other times.

Several days later I developed a terrible rash that over the course of three weeks spread all over my body. I saw several different doctors and was given tons of prescriptions none of which helped. I was given steroids, steroid shots, steroid creams, anti-itch creams, anti-itch pills, and more. Here is a picture of a bunch of the prescriptions I was given. This is not even all of them. Over the past three months I have been on probably about 50 different medications.

I kept thinking the rash would go away so I was pumping my milk to keep my supply up and throwing it away since he could not drink it, hoping that I could soon get back to trying to work with Adam to latch on. As the rash got worse, and the weeks went by, I slowly started cutting back on the pumping. As I did, I noticed that my rash seemed to get better. I completely stopped, and it my rash went away.

Between the rash and all the meds I was on, I was not able to breast feed, and I will not be trying again. I do not know why I developed a rash, or why it hurt so badly to try, but I know that Adam has done fine on the formula. When I hear people talking about breast feeding I feel so bad, that I was not able to do it. Sometimes I feel like a bad mom. I know I had good reasons, but everyone makes it out to be such a bad thing to use formula. During this trying time, I was shocked to learn that both my mother and my mother-in-law did not breast feed. I am not really sure why they did not, but I turned out fine and so did my husband. It goes to show that just because you did not breast feed does not mean you are a bad parent.

Why I Will Have a C-Section For my Next Birth
I will not re-tell the whole story again,but as you know I had a fourth degree tare with Adam’s birth. I tore so bad it took two hours to stitch me and I was on bed rest to heal for several weeks. Although I healed well, they said I would not be able to have a vaginal birth again.

Now, I know that some of you would say that is just the doctor’s opinion and to get a second opinion, but I do not agree. I do not ever want to go through what I went through again. Until you have torn the way I did and experienced the pain, and the recovery time, you will not understand. I am very lucky that I healed well, and I do not want to try and press my luck again.

I know doctors nowadays try to press a lot of women to get c-sections when they don’t have to, but isn’t that the woman’s decision? Just like you can choose to have a natural birth, or to get an epidural, they can choose to have a c-section. There is no need to look down on those people if that is what they have to get or choose to do.

If you would like to read more about what I went through at birth and about my recovery please click here: Recovering From Birth

These topics are something I feel very strongly about. I wrote this post because I don’t want others to feel beat up or bad for making the decisions they had to make. This post was not written because of any one thing that was said to me, but more because of what I have heard and seen around. I appreciate any opinion you may have and respect it, and ask you to do the same for me.

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  1. There is nothing wrong with not breast feeding… my motto is that while the breast is best, formula isn't poison… by any means. I breastfed my son for a week tops, but with my daughter I did it about 4 months. Breastfeeding is hard…. and it hurts for a while.

    I had a horrible labor and delivery with my son (pregnancy was a piece of cake with him). I was pumped full of pitosin for roughly 20 hours… pitosin makes your contractions much more frequent… and a lot more painful. I was given pain medication once every 3 hours and finally about 15 hours into labor I was finally given an epidural. I still begged and pleaded with my doctor to give me a cesarean. It was absolutely horrible.

    My labor and delivery with my daughter was completely the opposite. Almost enjoyable. (I wanted to die for about the first 4-5 months of pregnancy with her because I was sick all the time). I was in labor for about 3 days with her. I was able to sit in the birthing tub for most of my labor on the 3rd day (which was such a blessing and an incredible relief from the contractions). I went natural through almost all of my labor with her… but I lost focus and got the epidural.

    Each pregnancy is going to be different, and so is labor and delivery. Keep an open mind and listen to your body 🙂 When it comes down to it though, it is *your* choice, not anyone else's and no one should make you feel bad for choosing one thing or another.

    Your baby is loved, diapered, clothed, bathed, and fed. That is what matters… not how you get it done.


  2. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    I am physically incapable of breastfeeding. I tried for days with Jacob and it never happened. I was told that it was my body (not my milk supply) that was the problem and I would never be able to. It hurt me so badly, I couldn't begin to try with Ben for the fear of "letting him down"
    We live in an apartment without a laundry mat at the moment so we don't do cloth diapers. I am constantly frowned upon by others because of the way "I choose to raise my children".
    Jake is 5, one of the smartest and well behaved kids in his class, and Ben is 8 months and doing things my friends 12 month old kids aren't doing, so even if they don't think so… I must be doing something right!
    I think as Mom's WE and WE alone know what is the best for our families and our kids. It's not up to others. It is a 4 fold decision, us, our husband, the babies, and of course God.

  3. Awesome post! I do hope to have a natural child birth and I do hope to breastfeed but like you said, it is a personal choice and I may not get to do either if circumstances arise. I am determined to try but that does not mean I will succeed. You must go with the flow in life. Plans rarely go just as planned.
    I am sure you are a wonderful mother and I believe wholeheartedly that you made the best choices for you and your family. At the end of the day, that is all that matters. No one else has to live your life so it has to be your choice.

