11.18.2013

A FEW ITEMS OF A MISCELLANEOUS NATURE


i know it's only monday but boy does it feel like a thursday.

so first of all, huck. huck is it these days. good gravy. also he is potty trained. which went a lot easier and a lot faster than i expected it to and i know better than to think any of it had anything to do with me. chalk it up to my kid being rad, yet again. he makes it easy. before bed tonight we read one of our books about thanksgiving. it lists all of the things this little boy is thankful for, and after the last page i asked henry what he was thankful for, and OFF HE WENT. he was thankful for this, he was thankful for that, he was thankful for penguins, he was thankful for his "pack pack," he was thankful for his treasure map. and then he asked me, mom? what do bugs eat? and i said, bugs? and he said, "yes bugs. they eat poops. isn't that silly." he said this very serious-like, frowning the whole time. so i said, "what does henry eat?" and he said, "sandwiches!" so i said, "what does mommy eat?" and he said, "cereal" (guilty as charged), and then he said, 'what does caroline eat?" and i was like, caroline?! sort of out of the blue, but okay. what does caroline eat, huck? and he paused and looked thoughtfully at the ceiling and tapped his finger on his mouth and said, "probably grapes."


on saturday afternoon i got to run down to see the first new york screening of "breastmilk" at the new york documentary festival. it was kind of amazing. it was produced by the same ladies who did the business of being born (full disclosure, i didn't totally love that movie), and it was about breastfeeding and all of the hoopla that surrounds it. i get really fired up about this stuff, just because, i'm not sure why. raging feminist is probably why. but what i was most taken by and what i need to really explore properly sometime was this: there was a lesbian couple in the film who had had a child through sperm donation. the birth mother was able to breastfeed successfully, but not only that, the birth mother's partner, a woman who had never been pregnant and had never given birth, she was also able to breastfeed successfully. she latched that baby on for five minutes at a time, each side, a few times a day, and within a week she was lactating. that's it. she had milk. and even though she didn't nurse every day, she kept up a steady supply for whenever her baby needed her. isn't that amazing? the rest of the women in the film were followed from pregnancy through their baby's first birthday, and each one of them, without fail, said in their first interview before they'd even given birth, that they "hoped" to breastfeed. they "wanted to" but "most people can't" and "so many things could go wrong." and then... so many things did go wrong. because, well of course, things always go wrong, things always go wrong all of the time. but i've been i thinking about that woman who was able to nurse even after never giving birth in the first place, and i've been thinking about the lack of trust we women seem to have in our own bodies sometimes, and how we think we have to fight our bodies, and how we might assume they aren't good enough on their own, just the way they are, in whatever shape they happen to be in... and i guess i always think about this stuff when i'm trying to get pregnant, because these days i don't trust my body to do anything. but i'm starting to think our bodies are onto us. i think there's a healthy amount of fatalistic self-determinism happening here. and i sometimes wonder if maybe the only reason i was able to nurse as long and as happily as i did was because, stupidly, and for whatever reason, i went into it knowing that i would. i've never gone into anything knowing i could do it before even starting, and this is starting to make me rethink the whole way i live my life. 

so, like, see this documentary, if you're able to. really really great stuff in there. 

*i guess i should clarify that this was MY experience with breastfeeding, and that i am in no way trying to minimize what other women go through in their experiences, when we all have very, very different situations from each other. and also, i should clarify that if just believing you could do something were enough, obviously i'd be pregnant by now! so that is NOT what i'm trying to say, and i apologize if it seemed like it was. i was mostly just thinking out loud in the middle of the night, which, obviously, is never a good idea.


huck! huck is solidly between sizes of clothes, it's funny. nothing fits him! he swims in 2T and pops out of 18 months and have i mentioned he is three? sigh. short genes. here he is in this really cute get up that was sent to us from the sweet folks at carousel and these pants remind me of luke skywalker and i can't wait for him to grow into this stuff. particularly those pants, they are the raddest.


