I don’t imagine the majority of you are terribly concerned with what my boobs are doing these days, but for those who have asked: I’m not breastfeeding Dylan. This is not a personal choice I made, but rather a sort of crappy and ongoing medical issue that prevents me from doing so.

I knew it wasn’t a possibility for me to breastfeed before I got pregnant, and I hope you’ll understand when I say I didn’t find that a big enough deterrent to avoid having another baby. I’ve had well-meaning friends ask if I planned to breastfeed this time around and I found myself flat-out lying (“Well, I’m definitely going to try . . .”) instead of just telling the truth, because it makes me feel — well, ashamed, I guess. I feel shitty admitting I can’t do something that nearly every other mother on earth can do; it’s all wrapped up in a weird package of guilt and inadequacy for not having “normal” births or being able to feed my child without my good friend Similac and around and around it goes.

I don’t feel concerned that giving him formula will cause him problems, but I do feel sad that the positive benefits of breastfeeding will never be part of my parenting experience. It is what it is, though, and as long as my boys are healthy and happy the details of how they made their exit from my body and what they ate in their first six months aren’t worth dwelling over. So I tell myself, anyway, but of course it’s often hard to follow your own best advice.

At any rate, he’s eating like a champ (seriously, it’s unreal: at this rate those spindly appendages will be Michelin-sized in no time) and it’s nice that JB is able to feed him too and, you know, silver linings.

To address another recent FAQ, if you’ve made a baby-related purchase lately (from Motherhood Maternity, say), you may have received a coupon brochure from a Large Purveyor of Consumer Goods sporting some familiar images. Specifically, images of your intrepid author shamelessly flaunting her stretched-beyond-belief pink underwear for all the world to see:

brochure_belly.jpg

That’s right, people, it’s MY ASS on the Huggies brochure. Dear god. Anyway, in case you were concerned they ripped me off Sweetney-style, never fear, the good people at Kimberly-Clark licensed those images fair and square. My butt is officially a marketing vehicle for The Man.

Lastly, BEHOLD:

d_squall08.jpg

The scary thing? I still think he’s cute when he’s doing this. Biological programming cannot be denied, even when your child looks like an angry, crumpled-up newspaper.

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Angella
14 years ago

I think he is beautiful.

As for the whole breastfeeding thing? My mom only gave me formula and there is nothing (really) wrong with me. I don’t think you can blame my kooky-ness on formula.

I had issues with breastfeeding my second child, and my doctor said the best thing to me:

“Breast milk does not affect your mothering skills. You are doing the best that you can, and that is what counts.”

Jo
Jo
14 years ago

So cute, love the crumpled newspaper comment and good lord he has big feet! He sure doesn’t look like he’s losing sleep about how he came into the world or how he’s being fed ;)

Annsy
Annsy
14 years ago

A week after our pediatrician told me that it was in my son’s best interest that I switch to formula, because my milk was apparently drying up (at six months, I always had low milk supply due to PCOS) and my son was not gaining weight, our resident La Leche nazi gave me a lecture on how formula is poison (as I was giving my son a bottle full of said poison). I said, “Yes, but it’s not as bad as starving my kid.” Outwardly brave, but crying inside.

I’m not pregnant yet with my second, but I still don’t know what I will choose to do about breastfeeding. Having a low milk supply was devastating, and difficult.

And your little dude is SO cute and squishy!

Regina
Regina
14 years ago

Nice ASS!!!!

And don’t feel about bad (i know easier said blah blah blah) about the breastfeeding and birthing thing, when my brother was born (early 70’s) he was ripped outta my mom the natural way even though he was breech, mistake that could have killed both of them but it did make my father pass out on the floor and my mother scream many expletives at the doctors in the room for NOT showing her her son soon enough long story… then she tried to BF and thought she was ok, next doctors visit ” you better switch to formula or you are gonna kill that boy!” yeah just what a first time mommy needs to hear! but all turned out well and he has 2 children himself,( as a side his wife delivered c-section as well, twice, never breastfed, and the whole happy family is by all accounts well adjusted.. well at least the children are cute!) BTW Dylan is beautiful!

leigh
leigh
14 years ago

Linda,

He is gorgeous even when he is squishy face mad.

