The baby and the bottle

I have just seen a photo of my mother on Faceboook feeding a baby and it has left me feeling abandoned. The hurt feels deeper this time – why this in particular and why so much?

I was born on a Sunday morning at around 9.00 am. My mother told me that it had been a long labour (eight hours) and that the midwife had allowed her to go to sleep while i was in the birth canal and when I finally made an appearance the umbilical cord was around my neck.

She dramatically claimed that she was too exhausted to feed me immediately after I was born and equally unable to even hold me. My grandmother refused as she had disapproved of my parents having two children close together (a year separates my sister and I) and she would have nothing to do with a child produced by “animals”. Iit was left to my grandfather to give me my first bottle.

Things did not improve and I was neglected and uncared for all of my childhood.

In later years I found out that eight hours is not a long labour, it is not possible to fall asleep when a baby is in your birth canal and that my mother missed out on the biggest opportunity of them all to have people feel sorry for her because of her pregnancy and my birth.

Talking to various medically qualified people over the years about my light birth weight and my siblings being much bigger has had them all say that my mum had probably got her dates wrong and that I was premature. She has always been so insistent that I wasn’t, I was overdue. How much more drama she could have dragged out of the situation if she hadn’t been too dim?

The constant and insensitive retelling of the story has made me feel worthless and wounded at times but seeing this photo of her cooing over and bottle feeding a new baby is yet another stab in the back.