I think Egg has weaned. I’m not entirely sure of it, but maybe? Remember when I was whining and crying about Egg’s two second nursing plus a big grin and a high five? Shortly after that he went through a growth spurt and started to nurse in earnest around the clock. I mean AROUND the clock. Goodbye nighttime weaned and hello sore boobies.
After the growth spurt was over Egg went back nursing whenever he felt the need, and I have been fine. I night weaned him again because I would like to see what it is like some day to sleep through the night again. If it suites him and all, because it’s not like I’m in a hurry. I can wait. Ha ha ha. I need some motherfucking sleep, yo. Really, I need some sleep.
But this isn’t about sleep, or whether or not Egg is truly weaned. It’s about my opinion on the Robeez explosion on Twitter today, and the subsequent post on Birth Routes about the controversy. For those of you that missed the story, Stride Rite (parent company of Robeez) distributed infant formula in swag bags at a private party during BlogHer. I wasn’t there, so I am not arguing for or against Stride Rite. I would like to address the issue of distributing free formula as opposed to this particular incident.
In countries where clean drinking water is scare, distributing formula samples that will result in severing the nursing relationship is wrong. However, in the United States I would hazard a guess that the majority of us have clean drinking water. Many new mothers want to nurse and encounter road blocks. Some manage to persevere, while some cannot nurse their children for as long or as much as they want.
I wanted to nurse Egg for twelve months, and after that I was open to whatever worked best for us. If Egg is truly weaned, he will have nursed approximately 18 and 1/2 months. I dealt with horrific oversupply issues, months of yeast in my breasts, painful plugged ducts, and mastitis. There was some motherfucking suffering to get to eighteen months is what I’m saying to you. I worked HARD.
I read a comment once where a mother disparaged breastfeeding as easy. She wondered why women were so proud about something that just happened naturally without any effort. It was one of the few times that I have wanted to reach into the computer and smack someone across the face. I am proud that I nursed Egg and I deserve every drop of pride. EVERY DROP. I fought for it. I earned it. I enjoyed the shit out of it.
But some women lose the fight no matter what they try. Some women don’t try because they have their own personal reasons. Saying that giving a free sample of formula is bad and wrong means TO ME that we, as women aren’t big girls. We aren’t grown and responsible and parents enough to decide that we want to feed our babies breast milk or formula or both.
I received free samples of formula. I nursed Egg. I was able to fight through the hard times, I had enough milk to sustain him. I could have chosen to give him formula. The days that my fibromyalgia was ruling my body and the pain felt insurmountable I really, really wanted to take medication that would stop the misery. But that would have meant weaning Egg.
To tell me that I am not able to choose how to feed my baby, to tell me that I am so easily swayed that a free sample is going to change such a huge decision is insulting to me. It’s insulting to all the women that have given their bodies to nourish their children. It’s insulting to those that tried, and those that chose not to try. I believe in breastfeeding, but I believe in women more.