When they placed Indie on my chest, I knew I was ready to start breastfeeding. I had been so determined throughout my pregnancy, I had read everything and asked for advice and help. I made sure I didn’t buy any formula. I looked at people’s photos and read forums daily. I was sure I had it in the bag.
The first couple of days were fantastic. She latched perfectly. And I would love how close she was to me.
However the ripped skin started and the pain of the first few minutes started. I used Medela Purelan religiously and then I started using nipple shields by day three which made it much easier. I wish I used them earlier on. With no milk still in sight, Indie lived off my breast taking as much colostrum as she could. Left to right, right to left.
Then night of day two came and all visitors had gone home. I was laying there and just crying. I was in so much pain and there was a newborn who needed me and I couldn’t even give her what she needed yet. The midwife came in a took Indie for a few hours and I sobbed myself to sleep. I pretty much resembled a hungry newborn.
I woke the next morning feeling much better and we started the day fresh. Indie was still trying to get my milk in but she was going great with getting colostrum. We went home on Friday day three and everything was great. She was perfect Friday night. Saturday was spent lounging around feeding Indie, painful but not excruciating.
It wasn’t until I went to have a shower Saturday afternoon I noticed I had red lumps all over my breasts. I tried to massage them out in the shower. I tried to express using my Medela pump and nothing worked. Saturday night was my worst night. Indie was on my boob all night. I was in agony. Nolan would watch on as he saw me crying trying to feed a newborn.
I can’t even imagine how this must have felt for him. To watch someone you love so much in this amount of pain doing something they had set their hopes on so high just not be able to would be heart breaking. Nolan would give Indie the dummy to try and settle her as I tried to rest. The fevers kicked in. The nausea kicked in. I knew I had mastitis.
Indie wouldn’t settle and she just cried louder and louder which made me cry more and more. I sat in the lounge room digging my nails into my thighs as she latched on trying to substitute the pain anything to get some form of relief.
I just sat there thinking how can people do this. I have a huge amount of support and help and some people have none. I was at the point where I didn’t want Indie near me. Not because I didn’t love her but because it hurt me knowing I wanted to stop this feeding, I wanted to stop Indie crying, I wanted to stop crying.
My mental health is more important than trying to breastfeed a baby. Yes, breast is best. But I truly believe if you are feeding a baby and you are in agony and start to feel really down and useless, it’s time to weigh up your options. Nothing anyone can say about me for giving up breastfeeding won’t be worse than what I have already said and called myself. Trust me.