Express Train Stopping Here

I’ve been wanting to write all week.

When I first load up the page I usually go straight to Read My Subscriptions. Then I get so overwhelmed and intimidated by all the amazing blogs out there that I forget I had anything to say.

Then I log out.

But here I am, ready to break the ice, face the blank page, etc.

I’ve had such a busy month with finishing uni and preparing to be a bridesmaid at my friend’s wedding on the weekend, plus all the usuals, I haven’t had time to sit and think. I realised that every second of every day is spent in ‘action’. Do you remember when you were a kid and there would be times when you were just sitting and thinking and staring? Playing with a stick in the dirt or twisting your toes in between leaves while you did nothing?

One of my new years resolutions was to slow down. So far, I haven’t succeeded. If anything, I’ve had the busiest two months of the last year and now it’s March and finally I’m stopping to take a breath.

We’ve had a hard few days with Baby. I think her second tooth is coming through and she has been waking up all through the night for three nights as well as not sleeping much and lots of tears in the day. I’m having a moral dilemma about panadol and what is the right thing to do? We have homeopathic teething drops which we give her when we think she is uncomfortable and she also wears an amber teething necklace while she is awake, but when this doesn’t help I am not sure what to do. I feel uncomfortable about giving panadol – is she really in pain? I feel that for her to be waking during the night, something must be hurting to wake her up. Or is it just because she is so over tired?

As well as this, last week I cut down to three breastfeeds per day, instead of the usual four. I have been in such a tiz over breastfeeding since I have gone back to work. I have been expressing twice a day at work and every day at home to get just enough milk for Baby to have while I’m gone. If I needed to do anything else – like be a bridesmaid last Saturday for instance, I could not physically get enough milk and had to arrange for Prince Charming to bring Baby to me so I could feed her. Now that I’m back at work I want to be with her every moment that I am home, however this is not always possible. So I went and had a good chat to my naturopath about two weeks ago. We spoke about a few things and I realised that breastfeeding, which I usually adore, had become one of my main stressors. She suggested I try giving Baby some formula on the days I am at work, to alleviate some of the pressure. It was like a weight was lifted and, aside from the guilt I felt about using formula (for an unknown reason mind you – I have never had strong opinions either way regarding the use of formula and believe it to be a very personal matter) I could start to see more clearly. I had become so stubborn, I know that if my mum or someone else had suggested formula, I would have said no. Knowing my naturopath is a breastfeeding advocate, and having such trust in her regarding my family’s health and wellbeing, it was almost as if I needed to hear the suggestion from her, to allow myself to consider the idea.

To cut to the chase, I bought a container of Bellamy’s Organic Formula, stared at it for a few days, then Prince Charming did the honours while I was at my friend’s Hens Day. Baby guzzled 240mL first go…

Now I express once a day at work and every second day at home. Baby will have one bottle of expressed milk on day one and a bottle of formula on day two, depending on how much I have been able to express. Phew. I’m just glad that I was able to talk to my naturopath about this and come to the realisation that formula was not the wicked witch that was going to devour my breastfeeding role and spit me out the other side, but that it can actually be used to support and renew my passion for breastfeeding and even assist me to breastfeed for longer than I may have without it.

After a few days doing just three feeds a day and trying to time it in with food and sleeps and so on, I ditched the idea. Yesterday I breastfed Baby five times as she has been so upset and clingy due to what I think is her new tooth. Who cares? I realised that breastfeeding is not meant to be timed or scheduled. It’s not something to be monitored or ‘fit in’. It is one of the most personal relationships I will ever have. It’s not about my maternal child health nurse, or the girl who sits next to me at mother’s group. It’s about Baby and me and it should be flexible, soft, intimate, and intuitive.

So here’s to the beginning of the New Me… Again. Baby is ever so excited.


2 thoughts on “Express Train Stopping Here

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