It all started out so very different.
Oscar was born. He slept really well and fed a lot during the day – stocking up to get through the night. He needed me for food but otherwise he was happy to be with anyone and loved nothing more than being walked up and down the front room having his bum patted by daddy as he fell asleep. Or by nannie or aunt coo. It didn't really matter who it was but it didn't have to be me.
When he got poorly with his cough/cold, he found it really difficult to sleep on his back and therefore there was a lot of daytime cuddles, a lot of sleeping on mummy during the day (and daddy too at weekends) and we ended up with him in our bed rather than in his Snuzpod – sometimes just next to me and sometimes sleeping on one of us. Most nights we took it in shifts to have him on us and he slept like a log, but of course it was rather uncomfortable for us.
Then he got chicken pox and well, that just seemed to make everything so much worse. Already a wee bit clingy, he has now decided that only his mumma is good enough when he is upset. The only thing that can calm him down is a bit of boob and therefore I am the only one who can seem to console him at the moment. He won't take a dummy (believe me, I've tried) and patty bum no longer works – in fact if he thinks that is the direction you are going in, he screams! My poor other half is obviously feeling a bit rejected (although as I type this, Oscar is fast asleep in his pod and holding daddy's finger*), and I am feeling a bit drained by it all.
When he was feeding all day and not at night, I was getting a bit of respite – even if it was a tad uncomfortable waking up with full boobs every morning! Now I feel like I am constantly feeding – often being used as a dummy rather than for milk. The evenings are a bit of a nightmare. We have tried to start doing bedtime, putting him in his cot after a feed. He sleeps beautifully for 15-20 minutes before he wakes up, realises I'm not there and screams! So then we revert back to having him downstairs with us where he spends the entire night attached to my boobs while I try and eat dinner over him protecting him with a muslin!
He has been doing pretty well at falling asleep in his Snuzpod when we take him up to bed with us but then wakes up about an hour later inconsolable. I feed him back to sleep, fall asleep myself and so then he ends up in our bed. A few nights ago he did let me put him back in his Snuz after each feed which was a miracle.
I am pretty sure that if it hadn't been for his persitent illness, I would not have such a clingy baby right now. I would probably be able to put him in his jumperoo and walk into the kitchen to make a sandwich without him screaming the minute I have left the room. Probably even be able to put him down in his Poddle Pod without him feeling like he's been abandoned. I am also pretty sure that he wouldn't be sleeping in our bed every night. He'd probably be feeding just as much – Zach did exactly the same at this stage and ended up on formula because I couldn't keep going with it.
I adore my boy. I love the cuddles and I especially love the breastfeeding bond. It's just every now and then, I'd like him to accept that patty bum is still just as soothing as it was before he was ill so that someone else can just soothe him. Mainly for the sake of my poor nipples!
*Approximately five minutes after I wrote this bit, he woke up, screamed and went back to the boob where he now lies flat out asleep. He is not feeding, his mouth is resting just on my nipple, so he knows it's still there for the taking should he require it further!