If you had trouble breastfeeding, this is for you x
Updated: Aug 21, 2022
I couldn’t breastfeed my first born.
I remember the first time I gave him his first bottle and I wept,
With relief, with guilt, there were so many feelings. I knew it was the right decision, but I went back and forth in my mind about it for a while.
I remember pulling out my bottle from my nappy bag while the other babies in a mum group were breastfeeding.
The pain was still raw and the guilt was still heavy.
I still felt this need to apologise to this tiny human with little hands fumbling at my chest while I fumbled for a bottle instead.
And every time someone would explain their bottle was breast milk and not formula that guilt would wash over me again.
I spent nights awake pumping.
Days nervous for when he woke.
It took a long time for me to realise that it was ok to put my mental health first.
One time at a mum fitness group (that I already felt out of place in) someone asked me why I wasn’t breastfeeding.
A simple question.
My voice clipped from the wind punched out of my gut.
I wanted to throw my plastic formula dispenser at her, but I explained myself instead.
I explained that we tried for a long time, even though I still wondered if it was long enough.
That we just couldn’t make it work, but I wondered if it were just me.
A thousand reasons.
Never good enough.
I held it in, but cried the second I clipped the capsule in and started the car engine.
I never went back to that fitness group.
Maybe the question was harmless, maybe I just didn’t know how to answer it yet.
Or maybe I didn’t owe anyone an explanation as to how I fed my baby.
Some mums can’t breastfeed, some choose not to, some adore breastfeeding but can feel incredibly touched out by it (I know that feeling too).
Both feeding journeys for me came with their challenges & both were beautiful.
He is 3 now, he’ll be 4 soon.
It almost seems ridiculous how upset I was over the whole thing.
But I’m writing this while I still remember, because it wasn’t ridiculous. I was allowed to be upset.
As soon as I was able to let go we could begin to watch each other grow.
However your journey works out,
Showing up for you, is showing up for them.
And you’re pretty amazing.
They sure think so.