As Reém hits 15 months I’m beginning to think about her leaving the breastfeed for a bottle now… Out of the three Reém has had the most ‘mamas milk’ as the kids like to call it than the other two. When Raef was born I think I only managed 2 and half to 3 months – big mummy fail, as I was inexperienced and going through the emotions and hormone changes after having my first baby! So after three months for Raef it was on the bottle, sterilise, formula, heat!
Once having Safá I thought let’s try this again, second child now more experienced and it would make my life easy with two kids under 3, and I feel proud enough to say I managed it 7 or was 8 months to be exact exclusively breastfed, we switched to bottle the year we arrived in Dubai… Now having two different experiences third time round I yet again opted for the breast, by now I had realised that the easier option is to nurse Reém wherever I am, and oh my gosh how easy it was! In the car, in a restaurant, baby rooms in malls, you name it and there was always a place to sit cover and nurse. The time I was saving in sterilising a bottle, carrying formula, finding somewhere to warm up the milk was amazing… now that I had 3 kids, time management was a big must!
Now 15 months in I face a dilemma, I feel as a mother I’m ready to get my body back, feel like me again and maybe even think about going back to work… in comes the BOTTLE (I feel as tho I need a dramatic sound effect here). I have to admit I’ve been lucky, Reém actually drinks from a bottle, day 1 and she took milk easily in fact 6 ounces of it! But later in the afternoon for feed number 2 she just wanted mama’s milk, so as the new year just came in I felt (which was obviously delirious of me) I’ll go cold turkey and just give her the bottle straight – let me tell you Big Mistake! I was in agony all night, what possessed me to do this – is all I was thinking all night long, I couldn’t sleep, lie straight, turn or even breathe, I felt I could feed an army of babies right now and the minute it hit 6am I gave Reém a feed – have you ever had the feeling of relief as if someone is slowly taking a heavy load off you? That was me at 6 am with no sleep!
After a couple of hours of sleep thanks to hubby giving the kids brekkie, I sat down with a clear mind and it all came rushing back, how to gradually wean a baby off feeding, the cabbage leaves for soothing and the small amounts of expressing to eventually stop you from producing more milk.
So today, day 2 of the new year, I gave Reém one bottle feed and the rest was ‘mama’s milk’ and I shall sleep easy tonight – I questioned myself before getting into bed why was I so eager to stop feeding, my babies always have been and will be first priority so why rush something when your body is telling you to slow down. Stop. Think. Take Action. Reém’s happy, I’m happy, I now look forward to my 8 hours of sleep!