the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree

Madison still won’t take a bottle. (Without a fight, anyway.)

There are many things that I had hoped my daughter would inherit from me. My passion for the things that I love and people I care about, my determination and competitiveness, my love of animals, and my enjoyment of sports, among other things. While it’s still going to be some time before we see if those traits got passed along, it’s apparent that she’s gotten something else. I have a very keen sense of what I want, and if I can’t get it, nothing else will do. In Madison’s case, she wants the boob, not the bottle.

What? You want me to take a bottle? I don't think so...

I distinctly remember an episode of Empty Nest that perfectly illustrates my point. Does anyone remember that show? It must have been around the same time as Golden Girls… it was a show about a dad who lived with his two grown daughters. In this episode, the dad was telling his daughter about a desk that he had wanted when he was a boy. He wanted a specific one that had everything that he needed, but was given a different yet similar one as a gift. It had everything that he had wanted, except one thing – there were no cubbyholes. He wanted cubbyholes. And so, he was never happy with it. For some reason, I really related to that. When I want something, it has to be exactly that. I can’t settle for something less.

Little Miss Madison may only be 3 months old, but already she’s decided that she won’t settle for anything less than the real thing. Very occasionally, she will actually take the bottle, but never without a fight. Normally, it takes up to 45 minutes to get her to drink just 2 ounces from a bottle, when usually she breastfeeds for 10-15 minutes and drinks twice that amount. She’ll cry, scream, arch her back, turn her head away, just about anything to get away from that offensive fake nipple. She’d rather not eat at all than take a bottle.

This is a real challenge for me. It was really important to me that she be breastfed because all the research shows it’s so much better for babies. So, I was determined to make it work no matter what. Even in the early days when I was bleary eyed, exhausted and in tears at 3AM trying to get Madison to latch properly, then pumping to help increase my milk supply (a process that would take 30-40 minutes all in), there was no way I was going to give up and just give her formula because it was going to be easier. With all that struggle to get breastfeeding well-established, I never thought in a million years that we would be having the opposite problem. Everything I read said that bottle feeding was supposed to be so much easier for babies. Now I face the problem of being tied down to breastfeeding.

Although I’m back to playing coed hockey every Friday, we can never stay for food afterwards. We need to rush home so that I can feed Maddy and put her to bed. Grandmas and Aunties have tried diligently to get her to take a bottle, but she never takes the whole thing before they finally have to give up. It’s been really tough. As great as it is to even be able to get out at all, I really miss being able to go upstairs after a game and enjoy some wingies and a drink with the rest of the team. Sometimes I feel cut off from being able to have any independence at all. I feel jealous of other moms who have that freedom to go out for an afternoon or an evening since someone else can feed their baby.

I can only hope that eventually she takes to our little silicone friend. Luckily, the same stubbornness that drives her not to take it is rooted in me. I’m determined to keep trying, with one bottle every single day. We’ll see who wins out in the end.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. anony-mouse
    Dec 01, 2010 @ 11:23:17

    3 month old babies are debatably not ready to be set down on the ground yet! It’s good that you’re breast feeding and it’s great that your baby is smart enough to know that extra cuddles from mommy at this important developmental stage mean her brain will develop better.

    Independence from her will come unbelievably fast. Savor the closeness!


  2. Trackback: here we go again « Mothering Madison

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