Tag Archives: guilt

Super sensitive

Since I’ve accepted myself as abnormal (or perhaps I am the normal one and they are all strange!) I have become a lot more sensitive to criticism. Overly sensitive perhaps?

I have always had an abundance of background paranoia caused by years of actually being the one they talked about, and this is spreading.  It’s infecting my guilt, making me question what I did to deserve such treatment.

In my world, there is no such thing as the bitchiness of others. If I am in receipt of a sour remark, this is because I have already earnt it. Bought and paid for, as you might say.

I volunteered my services recently, and perhaps the fault lies in the way they were reluctantly volunteered. Or by my precious fuck ups. Either way, I was told this person would pay someone else. As an aside, I said they could pay me, knowing that I would never charge this person. Especially not for what they wanted done, as it’s a small job and one I can teach them in minutes. I would have hoped they realised this.

They didn’t.

A response appeared with an emphasis on the negation of any charge, worded in a manner which, in the toneless world of the Internet, felt pointed and jagged.

Now I sit lost and chastising myself for even thinking anyone would want me to help. Thoughts are battering themselves against my skull and I’m doubting myself, the things I worked for and my family.

There are no such things as bitchy comments in my world.

All fault lies here.

Advertisements

They fuck you up, your mum and dad

This first line in This Be The Verse, a famous poem by Philip Larkin.

An ex boyfriend of mine exposed me to this work after a discussion about having children. Those were the heady days when I didn’t have any intention of having children. They were the days when I thought I couldn’t have children and I’d accepted this as fact.

That wasn’t the case and now I have three. Three lovely horrors I get to fuck up in new and interesting ways. Three cute monsters who are already showing symptoms of my issues.

It’s terrifying.

I grew up thinking that it was my parents’ divorce which had made me the stupid, pathetic shell I was during my childhood. I was the kid always willing to lie down and play the victim. I was that snotty kid crying in the corner. That one they all hated. The easy target.

I’m bitter about the waste. I wasted what should have been the best years of my life by burdening myself with everything. I missed out on so much because I was sensitive and ashamed of myself.

I thought it was a combined effort, until I heard myself repeating things I’d heard growing up. Things that I realised had cut me. These words my mum spoke were dangerous knives, and I caught myself saying them to my daughter.

I don’t like people saying horrible things about Mum. She did the best she could for us. It was hard for her so when I think about the things that hurt me, I think about what I did to deserve them.

There are moments when I was horrible to everyone. Mum won’t let me forget them. The shame wants me to forget, but I can’t. It’s not her fault, though, it’s all mine.

Isn’t it?

And me saying those things to L?

That’s my fault too.

They fuck you up, your mum and dad.

The reins of terror

31st July we braved the supermarket with two babies and no pushchair.  What a dumb freaking idea that was.

Toddler wears reins. I know, terrible parent. My bro always had reins and I am terrified she will run off without them, so I put her reins on. I have never before been ashamed of using them…but that Sunday I was.

She pulled, threw herself on the floor, required verbal admonishment. I felt like I was training a dog or small pony, not a small child.  So now I have a moral dilemma (and I’m worried about having marked her)  do we continue to use the reins or let her loose? I cannot stand the thought of her running into the path of an on coming car, but I don’t know how she is ever going to learn to walk nicely otherwise.

Argggghhh.

An exam? Really?

On Friday 22nd of July OH took an exam. ITIL foundation.

There was little to no drama about it and I’m pretty sure I only found out he was taking it about a week before.

We have to do the same exam where I work, but we get a five-day residential course and huge build up.

It surprised me the amount of drama there hadn’t been about this exam.  And then I realised that this was part of the self-absorption I’m suffering from for having to look after two children.

First of all I don’t remember him mentioning the exam prior to this week. He must have known.  Maybe he did mention it and I just wasn’t listening for whatever reason.  Then I wasn’t really there to offer support.

