Tuesday, August 28, 2012

There are SO many things that I want need to blog about. 

On the baby front:  He is amazing.  Just turned 9 weeks old and took his shots like a champ.  He weighs 11 lbs. 5 oz now (3 lbs. more than birth) and he's the best thing ever.  I'm in love.  I'm also done breastfeeding.  Hallelujah!!!  I had never breastfed before.  Both girls did formula and they turned out great.  But since I knew Mason was and is my last, I decided to try something different.  He was a natural at it.  Come to think of it, so was I.  I mean, my body knew what to do but my mind realized it's a lot.  A lot in the sense that ALL OF THE FEEDINGS are my job.  As in, no help from Gabe.  As in, just me, awake, sobbing, nursing Mason while Gabe saws logs next to me.  I cannot tell you the level of resentment that results from this.  The word "unfair" kept playing on a loop in my mind. 

I know that "breast is best" and all the slogans that go along with the breastfeeding world but for me and my life, I've decided "bottle is the way I stay sane."  Seriously.  Breastfeeding Mason for 6 weeks was really neat and bonding and special.  But it was also a ton of work, exhausting, and made me feel like a prisoner.  I know this isn't everyone's experience but with 2 others kids that have a lot of needs, it became too much.  Oh, and did I mention the crazy amount of reflux issues Mason was experiencing while nursing.  No bueno.  So formula it is and formula makes all of us much happier :)

However, there is judgement from others when you either give up (or never attempt) breastfeeding.  Silent judgement.  I've been through it before.  That look of surprise when another mother asks and I give the answer that he is bottle fed now.  Then I feel some need to explain.  Like I need to give reasons why I'm not nursing.  The same way I used to answer the "What do you do for a living?" question by responding that I am "just" a mom and then reciting my resume to prove that I'm indeed educated and started a career at one point in time.  Ugh.  I don't do that anymore.  Thank God. 

Back to judgement.  My cleaning ladies were here the other day.  They've been here several times since Mason arrived.  They are very sweet, Latina ladies.  They are always nice to the girls but very happy that I had a son.  (This is a theme in the Latino culture; boys seem to be the desirable sex and until I had one I would always get questioned about when we would be trying for a boy.) 
As they were cleaning, Mason woke from a nap and I headed to the kitchen to prepare his bottle.  My cleaning lady looked at me, then the bottle, and asked " Why you aren't breastfeeding?"  I responded that I did, but I'm done, and he has reflux, and this is better, and.... 
Did I just get judged by my cleaning lady?  I heard her then recite to the other cleaning lady in Spanish that I nursed for 6 weeks but not anymore.  I don't know what she said after that.

Here's the thing, it shouldn't matter.  It doesn't matter.  It's up to each person and each family and it's no one else's business.  It's another one of those parenting/mothering/woman things where there is a ton of judgement in each respective community and none of it is valid.  The proof is in the pudding and so far I think my puddings have turned out  pretty awesome; formula and all :)


Laura said...

You're an awesome mom and exactly right, it's no one else's business what you do for your children. I'm so tired of all the put down if you can't exceed expectations as a mom. Viv had her first formula bottle yesterday (I just don't have the time or milk for that matter to pump ahead of time) as it was my first day back at work and I felt guilty. Why should I? I should just be grateful that I was able to nurse without it for as long as I did. Which in it's self, like you said, is so tiring and time consuming especially when you have other little ones running around the house. I've said so many times now I'm so sick and tired of breastfeeding it's now a joke, seriously ha we were at the beach the other day and trying to nurse Viv and I'm like really? this really sucks! I sooooo feel ya! And as a side note about stay at home moms, Jason had his first full "double duty daddy day" yesterday and he texted me at the end of the day "I can't even tell you how much I appreciate everything you do for our family, this is the hardest job" :) He did awesome but he's right it's the hardest job but the most rewarding :)

chronicles of momnia said...

gabe must be bummed that he's back on the clock. no more sawing logs for you, pal! ;) on a serious note, good for you for making the decision that works for you and your family. it's such a personal thing...this parenting gig...and we all do the best we can. no one has the absolute right answer. and the nursing thing? paaalease. it's just the tip of the iceberg of parenting decisions. i am so happy to hear you are enjoying your brood!!

SARAH said...

@Laura- I know!!! It is THE HARDEST job ever and the most rewarding. It's so nice that Jason could express to you how much he appreciates what you do. Love that guy!
@Rosana- Totally. But you know what? Gabe was having trouble seeing how he fit in with breastfeeding. He was so used to helping when the girls were infants. Breastfeeding seemed to make him feel a bit out of place; even though he totally supported me in it. All that said, we are on a roll now. Loving my little man :)

Anonymous said...

Really interesting blog and when I was younger I might have been one of those Moms that "silently judged" since breastfeeding was all I really did with mine. As you get older you realize like your Mom said it is just the tip of the iceberg on parenting decisions. Seeing how much easier the formula is for all of you especially Mason I know you made a good decision. Your kids are lucky to have a Mom that isn't afraid to travel her own path and not worry about what other people think! Love ya Sandy