September 29, 2011

Sacrifice, formula-feeding and lactivism. Oh Puh-Lease!

You know, lately, I've gotten a lot of comments to me personally on our decision to feed our daughter formula.

And I'm, quite honestly, freaking fed up with it.

It makes me seriously almost hate these "lactivists" or whatever the hell they call themselves these days.

Two have really gotten under my skin recently:

"Oh, I know, breastfeeding isn't for everyone. It requires a huge sacrifice."

And an email, sent to my account here:

"I don't mean to be rude, why would you put that you are a formula feeding family on your "about me" page. That's not something to be proud of."

I'll address the second one first. First off, you are a presumptuous bitc&, not nice person, and that's not something of which to be proud. Second, you ended a sentence in a preposition. Third, would you rather that I said something along the lines of, "Well the lactivists got to me and because "BREAST IS BEST!!!!!!!!!! OR DIE!!!!!!!!!!! RAWR!!!!!! FORMULA IS POISON! FORMULA FEEDERS ARE CHILD ABUSERS!!!!!!" I decided to starve my child." I bet that'd go over real well with CPS.

You know what, my husband and I are doing a damn fine job of raising our little girl, and I AM damn proud of it, and that includes our decision to feed Evie formula. That child wants for nothing (emotionally or physically) and never will because WE are an amazing family. Furthermore, she has an amazing extended family standing guard, like so many German Shepherds, ready to leap into action should she ever show a sign of distress. I put that on my About Me section because it's true, my child is thriving and I'm proud of it. And you, you judgemental wench, can just back hell off.

You, my dear, are an idiot of immeasurable proportions. I award you no points. Do not pass go; do not collect $200, and may God have mercy on your soul.

And there, is your answer.

Now. Let's address the first one. The one that not only got under my skin, but also sat there, festered, prickled and made me kind of sad.

Statements like that are what made the inability to breast feed and HUGE factor in my post-partum depression.

Saying things like that, and all the media hype surrounding breastfeeding that tells new mothers that they are doing something INHERENTLY bad by feeding their children formula creates a super negative environment for people that are UNABLE to breastfeed, or God forbid, just don't want to.

Do you understand, can you fathom what it is like, to be told you are a bad mother and feeding your child something horrible that will equal diabetes and obesity later in life? Do you know how it feels to be told this while you already feel like the worst failure of mother because sometimes you look at your baby and feel nothing, and other times you feel confused, like this baby doesn't belong to you. Can you begin to comprehend how much worse that makes a person feel?

So don't talk to me about sacrifice. Don't you tell me how much you've given up. You have no idea how much of me it took to get to the point where I am now with my child.

I couldn't breastfeed -- loss of blood, exhaustion, my abdomen trying to re-knit itself back together and a mental block, just had my body and brain go into survival mode. To refuse to believe this is a possibility is mind boggling, but people do.

The people who say, "Anyone can breast feed -- you just have to be willing to to give, and sacrifice and be so selfless for your child" need to wise up, get a clue and stop beating down mothers who couldn't and realize that your time and efforts would be better spent feeding starving children and ministering to mothers who are addicted to drugs.

I respect your voice and your decision, but I also expect you to respect me and mine. I don't sneer when I see you nursing in public, with or without cover, so I'd ask for you to employ a little bit of tact and courtesy, because you have not walked in my shoes and you do not know my journey. Also, don't imply you are a better mother than me because of your sacrifice. I am the best mother for my child. No one else can do that job better than I. Her father and I know what's best for her, and until she is no longer living under our roof, we are the only two people who decide that.

Rant Over Now.

PS - Sorry I used some not so nice words in this post. I usually try not to.

PPS - Donor milk was never an option for us.