Friday, November 13, 2009

The essay I always wanted to send in to Mothering Magazine

Blaine and Keaton, Halloween 2008 (Both survived formula. Imagine that!)

This is not a post about breastfeeding. This is a post about judging others. (And why we shouldn't.)

I come from a long line of breast feeders. My mother jokes that we have so many nursing mothers in our family that we could form our own chapter of La Leche League. When I gave birth to my first son, Blaine, I told my doctor I was planning on breastfeeding. He asked me if I was aware of how difficult it can be. I was. It took two months before my little babe could nurse right. Every feeding until that time took an entire hour and medical intervention. It was trying and exhausting, to say the least. But we endured. After conquering our nursing woes, I had a beautiful experience feeding Blaine. It was efficient. It was healthy. It was sweet and tender and lovely. I figured after all that--if I could do it, anyone could do it.

And so, I became a little proud. Arrogant even.

I started to roll my eyes at people who dared to place Enfamil in their shopping carts at Target. I referred to the free cans of Similac that would arrive in the mail as 'poison.' I silently judged the mothers at church who were feeding their babies formula in bottles. (As you might guess, I'm not proud of this behavior, but full disclosure is important here.)

Then things changed.

First it was Beth. Beth and I have been besties since pre-school, and we have a knack for doing things at the same time. We got married the same year, and then we had babes within a couple of months. Beth's baby girl, Keaton, was premature, and had to stay in the NICU for a time. Dedicated to breastfeeding, Beth pumped breast milk around the clock. She wasn't able to nurse her little preemie, but wanted to keep her milk supply up. Finally, when Keaton was able, she began to nurse. But soon, Beth discovered blood in Keaton's diapers. Consulting with doctors, Beth learned that her baby was allergic to her breast milk. But she didn't give up. For weeks she worked with doctors. She altered her diet drastically, cutting out foods until she was practically surviving on white rice alone. It didn't work. The baby was still sick. Beth knew it was time to switch to formula. Keaton's health improved right away, to her mother's great relief.

Then it was my brother's wife, Jill. Just six months after Blaine was born, Jill gave birth to Ethan. She began nursing Ethan, and finished up each feeding with a pumping session. She stored the extra milk in the freezer, knowing she would need it soon. Only in her early thirties, Jill has Rheumatoid Arthritis, which is extremely painful. She manages the pain with a lot of medication, which can't be taken when pregnant or nursing. After a couple months of nursing Ethan, Jill made the difficult decision to quit. Difficult because Jill loves nursing. Difficult because Jill makes the most incredible milk and it seemed like such a shame! (She can pump 12 ounces after a full feeding! If you've done much pumping you know how incredible that is!) But Jill had three other children, and she needed her strength to take care of them. She switched Ethan to the frozen milk and then formula, and started her meds again.

And then. It was me. It was January. I had nursed Blaine for 8 1/2 months, and hoped to continue until he was at least a year old. But he developed a bad ear infection and screamed murder every time I tried to nurse him. (The pediatrician explained that sucking hurts an infected ear.) We got the babe on antibiotics, I tried to nurse him day after day, and I pumped a lot of milk. But two weeks later, after a lot of pumping and spoon-feeding and tears of frustration, one of the lactation specialists I'd been consulting said, "I think he's just weaned himself." Even though his infection was gone, he seemed to equate nursing with pain, and he was done with it. I was devastated. I wasn't ready! Ironically, my child who had never agreed to take a bottle, now refused the breast and reached for one. As I wandered down the formula isle at Target I looked around. There was no one there rolling their eyes at me.

I felt ashamed for being so judgmental as I realized that we never know what someone may be going through or what their reasons are for making certain choices. These are stories about three women who wanted to breastfeed, but couldn't. But it isn't just these type of women I shouldn't have been judging. It's all women. It doesn't matter why someone bottle feeds (or does anything else for that matter!) I may not make the same choices as someone, but how dare I cast judgment?

I'm still a passionate supporter of breastfeeding. But I take a different approach than I used to. I think it's important to educate. I think it's OK to encourage. But judge? Never.

--Anne

32 comments:

Joan said...

