I woke up feeling very anxious … my breast was hurting and I couldn't control my tears. I looked at my children, they were still asleep.
This was yet another night where I had a NIGHTMARE of breastfeeding, even after my kids were 2 and a half years old. I dreamt of my children being about 2 years old and I was still breast feeding him. We were bonding and it was making us both happy.
“But I’m not a bad mom”, I consoled myself. “I did what I could, I really did!” and I let those nasty feelings roll down my eyes.
I birthed twins and it wasn’t the best of experiences of my life. I was going through so much of stress, anxiety and not to forget - depression about how to manage them. It was one of those long phases where nothing seemed to be in my control. It was bound to affect my breast milk supply and my ability to feed and bond with my children.
“The more you feed, the more milk you’ll make” – they all said.
But what do you do when your baby takes a few sips and pulls away crying? What if both your kids do that? What do you do when you have about 3-4 liters of water a day? Having proteins, milk production granules, meats, pulses, more than a liter of milk, home - made remedies, this that and what not, and still not able to feed EVEN ONE CHILD? Not even when I tried breast pumps like a crazy woman all day?
Everyone including my own mother questioned me and blamed me for not putting in enough efforts. Every feed time was worse than the previous. I do not remember being able to fulfill the hunger of even one child, for even once in the entire 6 months.
A few days short of 6 months, I finally gave it up. We relied on formula milk completely and I told myself that – “breastfeeding is the best experience a mom gets” is just a text book cliché. Real life is a lot different than that.
I knew what I did was in the best of my child’s interest and for not even once, did I let my children go hungry, nor did I compromise on their health due to sterilization or giving formula milk.
I reassured myself that it’s OK; it was probably some unidentified medical condition that prevented the production of milk. I really wish I had a network of moms like I do now through Babychakra to know what, where and how to take help from a lactation consultant.
I know that my children bond with me beautifully, as there are more ways than one to connect with your child, and it is not completely reliant on one single aspect. I know we love each other a LOT, with all that we have and that’s all that matters! By God’s grace they are beautiful, intelligent and healthy children, who have developed some skills even before their milestones.
My advice to other moms going through such a state is - do what feels right. No book, no in laws, No parents or doctors can guarantee that their advice is right – but a mother’s instinct is a lot more accurate than all of these put together.
If you are struggling with any aspect related to breastfeeding, make sure you visit a lactation consultant.
Don’t fret, you are not a bad Mom, You just can’t be one! You are the best mom your child could have and s/he is proud of you!
Momma, you were, are and will always be a Super Hero… More power to you!!
All photography in this article are original and contributed by author.