I could not breast feed. I couldn’t. Not that it’s anyone’s damn business or that there would be something wrong with it if I’d just chosen not to. But regardless, I couldn’t. Could not.
At least half the time that comes up with someone who has or is breast feeding they get this really sad look on their face and say something like “A lot of moms think that, but everyone can. Some women just need to give it more time.” Or a short “It’s normal to worry you don’t have an adequate supply, most women worry about that at some point or another.” Then look at my poor, miserable, obviously suffering children with pity because their mama *bless her heart* just didn’t stick it out long enough to do what was best for them.
And you know what? There’s nowhere positive a conversation can go after that. Because I don’t want to discuss my boob issues with someone who already has that attitude. I don’t want to tell them about my daughter crying in pain from hunger because at the advice of the hospital lactation consultants I was refusing to give her formula even when I suspected something was wrong. I don’t want to tell them about the tearful conversation where the doctor sat me down and told me point blank that Verona was in serious danger, that she was starving to death, and that if I didn’t give her a bottle they were going to have to re-admit her to the hospital. I don’t want to rehash the guilt I lived in for the better part of a year over knowing that I had intentionally put my child through that. I don’t want to tell them what it feels like to have been a mother for less than a month and already be failing miserably at it because you’ve made breastfeeding a higher priority than the well being of your own child.
Because I’ve forgiven myself, gotten over it, we’ve all moved on. And I don’t want to spend the rest of my life reliving it through useless conversations.
And I sure as hell don’t want to try and convince someone that what happened to me really does exist because, ya know what, I don’t have to explain myself to anyone. The few times I have attempted the other woman either just keep staring at my kids with that look of pity because, oh poor things, they’re probably going to grow up to have two heads and be serial killers now because their mom is a quitter. Or they respond sanctimoniously “No, I had a doctor tell me that doesn’t ever happen. A doctor.”
To which I want to respond “I had my boobs tell me that you can go fuck yourself. My boobs.”
I wonder if I could get a note from my doctor. Like in school when you need to prove something medical is a reality “Here, I have a doctor’s note.” I wonder if I can get a doctor’s note for this that I can keep in my purse and when this happens just yank it out, hand it to them, and then not have to engage in the same tired discussion yet again.
Or I could just start smacking people. That’s another option.