Thanks for hopping over from Quite Frankly She Said and welcome to my post for the Keep Britain Breastfeeding Scavenger HuntDay 6:
The People Behind The Breastfeeder; sponsors today include ARDO Breastpumps who are giving away a Calypso Single Breastpump, Breastvest who are offering an essential breastvest duo (1x black and 1x white) in your size and Mother Loves Cookies who are providing a box of delicious lactation cookies for our Grand Prize winner. Over £700 worth of goodies are up for grabs entries via the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.
Recently, I wrote it takes a village to raise a baby. In this I documented the wonderful friends that helped me on my breastfeeding journey, and shared the things that I have learnt along the way. The wonderful friends that encouraged, supported and applauded my decision to breastfeed. The friends that didn’t just support me, but supported Michael.
Now, in honour of national breastfeeding I week, I am writing the second part to my original post.
The part I omitted, but really shouldn’t have. The other person behind me, the breastfeeder, that I failed to mention. Possibly the most instrumental part of my success.
That person is my husband, Michael.
Now I can’t pretend that his support was perfect from day 1, because there were times when he had things to say about breastfeeding that really made me quite sad, and sometimes angry. But these “things” I soon came to realise were snippets of information that he’d sought out himself, in a desperate attempt to help me, his exhausted, sour milk covered wife. We can both look back now at those first 6 weeks and think wow, we made it, and say “crikey, do you remember what old Mrs corner shop said we should do”, and do you remember THAT night? But now we can laugh. We can smile (fondly) at the memories.
Michael supported my decision to breastfeed from the moment we found out we were expecting. (Maybe initially helped along a little by the “you’ll never have to do a night feed if I breastfeed” comment)
What neither of us realised, is that even if he couldn’t physically feed our son, he wouldn’t get the blissful nights sleep I had promised him. Instead he would be padding downstairs at 03am to make me, his inconsolable wife a cup of tea, to fetch more paracetamol because my section scar was throbbing, to find me fresh clothes because I’d been stuck under a feeding baby for so long that I hadn’t even had chance to brush my teeth, let alone shower.
He would gently lift Sebastien from my lap, and hold him, whilst I drank my tea. He would sit behind me in bed, supporting me, because I just couldn’t get the pillows right. He would hold Sebastien on his chest, even just for 10 minutes, sometimes an hour, so I could nap/shower/or sometimes cook (I enjoy cooking)
So many times during the day, Michael would ask “what can I do to help” he would patiently attend to my every need, he would Hoover, make me copious amounts of tea, ensure that I had an endless supply of snacks and water, he would do the food shop, clean the house and fend off any visitors that I was just too zombified to acknowledge.
He would return from work to find me still pinned in the same spot he’d left me that morning, stuck under a baby, grey, exhausted and he would hug me and kiss me and tell me it was ok, that he was proud of me.
I had major wobbles. He had major wobbles. There were days where we both questioned breastfeeding, where we were both overwhelmed, sleep deprived and miserable, we were snappy, tearful, angry and utterly lost. We were fighting family members and friends that had no (or little) experience of breastfeeding, and with their ignorance they could offer nothing more than “give him a bottle” “leave him to cry” “do this/do that ” In those moments, Michael was my voice, he backed my every decision, would gently let family and friends know that “bottle feeding was not an option”, that he wanted to “help Zoe to breastfeed, as that’s what she wants to do”
When it was diagnosed that our son had breastfeeding jaundice, Michael panicked, asking if we should switch to formula immediately, asking me if our son was unwell because of my Breastmilk. Tentatively asking me if “maybe it would be easier to formula feed” (helped along again by the opinions of others, but we got through) We educated ourselves. We educated each other, we stumbled on together, mostly blindly, him proudly holding my hand every step of the way. We started to know better, and subsequently do better.
There were days, that without Michael, I probably would have just walked out of the house and as far away as I possibly could from my demanding, cluster feeding infant.
Michael supported me. He encouraged me, he made me feel brave and gave me strength when I needed it most. He still does all of those things today, everyday. He stood with me and helped me use the moby wrap for the first time when Sebastien just would not be put down. He got me my favourite food from the supermarket, “just because”
Michael knows that I want to breastfeed for as long as Sebastien wants to feed, and made the decision that I didn’t have to return to work, that raising our son was the most important job I can do. That we can live on just his wage, because we will be happier that way, and our son can continue to be demand fed.
Michael is a selfless, kind, caring compassionate and most wonderful Father, husband and Man. He, along with our son, is my Raison D’être. I can confidently say, that without Michael, I wouldn’t still be breastfeeding our son. Michael is my biggest supporter. He is proud of my breastfeeding journey. He is knowledgable, he understands breastfeeding, he fully supports extended feeding, he knows all the benefits, and he will confidently join in breastfeeding conversations, even helping out other parents when he can. I have heard him, speaking to other fathers, with children younger than Sebastien, the comments of “this is normal, this will happen, have you tried this” I am so so proud of what we have achieved together, and so in awe of the unwavering support that Michael has given.
That one person, is my husband.
For more on the people behind the breastfeeder please hop on over Positive About BF where you can also gain further entries into the grand prize draw. Full terms and conditions can be found on the Keeping Britain Breastfeeding w ebsite. UK residents only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway