mamas, let’s face it…there are a lot of haters. and sometimes, we are just as guilty of playing the game. when i first found out i was pregnant…i cried…and they weren’t tears of joy. we were still newlyweds and had just purchased our first home…i guess we celebrated a bit too much (wink, wink). anyway, my plan was that we’d at least have a full year as newlyweds together before we would start a family. i knew i wanted to be a young mom, but 6 months into our first year we found out i was expecting. it took me the entire first trimester to accept and believe it, but i will write about that some other time. none the less, we were having a baby. and like any new mom—you want the best for your bambino…but you may have no clue what that is exactly.
after too much research, we made the decision to breastfeed. i was determined. and with breast cancer running rampant in my family, i felt like it was something i had to do to help reduce my risk. i began ‘preparing’ for this naturally occurring event as best as possible. bought some medela shields and wore them daily, started hand pumping at the beginning of the third trimester so i could get used to it, drank lactation tea, ate oatmeal…the whole nine yards. i was surrounded by a very strong community of women who were avid supporters of breastfeeding and i felt ready. like i was going to need an entire refrigerator for my supply—because some of my friends did that. it was impressive.
then the day came when our bean arrived. i labored for 37 hours…without drugs..all naturalé…because of course i wanted a completely med free birth–that was what was ‘best’ for babies. we had done our bradley method training and were ready to lovingly and calmly welcome this kid into the world.
blow 1. at 7:32 AM, Monday, January 19…my midwife informed me i had been stuck in transition for over 4 hours. yes, i was so delirious from a long labor i didn’t realize i was stuck in the most painful part of L&D excluding the ‘ring of fire’ for 4x longer than normal. my midwife brought in the attending physician and bean’s cord had dropped, was wrapped around his neck, and he was refusing to tuck his chin…he was stuck in my pelvis…and i was having a c-section if i wanted this kid to live.
after all that prep work, we hadn’t even considered the option of a c-section. i mean–we were having a natural birth! I HAD A BIRTH PLAN! (have you seen what to expect when expecting?! cue elizabeth banks character!) with minutes to discuss, we agreed and they began prepping me for surgery. in what seemed like no time at all, we welcomed our healthy baby boy into the world and then mama passed out from sheer exhaustion.
so we didn’t get our natural birth, so what? they still honored our requests in regards to poking and prodding, and we had skin to skin immediately and began the journey of breastfeeding. we were just so ecstatic to have our little man here.
we both recovered like champs and left the hospital on wednesday, but by Friday…blow number 2 decided to arrive.
my son was starving, and jaundice was creeping in. i had no milk. everything was fine in the hospital! perfect latch, poopy diapers. but friday..was a different story. friday no matter how hard i tried to get T to latch, he would nurse until he fell off, i couldn’t hand express anything! i tried pumping like a mad women, but it just seemed his appetite was increasing, his health was decreasing, and i was really starting to feel like a failure. i called friends, LLL, and a lactation consultant. everything i tried was pointless. it was then i learned that this had apparently been a problem for my grandmother. so here i was again, having ‘my plan’ and now having to consider other options. with a screaming baby bean, no milk, and disparity…i chose to feed our son formula. it was like our baby came back in minutes.
so now what? with the addition of all the post-partum hormones and the calamity of the c-section..now i couldn’t even breastfeed?!? what the heck God?! seriously? i was pissed. i was frustrated, and i felt like i had utterly and completely failed at the most natural thing my body was created for. spiral of shame. i was trying to do my best, with what i had. and isn’t that the goal of motherhood? to do our very best, with what we are dealt.
my husband had to help me sit back and look at the scale of life. you know, a reality check. we had a beautiful baby boy who was safe and healthy. and sure, we didn’t budget to pay for a c-section instead of a natural birth and we didn’t budget for formula because i was doing to nurse…but God knew all along that this was our story. and there is and was no amount of research and or planning that could have changed it.
no–it was not easy to swallow while we were walking thru it, but i most certainly believe that our God is good. and He knew my heart. and while I didn’t get it my way, I did get the wanted end result–a healthy and happy baby that was here just for us. and i know that doesn’t happen for everyone…it didn’t happen for us with our second. so we count every blessing that we do have even more with our third. our son’s name means God is Good. and I can’t not praise God for his goodness. so why we gotta hate? why as moms do we feel the need to judge the mom who is strolling her baby instead of wearing or carrying her? why do we need to judge the mom who looks like she hasn’t slept in days, has food in her hair and maybe forgot her bra? why do we need to judge the mom who can’t breastfeed—for whatever reason? does it truly mean that mama’s love for her sweet child is any less than that of your’s for your kid? does God love her less because she’s not doing ‘whats best’? and who defines what’s best anyway??
as children of the King, we are called to much higher expectations of ‘whats best.’ and i could be wrong, but i have yet to read a scripture that says the only way to raise a child is with the milk of the mother or you’re a heathen. what you do for you and your babes, that’s a personal decision..one that should be held before our Father, and when you are walking in His obedience, that’s whats best for your babe. and that’s doing the best with what you are dealt. because that’s how God made it. trust Him, follow Him, and know that we are going to fail..but his love is always there, stroller, bottle and all.