It is one of the most natural things in the world. The images we are flooded with as new moms are beautiful. A graceful and elegant mom in bed, draped by her infant and both looking happily into each other’s eyes.
It’s a beautiful thing.
I love breastfeeding. I love how it provides all the essential nutrients for my child. I love the bonding. I love the snuggles. I love that it is free.
With my first, Droolface, I did not have the beautiful experience. He had a hard time latching on. It was a constant struggle. He would only nurse in a certain position and of course it was the most uncomfortable position for me. I had a sore back for nearly a year. I breastfed Droolface for nearly seven months.
With Birdy, it was the beautiful experience that you see in all those advertisements. She latched on perfectly, ate well and was content. For about a week. By the end of her first month, she was not satisfied by what I could produce. She was a hungry girl. She was always on the breast. She lived there. She camped out. She would not budge.
It wasn’t so bad, until I had to go back to work.
Like many moms, I am a full-time worker bee.
So out came the pump. I pumped over lunch and tried to get another break in there somewhere to pump. I pumped in closets, bathrooms, cold computer rooms and in a co-worker’s office. I was walked in on, disturbed and annoyed.
Like many workplaces, mine does not have a designated pumping area. And, I don’t have a door on my workstation. Or walls.
We started supplementing. I kept pumping. And pumping.
And then one night while I was in tears because all I did when I got home was breastfeed or pump, I made a decision. I would have to cut back. I couldn’t keep up. It was for my own wellbeing. But it wasn’t just for my sanity and wellbeing. It was for my kids also.
Who wants a mom who is constantly attached to a machine and constantly at her wit’s end that she won’t be able to provide vital nutrients for her babies?
Who wants a mom who is frenetically looking for an outlet to plug in so she can pump?
While I am a huge breastfeeding supporter, I also chose to stop breastfeeding my daughter at 3 months. It was the best decision for me and for my family.
Now, I am a much happier mommy. I am also there for them. I come home from work and can play with them and snuggle and go outside and dig for worms.
I don’t need to be attached to anything … except to them. And, it is really better that way.
Moms have all kinds of hard choices to make – but we should make these choices based on what is best for ourselves and our children.
What do you think?