Thursday, July 15, 2010


Not to be Miss Doom and Gloom, but you're damned if you, damned if you don't.

I wish I could say that I don't care what people think. To say that I don't is a lie. Especially when it comes to my kiddos. I want to be viewed as 'Da Bomb Super Mommy. Who doesn't? It's an official title that I aspire to. And I like saying it as I type it.

Scrunch was irritated with me a while back and in her frustration told me to, "Go pump your nipples!" I tried not to laugh, but it was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. It helped that there was a little part of me that stung wondering how many times I'd told her I couldn't do something or brushed her off because, "Mommy needs to pump." I hate that I need to pump. What makes you one kid's "Da Bomb Super Mommy" diminishes your title in the other kid's book. And such is life.

For me, breastfeeding falls under the category of Things To Do To Achieve "Da Bomb Super Mommy" status. It is a subject that is near and dear to my heart (tee hee). Just so we're clear, I'm not some breast feeding Nazi. I have nothing personal against formula or it's manufacturers. I've got a kid who was raised on it. I can't tell you yet how she turned out, but I guarantee she'll have a lot more to blame on me besides the fact that I was never engorged while she was an infant. Promise. And breastfeeding might freak you out. It's okay. But it doesn't freak me out.

I don't know what my hang ups are on the whole thing. Maybe because in another life I would have been a free loving, bare-breasted flower child living off the grid. Or is it the deeply ingrained "Breast is Best" mantra I feel an obligation to abide by as a public health nurse. I don't know. I just think it is important. It just is. And what can I say but the World Health Organization seems to feel the same way.

Ironically, (like a spoon when all you need is a knife) traditional breastfeeding has not been in my cards. One child was adopted and the second has a cleft lip/palate. It's almost funny. It'd be more funny if it was someone else though and I wasn't still awake. Awake because I need to pump.

I've given it my best effort. Twice. And while I have to give myself an E for effort, both my babies have been fed with a bottle. It may sound lame to you, it is one of my greatest insecurities. When I sit at the lake, the park, or the Costco parking lot and whip out the bottle, people watch as I feed my baby. Or at least I feel like they're watching. I wonder what they're thinking. I feel all nervy and judged like if I really wanted what was best for my baby he'd be attached to my boob. I seem to be completely bass-ackwards from the rest of society and the current trends. No surprise there. You can see the article in Time here. The short version is women choosing to exclusively pump. Why? For the life of me I can't figure it out but at any rate they are.

For almost nine weeks I've been pumping around the clock. It's getting old. I'm grateful there's enough milk there to meet Porkchop's lusty demands, but even the satisfaction of my freezer's growing stockpile and my increased adeptness at hooking up on-the-go is getting old. Older still is the attitude I've gotten from some people like it's no big deal. Just give your kid a bottle and get over it. I've even been given a pass on having to be the one to feed him. It's okay if I leave him with a sitter because "he takes a bottle anyway". But if I was nursing...lets all bow down. Nursing is not so blasted easy! Like I've got a get out of jail free card or something. Or maybe the two to three hours a day I spend would be better spent elsewhere. Even a segment on the benefits of breastfeeding left me feeling completely out of the loop.

The primary benefits they kept pushing were that 1) it saves so much time because you don't have to wash bottles or prepare formula. Hundreds of hours they estimated. And 2) It saves money.  Don't people get it?? I'm going for a title here and it looks like my efforts count for nothing.

1) I exclusively pump. Into a bottle. No benefit there. There are lots of bottles to be washed.
2) Breast feeding might be free but renting a hospital grade pump is not. It's more expensive than formula.

I can't call myself an expert, but I'm pretty sure one of the primary benefits of breast feeding is the breast milk. Geniuses. I don't spend three hours a day attached to tubing to save a few bucks. Look it up. It's got lots of uses/attributes. But even if it only had two, it'd still be worth it to me. Breast milk is one of the only fluids you can aspirate and it not cause pneumonia. For a kid who has an opening directing into his sinuses, that might be important. And it's great for treating ear infections. Another plus that's worth it. For as long as I'm able, Porkchop will get breast milk. It's the best that I can do for him. Scrunch has even gotten used to the idea and puts on Lanolin every morning after her bath.

After reading the article, I slammed some of these women. And hard. They don't even know what they're missing! Why would you pump on PURPOSE? You know people would pay good money for that stuff!! And on and on. And then I realized that just like at my house Da Bomb Super Mommy looks different to them and each of their kids.


Wilkins Clan said...

So my kid gets breast milk also. I can't even begin to tell you how many times I've told my girls that I needed to feed the baby first. I can't even begin to imagine how hard t would be to pump and then feed but I know it is worth it! You did not even mention the long term health benifits for you. Go Da Bomb Super Mommy! I think you are amazing and a lot of women would have given up!! Just remember it is worth it and this to shall pass.

Marin said...

You are doing such a great job, you know where I stand. Being able to nurse has been such a great experience for me and I know it's one of those controversial subjects. All the parenting subjects are. But we're going with our heart, that's the best we can do.

Goose said...

Did someone say something to you that pissed you off?

Marilyn said...

I am sooooooo grateful to John, that he can provide you, Scrunch and Porkchop with such a good life. I appreciate the fact that YOU can CHOOSE when and where to work and that you are such a dedicated Mom. To hell, with what "people" think. They have no idea what it takes - but whatever it is, you have lots of it.
John is obviously a very proud Dad - great photos - and the fact that you both do parenting together (even if he doesn't have nipples) he is there for all of you.
I hope in the future you will do a movie about your life and family. It would serve as an inspiration to so many who do not have good role models.
Thanks for sharing and keep it up! And keep pumping.

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