A Mummys View

Telling it like it is

My Birth Story Second Time Round: The First Month (Part 2) – The Feeding Challenge

I decided to try breastfeeding again this time. I managed it for four and a half months with my toddler and do agree that it gives babies a great start, as well as being cheap and at times relatively easy. I say “at times” and use the word “relatively” as breastfeeding can be very, very hard and I have to say I have found it hard this time.

I always prepared myself for the fact that I would likely combination feed, if not stop completely as I know how time consuming and demanding breastfeeding can be and couple that with a demanding existing child and you can imagine the picture! I have found this to be the case this time!

Baby clusterfed all night most nights for the first week at least and after that I was up for huge periods of the night, so by the end of week two I was exhausted. My body was physically shaking and I felt like I had a bucket on my head, I was so tired I couldn’t take in what people were saying, everything was just echoey and almost distorted. I realised there was no way I could be awake all night and function to look after a toddler the next day, so I introduced an evening bottle of formula to try to see baby through the night a little more and it did work.

The day my husband returned to work I realised I also couldn’t exclusively breastfeed during the day, as my daughter was wanting me to play and demanding my attention, but baby was also demanding my attention and feeding constantly. I kept having to tell my daughter to “hold on” and found myself saying “mummy won’t be a minute” or “mummy can’t right now darling” and this made me get a bit emotional as I felt like piggy in the middle and bad that I couldn’t give my daughter the attention she has always had from me. So I have also introduced a bottle or two during the day too to fill baby up and reduce the time spent with on / off breastfeeding, as well as an additional bottle during the night. I guess I could officially say I am at present combination feeding, but potentially heading towards solely bottle feeding.

I am one for structure and being organised, even though hubby calls me organised chaos! I like to know where I am and what to expect and I have felt this time with breastfeeding that I am totally disorganised and can’t plan my day like I want to and effectively plan in quality time with my toddler too. So this is probably another reason for my decision.

I’ve got mixed feelings about moving from breast to bottle. I don’t feel pressure or guilt in any way, it is certainly the best option for me and so far I have given her over a month of breast milk. I am probably more gutted that I now have to wash and sterilise loads of bottles and constantly buy formula! I am also feeling the pain! My breasts have been really engorged and I’ve even resorted to the Savoy Cabbage tactic to try and ease the pain (have to say it seems to have worked a bit!)

It’s early days in the combination feeding stakes and I am still trying to find a structure in breast v’s bottle feeds, as I keep mapping it out but then baby wants more food and I end up popping her on the breast for a quick thirst quencher if the bottle isn’t due or ready, which then has a knock on effect on the next feeding time,  but we’ll see how we get on… You would hope that things will only get easier!?!

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My Birth Story Second Time Round: The First Month (Part 1) – C-Section Recovery

Wow! My baby girl is a month old now! Where did that go?!

This first months seems to have absolutely flown by!

I was in hospital for the first four days and on returning home found my recovery harder than expected. I was fortunate enough to have my hubby around for the first 3 weeks and I am soooo glad for that!

I know that c-sections aren’t easy to recover from, having been there before. However this time round I was getting a lot of pain beyond what I probably should have and found it very hard to move. Then I discovered a small raised area above my scar on the left so I called the midwives and they arranged for a midwife to come and see me on an emergency appointment (as it was a weekend). The midwife was lovely but didn’t know if it was scar tissue or an infection so she kept me on beyond the normal discharge period and came regularly over 3 or 4 days and also called me to see how I was managing. Luckily by day 4 the pain had subsided compared to what it had been and I was discharged.

However the raised area was still there and a bit tender and a few days later I had a heavier bleed than I had been having and ended up on the phone to the labour ward, who said they wanted to see me immediately. Only problem was it was 11pm at night, I couldn’t drive, hubby had had a drink and we of course had the kids in bed anyway. Unbelievably everyone else I called had had a drink too! All my options to get to the hospital were out and it wasn’t even a weekend! I then called a local taxi firm, who said they had no cars available and wouldn’t for quite a while. Couldn’t believe my luck! However my amazing neighbour came to my rescue bless her and drove me there, even waiting for me for an hour and driving me home! (I bought her a big bottle of wine the next day!)

The outcome of my trip back to the labour ward was that there was no immediate sign of infection, but they couldn’t be sure and gave me antibiotics just to rule out anything that could be brewing. I have to say I think there probably had been an infection as a week later and the raised area had gone and I was moving around so much easier!

The first couple of weeks didn’t see much happening due to my recovery period, but seeing that I was starting to climb the walls, my hubby decided to get me out in the car in my second week and we headed to our local Mothercare to get me measured for a nursing bra. However this one little trip was enough for me as only parking up right outside, walking in and coming out again nearly finished me off! By week 3 I managed a short walk with hubby and the girls and in week 4 ventured further, walking to a friends house near where we live. It was great to get out and about and to finally start getting used to going out on my with my girls and looking after them on my own.

