It has been a while since I spared some time to write. I thought before that having a child gets easier with time. The truth is – it doesn’t! You just get used to the fact that you wake up in the morning, the day is filled with you serving the child – feed, entertain, change, clean, etc., and then the day is over. I’m tired all the time, and at the moments when I am able to rest, I just blank out and don’t want to do anything, including writing. So no blog posts for a while.
Today I look at my child and think to myself – I can’t believe it’s been 8 months already. It feels like 4 months maybe, to me. Time flies, three seasons have been experienced – he came into this world in winter and summer is almost gone now. This is the first year that I haven’t even been to the beach – not to have a walk, not to sunbathe, nothing. The scarce tan that I’ve gotten this year is “pram tan” – mostly my arms and feet, from the daily hour spent on a walk, pushing my son in the pram. I do enjoy these walks as much as laying in the sand on a beach – it is time when I don’t have to do anything, think about anything, it’s a pause where I just walk. Through these months we have walked through ups and downs. The ups are the happiness my son brings me, teaching me to be in the present, be happy, wake up with a smile and love. I love him more than anything and want to give him the best of everything that I can. And the downs – the constant sleep deprivation and tiredness, the routine (good in some ways but sometimes makes me long for the old days when I wasn’t restricted), and the worst – the breastfeeding struggles.
Currently I’m feeding my child mostly solids, a little bit of my pumped breast milk during the day, and two meals of milk at night. A couple of months ago, he refused to breastfeed completely. He wanted the milk, but not from me. No matter how I tried and worked on getting him back on the breast, nothing brought success. The resistance to breastfeed had been building up gradually for a while. Initially he just got distracted easily during feeds and wouldn’t be interested to continue feeding, so I started feeding him in the bedroom, in the quiet. Soon he wouldn’t breastfeed and would prefer bottle if it had been a while since he woke from a nap, so I scheduled the feeds for when he wakes up. Next, he would be OK with feeding only a minute or two after waking up while he was still sleepy. Next – only immediately after waking up, so every feed during the day was me sprinting to the bedroom as soon as I heard the tiniest sound from the bedroom. God forbid he woke up during the daily walk before we had reached home – he no longer would feed from me, only bottle worked. Finally, the most stressful time was when I would only be able to breastfeed him while he sleeps. I made him fall asleep by bouncing on fitness ball to sneak in a feed. As soon as his eyes were open – hysterics about being on the boob, as if I was hurting him. For a while, at least night feeds were stressless, but even that ended. When he refused to breastfeed even at night, I just gave up, admitted defeat and from there on I have been pumping the milk and feeding it to him via bottles. That means working three times more – pumping, washing and sterilising everything, warming up the milk and then feeding – but there is less stress about it. Initially I pumped 4 times a day, one of them being at night but at least now I have reduced it to 2 times – in the morning and in the evening.
I try not to think about it too much, and life goes on, I am happy that at least my child is getting my milk and not formula, at least he is a generally happy little angel, learning new things all the time. But sometimes the pain about this surfaces. For example tonight, when putting him to sleep, he was upset and restless, so I had to warm up some milk for him and bottle-feed him for him to fall asleep. All the while, my engorged breasts were leaking milk. I would be so happy to just offer him my breast, hold him in my arms until he blissfully falls asleep whilst feeding. How I long for the times when he was very little, tiny baby! I remember how he used to stop in the middle of a feed to look up and smile at me, the little flirt! I’m heartbroken that it’s not so anymore.
Oh well, it is what it is now and all I have is these blissful memories, saved as screenshots in my mind. And the thought that I’m wiser now, and won’t make the same mistakes with the next child. Maybe I will still get a good and long breastfeeding experience. 🙂
As to how the baby is doing – he is quite mobile, as he rolls and rotates easily. He hasn’t figured out crawling yet, but it’s a work in progress. He has three meals of solids every day – porridge in the morning, fruit smoothies or yoghurt for lunch and blended veggies for dinner. He also has snacks that he handles himself – some donut cookies (or barankas), peaches and melon pieces (from a mesh feeder), cucumber sticks, and the latest favourite – blueberries. He is a bit awkward with picking the berries up and putting them in his mouth, but he manages and successfully chews and eats them. I do monitor all that, just in case he chokes on bits of food.
He is learning to pronounce new sounds and repeats them like a parrot. For example, for a few days, the first sounds upon waking up were “taco-taco-taco-taco…”, and that was all he was saying all day long. 😀 A new discovery for him recently is that if he “speaks” into a cup that we use to pour water on him during bathing, the sound echoes. So during the baths, there is a lot of singing into the cup. He is good at drinking from a sippy-cup, and when he has satisfied his thirst – he sips and gurgles the water instead of swallowing, entertaining himself and getting himself all wet. A clever little baby, isn’t he!? Another thing he does for entertainment recently is bob his head – again like a parrot. 😀 Fun times!
As for myself, despite lack of sleep and time for myself, I have managed to find the time to go to a fitness class twice a week – an exercise group for mummies, so I can take the baby with me. That makes me feel good about myself, as I can do more every time and feel stronger overall, and my posture has improved a bit. Exercise is such a good thing, and I hope I can keep it up.
That’s all for this time! 🙂