There is nothing more rabid than the pro-breastfeeding momma mafia. Don’t get me started. I only breastfed for 4 weeks (this was 13 years ago) and I was made to feel like a criminal then!

My now almost 14 year old is sick about once every three years for about 24 hours.

You are a great mom and your kids are very, very lucky to have you.

Besides, I wasn’t breastfed (early 60s) and look how…oh wait. Not a good argument. Did I mention that my son is doing great?

Lisa
14 years ago

First of all, because I haven’t commented yet on your previous posts – CONGRATULATIONS! Your pics of him are unbelievable and make me want to scoop him up, kiss those baby soft cheeks and sniff that newborn smell!

And secondly, if you’re a good mom, as I’m pretty sure everyone around here would agree that you are, who gives a shit how they’re being fed! To hell with the over-opinionated fools who think booby milk is the only way to go.

I BF’d all 3 of my kids but supplemented with formula from day one. (Couldn’t be bothered to pump – God bless the women who do!) And I still faced criticism for that decision – you know, the whole, must BF solely blah blah blah crap. Well all 3 turned out quite fine, thank you very much.

Oh – and I sent all 3 of my kids to the nursery at night with instructions to bottle feed (unless they wouldn’t take it of course) just so I could get some sleep for what would be the last time for months – years on end. I know…I must be an awful mommy, right? HA

My point is (and I do have one, though I know I’m rambling here) is that no matter what decision you make, someone wants to pick it apart to prove that you’re doing it wrong or that their way is the right way.

Just keep up the good work and remember that if you are happy and the kids are happy – that’s all that matters right now!

Pam
Pam
14 years ago

Why lament something that can’t possibly be? You are right to let it go. No big deal. It wasn’t a choice for you. So many women who DO BF, freak the fuck out if you don’t make the same choice as they. I BF all three of my guys but also let my husband bottle feed them when convenient.
I had three cesareans and never felt anything negative about it. It was the only way to safely transport my baby from me to the world.
All breasts are AWESOME, not just breastfeeding ones. I like how they fill out my tee shirts ;)
Great news on the ad too!!!

Amy
Amy
14 years ago

the whole emotional post partum roller coaster can really suck sometimes. I had medical complications and couldn’t breast feed my second son….I still feel guilty about it sometimes (he’s 3 1/2) but he’s just fine….and as smart and sassy as the first one! Congrats again…you have such a beautiful family….and Similac or not, you rate as one of the world’s great moms in my book!

JennyM
14 years ago

MONCH MONCH MONCH.

(Dylan, I mean, not your ass, although that’s cool.)

I can’t over parental experience, but for what it’s worth, my sister and I were both bottle-fed exclusively and we are now both (relatively) well-adjusted contributing-to-society adults. S-m-r-t, too!

Donna
Donna
14 years ago

Okay, that might be what I needed to offset the mooshy stuff! That picture is priceless.

Jennifer
Jennifer
14 years ago

RAISIN BABY

Adorable.

Megan
Megan
14 years ago

I think it has become a serious need for me to eat those tiny feet. You don’t mind do you??

God Linda, I swear the amount of cuteness that radiates from your boys makes my ovaries kick into overdrive. Love love love!

SJ
SJ
14 years ago

Linda! Don’t be so hard on yourself when it comes to not breastfeeding! You do what’s best for you and your situation which duh, you are!) and who cares if anyone else has something to say about it. It’s your choice. It’s your baby. It’s YOUR life. For what it’s worth, I support you.

And wow! Your famous! I mean why wouldn’t you be, you are all that and a bag of chips in my book!

That photo is priceless – he’s amazingly adorable! And scrunchy!

Katie
Katie
14 years ago

I got my Huggies ad today and was disapointed I got the ‘big kid’ ad and you were not in it. :(

I am so amazed at how you can put things into words – crumpled up newspaper – so good.

Oh and I hated every minute of breastfeeding.

