At first, I smiled politely. Then I pretended not to hear them. After the maybe thirty-something time someone said it, I wanted to cover all the mirrors in my house and remove the batteries from my weighing scale.
Breastfeeding was for me a huge question mark. I'm anaemic and underweight to begin with, though neither are severe. But when Baby Mya decided to latch on from her very first hour, we thought we'd give it a shot.
The first three months went by relatively well. A sprinkling of, 'oh my you're back to your original size' or 'you've lost all your pre-pregnancy weight!'
Then another three passed. And my weight kept falling. Even with supplements, home cooked meals and lots of other in between meals things. And so from slightly underweight, I moved into the underweight zone.
That was not the only thing that was falling, I realised. I started having emotional meltdowns and found myself starting into space or crying for no apparent reason. My entire spirit had become so deflated much to the surprise of close friends and family. Honestly, this surprised me too.
Then people started to use that word a lot. People I hadn't seen in months, people who meant well, people who didn't know what I was struggling with and certainly people who didn't realise I was the sole caregiver to my little girl. You look so haggard. Tired. Exhausted. Haggard. Haggard. Haggard.
But here I am, a day before she turns eight months old.
Am I still breast feeding? Yes. I don't see any reason not to.
Am I still struggling? Yes, very much so. Especially on long days when I'm alone with humblet.
Is it worth it?
Is what worth it? My daughter is not an investment or a sacrifice. She's my child.
I may look haggard to you, but I'll try to not look haggard to myself. I may be struggling in this new journey called motherhood, but I have a truckload of experience mummies around me, who love me and who made it through tougher times.
I may be thinner, but I'm still me. But day by day, as humblet gains weight, gets stronger, so will I. Amy is still here and I am more than well. Well fed. Well taken care of. Well loved.