Monday, October 3, 2011

A Choice

I just read a friend's post on some wenches who have, more or less, criticized her for choosing to formula feed her child. One paid her a backhanded comment about how it takes "a real sacrifice" to be able to breastfeed. Read between the lines. Is that heiffer saying my friend doesn't sacrifice enough for her child?

My friend, just like myself, tried to but couldn't. So my question is, what are girls like us supposed to do--starve our children?

I feel fortunate that no one, so far, has approached me about my decision to formula feed. The worst I've gotten so far is "Well, at least you tried," which is actually pretty crappy since I find nothing wrong with a woman choosing not to breastfeed from the getgo.

Fortunately, I've found throughout my life that typically no one really questions me when I have big decisions to make. (Well, there was that stint throughout undergrad where I decided to major in English and even doubled my marketability with a degree in History. My parents, though they supported me, surely had some concerns that I would dwell in one of their attics for the next 30 or so years. I showed them, though. A band directing husband and a Masters degree later, I finally arrived to my career as English Instructor at a community college.)

Anyway, I attribute that I'm never questioned to one or maybe a combo of three things:

(1) I'm already just so brilliant that anybody need not question my motives.

(2) people take notice of my commanding presence (i.e. tall, gym coach-like physique) and find it best not to ask questions

(3) I wouldn't notice someone's doubt if it hit me in the face.

Yeah. The first option definitely proves most befitting.

Back to the baby feeding topic, though. Seriously, I have heard people say things like "No woman lacks the ability to breastfeed". I'm not entirely convinced by this statement's validity. When Jude dropped over a pound of his birth weight in just a matter of days and then took until he was nearly two months to put the weight back on, I think that was my first clue that something wasn't quite working. Not to mention, when I finally gave up the practice, I never had to perform any of those tricks that would help me "dry up," so to speak. So either I'm not a woman (and even though I did drop a gym coach reference earlier, I promise that was me in those stirrups pushing eight pounds of life into the world) or that statement is plain assanine.

I've also heard that same statement backed up with "After all, that's how everyone did it in the old days." Ok. Well, I do buy that. I also believe that infant mortality was higher and, oh yeah, didn't some babies have wet nurses? What ever happened to that sanitary practice?

Anyway, Jude's been a formula-fed baby since about 2 weeks old, and he's happy as a clam and growing like a weed. Maybe he'll be sicker than breastfed babies, but for now, I'll just take the precautions of running a humidifier when he sleeps and bathing him every day. Maybe he'll be morbidly obese one day, but in the meantime, I'll prepare balanced, nutritious meals and encourage daily exercise by playing with him.

So to all those breastfeeding mamas out there. I admire and respect what you're able to do. I wish I was included in that lot. However, I had a choice to make, and I too have a happy, thriving almost four month old.

To my friend: I'm sorry people have been so wretched. You have no idea how this makes my blood boil and my heart hurt My guess is their ability to breastfeed is the ONLY thing that's working out in their lives so they must "latch on" to it. After all, the best way to hide our own inaccuracies is to spin someone else's choice as flawed.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

I think I love you! Judey booty it perfection! :) I'm also pretty sure "back in the day" people fed their children unpastuerized cows milk -- because that is safe.