Samantha
Samantha
14 years ago

I know exactly what you are talking about with breastfeeding. For whatever reason, my milk never came in, no matter what we tried. My hubby, after all of the advice, lactation consultant meetings, herbal teas, and whatever, finally sat me down and told me to stop driving myself crazy with it. I felt like an imperfect mother.
That was then. I know now that I did the best I could as a mom. I am glad you wrote about this, and also mentioning the part about it not mattering how your children made their way into the world, also. My daughter was born via an emergency c-section, and because of past surgeries, when we have another baby, I will not have any other choice but to have a c-section.

Dylan is absolutely beautiful.

Kristy
14 years ago

I think he’s adorable doing that too and I’m not his Mommy. Congrats to your entire family.

the goddess anna
the goddess anna
14 years ago

I’d like to throw my support in on this one too. I couldn’t breastfeed through a fault of my own, and I still feel guilt over it. If only my youth was not so reckless… anyway, I say now that it’s not so much whether you’re feeding him breastmilk or formula, it’s the fact that you love him. Of course, he’s too adorable not to love (Is it just me, or does he have some big feet? They’re so cute!).

I’m starting to get baby fever coming here!

Donna
Donna
14 years ago

I never even wanted to breast feed, and didn’t. My kids were fine. My daughter has breast fed all 4 of her kids, I don’t know why, it seemed like a pain in the ass to me, she got infections, the kids got thrush, and no one else could feed them. I think the only reason she did was because it was cheaper, and she got to go away by herself whenever she wanted. Or not if she didn’t.
I think that shit is highly overated.
Yummy for my tummy toes, I love him! And sly you, not telling us that you were modeling after we all said you should.
And you’ve still not said what the docs said about the henna…..

Lesley
Lesley
14 years ago

Don’t feel bad about the bottle-feeding. What’s most important is the quality of mommying and you are grade A!

Hee, in that pic Dylan looks like he’d be a good candidate for Baby Botox (if such a ridiculous thing existed…)

Grumps or no grumps, D’s extremely yummy looking. In a heartbeat would I adopt that kid.

PS. If you can make money selling pix to the man all the more power to you. Raising kids costs a lot of money and it’s hard work, too.

Jess
14 years ago

OOOHHHH Yummy little man!! Must kiss kiss!!

aoife
aoife
14 years ago

While there are undeniable benefits to breastfeeding (and some serious drawbacks such as being tethered like a dog for months on end), don’t you think for a moment that you are losing out. You can be just as close and attentive to a bottle fed baby as you can to a nursing one – paying attention does not necessarily involve a boob. I’ve seen inattentive nursing and bottlefeeding and close loving nursing and bottlefeeding.

Good on you.

willikat
14 years ago

ok: thanks for giving me some total hilarity. yuo manage to offset your woes so classically with this humor. i will be laughing for days, like the others about not finding not breastfeeding a big enough deterrent. can i just say, i’m sure it’s great and all, but i have heard it HURTS. and who wants that? i mean, you already did a really hurt-y thing, i think that’s enough of a mommy contribution. also, i was a formula baby and barely was ever sick (besides those blasted baby ear infections) and i did really well in school, and i ended up taller than all the females in my family. so there ya go. it’s not all bad. also, you gotta feel good about a body that’s featured in NATIONAL ADVERTISING.

Sharri
Sharri
14 years ago

I also could not breastfeed my son for a medical issue, even after trying. (A medical issue not having to do with breastfeeding.) And I went through the guilt and everything you said. You do feel guilty pouring up a bottle around mamas who breastfeed. It’s almost like you didn’t try “hard enough” – but you have raised one beautiful child already, and are embarking on another. I’m glad you have it in perspective.

Jen
Jen
14 years ago

So funny. What is that perfectly newborn-sized chair thingy he’s frogging up in? Very cute.

Emily
14 years ago

Dude, does he have Riley’s Patented Weird Toe?

K
K
14 years ago

Definitely don’t let anyone make you feel ashamed or inadequate for not being able to breastfeed. As someone who can’t get pregnant, I’d be ecstatic to be able to have a baby and just not be able to nurse.

