This weekend was Marlowe’s first weekend away with her father. Saturday morning to Sunday night. 32 hours. If you read my mediation post, then you know: this is something I’ve been dreading for a long time. I’m very proud and happy to say: I had enough milk, pumped, stored, and saved for this weekend— more than enough. Going into this weekend, I felt relief knowing she would not receive a drop of formula. I did it. Everyday I worked hard. I managed. I produced enough. As Marlowe’s father walked in the door I boasted about how much milk I was giving him and told him: not all of it was needed, but take it in case, and send it back frozen.
I packed her belongs. He packed the car. “If she is unhappy, if things don’t go well– it could be two in the morning–don’t hesitate for a second. I wont judge you or question you, just bring her back.” I said a quick goodbye and she was gone. Marlowe’s first weekend away. This weekend was hard for me. Nothing felt right. Every passing minute left me with a bigger pain in my chest and lump in my throat. Knowing that this weekend was the first weekend of many— of hundreds; it hurt. This is Marlowe’s new life. Back and forth. One night in her bed, the next: another bed. A bed left empty, sitting cold, waiting for her body. Once a month (maybe soon to be more), an adjustment, a change. A shift too big for a little person to understand.
Hours in, I received a text. My mango queen was eating mango and loving it. Okay. Another text: she was napping. And right on schedule. Okay again. Another text: 9:30 pm, she was asleep for the night (two hours too soon). I knew she was fed. &I knew she was rested, but that empty feeling in the pit of my stomach would not disappear. For me: there was only few quickly-wiped tears throughout the day. I was strong– until the night time came. I broke down. I buried my head deep in Eric’s chest and wept. I wanted her back. She belonged at home. I was small, angry, and incapable of changing anything.
The morning came. Another text: She was awake. She had ate. &there was only one bottle left. I became livid. I packed food and milk to last for much, much longer. She was overfed. She finds comfort in my breast, not in the milk that streams from them. If she was unhappy, then make her happy. If she was uncomfortable, then make her comfortable. If she was fussy, confused, and ripping at your body, then nurture her. If you can not offer her peace, then bring her home. Trying to offer comfort to a baby by overfeeding, is not parenting.
I understand her father does not have breasts. I understand that soothing a (almost exclusively) breast-fed baby is difficult. I know this from experience. From: attempts to go out and being forced to return home quickly to an inconsolable child. From: watching Eric pace my home to rock her to sleep in an attempt to give my overworked body a break. From the time I was left in the hospital for hours, with Eric in my home, caring for a baby who refused a bottle and was far too young for food—a baby who cried and screamed for me while Eric rocked and paced and did everything possible to comfort her. From my own attempts during the teething nights when even a breast wont work. I understand it’s hard. Parenting is hard. But this is why you do not take a 9 month old (two days ago) breast-fed baby overnight &away from her mother. I cried, begged, and pleaded in mediation for this to be understood. I cried for Marlowe’s well-being and best interest. I received little sympathy. Her father gets what her father wants, &despite my concern for Marlowe’s age, he fought for instant overnights. He now has experienced his first overnight. I don’t like him— it’s true, but he now understands: I fight him not because of my disdain for him, ¬ to take away from him or his right as a father, but instead: to give Marlowe more.
It’s been talked about. We both agree: no more overnights— not now. When will it happen? When Marlowe is ready—when they are both ready—but not now, not yet, it’s too soon.
Thank you for all your kind words and very wise advise. I’ve made mental notes (and actual notes) on all of them. I have a quick question for you natural product using mamas— especially the vegan mamas. Marlowe returned home with a very bad diaper rash, her worst one yet. I really don’t know much about diaper rashes– seeing that she’s only had a few small ones before. What’s the best cure? I do own a natural– lanolin based cream, but lanolin is of course not vegan. Is lanolin my only choice? From what I’ve seen in the store, it seems to be. Are there other options? Better options? Home remedies? Please let me know. I need to soothe her bum!
Thank you ♥