Mmmmmmm….. cuddles!!! 🙂
At the moment my baby boy is all a out cuddling. It seems to be a new development skill of his. We love to cuddle in the morning and just before his daytime naps. Its AMAZING!!! Really any cuddles are amazing but its just the whole closeness we get, the pure innocence, peace and heart warming gratification.
My baby boy has not long had his first birthday. There were a few silent tears when no one was looking because it has been such a journey for me as well as him. I’ve learnt so much about myself in one year I can’t begin to explain or comprehend fully what it is as the sleep deprivation does make my brain turn to putty.
When I thought that I couldn’t achieve anything else in my life before my boy – becoming a Mother was the cherry on the cake.
Sacrifices are a daily occurrence for me and when I began being a first time mom I was extremely stubborn mare with myself.
I didn’t want to change my routine at all. I wanted baby to fit around my schedule because being a professional and pretty darn independent woman I failed to realise how much my life was about to change.
Baby duties (not my baby boy) felt like a chores with no way out – it wasn’t a good mindset at all.
Now 12 months on I know that it was all a personal strength test much like when you do squats to strengthen your legs for that race or marathon. I may not be the perfect mother to others but I am dam proud of myself for getting this far.
Yes my boy is a breastfed baby… now if your wondering if this is for you I would suggest you do some research and also try and find some like minded Mother’s that have tried and tested. Or get constructive points of view then try and balance out both sets of opinions for and against.
This is what I didn’t do…..
I was so caught up in getting ready for baby as I didn’t have a “village” of people to lean back against. All my family live long distance.
So there’s me and my husband and a long wheeled van moving into our new purchased home whilst 7 months pregnant.
Unpacking our home, 8 months pregnant having visitors staying 8.5months pregnant, looking for a bigger car and preparing the nursery 9 months pregnant. And meal preparing to be frozen to make mealtimes easier at 2 weeks before my son arrived into the world.
During this I developed pubic girdle pain and on crutches with 5 weeks left to when our son was born.
I didn’t stop to think that I would need a good amount of time knowing about my breasts how they would function or to be of a service for a little human. And how they would produce milk to keep a baby alive.?
Me and my husband only mentioned breastfeeding a few times in passing as it was my something that I was completely uncomfortable with sharing. As a Afro-Caribbean woman ive been blessed putting it that way!
Putting this aside we really wanted to give it ago because of the extreme benefits it has for baby. Now don’t get me wrong I was for the option of formula and breastfeeding so that hubby could also support. Turns out this wasn’t an option for us.
Anyway 3 weeks in I was sore I never had cracked nipples but the constant cluster feeding and not knowing if our baby was getting enough was frustrating, filled me with anxiety and very was draining. This is what generally isn’t discussed in communities or in books… it’s getting better on YouTube vlogs so check them out!!!
Every session I was dreading not because of the bonding just because of how long each session lasted a total 1 hour and 45 mins. Including the burping 30 mins because he would fall asleep. By the time that session finished it was to the next session. With me I’m such a busy body and always on the go therefore my mind would be racing…. about a range of things. Housework, going back to work, my physical recover, you name it anything!!!
As I mentioned before my family live long distance and the closest family member was 2 hours away. So unfortunately it was all on my husband the first few weeks then after that it was on me!!! Aaarrrgghh!! On me to keep this little human alive. Daily I panicked it was a secret panic, sleep deprivation worsened as I was now making sure he was breathing and eating got less even none existence for me to keep my tank fuelled. Its especially important help with breastfeeding (you must eat and drink and it really makes you feel dehydrated and starving after a feed, oh and it gives you the sleep hormone… don’t know the fancy word).
So me not being present I was constantly thinking about what I’d have to prepare for my son, the house (because things were still in boxes and it was 6 weeks before xmas).
Then weeks went by and it still didn’t get easier and I was growing more and more sleep deprived. Thankfully I had a mobile and just started watching lots of youtube videos. The NCT and the La Lech League charities for me wasnt entirely helpful because I am a deep thinker. For a Mum that is sleep deprived, never breastfed before, oh and did I mention heavily sleep deprived- having to explain to a stranger over the phone my angst was just more of a hindrance than a help!
I was none the wiser because as soon as I put the phone down I had forgetting what was said to me typical….
So honestly I would say that I had 3 to 4 months of being on the couch or on the bed with little time to make food or shower or even brush my teeth without baby needing attention. If I thought life was tough before baby I was just so niaeve. I would say breastfeeding only started to get easier when he turned 6 months. I even got myself a tattoo with his name to as a little milestone and a well done to me.
I can only share my experience of a breastfed mother and I really support Mother’s that also bottle feed with formula. There is nothing wrong with combined feeding or exclusive breastfeeding or just straight formula feeding. What ever works best for you and your environment and your circumstances or the chapter of your life who am I or anyone else to judge.
Breastfeeding for me especially as an English Afro-Caribbean is a massive milestone. Unsure why but in my family history it’s not seen as something to be encouraged. So I wasn’t encouraged or breastfed as a baby.
Our son is such a little cherub and a positive ending to this story is that we continue to breastfeed probably not as much in the day now( unless he is very ill) but it’s an enjoyable experience. Because now I can see how much of a benefit it has provided him. He is strong healthy and I wouldn’t want it any other way. I now see my sacrifice as a blessing a blessing of many more to come because he is everything to us.
If this story can educate any woman or man in anyway. And let them know it gets better or just take your time and be present as best as you can be I feel like I have done a good job!!
Peace and Love