My Breast Feeding Journey

This blog is about my breastfeeding journey, some may say it shouldn't be classed as a journey because I only managed it for a little while, but to me it was, it was such a huge rollercoaster, even typing this now it brings tears to my eyes to think about the whole process.
When I fell pregnant with Eppy I knew instantly that I was going to breastfeed, I had no doubts in my mind, I didn't want to formula feed after doing much research on formula and knowing that it really isn't anywhere near as good as the breast.
I bought breast pads, a pump etc, I had a friend of mine who knew a lot about breastfeeding from doing it herself on stand by for advice, I was so ready.
When the day of my c section came around I made sure everyone knew to wake me up instantly so I could feed my daughter, I remember waking up after surgery and I saw my mother was pulling down my gown to latch Eppy on for me (I was asleep for my section), I can't remember what happened for a while after that as I was in and out of sleep from the morphine, but I remember Robert being at the hospital an hour or so later and he helped to keep relatching Eppy, I had pretty much no sleep that night, Robert only managed to leave around 2am, Eppy was constantly crying and just wouldn't settle, I don't think her latch was right thinking about it now, pretty sure she was really hungry, after my surgery I never had a visit from the breastfeeding team, not until the second day when I was moved onto the maternity ward.
Eventually when the breastfeeding team came round they taught me how to get Eppy latched on properly which really helped a lot! She cried a heck of a lot less and settled down nicely on me to sleep.
I was let out of hospital the next day, so only two nights in there, which I knew wasn't enough, as much as I was dying to go home with my new bundle of joy, I knew something was up with Eppy, she was yellow, I had already been through this with Edward when he was first born, he got jaundice, so I knew what it was, but they still let me home.
When we got home Eppy was very sleepy, rarely woke for feeds, it wasn't until the midwife came round the following day and say 'gosh she's really yellow, you need to go back to hospital', so we packed up my stuff again and we went back. Eppy had to go under the UV lamps, have many blood tests etc, it was overall just a shitty nightmare.
All of this I think effected my breastfeeding, they tried to get me to express milk with their electric breast pump and I also tried hand expressing but I just couldn't get enough milk out.
Eventually it got to the point where they mentioned the fatal words 'top ups', I was dead set against it and I personally refused to do them, so Robert had to do them and when he wasn't there the nurses had to do them, they did it by cup not bottle.
I think it was that point where I really started to hate myself, my milk wasn't filling my own daughter up, I wasn't providing enough food for my own daughter, what kind of a mother did that make me?
We eventually got sent home, but they told us to continue with the top ups, now I didn't know top ups could affect Eppy's latch and I didn't realise it could reduce my milk supply, so we continued with the top ups.
It then got to the point where I got mastitis, I went to an out of hour GP who checked me and said I had it, mastitis isn't nice, it felt like my boobs were actually on fire, it was too painful to feed her anymore, I always thought if I had got something like that I'd be able to just ignore the pain, but this hurt more than anything I'd ever experienced in my whole life.
Eppy also had thrush so it was painful for her to feed.
So we stopped feeding and bottle fed her in the end with formula.
And that's pretty much where my journey ended.
It still kills me to this day that I failed my own daughter, there are times where my boobs actually pang when she's on them, wishing I could feed her, I sometimes even try to relatch her even though I know she will never be able to relatch and there's obviously no milk. I've looked up online ways to get the milk supply back, like having the cookies etc, but in all honestly I don't want to fail at getting my supply back and feeling even worse.
Robert was a massive support throughout the journey, I don't think he still realises I do sometimes still cry about it almost 9 months on, I can't help it, I struggle to watch other mums breastfeed because I wish it was me.
I still as my friend for some of her breast milk whenever the kids get conjunctivitis because it cures it really quick.
Failing at breastfeeding is hard to come to terms with, I still hate formula, I still hate myself when I make a bottle, I still want to throw it through a window and scream FUCK YOU.
You really don't just 'get over' it.
People ask me how long I would have liked to have breastfed for, I would have let Eppy breastfeed for as long as SHE wanted, I wouldn't have forced her to wean, even if she was 7 I would have still breastfed her if that's what she wanted to do.
I know in the future if we have anymore children I won't be midwife led and I will refuse the aftercare and will demand the breastfeeding team come to me every day, I will stay in the bedroom in bed and keep feeding until we nail it.
Sometimes when you think you're ready for something, you're really not.

Maternity Matters~ Ghostwritermummy

Comments

  1. What an honest post. For what it's worth it doesn't sound to me like you are a failure. It sounds like you tried bloody hard, with all sorts thrown at you and without the support you needed this time round. Thank you for sharing. Lucy from occupation:(m)other

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