Saturday, January 14, 2012

Decisions, Decisions...

Some parenting decisions seem so easy compared to others.  Sometimes I hear about the choices made by other parents and think, "Really??"  I work with a kid who told me this week that his parents bought him a gun for Christmas.  A REAL gun.  He's 10.  His Dad was considering Christmas gifts and thought to himself, "I don't know...  Legos??  Maybe a video game?  I've got it! I'll get him a .22 caliber!"  That seems like such an easy choice to me and yet...  Gun Daddy had no problem with this decision.  Maybe he didn't think at all and maybe the choice he made doesn't bother him in the least even though others (including myself) might judge him for it.

I recently had to make a choice I found very difficult.  I have less than a week left of breastfeeding.  Jacob is 6 1/2 months old.  My first MS symptoms appeared when Emily was about this age, but I was blissfully ignorant of what was going on in my body.  The diagnosis process took a while and I was long done with nursing by the time my neuro slapped a label on my symptoms.  This time was different.  This time I had to choose whether to continue breastfeeding or stop so I can take the drugs that slow down my MS.  What a terrible choice to have to make!  How could I choose my health over Jacob's?  WWGDD? (What Would Gun Daddy Do?!)  I'm guessing he wouldn't agonize over this decision like I have.

I chose my health.

This feels utterly selfish and a part of me feels very guilty about this decision.  I'm counting down to the last day I'm allowed to nurse and the sadness I feel about this is palpable.  I'm having a hard time forgiving myself and have repeatedly apologized to Jacob as if he has ANY idea what I'm talking about.  The part of me that knows it's the right choice realizes that by risking another relapse I could be giving BOTH of my kids a permanently disabled Mommy.  I know this is the right choice, but I still hate it and I'm really going to miss nursing.  Going back on my medication seemed like something SOOO far away.  And suddenly it's here.  Yuck.

I have friends who didn't enjoy breastfeeding or were unable to.  I was lucky in that I have an abundant milk supply (moo) and have always found it to be an incredible bonding experience.  I'm going to miss Jacob looking up at me while he nurses.  I love how his little hand reaches up for my necklace and the other wraps around to my back.  I'll miss the smile he gives me when he's full just before he tucks his face into my body then looks back up to smile at me again.  What a flirt!

I am thankful Jacob will still get some breastmilk for a few months (and I'll finally get my freezer space back).  I'm also trying to focus on the positives...  No more nursing bras, nursing pads, shirts with easy access, NO MORE PUMP!  That one should really count as 5 positives.  I'm not typically the one giving him a bottle, so I'll need to figure out the best way to hold him while feeding him.  Maybe I can even find a position that will allow him to give me that flirty smile I love so much.

Will I always think this was the right choice??  I don't know.  I'm not 100% sure of all of the parenting choices I make, but I DO know that Jacob will not be getting a gun when he's 10.  It feels good to be sure of something these days!


  1. I wish I could reach through the computer and give you a hug. My opinion doesn't matter, but I will share it anyway. Your little boy is going to thank you one day for choosing your health over breastfeeding him. You will be there and able to run and jump and play with him. You are choosing the big picture over the right now and I think that it what makes you a good parent. Of course, that probably doesn't make it any that brings me back to wanting to give you hugs. You will get through this!

  2. Thank you, Cindy!!!! Your hugs are greatly appreciated. :)