Dear Kids – More Than You Ever Wanted to Know About My Boobs

Dear Kids,

Okay, let’s talk breastfeeding. I’m putting it out there: I hated it. I know it’s wonderful, I know it’s natural, and I know it’s free. I know it’s good for my body and great for yours, which is why I tried my damnedest to do it. I still hated it. Or maybe, it hated me.

Kitten, I breastfed you for 3.5 months. I had an allergic reaction to something going on in my body related to the breastfeeding – hormones? We never did figure it out. I had a shoulders to ankles rash the entire time I nursed you – think shingles. It itched like mad. When I wasn’t up at night with you, I was up scratching. I was on and off steroids the whole 3.5 months which can’t have been great for either of us. The moment my milk dried up, the rash went away. Sweet relief! So, I’m sorry, but as glad as I am I was able to breastfeed you at least a little, I was really glad when it was over.

Buddy, I was wary of breastfeeding when you came along, but I was determined to make a go of it. This time – no rash! Of course, that may have been because my milk never got a chance to draw down. You wouldn’t drink! You had a perfect latch, but instead of drinking you just laid there and CHEWED. By day 5 my nipples were sore and scabbed – scabbed! The thought of nursing you made me burst in to tears, it was so painful. We went to my doctor who gave me ‘the talk’. “It’s more important for him to drink something than for him to continue to not drink breast milk”, “You are not a bad mother if you can’t breastfeed”, “Formula will not make him stupid”, “Plenty of strong, smart people were formula-fed”. I cried anyway. I felt like a failure.

I was sent home with an ointment for my boobs and a recommendation for a formula for newborns. We went to the store for the formula we previously weren’t intending on needing for months. Picking up a canister, I read the label and there, big and bold on the can, it said, “Breast is Best!” I lost it again. “Even the can is telling me I’m a bad mother!” and I stood in the diaper aisle and wept.

So, yes, I know that breast is best. I know that breastfeeding is wonderful; the best stuff on earth. I encourage all moms to do it as long as they can. Do it at home, at work, in public – do it whenever and wherever you want. Just, please, do NOT look down at the mom shaking up a bottle of formula for her baby. Remember that, as much as they may want to, some moms aren’t able to give that gift to their children. Be kind.

We were both much happier when you finally started feeding.

We were both much happier when you finally started feeding. Formula is a pretty good second-best.

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Categories: Buddy, Kids, Kitten | Tags: , , , , , | 9 Comments

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9 thoughts on “Dear Kids – More Than You Ever Wanted to Know About My Boobs

  1. I am a breastfeeding advocate, for sure. BUT I totally understand that some women will not be able to meet their breastfeeding goals. I try to educate moms before they deliver and shortly thereafter, so that they can increase their likelihood of success. But you just don’t know how things will turn out until you’re living it. And the time crunch, crying baby, hormones, and general life changes increase the stress of it all. It sucks.

    So, I understand and don’t envy your position. My friend, who just had a baby, never even tried breastfeeding. She couldn’t. She requires medication that would transfer to the baby and she didn’t want to risk harming him. I have other friends who had physical obstacles to nursing. Every person, every situation is different.

    For the moms who struggle, I encourage them to let themselves off the hook. When you’re doing everything right and it’s still not working, then it’s just not working. The most important thing is that the baby eats. Try not to get bogged down by the scorn of your own or others’ perceptions. Healthy mom, healthy baby – that’s the real goal.

    In all things, do your best and move on. 🙂

  2. I’ve been lucky in that nursing worked for me. I’m grateful. But it isn’t always easy and it hasn’t always been convenient! Blah, blah, blah….The important thing is that your kids are healthy – whatever that means. You know the spiel!
    But stuff like this always makes us sad. Pregnancy and parenting is such a wild/wonderful/difficult process that we should all be kind to each other (provided there’s nothing abusive/stupid going on involving abuse or crack rock). While we certainly all feel justified in our own decisions, that doesn’t make us an expert in what will/would work for someone else.
    Why can’t we all just get along and love our babies?

    • Now I feel like sticking a flower in the end of a breast pump – ha! Hippie nonsense aside, you’re totally right. Moms just need to be out there supporting each other.

  3. You wrote in a very sweet way about a difficult topic. I liked it! 🙂

  4. Pingback: The Best of Dear Crazy Kids | Dear Crazy Kids,

  5. I was lucky, both kids breastfed easily and it was convenient when travelling. But it was boooooooooring! Yeah,I know, bad mum for thinking that but that’s how I felt. Guess how positively I was met when asking the pros for advice on how to get my boy to take a bottle 😉 he never really did but when he learned to drink from a sippy cup after 3 hrs of nonstop feeding every night before bed for almost 5 months (yes, he grew very well ), I was done! I so wush there’d be less judgements around the issue!

  6. Definitely! We all have the same goal: what’s best for our kids.

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