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Of Breastfeeding, Baby and Me

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Let’s face it guys, breastfeeding is not an easy task.

When I was pregnant, I vowed to myself that I would breastfeed my baby exclusively until he turned six months, and proceed to breastfeed with additional solid food until he’s two. The plan seemed so simple, like when I was writing it out on my to-do list. I’ve seen mothers with breastfed children, and mothers who formula-fed their children. I’ve observed and I decided that breastfeeding is the best option for me.

But like I said, breastfeeding IS NOT an easy task.

When he was delivered, he tried to clasp his tiny mouth onto my huge gigantic nip and failed. I thought it was my fault, and his cryings became more and more prominent as time passes by. I tried giving him some more time to tuck onto my breast and waited but he still wailed. I called the staff nurse and she taught me the correct and easiest way for the baby to latch. There was some thick liquid – anyone could guess it was the colostrum, and I tried to feed him with it. He sucked it in – I guess, because up until now I didn’t know if the colostrum did enter his tummy or I just swiped it all away because of my ignorance.

Okay. I told myself, maybe he did drink.

He  was silent until minutes later. He started wailing, crying, his face red with maybe, rage because he was angry. As per what I had learned, babies only need colostrum to pass by, and the colostrum wasn’t that much.

There was no spare formula milk. I didn’t bring any because I was confident I can feed the baby all by myself. We will be alright, right, baby?

That first night at the hospital, he couldn’t sleep well. I couldn’t sleep well. My mother in-law couldn’t sleep at all. She took care of the baby, hushing him down, serenading him and tried to tuck him into the baby cot.

When I went home, there was still no sign of breast milk. I expected them to be runny, maybe a bit thinner than the colostrum. I pinched and I pressed and massaged my breasts, but nothing came out. My masseuse told me I had blocked duct, and I supposed to know about it since before I gave birth. She even told me that I should know as I am a doctor and well, DOCTORS KNOW EVERYTHING. Pffftttt

No, doctors know everything when it is someone else.

If it happens to them, do you know that doctors are the worst patients?

My baby sucked and sucked, but there’s nothing came out. My breast felt heavy and a bit tender. He was hungry, I’m sure but momma’s milk is not here yet.

My husband then decided he wouldn’t let my baby go hungry for another day. He bought formula by the end of day 1, which means I’m unable to feed anything to my baby for almost 24 hours. I felt like a loser. My breasts were aching and I was crying (damn those hormones!) when I tried to breastfeed him. My nipples ached so much, and when he sucked, the pain sent me off the roof. There was nothing in this world compared to the pain of a first time mother trying to breastfeed his child.

I watched my masseuse and my MIL fed him formula milk. I wouldn’t feed him myself. I refused to give him any formula as far as I would. I was a stubborn person, and I would stay that way. My baby too was a bit fussy in his early days. He was used to getting formula milk and how easily the milk poured out in his mouth as compared to when he had to suck harder for my breast milk. He cried restlessly when I tried to breastfeed him, because he knew there wasn’t much milk for him.

I was disappointed. I was depressed because I couldn’t breastfeed him. So what am I to him then? I used to think breastfeeding is the only way for mother and child to bond but now what am I going to do that I couldn’t breastfeed yet?

I was frustrated by the fact that what I read confused me. The text books told me that I would be able to feed as soon as he comes out. They told me that breastfeeding is how mothers experienced happiness – because that was when the oxytocin (the happy hormone) oozed out of your body. But I didn’t have any of that. My nipples hurt, and sometimes they bled. They were dry skins and baby scratches on my chest and every time I fed him I cringed because I couldn’t stand another pain in my nips. Where is the oxytocin? Where is the fucking happiness? Where is the relief? I would ask myself over and over again, and then spiraled down the misery alley again and again.

My husband then resolved to buy a breast pump for me. It was a bit pricey but he told me it was going to worth it.

I used it, tried to pick up my own pace in my breastfeeding journey. My MIL and masseuse still used formula to feed him now and then, but as time passed by the milk started coming out. I used all the tips in the books and also from the Internet to try to enhance my breast milk. The nights were messy with my tears, again when he tried to feed and failed and my MIL had to feed him formula. I scrubbed the nips and massaged it quite harshly in the shower after I took analgesics to ease down the pain.

But slowly I started producing more milk. The formula was weaned down little by little. I pumped my breast and let him latch on. My breasts still felt sore, and I still winced at the pain when he latched but after a month or so, there wasn’t any pain at all. My confinement ended with me happily breastfeeding my baby exclusively.

Then, I already established that breastfeeding is a very tough journey. It demands determination and perseverance. It needs practice and knowledge. It will come naturally to you, but you have to work upon it. It’s like learning to walk, you naturally can walk but you need perseverance and practice. Babies never stopped learning, adults did.

But most of all, all you need is love.

