Keep Your La Leche Lovin’, Breast Feeding Opinions Up Outta My Grill

(Be warned. I’ve had some cocktails tonight. So this can be considered a PWI: Posting While Intoxicated.)

I just wanted a pedicure. It had been six weeks since my toes got soaked. And I just wanted some peace and quiet. And shiny feet.

I had a small window of opportunity yesterday to stop in at my favorite “nailspa” and get my toes done. (And get a lip & brow wax.)

I’ve been going to the same place now for about 4 years. The ladies who work there know me, and upon my arrival quickly asked how my boys were doing.

As we walked back to one of the chairs, I told one of the girls that Ben was now 27 pounds and almost three feet long. “Oh my God! So big!,” she said, “But he was big boy when you had him, right?”

“Yes,” I said, as I dipped my toes into the bubbling water, “He was ten-and-a-half pounds.”

“How big your other boy? Was he that big too when he come out?”

“Bigger . . . he was eleven pounds.”

“Big babies!,” she said, and we talked about how her kids were already in high school and causing trouble with borrowing the family car. When she walked away to get a towel, one of the other customers said to me:

“Wow! That must’ve been hard for you . . . feeding big boys like that. They probably sucked you dry.”

[Uh, who “into” the f**k are you, and why are you assuming that I breast fed?]

“No, not really.”

And I should have left it there. But you know me better.

“I bottle fed both of them. There was no way these size-B nothings could keep them fed.”

She scowled. And she tried to give me a condescending look, but before she had a chance to make a remark, I put my bitch on, waved my hands in the air, and said, “Oh. No. Please . . . Just don’t . . . ”

But she was determined to have her say.

“No, I mean, you didn’t even TRY to breast feed? I mean, you’re a healthy woman . . . and you didn’t even try? Because breast feeding is so . . . ”

And what happened next even surprised the hell out of ME.

I got up out of my chair, and with dripping-wet feet, walked over to her, crossed my arms over my chest, and pretty much in one big breath (because I didn’t want her to speak) said:

“I warned you to stop, but you didn’t. So I’m going to tell you something. Not that it’s any of your f-ing business, but I tried. Yes. I did. But after forty-eight hours of hell with my first, I decided that it would be best for his health and the burning, flaming, fire of mastitis on my tits to give him a bottle. And it wasn’t as easy as ‘Hey, I’d like to get a bottle for my baby.’ No. I had to fight with the nurses. I had to beg for formula. I had to get in the face of the La Leche Nazis–yes, I said it. THE LA LECHE NAZIS. They thought I wasn’t doing a good enough job. But I kept fighting. I fought for one f-ing two-ounce bottle. And he sucked that thing down like it was his first breath of life. I sent my husband down to the Walgreen’s around the corner from the hospital for more formula and fed it to him while I was still there being held hostage for having group-B strep. And do you know what happened? HE STOPPED CRYING. I stopped crying. The mastitis went away, and he’s grown up to be a healthy and well adjusted boy. And you know what else? The minute the LA LECHE NAZIS showed up in my room again because they saw that I had checked “bottle feed” on my hospital forms when my 2nd was born, I all but threw the phone at them. My roommate and I had a good laugh about it. It’s because of people like you that people like my niece–who let people like you bully them into “feeding past the pain”–end up in the hospital for a week with an infection and mastitis so bad with their first baby, that it killed any chance to breast feed their second or third child. So, you, miss ‘but you didn’t even try’ person who ruined my chance at a peaceful pedi, be prepared for people like me when you butt your ass into business that isn’t yours.”

Then I turned on my wet heel and walked back to my chair and stuck my feet back into the bubbling water. Everyone’s mouth was wide open. So I cut the tension by taking a deep breath and telling the girl who had started my pedicure, “Can I have a decal on both of my big toes?”

She looked back at the woman, (who was whispering to her friend in the seat next to her while staring at me), turned back to me, and with a smile, said “I give you decal for free.”

PS: I did that for YOU, Lisa Lisa. I got your back, girl!

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19

05 2008

13 Comments Add Yours ↓

The upper is the most recent comment

  1. 1

    I love this post! I truly don’t know why some people find it necessary to give their opinion to people they don’t even know. And what’s with her graphic question? um, just ew. I wonder when we stopped having boundaries?

  2. Fashion Paramedic #
    2

    OMG! I know!! She SOOO got what she deserved. I really wish I’d been with someone, or even better, been able to videotape it.

  3. 3

    Oh.
    My.

    Iknow I breastfed my kids until they weaned, but I know when to leave well enough alone. Unless I know the person well, would have never even gone into the “sucked you dry” comment.

    I know that every persons circumstances are different and everyone does what’s best for their situation.

    Wow.

    Emilys last blog post..Garden box pictures

  4. Fashion Paramedic #
    4

    I really don’t know where she got the idea that it would be okay to comment (and to take the comment a bit too far). I guess it was kinda like how people think it’s okay to spew unsolicited advice to a pregnant woman. She wasn’t that much older than me, either. I don’t know . . . maybe she thought she was being funny.