Oh, Anne. We've all participated in the eye rolling, I'm such a better mother than you, judgment. I think the breast feeding topic goes hand in hand with the labor and delivery experience...oh, you had an epidural. hmmm? really? That's too bad. OR You "couldn't" deliver your baby vaginally so you had to have a c-section? LAME.
It's like this self imposed, ridiculous competition. And like you said, there are so many circumstances that are unseen and unknown. Who do WE think we are to judge a situation? Sillyness.
Thank you for having the courage to share this, dear :)

Stefani M. said...

Oh, I hear you on this one. Just fell victim to this myself... judging a friend, who then revealed her reasons for formula feeding, and I felt BAD. But, sometimes, I do wish that more people would give breastfeeding a shot. Even for just a short time. Formula is easy, and I still do roll my eyes at the free cans they give out at hospitals and through the mail--what a temptation to just grab any-ol'-time the going gets rough. Women do need more help and encouragement to breastfeed because it can be TOUGH, but at the same time, the BEST.

Kalli Ko said...

Right on.
I feel like I've been on both sides of the boat. I nursed my son a full year and only months 3-5 of it was I able to do it exclusively. I truly and honestly did not make enough. I hated the fact that I had these self-imposed feelings of almost shame or of falling short.

The thing about motherhood is that it is this exclusive club broken up into smaller more exclusive cliques, the natural birthers, the crunchy moms, the breastfeeding champions, the cloth diaperers, and then there are those of us who don't fit exactly into any category but only parts of some and I hate that we're made to feel less of a mother because of it.

From my own experience I've come to realize that a situation is never how it seems and that surface judgements are just that, surface. I know I sound all deep and Oprah-y right now but it's the truth and I had to learn it the hard way.

Being a mom is the most awesome, life-changing, wonderful thing ever and we should be fully supportive of one another no matter what the conditions are.

Spence Family said...

Interestingly enough I have the exact opposite veiws on breastfeeding and it's probably women like ME who you used to roll your eyes at. I never tried it and never will, I know it's all natural but I come from a long line of formula feeders and no one in my entire family has ever done it. (My mother only had twins and tried the breast feeding thing for about 2 days and thought this is crazy!)

My husband was a little shocked that I wouldnt do it but he just went with it and both of us love it now.

I have been ripped to shreds 10 times over for my choice, from my friends, some family members on the other side and other RANDOM women in the neighborhood. They have actually went as far as to question my worth as a mother. WOW! That was a shocking conversation. I never knew it was such a big deal. I dont judge breast feeders or bottle feeders and never have. I think both are a fine way to take care of your child but breast feeding isn't for me :) Thanks for the post I really had no idea that someone could be SO passionate about breast feeding until I had a baby myself.

Mandi said...

Thanks for this post. This has been on my mind a LOT. It's like you read my mind as I have had my
4th child and needed to make a decision. Breastfeeding is my own personal hell- crying from the pain, bleeding nipples, a starving baby with an upset stomach from blood in the milk, etc. Apparently I found out after having my first child that our family is not "formed" properly and generations of women in our family have a HUGE struggle with breastfeeding. (Why do I find these things out after the fact??)
Anywho, I have felt very, very judged. I have a friend I don't even want to speak to right now because she takes every advantage to put me down because of it.
Amen to Joan on natural birth vs. drugs. You are not a better mother because you do things differently. It's just DIFFERENT.

Astyn said...

Wow....I never knew that people felt so criticized for their nursing choices. A lesson in this is that we should not judge others but we also need to care a lot less about what others think. If we are comfortable in our decisions...then who cares.
I could only nurse my son until 8 months, but was later able to nurse my twin daughters until 13 months. Either way is a great experience.
I am glad that we live in a time when there are options. So that mothers who cannot or chose not to nurse do not have starving children.

Abbie said...

Bravo! Why do we judge each other so much. It just stupid! Thanks for being honest (I was the same way until my best friend really struggled to nurse her baby), and then I felt the judgement when I chose to nurse past a year with my first. I say more judging! EVER! With any mothering choice (unless, of course, the child is being hurt).

Tasha said...

I love breastfeeding. And my children are pros at it. There is only one problem. I have very little milk. When I pump, it's only about 1 oz. on each side. So it became imperative for the health of my children that I supplement with formula. I love having the freedom a bottle allows, while still having the intimate relationship of breastfeeding.

My second child, however, refused a bottle. Breast milk or no. Flat out refused. I breast fed her for 14 months. She was tiny as a result - 16 pounds at 1 year. And as ashamed as I am to say it, I'm just going to say it - I began to resent her. I couldn't go anywhere without her tagging along. I never got a break more than two hours long. And believe me, I needed one. Mothers need their sanity, and I wasn't getting any.

