So the title of this blog is a *little* dramatic. I'll give you that. But, breastfeeding is a VERY DRAMATIC topic in case ya didn't know! It all started back in the summer of 2008 when I found out I was pregnant...there were so many things to decide and plan for in terms of raising my child. One of the major issues I had to think about was breastfeeding and whether or not I was going to do it. Little did I know that it wasn't always a choice one could simply make.
Everything I read and heard touted the benefits of breastfeeding. Breastfed babies are supposed to have higher I.Q.s than babies that are raised on "swill," i.e., formula. "Breast is best!" the associated propaganda clearly states. So being a Type-A woman and determined to provide the BEST for my child, I decided I would breastfeed and ONLY breastfeed. No formula, no pumping, etc. That was my plan and I was sticking to it come hell or high water!
To prepare for this joyous, selfless and MANDATORY experience, husby and I signed up for breastfeeding classes. The instructor showed a couple of videos that featured happy moms and their babies breastfeeding blissfully (try to say that 20 times fast!). My preparation made me so excited to be a breastfeeding mother. I just knew in my heart this was the ONLY way we could go!
REALITY CHECK: I ended up having a C-section. This experience was devastating. Don't get me wrong, the doctors and nurses at my hospital were all great. I was treated quite well. What was devastating was that I was in utter pain and could barely sit up out of bed for a few days. The day I had to get up and walk on my own was THE MOST PAINFUL EXPERIENCE I have ever felt.
But of course, I WAS GOING TO BREASTFEED...I MUST NOT DEVIATE FROM THE PLAN! My crazy ass was trying to breastfeed within 24 hours of my MAJOR SURGERY. Needless to say, I was in mind-crushing pain and still put breastfeeding ahead of my own well-being. To top it off, my poor baby was crying before, during and after feedings and we didn't know why. I was still determined to breastfeed because BREAST IS BEST, dontcha know?! Two of the four nights I was in the hospital I slept only ONE hour because I was trying my hardest to breastfeed like a "good" mom should. Don't get me wrong...I know parenting is not about getting sleep. But, after major surgery (did I tell you I had a C-section??) you need some rest to recuperate properly.
Finally, one night husby convinced me to feed the baby formula. We had a huge fight, but he won, because his point was that the baby needed to eat and eat comfortably, not while crying and screaming while I was bawling and in pain. I finally gave in and the baby ate peacefully and was content.
One of the saner lactation nurses at the hospital discovered why poor baby wasn't able to breastfeed properly...his frenulum was too short. So, the whole time I was trying and trying, baby simply wasn't getting enough. I mean I even had one two-hour breastfeeding session before I found this out! This nurse told me that the baby could get this frenulum problem fixed. Some doctors even snipped it right in their offices! Convenient and so in line with the breastfeeding Nazi agenda, right?
My OB told me to pump breastmilk to supplement the formula and call it a day. Sounds like great advice, right? WRONG! One especially insane lactation Nazi got a crazy look in her eye when I told her I was going to pump. She sounded devasted that I was going to pump. Like I killed her fucking puppy dog or something.
Apparently pumping isn't "real" breastfeeding. Okay, so lemme get this straight. The purpose of breastfeeding is to feed babies breastmilk. When one pumps, one produces breastmilk. WHAT IS THE FUCKING PROBLEM?!?! I ignored her (see, by this time, the confident me was starting to creep back in to my brain and mind) and proceeded to feed my baby formula and expressed breastmilk.
After we arrived home from the hospital, husby went out and rented a pump for me. We decided on a month-to-month rental, but in my mind I told myself I would pump until the baby's frenulum was snipped. About a month after the baby was born, we took him to a oral surgeon for a consultation. He told us he could do the procedure. Great! But, the baby would have to be completely put under. NOT GOOD. The doctor never outright said NOT to do it, but he did tell us that our baby was thriving extremely well on expressed milk and formula and that he rarely ever puts patients under six months old completely under. Well, that was all husby and I had to hear. Our boy was growing and happy. Without "real" breastfeeding...imagine that! Fuck putting him under! If you would do that just to breastfeed, you are motherfucking crazy. There, I said it. You are a crazy, breastfeeding Nazi.
Now, don't get me wrong. I know plenty of breastfeeding moms that are awesome people. They breastfeed and don't judge anyone for not doing it (my dear friends in Langhorne, PA and Yardville, NJ are great examples). They did and do what is best for them and their babies. Those moms are NOT what this entry is about. I'm talking about the rude-ass breastfeeding Nazi bitches that insist on knowing whether or not you breastfeed and then judge you negatively. Like we women don't have enough to worry about!
I do digress. Anyways, so I'm pumping along, feeding the baby. All seems to be going well. And it should be, because when I first got home from the hospital, my wonderful mother stayed and helped out for almost a month post-partum (she came out from Vegas a week before my delivery). Dear husby took time off work, too. So all I had to do was pump and change some diapers and do some bottlefeedings, in between trying to relax so I could heal. Not too hard, right?
