WHICHEVER WAY YOU MILK IT

Last year. I wrote a post about Breast VS Bottle feeding. It didn’t go down too well. I did get a bit of backlash. Actually plenty. Some nasty comments. And some hater potato-ers. Heck balls. Crikeys. 

Of course I support breastfeeding. And I completely understand the importance of educating, embracing and encouraging breatsfeeding. But I think some people missed my point. They missed my story. My struggles. And why I wanted to say to all the Mama's, heck yes breastfeed. But please do not feel guilty if your milkers just don’t work the way they should. And you choose to bottle.

My girls. They have both hit the same milestones around the same time. They both weigh the same at the same ages. They both are the same height at the same ages. But if  I told you one of my babies was breastfed. And the other wasn't. Could you tell the difference? And would it make a difference?

Ready for my breastfeeding story? Brace yourselves. It may get booby-bumpy.

BABE ONE.
She is a firecracker. And I really struggled with her. From day dot she was a crier. She struggled to latch. She struggled to feed. She was awake every hour. And some days I felt like she was on the boob all day. It was terrible. But I didn't switch Mabel to formula. Even though I was so exhausted. I felt the pressure to breastfeed. From both myself and those around me. I was determined to get it right. To do it well. And to have those beautiful bonding moments with her that everyone spoke about. 

Um no. Cracked bleeding nipples. Up all night crying. Both of us. In pain. Both of us. Her hungry. Me feeling like a failure as a mum. And it just not happening. Our first six months were oh-so tough. By 6 months. She was saying no to the boob.

I was partly relieved and partly heartbroken. We never got it right. We never found our boob groove. I had failed her. I hadn’t given her the best start. The milkers never let down. They only let me down.

I was partly relieved and partly heartbroken. We never got it right. We never found our boob groove. I had failed her. I hadn’t given her the best start. The milkers never let down. They only let me down.

BABE TWO.
Although my pregnancy with Mabel was shocking. And my labour was touch and go. I did not think it could get worse. It did. Sigh. My pre-eclampsia turned into eclampsia while I was in labour. I started having seizures and everyone was panicking I was about to have a stroke. Not ideal. So. A heck load of drugs were pumped into me. Epidurals to help reduce my blood pressure. Magnesium Sulphate to protect my organs from being poisoned by my evil placenta and reduce the risk of a stroke. And whatever else was needed to help make the magic happen and keep us both safe.  It wasn't fun. But we made it. She came out healthy. And after 72 hours of not being able to get out of bed even to touch her. I was ok-ish too. Phew.

But my milkers. They didn’t really make the magic happen. Whether or not I was scared of failing again. Or the fact I had so many chemicals still pumping about my body. I struggled. More than ever. One midwife scolded me for not getting her to latch properly. ‘It was my second baby I should know better’. Two midwives either side of me, squeezing the heck out of my boobs. ‘Milking’ me. Only to get one little drop. I cried. Humiliated. Defeated. Exhausted. I felt the PND creepin on in again. I couldn’t deal with round two. All the while. Freya was hungry and unhappy. It broke my heart. So my husband called it. And asked a midwife for a bottle of formula. Why? Because I was too afraid. Too ashamed. Too embarrassed that I couldn’t breastfeed.

She loved that bottle. She drank it all up. She slept. I slept. We both slept like babies. 

I didn’t give up though. I tried. And tried. And tried again. But no. Nothing. The milkshakes were not bringing all the boys to the yard. My boobs really were as useless as tits on a bull. Sigh.

So I have double guilt.

Guilt that maybe Mini was hungry. My boobs were not giving her what she needed. I wasn't giving her what she needed. Which is why she was cranky and a terrible sleeper.  And guilt that I didn't breastfeed Freya. That maybe if I persevered for a few more weeks. Maybe. Just maybe. It would have worked.

But it is time to let go of that guilt. I cannot change my choices. And I would not change my choices. My breastfeeding journey has not and will not define what kind of Mama I am. Or will be.

Both my girls are happy. Healthy. And all sorts of hilarious.

Whatever you choose.
Whatever your journey.
Whatever your opinion.
Please support, encourage and be kind to each other.

Boob, bottle or a bit of both.

Fed is best.
Always.

x

Kim Saunders3 Comments