Formula for Failure


October 15, 2014 by Melanie L.

The scale dipped when I courted my fear of judgment.  Charmed, I silenced instinct and succumbed.

Pallor claimed his cheeks.

Definition encroached on his rolls.

Finally, his doctor championed “failure to thrive” and I found permission to forgive myself and purchase nourishment.


15 thoughts on “Formula for Failure

  1. I always felt it took a braver woman that I ever was to breast feed. I would have been devastated if my baby rejected my milk. As it was my youngest had colic for the first 6 weeks of his life and I ended up in post partum depression because I thought I could do nothing right for him. Thankfully those days passed and all was well that ended well. I had to read through this a couple times to get it, but once I did…wow! Excuse my denseness. This was brilliant!


    • Melanie L. says:

      Thank you! I’m sorry you had to experience a colicky baby. I think we are all brave for having children in the first place and we are all fantastic for overcoming whatever adversity we encounter as new moms. I’m glad to know your story ends well!


  2. habibadanyal says:

    I have seen mothers hold their breath until doctors diagnose their kids. Can relate this v.well to my clinic hours.


  3. Kir Piccini says:

    I never even gave breastfeeding a thought…I happily informed the NICU that my sons would take formula…they happily agreed and those boys grew and grew. I might have felt guilt about other things but never about that. Happy mamas make happy babies.

    I like the way you wrote it, the story inside the story was good.


    • Melanie L. says:

      Thank you! I agree, formula feeding is not something to feel guilty about. Trying too hard to please everyone else rather than sating my child IS something I regret. Thankfully, it didn’t take too long to figure it out.


  4. uma says:

    There’s so much guilt associated with the choice of going with the formula. I’m glad she went with nourishment rather than guilt. Nicely done!


  5. Jen says:

    aww totally.. women shouldn’t be guilted if it doesn’t work out. Breastfeeding may be a natural thing but it’s not instinctual. I struggled with it, myself. And I didn’t make enough. We can only do what’s best for us and our babies.


  6. Stacie says:

    It seems like breast feeding should be easy but it’s not! I was lucky but some of my friends were not able to, even though they wanted to very much.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Sarah Ann says:

    ‘Failure to thrive’ can be such a pejorative. I’m glad it gave you the freedom to forgive yourself and move on. I know this is a positive story, but it comes across as painful. I can imagine it was hard to write.


    • Melanie L. says:

      So that’s the part that’s fiction. I never waited for the doctor to say it. I gave up trying before that happened. It still bothers me that I didn’t nurse as long as I wanted. There’s plenty else to fret over as a parent. Besides, the nursing hysteria may change just like back to sleep did.


  8. Silverleaf says:

    Oh, you captured the feelings and the moment so well! The same thing happened to me. After a week of everyone telling me I was imagining a problem, I took my son to a (alarmingly militant) lactation consultant and asked for help but also asked which was the best formula. I did try her suggestions but switched very quickly to the formula she recommended. And then everything was fine. Funny how these things end up being not so important as they grow up.

    Liked by 1 person

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Behind the Blog

Melanie L.

Melanie L.

Wanna-be writer, amateur oil painter, practicing law and motherhood with varied success.

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