LA BOOB OR LE BOTTLE
Enjoying a Saturday afternoon out of the house with my little family. Nothing amazing. Just a sneaky afternoon pizza and ice cream. It's as crazy adventurous we get with two under two. 4pm hit. It was feed o'clock for little Miss four weeks and all of a sudden... I started getting some serious stink eye. A few whispers and disapproving nods. I may have heard a tut tut. I definately heard a snortel. Sheesh.
After having Miss, I expected the normal questionsabout her Name? Weight? Size? Natural? But one of the most common questions I was asked about myself was 'has your milk come in?' Seriously?! Friends, family, nurses, doctors and what felt like every person I ran into. They all asked.
I know breast is best. I totally agree that breast is best. But what happens if your breast just ain't the best?
With my first.. Mini, I wouldn't say breast feeding was a breeze. It didn't come naturally. I was all elbows and thumbs when I first tried. No idea. None. And boy did it show. Cracked nipples. Cabbage leaves. Bloody nips. Tears, Ice packs. Lanolin. Pain. Tears. Breast pumps. Manual. Electric. Tears. Midwives. Lactation cookies. Stress. Lactation experts. Then finally. Triumph. Well partial triumph. I co-fed after four weeks. Boob and bottle. My old milkers couldn't keep up with Mini's demand. I hated having to give her formula to 'top-up'. I felt like everyone judged me. Actually, most people did judge me. Doctors. Child Health Nurses. Family. Friends. Complete Strangers. Possibly the Postman. Judgy McJudgison's. The whole lot. I felt like a complete failure.
When Mini was six months old, she self weaned. I was heart broken. I kept shoving my boobies in her face in hope she would latch on and go for gold. No such luck. She had a taste for solids and bottles. I was no longer required in the booby milk department.
People told me if I didn't breastfeed, I wouldn't bond with my child enough. She wouldn't be healthy. Her growth may be affected. Well to those people I say... phhfff. We've bonded. She's my beautiful bestie. Totally healthy. Tall and pudgy. Just the right amount of pudgy. Just the right amount of tall. And most of all, she's completely happy.
Fast forward to baby two, Miss. I was determined to breastfeed. I was like 'I got dis fool' I knew how to do it. Didn't i ? I was confident. Wasn't i? So off I went. Happy, confident and no longer self conscious about getting my boob out for all to see.
Alas, dejavue. My milkers just didn't want to work. The midwives and doctors warned me that this might happen. Due to complications, I was pumped full of so many extra drugs during labour, they said It may delay my milk coming in. And it did.
We tried the breast pump. We tried hand expressing. Actually, that felt more like I was being violated. A midwife on each boob hand expressing for ages only to leave me feeling battered and bruised... and only point three of a ml in breast milk to show for it. Ugh.
Day Three. Still in hospital. We 'snuck' in formula. Day Five. I finally took a stand and told the nurses we would be bottle feeding as well as our best breast attempts.
Then, after two weeks filled with tears, stress, seriously sore boobies, a hungry baby, no sleep for anyone, nips that I thought may never look the same again and still no breast milk, I made the decision. We would be going full bottle.
I still feel guilty. I still feel like a bit of a failure. I still feel like people stare at me and judge when I give my teeny tiny baby a bottle.
But on the flip side, I have a happy healthy little chubby cheeked five week old. She's fed. I'm happy. She's healthy. I'm happy. She's just perfect. Ahh so happy.
So to everyone out there who stink eyes someone who gives their babies bottles instead of boob, before you judge, think about the who what and why first. For so many reasons... sometimes the boobies just don't work like they should.
And heck, we are damned if we do get the boob out in public... and damned if we don't.
I gave it my all.
I gave it my 'breast'.
Let people do whatever works for them. Whatever works for there babes.
Big No Milk Booby Love x