Motherhood tales: Mother’s needs or baby’s needs?

I am home alone and I notice the sweet sound of silence. Finally! Just pure silence. Mom is out doing some groceries. Yes, I know, I am lucky to have her around. My husband is out with our little one for a walk. Yes, I know, I am lucky that he was able to take some paternity leave. And now I am home alone, noticing the silence. It feels good.

I am also facing an organisational decision. Shall I pump the milk my newborn will need for one of his night feedings? Or shall I go for a nap? Earlier today I was crying because I felt so tired. No, I have not yet got used to sleep deprivation. Who says you get used to it, probably is lacking the scientific data. No, you don’t get used to it. As a matter of fact, a sleep deprived person cannot estimate how sleep deprived she is and the damages caused. And although my husband managed so far to take care of the two bottle feedings (with my pumped milk) during the night, I still feel extremely tired. Breastfeeding and pumping is a full time job.

I am tired, so tired that I have nausea and that my hands are shaking. I am tired, so much that I lose my balance easily and I drop objects. So whoever tells me that I will get used to not sleeping, better be wise and shut up. Or I will be extremely triggered.

And to make things even more challenging, due to breastfeeding and pumping, I developed also a tendinitis. Yes, it’s lovely holding your baby and not that lovely holding the bottles while pumping, but tendinitis was not something I was prepared to face, beside the lack of sleep, fatigue and fussy crying.

So shall I pump or shall I go for a nap?

But if I go for a nap, won’t this mean that I am putting my needs first compared to my baby’s needs? I have just finished eating my lunch: 3 soft-boiled eggs and a mortadella sandwich, half of an avocado and a bunch of walnuts. I have no idea if this is healthy or not lunch for a breastfeeding mother but this is what I felt like eating. Next to the tray there are some dark chocolate Easter eggs. It definitely does not feel like Easter coming… I take a bit of chocolate, while trying to decide.

The taste of chocolate, savoured in pure silence seems to calm me. And then it comes to me. I know what to do. If I pump now, being tired as I am, I would probably have no milk at all. And it would be 30 – 40 minutes spent just for a few millilitres of milk. What do I need now? I just need to sleep. And then the milk will flow better.

So I will go for a nap. Fortunately it is possible. And later on, I will handle the pumping.

After all, how could I take care of others if I don’t take care of myself?

Author: Gabriela D. Spencer

I support you to Balance your overall Well-being, be it physical, emotional, relational or social through Life Coaching and Laughter Yoga. My aim is to ‘support you to help yourself’ as you are the only expert of your life. My interests include positive psychology, body-mind balancing techniques, stress management, well-being and connecting with one’s inner child. I am a Multi-potential and an ISFP (according to the latest tests, but who knows). I write and express myself whenever my mind is bursting with thoughts and emotions. Read me mostly in Romanian and sometimes in English.

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