Breastfeeding // How Breastfeeding is turning me into Oscar the Grouch
I’ve been breastfeeding Indy for over two months now (which, according to one of the Facebook breastfeeding support groups I’m a member of, apparently earns me my brass boobies!) and whilst I’m utterly in awe that my body can continue to grow him on the outside, I’m still experiencing a love-hate relationship with the process.
I think it’s mostly to do with sleep; I’m not someone who copes well without it, and after 11 weeks of feeding every one-to-two hours around the clock, I’m beginning to resemble Oscar the Grouch… with the monobrow to match.
I’ve been patiently waiting to fall in love with it, as so many Mamas seem to (“Breastfeeding is just the BEST thing!” etc), but it hasn’t happened.
Don’t get me wrong, I am feeling very bonded to Indy the Boob Muncher – both emotionally and quite literally – and we’ve definitely made more of the Fourth Trimester than we did with Busby (out of want and necessity). I love our days snuggled up in bed cluster feeding, with him smiling at me and chatting away. (I never feel guilty for consuming a tub of flapjacks on these days…) I always felt I missed out on that with Busby when breastfeeding didn’t work out; she was such an independent little thing and I was eager to be “getting on with life” and proving that I could still be something that resembled the “pre-baby me”, as one often does with a first baby.
But can I maintain this level of sleep deprivation for another 11 weeks? Who knows.
I assume it will get easier. Indy is starting to let me put him down in his bedside crib in the night; something he didn’t let me do for the first 8-9 weeks of his life. That means I’m not half-sleeping during the times I am actually able to sleep, in fear that I might squish him or smother him with the duvet. Ewan the Dream Sheep has, once again, been a complete Godsend for settling him and continues to be THE product I recommend to all friends who are about to pop out a baby.
I’m in a quandary; some days I want to stop and other days I don’t. In fact, some mornings I wake up thinking “maybe we should start weaning him onto the bottle” and by lunchtime I’m firmly back in the “must continue breastfeeding” corner… I’ve just worked so hard to establish feeding him that it seems a waste to stop just because I’m exhausted. Ok, ok, I’m definitely more than exhausted… a former shell of myself that can barely function, would be a more accurate description. Bisto in the fridge, anyone??!
Sure I’d like to be able to get dressed in the morning without thinking “can I get my nips out in this without flashing the whole world/getting naked?” and oh, how I’d love to be able to wear a bra with underwiring so my breasts don’t look like two odd sized, uneven, sweet potatoes in a hammock… but at the same time it’s so much easier to whip out a boob than deal with a screaming baby waiting for a bottle to cool down or warm up, and it’s a little bit like having a super power this milk making malarkey.
As I write this, he has a tooth swiftly making its entrance through his gums, so that may be the deciding factor for me… I don’t fancy having my nipples bitten off – he already uses them to gain purchase whilst doing a poo.
Motherhood, eh? Isn’t it delightful?!