babies are expensive. everyone knows this. and every company wants you to spend all of your money on their products instead of their competitor's. once again, not news. this means that, along with a baby, pregnancy gets you a lot of free samples. everyone wants you to get hooked on their particular diaper, bottle, pacifier, and formula, and spend the next four years handing them your paycheck. let's talk about this last one for a second. you leave the hospital with a bunch of different formula samples, that i knew. but i don't think i was fully prepared for the amount of formula i would get before ever going into labor. as of this moment, at thirty-one weeks, i already have five different eight oz containers of different formulas (different brands, ones for gassy babies, ones specially designed for newborns...). now, at a little less than fifteen bottles per container, this isn't a ridiculously huge amount of formula, but it is definitely nothing to sneeze at. and it is making me anxious.
because i am hoping to exclusively breastfeed. but, as i have been told over and over and over again, breastfeeding is hard. and frustrating, and not some natural, instinctual thing. (though it really should be. i mean, come on.) i am not great at failure. i have the tendency to quit when i suck instead of working through until i get better. i can only imagine that sleep deprivation and crying babies will make my resolve weaken even more. and having so much formula in the house will certainly not help.
i know how to make a bottle. i have fed babies formula more times than i could ever count. i know how easy it is. how fast. i do not know how to breastfeed. i have never done it before. cricket has never done it before. i am preparing myself for a very frustrating learning curve. for both of us. and the formula is already mocking me. tempting me. whispering sweet promises of ease and more sleep and a million other things.
and suddenly, the free samples don't just seem like an obvious marketing strategy. they seem evil. like some big corporation is trying to change my mind about something that i really don't need people trying to undermine me about because i am already worried that i will not be able to do it. i don't know what will happen two months from now, but at the moment, i want you formula companies to know that i think you really suck.
(similac at least gave breast milk storage bottles and a really helpful guide on breastfeeding with its formula. so there's that.)