What’s best for one isn’t best for the other

Photo by Chris Richardson via SXC

Photo by Chris Richardson via SXC

I’ve found myself in the horrible position of having to choose between the needs of one child over the other this week and I don’t like it one bit.

When I fell pregnant with Ollie I debated whether I would or would not breastfeed him. Under hospital policy, if Aidan is admitted to hospital, Ollie can stay with me by Aidan’s bedside only if he is breastfed. This means that if he isn’t breastfed then I need to choose between the two boys. Since Ollie’s birth, things have been going along okay with Aidan’s health but at the back of my mind I knew I would need to make a decision soon.That decision came this week when Aidan fell ill. After three days of fevers, Anthony and I decided to take him to hospital to get checked out. We expected the doctors would admit him for a course of IV antibiotics and decided to pack overnight bags to take with us. The question was who would stay with Aidan? Since I was breastfeeding Ollie, I could stay with both boys but I knew in my heart that it wasn’t really feasible. There was no way I could look after a newborn and a sick child all by myself and it broke my heart as we packed Anthony’s clothes for him to stay. Yes, Anthony is Aidan’s dad but I know when Aidan is sick it’s me that he wants. After all, nothing beats your mum when you need a hug. How could I begin to explain to Aidan that I couldn’t stay by his bedside as I always did because of Ollie? Would he resent his little brother? What if something happened and I wasn’t there?

Fortunately, Aidan wasn’t admitted but by then my decision was made. I would start to wean Ollie onto formula.

If a friend told me she was no longer breastfeeding her child I would be 100% supportive – thousands of babies get through life quite fine not being breastfed. But of course, I love beating myself up and have a tendency to let mother guilt eat away at me. I worry that not breastfeeding Ollie will lead to more allergies in the future and a weakened immune system as the experts say. I think my decision would sit better with me if I stopped breastfeeding because of mastitis or because I wasn’t producing enough milk but I’m choosing not to breastfeed when I am quite capable of doing so. To be honest, I also worry about feeding Ollie a bottle in public, even though I know I shouldn’t care what other people think.

However, as much as it pains me to put Ollie onto formula, I know it is the right decision for me and my family.


8 thoughts on “What’s best for one isn’t best for the other

  1. Why not do both? breastfeed and bottle so if u need to go to hospital formula will be able to be given, and the hospital may be able to assist with a pump when u are apart and then u can use that milk in the bottle as well and so u can keep your supply, could help your conscious and baby still getting some goodness, if not nothing wrong with formula breastfeeding isnt always possible for every baby so dont feel bad and there are many reasons why

  2. Hi Kylie, absolutely no judgement here, we all do what we have to do. However I agree with Mel, would it be possible to do a mix of breast and formula? Or would you be able to express for Ollie while with Aiden? You could always call the breastfeeding association for help, I know I found them helpful in the past.

    • Hi Rose-Marie, I did go to the GP and paediatrician and am going to do a combination of both. The GP said it could be fine for Ollie to have formula while Aidan was in hospital so long as he is happy to take a bottle. We’ll see how it goes.,

  3. Do what works with breastfeeding and bottle. But I was thinking about something totally different as I read this blog….maybe it could be good for Aiden, daddy and even you if Aidan and daddy learn to deal with things together sometimes, without mummy. I know how extraordinarily capable you are and how much all of your boys need you…but maybe daddy packing his bag next time could be a good thing occasionally. I find myself always taking the drivers seat with all things medical related for all of my family and my family like that, the knowledge, the understanding of how things work and I like knowing exactly what is going on and not having a “hand over” from other relatives (who alwasy get it wrong or miss vital bits of information), but maybe stepping away from that occasionally might not be a bad thing. When I was in hospital having just given birth to Adele, Iris had to go to an ENT, because Adele was early I could not make it to the appointment and Michael had to take her. There was nothing I could do about it. When the specialist found out I was hospitalised and could not be at the appointment, he laughed and asked my husband if he should send a full written report to me so my husband would not have to answer my many questions on his return. Michael was extremely grateful as he was already stressed about the grilling he knew he would get. Maybe some time with daddy taking the lead in the hospital with Aidan could have some surprising benefits. The doctors and nurses won’t let things go too wrong 😉

  4. Every family situation is different. Emily was never never without family while she was in the hospital. Patricia was with her during the weekdays, and I would be with her during the weekends. Then there were times where my Mom or Patricia’s Mom would be able to spell us and stay there for a day, or overnight. Looking back, I am so happy that our Moms had their alone time with Emily. It was very special to them and to Emily. Emily had her own play preferences with each of her grandmas that were completely different that what she liked with Patricia and I. I am not trying to give you advice; only you know what’s best for Aidan. I just wanted to share our experience.

  5. You’re right in so many ways. Sometimes we are our own worst enemies. It’s true that I hate handing over the reins. For the last few months before I went on maternity leave, Anthony was taking Aidan for platelets and I hated not knowing what was going on. To be honest, me staying with Aidan when he is admitted is as much about my needs as his!

  6. Thanks Aaron. I could count on one hand the number of times someone else has stayed with Aidan when he is admitted. It is good for him to know that mummy can’t always stay but at the same time I go crazy when I’m not with him. It’s as much about me as it is him.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s