U no im rite that y u dont have an anser to my msg.
Ok ok, I have picked my jaw up from the floor….
Anon, poor, poor anon. Firstly, I strongly suggest you use either a dictionary, autocorrect, or a spell check, because it took me about ten minutes to decipher your message. I’m assuming you have more important things to do than attend education. You know, like wasting hours on the Internet sending childish hate to people you know nothing about.
Secondly, my child is very lucky to have myself, and M as his parents. He is loved, secure, well looked after, and his development in all areas demonstrates this. I have gone above and beyond what is expected of me to provide the best for my son, I relactated so I could breastfeed him, I have managed to maintain a healthy attitude towards food despite wanting to just stop eating on many occasions, I sought help when I thought I might need it, and I have done everything I can to ensure both mine and his safety should M behave in a way which is inappropriate again.
I haven’t actually disclosed what happened with M at the beginning of the month, so you are not in a position to judge him a “bastad” (hint: there’s an R in that word) He is a loving, calm and attentive Father, and husband. Yes, he has occasional trouble with anger but he is seeing his gp about that, and they are working on coping strategies for the 2 times a year he may feel like he might lose it. He comes home at lunch time to see Alfie, he brings home chocolate and flowers, he kisses me goodbye, he keeps my car full of fuel, he asks how I am, he surprises me, he gets on the floor and plays with Alfie the second he gets home, he changes nappies, he gets up at 5am so I can sleep a bit longer, he works 12 hour days so I can stay at home an extra month with our baby. He encourages me to do things that make me happy, to see my friends, to eat properly when I don’t want to. He knows I’m depressed before I do. He is my best friend and he knows me better than I know myself. Someone isn’t a bastard because they behaved out of character once or twice during a massive period of stress and change.
Alfie is exceeding many of his developmental milestones, and put simply, that is because he is the centre of our world. We spend every second he is awake either playing with him or providing him with stimulating toys and activities. Most importantly, he is adored. If I genuinely thought he would be better off being looked after by someone else, I would make that happen. That’s the thing about being a parent - you put your child’s happiness above your own.
Is that enough of a response for you, anon? Are you sitting behind your screen smiling, happy to have got a response from me? I’ll let you think of a response while I go and continue with my life.
I’m writing a book of letters to Alfie for when he’s older, and thought I would share some of them occasionally.
Sometimes your mind will tell you unkind or frightening things. Sometimes you will imagine things that make you sad, or angry, and sometimes your mind will be horrible to you. You don’t have to believe it. Your brain isn’t always right, and neither are your feelings. The human brain likes to make up stories and they aren’t always fun or nice, but they are only stories. If your mind is nasty to you, tell it to leave you alone, and try to remember all of the things that you are good at. If you don’t know, ask me and I will tell you enough good things to fill a book.
My friend is going to have a baby any day!!! I want to buy her and the baby something they'll appreciate but it don't know what?
Aah exciting!! Well, everyone is different, but if it was me I would like food! You don’t gave time to cook after a baby is born and a home cooked meal is just the best thing! Chocolate or cake is also good.
She won’t use fancy soap or lotions so don’t bother, but lip balm or hand cream might be good. Your lips and hands get so dry in hospital. Arnica is also good if she has any bruising. Nipple cream if she’s breastfeeding!
For baby, avoid clothes if she is the organised type as she’ll already have loads, but you can never have too many nappies! Cuddly toys look lovely but don’t get used, rattles or pram toys are handy though, and so are books. Nice nappy cream (because expensive!) Is always appreciated, and so are photo frames for all the pictures they’ll be taking!
Offer to help, and mean it. When you visit ask what you can do to help, they’ll be so grateful you even offered - and make HER a cup of tea instead of her doing one for you. :)
My car got locked in the car park and I had to walk across town to get a taxi home and all I wanted was to get home to Alfie and I felt so trapped and anxious even though he was asleep and absolutely fine and now I have to go in at 8am and collect my car because I am a fucking idiot and this is my punishment for going out.
Also, I don’t want to leave my baby at home while I go to a restaurant I can’t afford with people I only know through my baby.
