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Mama Life: "Trees and 4 minute feeds"

Breastfeeding is a unique experience for most mothers. Find out what it was like for me.

As I sit here on my bed breastfeeding my daughter, I notice the many thoughts and worries that run through my mind. Is she getting enough milk? Why does she keep fidgeting? I can’t believe how big she has gotten! God, my arm feels like it’s about to fall off with the weight of her! How has she managed to scratch her face again!? Wasn’t she wearing mittens all night? Oh, there’s the sound of another poop. I wonder how long I can leave it till it leaks out? What, you’ve finished already after only 4 minutes!? How can you be full? And it’s at that point in time when my boob slides gracefully out of her mouth, and she looks up at me with those big round eyes and left over milk spills out all over my stomach, that I think of just how lucky I am to be a mum to this beautiful girl. Lying across my lap, balancing and almost spread eagled, with milk still trickling out the side of her mouth, I quickly stuff my still full boob inside my bra and hurriedly search for a burp cloth, as I know far too well what will follow that little trickle. Always, as if she thinks it’s a game, I’m too late and vomit gushes out of her mouth down my leg and onto our forest green linen bedspread. I don’t even know why I bothered buying such a bedspread with a newborn? An impulse purchase, that I thought would make our bedroom ‘insta’-worthy. Instead, I can definitely recommend it as a super soaker for baby vomit. I have lost count of how many times we have washed it, and am at the stage where if we smell that sweet sour smell of regurgitated milk anymore, we just don’t care. Finally finding a burp cloth and mopping up what I can, I attempt to one handily manoeuvre my baby onto the pillow next to me. In protest she kicks with full force into my gut and starts whinging for food again. You just fed child! Can you please make up your mind. So out comes my mountainous breast and we start our ‘boob and mouth’ dance again, where she shakes her head impatiently with her ravenous mouth wide open and I quickly try to slip my boob in. We make contact with each other and I prepare myself to get comfortable as surely she will feed for longer this time. Stuffing a pillow under my arm, I carefully unfold her ear that as it often gets squished in the feeding process and pull away some of my boob from her mouth to give her an airway. I know they say that babies are designed to feed and breathe at the same time, but when you have boobs bigger than your baby’s head that often engulf her face, then you’d want to make an airway for her too. She starts to vigorously suck and my mind starts to wander about our plans for the day. As if she senses my daze, she grabs at my attention by pulling at the nipple, her eyes bright and transfixed on what she can see out our window. In an attempt to start my day positively I had opened our bedroom blinds this morning. I usually sit in the dark while feeding, so my daughter couldn’t believe her luck when she suddenly had a view of the trees outside this window. We seem to be going through a tree loving faze at the moment. Her eyes and her head, with my nipple still attached, scans the entire window, as if to soak up as many trees as her little brain could muster. Darting this way and that, my nipple becomes more and more stretched by the minute. Feeling left out, her legs start to kick and shake, and her one free hand decides to join the party as well. To and fro, this way and that. I quickly give up on trying to restrain her movements and just pray she doesn’t tear my whole nipple right off. I have always said that my daughter would surely grow up to be an active kind of girl. Months ago when she was only fresh and I was still figuring out this crazy thing they call motherhood, I would’ve probably cried with the pain and frustration of this moving, fidgeting and indecisive child, that poops and vomits everywhere. But instead, I find myself laughing, and looking outside through our bedroom window at the trees with her.

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