My Little Miracle

The exciting story of God's very special gift to Mama & Papa…

Baby all grown up!

Leonidas has officially weaned. YAY 🙂 and BOO 😦 !!!

Leo has been a boob fan for as long as I can remember in his first year. Nothing else could comfort him more than the boob and he’s never rejected it in any way. Around the end of October (then, 15 months old), I decided that I wanted to slowly wean him. Honestly, I wasn’t too serious about it. More like I wanted to just give it a shot and see how he would react. There were some supporting factors though:-

1. I am leaving for a trip for 5 days in Feb 2015 without him. It makes me worry just thinking how he’ll cope without me around. Which means, no nursing before sleep, in the middle of the night, and comforting him with it. He would wake up around 1-2- times at night, with eyes closed, crying… and only the boob can soothe him.

2. I just did not want to pump anymore! I loved my Spectra M1 and it has served me so well. I just didn’t want the hassle to find time/place to pump and worrying that I may not have enough for the next day (I don’t think that 1 bottle of 3oz is enough for him at daycare anyway). Also, the fact that I am more mobile now, travelling to different places for work and pumping/storing is getting really challenging.

So the main reason was because I’m travelling. And so I thought of giving it a try, slowly and steadily. I was going to nurse him at night still until he is ready, probably until early Feb when he turns 18 months. I knew for sure that he’ll still need milk-any kind of milk. I know many moms recommend fresh milk after 1, but he wasn’t a fan. I wasn’t going to deny him so I bought a pack of the basic Dutch Lady/Dumex Dugro 123 for him to try. He rejected it many times. I probably wasted a whole pack of it. Offering him and then throwing it away.

I would prep one bottle of breast milk and one bottle of the formula to daycare daily. Surprisingly, he accepted the formula (given by someone else and not me) and it has been going great for about 2 weeks. I had totally stopped pumping (no more freezer stash), and some days I would prep two servings of formula to daycare as well. Then, he was only getting breast milk at night or whenever he’s with me. I practiced the “Don’t offer, don’t reject” style. For some reason, one day I just decided to give him a bottle at night before bedtime. He rejected it altogether and would cry. He only wanted me. I can’t remember how long it was, but some time in November, he started accepting it. I will make around 5-6oz for him and he would happily take it, and fall asleep, on his own…

That is when my heart started to ache. I knew I wanted him to wean, but didn’t expect it to be so fast. I was targeting by January or something. Not nursing to sleep was a great deal to me. It was our bonding moment and moments for cuddles and snuggles and lotsa kisses. My heart was aching and I was sad. I actually don’t know what to feel or what I was feeling. Having said that, I still did nurse him in the middle of the night between 3-5 am if he wakes up. He would fall back asleep quickly. Slowly, my heart ached less as days pass by with this routine. I would still spend time with him as he is having his bottled milk and I would cuddle and pat him to sleep.

One day, he woke in the middle of the night and started crying. I offered the boob and he would suckle so hard, it started to hurt. It went on for a few days, I felt very uncomfortable and he would not unlatch! I still had milk, but maybe not as much as it was and a slower letdown. I figured he may be thirsty so I prepped a bottle of water for him. I offered it to him if he wakes and he started taking it more frequently and falls back asleep. It has been a week plus, maybe 2, that he’s been taking the water and no boob 😦

TODAY, he woke up happy and cheerful as he has always been. While preparing to go out, I realized that my boobs are probably slowly getting back to it’s normal size now and wondered if I still had milk. So I cradled him in my arms and offered him the boob. Guess what?

He suckled for maybe 2 seconds and then started smiling at me! I tried to offer again and said “nen nen”, he repeated after me and just stared in my eyes. He turned his head away, smiling and showing me a sign that he doesn’t want it anymore. It was TODAY, I knew for sure he has weaned a 100%.

Part of me is really happy, that my little baby has grown up and being more independent. He would take a bottle whenever and now, he actually looks forward to it and sometimes asks for it. I am happy that I can leave him in the care of someone else without concern (sometimes it’s nice to be able to have some time out alone!).

Another part of me is sad. Well, not sad, sad. But bittersweet. It has been a beautiful journey and an experience I will never forget! I am so blessed to be able to breastfeed him fully until 15 months. The process was quicker than I had expected, and less painful as I expected. We have achieved another milestone and it is time for new challenges and finding new ways to bond with him.

Here’s some moments of our breastfeeding journey :’) Thank you son, for the wonderful and precious experience. I love you!

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Changes and Challenges

I know I didn’t mention to most people that I had stepped down from my previous job. I was a FTWM in a fitness company and it was a pretty demanding job. I have been in this line since 2011 and I enjoyed work very much. If I hadn’t had kids, I would probably still be doing what I did.

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Having Leo changed it all. I started going back to work 3 months postpartum in November 2013. From Nov 2012 until August 2014, I was a FTWM. Those were the toughest months, in my whole working life. I thought I could do it. Just like most moms out there, it pretty normal to go back to work and life just goes on. If you haven’t known, the work I was doing is not an office job. I don’t sit with a desk and computer in front of me most of the time and I don’t get the normal lunch hour and working hours. The fitness industry is great. You meet a lot of people and let me say, it’s a busy, busy day all day, every day. It requires a lot of physical activity and sweat. I teach group fitness and also manage a bunch of trainers with my colleague. The working hours can be very long and tiring.