  5. 5

    I could hug you, and I’ve never even met you!

    I had two babies in the NICU; I pumped my breasts for measely milliliters of milk, and the milk did not maintain itself sufficient to feed them more than an ounce at a time. Yeah, breastfeeding is easy. If your milk comes in, if your baby is able to go to breast, if you’re not exhausted from caring for one toddler with developmental delays while recovering from a near-death birth experience and running back and forth a 106-mile round trip to visit a 545 gram infant who can’t even breath on his own… I’m proud I can give my baby a bottle. I’m proud that formula exists that can keep my baby alive.

    Marys last blog post..

  6. Lisa Lisa #
    6

    I’m that niece that’s spoken in this story, and may I say thanks for having my back. I wish I could have been right there with you when you were telling this lady off.

    I’ve had 3 kids and have had mastitis 3 times. The first time I went to the hospital, the Dr.s said that if I waited any longer I could have died. I continued to try to breast feed because it REALLY was pushed on me. The Dr’s/Nurses made me feel guilty if I didn’t try. The 2nd & 3rd time I had mastitis I ended up in the hospital but because I knew what the signs were I came in right away and ended up get a nasty little shot called the Penicillin Shot – this has got to be the most painful shot in the world and the pain lasts for 20 mins. After all my experience I look back and see how much pressure there was on me to breast feed and I realize now breast feeding is not for everyone and I don’t think anyone should be bully into it and believe me they do bully you. This lady only knew one side until you told her there was another side of the story.

    Thanks again for havin’ my back!!!

    Love your niece,
    Lisa Lisa

  7. 7

    Good for YOU! It amazes me how some women think it’s their place to not only judge other women, but inflict their opinions on them. That shit is personal and none of anyone’s business. Good for you.

    Corrinas last blog post..Let’s Keep It Simple

  8. 8

    I stand up and applaud you. I don’t have children but my best friend does. She went through the same thing breast feeding her son. She also got an infection. I don’t know why other women think they know what is best for other women.

  9. Fashion Paramedic #
    9

    It’s so AWESOME to see that there are others out there that are turned off by the La Leche Nazis and how they think it’s okay to invade women’s privacy or right to choose how they feed their babies.

    I’m thinking about writing a feature about it over on Hub Pages, just so it will get more recognition.

    There are too many women out there that take everything they read about breast feeding to heart and are totally devastated when they can’t breast feed. I was disappointed, but not devastated–I just wanted my baby to eat, and if it meant formula, then that’s what I’d have to do.

    Thanks for the love!!

  10. Nic #
    10

    I had mastitis in each breast (separate times) with my first. He was a preemie and I pumped the whole four months for him. Gave it up real quick after my second bout of mastitis. My second baby was full term and I thought it would be so much easier with her. WRONG! Mastitis within 1.5 weeks with her in both breasts at the same time. We call her Missy-moo-moo. She literally latched the colour off of my areolas. I had to pick my scabs to feed her. Yup!! Pretty gross, eh? Try living it. Every time she’d wake to feed, she’d be crying and so would I! Nipple pearcing has nothing on breast feeding is all I can say!! After she was done with me, I could’ve put my breasts in a vice and slammed them with a hammer and never would’ve felt a thing. I know, TMI. But *thanks!* to the lactation consultants, (a title I use loosely) after they got done with me, no-thing got close to me for a loonnnnggg time.

    You hear of women breast feeding their kids into their nursery school years, and even beyond. All I can say is, even primates ween their young!!

  11. 11

    LOL

  12. 12

    Haha I know this is an old post but I had to add my thoughts. I am so glad you stood up for yourself. I breast fed both of mine but it was my choice that worked best for us. I would never assume to tell another person what is best from them. If someone wants to ask me for advice on nursing I am happy to share but only when asked. I had a cousin who went through a lot of problems and had to bottle feed. She felt bad about it and I told her not to worry about it, her child would be fine but we had another cousin that gave her hell about it until I told her to back off, it’s not your baby so it’s not your problem. Folks need to learn to respect others child rearing practices. Kudos to you. :)

  13. badmummy #
    13

    This comment is really late, too.

    My son was born with a cleft palate and couldn’t breastfeed. I am so sick of people talking about how sickly, fat, stupid and moody he’ll be due to my not breastfeeding. The lactation nurses did everything they could to keep him son from getting attached to a bottle – only to find out 5 days out that he needed a *special* bottle to be able to eat at all.

    I had asked them immediately after he was born if he could have a cleft, since he wasn’t able to latch on at all, and they were so intent on him breastfeeding that they didn’t even look in his mouth (it was a partial cleft). Someone else told me that I should have at least bought milk from milk banks (that is $12/oz or something!!!). I did pump for weeks and weeks but dried up from the stress of it.

    Anyway, thanks for posting this.

    Here’s the newest facebook post from one of my college roommates: “People Would Be Nicer If They Got More Cuddling and Breast Milk, Study Says – ParentDish”


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