Yeah, I knew about the benefits, the bonding and the "breast is best" philosophy but I didn't want to be that mom. I wanted to make my experience with motherhood as convenient as possible.
I know what some of you are probably thinking... what's more convenient than carrying your own supply of milk? But it just seemed like a hassle. The special bras, the nursing tops, the pumps, pumping and dumping if you wanted a glass of wine. I knew I wouldn't be comfortable breastfeeding in public. As selfish as it sounds, I wanted to do what was right for me.
And I was cool with a bottle, powdered formula and water. Anyone could feed my baby, anytime, anywhere.
I only tried breastfeeding in the hospital because nurses kept coming in to show me how. I know they wanted to be helpful and that they were doing their job. But I felt pressured to do something I didn't want to do.
Because I had already started in the hospital, I tried to continue the first few days at home.
I remember waking up at 2 a.m. trying to breastfeed. I was exhausted, my son was hungry and I just couldn't get him to latch on properly. After a while, we were both crying and I asked my husband to prepare a bottle.
Even though breastfeeding was something I never wanted to do, I still felt like a failure at it.
When my breasts became engorged, I was in so much pain I purchased a handheld breast pump. Three hours (yes, HOURS) of pumping resulted in two ounces of milk. That's when I let go of my guilt.
In the great breast versus bottle debate, I don't judge. I don't even ask why or why not. I don't care if you breastfeed in public. I don't care how long you breastfeed your kid. Breastfeeding wasn't for me. I wish I had been given that same kind of courtesy.