We hit a huge milestone last week. I achieved my Golden Boobies. It’s a breastfeeding award that celebrates a reaching a year.
Not that you get an actual award. I’m not sure who would send it to you, the Boobie Fairy?
I had hoped to celebrate in some way but the focus was obviously on Harrison and his birthday fun, which was less of a birthday, more of a birth-week. He wasn’t complaining though, and neither was I, it was an amazing feeling, being so excited for your babies birthday.
Our Golden Boobies celebration got a little lost, and it may be because the dynamics have shifted a little again. I’ve been left a tad uncertain how I feel, and a little rain cloud has formed over this subject.
Work, work, work
As I’m back at work full days, Harrison feeds at bedtime and at night. We co-sleep to make this possible. Since Christmas, we’ve had a sickness bout and a couple of colds. Then throw in teething, and the huge development milestone of learning to walk and adding to his vocabulary, and we’ve been all over the place.
Who needs sleep?
Sleep deprivation has been hard, it’s difficult to describe to someone, what it feels like. I haven’t slept for longer than three hours since Harrison was born. It certainly takes its toll.
However, I’m not sure if we breastfed or not, sleep would be any less of an issue. Yes, I speak to parents who’s children sleep through, but I speak to plenty who don’t.
Feeding to sleep
Then we have the falling to sleep issue. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy, for Mummy with magic sleep juice. Not so easy when you don’t have boobies, and a baby with no interest in a dummy, or any kind of comforter. Don’t get me wrong it can be done, but for someone who’s not used to frequent night waking, it’s like hell on earth. So not really an attractive proposition to offer out.
With being back at work, I’m expressing for the next day’s nursery supply. The freezer draw is barren, so this really puts the pressure on to find time whilst working, and in an evening. I considered switching to just food and water or cows milk, but we’ve kept it up for now. He is so up and down with it, some days he drinks it all, others barely touches. I’m hoping he will settle down and become less interested to be honest, so we can gradually stop this.
We’ve also had biting. My little piranha has eight sharp teeth now. This certainly hasn’t been bad, but it hurts all the same, and the only time I’ve been a little scared of Harrison.
Sticks and stones
Then there’s the comments and views of others. They may not say a word, but a look and body language, can say a thousand things. When it’s family or close ones, it makes it difficult to know who you can share and be honest with.
One of the hardest things has been when Harrison went through the separation anxiety phase and weariness of strangers. Perfectly normal and a natural built in defence mechanism for all babies before they learn to walk and become more independent.
This phase often see’s them wanting no one but mama. Not dada or even nanna. When my mum came in and went to pick up Harrison and he cried, I knew it really hurt her. When Harrison clung on to me for dear life and didn’t want to go to Daddy, it upset him and he was frustrated.
He’ll still breastfeeding at 25
It’s easy to blame breastfeeding. ‘Oh he’s breastfed, he just wants his mother’. It’s easy to take that hurt and build a resentment. I spoke to a mum who ended her breastfeeding journey at five and a half months as her family kept complaining her baby was too ‘clingy’ and felt pressure to stop. So she did, and do you know what, her baby was just the same afterwards, it was just her baby.
To celebrate or not celebrate?
So yes I still want to celebrate this achievement. I am proud, and it still feels an integral part of our relationship. I’m not ready to give up. I want to keep passing on antibodies and all the goodness of human milk, until his immune system’s built up. But it’s not all rainbows and unicorns. Some times it’s just bloody hard and I get mum guilt about breastfeeding, just the same as everything else. This may be just a low key celebration just for us, but I’d like to create a memory in some way.
We had a mum and baby photoshoot done on Harrison’s birthday and I’ve picked one of the photos to be our official Golden Boobies celebration picture. And here she is.
More on this subject: