Sunday, 2 October 2011

Mother's Milk

My mother has always referred to La Leche League type mom's as "members of the cult" in a whisper which had always led me to believe that 1) Big Brother Was Listening 2) La Leche League meetings were secretly held in basements for Clockwork Orangesque brainwashing and 3) If a company ever came up with Super Formula, proven to be better than breast milk, there would be a mass La Leche League suicide where they literally would finally drink the Kool Aid.  I always dismissed it as one of her strange hang-ups or something that she did to annoy my sister, until I became a mom.


When I found out I was having twins I took a "lets see" attitude on the breastfeeding versus formula campaign.  I really wanted to do a combination, but read all of these articles about nipple confusion and honestly didn't want to make my life with two babies any more difficult than I knew it would be.  Any mom's I knew with one baby complained about feeding around the clock and I wasn't prepared to feel like a milk cow.


35 hours following the birth of the minions, before I was permitted to leave the hospital, the day nurse was insistent that I attend a breast feeding workshop.  When I arrived, there were about 8 other mom's in various states of defile, dependent on how long ago they had given birth and how agreeable their child was.  I arrived with Jack, the boy child, because there was no way I was taking both,  and my knowledge of Molly in the first 35 hours was that she meant business when hungry with an eating style similar to a velociraptor and the thought of her at my breast terrified me.  I arrived late, to the announcement from the teacher that, "Everyone can breastfeed and no one has an excuse not to." and that, "formula is McDonalds."*  Meanwhile a new mom across from me began to cry because her milk wasn't coming in, in between tears she'd mumble something about being a bad mother.  I surveyed the room for a pitcher of Kool Aid.  During the seminar I managed to get Jack to breastfeed, but I found that he, like many men, has what they call a "lazy latch" and would rather hang out on my boob for an hour or two rather than eat.  


The seminar had been the final decision maker for me.  I would pump breast milk, as much as I could and supplement the rest.  That way Chris could and I could always feed them via bottle, there would be no issues with them taking a bottle and I wouldn't have to let Mollyraptor anywhere near my nipples (Chomp, Chomp, Chomp).


After two weeks of using a manual pump I decided I'd go to a medical supply store and either rent or buy an electric pump to save me time.  I determined that it was more economical to purchase the model that I was interested in, so long as I used it for at least three months.  I went up to the counter, where the cashier looked at my purchase and said, "I have four kids and I never needed to pump, I was able to breast feed exclusively." Due to lack of sleep leading to lack of wit, the only thing I could reply with was a simple, "Well I have twins." and she said, "Oh, well that makes more sense then."


On my way back to the car with my purchase, I became increasingly angry, I thought about the crying mom at the hospital seminar and wished that I'd had a comeback ready, I could only imagine the tears if she'd said that to the new mom who's milk wasn't coming in.  


I called my mother as soon as I got home so we could dish about the cashier and the breast feeding cult.  We joked about me pumping milk and throwing it in the cashiers face, or calling the supply store's manager to complain, but I have newborn twins, and I don't have the time or energy for that.  Although perhaps I could drop off a flyer for the nearest La Leche League meeting, I hear they provide free refreshments.**


 *Although she did encourage some supplementation of formula if your milk was not coming in, because after all McDonalds does fill you up when you're hungry, or incredibly hung-over.
**No one formally representing La Leche League has actually done or said anything offensive or mean around me, it's just random jerky people that I've come to associate with "the cult".

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