Since having the Toddler I’ve felt like there was a limit to how much attention, help, backup and even love I can offer other people.  Now I have two babies, I’m spread even more thinly, devoting day and night to ensure they both have what they need yo be healthy and happy.

It’s strange because OH seemed to accept my non-involvement and disinterest in the exam but can’t understand my limited emotions.  Being so disinterested and detatched has caused me massive concerns though.  If I have managed to distance myself so much from OHs life then why are we carrying on as a couple? Ok. I know new babies cause a shift in focus but surely a distance this substantial is cause for concern?

By the way, he passed the exam with 85%.

Why I hate our pushchair

Last Wednesday was again, a Bad Day.

I seem to be having a lot of these lately.

It didn’t start out as a Bad Day,  In fact, she went to the childminders and with OH working at home, it had great promises of being a Good Day, a Nice Day, a Pleasant Day even.

It started out with a trip to the local Family Point to see my Health visitor and get O weighed.

I walked over there as usual after playing “build your own” with the Phil and Teds.  Honestly, the more I put that thing together, the more it suggests to me that an NVQ in construction is probably one of the prerequisites to owning one.  You wouldn’t go and buy a car and have to put the wheels on and seats in every time you wanted to drive it, so why make your consumers do that with a pram?  Anyway, I digress.

I wasn’t particularly nervous about going to Family Point even though I had been warned it was hectic.  When I’m not having a Bad Day, things like large groups of people don’t bother me. I HAD forgotten I was wearing a t-Shirt which said “Monkey says SHUT IT!” in very large letters on the front, but never mind!

It was packed.  There were kids everywhere, I blocked in about 5 push chairs.  And all this after I had gone the wrong way to the centre in the first place (I’d come from the other side and mis-judged it.)  A “lovely” lady was there to point me in the right direction, as PHEW I would never have been able to see the huge red brick building with COMMUNITY CENTRE painted across it otherwise!

Anyway, Kids EVERYWHERE.  Massive mayhem.  The Toddler would have LOVED it.  I mean she would have been in her element.

I sat down in a corner after talking to some of the mums about how old/cute O is and some of the older kids wanted to touch him as they were fascinated. He got grabbed a few times but he slept through it.  I explained he was used to is as she “loves” him all the time.

My Health Visitor called me and we weighed O. He’s 13lbs 5oz now.  Huge.  As big as a 3 month old.  But he’s following his line.  He’s not fat.  He’s not losing weight.  He’s normal.  they have no concerns.  I have no concerns.

I reminded my Health Visitor that I wanted to be involved in her quest to improve maternal mental health and she said that as she is heading the initiative she’s in charge and would like me to do it.  She made a note in her diary to ask about the crèche for the Thursday group and sent me on my way.

Obviously, O needed feeding, so I earned my “Breastfeeding at a packed mothers and toddlers group with Toddlers poking the baby” badge.

Then it was time to budget shop.

I am trying to do everything on a budget.  And stick fairly strictly to a menu to try to cut down on the amount of wastage we have.  I’m also hoping we will save money by being very restrictive about what we buy and buying things ahead of time rather than ad hoc as this seems to result in buying unnecessary items (cute baby clothes, chocolate, toddler toys, seeds, a cake we will never eat etc etc)

So, I’m mentally working through my list and have picked up cans and tins of stuff.  the basket is heavy and it’s resting on the handle bar and across the sun visor of the pram.  I always rest it here.  I don’t normally have a problem.  But today, while I was in the frozen meat aisle on the phone to OH asking him where I could find the frozen chicken chunks, the pram went over backwards.

IT WENT OVER BACKWARDS on to O’s head.  One of the shop assistants shot over and asked if I was ok.  I was in shock and just stood looking down at the stupid pram for what seemed like 10 minutes.  I was horrified.  O was asleep.  he remained asleep.  The only thing that seemed to happen to him was that he went a little red from having his feet higher than his head.

