FFF Friday: “I can’t bring myself to say it out loud…”

This is a different sort of FFF Friday submission. Lynn wrote to me last spring, saying that she couldn’t bring herself to write out the entire tale of her infant feeding journey, but that she still wanted to share her story.

She felt the best way to do this was to submit the email she sent her husband, approximately three months after her son was born, three weeks after returning to full time work.


And you know what? This email told enough of the story. It told it all. Everything so many of us have felt, experienced, thought… all of it, laid bare, stripped down. 

Happy Friday, fearless ones,


Lynn’s Story

I suffer from depression and anxiety.  The thought of postpartum depression scared the CRAP out of me, so much so that I wasn’t sure I wanted to bear a child (rather, adopt).  I was advised early on in my pregnancy that I’d need to get at least six hours of sleep a night during those first six weeks.  Little did I know, not only would that be nearly impossible, it would be absolutely crucial.  Between a lactation consultant at the hospital thinking she observed my son having a seizure (which put us unnecessarily in NICU), and my son having a tough time staying latched, pumping ultimately became the most reasonable thing to do.  

Two bouts of mastitis later…. this is the email I sent to my husband:

I can’t bring myself to say it out loud…

I can’t pump anymore.

I’m typing this in tears, shivering, with a 100.3 fever and an incredibly sore and tender boob.  It’s nothing short of self-torture to keep doing this and maintaining a milk supply requires a shift in lifestyle that I obviously can’t maintain.

My therapist asked me to complete this sentence:

If I stopped pumping I would…

…go shout in the streets hallelujah.

This was not the response she expected.

She also asked, what would you tell yourself if you saw what you’re going through…


I wish I weren’t the one pulling the plug (or, putting in the plug?).  It is a smack-in-the-face reminder that I have to mother myself… which is just a Freudian nightmare in and of itself.

It’s fucked up, honey and not only can I not voice, I cannot type what I am truly, truly afraid of if I keep doing this to myself.

<deep breath>
I love you.  I love William.

I love me, too.

Feel like sharing your story? Email me at formulafeeders@gmail.com.

Suzanne Barston is a blogger and author of BOTTLED UP. Fearless Formula Feeder is a blog – and community – dedicated to infant feeding choice, and committed to providing non-judgmental support for all new parents. It exists to protect women from misleading or misrepresented “facts”; essentialist ideals about what mothers should think, feel, or do; government and health authorities who form policy statements based on ambivalent research; and the insidious beast known as Internetus Trolliamus, Mommy Blog Varietal.

Suzanne Barston – who has written posts on Fearless Formula Feeder.

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One thought on “FFF Friday: “I can’t bring myself to say it out loud…”

  1. Thank goodness you had the support and the insight to bring you to the surface where so many others have drowned. You deserve a medal. Go you! To look after others, you must first look after yourself!

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