Somewhere along the line, as my husband neared his third semen analysis in late January, I became convinced adoption was our only hope. I think it was mental self-defense, and the profound grief surprised me.
During this time, a pregnant friend posted an article on Facebook called "Normal is a scary word." It was all about how breastfeeding is "normal" and about what happens to babies that are not breastfed. Such as... babies that are NOT breastfed tend to have poorer vision, lower IQ, more cancer, more diabetes, more emotional problems, a less developed immune system, etc, etc, etc. And that women who do not breastfeed have higher anxiety, lower self-esteem, less pleasure in early parenting, etc.
This article PISSED ME OFF! It's only purpose is to make people who either can't or don't breastfeed feel like dirt.
AND, the writer does not back up any of these "facts" with specific data. What exactly does "tend to" and "a little bit shorter life span" mean? Was the difference even significant? And could she link to at least one of these 13,000 studies she referenced so ambiguously? No. No details. Just scare tactics.
While I hate to admit it, years ago I may have thought this article was OK. I mean, why wouldn't someone want to breastfeed their baby? Why wouldn't someone want to feel that closeness to their child?
But that was before I had friends who mentally or physically couldn't breastfeed. Before I saw the emotional struggle women go through when trying to balance work with breastfeeding. And before I knew what it was like to have that option taken away from me.
When I thought adoption was our only option, my grief was driven by two things: (1) that I would never get the chance to carry my own child and bring him or her into this world, and (2) that I would never get to experience the closeness of breastfeeding.
This article stabbed me right in the heart.
It made me think of everyone who has adopted. And everyone who has used a surrogate. And everyone who for some reason or another does not have breastfeeding as an option. The woman who wrote this was not thinking of them. She was not thinking of us.
I recently read a quote that gave me pause. It came from the stoic text The Meditations by Marcus Aurelius. One translation of the 167 AD text went: If th...
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