With the arrival of baby number two happening around the same time as Santa, I am starting both my Christmas shopping and my planning for the little bundle of joy. I know that I want to go straight to the crib like I did last time. I don’t want to even entertain the idea of cloth diapers. I am making a list of the few items I need to replace. And I am getting on nursery waiting lists. However, one of the things that I am most unsure about is the big fat “b” word. Breastfeeding.
I had such a terrible experience trying to breastfeed the first time, and then had to stop because of a weight scare, that I know what it is like to leave the hospital on the bottle. Knowing that, I am torn between attempting to breastfeed again and not even trying. I am sure I am being shunned right now by the La Leche League for even considering it. I know all the medical stats on what is good for baby, what is good for mom, yada yada.
But really, it boils down to what is good for me and the situation with my baby.
On one hand, I do feel like I missed out on one of the motherly things that you are supposed to do. I am supposed to be able to feed my child, and here is my second chance at it, right? Just because it was awful the first time does not mean that it will be just as terrible the second time. As of today, I have an “F” in breastfeeding on my motherhood report card. This is my chance at it again.
Positive thinking, positive results, right?
But then on those other days, I keep thinking about how awful it felt like to not be able to feed my child. She was crying, I was crying, and I was just all around awful. Plus, don’t get me started on the emotional trauma of the take out spoon. Plus, my hubby loved the fact that he got to help with the feedings. He felt like he was a part of the team and not excluded because I was the only one who could feed our baby. Should I just expect that it is going to be horrible because it was last time and skip the attempt all together? Should I save the tears and savor the experience of welcoming our newest family member in to the world?
I wish I was more decisive about this because I feel like I need a plan. When you check in to the hospital, they ask you if you intend to breastfeed. At the moment, my answer would be something like, depends on if the baby wants to. Is that a real answer?
Do I buy a breast pump? Do I skip the pump and just buy the newborn bottle nipples? Ugh, decisions, decisions. I am not sure I can make a decision on something that I can’t even form an opinion on.
In my box of maternity clothes that I dragged out of the attic, much earlier in the pregnancy this time than last time mind you, I have several unused, unworn nursing bras and cute little tanks. Everyone insisted when I was pregnant with Annelise that they would be a life saver. Instead they ended up being a giant waste of money that reminded me that I failed at it. But this pregnancy when I unpacked that box and took out all of my maternity clothes to wash them for their continual use for the next several months, I left the bras in the box. I felt defeated even looking at them. I didn’t feel excited that I could overcome that bad taste that breastfeeding left in my mouth; I felt intimidated by it. But that is just silly. How can a piece of fabric intimidate me?