Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Breastfeeding And Me

When I found out I was pregnant I decided that I wanted to breastfeed. I never really got the chance with Jared-David as he was born at 28 weeks, I expressed for a while but it was so hard I had to hook myself up to the milking machine (breast pump) every 3 hours and when you don't have your baby with you and are lacking skin to skin contact it becomes more of a chore then a bonding experience. So this time I had my heart set on it. I was told by my midwives at 36 weeks to start hand expressing or use my pump (I think this was due to my gestational diabetes). It was a little uncomfortable to begin and I didn't really get anything, but when I was expressing the days before Eryn-Rose was born I started to get colostrum which I collected in the syringes provided by the hospital. 

The day Eryn-Rose was born I managed to get her latched on and breastfeeding seemed like it was going to be a success!! Later that night I did ask for some help as she kept getting hiccups and coming off which was painful, one breast hurt more then the other. Once I was home I continued and the midwife contacted the local breastfeeding Guru's who came round and said yep your doing great. Day 2 it was beginning to get really painful, I had cracked nipples that were bleeding and my breast were just so sore. I was told that it was just because she wasn't latching on properly and that the hiccups would't be helping. I carried on with it because even with all the pain it was what I wanted to do this plus, I was robbed of this with Jared-David. 

On Day 3 I was scream out in pain every time she latched on, my toes would dig into the floor and I would sit thinking 'it will all get better'. On this day Eryn-Rose spent between 12-14 hours continuously on and off my breasts, I was in agony and I was exhausted. I asked the midwife if this was all normal and mentioned the pain again, I explained that every feed Eryn-Rose was getting hiccups which was making things hard and that she also won't part with wind. I was told that it was normal for newborn babies who are breastfed to want a feed every hour (they don't mention that in the leaflets or the talks!!) I was also told to try her in a different position as she may be having problems latching on (No she didn't have problems latching on my breast are just in agony but she is on them for hours).

In the early hours of Day 4 I was sat in tears!! I couldn't feed my baby as the pain was just unbearable (I have a very high pain threshold as well). I was in pain and tired I hadn't slept for so long as Eryn-Rose was wanting a feed every hour then she would get hiccups which meant she couldn't feed correctly, making it very stressful for us both. At 2:30am I drove to Asda and bought formula milk! When I got back Liam prepared the bottle and I sat there crying, upset that I couldn't feed my baby feeling guilty that I had given up. I cried a good few times every time I gave her a bottle. I can't really describe how I felt/feel about giving up breastfeeding but it was what was best for my baby who just wasn't really getting what she needed. 

Once I stopped I expressed for a few days but even this was painful, it was just put down to general pain. I then had to stop expressing as it was still painful, mainly my nipples as they were so cracked and sore (no matter how much nipple cream I used) it was also awkward as I was having to leave gaps in between as we had plans and I wasn't feel well. I began to feel really unwell and was glad that I wasn't breastfeeding as I felt awful. I had a fever, my body ached all over and at times I couldn't speak properly and I also had a rash just under my breasts, I managed to get in at the doctors who told me I had Mastitis which had turned into an infection. When speaking with the doctor she is fairly certain I had had Mastitis from the first few days of breastfeeding and maybe even before when I was expressing before Eryn-Rose was born. I felt a bit of relief as that would explain why it was so hard and painful to breastfeed but at the same time I felt robbed again. If I wasn't told repeatedly that the pain I was feeling was due to latching on problems then I would of gone to the doctor sooner and I could of carried on breastfeeding. 

Emotionally I have found this really hard to deal with for a few reasons. This may sound silly as feeding a baby, it shouldn't matter how it is done. Right?! well maybe so but I had no control or say over anything during my pregnancy thanks to my cervix, thyroid and gestational diabetes. So having your heart set on something that you can choose like breastfeeding then your body deciding that actually it isn't happy with that choice, really sucks. I wanted that special bonding time with her and I wanted to have that skin to skin with her. It was a choice I wanted and a choice that was taken away. If you plan to breastfeed your baby please speak to people about it as there is so much they don't tell you.