So while I agree that breastfeeding is the best way to go and everyone should be encouraged to try it, I am a HUGE advocate of doing both. I always have the nurses give my infants bottles in the hospital the second day because I want them to be able to take a bottle (we've never had an issue with nipple confusion). I need my freedom and also, I know my husband loves helping in the feeding area. It's important for him to have opportunities to bond with our babies. And just as mothers bond during breastfeeding, my husband can bond while bottle-feeding. He enjoys that time with them. And I wouldn't want to deprive him of those moments.

So those are my thoughts. I agree that it is very easy to judge an issue, especially when we have been programmed all our lives to believe one thing over another. It is always so interesting to me to see how multi-faceted parenting is. I learn something new every day.

Olivia Carter said...

Great post! I've been on both sides of this too & I appreciate having the sentiments articulated so well!

Linds said...

Thanks for your honesty. When I was a new mom of my first baby I was very gung-ho about breastfeeding (being a poor, starving college student added to that). Everything seemed to be going okay, though my baby would always fall asleep feeding and it took almost an hour to feed him. I was concerned that I wasn't producing enough milk but was told by other moms and a lactaction specialist, "Oh, we all feel that way. Don't worry. Your baby will get just what he needs." When the pediatrician told me that my seriousy underweight two week old might need to be hospitalized I felt like the worst mother ever.

I learned early on from this experience to 1)trust my mother's instincts 2)the "professionals" don't always get it right (wasn't it the doctors that promoted formula for years and years in the first place) 3)to not let what others may think affect my decisions. I've also learned to always try to see another's point of view.

Carrie said...

I had the opposite experience. I was proud before I had success. And then, I had my first baby, was humbled, and got what one 20+ yrs of experience certified lactation consultant called the worst yeast infection on nipples that she'd ever seen...for 7 weeks, untreated (because of a dumb doctor and a believing patient, me). I would seethe in pain with every latch, my body tensed for any twitch that would cause more pain, and I would cry every day. I sang to my daughter over and over, "Oohh child, things are gonna get easier." And we stuck it out. A doctor told me some women just aren't meant to breast feed (WHAT???? THEN WHAT ARE THESE THINGS FOR?). But I kept at it. And in the days of healing following a diagnosis and antibiotics, I realized that every mom felt how I did. I realized that we, as moms, are really all just trying to do the best we can. I got why we give up. Nursing is something so beyond difficult for some of us.

My daughter and I never really clicked with the nursing, and I gave it up at 6 months. For pretty much no reason, other than it was a chore and a task and a major difficulty for me still because I'd spent so many early days getting through nursing sessions instead of learning ways to make us comfortable. My back ached, I couldn't do it comfortably in public. It wasn't working. My son, however, was nursed for 13 months, wahoo for us. But honestly, it was still VERY difficult and uncomfortable.

If there is one thing I know for sure as a mother, and I mean this sincerely, breastfeeding vs bottle = breast is best, but nurturing your child and being a good mom ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS cancels out any thing a baby misses out on by bottle feeding instead of breastfeeding. My sister was bottle fed, went to BYU, married in the temple, is a practically a saint. Nursing is a great thing, but not the be all end all in motherhood, even though it feels like it when your in it and failing.

Sorry for the novel.

Carrie said...

One more thing. Sorry. I truly believe that our experiences are what teach us compassion for others. 3 cases the supprot this: 1)Even though I would NEVER shake a baby, when my 1st newborn cried unceasingly for what seemed like no reason, in that small moment, I understood how an ill equipped single mom (or even a well eqipped one) could get that frustrated. Its bad, wrong, etc. but a small part of me got a small part of that.
2) I lost 95 lbs last yr and the beginning of this year and one day I just binged, emotionally overate badly. And when I was done, and regretting my lack of self control, I had a moment where I totally understood why girls make themselves vomit because I wanted to do it, really badly. I got the craziness that must go on in their heads.
3) I had a friend go through severe post partum despression. She admitted in a very humble moment that she thought about killing herself. Maybe I personally don't get that, but trying to understand where she was mentally made me see compassion for others who's heads are just so distorted they can't see up from down and few suicide as a viable option to end their pain.

In the end, I think that compassion is really the most important thing we can learn in this mortal experience.

