I’m in my tenth month of breastfeeding baby J, and while I must confess I’ve got it quite cushy this round, I feel my goal of breastfeeding him till 18 months is slowly slipping away.
Reason? Well, baby J can’t take dairy, which means I can’t take dairy. Yup, no cow’s milk, no yoghurt, no cheese, no ice-cream… I haven’t had my favourite Ben & Jerry’s for what seems like a lifetime. Okay 10 months, but still, that’s even longer then it took to grow a baby in the womb!
Most days, I feel like there’s an internal battle going on.
<<– Go on, just take a sip of that cup of teh-si (tea with evaporated milk), you know you want to. And while you’re at it, down some Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia.
–>>June, you know that’s a no no — baby will keep pooping and it’s not the kind of poop you wanna be cleaning at 3am in the morning.
Yes, it’s like a tug o’ war in my head, but still I’m determined to press on.
Well, there are lots of good factors that I can dwell on. After all, Javier is a pretty good feeder. He learnt to latch on well since the early days, which helped a lot in getting those nipples ‘seasoned’ without any bleeding or cracking. (Of course Medela Purelan cream was my best friend during those first few weeks.)
At first I was worried that he would develop a reliance on nursing to get to sleep (like Vera) but it turned out that he is quite different – he never fell asleep without finishing his feed.
I had virtually no blocked duct episodes this time, well…at least nothing so major that I could not clear by myself anyway. During my first breastfeeding journey, that was a major sore point and I remember running to my lactation consultant many times, each time with tears shed due to frustration and helplessness (sister Kang at Mount Alvernia was such a blessing during those times).
Then of course, there is that precious, irreplaceable feeling of being needed by my little baby. (I secretly think this is really what keeps me hanging on anyway). You know that part of you that just doesn’t want to let go? (Yeah, silly me, I know.) One of the highlights of breastfeeding for me is that it never fails to chase away the blues and worries of the present.
I know deep down that I really have nothing to complain about. After all, it’s just sacrificing some calorific ice-cream and teh-si, right? Okay, there’s still the tight schedules and disciplined routine I’m bound to — you know, expressing milk at work, a self-imposed 10pm curfew just so I can make my date with the baby. But really, I am thankful that we’ve been able to enjoy a smooth breastfeeding journey thus far and I hope that at the end of it, I will still be able to say: “I wouldn’t have traded this for anything else in the world.”
If you’re a breastfeeding mum, I hope you’re enjoying your journey as much as I am. If you have any success stories or struggles to share, please do so in the comment box. Meanwhile, if you need some tips on breastfeeding do check out these posts: