Monday, October 18, 2010
My breastfeeding story begins with having all the good intentions and inspiring role models as well as a medical perspective that gave me a good head start. Pre-baby I never been that well endowed, but with the raging hormones of pregnancy I developed the most massive boobs, for me.
I have not been brave enough yet to write our birth story, but once our little chap arrived he made his way easily to my breast. But I reckon I got a graze on his very first attachment. My breasts were so big he found it quite hard. I took the positioning of feeding recommended but it took me 2 months to work out this was not working for us. My nipples ended up quite distorted, ulcerated and bleeding often. The pain would often make me think, tomorrow morning, I'm going to go and buy a tin of formula. I ended up using a nipple shield for about a month. I remember I would project thoughts into the future and imagine scenarios and I still wanted to be breastfeeding. It kept me going. Eventually supply settled down and I changed his position with him sitting more upright between my knees. Then we were on a roll.
Che has been hungry and awake since he has been born. I basically sat there through the hot sweltering heat of our summer, with him on my chest and let him feed when-ever and where- ever. He hated being in a sling, with a prickly heat rash over his body, but spent all that summer in nappy, singlet and muslin wrap. In order to pay the mortgage and I had to return to work, part-time, when he was 5 weeks old. No maternity pay for Doctors. This was hard. Expressing ahead and between consultations, getting let downs and bursting when I was busy and had emergencies to attend to and arriving home with baby distressed and not wanting to feed from the bottle. I cried a bit then. But I got through it.
I have loved breastfeeding but I have often thought how much hard work it is and how it has a tendency to clash with our modern day life and expectations. Not living close to those able to give lots of practical support with a newborn, pressure to return to work early, to have a well running household, the awkwardness of feeding in public. I often understand why women do give up earlier. My little man though just wants to feed and feed.
Occassionally I have felt trapped in this zone. My son still feeds on demand and I don't have a schedule or strict routine of feeding even now. He pins me down and I really have to drop all other intentions and expectations of my day. Only I can sustain him.
At the moment I am finding it a bit hard as he just is not interested in eating. I have tried so many approaches, different tastes, foods. As he has no real words yet in his vocabularly he now just screams at me, thows all the food on the floor( then to the dogs), often playing a game but sometimes he is quite upset.
The lovely lady on the ABA Mum to Mum phone support line said not to worry just keep feeding him and he will eat when he is ready. Instinctively I know this. The early child hood nurse did not agree and said I needed to only do 3 breast feeds per day and not feed at night. Easier said then done when baby burrows into my breast and the distress when attention is averted to foodstuffs. It is creating all the wrong atmosphere and feeling.
Feeling a bit of a failure tonight. I am at a loss of what to do.
Oh well I will still wake in the morning and read lots of recipes and keep trying and keep giving him what he wants. Booby.