I fed the baby last night (not formula, pumped breast milk). In hindsight I guess it went fine but at the time it was a disaster. I didn't know what to do and much to my surprise neither did J. Not that she should have, I guess. I just thought (wrongly) that as she was learning about breastfeeding she'd also be learning about bottle-feeding. So we're both flailing about and the baby is feeding and drooling and then had one of her big spit ups (which always unnerves me) and by the end of it I'm a wreck and feeling like a failure of a parent.
But tonight it's back up on the horse. This time I looked up bottle-feeding in some of our books and... they had nearly nothing to say. So I concluded that it wasn't as tricky or difficult as I thought it must be so I should just go for it and be confident and trust in my instincts. And I did and it went about as fine as last night (and with less split up but still enough that I changed both her outfit and mine afterwards). Still room for improvement but at least this time I felt great as we sat there - me trying to burp her or just keep her comfortable till she got her food down - it felt good and there grew a whole new level of connection and bonding. I'm very grateful J has let me share in this part of parenting (till now she's been the sole provider of food).
There's still some room for improvement but tommorow is another chance and I'm eagerly looking forward to it. :)