The beginning of the end

I am really passionate about breastfeeding, I truly believe it is the very best thing you can do for your baby, but it is not easy, far from it. Feeding Elisabeth was incredibly painful for 4 months because she couldn’t latch on properly, but I managed to feed her for 8 and a half months and I am glad I did. It was incredibly difficult but I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. I didn’t really enjoy it though, I enjoyed doing the best I could for her, but the actual feeding, not so much. With Jacob things started off a lot better, he latched on fine. But I still don’t do it for the joy of it. I do it because it is best for baby (and me) and how can I justify not doing the best for my beautiful baby, but I also do it because I don’t do failure. Or should I say I don’t do it well.

In my head failure is only acceptable when you are physically or mentally not able to complete a task, in all other circumstances failure is not an option. I know this is quite ridiculous, but hey, try telling my stubborn head that!

During our 4 days in hospital after Jacob was born I had to supplement his feeds with formula because his bloodsugar was too low. He was such a big boy and because my milk hadn’t come in yet he just wasn’t getting enough. This was obviously the right thing to do, although I hated putting a bottle in that tiny little mouth, but it was that or risking him having to go to special care so I didn’t feel guilty about it.

I even didn’t feel too bad for introducing a bottle at bedtime because he just wouldn’t stop feeding in the evening and I was just not able to keep feeding every hour til gone midnight because he just wasn’t satisfied. It wasn’t what I wanted but it felt like the right thing to do. I would feed him during the day, either me or my husband would give him a bottle in the evening and I would feed him again at night.

At 12 weeks Jacob decided that it was about time he slept through the night which is so amazing I hadn’t even hoped for it. I know this will probably change when he has a growth spurt or starts teething, but at the moment he sleeps on average 10 hours straight. This does mean however that during the morning he feeds like crazy, every hour at least, and by the time the extra milk from not feeding at night has gone he is very unsatisfied and hard to settle after every feed. Not only is it hard to see him so unsatisfied, it has made it almost impossible to spend any time with Elisabeth in the morning, by the time I got her dressed and made her some toast Jacob is hungry again. Last Friday he was awake at 6.15 and had had 5 feeds by midday at 20 minutes to half an hour each and still he was hungry. This was too much for me and I decided to give him one bottle during the day as well as before he goes to bed. It was very upsetting giving him this bottle. Over the weekend it was obvious how much more settled he was, but it is difficult to accept that this might be best for him and for Elisabeth as well.

So far I have not noticed a decrease in milk production and I really hope this decision will not be the beginning of the end of nursing, because even though I don’t thoroughly enjoy it, I want him to benefit from it for at least another 3 months. Fingers crossed!

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Time flies when you don’t have time

Jacob is now nearly three months old and I have been seriously neglecting this blog. There are two times I often write, either in the evening or on the bus on the way to or from work, but I’m not back to work yet and I go to bed pretty much as soon as both kiddos are asleep (to catch every possible minute of sleep I can). And writing during the day…..ha ha, you must be joking….in between feeding, changing, washing, feeding, changing, spending a few precious moments with Elisabeth whilst Jacob sleeps, feeding, changing, cooking, feeding, changing, eating, bathing etc there is not much time left. So, unfortunately, blogging will have to wait until I have a few minutes in the morning, like today.

Things are going well though. Jacob is sleeping really well, I feed him during the day and we give him a bottle of formula before he goes to bed. I struggled with the endless feeding in the evening and we quickly decided that it was better to give him one bottle a day so I’d have the energy to feed him during the day than giving up altogether. I would like to continue breastfeeding until he is 6 months old, but I am finding it quite hard.

Elisabeth is doing great, she has only told me once that she wanted Jacob to go and that was when she was really poorly. The poor little lamb had a couple of weeks of temperatures, being sick and a really nasty cough. But most of the time she loves having her little brother around. The other morning I was downstairs making a cup of tea and I heard Jacob cry. I was about to go upstairs and see what was wrong when the crying stopped. When I got back upstairs, Elisabeth was sitting next to Jacob and was gently rocking him in his bouncy chair to stop him crying. Very cute.

I find it really hard not having enough time to play with Elisabeth, I try to give her one on one attention whenever Jacob sleeps, but it is hard. She still goes to her lovely childminder on Tuesday which she really enjoys and it gives me some time to spend with Jacob and catch up on some chores. We were hoping that she would get a pre-school place at the local school this month, but unfortunately she will have to wait until September.

Anyway, I think Elisabeth has just woken up and Jacob is starting to get hungry, so must go.

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Baby Newman no.2 – five weeks old

Our “little” Jacob is now just over five weeks old, and so far he has:

Had a cold already (@ two and a half weeks, poor little man)

Slept for six hours straight! (Only once, but still, go Jacob!)

