Out of everything I was sure I would do with my baby, breastfeeding was the one I was most sure on. I come from a line of prolific breastfeeders and was producing an embarrassing amount of colostrum from the start of my second trimester, so I thought it was in the bag. Well, one emergency c-section later and when they got my baby looking like a human being instead of a liquorice jelly baby, in contrast to all the baby led breastfeeding videos we’d watched in prenatal classes, he showed zero interest in my breasts. Fast forward three months in which we’d had troubling weight loss, a tongue tie fixed, seen three lactation consultants and had all of our activities limited by the fact we needed to spend two of every three hours feeding-supplementing-pumping, it finally dawned on me that there was nothing more we could do. He just couldn’t breastfeed, and my stupid right breast was never going to produce more than 10ml of milk no matter how many tablets or supplements or superfoods I consumed. I pumped for another month and a half, as much as I could but my son more and more needed a mum to play with him, not to pump milk for him, so in the end that finished too. It hurt me deeply. I held it together fairly well until a friend who had never wanted to breastfeed ended up with a baby who breastfed like a champion. Then I bawled for hours as it just seemed so unfair. She had what I wanted so badly, but she never even cared. But on a positive note, it did teach me a very good lesson about never assuming or judging anything about other mothers. Who knows what has gone on in someone else’s life to make them do that one action today? I remember going to a Christening and feeding my son with a bottle of formula, listening to two not very subtle ladies make comments about how women of my generation don’t bother to breastfeed because its too much effort and we have other priorities. I didn’t say anything but I promised myself I’d put those judgey-pants I’d worn so many times when looking at other mums away.
Posted by sallty, 14th March 2013