"... 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.
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