No one prepares you for it really, do they? The guilt at not being able to breast feed when you really want to provide what we are told is best, for our babies. As mentioned in a previous post, I had tried in the hospital but unfortunately I couldn’t do it and made the difficult decision to bottle feed instead.. It may have been due to sleep deprivation or just wanting to do the easiest thing in order to get out and get home, I dont really know..
What followed and still does to this day, is the amount of guilt I feel and I am still envious of friends who have , or when I am out and see a baby being breast fed, there is that longing. I did at times try , I have an amazing cousin who was a volunteer for the breast feeding initiative and she sat down with me to try to get my daughter latched on as well as assisting me with expressing. I managed for a few days but I think because it was few and far between, the milk just wouldn’t come through.
Up until recently I thought, if we have another baby, I will make it up in that way and make sure that all the “mistakes” I made with daughter number 1 , would not be repeated with baby number 2. But this is not a way to live, these are irrational thoughts… the difference is , I can identify them as being irrational and work on them,. I know that the media hypes things up and often gets information wrong, as does the medical profession. Don’t get me wrong, i think if you can breast feed, you should but it isn’t worth someone beating themselves up about it.
I think another thing that we feel guilty about as mothers which adds to PND, or it certainly did mine, was the “Yummy Mummies”. We all know these women… the ones who are immaculately dressed when you’re the one with spit and vomit on your clothing but managed to still get out the door before lunch time How do they manage to get up and out so early and look so immaculate? I remember being in company with at a weaning fair. It was a particularly bad day, I didn’t want to go or even leave the house that day but I was trying hard to be proactive and i had arranged to meet a friend.
I looked like hell on this day and the boots that I had on, couldn’t zip them all the way up due to my body changing after my daughter was born(fat calves), but my trousers were covering them although slightly visible, I remember the look she gave me. It just added to the despair that I was already feeling. She had the perfect pram, well kept appearance, and immaculate baby. I, looked terrible and was on the verge of tears. I made excuses to leave and probably cried all the way home. I felt like anything that I did to try to get better, just kept backfiring on me.
What I should have realized was, at least I made it out that day despite feeling the way that I had. I should have been kind to myself and saw an achievement! But I didn’t, i just beat myself up about things.It was becoming a regular thing and it would be some time before I started seeing changes.