Angela
Angela
14 years ago

Omigosh – just too adorable (the baby), well, I like your undie too. It’s cute but the baby is much much cuter. :) Don’t you love it when they get so pissed. I always laugh when my kids scream. Their faces always get squashed up and red. Can’t help laughing!

I breastfed my son until 3 months and pumped until 6 months then he was on formula. I nursed my daughter and still do and she’s almost 9 months. I’m not bragging or anything but I wanted to point out that people who nurse also get criticized. My own dad told me to quit nursing so he could get in some bottle time with his grandson. pfft! Nurse or not nurse, it is YOUR choice and others should accept it. period. It does not bother me if someone else nursed or formula-fed. They have their reasons just like you do. :) To be quite honest, 85% of the time, I wish I could put my daughter on the formula and be done with it but she won’t accept the bottle and that’s another story.

Jennifer
Jennifer
14 years ago

Oh my gosh, he is soooo precious, makes me kind of say my baby days are over… okay, maybe not! HA!

Elisette
14 years ago

Eh, screw it. I breastfed the 1st kid for 1 month and the second for 7.5 months, I was all ‘Go Boob’ beforehand and ‘Dude, this sucks’ afterwards. I hate when people talk about what a rewarding and bonding experience it is. These people probably get ‘high on life’ too.

Meagan
14 years ago

He looks sort of like he’s plotting to take over the world. Start early kid! You certainly shouldn’t feel guilty about not being able to breast feed… or even not choosing to breast feed if you COULD. All a parent can do is what they feel is the best thing, it’s a shame that parents get so furious about how other parents practice that. I’m sorry you feel ashamed… I hope it doesn’t stick with you too long and I hope no one gives you cause to feel it anymore than you already do (psst, don’t post about it on parentdish).

Annagrace
14 years ago

Birth is such a charged issue that I’m proud of you for not sharing more of whatever the problem “issues” are than you feel comfortable with. The important thing is that you’ve made the best, or perhaps only, decision you could under the circumstances and you STILL get to be mama to two amazing and beautiful boys. So you didn’t get to labor, so you don’t get to breastfeed–plenty of women can’t even be mamas. And you’re a really, really Good mama.

Frema
14 years ago

I’m still very new to this whole motherhood business and can’t believe I have my own breastfeeding story to share, but I do.

Before my daughter Kara was born, I was determined to do the best I could in the breastfeeding department. I read books, took classes, selected a pediatrician who had a solid knowledge base in that area, and so on. Once she was here (c-section, thanks to her being an ELEVEN-POUND BABY, OH MY GOD), the first forty-eight hours went well, but after three days she was starving and my milk was still in the transitional stage. She cried for six hours straight before I finally caved and allowed my husband to feed her an ounce of formula. While she slept soundly, I bawled because all The Books said I had just sabotaged my nursing efforts. I sobbed until I couldn’t catch my breath out of fear that I had blown it for us.

Once we got home, the problems continued, and on Christmas Eve morning, one week after she was born, we had another awful night and I said enough. I pumped until she was four weeks, but I couldn’t put her on the boob anymore without losing any confidence I had as a mom.

(I promise, I do have a point.)

During my brief bout with nursing, there were wonderful moments, but I have wonderful moments feeding her with a bottle, too, and don’t think our bond is any less strong than if I were still nursing. (The only reasons I wanted to breastfeed in the first place were for the health benefits and cost of buying formula.) I had gotten myself so worked up about what all the experts were saying that I forgot to enjoy my baby, who already is growing up so fast it scares me. I also forgot that no matter what feeding method you choose, breast milk or formula, it’s really such a small part of the overall parenting experience that I gave it more importance than it deserved. But I suppose that’s normal; it’s much easier to focus on our shortcomings than our strengths, especially since so many people are willing to point them out to us.

So, I guess what I’m trying to say is your reasons for using formula don’t matter. What matters is the love you bring to your children every day. In ten years, they won’t remember how they were fed, but they WILL remember how much their momma loved them.

