Today is the last day of World Breastfeeding Week. Without doubt, breastfeeding has been the hardest part of becoming a parent for me. I’m not going to detail all the issues, because frankly I can’t be bothered, but in brief – tongue tie, nipple shields, expressing, top ups, hospital trips. But as I look down at my little one, snoozing on the boob and sleep smiling to herself, I don’t regret my decision. But it’s not always an easy decision to make.
Two months ago, my life changed immeasurably. A new person joined our family, and we became parents to a tiny Spud. It’s been quite the emotional whirlwind, and I’m not really sure I’m ready to process it yet. But she’s asleep on my chest, and I’ve my laptop balanced precariously on my knees, so here goes.
This time last year, I was stuck in Belfast, at the mercy of Sneachtageddon, writing about daffodils – and, like many others who campaigned for Repeal, I was looking forward to May with a mixture of trepidation and hope. Today, it’s unseasonably warm out – although it did just start raining – and I’m once again looking forward to May with a mixture of trepidation and hope. But this year, it’s because I’ve to finish building a new person in the next two months – and in May will be faced with the terrifying task of naming them (as well as the whole pushing a rugby ball sized thing from my vagina, but let’s not think about that too much right now). But I also have bodily autonomy, and that’s pretty amazing too.
As any immigrant knows, there are a million little things that continue to be different from ‘home’, long after you’ve settled into the big differences. For me, mapping the seasons onto the calendar is one of them – in particular, answering the question of ‘is it spring yet?’