Jaime - posted on 05/10/2012 ( 29 moms have responded )
When we found out I was pregnant with our daughter, and after we had settled down and figured out what the hell was going on and how we were going to handle it, I made the decision to breastfeed her. For me, it was the best choice for the both of us because keeping up with feeding her would mean I would be eating better and it would mean she would be healthier and have a better immune system.
However, when my daughter was born and I tried to get her to latch on, she started screaming and arching her back and trying to get away from me. This happened nearly every time I tried. She latched on twice, and then started freaking out because apparently I wasn't producing. I tried to express for her, and nothing came out. I wasn't even leaking as much as I've heard you're "supposed to." My husband was all for me breastfeeding, but I got mixed messages from my friends and family members. No one I knew was breastfeeding, and everyone was saying all these negative things about how it hurt them when they tried or they dried up or something along those lines. I don't know what the problem was, maybe I wasn't drinking enough fluids, maybe I wasn't eating exactly the right things, maybe it was just that my daughter didn't want to be breastfed.
All I'm positive about, is that because she refused to latch on, because I wasn't producing, and because I had no support system, I was deeply depressed and it is still hard for me to feel bonded to my daughter. I am pretty sure I had PPD with her, and it's not unfathomable because I definitely had depression before her as well.
Now comes the hard part. With our son, I would really like to be able to breastfeed. However, I don't want to feel so detached from him like I do our daughter, and I'm scared that if I try to breastfeed him and he refuses me like she did, then I will fall into another deep depression and will not be able to bond. But at the same time, I really want to be able to breastfeed and feel bonded and reap all the good benefits that come with it. Our daughter is very healthy even without being breastfed; she has a good immune system and she heals quickly, she is right where she should be on the growth charts, and she is intelligent. But I'm still torn.
So I was thinking today, maybe it would be better to give up now, and not put myself through the possibility of feeling rejected, which is ultimately one of my biggest fears in life. Am I still a failure? I still feel like it. But at the same time, I feel like if I go on and try to breastfeed, I'll have set myself up for failure anyway. I guess I just don't have my heart set with this one.
What would you do?