"When I was pregnant with my first child I thought I was prepared but I wasn't, I was far off. I kept saying how hard can it be.. I've taken care of my younger cousins, it's easy. Little did I know. After a c section I tried to breastfeed for roughly 4 weeks, that's as far as I got to be honest, I was in pain and caught an infection and to be honest I had lost all will power by then. Although I would have loved to have had breastfed him I learnt to accept that I couldn't and it was what it was.
"Then... When I conceived my second child, the first thing that came to my mind was that I so badly wanted a natural delivery and second thing came to mind was that I had to breastfeed, it was just a natural strong feeling. So for the next 9 months that's all I prepared myself for. I read articles, I listened to videos I spoke to people, but I didn't stick to just one opinion I just kept my options open and any negativity I blanked out completely.
"Ultimately it's going to be your journey in this, not your mum's, not your mother-in-laws or next door neighbours, you will have your unique experience with your unique baby. So the big day came, and a week before the delivery I did some hypnobirthing, just a video off YouTube, and it was truly amazing, I felt something. I listened to it twice.
"Then the big day was arriving, my contractions started and I started checking up vids on breathing techniques and followed them all through right till the last stage. We got to hospital at 2am after 5 days of contracting just to be told that I still hadn't dilated (same situation I had with my first one, hence the reason it ended up in a c-section). The midwife I had was amaaazing, she looked me in the eye and said you can do this I believe in you. And I really believed what she said to me. I was so adamant to have a natural delivery, there's nothing wrong with a c section but I guess it was just a natural feeling within me and I followed it.
"Anyways I was a little disappointed that I hadn't dilated and thought okay so I might have to prepare myself for an op but my mind kept taking me towards a natural. So I was induced at this point. I contracted throughout the morning and into the afternoon, at around 1pm the nurse was off shift and I literally cried when she left, another nurse came who was also brilliant and around 3pm she did a further examination and to my astonishment I had fully dilated, the nurse was ecstatic, along with my hubby and aunt who were also with me. He was born at 4pm. So we had skin to skin and I fed him his first breastmilk. We were home 2 days later and I was super prepared I had a mini fridge in my room the pump all plugged in and set up with extra bottles, nipple cream the lot!
"The first 4 weeks were extremely difficult, but the midwives really helped out and I received a lot of help from the breastfeeding clinic. Not to mention I had stayed in hospital another night just so that I could ask any questions about breastfeeding, and it was worth it. So my journey began, I won't lie it wasn't easy I even caught mastitis but you have to put your mind to it, you have to keep telling yourself that you can do it and tomorrow is a new day and that you are progressing.
"My advice to all would be to research everything you can on breastfeeding, literally become an expert at it. Here I am almost 6 months later still breastfeeding. I had put him on formula as I kept getting the infection and it did drain me out, so you have to listen to you body as well. But keep following your instinct and be positive and strong."