Sorry for the long post but I really feel the need to air my feelings as no one in my family seems to understand. I joined from the fertility network having finally managing to conceive after a round of ivf after just over 2 years of failing to get pregnant naturally (unexplained infertility). Due to having lupus I was classed as a high risk pregnancy so ended up being consultant led and told I'd be induced early at 38 weeks as I was more likely to develop preeclampsia and stillbirth which we already had a number of in our family. The induction failed as I had a bad reaction to the pessary, where my cervix didn't open and I became swollen and had a burning sensation which made it extremely painful and difficult for them to examine me. However I had started contracting too fast and with NY cervix closed and due to the baby's heart rate increasing the decision was made to have an emergency caesarean. Throughout my pregnancy I knew I had wanted to try breastfeeding but the moment my daughter was born she was whisked away for a few hours as she had a very high temperature and her oxygen stats didn't match so she was treated with antibiotics for a suspected infection. We had to stay in hospital for a few days whilst we waited for the results and she was regularly taken away to be checked. During this time I had tried to get my milk going, putting her to both breasts regularly to feed, however she was often sleepy and only fed for a short time. I tried pumping every couple of hours, and even hand expressing, catching whatever pathetic dribbles came out in a tiny syringe and giving them to her. My left boob seemed to do nothing. At one point I was trying over an hour using both breasts and my LG started screaming hysterically with hunger and a midwife told me to keep going for a bit longer or I'd have to give her a top up of formula, which she made it sound like a huge failure, almost disgusted at the idea. After another half an hour which was heart wrenching as my LG became more frustrated and upset, said midwife offered to take her off me and give her a top up if formula then get her to sleep so I could go to the toilet and then rest (I was anaemic from too much blood loss and was still recoving from my bad reaction to the pessary and severe swelling of my legs and feet.) My LG still seemed drowsy and I found it odd that a lot of the midwives kept commenting on her "gorgeous golden complexion" and stating she looked like "she'd been on holiday". We were finally discharged on the Friday morning (4 days later) as they were satisfied she didn't have an infection. My parents came round that afternoon and my dad said that she had jaundice. I felt so silly for not spotting it sooner and over the weekend it got worse to the point the whites of her eyes were dark yellow, she was sleeping constantly and barely feeding. I expected the midwife to see us the next day but had no contact. I rang the hospital repeatedly and no one answered and tried my local midwife several times but it just kept going to voicemail saying she was seeing other patients. I tried repeatedly over the weekend and finally on Monday my local midwife got back to me furious the hospital hadn't informed her we had been discharged, whilst telling me she'd been on leave and forgotten to change her voicemail! She arrived stating she'd put in a complaint at the hospital and noted how bad the jaundice was and said from our description of lg at the weekend she probably would have sent us back to hospital. We found LG had lost 4oz and I explained how hard it was to get her to feed as she was constantly sleepy and despite pumping I still had only tiny dribbles of milk. She encouraged me to persist but also told us to top her up with formula and feed every couple of hours to help get rid of the jaundice. The next day the hv came and LG had lost another oz causing lots of concern and insistence from the hv she see me bf. At this point my LG was screaming hysterically from being stripped for the scales and as I put her to me she refused to latch turning her head away. The hv then tried pushing her even closer to me, saying I should hold her tightly into me to comfort her to which my baby cried harder and pushed away from me with all her might. I broke down in tears at seeing my baby so upset and her refusal to feed from me so hubby made her a bottle. I then had a lot of concerned glances from hv who had made me feel pretty shit by then about my inability to bf as she had been harping on about how she had exclusively bf both her daughters. Due to the weight loss which apparently was due to me letting LG on my breast for long periods where she wasn't really getting anything except making herself tired through trying, she came back a few days later after our 2nd midwife visit where LG had finally started putting weight on but still had bad jaundice so we were told to up her formula feeds as I still wasn't producing enough. I'd starting taking fenugreek and made lactation cookies, still offering LG my breast but not a lot was happening. A month later my LG is pretty much formula fed and I hate the fact I seem to have failed at all the things a woman should be able to do naturally. I'm the first in our family to undergo ivf due to failing to conceive naturally and then with the emergency c section and failure to bf, the one thing I thought I might be able to do the right way I'm feeling pretty deflated about myself. Many family members have tried to reassure me it's okay not to bf and my sister said how hard it was for her with both her kids as she was constantly being told off about them not putting on weight but I still feel like a failure as I've been unable to do anything the natural way and I wanted my LG to have the extra health benefits of bf. I love my LG girl so much and as pleased as I am that she's putting on weight (she is finally above her birth weight) and after just over 2 long weeks her jaundice is finally gone, I wish I could have given her a better start, instead of the tiny dribbles of milk she did get from me. Has anyone had a similar experience?
Feeling like a rubbish mum for failing at breast feeding. - NCT
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