Feeling let down…

Today was the day we had to take Little Miss A to the hospital for her tongue tie to be snipped.  I was hoping to be able to come back and tell you all about the wonderful experience we had.  Unfortunately (but not unsurprisingly given my past experiences with the NHS!) that is not the case.

When we went in to see the Dr and he asked how she was feeding.  We explained she was being bottle fed and that although she was feeding she was not having as much as she should and therefore we had been advised to have her tounge tie dealt with by our GP and Health Visitor to see if that helped her.

We popped her on the bed and he had a look in her mouth.  When he did, obviously, she had a little cry, wouldn’t you if some stranger put their fingers in your mouth?!  He then turned around and said he wouldn’t do it today he wanted to do it under anesthetic at a later date!  Both Big Mr A and I looked at each other in bewilderment.  We explained again to the Dr why we were there i.e. because we had been referred by our GP.

He then said that if she was a breastfed baby and having problems he would have done it there and then.  This is when I went into a bit of a meltdown!  I was already, understandably, a bit stressed about having to put my baby through such an ordeal without the ‘B’ word coming up again!  I said to him, as best I could through my tears (!), ‘So if I was breastfeeding you would do it today?’.  His basic answer was ‘yes’.  I asked what the difference was, we had been referred because of her ‘feeding’ issues, surely it doesn’t matter how they are being fed?!!  He said those were the guidelines for breastfed babies, there are no guidelines for bottle fed babies – don’t they think there should be?!

Reluctantly, he agreed to do it (probably just to stop me making ant more of a scene!) but said she would probably cry!  Er, no *@#” Sherlock, I’d never thought of that, we were just here for a nice morning out!  When I asked if it would hurt her, he just shrugged his shoulders!  I know you can’t ask a baby if something hurts but surely with his experience he must know whether it hurts or is just uncomfortable?!

Anyway I am pleased to say the procedure itself was fine – well so Big Mr A told me – I couldn’t face being in the room, as much as I wanted to be there for her I am just too squeamish and I knew she had her Daddy with her so she wasn’t alone.  Yes, she screamed for a couple of minutes but after that she was fine.  There was a little bit of blood but she didn’t appear to be in any pain.

I did apologise to the Dr for getting upset but it is hard enough to make these decisions for your children without being made to feel even worse.  I appreciate there are guidelines to be followed but maybe it’s about time the NHS started treating both breastfeeding and bottle feeding Mummies the same and had guidelines for both.

I wish they had told me when she was born just to get her tongue tie dealt with then we wouldn’t have had any of these worries.  At the time they said it may or may not need doing and it was up to us.  We weren’t really given any information about it.  I would say to anyone wondering whether or not to get it done – just do it whilst they are tiny!

My brave little princess after her ordeal xxx

My brave little princess after her ordeal xxx

To top it all off we were told to stay at the hospital for 5-10 minutes to make sure the bleeding stopped so we decided to go to the cafe for the only thing I had been looking forward to, a Mocha!  Big Mr A put his money in the machine and it said there were no cups left.  As we were in the cafe he asked one of the staff for a cup only to be told they couldn’t give him one!

I am so glad today is over with and hope we don’t have to make any more trips to the hospital any time soon.

Breast or bottle? What is best for you?

My contented Little Mr A xx

Breast feeding or f*rmula feeding?  A controversial subject that everyone has a strong opinion on.  There is a lot of support for mum’s who choose to breastfeed but what about those of us that choose not to.  Some people can’t breastfeed, others just don’t want to.  I fall into the second category and have now got thick enough skin to admit it!
When I got pregnant with Little Mr A I had no desire to breastfeed, it just didn’t seem like something that I wanted to do.  I had seen friends successfully breastfeed but it just didn’t appeal to me.  Then began the pressure!  Each time I saw a midwife or health visitor they asked whether I was going to breastfeed, if I even so much as hesitated it was rammed down my throat the benefits of breastfeeding and how I should really do it.  As a first timer I was not confident in my own opinions and just went along with them, hardly daring to mention the ‘F’ word again.  When I gave birth, I still did not have a strong urge to breastfeed but, as I had been so bombarded with reasons why I should, I gave it a go.  I could not get Little Mr A to latch on and got no support on the maternity ward.  I decided to ask for some formula and luckily was given a bottle without too much fuss, however, after all the pressure (and emotions/tiredness) from childbirth, as soon as Big Mr A came to visit I burst into tears feeling so guilty and like the worst mum in the world.
Things didn’t end when I got home either.  The first visit from the health visitor I dreaded the question ‘how are you feeding’.  As soon as I mentioned formula I again got another lecture about breastfeeding and how I should be doing it, I can’t remember ever getting any support/advice about formula feeding.  It was if I was poisoning my child!  I tried expressing but could not get on with that either so in the end just decided to be strong and stick with formula, no matter what was said to me even though I felt guilty every time I stuck a bottle in Little Mr A’s mouth.
After a few weeks I was pleased we had stuck with the formula.  Little Mr A got in a great routine really quickly and it was nice for Big Mr A and other family members to spend some time bonding with Little Mr A, why should it just be the mummy that gets to bond?!  I never for one moment felt like I wasn’t bonding as well with my baby, there were still plenty of special moments, and, being on maternity leave he relied on me for everything anyway.

This time around I pretty much decided from the start that I would not be breastfeeding.  Again, I have listened to all the benefits of breastfeeding and how it’s something I should do, however, having done it before, I am now much more confident and will not feel guilty about giving my baby formula.  There has been occasions during this pregnancy where I have considered breastfeeding but, as with Little Mr A, I still have no real desire to do it, and, sitting here with only a few days to go (fingers crossed!) the urge to breastfeed has still not kicked in.I am not sure why I don’t have the desire, it’s not that I am a prude, I would happily get my boobs out to feed whenever the need arose.  It’s not that I have a medical condition that means I can’t.  Maybe I am being selfish but after giving up my body for 9 months I want to get some of ‘me’ back after Little Miss A is born.  Is that such a bad thing?  After all isn’t one of the most important things people tell you, a happy mummy means a happy baby?  I don’t want to feel like a milking machine 24 hours a day!

Of course I understand the benefits of breastfeeding, not just for baby’s health but also for the mum and your pocket!  At the same time, Little Mr A, having been formula fed, has not suffered for it.  He is a healthy, happy little boy who rarely gets ill other than the odd cold and is always saying how much he loves me so definitely no problems on the bonding front!

I admire women who want to breastfeed and do so successfully, however, I think it should be remembered it is not for everyone and there should be more support for those who do not want to.  No-one should be forced into doing something they do not want to do and the decision should be made by the mum, not her midwife or health visitor.