Today our little guy is 3 months old.  I'll skip the usual bits about how fast it went and how we can't imagine our life without him – for me, infertility is more memorable than that. 

The end result of all the breastfeeding drama is that I am a part-time breastfeeder.  The baby gets an unknown amount of breast milk when I nurse him.  I don't pump a lot when I pump, and I'm not going to tell you how much that is because I still feel ? ashamed?  I guess, of my non-performing breasts.  Whatever – they did a lot for me over the years and generally looked good, particularly in evening wear.  They continue to make my husband happy.

From where I sit now, being a part-time breastfeeder is the way to go.  This is because I have hit a few walls in the last month.  Getting a few sorta full nights of sleep really sets you up to feel the shorter nights when they come around again, because of course they do. 

I have a particular wall that is, as usual, built of lies.  This wall is where I think I should be more cheerful about mothering a very young baby, because we went through so much to get one. I should be tireless, in case anyone who disapproves of 45-year-olds having babies is watching.  I should be extra-capable in all things Mother, since maybe I wasn't "supposed to be a mother" in the first place.  I hit that wall this week, and not for the first time, and after a lot of trying followed by a lot of crying I can see it more clearly now.

Yeah, it's kinda sick.  Thank God for my husband who patiently points out that all that is lies.  It also makes a hard job much harder which I don't need.

The breastfeeding fell into that whole mess.  I figured I needed to be a perfect breast-feeder to justify it all, et cetera See Above, and of course my body did not cooperate. 

But now, when I think about the next baby, I hope that the breast milk flows copiously, that the latch is sure from the first try, and that there is no silly talk from middle-of-the-night nurses about flat nipples.  I really hope all that.  But I will also hope to introduce the bottle early, whether it contains breast milk or the dreaded formula, and I won't sweat it.  Because doing all the feeding alone is really, really, really hard and I don't want to do that for very long.

I'm also tired of apologizing.  I read a blog entry a while back that stuck with me in which the esteemed Finslippy talks about disagreements and how sometimes we make "everyone else wrong so we can be right."  I am bad about doing this, and it always comes back to bite me.

In order to have the nerve to contemplate unmedicated labor, I had to make C-section really, really wrong.  The good people who chose or got railroaded into or didn't have a choice about getting sectioned were just collateral damage.  Ditto breastfeeding and lots of other choices.  It seems to be hard for me to feel strongly that something is right without deciding that everyone else is wrong and not just, agree-to-disagree wrong, but really, wilfully, "what were you thinking?" wrong.

Like I said, this comes back to bite me hardest of all and so that's going to help me stop it.  Obviously I feel differently about people who have C-sections and I'm not sure how hard I will fight for my VBAC should I get the chance.  (that's another post)  I'm not sure how hard I'll fight to be an exclusive breast-feeder next time – I fought really hard this time and all I got was a 16 pound weight gain and a lot of tears.  Part-time breastfeeding might get me just as healthy a baby and a more healthy mom too.  People who make those choices aren't wrong and terrible, they're me, and I have been given the gift of being able to see their side quite well.

My new position on mothering, and please help me stick to it – hell, help me REMEMBER it – is that this is a marathon not a sprint.  That having a healthy mom just might be an important part of the package and that means a mentally healthy mom too.  There are things I know I f***ed up and wish I could do over again.  Those things are in the minority.  There are many, many other things where I just have a vague feeling that I could have done them better, somehow, and I feel vaguely oogy about them.  That's the part I want to be done with.  That oogy feeling turns into judging me and others and who needs that?  I can't spend the next 17 3/4 years of my son's life apologizing for everything I didn't do perfectly.

So I'm not gonna.

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