Monday, October 24, 2011

Personal Choices

I've been getting formula from Enfamil this whole last trimester.  So far I have 3 small cans of their newborn formula and 1 of their gentlease (for upset tummies I think).  And while we've kept them, just sort of stockpiling them, I kind of want them out of our home.  I firmly believe that it is my job to provide her with nutrients (and honestly, eating the way I tend to, it is the best option for a variety of vitamins and nutrients). 

I don't preach to others.  If you don't want to breastfeed, I say stockpile that formula as best you can and good luck.  For myself, the expense seems ridiculous, but for others they don't want to do it for whatever reason.  And then there are people who can't or have difficulties.  I know the statistics for that, and while some rabid women will argue them until they are blue in the face, the reality is that it's a personal choice, and even if a mother is lying to herself or others, it's probably because she doesn't want any crap.  So just leave her alone.

But then, I've also felt the pressure to sort of have back-up plans for everything.  From feeding, to diapering, even to birth.  Today G and I were discussing what to do if I say I want drugs while in labor.  I've told him to go so far as to lie about it being too late, though really his job is to simply encourage me that I can do it.  So today he asked at what point should he stop encouraging and get me the drugs.  I laughed and said, "Once it's too late."  The reality is, he knows me better than anyone and will be able to tell if I'm simply in momentary pain and that's what's talking or if I really am at the point where I just can't do it anymore. 

I'm the same about cloth diapering.  We've been researching for 4 years while we planned our family.  We have a variety of types to try, and we've educated ourselves about using them, washing them, etc, etc.  We simply donate the diapers we're given because I don't want a backup plan.  For breastfeeding I don't want the possibility of getting to the end of my rope and simply going and fixing a bottle.  It's just how I personally work.  I don't like to give myself options if I'm determined to do it one way. 

And some people see that as sanctimonious or that I think I am better/stronger/whatever than them.  It isn't.  I just know myself and know that if given the option, I will often cave and take (what I see as) the easy way out.  It's the same way when I cook.  If I am wanting to make bread from scratch, even if I haven't made the time and am desperately wanting grilled cheese I will absolutely not buy bread.  It forces me to find the time (a.k.a. not be lazy) and make bread.  Same for pancakes and waffles.  We don't use mixes, I make them from scratch and my motivation when I'm doing it is to stockpile so we can simply reheat some in the oven or toaster (waffles in the toaster work beautifully).

I do think breastfeeding, cloth diapering, and a natural birth is best.  I've come to those decisions for myself after years (yes, honestly years) of studying, researching and debating.  But they may not be the decision someone else makes, and that's fine by me.  I was bottle fed, disposable diapered and my mother had a phenomenal epidural (and 32 hours of labor...) and I came out more than fine.

I just wish women would learn that personal decisions are that...personal.  I may not agree with yours and you may think I'm idealistic.  But in the end, my decisions shouldn't affect yours or make you feel less than.   

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