Carrie said...

And when we have compassion for others, how can we really judge them and their actions?



Okay, now I'm done. I think.

Barb @ getupandplay said...

I'm a fairly new mom (7+months) and I've been thinking about this very subject, how critical moms can be of each other. I think I have realized part of the problem. I feel like I am constantly weighing the options and making the best choice for me, my baby and my family and those choices are really, really hard. (Co-sleeping or not? Cry it out sleep training or nurse to sleep? TV before the age of 2? Organic baby food? Natural birth or epidural? Breastfeeding or formula? How long to nurse? Etc, etc. And this is just the beginning!)

So after struggling to figure out what is the right thing *for us* it kind of makes every other choice feel like the wrong thing. And even though something ends up being "wrong" for my family doesn't make it bad or wrong for another family.

It's a concept that is easy to articulate but really hard to internalize. So I have to just hold my tongue and constantly remind myself that I only need to be concerned with MY parenting choices. And hope that others do the same for me.

Emily said...

Thanks, Anne. Having been on the side where I have felt those eye rolls (not from you!) I really appreciate this post. It was really hard on me when I decided to stop breastfeeding Claire. She was only 2 weeks old. Because of her severe reflux, we were advised to bottle feed only so we could regulate how much she was getting. If she ate too much too fast she would puke everything up which she tended to do while breastfeeding, so we had to give her little amounts more often. It was just horrible to see her eat peacefully and then seconds later puke everything up because she ate too much too fast! I pumped for a little while, but soon my milk dried up and that was no longer an option, so formula was my only choice. I did my research and tried to give her the best stuff out there. Looking back it was a blessing in disguise. I was (and still am) a working mother, so bottle feeding ended up being the best for me and my family in our situation. It really hurts me when I hear of the judgment placed on mothers who choose to bottle feed. They are doing the best they can with what their situation is. We always hear, don't judge a book by its cover. With all that said, I really want to breastfeed my next baby, so I can have that wonderful experience of bonding that so many mothers talk about!

Rachael said...

I'm so grateful for all the options we have as women. Really, isn't it wonderful that we have the resources and the facilities to preserve the healths and lives of women who would otherwise die in childbirth or babies who would die from malnourishment? I've had two healthy pregnancies and one with complications requiring surgery halfway through, I've had one baby that nursed for 13 months and one that weaned herself at 6 (and the other is only 4 months old, so we'll see). I'm grateful for the fact that medical intervention is available when I need it and when my children need it.

(but I will say that I cried for two days when my daughter weaned herself. I felt like a failure as a mother.)

Sally said...

Thanks for the post Anne. I personally am not a fan of breastfeeding. I do it because I know it is the best thing for my babies, but I usually end giving a bottle as well. I've never understood why people care how someone else feeds their baby, but I guess maybe I would feel differently if I were passionate about breast feeding. Having said that though, I am totally guilty of judging people for many other reasons, so thanks for the reminder.

Valerie said...

Very good post, very good point. If anything we mothers need to stick together, because we all know the joys but difficulties of being a mom. What an important thing to remember, that we never ever really know what is going on in someone's life, someone's head, even those that are closest to us. I have breast fed, bottle fed, and pumped...done it all, and I have figured out that the best thing was doing what kept me sane, kept me a good mom.

My first wouldn't breast feed beacuase he was early, so I pumped for 12 weeks and then my milk ran out suddenly, it was an awful feeling, but then I got over feeling sorry for myself, or feeling like I was being judged. I needed to be a good mom, not worry about everyone else.

My second was a decent breast feeder, but took FOREVER, I was feeding him all the time. But my first born was having a hard time, I could tell he was feeling like I was never there for him, not giving him enough attention, his personality was changing because of the lack of attention from me.
So at 12 weeks I stated formula again,and honestly it's what worked best for us.

I get so annoyed with those who sit and judge anyone on these subjects. First of all, remember, it's none of your dang business, second, don't bother judging anyone, it just wastes YOUR time and thoughts. And third, no one is perfect.

I am glad you brought up this subject, it's a good reminder to any one out there.
Judging = smug/unhappy feelings

Lisa Anguiano said...

