I’m not one to mince my words so I’d be honest: Life is so tough now.
The late-night feeds. The through-the-night feeds. The baby-refuses-to-latch feeds. The baby-struggles-at-boob feeds. And the baby-won’t-stop-crying-though-boob-in-mouth feeds.
You guessed it. I’m struggling with breastfeeding Isaac.
My supply is really good this time round, and I have more than enough milk for his needs. I have so much milk, in fact, that out of Valerie’s three milk feeds a day, two are of my milk (morning and night), while she takes formula in school after her afternoon nap on weekdays.
But as with all things, there’s the good, and there’s the bad. Good supply is what every breastfeeding mum dreams of, but for me, my good supply comes with extremely forceful letdown that causes Isaac to choke.
I know how strong my letdown can be because I observe my milk flow when I use my trusty Haakaa, and my milk SHOOTS out. Like a fountain. So I can imagine how Isaac feels when the milk suddenly sprays HARD towards the back of his throat. Of course, he’d get a shock and unlatch. Then he’d be upset that he unlatched and cry badly. Then I’d (quite) forcefully re-latch him and he’d be struggling. Rinse and repeat.
I spoke with Aunty Tok about this yesterday and she watched me breastfeed Isaac and the same thing happened. She came to the same conclusion I did – that my letdown was too strong for Isaac. I mentioned to her too, that I was honestly considering being an Exclusive Pumping (EP) mum, and asked for her thoughts because I value her opinion.
I’m currently still seriously considering the EP route. I mean – whatever works best for Isaac and I, right?
This was taken on Kevin’s 38th birthday. Isaac coincidentally turned 38 days old that same day too.
I’m posting this photo up because… Well, I need a reminder that his infantile stage, especially the fourth trimester (!!!), will pass before I know it. And though now it seems like things will never end, I will miss this phase when he goes into the next. (Oh, the irony of life.)
He is now sleeping on my chest after feeding. Such moments are far and few between, but these are the moments I treasure most. It’s during these moments that I feel him breathe, I feel him live. It’s during these moments that he is near and still enough to hear my heart beat, just like when he was still swimming around inside my womb.
He rarely is this still. He rarely is this quiet.
And this is another struggle of mine.
Isaac is a very light sleeper. He wakes up at the slightest noise or movement.
He constantly grunts – I think that’s just his way of babbling but it does get too much, at times.
He prefers to be carried, and cries to be cuddled. BUT it must be in HIS favourite position – the cradle.
Day in, day out; I’m either latching, pumping, or cuddling him. Just really thankful that I have extra hands to help me carry him when I need to pump, eat, shower, spend time with Valerie, or just take a y’know… BREAK.
Honestly, it’s tough. And I am struggling. There seems to be so much more to do now with two children completely dependant on you, though Valerie spends the most part of the day in school (thank GOD seriously).
Before I delivered, I was told that the BIGGEST transition any mother would have to go through would be going from ONE child to TWO children; and now I totally get it.
I’m a mess. I’m a complete mess. My children’s schedules are not in sync. My pumping schedule is chaos (I’ve gone nine hours without pumping before). I feel like I don’t even have proper time to eat, bathe, or even pee. I’m locked in the room with my boobs out half the time to milk my jugs… And I haven’t had a proper sleep in ages.
There are times when I feel like giving it all up. When I want to run away. When I want to just take care of my own needs again. When I want my body back to myself.
But then I think of life before I had my children, and as tough as it is now, I’ve truly never been happier.
So I’m pressing on, step by step. But man, it is hard.