I was never very dogmatic about breastfeeding. It drives me nuts when people make blanket statements about child rearing like "Mother Nature knows best!" and consequently turn birth and childcare into a contest of organic showmanship. In the case of breastfeeding I was actually quite lucky and after a bumpy start I was able to simultaneously nurse the twins using a pillow the size of a truck tire for two months. At that point Mother Nature and an extremely dimwitted doctor conspired to throw everything for a loop and Lula started to lose weight.

Once they put in a feeding tube she pretty much stopped nursing, which was heartbreaking, but I pumped so she was still getting breastmilk. I do think it has made a difference to her health, and so do her doctors. When we last saw her Gastroenterologist she said Lula is ready for formulas that will be more caloric and that would allow me to stop pumping, which is something I am VERY ready to do.

I have now pumped 3 times a day for 1/2 hour each time for nearly a year. That's 525 hours of pumping, or almost 22 days. Twenty two days,  people.  22 days of feeling kind of like a cow.

However, I am really not digging the new "food" options.  The doctor gave us a sample of one of them and here is the list of ingredients:

I am by no means a purist when it comes to food - I like my peanut butter of the "Jif" super creamy variety - but in general we try to stay away from ultra processed foods. We mostly make Roan's food, and try to cook for ourselves if we have the energy.  I haven't been to a McDonalds since 1998.  Hell, I make my own soda (Soda Stream! Best invention ever!)

I think what bothers me is that this would be almost her entire diet.  She gets some formula now and eats a small amount of food by mouth but this bottle of mystery liquid would be all of her nutritional intake. I know that she's not exactly the poster child for natural living - she has a plastic tube permanently inserted in her stomach and takes 3 medications every day, but this feels like nothing will be natural.

The problem is we don't really have any other choice.  I asked the doctor if there was a more "natural" option and she said well sort of, it's less processed and is a sort of blended food, but it's made by Nestlé. Natural does not come to mind when I think of Nestlé. Hot chocolate powder with dehydrated marshmallows in it comes to mind.

Unfortunately, for Lula the more processed the food the more easily she will be able to digest it. Maybe this is a family trait. My mother eats like a 13 year old boy if left to her own devices. I have never known her to not have a freezer stocked with Hershey's kisses, but if you buy her fancy organic chocolate she never eats it. She keeps threatening to take Roan for his first Big Mac.  Her cousin Robin is just as bad.  She once told me she can't eat any fresh vegetables because they make her sick.  I swear she subsists entirely on Black Russians, soda, and whatever snacks they have at Bingo.

I am going to keep looking into better options, but as with most things child-related my ideals are going to have to be set aside for a while because they will probably just make me stressed out. In the end I can only hope that, being a girl who myself was raised almost entirely on chinese takeout, pizza, and bagels, the family constitution will see her through to a better place.