Regarding/continuing my last post and moms who “choose” to pump exclusively versus breastfeeding – CHOOSE being the operative word, because it’s more “convenient”. (My husband just said “That would be like saying people choose the “convenience” of hooking themselves up to an IV opposed to eating a sandwich!”)
One of the other points that was brought up was womens’ discomfort with breastfeeding – as in, emotional discomfort. All the more reason to BREASTFEED.
I’m a “survivor” of sexual abuse, if you want to call it that. I’ve been in therapy for the past decade and a half because of it – something I planned on writing more about here, to help me hash things out as I started seeing a new therapist here in Seattle. The details are unclear, but for as long as I can remember, I’ve been very uncomfortable about anything regarding the boobs. Before I ever got pregnant, before I ever even thought about having kids, I never wanted to breastfeed. The idea of it gave me the heebie jeebies. Even when I was pregnant, I knew I would, because it’s what I believe in, but I wasn’t all that happy about it. I was uncomfortable with the idea and it all made me feel very anxious. (To this day, I wonder if this had anything to do with Nugget’s inability to latch properly.)
But I was also determined and wasn’t about to let my fucked up issues get in the way of what I felt was best for Nugget. My lactation consultant, when I first met her, included the fact that many women got over issues such as these, and resolved emotional troubles through breastfeeding, in her introduction.
The act of breastfeeding was LOADED with emotions. When it wouldn’t work, on top of all the usual “I feel like a failure” issues, it stirred up a lot of other things that weren’t things I wanted to be thinking about during this time. But it was healing, in a way, the moments where we tried.
The pump, however, was not healing. In any way. In fact, part of the reason I decided to quit was that the cold, impersonal-ness of the pump often sent me to a very bad place in my head. There were times when I’d detach from myself, completely, or feel queasy as I sat down, pulled my shirt up and put the flanges into place.
So I take a hard, unwavering stance – having been in and out of therapy, psychiatrists, and on and off psychological pharmaceuticals for so long, I have a pretty good understanding of the human psyche. And I’m telling you that taking this path of technological “convenience” over traditionalism, over simply breastfeeding your child for whatever reason, is not good. For anyone.
Mind you, I’m criticizing the idea of CHOOSING to pump EXCLUSIVELY. Not choosing to pump while you’re away at work, or choosing to pump sometimes or exclusively because you tried to breastfeed and couldn’t make it work for whatever reason. I’m criticizing people who say they’re pumping exclusively because it’s faster than waiting for their baby to get his/her fill. I’m criticizing those who pump exclusively so they can schedule it around their lives.
This got me thinking about this new generation of mothers, which led to thinking about mommy bloggers and how much I can’t stand them. (I’d worry about incurring their wrath, except I’m not popular enough that any of them read me and thank god, because I don’t desire to be popular or have a large readership or make a living off of every detail of my family’s life or anything like that. And I hope that just because I’m a MOM who happens to have a BLOG doesn’t make me a “mommy blogger” in anyone’s eyes.)
Somehow, this article in Time about moms choosing to pump over breastfeeding sums up how I feel about this new “face” of motherhood & mommy bloggers.
I’ve been sitting here for the past 20 minutes, trying to figure out how to explain that, and I can’t do it coherently. I can’t put my finger on it. There’s just something in this new “face” of motherhood that rubs me the wrong way and “mommy blogging” is one of the symptoms.
It’s something to do with convenience and over emphasis on having an “identity” and a whole lot of self-absorption. And now, NOW, we’ve spawned a type of person who wants to give their baby the benefits of breast milk, but who don’t “want” to breastfeed, so they’ve found a way to make it more “convenient” instead of just sucking it up and giving a little of themselves to their children and that just horrifies me.
Bleh. I need to just go stop thinking about this for awhile.