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Old Jan 12th, 2012, 14:21 PM   41
MrsH86
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Thank you for making this thread! I'm sort of in limbo but struck my guilt everyday and can't bear to go onto the bf forum because it breaks my heart.
I was convinced I'd breastfeed, we didn't buy any bottles, or stock up on any formula 'just incase', we even got given a steriliser because I thought I wouldn't really need one however that wasn't to be.
I had an emcs after a failed induction and Freya's heartbeat began dropping until it stopped. I had a general anaesthetic as I'd had no epi put in and she needed to come out there and then so it was all very rushed and even now I'm still twinged with sadness that no one got to see my baby be born, I had such visions of my husband and I looking at eachother in awe as our baby was placed on me. Anyway as soon as I came out of recovery Freya was placed on me and bless her she tried to latch but I was no help as I could barely move and the midwife was placing her on me but she was struggling from the get go. I tried for the few days I was in hospital but she'd only latch on one side and was constantly wanting to feed, as babies do. The day we got discharged a nurse came to check she could feed and after a quick two minute check, without offering help as to how I could latch her the other side I was told I could go. I wanted to get out as soon as poss and be with my husband and have her home that I just thought I'd be able to get her to do it. I had midwives come for the next 7 days everyday due to PE risk and they all helped and advised I pump milk from my right breast which she wouldn't feed from just to keep my supply there for when she did. During those first 5 weeks I've never cried so much in my entire life. Freya fed constantly, the most sleep I'd get was 90 minutes and that was only because my husband would get some of my expressed milk and attempt cup feeding (he has guilt over this because half the time it'd spill all down her and she'd be all worked up and upset). Anyway I struggled on, praying for the magical 6 weeks when I felt I would be ok to risk giving her a bottle and avoiding nipple confusing. My nipples bled, I'd curl my toes with every latch in agony, every time she fed I'd be in tears it was a really dark time. The first time my husband gave her a bottle even though it was my expressed milk, I couldn't be in the room, infact for about two weeks I couldn't watch as he fed her. I felt obsolete, unneeded, it was awful. That first time she took 4oz in one go and slept for 5 hours. It was amazing! It began with every evening her last feed would be a bottle of my expressed milk but then she got diagnosed with reflux and giving gaviscon with a syringe after breastfeeding made things so much more difficult so then I started giving her three feeds a day in a bottle with the gaviscon. During this time she'd still feed from me but feed for 30 minutes then unlatch and want to feed again within half an hour and it was even worse during growth spurts, naturally. It got to the stage where she'd feed from me then take a 4oz bottle of expressed milk afterwards. Finally it was established I had a really slow flow and she was falling asleep very quickly on the breast and not getting a proper feed from me. Her latching and drawing some milk out combined with me expressing kept my supply strong until the beginning of December when she flat out refused my breasts. I tried every single day at every opportunity to get her to latch and try even now but she screams at my breast even if very hungry. My HV said it's a nursing strike but it's been 6 weeks now! I'm still expressing my milk, 4-5 times a day but cannot produce enough for her so she is combi fed. I can't stop expressing, even though it now takes 20 minutes to express 2 oz and I'm bordering on obsessive with regards to making up her feeds or warming my expressed milk. I have to do it to ease my mind that I'm some how providing for her even if I'm not the one giving the feed. I'm filled with guilt from both sides, one because she refuses my breast and even though it was painful and she was never satisfied I do feel guilty for giving a bottle and possibly causing her to not feed from me and secondly because I feel I could have avoided this if I'd FF from the beginning. Crazy logic I know!
Anyway I just wanted to put my story out there because I'm in huge support of someone making a thread where people feel guilt and are in limbo! x



 
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Old Jan 12th, 2012, 14:37 PM   42
lynys
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*hugs* Ladies.

I felt the same in hospital because LO would not latch at all for colostrum. I cried out of frustration because she was not eating, and I sawher skin turning yellow. I begged the nurse to help, but nothing we tried was working, so they brought this little cup thing that LO could lap formula up from. She was so hungry, she kept lapping it like a kitten.

I begged my husband to come home and get my breast pump, because the thing the hospital had was not working, so he brought it to me. I started pumping colostrum until my nipples were purple, determined to get LO something. I managed a few ounces and tried to give to LO in the cup, but she didn't want it. She refused, and I was devastated.

Next morn, I woke up and figured I'd give it one last shot because LO had not eaten more than a couple ounces formula in nearly three days. This time, she latched and gulped because my milk started. I was so relieved. I was lucky I guess and think my frantic pumping session was the cause.

