Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Diary of an expressing mum: #5

Firstly, I'm really sorry for the word heaviness (and emotional weight) of this post and, also, the lack of recent/relevant imagery - I left my iphone cable at my mum's house today and my phone is dead. I feel like I've lost a hand- sad, eh?

Last night I barely got any sleep, not because Joseph kept me up, but because I have been feeling an overwhelming sense of inadequacy for the past few days and last night it was at its peak. I haven't felt that/this bad since I decided to stop breastfeeding 'from source'. I couldn't bring myself to leave the house all weekend and I numbed myself by watching endless episodes of Friends and binging on ice cream and Nutella/ anything bad I could get my hands on. Joseph was still under my care, aside from a 30 minute walk that Ruari took him on when he got home from band practise on Sunday, and I now feel guilty for not taking him somewhere. I sung to him a lot over the weekend and gave him loads of cuddles and play time but I suppose my darkest thoughts were along the lines of feeling sorry that Joseph loves me/ has me for a mother as I feel like I've failed him for not being better at, well, everything. The 'I should have done x, y, z instead of a,b,c' thoughts come back and I regret every decision I've ever made, like, ever and feel like if I'd have gone down another path I'd be happier/ more successful/ better off. Then it comes full circle and you feel bad for feeling like that because what I do have isn't at all bad, and my heart breaks for Joseph that I'm not this super-happy-crazy-enthusiastic-high-on-life kind of person. I just hope that he can't sense my low days. I had to make a quick exit from a baby group this morning and cried all the way to my car. I've felt tearful all day but have been trying to focus my energies on things that I think will make me better in the ways that I think I should be.
The ice cream I ate wasn't home made, but I liked this sign I saw in my village a while back.

Enough with the misery which I hope will subside soon; In other news, my breast pump has given up on me... Yeah, the power cable started sparking and then smoking whilst I was using it the other night (I had noticed the plug 'head' was always really warm to touch but I didn't think too much of it) and even after trying a new power cable on it, it still doesn't work. I am going to buy some batteries tomorrow to check that the motor hasn't gone, but Ruari suspects it has especially if it was still on when I unplugged the smoking cable- which I think it was. When I saw the smoke I just panicked and, in hindsight, touching the plug probably wasn't the best idea. In the meantime I've been using my single electric pump meaning that pumping is taking twice as long and there is a lot more boob-milk mess due to the other boob leaking whilst one is being pumped and, I never realised before but, this pump is really quite uncomfortable to use even on the lowest setting. With heavy heart I had planned to stop pumping at six months anyway but if my double pump really has had it then I might consider stopping sooner because spending twice the amount of time I was on pumping just isn't really feasible.

This photo of Joseh & Ruari on holiday melts my heart.

Weaning (introducing solid food) has been weighing heavily on my mind since Joseph is steaming towards six months old already. I'm confused over whether to go down the Baby Led Weaning route (giving baby exactly what you eat but cut up into sticks/ shapes that they can hold in their hands to explore and feed themselves with) vs 'traditional' purees and I had, in fact, thought that I'd do a bit of both as that's what some of my friends have done but, really, what I need to do is spend more time weighing up the pros and cons of both because, to be honest, a lot of what I know about weaning is just from what I've heard rather than from doing my own research; The two baby recipe books I've bought both assume you're pureeing and don't give suggestions or information on alternative ways to wean. It seems like whether you 'BLW' or not, avocado and banana are a good start. The extra 'hurdle', I guess, is that I am vegetarian and Ruari's a part time vegetarian - therefore most of what Joseph will eat will be vegetarian but, as I am what I call a junk-food veggie (think Quorn and Linda McCartney) as opposed to a wholesome home-made beans & lentils kind of veggie, I need to be super careful because a lot of what I eat isn't suitable for baby bellies (mostly due to the salt content, I believe) so I really need to change my ways... and soon because time is ticking incredibly quickly. I have found a few useful resources for vegan BLW just from looking today, so I feel relieved that there is some information out there. I will share my findings on here ASAP.
Pyjama day with Grandma a few weeks ago.

Going back to work is another thing that scares the b'jesus out of me; Who is going to look after Joseph? How will it work out logistically? Am I still cut out for my job; Have I lost all of my skills? When should I go back? On what terms should I go back? How will it work? How will I cope? How will Joseph cope? What will life be like?
Whilst my mum is more than willing to take Joseph when I go back to work, she has been really ill for a number of years and is still on extremely strong medication which makes her very drowsy and confused so, even with the best will in the world, I would worry that if something were to happen, well, what would happen. Ruari's mum would probably have him too, but she is 30 minutes in the opposite direction for us, and childcare is crazy-expensive so, again, I really need to sit down and do the maths and figure out what will work best. I think I need to start some Keeping In Touch days with work to ease some of my anxiety but I can't do those until I've stopped pumping. I am tempted to arrange a date as soon as Joseph is six months old, but what if stopping pumping doesn't go as planned and I find myself pumping longer?

Joseph's mathematical pyjamas.
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So much love,
Nicki xxx

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Thank you so much for reading and taking the time to leave a comment. It really means a lot! Nicki x