Ten weeks today.
Ten whole weeks since this little madam arrived.
Ten whole weeks of love.
The countdown to Christmas is on! Everyone is frantically shopping, preparing for family & friends to come round and wrapping millions of gifts.
Me? I’m sat here eating Christmas chocolate like it’s going out of fashion.
Not because I’m all prepared or anything. In fact, I’m the least organised I’ve ever been for Christmas in the history of ever ….
Purely because I feel like having a newborn baby, vetos everything.
I’m not going to get away with this ever again, so I may as well milk it. Everyone in the family is getting the same, low maintenance gift this year and we’re going to a family members for Christmas dinner followed by a low key family evening , just the three of us.
This week was THE week. The week I officially made the change.
I’ve not hidden the fact I’ve struggled with breastfeeding since Liv was born. In fact, I’ve probably banged on about it to the point where you’re all sick fed up reading about it. I just feel that there is a shit ton of pressure for new mothers, not just about feeding choices, but it is definitely up there as one of the most ‘judged’ aspects of motherhood.
Every single mother out there will have been asked the question
‘How are you feeding?’
And no matter how you answer, eyebrows will have been raised at some point by someone. I personally haven’t experienced the ‘breast is best’ pressure from anyone, (apart from the pretty awful breastfeeding support group I attended) yet I put an insane amount of pressure on myself to continue. Probably when I should’ve stopped at least 4 weeks ago. I persevered through the pain, the tears and the lonely, sleepless nights as I bizarrely felt that it was the ‘best’ thing to do.
Which it wasn’t. As every growing week that I was putting myself through that, was negatively impacting my mental health.
It took until one Sunday night, when my husband came in from his first night out since Liv was born.
Liv had been crying for 4 solid hours and no amount of feeding was settling her. I was actually fugly crying. Like mascara-smearing, snot-running, walrus-noises crying.
I couldn’t control it.
I think if it weren’t for the fact my husband was too inebriated to drive, he would’ve been off.
It was that awful.
It was at that point that I knew I had to make the change. And the next day, for the first time since Liv was born, I felt at peace with my decision to move to formula. I’ve never been against formula feeding, and don’t judge anyone that does it… heck, I was formula fed and I’ve turned out pretty amazing 😉 But until this point, I wasn’t ready to give up the breastfeeding.
I was still of the belief that things would improve.
I’d now reached my limit though and thankfully, with the support of my husband, my mum and my health visitor, I made the transition pretty damn smoothly.
Liv took to the bottles like a pro! Settling well after 5oz (after the projectile vomiting and nightmare winding sesh) and being content for 3-4hrs between feeds. This was unheard of when breastfeeding and I felt glad that I was getting a fair bit more independence now, as selfish as that sounds. I had more flexibility to do things with her as I knew she wouldn’t need a feed for at least a couple hours.
Don’t get me wrong, I missed the ease of breastfeeding in terms of not needing to sterilize bottles, measure formula etc.
But this was definitely not a good enough reason to stick with it.
I feel immensely proud of myself for giving her 10 solid weeks of breastfeeding. I feel like it was the hardest yet most rewarding 10 weeks and I’d do it all again in a heartbeat to provide it for her but I also feel really proud that I knew when to stop.
After all, happy mum = happy baby.
And I was definitely happier now than I’d been in a long time.
Being able to have a gin now bears no relation to my happiness, promise…..