Let’s talk about breastfeeding, and how it’s ok that second time round you hated it a lot of the time - but did it anyway for a year.
So mama, on the face of it you had two successful breastfeeding stints; bar the horrendous first two weeks feeding # 1, where you took a break, thinking it was the end (cue hormonal floodgates opening that didn’t seem to ease off for at least a fortnight, longer if you ask Tom ;)) but started it back up again as were happier doing it than not.
As you’d fed #1 with no real problems after the initial ‘teething problems’, you were prepared for soreness and cluster feeding when #2 joined us land-side. And for the first few months it was generally fine, albeit feeding a very different bottle-refusing, flame haired human. What you weren’t ready for was the arrival of the feelings of rage, being ‘touched out’ and stressed by the presence of these emotions.
See, you’re a determined completer/finisher, which has become glaringly obvious since you joined the motherhood and this has its pros and cons. When you set yourself a target, you’re rarely swayed otherwise, even when sometimes you should relax a bit. Not that I think that in this case.
The fact that you could have given up if you wanted to, that you could feed when many others couldn’t, made you feel like it almost negated being allowed to moan about feeding at all. Even now looking back, you still feel like you couldn’t give up before a year, even while hating it a lot of the time and you can’t really explain why. It didn’t help that there only seemed to be 2 camps. The ones that loved it and the ones that felt relief when they stopped. And you were the opposite on both counts.
Then, nearing the end of feeding B, you discovered Breastfeeding Aversion via this post on Insta and the fact that it was an actual thing, you weren’t just a martyr quietly questioning your sanity. You certainly weren’t the only one to feel this way and that knowledge helped.
We all know that breastfeeding isn’t all serene feeding in fields in the morning light...ahem. It’s building train tracks with your toddler while having a baby attached to your boob. It’s the toe-curlingly cringe-filled middle of the night feeds that leave you even more sleepless than your nocturnal baby.
Don’t get me wrong, there were times when it was peaceful, times it was useful (Whingey? Boob! Tired? Boob! Poorly? Boob! Want to watch an episode of Girls in peace? Boob!) . But mostly, it was just normal. Realistic. And like much of motherhood, it has its moments where it isn’t all it cracked up to be. But it was worth it, SO worth it. Sometimes if you think about it. you miss it a teeny bit and if it hadn’t been for the fact you were away from the boob monster for 10 days, you’d probably still be feeding, and in the thick of aversion and perhaps without the hindsight to be able to write this letter.
So basically; you did it. I want you to know that you weren’t the only one. And remember that for the future hurdles coming at you.
Bye for now Mama
* I feel the need to mention here that I didn’t act on the rage, although there were times when I just had to hand him over to Tom and hide away for a bit, but that’s another story.