Browsing Category

Breastfeeding

Baby, Breastfeeding, Elowen's Updates

Elowen’s 4 month update

General:

My little Smoosh is a pretty happy and content little thing most of the time. Despite the fact she is currently going through the dreaded 4th leap *gulp*, aside from a few fussy evenings, she’s been pretty chilled out.

She always falls asleep if she’s in the pram and it’s the best way to get her to nap if she’s fighting sleep. If she’s not snoozing when out for our walks, she looks up at me from the carrycot and gives me beaming smiles.

She’s fascinated by her big sister and stares at Jasmine intently whenever she’s in the room.

She’s also ‘found her voice’ this month. Holy moly, that girl can shriek.

As well as finding her voice, she’s also found her thumb – she’s a thumb-sucker!

She had her third set of jabs this morning – they are never much fun and I hate hearing her cry. Luckily, I was able to get a smile out of her a few minutes afterwards. At least that’s them done and dusted for a while!

Weight: 

I last took Elowen to be weighed on the 8th March (15 weeks +3 days old) and she weighed 13lbs 13oz. The health worker pointed out that E had dropped percentiles on her chart. I came home feeling really negative and a bit like I was failing her. I did a bit of research online and found out that those charts are based on formula fed babies. The Health worker didn’t even bother to ask me how I was feeding Elowen! Anyway, I’m less bothered about it now – E is healthy, gaining weight and outgrowing her clothes. I think she’s doing just fine. (Here’s one of the articles I read about the difference in weight gain in BF and FF babies.)

E is in size 3 nappies and 3-6 month clothes.

Milestones: 

I said in Elowen’s 3 month update that she had giggled… once! Well, it took a couple more weeks since that happened but now she giggles lots. Especially if I tickle her or kiss her neck. She has the cheekiest little laugh ever. I am in love with it!

I also mentioned that I thought her bottom teeth were coming through. They haven’t yet but they’re certainly making progress. She’s had some awful teething episodes over the last few weeks. As she was still so young I was limited as to what I could give her. My friend Daisy suggested trying some breast milk ice lollies to help take away the teething pain and they were a massive hit.

Elowen can now grasp at her toys and quite enjoys short periods of time laying on her playmat. She will grab the toys that hang down over her and will either shake them or try to put them in her mouth.

Feeding: 

Despite my ‘wobble’ last month, I’m still exclusively breastfeeding Elowen. I’ve pretty much decided that I’m not going to introduce a bottle or formula for the time being. I could be cutting off my nose in spite of my face but I just cannot be bothered with expressing and sterilising bottles. I’m not even sure if E would take to a bottle now anyway, I suspect probably not.

Sleeping:

Sleep? What even is that? I’m not sure if Elowen is having a growth spurt or sleep regression but it feels like she is up every couple of hours for a feed at the moment. It is slaying me! I’ve been going to bed about 9pm most nights just so I’m not a complete zombie the next day. She will have several naps throughout the day, her longest one seems to be in the late morning.

She still ends up in our bed most nights but that’s usually because I end up falling asleep whilst feeding her more than a conscious decision to have her in bed with us.

I wrote a post earlier this month comparing the differences between Jasmine and Elowen’s bedtime routines – it’s here if you fancy a read.

Likes: Booby milk ice lollies, Lamaze Mortimer Moose (a Jasmine hand-me-down), mummy blowing raspberries, bathtime, watching her big sister.

Dislikes: teething pain and immunisation jabs!

my-signature

{ Find me on: BloglovinInstagramTwitter & YouTube }

Bedtime Routines: The First Baby Vs. The Second Baby
Baby, Breastfeeding, Parenting

Bedtime Routines: The First Baby Vs. The Second Baby

I was recently chatting to some of my mummy friends about the bedtime routines we have in place for our babies. This particular group of friends (mostly) consists of first-time-mamas. There was talk of nightly baths and baby massages and it was then that I had a sudden pang of guilt. I realised that I don’t put half as much effort into E’s bedtime routine as I did with J’s when she was the same age. I thought it would be interesting to compare the two different bedtime routines that I had/have for my first and second child (at around the same age) and to see if they slept any differently because of them. Read on to find out…

The first baby’s bedtime routine:

Jasmine was doing 5-6 hour long stints of sleeping at night by 9 weeks old and it was around this time that I decided I would implement a ‘proper bedtime routine‘ which went as follows…

Bath:

Every. Single. Day.

