Sunday, July 17, 2011

I want to scream it from the "mountaintops"...

...I LOVE breastfeeding.

But no need to worry; you won't find me yelling it anywhere.  Mostly for fear of side-eyes and those "man, you crazy" looks that would be sure to follow.  Also, despite the fact that I blog about the epic grossness of my daughter's digestive pyrotechnics and open up to you about my every day fears and frustrations, I am actually a pretty private person in real life.

So for now, this blog is my proverbial mountaintop. 


"Are you breastfeeding?" a random stranger asked me a couple months ago. 

Not that it was any of her business, but I replied anyway, "Yes, I am".

"How is it going?" she pressed.  I had prepared myself for this exact hypothetical situation.  I would offer up a witty retort about how I would usually make people pay money to know the intimate details of my inside-the-bra-goings-on.

::sigh::  I failed at being snarky.  All I could muster was, "Great!  I love it".  I was surprised to see wide eyes and a rather quizzical look.  She just stared at me in silence.  I felt awkward and embarrassed, and I don't even know why.

"...but I've been very lucky," I added.  "Other than a clogged duct here and there I've had no complications or issues." 

She smiled, nodded, and said "good for you."  That was the end of the conversation.


Why did I feel the need to add that last statement?  I didn't need to say anything.  I know I've been fortunate in my breastfeeding experience, but I didn't have to tell her that.  Why did I feel like I had to qualify my experience?  Why couldn't it have been as simple as I love breastfeeding?

As of today, I have been breastfeeding Carina for more than 6 and a half months.  I loved it the day she was born and I love it even more today.  Why can't I say this without worrying that other people will think I am bragging or silently judging everyone who does not feel the same way?

My loving breastfeeding does not make me any more of a woman than anyone out there who did not like it.  It does not make me a better Mother than anyone who was not successful at it, or didn't even try it.  It doesn't mean that I am expecting (or deserving of) praise or a "good for you".

I love breastfeeding, and I wish I could share that with other Mommas without worrying about how they will perceive me.  I'm not trying to brag, I'm not trying to make anyone feel inferior, I'm not trying to judge.  I just want to share, and I feel like it's not socially acceptable to do so right now. 

Is this all in my head?  Or does anyone else feel the same way?

Don't mind the awful picture of me, please just appreciate the hilariousness
of a sleeping Carina (at about 6 weeks old) hugging my boob

Love.

P.S. M told me I should insert quotes around "mountaintops" in the title hahaha.  Although I guess in reality mine are more like little hills ;)


PhotobucketVisit Top Mommy Blogs To Vote For Me!

28 words of geekdom:

Noelle said...

It's okay to love feeding your baby no matter how you do it! I love formula feeding Olive! :)

Mariah said...

I love this post because I didn't have the success I hoped for when it came to breastfeeding and sometimes when I read breastfeeding articles/posts I get frustrated. I love that you had success and love it! And I also love that this post didn't make me feel like less than a mother but made me want to celebrate with you! :)

Jamie said...

Huh an odd way for that woman to ask. I'm with you - I love breastfeeding! We've been going at it for over 7 months. :o) I LOVE the picture of your LO hugging your boob! I don't have a pic like that. :-( So cute <3

For Love of Cupcakes

Nikki said...

I definitely felt the same way...I wanted to tell everyone how awesome I thought BFing was, but I was worried that they would judge/think I was judging them if I did talk about it. I really became closer with one friend who also BF because I knew that I could talk to her about it.

Katie said...

I love breastfeeding too, but whenever I am asked, I always feel the need to add "...but I had an easy time of it." The thing is, I didn't. I had an awful 2 months working through all kinds of issues. We pushed through them, and now we have a rewarding experience. I always feel so guilty telling other women the truth.

Kari said...

I loved breastfeeding and hope that I can with other kids we may have. Share with the world that you love it. Who cares what others think. You can't please everyone in this world and you shouldn't have to or want to. I live my life this way. I do what is best for my family and those are my choices. My choices are not right for everyone and I know that. If everyone else doesn't that's their problem!

Amy said...

You should never feel sorry about your love for feeding your little girl!

Nancy said...

That's awesome that you love BF'ing and enjoy it. When I was able to nurse Arianna for the first 2 months, I really enjoyed nursing her too. I don't know how to explain that feeling but it made me happy every time I would feed her my boob. I don't know, lol.

If you enjoy that bonding between your daughter and breastfeeding then feel free to share it with the world. Only you know what's best for Carina. :)

B.J. Caulfield said...

I think that's wonderful! Sometimes I wish I was able to stick with it. I suppose there's no use dwelling on it (being my kids are 6 and almost 3) :-p I don't see you as bragging...you're just one of those moms that breastfeeding really agrees with. :) I do wish society wasn't so weird about breastfeeding. Heaven forbid breasts are used for something other than turning guys on! Ugh.

emma said...

I love it too! I love breastfeeding my little girl and am so grateful that I've been able to. I love the way she hugs me when I feed her, the way she falls asleep afterwards, the way she smiles after her first feed of the morning when she wakes up. I think you should be proud to stand up and say how much you love it. I am!

kjw said...

I love it, too. It was rough at the beginning, but once we got the hang of it we've had no problems. And it makes me love our morning time together before I have to go to work. His giant smile after nursing in the morning is what gets me through the day without him.

mrs.monica and family said...

ditto everyone else! I BF DS for 10 months and cried when he refused me. I love it with DD too, and I do feel guilty it has been so easy for me. Why is it we have to feel guilty when nature just works for us in one way. With SIF...believe me...I know how it feels when nature laughs in your face...so I'm glad something is working right:)

Jet's Journey said...