Lastly, Dylan is adorable. :)

honeybecke
honeybecke
14 years ago

Huh, I actually read every single comment for this post. Inneresting.
I had my own boob drama with my first baby that I wasted waaaay to much ‘new mommy time’ on. With my second I was all, OK I’ll try but if he refuses like his brudder than to heck with it. He nursed until last month (6 mos) when he suddenly weaned himself and I have to say I didn’t mind a bit. (He also bottle fed because hello, I am NOT going to be the only one able to feed this bebe.)

Neat about the huggies ad! I wonder if you will score a bunch of Huggies coupons along with your payment? Lord knows two kids in diapers is expen$ive!!! I work the sales and the double coupons to keep my two boys in fresh dipes.

Super super pictures of D!

thejunebug
14 years ago

I probably won’t be able to breastfeed, and guess what? I’m not telling the internet why, EITHER. I think it’s a pretty good indication that you’ve never disclosed why because you don’t want the world to know. Period. :)

Dylan is such a cute baby! Oh, I love all of his faces, and his little frog feet kill me. Showing my husband your baby pics are wearing down his defenses and giving him baby fever… muahahaha.

And I have to say, you make a fabulous pregnant model. :)

thejunebug
14 years ago

Oh, and I should say that the only reason I would be curious as to your reasons would be to see if they are similar to my own. But that would be really difficult, because I’m not disclosing MY reasons. Hah.

biscuit
biscuit
14 years ago

I’m breast feeding, but it’s driving me fucking nuts. I know it’s nourishing to the baby, but to me not so much. I’m cranky, I leak + Daddy gets to rest through the night. So not fair. I tried to get her on formula to relieve some of the stress, but she won’t even take a bottle. I even tried giving her a bottle of breast milk + she turned her nose up to that too. I don’t feel like I’m bonding either when I’m feeding her.

The grass is SO not greener on the titty milk front! ACK!

Louise
14 years ago

He may be pissed off, but he’s still soooooo adorable!! :o)

I can just imagine that when Riley and Dylan are in their 30’s and bringing home their own little bundles of joy to visit you and JB, I really don’t think you’ll have a second thought about whether you breastfeed or formula fed them, so don’t give it another thought and just enjoy those two beautiful boys….

Deanna
Deanna
14 years ago

Don’t worry about the B-feeding issues. Bottle or breast… either one is great. Dylan is just adorable ! Would love to see more pictures of Riley holding his baby bro.
Take care and enjoy these moments. Hugs to all.

Penny
Penny
14 years ago

They don’t remember their passage into the world, nor what they ate the first years of their life. What they do remember is the love, care, and all the wonderful things you teach them. (like how crawl, walk, talk, play, smile, etc) I do believe the myth of natural childbirth being the best etc, came from a stuck up woman who found out she has ugly kids! And the whole breast feeding thing is practically a cult. I couldn’t breastfeed mine either for medical issues and they grew just fine and were healthy. Don’t sweat it.

Melissa
Melissa
14 years ago

I already commented above but found the other comments wonderfully supportive and just wanted to say you’ve got some damn fine readers here! Linda, you are doing all of us some good by sharing SOME of the experiences in your life. As you can see, many of us can relate. I’m also glad that you don’t share everything, especially something so personal as any specific medical issue. I have my own private medical issues that I haven’t even revealed to most of my family and close friends. I really respect that. Hope you’re managing to get some sleep, girl. :)

Rachel
14 years ago

Breastfeeding’s weird, isn’t it? I planned to with my first and was utterly wrecked when it didn’t work out for us. And then she was colicky, and because I wasn’t nursing I could hand her to somebody and say “you take her” and go sleep for five or six hours. Thinking about what I will do when I have my second, I have no idea–I think not nursing was very very good for my mental health, and to be honest I deep down don’t really want to do it with the second, but I want to give my baby every advantage I can and you KNOW about the cultural pressure.

At any rate, the baby’s warm and fed and loved (and deliciously squishy), and really that’s what counts.

