I’m writing this right now from a couch in a little beach shack in Manly, Australia. We are visiting from Switzerland for five weeks for a beach holiday / working holiday / family and friend catch-up. Trips ‘home’ always involve a lot of organisation and quite a bit of stress, particularly when my big boy gets so incredibly overwhelmed so easily, and now with two bubbas, it is a real doozy! But we have taken the first few days to do absolutely nothing but settle in and experience the summer.
|Beach feeds, with my big summer boy looking fab in his sunnies|
But goodness I wish I only had to bring my boobs. The easiest thing to do was to not use any donor milk while away, and just use formula for supplementation. And the really cool thing was that I used the last bag of frozen donor breast milk on the day before we left — Serendipitous! So now the research for what-is-the-Australian-version-of-Swiss-Aptamil-HA-Pre begins.
I was a little trepidatious about the sleeping/feeding issues on the flight (23 hours), as the longest leg was a night flight. I have been having to feed my little one pretty much continuously all through the night for the past few weeks, since he was sick. Oh how I love not having to do any of that evening bottle business. We had a bassinet, but he had never slept apart from me. As it turns out, the seatbelt sign was on for 90% of the fourteen hour flight, so he just stayed on me anyhow, and I tried very unsuccessfully to doze a little.
|He thinks I’m doing a great job on the aeroplane 🙂|
An aside. I had a bit of a breakdown, literally, during some very rough turbulence. I have been trying so incredibly hard to not develop anxiety issues about flying, as I know that is simply not an option when we live so far from family. But I couldn’t remove myself from all those incredibly tragic stories from the past few years about big passenger planes… my imagination is way too overactive, and I just kept putting myself in that position, imagining the exact moment, imagining my family, how I would hold them, who I could hold, what we would look like, what everyone else would be doing, imagining, imagining, imagining, trying so hard to control my breathing and my tears and my heartbeat and my crazy brain. Trying all the tricks to stop myself from thinking about it, and failing. My husband kept reminding me that this is the biggest and safest plane in the world, but those ones were too… and people just like us have been lost. And so I found myself sobbing through one particular incredibly bumpy feed, as I held him tight and tried so hard to keep breathing so that my milk would flow. In the past, I know that becoming a mother has made me stronger, having to hold it together for the sake of my boys, to not show fear, to do things that were in the past unthinkable to me, such as pointing out the beauty of a spider in its web. But at that point? I have rarely felt more exposed, vulnerable and completely out of control. I may need to become a pilot. Ha.
I am planning on visiting a couple of lactation consultants while I am here. I’d love to get a different approach, and I hear that Aussie consultants have a different focus and look for different things, so I am very curious! I am also tentatively planning (am I really writing this?) on doing all the enormous amounts of training and practical work that is required for me to actually become registered as an IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant). This will require a lot of study, in a country where I am still very limited with the language, and one thousand (!) hours of practical hands-on booby work. More about that later though… So I’m also pretty excited to visit some consultants here just for my own interest’s sake.
|Hot weather feeds – a new thing for us!|
When this boy was eight weeks old, I wrote about a few new experiences. Last time, it included a leaky boob, a pain-free feed, the feeling of let-down, and nipple contortion. My boy is twenty weeks old now. Twenty! (Yes, I had to look that up and figure it out. Four and a half months, I say.) Time for a few more!
– Feeding him on a scorching summer’s day! Oh the sweat!
– Feeding on the beach
– Feeding in the snow
– Feeding on an aeroplane
– Feeding on a wide variety of public transport
– Feeding him in hospital
– Feeling entirely comfortable feeding him in a cafe
– Having to pull onto the side of the road to feed him.
– Having his teething gums working away at my nipple…
– Having pain-free feeds 95% of the time
– Breast milk poop!
Funny how these really are now just all about time and opportunity. The longer we go, the more we will experience.
|Seems he may be into baby-led weaning?!
He’ll be onto ‘real’ food before I know it!