Not only to I love breastfeeding but J LOVES breastfeeding! :)

diana said...

I LOVE breastfeeding too! And I'm proud of it. I do feel that I'm lucky to have not had mastitis, thrush or even a clogged duct yet. Still it hasn't been perfect, but it doesn't matter. I love it. And that's okay! And it also doesn't mean I'm comparing myself to anyone else who does/doesn't breastfeed or who does/doesn't like breastfeeding.

I'm glad you love it. I wish more people would talk about how good breastfeeding can be. It seems like there are more stories about difficulties breastfeeding out there.

Kristin & Mike said...

Love this post, and I LOVE breastfeeding too. It's been pretty smooth going, aside from a bout of mastitis and a few clogged ducts in the beginning. But I really wanted it to work for us. If there is one thing that I could tell moms about to have their first, it's that it's not easy and is a big commitment, but I do think it's a great payoff. I love that time with my daughter, and will miss it once it's over. But in the end, you gotta do what works for you.

mestills said...

I love breastfeeding and I don't think it should be a thing to be quiet about. Because it is not like you are saying you are a bad mom for formula feeding, because if you hadn't been able to breastfeed you would have formula fed. And I also think that good breastfeeding stories need to be more open, I feel like you only hear the bad stories, just like with labor.

Sweet Jo said...

I love it, too. I know what you mean about worrying how other moms may take my your declaration of love. I don't care anymore though. Honestly, I have come to to realize that if someone has a problem with my expression of love for the way I feed my child, they are the one with the issue, not me. And I shouldn't have to apologize for that.

If I know someone who is having difficulty or recently had difficulty with bfing is hurting because of it, I definitely am sensitive to that fact though.

<3

Kristin said...

It's a funny thing about feeding. I formula feed for a few different reasons and I hated when people asked me if I was going to breastfeed. I always felt the need to explain why I (we) made the choice we did, much like you have to justify your love of breastfeeding. Why people think it's their business is beyond me. Who cares how a baby is fed, as long as the child is healthy, happy, and well cared for? I'm glad you're having success breastfeeding, and you're still loving it.

e and w said...

you go, mama! ;)

mymonkeyprefersprunes said...

I feel the exact same way! And I always qualify it with, "but I've been very lucky." Seriously, I could have written this myself. But one thing I would have added, is that I do feel a "sisterhood" with other moms who breast feed. I guess it feels good to talk to someone I know understands how I feel and isn't judging me, or wonder if I am judging them.

Jody said...

I love breastfeeding too! There's nothing like knowing you have the magic ingredient to make your little one happy and content. I secretly let him nurse long after he's fallen asleep, just because I can't bear to remove him. Way to go for you!

Orla said...

Why do we feel the "I don't want to be judged" and the "I don't want to judge" thing?! I feel it too - to the point that I fall over my words when I talk about feeding a baby! I love bfing too - but I also qualify my love with "I love eating like my husband..." - maybe I'll stop doing that :)

Phase Three Of Life said...

I really loved this post (although I don't love that you felt you had to defend your choice). Isn't it funny how moms can feel guilty and judged no matter what choices they make?? I'm one of the moms who tried and was unsuccessful BFing (and, truthfully, didn't enjoy it anyway). And I hate it when people ask me whether I did or not because I feel like I have to explain my decision. We're all doing the best we can, being the best mamas we know can be with the cards we're dealt. I'm truly glad you enjoy it - Carina certainly seems to! (Dang, that picture is PRICELESS!)

Mandy said...

Although the lab has, to date, kept us from starting the offspring-portion of our family, I am always very interested in momma-friends and learning about their highs and lows and in a very small sense preparing myself a tiny bit mentally for what I have always looked forward to: kids!!

It's distressing to me that you (and likely MANY) women feel as though there is some sort of justification necessary... it's not like you're sitting in the middle of a cramped room breastfeeding your ten year old. You're providing nourishment to and bonding with your child in the most natural way imaginable. The only thing I can think is that there must be a decent number of women out there who have had not-so-successful experiences and perhaps they're curious. Or bitter. Or...?

Either way, keep up the great work and, I agree with everyone above... the picture? Absolutely priceless!

You and M do great work!! :oD

Mrs. B said...

I'm right there with ya, Mama!! I love, love, LOVE breastfeeding Isabella. And, I'm so proud of myself for sticking through it during all the hard times. It's really amazing to me that when I mention BFing around people, their first reaction is, "You're STILL breastfeeding?!" Like, is there a time limit on it that I didn't know about or something??

Anyways...good for you, and you should be proud of yourself! Love the adorable picture, too! :)

Melanie said...

Dude...she's the one who asked, right?

Shannon said...

I feel the same way. I hate the whole mother-to-mother judgement that goes on. My daughter has a lot of health complications and never was able to breastfeed, so I have pumped... for 11 months... 4 to 7 times a day... so she can have my milk. I can feel the judgment when I pull out the bottle to feed her in public and I feel like I need to tell them its breastmilk, not formula in there. I don't of course, but as they sit there, babies under their shirt, I feel the vibe that they think they are better then me. I can tell I wouldn't get that vibe from you, but the whole mom-to-mom judgement is very real

Jeanne Medina said...

Sweet pics! I loved it too. I had very few difficulties, but my babes would never take a bottle so I just arranged my life so they could have it on tap whenever they needed me. I had wonderful family support, and ended up nursing both my kids for 3.5 years each, 7 consecutive years. I didn't judge other moms for formula feeding, but I did feel sorry for them, that they didn't have my secret toddler tantrum secret weapon!

Post a Comment

I love comments!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...