By Crystal Lewis Brown, Leader staffApril 24, 2009
For 12 weeks, four days and 10 hours, I\'ve been obsessed with milk.
Specifically, breast milk.
Making it, storing it, using it - it is what is on my mind most of my waking hours, and sometimes, even while I sleep. I decided before my son was born that I would nurse him. The goal was six months with nothin
g but breast milk. I took the classes, read the books and logged onto the Web sites.
By the time he was born, I was ready to embark on this challenge, which I had hoped would come easily. And for six weeks, it did.
And then I went back to work.
Since then, my adventure in being a nursing, working mother has become the stuff of bad soap operas.
I lug around a pump large enough to be a tackle box, and try my best to inconspicuously carry it from home to work each week. Every few hours, I lock myself into an office, hoping no one will drop by while I'm in the middle of a pumping session.
I decline lunch dates with my co-workers and husband so I can go by and nurse my son.
And most recently, I have literally almost cried over spilled milk.
Don't get me wrong - I am glad to have had the experience. I have done all the research about why "breast is best." I enjoy being able to do this for my son, and I like the closeness we have at the end of a long day.
But whereas many mothers seem to fill their babies' bottles in the time it takes to drink a cup of coffee, for me, it's an everyday struggle.
The encouragement I have received from other mothers is what has gotten me this far. "Your baby will be healthier," I've heard.
And the support I've received from the few La Leche League meetings I've been able to attend on post has also been heartening.
But every so often, a negative comment makes me want to give up.
"Don't you want your baby to grow'"
I've been asked, as though I'm purposely holding out on giving my baby the precious nutrients he needs.
What I have come to realize is that the decision on what and how much to feed my son is a personal one, and I am happy with the decision I have made so far.
I know that whether I continue to nurse him another three months or decide to give him formula, I'm doing what my husband and I think is best for our child - not following someone else's idea of what they think we should do.
When I look into my son's eyes and see him smile at me, or see his eyes follow me across the room in curiosity, I know I'm doing the right thing.
And that is all that matters.