Breastfeeding & Why I Got Postpartum Depression
I have a confession to make.
I would have been one of those women who bragged about her successful breastfeeding into the toddler years.
I would have lorded my ability over others.
Even if it wouldn't have been overt,
I would have felt my superiority as a mother over those who didn't stick it out, who didn't try their hardest to give their child what was "best."
I know I would have.
If breastfeeding had been easy for me (well, you know, as easy as breastfeeding can be), I wouldn't have given it another thought.
I would have thought that some of us were just more "naturally" inclined, more willing to do everything to, to put our children first.
And that's why I got postpartum depression and anxiety.
I mean, literally and figuratively.
I was headed there anyway, most likely.
That unstable mix of hormones, a new life, the recognition of the fragility of mortality, the goddamn insanity of it all.
But I slipped rapidly there when breastfeeding wasn't working.
When the sounds of the pump and my own tears became unbearable.
When I woke in the night, trying so desperately to feed her, begging to be hospitalized because I could feel my brain breaking.
I was given the gift of postpartum depression and anxiety so that I was humbled.
I was brought to my knees
To the edge.
To the point of no return.
I don't get to be that proud woman who kept her baby alive through sheer will and her body alone.
I don't get to brag.
I don't get to shove my success in the face of others.
And thank god for that.
Because otherwise, how would I have known what it is to be humble in the face of another mother?