breastfeeding.

It is what it is.

I never never ever thought I’d last this long; it was definitely one of the toughest things I have ever pushed through and it paid off in dividends.

This last week leaf hasn’t had one single feed. She didn’t ask, I didn’t offer, and when I realised it broke my heart that I didn’t appreciate the very last time.

Then she had a quick snackeral while we were in the shower to cure the bump on the head blues and I got the chance to make peace with that incredible/painful chapter coming to an end.

Now I just feel sad and nostalgic and blue with love and the very real understanding that my bebe will certainly not be my bebe forever.

The walking and talking should probably have been earlier indicators of that..

-b

Five things you don’t say to a mother

Again, I generalise. Perhaps a more accurate title would be: Please Dont Say These Things To Me Or I’ll Be Pissed And Probably A Bit Resentful For A While. Ah, ambiguity, my old friend.

This is also not specifically a mother’s issue, but they’re things have have definitely gotten to me since having leaf.

1. I’ll have that back, if you’re getting rid of stuff.

We’re moving interstate, so we’re offloading A LOT of the craps. Leafs stuff is fairly minimal; its mostly been a motivator to throw away the clothes that don’t fit her anymore and the toys she doesn’t play with. There’s some things you just don’t get rid of though – for me (and for now, I tend to have spontaneous bin sessions to cleanse my soul) (righteous, dude), there’s a lot of sentimental value in handmade gifts and some of the smaller items that maybe weren’t worn much but give you a serious case of the misty eyes when you pick them up and try to fold the teeny tinys.
So when a very good and long term family friend says she’d like the her handmade gifts returned, it got my back up.
Okay, for starters you were pretty slow in gift delivery, it’s not like her arrival was a secret? The hats were too small from the beginning, the shoes were too big until she was mobile, and then you try keeping ballet flats with an ankle strap on a crawling baby, and the caboose that was only really appropriate for photos which we never did (or intended to do).
I wasn’t getting rid of them, i’d have kept them, maybe used them again.
But no. You’ll get them back, and I hope you can give them to someone who will get use out of them, and one day I’ll understand what motivated you to make such a demand.

2. Dont worry, her hair will grow to cover that.

Leafy was an emergency cesarean (poor little mite was stuck), and in the last minute rush to get her out before shit got real the very top of her head was nicked with a scalpel. We think they cauterised it as it wasn’t bleeding. Nevertheless, she has a bald spot the size of a penny on the top of her head, and its accompanied by four crowns so it’s not exactly an easy hide.
To be honest, I don’t care if it’s hidden. I don’t care if her hair grows over it. I certainly won’t style her hair to cover it, nor will I ever have it indicated to her that it ought to be a source of shame, or warrants concealment.
I know people probably mean well when they say words to this affect, but if you insinuate there’s something wrong with my baby I’m going to say something blunt and probably cause a little tension (but I’ll probably say nothing and agree cause I just want to keep the peace. Maybe. Or not… Proceed with caution).

3. Are you still feeding her?

Yep. I hear they like, die, when you stop.
In all seriousness, breastfeeding is so tough! It’s a shame that it’s socially considered such an inherent ability, when I had to work my ass off to breastfeed leaf. First I really battled with the psychological aspect of feeding. Hell yes it is beautiful and incredible, but I often felt ill at the thought, the sensation was uncomfortable and made my skin crawl, and at a time when I simply was not hungry, I had to force myself to eat to create enough nourishment to keep myself hanging by a thread PLUS sustain another human being. For the indefinite future. We were formula supplementing almost to the point of overtaking at about four months, until I got onto some medication that made a dramatic difference. After that I felt so damn lucky to be able to breastfeed that I decided I’d keep going as long as leafy wanted.
To that end, when people ask if I’m feeding her, I know what they mean, and I know they’re probably just making conversation. I don’t want to go into the whole thing every time, nor should I have to. So I usually say ‘yeah, all she does is eat,’ and leave it at that. And also, it’s kind of not your business, y’all.

4. Is she walking yet?

Or crawling?, or any teeth?, or standing up? Eating solids? Talking? Flying? Intergalactic travel?
Sure I’m guilty of wishing the time away every now and again, but honestly show me one person who isn’t!
Go on.
I’ll wait.
Nah, I won’t, but the competitive facet of parenting is utterly ridiculous if you ask me (and I guess if you’re still reading then you do). I do not know anyone who has a line on their resumè reading;
‘Began walking at 10 months, indicating superior intelligence’.
I couldn’t care less. Unless leaf was severely behind and in some way unwell, as far as I’m concerned, the kid can stop the growing now. In fact, let’s go back in time.
Again, I’m aware it’s probably conversational, but fuck off (sorry Nan).

5. Oh she just blah-blah-blah-ed to me!

I know dude, I’m with her all day every day (apart from one accidental evening away, and it was actually less than 7 hours of her awake time).
My point is, however, if she’s going to do something new (whether it’s trying to kiss you, waving, or taking her first steps) it’s going to be with me, who she feels comfortable and safe with, who will catch her when she falls, laugh at her silliness and scold her when she needs it.
I appreciate that you’re interested in new things Leafs doing. Yeah wow she is clever. But I am telling you, it is SO not the first time. You’re not special to her, I am. Just me. Maybe the dog. Maybe her papa. Probably her grandparents and uncles. But not you.

Please excuse my use of profanity and rambles, these are things I feel strongly about (particularly the rambles, they’re invigorating). Well, as strong as one can with a large amount of sleep deprivation induced apathy.

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