There is no such thing as a weed, just a flower in the wrong garden

After mentioning the other day that I am practically the only person I know who is exclusively breastfeeding (no pump), I went to a La Leche League meeting, this week. Deep in-breath. I spoke to the facilitator who explained to me that the La Leche League, which I know by reputation and from consulting their website (http://www.llli.org/), is dedicated to supporting women with natural breastfeeding, wherever possible. No expressing, no bottles, just you and your baby.

What a relief to find that I am not after all alone, the one woman who still wants to do it this way, in the whole of Silicon Valley. There are more of us, a silent movement of mothers doing what feels right (for as long as it feels right).

But hey, I’ve got to tell you, if I were to have a second child it is very likely that I will pump. As right as this has felt, it is hard work; it is a sacrifice even as it is a joy. Sometimes beautiful things take effort. Not sure I have the energy in me to do it twice. We’ll see. For now, I rejoice in having found sisters in natural nursing and finding, I am not, afterall, a ‘weed’.

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5 thoughts on “There is no such thing as a weed, just a flower in the wrong garden

  1. Nope, you’re not alone, but I understand how your feeling. I, too, never pumped (well I tried twice, and found it very time consuming and cold and unatural). I agree it’s a lot of work but I found pumping to be a different kind of work. For me doing what feels right, despite popular practice, takes way less energy. So kudos for following your heart. Glad you found support. My son is now two and still nursing. Around 1 1/2 I started feeling like a weed as everyone around me started weaning their little ones and we just weren’t ready yet. During this time I went to my first LLL meeting and also found out that I’m not a weed:)

    • Aww, thanks! Yeah, tried to pump but never took to it. The very idea put me off. To be fair, sometimes you have to get over your idea of something, try it and perhaps you’ll find you love it – I know. And as I said, perhaps next time (if there is a next time) I would consider pumping, just to get the freedom to roam which I miss so much, but it seems so alien, so artificial and, as you say, so cold. I keep thinking my mum did it, she fed me at the breast for two years, surely I can do it, too. So many women across the world have done and do it still, I must be able to summon up the strength and stamina to keep it up.

      Don’t get me wrong, I am all for technology, too. I am definitely not just a hippie, I am a techno-hippie (she types on her desktop, soon to upload to her blog, her hair scraggly around her, the picture of her guru in the background). I believe in technology that supports nature, modern, eco-friendly houses that kind of thing… so intellectually I can get quite on board with the whole pumping thing but the energy just didn’t rise in me, in my body to do this at this time.

      And still, I support women’s right to do it. As a friend of mine says ‘Happy Mother, Happy Milk’ and sometimes you have got to do whatever you got to do to maintain mommy’s health, happiness and sanity too. For some this will be pumping, for others it will be going natural. Whatever works and makes you happy!

  2. Totally agree, you have to do what works for both mama and babe, whatever it is. Also wanted to add that, having already been through what you’re going through now, It does get way easier. In less than 6 months your babe will be eating lots more solid food giving you a lot more freedom to roam. Grant it, it’s still not total freedom, but bottle or no bottle, I think we loose that when we become parents anyway;) I remember in the first year feeling like time was crawling until his first birthday hit and I couldn’t believe how fast it went. My son just turned two last weekend and I honestly don’t know where the time went. It really does go by so fast!

    • Hey Teri,

      That is music to my ears right now. Life is crawling so slowly, I am wondering if I am actually going backwards and am going to wake up in 1989. Hey, my days are punctuated by joy and excitement. I am not ungrateful. This whole experience is tremendous: I am super grateful for the chance to give birth and have a daughter and what a wonderful, fun, beautiful creature she is. Today, for example she learned how to sit. It is just so amazing to see the unfolding of a human being, before your very eyes: AMAZING! And yet… and yet, it is also so hard: hard work, hard on the emotions, hard on the mind (mostly due to sleep deprivation, hormone cascades and boredom).

      I keep underestimating how hard it will be. Before she was born I had no idea, no idea how much toil was involved in taking care of a kid. Really: no clue! Then okay, you kind of get used to it. You re-adjust, letting go of everything that you used to call ‘me’ or ‘my life’ (how zen is that?!). But still you are bargaining in your mind: ‘Okay I can do this for 3 months, but then it will be easier, right?’ And yes, it is easier (it was for us anyway), but still sleeping through the night did not ensue naturally, spontaneously, magically at 3 months as it does for some people’s babes… so you adjust and keep going. And again the bargaining starts: you say, ‘okay, I can deal with the sleep thing, but at least at 6 months she’ll be eating solids so I’ll be able to go out more, right?’ Again, I failed to really allow lead time. Sure I can start introducing first solids at 6 months, but I can’t start going out and leaving Anya with K for hours yet, after all she is still getting most of her nutrition from me, from breast milk, so actually 6 months freedom was another mirage in the social desert of motherhood, for me.

      Hey, I am learning. I am learning a lot. Next time (if ever we dare to face a ‘next time’) I will know what is really involved. I will know that it is not all smiles, first steps and first words, that between those movie-milestones there are a lot of sleepless nights, house-bound days and much, much crying. But also, if there is a next time, I will surround myself with loved ones (gosh, I do hope so) and hopefully the local support network is already there, now. I mean, even now I know so many mums, it is incredible. For this too I am super-grateful. So, this mythical ‘next time’ I wouldn’t be starting from scratch. There would be less emptiness in my house, more laughter, more passing round the baby among happy hands, sharing, smiling, hugging, photographing. Am I romanticising again?! Sure. I guess that is how we get here. That is how we allow ourselves to jump off these clifs – by visualising only the bridge and not the fall.

      I think I am sleep deprived again. Whoa! But yes, that sounds good, to know that it gets easier at around a year. People were right when they said 3 months there was a lightening, so I trust this new transition will happen for us, too. Thank you. Thank you for sharing. Joy!

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