I lifted the pram back up and checked him as best I could.  I was kind of scared to take him out incase there was blood and gore and horrible things.  O seemed to be breathing with no issues and reacted when I touched him, so I piled everything back on the pram and headed to the checkouts a little shaken and with a very sore toe where the basket had landed on it.

Maybe I should have called an ambulance and rushed him to A & E.  Maybe I should have asked a first aider to come look at us.  But I didn’t.  And I regretted this while I was waiting at the checkout.  I regretted it while I was walking home in the rain, my feet getting soaked through my very waterproof flip-flops.

I got back and we woke him up.  I swore I could see marks and bruises on his head where he fell and I felt sick to my stomach that I had been careless and stupid enough to let that happen.  I always considered myself a cautious mum and could never understand how women did silly things like overload a pushchair and yet I’d done it.

OH re-enacted the accident with an empty pushchair and reinforced that there was no way he could have hit his head.

To say I am relieved is an understatement. He’s absolutely fine.

I wish the same could be said for my poor toes.

A trip to the hospital

Wednesday was a hard day.  It’s not normally a hard day, but for some reason, that one was.

I wake up, clean and change The Toddler and generally get her ready to go to the childminder.  Sometimes we give her a small breakfast before she goes, but this day, we didn’t.  Just dress her and chuck her in the car.

Then it’s just me and O.  I had been looking forward to just cuddling and blogging and seeing my mum.  He was sleeping so I phone mum and find out what she’s doing then arrange to go there later in the day as it’s her birthday.  It’s a nice day so I decide to walk.  When O wakes up, I feed him, change him, make sure he’s going to warm enough in the pram without her seat and set off. I go to Sainsburys first to buy some things (ie mums present – yes, I’m crap) and then I walk to mums house.  It isn’t too far, but it takes a while.  We’re only about 15 minutes into the walk and O starts making some whooping and choking sounds.  he’s also foaming a little at the mouth.  He does this when he’s hungry or windy, so I resolve to keep an eye on it and continue walking.  This is probably my first fail of the day.

I get to mums and O is still foaming, so I feed him and put him down to sleep.  He seems to be a bit unsettled, but again, he goes through phases, so this is not unusual.  Mum and I chat and eat donuts and drink tea then I check my phone.  2 messages and one missed call.  It’s 12.45.  The messages and missed call are from around 12 and they are from the childminder.  The Toddler has the squits.  Oh joy.  I phone the childminder back and she explains that The Toddler grabbed her tummy and rolled around on the floor before each episode like she was in agony and then filled a nappy…to the point where it was running out of her.  She was also following through on each fart.  I know.  This is a lot of information you don’t need.  Well, you do, but probably don’t want to know about consistency.

Anyway, I walked to mums, and I have no car with me.  I also have a small child and mum doesn’t have a car seat, so the only way for me to get to The Toddler is to walk home and then drive to pick her up.  Ok, not too much of a problem but it would be so much easier of OH could do it.  NOPE.  He’s not contactable by phone.  So, I power walk back home.  The 40 minute walk takes me 20 minutes.  I change O into something cooler and then put him in the car seat.  He screams.  And chokes a bit.  And sniffles.  Odd, but not unheard of.  Plus he hates the car seat and always gets himself in a state when we try to put him in there.  I drive to the childminder, expecting my car to end up smelling of shit and her to be pale and wanting cuddles.

Her: MUMMY!

She runs up with a huge grin on her face.  She looks normal.  Not ill at all.  A little bit weird, but after chatting to the childminder, I conclude that it’s likely to be something that she has eaten (2 kiwis for lunch?) and I’ll just keep an eye on her.  I point out that O doesn’t seem to be too well, but think it’s just a cold or sniffles as The Toddler had had the sniffle a couple of days before.  He’s a little phlegmy.