the central park zoo got some new baby snow leopards this fall, so we went with my parents last week to coo at the cubs and take the mama a casserole. which remiiiiiiiinds meeeeeeee. after huck was born some friends brought over an entire pot of beef stew and i'm not kidding, it was the greatest thing in the entire world. beef stew. 


brandon took these photos, and basically someone at national geographic needs to snatch this dude up already. crap.


aaaaand a sea lion.

lastly i will leave you with this. this year for thanksgiving we up and got reservations at landmarc for the macy's parade. it's genius. you go eat brunch, you watch balloons go by out the window without freezing yer bum off or having to wake up at 5am, and now i shall include the photos i took a million years ago the last time we were at landmarc, since they're now related only slightly.


worth it.

oh wait!

also.

spiderman.


the end.

54 comments :

  1. Good god, this kid reminds me that there really are some fantastic things in this crazy world.
    I can't wait until hes able to understand just how amazing his parents are and raves about them to a crowd of jealous kids.
    Your family is really one of a kind

    Madeline | Its a Mads Mads World

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  2. "I've never gone into anything knowing I could do it before even starting."

    Dear heavens. Now I'm the one re-thinking my whole life! Thank you, thank you for that lovely insight!

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    1. Right?! So true. Forgot to add that in my comment below. ("One-hour-left-at-work" brain!)

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  3. OMG she made her never-been-pregnant boobs lactate WHAAAA.

    Sorry. I'm still all "Wow!" from that. Jiminy jillikers, Radioactive Man! (Or something. I don't know.)

    A big fat YES to everything you said about how oftentimes we don't trust our own bodies which: maybe it's a case of overthinking things? I dunno. ::shrug::

    Also, those snow leopard cubs? SQUEEE!!

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  4. I wish that believing you could breastfeed could make it happen. I was someone who had troubles (low production, latching, etc), and I never thought I would. No one I knew had issues, I thought it would just happen. When it didn't, and my baby wasn't gaining weight as he should, I was soooo upset and anxious. We tried EVERYTHING. It really colored the newborn experience for me. I ended up pumping for six months, and that was ok. I did what I could. But for me, at least, it wasn't an issue of not trusting my body. I was pretty shocked that it was as difficult as it was.

    But I know how hard it is whenever your body isn't cooperating. Difficulty in trying to conceive is so hard.

    But YAY for potty training! My 3 yr old is not with the program. :)

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    1. I agree. My baby was born premature at 26 weeks, so my milk supply and hormones were all out of whack. I pumped until she was full term but my body just never got to the point where I was making enough milk for her. I could only do enough for one, maybe two of her bottles. I tried everything, too... lactation supplements, power pumping, prayer (!)... apart from walking around with the pump attached to my breasts 'round the clock I did it all. I wish "just believing" would have worked. Biologically it just wasn't happening. It was such a hard thing to give up on. I really wanted it to work. It just didn't. I think my baby is better off though because I'm not so stressed about it all the time. We tried for seven years to have our baby naturally and she's finally here. I want to savor time with her instead of being attached to a pump for one of her feedings.

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  5. Oh my potty training! Rock on! How great that he trained so quickly! Breastfeeding, snow leopards, and Spiderman all in one post?! Talk about one happy Monday! ;)
    Thanks for sharing!

    http://sometimesgracefully.com

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  6. I've totally heard of that happening! It is just incredible that a woman who hasn't even given birth could lactate!! Wow!! I need to remind myself of that if we ever get pregnant again. If that woman could do it so can I!

    We're going to start potty training at the new year. Fingers crossed it goes well!

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  7. Oh Natalie. I love you and love your blog and usually I think you get things so right... but you get THIS so wrong:

    < i think maybe the only reason i was able to nurse as long and as happily as i did was because, stupidly, and for whatever reason, i went into it knowing that i would.>

    I went into breastfeeding my first kid never even CONSIDERING for a second that it mightn't work. I live in a country where it's strongly supported, I educated myself on all the practicalities, I quit my job partly so I could commit to the extended breastfeeding thing, everyone I knew had breastfed - hell, my mother was even a volunteer for the breastfeeding association. And I had commitment and determination and confidence in spades.