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Double Standard

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I’m writing here today, remembering the event of what happened last week.

I texted on the Whatsapp group of my family telling my mom Happy Mother’s Day. She didn’t reply immediately – of course, but my brother did.

He texted me telling me that mom was a disappointed with me and she’s sulking about it. She even cried on the phone when my brother called him and told him about it. I was shocked because I didn’t think of any recent incident that would make my mom kind of like that.

Well apparently I did. Once. Just three days before I texted the Happy Mother’s Day wishes.

I drove home to despatch some things for my sister who’s in college and due to she’s not around I called her telling I would leave the things outside of the house. My sister went home for a semester break and was spending her holidays with my mom. I called my mom prior to I drove back and she was home. The gates were open and the doors locked. It was normal for my mother, because she lives alone. She couldn’t afford leaving the door unlocked. I rang the door bells twice and waited in front of the house, but my mom didn’t open the door. So I decided to leave.

That’s the issue, my brother told me. I didn’t wait long enough for my mom to open the door. She told him that she wanted to test me, maybe testing my patience, and obviously I didn’t have the amount of what she expected me to. I told him I rang the door, twice, and she didn’t open the door. In my defence I thought she wasn’t home. The doorbell was loud, no one can miss it.

Or does it?

I was angry at first, claiming that I was there, I just didn’t wait long enough for her to open the door. Who would be in the right mind to test the patience like that? Just open the freaking door, I wanted to shout?

I wanted to scream. Why me? Why would mom always punish me with silent treatment every time that she feels like it?

I am the second of five siblings. I had a brother and he got married and built a little family of his own. He lives far away from home, and mom never acted like that in front of him. She called out telling me I was fat after I delivered my first baby and wondered loudly how could I be this fat? She thought my baby wasn’t cute enough just because he looked like he was underfed and his skin was a little shade darker than his cousins. My brother was never home, and I visited mom religiously every weekend without fail so that my mom wouldn’t miss out on my son’s development.

And now she’s sulking with me?

I didn’t know what else did I do wrong that my mom refused to answer my phone calls, when she could easily accept my other siblings’ calls. She never sulked in front of them. She talked just like how she always was, but not with me.

I had a huge fight before with mom when she accused me of not caring just because I failed to call her every night. She said I broke my own promises. She said I didn’t call her every day like how I promised. She accused of me not caring about her ever since I got married.

I was stunned. What on earth was my mom saying? Why do she keep doing this to me when she knew very well what person I am? I visited her every weekend with no rates of failure. I let her see her grandson which she could never keep up when it were my brother’s sons. She played the guilt card, stating that I succeeded in what I were in. I graduated and became a doctor, and she kept repeating that I was the big shot and I shouldn’t care about her as much because she was just from a rural area and graduated late. But excuse me she pursued her degree when she was already a teacher. It’s hard to do that even back then. Now, I couldn’t even finish any book after I started working.

I wasn’t a bigshot. People graduated to become medical practitioner all year, and we are becoming more common now.

I didn’t ignore her. I wished her happy mother’s day and hoped that my son would be nice and closer to her growing up, unlike my other nephews. I didn’t want her to feel neglected or unwanted like how my nephews were. They were having strangers’ anxiety and that’s why they becoming like that with my mother because they only could see their grandmother on the father’s side like three or four times per year.

Am I that bad? I wanted to ask my mother. Do you hate me so much after I got married?

I argued with her once about this and she threw the guilt back to me.

I shouldn’t fight with my mom. I shouldn’t be hostile with someone who gave birth to me? I am the younger person and I am the daughter – they expected me to always be nice to my mom. And that’s what I do. I kept everything inside, even not telling my husband because I was sure it was all because of me. I’m writing this down because I felt the need to. This is my therapy. I should let everything out so that it wouldn’t consume me. I was embarrassed to see or tell anyone about this because this is my mom who I’m talking about and writing about this will help me because no one knows me.

I am a nobody I guess.

 

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Feasting on Money

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Courtesy of Google Image

Since I started working and having money on my own, I started to develop a new hobby.

Shopping.

Shh…

It’s every girl’s sin.

I couldn’t help myself when I spend, or when I overspent. When I was young, I was very careful with my money. There was one time during my years in secondary school, I listened to my Walkman using minimal volume due to I didn’t want to spend more money on batteries.

It was basically what I learnt from my mother. I cut expenses for myself, and I saved a lot of money since I started to live in hostel. My parents were teachers, so there weren’t as much money when I was growing up. I had four other siblings and I was the second oldest. I had to give it up more to my brothers and sister.

Not that I mind.

When I started working, I spent my money initially on my parent’s bill. I stayed with my parents throughout my internship ( the key of achieving it all). My late father gave me his car as my first car, and I was so grateful that I didn’t have any debt to pay.

