Oh where to begin! As I sit here trying to recall the early days with my son, I realise that whilst it was the most magical thing I have ever experienced, it was also one of the most stressful.
Once at home there were so many things that needed to be done. Buying a sterilizer, choosing bottles and formula and renting a breast pump. Oh and then yes learning to breast feed as well as navigating the world of parenting ! Buying a sterilizer was the easy part, but everything else seemed to require some figuring out.
Choosing the formula was difficult because I wanted to give my son an organic brand, but it was out of the question as it was so expensive. Who knew that suddenly formula alone ( non-organic) would be costing us about $160 per month! This was something that I hadn’t wanted to consider as I was positive it wouldn’t be needed. We stuck with the hospital brand without naming names, because after looking at all the options this seemed like the best one around for the moment. The formula was pre-made and I am so glad we chose this in the early days as it really helped cut down on the work.
I remember standing in the aisle of a large pharmacy , just two days after my son was born. Barley able to walk as I tried to choose bottles for my son, it was all I could do not to cry. There was a sea of them before us and I didn’t know where to begin. In the end we chose the bottles we thought were best and as the months have gone on we have slowly changed them until we have ones that best suit our baby.
My midwife recommended that I see a breast feeding specialist, so within just a few days of coming home with our son I had to take him out into the world – yikes! I wasn’t ready for it but it had to be done. the breast feeding specialist gave me some tips and then we made another appointment to follow-up. On her recommendation we rented a hospital grade breast pump, because I would be pumping and then feeding our baby, it seemed like a good option. After several days of failed attempts at trying to get my son to latch on . I realised that it seemed unlikely that I would be able to breast feed. I remember feeling thoroughly miserable and inadequate. Returning to the specialist only confirmed my fears. I left that appointment and knew that I had to get past the emotional turmoil I felt, and learn to accept that this wasn’t the path for my baby and me, but that it didn’t mean I was any less of a mother because of this. But more importantly, that my son would not suffer irreversibly because of it.