Don't feel bad... you tried and LO didn't latch. It was nothing you did. Your LO's are growing just as strong and healthy!

It is posts about quitting that get me because these women have the opportunity to do what you can't, and they want to stop because it's too hard. They should feel guilty, not you ladies.

*hugs you all*



 
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Old Jan 12th, 2012, 15:45 PM   43
Eala
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lynys View Post

It is posts about quitting that get me because these women have the opportunity to do what you can't, and they want to stop because it's too hard. They should feel guilty, not you ladies.
Was there really any need for that? This thread has been wonderfully free of any kind of judgemental attitude so far. Telling anyone that they "should" feel guilty is just awful, no-one has the right to make that kind of judgement.



 
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Old Jan 12th, 2012, 16:48 PM   44
MrsPOP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eala View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by lynys View Post

It is posts about quitting that get me because these women have the opportunity to do what you can't, and they want to stop because it's too hard. They should feel guilty, not you ladies.
Was there really any need for that? This thread has been wonderfully free of any kind of judgemental attitude so far. Telling anyone that they "should" feel guilty is just awful, no-one has the right to make that kind of judgement.
Absolutely. Im believe no woman should ever be made to feel guilty about the way they choose to feed their child.

Call me sentimental but I wish BFers, FFers and Whatever We Are-ers should unite and support each other instead of judging.

Eala, Ive just posted a link to that wonderful article you posted on my Facebook and have had lots of likes and lovely comments from both BF and FF mums. So thankyou for that.

I want to give you all such a massive hug and thankyou for sharing your stories. You have NO IDEA how much it has helped me to know Im not alone. I know now that I will get over this one day, hopefully sooner than I anticipated. My daughter is happy, healthy, thriving and most of all LOVED. Just because I FF does not make me an inferior mother or means I love her any less.

There is a BF grief support thread in groups and I posted in there not long ago and got some feedback from some lovely ladies but I wanted to post in the main baby club because ladies in our situations mightnt realise there is that support out there, that they arent alone, as they may not go into the group sections.



 
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Old Jan 12th, 2012, 17:07 PM   45
05mummy07
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eala View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by lynys View Post

It is posts about quitting that get me because these women have the opportunity to do what you can't, and they want to stop because it's too hard. They should feel guilty, not you ladies.
Was there really any need for that? This thread has been wonderfully free of any kind of judgemental attitude so far. Telling anyone that they "should" feel guilty is just awful, no-one has the right to make that kind of judgement.
Totally agree... There are so many different reasons which some people just could not even begin to comprehend as to why some 'capable' BFing mothers quit, PND being the biggest reason in so many cases.

Really was no need for that comment at all.



 
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Old Jan 12th, 2012, 17:42 PM   46
T-Bex
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You've done your best, don't ever think you haven't! Have you thought about approaching the mods for a new section? I have no idea what they'd call it "Combi-feeders", or "Bit of Both", maybe? It'd be nice for there to be a section like that I think, because I know what you mean.

Also, we approached our Childrens Centre about setting up a new group that had everyone involved, and it worked, and we have a new group now! Worth a pop?



 
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Old Jan 12th, 2012, 17:57 PM   47
MrsPOP
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I might ask the mods, Im not sure there may be demand for it though. Or maybe this thread could become a sticky?

This is going to sound so horrible but there is a generic 'group' at my local childrens centre but its full of chavs (Im sorry for sounding like a snob) that I dont have anything in common with. I live in a nice house in a rough area IYKWIM?

Maybe I should give it more of a try. It annoys me so much that I never went to NCT classes when pg, the joys of working ridiculous hours and DH working weekends



 
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Old Jan 12th, 2012, 17:59 PM   48
Ellemarley
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I don't have enough glandular tissue to make enough milk to feed my 6 day old baby. I'm pumping .5 ounces total per feeding. Talk about guilt... I feel horrible.



 
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Old Jan 12th, 2012, 17:59 PM   49
sequeena
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I didn't go to NCT either Laura, too expensive x



 
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Old Jan 12th, 2012, 18:00 PM   50
Itsychik
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My heart breaks for all of you lovely, amazing ladies who have been made to feel this way. I don't think anything I could say would make the feelings go away, but as has been said before--you are all amazing, strong women who have struggled and have come out on top by doing what's best for you and your LO's, regardless of how that choice was made. Please don't ever feel like you aren't doing the very best for your LO's!

