Elizabeth

I was actually doing really well with breastfeeding so to have to stop for my own health was maybe more damaging to my psyche.

I was in labor for 41 hours and pushed for six. Finally, the call was made to perform an assisted forceps delivery. By the last push, I was given an episiotomy which my daughter's shoulder got caught on and caused a third-degree perineum tear. I lost a ton of blood and, honestly, almost didn’t survive.

Once we got home, something still didn’t feel right. I was rushed back to the hospital to find I had an internal tear they didn’t catch that caused a major infection.

For the next month, I was hospitalized fighting the infection and having multiple unsuccessful surgeries all while still trying to take care of my newborn. I ended up having three surgeries and nothing was healing. My husband brought our baby to me by day and my mom minded her at night, it was hard.

I had a massive allergic reaction to pain relief medication, and the antibiotics they finally put me on had very limited research on the effects on breastfeeding. We decided not to risk it and I started pumping and dumping. In order to keep up my supply, I had to pump every few hours, even through the night. It got to the point where I wasn’t letting my body rest and properly heal.

With the help of my doctors and family, we made the decision to stop breastfeeding and stick to formula moving forward. It took me a long time to be okay with it. I remind myself of every day, happy mom, happy baby.