Breastfeeding/Bottel feeding and the judgement moms face today

Lets not judge… period I want the chance to tell my story please. My baby was born on the 3rd of May she is a miracle baby because I had 15 surgeries from 2007-2011. 5 of them were major back operations and 6 of them life threatening abdominal surgeries ( i am not looking for pity just explaining) so for 6 years I was told by numerous specialist that I would never be able to have children, my husband knew before we got married and yet he was still hopeful we eventually went to the Vita lab in Jhb to hear yet again that even with insemination the chances were slim to none and would cost so much plus the specialist explained that I would probably have miscarriage. I prayed so hard that God either gave me and my husband peace and that we would be able to let it go or create a miracle because I did not want to go through all of that especially the loss ,after already loosing my brother and best friend I felt I wouldn’t be able to handle a miscarriage. Well God answered my prayers a month later I got pregnant naturally (no fertility drugs nothing) so from the beginning I was set on doing everything I can to have the healthiest baby I ate more healthy lived more healthy I became obsessed and of course I was adamant on having a natural birth and breastfeeding. Even though we were scared because the chances of natural birth where slim because of my history my doctor supported me and I knew that I would not be able to get an epidural or spinal tap so if we had to go to theater I would have to be put under anesthesia. Yet again God answered my prayers and on 41 weeks I had induction and gave birth after 11 hours. My girl was perfect even though they had to use an instrument to get her out because of all my scar tissue. She was immediately handed to me and I put her to the breast she latched perfectly so everything went as planned even though I had flat nipples. BUT because of history I have developed acute chronic inflammation and that meant my body creates inflammation in muscles and it gets so bad that I sometimes get infection and fevers. On day 4 my milk came in and I was starting to see my baby struggling to latch with my flat nipples and engorged breasts and my nipples started getting blisters so I immediately got hold of a LLL ( I will not mention name even though my doctor wants me to report her) she told me to just push through it will get better and that my baby’s latch is good. Me being determined to breastfeed kept at it and even though it got worse my LLL told me it will soon get better so I just kept going. I tried pumping so that it would be easier for her to latch but soon my nipples tore so bad that I lost half of one of them , my baby was suffering and could not get milk out of milk ducts. I sent the LLL fotos of how bad my nipples looked and that I started getting mastitis. Again she said keep at it eventually I ended up with severe infection and a fever of 39.2 and my baby crying from hunger on day 9 my husband and mother said “ENOUGH” so they took me to the doctor and he was so shocked when he saw me I had to go on 500mg penicillin because the infection was so bad and then he said the words I never wanted to hear “It’s over” you have to take pills to dry up milk or you wont heal… I was devastated my baby had to go on formula and even though I got the pills it took my family 3 days to convince me to drink them for my own health. I am still so heartbroken that I cry daily when giving her formula. Sad part is there was so much damage done to my nipples that I would not be able to breastfeed again but worse than that is the judgement…. I already beat myself up daily and feel ashamed to feed my baby a bottle in public. Yes and just like some of you get evil stares from people when you breastfeed in public now I also get those same judgmental stares for feeding bottle. I don’t know if I will ever emotionally recover from this even though I have lived and survived so much this is by far one of the most difficult things I have to accept. Still there are breastfeeding advocates that tell me it’s my fault and I should have tried this or that well my family can testify that I literally tried everything I put myself and my baby through hell for 3 days because I was not ready to give up. So today I ask you don’t judge bottle feeding moms so easy (I used to as well) I mean why would you not give your baby the best well some people don’t have a choice. Everywhere you look you see breast is best even on the formula and bottle boxes. Daily I read people on this group complaining and advocating for breastfeeding. I simply ask you now to not judge bottle feeding moms. Just as it hurts you it hurts ten times more if you really want to breastfeed and can’t and then get judged for it. Thank you for reading and please no negative comments like I say I beat myself up enough. Luckily we have a happy and healthy little girl and we feed her organic formula named Holle she is doing great. O hope that this post will mean or help someone else.

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