Sunday, November 23, 2008

2 Years of Breastfeeding

You know, if I didn't stop to think about it, I would have never really realized the significance of breastfeeding Anna for two years. That's lower risk of breast cancer, stronger immunity for Anna, more exposure to brain-building chemicals found in breast milk, etc, etc, etc...
It's kind of amazing. But I really don't think about it any more. The goals, I mean. I don't think about breastfeeding goals or milestones any more. I never really have. I suppose that's out of the ordinary. I never bought any bottles or formula (although my MIL sure bought me bottles and Similac kept trying to get me on their bandwagon! No thanks to both!) Some other company gave us liquid formula with nipples and little glass bottles. Those were great for that ONE night when Anna was 2 weeks old and Daddy stayed up with her and I SLEPT! AND woke up in pain and engorged lol. Other than that.... I honestly never had a goal. I was a member of this mommy site full of notoriously blood-thirsty women, always attacking each other for doing anything remotely resembling "wrong"... giving babies solids at 5.5 months old, as opposed to 6 months old (give me a break! She sucked on a cookie, people!)... Giving her a cookie for her first food and not pureed green beans (I wouldn't like that, why would she? PLUS it was a Girl Scout cookie!!! Who could pass that up? "On my honor I will try to serve God and my country and to live by the Girl Scout Law and give my daughter a Girl Scout cookie for her first taste of heaven.")
And to top it all off... the women of that unnamed site told me that saying that my goal was 12 months was TOO MUCH and to not have such a long goal. Have a 3 month goal or a 6 month goal. Give me a break! Why should we have so little faith in our selves? Why would I arbitrarily break down and give my daughter a bottle... run the water, boil it, de-germify bottles, buy the bottles that are the most healthy, measure the powder, mix the water WHEN I CAN JUST WHIP IT OUT! I deserve one of those bumper stickers that says: Photobucket
And this isn't in offense to bottle-feeders or formula-users. It's more in offense to those catty women who were my first real experience with "breastfeeding supporters"... Pah to you.
Point is, my first and only goal was one year. I made it. From now on I'm winging it. Anna likes the boob. I like the closeness and the benefits.
Oh and I found my way onto and started a thread announcing my two year milestone. Within a day or two four or five more threads popped up announcing 2 year milestones or goals being reached. I was really excited and pleased by the support and praise. It was very nice to hear it. ;)

So, in closing, whatever your goal is. 1 week, 1 year, 3 or 4 years... if and when you make that goal, good for you! You are amazing and I support you and we all should support one another. For being moms, even. Waking up several times a night for months (for me, twenty months! argh...), for feeding and changing our babies, learning their voices, their turns of temperament.... celebrating their firsts and OUR firsts, their goals and OUR goals. It's an amazing experience, motherhood. It truly is. And I am blessed to be one of the women in the world who gets to experience motherhood in one of the ways that it is offered.

I hope that some day I can adopt a child (or children) and experience motherhood in a whole new facet. Motherhood isn't how you feed your child, it's the love that you give your child. A woman who gives birth and breast feeds her child can just as easily abuse that child or starve that child. A woman who adopts and bottle feeds can just as easily smother her child with love.

I honestly don't know where I'm going with this now... I suppose this is what happens when I decide to write after midnight....

I'll post pictures in the next post. ;)