Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Leeching

*alot of bf-ing talk, My head is jumbled and confused ... Just a heads up so you can stop reading if you have no interest or just aren't there

I am torn:

Most of my TTC years were not fantasized on how I was going to feed my child. I fantasized more about family activities, showing my child the world, teaching them to ride a bike, showing them the ocean, watching them play on the island we used to go every weekend as child, dressing them in cute/trendy outfits, taking lots and lots (actually an obscene amount) of pictures, outings to the parks .. That kind of stuff.

I never thought much about breastfeeding. I was not a fan of it. I was not breastfed, I was not around many that do breastfeed. Therefore it was this weird unknown thing for me. Yes, yes I said weird and unknown. It creeped me out. I don't really know why, It just did. I have many friends now that are actual consultants and teach classes on it. I have referred to them as my weird friends.. I used to tell one friend all the time that I thought it was just so bizarre and totally weird that she breastfed. (insert many ironic head slaps here)The more I think about it, the more I think this was another unhealthy cooping mechanism for me. I have plenty

While carrying MT, I never once really thought that I could bf. I just knew that was going to be another area where my body was going to fail me. I just knew that I was not going to get my hopes up at all. I think that is another one of my unhealthy cooping skills from what IF does/has done to me. Well, Here I am, On the flip side and actually producing milk and with a son that enjoys bf-ing. Pumping is going good *knock on wood* (when said son cooperates). He is going to be 3 months old soon. He didn't latch on until he was 6 weeks. He gets Breast milk in a bottle for the most part. He has never breastfed in public (unless you count my car in a parking lot under a shaded tree away from all other cars) Why? You ask. Because I am a walking, talking hypocrite and the guilt is killing me and beating my confidence daily. (and because my husband {and his mother but that is a whole 'nother issue} is the only family member that is supportive)

You know that saying " When you point at someone you have three fingers pointing back at you" ... Well That's what I feel like. I feel like I pointed fingers one too many times about people bf-ing in public and Now here I Am.... Needing to breastfeed in public and I can't .. I feel ashamed. I feel guilty. I feel worried about offending people, I understand why they may get offended, I was them once. I also feel like I am letting my son down .. Already and he is too young to know what a big huge failure I am.

I am in a bf-ing support group that I attend regularly once a month. I can not tell you how empowered I feel when I leave this group. It is ultimately amazing. I need to figure out how to make some friends from this group. They have a forum/email group that I am apart of but everyone that posts has older kids usually. I never see any new moms post. I often wonder if anyone else feels like me. I hate being the poor needy new mom that is whining about not being able to publicly feed. It's really stupid and ridiculous if you really thing about it.

Friends/Family keep telling me that "once I get him off the breast, his schedule will be easier to control". I don't think his schedule is a problem. He is little, he is needy, he is going to cry some days. I don't think that it has to do with my breast milk that he is crying. He is growing, peeing and pooping just fine. Bottom line, I enjoy it, He enjoys it. I need to get thicker skin - I need to Make a decision to stand up for myself and my Son. I think BFing is not for everyone. Just like TTC - some get to make the choice and some times the choice is made for us. I get to make a choice and I wish I could just choice to tune everyone else out and feed my son when I want to instead of relying on the pump so much. I am afraid the lack of support is going to lead me to talk myself into quiting and I AM NOT A QUITTER!

Maybe I should order one of those bf coverups . ... I just need some encouraging and reallife support (just to make known - I do highly appreciate a RL friend that has been nothing but encouraging about th is topic - thank you from the bottom of my heart)

PS. My shipment of geee diapers have arrived, We will be started those tomorrow I believe.

24 comments:

Kim said...

I wish that I knew how to make you feel better about all of this :O(. The only advice that I have is to not listen to ANYONE. Everyone has an opinion, everyone knows whats best, everyone thinks what they did was the right choice, blah blah blah. Do what works for YOU for as long as it works for YOU, wherever it works for YOU. It's not something that you should feel guilty about at ALL.

Geohde said...

I couldn't even make milk at all- my body failed me completely. Yes, it sucks and it sure doesn't feel good...

But whatever is working for you and your little guy is working. And that's the main thing...

xx

J

Rachel Inbar said...

