My Experience With Breastfeeding
*Be careful, there are pictures of women breast feeding their babies, if that kind of stuff offends you for some reason.
Breastfeeding, it's mother nature's way of feeding babies high-quality and a nutritional supplement that they need for both their body and mind. I want to explain my story, so people aren't so judgmental towards other mothers whom they disagree how, and if they breastfeed. I have only had one child, and can no longer have anymore after an injury in Iraq.
I was married young, and thankfully we were able to get pregnant just weeks later. My dad did the math in his head, and there was thankfully a five-week leeway. I had just come back from Iraq a few months before I got pregnant. After one of my injuries which was to an injury to my lower abdomen, my military doctors told me if I ever wanted to have a child in my life, I should do so right away before the scar tissue hardens. I had been in the ICU at the military hospital back in the States for about a month (maybe a month and a half), when a cute corpsman (who is kind of part-paramedic, part-physician assistant) had kinda flirted with. He said, "So, I guess you will have to marry me as soon as you can walk out of the hospital." I was so ecstatically happy, and we did get married right away, and soon we had a baby on the way as well. I wasn't not allowed to tell anyone for years how we met. My husband said the jig was up around our 5-year wedding anniversary.
However, after my daughter was born, and I was in the hospital trying to breast feed, I felt like it was sex abuse against my child. I spoke to people, but I just couldn't get over it. I even talked to some other female Marines, and they said the same thing. I am a Marine; my mentality is largely from a male perspective. When I hear the guys talk about boobs all day, it's not about feeding one's child. Also, keep in mind I had just got back from a combat zone in Iraq, so my womanly instinct did not have time to kick into full-gear yet. Maybe if I were to have gotten pregnant a year or two later, things might have been different. Since I can't have anymore kids, I guess I will never know.
However, I wanted the best for my baby, so I pumped, and my baby only had breastmilk for her first year of life. I would have pumped longer, but my husband used again when Brianna was around a year old, and the stress of him deploying just dried up my milk. It was just too difficult to be a Marine, pump, and have your spouse deployed.
The only time was a problem when I was on a plane. TSA didn't let me take my breast pump on the plane, I guess it looked like it was a bomb or something, and the plane ride was 7+ hours. The flight was filled to the brim, and this particular plane had three seats per row on each side of the plane. My husband and I had the farthest away from the window. We asked the old man very, very, nicely, who had the window if he could switch with me so I could have some privacy if I needed to breastfeed. He acted like we asked if we could stuff his dead mother in the overhead bin.
This nasty old man looked at me like I was a piece of trash and said "What you can't afford to buy formula?! I bought this seat this is where I am sitting. Don't think you are going to feed that thing around me. That's disgusting. Go to the bathroom". Just having given birth and being hormonal, I cried. I thought I would be allowed to go to the bathroom and pump, so I didn't have a cover-up.
For some reason, all the bathrooms were all filled one after each other. My husband begged the flight attendant if we could, please switch seats to another part of the plane but no. I have A cup boobs, so I can't hold much milk and I was in dire pain. My A cups must have been closer to C cups then, and my shirt was drenched. I was in pain. I asked for an airplane blanket to cover up, but none arrived. Finally, I said, "screw it."
My husband went to the bathroom and brought back a long connected line of those brown thick paper towels to help me cover up. It was the summer, and he wasn't wearing an extra shirt, or had a sweatshirt to give me. He was wearing his uniform. I just had a shirt on and didn't have a cover-up because I thought I would be able to pump in peace. I fed my baby, and I felt a million times a million better. The little old man kept tapping on the call button to get the attendant and to sign so loud I bet the pilot could hear him.
Maybe 15 minutes later the flight attendant appeared. Every minute while waiting for the attendant this man kept saying, "gross, gross, gross." He complained to the attendant, and she looked at him in a "you got to be kidding me". She asked, "Ma'am, can you please go to the bathroom and do that?".
My husband (for the record he was wearing his Navy dress blues) was indignant at that point and said "No! Tell this old man to eat his dinner in the bathroom and see how he likes it. This is the only baby we will ever be able to have, and she will eat like the princess she is". The old man kept glaring, but my husband just glared back. No one can ever beat my husband at a staring contest, and that includes me. Maybe with Brianna, but just because he will break out in a smile.
Honestly, if this incident were to happen in the past year or two, we all would have likely been arrested or at the very least thrown off the flight. So thankfully it was 7-years ago. However, incidents like this still occur even today.
When the flight was over, I had to buy a new shirt at a gift shop because my shirt was completely ruined. I also got a scarf, just in case. If God does bless with me with another child, which the doctors assure me will not happen even though I am 29, since they say the chances are less that 5%, I will try my best to breastfeed the traditional way. If not, I'll pump again.
I had to have surgery twice the first year of Brianna's birth, and she tried the best baby formula I could buy. She refused to eat. It got so bad that we were consulting our doctor if my best-friend who also just had a baby could fill in for me for a few days, but in the end it wasn't needed. My husband called my breast milk "liquid gold", because she always calmed down and went to sleep.
So, no matter what you decide to do, please be respectful of others and their choices if they want to breastfeed, pump, or go the formula method. Thank you for reading my article.