Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Freedom

Breastfeeding has gotten so much better. To the point that Eli will be six months old in about 45 days and I don't think I could give it up that soon, I think I'd be sad if I had to stop at six months. So we're aiming for the one year mark and I am looking forward immensely to my one year of breastfeeding are you insane reward I picked out.

And I'm pretty much over my whole judgement thing. I don't think much about whether or not other people are breastfeeding their kids, I really don't care. I'm glad I chose to breastfeed, but I'm not so concerned with other people and their choices right now.

I'm not sure why this is. Partially I think it's just that now that I am better at it and Eli is much better at it and I am much more used to it, it's not so incredibly soul sucking anymore. I love that I have an immediate and never failing way of comforting my child when he is upset. And I appreciate that breastfeeding forced me to slow down, to chill out, to sit down and shut up and bond with my child already. And to be honest it hurt A LOT until about three months into it and when it finally stopped hurting that made a big difference. So breastfeeding is not something I hate to do anymore, and although I still don't love doing it in public once you've had to breastfeed in the Detroit airport sitting on the ground by a trash can, you learn to get over yourself and you just do it.

Awhile back after I posted about breastfeeding and weight loss and judgement Mr. E and I were talking about how I was worried that my post had been misunderstood. Because I certainly understand that there are many many reasons why people don't breastfeed but understanding those reasons was not helping me feel less bitter about how much it sucked for me and that bitterness was spilling over towards people who don't even TRY.

However in the course of our discussion once again I was reminded of something I seem to have to learn over and over - since I was raised in a cloud of constant judgement I struggle with this a lot. Because the fact is that breastfeeding is not a moral issue. Losing weight is not a moral issue. You are not a good person because you breastfed or didn't, anymore than you are a good person because you are fat or thin. You are not a good or bad person because of these things. You just are.

Don't get me wrong. I'm still chained to the sucking succubus known as my son and there are some days I feel as trapped as ever by the breastfeeding. But I have let go of the moral judgement thing and truly, that's also when I started to feel free.

2 comments:

Chris H said...

I breasfed all 6 of my babies, and I am a total advocate of it... but only if it is for you. You have the right attitude, each to their own and all that. Good for you persevering even though it hurt for so long! I suffered extreme cracked nipples for about 6 weeks with all of mine, but still kept going cos it was and is the best nutrition for our babies. I love the 'reward' you are giving yourself after 1 year of nursing your wee man.

TB said...

I was just thinking the same thing the other day about going to a year, even though I initially said 6 months.
It is SO hard at first, I can see why more women don't stick with it, but I have to be honest. I have a friend who is pregnant and she's not even planning to try and she'll be the first to tell you it's because she doesn't want to deal with the hassle. I'd be lying if I said I didn't think less of her.