We get home and The Toddler poops.  I expect an explosion and end up with a normal poo.  So, it looks like that drama is mostly over.  However, O is getting worse and won’t settle on his back.  He’s tired and fussy and she’s half asleep, so I get them both to sleep and then ask OH to call the out of Hours GP when he gets in.  I hate calling them as they always make me feel stupid.  Turns out this one is no better.  I can hear every word she is saying and as OH says that O has been ill since lunch time she replies with “Well, he should have gone to his GP today.” SERIOUSLY?  When?  When did I have time to sort out getting him a drs appointment?  Ok, maybe I should have done.  Maybe the first sniffle should have had me running down there and demanding to see someone.  But it didn’t.  Then SHE says “Well, see how it goes overnight and book in with a GP in the morning as it doesn’t sound that bad.”  You what?  You tell me I should have taken him earlier in the day then deny booking us in the evening?  How does that work?  I’m upset.  And furious.  First the bitch questions me judgement and then denies him an appointment?  He had gotten steadily worse and was now struggling to breathe a bit.  He wasn’t feeding too well and he was grizzly.  I didn’t think he had anything massively serious but you never can tell with newborns and the symptoms were enough to ring alarm bells.  I had checked his temperature twice during the day and he didn’t seem to be too bad.

OHs parents came over for a cup of tea and I explained to his mum that I wasn’t happy.  She says that if we decide to take him to A & E she will come and look after The Toddler.  So we carry on the evening and then go to bed about midnight.  I change O’s nappy for the last time and it’s green.  This in itself is not unusual. The bit that strikes me as wrong is that it looks like a blob of green in some pee.  It’s not right.  Definitely not right.  I speak to one of my friends on Twitter then make the call to take him to the hospital.

The drama starts.  OH wants me to phone his mum and wake her up.  I just want things sorted so I can get my son seen.  We start to argue, but he ends up phoning his mum and getting her round.  Once she arrives, we head off.  I have nothing with me.  The only bag I have contains a few nappies, a few changes of clothes for O, a blanket, some wipes and my phone which practically dead.  We’re still arguing about going out.  He thinks I’ve made the wrong call. He thinks we’ll be told he has a cold and sent home.  Fine, he has a cold, but please let me get someone to see him tonight.  At least then when I’m running around the next day trying to control The Toddler and he’s coughing away and gagging I’ll know I’ve done everything I can for him.  Surely you can understand this?  No.  He still thinks that hospital is the wrong decision and I should listen to some woman on the phone who hasn’t been with him all day and can’t hear him whooping and gagging.  He knows as well as I do that the Out Of Hours service, though useful, is not infallible and ultimately you have to use your own judgement in these things.

We get to the hospital and get triaged almost straight away.  O gets stripped off as he’s a little on the warm side.  They don’t tell us how warm.  OH has a face like thunder and I keep thinking he’ll finally see why we’re here.  We get told to go back out to wait.  I’m getting the silent treatment.  We wait for about half an hour then get called through to the A & E treatment area.  We’re put in isolation.  I’m thinking this is more for his protection than the protection of the other children.  The Sister checks his temperature and it’s dropped to 37.1.  She puts him on a trace and asks us to get a wee sample.  I don’t know if any of you have ever tried to get a wee sample from a baby but it’s not easy. We knew this already from the last time we ended up at the hospital with The Toddler.  OH sits with a cup pressed up to O and I try feeding him.  The Sister can see that he’s struggling when he’s laid down and tells us she would like the Dr to see him.

Once she’s gone, the arguing starts in earnest.  I’m told he needs to go to work in the morning and he doesn’t know how he’s going to do it.  He’s pissed off that I’ve dragged him up there and he blames me.  He accuses me of loving the situation and being selfish because it’s all about how I can’t wait until the morning.  He’s tired.  No excuse.  I#m tired too.  He gets to sleep on the uncomfortable chairs and then the floor.  I get to hold O while he dozes.

