|Photo credit : Uqbar is back /Flikr|
When I had the koala, I had to wait for stitching up after a big tear. I waiting a couple of hours while I had some fun manual uterus contraction (yay short labours - means extra pain after!).. anyway, yes too much information, but my point is that I didn't get to breastfeed the koala straight away. As a result, we had a rocky start. She wouldn't latch and it was frustrating and painful. I found myself in tears so many times.
After a few weeks things got better. It was easier and less painful.. until mastitis hit at 4 weeks! Have you had it? Mastitis sucks ass! I ended up in hospital on a drip and breastfeeding was worse than ever. It hurt like a b*tch and I could barely lift my baby up to feed her. A tonne of antibiotics and a few days later, we were back on track and it got so much easier!
By the time bub was two months old, I actually found I started to enjoy feeding her. It was our time together for cuddles and I loved her sleepy milk drunk face. As the months went on I enjoyed it more, strange as it seemed, I actually looked forward to feeding her. The quiet. The calm. The cuddles. All rare things to come from my energetic little koala.
Sadly though, it looks like it has come full circle and our breastfeeding journal is coming to an end. My little koala is now 10 months and has 6 teeth. Six very sharp teeth. I feed her to sleep still, because frankly she's a terrible sleeper and its the only way I can get her to sleep. Problem is, she's started biting. Not consciously. She doesn't realise she's doing it. This is where the problem lies. I've tried pulling her off, she just clamps down harder. I've tried telling her 'no'... it results in lots of tears and no more sleep for baby. She doesn't understand she's doing anything wrong.
So now I'm at my dilemma, is my breastfeeding journey coming to an end? I suspect it is. I know its not her fault, she doesn't even realise she's doing it but I cringe every time I feed her. I no longer look forward to it as our quiet time together. Instead I wait in painful anticipation for that moment when she's almost finished feeding and wonder 'is she going to fall asleep and let go or is she going to clamp those jaws shut?' Its no longer comfortable but now agonising. I'm back to that feeling of when she was first learning to feed.
Yes, our breastfeeding journey is coming to an end.
I am sad.
I actually feel a sense of of loss that I'll no longer be breastfeeding. I'm heading into a mourning phase already. That sounds so strange doesn't it? But it's how I feel. I've spent the last 10 months with my little koala attached to my breast at least 4 times a day. In the early days it was 10 times a day or more. It was our quiet time together. It helped us bond early on. For 10 months we've curled up on the bed and she'd cuddled me as she fed. In a way it felt like I was all she needed. Now, I feel like she needs me less.
I'll mourn the cuddles. I'll mourn the closeness. I'll mourning the bonding. I'll mourn the quite.
So that's where my breastfeeding journey ends. I was lucky. Some mothers don't get to feed their babies for this long, some not at all. I feel privileged that I could do this for my baby.
But whether you fed your baby breast or bottle, you're baby appreciates it.
Parent Talk Australia Giveaway!
Talking of breastfeeding, its World Breastfeeding Week from August 1 to 7. Looking For Mama Me is partnering with Parent Talk Australia for this awesome giveaway in honour of breastfeeding!
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The competition closes at 5.00pm on Friday 7 August 2015. Just enter via the Rafflecopter and tell us in the comments what’s the best thing about pregnancy? (The winner will be the answer that makes us go ‘aaaaaw’ the most!)
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