I spent my money for my siblings, I brought them to places where we couldn’t afford as a kid. We ate at more pricey restaurants and my sister and brothers didn’t bother to check on the price tag of the food whenever they ordered them. I was happy when I spent my money on them.

I spent money on my parents. I paid for groceries, and bills.

Currently I’m obsessed with spending money on me. ME. It felt awkward because I never felt like this before.

The one who felt this weird too is my husband. He knew I spent so little money on myself that whenever we were out in the mall, I barely bought anything. We always went out every weekend to our favourite mall, and we just spend our time there eating at our favourite place. And then we would had our session of window shopping.

I didn’t spend my money on expensive things, just trivial things which didn’t cost much. I like to buy just to ease my cravings. But sometimes, this small cravings can lead to enormous ones.

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Still having doubts

Whatever was written in my blog yesterday was truly my intention. I had been having the same hunch of writing since forever. Here I wanted to tell you – whoever you are that I’m still want to pour my heart out to something.

Like I said before, I wanted to leave my marks onto the world that we live in. I know it’s not as simple as it sounds. We have to start somewhere and this is where I’ll start.

I am babbling. I know I am.

It was like the character that I was in having a halt, experimenting on things but keep failing in whatever she does. I was experiencing it. The halt. I was afraid that I would stay in the same place in this current rate.

People might not like what I was writing, but with someone who had the same conflict as I am, will understand. The feelings when you’re stuck somewhere, not knowing what to do is here, like you’re destined to do something large, something big but somehow your mind is stopping you. But my mind was everywhere. As I was writing this, I don’t know what’s inside my head. I was thinking about the vacation by the end of this week, and I’m thinking about my patients too. I’m thinking about my life, how could I suddenly be here.

That’s what makes me think every time.

What makes me here?

Why am I married? Why am I having kids? Why am I pumping my breast for my son?

Ok. It was because I decided to have it. It was because I decided I don’t want to spend my time alone when I’m old and wrinkly and bad and… I want to have someone who I can hold on to when I was someone’s grandmother, and felt good at it. Doubts still followed me every time and it irks me. I wanted to be confident with myself, reassured that I made the right decision. I was reminded every day that what I did was the right thing. I love my husband, the way that maybe other wives felt about their husband. I like him, adored him and having his son was the best thing.

But was it?

Or am I just deceiving myself? Telling myself what I wanted to hear? The paranoid inside my head wouldn’t stop and it’s driving me crazy. I was writing and reading my blog post and felt like it was something out of the movie, or maybe I just wanted to imitate it but it was real. I didn’t know who I was. I lost my identity as this writing became more hassled and there’s no direction to go. I was writing rubbish but I can’t stop. I need to write this down. I need to write something down or else I’ll gone crazy.

Crazy is a big word. It really is.

But I won’t lie about this.

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insanely a mommy

This is not my first blog. Instead I had a lot of blog before, but I don’t know why they didn’t goes well with me. Maybe it was me, maybe it was the blog, but whatever it is, it didn’t work.

I wanted to leave a mark onto the world and by doing that is by writing something and leaving it out to the world to read and let them judge me of it. It’s been my dreams since God knows when. I want someone, at least a person who likes my writings and read everything about it. The thing is I’m an extremely shy person when it comes to letting my writings out to the public but I wanted to be someone well known. It was like having two personalities; something that you didn’t want but there’s an alter ego that pushed you to pursue the dream.
I did write, and I wrote a lot of fanfictions. It was something that came naturally to me. I started to write since I was 13, and I guess I was pretty cool about it. Actually my first story I wrote was when I was 9 but because it was something that is so horribly written I didn’t think I would revive. There was a lot in my mind and I couldn’t contain them alone. There was a lot of music, and I tried to be patient with myself.
I wanted to write because it calmed me down. I wanted to leave marks, but I wanted to leave something that people can relate. I want people to laugh at my experiences, and because I am so comfortable with writing in English rather than using my own mother tongue is something else. I read almost everything in English, but I still used to write with my first language but it didn’t work out well. My writer’s block is killing me, I couldn’t even finish one shot of story let alone writing my own novel right now.
Maybe it’s because I was so used to getting distracted from my studies that I wrote novels. But now when I was working and I had all the time that I wanted in my life to write down a novel, and maybe publishing one, I wasn’t that interested anymore. Maybe I just wanted something to distract me.
I don’t know, right now as I was writing this thing down after I had my little majesty down in his cot, I was having the time of my life. My husband is going to make a run for Deadpool again, and I should be cuddling there with him, just having the time of our life, but here I was distracted by my own mind.
Maybe it’s therapy for me. Maybe it’s a therapy of my mind that I wanted to get out of.
There are so many ideas, but I just don’t know what to do.
Maybe when I read everything back, maybe….just maybe I can know how messed up my mind was.