Wednesday, 31 August 2016

That's my breastfeeding story, and I'm sticking to it.

I've decided to write this off the back of the unbelievable reaction to my milk collection post. 24,000 (?!OMG?!) people have seen it, and that number is growing every day, I seriously can't get my head around that post reach, so thank you, sincerely to every person and organisation who has shared it.

As I had hoped the reaction has been mostly positive. So positive in fact that my goal of reaching just one woman who didn't know she could donate, and considered it, has not only been met, but exceeded. Three wonderful women, from the UK and Ireland have contacted me via this blog, to get more information and some have made the decision to go ahead and donate. These women need to be applauded. Bravo Queens!

Obviously, as is life, when you put yourself out there, there is going to be judgement passed and criticisms made. But you know what, Fuck 'em. I'll wear that 'Hippy Earth Mom' badge with pride. There were worse comments, but I don't need that sort of negativity in my life. 

This whole thing has started conversations with people I never would have dreamed I'd be talking to about breastfeeding. And it's got me thinking, the more of these conversations that are had over a pint in the pub, or while out of a walk in the park the better. They normalise it. And that's what I'm all about. I don't care how anyone chooses to, or has the choice made for them, feed their child. But what I do care about, is women being made feel 'different' or 'odd' for wanting to breastfeed. You can deny it all you want if you've never experienced it, but the stigma definitely exists. 

And god forbid we want to talk about it. We're grown ups, we need to talk about boobs. Because you never know how being part of a casual conversation could affect someones confidence when it comes to them feeding. Or how knowing that your friends are supportive, can help a guy support his partner in their breastfeeding journey.

I'll end with these two pictures I absolutely love.

At a friends wedding recently, while keeping me company during a feed, my friend Caroline captured this beautiful picture of me and Daithí that I have been debating sharing. On one hand everyone's done it, so there's no need for me to add to the pile of 'awareness raising pictures'. But that's not what this is about. I really wanted to share it because it shows exactly where I was as a mother in that very moment. Dress and heals on, tan and make-up done, baby on boob, hat and everything.

My sister took this one while I was getting ready for another wedding last month. To me this shows just how normal breastfeeding can be. Juliet Morrow is the wonderful make-up artist working on my face. I'm sure she's faced will all sorts of everything, arriving into peoples houses, into the stress of getting ready for a wedding, but she was so calm and relaxed, we chatted like old friends. Not only did she not bat an eyelid when Daithí needed to be fed, she continued working, and agreed to a picture being taken. The girl does amazing work, seriously, check out her page!

And just a thought to finish...

Sharing pictures of your substantial weight loss, isn't shaming people who don't work out.
Sharing pictures of you at graduation, isn't shaming people who didn't go to University. 
Sharing pictures of you breastfeeding, isn't shaming people who don't.

That's my breastfeeding story, and I'm sticking to it. 

My body wakes at 6am, my mind not so much.

I've just come to the end of what would have been* month 6 of maternity leave on baby number 2, and it has got me thinking of all the things I might have managed to do, if I had maternity leave without the children.

*I was made redundant the week Daithí was born...wankers.

He's a happy little man at 6am that's for sure

First off, it wouldn't have taken me 3 days to find the time to write this. When one naps, the other wakes them up. One needs a new nappy, the other throws up on themselves. One watches TV, the other wants to be held. One eats anything and everything that's put in front of them, the other... well actually they'll both eat what ever is put in front of them, not necessarily a good thing when Fionn wants to share his play dough with Daithí, but he'll soon learn.

There's every cup of coffee I've made for myself in the last three years that wasn't drank hot. Or at all. Or downed in one, JagerBomb style, once I found it again. It may be cold, but the caffeine still works. 

There's both baby books. started with all the best intentions in the world, beautiful scrapbook paper, stickers, colored pens, ribbon. Dumped in an Ikea cube for some future version of myself who has the time. 

There's every DIY job I've started, that is yet to be finished; the head board for the bedroom, the hat-to-fascinator project, (that one will have to wait for next years weddings for an outing), the baby leggings I started for Fionn that I'm pretty sure Daithí has already out-grown, painting the fence in the back garden, cushions for the sofa, bed clothes and matching curtains for the kids' rooms, knitting projects, I could go on and on. 

I'm just about keeping on top of essential paperwork. So far this week I've renewed the home insurance with a month to go, car insurance with a week to go, and car tax on the last day. Its a far cry from this time last year when my MOT went 6 months out of date...ops!

There is more to
come with this story!!
I feel like I'm getting better at prioritising, but am losing all sense of creativity. My to do list is getting longer, and things are being crossed off less and less frequently. I'm even starting to neglect this blog. I'm currently trying to map out two pieces about or recent trip home, and a lovely encounter I had with a make-up artist while there. I'd say watch this space, but It might be a while!!

I think I need to give myself a right kick up the arse and start giving myself some time for me. Time that doesn't include house work, applying for jobs, feeding babies or sleeping. If anyone knows where I might be able to find that please let me know.

This is where I spent two hours today,
At least there's time for the important things.