    But my boobs and/or my hormonal system (doctors still aren't sure) didn't get that memo. Despite pumping for literally hours a day, demand feeding, lactation consultants, thousands of dollars worth of drugs and herbs for months and months, they didn't do what I had KNOWN they were there to do.

    I'm truly happy for the woman who was able to initiate breastfeeding despite not giving birth. But she DID not "will" herself into lactating. She did not make it happen by dint of how much she "wanted it to".

    And despite dealing with my own disappointment long ago - by the time I had my second, it'd become very clear that how you feed an infant really is a drop in the ocean of what matters in parenting - it was still a small punch in the gut to read your statement that I quote above.

    I'm sure you mean well but you do realise, don't you, that you're implying that those for whom it doesn't work *didn't* want it enough? I've sympathised with enough of your stories about the pain of infertility to know that you should know better. You did not have the (wonderful, enviable) long breastfeeding relationship you experienced because of any special desire or self-confidence or "knowing" you could do it. You got lucky, kid. Just like the people who get pregnant the first try don't owe it to trusting in themselves. They get lucky.

    I get that you are passionate about the issue. And I know you're not in the business of making women feel bad. And that's why you need to realise how tone-deaf and hurtful and alienating that kind of statement was. And how wrong.

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. I really don't think that is what Natalie means in her post, that "those for whom it doesn't work *didn't* want it enough,"she even says "*i guess i should clarify that this was MY experience with breastfeeding, and that i am in no way trying to minimize what other women go through in their experiences, when we all have very, very different situations from each other."

      Natalie has gone through some tough spots but breastfeeding was a time when she felt really proud of her body, and that's a beautiful thing. Everyone's experiences are different, but that doesn't mean we should criticize someone for their opinions and experiences. I realize her post struck a chord with you, but calling her post "tone-deaf and hurtful and alienating" is just mean. Natalie is a great mother, and an amazing person and she deserves our respect and support.

      Love you Natalie, you're doing great, and I loved this post :)

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    3. Very well said, Emily.

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    4. I don't think Emily was being mean. She was being honest and fairly diplomatic. I beat myself up for a solid year because I wasn't able to breast feed my son. I cried every time I read about someone's super easy experience breastfeeding. You got lucky, Natalie. That's it. You got lucky.

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    5. What Emily said. With my first i tried and tried and tried. Nursed and nursed, pumped and pumped even used a complicated device where I nurse while attached to tubes to try to get my ladies to make more milk. They just never could keep up. The second time around I felt almost defeated from the start. I had a strong feeling it wouldn't work since it didn't the first time. I nursed and nursed and pumped and pumped, and it worked. I did nothing different than the first time around except this time it worked and I was able to nurse my daughter till she weaned 3 weeks before her first birthday. It wasn't because I wanted it more. Just like with my first, we were pretty much doing everything not to get pregnant. Though here we have an amazing 6.5 year old. And with our second we tried so very hard for 7 months before getting pregnant. Just the way it works.

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    6. This was my experience, too. Numerous lactation consultants, demand feeding, pumping, herbs, supplements, the whole lot...my milk didn't even come in for seven days after my baby was born. The most I could ever pump in a day, and this was pumping 12 times a day for a half hour, was 2 ounces. She lost two whole pounds in 5 days because I was stubborn and wouldn't supplement. It took me weeks to get over my formula feeding guilt, but I now have a 2-month old who is healthy, happy, and most importantly, not starving. I'm envious of moms who were and are able to breastfeed, and I wish that my experience had been different. I also cry over stories of mothers breastfeeding, because I honestly believe a lot of it is luck. I couldn't have wanted or tried to breastfeed more, and it just plum didn't work.

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  8. Breast feeding is haaaaaaard. But that's a whole other story. I recently did a hypnobirthing course before having my son because I thought it was just my attitude to birthing my daughter that had caused me so much trouble getting her out. They did a fear release session and what became abundantly clear was that I really didn't trust my body. Later I found out that my 9lb11oz daughter had shoulder dystocia and it was by sheer luck I had ended up in theatre with the help I needed to get her out. For three years I had thought I just wasn't strong enough to do it. Turns out I could with my son and the experience has really restored my faith in my body's abilities. Second time around though breastfeeding is still so hard. And I did it for 14 months with my daughter.

