PTBD sufferers, unite
(I should preface this by saying that we are quite fond of our UPS man--we know him by name and are very friendly with him.)
"Now, if you were breastfeeding, I wouldn't have to carry these heavy boxes of formula all the time," he joked to me.
Huh? But OK, fine, I replied in the same tone: "Believe me, I'd much rather be breastfeeding and not spending the money on this stuff."
"Eh, you moms today, you try for a few days and then give up and go to formula."
WTF?!? Not quite believing that I am defending my inability to breastfeed to my UPS delivery man, I say, "Well, I tried really hard."
"Oh, sure, I went through that with all three of my kids, we got the pump and everything, but then you know what? After a couple of days, formula." He says this very knowingly, like, yeah, my wife pussed out like you, too.
Still not quite believing I am having this conversation, I say, "Well, I tried to breastfeed her for four months, but we had to give up, it was too hard."
"For you or for her?" he asks.
"For both of us," I say, which is the only way I can sum up four months of low supply, bad latch, breast refusal, and pumping problems without just printing out my whole damn blog and handing it to him.
Then he looks me up and down and says, "Yeah, I figured." OH NO HE DIDN'T! Did my UPS man just LOOK AT MY BOOBS and basically call me flatchested and unable to sustain human life?!???
For the record, this is the FIRST person ever to say anything the slightest bit critical about my not breastfeeding. The UPS man. Damn.
Before I got pregnant with Bat Girl, my husband and I always assumed we would have at least two children, assuming we could get pregnant (though we were open to adoption as well). Then came the, shall we say, less-than-ideal pregnancy, followed by postpartum misery, breastfeeding hell, a year of sleepless nights, a depleted bank account, a sex life shot to hell (ah yes, I promised to post about that too--all in good time, my dears), etc. etc. etc....
Anyone who spends five minutes reading my blog or talking to me in person knows that my daughter is the light of my life and a source of unbelievable joy. I do not regret anything I went through to have her. But having a baby has been hard, that's just the truth. Neither my husband nor I are ready to dive back in to the newborn phase again, nor do we feel, now that we're parents, that someone is missing from our family. (That was the advice a friend of mine was given when debating whether or not to have another: Do you feel like there's still someone missing from your family? In her case, the answer was yes.) That's assuming we could even afford it, which at this point--yes, technically we could afford another child, people have two kids on less money than I make all the time, but it would mean squeezing every remaining drop of luxury out of our lives, like vacations and books and cable TV and other things I am not willing to give up. (Not to mention the fact that to minimize the chances of conceiving multiples, in the future we would go straight to IVF with single embryo transfer, so factor in the cost of that, too.)
All of those things are valid reasons not to have another child, as is the fear of landing on bedrest again, only this time with a toddler to care for. But the truth is, the biggest reason I don't want to have another is that secretly, I am terrified of facing breastfeeding again. As I've mentioned before, I think I have a case of post-traumatic breastfeeding disorder (tm Eva. The thought of having to go through all of that--the low supply (because let's face it, even though anecdotally people get a better supply with each pregnancy, if I was only able to get to 11 ounces a day with serious pharmaceutical intervention, I'm unlikely to ever have a full supply), the struggling with latch, the tanking self esteem, and oh god, the pumping, the endless pumping--it makes my stomach clench up.
Now, a smart person would do as Pru does and say, to hell with the whole thing, why torture yourself like that again? Why I cannot be rational like this, I don't know. I suppose I am just stubborn enough to want to have another go at hurling myself headfirst into a brick wall. But I am rational enough to assiduously refill my birth control pill prescription every month. Because I cannot do that again. I. can. not.