Saturday, April 24, 2010

The gray area

Before having a baby I would say some things with complete certainty, "I am going to exclusively breastfeed! I am going to cloth diaper! I am going to have a natural labor!" And those are just things just about infancy, I have a whole other list of things that go with foods we are going to feed her, toys we want her to have, T.V., etc.
I am doing these things to a certain extent.
Labor: I had a mostly un-medicated labor, I took one dose of Staydol when I was dilated at 5cm. Labor was the hardest thing I have ever done and I understand completely why people get epidurals. At this point I still don't know whether at my next birth I will do un-medicated again. I probably will because I think the good outweighed the bad/pain, especially because second births are usually shorter than the first one.

Diapers: She doesn't yet fit in her fancy pocket one-size diapers yet. We do have some prefolds and I actually am starting to use them more, but mostly so far we have been using disposables. I fully intend on transitioning to cloth diapers, but I don't think we will give up disposables completely.

Breastfeeding: We are using some formula. You can read all the books you want before having a baby, the reality is very different. I know every situation and every baby is different and I hope that every mother will try her hardest to breastfeed. I do think that a lot of women give up too easily, but as other bloggers have wrote, that is mostly because our culture does not support breastfeeding; most women don't know where to turn when things get hard. It was kind of hard for us. I don't think she latches on perfectly and I have supply issues. I was having a lot of nipple pain; and no matter that the books say that is not normal, all the actual women I know who have breastfed say that pain is normal and that you just have to get used to it.
At this point I am feeding her from the boob, pumping, and giving a formula bottle once or twice a day. I broke down when she was three weeks (about a week ago). It was the middle of the night, she had been attached to me for probably an hour on both sides and yet was still crying because she was hungry. I cried and cried and went to Walmart and got some formula. I am happy with my choice actually. The breastfeeding part was not that hard, it is the time it takes and the lack of personal freedom that wore me down. She was eating every two hours or less. I remember looking at my sleeping husband and saying (in my head), "I hate you for not being able to do this." I was joking, mostly. She still eats a lot of her meals directly from me, but it made such a difference in me, psychologically, knowing that I didn't HAVE to be the one to feed her. I still will breastfeed until she weans herself or she is around two, whatever comes first.

Being a parent is awesome. Things are getting easier as they go along. I still don't get anything done around the house, but I'm sure I will learn how to do that at some point. But I have learned that it is very hard to keep a black and white thought process when it comes to parenting choices. I used to be one of those people who judged other Mothers for their choices and I still do about certain things, we all do, but now I see it from a different perspective and know that most things are located in a gray area.

1 comment:

kirida said...

I totally get you. Parenting is such an experiment. What works one month might work the next and vice versa. You are doing a great job, mama!