I lean toward pro-breastfeeding and breastfed all my kids, mostly because it's convenient and cheap, but it took a while until I was OK with bf in public (always well-covered, very modest). Now I don't mind at all. It's just the way I feed my baby, so as long as I'm not exposing anything I don't feel embarrassed anymore.

Allison said...

I think you are doing soooo awesome. As someone who always knew she would breastfeed and am very pro-breastfeeding, I would be HONORED if someone who had once criticized breastfeeding, started breastfeeding. I would NOT be insulted or even one bit feel like they shouldn't be allowed or that they should be pointed back at. I am pretty sure that most pro-breastfeeders would feel this way. It isn't some secret club that you have to be always on board to join....it's a journey, just as mothering is and whenever, however you get there the point is you get there. Just like mothering...your journey was longer and possibly more excruciating than most but the point is you are HERE and you have just as much right as anyone to change your mind, make the BEST decisions for your babe and yourself (regardless of what those are)...YOU by being the mom have earned that!

I hope you find peace with this...you CAN do it. You CAN nurse in public...I bet that once you do it you will find it quite an amazing experience.

:hug:

Meghan said...

I think it is something you'll get more comfortable with over time. Start with the car away from other cars, then if you need to sneak into a dressing room in a store...something like that. Just know that you are doing what is right for you and f everyone else!

And let me know what you think about those diapers. I just got the starter kit in the mail the other day

Wordgirl said...

I do think it's such a personal choice Farah -- but how wonderful of you to claim the choice you believe is working best for you both!

On a side note -- I know they make these beautiful cover-ups these days -- and even ones that have the most amount of privacy with a little see-through panel so you can look down and see him (but only you)

XO

Hang in there -- you are doing wonderfully.

Pam

Leah said...

I wish I could snap my fingers and take away all of the guilt you feel! You are an amazing mother and a wonderful woman. Don't forget that.

My daughter had lots of trouble getting the hang of the breastfeeding thing (around 6 weeks she clued in) and it was VERY VERY stressful. Luckily we had a sympathetic pediatrician and lots of supportive friends to help carry me through the rough times. Unfortunately we also had lots of folks (especially the older generation) who were completely unsupportive and downright rude about it. In the end, I'm glad that I stuck with it.

With Liam, I've done lots of pumping and bottle feeding. But I still breastfeed him at least once a day so that he stays in the swing of things. The same people who were so unsupportive with my earlier struggles are now wildly supportive of my decision to pump and bottle feed. Gee, thanks.

Although your stressors and guilt and need for support are based on different things than mine, I just wanted you to know that I understand. YOU and DH know what the right thing is. Everyone else can kiss your ass.

Absolutely try to make friends at the bf support group. And MOST DEFINITELY voice your concerns to that group regarding being uneasy about bf'ing in public. I guarantee you others have felt that way and will be able to offer support and suggestions.

I was given a bf coverup as a gift and I love it. It's from a company called L'oved Baby. I also use it as a cover for his carseat and as a blanket (in a pinch). It folds up nicely in a little pouch, so I keep it in my car all the time. The pictures on the website make it look a little corny, but it's very pretty in person. I have the green one.

Having said that, if you aren't comfortable bf'ing in public, a shawl isn't going to magically make it easy. But hopefully it will make it at least a little better so you can gain the confidence to bf with *pride*!!

lub said...

I think that you are the only one that knows what is best for MT. I haven't fed T in public either but I would if I had to. I have refused (in the last 2 weeks) to live my life by the schedule that breastfeeding forces- if I had to feed T- I would in the car, in a dressing room, in someone's office, etc. Do what you think is best!

Christy said...

I wish I had some advice for you, but sadly I don't. With adopting Andrew I have no choice but to formula feed. However, let me remind you, as a woman it is your perogative to change your mind. Therefore, you are not a hypocrite. Do what works for you NOW.

Jen said...

I vote that you get the coverup or whatever you need to feel comfortable. Plus, some of those things are really cute. And talk to your support group. That is what they are there for!

Alex said...

I breastfed all 3 of mine to 15, 17.5 and 21 months. And I beleive I only ever breastfed one time in "public" and that was in a discreet section of a restaurant(we were the only customers at the time)and my son was so fussy and needed me to. And he was my 3rd child. The others...I walked out to the car if they needed to breastfeed. I have large breasts and its not that easy to wrangle them and a baby while trying to be subtle. So...I've done my share of breastfeeding in the shady car!!

