“It’s not supposed to be a race to reach a record, it’s supposed to be a journey”
After I ceremoniously broke down here, my husband asked me out for a lunch date. And lunch date was spent in silence. He did ask me why I was so quiet, and then, of course, drama air mata pun bermula. I pity my husband because my tear glands really have no mercy on him. I can cry in a lift full of people after sending Luqman off to the babysitter’s, I can cry while having lunch at a food court.
Point in hand is that I can cry even with people around, no issue.
And as always, people will always think it’s something that he did or said. I told him that I was hoping to be able to miraculously make that 6 bottles of milk by the time the day ended, but if I didn’t, I didn’t want to be the one to buy the milk from a shop. So, he had to do it.
To which of course, I cried again, looking at boxes and boxes of milk, as I have never been met with so many options. There was always just… me.
But well, when Luqman was 100 days old, I was only able to give him 3 bottles of milk as I usually made every day, even with extended pumping schedule. As much as I wished I had made more, there’s only so much a mother can give her child.
So, with a heavy heart, I supplemented.
Nak dijadikan cerita, we were given half day that day because we had an event that night. So, the moment I knew (which was very early in the morning), I called Luqman’s babysitter to tell her not to give the formula, as I was planning to give her the milk I pumped that morning for Luqman to drink and that I would later pick Luqman up earlier so that he didn’t have to drink the formula.
Nak dijadikan cerita lagi, I couldn’t get through her phone. Told my husband to call and he couldn’t get through either. We both kept trying to no avail.
So, the moment lunch hour came, I dashed off to her house along with cooler bag and all. Running out of the elevator and practically jumping through the front door. He had just drank bottle number 2, I saw. “Phew, still exclusive”, I thought.
But I was wrong.
Nak dijadikan kisah, she tested the formula on him before bottle number 2 so that she could decide whether or not to call me for me to send my milk to him. As expected, Luqman being the wonderful baby that he is, hesitated at first, but finished the bottle anyhow. And so, exclusive ended at 100.
And as expected, I cried a bucket.
But yesterday (at 101 days) Luqman’s babysitter told me a story about someone calling her in the morning. Her phone seemed to work fine yesterday, when just the day before, as I was frantically trying to stop her from giving my son formula, it was broken.
Now that, ladies and gents, is what we call tak ada rezeki. It was just not meant to be.
Yesterday, when I picked my son up and saw how full and happy he was, I knew that it was okay. You people are right. It doesn’t make him any less of a person, it doesn’t make me any less of a mother.
In fact, yesterday, for the first time in 101 days since Luqman was born, I felt relaxed. Maybe because I am fully redha with what has been charted for me.
Bottom line is that I have tried many, many things. From the things I do to the things I eat to the things I drink; power pumping every single night, frequent pumping, early morning pumping, tandem pumping, direct feeding, drinking longan, red dates, kurma, milk, soya, Horlicks, honey… you name it. Short of pills and supplements, I have done it all.
And right now, I’m drinking fenugreek and have yet to see the results. And like I said, it’s not that I have given up on breastfeeding and breastmilk totally. I’ve just got to be thankful that despite being given the bottle and part formula during the day, my little boy still wants me when I get back from work. And that's all that's available for him.
Maybe, it’s time for me to concentrate on nurturing him from other aspects as well, other than the milk he drinks. It’s been a while since I last Googled on anything other than breastmilk. I have forgotten that breastfeeding should be a journey rather than a race to achieve a certain record and I have become borderline obsessed with making more milk that I forgot how important it is for me to not leave him hungry if I wanted him to grow well and learn well.
This is a tough phase in my motherhood, and it didn’t turn out as well as I thought it would. It’s a bitter pill to swallow, but it will pass. Now I’m just going to make sure my son grows up to be a good boy. And I'll do everything in my power to achieve that. Allah murahkanlah rezekinya. Amin.
//written at when Luqman was 102 days young. took me a while to post this. as sad and traumatised as I am, I am okay with it now. breastaurant open 24/7 at night. and breastmilk still in making during the day. it will be fine, insyaAllah.
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