Heaven forbid we missed her evening bath.

Baby Massage:

After her bath, Jasmine was then treated to a full body massage – she’d be smothered head to toe in baby oil whilst I used the techniques I’d learned at our baby massage classes.

Bottle:

Her massage was followed by a feed. Jasmine was fully formula fed from around 6 weeks old. At 9 weeks old she’d have 4-5oz of milk at each feed.

Bed:

Jasmine would often fall asleep whilst having her last bottle before bed. I’d then gently slip her into her bedside crib. If she was still awake at the end of the feed, I’d pop her into the Bednest and turn on her ‘Freddie the frog’ Slumber Buddy (she still uses this now sometimes). She’d then eventually settle down to sleep.

4am: Jasmine wakes for a feed. She guzzles down her milk and then falls back to sleep.

6.30am: Jasmine wake ups and is ready to start the day!

Bedtime Routines: The First Baby Vs. The Second Baby

I blogged a 7-day diary when I introduced this bedtime routine – if you want to read it, you can find it here.

The Second Baby’s Bedtime Routine (or lack thereof):

Bath? (Ha!)

I give Elowen a bath about once a fortnight with ‘top and tail’ washes in between to keep her fresh.

Baby Massage? (Double ha!)

Sorry, baby girl – but I’ve spent the best part of the evening fighting with your sister to get her PJs on and brush her damn teeth. She’s finally down for the night so I just wanna chill. Is that cool with you? Cool.

The Dinner Time Feed: Elowen will demand a feed as soon as my dinner is ready (around 6.30/7.00pm). I stick her on the boob and watch my dinner go cold. I then pop E into her NUNA Leaf chair and crank that bad boy up to maximum sway. She might fight sleep for a little while but then gradually drifts off (usually whilst sucking her thumb). That’s her out for the count until I go to bed myself. I veg out in front of the telly or catch up with some blogging.

Bedtime: 

I tend to go to bed anywhere between 10pm and 11.30pm. I grab Elowen out of her chair and take her up to bed with me. This usually wakes her up so I take the opportunity to put a fresh nappy on her and change her clothes ready for bed. I boob her back to sleep again and then pop her in the Chicco Next-to-me crib. She’s still using her Purflo Nest but has almost outgrown it – this saddens me greatly.

Bedtime Routines: The First Baby Vs. The Second Baby

4am: Night feed. I usually end up latching her on and falling back to sleep.

6/6.30am: I wake up (usually by my toddler alarm clock) with Elowen still cuddled up in my arms from the 4am feed.

Time to get up!

Conclusion:

It wasn’t until I read this post back that I realised how similar Elowen’s sleep pattern is to what Jasmine’s was at around the same age. And that’s despite Elowen forgoing nightly baths and baby massages (poor, poor second child). I’ve definitely been more relaxed about bed-sharing this time around (although, I still follow the safety guidelines). I would have Jasmine sleep in bed with us during the fourth trimester when she was still adjusting to being ‘earthside’. And to be honest, it scared me, but sometimes it was the only way we got any sleep. Elowen on the other hand, is almost 4 months old, and I’m happy to bring her into our bed. I’m breastfeeding this time around so I find I can get a bit more extra sleep whilst she feeds.

You can tell from reading these bedtime routines that we very much dedicated our evenings to Jasmine’s bedtime routine. It’s clearly true (in our case at least) that the second baby has to fit around us as a family, and not the other way around. So yeah, the littlest lady of the family might miss out on nightly baths (she has majorly dry skin anyways) and doesn’t get those full body massages (I feel a bit guilty about that) but ultimately, it’s made no difference. They sleep exactly the same!

Our favourite baby bedtime products*:

If you fancy reading more posts about baby sleep routines and co-sleeping, check out these posts by some of my fellow mama blogger friends: Lucie // Kirsty // Georgina // Rachel // Rebecca

I’d love to know how bedtime works in your house if you have more than one child?
Or if you just have the one, what does their bedtime routine involve?
How do you feel about co-sleeping?

my-signature

{ Find me on: BloglovinInstagramTwitter & YouTube }

*Contains affiliate links.

 

Breastfeeding success second time around and what I did differently
Baby, Breastfeeding, Homebirth

Breastfeeding success second time around
(and what I did differently)

My breastfeeding experience with Jasmine was short lived. We got off to a bad start and when she lost a lot weight my anxiety got too much to handle. I switched to combination feeding her expressed breast milk and formula for 6 weeks before switching to formula completely.

