I didn't breastfeed Sophie 11 years previously to having Caleb. I was 21, alone and wanted to be able to hand her over for help and feeding to the people around me. Plus at that age I was body conscious and a bit too selfish.
When I found out I was having Caleb I battled with the decision through my pregnancy. I tried to discuss it with my community midwife but she told me I couldn't do both so would have to decide. That was her one and only piece of advice and the only time she discussed it with me. Less than an hour after my traumatic birth experience with Caleb I asked one of the midwives what they thought I should do and she handed me a bottle. End of story. He couldn't feed as he was so full of gunge anyway but again on the ward I asked for someone to advise me or at least show me what to do and was told not to worry about it right now and worry about the fact he couldn't feed at all.
As I said, I came home less than 24 hours after birth, and on a Friday night so the first midwife I saw on the Saturday was an on call midwife and wasn't interested as she didn't know me personally. I asked her if I could express and feed from a bottle with formula and she looked at me like I had 3 heads. I wouldn't know if that's madness as I've never breastfed or ever been told what to do.
By 4 days old I asked my own community midwife and again she skirted the issue and said, ' Oh well you're bottle feeding anyway, so I'd stick with that!' I WAS ONLY BOTTLE FEEDING BECAUSE NO ONE WOULD HELP ME!!!!
By the time Caleb was 4 weeks old I was still producing milk and still struggled with the uncertainty of it all. He used to turn into me all the time as if he just knew what to do and I used to cry as I felt I was letting my little boy down. I still do feel I let him down in some way and if I could do it again I'd have given it a go on my own with no help.
If I am blessed with another baby at some point I will try and if it works out great. If not at least I wont have the guilt of not trying again. Its a gut wrenching feeling to feel like you're letting this gorgeous little bundle down.