The Little One


13 months and 5 days ago our wonderful Annabelle joined our family and from the moment she arrived she has been breastfeeding. For the entire time I have been her Mum I have been breastfeeding her.

That was until now.

I haven’t completely stopped breastfeeding but it is slowing down. And both Annabelle and I okay with it. I think. It’s time.

Independent lady

A few weeks ago I shared a post entitled ‘Sometimes The Struggle Is Real’. Life had become somewhat overwhelming for a number of reasons and I wrote the post as a way of clearing my head and sharing what was going on with us.

That was a few weeks ago and opening this page to start this post I am in a much better place. Thankfully. Things haven’t slowed down but things have become more manageable.

In fact we have spent the weekend singing, dancing and celebrating at Brighton Pride with my Mum, two Aunts and sister. It was an amazing weekend and wandering down Brighton pier I was able to breathe a sigh of relief. I am surrounded by love and support and when things are tough I know my tribe are there for me.

I am lucky. I am super lucky. And yet despite being super lucky I am struggling right now. The wonderful world of social media allows a snapshot into our life – the highlight reel if you like. It creates a grid filled with smiles and happy moments that we love to look back on. A Twitter feed of life observations and a Facebook timeline of curated content that shares our story.

All of it is true. No picture is ever faked – it may be retaken half a dozen times when the baby and dog are involved- but it is always capturing a moment that happened.

But that is never the whole story.

I didn’t think that I would ever be writing the statement ‘I have breastfed for a year’. In fact I am somewhat shocked that breastfeeding is something I have been able to do for a year. Physically and managing it having being back in a full time job for over 2 months.

I wished I had purchased a battery breast pump, it is amazing how requiring a plug to be able to pump really restricts you. The amount of time I have ended up hand expressing in bathrooms as the office I am in doesn’t have a meeting room that doesn’t have glass windows – great for airiness, terrible for privacy!

Breastfeeding has definitely been a journey for me. A fairly easy journey for the most part but at the start I didn’t expect to be saying that.

Unlike straight couples there was a certain amount of additional planning that went in to us having Annabelle. In fact you can read all about it here. What that planning meant was that we had a good idea on when Annabelle would be making an appearance.

As only 4% of babies arrive on their due date we knew it was never going to be an exact science but I secretly hoped that her arrival would miss our anniversary on the 28th of June and my birthday on the 13th of July. Laura, loudly, hoped for a 4th of July baby.
As the due date drew nearer and it was confirmed that I was to have a C-Section we were given the date of the 7th of July. I could relax and Laura could give up her 4th of July plan. That was until I got a phone call moving the C-Section to the 2nd. Any relaxing went out the window and Laura decided that the 2nd was close enough to the 4th to decree that Annabelle would have a 4th of July themed parties until she told us something different.

Where do I start this post…..

I started it yesterday having just run full out across London Euston train station to jump on a 5.43pm train that arrived back in Birmingham at 7.03pm. I hoped to jump on a local train and be home some time before 7.45pm. Annabelle’s bedtime is 7pm. The sprint wasn’t just for the train, the sprint was to have some vague hope of seeing Annabelle’s face before bed. Even if it is just for a hug. I made it, just.

It’s been 3 days of being back to work after maternity leave. My wonderful wife helped me time my return so that I had a bank holiday at the end of my first week and start of my second. So even though Annabelle and I have had 3 days apart we will have 4 days together to make up for it.

How have I felt? Well where do I start. Emotional. Pleased. Sad. Positive.

I had grand plans to be in London twice in the week to see my team but last minute the company who acquired us announced we had a company day in Bournemouth on the Wednesday. On reading the email my heart sank. I had prepared myself to head to London for the day and race back to see Annabelle at bedtime. I hadn’t prepared myself to be away overnight immediately.