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The Story: Why it's called "My Longest Year"


His Longest Year

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I'm adding my sincere appreciation to the 20 or so comments you already have. I have an eleven month old son and went through all the same kinds of things you described. All the anxiety. All the guilt. All the embarrassment of pulling out a bottle somewhere public. I was fortunate to have a pediatrician who'd had similar experience, so while she encouraged me to keep it up (and I did for several months), she also encouraged me to understand that my child wasn't destined for juvenile delinquency because I was giving him formula. So, thanks for your post. The rest of us appreciate hearing it from those who've been there too.

Your blog caught my eye and I love the way you write - honesty is such a beautiful thing. Good on you for writing about this - I was the same with my baby girl. Limited milk supply resulting into a very unhappy baby and then the guilty/sad feelings. No one can prepare you for these feelings - no one can explain them. Not one doctor or nurse discovered my lack of supply and would just tell me that it was because she was such a small baby with a small mouth. It wasn't until I finally went to the doctor when she was 7 days old begging that I start on formula as she was never satisfied that they realised that there wsa a problem. The lactation consultant said I had near to nothing milk supply (only a few drops each feed) and that I should still breastfeed and top up with formula, meanwhile expressing while she sleeps - frankly, have my boobs out all day. In the end my husband begged that I start her on a bottle so that he could have his happy girls back as we were in tears all day everyday. He was in tears seeing us so upset. We have never looked back - Moo is the most beautiful happy child ever and I know we made the right decision. Thanks for sharing this with us.

Yay! Thanks for being so bold to share your story. I have friends who are breastfeeding super fans, so to speak. And it is hard to not feel guilty. I could not breastfeed my first and only was able to breastfeed my second for 1 month. I also have dealt with guilt but have been able to work through it as well. I say we should trust our mommy instincts and do what is best for our babies and our families. There are definitely benefits to breastfeeding and I plan to try again if we have another child. However, there are also benefits to formula feeding: like daddy being able to help and have a 2 month old who sleeps through the night! Blessings to you and your beautiful family!

let it be known that you are probably not in a small demographic of women who have the exact same problem! i was completely gung-ho breastfeeding lady...before i breastfed. i was able to feed my two daughters for 3-4 months each and then just couldn't take it anymore. constant breast infections (like once every 2 weeks), low production, depression cause they spit it all up afterwards anyway. my sister-in-law really gave me serious guilt trips about it, cause she could breastfeed and walk around her house cleaning at the same time. how nice for her....ugh. i finally was able to see that it is completely circumstantial, and i truly believe that, in the end...i did was best for both me and my babies. so all that said...glad you shared what you did. women need to read that. especially new moms.

Good for you! I breastfed my 1st for 2 years and he was 9lbs at birth...I never made enough milk to pump any for 'extra' which meant the whole 1st year I didn't 'go away' (leave him with a babysitter) anywhere without looking at the clock knowing we'd have to be back to feed him in 2 hours. It was stressful. I also had painful latch-ons for the first 6 weeks. But I'm due with my 2nd baby June 4th & I'm hoping this time around is easier or at least the same. I know what I'm doing now and I'll try but it's not 'do or die' for me I choose happy mommy AND baby. My favorite quote is: "A baby FAR prefers a bottle given in love then a breast given begrudgingly"

Amen Crystal!!!!!! I too had issues nursing my 2nd and felt like I needed the validation you write of... My pediatrician gave it to me when I sat in his office in tears after we had to take my girl in for an emergency weight check when she was a few days old. He sat me down and explained I wasnt failing, etc. Sometimes I still (she is 4 now) feel like i owe the world an explanation as to why I didnt bfeed, but you know I have a great bond w/her and my husband was able to participate more.

Great post!!!!!!!!!! Hope you are doing well.

I just found your blog and I love that you have shared your journey! I have just started giving my 8 month old one bottle of formula at night cause she was going to bed hungry... far out did I get attacked by friends when they found out! I was even told I was feeding her poison! I can't believe the hurtful things people can say that make you feel like a bad mother... you have obviously done what you feel is best for you and your family! Well done for realizing that things were not working! Thank you so much for sharing!

I am sure many, many women reading this post will feel exactly the same as you. I did! For my second baby I went to the hospital with a printed cardstock saying "No way I will give my bad milk to my sweet babby girl!" Hopefully I didn't need to use it because the first time I told the nurse I needed bottled milk for my baby because I didn't want to breastfeed my baby as I didn't have good milk, she just said, "ok then". Maybe my Ihaven'tsleeptformorethan24hoursandiamsotired face told her I wasn't kidding!!! lol...
Thanks for the post anyway!

Yes!!! The freedom to choose health... A new baby needs a healthy mom - more than it needs breastfeeding.

I totally admire and respect your decision and your post. I gave up with my oldest after just 8 weeks. My second held on for 5 months, but we began supplementing early.
I only wish I knew as much about formula then as I do now. Please, please please research all of the different brands of formulas out there. I had no idea (until about two months ago) that nearly all commercial formula has High Fructose Corn Syrup in it! WTH?!?!?
Anyway, great post. You're an amazing mom & I'm absolutely certain your kids know that!