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    1. Yes yes yes for hypnobirth!! I totally get what Natalie means by the mental control/desire idea. I was so afraid of birthing my baby, but after I decided I wanted a natural birth, I chose to hypnobirth. By doing so I learned just how much power is held in our mindsets. I had a perfect birth because of it. I'm curious as to what Natalie didn't like about Business of Being Born - I loved the film and series and that's what helped me choose natural/hypno! I understand it doesn't always work out for everyone, but it did for me and it's important to share that.

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  9. I think about this a lot, and here's my idea. I think women are inundated by (at least) two messages when they're pregnant. On one side you hear how totally natural breastfeeding is, it's the most natural thing in the world. And then you hear from people for whom it was not easy, who had major problems. And so you wonder, and cover your bases by saying you "hope to".
    Of course it's natural. How else would the human race have survived? Walking is also natural, but that doesn't mean you don't need to learn, and that it doesn't come easier to some than to others, and that sometimes things go wrong. So maybe we should be more open about the fact that it is often hard at first, that sometimes it doesn't work out - like with the above poster- my husband's great grandmother buried any babies born when no one on nearby farms had had a baby recently and could be a nursemaid (I think at least two).
    For me it was complete confidence. There were no bottles in the house, we didn't have a pump because we wouldn't need one. And then he was born and wouldn't latch. Everyone said his mouth was too small and to give it a few days. Then he got jaundiced. My husband's friend picked us up a handpump (on my insistance that it'd only be a day or so). Two weeks after birth, still no latch when our cousin the chiropractor came to meet him. She heard the story, took one look, massaged his jaw so it would open fully after being smooshed during his long delivery, and he was on it, nursing voraciously. Which led to cracked nipples and thrush. But here we are still at it and he'll be two in January. So sometimes you have the inbetween, not easy, not impossible.
    I can't wait to see this movie!!
    -Emily Hansel

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  10. Amen! I love this so much. When I was in the hospital, the lactation consultant was like "yeah, you're not going to be able to do this. you should just pump." So I did! Later I looked back, and I was like "what the hell? are you kidding me?" I was so fragile at that point (after a very traumatic labor and delivery) and she was the expert. Makes me so mad. There is no reason I shouldn't have been able to figure it all out.
    Anyway, I've been looking in the mirror before bed at night and I tell myself "you're doing a good job." and then I look at my body and I say "you're doing a good job." I think it's kind of amazing what that phrase can do for a person.

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  11. You are so right that women underestimate themselves and their capabilities, in so many different ways. It's really important to remember that, so thank you for the reminder! BUT it can be harmful to confuse luck/privilege with confidence/skill, especially when it relates to (very personal!) bodies.

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  12. i'm dying to see that documentary! i had the same experience as you, it seems. not breastfeeding wasn't an option. the thought didn't even cross my mind. and it turned out just like that! i guess i got lucky because i had no idea when i started that so many women had trouble. milk came in within hours of birth and we nursed happily and easily until i got pregnant again and my son decided my milk was gross now :) the doc said milk changes flavor when you're pregnant and sometimes babies don't like it. guess that's what happened. it's amazing what our bodies can do. i'm so glad i was able to nourish my baby with just my body for so long. and, thankfully, by the time he decided my milk was gross, we just switched to solid food. boom. just like that. with so many horror stories about breastfeeding i'm glad i found someone else who had an easy time. i was beginning to feel guilty!

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  13. What is this fabulous Thanksgiving book you speak of? I'm on the look-out!

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  14. Hm. Well I didn't breastfeed because it was hard and everyone was in the hospital room yelling at me to "do it this way" and "do it that way" and it wasn't working out. I was crying, my baby was screaming, and I was tired. So I told everyone to get out and didn't try again. It was relaxing and awesome and everyone was happy. I got to stare at my baby and hold him and love the crap out of him until I had to go back to work. He was on formula and the most pleasant baby.

