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Bottle bonding with Elisa - September 27, 2015

Bottle bonding with Elisa – September 27, 2015

Hello, everyone!

Todd the Toddler (AKA #minivegan) is almost 16 months old, and he recently finished his LAST serving of his LAST can of Earth’s Best Organic Soy Infant Formula…on December 11, 2015.  As you know (if you’re a regular reader of this blog), Todd has been formula-fed (i.e. My Bottle Baby) since he was just a few weeks old.

I kept track of the number of cans consumed, and the final tally was 74 cans!  At roughly $25-28 per can that means that up to ~$2000 was spent on formula feeding for Todd.  I’m thankful that my mom helped out with the majority of the cost.  I have a wonderful family!

The last can!

The last can!

At Todd’s 12 month doctor visit, I was told that Todd didn’t need to keep drinking formula, so I started mixing his formula with a combination of organic fortified soy milk, hemp milk and my homemade cashew oat milk.  At the time, I had 5 cans of formula left, to use up.

Now that his formula days are over, I wanted to write this “official” post because I want to say THANK YOU to formula!  For me (and especially for Todd), formula was a wonderful thing!

It doesn’t take a “rocket scientist” to figure out that formula is widely considered sub-standard when it comes to infant feeding.  Anyone who reads the most basic list of “benefits of breastfeeding” will naturally worry about all of the opposites…the “risks of formula feeding.”  It’s easy to walk away thinking that formula is akin to poison. 😦

Now– I’m 100% pro-breastfeeding.  I’m not going to deny that human breast milk is 100% designed for human babies.  I wanted 100% to breastfeed!!  But…some of us aren’t successful with breast feeding NO MATTER HOW HARD WE TRY.  It’s the truth!  Sadly, I know that some people can’t believe that breastfeeding just does not work for everyone.

Some women deliver all sorts of easy advice, packaged in an unmistakable attitude of “failure is not an option.”  These women seem to believe that breastfeeding should be pursued “all costs.”  I do realize that most of those advice-givers are probably very well-intentioned, but I still find such an attitude extremely harmful to those of us who did faithfully follow all of the advice yet still struggled.

Personally, I complied with all the recommendations that I received from the lactation specialists that I saw, and yet I still had a hungry baby at my breasts.  The more I followed advice that just didn’t work, the more exhausted, heartbroken and defeated I felt.

The solution for my hungry baby was FORMULA!  (The answer wasn’t that I needed to “try harder.”)  The solution for me was accepting that formula was helpful, effective, and a GOOD thing for Todd.  It wasn’t poison.  He loved it.  How I can anyone argue with a thriving baby?

1 month old - September 26, 2014

1 month old – September 26, 2014

5 months old - January 23, 2015

5 months old – January 23, 2015

7 months old - March 23, 2015

7 months old – March 23, 2015

~10 months old - June 18, 2015

~10 months old – June 18, 2015

13.5 months old - October 4, 2015

13.5 months old – October 4, 2015

So before I say my final goodbye to Todd’s formula, I shall compile a list of every good thing I can think of about our very positive experience with formula feeding using Earth’s Best Soy Formula (in no particular order):

  • Todd gained weight on formula…after losing weight with attempts at breastfeeding
  • Todd took very well to bottle feeding…after demonstrating an inability to effectively suck from the breast (and he increasingly pushed away at my breasts)
  • Todd loved his formula
  • Todd’s always had regular, easy elimination…no digestive problems whatsoever
  • it’s just as easy to bond with a bottle baby than a breast feeding baby
  • many people who love Todd got to bond with him while feeding him
  • I was sooo glad to get rid of the pump
  • my stress level went way down once I made the decision to stop trying to breastfeed
  • it was nice to “reclaim” my body as my OWN…after going through a rough childbirth, followed by a rough breastfeeding experience
  • I was eager to get my periods back and to get back into good hormonal balance
  • I’m glad I didn’t have to figure out how to breastfeed in public (it’s not for me!)
  • drinking coffee (and alcohol) without thinking about how it would end up in my milk
  • feeding Todd during long car rides was very convenient

I’m probably forgetting some things but those are definitely the highlights!

