3 years ago, I was in that surreal, otherworldly, unbelievable bubble of 'new mum'. I couldn't quite believe that I finally had my own little person, not one that I had to hand back to it's parents, or put back into the incubator at work. There were no lines in my baby, no scars, no horror story (except the birth, that I promptly forgot). I was in my element, finally my purpose in life was clear, to be a mummy.
That serotonin, adrenaline filled first few weeks soon wore off though and reality hit home.... My baby was hurting me, oh god how she hurt my boobs! Long story short, I was told it was normal, I was told that tongue-tie was a fashion and that every Mum experienced pain breast feeding. So with every feed, I braced myself, counted to 10 as advised, but needed to count to 20, and cried, because it hurt. It was like my nipples were being slashed with glass every single feed.
By 3 months old my little baby stopped putting on weight and so I sought the advice of my health visitor. Bless the woman, I was in the clinic queue early and was still 15th in line, it was a conveyor belt of new mum's in a panic about something.
Luckily I have 20 years of experience in a paediatric world and knew what to do. I went home, opened up the formular, fed my baby a bottle and watched her sink into a milk coma for 4 hours of the best sleep ever. I wept. I wept uncontrollably. How could my body have failed me? It's supposed to be the most natural biological experience and I couldn't do it. Over the next few weeks, the breast feeds got shorter and shorted until my daughter was pushing me away not even wanting to attempt latching on. She'd made the decision for us and at 4 and a half months, she stopped breastfeeding. I had a vodka.
At that moment I realised two things. Firstly, well done me for having lasted that long, I had to learn to celebrate myself and the achievement of feeding my daughter for 4 long months. Secondly, and the reason I'm writing this, is that I found a missing piece in the parenting journey. At 2 weeks old, I said goodbye to the midwives, and in the following year of my daughter's life, I saw only 2 other health professionals and that was because I went to them to help me.
New mum's, new parents, second time parents, we all need help and that I was I'm here to do. Fill the gap and be the missing piece in your journey.