Hey everyone! Happy Friday. Two years, countless hours, and $70 to UPS for next day air service later, I can officially say that the first draft of my book is in the hands of my editor. Which means, of course, that my schedule just got a whole lot clearer, and will let me revive this dying blog. Starting this weekend.
Welcome to Fearless Formula Feeder Fridays, a weekly guest post feature that strives to build a supportive community of parents united through our common experiences, open minds, and frustration with the breast-vs-bottle bullying and bullcrap.
To kick off a new, rejuvenated Fearless Formula Feeder blog, I want to share a submission I received from FFF Angela P. I always love hearing from people who have been able to defeat the guilt and begin saying piss off to the Judgy McJudgersons of the parenting world, and Angela’s in-your-face attitude is pretty darn refreshing…
!!WARNING!! Unconventional, unpopular truth comin’ right at ya. I NEVER wanted to breastfeed.
“Don’t you understand what you are denying yourself and your baby?” “He will be dumb, sick, and fat.” Okay no one really said this but they (and by “they” I mean everyone) kindly informed me of all the studies that basically did.
So what’s my deal?
I never wanted kids. I never longed to be a mom. I married knowing full well it wasn’t part of our game plan. Did I even like kids? I loved them and relished in playing, laughing, and caring for all my friends children. We were that couple that everyone said, “awww they should have kids; they would make great parents; it’s too bad.” Low and behold after many years of wedded bliss my amazing husband dropped a bomb on me: he wanted a family. I too saw in him what my friends did; he would make a great father, and how could I deny us the unconditional love of a child? We had more than enough love to go around and 7 months later we said hello to our little 3 lb 10.5 oz bundle of joy who couldn’t wait the extra 2 months to meet us. He was just perfect and miraculously we were a legitimate family (Oh, a topic for another time.)
The road to here was paved with lots of doctor visits, constant monitoring, scary tests with bleak results, and various types of bed-rest for 5 months. So now that he was here why wouldn’t I give my child the magical elixir? Come on, I was well informed about all the benefits. Every mother, father, whether I knew them or not, and nurse saw to it that I was in-the-know. Why is it that people feel that it is okay to ask you if you’re breastfeeding? No pressure! I loved attending the required NICU classes where right out of the gate you’re shamed by having to be the only person in the room who doesn’t raise their hand when asked, “OK, by a show of hands who’s BREASTFEEDING (with the undertone of, “Yay you, you are sooooo awesome”)! Then you have to sit there for a good long while listening to “pump-talk” while the other parents and instructor look at you, nod, and tilt their heads in your direction when they talk about all the benefits. Tears streaming down your face with guilt and anger. I felt like I was watching an after school special on peer pressure.
So now you’re asking, “What’s her deal with breastfeeding, is she one of those people who are offended, appalled, and disgusted by the display?” On the contrary. I would dress somebody down if they dared to scoff at a woman feeding her child. It is the most natural nurturing gift a mother has to offer her baby and if you have a problem with it, look within, something ain’t right with you.
So what’s my deal? Why did I choose not to breastfeed? Does it matter? Would it be justified If I told you it was because I was sexually abused and I harbored those feelings in my breast? Or what if I just didn’t want to “ruin” my breasts? What if it was a cultural thing? Let’s be honest, if I told you I didn’t want to ruin my breasts you’d be on me like a spider monkey. Why do I need to justify my decision, and why is it any of your business anyway? Isn’t it more important now that he is happy, thriving, well cared for, loved, and for the most part healthy. “Ah-ha! See he’s not healthy.” My breast milk would not have “fixed” him. He came into this world needing a little help. He’ll grow out of it. Will you?
I CHOSE not to breastfeed and I reject your judgment.