So its been a while since I've written in this blog - I felt that I wanted to come back to this one, this was my first one and I should keep this one going really - there is a bit of history here.
So I've had my fifth (surprise) baby and it was a pretty good pregnancy. A few issues with SPD and sciatic pain, but otherwise much more pain free than some previous ones. I had a traumatic birth, much worse than I could have imagined, and I'm still dealing with flashbacks from it. I can't go on the parenting forum I used to be on - too many memories. I especially can't go into the homebirth thread, I just can't make myself do it. I know I should probably debrief to someone about my experience, but in all honesty I can't talk about it in real life without being on the verge of tears. It is too hard. So I avoid it.
So number 5 arrived safe and he was the most crankiest baby. From birth - he was never happy. For 12 weeks I tried my best to do what was best by him. I (of course) was breastfeeding, even though he grizzled constantly. Through feeds he grizzled. Going to sleep he grizzled, staying up, putting him down, whilst sleeping - so much grizzling. He had a permanent frown on his face. His fists were always clenched, even while sleeping.
So he got called the world's crankiest baby. I just didn't know what he wanted, it seemed that I was given this baby for some reason by the universe, but fucks me how I was supposed to deal with him because everything I knew was right - was wrong with him. I took him to 2 different chiropractors who said that there was no physical reason for him to be so angry. I dropped dairy and yeast out of my diet because one chiropractor said that might help. It didn't. I dropped all vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower out because they are said to cause gas pain. It didn't help. We tried medications - colic relief, infacol - nothing helped. He didn't have reflux but was so incredibly unhappy.
I was so stressed out that I was getting down - I definitely wasn't enjoying this child at all. I even said to my friend that I wish I had aborted when I had the chance, because it was all so hard and I couldn't make this child happy. I could feel myself becoming a different person, an angry person and I didn't like it.
So I weaned him and switched to formula. I felt horrible. And then I started noticing some differences in him. He stopped frowning and started smiling. He woke up happy. He started putting himself to sleep and sleeping for longer than 20 minutes at a time (and stopped needing to be resettled every 5 minutes!). He started weeing a LOT more, I never noticed how little he did wee until I noticed how much more he was starting to do it.
And the biggest thing - he unclenched his fists. The first time he did it I actually took a photo of it.
He was relaxed. Happy even. Happy to sit with his siblings, and smile and gurgle at them.
But even with all these changes, I still felt guilty. I felt like a failure. Like a quitter. Embarrassed to tell some of my closest friends, who I felt would be disappointed in me. Some I still haven't told because I was too embarrassed to admit it.
Then the other day I read a story online about some parents in America who put their 5 month old in a car seat for 8 days. And didn't change his nappy. Didn't feed him at all. Just left him there while they played video games. 8 fucking days. I cried for that poor little defenceless baby. I cried for his pain, for his hunger, for the bacteria eating his skin from his soiled nappy.
And here I was, embarrassed and ashamed that I stopped breastfeeding my child at 3 months. I wasn't a monster - my child was still being fed and thriving. My child was happy, warm, safe and loved. Some children don't even have that luxury of a mother feeling terrible about giving formula - some don't get fed at all.
It's all about perspective, isn't it?