But unfortunately it’s not always as simple as that. Breastfeeding doesn't always come easily, and many of us struggle through the ups and downs of establishing and maintaining it. The things that I dislike (hate is too strong a word here) about breastfeeding are:
· My body is not mine, it belongs to my baby. I feel like I need her permission to be absent from her. Dear A, May I please miss one feed to have dinner with the girls?
· Getting dressed to go out. Hmm... can I get my boobs out in this?
· My intake is restricted. No caffeine. No alcohol. No medication. *GASPS* How is a girl to survive?
· The physical aftermath. My breasts will never be the same again.
· The hard times – cracks, mastitis, engorgement. Giant breasts are not attractive when they’re rock hard and leaking.
· The “I don’t want to see your boob” look when I feed in public. News flash you imbecile, I don’t want to show you my boob, I want to feed my baby!
· Expressing. Mmmmooooooooooo.
· Weaning. The guilt, the sorrow, the goodbye.
But don’t be fooled by the dislikes, because they are pale in comparison to all of the beautiful things that I love about breastfeeding:
· That it’s always on hand. I don’t have to prepare it or discard it.
· The bond that it creates, she is mine and I am hers, she may no longer live in my uterus but we are still very much attached.
I have these moments when I think to myself, 9 months of pregnancy plus 12 (or possibly more) months of breastfeeding is a minimum 21 months of giving my body to someone else. 21 months of a 24 hour a day, 7 day a week job with only the shortest of breaks here and there. PER CHILD. Then there’s that horrible ‘mother guilt’ that kicks in when I want to take a couple of hours off for a date with M or when I hear her cry at 2am and think Why can’t someone else do it? I need some sleep! It’s quite a selfless act when you put it on paper but I do it because I asked for them, all of them, my children. They're not an imposition or an inconvenience, they are precious gifts that I willingly and knowingly created, so I will happily give them my body to use for a couple of years and as a result, they get life! But every now and then I may take 5 minutes to whine that I want my body back, and that's ok. Right?
Today I'm linking up with Jess from Diary of a SAHM for IBOT