It’s been four months since we welcomed our Baby J. Those four months seemed to have flown by before my eyes! A decade has passed since N and I experienced baby parenting so everything feels very new again. There are even times when I feel like a first time mom as I grapple with things I’m supposed to do.
Truth be told, this has been the most exhausting time for me as a mom. For one, this is the only time I’ve given exclusive breastfeeding a fair chance. I also breastfed F and S when they were babies, but in hindsight, I think I gave up too easily and mixed-fed too early. With J, I told myself that I will try as much as I can to feed him with breastmilk only.
It wasn’t a walk in the park, I can tell you. First of all, the milk didn’t come instantaneously. I think it was on the 3rd (or maybe 4th?) day when the milk flowed. The lactation nurses in the hospital would visit and encourage me to still nurse often and be patient. Sadly, the lack of milk in the first few left me and Baby J frustrated. He would cry and I would cry with him. I would feel upset not being able to nourish him 😢. Patience, they said, patience. True enough, the milk did come! But by this time, I’ve already got sore and cracked nipples. Every feeding time was an ordeal! I truly wanted to give up already because it was very painful. But I endured…one feeding at a time. And then slowly, it became more tolerable until one day, the pain was gone and we were happily breastfeeding from then on.
It is still not easy. It requires a little bit more from me —like watching what I eat to make sure I don’t consume allergenic foods like shrimp paste or eggs; or withholding my glass of wine for a little bit longer just to be sure ☺. Then, there is also the round-the-clock feeding or pumping to make sure that the milk supply remains adequate. Sleep has been (and still is) a luxury that I terribly miss.
True, exclusive breastfeeding is demanding and draining that it sometimes it leaves me feeling exhausted. Despite this, I choose to do this until J is at least 6 months old. Difficult as it may be, I cannot express the fulfillment that it gives me. It may be one of the most rewarding feeling I’ve experienced as a mom.
Baby J and I have been inseparable during his first weeks of life. We didn’t have a yaya until he was about 2 months old already so it was mostly him and me for most times. A baby can be a handful but thankfully, J was not very hard to take care of. He is generally a happy baby and easy to deal with. It also pays that N is very hands-on as a dad and the two older kids love taking care of the little one too.
Of course, there were times when I wanted to take a break and go out of the house. But as soon as I get the chance to do so, I would be raring to go back home to J. Talk about mommy separation anxiety! Haha 😯 I think it hit me the hardest a few days before my first day back at work. Just the thought of leaving J made me sad and weepy! How I feel for all working mommas who had to go through the first day back at work after a maternity leave!
I’ve been back at work for over a month now but there are days when I still struggle with separation anxiety. It is especially difficult to leave in the morning when he is in a playful mood. I muster every ounce of willpower to go to work when this happens. We just try to go back home as early as we can so we can have quality bonding moments with the little one. On weekends, we are either full of kids’ activities or just home, catching up with each other.
Yes, it feels like we’re back at square one with the addition of Baby J to the family. A lot of adjustments are made and in some ways, we are still finding our way around. It feels like one big adventure and it’s one that we’re happy to embark on together as a family 😊. We’d be delighted too if you’d keep us company! 😊