Tuesday, 26 January 2016

10 years grieving breast is best

I caught up on 'call the midwife' today (from 24/1/16) and found myself crying buckets. 

The story line was about a new mum who couldn't breast feed, no matter how hard she tried.  She was tying herself in knots trying to breastfeed even though her baby was dehydrated.  As I watched I realised I was sobbing; not just shedding a few tears but really crying.

I can't believe I'm still grieving 10 years on.

I was that mum.
I was desperate to feed Rachel.
Desperate to nurture her with my body's milk.
Desperate to do everything I could for her.
I was so certain that breast was best that I hadn't even bought any bottles or a steriliser or anything.
I hadn't allowed myself to even consider not breast feeding.
But the reality was that I had no milk to speak of, barely anything at all.
I couldn't make my body produce more, it just wasn't there.
And I failed Rachel.
That's how it still feels; it feels like I failed her.
In the end, on day three, with her weak and dehydrated I had to let the special care nurses give her formula milk.
And I wept.
I wept for her.
But mostly I wept for that fact that I'd failed.
I couldn't even feed my own baby.
And I still grieve.

But why?
Why do I still grieve?
I mean it makes no sense.
She's a strong, bright, independent, feisty, healthy and caring 10 year old.
She clearly hasn't suffered from lack of breast milk.
My fears about our attachment were unfounded.
So are those about her health.
And I dread to think what we'd be contending with if breast milk had made her brighter.

Yet still I grieve.
Perhaps I always will.
I know I'll always prickle at posters and campaigns that say breast is best.
Yes, it is, for most; but for some of us, it's definitely not.

1 comment:

aNovieMum said...

☹ So sorry. I feel you really. I didn't watch the episode but I can imagine it could have resulted in tears from me too ... because I really struggled to breastfeed. I didn't think much about breastfeeding before I had my baby, I couldn't really think beyond my growing bump. Even then, I must have assumed that it would just happen; I definitely wasn't expecting any problems.

I know many don't like that phrase 'breast is best' anymore, and a lot of people now stay away from it. With breastfeeding, like with other things in life, we find what works for us.

I pray you find and know peace with doing what works best for you and Rachel.

#BritMumsBreastfeedingRoundup 3 linky