    I was less stressed and so proud of my choice to listen to myself. Everyone has their own choice, and everyone has problems. For such a widely read blog and diverse audience, I'm surprised you'd venture into this topic armed with your argument. I'm glad you had such a great experience, but just remember, everyone's journey is different and we all are trying our best.

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    1. i think i'm impressed that natalie ventured into this topic BECAUSE she has such a widely read blog and a diverse audience. i think bloggers, as they grow (myself included), become more watered down, "safe" versions of themselves. in fact, i've considered posting about how much i love nursing, but am in large part a little bit scared of who that would offend. i think that's a shame.

      with that said, hannah, a relaxed non-nursing mother would have to be far better for her baby than a stressed out nursing mother, so i'm glad you were able to recognize that and make the decision that was best for you and your baby. amen!

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  15. teehehehe. Oooh Huck. His expressions never fail to bring a smile.

    And breastfeeding. I'm not saying that things don't go wrong, but I agree that going into it with a "I'm going to do this" attitude helps, especially if you give yourself a shorter timeline at the beginning. Typically if you can make it six weeks, you can keep on trucking. And looking at six weeks is a lot easier than looking at one year+. Our bodies are made to do it, and while some don't do it well, most probably could. But I think what also needs to be explained to people from the beginning is it can be HARD. For me I'd rather do labor again (ok... I also had an epidural half way through.. ;)) than go through those first three weeks of breastfeeding. They were absolutely brutal. But I was producing milk and pushed through and the skies finally cleared.

    I'm so glad I was able to, and don't judge moms who don't, but I do think that going in with the right expectations is really important.

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    1. "They were absolutely brutal. But I was producing milk and pushed through and the skies finally cleared." This was my experience as well. I was in near tears for the first 8 weeks but eventually made it to 22 months. I had to mentally power through when it would've been so easy to give up.

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  16. I had trouble breast feeding also! i wish i could have succeeded but i didn't. but i will totally go in with this mind set next time! i CAN do it! thanks for this post and these beautiful photos! :)

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  17. ha. thank you. especially for the spiderman.

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  18. breastfeeding my first was a nightmare! Let's just say, before things got better I was literally missing half my nipple. But I knew I could and I wanted to. Even though it was hard. And hurt, like worse than anything in the whole world. And wouldn't you know? After a little pumping and about two months of crying, it turned into something great. And I then nursed my two boys with a lot less trouble. It is important. And it CAN be awful. But most of the time you either want to or your don't. Sure there are exceptions. But anyway, I also love your bangs. Seriously.

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  19. oh.my.gosh. henry is a DREAM!!! and i loved this. i love that you share your strong feelings of breastfeeding and i think that what you're saying is absolutely true. we have to trust and believe in our bodies. our mind and body connection is crazy strong and truly amazing - i don't think we'll ever understand it fully but that's the beauty of it. also you are very french chic with your bangs, although, you were before too. xo

