DISCLAIMER: this is a venting post my self therapeutic exercise. I will be honest and open about my experience hope it helps someone else.
So this story began when our baby girl was born.She came three weeks before her due date. At 37weeks she weighed 2.6kgs.I remember thinking how small she was and wondering how I was going to carry her without breaking something.
One of the things I was looking forward to was breastfeeding.To create that bond between my newborn as I did the most natural thing in the world feeding my offspring.I was lucky my milk set in immediately after birth during my hospital stay ,my milk production was so much that I had to change my hospital gowns often as I would leak rivers of that liquid gold.
I was shown how to help my baby latch on by the nurses.Let me tell you that was hell.every change of shift came with it a new nurse with different ideas on how I should breastfeed.they pulled and pinched and hovered .Taji never caught on.From the moment she was first placed on my breast she fought and cried incessantly .Like she didn’t want it. Whenever she would successfully latch she would suck for a few minutes and then get off and cry herself Into an exhausted sleep.Nothing I tried worked.The hospital lactation consultant even came to show me how to ‘do it right ‘ and even then nothing worked.I was told with practice things would get easier and after a few days we were sent home.
It .was.hell. We didn’t sleep for two weeks.Night times were the worst we would take turns trying to calm her down before placing her on the breast and still nothing worked.She would suck for a few minutes and pull herself off and go to sleep in frustration.I was worried that my baby would starve to death.Our visit to paedetrician confirmed my fears our baby had lost weight ,yes it was Normal after birth.But within two weeks instead of adding weight as expected she had lost some grams .She looked thin dehydrated and sad.Our doctor said he was concerned and that I should try my best to keep bresstfeeding.I cried that day after leaving hospital I felt like a failure.If I couldn’t provide sustenance to my child what good was I as a mother? On the way home my husband and i talked and we decided to do what ever it took to get her healthy.So we bought a tin of Cow and Gate formula and decided that after she breastfed I would supplement with formula.She loved the bottle and downed that first bottle really quickly.My poor baby had been starving.
All the stress during the first few days resulted in my milk reducing.I wanted to express milk store it and bottle feed her.Formula wasn’t supposed to be the only thing she took.Unfortunately that never happened.I was told because my baby was born earlier than her die date she found it too hard to latch on properly and pull enough milk .And that with time as she grew bigger and stronger she would eventually breastfeed properly.And so each day I would place her on the breast hoping that the day would come .She turned two months yesterday.That day hasn’t arrived.She won’t breast feed.Expressing milk through using s breastpump hadn’t yielded much .I never get past the 60ml mark.I have tried everything ,seen a lactation consultant who sold me lactation cookies and Mother’s tea I have tried porridge,soups. It hasn’t worked.So there isn’t enough for me to store away and feed her on demand.So I have continued to give her formula.At the last doctors visit she had added weight and is healthy and happy.
It has been an emotional rollercoaster .I love being a mother I feel so blessed.However Everywhere I turn I have been told I need to breastfeed for atleast 6months that it will boost her immunity and all those nice things.
As I write this I realize that everyday i will have to battle with my mind and make peace with the fact that I can’t breastfeed or express enough milk.It is okay.She is healthy she is growing she will be fine.I am still a good mother.I am a first time mother doing the best I can so help me God.