Failure

In all the literature about breastfeeding, nobody tells you about how it sometimes isn’t possible. Nothing ever says that your SmallSon will have tongue-tie and not be able to latch well without causing you a great deal of pain. Nothing ever says that it will go OK for a few days or so and give you hope that it will work and then suddenly you end up with blood blisters. Nothing ever says that you will be attached to a breast pump for 5 weeks, that you will be under constant stress trying to feed the baby, get the baby soothed, and pump and constantly feel like you want the baby to fall asleep so you can pump because instead of the 3 hours in between that they have told you it should be, it has been 4 or 5.

Nothing in the literature says how much grief and sadness you will feel when you come to realize that it is not a workable situation despite all the lactation consultants you have met with multiple times, despite the pain you’ve endured and the constant 3-hour pumpings day and night, either before or after feeding the baby. 

Instead, the literature and the consultants make it seem like with enough endurance and time it will work out or else you can just spend the next 6 or 9 months pumping and why don’t you get someone to come in and help you during the day so you can do that?

 I’ve reached the realization, one that my husband and my mom have been trying to make me see all along, that breastfeeding is just a small part of being a mom.  There are lots of other parts to it, like cuddling and soothing and interacting and teaching and laughing and bathing and burping and kissing small toes and going for walks and not being stressed out for your little one.  I’ve come to feel like if I weren’t attached to a breastpump maybe I COULD actually go for a walk everyday, maybe I COULD go out without having to time my outings around pumping and maybe I could actually not be in pain.

So many women I have talked to have failed at breastfeeding. So many of them have told me of their pain and guilt that they experienced in having to quit. I thought it would be different for me; I thought I could do it and theoretically I could. Little SmallSon can’t. 

And his mommy has to let go of her grief about that and do what’s best for him and not do what she had originally intended.

And I guess that is what parenting is all about, isn’t it?

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. npappas
    Nov 05, 2007 @ 10:29:18

    i’ll be in touch via email!

    Reply

  2. Sharon Sue
    Nov 05, 2007 @ 23:11:17

    Miles is blessed beyond measure to have such a mother. And I am pretty darn lucky myself to have found a friend of such courage and deep honesty. Solidarity across the miles from me to you.

    Reply

  3. ~m
    Nov 06, 2007 @ 12:32:20

    THanks, you guys. I know you have supported me throughout and it really means a lot.

    Reply

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