Breastmilk Boo(hoo)

It always catches me off-guard, that moment when the scab is ripped off. I’d completely forgotten about it and then I hear a conversation or read a post and it all comes rushing back to me. And I know that the people who share these words do it out of love. They believe whole-heartedly that breast is best and they want you to believe it, too. And here’s the thing, I agree with them. In other circumstances, I might even be one of them. I might be the one rattling off all the benefits and calling for others to try harder, go longer. But I’m not because I couldn’t be. I couldn’t nurse my babies. And I see them now and I know – I know beyond a shadow of a doubt – that my babies are growing up to be smart, productive (tiny) citizens of society. But still it haunts me, this ache that has lessened with time but never completely goes away. I wanted to breastfeed my babies and I couldn’t. I did it all, tried it all, gave it my all (and then some) and it just.didn’ I don’t think I’ve ever cried more over a single thing in my life. Giving up broke my heart every single time, even after I promised myself I wouldn’t get my hopes up. I always found myself daydreaming of a nursing newborn and how wonderful it would be, but things rarely turn out like they do in our daydreams, I suppose.

Of all the things in my life that I wish had maybekindasorta been a little different, this is what I wish I could change the most. I bottle fed skin-to-skin. I made lots of eye contact. I did everything I could to make bottle feeding as much like breast feeding as I could and yet I still feel like I missed something. And, as illogical as I know it is, I still feel like I did something wrong. That it was my fault. That I didn’t try hard enough. That I gave up too quickly. That I didn’t try more things. Even though I know damn well that’s not what happened. The mind is a funny thing, isn’t it? 

I know this much though: my children are pretty darn smart and imaginative, even without that liquid gold. I mean, what 4 year old asks to be the man in the moon for Halloween? That’s some serious thinking outside the box.
the ivey league halloween 2013

6 Responses to Breastmilk Boo(hoo)
  1. Kimberly
    October 31, 2013 | 9:48 am

    Well I will always remember how much you supported me when I (very insensitively) called you crying about breastfeeding pain, and how loving and supportive you were. You do the best for your kids, and you help others do that for theirs. and those kids are pretty darn golden, even without the liquid. guess that means they’re solid? gaseous? 🙂

  2. Kathleen Taylor
    October 31, 2013 | 10:07 am

    Aw! I loved this. I cried so hard when I had to give up & give Kade a bottle. He breastfed so well at the hospital & as soon as we got home I almost instantly quit producing breast milk. I felt like I did it wrong because I was so stressed out, which made me even more stressed. I pumped almost every 2 hours whether he wanted to eat or not & would only get about 1 oz in 45 minutes!:/

  3. Christy
    October 31, 2013 | 10:32 am

    I have no personal experience to base any comment on, but I (now) know your incredible children. They are kind, intelligent, funny, imaginative, and courteous little humans. I can’t imagine more vivacity packed into a person, and if Breast feeding does make children more intelligent, then thank God Tucker didn’t!!! Because I wouldn’t be able to have a conversation with that kid! He is so brilliant. Love you!!! You are an inspiring mother and friend.

  4. Sherry Carr-Smith
    October 31, 2013 | 10:55 am

    I think this is one of those things, like whether or not you can birth your children “naturally”, that strikes at our pride as much as anything else. Even without all the messages from the outside, it’s such a goal for so many of us that if it doesn’t happen, you feel like a failure. No logic involved.

  5. Tara
    October 31, 2013 | 4:27 pm

    I wish I had words of comfort for you, but this may be one of those things for which you never find comfort. And we all have our things. You are an incredible mother, and you are raising incredible human beings. At the end of the day, that’s all that matters. <3

  6. CathyMartin
    November 2, 2013 | 9:31 pm

    I assure you that you did EVERYTHING in your power to breastfeed. I cried MANY tears along with you and even more that you had no idea about. I would have given anything to give you that experience, but that was not in my power. What I do know is that God has truly blessed you and your children to be the most beautiful and talented and funny and loving!!!! I love you so much!