Monday, May 21, 2012

the B word

There's something that's been mulling over in my mind and I want to express how I feel about it, though for a while I wasn't sure whether the blog was really the right place to do that. The more I thought about it I realized "this is MY blog. my thoughts, my opinions. I am allowed to write what I believe."

So here it goes. I'm going to be real about my thoughts on breastfeeding.

I realize not everyone who reads my blog has kids and so this may not interest you, but its something I need to write about for myself. Also, this post isn't meant to offend and I make reference to NO ONE that reads this.

Two things.
1. It really, REALLY disturbs me when I hear an able-bodied (meaning, capable of b) woman say that she won't even try to b. Having the ability to b is like having children, it is a gift that many take for granted. It is a unique and emotionally significant experience, and shouldn't be denied to anyone that has been blessed with that gift.
Whether its their first or the sixth child, I believe that every infant deserves the right to have breast milk at first. It is a different experience with each baby.
Heavenly Father created a woman's body with a very specific purpose- to bear and nurture children. We as women owe it to ourselves to let our bodies do what they were created for. I've even heard some first time mothers say that b grosses them out and just isn't for them. To me that's like saying womanhood just isn't for them.

2. What irks me even more is when b advocates look down on others who were not able to continue b for whatever reason. There are a MILLION or more different reasons why b doesn't work out. Those of us who formula feed are not "taking the easy way out", or "being lazy with feedings". It can be emotionally ripping for a woman to have to stop b, and it doesn't make it any better to have judgements placed upon her by anyone.
If I wasn't so worried about what others would think of me, I could have saved myself a LOT of grief with b my son for those long 6 months. I cried every day for 2 months after I switched my son to formula because I could not continue to b him; it was one of the saddest things as a new mother that I went through. I cried not for my son (he was taken care of nutritionally just fine with the formula) but for myself because I felt less like the woman I was meant to be. I understand now that that wasn't true, but it sure was depressing to have someone make me feel guilty for my decision.

My own experiences with b has led me to formulate these feelings. I have a few days left of being able to b Charlotte, as my supply is quickly diminishing. If you add up the months that I was able to exclusively b both of my two children it would be about 9 months. I can say now that I am proud of this number and feel very thankful that I could go on as long as I did. I am happy that I tried, and I don't regret my b days even though they weren't always pleasant. Through the latch issues, yeast infections, mastitis, soreness, and decreased milk supply- I held on for as long as I could. It was a beautiful and enriching experience for me. Never have I felt more in tune with my body and more like a woman.

I applaud the women that go the full 12-18 months, and I'm happy for those that have never run into any problems. But I want to say to all mothers, be proud of what you could endure- whether it was for the first 3 days or 3 months, be proud of the mother and woman that you are.

I was going through my pictures, trying to find one of me b for this post. I found none, because there were none. I never thought to ask hubby to take a picture of me b because it just didn't seem relevant or appropriate really. How silly is that? What could be more relevant and appropriate? We take pictures of the things we want to remember and I want to remember this.

Wouldn't it be wonderful to have such a memory?
Tonight, I think, I will ask for a picture.


Mark & Rachel said...

I was unable to breastfeed David. I cannot even tell you or (anyone for that matter) how hard (physically and emotionally) not to be able to do this. I felt as if I were a failure, and the looks and rude comments I recieved from people, especially at church, were extremely hurtful!
I am hoping to breastfeed the next baby, even for a month would make me happy.

brightonislove said...

I am so glad you posted this. I have been having such mixed feelings about breastfeeding lately. I LOVE it sometimes, and hate it others. I love that I am able to do that for my son, able to have the closeness (he's not a cuddly baby at all), and able to just have that time with him. But it is not easy. I hate that I never know how much he is eating. I hate that I have to use a nipple shield. I hate that I have to worry about how much I eat so my supply doesn't get too low. I could go on and on. Basically, it's a love/hate relationship. I am so grateful my body has worked well enough to breastfeed this long. Ah, such mixed emotions right now.

But thank you for making me remember that it is good.....

Sorry, I feel like this comment is just a bunch of ramblings that have no point. Maybe this was more for me to just say my feelings to someone??? I don't know. So sorry if it makes no sense and seems to have no point.

The Garlands said...

Great Post Lindsey! I have been thinking some of the same things.

The Garlands said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Christy Bracken said...

Awesome post! I gave up Nursing at 3 months and deeply regretted it later. But at the time it's mentally what I had to do for my sanity. Thanks for the post, love ya.

Thompson Family said...

I can honestly say that I envy women who are able to B :). I felt like a horrible mother and I was broken when I wasn't able to do that for Talon. And now with another on the way I have come to terms with myself and the fact that my body just doesn't produce anything and that Talon turned out ok with formula, so this little girl will be just fine too. Thank you for this post Linds! I hope you guys are doing great! Love from the Burg!