Saturday, February 25, 2012

girl at the pet shop

Recently I found myself at a pet shop getting some things for our frog.

The girl who rang up my purchase was youngish.
She asked how old my baby was. Said she had one at home 8.5 weeks.
I commented I hadn't gone back to work yet but that I was thankful because it was so much easier to nurse when my baby was with me.
She told me she wasn't nursing because she couldn't make enough milk for her boy's big appetite.
I told her, if she had more children and she wanted to nurse, that she could always go to a la leche meeting during her pregnancy to learn how to avoid difficulties that time around.

What I wanted to do...
was hug her. (she also had another baby before this one she had given up for adoption to a couple she worked with who had battled infertility).
I wanted to tell her she had been given misinformation. That she COULD nurse her baby.
I wanted to tell her it wasn't too late and that she could start again, right away, and nurse this baby. That's the hardest one for me. She could have gone back and done it. Re-lactation is completely doable, especially that close to stopping.

but I didn't. I wanted to, so desperately. because she seemed sad. she believed, truly, that she couldn't. and i knew she had been lied to.

its so sad that we can't really connect with each other as a community sometimes. she volunteered a lot of very personal and heartfelt information... but there was still that hesitancy on my part to not be a knowitall. i regret it, in some ways. there was an opportunity there to uplift somehow. and i couldn't navigate it.


Amy said...

I started following your blog b/c I miss your posts when I'm not on FB. You are such an amazing mom and while we are different in some of our parenting we are the same in that we love love love being with our kids even though they drive us crazy! I've been in similar situations to yours in the pet shop where you want to tell a stranger something but feel like you shouldn''s so hard for me to keep my mouth shut, but I've learned that there is a time and place...blah, blah...yet usually regret it too in situations like yours. Take care!

Charlo said...

Well, I think there are ways to give information without coming across as too pushy or judgmental... Like you could say something like " Well, I don't know if it is of any interest to you, but there are some tricks for dealing with a low milk supply. I've learned a lot since my first baby and you wouldn't believe the things I wish I knew when I started. "
"Ugg. I know what that's like. If you ever want to tackle breastfeading again, you should check out a la Leche League. The women there know A Lot of cool tricks"

I guess it is all in the tone, and I don't think it is "know it all" if you leave it up to them to inquire at their will using words like "might be able to help" instead of "will help." And not so pushing if you say "if you are interested" and if you don't keep bringing up the subject if they drop it.

Then again, some people might be offended by anything. But I personally, would have loved to know about my body long ago what I know now.