So glad to read this today. today I went for an appointment and explained that I had such a terrible experience trying to nurse with my oldest that this one (my 4th) would be bottle fed also. I've heard it all and have made myself feel horrible enough about not trying it again, but I was honest and explained that I really don't want to stress myself or my family out. My husband could be deploying shortly after the baby arrives and the last thing I want to deal with is a new, stressful situation. I've been bombarded with info and I really wish that I had the patience and support that I felt I could make it happen. Each time there were other circumstances that held me back from trying again, besides the ultimate horrible experience I had with the first. Now, again, I'm being made to feel like pond scum (for lack of a better term lol) for not nursing. I'm tired of it...I berate myself enough about it, I want someone to support me and understand my decision and where I'm coming from.

Good for you though on sticking to what you know works for you & your family. It is so much easier to sit back and enjoy the baby at such a tender age rather than worry if you are feeding them enough or if the next feeding will produce better results than the last.

Yep. There comes a point where sanity and being able to cherish time with your little one is just more important. I'm glad you're able to be confident in that decision!

Good for you.
I nursed my first for 2 years.

My second-- wow. Boy did she knock me of my high horse called Breast it Best and the Only Way.

Month of screaming, turning away, not pooping. Overproduction galore. I could pump 10 oz in 5 minutes. We tried it all. Finally let it go and tried formula, after pumping and bottle feeding breastmilk even made her scream.

Sometimes you have to go through it to get it. I'm glad some people get it, and I like that there are others out there that don't get it, but also don't judge.

The way women are pressured into thinking that natural childbirth and breastfeeding are the only option a caring mother should consider are ridiculous. For some women these are great experiences. For others, they need c-sections, drugs, or a darn bottle. I get so irritated(angry even) at women who push these methods so much that it almost seems like their religion. I'm amazed that you tried for so long with your first two. I was the only one of my mother's 3 children bottle fed. I love my mom :)

You are such a wonderful, wise mother. You know what you know and you're sticking with it. I really appreciate and love that about you.

Cam is loved, cherished, cared for in the best way possible. I was formula fed (breastfed for just a bit in the beginning) and seriously, I've never thought about it. It's NOT A BIG DEAL. The only person it's ever an issue for (in my opinion) is the mother. I've got a high immune system (always have) my mom and I are great friends (bonded nicely)... the whole judgment of formula vs. breast is completely out of hand.

I'm proud of you for choosing the best way for you and your baby!


This post is so great Crystal! And he is so, so precious....aww..makes me want another one :-)

AMEN! Your story reads like mine (but I stopped at 2 kids).

My mom and my hubby were there to support and make sure I made the right desision (and STOP)


YOU GO GIRL!!! I so appreciate your story, and I hope that other women who need validation will find it here. My story with my first daughter is similar to yours. My second daughter and I have succeeded in breastfeeding, and I love it, but I am glad to have had the experience I did with Thing 1 - if for no other reason than that I sincerely understand both sides of the fence. And I still give my 2nd daughter 1 bottle of formula every night (ever since like day 3 of her life), before bed, to give my boobs a break. One day I was buying formula (generic brand) at Wal Mart and there was a couple standing in the formula aisle with their little tiny baby, clearly stumped as to what they should choose. The dad stopped me and asked, "Do you like that kind?" And I was like, "Well sure..." and proceeded to tell him that his child would not be stupider for having had Wal Mart formula vs. Similac. Same thing with breastfeeding vs. bottlefeeding. I seriously doubt that Thing 2 will be smarter than Thing 1 for having breastfed. Anyways, long comment. Tally ho!

This post couldn't have come at a better time for me. This week I weaned my little boy and the guilt is consuming me. I have been supplementing for some time but he is now 100% bottle fed. I just couldn't do it anymore, especially with Clay gone. I gave it my best shot and surpassed my initial goal but I can't help but feel like a little bit of a failure. Thank you for the wonderful written post

You look beautiful bottle feeding your son.

thanks for the lovely post, I am one of the odd few who didn't even try breastfeeding, I know I know the SHAME of it all, the thing is that people don't take into account the Mom. I have suffered on and off most of my adult life with anxiety issues (GAD) and I knew from experiences before children that lack of sleep exasperated the anxiety...knowing already that lack of sleep comes along with having a baby, I just didn't know how my already anxiety prone head was going to deal with not knowing how much my baby was getting and I knew I was going to have to rely on my husband to take care of some of the feedings for me (to get much needed rest)... I really felt like many people (starting with the nurses in the hospital) judged me, I knew they thought I was a lessor mother for being unwilling to try, but its not like I was going to walk around with a sign around my neck saying I SUFFER FROM ANXIETY--leave me alone! Anyway my pediatricians were always fine with my decisions and since both of my kids had pretty significant jaundice, the formula made it easier to manage. I wish we as a society would realize that most of us Mom's really are trying to do the best we can.

Beautiful boy by the way!!!

I'm not sure I've ever been more grateful to anyone than when my best-friend's dear friend, a La Leche League member, told her "you and your child are the ones for whom formula was invented; use it and enjoy your baby." She would really have liked to breast feed, but with that affirmation she really had done everything she was able to let go. I'm pregnant with my first and fully plan to breast feed. But, if its not in the cards, I'm not going to make myself crazy over it either.

Girl. I hear ya. My first little fella never latched on. My second - I went straight to the bottle and I enjoyed his infancy soooo much more. I harbored so much guilt and sorrow from not BF my first (mostly self imposed) that if it weren't for my supportive hubbie I would have cracked. Ok - enought of that - blessings to you and your clan. May you enjoy a few sleep filled nights and TONS of sweet baby smiles. Thanks for always being so candid.

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