I cried in Boots today. How utterly embarrassing. I stood there, all wrapped up in my parka, with Piran in the Xplory and big tears started sliding down my face. I had gone in to buy Piran shampoo but that wasn’t what set me off. As I weaved my way between the baby aisles I noticed the Tommee Tippee bottles and stopped to have a look.
It is not the bottles and it is not the fact there will be a small baby. It is that I am scared. I am not scared of having a second child. I am not scared of the hard work, the sleep deprivation or the intense changes that we have coming up in the next few months. I am scared of breastfeeding.
I am also scared of writing this post, although it is in my head, crowding out all thoughts a lot of the time. This is my place, where I can write and vent and let go but breastfeeding is such an emotive subject that I am afraid of what people will think of me if I say all this. It has to be done though, so please just remember that this is how I feel about my situation. I have to get it out, that is for sure, I cannot just wander round sobbing in public.
I wrote this post The F-Word 12 weeks after Piran was born. It explains our journey with feeding and how he ended up being bottlefed. I can’t actually read it back the whole way through at the moment.
There is a lot behind it, all tied in with him being ill and such a strong willed hungry little man but in its simplest form for many reasons when I tried to breastfeed Piran it did not go so well and in the end I found myself angry at him, resenting him, full of horrible bad feelings towards my own baby son. So I stopped breastfeeding. I stopped trying to breastfeed. I did express as much milk as I could and gave him every last drop until after two weeks my milk dried up.
Over the past 18 months I have come to terms with all of that. He is a beautiful, healthy wonderful child and as far as I can tell formula has done him no harm. I am happy and completely convinced gave him the best start that I was able to give.
But now I am here again. Thumper is growing, kicking, moving, making her presence known. In a few short months all being well I will hold her in my arms. I am dealing with my fears about birth, but ever present and unable to ignore is my fear of breastfeeding.
I know it is not meant to be easy. It is not simple and both of us will have to learn how to do it. But what if it is too hard. I am afraid to try. I am afraid that all those feelings will come back. I don’t want to start feeling the way I did about Piran again. Those were dark, evil, terrible feelings that I never ever want again.
So what do I do? Do I simply admit that the fear is too much and just bottlefeed from day one, supplementing with expressed breastmilk for as long as I can. Do I give her the same start I gave Piran? That is what made me cry today. I was looking at bottles, mentally calculating how many we will need and I realised that part of me assumes I will be bottle feeding again.
Or do I try? Do I fully commit myself to breastfeeding this time. It may go okay. If it does how will I feel then? That I am somehow giving her more than I could give Piran. Also, I only know what it is like to have a bottle fed baby, so Mr C could feed Piran and give me a break. I got whole nights of sleep on occasion, will I be able to deal with the fact that if I breastfeed I don’t get a break. How will Piran react, will he understand? How will I breastfeed and manage a toddler home alone during the day. How do people do it?
I am scared of what to say to the midwife when she speaks to me about it. I am not sure I can admit face to face any of this. How do you say I am afraid to breastfeed as I am scared it will make me hate my baby. It doesn’t make sense, and how would you react if someone said that to you? I know that it is a bit blunt but it is the basic truth. God, if I say that they will probably just take the baby straight off me when it arrives.
Oh it is all so jumbled in my head. It is not even making sense on the page. I am not sure whether writing this has helped or whether I am more confused than I was. It could well be the latter.