Wednesday, July 30, 2014

4 Months of Motherhood

Today, as I sit in the living room watching Zoe on her rocker with the nanny that we hired, reality hit me that my maternity leave is coming to an end and I will be transiting from a SAHM (Stay At Home Mum) to a FTWM (Full Time Working Mum). Many thoughts flooded my mind and heart - thankfulness, sadness, worries, uneasiness, stress, and probably more sadness and another dose of sadness.

These past 4 months of motherhood has been the longest 4 months of anything else I have experience in my life. My life has been so changed 360 degrees that I sometimes wonder if I have lost myself in the midst of this, or is this really who I am actually. I never knew I could survive on 4 hours of sleep and go through a day with an unpredictable baby that sometimes decides to cry the entire day, poo 6 times a day and feeds every other hour. There are also days I can't even eat my breakfast and only had my lunch at 4pm with her crying at the background. Sometimes when I am still up at 2am, I think to myself is this a new day already or is this the same day. Most of the time, I am just confused what day is it today.

But with all the tiredness aside, I think the most challenging part about motherhood has got to be the breastfeeding part. I honestly think it is more challenging than the labor! Prior to the delivery, I have already set my heart to breastfeed, so I read up a lot to prepare myself because I believe that knowledge is power and if we are well-equipped in the mind, we are less likely to throw in the towel. So when Zoe was born, I was confident about breastfeeding, I know that its normal that the milk supply hasn't come in till the 3rd day, I know that newborn has a reserve in them that they don't need to really be fed for 3 days and that they wouldn't go hungry, I could identify a bad or a good latch, the benefits of colostrum etc... all the read up really gave me assurance that I can have a successful breastfeeding journey.

But of course, I met many many many obstacles. My milk supply only kick in at the end of 3rd day, and by then we have already supplement Zoe with formula because she was crying a lot and I was so stressed about catching up. I remembered pumping a lot even though there wasn't a single drop, and when the first drop of milk came in, I had tears of happiness streaming down my face (not kidding). It was so so so precious! I remembered staying up to pump for 3 whole hours straight so that I can meet 30ml for her next feed. And when I gave her the 30ml, she finished it in less than 5 minutes!

I cried many times about breastfeeding, but thankfully my husband always put me back in perspective and that is we just want the best for Zoe. If I don't have enough, its 100% okay to give formula first because at the end of the day its about Zoe's development and not depriving her of milk. It is not about having a stash in the freezer so that I can be assured that I am a good mother. He added that I should only cry when we have no money to even buy formula milk, and what is important is Zoe is well fed and growing healthily. That really set me free because sometimes many mothers including myself are so caught up in this whole breastfeeding thing and being afraid that we are judged by other mothers that we forget the purpose of it which is to feed our baby the best we have at that point of time.

Initially, I set a target to breastfeed for at least 6 months, but by the second week I was already wondering if I could even make it past the 1st month. So, with much prayers (I prayed extremely hard) and sheer determination, I am proud to say that after 2.5 months of a crazy struggle, I managed to successfully latch her completely now in the day time and still feed every 3 hours, and my freezer has also started filling up with milk packets to use when I return to work.

So anyway, I will be returning to work next Monday and the thought of it already makes me want to cry. I am going to miss staying home with my baby. I will miss taking naps together on the bed (even though they last only 20mins to 30 mins), I will miss eating my lunch with her staring at me from her rocker, I will miss our afternoon talks and discovering her new expressions or milestones, I will miss latching her in the day time and watching her doze off after her feed, I will miss bringing her out on my own and meeting friends in the afternoon... Sigh, I just hope I transit smoothly and not bawl my eyes out at work next week.

Alright, this entry is long enough, I am ending with a picture of Zoe and I taken a month back when she crossed her 3rd month. Definitely printing this to put it on my office desk. PS: It took me 92 shots exactly to get this selfie right.

13 comments:

  1. Hi Jayme, congratulations on your new status as mom! Enjoy the journey! I love the photo of you and baby Zoe. You don't look tired at all. Hahaa... I remembered how tired-looking I was in the first few months. And breastfeeding was tough too with my first child. The second child was easier... Drink lots of fluids. And be relax. It helps with the milk flow and supply. Good luck when you are a FTWM too.

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    1. Hi Meiling, thank you! I had makeup on that's why I didn't look tired! hahaha.. I hope when I have my 2nd child, breastfeeding would be easier for me! Thanks for dropping a comment! :)

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  2. You make me miss my baby days badly, and it was loooong ago...

    Anyway, just want to say that you are doing well with the breastfeeding, and keep up the good work after you resume to work. If you are sure about breastfeeding, and supply drop, supplement like funegreek helps! Of course, there are many other ways:).

    Happy mamahood!

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    1. Hello PC, thanks for your encouragement! I am glad I didn't quit breastfeeding! I am already taking funegreek, and other milk boosting food, hoping that my supply don't drop drastically when I return to work! :)

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  3. Oh, I know how you feel. I went through the same experience with the breastfeeding and going back to work (but now my son is 8 and it's a different story!) hang in there!

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    1. Hi Agy, ahh yes.. only a mother would understand what another mother goes through... Gonna need lots of happy food on Sunday to cope with my Monday blues next week! Thanks for dropping a comment! :)

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  4. 4 months passed by really fast. Indeed motherhood changes our life 360 degree. Overwhelming at first but yet so fulfilling when we passed the difficult period. Glad that you perseveres to breastfeed. Hope you have a smooth transition back to work. Jia you!

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    1. Hi Dee, yes 4 months passed tooooo fast.... though there were times where i felt it was rather slow. Motherhood is definitely overwhelming but like what you say its so fulfilling. At the end of the day, the smile on my baby's face makes everything worth it :) Thanks for dropping a comment! :)

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  5. Hi Jayme, that is a lovely pic, totally worth the other 91 shots. Kudos to you for persevering through the tough times. If baby Zoe could speak, am sure she'll say thank you, wonderful mama. Or something like that. All the best for the transition back to work! :)

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    1. Hey June, Thanks! hahaha yea I took so long to get that picture right! Thanks for your encouragement, appreciate it! :)

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  6. I'm returning to work next week too!!! having mixed feelings coz i do do do wana get out of the house for a breather. I do get out but mostly with the kids these days and coz the hub travels oh so much, solo parenting ain't all that fun so work seems like an escape. That said, I DONT WANT TO WORK!!! me is lazy! ahhahahaha n i actually much prefer staying home n going nuts with the kids and cooking for them n doing my chores. super aunty hor? Jia you on breastfeeding! duno if u have read my post on it (http://www.themishmashmess.blogspot.sg/2014/07/breastfeeding-journey-part-1-got-milk.html)...i struggled with my #2 recently too..to me, bfing should be super ez coz with #1 i enjoyed it so very much. But it's really a marathon this time. I've a few ways to boost ss on that post if u haven't already know. Good luck!!!

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    1. Hello Janice.. looks like we are on the same boat! Yea I would prefer to stay home and go nuts with my baby too! I read the post earlier, I also have been taking some milk boosting food, but because I DL so its quite hard to tell if my supply had increased significantly. So i guess I can only tell when I go back to work and do the pumping... Hope my supple don't drop drastically! All the best when you go back to work too! Jiayou! :)

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  7. Glad to hear that everything is going well! :) U are a great mum! :) And don't worry, I am sure that u will adapt to working life very quickly again!

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