I have been contemplating for quite a while whether to write this post.
Knowing that it could be controversial to some extent and also be met with mixed reactions. But I guess I feel somewhat compelled to write this. Knowing that out there, there will probably be mothers secretly grieving as they struggle to make enough milk, condemning themselves for doing things ‘the wrong way’ and comparing themselves to other mummies with truck-loads of milk (these oversupply mummies have woes of a different sort!). I’ve been there, so I know.
I’ve crossed the two month mark of breastfeeding Annaliese. Why the significance? I didn’t know initially if I could even do it successfully for a month. With David, I only nursed him for 2 months. Back then, I only had him to care for and yet I struggled with anxiety, postpartum depression and a very low milk supply. You name the milk boosters, and I have tried it. From different soup concoctions to herbal teas and medication even. I pumped rigorously on a strict schedule as though my life depended on it. Nothing seemed to help.
And as a new mother of two young ones under two years of age, I just wasn’t sure if I would be able to cope with nursing, pumping, the washing, sterilising and time taken away from household chores, errands and much needed rest.
Well, I’ve crossed the 2 month mark. I’m not sure how long more I will be able to do this, but for now, I am savouring every moment I have nursing Annaliese. I am also immensely grateful for the kind and generous mummy friends who have helped provide supplementary breast milk for Annaliese with whatever excess they have…
My utmost respect goes to every mother who has chosen to breastfeed their child, no matter how long or short their journey was. I know how challenging, tiring and painful it can be.
But my heart also goes out to mothers who like me, may have struggled to breastfeed for different reasons. You are not alone. And as what my doctor friends tell me – “Fed is best”. Many of the doctor friends I know attest to being fed formula milk (or worse, condensed milk) and look, they turned out well. Your child will be fine.
I guess I’ve learnt along the way to just do my best (every mother’s ‘best’ will vary widely according to the different giftings and capacities bestowed upon them), and trust the God who enables and provides through and despite my weaknesses and limitations.
I also am thankful for my extremely understanding and supportive husband who has walked with me through all these. You are our hero, papa. ❤