motherhood

Squishy little red hearts

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This is the seventh time I’m celebrating Mother’s Day and like all the other 6 times, I’m spending the day doing the one thing that makes me the happiest. Sleeping? Very close second, but no. Out for some me time? Nuh-uh, although the husband makes this offer every year. Binge watch dramas? Relaxing massage? High tea? No, no and no.

I’m here just basking in the adoration of my four little ones. Why go off to do my own thing alone when I can be here to soak in all the love and appreciation coming my way?

“What’s that, baby? I’m the best mommy in the universe? WHY YES, TELL ME MORE!! Also, you missed a spot on my cheek with the kissing…”

In the past 7 years, motherhood has changed me so much. In some ways, it’s obvious, like this c-section scar that will never go away. And these stretch marks accumulated from four pregnancies. And the resolute baby fats that have permanently attached itself to my…everywhere. My back and shoulders ache persistently from holding babies, these knees have started to creak, and when no one is looking, I try to smoothen out the lines on my face as I check myself out in the mirror.

Some of these other changes aren’t so apparent but I notice them every now and then. I’m stronger, as mothers are required to be. Kids give you a reason to dig deep and find a strength you never knew you had. I’m happier, though I can’t explain why. When I was younger, I used to wake up and spend the first moments of my day trying to think of something that would make me happy; something to look forward to. These days, I wake up feeling like I’ve fought a shark, been backed into by a car and then run over by a train several times but also strangely happy.

Today, we brought the kids to the playground. It was an epic journey (all 50 metres!) hauling 3 excited kids, 2 ridiculously heavy big kid bikes, 1 little kid bike and 1 fat baby all the way to the playground. Two minutes after we arrived, it started to rain so we spent the rest of the time shrieking and laughing and running for cover, then hauling everything all the way back.

While struggling with 2 bikes and one hyperactive Finn, the husband turned to me and said, “This just about sums up our life and parenting.”

There’s a metaphor in there somewhere. This life is intense and insane (just moving from point to point with the whole troop is like an odyssey) and people watching from the outside won’t understand why anyone would possibly want to do this.

But once you’re in on the secret, it’s like a drug that keeps you going.

My kind of Mother’s Day isn’t very different from all the other days I get to be a mom. It’s about having grubby hands smear chocolate on my cheeks as my sweet boy shares his cookie with me. It’s about falling asleep with the weight of a baby on my chest and waking up to tiny feet jabbing my spleen. It’s about squishy red hearts and messy half-torn handwritten notes that read “Hares a prassen for you mammy you are super awsum i love you.” It’s about being adored by tiny people who choose only me when they’re happy, sad, sleepy, poopy and ill (such privilege!). It’s about being extravagantly loved by the raddest little humans and loving on them in return.

mother's day

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Being a mom is the best thing that’s ever happened to me and I’m so grateful for every single day I get to do it.

//Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms, you are all rockstars.

breastfeeding

The end of nursing?

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Lately, I’ve been thinking that maybe it’s finally time to call it on the breastfeeding. I don’t know, I’m really waffling on this one. Right from the start, my plan was to nurse Theo for 9 months and we’ve made it.

I was munching on baby Theo’s juicy thighs, and I thought, “hey, well done me!” Pop the champagne and take a bow, I’m out.

Typically, this would be an easy decision to make (no more biting, no more yanking, no more violent spasms of pain!) and rationally, this feels like the right time to wean, but I just can’t shake off the feeling that I’ll regret it. It doesn’t make any sense.

A lot of things about motherhood don’t make sense, which explains why we second guess ourselves so much over all these parenting decisions. On the one hand, our heads tell us that these are the right choices, they make sense, and therefore we should do them. But why does it feel wrong, like my mommy spidersense is yelling for me to override my logical brain?

There are so many reasons why now a good time to wean: he’s a champ at eating solids, he’s taking the bottle well, and he’s been distracted lately, unlatching to smile and talk and play during feeds (so disruptive! but adorable!!).

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Plus the recent episode at the hospital has acted as a sort of catalyst. There’s been a noticeable drop in milk production while he was on the IV drip, coupled with an engorgement/biting soreness situation going on that feels like a mother bear just slashed me in the boob with her claws. At first, I was determined to power through it, because I do not surrender to pain (ok, I got some painkillers and meds from the doctor – I surrender to pain very quickly all the time). I mean, if this happened earlier, I’d do whatever it takes to continue breastfeeding but at this point, maybe I should take it as a sign to stop.

I sort of made a mental decision to wean a few days ago (even went out to buy formula) and you know how when you decide on something and immediately feel that sinking feeling in your gut that tells you it’s the wrong call? That happened.

As I fed Theo knowing that it was nearing an end, I suddenly had a major craving for this to continue forever, to feel the weight of a baby in my arms, to look at his contented little face dozing off as he drank, to inhale his baby smell and stroke his chubby cheeks, urgh, I’m so predictable. What I know for sure is that I’ll miss it so very much when it’s over.

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This is turning out to be a really hard call to make.

Theo

Pneumonia, pfffffttt.

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Is this the saddest baby face or what? Baby Theo spent the better part of last week in the hospital being treated for pneumonia. :(

It all happened very quickly, as such things typically do. Last Monday, he was down with the usual symptoms of the flu. Seemed relatively mild at first – low grade fever, cough, drippy nose, general grumpiness. The paediatrician who checked him assured us it was minor and sent us home with some zyrtec and paracetamol. That’s when things escalated. Within 24 hours, his fever spiked to 40.6 and he started gasping for air like he couldn’t breathe so I rushed him in to KK Hospital in the middle of the night, wherein he was immediately admitted once they did an x-ray and discovered that his lungs were infected.

Poor baby was not a happy camper. He did not like having to lie down in the cold, white hospital cot. He did not like being prodded and examined by the doctors with their stethoscopes and pokey devices. He did not like the sweet nurses who did their best to make him smile. He did not like having to take his meds. He did not like the oxygen mask. And he most certainly did not like the IV line that hurt and also turned his right hand into a stump.

DID NOT LIKE, MOMMA!! Much super sad sadness.

The whole time he was in the hospital, he had on his sad baby face. In fact, his face was set in varying degrees of dolefulness, ranging from

mopey…

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to mehhh…

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to extremely sian…

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to full on disdain…

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to downright miserable.

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Even when he was playing with fun toys in the ward, he was all like “I shall reluctantly partake in this activity to humour you but let the record show that I’m not having a good time.”

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Sad baby even managed to look forlorn while he was sleeping.

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Broke my heart to see him looking so miserable all week, like all the happiness had been sucked out of him. This was some dementor-level sadness that I could not expecto patronum! away with my happy thoughts. So I just held him and sang to him and tried to share his sadness so there was less of it to go around.

It was only when we told him he could finally go home that he managed to muster a defeated half-smile.

finally, a half smile

//He’s much better now and he just needs to be on oral antibiotics for the next couple of days. Me, I’m just glad to be done with hospital couches and 30-minute power naps taken sparingly through the night.

They say that adversity makes you stronger. I sure hope that’s true.