Thursday, July 3, 2014

If

Warning: This is about breastfeeding. Again. If you don't want to read it, nobody's making you, but I want to write it.

I requested our records from the hospital where Tad was born and got his last Monday. It was cathartic in that it had the information I was looking for in terms of our "encounters" with the lactation consultants, but of course it also made me cry and hug the baby and tell him I'm sorry, because I rock mom guilt like that.

Something that's been gnawing at me since the whole mess got started is that we had a lactation consultant come to see us around noon the day after he was born, but Eldest Younger Brother had just arrived for a visit so I asked the LC if she could leave and come back later. She was noncommittal and sure enough never came back; a different LC showed up about 4 hours later, and you all know about that one. (Or do you? I might have only alluded to just how awful she was.)

Let me reiterate: I desperately needed lactation help and when an LC finally appeared I told her to leave. I don't know why it bothers me so much more than any of the other mistakes I made. Maybe because it's there, on the record, in black and white, and could easily be thrown back in my face with, "Well, you didn't take help when it was offered so you couldn't have been that committed to breastfeeding." Maybe just the uncertainty of not knowing what would have happened if I'd asked EYB to leave so she could come in. (I got over not breastfeeding in front of Scott's brothers pretty quick, but a lactation consult is a horse of a different color in that regard.) I do know that if we'd met with her we never would have met with Awful LC, but of course I don't know anything else. Maybe this other LC would have been awful too. Maybe not. Odds are I'll never know.

I don't know what I want to happen to make that not hurt. I suppose I want the baby to forgive me, but of course he is just a baby and can't even talk, much less comprehend what I want forgiveness for. And of course I want to live in an alternate universe where I'm the perfect mother who never ever makes mistakes.

I guess I'll just have to settle for knowing that there is no possible universe in which I wouldn't love him and be glad for the chance to be his mother, no matter how badly I mess it up. I've wished lots of times that I was a better mother, but I've never wished for a better baby, because that wouldn't be possible.

1 comment:

Andrea said...

Breastfeeding can be nice but honestly your baby will never know the difference in the long run. It's not a mistake not to breastfeed. Motherhood can be hard enough to beat yourself up over something like that. Are you feeding your baby? If yes, then, hey! Job well done! :)