This is the type of post that sits in your head but you are not quite sure how to write it, much less give it the right title. The thing is my breastfeeding journey with the diva has been a very large part of my journey as a second time mum. It started the same way like with the wee man, positive. She presented as a good feeder, we had a good latch, all the right things were being said. Yet a week in and I was being told again - the baby has lost too much weight - the baby is still not putting on enough weight. Tired enough from the lack of sleep during the night, craving for whatever rest I could get during the day I had again to express and top up feeds. Thankfully at least this time half an hour of expressing actually produced something. I cried as I could not believe it was happening again. I can't explain that feeling of defeat when you think you might have to give up breastfeeding. As ready as I was to accept that I may have to offer the Diva formula it felt "bad". That's why personally I can't watch videos which shows how natural and "beautiful" breastfeeding is supposed to be. Great if you appreciate and love all the artsy photos of mummies breastfeeding as it is no longer my cup of tea. For me and many other women I met it was hard work. So many stories of sore and bleeding breasts, difficulties with the latch, babies not putting on weight. Sometimes there did not seem to be a specific reason and there certainly weren't any straightforward answers! I joined a group run by my local children's centre and went every Monday. It's probably what got me through those first weeks and here I am a year later still breastfeeding. I am actually here with a Diva who refuses everything except the breast and finds it the best form of comfort but her "attachment" to me is a whole new post! I gave myself time limits... I can do this till 3 months.... Ok I can do this till 6 months. Yet it was constantly meeting other women who too really struggled with breastfeeding that got me through it. Sometimes it just felt like she would never finish a feed and no I don't miss constantly waking throughout the night as sleep deprivation was crazy real for me.
We did both get more confident at it and now that it's not a life sustainer a mum can relax a little. Latching and positioning are finally a worry of the past. Actually the question I get greeted with now is when am I going to stop. Being proud of how far we have come and squeezing those thighs and thinking "gosh this is from my hard work" has maybe made me a bit sensitive of the subject. It's a shame there needs to be any sort of hashtag about normalising breastfeeding because how else is my diva supposed to eat. That part of breastfeeding being natural makes sense as that's what breasts were made for. It's really noones business how you choose to feed your child so I don't take part in the whole breast versus bottle debate. I made my choice though and battled to see it through so when I hear of anyone having an issue of women breastfeeding in public it does pain me. I mean I lost ownership of my breasts long ago, they don't "pop" out when she wants to feed and if you see anything sexual about me feeding my child then you have a problem. I thankfully have never had a problem.
When it comes to parenting your child everything is up for debate and judgment, breastfeeding just one of them. Breast is best or breastfeeding makes your child smarter. There will always be different ideas of what is public and private and people sway in their argument depending on the topic. People will have different comfort zones of how they breastfeed in public. I'm heading back to work and probably leaving my breastfeeding journey behind and thankfully leaving this debate behind. I know though that the diva will give me plenty more to think about and plenty more debates to join in as she has a huge personality and I am sure she will continue to try and get the better of me!