And eating out still overwhelms me. Especially with people other than M. Especially while still dealing with mastitis. Especially after a binge 3 hours before we’re due to eat.
Why isn’t it acceptable to stay at home and watch TV anymore? All I get from everyone is “you need to go out.” “You need time to yourself” “you need adult time.” No I fucking don’t. I WANT to stay in with my baby. Omg.
Just the first and last person my child sees each day.
Just the bringer of nutritious food.
Just the best playmate available.
Just a cuddly pillow at nap time.
Just a magic kiss to fix a bumped head.
Just a chauffeur.
Just the provider of toys.
Just a counsellor.
Just a mediator.
Just a teacher.
Just a cleaner.
Just the organiser of a day out.
Just making precious memories.
Just laying the foundations of a future.
I used to think bulimia did work for me, I used it as a weight loss technique, primarily (at least on the surface.) Yes I lost weight, but I soon gained it back, and then I was stuck in a cycle of trying to starve and then binge eating and gaining back even more weight, or at best maintaining the weight I was so unhappy with.
Bulimia is a pretty sad way to spend 5 years anyway, and then I realise that I weigh the same now as I did when all of this started. That’s one hell of a wake up call.
You don't need to find an "appropriate" reason to stop breast feeding. If you feel it's causing you pain and distress that outweigh the benefits, that is the only reason you need. Doing what's best for you is ultimately doing what's best for Alfie. It doesn't make you a bad mother. I know that stopping would be a painful and frustrating decision since you've worked so hard to get to this point, but please don't let guilt be one of the considerations <3
You’re right anon!
But I am a person fuelled by guilt. :(
I have so many jobs that need doing but I feel like death and have to get antibiotics for my boob at 10. I have 2 hours to complete the following:
1. Put washing on
2. Wash and sterilise pump parts and bottle.
3. Empty and refill dishwasher.
4. Change Alfie’s bedding.
5. Clean the highchair and floor from breakfast
6.Vacuum the living room before Alfie eats something random on the floor.
7. Wrap up mum’s birthday present.
8. Write grocery shopping list.
9. Dig up potatoes for dinner.
Also, I barely slept last night because both my boobs had blockages in them and I couldn’t lie on my side, then I got a fever and was convinced spiders were crawling all over my legs. On top of that, I had to get up to express twice as I thought my boobs were going to explode. I have no idea what’s going on with them, but it feels like it did when my milk came in. So close to just stopping today. :(
Today is so blah. I hate living in one of the tourist hot spots of the south. Beach full of skinny girls in bikinis, I feel huge and badly dressed and town is insanely busy. I have my period, yet another blocked milk duct and a headache. I’ve eaten far too much as a result and just really want to not exist for a day or two.
I am breast feeding but my left breast is hard and painful today what should I do?
It sounds like a blocked duct, which can be very sore. :(
You need to feed your baby as often as possible - offer the sore side at every feed. (So when you feed on the right, finish up by offering the left when baby unlatches.) This will give baby more opportunity to clear the blockage.
You can also apply a warm, wet compress (such as a face cloth) to the sore spot right before you feed to open up the ducts so the milk can flow more easily. After feeding you can then use a cold compress to reduce any inflammation.
You might want to hop in a hot shower and hand express, if you try this then make sure you massage the breast from above the hard spot down towards your nipple, you can also do this before and during feeding if you can feed with one hand. :)
If your breast becomes red, you get a fever, or you start to feel unwell, you will probably have mastitis. In this case, carry on with all of the above but also contact your GP for antibiotics.
Look after yourself, anon, spend the day in bed with baby if you can, and drink extra fluids. Xx
I’d rather be a stone overweight and be a focused, attentive, patient and loving Mother who cuddles up with a mug of hot chocolate in the winter, and shares an ice cream on the beach in summer, than a “healthy weight” and be a number obsessed, cold, distant, snappy and impatient Mother who can’t even sit down at the table to share a family meal.
