When my first was born she latched on very quickly and I don’t remember there being any issues…until we got home. Some say that due to the nature of her birth that is why there were problems, I don’t know how true that is though. Lilwen was born after 25 hours of active labour by emergency caesarean. It was the single most painful thing I have ever experienced! And I can say this because the second time round the labour and birth were nothing in comparison! (see the birthing stories…when I get round to writing them that is!).
So back to feeding, I always desperately wanted to feed myself and when lilwen started having problems from about week 2, namely loosing weight quite quickly then thrush for both of us, mastitis, cracked nipples and bleeding for me, all in the space of 2 weeks! We had to revaluate things and combination feed pursued for a week or so but I had not grasped the concept of expressing and so my milk gradually started to get less and less when I expressed. So in result Lilwen was from week 3 bottle-fed with formula. I can’t tell you how guilty I felt about this, I felt like I had failed as a mother not being able to provide for my daughter. What made it worse was that every one of my friends with babies all breastfed, this guilt hasn’t really disappeared even now, lots of ‘if’ questions running through my mind.
- ‘What if I had sought a support group would I have been able to carry on breastfeeding?’
- ‘What if I had just carried on through the pain, would we have got through it?’
- ‘What if I had kept going with expressing, at least combination feeding could have continued?’.
To add insult to injury, the health visitor that we had, recommended aptamil formula milk, so we went with this as it was also recommended by others too. After 3 months of using it we found that it contained fish and being vegetarian this shocked and disgusted me as we wanted to bring up our children vegetarian too, but it was to late to change the brand, in hein site we should have weaned her off it and onto another brand that doesn’t contain fish, of which there is only 1! Well anyway, Lilwen is fine and is growing into a beautiful, bright, healthy toddler so it can’t have harmed her being bottle-fed.
When I fell pregnant for the second time I was much more confident throughout the pregnancy and knew I would do better with the breastfeeding the second time round and although the birth didn’t go quite to plan…again (he got his big noggin stuck! Well he was 10lb 10oz born so you can quite understand really!) and was born by emergency caesarean too. He latched on well and this time I made a point of getting the volunteer breastfeeding ladies to keep coming to me every few hours to make sure i was doing it well still, which helped tremendously. I pummelled them with question after question, making sure I had got everything covered before I was free to leave the hospital. We’ve been doing well ever since, we have had a bout of mastitis though and even though he’s 4 months old we’re still feeding every 2 hours and the lead up to bedtime is every hour but he does give me sometimes 5 hours at night and he is cute as a button!
The one thing I find hard to do is remember what side to feed him on next, so I have had to adopt a bobble on the wrist technique to help me remember!
My clothing is an issue too, gone are the days I can wear anything, iI now have think ‘how easy is it to get my boob out!’ and if it is a ‘lift up’ top to remember to wear a vest underneath as you do not want to see the wobbly stretch marked tattooed tummy! It is not a pretty sight! (Cue picture of the lovely stomach before children, and no I shan’t be publishing a picture of the stomach now, just add stretch marks all over and fat!). Oh the joys of motherhood! And i wouldn’t have it any other way!