I like to be good at things right from the start. I usually don't continue with new things unless I excel at them from the beginning. At the risk of sounding conceited, there are lot of things I'm good at, so why bother wasting time on the things I'm not?
Breastfeeding has been a completely different story. Before I had Lilah, I didn't know much about breastfeeding. I only knew that I wanted very much to be successful at it, and was prepared to work at it because I knew it was both challenging and important.
I had heard all about my sister's struggles with breastfeeding her first child, and I was under no illusions that it would be easy, even though it should be the most natural thing in the world. But I never thought it would be as difficult as it turned out to be. I figured we'd have things down pat after a few weeks of struggle. Probably because of Lilah's reflux and almost constant tummy troubles, conquering breastfeeding has been one of the single most difficult things I have ever done. I am quite sure that, without the advice and inspiration I received from my sister, and without the postpartum consulting our doula did for us, I would never have persevered. But persevere I did, and I am DAMN proud of myself (and Lilah!) for hanging in there. Nothing could be as rewarding as simultaneously nourishing and bonding with my daughter.
Another thing I did not anticipate was becoming so passionate about breastfeeding in general. I can't express how proud I am to be part of a local (and global) community of breastfeeding mothers. It's not just a way of feeding your baby, it's a way of life. Breastfeeding is a huge commitment; truly a lifestyle choice, but one that I would like to see more and more families make. And that can only happen through advocacy and education.
If you'd asked me a couple of years ago, I probably would have said that Salma Hayek putting that orphan baby to her breast in Africa was a bit creepy and maybe overstepping her boundaries. Now I would not hesitate to breastfeed another woman's starving baby. That's why this article brought me to tears and inspired me to write this entry. If stories like this happened more often, the world would be a better place.