My Heart, Your Home: My Breastfeeding Journey   

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

My Breastfeeding Journey


I happened to be unfortunate enough to be born with an inverted nipple. Until I became sexually active, it was never something that effected me or my life. It wasn't until I became aware of my body in its naked form, what was normal and what wasn't, that I became embarrassed of how my breasts appeared. But before long I accepted my body for all of its flaws and my inverted nipple was no longer something I thought of, or even noticed. 

Until I fell pregnant with Evelyn and it suddenly occurred to me, 'what if I cant breastfeed?'. I spoke of my concerns and was told not to worry. So I didn't. Until Evelyn was born and it turned out that I actually couldn't breast feed her. No matter how hard I tried.  

After the pain and disappoint that came with failing to breastfeed my first born my natural reaction when I fell pregnant with Zalia was to decide that I wouldn't even try to breastfeed. I told myself that this decision was the best decision for me and my baby. I didn't think it was worth putting myself through the torment of trying, of hoping and then failing once again. I really didn't think I would be able to take it.

Until I found the niplette. I spent days trawling the internet looking for success stories and I found many! So with a new fire burning within my belly and a heart full of hope, I went out and bought the niplette and started using it for hours every day. Before long I started noticing a real difference in the shape of my nipple. What used to disappear back inwards when I tried to draw it out, was now popping out like a normal nipple with just a small push. I was sure that I would now be able to breastfeed but still too scared of the disappoint to say the words out a loud. 

When Zalia was born and I fed her for the first time, she had no problems latching on to my good side, however on the inverted side she just wouldn't try. But then, late at night (or early in the morning), after Anthony had gone home and tiredness was beginning to take hold, the fire in my belly still burning strong, she just did it. On her own. No help, no pressure. It just happened and I squealed in delight. I instantly ran Anthony and woke him up and exclaimed, 'she is breastfeeding!'. 

She fed so well in that sitting and I was so proud of her, of myself. I was truly suprised that it was actually happening and that I may actually be able to have a successful breastfeeding story. I was excited and looking forward to going on this journey with my second born Daughter. 

However, after several feeds the nipple began to crack and bleed and she began to refuse that breast. I tried, over and over, but she just kept cracking it further and then spitting it out. So I decided to take a break and let the nipple heal itself while I expressed from that side and fed from the other. Then I tried again. She latched on! She fed! Well!

And she has successfully fed with every feed ever since. My heart is just completely over filled with joy and pride. I never thought I would be able to breastfeed my babies. I had resigned myself to that fact and I had, mostly, accepted that. But I am now four weeks into my breast feeding journey and not a single tear has been shed over failing my baby. 

I am now a breastfeeding Mother. I wear that title as a badge of honour. I wear my baby, in public, while I feed her as a badge of honour. I am no longer hiding in the shadows, like I did while I tried feeding Evelyn. I feed Zalia where ever we need and I feel proud. I hold my head up high and I swell with happiness.

When I failed to breastfeed Evelyn it was a true disappointment. I felt like I had let everyone down, Evelyn, myself, Anthony, society. I judged myself, the public judged me when I pulled out a bottle. I still find myself upset over the fact that I failed her. You can never truly understand how much breastfeeding can effect a Mother until the choice is taken away from her. It broke my heart and my spirit and it will forever be a form of bonding that was regretfully not an option for us and I will forever crave. Now that I am able to breastfeed Zalia, I am painfully aware of how empty not being able to do it for Evelyn makes me feel. 

But, at the end of the day, I did what I could for Evelyn in the best way I knew how. My body did not allow for me to feed her, but I made up for it (and continue to) in every other way. Before Zalia was born, I questioned wether I wanted to actually go through with feeding her because I felt like that was unfair on Evelyn. But, now that she is here and I am feeding, I wouldn't change a thing, with either Daughter. 

Each Daughter and I had a journey that we were destined to go on together, they just happened to be different. I am just grateful and blessed that I have been given the opportunity to go on both. I wouldn't have it any other way. 

I am a breastfeeding Mummy... finally


No comments:

Post a Comment