'The pain was unbearable' By Taylor Newnham
Breastfeeding - it has been the second most rewarding, challenging, fulfilling, scary and heart wrenching experience of my life so far, directly behind pushing a baby right out my hoo-ha..
Breastfeeding made me feel like a real mum, like I was a super hero and no one could bring me down from that high... then out of no where unforeseen circumstances reared their ugly head and BAM, that was it, too much pain, too many tears and no more breastfeeding. I developed nipple thrush and mastitis at the same time and the pain was unbearable to say the least.
Talk about heart broken. My feelings were unexplainable, I've never cried so hard or for so long over something that my body wouldn't allow.
For someone so strong minded that had a heart set on providing for her newborn baby solely from her breasts, to finally give in to everything her partner had frustratingly but kind heartedly and rightfully said and try a god damn bottle, was the hardest thing I've had to do so far through the journey of motherhood.
I don't say this lightly, I was fucking heart broken seeing my beautiful baby being fed from a bottle and god forbid it was formula! But my body had told me too many times for too long that I needed a break and I finally listened.
Formula didn't work, his little sensitive tummy hated it. He was in so much pain after having the formula and I couldn't bare to see him like that. So, with fear in my heart, and even more fear in my nipples, I tried breast pumping and, holy shit, it didn't hurt.. There was no excruciating pain, no tears, and I finally got to feed our boy the breastmilk he needed...from the bottle I despised... but he was content, comfortable and full which he hadn't been for a long few days and my boobs were finally empty (thank god because full udders with a case of mastitis is not a good time, this dairy cow was not a happy camper).
Okay so 3 weeks of breast pumping and bottle feeding went by, the nipple thrush seemed to have subsided and the mastitis was under control and I thought right, lets try the boob again and get it right this time BUT my little gem wasn't interested, he even cried at the sight! There I was, a blubbering mess, heart sinking to my feet and feeling like a failure all over again.
Breast pumping is fucking hard, exclusively breast pumping is even harder but for me, not having the choice right now is the hardest thing about this whole experience. I know, I know, just keep trying.. I will and hopefully we get back to the breast really soon but if we don't I now know that fed really IS best. Regardless of a mumma's feelings, regardless of the human opinion my baby is fed and he's happy, that's all that really matters.