This week, my 3rd son Monty is 10 months old. This is also the week he finally decided that…”actually Mummy I will take a bottle, I am not sure what all the fuss has been about, I quiet like it?”
I was so ecstatic that a photo was immediately sent to family and friends, at last the end was in sight and those underwired bras that have been at the back of my underwear draw for 18 months might, once again see the light of day. This is of course if I have been left with anything remotely resembling a pair of breasts.
When I had my first son I just assumed I would breast feed, I won’t go into to much boring detail but after the initial painful set up we did fine until around 4-5 months when we made very slow transition over to formula. Ophelia my 2nd was a whopping 10b 7oz baby and fed like a fierce starved shark. At 4 weeks I attempted to give up on breast feeding all together and go over to bottle, resulting in unimagnable pain in my boobs and I ended up feeding her at 4am in tears to get some relief. So Ophelia was combi fed until around 7 months when I started to wean her. I therefore made the decision that with my 3rd I would predominately breast feed but we would also give him bottles, as easy as that. Having 3 quiet close together, Rory starting school and my husband working long hours meant that this way at least someone could help me. We gleefully strolled around Mothercare stocking up on bottles, formula, steriliser, breast pump, perfect prep machine and bibs. This time we smugly thought we will be prepared, we knew what we were doing and we knew what we needed to make our lives as easy as possible. Wrong. Monty had entirely different ideas.
I was always adamant that the first 2 weeks I would feed him so my breast milk could get established, in this time one night after feeding and feeding and feeding I decided I would top him up with a bottle to try and get some rest. After he had a precious 2 oz he swiftly projectile vomitted it up and then spent hours writhing in pain. We would later discover he had silent reflux. The incident scared me so much that I didn’t offer him a bottle again until around 5 weeks which by this point a bottle had become the most offensive creation in the universe. I have had several friends who have had to breast feed for the first year because there little darlings wouldn’t take a bottle. Every time someone would tell me this I would inwardly scoff, phaaa, nonsense, of course they will, they just aren’t using the right bottle, formula or are too attached to the baby. Well that will serve me right because no. If a baby doesn’t want a bottle they WILL NOT take a bottle. (if you to are also reading this thinking the same I have tried 10 different bottles, all different formulas, pretty much every family member has tried to feed him, he wasn’t having any of it, he is a firm tit man). We tried off and on until about 4 months and then I gave up on the idea. I was through the worst of it and had a routine so it wasn’t worth stressing about. Fast forward to last week.
Monty had turned 10 months old, he is now eating 3 square meals a day but still having breast milk at least once during the day. I decided as he was now having porridge with cows milk as well as other foods I would try him on a bottle of cows milk as he had occasionally taken water from the nuk bottle. I made him a small bottle of warm milk and the little bugger devoured it like it was his first pint after a 6 mile hike in the rain. So now we are making the slow transition over to a bottle in order to avoid crippling boob pain. As I come towards the end of breast feeding I am so filled with relief I am surprised at myself.
I think looking back on the last 10 months I have enjoyed breast feeding 90% of the time and the other 10% I have positively despised it. The nights of being the only one that could go to Monty, the events and days out I have had to take my baby with me because I was the only one able to feed him. The rare evening out my husband and I have had out for dinner but having to take Monty with us resulting in me feeding through dinner and only able to order food which can be fed one handed. Of course the positives have always out weighed the negatives (just about), the bonding time we have had, the ease of breast feeding, being able to comfort him instantly, those stolen hours sat on the sofa in peace just him and I. I however look forward at the next few weeks and the thought of no more breast pads, nice bras and being able to wear dresses again does fill me with such relief.
The state of the spaniel eared limp breasts I will be left with, less so.