Anonymous Mom: Quitting Breastfeeding Was The Best Decision I Ever Made
I had my second child on Superbowl Sunday, waiting for the feeling to come back in my blissfully numb legs as Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliot performed the halftime show. The next night, we were ushered into a “discharge seminar,” which more accurately should have been titled “How other people killed their kids” or, “Fodder for your nightmares” or, “You had a kid? What the fuck were you thinking?” It was a delightful array of stories from people whose babies died in tragic ways that weren’t really the parents’ fault, but, come on, it’s always the parents’ fault, right? That was the silent undertone of this seminar: “How not to kill your baby except you can’t really prevent it. Probably. Good luck!”
Anyway, as a friendly nurse made rounds of the floor, gathering up sleep deprived, unsuspecting new parents and depositing them in Death for Dummies 101, I sat marveling at the woman next to me. Her baby had been fussing, and she casually reached into the little crib on wheels, pulled him out, and stuck him on her bare boob. He ate happily, and she continued watching Newborn Doomsday without missing a beat.
Now, please keep in mind that I had already had a baby and raised her to 23 months by this point. Had this seminar been happening 23 months earlier, I would have been oblivious to this woman due to my sobbing in the fetal position among the port-a-crib babies and begging the nursing staff to let us live in the maternity wing, lest I roll onto or accidentally shake my precious newborn. However, being reasonably satisfied with my ability to keep a small person alive, my attention was focused on this mom and the baby that was magically latched onto her boob.
As we returned to our room, I told my husband Jim about the girl whose baby magically latched, who he hadn’t even noticed. There was a bare boob in the room and my husband hadn’t even noticed – that’s how sly this La Leche Lover was. Inspired, I grabbed little Norah, and put her to my boob. One nipple shield, a football hold, “C” pinch, and many tears (some hers, mostly mine) later, there I was staring down the Medela pump while my babe laid back in her plush port-a-crib digs, letting me do all the hard work. Was this my fault? Why was this so easy for other women?