July 10, 2012

the B issue.

"... Kerana sesungguhnya sesudah kesulitan itu ada kemudahan, sesungguhnya sesudah kesulitan itu ada kemudahan, Maka apabila kamu telah selesai (dari sesuatu urusan), kerjakanlah dengan sungguh-sungguh (urusan) yang lain, dan hanya kepada Tuhanmulah hendaknya kamu berharap..." 

 - Surah Insyirah

I am dazed and disoriented. It’s my second week back at work and though things have gotten considerably better, that doesn’t stop me from feeling a little… off.

I’ve been meaning to write so many things but as with most new parents, time is indeed a luxury. My daily shift begins at 5 a.m. and ends at 1.00 a.m. And from 1.00 a.m. to 5 a.m., my Little Boss asks for milky at least twice, so yeah, by the time it’s tomorrow morning, I’m pretty much a walking zombie. Sort of.

I actually have a “B(oob) issue which I’ve been meaning to get off my chest. For a long time now, I’ve been bugging Lynn and practically anyone who would listen to my issues and so far, I’ve gotten this far without breaking down.

As many of those who are breastfeeding know, the decision to breastfeed is a huge thing to commit to. HUGE. It’s not just a matter of “selak dan suap” as many think it is though I’ve got to admit that that is one of the perks of breastfeeding. But of course, with perks come some downsides as well.


From the moment I knew I was pregnant, I made the decision to breastfeed. There was no 2 ways about it. I bought myself a hospital grade breastpump, attended antenatal classes and read up on breastfeeding. My breastfeeding journey began on the right foot.

Breastfed within the first hour after birth – checked.
Rooming in – checked
Breastfed every 2 hours – checked
Tried out my pump – checked
No formula to be found anywhere as “back up” – checked

When Luqman turned one month young, I began stocking. I had no particular aim and no particular schedule, but man, I was pumping and pumping and pumping. Pam, sejukkan, kumpul, simpan. Sometimes I got a bottle a day to stock, some days I managed to get 2. Which I think is a huge achievement considering how often Luqman drinks. I didn’t care how much milk I got at one session so long as I had some stock for work.

And then, when I moved back to stay on my own, my pumping slowed down because I was on my own and Luqman slept lesser, but still, I tried my best to pump and pump and pump. So, I did get a bit more milk. So, yeah, I had some stock. And I felt good because I knew I was working hard for my little one.

I started sending Luqman to the babysitter’s house quite early because I wanted to make sure everyone became accustomed to each other. I didn’t want to bother having to look for another babysitter when I got back to work. Also I wanted to practice pumping as I would as if when I got back to work and that’s when my worries became more and more serious. I wasn’t making much if I followed the schedule I made for myself.

After some calculations, it was determined that my son drinks 6 bottles of 3 oz while away from me. Easy feat for some but a totally big deal for me. Because after all that practice, I am only able to produce 3 bottles daily with 5 pumping sessions.  And that includes a session of power pumping every single night.

But I persevered.

I have managed to breastfeed my son this far along and I am not about to give up.

But it’s hard not to panic. Especially when you see no more bags of stocked up milk in your freezer.

Untuk menjayakan penyusuan susu ibu, bukan ibu sahaja yang perlu mainkan peranan. I send Luqman off to this lady who adores him with a capital A. He’s not the only one she’s taking care of but he’s well taken care of I am sure.

But sesetengah pengasuh memang tak berapa pasti cara pengendalian susu ibu. Dan sebagai seorang ibu bekerja, saya hanya boleh bertawakkal.

Saya bekalkan Luqman 6 botol sehari sebab risau dia tak cukup makan. Tapi sebenarnya, rasa saya cukup sangat jumlah tu untuk tempoh tak sampai 12 jam dia berada di rumah pengasuh. Saya tak pasti bagaimana dia handle susu tersebut di rumahnya tapi saya selalu pesan kepada dia cara-caranya dan saya nomborkan botol mengikut turutan. Frozen first, fresh last. Supaya kalau tak habis saya boleh simpan last fresh bottle sebagai stock.

Tetapi setiap hari, I am met with some kind of pembaziran. Sometimes it’s 3 oz, sometimes 2 oz. But yesterday, it was 4.5 oz. I almost cried. Yang pastinya saya tak bekalkan 4.5 oz sebotol. So maknanya bottle ke 5 and 6 dicampurkan. Yang diminum hanya separuh.

I looked at the milk lovingly and wished I could keep it for the next day. But who am I kidding. Kita semua tahu susu yang dipanaskan, kalau fresh sekalipun tak boleh disimpan jadikan stock. What a waste. All that hard work and love I put into that one bottle of liquid gold.