I hope it's okay that I post my story as well, as I consider myself extremely lucky that I am able to breast feed, even if it's not how I had hoped. For me, pregnancy was a slap in the face. I'd always had this vision of having that pregnancy glow and proudly rubbing my bump while enjoying the glorious feeling of having my baby moving inside... but I hated being pregnant. There was no glow in the 9 months I spent with my head in a toilet (and no words to describe how truly awful that can be) in addition to so many other things I won't even go into. I never had a bond with the baby inside me. It was a theoretical baby-- I knew he existed, but he never felt like 'mine.' So for me, breastfeeding was the light at the end of the tunnel. I was going to exclusively bf my little baby and would finally have that 'mommy glow' and bond with my baby like everyone told me. I even went to a "breastfeeding information evening" at the hospital I was going to give birth in, and the LC closed her presentation with the statement, "every single women with breasts can breastfeed." Perfect! I have breasts, which meant I'd be able to provide for my baby. I didn't buy formula "just in case" but I was prepared with a pump...

Fast forward to the birth (EMCS) and my baby being sent to neonatal care... when I finally got to see him, he was too exhausted to feed. The hospital tried to be supportive, but at the same time they insisted I give formula top ups to my poor, hungry baby. I insisted I be allowed to express and got a heart breaking 2 - 5ml of colustrum...

When I first got home things seemed to finally pick up. My milk came in on day 5 and the first week seemed to go well. I didn't even have any pain or cracked nipples like I had read about--clearly this was meant to be! Then for no apparent reason my LO started feeding every hour, cluster feeding (which I'd never heard of!), and I spent literally 16 - 20 hours of my day with LO attached to me. But hey, this is what I'd wanted and I just had to stick it out... and since I was feeding him literally ALL THE TIME, surely he must be thriving? Except that he had poor weight gain and eventually weight loss. How was this possible? I was following all the rules... I hired an LC and we tried EVERYTHING to get supply up. My LO started feeding every 30 minutes (60 minute feed, followed by 20 - 30 minute break, then another 60 minute feed... and one hour in between at night). But still wasn't gaining weight! Eventually I was diagnosed with a low supply. I'd never heard of this-- every woman with breasts can breastfeed, right?! So why wasn't mother nature letting me provide for my baby? I ignored the HV's advice to supplement, convinced that if I just tried harder, fed even MORE often, that surely nature would let me feed my baby??

But as he dropped in the 'centiles DH more or less begged me to think about our poor DS and to let us try doing what was best for him (the HV had asked him to help convince me). I felt so selfish--was my stubbornness to carry on starving my baby? What kind of crap mother was I--I'd hated the pregnancy and now I couldn't even feed him properly. The first time DH gave DS a bottle of formula (which DS downed, then immediately slept for an unheard of 3 hours) I cried for hours. I started an exhausting regimine of feeding, pumping, bottle, more pumping, feeding... but despite my persistance, my supply continued to decrease. Then my LO started refusing to bf entirely. And why should he, when the bottle gave him much more, much faster, and was clearly doing a better job of being a mother than I was. I spent several weeks crying at home, or in counselling at the HV's office, and refused to be the one to give LO a bottle because I was riddled with guilt... It became a day-to-day question of whether I was going to give it up entirely.

I am nothing, however, if not persistant. We stuck with the exhausting feed/pump/bottle schedule... tried LO in different feeding positions, until finally, FINALLY he fed from the breast again. From that moment I accepted that I would have to be content as a "combi-feeder" and I realized just how lucky I was that I would be able to continue at all...

My LO is now 6 months old and we're still combi-feeding. I still get the dirty looks when I pull out a bottle to give my LO while we're out, I get considerably less sleep than my DH in order to maintain a strict pumping schedule even now that DS is STTN, I try not to get too discouraged when it takes anywhere from 3 - 5 pumping sessions to have enough for one bottle, and most importantly, I ignore all the rude/nasty comments people make when they assume I combi-feed for my own "selfish" reasons ("if you have to combi-feed because bf'ing your baby doesn't fit your lifestyle than maybe you should have thought of that before you got pregnant." -- I almost punched that person). Even now, my LO is in the hospital this week and several of the nurses have commented on how "unacceptable" it is how little my LO is able to get from me (as though I do it on purpose!), and I've always felt like I don't deserve the bf milestone flashers because I'm not able to EBF...

But still, when I read the posts on this thread it helps remind me how absolutely lucky I am to continue this at all. Thank you ladies for sharing your stories, and for helping me find peace with myself as well.



 
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