Yes.... I know!
I know that I am nearly to my due date, and one should really have this figured out! Many of you would say, "Melissa, there is no debate - breast is best, duh!"
And I would say, "Shhhhhhhhh....don't tell, but I've never breastfed."
You read that correctly - three prior children and no nursing.
With my oldest - I simply had no desire, even though every piece of newborn collateral I read screamed the benefits of breast feeding. I held my ground. I was 19 when I had Jake, and the whole mom deal was enough for me - I was comfortable with bottle feeding. I had fed many, many babies in my lifetime at that point.
Abby came along and I realllllly wanted to nurse her; I had anticipated breast feeding her from day one. What I did not anticipate was how difficult having an 18month old, a new born, and a husband who worked nights would be. I didn't anticipate having a very small bout with post partum depression immediately after she was born. I also didn't realize how much we had to work with her latching on, and how me - Miss I really have no modesty when it comes to my boobs - was a little uncomfortable trying to settle her in front of family. So, I only tried for a few days and then we went back to the bottle. It instantly made my life, and her little life, easier.
Now with Miss Raegan, I didn't even consider it. I knew that we would be going from having a 2 children routine for 6 years to 3, and that I would be working from home during my maternity leave, then going straight back to a 60hr a week position. Bottles would make that entire transition much easier. It did, but I kind of regretted not nursing her - I watched how she latched on to a bottle and knew that she would've had no problem latching on to me. But, at that point, after you have established feeding for a few weeks, it's a little late to turn back.
To some of you, I probably sound very selfish. And, well, that's ok, because really, I don't care - every woman, mom, baby, child is different. Despite the highly publicized and proven benefits of breast milk, each of my bottle fed children were on par physically and mentally with their nursed counterparts. They did not suffer any increased allergies, or infections. I bonded with each one of them very well - we did skin to skin contact for each feeding, and followed all of the same protocols that would accompany nursing. Not only did the baby and I bond, the baby was also allowed special bonding with Daddy too - as he could most certainly feed a baby with a bottle.
Yet, I can't help but wonder if I am missing out on something.
This would be my last chance.
Part of me really wants to attempt it, but at the same time, I am intimidated by it, too. I know that it will be difficult for many reasons. I now have 3 other kids who need me, and still have a husband who works nights. I know that it takes a while to establish, and it hurts like hell for a bit. No one else will be able to feed him or her - and that scares me a bit too. My big kids are interested and excited - and want to feed the baby. Quite frankly, I think I will need that help.
So, I'm not sure. We'll just have to see. I think I will just trust my gut when asked in the hospital: "Are you breastfeeding?".
There is no turning back from there.