From the minute Anabel was born I tried to breastfeed her, but she could never really latch on properly. I had various midwives trying to help her and me whilst we were in the hospital, even to the point where one helped me express into a syringe (which didn’t work either).
When I came home later the following day, I tried again as I thought maybe the home environment would be less stressful for us both. It wasn’t. On day 2, the midwife came out for my home visit and spent an hour trying to help us, showing me different positions, and trying to get Bella to latch on, and she came again on day 3. Bella really didn’t want to feed so I was told to try her on a bottle, which she took to straight away. Since then, she’s never been a big milk drinker, but she was at least feeding.
I was determined it would be different with Amelia, and it was. She latched on minutes after she was born, and this time the midwife was really happy. I, however, wasn’t. Though she was feeding, and seemed happy, I was in incredible pain every time she latched. She would latch on, then off, then back on, and back off, a few times during each feed, and I was in agony.
I’d been using the nipple cream everyone suggested (Lansinoh if you’re wondering) and MrV had gone out to buy nipple shields to see if they would help too. They didn’t. In the early hours of day three, I was flinching, tears streaming silently as MrV slept beside me, every time she latched on and off it felt like someone was ripping my nipple off, it made my toes curl.
I’m not sure how long I sat there, but in the end I woke him to make a bottle up, I couldn’t take it any more. After half an hour of feeding from me, Millie then drank most of the formula MrV had made up, and went back to sleep!
Since then, she drank her ‘milk’ perfectly out of a bottle and is now doing really well trying experimenting with ‘proper’ foods. Though I am glad she has not suffered because of my decision, it still upsets me that I couldn’t carry on feeding her. I won’t be having any more babies so I will never get to try again, and I always wanted to do it, to have that incredible bond. I know both of my daughters are healthy and happy, but I wish I could get away from the pain of failure.