Well, even breastfeeding counselors, advocates, experts and BFP admins cry/cried at night too.
We cried/cry because most of us didn't know what to do in the first place.
We cried/cry because we made/make mistakes.
We cried/cry because nothing can really prepare you for the demands of a newborn. First time mothers will get shocked into the role, it is so "every moment". Those with other kids will have to juggle time and energy for all the other children who would all need something from her.
We cried/cry because even the most loving and supportive of households can never fully share the exhaustion breastfeeding brings.
We cried/cry because even the most loving of husbands will continue sleeping while we nurse through the night.
We cried/cry because no woman ever imagines seeing their nipples sucked raw, sore, bleeding or with blebs and pus. It's scary and extremely painful when your breasts get engorged.
We cried/cry because when babies bite, the pain reaches down to our toes. If they do it while awake, you can train them not to... But what of those lockjaw moments they get while in deep sleep? No self-respecting Mom will be shaking them awake to tell them biting hurts. Nay, we just grit our teeth in the dark, crying the silent tears as we continue nursing.
We cried/cry because some of us had unsupportive households, relatives and friends.
We cried/cry because some of the significant people in our lives "blame us" for everything that goes wrong or seems wrong with the baby... Or anything that doesn't meet THEIR standards.
We cried/cry because the doctors we turn to for help when we get sick almost always tell us to stop breastfeeding, in the meantime or for good, instead of doing their job... Which is to update their knowledge base and prescribe medicines that are breastfeeding-safe.
We cried/cry because it gets depressing, exhausting and downright annoying to have to keep explaining, defending and fighting for our choice and the Science behind that choice.
We cried/cry because those of us who have given formula and seen the effects of that to an older child will forever regret not having known better then.
We cried/cry because those of us who work away from home get overwhelmed and exhausted and stressed over keeping our milk supply up, pumping enough and storing enough for our child.
We cried/cry because no matter how much we love our babies, the nights seem triply long when they are sick and forever attached to us.
We cried/cry over the responsibility of being sole provider... We sometimes deny ourselves medications or delay treatments just because we don't want our baby to be without us.
We cried/cry over aching arms and back pains... Maybe even disproportionate (size) boobs (since most babies will favor one more).
We cried/cry because we are made to feel ashamed for nursing in public.
And for those that Life thought to challenge more, they cried because their babies were born earlier or with biological impediments (tongue tie, cleft palate, etc) or life-threatening conditions that make breastfeeding more challenging.
And yet... Here we are, trying to help and inspire others... And save one mother and child at a time.
Because we believe in God's provision and Nature's grand design. Man would not have been able to survive as a species if we had to rely on "modern formula, fortifiers and vitamins" to be healthy.
So, those of you about to begin your journey... Or are struggling now... Please know that we cried at nights too.
The only things that made it easy were that we believed we made the decision to breastfeed
1) out of nothing but love for our child
2) out of nothing but a desire to invest in our health and our child's health for the long-term
3) out of nothing but faith that the same God who gave us this baby will allow us to provide for this baby
Us breastfeeders, breastfeeding counselors, advocates, experts and BFP admins... We still cry.
We cry for every mother we try to help that refuse our help.
We cry for the poor who do not know better to make informed choices for their families.
We cry for moms whose efforts are being undermined by their own partners, family, friends, doctors and at work.
We cry for illnesses and deaths that could have been prevented or reduced in severity had the baby been breastfed.
We cry... Because there is still so much to do for the advocacy, and we get exhausted too.
But again, because of the tears shed before and despite the tears we shed now, we are here, wanting to help however way we can. Because we know we stand for truth and love.
And for every success story we hear, for every mom we meet who strives, for every milestone our own child reaches... There are tears of joy.