Debate: What's luck got to do with it?

Community Leader
Registered: 10-01-2010
Debate: What's luck got to do with it?
34
Mon, 01-24-2011 - 1:55pm

Reading such comments got me thinking:

"I was lucky enough to breastfeed." - "Not all women are as lucky as me." - "I was lucky enough to breastfeed my son for a year" - "You're so lucky to still be breastfeeding" - "i was lucky to breastfeed for 9 months" - "I was very lucky with breastfeeding."

Do you consider yourself lucky to be able to BF - or to BF for as long as you did?

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iVillage Member
Registered: 10-22-2009
Mon, 01-24-2011 - 2:56pm
perhaps blessed is the word i felt...i know mothers who are not able to BF, so sure i was fortunate in that regard. I think I was blessed to have my babys naturally too.
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-01-2005
Mon, 01-24-2011 - 3:18pm
As an American now married to a Canadian and living in Ontario, yes I do feel lucky compared to my American counter parts.

If I had been living in the US during this time of my life, it is very likely I would have been back to work at 6-12 weeks which would have made my BFing relationship much more difficult (though not impossible) to maintain. Im not so certain I would have been as dedicated to BFIng as I am living here with 50 weeks of EI maternity leave. My goals have changed a lot since my PG regarding BFing. Initially it was 6 months, then one year and now 18 months. I think having the maternity leave has made the biggest difference...if in the States and working, I would have probably just been happy with EBF for 6 months and then my relationship would have probably changed a bit.

Had I been in the States during this time, I would have felt much more significant pressure from my family about BFing and other issues related to infant feeding. They are supportive in one sense and in another sense tend to undermine it as well, mostly due to ignorance. It is much easier to brush off or ignore "advice" or stand up for myself when I live as far away as I do. In fact, I'm not even very certain I would have breastfed at all if I had been in the States.

I feel lucky that NIP and breast feeding is a protected right across Canada. I'm never nervous when NIP in Canada but some times feel very slight anxiety in the States when traveling, especially in states that dont have very good BFing laws (like Michigan for example). I would still defend my rights in the States but never feel that I would even have to in Ontario, if that makes sense.

So yes, I do feel lucky but I also know that I worked damn hard to make our BFing relationship work as well. So part luck, part sheer stubbornness and determination.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 06-04-2004
Mon, 01-24-2011 - 3:27pm

I used to consider myself "lucky" to have BF, especially my first baby, since we had a lot of problems in the early weeks and months, both BF-related and not. But I don't see it that way anymore. Looking back on my experience, especially now that I've had a lot more contact and experiences with other moms, I can see that I worked very, very hard to be successful in the face of some very daunting challenges and negativity from most people around me. I look back on my experience with continued BF, even after I got through those big issues I had in the early months with my first baby, and see everything else I've accomplished re: BF, and I feel even less like it was just "luck" that got me through any of it. No...it was perseverance, determination and hard work in the face of adversity and difficulty.

Sometimes I look at the bigger picture, though - the one that found me BF'ing *at all* - and I do think there are some aspects that could be considered fortuitous, if not necessarily "lucky". One is that I married and had babies with a man who was extremely supportive of BF, had grown up around it, had been BF'd himself, and is just generally very attuned to natural and wholesome life choices, in large part because his family instilled those values in him when he was growing up. Mine absolutely did not, and meeting him and building a life together taught me a lot about what's really important as well as what's best for our bodies, our children, our environment, and so forth. I didn't have those tools before I knew him, and if I had married someone more like me, I'd have probably not developed them very well, if at all. So I do consider that to be a fortuitous part of my life that helped me to embrace the idea of BF. Then I'd have to say I was also fortunate to have a few positive healthcare personnel in the hospital where I delivered my son, who stood up for me when others were telling me not to BF, and who offered me the help and support I needed to get off to a good start. Not everyone has good hospital experiences, so I am fortunate (possibly "lucky") there as well.

