Breastfeeding // How Breastfeeding is turning me into Oscar the Grouch

oscar the grouchI’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.

My attractive "I've had a maximum of three hours sleep" face.
My attractive “I’ve had a maximum of three hours sleep last night” face.

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??!

But, I mean LOOK at this photo! Look how much he’s grown here in 7-8 weeks! Isn’t that insane? And I did that! My milk did that! My milk created a GIANT BABY! magic milk

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?!


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  1. 7th September 2015 / 6:56 am

    I had these same feelings in the early weeks and I would ‘threaten’ him with a bottle! For any ff mums it’s no bad thing. It went from that to enjoying it 90% of the time and I’m still doing it alongside solids at 8 months with 4 teeth!

  2. 7th September 2015 / 7:21 am

    You’re doing amazingly well mama! I’m already having similar feelings and Gabe is only 3 weeks old! It’s so tiring when they’re feeding constantly and I feel so guilty that I’m not spending as much time with Toby…but at the same time, I’m doing it! I’m actually feeding a baby with boob milk, which I never really managed with Toby. I guess we just have to keep going – it will get easier one of these days, right?

  3. 7th September 2015 / 7:37 am

    Whatever you decide will be the right choice for you. It’s so so hard and it was the 12 week mark when I swapped to bottle with Luca as like you I was exhausted and needed a bit of a break. I also had the added issue of only being able to feed laying down with him. It was my mum who said to me that formula feeding him wouldn’t hurt, I had already done the most important bit and that Luca having a happy mummy would be more beneficial to him than being breastfed. I decided to do combined feeding but by day 2 we had fully made the swap and I felt better already.
    Good luck with whatever you decide. Xx

  4. 7th September 2015 / 7:57 am

    You really are doing well. I never gained any love for breastfeeding whatsoever and that was my downfall, so I understand your love hate relationship with it entirely!!

  5. 7th September 2015 / 11:31 am

    You’re doing really well! xx

    Have you tried offering him expressed breast milk? If he’ll take the bottle you can go and sleep while Nick (or someone else) feeds Indy.

    My daughter was a very frequent feeder too, but she never fed for very long. She was a snacking baby, definitely, and wanted a little milk but very often (every 1-2 hours). I introduced expressed milk at about 2 weeks so I could have a small glass of wine and she happily accepted and after that she has expressed milk once or twice a week so I could nap (or have wine).

    I was really scared of feeding her in bed when she was tiny but as she grew I learned to do it and could snooze at the same time as I was feeding her.


  6. Alison
    7th September 2015 / 6:24 pm

    Ahh, this is refreshing. I had a very similar experience in terms of the love-hate relationship with breast feeding, but thankfully more sleep, and found it very hard that I didn’t love feel like it was the BEST thing. I don’t know how you’re doing it on so little sleep. I hope you’re awake enough to be able to give yourself a huge pat on the back without falling over. I stopped feeding at seven months when I had just had enough of being a milk machine and felt incredibly guilty for stopping because I wanted to rather than doing what was best for baby, I couldn’t breastfeed, etc. I am pregnant with my second and am hoping I can be kinder to myself if I don’t enjoy breastfeeding this time. If you decide to carry on, I’ve just discovered that an Australian company called Hot Milk make maternity bras that look more like bras than hammocks so might be worth a look. Hope you get some more sleep soon. You’ve done an amazing job!

  7. 7th September 2015 / 8:15 pm

    You are doing so well. I breastfed both my girls and loved it but like you also had a bit of a love/hate feeling with it. I must admit that even though I did for 11 months with Mads and 14 with LL, I was SO excited to get my body back. x

  8. 7th September 2015 / 9:04 pm

    Aw those photos must be such great motivation, knowing you’ve provided everything for your ever-growing boy. You have done so amazingly well to get this far and I am in awe, honestly. 🙂

    Whatever you decide to do, you rock! xx

  9. 8th September 2015 / 2:35 am

    i too wish I was totally in love with breastfeeding!!! I definitely find seeing how much the little guy is growing as motivation too, and wow you should be super proud of your little milk monster he’s growing so so well bless him!!!
    I remember switching to bottle when Arthur was around 8 months and still feeling iin mixed minds…..just can’t win as a mum sometimes!!
    It’s great that you’re getting a little better sleep now he is going into his crib, long may that continue xxx

  10. Sarah
    8th September 2015 / 1:18 pm

    Underwired nursing bras changed my breastfeeding life! I had a wonderful Elomi one from Figleaves. It meant I could at least feel nice in my clothes which made a huge difference to me.

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