The Dr doesn’t take long to come in.  He says he can tell the O has a virus or bug and getting a pee sample will show them what it is.  He checks him over and O pees on cue (thank goodness).  He sends the Sister back in and she does more observations.  O’s temp has gone back up to 37.9 and she asks if we want some Calpol for him.  I tell them that yes, I would like him to be able to sleep a little without suffering too much. She tells us that they have made the decision to admit O upstairs in the Paediatric assessment unit, however, they aren’t ready for him yet.  So begins more waiting.  And much more fighting.  The bed in the room is adjusted and OH sleeps a while on it. We get a cup of tea.

Finally they take us up to G ward and put us in another isolation room.  This time with a cot so we can put him down and we’re offered another cup of tea by the nurses doing the observations upstairs.  Thanks to calpol, his temperature has dropped again and he seems to be a bit more settled and less phlegmy.  They tell us where the kitchen and the toilets are and then leave to go and get the Dr.

She comes in and asks for the story again so far.  I go through it and she starts checking O over.  I can’t help but notice how good she is at calming him.  She just places a hand on his head and he seems to drift off to a happy place.  I can’t do this.  I put a hand on his head and he’s like “Boobies, Mouth, NOW!”

Anyway, she spots a patch under his arm.  We had seen it before and thought (like with The Toddler) that it was a sweat rash and nothing to be too concerned about.  However, the Dr thinks it might be infected and the entire cause of his upset.  So, yes, we do know about it, and no we weren’t too worried about it.  Turns out now that it might be this neglectful thinking that has caused him to be ill.  I have some serious mummy guilt going on, but I can’t surrender to it as people are still asking questions.  It’s gone 5 am by this time and we’re all frazzled.  The Dr explains that she wishes she could tell us it’s just the sniffles but with the patch under his arm, she can’t be sure and wants to start some aggressive antibiotics via IV. The plan is to take some blood and put a line in at the same time.  I’m thinking anything to make him better,  I caused this by not being vigilant enough when cleaning him.  Anything to make him more comfortable.

I can’t watch them doing the IV.  I have a thing where I react inappropriately in times of extreme emotional stress and I would likely end up rolling on the floor laughing or something .  It’s not fair for me to go in.  OH decides he’ll go in and I go and make a coffee.

By the time my coffee is made, he’s still in having his IV and I watch two more people go in and look at him.  I overhear bits on conversation and half expect them to discuss the possibility of Social being involved.  They don’t.  They say from the initial cultures, its unlikely that the rash is causing the infection but it’s not worth the risk, so they continue hooking him up.  Finally, after hearing him scream and screech, he comes back out with his right hand bandaged to the elbow and I’m encouraged to feed him.  He’s very sleepy but I manage to rouse him by changing his nappy and give him a good feed. I’m sorry O.  This is my fault.  all my fault.  But you’ll get better now.  I hope he knows this.

The nurse comes back and starts his meds and has to dig the dirty nappy out of the bin as they want a stool sample too.   He sleeps.  They both sleep. Both the boys.  We are told that he may be on the meds for around 48 hours.  I need things.  I need booby pads and sanitary towels.  I need clothes.  I can’t leave.  O needs me for food, if for nothing else.   OH doesn’t want to leave now .  he thinks it’ll make him look unsupportive.  I’m still hurting from the things he said earlier, but at least O is getting better now.

We put the makeshift bed down and arrange for Ant’s parents to help. His mum finds out the bits and his dad drops them to the hospital. I’m preparing to be there for the long haul.

The shift change happens and the new shift introduce themselves.  They make me a cup of tea, and explain that they are continuing the meds.  By this time I’m starting to think about missing The Toddler.  How will she do with me gone for a couple of days?  How would I cope at night in that little room? I don’t want to stay.  I want O to go home. Why did I start this?