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  20. Everyone tells me I should watch The Business of Being Born, but I just have a feeling it'll make me feel really guilty. I had twins, c-section at 38 weeks. One was breech, the other transverse and my doctor warned that, if they got much bigger, they could cut off their own blood supplies. I KNOW that it was the right choice, the safest choice, though I still grieve the loss of a spontaneous, vaginal delivery and I carry A LOT of guilt about not going to 40 weeks. But oh, breastfeeding. My attitudes toward breastfeeding have definitely evolved over the years. As, I think, every woman does. It was not the norm in my family. Which is sad, really. Every baby I know was formula fed. But I work in public health. I know breast is the best. Hell, I teach other people that they should breast feed. So when I had my girls, I really wanted to breastfeed, to prove to myself that I could. I couldn't get pregnant on my own, and I couldn't deliver them on my own, so I needed my body to redeem itself, in a way. And I trusted that it could. The problem was, no one else did. Not my family (which didn't surprise me), not my friends, and not even the pediatrician at the hospital. She didn't even let me try. She told me my girls would have to "work too hard" and actually threatened not to discharge us unless I agreed to formula feed. Seriously. Like she could hold us hostage! But there was no medical reason to justify not letting me try, really. I get that she was being cautious - their blood sugar was a little low, their bilirubin levels were a little elevated and they had lost a little bit of their birth weights. But nothing outside of the bounds of normal and expected, especially for c-section babies. Technically, they weren't considered "preemies" and they weren't low birth weight, either. The other pediatricians weren't worried and neither were the lactation consultants, but since they were my first babies, I just didn't know enough to really put my foot down. So I spent a month pumping to rebuild my milk supply, which never really got to the point that I think it would have if I would have had a better start. But, you know what? I stopped supplementing at 6 weeks and breastfeed for a full year. It sounds silly, but that's one of my proudest accomplishments of my whole life. And that damn doctor only served to make me more determined (is "spite" a valid reason to breastfeed?). So I agree with you that women should trust in their bodies. I know you're going to get a lot of gruff for that, but it's true. Women need to trust that their bodies CAN do it - and so do their doctors. And both parties need to let their bodies have a fighting chance before giving up. And I say "fighting" because sometimes, it is. It's not always easy. But if a mother wants to breastfeed, and she is producing milk, there is absolutely no reason that she shouldn't be able to. Doctors should work with patients to find a solution that best fits their needs and the needs of their baby. If the baby needs formula, fine - but if the mother wants to breastfeed, come up with a plan that will get her there! I wish I could have had a better start at breastfeeding. I wish my milk would have come in correctly. I wish I didn't have to spend the first month of my daughters' lives hooked to a breast pump. And I wish that stupid pediatrician had been educated enough about breastfeeding to give us all the start that we deserved. Sadly, I know there are countless women out there who have been discouraged, and it breaks my heart. I hope this film addresses that, and I hope pediatricians see it. I can't wait to see it, myself!

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  21. I always love reading your perspective on things Natalie! I too am working on getting pregnant...man it takes so long! Also, I am always a little sad when I get to the end of each of your posts...why don't they just keep going forever! :)

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  22. Oh Natalie! I love you for this. I loved breastfeeding, and it was hard, and I got sick of it sometimes, and my friend had to fix my latch (wow, never knew friendships would be that intimate) but I am so proud of my body and myself, which is especially good because we women are often encouraged to feel that our bodies aren't right or good or perfect etc. After giving birth and then looking at my son and knowing that every hair, finger, toe was built with the milk I made - I felt so strong. Like, how could anything feel hard after this (OK that feeling went away, and things have been hard again, but I felt like the queen of everything at the time)?

    I think that sharing positive breastfeeding stories helps make it seem like a normal thing that most people can do. So of course bad things happen, but I do think that your average woman can do it, but she needs support and belief in herself.

    And while I do feel for moms who aren't able to breastfeed, I also don't think that we moms should have to apologize when things go right for us!

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    1. No one is asking you to apologize.

      My BF experience was also an absolute joy--she latched instantly, despite a tied tongue, and we shared 20 wonderful months of it (which included nine months of pumping 3-4 times per day when I went back to work), BUT I fully recognize that not everyone is so lucky and am thus cognizant of both their experience and my privilege.

      I am guessing that that is what these other commenters are seeking, and how shameful the implication, even with Natalie's later-added disclaimer, that their BF didn't work because of their "fatalistic self-determinism" or because they didn't _want_ it enough. Tell that to the mother whose milk never came or who had to stop because she her workplace did not provide her the time or space to pump or whose child had a cleft palate or digestive issues.

      I am so happy for you, Alice, and for me and for Natalie and for Rochelle, who commented above, and for everyone who was able to love their BF experience, and I will advocate for BF rights every day (and I do in my job in public health), but part of that advocacy involves empathy for those who did not have our same fortune, no matter how hard we had to work at it.

