What a nutty and crazy last few week it has been. Family visiting from out of town. Birthdays. BBQ’s. Camping. New jobs at work starting up. Everyone else is on holiday but me. Baby showers. Playdates. My goodness, busy times!
Lately, I have been seeing posts, articles and comments on breastfeeding. It’s the age of breastfeeding again. I breastfed Scarlett until she was 4 months old. It was a very uncomfortable, beautiful, painful, heartwarming experience and I am grateful that I experienced it. Though when I had to switch to formula, I couldn’t believe the looks and unnecessary comments that I got from complete strangers.
When Scarlett was 4 months old, I got a really bad chest and head cold (just what ever new Mum wants). It was really bad. I had a hard time standing up. Couldn’t hold Scarlett because I was so achy and weak. I tried my hardest to push through it. Then to top it off I got a horrible ear infection. I was falling apart. I pumped milk for Scarlett. Drew had to stay home and care for her while I slept and rested to get better.
I don’t think I had ever felt so much guilt in pretty much every aspect of my life. Drew had to take time off work. He was 100% looking after Scarlett for 3 days. All I could do was sleep. I could hardly hear anything, food was out but I forced myself to eat because I had to produce milk to feed my baby. Guilt. Guilt. & more guilt.
Drew said you need to sleep Ash. Just sleep. We will figure it out. So I did. I started to feel better. The pumped milk ran out so I went to breast feed Scarlett and nothing came out. I panicked. I had no milk. I tied the other side, nada. I screamed for Drew. I have no milk. It’s all gone!
Luckily my husband had done research of all the types of formula out there awhile back. He ran to the store, picked up some formula and it was Daddy to the rescue!
Scarlett took it no problem.
For the next 3 months, I felt shame and guilt that my daughter had to have formula.
I remember this one lady saw me mixing formula and marched right over to me and felt the need to tell me what a terrible mother I was because I wasn’t giving her breast milk. Me being a very new Mum and already feeling guilty, sat there and took it.
Then one day after the tears wouldn’t stop (I blame the hormones), my husband asked me point blank, “Why do you feel guilty? You shouldn’t. You breastfed for 4 months. Your daughter is smiling, starting to laugh. She is playful. She is healthy. Tell me why do you feel guilty?”
My response, I suppose I feel guilty because I can’t proved milk for her. I can’t feed her. Everyone says I have to breastfeed.
After a long talk, I no longer felt guilty. I was (am) giving my daughter everything she needs. The next time I had a stranger come up to me and give me the ‘unapproving eye’. I don’t hold back. This doesn’t affect there daily life, you don’t even know me so shhh!
I am all for breastfeeding but I am also all for formula. You have have and do both. Every women is different. Every women has different experience. You shouldn’t judge. You have no idea what that Mum has gone through. Maybe her milk never came it in, it happens. Maybe breastfeeding is too painful. The point is you just don’t know. Respect the choices that Mum is making, because she has something you don’t Mother’s intuition for that child.
Everyone has an option, and everyone think that they are right and you’re wrong. I encounter this all the time now that I’m a Mum. Strangers really like to tell you that you are doing things wrong.