This post is the second of a six part bonus series about breastfeeding, each of our individual stories, the highs, the lows, the “I have no clue what I’m doing” and the “I’ve totally got this”. No matter what your story is, we want you to know that somewhere out there is another mom saying, “me too”. We’re all in this together.
Nursing. Ah, nursing. Breastfeeding. Booby juice. The milk truck. The all natural, most amazing, unicorn-poop-covered-sparkle-filled-icing-topped-angel-wing-cradled thing you could ever do.
I hate it.
Easily my least favourite thing about motherhood. No wait…..yeah…yeah it is.
I thought there was something wrong with me when my firstborn came along. Once I finished my first month of pumping (another story, another day), breastfeeding was a breeze by comparison. So much easier. So why did I still hate it?
But I soldiered on. Because I would not even consider formula feeding (nor did I believe my family would support it), because I thought it was the ‘right’ thing to do, because I thought I was a failure if I didn’t nurse until at least a year old, because it hadn’t even registered that I just hated it – I still thought there was just something wrong with me. My son weaned himself when he was a year old and I was elated. Finally, my boobs were mine again. (And my husband didn’t have to worry about being slapped for just looking at them!)
Three years later, when I found out I was pregnant again, one of my first worries was breastfeeding. Physical, stomach twisting worry. I didn’t know if I could do it again. So my husband and I made it our mission, our prayer mission, for the next nine months. Our prayer: Lord, reconcile my heart to breastfeeding and formula feeding. We talked about both breastfeeding and formula feeding as perfectly good options for feeding our newest little one. And finally, little by little, I allowed myself to hate breastfeeding. I laid down my idol of that perfectly content mom with the little halo glow behind her head, staring down at her peaceful, well-nourished child sucking away on that breast they’re both just so happy to share. I wasn’t her. And I probably never will be.
But I also came to terms with the fact that many things about motherhood are difficult. And difficult doesn’t mean bad or wrong or throw the baby out with the bathwater.
Right up until the day my little girl was born, I still hadn’t officially decided on formula or breastmilk. But in my heart I knew, I would try again. And I did. And it was perfectly, 100% fine. No holy bells or whistles, but not the toe-curling, teeth-grinding experience I remembered. It just was. Like changing smelly diapers or waking up 10 times in the middle of the night, it’s just a job that needs doing.
So I did it.
Read Part 1 – Read Part 3 – Read Part 4 – Read Part 5 – Read Part 6
*Any information or ideas presented within the website of Pure Grain of Salt are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent any medical issue for you or your baby. Always seek the advice of your healthcare provider in determining what is best for you and your baby.