Last week, I was in the hospital doing the baby thing. As a result, my normal blog week didn’t exist. Then again, neither did sleep or the privacy of my anatomy. Welcome to childbirth.
As I discussed in my last post, I was scheduled to go into the hospital to be induced. I was started with my medicine an hour later. Much to everyone’s surprise, I didn’t need a second dose of the Cervadil, nor did I need to get the Pitocin. The best part was not needing the C-Section the midwife told me to get to accepting I’d need this done. My water broke on its own and twenty minutes after that, there was a poor bruised faced little newborn. Ok, he was almost 8 pounds so he wasn’t that little as far as newborns go. Aside from cosmetic issues, he is in perfect health. That’s all any parent wants to hear. (Though one bit of cosmetic malformation actually requires a surgery to fix, which is sending me to a pediatric surgeon in the close future.)
Giving birth wasn’t the problem; for being induced, I had it pretty easy especially since I only spent roughly around 20 minutes pushing. The problems came after, when it was time to start feeding my newly born son. The hospital was an avidly breastfeeding only environment. I had more people than I’d care to remember poking at my bare chest trying to get something to work that obviously wasn’t. Finally, one night while my poor chest was cracked, swollen, and sore and both my son and I were beyond tired and frustrated, I begged for formula. The nurse charged in, making me sign “The Paper of Shame” for pleading for something to make him not hungry and crying. I don’t like to give up, so the next 2 days I tried everything they suggested while being in so much pain, I cried. Finally, the lactation consultant on my discharge day made a realization that no one bothered to make: it wasn’t my fault and sometimes babies just can’t. I felt relieved. It’s bad enough on your esteem as a parent when you can’t do something that everyone tells you that you should, it’s even worse when people make you feel ashamed that you couldn’t.
I didn’t give up on the idea that my son should get the best nutrition. After renting a double pump there, I realized that this was the best compromise. I don’t care that he gets the breast milk from the bottle, just that he gets it. Even that is a side concern, as long as he eats and thrives I’ll be perfectly happy. My first son turned out perfectly and he was formula fed. Breastfeeding doesn’t make you a better mother no more than natural childbirth does. It’s a personal choice people make, and we need realize that as long as the child is growing up healthy that it doesn’t matter how it happens. There are too many comparisons that do nothing more than make one person feel less like a mother than they should.