Friday, 29 June 2012

Carry on Breastfeeding!

As it is National Breastfeeding Week, I thought it only right to write a quick blog post.

I initially said that I would breastfeed for as long as I could, thinking that we would only last a month or two. Five months and three weeks later, here we are, still at it!

I can't pin point the exact reason why we managed to continue beyond my expectations. I feel it may be a combination of the following:

1: Not listening to my Health Visitor.

She is nice, bless her, but everything is done by the book. Samantha is still very light for her age, and according to the centile chart, she is on the 9th centile. For a while the health visitor harked on and on about giving Samantha "top up" feeds of formula, and then eventually suggested full time formula, to increase her weight. But my baby was happy, alert, bright and by no means still hungry when she came off the breast. I was not happy to switch to formula just because she wasn't a wee chubby thing. She never lost any weight, but has steadily gained one or two ounces, albeit very slowly. So, I now politely nod and smile at the health visitor but ignore what I know is wrong for my baby.

2: Samantha's refusal to take a bottle.

Trying to go out on my own is a nightmare as Samantha just knows that the bottle is not me, and point blank refuses to take it. Even thoughts expressed milk, she just won't drink from a bottle. She'll take a little bit from a sippy cup, but after a while she realises and refuses it. This has definitely helped us continue the breastfeeding, but has not helped my freedom!

3: Attending the breastfeeding support group.

The girls at the group really are lovely, and so helpful too. There isn't a problem too big or embarrassing that someone else who attends hasn't experienced, and they are an absolute mine of information. I genuinely look forward to the group on a Friday, not just because there's people there to watch the babies while we have a coffee, but because it's a relief to be around people who know exactly what you're going through. Whether its just to get their opinion on what's happening with you and your baby, to venting about someone's bad attitude to you breastfeeding in public (grr) they are always there to lend an ear. It always surprises me that in a town as big as ours, there are so few of us at the group. There can't only be 15-20 of us breastfeeding in this town!!

So happy National Breastfeeding Week everyone. I hope you are all following @keepbritainbf and the hash tag #nationalbreastfeedingweek on twitter for some really inspiring posts to help you carry on breastfeeding!

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Our First Family Holiday

It had been planned for ages.  Ever since hubby and I got back from our honeymoon in Florida, we vowed we would go back in 2012, this time with my sister.

Then in June last year, we found out I was pregnant.  It wouldn't exactly be a practical holiday, travelling all that way with a baby, but I was still all for going to Florida.  However, my hubby and my sister conspired against me (ok, common sense prevailed) and we have postponed Florida until next year.  

We had to go somewhere this year.  I find that if we have time off from work and just stay at home, and not plan anything, we tend to just doss about and before we know it, *poof!* 2 weeks have gone and hubby is back at work.

So we thought we'd go somewhere in Britain, a staycation if you will, and settled on Birmingham.  Not exactly exotic, or anyone's first choice for a summer holiday, but my aunt, uncle and cousins live there, and it meant we could visit as we rarely get to see them.  T

Obviously this is the first time we have been away with a 5 and a half month old, and may have overdid the packing.  I packed lots of nappies and outfits, some toys, blankets etc etc.  It was Birmingham, not the middle of nowhere, I could have just bought nappies should we have ran out, but I like to be prepared.  I did all of the driving (my car, my rules!) and we stopped a couple of times to feed the little one.  I had been a little worried about how Samantha would cope with all the travelling, but she took it all in her stride! 

We got to spend lots of time with my aunt, uncle and cousins, which is a miracle as they are usually so busy.  My aunt and uncle are both peripatetic music teachers, and are both involved in orchestras and private teaching, but we caught them on a "quiet" week.  The kids both love Samantha, and it was great for them to see her as she will be much bigger when they see us next.  

Birmingham made a great base for us.  On Tuesday we went to Stratford.  We visited William Shakespeare's birthplace:


Hubby outside Shakespeare's Birthplace

We took a stroll down the canal side, and to the Royal Shakespeare Company Theatre:



And we chilled out by the riverside:


On Wednesday we went to the Sea Life centre, and we saw some incredible looking fish! The light wasn't very good and we weren't allowed to use the flash on the camera but we got some incredible pictures of amazing creatures:


We found Nemo!



Then on Thursday we took a trip to Warwick Castle.  It was superb, I really recommend it if you are down that way.  One thing I will say though, is it's quite expensive, so check out the 2 for 1 deals.  We got a 2 for 1 deal through the o2 Priority Moments.  Saved us £22!  


Warwick Castle is very impressive; it sits on 64 acres of beautifully landscaped land. 




We did most of the tours, including the raising of the portcullis:


"Ye will be met with a most horrible death, should ye try and storm our castle"

the Ghost Tour, which was made even more creepy by this guy because he was slightly creepy himself, and told the most wonderful stories:

I refused to go down here tho, too creepy and I'm a big wuss!
 We watched the flight of the eagle show, which showcased all the bird of prey they keep at the castle.  The eagles were flying right above our heads and swooped down over the heads of all the school children who were sitting in front of us.  We were very impressed, these birds are MASSIVE! 





Everywhere we went, we seemed to be followed by one of these big noisy dudes:


And they look spectacular when they do this:


The only disappointment was that we couldn't do the Dungeon tours or the Merlin Tower experience, as Samantha was too young, plus it would add an extra £10 on to our entry tickets.  
After all the wandering about it, all three of us were absolutely shattered.  Well, except for Samantha who managed to sleep her way round the castle! Even through the noise of the peacocks.  

We had a great time, topped off with a balti with my aunt, uncle and the kids on the Thursday evening.  We were ready for the drive home on the Friday, through the stormy rain that seemed to follow us all the way up the M6!   By the time we got home, it was jammies on, and cuddle in, and plan our next adventure:


Friday, 15 June 2012

FO: Favour Bags

I realise I haven't blogged about knitting for a while, despite my blog being called Nurse With (Knitting) Needles. Truth is, I haven't had much time for knitting since the wee one arrived. I really need three arms; one to hold the wee one and two to knit with.

But I have been working on an order that I received through my Folksy shop. I've been making little white wedding favour bags, with peach polka for ribbon, and I must say I think they are really cute!

The order is now complete, just the posting to do. The question is, what to knit now?

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Quickest 20 Weeks of My Life

Samantha will be 20 weeks on Thursday. Those 20 weeks have flown by. It's hard to believe that she's nearly five months old. Time flies. And it's flown so quickly that it's nearly time to think about going back to work.

Before I went off on maternity leave I said to my colleagues that I'd probably fall into one of two camps; either I'd be desperate to get back to work, or I'd be absolutely dreading it.

I realise now that I'm absolutely dreading it. Don't get me wrong, I love being a nurse. It's so fulfilling in so many ways, and I can't imagine having a career in any other field. But I love my child more, and the thought of being away from her is filling me with dread and a little bit of fear.

There's also been a lot of changes on our ward: new staff, old staff retiring, others getting new jobs, more paperwork, less time for patients etc. There's also the constant threat of being moved from ward to ward, which i really don't want. Do I want to go back into that stressful environment? I've been there for 5 years this year, nursing for 6 in total, is it time for a change?

I've been pondering this for a while, trying to come up with ways to delay going back to work. All my ideas are rubbish. We can't afford to live on just hubby's wages unfortunately, so being a stay at home mum is out of the question. Wish I was good enough to knit for a living!

I plan to take about 8 weeks annual leave before I go back, so that would take me up to the 1st November. Keep praying for a lottery win before then...

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