I breastfed my oldest daughter for nineteen months. With a mother effing nipple shield. Eat that suckas! Well, not you, she did, and it worked well.
I don’t admit to it as much as I’d like to. I can stand up on the internet and say that part of getting better breastfeeding rates is for those of us who are committed to it (dude, I’m not even sure if I can write that anymore, I feel like I’m not part of the “club” anymore) need to be more open and honest about it. Making it an accepted part of society will remove the barriers that exist. However, I don’t really say much about it outside of the “safety” of the Internet community I’m a part of.
Now though, even in the safety of my Internet community, I feel like a fraud.
I know, in the part of my brain that handle logic, that I am not a failure. I know, in that part of my brain, that nine months is freaking awesome, and I’m not (totally) done yet either.
However, the second guessing, it never ends.
Was it not staying on Metformin, not figuring out how to get to see my old endocrinologist even though they moved, after H was born? I wasn’t on it with M, but maybe my PCOS was that much worse.
Did I take for granted my overproducing boobs?
Was it that I took for granted her status as the “easy” baby. She was so flexible I didn’t feed her enough?
How long was it that she had that ear infection? Did I chalk it up to being teething for too long? How long had she been not eating enough?
Was she just not as in to breastfeeding as I thought? Eating more at daycare when it came easy from a bottle?
I can’t stop going over it in my head. Where it went wrong, what I should have done differently. Regardless, one thing is clear, it will never go back to being as good as it was. It wasn’t just a matter of sleep. It isn’t a little formula until she gets back to “normal”. Normal is now as much as I can pump and still be able to feed her that one time a night, formula for the rest of the time. Normal is trying to regain some of my life. The part that I hadn’t realized I had given up when I was always worried about leaving to take time for me. When I knew something wasn’t right.
I regret all of those times when I judged, silently, what other did, what it turns out I’m doing now.
I am lucky, so lucky, to have others willing to make no excuses for making the best choice for their families. I am lucky to have been able to breastfeed at all.
As I sit here, trying to finish this, trying to feel sorry for myself just a little bit more, reality jumped in and kicked my ass.
Tonight on the drive home from daycare, there was a piece on NPR about a mission to Mercury by a spacecraft named Messenger. It was a woman talking about what they discovered. It made me think of Susan. Women in the planetary science are far too rare, and they all rock. Then I was on Facebook, and I’m never on Facebook, and someone mentioned seeing the planets tonight, then someone tagged Susan in a photo. I think the universe is trying to tell me something.
I am selfish to bitch, and moan and whine about my boobs. H will be fine. I will be fine. M needs to learn more about the stars and the planets.