So yesterday marked babies first sleepover at her gran and papas. It also marked my first public breakdown.
This sleepover was planned for a little over a fortnight. I knew it was coming but it didn’t ease the anxiety any. I’ve held off this long mainly out of selfishness. I’ve not been ready. I cherish our bedtime routine. I love sitting under the glow of her pink light and reading her a story (I attempt atleast as she crawls all over me) I love those tired giggles as we ‘blow out’ the light. That final cuddle as she falls into a milk coma for the night. Theres an indescribable feeling of love and adoration when she’s latched and pawing like a kitten to ensure she gets every last drop. So I’d held back because I didn’t want to lose that. I used breastfeeding as an excuse if I’m honest. But last night we had plans and I couldn’t make excuses to bail as it was my best friends stag night and I was summoned.
Before I knew it, Friday night had arrived and I was packing her bags (three to be exact) I restocked and arranged her nappy bag, topping up her snacks, ensuing the metanium and cheeky monkey were still there, ensuring the spare outfit was clean and in size. I packed a bag of clothes (four outfits, we live in Scotland so Christ knows what the weather is gonna be like) made sure she had pyjamas (x2) a sleep sack, two pairs of tights, four pairs of socks, two cardigans, a jacket, muslin cloths, a blanket, her camera and monitor, books and toys. Then she had her snack and milk bag and her lunch box.
Okay so she had enough for another two nights. Overkill I know. But I had to be sure she had enough to cover any issue that might arise.
Cue Saturday afternoon … 2 hours until she leaves. I’m still in Glasgow. I’d been at a party that day as Ariel and was on my way home. I still had to pop in and get formula though. I’d tried for the might of me all week to express enough for her going away but was lucky to get enough for her breakfasts each day. I had some in the freezer but you can only keep that so long after taking it out and I had no idea how much she would need. See that’s the thing when they’re breastfed. You don’t have an oz gage on the side of your boob telling you how much baby drank. So as mama it was my job to ensure she had what she needed.
Now for all you mama’s out there who tried and couldn’t breastfeed I have so much respect for you. For all of you who had to give up sooner than planned know that you are amazing. If you have to co feed or top up, I salute you. Up untill now I’ve never truly understood how it felt to be in a position where you have no choice to buy formula. – not that there’s any problems with a baby being exclusively bottle fed, as long as baby is happy and fed that’s all that matters. I however had decided I will breastfeed untill her first birthday then we would look at weaning her. However this week my body decided it wasn’t going to play ball and it broke me. I had this choice taken away from me. My body wasn’t providing her what she needed for a night away. As hard as I tried I couldn’t make a difference. I had to get formula. And that feeling sucks. I’m sorry to those mama’s who had to go through that. I’m sorry you felt so shit. You are however amazing.
I stood there in boots in the baby aisle understanding how men feel when we send them for sanitary products. I realised I knew nothing about baby milk. I looked at all the different tins and boxes and my heart sank. I felt like I was doing something terribly wrong. I burst into tears. Not delicate little tears. Full on ugly cry tears. I broke. I stood there not knowing what the hell I was doing, what on earth to buy feeling like I was doing something horrid. In reality I was buying my child some bloody food. I don’t refuse her solids just because they don’t come out my boobs so why on earth was I having such a meltdown? Why did I feel so bad. I was raised on formula. I’m fine (phycologists may say otherwise but what do they know) pretty much every baby I know has regular milk from a tin. So what on earth caused me to feel so pissing bad?
The only answer was me. I knew I was doing nothing wrong. Infact I was being a pretty excellent mother by ensuring she had more than what she needed. My problem was I wasn’t in control. It wasn’t my decision. This caused me to feel as though I was giving up on her. I felt like I was depriving her of something. Like failure because my body didn’t do what I expected it to do. Like I’d let her down by not having 40oz of milk miraculously waiting on her. In reality my body’s working pretty dang hard to do what it does. She’s taking a strech so there’s no such thing as spare milk. And she didn’t bloody care. She had food. She couldn’t give a shit what it is so long as she’s fed.
That my friends is something we ALL have to remember. You are doing excellent and your baby didn’t expect half as much from you as you do.
Thankfully there was Google and a super helpful lady in boots who could aid me in calming my tits and selecting a milk. Thank you kind lady, I owe my sanity to you.
Apparently this is the closest in taste ect to breast milk. I’m not sure who conducted that test, but I’ll have to believe them as it’s all at gran and papas house. As expected she didn’t bloody care. She drank the milk, slept like an angel and had a wonderful night away creating memories.
Scott and I enjoyed some well overdue alone time, had a good night out, enjoyed a few drinks and spent quality time together. All in all it was a pretty successful first night.
Only down side was sitting in a toilet hand expressing into loo roll and accidentally losing control as I sprayed milk all over the walls. Sorry to whoever had to clean those cubicles. (Two different pubs I wasn’t that messy) and having to pour 6oz down the drain because it was full of the array of alcohol I consumed.
Give yourself a break ladies. Keep doing what you’re doing and enjoy those nights you get alone.
Love and hugs,