A kind friend accompanied me today to visit my new mom friend in the hospital. She needed some guidance with breastfeeding and I certainly wasn't the one to provide it, but I knew someone who could. My friend is on day 4 of being a mom and she is doing great, but she isn't feeling this way. She's feeling like a failure because she had a c-section and was having a hard time feeding.
It brought me back to my early days of motherhood. Like her, I had a c-section and had difficulty breastfeeding. Those are the first two tests of motherhood. How successful was your labor and can you breastfeed your child? I failed on both counts. By day 4 I was a weepy mess. Nothing was going like I thought it would and my post-partum depression had started to kick in. The days that followed were not good. How would I ever keep this child alive?
All these years later, those memories still hurt. Even though it has absolutely nothing to do with the present state of my life, it's still hard to listen to "ideal" labor and delivery stories and people who feel that breastfeeding is the only acceptable feeding method.
But despite my rocky start, I was not a total failure at motherhood (although I've certainly had my days!). Motherhood is a marathon, the outcome of which is not determined in the first days or weeks. Getting a baby out healthy by whatever means necessary is far more important than having a natural vaginal birth. Bonding, while it can take place at the breast, doesn't have to. It's our own expectations that do us in. The important thing is to do what is best for your child. That is the true test of being a good mom.