I didn't feel confortable nursing in a restaurant or a mall...mostly because of the "wrangling" but...everyone is different. I always nursed when I was a friends or families houses, or had company over. Because I could sit and get comphy and set up first. I was able to cover up right to their mouths with my shirt so at most people saw a very quick nipple flash(and they were warned that I was nursing and if they chose to continue talking to me...they took the chance of seeing it) or mabe some "side boob". I'm sure a couple people did see it for a millisecond, but I usually unlached them first with my finger to break the suction then pulled my shirt over the nipple to cover it up then raised them up to move them...and same thing with the other side.

My husbands family barely breastfed...maybe 2 of his 7 aunts did and his mom didn't...so they aren't "sure" about it(one called me stupid for "giving up my life and freedom just to breastfeed my kid and be so dedicated to that" and SHE breastfed...seriously...we don't talk to her anymore). One said "you're STILL doing THAT??" when I came back in the room after leaving it to breastfeed her in peace(was noisy and I left so we could get a break, not for privacy for modesty reason), and I said "of course...she's only 3 months old" stunned that they thought that was SOOOO long. After that, I never left a room again. I was always subtle about breastfeeding but I became a huge suppoter of it. And the few cousins that tried it in his family would contact me for advice or concerns. I am a huge supporter of it and think its great that you're trying. YOu would hate yourself if you quit because you allowed yourself to feel outside pressure. If you do quit, its your business, when and how, but if you want to keep going...then don't let others influence you to stop. I know...easier said than done. But get a coverup, or wear baggy shirts out, for ease of breastfeeding, or get some nursing tops...the are more formed but have build in covers...just do what feels right and comfortable for you. Or go out to the car and nurse...there's nothing wrong with that. I found the steering wheel comfortable to reast them against the help suppor them...put a blanket down and position your chair. Or the armrest feels good for long nurses to lean against. I would rather nurse in my clean comphy car than in a mall anyway.

So there are a lot of twits out there. Just try and shut them out and do whats best for you and your son. Don't worry about being a hypocrite because now you breastfeed. Who cares!! And remember, he's getting to the age when he won't need to nurse nearly as often soon...so you won't re "restricted" much longer. Soon you will be able to head to the mall, or for dinner and give him some teething biscuits to tide him over, or a sippy cup or bottle with some water in it or some diluted apple juice...its not that far away. You can do this...screw what other people think...

Janna said...

I don't have a problem with seeing women BF'ing in public if they're covered up. For some reason I get creeped out when they're sitting there in plain site and I can see their child on the boob. Can you use a blanket or something that might make you feel more comfortable? Most people don't mind a covered up BF'er!! I think it's a wonderful thing that you have changed your mind about BF'ing. Most people are so die hard one way or the other that they won't budge. That says a lot about who you are as a person and as a Mom.

Caro said...

I think it's great that you are breastfeeding. It's totally convenient apart from anything else. As for feeling self concious about it I've found that I get more relaxed as time goes on. A cover up and some support would probably help you.

Jen said...

Fara, I can totally understand where you are at. I pumped with my twins, they never latched on. I was able to do it for 3 months, then hated the pump. Here I am in the opposite scenerio, with a little one that does very well bfing and has a milk allergy. I sometimes feel like I just want a milkshake, pizza, etc. Then I feel bad and forge on. Although, I do have one of the nursing covers and I love it, I am one of those moms who will nurse anywhere (covered) and for some reason, just don't care what anyone else thinks. Although some days I'm not sure how much longer I'll want to bf. Everyday is different and the guilt is always there.

Sugar and Ice said...

You shouldn't let your past thoughts on the topic stop you from making the most of your breastfeeding experience. We all do things differently when it actually comes to parenting our own real live children. I think it's great that you made a change to your beliefs on bfing.

