This week Ollie fired me from my job. Not my job as his mother, but my job as his breastfeeding mother.
Breastfeeding is a funny thing. As I mentioned before, I never allowed myself any other option than to exclusively breastfeed Ollie. It was breastfeed or bust for us. I wish I had known in advance that it can actually be difficult. I had an assumption (how unlike me right?!) that you have a baby and then they just latch on and off we wander into the sunset holding hands together.
I remember deciding that I would feed him until he was one. As I have since discovered, things don’t always go according to plan. In fact, when it’s involving me, they very rarely do. Surprise! No, not really.
I know that there are people out there who genuinely love breastfeeding and their goal is to feed for as long as possible. I was never one of those people. Don’t get me wrong, I loved that closeness with my little boy and also the convenience of a ready to eat meal with no notice. There was also the fact that my pregnancy weight fell away in the blink of an eye of course coupled with my constant mind blank when it came to eating (not a ‘diet’ I would recommend).
Here’s what I feel I probably shouldn’t say, but it’s the truth…… For a period of time, I didn’t feel like a person anymore. I felt like a (incredibly exhausted, vomited and faeces covered) body wandering around with two HUUUUUUGE breasts attached. The downside of breastfeeding for me was feeling as though the milk bar was ALWAYS open. It’s draining (literally). It meant that everything was always revolving around me and my boobs (and not in the way that it did pre-baby – Sorry Aaron!).
Ollie had terrible wind and I read somewhere (thanks Dr. Google) that there are things called ‘Windy Foods’. That is food that the mother eats that can potentially cause wind in the baby through breastfeeding. So in an attempt to restore some sort of calm to our house, I cut out (at different times for varying periods of time): dairy, citrus, broccoli, caffeine, Nutella (sob), chocolate and many other things. At the time I was so desperate for a reprieve that I was willing to do anything. Nothing worked and it was something that he eventually grew out of. If only I’d had a crystal ball so that I didn’t have to give up coffee and Nutella.
I was so determinded that I would breastfeed and not comp feed at all. By doing so, I put yet another completely unwavering and unreasonable concept on my ‘Must do list’. I put so much pressure on myself because I hadn’t allowed any other options. Lesson learnt. Yet again.
So imagine my surprise when Ollie decided earlier this week that my still lactating right boob (poor left boob has been out of commission for some time – click here for more on that!) was no longer needed. It was a fairly unceremonious firing at the callous hand of my son. He latched on in the night and after about 10 seconds he got off, opened his eyes and slapped me hard in the boob. He then made his cranky face (the same as my cranky face – thanks a lot genetics), slapped me again and rolled away from me. I have since tried to feed him but with no success.
All signs now clearly point to being made redundant from my prestigious job as Mummy Milk Maid. Here’s the kicker, I’m actually a little bit sad. Now that the boobie feeding train has seemingly reached it’s final destination I’ve realised that maybe I wasn’t ready to pack up my breast pads quite yet. Nonetheless it would appear that my boobies can go back to serving a purely decorative purpose. I know that Aaron is VERY happy about this.