I Didn’t Breastfeed…And Other Things I Feel Guilty About

When I was pregnant I had this whole plan. I was going to give birth, pop up off the table, breastfeed effortlessly, go home, become Martha Stewart, and we’d all live happily ever after.

You may all laugh now. I’ll wait. I’m laughing too!

Done? Ok, well here’s how things really went…

On the way to the hospital for my induction, the car broke down. I called AAA, which was in my name, and they said I had to stay and wait for them. I said no (several times) and they eventually agreed to let me leave my card and my license there with X (Oh, introducing my new name for my ex! Creative, eh?) and I could go. So, X’s friend drove me to the hospital, pulled up to the door, and drove away the second I got out of his truck. I lugged my bag through the hospital myself until I got to the elevator and a nice man insisted on carrying it for me. By the time X got there I was hooked up and having contractions. I was scared out of my mind suddenly. I didn’t know how to tell people that suddenly I was petrified of what was about to happen. So we sat there in silence. The only time we spoke was when I asked for ice chips or a popsicle. Other people came to visit later in the afternoon. Eventually my water was broken. I still never dilated. 31 hours after the whole ordeal started, I had a c-section. I feel guilty because I couldn’t bring him into the world the right way. That I couldn’t hold him right away.

Then came the milk situation. I didn’t make any. Hours of pumping, of him trying to latch on, hours of trying, and I never made more than a teaspoon or two of colostrum. After two weeks I gave up and just planned on formula feeding.

Because of the c section, I couldn’t walk. It also then hit me that since I’ve always been a disorganized wreck, I had no idea HOW to be Martha Stewart. Everything was crumbling around me. Everything including my relationship.

I knew things with X would not end well 3 weeks after I had the baby. Things slowly unraveled, and when my son was 14 months old, X moved out.

My whole plan had crashed and burned in front of my face. The incredible guilt of this all hits me occasionally, especially when I see the “perfect” mothers. The lovingly married always calm women to whom house cleaning is second nature and giving birth was a breeze. I feel so guilty, even though he’s turning out fine!

Although I feel like I’m constantly treading water, I know that we’ll be ok. I just have to get rid of this guilt!

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5 thoughts on “I Didn’t Breastfeed…And Other Things I Feel Guilty About

  1. Oh dear… please don’t feel guilty. What you’re going through right now is already tough enough not to be added with those kinds of negative thoughts! When I had my daughter 6.5 yrs ago, I had a C-section by choice (medical reasons + me being a coward). Then, just like you, I waited and waited for that breastmilk to come pouring out, but nothing. It came after the fourth day, and when it did, it was like a drop every half an hour. For one month I insisted I had to breastfeed no matter what. I pumped and pumped for like an hour and came out with 30cc. My nipples were bleeding that whatever milk that came out was pink. Finally, after one month (and begging my husband if I could stop), I stopped.

    Each mother is different, and even though breastfeeding is a good thing, don’t let it become a burden…

    Your blog for some reason really appealed to me. I wish you all the best and really hope we can be friends!

  2. I had an emergency c-section with my first, he spent his first night in the nicu, I saw him for seconds in the operating room and didn’t see him again until the next morning. I felt guilty for lots of things around his birth. I don’t feel guilty anymore, we bonded quickly, he is so healthy and it doesn’t matter to me anymore how he was born, just that he was.

    Your son won’t care that he had formula, he’ll care that he had a great mom who loved him and took care of him even though life was tough.

  3. I think we all have our Mom Guilt (I actually JUST posted about it before reading your post! LOL!). I’ll have you know that *I* am a mostly lovingly married, rarely calm woman whose house is a complete disaster, and both my pregnancies and births were a huge pain in the ass. There are no perfect mothers, just moms who are really good at faking perfect. 🙂

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