Something dawned on me today. Harry is 15 weeks old, that’s nearly 4 months. That means our exclusive breastfeeding journey is already more than half over. Obviously this is exciting in a way, I had an amazing time when weaning Oliver and I hope it will be the same with Harry but I know it will be more of a bittersweet milestone as our breastfeeding journey has gone so very differently this time.
With Oliver it seemed like the odds were against us from the start – being premature, he had no sucking reflex or interest in feeding and being so small, the hospital insisted on formula top ups until my milk came in (which only happened using a hospital pump). As if that wasn’t enough, like many premature babies Oliver had reflux which needed to be medicated and thus threw another spanner in the works. Add to that a stressed out, first time mummy whose supply never seemed to be quite up to scratch (no doubt due to those early formula top ups and a baby with a lot of catching up to do) and you’ve got a fairly unpleasant experience.
Enter baby two. Harry was a champion feeder from day one, quick and efficient and gaining over a pound from his birthweight by day 10. By 13 weeks he had (finally!) slowed down a bit but still weighed a whopping 13lbs! He is generally a very happy, contented baby between his feeds which gives me much more reassurance that our feeding is going well and I think he has helped to heal a lot of old wounds and feelings of guilt I had over my decision to stop feeding Oliver sooner than I had originally planned.
I have yet to decide where our journey will take us once Harry reaches the 6 month mark and starts solids – I must admit I do slightly miss the more ‘structured’ side of formula feeding, not to mentioned the shared responsibility of feeding – but I am reluctant to pay for something which I am quite happily making a better version of for free, plus I will be creating extra work for myself with all the bottle prep etc. so I guess we’ll just play it by ear!