Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Got Milk?

Most books and websites, even doctors and lactation supervisors say that breastfeeding helps a mother lose weight quicker and regain her pre-pregnancy figure. And I have a fussy baby who won't let me sit while carrying him. That means I at least get some kind of exercise while putting him to sleep. A foolproof weight loss program, right? Wrong. Because, my fellow already pregnant or planning to be pregnant girlfriends, breastfeeding makes you hungry. Pretty much all the time, just like when I was pregnant. Isn't the human body just amazing? I probably feel hungry because the body is telling me to feed myself so I can produce enough milk. A perfect excuse to eat.

So in an effort to make healthier choices to keep up with the hunger, I went to the supermarket yesterday to stock up on some vegetables and meats. Today I made Grilled Chicken and fresh Orange Salad, drizzled with Lemon Miso dressing. It was refreshing because the tart lemon juice woke my taste buds up. And the chicken (fillet) was tender and nicely flavoured with rosemary and thyme. Even though it was satisfying and feel-good, I have a feeling it won't keep me full for long. As I write this while sipping coffee and munching on, er, munchies (oat and coconut cookies made by my little sister), I think I probably will be pretty hungry for dinner soon.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Strike a balance

I might have had the worse day on Friday. I left the house without enough time to pump out my milk. Not a good thing. It was made worse with The Baby deciding to go on a nursing strike. My boobs were filling up quick and they started to become lumpy and painful. With him refusing to feed, I had no choice but to buy a manual breast pump to relief the discomfort. I have never used a manual pump before and was dripping milk on myself. Sitting in the nursing room, I felt rather miserable. I was worried about The Baby not drinking, wondering if he was starving and not being able to do anything about it. And I really didn't know why he was refusing me. It was frustrating because every time I tried to feed him, he would stiffen up his body, turn his head away and cry his lungs out. I was afraid to force his head towards me because I didn't want to hurt him, but I didn't want him to starve too! My sister consoled me by saying that nursing strikes happen and I should not be so stressed about it. The Baby will drink when he wants to. I just couldn't help feeling so rejected.

Sometimes I feel like I am running out of fuel driving down this road of motherhood. There are no exits, hardly any stop signs and plenty of potholes. Alright, enough with the analogies. I know it has only been 2, almost 3 months and I'm complaining so much. But on days when The Baby is difficult, I can't help but feel extremely "trapped". I really do miss my old life where I can just get up and go whenever, wherever. Now, going out means I have to rush through my shower, bathe The Baby, feed The Baby and importantly, pump out the milk. Otherwise I will be in a situation of over supply. Oh and wherever we are going, it is an absolute MUST that it is an air conditioned place because it is absolutely, totally, oh-my-goodness-I-could-combust, HOT when handling and breastfeeding a baby. Okay I tend to exaggerate, but I dare say all mothers will attest to this.

It's so hard to have a balanced life now. All my time is spent looking after The Baby. I don't get much time to myself. It's not that I'm selfish; I've let go of the freedom and the many pleasures in life the moment the positive sign came on. I mean, I have had my fun and now I have a family. What more could I ask for? Perhaps my life is pretty balanced after all. Of course, and its only natural to miss the things that you no longer have. I miss going to work, I miss late night drinks with friends, I miss brunches with The Husband. I miss finishing a sentence here without having to run and check on The Baby. But I know in years to come, what I will miss most is that gummy smile and sheer joy The Baby has whenever he sees my face.