breastfeeding

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Breastfeeding Doesn’t Always Work

Quick link: When Breastfeeding Doesn’t Work

Today I have my first piece up ever at Mamalode about trying to breastfeed the twins. It was hard. Way harder than I expected. It didn’t go well and I ended up quitting. This essay is short but deeply personal, being about something that has proven foundational in my mothering. It is about how stopping breastfeeding made me feel like a failure as a mother, at the time. But now, in retrospect and fourteen years in to this whole parenting gig, I see it as the exact opposite. It was me being a good mother. It was one of the first among innumerable choices I would be forced to make between my idealistic plans and reality.

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You were twenty-two years old when your husband and you came home from the hospital with newborn twins. Almost none of your friends had babies yet. You hated baby-sitting. You’d just been through nine months of carrying two babies and one was delivered vaginally while the second came via cesarean section. You were a mess.

And yet, you were determined to breastfeed. For all kinds of reasons but a primary one was cost. Remember how tight money was? You were recent university graduates with low-paying jobs and debt. You lived in a one-bedroom apartment.

The furniture in the living room had been pulled from the dumpster. Your parents brought paper bags of groceries. They thumbtacked twenty dollar bills to the wall. A friend brought two garbage bags full of diapers. Remember how you cried when you realized these would last almost a month?…

Click here to read the rest of When Breastfeeding Doesn’t Work.

*image via Flickr

*be sure to check out Faraway: A Suburban Boy’s Story as a Victim of Sex Trafficking by Daniel Maurer, official book launch is today!

What I Didn’t Know about Breastfeeding

breastfeedingQuick link: When Breastfeeding was Gross

I didn’t know a lot about breastfeeding when I had my first two kids (twins). That’s an understatement. I didn’t know anything about breastfeeding except that I was made to do and I was supposed to do it. I had no idea it would be hard, disgusting, painful, or nearly impossible. I had no idea that just because I thought I was ‘supposed’ to do it didn’t mean I had to do it, didn’t mean I was a failure when I quit doing it. Now I know about the breastfeeding super power but then? I was utterly overwhelmed and unprepared.

Here’s an excerpt from this piece at Brain Child (and yeah, I did have braces when I was married, pregnant, and 21-years old. I looked like I was 14. My doctor thought I was in high school. Maybe. Could have been junior high.)

When I gave birth the first time I was barely twenty-two years old and my braces had been removed just a few months earlier. My husband and I lived in a one-bedroom apartment in a downtown, low-income high rise with primarily east African neighbors. I didn’t know how to change a diaper and wasn’t sure I liked babies all that much but here came twins, ready or not, one boy and one girl.

They terrified me.

After they were born, I knew I was strong. I had given birth both vaginally and by c-section inside of a single hour, an experience I now call a vagi-section and one I don’t recommend. But I doubted I was strong enough for this: two tiny, perfect, utterly dependent human beings, now my responsibility.

Did I mention that they terrified me? They cried. They peed. They slept (sometimes and not at the same times). They needed me in ways I had never been needed before. They even needed my actual body and attached quite voraciously to my breasts.

I thought this was gross.

Click here to read the rest of When Breastfeeding was Gross and to see a sweet picture of Lu and I sleeping. Cuz that’s what moms with newborns do.

*image via Flickr

Breastfeeding Super Powers

Quick link: Superhero Mom in a Breast Milk Stained Suit

Today I’m writing at Babble Voices about my secret super powers. I might not wear spandex suits and might not conquer all the bad guys in the world but I have been created to do some pretty awesome things. Like turn my very body into sustenance for another human being.

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Notice how she was reading The Kite Runner. Starting off as an early reader.

Want to read about how my powers are way cooler than Superman’s and Spiderman’s? Superwoman has the same power but I’m not sure whether or not she ever used it.

Click here to read Superhero Mom in a Breast Milk Stained Suit.

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