All Done?

5:23 pm

, originally uploaded by indiaeden.

Ernest saw the cranial osteopath for the last time today. His high palate has spread lots since our first appointment, and she thinks that now his tongue is free it'll spread more.
So, it's done,all physical barriers to breastfeeding removed, (as much as they can be).
There is a passage in Oliver James last book, "How Not To F*** Them Up", that says something like "If you've moved heaven and earth to breastfeed, and still not managed it, then there is no point despairing"...I can't write the exact quote because I've loaned the book to a friend.
I do despair. Breastfeeding to me is so very much more than getting milk into my baby. Breastfeeding is how I've mothered my children,it's a deep instinct.
Not breastfeeding hurts me, probably more than many people could ever understand.
I'm cut off from my main mothering tool.
But hey! Ernest is alive and here, and beautiful and growing fat on my milk. Losing Florence has taught me that things could be so much worse.
I'm not giving up, I can't. There's no time limit here, I'll keep on offering my breast, and maybe just maybe.
Right now though, the bottles are winning, and this Mama who wouldn't even have dolls bottles in the house, now owns more bottles and feeding paraphernalia than she ever thought possible.

Don't be shy, say hello!


  1. Having my "couldn't be breastfed baby" first, did mean I didn't know what I was missing, not just from the feeding point of view but from, as you say, the nurturing and occasionally just shutting them up point of view. I would hate not to do it now.

    It hurt not to give Fran all breastmilk but I would have been beside myself if Freddie had needed formula in those few days.

    I wish it were easy for you - these are, really, lessons in being grateful for small mercies that you didn't need to learn :/

  2. You're right when you say that breastfeeding is about more than just getting milk into our children. Wishing it was easier for you and hoping that Ernest gets the hang of breastfeeding soon.

  3. I couldnt feed two of my babies and the other one I managed for a short while and had to stop, so I know first hand how upsetting it can be. I think you are doing brilliantly, and if I could hug you I would.

  4. So sorry you're going through this, it must be so difficult. I totally agree with what you say about breast feeding, it is an instinct and a tool.

    I have had the opposite problem (which is not the same at all, I know!). My baby refused to bottle feed, causing me to be stuck to him 24/7 for 9 months, couldn't leave the house for more than an hour or two without him and he would usually be screaming the whole time, meaning I would never leave. It's like they decide "this is how I want to drink" and that's it.

    It resolved itself when he was 9 months old and I was away for a day and it was so hot. In the end he got so thirsty that he reluctantly drank from the bottle.

    Just keep on trying as long as you can, and again, so sorry you're going through this on top of all your other heart ache :-(

  5. Anonymous9:08 pm

    Oh well, I do understand you so well! I'm feeling with you. I love to brestfeed, my 10months old daughter - and my 3years old son. I don't know how to feed without - not only milk but comfort, caring, giving love - I can only try and imagine how hard it is for you. When my daughter was born, I was nearly desperate because she didn't understand how to nurse the first days, I got real panic! It all worked out though, by itself - no reason.
    I don't know what to say, Jeanette, try to treat both ways equally - offer breastfeeding and do the bottles "supplementary" (what's the right word for that?) It's all much effort, I know. But Earnest will draw so much out of it, I'm sure!

  6. i feel a lot of pain for you.i nursed 3 children through 2 1/2 with no bottles. then Aquila died. Then Willow was born 9 weeks early. i sent 4 weeks fighting to not give her a bottle in the NICU. i finally caved just to get her out. now we are still slowly, painfully trying to wean off the bottles onto breast. i could not explain why i didn't want to give her bottles on a rational level-i was so emotional, and primeval. it was just something i wanted so bad, how i saw mothering. i really , really feel pain for your struggle, and i have since you first posted about it.. i just want to it to be normal for you this time..

  7. I don't know anything about this, but sending you many thoughts as you and Ernest work together on this path.

  8. You are amazing, Jeanette. I totally admire your determination.
    Sending much love.

  9. I know exactly what you mean. It is so much more than what it appears on the surface.

    You are doing such an amazing job..

  10. Like Merry, I had a "couldn't be breastfed" baby first (at least initially) as extremely premature babies cannot suck and co-ordinate breathing and swallowing. Poor old J, we started trying when she was about three months old.

    I did love the bit of breastfeeding I was able to do but it also made me sad, because I knew what I'd missed I think.

    I'm glad that Ernest's palate and tongue are looking good and I really hope he gets there eventually. You are amazing Jeanette. I just don't think I could have persevered like you have.

    I nearly bought that Oliver James book the other day purely on the strength of the title!

  11. you really are amazing, keep going, he will get it, he will xxx

  12. J, just wanted to tell you that its ok to be sad about breastfeeding E being hard. It's also ok not to hate yourself or beat yourself up for it -- you are a good mother, a great mother even, and even if your breast isnt in his mouth feeding him, he can feel all of your incredible love.

  13. I've mentioned before how Brynn refused to feed and wanted bottles at 6 months. I shed so many tears about it. It's madness that we feel we have failed as mothers for not breastfeeding. Even if it's babies decision. When for the rest of our lives we have such an influence on how they will turn out through our decions, how we guide and nurture them. You will have so so so many more opportunities to be the mother you want to be. xx

  14. I really do feel for you. It does seem unfair that having navigated all the difficulties of a PAL, that there should be barriers afterwards as well. And I understand how strong the need to breastfeed can be. I do think you are amazing for having persevered as much as you have. I truly, truly hope that, now the physical barriers are removed, there is a switch round and breasts win.


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