As of now, we still call Todd’s non-dairy milk blend his “Formula Milk.”  He joyfully responds to that phrase!  Currently, his “FM” contains 2 parts organic EdenSoy Extra (fortified) Original soy milk, 1 part Tempt Unsweetened Hemp Milk and 1 part homemade cashew oat milk.  The transition has been seamless.

The times every day that I spend “bottle feeding” Todd (now it’s technically a sippy cup) are among my most cherished moments with him.  I love rocking him in my glider chair first thing in the morning as he drinks his first bottle and I read him books, and I love my time with him at night, when he sips water, we read books and he falls asleep in my arms.

We are blessed.

Here are just a few photos of Todd’s bottle bonding moments!

Bottle bonding with Eric - October 5, 2014

Bottle bonding with Eric – October 5, 2014

Bottle bonding with Ashley - October 14, 2014

Bottle bonding with Ashley – October 14, 2014

Bottle bonding with Eli - October 16, 2014

Bottle bonding with Eli – October 16, 2014

Bottle bonding with Grandma - October 5, 2015

Bottle bonding with Grandma – October 5, 2015

THANK YOU, FORMULA…AND GOODBYE!

Bottle bonding with Elisa - August 30, 2015

Bottle bonding with Elisa – August 30, 2015

Crippled Goat - photo-7

Friday May 17, 2013

I’m holding a 3 day old baby goat.  He’s absolutely precious!  His cry is adorable.  Of course, I’m stating the obvious.  All babies are cute.

This little guy should be running and jumping and acting hilarious, like normal kids do.  But, he’s not doing that because he has 4 deformed legs that won’t even hold the weight of his tiny body.  He’s going to need a LOT of help.  He still might not make it.

Sadly, babies are born deformed.  It happens all the time.  Life isn’t fair.  In his case, he had 3 other siblings.  He was just so cramped in the womb that he didn’t develop normally.

Here’s the problem, though…

This kid is the product of a goat breeder.  It just so happens that the breeder is a “first time” breeder, but that doesn’t really matter.  A breeder is a breeder.  I’m talking about the dairy industry.

As I already mentioned, the mother goat who delivered this kid had 3 other babies.  The breeder didn’t think this one would live.  She focused her energy on the other three.

A day or two later, the breeder realized that this kid was still alive.  He wasn’t going to just die.

Now what?

The breeder doesn’t have time for bottle feeding.  This kid needs bottle feeding every 2-3 hours for at least a week.

The breeder can’t be bothered with a crippled goat.  This kid is completely dependent in every way.

What to do?  Of course:  Call a goat rescue.

Yes, that’s a very good thing to do.  I give her that.  It’s very good that she sought help.  She did the right thing by calling someone who cares about animals, and who has the experience to help.

But here’s the thing…

This kind of passing the buck (no pun intended) is completely unfair to the goat sanctuary owner.  I think it really “stinks” that breeders can basically dump their little inconveniences onto the people who run sanctuaries.

I wonder if the breeder offered to pay for any of the costs that the sanctuary owner will obviously incur, to take care of this kid.

What I just described is just one of the many problems I have with small dairy farms.

But, in general, I can’t stomach the dairy industry on any level.

I can’t stomach dairy products because I can’t accept the mentality that it’s okay to bring life into this world just to turn around and take it away.

Dairy breeders for all species (i.e. goats, sheep, cows) depend on continuous pregnancies to keep all that milk flowing.

Dairy breeders on farms of all sizes are in the business of killing unwanted baby animals.  This is simply the only way a dairy can make any money.  Extra bodies that aren’t producing milk are a drain on the business.  There are too many mouths to feed!

  • Male babies are killed because they won’t ever produce milk.
  • Female babies are killed because their numbers still inevitably become too numerous on the dairy farm.  Farms only need a small number of “replacements” for their “old” and “unproductive” mothers.  (Retirement = Death).

It’s really quite rare for a baby animal to get the kind of chance that the kid I’m holding in the picture is getting.  But, that certainly doesn’t make it okay to continue breeding animals.

Dairy really does make me sick to my stomach.

————————————–

Updates here…

"There are those who are appalled because I am so vocal about injustice, yet I am equally appalled by their silence." Lujene Clark

“Every time you purchase animal products you pay assassins to murder sentient beings for you.”

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"My purpose is not to offend you, it is to provoke you to think." Unknown

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