Delighted us with a smile (@ five weeks)

Grown out of half of his 0-3 months suits already

Pooped more than I ever thought possible

And charmed the three of us into loving him more and more each day!

Happy Monday!

Why is it that the harder it is to bend down to pick something up, the more you seem to drop things. Elisabeth spends quite a lot of time picking things up off the floor that I’ve dropped, it just takes up so much energy to do it myself and whilst she still likes helping her mummy, I will take full advantage of that.

Today it is 10 days until the due date of Baby Newman no.2, and to be honest we’re all a bit surprised he is not here yet. Elisabeth was 10 days early so we were thinking he would be even earlier, not the case. Clearly he is too nice and snuggly in there. But we are really getting close now, so I’m trying to enjoy some positive things.

Yes, it might come as a shock but there are a couple of positives at the moment:
1 – I am sleeping reasonably well, in between the 4 or 5 nightly toilet breaks I am actually getting quite a bit of sleep. There have been a few very early mornings where I couldn’t get back to sleep (Friday morning it was 3.30 which made for quite a difficult day), but considering that I am not a good sleeper at the best of times I am pretty pleased with my nighttime rest.
2 – After months of back pain, I finally seem to have gotten rid of it. Partly thanks to a brilliant physio department in my local hospital and partly thanks to my great husband who does pretty much everything for me so I can get as much rest as possible.

So even though I still hate being pregnant (and I will definitely never ever do it again), I’m reasonably positive and I will even let people get away with saying “not long now!”

Please note that I wrote this post in the morning which means I still have a tiny bit of energy left, if I would have written this a few hours later it would be a completely different story, believe me, mornings are good, afternoons suck big time!

Happy Monday everyone!

Conversations with Elisabeth 7

Elisabeth: (as I sit moving my food around my plate because I don’t fancy it, which happens a lot) “You shouldn’t play with your food mummy!”

Elisabeth: “Daddy, I need some socks.”
Daddy: “Well, get some from your cupboard.”
Elisabeth: “It’s called a wardrobe daddy!”

Elisabeth: “Mummy, do you have a door in your tummy, so the baby can get out?”

Me: “If you eat some more of your mash you can have an apple for pudding.”
Elisabeth: “I’m not keen on mash, or bouncy castles. I’m keen on trampolines and sausages!”

Pregnancy sucks – an update

I have tried to keep my moans about all the pregnancy discomforts to a minimum and I think I have done quite well. But before I indulge myself in a good old rant, let me point out again that I am delighted that we have been given another chance of the family we always wanted so soon after our two miscarriages.  My feelings towards pregnancy are in no way a reflection of how I feel about having this baby boy, I truly and honestly can’t wait.

Now that is out of the way, let’s get stuck in.

We’re now 32 weeks in, 8 weeks left, single figures – woohoo! Do I feel any better, not really. As soon as one thing gets a bit better something else starts. A few weeks ago I found out I was low in iron, which actually resulted in me being off work for a week because I seriously did not have enough energy to actually make it to the office. After a week of iron tablets I felt a bit better, only to replace the utter exhaustion with constant back pain, which I find even harder to deal with than the tiredness. Luckily I could get a physio appointment quite quickly and after an very long hour in which I nearly passed out 5 times (I often do this in hospitals) and was told that my spine was twisted at the bottom and not at the top which put too much pressure on the middle bit which is causing the pain – or something along those lines, I was kind of distracted by trying not to faint. Apparently it is all straightened up again and the pain should go….oh…..after it gets worse for a bit……. I wonder what treats will be in store for when my back is back to normal.

Even though my midwife keeps saying that the size of my bump is perfect, I think it is huge, proper whale like, now struggling to fit into even my maternity trousers type huge. And whilst we’re on maternity trousers, the only pair of maternity jeans I had are now so badly ripped that I can only wear them at home. They were kindly gifted to me by my sister’s neighbour so they weren’t new, but still, jeans are my favourite item of clothing and I seriously miss them already.

And as we’re on size, let us have a moan about English buses. Here in “midget country” (I mean this in the nicest possible way) the seats in buses are so tight that I always struggle a bit, but the combination of the outrageously big bump and my Dutch stilts make it pretty much impossible to sit anywhere apart from the seats which are for elderly and disabled people.

There are a million other things I could moan about, heartburn, leg cramps, people touching the bump (honestly, do you normally touch my tummy?!?!) etc. etc. etc., but I will spare you, apart from one thing……….

“Not long now!” seems to be the thing that a lot of people say to me, even though I have just told them that I have 8 weeks of misery left! A whole 8 weeks of feeling ill, exhausted, and in pain, oh yes sure, it will fly by!

Pregnancy really does suck!