Becoming a mother is the most natural thing in the world right? The labour is the hard part right? On their entry into the world, all babys will plug themselves to your chest and away you go right?…… Wrong!
With so many late nights pouring over the internet for advice, answers and stories of women that had experienced anything similar to myself, the least I can do for those mums struggling out there is to add my story to the mix and hope it helps someone in the way some of the stories I read helped me.
The road that leads to motherhood becomes unbelivably rough at the end of your pregnancy. I’m not going to sugar-coat it. I thought I was prepared for what I would experience after I gave birth and to some degree I was, but no one told me that what was to follow would be the hardest four months of my life. I’m sure most mother’s will agree that even if you have it easy, it’s hard! The topic that causes so much angst for mothers, both old and new, is breastfeeding. After pushing through my own extremely difficult slog (which I’ll discuss in a moment), I’ve come out the other side still breastfeeding my little boy, but I can certainly understand why many women choose not to continue or are forced to stop.
**Note for the boys reading this post, consider yourself warned – it’s going to get a little rough….
After an emergency C-section at 37 weeks for my breech pregnancy, little William entered the world. He spent his first few hours with his Dad whilst I was in Recovery, and as much as wish he could, Dad couldn’t breastfeed so Will didn’t get an immediate start. When I eventually made it up to the ward, all my body wanted to do was give milk to my little baby. Everything was ready to go. Everything except Will. He just didn’t get it (and most babies don’t apparently; the amount of times I heard ‘It’s a learned skill…blah blah blah’). He wouldn’t attach or suck, just bite! And it was excruciating.
Nothing I did, even when the milk was hosing out of the gigantic mountains that had appeared on my chest overnight, would make Will breastfeed. And it felt so stupid! My boob was bigger than this kid’s head! What the hell was he supposed to think – drinking out of something bigger than your head is pretty daunting I’m sure. And I felt like a failure. The Baby Blues surfaced the next day and I was a mess. Not to mention suffering from the most severe ‘mystery-shoulder-pain’ that apparently manifests after some c-section operations. BLAH!
Will would sip expressed milk out of a cup or a syringe, well not sip as much as have it poured down his throat. Then one helpful midwife suggested (and I know they’re not meant to suggest this for many reasons, but I’m glad she did) that we try expressed breast milk (EBM) in a bottle. And low and behold – Will scoffed it down. He loved it. I was then shown how to use the breast pump on the ward and I was suddenly in control. No more tears. Things went on their merry way; I started to sleep (when I wasn’t feeding obviously); Will put on weight and was content. Then after 7 days in hospital I got to go home with my bottle-feeding baby, all the while thanking my lucky stars that I’d bought a breast pump before my early delivery.
But coming home brought a whole new set of problems. To be Continued Tomorrow…