You may not know, but it took me three and a half years to have Little Pumpkin Doodle. After the 1st trimester I thought, wow, I’m really going to have a baby! At that point, I put myself into full baby mode and started nesting. First on my agenda was to buy the baby something cute, second was to start looking for a pediatrician. I did what most women do, and started asking friends, women on the street and reading blogs for tips I should ask while interviewing doctors. I was fully armed and ready to go with my two page questionnaire.
I’ll never forget the appointment where we met our future pediatrician. I asked her several questions and then she asked a question of her own; “You’re going to breastfeed, right?” She clearly saw the look on my face when I said yes. I didn’t mean it, and quickly recanted my yes to an “I’m not sure.” The pediatrician replied quickly with the phrase ”no judgement!” I found it funny, since she clearly was judging me. Believe it or not, we ended up selecting the “no judgement” pediatrician. I didn’t care that she judged me, I wanted the best doctor in the city and after running a background check, “no judgement” was the best in town
It wasn’t that I was against breastfeeding, it’s just that I thought it was creepy! All kidding aside, I wasn’t looking forward to it. I had surgery about 5 years before getting pregnant and was advised it would probably prevent me from breastfeeding, but the only way I would find out is if I had a child. Lucky me!
My husband and I visited a close friend a while ago and their neighbor stopped by with their 2.5 year old. The neighbor started breastfeeding her child while speaking with us. Yes, I admit, I judged that mother. My first thought was that if a child has a full set of teeth and can ask for milk, then its time to stop breastfeeding. But after what happened to me, I realized that it’s not fun when you’re the one being judged.
I had the option of giving birth at a hospital 5 minutes from our home, but selected an OBGYN closer to my work, therefore only giving me one choice of hospitals. What I didn’t know is that the hospital was a pro-breastfeeding hospital. If I would have done my research I would have known. I know it was my fault for not doing enough research, but I had a lot of things going on at the time. I even had a panic attack on the initial hospital tour with Hubby. Looking back, the realization of finally becoming a mother after so long had started to hit me.
LPD was born 6 weeks early and I was overwhelmed and not mentally prepared to breastfeed. I remember one of my BFF’s telling me that when she had her baby a lactation consultant, which she later named the lactation ”dictator”, treated her breast like she was making balloon animals at a children’s party. LPD hadn’t eaten anything but a tablespoon of breast milk in 3 days, and every time I asked for supplement, a nurse would politely say, “Why don’t you try the other breast.” I felt as though I was in a Twilight Zone episode where I was talking, but the faces of the nurses had no ears. Since I was doped up on pain killers I wasn’t my usual sassy self. At one point, when Tante Lisa, my father and I had all asked the nurse for supplement for LPD, my lactation “dictator” became upset with us. When we explained that LPD wasn’t getting anything she dismissed us and walked away. It wasn’t until they checked LPD for jaundice, and realized she’d lost 1.5 pounds (total weight of 4lbs 5oz) causing her to go under the bili lights, were they accommodating with the supplement.
The nurses made me feel like I was a horrible women for not providing breast milk, and that I was whining and couldn’t handle the pain. I wanted to yell, I’ve had three surgeries and waited 3.5 years, I’ve paid my dues, now feed my baby! If I had to do it all over again, I would have selected another hospital.
I’ve come to the conclusion that some women want and are able to breastfeed, and some women are not able or do not want to breastfeed, either way it’s none of my of my bee’s wax.
Did you feel the pressure to breastfeed your child? I would like to hear from you. Don’t be shy.