Great feeding expectations

breast pumping and sanitising

I tried not to have too many expectations about what would happen when baby came home. The one thing I knew was that every child is different, and every parent’s experience is different. In fact, I was expecting the worst, and so far, apart from the first difficult weeks, things have not lived up to my dire expectations.

But when it came to pumping, it turns out I had very unrealistic expectations.

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What’s the rush on the nursery?

In preparing for the arrival of baby Sam, I made a list, as I tend to do. I marked what could be done before the birth, and what could be done after. I marked what needed research, and where I could purchase everything. The list was thorough, a culmination of googling baby necessities and talking to friends.

The nursery was a thing, so I designated a room – or rather – the room designated itself – the only one without a bed in it that didn’t sometimes get used as a guest room. I wasn’t one of those people keen to paint it or buy a whole lot of new, purpose-built furniture. We had an old desk, which could double as a change table. The chest of drawers could be cleaned out to house baby clothes. And the wardrobe could just stay there because… well how much stuff do babies really need anyway?

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It may not be fair… but it is what it is

hospital pregnant

The decision to have a child is not a simple one for everyone. And as you may already know, I could come up with many more reasons not to have children, than to have them. And one of the big ones, for me, was simply the unfairness of being the woman. Because in the story of procreation, a man can be the most supportive being on the planet, but he still can’t do what a woman can.

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Fed is best

I want to give a shout out to all those ladies out there who breastfed their children, including myself since I’m currently in the midst of it. I also want to give a shout out to all those who tried, only to find, that for whatever reason, it did not work out. And while I’m here, I also want to give a shout out to anyone who decided to bottle feed their babe, because after all, fed is best, and in many ways it feels like that would be the smart route.

I thought breastfeeding was an all or nothing thing. I knew it wasn’t easy, and did not work for everyone, and I held myself to no expectations. If it works, I said, I’ll do it, and if not, whatever. I thought there would be a black and white reason why it would work, or not, but what I’ve dug up is a whole lot of shades of grey.

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Huh? What does einleiten mean?

They say you forget the pain of childbirth. Ha! Who are they kidding? Sure, time passes, and like everything that passes, it feels less traumatic. But I’m not going to forget the pain of childbirth any more than I forget the chronic back pain I had to navigate through to get to that point.

But I can reflect back on the experience and choose to put away the worst parts. That I don’t think I can do this feeling, knowing it was all on me. And the expressions on the doctor and nurses faces toward the end when I could well see they were concerned but didn’t want to show how much. I can remember how from all this experience, I got something out of it (apart from a healthy child) – I learnt a new German word.

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