Thursday, June 17, 2010
Baby And The Breast
Okay let's talk about breast feeding. I recently made a post of a trailer of a new Pro Breastfeeding film. The reaction was a mixed bag but one comment totally blew me away. Now, I'm not judging. That is not my thing. So with that said...
One commenter, in fact a mom I know and totally respect, said that she didn't breast feed because she thought it was "totally disgusting".
I will admit that pre-baby I was so weirded out by the whole thing. I was nervous it would feel awkward, uncomfortable, dirty even. But not nervous enough to totally bypass even trying it.
Sad isn't it?
That I was anxious about the most natural thing in the world.
and now? Well, nothing has ever felt more right than nourishing my babe with my own body.
Holy hell! Our society has really screwed us up if we think this is okay!
Interesting that people are okay with watching grown men eat bull testicles on game shows and passionate people humiliated on talent competitions but a women feed her child in public...she's the bad guy.
I mean really? I feel brain washed and cheated. We can let our boobs hang out for male attention and fling them outta our shirts to catch a few beads at mardi gras...but supply our children with the most important physical and emotional experience available to them and its nasty?
Whats disgusting is how we have allowed ourselves as women to be clouded by others opinions.
When Hendrix was lying in that bed in the Intensive Care Unit hooked up to about a hundred wirse and barely breathing on his own I was stressed by every doctor and nurse in that place that his best chances for doing well in the future partly hinged on our nursing relationship. Children that breast feed progress in leaps and bounds compared to the children that do not. And that is a fact people. A scientific fact. Not something to be debated or discussed.
and while I will respect your right to choose this is something not one of us can deny.
Here I was, this tiny little thing, battered and bruised from laboring for days, and a team of the most well respected doctors, nurses, neurologists, are standing in front of me, telling me how I could help my baby. How I could be hugely responsible in my sons' healing process.
I would walk through hell. Cut off my own arm. Give my life for my son to ensure his health and safety.
Breastfeed you say? That is all I have to do?
Sign me up.
The power that we have as women to heal with our own bodies is a gift. How could we let society diminish and degrade that? How?
I will not let this be taken away from me. I will not give it up.
My first time nursing was an eye opener.When the nurse came in to help me I was freaking out inside. Waiting for some sort of educational video or instruction manual. I remember starring at my son as if he were some sort of heavy machinery I was unable to operate. She laid him across me and he latched on. Instantly. Like he was born to do it. Because he was born to do it.
and me? I fell hard. Harder than I already was in love with that little bundle. The world was spinning around us and it was a place that we could go to, just the two of us. A secret garden. A burrow of sorts. Away from the bleep bleep of monitors and the pin prick of needles. Away from the googling of words like "cerebral palsy" and "brain damage". Away from the static. The sad. The scared.
Breast feeding became an umbrella for the shit storm that surrounded us.
and I am so thankful for it. For the two of us to have had an escape. After his birth I was unable to hold my baby for over 24 hours. It felt like a lifetime. I felt every second of it. I wonder if he did too. If he was looking for me. Waiting. For my smell and the sound of my voice and the taste of my skin. My milk. For the comfort of my arms and the stroke of my hand on his cheek.
and here we are nearly 8 months into breast feeding and its my favorite past time. There is no end in sight.I have started talking numbers like 12 16 18 24 months for weaning. The mere thought of a day where we no longer nurse is heart breaking. I hate the thought of it.
Nothing and I mean nothing about breast feeding my child is sexual. or disgusting. or unnatural.
Nothing has ever felt so right.
I can not help but wonder how many women do not even try based on these feelings of it being "disgusting". I wonder how many would have had that switch flipped from "gross" to "magical" if they had given it a shot.
I compare giving birth and breastfeeding to other life experiences like bungie jumping and traveling th globe a lot. People look at me weird. But on a life list that includes things like "See the Eiffel Tower" and "Fly a Plane" shouldn't we see "Breastfeed" and "Birth a human". Shouldn't we all get to feel that love? That acceptance? That purity? Even just once
and yes I breast feed in public. Most of the time without anything covering me.
But that is a whole other post...