At 10 am, the new Dr comes in.  He introduces himself and tells us O’s bloods are clear.  he takes a look at the rash and concludes it’s just a common sweat rash and we should expose it as much as possible and that O has a cold.  He checks his nose by putting tubes up it.  I can’t watch this either, but this is a squeamish thing.  I never though of myself as squeamish.  This hurts too as my very unformed plans of becoming a midwife fade.  How can I be a midwife if I’m squeamish?  Especially about things like this?  Strange the things we learn about ourselves when we;re having a drama.

The canular gets removed.  Poor thing has had a dose of antibiotics he didn’t need and has been poked and prodded.  I know he won’t remember it, but I will.  I’ll remember the hell I put him through for a cold.  Mummy fail.

A tale of Two Boobs – Pt 2

Bumpy Bumpy

One I fell pregnant, the girls GREW and I no longer fitted any of my bras or clothes.  I knew I wanted to breastfeed from the start.  I wanted the boobies to have a chance to prove themselves.  So a couple of hours after The Toddler was born, I had the opportunity to try it.

My boobs started to leak colostrum at about 34 weeks.  I remember being sat at OHs mothers house having a conversation at the dinner table and not realising that I should have been wearing breast pads.  It was a very obvious mark on my t-shirt which left booby had obviously delighted in embarrassing me with while everyone else tried to eat their dinner.

Most of you are that the first ever latch.. well, it HURTS.  Mainly through inexperience.  Babies are born knowing how to suck, but not latch, although the act of skin to skin contact and feeding is much more important than the latch in that first feed.  However, a newborns suck reflex is immense. The little buggers clamp on and hold on.  They also have really hard gums and don’t know not to shut their jaws.  So the first ever feed for me…ouchie.   It was also fairly delayed with the Toddler because of some complications in her labour.  I was moved to the ward after the labour and all its following events and told to feed her at 6am and then left to it.

Cue insecure mother mode.

6 am rolled round and I called a MW to help me get her latched on.  No one (including me) was aware that I had quite seriously hurt my tailbone during the pushing.  This would add to my discomfort over the following 8 weeks and would result in my basically being sofa-bound.  Anyway, we got her latched and fed and they put her in bed, then called breakfast. I was so tired and distressed that they ended up taking her in the office and said they would bring her back when she needed feeding.  This would allow me time to get some sleep.

While she was in the office, they did her hearing test and initial paediatric assessment, which raised a few concerns.  The most prominent of these being that she was jittery on handling which can be indicative of an underlying problem.  The jittery-ness turned out to be low blood sugar.  She was at 2.7.

This was the first hit to my breastfeeding confidence.  I had to get her blood tested every three hours  before feeding and after a feed, I was being encouraged to syringe her formula.  I had never wanted to give her ANY formula but I was being encouraged to do so as a remedy.  Turns out, she wasn’t very good at taking the formula and was much happier nursing so this idea was soon dropped.  O was determined to keep feeding her myself and her blood sugar crept up.  My nipples cracked and became very sore.  After two days in hospital, it was almost unbearable and I couldn’t tolerate anything on my boobs.  I began walking around our room (by this time there was another lady and baby in the room with me) with no top on, only covering up to go to the toilet.  I had gone from hating my boobs and never wanting anyone to see them EVER to showing them to just about anyone who cared to look and a few who accidentally got an eye full.

One the Monday, Breastfeeding Babes came to our room to promote their service.  I owe A LOT to these dedicated ladies. and would recommend them wholeheartedly

I wandered round to their room and sat while they talked to me about feeding and made the Toddler and I 100% comfy using stacks of pillows to prop us into the perfect feeding position,

It was one of the calmest feeds I’d had. Well, it would have been if I hadn’t overheard the heartbreaking story of one of the other women in the room.

She’d had a partial mastectomy but they had left enough tissue that she should have been able to feed.  Add to this that her baby had severe tongue-tie and wasn’t thriving and you have a mum who is desperate to do ANYTHING to feed her baby.  I felt rather out-of-place hearing her story.  The worst issues I’d had were cracked and bleeding nipples.

