The stages of breastfeeding by me….
Pregnant me: “I really want to give breastfeeding a good go – but won’t put too much pressure on myself. Will aim for six months.”
Day 5 postpartum: “HOW IS THIS SO HARD? IT’S NATURAL. IT IS WHAT WOMEN HAVE BEEN DOING SINCE TIME BEGAN YET I CAN’T GET HIM TO LATCH ON TO MY FLIPPING NIPPLE.”
Day 10 postpartum: “Okay, so I’ve ordered my 7th breastfeeding pillow – I’ve got this.”
Week 4 postpartum: “Why are my husband’s nipples so useless? Does he snore when I’m up all night feeding on purpose?”
Week 8: “CLUSTER FEEDING YOU WILL END ME.”
Week 12: “It’s clicked – finally! I am so glad I didn’t give up. Can I have wine though?”
Six months: “I don’t want to give up quite yet. Actually I’m really starting to love it. Still wouldn’t mind husband’s nipples being more useful.”
Eight months: “Oh hi mastitis. Ffffff.”
Ten months: “Goodbye nursing bras (as dropped most of the day feeds) that make my boobs hang low and wobble to and fro.”
Twelve months: “How has it been a year? Really can’t imagine and don’t want to stop breastfeeding yet. As much as it has been the hardest things I’ve ever done, especially those early months – it’s actually turned out to be one of the best.”
“When are you going to stop breastfeeding?” Someone asked me this week and the answer was honestly, I don’t know. I know I don’t need to put a timeframe on it, but I feel like I need to – just so I can prepare Rafe – and also myself for it. Does that sound dramatic? I just want to know when his last feed will be – not because I need to be congratulated – or have my husband playing a fanfare on a French horn. (Tempting). Just because it’s been such an important part of my life, I don’t want to just suddenly stop. Although I know that might be out of my control. Maybe I’m being over sentimental – but for me. Breastfeeding has been, in such a noisy, busy world, outside and in my own head, a much needed quiet time. And when Rafe holds my hand when he’s feeding, it’s like it’s just me and him in the whole world. It’s also been something that has become so engrained in my own routine – it’s going to be so strange when I stop. Liberating also! And so many shots of tequila will be drunk. Who my kidding? I’ll have a hot cuppa and give my saggy boobs a high five – while my husband plays the French horn (not a euphanism).
(And I must say, this is not a smug, look at me, I breastfeed post, it's your boobies – so absolutely your own choice. NO JUDGEMENT HERE.)
Been a bit of challenging week this week. Rafe still has a nasty cough so think I will take him to the doctors this week. Or try get him seen today. He is fine in himself, just can’t seem to shift it and seems to get worse in the night. We also had the dreaded 12 month immunisations on Wednesday. Can you believe they do FOUR? Anything medical, or a time when I know Rafe may be scared or be in pain – can be quite a trauma trigger for me. And immunisations are not a fun experience for any mum or dad – and of course the child. My dad came with me which massively helped and made me more ‘level-headed’ about it. And although he sobbed his little heart out when they were getting done and for a few minutes after – he was absolutely fine within five minutes. A little grumpy in the afternoon but nothing to worry about at all. I think it’s us who dread and hate them more! I felt okay during, it was more a few hours later I started to think about them – and get a flashback to Rafe crying. But then I grounded my breathing and reminded myself Rafe was okay. And he really was okay - he bossed them really!
It’s also been a challenge as I have had a water infection. Honestly – I won’t go into too much detail but holy fucking crap. I was sat on the toilet for basically two nights. It was the first time where I really felt it hit me that my husband wasn’t there. I couldn’t just say, “oi, stop snoring and go see to Rafe.” Only I could do that and I just felt horrendous. So it was a difficult couple of nights – but AMEN to antibiotics.
Rafe’s very, very, very wobbly first steps are starting to become less wobbly and this week, he is pulling himself up everywhere and wanting to be on his feet. Yet hasn’t quite worked out that he needs to still hold on to things or he will fall. But it’s exciting to see him become even more mobile/also scary. When people say – you can’t turn your back for one second. Never truer words spoken. I felt soooooo bad the other night. I normally just put Rafe in his cot if I’m upstairs and need to do things but I was running the bath and just needed to turn the tap off. I put Rafe in the middle of the bed – surrounded by a sea of cushion and was literally a second. Then a heard a cry. FFUCCCKKK. He had fallen off the bed. He was fine – he wasn’t hurt, he obviously just had a shock. But I had major, major, major mum guilt. And felt so stupid. But honestly thought he wouldn’t be able to pull all the cushions off and crawl to the end of the bed in literally a second – but he obviously can. I know accidents happen – but can’t help but feel so guilty. So yeah – when people say you can’t turn your back for one second. You bloody really can’t.
Rafe wasn’t in nursery this week as he had his jabs and I took the day off work so it felt like a ‘maternity leave’ day. And it was lush. Lots and lots of walking to get him to sleep (oh, those days…) and getting annoyed at Yankee for walking into the pram – but just what we needed. It’s been a lovely weekend too – and I’ve literally eaten my body weight in chocolate (no exaggeration) which is what weekends are for right? Oh and my husband was home. Must not forget about husband. On that note, I'm going to shovel some more m&m’s into my face.
Till next week,
Royal Marine Wife. Mum to Rafe.