Weirdly, as a new mother I find myself thinking about breasts a lot. That’s without all this ludicrous fuss about Kate Middleton’s bits this week. (Note to Kate: If you don’t want anyone to see them, don’t get them out. Now give over with wasting court and police time.)
Part of the problem surely is the oversexualisation of boobs in western society. If people remembered that boobs have several purposes, one of which happens to be sexual, perhaps there’s be less fuss? I read a problem page a while back where a man complained that his wife’s breastfeeding made him feel rejected from her body and instead resented his son because he had ready access to them. I can’t imagine S feels like this. (I won’t ask him now, he’s watching Sherlock Holmes) Even if he did, I give the idea short shrift. *snorts in a derisive fashion* It’s not going to last very long – a few months at most for the majority of people – so wait it out. And the baby’s asleep half the time so make the most of that. Good grief!
The change in weather has meant that the paltry supply of clothes that fit across my breasts is inadequate and I had to nip out and buy some long sleeved tops. I’ve been recycling the same tops over and over again as I can’t get everything on and figured I’d soon be able to buy more when I stopped feeding.
I’ve been taking breastfeeding a week at a time and have had several moments when I’ve thought, this is it, I ought to wind down now. But then I carry on for a bit longer.
E seems to be noticeably hungry sooner after a breastfeed these days than after a bottle feed – I think. It’s not an exact science. So I’ve introduced a bottle feed regularly into each day as well as the night feed. (Yes, there’s still a night feed) Weirdly, although I’ve never liked breastfeeding, the closer it comes to giving up, the more reluctant I am. There’s something nice about giving the kind of comfort and nutrition that comes from it, from knowing that only I can do this for her. I’m really looking forward to fitting into clothes again and to not having to wear nursing bras but that will also mean I can’t care for her in the same way.
On the plus side, it will mean fewer potential embarrassments. I’ve been volunteering one day a week at a local bar which used to be a music hall. They’re archiving their historical stuff and I’m interested in music hall, due to family connections, so I’ve been helping out. Last week, sitting in a tiny office with 4 other people, I felt a dampness and looked down to find leakage on both sides. I don’t carry breast pads around with me so was trying to surreptiously insert tissues down there and hope no-one noticed the stain. (Bloody breast pads – I started using them and didn’t seem to need them that much. But kept finding them on the sofa and scattered across the floor.)
She’s started, in the last week or so, to show an interest in eating and copying what we do when we eat. So I’ve been sitting her on my lap and giving her a spoon to help herself to my breakfast and lunch with predictable results. Yoghurt all over her face. Oats all over the floor. Still, she’s getting the hang of it. This morning I put my spoon in the bowl for a second while I drank some tea and quick as a flash she dropped her own spoon, grabbed mine, pinged a raisin across the room and shoved the spoon into her mouth. She doesn’t yet eat anything, it’s all sucking on the spoon, but she’ll get there.
My mother doesn’t agree with the baby-led weaning approach we’re using (while admitting she doesn’t know anything about it). But I don’t really want to faff about with pureeing food and making special meals just for E if I can avoid it. We eat pretty healthily most of the time so hopefully it shouldn’t be too bad. I have enough trouble getting bottles ready for set mealtimes so who knows how I’d manage to get separate meals for her. For now, she’s got a healthy appetite, drinks plenty of milk and is alert to new things. So no need to worry about buying the baby rice just yet.