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.
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.