A closet lactivist

TIBERIUS - WIN_20150529_104441I am choosing to blog in preference to cleaning the kitchen floor. I have a hot cup of coffee beside me and a gurgling smiling Freddie in his vibrating bouncy chair. Just as I was about to sit down the doorbell rang, and I answered it to the scariest looking Jehovah’s Witness I’ve ever seen. He handed me a leaflet which is now in the bin, and I contemplated telling him I’d got to run because I had an appointment at the blood transfusion clinic.

I feel the need to type at speed [with two hands!], because I’m sure there will be either sick, poo or tears before I’ve finished the coffee and the paragraph. I am feeling quietly pleased that both baby and Momma are clean, dressed, and fed by 10am. The washing up is also done, laundry on, bathroom given a vague clean. Baby Freddie has taken to being wide eyed and smiley at 5am [must buy blackout curtains!] I’ve been particularly tired these past days as I’m getting over a cold, and I’ve been worried about baby boy’s chest. I guess it’s also the culmination of 12 weeks of broken sleep. Last night he fed quite a lot, but I can’t remember the times, at one point I fell asleep with him latched on, and woke up in a pool of breastmilk, dribbling on the pillow, half biting my tongue. Attractive. This is a total benefit to being a single mum; no need to worry about the levels of glamour at 3am. I love co sleeping, without co sleeping I would be another level of zombie altogether. I think this is the 12 week growth spurt, judging by the new thigh rolls on baby boy.

Back in the days of being preggers, I never realised how much I would WORRY about my new bundle. I worry he’s pooed too much, I worry if he hasn’t pooed enough. Poo becomes a key topic of conversation with other mummy friends, even in public. “It was a bit green the other day” you say, between ravenous bites of a cheese toastie. I worry he’s too hot or too cold, I find myself worrying about him falling off bikes in years to come, and heaven forbid, wanting to join the army. Dear me. Hormones! Must. Not. Be. Neurotic. That said, his chest is getting better, and he seems to quite like the vile smelling yellow amoxicillin. Phew.

Yesterday the key topic seemed to be Breast Feeding, and whether mum’s felt pressurised to do so [or rather, “breassure”]. I watched the TV “debates” whilst feeding my boy, leaking breastmilk everywhere and realising that I am actually a closet lactivist. Obviously it’s a choice, but isn’t everything in life? I am totally pro breastfeeding, not least because it’s free, and saves me the hassles of sterilising bottles! For me it was never a choice, this is natural; this is what my meagre knockers were made for, and it’s golden nectar for my baby! However,

[pause whilst I get crying baby from bouncer]

I think there may be a misconception that just because breastfeeding is natural, it is somehow easy. I probably thought this before Freddie was born …. and actually, he made it pretty easy at first, latching on straight away and generally loving his milk/gaining weight. However, at 3 weeks in with my first bout of mastitis, it was far from easy. Yet by this point I was so in love with breastfeeding and the bond it created between me and my baby, that I was determined to feed through the pain. I will never forget pushing my 3 week old baby to the out of hours GP service on a saturday morning [why do I always get mastitis on a weekend?] boob red, hot and sore …. only to be told they were running 50minutes behind. Freddie started crying, I think I started crying when I had to feed him from the offending boob – he needed his nappy changed but I couldn’t lose my place in the queue … it was miserable. By the second time I got it, I recognised the fevery symptoms immediately, and popped the antibiotics. I really believe that breast is best, and I don’t have a problem feeding in public. In fact, a few weeks ago I ended up feeding on a park bench in a very indiscreet top because Freddie was crying and doing the “tongue thing” in his pram.

I do think these glamour shots of very rich women breastfeeding in luxurious surroundings push the “easy” image … whilst I lie in pools of my own breastmilk, unshowered and dishevelled.

In fact, I’m now balancing breastfeeding and typing … cue screenshot. And yes, that is baby sick on my shoulder!

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