Saturday, 31 March 2012

Silent Sunday

Breastfeeding - 10 Weeks In

I can honestly say, I never thought I would have made it to ten weeks of breastfeeding. Whenever anyone asked me if I was going to breastfeeding or not, my answer was always an emphatic "yes! For as long as I can". I know breastfeeding isn't for everyone, not every baby takes to the breast, and sometimes its not the most suitable solution for baby or mum, so I thought we'd play it by ear, and feed her myself for as long as was comfortable. I never thought I'd still be doing it, and loving it, 10 weeks on.

We wanted to breastfeed for all the obvious reasons: as the slogan says "breast is best" providing immunity/antibodies to the baby, helps with bonding and it reduces the risk of SIDS. But to be totally honest, it appealed to my lazy side! Breast milk is always ready, it's the right temperature and has everything my baby needs all in the one place. No making up bottles in the middle of the night, washing and sterilising the bottles. Oh the sterilising! I bought a breast pump and the washing-sterilising-using-washing-sterilising cycle has totally put me off using it!! Told you I was lazy!

It also appealed to my mean side, as breast milk is totally free! I mean, the things we do to save money... ;o)

There were a couple of weeks where I really doubted that I was doing the right thing for Samantha. We really struggled. She just seemed constantly hungry, she was struggling to gain weight, and I worried that my milk wasn't good enough for her. Plus I was exhausted, she just wanted fed allllll the time, and my poor hubby felt so bad that he couldn't do anything to help. It is only in the last couple of weeks that I feel my milk supply is steady and plentiful, and we're I'm a very loose pattern.

Our Health Visitor became very focused on her weight, making me even more paranoid that my milk was rubbish, and she suggested that we should maybe "top up" with formula at night. Even my mum said that we had done well to have got this far, and suggested we should maybe go p. to formula. I got upset at this, which really surprised me, as I had it in my head that we wouldn't be breastfeeding for this long. But I got really quite upset, why I don't know, and I was determined to continue exclusively with the breastfeeding. And I'm glad we did.

Samantha is putting weight on, slowly but surely. She sleeps well through the night (our HV had also suggested waking the baby up through the night for a feed - eh, don't think so!), and is so alert, wide eyed and nosy!! She certainly doesn't go hungry, and some days she's like a little feeding demon.

One of the things that has kept me going has been attending the local breastfeeding support group. The mums that go are so supportive and it's great to talk to people who are going/have gone through what you are going through. It's been lovely to run my problems past them, get their advice and to hear them say "ignore your HV, here's what worked for us" Sometimes I go with nothing to say, but someone else is going through a tough patch and if I can help then great. Other times it's just to get out the house and have a natter over a coffee with the other mums. Regardless, I don't think I would be as confident if I hadn't started going to the group.

I also never thought I won be able to breastfeed in public. I had a fear of people confronting me, telling me to get out or, even worse, being asked to feed the baby in the toilet!! Trust me, I have a whole load of replies to that stored up just in case. I have breastfed in public now, and have had no problems. It's so easy to be discreet. And nursing bras and tops have been invaluable!

I don't know how long I will continue to breastfeed Samantha. I don't intend to be still doing it when she is two! There is a woman at the group who is still feeding her toddler and he almost has a full set of teeth. Perhaps I'll stop when Samantha's teeth come in. until then, we'll just keep on winging it.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Baby Weight

I am determined to lose this baby weight. Fuelled by seeing a friends status on facebook bragging that she is now back in her pre-pregnancy size 8 jeans only 11 weeks after giving birth, (add a 10 to that number and you've got the size I'm currently wearing) my plan is starting today.

Because I am breastfeeding, I am quite wary of going on any food restrictive diet. I have successfully done Weight Watchers 2-3 times since I was 18, however once I stop going to the weigh ins and eventually stop following the plan, the weight has always crept back on. I've never been skinny, and I don't think I ever want to be. I just want to be a healthy weight again, to fit into my big jeans again (they're a 16 and I can't get them fastened) and to like the way I look again.

