I have been giving Bug baby cereal for the last month or so and have been pumping to mix the milk in with it. I have plenty of milk, but it takes so much time and preplanning that often he doesn't get the cereal with his meal, just the baby food. I decided to go ahead and buy a can of powdered formula so that I wasn't just adding plain water. I also thought that it would be a good way for him to get any extra vitamins that he might not be getting from me.
So off to the grocery store I went with Sunshine in tow for special mommy and me time. When we get to the baby aisle I'm looking at all of the different types of formula and all of the outrageous prices. All I wanted was a small can of powdered formula, but not the individual serving size. I continue searching, feeling utterly confused. Milk-based? I thought they weren't supposed to get dairy until they were a year old. That can't be right, is it. Sunshine looks at the ginormous can in my hand and asks, "What's that?" I replied that it was baby formula. "Baby formula? What's baby formula?" I was trying to figure out a way to explain it. First I said you put it in their bottles, but then I stopped, I knew that wasn't what she was looking for. Then I said it was for them to drink and you mix water with it. She looked slightly baffled by this. Then I said that some mommies can't make milk so they use this instead. Her eyes got huge and her mouth hung open a little bit and she exclaimed, quite loudly, "They can't?!"
I realized that I have 3 children and was buying my first container of formula. We had been given formula in the past from the hospital and always gave it away to the local food pantry before it expired. I nursed Sunshine for 17 months, Monkey for 18 and plan to continue with Bug for just as long.
I left the grocery store with a new respect for myself and my body. I was proud of what I've been able to do for my children. Then, later that night, when I saw myself in the mirror, I realized that my body is certainly not what it was 6 years ago, and I'm ok with that.