Baby Caid's Holle Success Story
I was born at home on an organic farm in Vermont before organic or raising your own chickens was cool. I was a breast fed baby. A long time breast fed baby. My brothers will claim I was five when I stopped, but I will argue that all day -- I don't remember needing to wean to start kindergarten.
I will admit to continuing through age three with an occasional tug into my fourth year. My youngest brother should be careful of how old he claims I was because I seem to remember him hopping on the other side occasionally and he's two years older than me. Needless to say, it was all very natural.
As such, when I got pregnant, I wanted to recreate as natural of a delivery and upbringing for my baby as I could living in Los Angeles. I thought the fact I was going to the hospital to birth was a very mainstream choice! I knew I would breastfeed, not forever, but would aim for six months and hope for a year. I thought women who weren't successful at it just went trying hard enough.
I had a very beautiful pregnancy. I felt great and exercised and practiced yoga throughout, which is also my career, so I was very fortunate to keep doing what I love. After finding out I was leaking amniotic fluid at 38 weeks and my baby presenting breech, I had to have an emergency c section. I was devastated as I wanted a natural birth. But he was healthy and everything was good — he was latching, I was healing.
At six weeks of age, we were vacationing in Hawaii and my son Caid was unusually fussy and breastfeeding nonstop. I realized he was in a growth spurt, and upon coming home, expected that his weight would have jumped up dramatically. Instead, we saw he had only gained 2 ounces over the week. I was shocked and pretty panicked. I pulled out the breast pump and saw that I was barely pumping 3 ounces between both breasts. My heart broke when I realized my baby had been malnourished for the week and that was why he was so fussy.
I went to a lactation consultant immediately and to see the pediatrician as well. The lactation nurse gave me a plan to up my milk supply as well as big brand formula samples since I had to start supplementing. I felt defeated and like I was feeding Caid the equivalent of junk food, to which she said, if you were starving wouldn't you eat junk food? Well yes, but not if there's a salad available next door. But I went with it. His skin broke out, he spit up, he was gassy. We tried another brand and another and the same or worse, he wouldn't take it. I tasted all the choices before I have them to my son, and they were awful. No wonder he wouldn't eat them. Even an organic option wasn't great.
My girlfriend gave me a box of Holle PRE, I tried it and new we had found the right formula. Just tasting it, I felt better. No chemical flavor (it kinda tastes like a milk shake) and ingredients that are like what I grew up around.
When you are trying to do all the best things for your baby and you have setbacks in your vision of what that is, it's wonderful when you can feel good about plan b. My challenge breastfeeding was all the more frustrating after my disappointment in not having a natural birth. The challenges often feel like failures, so the success with Holle was a bright spot.
Caid is five months now, he is shooting up on the growth charts. I'm still breastfeeding and supplementing with Holle, but am not plagued with disappointment when he needs more food and I have to turn to the bottle. As much as my breast milk is liquid gold, we feel the same way about Holle. When we were feeding him the big brand formula, we would throw out leftover formula all the time, sort of happy to see it go! Now with the Holle, we know he's getting goodness and we don't waste a drop!
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