The loneliness of the breastfeeding mother

July 12, 2011 § 8 Comments

Ugh. The fact that I knew it would happen doesn’t make it any easier. I knew that I was in the newborn honeymoon period. When they sleep for 18 hours a day and your inner voice is saying to you “see? This one’s easy!” whilst you are trying to sshhh the voice down and not be too smug about your lovely little bundle, kipping peacefully in the moses basket and making small contented snuffling sounds. 

Yes she has now awoken. Why settle in the moses basket when mum’s shoulder is so much more appealing? Sleeping is for sleepy people! It’s the early hours and I want to party!

Last night was hideous. She fed for over an hour at 2am, then snuffled and strained for another hour while I tried (and failed) to get any wind up. Settling her back in the moses basket she kicked and fought her way out of the swaddle blanket, then was sick and got the hiccups, until I finally relented and sat back up in bed and put her on my shoulder. Not content with that, she groaned and pulled her legs up so I tried massaging her stomach, moving her legs around, then ultimately feeding again. She rooted around and couldn’t latch on, cried, cried some more when I moved her from the breast and…well you get the picture. At this stage my head was throbbing, the local helicopter was doing it’s 4am tour of the local woods, the dog was barking downstairs and the 1yo waking in his cot.

So. I am praying to the god of colic (not shown himself to be merciful to my offspring thus far) that this is just a one-off, and I won’t be playing ‘burp the newborn’ in the wee small hours for the next five months. 

Also, I have developed a coping strategy for the days ahead. I can’t help myself but start every day with a mental ‘to do’ list. Today’s list goes something like this:

Get dressed
Tackle washing mountain
Create cupboard space for baby clothes
Write thank you letters
Child benefit form
Walk dog
Make healthy and nutritious food to avoid looking like Waynetta Slob, don’t just eat toast and marmalade and biscuits (already have two large Vesuvian eruptions forming on cheek)
Collect other two children from childminder (oh yes, they are still in part time childcare for the next couple of weeks)
Ignore inner hippy and borrow Gina/Baby Whisperer/any kind of baby routine book and work on setting a feed and sleep schedule (ha!)
Take baby passport application to post office.

From now on my strategy is: take to do list. Halve it. Halve it again. Do not be disappointed if fail to achieve any of above, although collecting children from childminder in pyjamas is not a good look.

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§ 8 Responses to The loneliness of the breastfeeding mother

  • Why are we still surprised when the baby guzzles our time? It happens to every mother, it happens with every new baby – and yet we are still surprised and disappointed in ourselves. Go figure!

  • Kate Takes 5 says:

    Urg. That, er, sucks (excuse the pun). I do hope tonight is better. x
    (Btw – I may have failed to congratulate you…very sorry and huge well done!)

  • Nel says:

    Hope you have a better night and the Colic God buggers off back to where he came from. Nothing wrong with living in PJs with mad lady hair!

  • londonmum says:

    oh my god, you just described my exact life right now, from the last night’s sleep (or lack of it) to the to – do list. Horrendous, isn’t it???

  • Emma says:

    Poor thing (and poor you!), she definitely sounds colicky… My (now 6 year old) daughter suffered with this, at times the only thing that helped was placing her face down over my knee and rocking her gently, or a dip in the tummy tub if she was really bad. The idea of the to do list is great, just don’t torture yourself if you don’t get everything done! Emma 🙂 Ps. thanks for your comment on my Silent Sunday!

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