We often meet people who don't value breast milk anything the way that we do. Yesterday, for example, we ran into somebody I'd met a few months before at a local play group. In the course of normal chit-chat, she happened to ask me something or other about bottle feeding Jacob at night. I gave her a quizzical look and said that our baby was entirely breastfed. Then I realized that perhaps I'd never told her that I was transgendered. I know that my personal history is fascinating and highly memorable to most people, but it is also my normal life that I live every day. I don't always bother to mention it, and sometimes I just can't recall if I've come out to someone in particular or not. I quickly explained myself to this woman using my usual spiel. "I was born female, transitioned by taking hormones... I make some milk myself... we use a supplemental nursing system, know what that is?"
She caught herself up remarkably quickly, hardly missing a beat. She said we should get together some time soon, and I agreed. But then she said the unthinkable. "Yeah, my guy gets mostly the breast. Luckily he takes formula though, so his Dad can feed him too. I mean, I could pump my milk but I don't want to feel like a COW! My first would never take formula. Ugh, that was difficult. Sure glad this one does."
|Cow's milk is designed for baby cows; human milk is for baby humans.
I responded, "Well, I guess it tastes different, doesn't it?"
"Oh yes, formula tastes pretty gross while breast milk is so sweet."
I tried not to let my jaw clank too loudly when it dropped all the way down onto my chest. If only this woman had any idea the way that we search, scrounge, and beg for breast milk for our baby. She could just pump some out if she wanted her boy to have breast milk when she's gone, but formula is easier, so she doesn't.