When I was pregnant the second time around I, remember watching One Born Every Minute and watching women go into labour and then soon after breastfeeding their child, they made it look easy. It looked like it came naturally to them. This always hit a nerve with me and made me jealous why couldn’t it come that naturally to me the first time around? I watched and prayed that I would have it come that naturally to me the second time around.
I remember back when I was pregnant for the first time with Oli exploring my feeding options and deciding that I wanted to go down the route of breastfeeding. I was only 19 at the time and let’s just say never gave babies and all that came with it a thought until he came along. I didn’t do much research into it; I always assumed that it was a case of here’s the boob, there’s babies mouth – jobs a good ‘un. That wasn’t the case as I found out when he was born.
I was never talked too about it, like the second time around where nothing but breastfeeding was talked about. Midwives never entered into conversation about breastfeeding with me during pregnancy, that was 3/4 years ago. I never bought any bottles or formula as I was so content on breastfeeding my son. Come the day of his birth; I was in shock. It’s not every day you experience labour for the first time; I didn’t get that skin to skin contact instantly. I was too shocked to hold him, and I always wondered if this is why we struggled with breastfeeding. It was only when we had transferred on to the ward afterwards that I tried breastfeeding for the first time, nothing happened. By nothing I mean, he wouldn’t latch on to my boob, and I wasn’t sure what I was doing.
Midwives seemed to of came and went as quickly as this weather seems to be changing at the moment. They all had different things to say, some of them made me feel like I was in the wrong for the fact breastfeeding didn’t come naturally to us. I remember being told ‘well if you can’t breastfeed, you’re just going to have to give him formula’ those words still haunt me now. I knew I had to give him formula; nothing was happening with the breastfeeding, Oli just didn’t want to know my boob, so he needed some kind of milk. I was discharged the next day with several bottles of formula as it was Easter Sunday and I had nothing at home.
I got more support when I had arrived home, and the next day when the midwife came out, together, we managed to get some of the colostrum out and into a syringe for him. Every day for a few days she would come out and try to help me to get Oli to latch on to my boob. We had no success; I was constantly trying but nothing.
He didn’t want to know, and I couldn’t get any milk out. I couldn’t take any more after a week of trying both physically and mentally; I was in ruins about not being able to give my son this milk that I wanted to give him so badly. I didn’t even know if I had any milk. I knew nothing when I think back to those days now. A week later and we were formula feeding.
During this time I never knew anything about breastfeeding consultants, never had any groups, books, DVDs or advice lines given to me. Part of me wonders if I had been a regular tweeter and blogger there and then if I would have got the wonderful advice I know I have access to now. I’m in a position now where I know if I need breastfeeding help, all I have to do is a tweet or use Facebook to talks to friends/people who know their stuff. I wish I had known that breastfeeding doesn’t always come naturally like I had thought it did, I wish I were more clued up on it from the moment I decided to breastfeed. Scrub that; I wish I had known from the moment my boobs had started to grow. I wish I had known that they were not just sexual objects to be hidden away in bras. I wish I had known what great things they were capable of.
I’ll be posting about my breastfeeding journey with Dylan tomorrow, that didn’t come naturally to me either but we managed to get through that and to this day are successfully breastfeeding together.