Wow! I can't believe she could pump 12oz's! I am also big supporter of breast feeding. I actually nursed my daughter for 15 months, a little too long some might say but she was my first baby and I had a very difficult first few weeks getting her to latch on correctly so it was hard to wean her. And I did the same thing, judging other mom's who didn't nurse. Then I had my twins and after a couple of months of pumping around the clock and often falling asleep with the pump and waking up with milk all over me, my boys started getting sick and we decided to go with a special kind of formula. I felt like the worst mother! But I did get more sleep and was able to spend more quality time with them. It's good to know that there are other mom's who know how u feel.

danielle said...

Amen.

When I worked in the NICU I used to have to help mothers who had given birth to premature (or other) babies, and who were under huge amounts of stress to try to breastfeed (which is REALLY difficult under those conditions), or watch them come in every 3 hours and pump. Seeing so many women struggle with it really opened my eyes to the challenges of breastfeeding, and that you never know what somebody is going through. The worst part about it was that on top of the physical difficulty they all felt tons of guilt and pressure about it. Coming from a family where I only ever heard how great and easy nursing was, I was grateful for this eye-opener before I had a baby.

Anyway, I love breastfeeding, but the bottom line is that as mothers--as humans--we just need support, period. Because we never ever know what someone is going through...and it shouldn't really matter anyway. There are like a thousand parenting choices we make every day and we are the only ones who can judge what is right for our child, or our family.

I kind of just wish it was easier to have frank open conversations about this stuff though so people could exchange information without feeling that judgment.

By the same token, I am starting to feel a lot of pressure to wean my 18 month old. Lots of "If they are old enough to ask for it...then they are too old", kinds of comments, which I am not really offended by because I totally used to say the same thing! But I've rethought a lot of my preconceived notions about tons of parenting stuff since having a child and realize that there is no real bases for most of it. Who cares if I nurse her till she's 5? What would actually be wrong with that?

Anyway...I could write a book about all this stuff;) Thanks for this reminder Anne....we are all guilty of this.

Bloom said...

I think Barb brought up such an insightful point. We give so much effort to making the best choices for our children that we sometimes project our conclusions onto everyone else, forgetting that what is right for us (because of choice or circumstance or whatever) won't be right for everyone.

this was such a great reminder anne. thank you.

Sugar... said...

First of all, Anne, you are one of the kindest people in the universe. Just wanted you to know that. Secondly, I agree with Astyn. Who cares. Be satisfied with what God thinks of you. I didn't make enough milk for my 4 kids to nurse past 2-3 months, despite pumping more and all that "stuff" they tell you to do to increase your supply. If you got it, you got it, if you don't, well...oh well. Plus, I have an aunt who has 7 awesome kids from college to early teens. She made a decision to never try nursing because she felt uncomfortable doing it, and I attribute her kids' awesomeness to the fact that she was an excellent mother, not because she nursed or didn't.

Jonesy said...

This discussion REALLY got the gears turning in my head! So much so, that to leave the comment I wanted to would've taken up WAY too much space! I ended up writing a post about it on my blog.

http://thejonesyfiles.blogspot.com/2009/11/mathematics-of-being-right.html

I don't expect anyone to rush over to read it, but it's there if you want to. Barb, I think you hit the nail on the head.

As a side note, I'm pretty grateful for all you amazing women that I don't even know, and for Anne & Emily who have brought us all together.

Shan said...

I think the moral to this story is you never know the story behind how people live their lives... it's often seen with the homeless or drug addicts or abusers or formula feeding mums :)

remember there is a story behind everyone and it may not be as clear as they just made a choice to do things that way.

as a mum who had to formula feed her twins for reasons i won't go into here, I'm sick of being judged by others and having the "breast is best" line shoved down my throat... I know breast is best, if there was a way i would be more than happy to breast feed my girls. We are all mum's and should support each other. Good for you for your honesty and courage to write about your previous judgments

be grateful you have realised this, you're not the first one to and hopefully won't be the last!!

great blog by the way, just found you and am reading through your posts now.

have a great day :)

sarahandmatt said...

I'm with ya, friend. My first baby was a breeze to breast feed. I never had sore nipples, never lacked milk and never bothered feeding her a bottle for any reason. My second child was born on the day my husband's brother died. My husband was gone to a funeral, I was in the hospital and my son was in the NICU (breathing issues). I was so overwhelmed and out of it that it didn't occur to me to even ask to see my baby until he was 36 hours old. I was never brought a breat pump. I cried myself to sleep for the first two months, as I tried, and failed to bring a supply of breastmilk sufficient to feed my baby. Finally, I decided to stop judging MYSELF and acknowledge that not everyone gets to breastfeed. It was a huge relief. Now, after having four babies, I have had varied successes and failures in the area of breastfeeding. I have pumped, taken medication and herbal supplements, nursed, allowed babies to lose "just a few more ounces" to see if my milk would increase before I started supplementing. The bottom line is this: a good mother gets her baby the food he/she needs. It's not always possible to get that from her own body. For whatever reason, we just need to cut each other some slack.

dana said...