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    2. hi! i just wanted to clarify again that i was not saying breastfeeding is a matter of wanting it hard enough. what i am saying is, in my life i have never gone into something knowing i would do it. and with breastfeeding, i did it. it was hard and it hurt and for three months straight i worried over my supply, but i knew through it that it was going to work. and realizing this has made me question the way i approach other things in my life. i know this is a loaded topic, i probably shouldn't have gone there at all, and i can completely empathize with how my good fortune might suck for someone who didn't have good fortune. hi, i'm infertile. i know about this feeling. but it wasn't my intent at all, and maybe some day i'll be eloquent enough in my writing that i can convey my thoughts more clearly.

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    3. Hello Natalie. I think you were eloquent enough, pretty eloquent I may add. The thing is these are topics that more than often touch a deep fiber that is very sensible. But you did no wrong sharing your pride on that good thing you did breastfeeding your baby. You share here about the good and also about the hard, difficult and not so good. So don't feel bad and please keep on writing and keep on sharing eloquently as you always do!

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    4. Empathy with other moms is important, especially when advocating for each other.

      But we women are often asked to keep ourselves small when talking about our accomplishments out of fear of hurting other people. I don't think it hurts women to acknowledge that belief in oneself is a positive factor in breastfeeding and life. I found it inspiring.

      It would be like saying that I shouldn't celebrate my hard work in training for a marathon (if I ever ran one, whoa, no) because it would hurt people who can't run. While I believe we should empathize with women who can't breastfeed, I think that it's encouraging to hear that a mom who I like and respect (via the internet), but who I know has struggled with believing in herself, found that trusting her body led to a successful experience. I was lucky to be able to breastfeed, but I also believed in myself and worked really hard at it (pumping in airplanes, gross bathrooms, porta johns, clients' cars...).

      Thanks for addressing a difficult topic.

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  23. My aunt and uncle adopted a baby about three years ago. A few months before the baby was born, my aunt started taking supplements and using a breast pump regularly. By the time the baby was born, she was lactating like a woman who had given birth, and had a bit of a supply built up too. She was able to breastfeed her newly adopted daughter for several months. Isn't that cool? She believes it helped so much with the bonding that is often difficult for a mother who is adopting.

    I love your writing. My husband and I are moving to NYC in January and I can hardly wait to see it all. You make it sound like every day is a new adventure.

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  24. I love your blog and I appreciate the way you talk about difficult subjects. I think it would be impossible to write something about breastfeeding that doesn't upset *some* people. It's obviously a touchy subject that people have strong feelings about. Thank you for sharing, and I'm really glad that breastfeeding went well for you! I'm interested in the movie, but I'm not sure I could watch it without getting really upset.

    Thanks for having such a great blog, and for being brave enough to write about the big stuff.

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  25. you brave, brave lady! thank you for sharing your insights with us. never commented before (although am an obsessive reader of your awesome blog) but WOWZERS isn't breastfeeding such a crazy loaded topic? i seriously applaud your honesty, it's so refreshing. all these comments basically reiterate the whole tenor of your post - how breastfeeding is this huge issue for us culturally, especially for women - just you going "there" makes me respect what you're doing here in this forum even more. i had a totally different experience than you in pregnancy and breastfeeding - but didn't we all? isn't it all so personal? - i truly think your blog is courageous. it's also totally funny, extremely well-written and inspirational silly. just my "two cents"!

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  26. Your son is so cute! I'm glad you bring up topics that many people won't talk about -Hanna Lei

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  27. I have 5 sisters and the opinions on The Business of Being Born vary. The opinions range from a sister who thinks it is propaganda and then there is that of my home birthing sister who gives it out to those expecting. I always enjoy asking what people think of that documentary and seeing which sister they would get along with best :).

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  28. I just wrote a long comment, and then deleted by accident... bah. Haters gonna hate, I think you spoke your peace in a very loving and inspiring way. Bodies are weird not getting pregnant and making milk when they are supposed to, love yourself, love your body, have faith, and take heart.

