Disappointment

I have a love-hate relationship with The Twitterz. I love the ability to connect with people who share my ideals, my situation. I love getting updates on Vital Remains concerts and yelling about my stomach aches. I do not love my proximity to overzealous lactivists.

Let me state first and foremost: Breastfeeding is natural, beautiful and the best thing for Mama and Baby alike. Usually. That said, I don’t like it when people start fighting over someone else’s decision to not breastfeed. You, as some random chick on the internet, do not know someone’s personal reasons to bottlefeed. There are plenty of perfectly valid reasons to not breastfeed. Maybe the new mama has to take a medication that could pass through her milk and harm the baby. Maybe Mama has an eating disorder and doesn’t trust herself enough to provide adequate nutrition for Baby. Maybe Mama’s like me, and for six exhausting weeks she tried relentlessly to breastfeed but she just couldn’t produce enough milk. Maybe she pumped for hours to procure, maybe, an ounce. Maybe she tortured herself with thoughts of inadequacy. Maybe she thought she must be destined to be a horrible mother, because her body couldn’t complete this most basic of tasks. Maybe she cried and cried and blamed herself. Maybe it hurt like 1000 knives in her heart as she bought that first tub of formula.

I sure hurt. That deep kind of hurt that comes from feeling like you Failed Your Child. But then my daughter grew. She thrived. She smiled. She learned. I carried that girl in her baby sling and cooed at her and held her as close as I did before the bottle.

It didn’t matter that she drank formula from a bottle instead of milk from my breast, because the heart was there, the love was there. She’s healthy. She didn’t fall apart without breastmilk. She’s fine. She’s better than fine.

One day I will have another baby. One day I will again try to breastfeed. But if again, it doesn’t work out, I won’t torture myself over it. Switching to formula was the best thing I could do for *my* family. Everyone deserves the right to choose what they believe to be right for their families and their situations. If those decisions don’t match your own, that doesn’t mean you should sit behind your computer screen and call them ignorant. Raising children is about love and compassion, not unsolicited judgments and name-calling.
It's about love.

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  • Comments (2)
    • Denise (mom2punkadus)
    • September 16th, 2010

    I used to be like that. Especially because after 5 years of breastfeeding my 3 girls I’ve gotten so many people saying awful things. Including that I was sexually abusive for nursing beyond a year. I was defensive. And I was wrong.

    This time I’ve dealt with 3 months of hell nursing. Things are better now, but I really understood why someone would want to use formula. If we’d had some in the house I wouldn’t have hesitated to use it. I still judge formula manufacturers for their marketing practices a.d the underhanded ways they actively work to sabotage nursing moms. But I’ll never judge a mom for using formula.

    • I agree that manufacturers are pushy, and they gnaw on our insecurities to get us to purchase their product. I hate it. And holy expensive!

      I think we should all be able to make our own decisions, manufacturers get out of the way, observers get out of the way, and we’ll make the choice ourselves.

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