What a sweet post. Thank you for sharing.

dana said...

and p.s....you SHOULD send that into a mothering magazine. Definitely worthy.

Magen said...

Thank you for this post. I breastfed my first daughter for a year and had a very good experience. My second was born 2 weeks ago and I quickly remembered how hard it is at first. We are doing well now but it makes me sensitive to those who are unable to nurse. I have noticed that when I nurse other mother's give me excuses as to why they didn't...I am not out to make anyone feel guilty and apparently there is too much pressure to nurse not matter what. I love nursing my children but understand that it doesn't work out for everyone!

Jesslyn said...

Just found this blog and was happy to see this post. I "knew" I'd breastfeed my children. Never questioned it. Then I had my first in 2007 and was devastated to learn I couldn't produce enough milk to feed my new baby girl. I went to all the lactation consults, ate the thousands of calories they told me to and drank the gallons of water. Woke myself as instructed every 2 hours to pump for weeks on end to try and build my supply. Nothing. It was a nightmare. I had twins last January and tried to breastfeed, just in case it was different this time, but it wasn't and I was fine. No torture this time. I thank heaven every day for Enfamil and that my babies are healthy and happy. That I could feed them something so much better than the goat's milk of old days!

honeypumpkin said...

thank you. for the first time i feel really OK for a lot of the things i've had to do - that i surely didn't WANT to - was MADE to not want to... cesarian, formula, lactose-free milk... oh the list goes on...
thank you.

Eric, CJ, Viana, Brooke, Ram said...

I am one who never wanted to feel judged...especially in Provo where judging seems to be a common hobby. When I just wasn't producing enough milk when Viana was 4 months old I started supplementing with formula. I was so sad, but couldn't have a hungry baby. I remember I would always mix the formula before church so that people wouldn't see me pouring in the formula to the water in her bottle and I hoped they would just assume that it was pumped breast milk.
Now, away from Provo, I realize, lots of people use formula, and it's ok, and Viana turned out great!

Marlo said...

Sometimes I wonder why breastfeeding is such a hot topic. But truly it is. When I was pregnant with my first baby, I was totally gung-ho about breastfeeding. Then she was born and so commenced what I lovingly refer to as The Breastfeeding Nightmare. My daughter would scream and cry and I would cry and it truly seemed as if no bonding was occuring. I pumped and nursed and nursed and pumped at all hours of the day and night. I researched, I took herbs, I talked to lactation consultants, and I prayed, but still she wasn't gaining enough weight. And then I read in some magazine something about bottle feeding and the moral was this: It's just a bottle, it's not the devil. So i quit. And the dy I quit my love for my baby increased ten-fold. Because we weren't both crying all the time. Because she was eating. Because she was healthy. So I took back every judgemental thought I ever made about formula feeders and then I basked in the easiness that is formula feeding.

When baby number two came around, i refused to think about breastfeeding until the baby was born. No need to stress myself out. But I did begin praying about it everyday much sooner than with the first. And behold, by some miracle, I was/am able to breastfeed this time around. It took four long painful months to even get remotely successful at it, but we took it one day at a time. Baby steps, if you will. First I aimed for one month, then two. Now we are at 10 months and still going strong. There is not a day, nor a prayer that goes by that I don't pray for there to be enough milk. Even my 2 year old knows to pray for it.

They say one of the most important factors in successfully breastfeeding is your husband's support. To this I say amen. My husband knew well before me that I needed to quit with our first and gave endless encouragement when I wanted to quit with our second. Through all of this, I try to remember what the purpose of breastfeeding and formula truly are: to nourish a baby. As long as we are doing our very best to keep our child alive, how can someone dare to judge us. In full disclosure, however, I must admit, I still sometimes judge when I see people give up so freely what I would have killed to have. Hey, nobody's perfect. I'll repent tomorrow.

Thanks for posting this Anne. You rock.