Feeding once I’d been discharged meant taking off any clothes on my top half and latching the baby on as best I could.  The damage to my tailbone had pretty much immobilised me and i spent most of my time on the sofa, top naked, propped up on 4 cushions.

Day 5 and welcome to engorgement.  I was being an idiot and despite having been prescribed painkillers i hadn’t taken them.  So when my poor boobs trebled in size and became rock solid, it hurt.  A lot.  I couldn’t latch the baby on and I was ready to give up. I cried.  I phoned my midwife and cried some more.  She ended up coming out to see me at 11pm to show me how to manually express so i could at least get baby on.  I thought i was failing at feeding my baby and that she was going to starve as a result of my failure.  Luckily, engorgement didn’t last for very long but I was about to hit another problem…

The Toddler had colic.  Quite severe colic.  We thought there may be something wrong with her as screamed a lot and ate.  It was suggested that my supply was poor, therefore my baby cried and fed more often than she should.  Being naive about supply and demand and just how much a newborn can and should nurse I began to doubt the booby ability again.  I had visions of her wasting away through starvation because I was determined to feed.  I was refered to the community nurses, but they confirmed it was unlikely I was having supply issues as The Toddler was gaining weight steadily and thriving.  I walked away with a diagnoses of post natal depression.

Then I had a burning white hot pain in my left nipple.  I dreaded feeding on my left side because the pain became excruciating.  Righty was fine and could have more than easily handled the load but the risk of blocked ducts and mastitis in lefty was more than i could tolerate.  A visit to the Drs revealed I had thrush in my nipple.  The Toddler also had it in her mouth which meant that every time she fed we were reinfecting each other.   My whole boob began to itch and throb between feeds. It almost ended my breastfeeding career.  I bought nipple shields but never used them.  I did, however find that pumping on the left side was a lot less painful than letting baby feed, so I worked in a routine of feeding and pumping.  I kept this up until we were both free of thrush and I was able to latch her on again.  OH would then feed her the expressed milk from a bottle.

Ay about 7 weeks, I began to feel like I was getting the hang of it and having passed the 6 week mark and what turned out to be the worst hurdle, my breastfeeding career began in earnest.  I got to a stage where I no longer needed to strip to be able to feed and exposing myself became a thing of the past. I fed at mother and baby groups (where breastfeeders were in the minority and I don’t think in the months I went there I ever saw anyone else open up a mummy milk-bar), I fed at pubs, at parties, in cafes, where ever she needed to be fed.  I don’t think I have any friends or family who haven’t seen my girls.

I did get fed up of being tied up at parties and stuck to the floor where ever I went with a baby attached to my chest and I did, on occasion, feel like I didn’t do anything other tha feeding.  Because of this, we began the weaning to solids process at Christmas.

Part of this process was the introduction of formula as I was due to return to work and wasn’t sure I would be able to pump enough to feed her when she went to the childminder, so we started a mixed feeding routine at about 5 months.

She was 7 months old when I returned to work and I wa still nursing morning, afternoon and evening.  I was also replacing bottles with nursing if I was available and nursing constantly if she was sick.  If she asked to nurse, she got it.  There was no point in restricting her.

The night of the last feed, I put her to my breast and began singing her night time songs.  She was 15 months old and I was around 4 months pregnant.  The pain was instant when she latched.  She suckled for a couple of minutes and then pulled away smiling.  She began singing with us and watching us, preferring this to the offered boob.  I decided to stop.

I was ambivalent about my decision.  Part of me was excited to be able to have my body back, although I will never be able to sexualise my boobs again.  The other part was saddened and as I watched my friend feed her newborn the month before Oscar was born, I felt a pang of jealousy and couldn’t wait to feel the small jaws chomping again.  Thus my decision to feed Oscar was made…