My friend Agata sporting my social media campaign T-shirt to raise awareness.
Aversion, Aversion, Aversion.
I *hate* aversion.
You know why?
Well, let’s start with the sinking feeling you get after you say ‘yeah sure, of course you can have some milk’, knowing full well that whilst you want them to be able to nurse your baby or child when they want, the reality is once they latch you’re going to start getting feelings of ‘get the hell off me now’, alongside the scratching, pinching and fidgeting..that naturally doesn’t help.
Then comes the real anger and the irritability JUST BECAUSE BUBS is LATCHED. For me, I find about 90% of feeds uncomfortable, and the 10% of the time they aren’t, I’m not sure why. So for 90% of the time I get aversion, and near my period it amplifies. It takes all my might to muster the courage to continue and not to hit a pillow or de-latch. I’m so lucky I’ve made it 15 months with my second, because now, if I need to, I can de-latch and hand her over to daddy to settle. When it was younger, it was much harder, much much harder.
Which brings me to my next reason why I hate aversion, it takes away some of the main things breastfeeding provides – effective getting-to-sleep tool, sometimes the ONLY way to get them to sleep. Another is feeding little people when they're ill and refuse to eat ANYTHING, meaning sometimes boob is the ONLY source of nutritional intake they get. Which SUCKS so much if aversion hits you bad, because you're literally keeping them alive.
Next is the kind of semi-schizophrenia. I start to get so annoyed when I think about it, I WANT to breastfeed, I WANT to be able to cope without the help of daddy, I want to – dare I say it- enjoy breastfeeding. I can’t. I have thought long and hard about what rational and biological factors contribute to aversion, and I’d like to write some more on it, even do a proper randomised control trial to test out some of my theories – but for the meantime it’s all conjecture and in my head.
And last there is the guilt, the overwhelming guilt. Why me? Why can’t I just do it? Why do I have to stop breastfeeding right now and de-latch? Why can’t I just over-ride it because I want to carry on? What on earth is wrong with me that I feel so angry when my little girl breastfeeds? Surely, that is not normal. I'm her MUM!
Of course almost EVERY time I de-latch her or she settles with daddy to sleep she is initially upset to leave me. Why wouldn’t she be? She should be nursing to sleep – biologically normal...and everything she has known since she arrived in this world. She should be with her mum, she’s not even yet two, she can only say 3 words, she can’t express herself easily, she needs to be with me.
And yet she can’t, because when she wakes at night she wants to feed, and I when I wake at night to feed her I can’t do it for long enough and I end up delatching her, and so it becomes an awful cycle of whining and moaning and my getting upset and trying to rock her and her getting more upset because I’m trying to rock her and not boob her...and then daddy getting woken up in the next room and coming to collect her. And then there’s more guilt for all that, so we go back to daddy settling her for bedtime sleep. Of all the breastfeeding challenges, I never thought this would be one.
I *hate* aversion. When I get it, it literally ruins my life. Daily.
*update* - just had another lovely mum send me her blog which articles some things I don't and is very helpful, see Lycrawidow: https://lycrawidow.com/2016/07/08/on-the-edge-get-off-me/. xx