Greetings from Baby-Land. What day is it again? I’m skipping MEDICAL MONDAY today simply because… well… I forgot it was Monday. You think I’m kidding? Ha. I wish.
LadyP is doing great… she just had her bottle and is taking a nap as we speak. Yes, I said the nasty B-word: BOTTLE. Secret’s out folks: I’m not breast feeding, and I don’t feel guilty at all. There, I said it. Plllttthhh.
But, I didn’t always have this unwavering strength of opinion about this breast-feeding thing. From the day LadyP was delivered (and throughout my pregnancy) women from all areas of my life asked me if I planned to breast-feed. Friends, relatives, doctors, nurses… Depending on who the inquisitor was, I either said “I’m thinking about it” OR “Absolutely not… I’ve never been into it.” The latter answer was the truth, the first answer was the lie that shot out of my mouth for no other purpose than to not feel guilty at the time.
Let me say this: I honestly do believe the medical research that breast milk is superior to formula. HOWEVER: THAT DID NOT CHANGE MY DECISION. The bare truth is that the thought of breast-feeding makes me uncomfortable. I can’t help it. I could not imagine having my baby suck on my you-know-whats. Ewww. And, I’ve heard it’s painful. And, your boobs turn into deflated-tire-like globs and are never the same. For a gal that is flat-chested in the first place, this is an extra-scary thought. I suppose this might seem immature and selfish, but sorry, that’s what I feel. (You will not be shocked to find out that my mom did not breast-feed either. Perhaps I’ve been brainwashed about this subject?) And, although I had my mind made up, the nurses at the hospital got to me during my recovery. They didn’t outwardly impose any judgement, but I could feel the underlying disdain every time I answered the “Do you want to see the lactation expert” question with a “No thank you.” So, I spent 3 days following LadyP’s delivery doubting myself.
Long story short, I gave in and tried ‘pumping’ as a compromise (I still wasn’t interested in breast-feeding directly). To my surprise, pumping wasn’t that bad. It didn’t hurt, was actually mildly fascinating (to see what your body is capable of producing!), and I felt politically-correct about supplementing my baby’s formula with what nature intended. That lasted exactly 8 days. After a few episodes of painful engorgement and stained sports bras, I opted to ice my chest and shut down the milk factory before it got out of control and my little tatas exploded into a million pieces in the middle of the night. I give myself credit for trying to change my initial opinion about breast-feeding, but it just didn’t work. And I was now okay with it.
My question to myself (and you) is: As a grown woman, WHY did I feel like I had to make excuses to others about my own comfort level about this in the first place? To those women who are comfortable breast-feeding: more power to ya. But, it’s not for all of us. I don’t judge women who breast-feed, why should they judge me? I am exhausted from the ongoing heated debates re Breast vs. Bottle. Let each mom do whatever the heck she wants without passing judgement! As long as the baby is eating, he/she will be fine!
That said, I had some fun creating LadyP’s formula “bar” (yes, those are Mommy’s bottles on the top rack):