I will never forget sitting there, nearly in tears. I had spilt my milk. I was so distraught. The first thought that entered my mind was the old saying about not crying over spilt milk. This was clearly not aimed at mothers expressing such milk. I felt like the world had crashed around me. Why? The time, the effort and the emotional attachment I had in trying to give my baby the absolute best I could, left me as drained as the milk.
Logically, I knew that I could not because of circumstances breastfeed my baby. However this did not stop my feeling of guilt at not be able to perform such a natural deed. Even my baby seemed confused. Every time he turned his head to try and feed, it just broke my heart one look at a time.
To my great shock I have found my son who has not been breastfed had a stronger bond with me at the same age as my breastfed daughter. I have found just being his Mum is all he wants. Love, care, support and cuddles The zeal with which some people talk about breast feeding being the only thing your child needs is just wrong and can be so hurtful in many circumstances Is it good? Definitely, but as I happily learnt it is just one of so many things that combine to make a happy healthy child. My 5 month old looks for me, his eyes follow me around the room and smiles when he hears my voice. He has helped me realise just what he needed. A Mother that is there for him. I know he senses my moods so I and all Mothers need to throw out our misplaced guilt and be happy and just love our kids, breast fed or not.
Expressing is tough. I sent my husband out to get the best breast pump as I felt I really had to do this for my son. Getting the time and place to do this is just a logistical nightmare. Trying to work around the baby’s feed time, putting the baby down and hoping he doesn’t cry so you can express and maybe get some sleep. My baby seemed to sense I was expressing and was always restless. It is not something that you can do when visitors come over, so it’s talk to the visitors or unsociably off to the bedroom. I have expressed in some weird places, like the time when I was in the passenger seat of the car I spent my time hoping nobody would look over. I will laugh at this some day. In an ironic twist I decided it was all too much for me as my son’s first surgery approached.
I had a lot of guilt about the whole breastfeeding and expressing issues. Now that I have a better perspective of the real facts, I still have feelings of guilt but after much soul searching I now use it as a reminder for me that I am trying my absolute best that I can. This is somewhat reassuring as there are so many decisions to made as a Mother. I really see things differently now and I will use my guilt/worry to stay on the right path.