Breastfeeding, to me, is a love-hate affair. At times, I dreaded having to share my breasts with a little person round the clock. I disliked feeling sweaty, engorged and worried about plugged ducts wherever I went. On the other hand, I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.
Nonetheless, breastfeeding has knitted a special tie between Ewan and I. A bond so precious only those who have breastfed and have been breastfed before will understand. It has always been and will always be a mommy’s fool-proof way to soothe a fussy baby. Hungry? Unwell? Teething? Or just plain cranky? Pop your breasts and everything’s in total control 🙂
A Memorably Meaningful Journey
~ Due to complications, I couldn’t direct feed for the first three weeks after Ewan was born. Squeezed and collected colostrum via syringe while he was warded and continued to pump every two hours throughout the clock with the single-pump Medela Swing.
~ Kept trying various nursing positions to no avail. Ewan was an impatient, loud baby.
~ Almost gave up several times and cried buckets of tears enduring the commitment and hard work required. Set my goal to breastfeed for three months and told myself I would be done with it then.
~ Rented the double-pump Medela Lactina to save time and increase milk supply.
~ Breastfeeding seemed easier. He latched on easily as if he’s been doing it forever.
~ Exhausted from caring for him on my own back in hometown, I started nursing him lying down (and to sleep!). That was how he associated nursing with sleeping *never do this at home*
~ Sold my Medela Swing and bought a double-pump Spectra 3 in preparation for going back to work.
~ Ohh, three months ALREADY? I can breastfeed with both eyes closed now!
~ Went back to work. Pumped twice in office, once at 11.30am and another at 4.30pm. Highest amount reaped was 11oz from both breasts. Left was always more active than right.
~ Ewan still wakes for feed 2-3 times per night. Went to work looking and feeling like a zombie every single day. On really bad days, I hid in the office toilet and napped.
~ He was taking 4oz at each feed.
~ Achieved my goal to breastfeed for six months! I’m the (wo)man!!
~ We enjoyed it so much I did not hesitate to continue. Another 3 months, I said.
~ We had quite a lot of milk supply that some were donated to other babies.
~ Quit my job to become a stay-at-home mom. Ditched the milk bottles.
~ Ewan started solids and reduced his milk intake. Pumped whenever I felt engorged.
~ Found out that Ewan’s eczema was triggered by egg, cow’s milk and peanut – all of which were my must-haves. Began a strict no-egg and no-dairy diet.
~ My weight went from 46kg to 43kg. Termed underweight according to BMI calculations. I need my milk and egg!
~ Cousin from Canada came and brought me a Medela Freestyle.
~ Started looking for milk alternative. Tried Isomil and Mamex Gold soy formula. All were rejected and gone to waste.
~ Omigosh…I have breastfed my boy for one
freaking year! Reminiscing how I cried and resented it at the beginning, I can’t believe myself, honestly. Maybe this is what a mother’s love is.
~ Continued searching for milk alternative. A cousin suggested to try oatmilk. He likes it!
~ OK I’m so reclaiming my boobs. You go have some oatmilk and leave me alone. It’s daddy’s turn now 🙂
All good things have to come to an end. To regain an ideal body weight and nourish Ewan with a great sense of independence without mommy’s “nen nen”, we have begun weaning him off breasts this week. Besides, I do not foresee myself tandem nursing if we are blessed with a second child.
As he is so used to being nursed to sleep, this change of lifestyle has kept us all awake for the past few nights. Although it has been a exhausting, tough week, he is making a very good progress in trying to learn how to fall asleep on his own. We’re taking one step at a day and are very proud of him because he’s adapting it with a fuss-free manner.
To decrease my milk supply, I am using natural remedies such as cabbage and sage tea. No progress monitored so far; my boobs are still as hyper as ever
although they’re lopsided now.
In due time, we hope that our weaning effort will bear fruit where I can eat without feeling any guilt while Ewan’s eczema will be under better control. *fingers crossed*
If I can turn back time, I will breastfeed him all over again without a doubt.