I am lazy. Fundamentally lazy. I chose breast feeding for this very reason. I’d like to claim it’s because I know it’s better for both mum and baby, I know there are health benefits, I know it’s supposed to be better for bonding, and I know there’s a lot of arguments against using formula. But to be quite honest, I chose it because it meant I wouldn’t have to get up at 2am to sterilise bottles and warm milk. Lazy. I also had no intentions of battling through if it looked like it was not working for one or both of us, my main concern was making sure she was eating and we were both happy.
I am so glad I did it. I would also highly recommend trying, even if it freaks you out. It freaked me out before I did it, milk coming out of me, a baby licking my nipple, it just all seemed weird and wrong and I didn’t like it at all, but ultimately laziness won out and I decided I would try. When I was brought out of the theatre (it all went wrong and she was ripped from me by forceps and a very lovely (handsome) surgeon) I was a bit doped up and exhausted having not slept in three days, the nurse in recovery asked me if I was planning to breast feed, I said yes, she said fine, pulled my top down and attached this tiny new creature to my boob who proceeded to suck furiously. And so it began!
I was proud, I had managed it! It wasn’t freaking me out and it was easy! I felt like a super mum. My brand new, ridiculously gorgeous, baby was eating and she was eating what I was making and it was working! All by myself I did it! Friends and family came during visiting hours and my husband proudly proclaimed my brilliance and his new baby’s adept way of taking to breast feeding so easily, and everyone made suitable “ooh ahh” noises. Despite functioning on serious sleep deprivation I was confident and pumped up. Hurray for me!
Of course, it couldn’t last. My family and husband were dispatched and the night began. A midwife came round to access how well the feeding was going and informed me that actually she wasn’t getting anything, she was just sucking on the end of the nipple and not getting anything out of it. We had spent all day with the wrong “latch” and it was achieving nothing.
My baby was not being fed. I had failed. I had let down my baby, I had let down my husband. It was wrong. I was exhausted, she was getting stressed, and I couldn’t make it work. She’d grab at my nipple with her mouth and suck and the midwife would pull her off again. She cried. I cried. It was just all so very bad.
Suddenly breast feeding seemed incredibly important to me. It mattered. It mattered and I was failing. It was not working and it was due to me failing not due to a decision I had made. Failure. Failing as a mother. That night was hideous.
In the end I was getting so distressed, heightened by the fact I was in desperate need of sleep, that my gorgeous new precious baby was taken from the room by the midwives to give me a chance to sleep. She was taken, and I cried myself to sleep.
Of course, once we got through that night it was fine. The boob-ladies came round and helped me with my latch, a lovely health care assistant reassured me that if she needs to have formula instead then nothing bad will happen it’s just one of those things, and all my old feelings of “c’est la vie” came back and I relaxed and have been happily, lazily, breast feeding since!
You can check out all my contact info an links on http://www.jjbarnes.co.uk, I’m on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram so you can get in touch on there, as well as find links to all my work. There’s also http://www.sirenstories.co.uk which has all the work by both myself and The Boy (Jonathan McKinney) and loads of extra content such as background stories for different characters. If you want to subscribe on Patreon, its just $1 a month to help support our work and it also grants you access to our extra podcast a week, you can go to http://www.patreon.com/sirenstories.
Thanks as always for reading, and I’ll speak to you soon I hope!