Due to the incessant demand of the milking machine, Mummy does at least now have boobs like Pamela Anderson as promised, though it is unlikely Pam’s were as sore as Mummy’s, unless the red swimsuit was to hide the blood. The difficulty now is that the Little One is not actually drinking any milk from them, but relies solely on the convoluted process of decanting it into a bottle via an industrial pump.
In actual fact, now the supply has finally kicked in, Mummy has gone a bit over the top with milk-production and there is gallons of the stuff in the freezer. It hasn’t yet occurred to Mummy that she can scale back The Plan once normality is established, so Mummy is like a machine fuelled by fenugreek tea and organic porridge. She contemplates buying a breast milk recipe book she finds on Amazon to help get rid of it all, but decides that would be beyond weird.
Mrs Health Visitee has decided The Baby might be tongue-tied, and has referred Mummy to a clinic over an hour away to investigate. Naturally, Mummy stayed up until 5:00 am Googling ‘tongue-tie’ and, thanks to her dogged perseverance and some very specific search terms, has managed to find at least one example of a baby who has actually DIED as a result of tongue-tie (sort of) and at least one example of a baby who has actually DIED as a result of being treated for tongue-tie, so has convinced herself The Baby is doomed either way and it’s all her fault. (Mummy did try very hard to think about how she could make it Daddy’s fault, but on this occasion has failed. Very unlike her.)
The clinic wants The Baby to arrive for her appointment when she is due a feed, so Mummy drives for over an hour and arrives at 12:00 with a ravenous infant and exploding boobs, only to be told they are “running a little behind.” Marvellous. At least in the waiting room there is another copy of the scary breastfeeding magazine, which Mummy spends the next forty five minutes editing with a biro for accuracy, whilst rocking her screaming baby increasingly violently and asking every five minutes if it wouldn’t matter that she just fed her a tiny bit, for the sake of all the other patients’ eardrums if nothing else.
By the time they are called into the appointment room, Mummy has had to fill her bra with paper towels and The Baby is hoarse from screaming. It is difficult to hear what the nurse is saying through the screams, but she pokes about in The Baby’s mouth and tells Mummy there is a partial tongue tie she can fix.
“And this will mean she can feed properly?” says Mummy, desperate to end the crying.
“Yes, yes,” says the nurse, “it should fix it pretty much instantly.”
“Will it hurt The Baby?” asks Mummy anxiously.
“Oh… just a little snip,” says the nurse evasively. “Very few nerve endings there you know… 95% of babies don’t even feel it.” Mummy suspects that is a made up statistic. She signs the papers anyway.
Mummy has to hold The Baby still while the nurse holds her mouth open. The nurse then produces THE SCARIEST PAIR OF SCISSORS MUMMY HAS EVER SEEN IN HER LIFE to cut The Baby with. Mummy has a sudden change of heart and a less-than-mild panic attack. She starts sweating profusely and closes her eyes. Daddy is at work which is most unfortunate as Daddy is very good at talking sense into Mummy in these situations.
“DON’T YOU DARE CUT MY BABY WITH YOUR GIANT SCARY SCISSORS YOU CRUEL BABY-BUTCHER!” screams Mummy at the top of her voice. She throws the nurse across the room, scoops The Baby up in her arms and runs into the waiting room where she cuddles her baby tightly, sobbing, “I’m so sorry my precious darling, Mummy would never let them hurt you!” and feeds The Baby the milk she so desperately wants.
That is what happens in Mummy’s head. What actually happens is that Mummy sits there with her eyes closed, rocking and sweating, while the baby-butcher reaches into The Baby’s mouth with the very scary scissors.
There is a moment of silence.
Mummy dares to open one eye.
The Baby is visibly shaking and turning slightly purple as she musters the energy to express her feelings on what just happened.
“I think she is in the 5%,” observes Mummy.
Mummy and The Baby are escorted, bleeding and screaming, to a back room where The Baby is finally allowed to eat. She latches on greedily, comforted and calmed at last.
“See!” says the nurse. “The perfect latch! She is all fixed!”
“There is no change!” protests Mummy. “She has a perfect and beautiful Oxbridge-worthy latch and has done since the day she was born. The latch is not the problem. It is the sucking – look how she sucks.”
“Ah… ho… hum…” says the nurse hesitantly. “Then tongue-tie is not your problem. Tongue-tie will not change the way your baby sucks. It was only a partial one anyway… they aren’t usually a problem.”
Mummy resists the urge to stab the nurse with the very scary scissors and concentrates very hard on feeding the baby. “What do you suggest then?” she asks through gritted teeth.
“I think probably just keep doing what you’re doing,” says the nurse. “She’ll get the hang of it eventually. Some babies take a bit longer than others… maybe they have a small mouth, or maybe it’s the shape, or maybe they are just slow to catch on.” Mummy very much resents the insinuation that her beautiful baby is a slow learner, and scowls at the nurse until she backs out of the room apologetically, muttering something about going to “check the notes.”
Sometime later, once Mummy has calmed down
In the month that follows, everyone and his wife offer Mummy advice about how to fix The Baby, what she should be feeding her, when and how. Thankfully, Mummy manages to stop just short of murdering anyone and therefore narrowly avoids life imprisonment… but only just.
It seems there are no short cuts or magic solutions but Mummy sticks to the system and, everso gradually, The Baby does begin to get the hang of things. And Mummy learns to be slightly less neurotic some of the time. Occasionally. She also starts to wear proper clothes again by choice, which is an odd feeling.
Disappointingly, the Pamela Andersons don’t stay which is something Mummy wishes she’d known about, and she makes a mental note to add a warning in biro to the scary magazine next time she comes across one. The milk, however, does stay and Mummy is able to gradually persuade the Little One it is far more efficient to drink it straight from the source. Nipples heal and pumping machines are laid to rest.
Hopefully the lovely ladies trying to breastfeed who messaged Mummy online can associate with some of Mummy’s depraved ramblings… but they should also know that Mummy has, in her sleepiness, tried both breast milk and formula milk and couldn’t tell the difference.
Now Mummy just needs to work out what to do with the umpteen gallons she over-pumped in panic that are currently residing in the freezer.