It is near impossible to be near Master X without either of us displaying some kind of grief over the end of our breastfeeding relationship. Or at the least that is what my brain/mumma voice is telling me. When I attempt to bottle feed him, he grabs on to my shirt, nuzzles into my breast, looks at my chest. I experience so much emotional pain.
Suddenly we have to find a new way of being. The physical and emotional grief that I am experiencing makes it difficult for me to engage with him as I usually would. Although even as I write this, I am reminded of the many times that feeding was a source of anxiety for me.
But I don’t know what to say anymore about this experience. I am trying to process it pragmatically, logically; attempting to drum up all the reasons why we need to finish breastfeeding,
- My milk is now toxic due to the Risperidone
- I can now
eatgorge on peanuts
- My milk is toxic
No matter how many times I express and empty the bottles of ( M Y ) once precious, life-giving milk, I am still blown away by this feeling of emptiness, sadness, pain, loss, grief. Nothing could prepare me for this loss. Our prenatal education was all positive in regards to breastfeeding,
- Master X would fid the nipple and self-latch immediately after birth (he did not latch for three days)
- We would experience a calm, loving and wholly innate bond
- Breastfeeding is natural, yet a learnt skill
- Breast is best
I do not disagree with these statements, however as someone who has had anxiety for a number of years, and also sought out reels of support around the birth and breastfeeding information during the prenatal period, I was frustrated to discover that in fact, breastfeeding would be for us, traumatic. And so it ‘should’ be no surprise to me that our end would be
fast lonely shocking
I want to scream. I want to run from it. I want to run towards it and just do what my heart wants, rather than what my head requires.
I want to mother how I want to mother. I want to feel empowered as a mother, as a woman, to have choice over my body in public, to not have to hide my breasts in shame (and breastfeeding offered that at times). I want to feed my baby, with my breasts. I want to continue to nurture him with my body. Because he came from my body and was kept alive and healthy in me for over eight months.
And because I am not ready.
Because we were not ready.
I have to go now to express and drain my lovingly tendered milk. And weep as I watch it and respect it’s role in our lives. And allow us time to grieve the conclusion, and pay due respect to the amount of work my body, our minds and hearts had to overcome in order to be able to produce one hundred and seventy millilitres every three hours of life for Master X.
I find it very difficult to be with Master X at the moment. I feel as though I have failed, that he has failed me. My brain is upset at the both of us for not being able to work this out. Even though logically, I know that it is not our fault.
I hope this is just part of the grieving process and that I can learn to bond with my son again.
If you or someone you know is experiencing thoughts of suicide please contact Lifeline immediately 13 11 14