There will be no maternity leave to speak of with this pregnancy. I have too many projects I am excited about, too many things I need to get done. This means that I will literally be working on the iphone in the hospital and potentially writing/interviewing the day I get home.
This is daunting.
Today I was sitting in a meeting and it suddenly occurred to me that in less than six weeks, I will probably have a newborn (G-d help me) and getting a babysitter and jetting off to a meeting may not be possible. Why may it not be? Because I need my boob tethered to the kid's mouth. With Sam, I did not leave her for more than two hours almost the entire first year of her life. Yes folks, that is correct. One year. No more than two hours away.
In the months since her first birthday, I have appreciated the sense of freedom that untethering my breasts has given me. I can hang out with friends, be gone all day, leave for a weekend and not have to carry an instrument of torture (ahem, an electric breast pump) or worry my kid will starve.
I do not plan on being so tied to Alijah. It is just not possible. Throughout the pregnancy, I have considered the possibility of not breastfeeding. The idea of formula just seems so much easier. It was hard to wean Sam, but once it was done, I felt so free. I am not anxious to go back to being tied to a chair for eight hours a day. But the guilt. Oh G-d, the guilt. It is the guilt that stymies me and makes me think I should try it. But every time I think of that evil breastpump and that horrible sucking noise, every time I think of having the sole responsibility for my child's nourishment and being unable to run, hang out with friends, drink or have any semblance of a life, I find myself googling, "the finer points of formula."
I know there is nothing wrong with formula and the truth is, I would never judge a woman who chose not to breastfeed. I think there is way too much pressure on women to be this and that and whatever and I know I will never be the perfect mom. My only goal is to be open and honest with my children and as real as I can. The rest they can work out in therapy. But still, I feel enormous guilt at the idea of not breastfeeding this child. There is a part of me that loathes the idea, but there is also a part of me (maybe the latent Midwestern part) that feels that self-sacrifice is the name of the game in parenthood.
"Breast is best," they keep on saying. And I know it is true. But I just cannot get it up to abandon margaritas, coffee and freedom all because breastmilk is probably better than formula.
The truth is, I will more than likely end up breastfeeding, thus nullifying all of my bravado. I know it is the right thing to do (not to mention the economical one). But damn, damn, damn, I don't want to.
Then again, there are a whole lot of things I do not want to do or have that are just six weeks away (read: sleep deprivation, loss of freedom, an abundance of fat cells clinging to my abs). Ready or not, here they come.