Her Ladyship
14 years ago

Rock star! How many pregnant women can get a national campaign based on their underwear (or regular women, for that matter)? Congrats!

Frannie
Frannie
14 years ago

You are aware that it says “Valuable Coupons Inside” arrow pointing to your bum. Free gift with purchase!
I can’t believe it. How does one manage to be a Huggies model?! That’s awesome!

E
E
14 years ago

JB gets to say he’s married to an underwear model, and IT WOULD BE TRUE! You’re such a sexy thang!

I liked what another commenter said when she said, “…those other mothers, WHY ARE THEY SO MEAN?” And also, not everyone can breastfeed (me included) and that’s why we have formula–so our babies can, you know, LIVE.

Oh, and also, those feet on that little guy…I want to eat them up! My ovaries are a’hurtin.

Tara
Tara
14 years ago

I hope you got a nice check for that a$$. But–does that make you a ho? ;)

I think you’re a wonderful mom. Breastfeeding does not equal perfect parenting, and even medical issues aside, it’s not for everyone. You’re focusing on what’s important–kudos! (oh, and I, too, love the crumpled-newspaper simile!)

Sarah
14 years ago

I just had to say A-men to Pam:

“It was the only way to safely transport my baby from me to the world.”

After my c-section everyone around me expressed such remorse that I was not a candidate for VBAC and referred me to the iCAN website to talk about the negative feelings and grief many women feel regarding their birth experiences with c-sections. While I recognize that all those around me meant well, I felt terrible for being HAPPY that I wasn’t able to have a VBAC. After the crazy-making of being ridiculously overdue and then the very scary entrance that Elliott made, it feels wonderful to have one thing totally and completely decided for me the next time around. Of course, recovery from a c-section SUCKS ASS, but if it ensures a safe and healthy LIVE baby, then sign me up.

Linda, it’s pretty clear that we think you and your little ones are completely awesome and that you’re a great mom. Congratulations on bringing a scrumptious little STP into the world!

K
K
14 years ago

Breastfeeding is great and all, but do you notice every publication has the same BS from the breastfeeding mafia about how it’s best for baby and brain development, blah, blah, blah? As if parenting doesn’t come with enough guilt, they need to lay it on that way, too.

Of course, those words are from the same people who said I wouldn’t have heartburn and/or stretch marksif I had managed to keep my weight in check so they’re clearly full o’crap.

sara
14 years ago

I’m sure everyone has said it, I”m going to say it again anyway. Don’t let yourself trip over this breast feeding thing. Go back and read your own post on stay at home mom’s vs working mom’s. It’s all the same. It’s all true. I think the less confident we are as parents the more we second guess everything we do.

Boob or not, stay home or not, get drunk, do drugs, end up in jail or not. You are the only mommy those boys have, those boys want. don’t let stupid people steal your joy. they really aren’t worth it, seriously. You’re a great mom, you’re boys will vouge for it.

and Dylan, he’s cute, adorable, even when he’s doing that!

Zannah
14 years ago

Ha! Actually husband and I did comment on the fact that your chest is HUGE!!! I hope your milk dries up quickly and you aren’t too uncomfortable. Try cold from the fridge cabbage leaves to help with heat and for some crazy reason, they dry up milk. Also, they conveniently conform to breasts with their cupped shape. Very refreshing!

Sweet Sundry! Parenting is difficult all the way around without second guessing your choices and decisions. You and JB are doing what is best for your family, that is all that matters. Good luck in the coming weeks and enjoy as the brothers’ relationship blooms.

ang
ang
14 years ago

Damn, I’m sorry!!! I was just being nosy, and not in a hateful judgemental way at all. More along the lines of that ocd friend who constantly rearranges things and needs to analyze every detail. I didn’t mean to imply that Linda was letting down her readers because she didn’t itemize every detail as to why she couldn’t whip out the boob and feed the boy already. I didn’t breastfeed because I was an emotional wreck after childbirth. I figured I had already given the kid my waistline, my fantastic genes, and the next 18 years of my savings. I could keep my boobs to myself.