I came across this quotation in one of the writing newsletters I receive weekly. It's from an author named Charles Peguy who said, "A word is not the same with one writer as with another. One tears it from his guts. The other pulls it out of his overcoat pocket." When he wrote that, he was thinking of how some writers can conjure up stories without blinking an eyelid whereas others will have to work through many sleepless nights just to make a paragraph work.
I thought the quote was quite apt in relation to my breastfeeding experience. Yes, it is hard for every nursing mother but a lot of them take it in good stride and can see the big picture clearly (that they are giving the best for their babies) and persevere. For me, I feel that it is like tearing something out of my gut without any anaesthesia. I have tried to make it work and with a lot of support and encouragement, I have managed to breastfeed Little Burpette for almost 4 months despite enduring painful blocked ducts, thrush, lack of milk supply together with emotional and mental turmoil.
So, why throw in the towel now? It's the isolation.
As Little Burpette only nurses well when she lies on my breastfeeding pillow (it's a big rounded boomerang shaped pillow which sits nicely around your waist. Hence, not very travel friendly!) in my room, I don't get to spend time with DH and Osh Osh. Yes, they do come up and sit around with me for a while but Osh Osh gets bored and wants to go and play with his toys or read his books. As for DH, he often needs to do other things around the house as well as keep Osh Osh company and get him ready for bed.
I miss out on dinner time with them. I miss out on play time. I miss out on just relaxing in the hall with them. I miss out on tucking Osh Osh in at nights. I miss out on seeing him leave for school in the mornings. My inlaws come over every evening to help out which is great but it means I am confined to my room when it comes to nursing time. I am just too conservative to whip out my breasts and feed Burpette in front on my inlaws. Nope, can't bring myself to do that.
However, I can't just stop breastfeeding immediately. Burpette is so fond of breastmilk that whenever we give her the formula, she rejects it unless she is starving. I will carry on with breastfeeding this month but will slowly wean her off when I return to work next month. Once she is on formula feeds, I can have more time to spend with DH and Osh Osh because other people can tend to her instead of me. Why stop? Why not give her expressed breastmilk in a bottle? I have tried to express as much milk as I can but somehow, I can't pump enough to meet her needs as opposed to when she is latched on.
The pamphlets promoting the benefits and joys of breastfeeding never tell you how lonely and isolated the nursing mother can feel, how much time it takes you away from the other members of your family, how draining it can be on the mother. Or maybe it's just me...I am a wimp!