I know it shouldn’t have surprised me. I knew breastfeeding wasn’t easy. Just how difficult…that came as quite a bit of a shock. And for a few days I’ll admit I was ready to give up. It seems that I am not as strong willed as I believe myself to be, and to be honest there were more than a couple times when I broke down in tears of not just frustration but serious pain. All I can say is…and I never thought I’d say this…God bless the breast pump!
By day three of Mason’s life my breasts were cracked and bleeding because he wasn’t latching on correctly and I was basically clueless on how to rectify the problem. Every time he would try to eat I felt like punching a hole in a wall it hurt so badly. I wouldn’t wish that type of pain on my worst enemy. And then on day five engorgement reared it’s ugly (and swollen) head. I’ve never had breasts larger than a B, they maxed out at a DD; I wanted to take a machete and chop them off of my body. I told hubby that if, for some unknown reason, I ever say I want implants to please remind me of this seriously off balance moment. That lasted a few days and by the time it was over they had thankfully healed up and stopped bleeding. But it was tough going for a few days…days that seemed like they were dragging on for weeks. And as guilty as I feel to admit this, we switched to a bottle of pumped milk for those few days whilst I was “healing” . But those fews days may have saved me and given me the courage to try again.
It’s day 16 and we have gone back to (almost) exclusively breastfeeding. I say almost because I’m still pumping some during the day so that Hubby can feed him at night when I’m sleeping. Thankfully Mason has a very strong rooting reflex and we bought bottles that mimic the shape and feel of a breast so he hasn’t had any “nipple confusion”.
I’m still in a little bit of pain but I think that’s mainly because I need to “toughen up”…this is still a fairly new adventure fore me. And I’m determined to keep it up as long as I can. Right now the goal is six months. If we can reach that goal we’ll up the ante and see how long we can go from there. But here’s the hardest part, and maybe it would be different if we hadn’t gotten off to such a rough start, but I really don’t enjoy breastfeeding all that much. That’s hard to admit. And I feel so guilty about it. Breastfeeding is supposed to be this beautifully magical bonding experience with your baby and I just don’t feel it. What I feel mainly is anxiousness. I’m anxious to be able to move from the one spot I’m rooted in for up to 45 minutes. And I’m frustrated that it is still taking several tries, sometimes a lot more than several, to get him to latch on right. It’s especially tough when we are both frustrated and he’s crying because he’s so hungry and I’m crying because I can’t get him to latch properly because of his crying. It seems like a never-ending cycle of tears and frustration. So I’m missing out on that magical bonding time and instead am getting an experience that I just want to be over. And this makes me feel so full of guilt like I’m a disappointment as a mother. A feeling that seems, to me, to be firmly connected to my experience as a new mom so far.
Did anyone else feel this way? Please tell me I’m not the only one!!!