I am currently pregnant with baby number two and so there are a lot of things I have been thinking about lately. I had to have an emergency c-section with Max (I wasn’t even in labour, long story) and so one of the main things on my mind is to VBAC or not to VBAC? I will be seeing a consultant soon and I will then be told if I can or can’t even try for a vbac, which having spoken to others, seems like the choice I am (currently) leaning towards. I have thought a lot though about having an elective caesarean. Why though does the thought make me feel guilty? Plenty of people have them, I’ve had one before and so will know what’s coming, and I certainly don’t see it as an ‘easy’ option (the pain and after-care are so much worse).
I think, it is the thought of the look on the mid-wife’s face when I say I am having an elective section. Or just the other mummy’s at the classes I go to, when they cast their judging glance. Firstly, I know I shouldn’t care. My body, my baby, my decision. But why do we all judge each other so much as parents, sometimes when the baby hasn’t even been born yet?!
Then, once you’ve decided how to actually have the baby, there is the choice of breastfeeding or not. I breastfed Max until he was 9 months old, mainly because I just thought ‘it’s what you do’, and of course it was mentioned at every ante-natal appointment. I wouldn’t exactly say I enjoyed it, the early stages were particularly hard and I found it pretty tough but I stuck with it and it became easier. One thing I did do though was express milk. Sometimes, if I knew we had a long journey coming up or just wanted to not breastfeed in public, I would express milk and then Max would be given it through a bottle.
I knew I was giving him breastmilk, and I don’t think there is anything wrong with getting them use to a bottle after a few months, so it didn’t phase me. Sometimes it was a welcome relief. I also think it looks completely different in a bottle to formula so I thought people would be able to tell the difference too. Not so. The amount of times I gave him expressed milk in a bottle and the comments I received or the looks I was given were awful. Why do people have to be so rude and judgemental? Especially as it was actually breast milk. If it wasn’t though, why does it matter to them? If someone chooses to formula feed it is their choice. Sometimes it isn’t even their choice. They may be heartbroken that they can’t breastfeed and the judging looks and comments aren’t going to make anyone else feel any better.
I guess the feeling guilty happens at all stages with a newborn and then it continues to being a toddler. We were recently visiting with a family and I had given Max half a chocolate biscuit. It’s not something he gets everyday, and lets face it, it was only half. He had had a healthy breakfast of porridge and banana, some grapes mid-morning and then roast beef and steamed veg for his lunch. So I didn’t see anything wrong with half a chocolate biscui in the afternoon. Anyway, I digress. The mum of the family said to Max ‘Oh, that is so bad for you’.
Thanks for that.
What was expected that a nearly two year would do? Agree and say ‘Yes, you’re right, I better throw it away’?? I couldn’t believe it. If I make a decision for my child, such as giving him a chocolate biscuit, it is my decision. Why do we feel the need to comment on other mothers decisions, even when they are in the same room?
The list, or should I say guilt, goes on and on. Do I return to work full time? maybe just part time? Become a stay-at-home Mum? Work random hours around the kids so there isn’t the cost of day care? On and on.
And just because others may make a different decision than we have made, lets not comment or judge their choice. Good parents feel guilty pretty much constantly I think, so lets not make each other feel worse.
Who is with me??