Thursday, May 31, 2012

My apologies to all breastfeeding moms everywhere

Ok, so...

I'm sure that at this point, no one actually reads this blog anymore, but I just have to say something.

As I think I mentioned in my last post (I could go check, but let's just say I did), Baby Darling is exclusively breastfed. And man, the first six weeks were the hardest of my life. (Admittedly, I've had a pretty easy life, but still.) He was tongue-tied, and he ate ALL DAY, EVERY DAY. Literally, he ate every 30 minutes. For an hour at a time. So basically, my days looked like this:

Feed Baby D for one hour.
Burp him.
Change his diaper.
Run to the bathroom to pee.
Grab a handful of food.
Rush in to comfort Baby D who is crying because he's hungry again.
Rock him for five minutes to see if he'll maybe nap instead of eating.
Nope.
Feed Baby D for one hour.
Repeat over and over, all day long.

At night, he slept two hours at a time at most, so I was exhausted, and stressed, and frankly, not very clean, because I was showering for maybe two minutes a day... and that was on a good day.

Anyway, things gradually got better after the tongue-tie was fixed, but before that... I cried a lot. Dr. Darling took three weeks off of work to help after Baby Darling was born, and my mom came and stayed for a week after he had to go back, but weeks five and six when I was home alone all day with Baby D and Dr. Darling had to work a 24 hour shift and we ran out of toilet paper?? Um, yeah. That was awful. Let's just say that if we had had a newspaper subscription, I might've considered using that in the bathroom instead of trying to take Baby D to the grocery store. But we don't get the paper, so I had to take him to the store, and *gasp* nurse him in public.

The reason I bring this all up is that breastfeeding is on everyone's radar because of the infamous Time cover (which I'm not going to discuss right now except to say that how another mom chooses to care for her child is up to her), and today I just got really mad at a comment someone made on an online forum where everyone was talking about breastfeeding in public.

One woman entered into the discussion by saying that she didn't see why women ever needed to nurse in public, because since a baby only needs to eat every two to three hours, women should just work around that schedule and only go out between feeding times. She ended by saying that it was really "simple," and she didn't see how that could be a problem.

And I wanted to scream, "IT'S A PROBLEM BECAUSE A LOT OF BABIES DIDN'T GET THE MEMO ABOUT ONLY NURSING EVERY TWO TO THREE HOURS, AND SOMETIMES YOU NEED TOILET PAPER, AND YOUR BABY STILL NEEDS TO EAT!!!"

And then I remembered something very terrible. When Dr. D and I were trying to get pregnant (technically, we were trying to get ME pregnant, not him), I was on a forum on The Bump, and I said pretty much the EXACT same thing that the woman I wanted to shout at had said. I can't remember if anyone put me in my place or not, but I sure hope they did. And if not, I would like to go back in time and tell myself, "Self, you do not get to voice an opinion about breastfeeding if you've never done it, because you have no idea what you are talking about, and someday you will feel like an idiot if today you spout ridiculous opinions based on nothing."

Since having Baby D, I have nursed in public more times that I can count. I use a freaking awesome nursing cover that a friend made for me, but you know what? It's hot under there. And it's summer. And when Baby D breaks out in a sweat and starts to whimper, and my choices are either to let him suffer or pull back the cover a little and risk offending a complete stranger with the sight of one inch of my boob, then sorry, complete stranger. But I love my baby more than I love my own life, whereas I have no idea who you are, so I'm not putting your feelings over those of my child.

So breastfeeding moms everywhere, both past and present - I'm sorry for voicing opinions on something I knew nothing about. I was a moron. I have seen the error of my ways.

And before anyone bothers to suggest that women should nurse their babies in public bathrooms - please eat your next ten lunches while sitting on a toilet in a tiny, cramped, dirty bathroom stall and then get back to me.

6 comments:

So. Cal. Gal said...

I don't know how I missed the last post but "Congratulations!"

I bet that woman never had kids. I only have nieces and nephews but even I know that babies have their own schedules and don't give a damn that parents need toilet paper.

And having to eat in a restroom is, I'm sure, pretty disgusting. It would be nice if, say, malls had feeding rooms, or some such thing. Located nowhere near the restrooms, of course.

Tova Darling said...

Thank you!!

There's a mall near me that has an awesome "family lounge" with little rooms that have a comfy chair for nursing. It's fabulous! They should have those everywhere.

Sarah said...

i've been around babies all my life and completely agree with the first commentator. there was a project going on a few months back in new york about breastfeeding in public where all new moms did it proudly with no apology.

also. i think that "family lounge" is the best idea ever and every single public place should go build one right now.

Auntie Em said...

Hurray for breastfeeding! I have a little boy that was born with Pierre Robin and couldn't nurse but I pumped for 11 months. You think you get nasty looks breastfeeding ? try pumping fully covered but with your child in his car seat. yes he still needs to eat and why bring frozen when the source is right there and available? did i mention we spent a LOT of time at the childrens hospital more than 1.5 hours away and babies get hungry.

I am so glad that you stuck through it and got the hang of breastfeeding. I am a firm believer in to each their own but I applaud the mamas that take on breastfeeding. it HURTS!

LegalMist said...

Nothing like being a parent to alert you to all the wrong-headed ideas you had pre-parenthood, and to make you aware of all the wrong-headed ideas that are out there, just festering among the non-parents.

Of course you will always put your child's needs first. It's what we do. And people who don't "get it" need to remember that they were once babies, and children, and teenagers, too, and get off their high horses. :)

Awesome post!

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