For that period of 10 months, I haven’t been the “best” employee. My gut tells me and I have nothing to hide. I wasn’t like that before I had kids and now things aren’t the same anymore. I live with my husband, baby, father-in-law, and dog at home. Not a huge family, but there are a lot of thing to be done at home. Often I feel that being the only girl at home, I have much to do. Ok, this is not about me complaining that I’m doing all the chores ok? My husband helps me a lot and he’s been working hard and sharing the chores with me. But there are some stuff that I feel I need to do and it is what mothers/wives do (i.e. cleaning out the fridge and throwing old stuff in there, rearrange the closet and pack away baby’s old clothes, washing laundry, drying and folding them; laundry is NEVER ENDING here, changing bed sheets, preparing meals for the day, sewing some buttons that came off our clothes, filing our bills, etc). Yup, that’s a lot! Maybe not all of them need to be done daily, but you get the idea.

I only get home typically around 7 or 730pm, sometimes even later. And then I start to prep dinner, by the time we eat, it is 830pm or sometimes 9pm. Is that crazy? YES IT WAS. But I had no choice. Slow cooker meals are great but sometimes, I forget to prep them the day before too. If you are a mom that cooks, you KNOW that you plan a day or two ahead and rarely have a last minute decision. After dinner, its bath time and time spent with baby before he sleeps which is 10 or 1030pm if we’re lucky. I did write about my schedule in a previous post, you can read it here.

So it was a struggle for me and I have come to face the fact that I am not a super human. I cannot do all of that perfectly and I am not a super mom. I was so tired and sleep deprived. Leo wakes up 2-3 times at night and I was breastfeeding. When I get home, I was a cranky old goat! I didn’t have smiles on my face and I was grumpy. I took it out on my poor husband, screamed at Leo, frowned and I was just too tired. I cried a lot and struggled at work. It dawned on me that I have to give up something in order to be happier. I gave up my steady income and stepped down to a group fitness instructor. I teach classes, and then I’m off to do whatever I need. Depending on the day, my hours are different. It does gives me some sort of flexibility but teaching classes in several different places takes traveling time and time to shower/change after class and then travel again. But I’m sure you get the idea.

Honestly, I took a huge pay cut and I don’t even know how we will manage our finances in the months to come, but I do know that my Father in Heaven will provide for us. If one door closes behind me, another will open. If there are no doors, the Lord can build one. This is how we are placing our trust in Him and that everything will work out just fine. I know for sure He wants me to be happy and to live life experiencing His blessings and peace.

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It has been one and a half months since I’ve stepped down and I am loving it. Am I still a FTWM? I would say yes, but with less hours and not in an office environment. Maybe you can consider it a PTWM but then my hours are fixed, from my weekly classes. Because my hours are here and there (some days it is morning, some afternoon and some evening), I get to stay at home a little longer to do what’s needed. Here’s what I get to do now, that I never could before:-

1. Cook dinner earlier and my family can eat at normal time. Sometimes we still do so at 8pm, but the difference is I am happy. I am not stressed that I have no time to cook. Also, if I have an evening class, dinner is already on the table and they can have home cooked meals at without having to take out all the time. It gives me an opportunity to prepare healthier meals too.

10411113_10152447668812998_7194448772227731247_n2. Laundry is done in the morning or noon, and no chores are after 10pm! If I had laundry waiting, I can easily say “I’ll just do it tomorrow!” This allows time for me to spend with Leo and my husband. Laundry is also dry by the day and I don’t have to worry if I have no place to hang them when it rains (we have TONS of laundry).

l3. On certain days, I get to be home when Leo gets back from daycare. Yes, he still goes to daycare because my working hours are different every day. I get to take him out of his car seat and see his precious smiley face! He is also less clingy when I do that. If I get home after him, he will not let me put him down sometimes.

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4. I no longer need to pump milk at work! (in the hot changing room, toilet; yuck, in the car). This is such an awesome change. I no longer need to worry if my pump is not charged or if I forgot to bring bottles/lids or if there is no fridge around. I still do pump outside on certain days when my classes are closer to each other. But I can easily just bring the milk back home afterwards.

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5. I don’t have to worry that I’ve no time to pump! If I didn’t pump before class, I could NOT fit into my sports bra. Now, I can just pump anytime needed, without having to attend meetings or excusing myself for it because I am engorged (like I said, I wasn’t the “best” employee coz I had to take time off to pump).

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6. Take Leo out for a day or two to have fun and play. Without having to take leave or step out of work when he’s sick. Do you know how many times I had to tell my boss I can’t come to work coz my baby is sick? (It’s not like they tell you a day before they are gonna wake up with a fever). If you’re a mom, you will know what I mean. There were days my boss wasn’t happy that I’m not at work and I felt that I was being judged.

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Those were just some of the major things/changes I could think of that I can do now. Surely there’s more. Having said that, there is one other con to doing what I do now in my nature of work. I am physically tired and sore. Teaching requires a lot of energy and strength. Yes, I am physically tired but I am happy. Does that make any sense?

Anyway, it has been a great 1.5 months. Who knows what would happen later on. Maybe more doors will open and things can only get better. This too, gives me more opportunity to write more and keep you guys updated and share experiences. Sorry for being away again, I will be more frequent now.

What about you? Have you ever taken a huge step like me? What are your thoughts and did you have insecurities too?

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