Tapi. Apa boleh buat? Nak cakap banyak-banyak, dia dah tolong kita jagakan anak. Memang kita yang bayar dia, tapi bila bab anak, dah tak boleh fikir customer is always right. Melainkan dia dera tu lain ceritalah. Dek kenangkan dia sayang Luqman, saya redha dengan ketentuan Allah. Redha dengan lebih kurang 5 botol susu yang dah dibazirkan dalam masa 7 hari saya dah hantar Luqman ni. That could have fed my son with my milk for at least one more day. But what can I do.

Of course, I’m not giving up on breastfeeding just yet. Though I’ve got to admit that today, I panicked looking at the non-existent stock in my freezer. Not that there’s anything wrong with formula-fed babies (heck I was half formula fed during the day at the babysitter’s too), but once you begin exclusively breastfeeding, you’d know how heart breaking it is to just think about buying a box of milk off the isle.

I feel like a failure.

Especially considering the fact that my baby is such a wonderfully happy boy who despite his appetite is just wonderful. So far, Alhamdulillah, tak pernah lagi meragam tak tentu pasal atau sakit atau nangis berpanjangan. He just loves to play and loves attention. But which kid doesn’t? He deserves nothing but the best from me and I am determined to give him the best. I’m going to try to pump out as much love as I possibly could today, hoping that at the end of the day, I wouldn’t have to face the Isle of Milk to top up whatever it is that comes out of me today.

But if it does come to that, please know that I have tried my best. My very, very, very best. And as I am writing this, I am tearing up. Just thinking about the fact that I might fail you. At the mere age of 100 days. Though not without a fight.

I’m so sorry Luqman. Mama is really sorry.

Shy to comment? Well, never mind! Your reactions mean the world to me! Make me smile today :)


Melissa said...

HUGS. I feel your pain. Trust me, I've shed buckets of tears when I first had to feed Khayla formula. :'(
I only managed to exclusively breastfeed for 4 months, and I gave up entirely after 7 months.

Have you tried supplements ? Or power pumping ? Stress only makes it all even worse. Remember Neesa, ini semua dari Allah. :)
But if all do fail, don't be too hard on yourself. This doesn't make you any less of a great mother in your baby's eyes. He's so lucky because no other person can love him as much as you do. :)


me said...

oh Kakak! *hugs*

I understand how it feels. Just like Melissa wrote, if all do fail, don't be too hard on yourself. At least you've tried.

keep on trying, praying, and tawakal. InsyaAllah!

for now, just be positive. take care :)

Raieza Hanim R said...

Kakak, hugs too.

Like the rest said dont be too hard on yourself. InsyaAllah, tawwakal, and usaha. But if Kak dah cuba sebaik boleh, then tak apa lah. Everything means something, ada hikmah.

By the way, I used to face the situation too. I was left with little stocks and I panicked. I almost gave up, already thinking of which brand to buy. But then I read up more on ways to help to improve it.
1) If I may ask Kak, are you double pumping? Because double pumping actually helps to improve the flow and quantity. More demand, more production.
2) Drink a lot (which I believe you're doing this now)
3) Makan nasi! (yes, i cant diet while breastfeeding but at that time when I looked at Nia, I just cant be selfish and so I sacrificed it for her)
4) Dah try supplements2 tu? I havent tried but they say it works. If so, eat vitamins or susu yg Anmum Lacta ke apa tu, I used to drink that before too and okay lah jugak

InsyaAllah Kak.. InsyaAllah k? :)

Haneesa said...

dear girls,

thank you for your kind words and encouragement.

currently, i'm single pumping. mungkin sebab dah terbiasa dengan medela swing since dalam pantang lagi, so bila start pakai spectra 3, it was difficult to ignore the pain. pelik jugak sebab i know of so many yg dah successfully bfeed their babies using spectra 3.

and yes ieja, i do drink tonnes and tonnes of water. and as much as i am obsessed with fitting into my size 8 jeans, i dont skip meals, lagi-lagi now ni tak dapat nak direct feeding as often as masa cuti dulu.

i finally got over my anxiety of buying formula, tapi menangis-nangis tak ingat dunia even at the shop itself.

i am just hoping and praying that somehow or rather, the 10 oz i gave today would be enough for my son, walaupun kurang daripada biasa.

and of course, there's no giving up for me. it's not a case where i don't have milk at all. in fact, quite to the contrary.

i don't know whether it s my pump, my state of mind, my schedule or apa yang i m doing wrong. milk is there in abundance, it just hates the pump. hahaha

rasanya nak kena master Marmet because susu membuak-buak sebenarnya, walaupun lepas dah pump. pelik kan? hahaha

Luqman is such a happy baby, he deserves more than the world from me, so it kind of breaks my heart when i can't give him what he deserves.

apapapun, thank you girls and please pray for us