Friday, February 11, 2011

A D-MER Survivor Speaks

I don't often venture into the arena of breast-feeding.  It's a twisted, hugely opinionated topic that has many pieces to it.  To me the topic itself is a largely personal issue that I don't think can be labeled as just either "Feeders" and "Non-Feeders".  I have nursed all three of my children, but differently each time and for differing reasons with each child as well.  It's like those ubiquitous Facebook descriptions for a wide array of relationship statuses that can only be labeled as, "It's Complicated".  I don't like to openly go on and on on regarding my feelings towards breast-feeding precisely for these reasons- it's complicated and personal for each and every mother/child combination. I don't expect anyone else to agree or understand the complexities on my decisions.

When I read about D-MER on Babble though, I had to speak up.  What the heck is what?  I know.  Another syndrome?  OY.  But, I read about Dysphoric Milk Ejection Reflex I knew it was something I could relate to.  I had it with TD and yet it didn't have a name and no one had ever mentioned it to me. The extreme sense of sadness I felt each time I nursed her I had previously just lumped in with my post partum depression.  Yet, that actually came later.  That earlier sadness, guilt, agitation and emptiness- that only occurred while I nursed and EVERY TIME I nursed was D-MER.  Five years later I learn about it and I'm extremely grateful it can be explained.  It is a relief to know that something I still feel guilt over has a reason. 

The absence of the bonding I had heard so much about and yearned for while breastfeeding TD never happened.  I knew it existed though because I later felt it deeply with The Comedian and now with The Fifth Element.  That lost time is something I know I can never get back but have really felt an extreme sense of sadness and guilt over for quite some time.  I hate it.  I wanted it gone for so long and I tore myself up internally with the last two kids because I never experienced it with my first.  It made me feel awful for her that we never got to share that particular type of mother/child bonding while we had the chance.  When the PPD swooped in a few months later pushing  me into a darker fog altogether I just thought it was part of it.  Now, gladly, I know different and can begin to let go of that old, ugly guilt and be free. 

For more information on D-MER visit 

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