I have been thinking about the discussions on Annie's blog. About breastfeeding.
I went to visit my sister in law and her brand new baby. And when she pulled out the bottle, I judged. (Only the strongest sisterhood leaves me confident enough to admit that.) I couldn't believe that she would deprive her child like that. (Also, I was 20. And stupid. Before the name calling starts.) I found out later that a lack of milk was the biggest reason in that decision.
I walked away from that experience arrogant and superior. Then, I gave birth. And my baby wouldn't latch on. Couldn't latch on. I laid in a hospital bed in the dark giving her a bottle of sugar water to keep her blood sugar high enough. It was a miserable 2 days as we tried to get the hang of it. It took over an hour for each feeding. Fighting with her to eat, to latch on properly. And once we got past that, there was the pain. All the books, all the magazines said that if you're doing it right, it wouldn't hurt. They lied. I finally started doing it right. It was unbearable for 6 weeks. It was uncomfortable for 6 months.
I tried desperately to keep it together. By the end of the first week of her life, I just couldn't take it any more. One night, she woke up for her fourth feeding. I couldn't face the thought of trying to do it again. I got up. I dug the sample formula out of the back of the closet. I found the bottle that came with pump. And I fed her a bottle. I think that it was the best decision that I made during the first year of my daughter's life.
I still nursed. But I didn't hesitate to give her a bottle to have a break. Or to let a grandma have a chance to feed her. I don't regret it one bit.
So, when I ask a mom if they are nursing, this is all coursing through my brain. I know how hard it can be. I know that sometimes, it's just impossible. And I know that everyone has their own story. And for all the new moms out there, they should be told.