Turns out she never really was and after 8 weeks she was exclusively bottle fed. I grappled with the guilt for weeks, knowing that breast is best after all and hoping she had gotten enough of the good stuff to ensure she would be a healthy baby. I was determined with any subsequent babies to breastfeed successfully and exclusively for the first 6 months.
And so far so good. Mini Mini (still not sure if that’s the right name for her, but that’s another blog post!) is a great little feeder and I’ve no doubt that come her 6 week weigh in, she’ll be bang on track weight wise.
But disclaimer!It turns out I’m not the worlds biggest fan of breastfeeding.Health benefits aside,it seems I’m only doing it because it’s free and once you get the hang of it-if you get the hang of it-really handy.There’s no faffing about with sterilisers,bottles,microwaves et al.Just stick baby on boob and away she goes(hopefully!)
What it does mean though,and again there was no clear view of this scenario through my rosy baby lenses is that you’re tied to the little one 24/7. It feels like there’s no escape!I think it proves once and for all that if there is a god he’s most definitely male.It does seem like the cruelest of jokes-you ve only spent the last 9+ months battling nausea,insomnia,haemorrhoids,swollen ankles,stretch marks or a combination of all of the above to be now saddled with the burden of providing all nutritional intake for this tiny,angry,hungry human being.You ve made it through the agony of childbirth,you’re exhausted from not having slept for the past few months,possibly lying there with a stitched up fanny, bleeding away and now you’re expected to have a baby suck from your breast.Literally extract fluid from your body,like a tiny pink Dyson on the highest setting.Because that’s what it feels like-the baby is sucking down milk through your milk ducts via your nipples,expelling it from your body and into its voracious gob. She doesn’t care that she’s hurting you like hell,she just wants to be fed.Again and again and again.Every hour if necessary.
This also means that hubby-the bastard-can more or less sleep through the night no ones making excessive demands on his mammary glands.He ll shrug off your whinging of how unfair the whole situation is with a conciliatory sorry,I would if I could,but I can’t.
How bloody convenient for you,mate!
It starts to feel like you’re an extension of your breasts rather than the other way around!So you express,for a break,to allow daddy to do some bonding with baba or because your boobs are so swollen and hard it is physically torture to put on a bra.
That’s when you really start to feel like livestock.The noise of the pump,the weird motion of your nipples being sucked in and out of the contraption until milk starts to gush forth from then.It doesn’t help that your other half charmingly refers to your electric pump as the “lactation station” or sometimes just moos at you. Bastard.
Then there’s the leaking.Waking up at various stages in the night in a pool of sour smelling milk.Ick Ick Ick. Thinking you ve inserted your breast pad at the correct angle,only for those tell tale wet patches to appear through your top at the most inopportune moments.
Oh and chances are baby will prefer one boob over the other.So you ll be left rather lopsided as one boob is always left more full of milk than the other which has been drained twice over at this stage.This upsets me greatly.i am quite fond of my boobs. The thought of having less than symmetrical mammaries fills me with dread.Perhaps if I get baby to blow into the bigger one,it will inflate the other one?That’s how it works right?
Of course all this is forgotten when they look up at you lovingly mid feed and place one hand protectively over your breast as if to say “my boob”.And for the next few months at least that is most definitely the case but dear baby,if I might be so bold as to borrow them exclusively for just a little while?No?Well it was worth a shot!