As I write this 5 weeks have gone by and things feel much easier, I have no pain or pulling. However I feel 2-3 weeks behind in the whole caring for my girls and getting used to having two. I’ve only actually done half a dozen bath times on my own with both girls and left the house 3 times on my own with them both. Everything is taking such a long time! The first morning I got up on my own with them both took me two hours to get me showered and dressed, them up, washed and dressed and all of us breakfast! I haven’t got an exact bedtime routine down as such, I’ve been trying a few different things but am proud to say that so far I have got tea / bottle, bathtime and bedtime all done in good time and my baby has been seen to and put down in her basket in good time to enable me to keep my toddler’s bedtime to the same timeframe and straucture. We will see how long this lasts but not too bad so far!

Being disabled I have felt a strain on my back and hips when we have been out as I am lifting two and pushing a bigger pushchair etc but I am hoping that, along with timing too everything will just fall into place and become quite natural and hopefully easier!

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Special delivery

Just a quick line to let all my readers know that I got an unexpectedly early special delivery this morning in the form of my new little girl!

She arrived 5 weeks early by emergency c section and although in transitional care is a good weight and allowed to stay with me, being monitored for a few things
but so far so good.

Further updates to come but I may be offline for the next week or so


The Comical Moments of Venturing out for the First Time with a Newborn

So a few posts on twitter recently got me back to thinking about my experiences of first venturing out with my little one and boy it wasn’t easy! Not so much because I had had a c-section and was walking like John Wayne, that of course was a problem. No it was more the humourous yet frustrating incidents that occurred on the outings!

1.) I am sure that’s not meant to happen:

Having had a c-section I couldn’t drive so one of my lovely mummy friends kindly came to pick me up with her newborn to go to a local breastfeeding and weigh in clinic / group. Arriving in our local town we got our little ones out of the car and I lifted by Britax car seat on and placed it on the pram chassis. All was fine for the rest of the morning until we returned to the car. I pressed in the button on the top of the handle to release the car seat from the chassis and lifted the car seat up… well I say car seat, the whole pram chassis came with it! Erm… ok I was pretty sure that wasn’t meant to happen. What came from this was five minutes (I kid you not) of me and my friend desperately tugging at the car seat, trying not to shake the poor little baby sat in it too much. Eventually after some battle we prised it free and got on our way. However this wasn’t to be the end of it! This happened on a regular occasion for the first three months!!! I had to carry a can of WD40 in my boot to release my child! I got some pretty strange looks in the car parks I have to say and at the time it really didn’t feel funny especially if I was out on my own. A couple of times I was close to tears! However I must say I do now look back and have to laugh! It was so ridiculous!

2.) Oh my god she didn’t just do that did she???

At 6 weeks I was given the all-clear to drive so headed to the group in my own car to meet my friend there. I had no sooner got into the car than my daughter started screaming, and boy do I mean screaming. There’s always that awkward problem where you are driving, trying to concentrate on the road but desperately watching your child through the car child mirror begging them to please stop crying and singing nursery rhymes in a hysterical manner… well yes that was me for the whole journey into our local town. When I got there I opened the car door, released the car seat straps and placed my hand under my daughter only to step back aghast! Oh no! she hadn’t had she? Oh yes she had! Houston we had a problem… a Big, Big, Big problem, one hell of an explosive nappy which had come through all her clothes and on to the car seat. The smell was incredible! I just picked her up, placed her in her pram and hurried as fast as I could through the town to the group, knowing I would be stripping her off to be weighed. I entered the room with a hysterical, screaming child, covered in poo, red in the face and… oh yes I forgot to add, she had a peeling flakey face too as the olive oil I had been recommended to use on her had made her skin go all flakey! It was a beautiful moment!  kind of like “Hi everyone, this is me and this is my adorable daughter…!” I was, you could say a little stressed but relieved to be able to strip off my daughter and calm things down a little!

3.) The weigh-in melt downs

I should also add that out of 24 weigh-ins I went to at that very same group my little girl had a hysterical hissy fit melt down every time I put her on the scales bar twice! I was the mum everyone looked at, some probably in horror and some in pity! Of those two times she didn’t cry I had arrived early and none of the other mums were there to see it! That’s called sods law!

4.) What? You want to go out, eat or shop? I don’t think so… I’m hungry!

I breastfed my daughter for the first 4 and a half months and was pleased with my achievements. However they don’t actually tell you how hard and time-consuming it actually is. The amount of times I would attempt to get out of the house and have to sit back down and feed her was unreal! On one shopping trip I was all set to go with my mum, she was in her car seat and we were about to leave, when she started crying for food. So I undid her car seat, took her jacket off and fed her, almost an hour later we were ready to go! On arriving at the shopping centre and heading into the first shop, my daughter again cried out for food! I had to go into the baby change feeding room and sit with my mum again for over half an hour! Almost 3 hours after first attempting to leave the house we were finally ready to shop! Then there was the time my friend and I sat in a cafe for almost 4 hours having lunch and bought several drinks because as fast as one of our baby’s stopped feeding the other started! It’s a good job the cafe wasn’t busy and the staff were really supportive!

I’ve come to the conclusion looking back that it definitely wasn’t easy, people certainly are not joking when they say it can take you three hours to get out! However… it’s all part and parcel of being a new mummy, it seems like there’s no light at the end of the tunnel but I can guarantee there is! If you are just starting out on this new adventure, I promise you, you will look back and laugh, if you have been there done that and got the t-shirt I am sure you will agree with me that it all makes for a more interesting experience!

How about you? How did you find the first trips out? Any humourous or crazy stories to share?


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