  4. there are other options besides mass produced formula and hopefully you have educated yourself to make the best decision for your little one's growth and development.
    here is a link about the dangers of formula


    and here is a link about how to make wholesome, homemade formula


    it is your decision, yes, but there is nothing wrong with trying to help and educate each other.

  5. I loved this! It shouldn't make a difference what other moms do- it should be 100% your own choice, because it's your kid!

  6. There's nothing wrong with formula. The breast feeding nazi's really irritate me. (this coming from a mother who breast fed all 3 of mine by the way)

    You know what's funny about all of this? When your kids get older and you've moved past the tiny baby stage in life (and naturally your friends and social circle tend to follow) NO ONE talks about this stuff anymore and nobody cares if you breast fed or had a natural childbirth. Some women act like this is the hill they'll die on in order to "be right" while they're in the midst of it…I promise you, life moves on and it's not that important in the scheme of things. It's not worth making others feel inferior over. Seriously, if another woman ASKS you for your opinion on something, than share it with her lovingly. If not, then keep your opinion to yourself! 15 years from now it will be such a non-issue it'll be laughable that we all got so riled up about it once.

    I for one wanted an epidural every time. Asked for it right away. Never had one that worked though (found out with my last baby that I have larger than average gaps in between my discs that allow the catheter to slide out easily and it shifted or slid out of position each time.) Go figure!

    I guess that makes me a horrible mother though. My children will never go to Harvard. *wink* lol

    I appreciate your honestly here. Don't ever feel guilty for your choices when you've done the best you could do for your family in the situation you found yourself in. You love your baby every bit as much as the woman who had 8 of them at home in her bathtub, breast fed each of them for 2 years and kept her washing machine full of cloth diapers for a decade!

  7. To Kathryn, first off I'm sorry that you went through all that. Secondly thank you! I tried to breastfeed Bunny, and I was able to for just a few months and my supply started running out. And I felt GUILTY. I hated that I wasn't able to feed her longer.

    To the anonymous poster. Anonymous? Really? You must not have much faith in your convictions if you feel the need to stand behind anonymity. If you're going to stand for something, stand for it all the way. Don't hide from your own comments.

  8. Amen Kathryn!

    I ended up having an unscheduled c-section and I wasn't able to breastfeed either. It always irritates me when people look down on others in an attempt to validate their own decisions. Everyone's motherhood journey is different and the quicker we accept that, the better we will all be as moms.

  9. WOW– really… making your own formula. For something so nutrional for babies.. weird that Ive never heard of it anywhere

  10. Spitfire,
    I am the anonymous poster, only because I do not have a google account, nor do I want one.
    My comment has nothing to do with my convictions. I merely presented a research based article on the dangers of formula. Those are documented facts, not my opinions.
    The other link is for recipes for making homemade formula. Again, not my convictions, recipes.
    I did not offer my convictions, I offered information.
    If it makes you feel better, my name is Candace.
    You can retract your claws now.
    I was not judging. Why would anyone get so angry about someone passing along information?

  11. Thank you for posting this! I used to work on a maternity floor and I would hate when I would hear doctors pushing their own beliefs/practices on their patients and how they should handle their experiences with baby.

  12. this is a great post Kathryn!

    thank you for being so open and honest…it is so sad that we as mothers put so much pressure on ourselves. You are doing what is best for your family and really that is all that matters. We each have a different journey and we should encourage each other on our journeys, not judge. =)

  13. I'm stopping by from the WoF community…it's nice to connect with other Christian, Military spouse bloggers…



  14. This is a great post. It seems like just one of those things you need to get off your chest… especially if people get onto you about it, but you don't retaliate at the time.

    I think it's petty when people judge others for the choices they make, sometimes. As long as you are looking out for the best for you and your family you're making the best choice. End of story.

    It takes a strong woman to stand behind the choices she has to make.

  15. Amen 🙂 I had a wonderful pregnancy and a what a lot of women you are talking about would class as a horrible birth experience that is a perfect example of why you should go natural etc etc (induction to the full extent of the word ending in emergency C-section) but I didn't know any better at the time, have no "regrets" (except for having to wait 6hrs to hold Jonathan due to me being out of it in Recovery) and it all ended in a beautiful, healthy baby.
    And then he needed formula top-ups from 1 month to help weight-gain and for my mental and emotional coping. Again, how not ideal! Sure, I felt guilt, but my husband was an angel and reminded me of the logic and neccessity of it.
    Oh, and we do disposables too 😉

    And now you and I both have little angels, regardless of birth, boobs and bums!!

    And I just want to thank you for being open and honest and unashamed about this all. Again makes me feel not so alone in it all 🙂

  16. THANK YOU! I feel the EXACT same way. Why does it matter what I do with MY children? Why should it matter to me if someone had drugs or not during labor or if someone chooses formula (OMG WHAT A SIN!) instead of breastfeeding. Free will exists for a reason and I hate it when other people stomp on people because they chose a different path.


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