I felt much like you did. It used to make me a little uncomfortable. I was always pro-breastfeeding, but I admit I was always a little weirded out when women did it in public. I'll never forget several years ago when I was at a water park waiting on my husband to get off a ride...I was sitting on a bench and this woman and her toddler (probably about 2-3 yrs. old) sat next to me. I didn't really acknowledge them, and then suddenly I look over, and the woman has her entire boob out of her swimsuit and her gigantic child is breastfeeding. Even though I breastfed for 16 months, just thinking about that moment still weirds me out a lot. Of course, if you want to breast feed in public, there are much more discreet ways of doing it. I never did it with Lila. I always did it in the car or went into a fitting room. However, I have no problems with other women doing it in public now, and I'll probably end up doing it myself this time around. I'm going to get a Hooter Hider...which are really cute and they now sell at Target.

Don't let your family discourage you. Just tell them that you're doing the best thing for your baby and you don't want to be discouraged. If they push it any further then I'd have a strong talk with them about why they're being so discouraging. That's just kind of ridiculous.

Road Blocks and Roller Coasters said...

It's amazing how divisive of an issue BFing is--the medical community is so adamantly for it while others are so against it. I don't have very much support either, so I feel your pain. My mom, my one sister and his mom are against it. G is neutral as long as she's fed and my other sister is the only support I have. And its really hard.

Don't beat yourself up. Feed your child and feel good about your decision--because at the end of the day it is your decision. He is your child and you have to do what's best for him in your opinion. And I wouldn't feel like a hypocrite--we all say things that we end regretting we said later. I've done it a million times because, like you, that's my defense mechanism.

Thinking of you, sweetie! HUGS!

Barb said...

I'm so glad you have that group!

Cairo Mama said...

Breasfeeding is one of many areas that you made comments about in your pre-baby days that you will want to slap your old self about now that you actually have a kid. Don't feel bad, every body goes through it.

I've breastfeed in public all over the world in the the Middle East. If you need a cover, use one. Your baby probably won't put up with one much longer because as they get older they push it off. I never used one, but if you need that to start getting you comfortable do it.

Also, don't look for negative reactions, just feed your baby. When you look for negative reactions you will see them even when they aren't there (maybe the person walking by with the scowl is just having a bad day). I never looked for them and I never saw them. My son is almost 2 and still nurses in public.

Kim said...

I'm not a public bf-er either. I've done it a lot in my car. It's a personal choice on how and where you feed your baby. Make the decision based on your views and information. Screw the world!!! You know what's best for your little guy, no one else does. Whatever YOU chose WILL be the best choice!!!

seussgirl said...

I hear you; I was totally skeeved out about the idea of b/feeding. And I couldn't stand seeing people out in public. I still have issues with that if it's not done conscientiously, but I have more respect for the women who do what they have to to stick with it. I think if I ever have the chance to have a singleton, I'll give it another whirl. But goodness, gracious, this pumping thing is for the birds!

Marcy "meg" said...

I totally understand where you are coming from. I love reading all your comments that you are getting. I think you are doing a great job and what works best for you is what is most important.

Rachel said...

I think it's awesome that you've discovered BF for yourself and are standing up to those naysayers who don't support you. Buy a "hooter hider" and give the public feeding a try with that. Know that while formula is fine, you are giving your son the best start in life-- think immunities!

Nurse Lochia said...

As if breastfeeding isn't hard enough, it makes it even harder when people say things like "once he's off the breast", etc. I never BF'd my first in public. I'd even leave the room when we had company over. It wasn't until my second that I started just making sure I was covered up. Even still, it's difficult for me to BF in public, and I try not to if possible. You are doing a great job, and don't feel guilty...breastfeeding is one of those things that a lot of people don't know how they'll feel until they do it. I wasn't sure I'd BF my first, and I'm an OB nurse and now a huge BF advocate. I think over time, you'll become more and more comfortable with breastfeeding, especially in public. I've heard wonderful things about those breastfeeding cover-ups. I use a decent sized thin blanket that keeps everything covered. Like everyone else has said, it if is working for you guys, keep it up.

Amanda said...

I don't have any magical words of wisdom, but you're doing a great job! I wish I could take away your guilt. YOU ARE NOT A FAILURE! You are doing a wonderful job with your son; remember that.

I have always been pro-breast, as you know. But I've also felt it was a decision that everyone has to make on their own. I could never imagine judging someone because they changed their mind (in either direction). It's what works best for you and the baby and that's that.

I'd do what others have said, get a cover-up and move closer and closer to public until your more comfortable.

You can do anything you set your mind and heart to!!!

(((hugs)))