I’ve breastfed three kids for over five years. My last childless days I spent reading the Womanly Art of Breastfeeding. I’ve read La Leche League articles and KellyMom’s website many times over. I know the WHO and AAP breastfeeding recommendations and I know my rights in the States. I’m not successful because I’ve studied. I’m successful because I did it.
There was a moment when Chase was a few days old that could have set me on a path to a very different future. My nipples were cracked and bleeding. I held two bags of frozen peas and a bloody nipple shield. The bright light was burning my eyes - it was 3am.
I felt the tug of easy street. How could nature have produced such a broken system? Why was breastfeeding so hard - so painful - and exhausting? I could have asked my husband to prepare a bottle of formula. I could have rolled over and slept while he fed the baby. For a tiny moment I looked down that street towards bottles and formula, pacifiers, canned baby food, goo packets.. But I continued breastfeeding. Not for Chase. Not for health. Not for economy. For pride.
I would not become a quitter! I told people I would breastfeed. I’ve had: raw nipples, sleepless nights, an unconsolable baby, latch issues, engorgement, lopsided boobs, and leaks from unmentionable places. Being a Mom comes with a personalized list of inconveniences.
I, can breastfeed. So can you.