I was painfully and obviously inexperienced with my first child. I assumed breastfeeding would occur naturally. It did not. After a week of pain, of bleeding nipples, and of incessant crying (from both me and my daughter), I gave up and decided to pump. Before my son was born, I swore to myself I would either make breastfeeding work or I would go with formula. I was not willing to be attached to a pump once again. No, thank you. I never realized how much you can only learn about yourself after breastfeeding. I had always assumed I was self-aware. I thought I knew all of my strengths and all of my weaknesses, but it wasn't until I successfully breastfed my son that I learned so much more about myself.
Breastfeeding did not come naturally with either one of my kids. I struggled physically and emotionally and, as a result, I wanted to give up every day. I pushed myself beyond what I thought was possible. I cried regularly. I was angry on a frequent basis. Honestly, I wanted to stop. Yet while I gave up with my daughter, partly due to inexperience and partly due to lack of support and available resources, I made a promise to myself the second time around. A promise I kept. A promise that made me understand myself slightly better. A promise that made me respect myself a whole lot more.