Drip Drip Drip...
That's what feeding Callum feels like recently.. like its going in one drip at a time and he refuses to drink anywhere near the bare minimum of what he "should". But who makes up these rules anyway, and why cant we together find a way of navigating these issues without trying to force feed milk.
Feeding Callum has never been a dream. Calm feeds were always few and far between and at one point we could only dream feed him to ensure that he ate. It being a struggle is somewhat of an understatement.
Whilst I should see that he is happy and healthy and not let it bother me to the extent that it did and still does, I instead fixate on the ounces taken and the tears that have flowed, both his and mine.
Feeding is always portrayed as this beautiful moment of bonding between mother and baby and this is what I expected it to be like when I was pregnant. I looked forward to peaceful moments of joy just like in the adverts where my beautiful boy would lovingly look up at me whilst feeding, either from the breast or the bottle.. my reality however was filled with anxious screams and waves of salty tears.
From the start I punished myself for not being able to provide for him, instead of tackling the issue head on. I blame the lack of sleep and cocktail of emotions for the early days but to still be doing the same thing 10 months on really deserves a reality slap across the face.
The rational half of my brain knows I am being so incredibly silly, however when the tense feeding battles commence the irrational side takes control and the fear of failure grabs hold of me. But every time I end up wondering why I cant fulfil this basic need.
Somedays I wonder if this is just what motherhood entails. Constantly second guessing yourself and blaming yourself when things go wrong, even when they are completely out of your control. I also wonder if I am so cautious because this is my first time or whether it's because he has dwarfism and I feel he needs protecting all the more. However, an extra ounce of milk isn't going to change his condition. It won't miraculously make him grow or change his bones, and it won't protect him from the future stares and questions. So why do I place so much pressure on this magical liquid?
Our past battles have been put down to colds, a slight tongue tie and teething, and at one point all of the above. But now I assume that he simply doesn't like it and to be honest I don't blame him. If you've ever tasted it you will agree that it tastes pretty vile and you wouldn't want to live off it either. He has now been introduced to a whole selection of delicious flavours and yet we still expect him to gulp down bottle after bottle of "delicious milk".
For anyone who does find themselves in a similar position please be reassured that now that he is on food it is much easier to relax and know that he will be getting the nutrients he needs from his meals as well.
Well until you see your health visitor and you are cross examined for how much he is 'actually' taking. Don't get me wrong, I do really like my health visitor. She is lovely and really takes good care of us and has been a great help in ensuring both Callum and I are ok with everything we are currently going through. But I really don't need another worry or concern. Apparently if he is taking less that 16oz a day he needs additional vitamin D drops which I do need to go and get but now that I am back at work getting these things done is somewhat trickier.
Anyhoo.. I digress, so on a brighter note and to end on a positive, Callum is in fact enjoying trying new foods and to prove that point here is some evidence of him experimenting with his meals :)