Django is my second child, he is a boy, he is 10 months old. I have breastfed him since he was very first born. He was naturally delivered without intervention in a local hospital birthing suite. For the first 3 months of his life he did not sleep very much. He cried, a lot. Actually his temperament and energy to sustain screaming in the early months was very much like his big sister, who is now 3 1/2 years old. I have many theories about why they screamed and why I had no control to placate them both, but they are just theories and the 3 month hurdle is long gone. Post that short period, that feels like a lifetime, it’s really time to get down to business, because consistency and structure help.
Sleep deprivation and too much responsibility over a period of time, caused a mental health issue, namely anxiety, to rear it’s VERY UGLY head. It is a difficult time to recall, the pressure associated with that time and sleep deprivation eradicates memory. That is why it is very difficult to empathise with new mothers, our memories of that time are skewed.
All throughout my life my mother repeated a mantra that I cried for the first 2 years of my life. I may have. However, when she would visit Django she often cited her experiences of my early life, changing her story, “you didn’t cry THIS much”. I probably didn’t, but her memory of that time is a fantasy. I don’t even remember specifically how my daughter behaved in that time or how she made me feel and that is only 3 short years ago. And, what difference does it make when you are ‘in it’ anyway. Comparisons of babies are of no use and no help to the mother who is drowning not waving.
I am a stay at home Mum. Breastfeeding, for me, is an ideal catalyst to healthy growth and connection for a newborn and beyond. It has definitely been worth the effort for me and my kids, although, I will never know what the alternative could have produced. I will never know if part of my anxiety was bred from a forceful drive to make breastfeeding work for us. It did and it also didn’t. Django was overfed because he cried so much, I thought breastfeeding him on-demand would comfort him, turns out it just depleted my energy stores and turned his poo green! Gross. My lovely neighbour knocked on my door one day to spruik a miracle cure from a pharmacy in the burbs, it kind of worked, so it was, indeed a miracle! He also naturally grew out of his neediness and tummy pain, his upper and lower brain (tummy) were developing.
This baby is now nearly 2. I wrote this post in the midst of breastfeeding him to document how I felt about his development and our journey to that point. Obviously this is a brief account, but I am happy to have written something down from that time and be able to re-read it knowing we have come so far. He is a walking, talking, feisty, independent and very cuddly little man. I am grateful for his presence despite his obvious drive to send me loopy.