Friday, January 18, 2008


Drew had her first injections yesterday.

One was for Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), polio and Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) (DTaP/IPV/Hib) and the other was for Pneumococcal infection (conjugate vaccine, Pneumococcal PCV).

Each injection was given to Drew in her legs. I couldn't watch, but I held her as the nasty, nasty lady punctured a hole in each of Drew's thighs. Drew cried instantly...real tears too. She cried for the next 30mins and then fell asleep in my arms in the surgery as the nurse advised us to wait around to see if there were any adverse effects.

After 30mins, I decided to stay and book into the Baby Drop-in Clinic to get Drew weighed. Now 10 weeks old, Drew weighed in at 9lb 7oz. Right on target. The Health Visitor then asked how we were getting on now we had switched to formula. I said things were much better. I knew that Drew was getting the right amount, I was happier, Jerry was happier and Drew was happier too.

That's when the HV dropped the 'Guilt Bomb'. She advised me that it wasn't too late to switch back to breastmilk, that she could help me get my boobs back on track, but that it would be a hard uphill struggle and it could take weeks to get sorted.

My heart instantly sank. I felt so guilty. The HV was waiting for me to respond. I didn't know what to say. Did we make the right decision to stop? Were we being selfish? My eyes welled up and she could see I was getting emotional. However, although she said she didn't mean to upset me, she continued to explain that I still had the choice. Weeks earlier, the same HV had told me that once Drew had had 4 bottles of formula in a row, there was no going back. My boobs would not work. I was so confused. I thought back to the stress I felt when I wasn't making enough and Drew crying because she wasn't getting enough milk. Could I go through that for a few more weeks with no guarantee it would work? The HV was still silent expecting me to make a decision there and then. I couldn't do it on my own. I needed to discuss this with Jerry. Going back wouldn't just affect me and Drew, it would affect Jerry too. It's not often talked about, but when you feed babies on formula or even Breastmilk in a bottle, it lets the father take an active role in feeding and I think that's great for the baby and the Father. To take that 'moment' away from Drew and Jerry would be heartbreaking and not to mention, an awful stress and sense of responsibility back on just me. In my head, I was saying 'We'll get her in the car park! Nasty lady! I bet she's friends with the lady who makes holes in your legs!!' My heart was saying 'Maybe I should try again for the sake of Drew'.

In the end, I told her I didn't think I could go through that all again and that I hadn't made the decision to switch lightly or overnight. I also said I needed to talk to Jerry. I didn't say 'I'll get back to you' because I felt I didn't have to answer to her. She was only there to advise, not to tell me what to do.

Saying that...the HV rounded up the conversation by telling me she had a nightmare breastfeeding herself and, with one of her children, only got to 10 weeks too! In that instant, she seemed almost human so I knew she was only telling me what she HAD to tell me because it was her job and formed part of the government objective.

I think using the phrase 'Breast is Best' is fine, but it shouldn't be shoved down your throat like an unwanted Jehovah at your door!


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