Feeling: more accomplished yet disheartened
So, after all the big fuss and worry about whether I’ll be able to bring the bub out on my own, it looks like the last weekend of silence was all because I was getting lots and lots of practice bringing him out!
On Saturday, we walked around Courts for a new all-in-one printer/scanner/fax machine and then to IKEA for a new couch coz ours has a collapsed panel. And we were looking for the IKEA bath tub, which apparently is out of stock country-wide due to the recently produced batch FAILING safety inspection leading to delay in the current shipment.
On Sunday was church and we’ve started heading back to service. It was an interesting time being in the crèche room for the first time with a baby of our own since when I was younger, we used to never be allowed in the room without adult supervision.
The crèche is basically a room that you hide in that’s semi sound-proof so that your baby doesn’t disrupt the service in case he wants to yell his little lungs out.
Going back to church has been something that has been really important to the hubs and I. Starting him off with a good Christian education in Sunday school in addition to a Christian kindergarten. But more on why we want a spiritual education in addition to an academic one in another post…
Moving on, Monday was our weekly January babies gathering and I managed to get myself to the mummy’s house by public transport and even took a half hour bus ride home from Bishan!
*so proud of myself*
And through all of this, let me just say that I’ve never ever been so impressed and grateful for the nursing room. It’s more or less free rein and privacy to whip the equipment out and nourish the baby.
At home feeding the baby is obviously much simpler and convenient. Don’t have to worry about exposing yourself and it’s quite a fair bit less stressful because you can put your things down somewhere without worrying about them while your hands are busying with holding the baby and maintaining the eating angle too.
Bear in mind that your baby is fussing and on the verge of bursting out into the loudest and most heartbreaking wails you’ve ever heard AND a crowd who will evil-eye you like you’re the worst mother in the world for letting your baby cry and you’ll kinda get what I mean.
So the nursing room is pretty much the closest you can get to that kind of privacy when you’re on the move.
It’s bigger than a challenge and more like an octopus’ job to try and get yourself ready to feed your baby when you’re in public anyway and while I’m getting better at unclipping clips and aiming the bubs’ mouth at the right place, it still isn’t the easiest thing to do. I have no idea how some mamas do it in the foodcourts or restaurants without getting tangled up in their own straps or embarrassingly having their absorbent milk pads dropping onto the floor.
I can’t even seem to manage that not happening at home much less when I’m outside so trust me when I say there were times I wanted to do away with proprietary decency and just strip down because I couldn’t get my boobs out fast enough to placate the crying baby!
Back to the nursing rooms though, there are lots of different standards for the rooms across Singapore too. Much like how there was a big hooha about the gas station bathrooms a few years back, it seems like the state of the nursing room has started to come into the limelight these days too, questioning the maintenance and facilities available to all lactating mummies.
But while I’m not about to go and review all the nursing rooms in Singapore, mind you that there are TONS of other ways to get your reviews before you head to the room to feed or pump.
There are lots of blogger mummies out there who’ve done us the great service of their own nursing room reviews. And on Facebook, there are constantly people posting about how they are in this or that shopping centre and have just come from the nursing room and how great or crappy it was.
Some enterprising MAN (surprisingly) came up with an app linked up with GPS to show you where the nearest nursing room and diaper changing room is to you too so that’s also been remarkably helpful to the hoards of Singaporean mummies and their families who are clueless and desperate for a place to go.
Something else that I’ve found rather interesting about the whole nursing room review is actually about how there are lots of chee ko pek (dirty old men) who are constantly peeping at the ladies in the nursing room.
Most nursing rooms would actually display a strictly NO MEN ALLOWED sign, unless it’s as family room and discounting the diaper changing counter but for some reason, the perverts of the world will find a way.
I’ve been lucky to not have that happen to me SO FAR but I didn’t realise why having a man inside the nursing room would be weird if the hubs is there to help the wife handle things while the feed was going on.
Ok, I did realise it would be weird, but I didn’t understand HOW weird until another lady had her husband come in to change her baby and my normally nonchalant attitude about my state of undress was tested.
But moving on, I’m truly grateful for being able to breastfeed honestly. I’ve heard it been said a lot of times at the mummies meet up too that it’s wonderful to be able to latch the baby instead of going through round after round of sterilisation and pumping. The amount of bottles you have to tote around when you go shopping or to work and worst still when you have to do get up in the middle of the night to pump too…
I have to get up and feed the baby in the middle of the night too but all I have to do is plop the baby on the boob and off we go.
In comparison to getting the bottle warmed and defrosting milk and pumping at the same time to relieve myself of engorgement….
In addition, we’re doubly blessed too that the bub has become so efficient at latching onto the booby that I can literally put the bub in the general direction of the boob and he’ll help himself.
Self service at its best.
To round of today’s post, I don’t quite want to talk about the moral of the story. But more of where to go from here. As I grow with the bub in my breastfeeding journey, it seems that there are always new hurdles to cross.
Fluctuating supply of course. What I thought was an oversupply seems to have dipped. From the left producing more than the right, the right is now producing more than the left. And a lot of overcompensation is causing things to change every day.
And let’s not even talk about what happens outside of the supply. Bad enough that the milk flows or doesn’t flow but just try getting the bub to take to drinking the bottle. OMG.
You’d think that it’s easy for the baby to accept whatever receptacle the milk comes in as long as he/she gets something to eat right? Hellzzz no.
Worse thing about this is that I have no idea what I’m going to do about feeding him if I ever have to leave him at home to go on a client’s call. Not even talking about getting help, but trying to get him adapted enough so that he won’t starve to death when someone else who doesn’t have my boobs is taking care of him.
Being able to take a bottle means that someone else can take over the feeding – I won’t be the only person responsible for the baby’s input. And in turn that means more time for me to do things. Like work. And in time, when he starts to grasp things and can hold the bottle, that means more time for the whole family as he takes care of feeding himself.
But it’s not an easy decision about where to go from here.
I love the bonding time and just staring at his cute face while he suckles is a whole new level of love but I obviously need to continue working so that I can contribute to the income of the household.
It’ll be something that we’ll definitely have to consider moving forward – the balance between a higher income or spending the time with my infant during the years he needs me the most.
Anyway We’ll take things as it comes I suppose. One step at a time. And for now, that means working on getting the bub to take the small leap to independence with a bottle.
Food makes his world go round,