I honestly haven’t thought much about my breastfeeding experience. In my head, breastfeeding was just what you do. Maybe it wasn’t much of an issue because after 2 miscarriages and a stillbirth my only focus was to hold a live baby in my arms. I wasn’t thinking about breastfeeding much at the time. I am thankful that it was a very smooth experience with all my three boys. Now that I look back and think about it, it seems like a plan was laid out for them and they just followed it, no questions asked.
All three of them were big babies. Ethan was 8 lbs. 6 oz, Jason was 8 lbs. 9 oz., and Jackson was 9 lbs. 12 oz. so they were fed formula right away. Also, since they were all c-sections I couldn’t feed them right away, so their sugar levels needed to be brought up fast, they couldn’t wait for me to be able to feed them. Once I was able to, they latched right away and never looked back.
My parents visited for a couple of months when each boy was born. So thankful they were able to stay that long! I was able to focus on baby while they took care of the rest. Within those months the boys were bottle fed a few times while I slept or while my husband and I took a couple of hours to ourselves. Funny thing thought at 3 months, just as if a timer went off they quit taking the bottle and would only take me.
Once, my husband tried bottle feeding Ethan at around 6 months, the boy would gag and choke with the bottle nipple in his mouth. Jason didn’t even want to try solids till well into his 8th month of life. Jackson, the one time we tried to feed him with a bottle cried at the sight of it.
It was a time with my babes that I remember with fondness. I loved feeling them close and being able to witness the miracle of my body producing what they needed to thrive! I know I’m lucky to have had such a smooth experience with breastfeeding. The road that lead to me being able to breastfeed a baby was full of pain, so I don’t take it for granted. I know full well that it could have been different.
The times that we live in make it very easy to compare ourselves to such an array of stories. We look at some people’s life and we feel inadequate and like we are not enough. We look at other’s and we feel better than them because we are doing X, Y, or Z. None of this helps us or those around us.
If I’m honest I struggle with both sides of the coin. Especially when it comes to topics like breastfeeding. I see moms breastfeeding up until 18 or 24+ months and I get down on myself because I weaned all three of my boys at 11 months due to different circumstances that some might deem selfish but mainly because I started getting too uncomfortable. In the end I decided I had to take myself into account in the equation.
Other times I see moms that for whatever reason don’t breastfeed and I can’t help but feel like I’m better. Please tell me I’m not alone! Even though I know in my head and my heart that I am most definitely not better than anyone and I just don’t know what circumstance have lead them to do what they do.
The more I live, the more I realize that my choices don’t make me any better or worse than any other mom that genuinely cares and loves her babies. We are all on the same boat, juggling a million things, and trying our best to keep our families as healthy as we can. More so we are ALL second guessing our choices! Yes, even that mom that looks like she has it all together, she is too!
So, mama, next time you are tempted to compare yourself to someone else just remember: we all have our battles and challenges. Some may have a smooth breastfeeding experience after a hellish time getting to have a baby to breastfeed. Others may have a blissful pregnancy and a horrible time attempting to breastfeed. The truth is, we just don’t know so you do your best and know that YOU ARE ENOUGH! Let’s be kind to one another and more importantly let’s be kind to ourselves!
Want to share your breastfeeding experience? Would love to hear from you!