Since when did my breastfeeding journey become a 'battle' in my own head?
So I want to talk to you about something that’s kinda eating me up inside at the moment. And I know a few friends who are feeling the same. This thing, my ‘battle’ is Breastfeeding. Glorious, lovely, warm-gudgy, soft, skin on skin, snuggly, comforting (yes, comforting), nourishing (yes, nourishing), immune system boosting, bug busting breastfeeding.
I’ll lay it straight on the line. I am one of the lucky ones. I’m not gonna lie. Breastfeeding has been a breeze for me. It’s suited me down to the ground. Both my babies have been natural born boob monsters, from the moment they made their entrance into my life. Maybe it was the hypnobirthing, but whatever, really am truly grateful.
However, here I am now, almost 17 months into my BF journey with boob monster girlie number two. My body is so insanely dehydrated. My hair is lank, lifeless and dull. My skin is a delightful shade of grey; I have bags the size of suitcases under my eyes. I haven’t slept for more than 2 or 3 consecutive hours for 17 months. I have zero sex drive; my husband lives in the spare room. I’m sick of wearing the same old drab clothes. I live on chocolate.
The thing is you see, regardless of all this, I love it. I really do. I love breastfeeding. I love the ease of lazily feeding her to sleep. I love the closeness, how she holds my chin when she feeds, that she’s still so little and she needs me, and she loves it too. I love that I can ease the pain of teething; if she bangs her head I can make her feel better.
But it is becoming a battle; I don’t love being this exhausted, physically broken, emotionally drained. I don’t love being a human dummy, having my clothes yanked at, being slapped in the face and the “gnah, gnah, gnah” demands in the middle of the night. I’m sick of being pawed at and clambered on. My back is ruined; the positions I doze in are crippling…ALL. NIGHT. LONG. I don’t love that I have Lionel Ritchie singing in my head every morning when my husband asks me what kind of night we had. My patience is wearing seriously thin.
I talk about this as a ‘battle’. I’m starting to wonder who or what this battle is with, or against. Hypnobirthing has taught me to trust my instincts, to have faith in my own body and to make decisions that suit my babies’, my family and me. Maybe this battle is against other people. The comments are rolling in now. “Are you still feeding her?” “How long will you go on for” “Have you seen Little Britain?” These comments, they’re not said judgmentally, but I get the sentiment loud and clear. I’m lucky that I’ve never personally come up against anyone rude or ignorant when feeding either of my children, but it’s these comments that are making me think every day about how I’m going to ‘give up’. The words ‘cold turkey’, ‘breaking the habit’ ‘night weaning’ are all becoming part of my daily internal chatter.
When I was pregnant, hypnobirthing gave me the confidence and absolute firm belief that my body and my baby would know what to do. I was adamant I would need no pain relief, no intervention and absolutely definitely no induction. Hypnobirthing gave me the courage to block out negativity or judgment.
So why now do I feel a bit lost, even a bit sad? I do trust my instincts. I am proud; proud of breastfeeding, and for being this sleep deprived and still functioning (just about). What about my deprived and neglected husband though? What if my back is permanently damaged? Is there really a battle to be won? I swear this is harder than childbirth…
I don’t know the answer. I genuinely don’t know what to do. I guess I just carry on trusting my instincts, being proud of my body, and hope that one-day hopefully very soon, I’ll be able to sleep.
Jeez, lets just think about it after Christmas hey? Yeah…I’ll deal with it after Christmas.
On that note…my baby is crying…she probably just needs some boob…
If you fancy gaining the strength and confidence in yourself to trust your own instincts, be in control of your own birth experience and have the skills and techniques to guide you through motherhood, I’d love to have a chat!
Hypnobirthing could be just the thing for you! You’ll soon realise giving birth is the easy bit!
Go on, email me, because in all my sleep deprived exhaustion, I just love hypnobirthing, and really want you on board! xx