My Story: I had a horrible pregnancy. I had gestational diabetes, I itched, I swelled. Due to a diagnosis of Cholestasis, I had to be induced three weeks early... Later we found out the hospital mixed up my due date and he was actually born six weeks early.
My birth went surprisingly well. It was after birth that it went back downhill. I didn't get immediate skin to skin because he wasn't breathing after he came out, probably due to the dumb asses at the hospital who decided to take my baby out a month and a half early. I distinctly remember the nurse asking me if I wanted to eat or hold my child. I was hungry and tired, I wanted to eat the food first. I didn't feel a connection toward my child at all. But, I didn't want to be judged so I took him. Nobody showed me how to nurse and a few minutes later he was taken to the NICU.
The first night he stayed in the NICU, I didn't want to sleep in a rocking chair next to his bed. I slept in my hospital bed and it was amazing to get a full nights sleep. The next night he was in the room with us but my husband took care of him the whole night while I slept again. In the days proceeding (we were in the hospital a total of four days) I tried to breastfeed but my milk wasn't coming in. I have inverted nipples so it was a little more difficult for him to latch on. They told me to try to get some colostrum into a syringe so we could just have him suck on that. I only got a drop and was criticized for it. I felt a lot of anger in that moment.
I was being looked down upon for having to bottle feed my baby.
We got home. I couldn't breastfeed. I pumped for a half hour every hour. It was so tiring and I wasn't getting much so I quit. He wasn't gaining weight so we had to put him on formula. I think the moment it really clicked that I had a problem was at his first appointment with our pediatrician. I had packed the diaper bag with little sampler formulas and forgotten to pack screw on nipples. Of course he got hungry while we were there. The nurses came in and said I could feed him if I needed. I told them I couldn't breastfeed. I broke down right there in the doctor's office. Him and I just crying together. I was a mess.
We didn't realize he was sensitive to the formula we had him on and got put back in the hospital because he wasn't gaining weight. They told me I wasn't feeding my child. At that point I was done. I loved him, I knew I did deep down, but the resentment against him was great. He was causing me so much embarrassment.
I had to wake up every two hours to feed him so he would gain weight. He naturally slept through the night so waking him up was hard for me mentally because all I wanted to do was sleep. He wouldn't go back to sleep after he was done eating. He would just cry and I would hold him in my arms looking down at him and cry. How could something I love so much cause me so much pain? It's something I don't think I will fully understand.
I struggled with this feeling of resentment toward my son for three years. He just turned four. Although I am now able to focus on being the mother he needs me to be and am so grateful for that, I will never forget the struggle I had for those first three years of his life.
Anonymous | Keizer, Oregon