So it's National Breastfeeding Week again. I wasn't that fussed yesterday or the day before that if I'm honest. You see I have no huge opinion on breastfeeding or as I like to call it 'feeding'. We meet so many mums in our classes, some breastfeed, some don't and some even have babies that are tube feed with a little machines they have to hook on their pushchair; they are all awesome to me.
Today though I am bothered. I am bothered because good old TimeHop showed me a FaceBook status from this time last year when I was struggling to feed. The status made me feel sad and angry all at once because it is a status in which I am judging myself. Berating myself for not being able to do the most natural and easiest of things. Cross with myself because I knew deep down that there are statistics, endless studies that show she will be less smart, less successful and less healthy if I don't get to grips with breastfeeding. I remember how low I felt that day and how I felt I was letting Flossy down and how I cried when I realised she was due another feed and I felt sick at the thought of how much it hurt my nipples.
I stopped breastfeeding just a few days later and I don't think I have ever really forgiven myself. I worry most days that I have ruined her life because I simply couldn't try any more. So I want to say sorry.
I'm sorry my precious, sweet, beautiful girl that I let you down but I had to put me first. I had to consider how low I felt and how that was making me feel about you. I am sorry that you may not be as smart as the breastfed baby that sits next to you at playgroup or as successful as your breastfed school peers but I promise you that you will be just as loved. I promise you that you never went hungry, not once and I can promise you that every day since I stopped breastfeeding you was filled with joy and happiness because I was happy. Breastfeeding didn't make me happy, in fact it pushed me into a dark and lonely place and so although I am sorry that I couldn't feed you I am not sorry that I stopped. I'm glad that I was strong enough to make that bottle and that you gulped it down like a hungry little bird. I knew then that you would forgive me, I felt it when your chubby hand held my finger. I guess you are pretty smart for a bottle fed baby.
***If you are struggling with breastfeeding please seek advice from your local health visitor or breastfeeding counsellor, please do not suffer in silence.***