Suck it, boobs.

WARNING* This week we’re all chiming in on breastfeeding so yes, we are talking all-things boob. It’s been a while for me, but it’s something that’s not very near and dear to my heart. I’m not all that passionate about it. If you don’t do it my way? Eh. I can barely keep up with my own boobs let alone think about yours. Look, breastfeeding is great if you can do it. The benefits of antibodies and other goodies that formula doesn’t provide coupled with the added bonding and the sheer convenience are all wonderful things. But bodies, jobs, injuries, surgeries, life, and a million other reasons sometimes just get in the way of our breastfeeding wishes and la leche dreams.

There’s so much pressure to do the right thing. So much guilt if you don’t. And that’s what I want to talk about today. The right thing. For me, I was going to breastfeed no. matter. what. But looking back I don’t necessarily think that was the right thing for my family. Because I’d rather be sane with formula than crazy while breastfeeding. Sorry. And I wished there had been someone there to tell me DO WHATEVER IT TAKES TO MAINTAIN SANITY OR AT THE VERY LEAST, SURVIVE. What’s sad is that my mom said this very thing and I didn’t believe her because she was from that generation. The parents of what, the ‘selfish ’70s’? Not from my generation–the parents of the — wait. What are we?

More and more, mamas these days seem to be sacrificing EVERYTHING for their kids. Their bodies, their minds, their time, their careers. And in some regards, that ideal is lovely. And it works. In others, I don’t know if its necessarily healthy. We are peer pressuring an entire generation to do whatever it takes to make your child the best he or she can be. All while being miserable behind closed iPads at the thought of doing the wrong thing.

What we’re forgetting in the equation is the needs of the mama. I kinda think the parents of American generations past and surprisingly the French parents of today got it right. There’s more balance in the mother-child dynamic. The former were kinda selfish compared to today’s standards, but it made kids self sufficient. It made for adults who knew how to respect elders and work for what they wanted. The latter, the French, seem kinda selfish too. But surprisingly while the parents take care of themselves, the kids learn to take care of themselves too. Huh.

Anyway, for me I bullheadedly pushed through 2 months of tortured agony to get to a point where breastfeeding finally gelled. Why did it start working, you ask? Well, because those nips finally gave up the good fight, God rest their souls, and there is no pain the Nipple Afterlife.

I stubbornly pushed through another four months of work-pumping hell to make it happen. You think bringing your pump to work is hard? Try strapping that bad-boy on your back, with an OCD-supply of batteries, a cooler and ice pack, pumping paraphernalia, a strap-on pumping bra, a cover, lunch, full-day supply of water, binoculars, field guides, sunscreen, a compass, handheld GPS unit, and a camera, all while wearing thick wool socks, hiking boots, and long sleeves and pants in the Central Texas heat of May. And then awkwardly hike through the woods with uncomfortable, side-glancing coworkers while they wait for you to milk good ole’ Bessie every 3 hours. Like I said. Stubborn.

bestbreastpumpever-blogspot-com
I bet that’s wine.

By the time my frozen supply was all used up and we had to start supplementing with formula at 7 months (and her head shockingly didn’t fall off), I had had enough. Because Nina couldn’t care less either way. Ugh. Really? Sayonara to you good pump. I bid you adieu. So I started to wean and was graciously rewarded with…weaning depression. Not many people talk (or even know?) about weaning depression, but I wish I had realized it was at least a possibility. Because I could not see what was happening to me until I was on the other side of it. It was a 2-month nightmare chocked full of insecurities, thinking my life was ending, and guilt that I had this beautiful baby girl and a loving husband and still felt like my world was collapsing. Boob hormones are powerful. And mine rocked me to the core. SUCK IT, BOOBS.  Suck. it.

Why am I sharing something so personal? Because I want women out there who are struggling with breastfeeding and feeling guilty for not wanting to continue, or for dreading the next feeding, or freaking out that their bodies hurt or aren’t doing what they’re supposed to, to know that you’re not the only one. There’s no perfect solution. And I identify with you. I wish I could say hold out until your nips have gone to Nipple Heaven. I’d like to push you through and get you to a place where it’s amazing. Because it sometimes is. But it sometimes isn’t. Sometimes boobs are the gift that keep on surprising. You just never know if that’s a good surprise or bad.

All I can say to you is DO WHATEVER IT TAKES TO MAINTAIN SANITY OR AT THE VERY LEAST, SURVIVE. If that means using formula, you and your baby will survive. If that means breastfeeding until they ask you for it, you and your 5-year-old will survive. Ignore everyone and their peacocked facades, call a few trusted friends only, and do what’s best for you and your family.

It’s better than saying Pinterest made me do it.

 

4 comments

  1. Kristin says:

    Love love love this! I wish I had been reading this blog when I had Julianna. My Mom said all the same things to me that your Mom said. I’m glad I eventually listened to her! Thanks for another awesome post and for your honesty.

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