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  29. Hi Love your blog!It seems to me that I spent years trying not to fall pregnant,years trying to fall pregnant&now Im back at trying not to fall pregnant.Would love another baby but we just cant afford it right now.But Im scared Im going to leave it too late&then not be able to!As for breastfeeding i so wanted to&was doing great until...stress,other people&being totally scared&unsure stepped in.Soon my milk dried up.I was heartbroken.The things us women go through&sometimes the total lack of knowledge&support!!!

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  30. Thanks Natalie for sharing this post and being so honest in sharing YOUR experience with the world. It is impossible for women to read about pregnancy and breastfeeding and not be personally invested when they have gone through their own pregnancy and breastfeeding experiences. But thank you for sharing about the deeper trust you are having in your own body. I am a mom to a 17-month boy and trying for a second with no luck yet. What I love about this post (as well as all your other posts about your experiences) is the HOPE and FAITH that I feel in your words. I feel your unwavering faith, no matter what is thrown at you, and that gives me hope. This gives me comfort too - Jeramiah 29:11. Thank you x a gazillion Natalie!

    p.s. I L.O.V.E. that last photo of huck. "also. spiderman." haha! you make me laugh. the end.

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  31. I'm so jealous of your reservation at Landmarc for Thanksgiving! I actually work IN that building in the offices above the mall and our cafeteria has the most amazing view of the park entrance...and I don't think they let people in to watch the parade. If they do, I've never heard about it. Boo.

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  32. ha. the spiderman. made my day :)

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  33. "i've never gone into anything knowing i could do it before even starting, and this is starting to make me rethink the whole way i live my life."

    Maybe it's because I'm not a mom that I don't really understand the difficulty of breast feeding... In fact, I learned a lot reading about the challenges and joys of breast feeding just from reading these comments! But what I really found striking about your post is that this was the first thing in your life that you felt like you knew you could do something. I hope you are able to find that confidence in so many aspects of you life.

    Believe in yourself! You are an beautiful human being, adored by an all-loving God. With that in mind, I try to live each day having the confidence to know I will succeed at what I try, even if it's tough. And scary.

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  34. I love coming on your blog because it's like having a phone call with your best friend. You and your boys are like sunshine, Natalie!

    Flora
    www.twowithseven.blogspot.co.uk

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  35. I read recently that the age you think you're going to die is a lot of times the age you actually die, isn't that interesting? I think your will to do something can really go a long way.

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  36. Oh gosh, I can't even tell you how jealous I am that you will get to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade! It is my DREAM to go there someday!! And how perfect that you will be somewhere nice and warm while you watch :)
    xo TJ

    http://www.hislittlelady.com

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  37. Hello! I just would like to give a huge thumbs up for the great info you have here on this post. I will be coming back to your blog for more soon.but i found cheap wristbands thank you for sharing

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  38. hi! This is probably one of my favorite posts of yours of all time. Between Huck's adorable musings about what he is thankful for and what people eat and your husband's awesome animal photography skills and lastly, but most importantly, your thoughts on the NYC documentary specifically when you wrote:

    "and i've been thinking about the lack of trust we women seem to have in our own bodies sometimes, and how we think we have to fight our bodies, and how we might assume they aren't good enough on their own, just the way they are, in whatever shape they happen to be in... and i guess i always think about this stuff when i'm trying to get pregnant, because these days i don't trust my body to do anything. but i'm starting to think our bodies are onto us. i think there's a healthy amount of fatalistic self-determinism happening here. and i sometimes wonder if maybe the only reason i was able to nurse as long and as happily as i did was because, stupidly, and for whatever reason, i went into it knowing that i would. i've never gone into anything knowing i could do it before even starting, and this is starting to make me rethink the whole way i live my life."

    You have a gift. Thank you for sharing!

    www.innerpeach.blogspot.com

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  39. Natalie!!
    You've done i again! I looooove - repeat: looooove your "chain-of-thought" posts!! I love them! And you make it work! Most people don't. But it's all because of your amazing abiliy to write like a dream. Literally. I start dreaming when you write. My imagination and creativity go crazy.
    Thank you! Keep doing what you do!!
    http://youngandhitched.com/

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