My child does not care that my hips are “too wide” and that the tops of my arms wobble when I wave. He doesn’t care that my tummy is soft or that my thighs touch. All he wants is someone warm to cuddle him when he’s tired or sad, and someone to play with him when he’s bored or happy.
When I say I don’t want to go back to work, I don’t mean it like you mean it after a long holiday. When I say I don’t want to go back to work, I mean just the thought of leaving Alfie with other people for 9 hours a day makes me feel physically sick from the anxiety in my stomach and chest. Even when someone casually asks “when are you back at work then?” I have to fight to not show that I’m on the verge of tears just from their innocent comment.
I always thought Alfie would somehow feel bigger by 9 months, and that I would be ready to pick up my career where I left it. However, somewhere along the line I realised I would rather sit on my living room floor for those 9 hours each day and watch my son repeatedly try to climb the TV unit. I realised I would rather change the 3 nappies, sit through the hour long food fight that is lunch, and shout “don’t touch that!” While removing him from the socket covers / TV / book case 20 times in a row. I realised that my son is infinitely more important to me than the pittance I bring home, than my nice car, or my trips to Costa.
I realised that something about showing other parents how to look after their children, while mine is away from me, being looked after by people who just see him like any other baby feels incredibly wrong.
I realised that I might miss his first steps, or the first time he says a real word, or that I won’t be there to comfort him on the way if he has to go to accident and emergency. I realised that no one else understands that he can use sign language in his own bizarre way, or that he likes to have his bottom tapped while he falls asleep, or that blueberries are his favourite and that he is obsessed with ducks. And his paintbrush. No one else “gets” him like me, and no one else can look after him as well as I can.
But he’s starting nursery in 6 weeks, and I’ll return to work in 9. The enhanced maternity rate I was so thankful to receive now feels like nothing more than blackmail - I’m legally obliged to return to work for at least 12 weeks, or pay it back which is frankly impossible.
And then there’s the fact that while in theory we would survive on one wage, in reality cars go wrong, and bills go up, and teeth need seeing to, and the fridge blows up, and we would then be in ever increasing debt that would never be paid off.
So I have to return to work. I have to do the opposite of what every maternal instinct is screaming at me to do. I have to leave my infant son in other people’s care while I go and earn barely enough money to cover the childcare costs.
I don't know if you're still looking for opinions re: Alfie's pictures, but I think 5 is the best :) I like 1 as well - I think that those two show his happy personality while the others are more "generically" cute. Of course they're all wonderful <3
Aaw thanks anon! I decided to enter number 5 In the end. :) It’s the background on my phone and definitely one of my favourites!
"Does recovery feel good to you, and does it get easier?"
I’m not sure if the person who sent me that question would want to be published, so I’m making a text post with my answer as others may find it helpful.
Does it feel good to me?
I’m not one to lie, so in the spirit of honesty - no. (Please bear with this and read on.) I’m sat here right now mindlessly eating a box of maltesers so they can be “gone” and I can have a “fresh start” tomorrow. I will want to throw up, exercise for 6 hours and then fast for two days in about 10 minutes time. I won’t though. Partly because I no longer have the energy for that sort of bs in my life, but mainly because my son needs me to be Mummy, and not a vacant, food obsessed robot.
I will look in the mirror later and resist the urge to pinch my stomach, and slap my face. I will walk past the cupboard where the scales are hidden on the top shelf, underneath a pile of towels. I will pause, my hand on the door, and then I will continue on my way without weighing myself. Tonight I will lie in bed and start to count calories, but then my baby will stir, or my husband will ask me a question, and my mind will be pulled away from the endless maths.
Today, recovery does not feel good to me. Today, recovery feels like an excuse to not punish myself for being “greedy.” Today, recovery feels like laziness and obesity and stupidity.
But tomorrow morning I will be awoken by the sweetest sound I can hear “mumma…. MUHmaaa” and my head won’t think of the maltesers, or the scales, or whether or not I should eat breakfast. I will tend to my baby, eat a sensible breakfast, go about my day like normal. Will recovery feel good tomorrow? No. It won’t feel good because I won’t even think about it. Tomorrow I won’t be a recovering bulimic, tomorrow I will be a Mother and a housewife.