WRONG. After my mom left and husby had to go back to work, I was home alone trying to pump, watch the baby, feed the baby, diaper the baby, clean the house, recuperate (C-section, remember?), make meals for myself, etc. I began to HATE pumping. I spent every spare minute I had pumping. It was humiliating to do it. Any woman that says they don't mind pumping are motherfucking lying! YOU ARE LIKE A COW BEING MILKED...IT IS GROSS AND BEYOND TIMECONSUMING. I was supposed to be taking care of a baby AND resting (you know, to recuperate after my C-section) but I never, ever got to rest. Even when my husby would take over some night feedings I had to get up to pump. Then each time I pumped I had to clean all of the pump parts.
Wow, what a "horrible" mother I am. How dare I not love pumping. I mean, BREAST IS BEST...for the love of God, GIVE IT A FUCKING REST. Husby brought the pump back to the rental company after one month. In total, my baby drank breastmilk for about a month and a half, counting the time I pumped in the hospital. I was proud that I was able to give my baby breastmilk for the time I did, so I laid the topic to rest and got over my guilt. The baby and I both put our best foot (or breast in my case) forward and we don't owe anyone any explanations.
Cut to the present time. My baby is now almost three months old. He is thriving...boy, is he thriving! A big, happy baby that sleeps well (day and night), giggles a lot and simply enjoys life. His pediatrician calls him "solid" and I see the baby growing physically and mentally every day. You could put him next to a breastfeeding baby and no one would be able to tell he was drinking that filthy formula stuff. In fact, most people say, wow, healthy baby, he looks very happy! Why, thank you, he is! Biggups to husby and I for that. And I guess the formula must be working quite well, too. Hey, it's not breastmilk and it's not the BEST, but just from looking at him anyone can see how well he is flourishing.
In spite of the baby's apparently healthiness and positive disposition, the first question most women ask me is "ARE YOU BREASTFEEDING?????????????????????????????????????"
No, I say, I did pump for almost two months. Then they get that look on their face like they feel sorry for me and the baby. They also look at me like I am selfish and lazy. Oh yea, you got me girl. I'm just lazy. I don't wanna pump because I wanna go clubbing and dancing. I also wanna attend "How to be a Horrible Mother by Formula Feeding Your Baby" classes in my spare time instead of pumping.
Yesterday, I had a get together where I invited a bunch of my friends and their babies to bbq and chill. I couldn't wait to see one of my friend's babies. She delivered five days before me, so I never got to chance to see her baby girl yet. Now, she had I had talked about breastfeeding before and we both ended up doing the same thing. Breastfeeding, then pumping and formula, then 100% formula. I felt comfortable talking with her about breastfeeding and feeding in general because she genuinely cares for me and my family. Also, she did not judge me and nor I her. She's definitely not a breastfeeding Nazi. I know what kind of moms she and I are...I know we both tried our asses off to breastfeed and/or pump. We are FAR from lazy, I can tell you that!
So at this event, I was feeling great. I was hanging out with friends, enjoying the beautiful weather and even drinking some of those fruity alcoholic drinks. Life is good...until BREASTFEEDING NAZI came and rained on my parade. This is what happened. One of my other close girlfriends asked if I was breastfeeding and I did not mind answering her because she was my girl. Seconds after I answered "no, but I pumped for about a month and a half" the Bf Nazi rolls her eyes and scoffs "ONLY a month and a half? I breastfed for six months." Okaaaayyyy....and so what??? I was LIVID, PISSED OFF, on the verge of MURDA, because I KNEW how hard the baby and I tried. We tried to make it work, but what is best for our situation (I say our, because it wasn't just me involved) is formula.
Where was this bitch when I was moaning in post-op pain, trying desperately to breastfeed my newborn? Was SHE helping me clean my house and fold my laundry when I was home? Was SHE cleaning my pump accessories? HELL TO THE NO.
I remained classy and didn't snap back. I wanted to crack her neck and kick her right in the bandonkadonk. What a classless and ignorant comment.
I came home and vented to my husby. I was so angry, that I restarted this Hatewatchers blog that you are reading right now. I just had to get this incident off my chest! I want to speak up for myself and all other mothers out there that are formula feeding and/or "only" pumping. We have rights, too!
Moral: The next time you wanna ask a women if she's breastfeeding, think twice. Unless she is a close friend (even then, who cares) or has similar experiences, just leave it be. Why not just ask the mom how she and her partner (if there is one) are doing? Why not just hold the baby and enjoy that time?
Ladies, let's act like ladies and leave our intrusive, possibly-offensive questions and comments at the door. LEAVE OUR BREASTS AND NIPPLES ALONE, YOU FUCKING BREASTFEEDING NAZIS!
Note: Please excuse the use of "Nazi" in this blog entry. I did not intend to offend anyone. If I have offended you, I hope you accept my deepest apologies. I am just very, very, very angry at these non-supportive, spiteful women that are so proud of the fact that they breastfeed AND can't wait to rub our poor formula-buying noses in it.