Women have such strong opinions on the subject and feelings are often entangled in those opinions. You can never "win". There's nothing you can say that someone wont take offense too. Even though it's a personal choice, and every family is different, some women still feel the need to tell you how your choice sucks.
Also because some women really wanted to breastfeed, tried to breastfeed, and tried again and it just didn't work. Or they hit some stumbling block and had no one to turn to get the advice and encouragement that they needed, they gave up, maybe feel defeated and cheated out of a loving experience they hoped to share with their little bundle of joy. They don't want to hear about another woman's success. It's maybe catty, but maybe I can understand that.
For those reasons I don't share my experience nursing my son with just anyone
I thought for this week's Theme Thursday I would openly share a few thoughts on, and only about my personal experience with breastfeeding.
I, being a tree hugging hippie at heart, knew that if I ever had children I would breastfeed them. The images I had seen my whole life, led me to believe that it was the most beautiful, peaceful, natural thing in the world. I hadn't yet been hit with all the "Breast is Best" campaign material, but I had (and still have) a belief that God has provided everything we need. That my body was not just made to grow life, but to sustain it.
Early in my pregnancy the women around me started telling me that breastfeeding was not "easy" and that most likely it wouldn't work out. That I didn't have to feel bad about not being able to do it. They weren't telling me to be mean or to be discouraging. They just wanted me to be prepared for what they felt was certain failure and the hurt that they had experienced when their visions hadn't come to pass as they had dreamed while expecting their first.
Another factor was that formula is expensive. When I was looking at what our budget would be once the baby was born, it was daunting. I didn't know how we could do it. To add my son to my insurance plan was nearly 600 dollars a month. I wish that none of these things were a concern for me and my growing family but the reality is that they very much are, and sticking with my goal, to do what I happened to believe was better for my son would alleviate some of the financial strains.
I felt armed and ready. When Animal was born he took to breastfeeding like a fish to water and the first week or so, I honestly felt the way I imagined I would feel. Except that it was happening a lot more often than I had expected
Then it got so painful, I was so tired and one of my nipples cracked! It was like my nipples were on fire. They burned so bad there was no relief. Not what I had imagined. I whined, came close to tears, it was the worst. I didn't know what to do. I didn't think I could go on. I remembered my counselor and gave her a call. It was hard to make that call, I was embarrassed I didn't know if it was "normal". The counselor told me what I could do to get me through and assured me that nothing was wrong. This kind of thing happened. She promised me it would get better. Her tips worked and at 8 weeks we were over the horrible hump.
I had to pump A LOT for my always hungry baby. I felt like a cow being milked. It was a little embarrassing having to take my pump with me if I was going to be out when I needed to pump, but I was really committed. It wasn't easy, just like I'd been warned, but I felt all of these things were worth it.
Another unexpected thing, was the comments people make. Once you become a parent everybody and their momma feels like they have to share their opinion. Their opinion is likely to include what your doing wrong. If I had a dollar for every time someone made a negative comment about my breastfeeding , or how we were being crazy I probably wouldn't have to worry about Animal's college education. Among the most surprising
It doesn't matter. All of those things people said, all of the problems, all of the inconveniences, don't matter one bit. It was the best choice for me and my family. My husband and I have loved this journey. It has been an amazing bonding experience for my son and I. It eases my guilt just a little that I had to go back to work so soon. I will always and forever cherish every memory that was made. I don't regret any of it.
This post is part of a multi blogger collaboration to read others ideas on this weeks theme (or add your own) just click the TT button.