The “B” Word
I am prefacing this post with a disclaimer to keep the peace and good vibes flowing around here… I know the topic of breastfeeding is an emotional one and can evoke some pretty strong opinions. I am asking that you be kind in your thoughts, judgements and feedback. I realize that by living my life out loud, I also live with a door wide open to harsh feedback and criticisms. In an effort to live my most authentic life out loud and to help others, I am sharing my story…
I haven’t written in a while. I’ve been a little busy with my tiny human and his super hunky Daddy, Hubbz. I’ve jotted down snippets of Mommyhood in my phone’s note section along the way, promising myself I will expand on the fleeting thought. 4 months into Mommyhood and I finally feel like I am coming up for air. Seriously, I’m like a whale that is breaching the water’s surface, showering water in every direction and not really giving a turd because #Motherhood (I just compared myself to a whale. It’s horrible, self-deprecating humor, I know, I know.)
I have so much to talk about. From the 27 hour, dilated to 10, pushed for 2 hours, ended in a c-section, because he was sunny-side-up birth, to the awe of that first poopy diaper (It was nothing if not thrilling… I kid you not.) The utter, amazing, sexiness of marriage that got kicked up a notch with a baby, to the first time you see your naked post-baby body in the mirror and just sob because WHO. THE. EFFING. EFF. IS. THAT!? The incredible feeling when your son looks into your eyes and giggles, to the not so incredible OH. EM. GEE. WHAT. THE. EVERLIVING. FROCK. ARE. WE. DOING!? moments.
Like I said, I have so much to talk about! I will get to it all… Eventually.
So I will begin the boob talk by saying, Hi, my name is Dez and breastfeeding is not my favorite thing. If I had to make a list of all my most favorite things, breastfeeding would not be on that list. If I had to make another list of my second most favorite things breastfeeding would not be on that list either. These lists could go on for a really, really long time and I promise, you would never see breastfeeding on those lists. For me, breastfeeding didn’t make me feel uber-connected to my sweet son. If we’re being honest it made me feel like kind of a failure because I disliked it so much and then I beat myself up for thinking something was wrong with me. What kind of woman doesn’t like breastfeeding!? Well, turns out, me. It’s taken me 4 months to come to peace with these feelings and it’s kind of terrifying to me that I just admitted out loud that I didn’t like breastfeeding. Almost terrifying enough to make me want to close the laptop and pretend like these feelings aren’t there. Alas, I vowed when I started my blog it was my life, out loud, so… We press on. I have a village around me that consists of Mama’s many times over and quite a few medical professionals. My village was there every step of the way with the soundest advice for our situation. I am putting our story out there and writing this for the struggling Mama’s who felt like I did except maybe they don’t have a village to talk to.
For you Mama’s who, for whatever reason, are doing the formula thing… Take a seat, order up a glass of wine with me and let’s chat.
I was fortunate to have a kid that latched. I know for most women this is half of the battle. Right from the recovery room, our tiny human latched right on the boob. I was thrilled because we all know the mantra… #BreastIsBest. I was supposed to be breastfeeding whether I liked it or not so… Breastfeeding I did. My milk didn’t come in until day 4 because of the c-section so day 3 I pumped and we supplemented with formula. Then, the floodgates opened and my milk came in. Lord have mercy, my milk came in. And so it began. Feed, pump, repeat, over and over and over and over and over. Massimo loved falling into a milk coma mid-feed because when you are a tiny human, eating is hard. I’d wake him with zero luck. When he did wake up, he’d wake up hangry as all get out and so we’d begin again. (I pause to note that hangry is not a typo. He was hangry as in hungry and pissed that he was hungry all rolled into one… He got that from his Mama.) The cycle continued with me never knowing how much he was getting, and him being in a constant state of not sleeping sound because he was hungry, and not eating enough because he was sleepy.
Society has done this thing where it makes women feel less than if they aren’t feeding their kid liquid gold for the first year of life. I know it because I felt the pressure of it. Along the way I have had friends open up to me about their struggles and it dawned on me that if I am feeling this way and they are feeling this way, I bet there are a lot of other women feeling this way too. Don’t get me wrong, the benefits of breastmilk are incredible and I am so thankful I breastfed (via boob or bottle) for the better part of 4 months. In the same breath, I am so thankful I am done. I am a wife, a Mommy and I have a career that I love. My baby boy is happier when he is fully fed and fully rested. I am a better Mommy and wife when I am not tied to a breast pump. I am more accomplished in my career when I am not pausing every few hours to pump. The way I look at it, while breast may be best, a content Mommy and baby are better. For us that meant adding in formula at 3 months and packing up the pump for good at 4 months. Do I still get cases of Mommy Guilt and wonder if we made the right choice? Absolutely! Then I look over at my son. He is healthy, he is growing like crazy and he is peaceful and content. I offer up a prayer of thanks to God that I was able to provide the nourishment for our son for as long as I did. And then I give thanks for formula that can nourish and sustain our son too.
There are a million ways to raise a tiny human. At the end of the day, what matters is the peace in your heart about the way you are raising yours.