Prior to falling pregnant I had purchased a Slimpod from the Thinking Slimmer website after hearing lots of good things about them on Twitter. However I never got more than a weeks use out of it before finding out I was pregnant. So from today I start listening and let it work it's magic.

So here goes:

I will try not to get caught up with the numbers, but can't promise anything cos I'm so used to focussing on how many pounds I've lost/gained. I will try just to judge it on how well my clothes fit.

I am 10 weeks post-baby and my starting weight is 13stone 6.5lbs.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

The gallery: Extreme Closeup

This is a post for The Gallery.

I love it when she holds on tight.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Blogger Wedding Album

Tara over at Sticky Fingers is putting together a blogger wedding album, where we can all see each others wedding day photos.  Appropriate for me as it's coming up to my 2nd wedding anniversary on 20th March.

This is Steven and I with the Officers who married us. (We got married in the Salvation Army, their ministers are called Officers).  It was taken at the reception; the stress was over, we were MARRIED! Huzzah! We were more relaxed, the sun was shining in, and it was almost time for dinner! You forget to eat on your wedding day, but by the time the nervy bit was over, I was SO hungry.

Not sure I cared much for those statues tho, they were everywhere! o_O

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Samantha: An Update

Time is flying by so quickly. Samantha is now 7 weeks old.  Where has the time gone?

It seems like only yesterday I was sitting in the hospital waiting to be induced.  Now our house and lives have been turned upside down, but in the best way :)

It's not been without stress and worry though.  We have those New Parent Nerves.  I'm a natural born, 1st class worrier. For the first few weeks we couldn't sleep for staring at her in her Moses basket, making sure she's still breathing, stirring at every little noise.  We have relaxed a little, but still do those double checks!

For a few weeks, Samantha has struggled to gain weight.  She gained 1oz one week, then didn't gain anything for two weeks.  Because I'm exclusively breastfeeding, I was sure it was my fault, despite feeding her for hours on end, often with very little time in between.  Everything possible problem was running through my head; am I not making enough milk, am I not feeding her often enough?  However this week she has put on 6oz so I am happy with that!!

Breastfeeding, I have to say, is great.  For a while I was worried that I would have to go on to formula if she wasn't gaining weight, but now I can't imagine having to give her a bottle.  I must admit, it was hard at first, and my poor boobs were sore and I was exhausted.  But now that the supply of milk has been established, it's going a treat.  Samantha is a wee guzzler tho!  I've found going to the breastfeeding support group really helpful.  It's great to talk to people who are going through the exact same thing as you are, and they're really nice.  Plus you get to sit and have a cup of coffee and talk with adults for a while!

I breastfed in public for the first time last week, while having lunch with my sister.  I was a little nervous, as I wasn't sure how I'd manage, and I was paranoid people would give me funny looks.  I made sure I was as covered up and as discreet as I could be.  As I was feeding her, an older lady, maybe in her 60s/70s, approached me.  At first I though she was going to ask me to stop, or to cover up more or something.  However, she told me she admired me for being brave enough to do it in public, that she breastfed her kids when they were babies when it wasn't "the done thing" and she admires anyone who does so.  I thought that was so nice, she really made me feel better about it.

Everyone who meets us, tells us that Samantha is so alert.  She is, which is great,(I think she's just nosy!) but she doesn't do sleeping during the day.  Night time is usually fine, but just once, a nap during the day would be lovely!! She just loves to see what's going on around her, especially when there's a camera around!

But when she does sleep, she's really cute:

We have been venturing out of the house now and again, mostly to see grandparents, but we've been meeting up with my friend and her little boy Jack, who's 14 weeks:

So, that's pretty much all our news for now.  We have immunisations to look forward to, (or dread) and the 6 week check with the GP.  Who knows what else the next few weeks will bring!


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