When I think of the word "lucky", I am always reminded of a time when I was a freshman in college, attending a very good, private school on an almost-full scholarship. I was talking to a relative and telling her how "lucky" I had been to get the scholarship (which was primarily academic, but also need-based), and how "lucky" I was to be getting a good education. I can distinctly remember using the word "lucky" twice to describe my situation, both in terms of having been awarded the scholarships, and for the quality of the education I was pursuing. This relative, who had had a pretty difficult life (was a teen mom, had four kids with her police-officer husband when he was shot in the line of duty and permanently paralyzed, rendering him paraplegic, cared for him and watched him sink into depression and suicide attempts, finally ended up divorcing him and was now trying to put herself through college for the first time while raising four young kids on her own...really a very sad story and I felt for her then as I still do now), stopped me and said, "Jenny, you weren't "lucky" to get all of that. You EARNED it, and don't you ever forget that. You worked hard for those achievements. They weren't just handed to you. That's what "lucky" would mean in this situation." Hmmm.....

I didn't agree with her at first, but as I've gotten older, I am able to see what she meant. When you want something badly enough, you will work as hard as you need to work to achieve it. But when you're just "lucky", you didn't necessarily work hard at all. I have always felt that when things fall into your lap, it's harder to feel proud of having gotten them. I feel that way about BF at times too. I know there are women for whom successful BF seems to have fallen into their laps, and I'm glad it can be that way for them. Many times, I have of course wished it would have been that way for me, right from the start. But overall, I'm glad it didn't, because I've learned a lot about myself, and much of it goes far beyond baby-feeding or even parenting. If I had just been "lucky" with it, I doubt I'd be complaining about that, I'd just enjoy my stroke of good luck and be glad I didn't have a ton of challenges to work through. But because I don't feel I was just "lucky" to be successful, I would never say that about myself. I don't need credit from others, because I feel great about my accomplishment. But I also have to be true and honest to me, and acknowledge my experiences for what they really were. I hope that makes sense.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-13-2008
Tue, 01-25-2011 - 4:58am

My sister in law who BF/combo fed each of her children for just a few months would tell me on occasions I was 'lucky' to be able to breastfeed and that I was 'lucky' to have a good supply.

I knew at the time that this was not true - that I had insisted on educating myself as well as I could at the time about BF, and at times such as when W&P had to work extremely hard all of the time to maintain the supply she put down to luck.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-10-2008
Tue, 01-25-2011 - 8:22am
If making appointments with an LC, renting a hospital grade pump and pumping my brains out while working hard to get my non-latching baby to finally latch after a few weeks, all while going through PPD, is luck, then yeah, I was lucky.
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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-05-2010
Tue, 01-25-2011 - 10:08am
I was lucky to not run into too many problems, and lucky to have support and knowledge from my grandmother, mother and sisters who had all BF. But had I been unlucky, I still would have made it work, so luck didn't allow me to BF. It just made the BF easier.
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Community Leader
Registered: 10-01-2010
Tue, 01-25-2011 - 10:24am

I have been told several times that not everyone is as lucky as I was to have no problems with BFing. The first time was my mother, and I stood there speechless, wondering how it was that she had never noticed all the problems I had and how I struggled.

I do feel fortunate to have been successful with BFing, but it was not luck that made it happen!

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-24-2008
Tue, 01-25-2011 - 10:58am

I consider myself lucky.

"The key to good decision making is not knowledge. It is understanding."
Malcolm Gladwell Blink

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-29-2005
Tue, 01-25-2011 - 12:13pm
You definitely make some good points, Harmony. I feel that I had some luck but also a lot of determination.

BTW, the font you're using is really hard for me to read ... don't know if it's my computer or the font itself, but could you possibly use a different font? Pretty please with sugar on top? :) :) :)

 


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Community Leader
Registered: 10-01-2010
Tue, 01-25-2011 - 12:36pm

I was lucky to have been born in Canada. I was lucky that LLL was around and accessible to me. The rest... not so much.

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