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Before I had kids I didn’t realise how much guilt would be involved; guilt and parenting go together like olive oil and balsamic vinegar, like ginger biscuits and a cup of tea, like a glass of wine and my mouth. It’s a given, it’s meant to be.
The guilt is constant, yet not always about the same thing. When Elfie was a baby I felt guilty that I was unable to breastfeed her, then I felt guilty I didn’t do more when it took so long to get her condition diagnosed, I felt guilty that she loved Baby TV more than she probably should and I felt guilty about not reading to her every single day (it didn’t matter, she bloody loves books now).
Hux’s guilt is slightly different and mostly centers around leaving him in his bouncy chair for what I think is too long while I cook, change Elfie’s nappy (she’s not potty trained yet: GUILT) or shower. He doesn’t get half as much attention as Elfie did when she was a baby and it kills me, but he’s getting too heavy and wriggly to strap to me whilst I’m doing the housework. I try and make up for my guilt by taking half an hour out of my day to lie down with him and baby talk, and when I say talk I mean coo and gummy smile.
Today’s guilt is all about breastfeeding. I went away for two nights last week (I left my kids! The guilt!) so daddy was in charge of bottle feeding – something we’d practiced before I went away. I was desperate to return to Hux so he could nurse properly again but I was surprised to hear how contented he had been whilst I was away. Apparently Hux likes the formula, and he guzzled it down like nobody’s business. He slept 50% more and grizzled 50% less. Oh :(
Breastfeeding for me was a challenge at the beginning but I’d thought it had gone swimmingly since then. I was pretty amazed at my weightloss (back to normal weight in 5 weeks and still steadily losing 1lb a week without really trying) but now I’m not thinking this is a good thing. I don’t think my body is producing enough milk, it’s gobbled up most of my fat stores and I don’t know how to produce more. I eat a very healthy and balanced diet, always have, and find it a bit of a challenge to eat when I’m not hungry. I don’t like particularly fatty foods (apart from chips, burgers and the occasional McDonald’s breakfast) and always drink a lot of water. What is there to do?
I’ve kept Hux on a combination of breastmilk (as much as I can make) and formula milk before his morning and afternoon nap and once at night. He’s been sleeping much better than pre-formula Hux was and generally seems happier but I still feel incredibly guilty. We’ve only been breastfeeding for four months, I’m not ready for it to be over! As we’d got this far I didn’t expect to not be able to meet his demand.
Aside from the guilt I’m also really missing cuddles with my boy: let’s face it, this is the last time I’ll be able to hold him so close for 15 minutes five times a day before he becomes a rambunctious toddler with smelly feet.
Internet, what can I do? I’ve tried eating a Snickers a day since I returned from my trip to kick-start my fat stores but it doesn’t seem to be helping yet (tastes good though). I want more milk!