Will I feel good tomorrow? For the most part, yes. Tomorrow will also have challenges, but they probably won’t be created by my eating disorder.
Does it get easier? Yes. There was a time when I would have thrown up, exercised for 6 hours and fasted for 2 days. There was a time when I would have weighed myself 20 times, cut my wrists and thighs, and led awake until 4am counting and recounting calories. I may not ever be totally free from my disorder, but I have learned to push it to the back of my mind, to experience days, and even whole weeks where I don’t think about bulimia at all. All I can hope for is that the period of time between “episodes” will continue to grow until one day I realise I am ok.
To the old woman who yelled at me for not seeing her and her even older mother in the car park:
I admit it, I only had a cursory look over my right shoulder. However you were in my blind spot, there was a pedestrian walkway approximately 3 meters to your right, the car park is a one way system, and my baby was screaming in the back . I was looking at the car behind me, and the one approaching me on my left, as well as the toddler about to make a dash for it opposite me. I was wondering if I should put the air con on, or just keep the windows open for my child, I was thinking about how I need to get fuel, whether the chicken has defrosted for dinner, and whether or not I posted an important letter. I was feeling guilty about buying formula milk, and the implications that come with it - my baby about to start nursery and, me about to go back to work. I was wondering if my baby was crying out of frustration or something worse, and whether I should wait and feed him before going home.
All you had to do was shuffle painfully slowly with your decrepit mother to the supermarket. I’m sorry, but even with your probable near blindness, you were in a better position to see me than I was to see you. If you choose to not use the pedestrian walkway then quite frankly you are going to have cars pull out in front of you. I am not a “stupid woman” neither am I “ignorant” or “unfit to be on the road.” You, however, were downright rude and if you EVER hit my car with your stupid stick again, I will gladly remove it from you and drive over it.
I i feel very guilty about this, but Alfie is still feeding every 2 to 3 hours during the day, and he is starting nursery in 6 weeks. I have decided to offer one bottle of formula milk every morning in the hope that he will go longer between feeds and i won’t have to worry about him when he’s at nursery.
I tried this morning and alfie was having none of it. He took one ounce and then started to cry and pushed the bottle away. I tried putting the milk in a sippy cup but that had the same effect. Alfie then started to claw at my boobs and crying hysterically.
I don’t know what to do now, i need to get him to reduce his breastfeeds and take a bottle or a cup in the next 6 weeks. Does anyone have any tips?
When I think of how much I love my son, it occurs to me that I will never accurately describe the extent of that love.
This isn’t the sort of love that fades with anger or time, it’s not the sort of love that is dependant on temperament or a good day at work. It’s not a new love that fills me with butterflies and excitement. It’s entirely different.
It’s a feeling of fullness in my chest, my stomach and my heart. When people say they are “brimming” with love, they must mean this. It envelopes me, and overwhelms me and remains in and around me regardless of what else I am doing.
I just have to hear his name, or see his photograph, and I can’t hide my smile. I could talk about him all day, the way he wriggles his entire body when he is excited, the way he has learned to point his finger, and touch it against my own, the way he loves blueberries, his little hands that reach for my face, the way he goes floppy with silent laughter when I tickle his sides. I could fill up an entire library with the reasons I love him, with the tiny character traits that make my heart ache with total, unquestionable love.
When I look at those perfect eyes, lips, nose, and hands, and I remember that I made them myself, it stops me in my tracks and leaves me breathless. How is it possible that one body can make another, that my own flawed body could make something that is entirely right and alive and so full of opportunity? I have created a whole new person with a beating heart and his own, unique fingerprints. I have given someone a life, a chance to do anything at all. He could be a future world leader, or find a cure for cancer. His possibilities are endless. Yet, all I want for him is to be happy, even above my own happiness or my own life. I wouldn’t hesitate to sacrifice my life if it meant he would live.
Even that doesn’t begin to explain the extent and strength of the love I feel for my son. It’s astounding to me that no combination of words will ever relay how I feel about him.