As soon as I fell pregnant with Elowen, aside from my fears of suffering yet another miscarriage, I was also fraught with anxiety at the prospect trying to breastfeed another baby, to the point I was having dreams about it every night. I went back and forth throughout my pregnancy on whether or not I even wanted to try again. In the end, I decided to give breastfeeding another shot. Jasmine had thrived on formula milk, if breastfeeding didn’t work out second time around, I knew that I’d be OK with switching to formula with baby #2. I had nothing to lose by giving it another go.

I’m really pleased to say that Elowen is now 3 months old and I am still exclusively breastfeeding her. Trust me when I say that nobody is more surprised about that than I am. It just goes to show that every baby is different. And I do think that has a lot to do with it. As mums we often blame ourselves when breastfeeding doesn’t work out but breastfeeding is a two-way thing. Jasmine wasn’t interested in feeding from me and was such a sleepy little thing. Elowen, on the other hand, was alert from the get-go and took to breastfeeding fantastically.

That said, there were quite a few things I did differently this time around which I’m sure helped us along the way on our breastfeeding journey.

They are as follows:

Having a physiological third stage of labour (delivering the placenta naturally)

When I originally wrote my birth plan I said that I wanted drugs administered to help speed up the delivery of my placenta. Partly because that’s what I did last time and partly because I was having a home birth and I was worried that the placenta might not come out, meaning I’d have to be transferred to hospital. However, a few days before I went into labour with E, I came across this article about a study that found a link between the drug used to speed up placenta delivery and breastfeeding problems. The news article is a few years old (2014) and was based on a relatively small study but it was enough to convince me to at least try for a natural placenta delivery. It took a little while (probably longer than it did to push E out!) but it did come out of it’s own accord eventually. I’ve no idea if it helped me have a more successful breastfeeding experience or not, but I think it did, even if only psychologically.

I had skin-to-skin contact and breastfed E when she was minutes old

I went an entire night before attempting to breastfeed Jasmine for the first time after she was born. Which, when I think about it now, is pretty shocking. I was too scared to attempt the first feed without the guidance of a midwife. Unfortunately, once I’d been stitched up the midwives all disappeared until the morning. Jasmine was fast asleep and I was exhausted so I took the opportunity to rest.  When I did get help the next morning, a midwife literally shoved Jasmine at my boob. I gasped when she latched on because of how painful it felt and the midwife grunted “Oh it’ll hurt until your nipples toughen up.” Great.

Elowen’s first feed could not have been more different. She was minutes old. The midwife who attended my home birth told me to go ahead and feed her how I felt I should, but assured me she’d be right there to assist should I need it. E latched right away and began to suckle, I don’t remember it being painful at all. (The pain came later on!)

I used nipple shields when the pain got too much

I was under the impression, after having Jasmine, that nipple shields were the epitome of all evil. At least that’s how certain midwives portrayed them, as well as most of the Internet. ‘They’ll confuse baby!” was the overwhelming opinion on them and because of that I steered well clear.

Between then and becoming a mum for a second time I’d read numerous blog posts from fellow mummy bloggers who said they’d never have been able to continue breastfeeding had they not used nipple shields. (Hannah from Budding Smiles springs to mind, as an example.) So I bought nipple shields before I’d even given birth and I’d already decided that if I felt I needed to use them, then I would. And to Hell with any midwife or health visitor who cared to argue with me about that.

In the end, it was a midwife who suggested I try the nipple shields to feed Elowen. It was only my second day post-partum but my nipples were in agony. I told the midwife over the phone how sore I was and she said if I hadn’t tried using nipple shields yet, to give them a go. I found them quite fiddly to use but they were worth the hassle as it meant I could give my poor nipples a break. I genuinely don’t think I would’ve carried on feeding E had it not been for the shields. I will always encourage other breastfeeding mamas to try them if they’re struggling with nipple pain/damage.

By the end of week four I’d ditched the nipple shields completely.

I had formula on standby

When I was pregnant with Jasmine, I was very determined to breastfeed her. Being a first time mum, and the first in my friendship circle to have a baby, I took a lot of ‘advice’ from people on forums. I’d read, several times, that if I were to really give breastfeeding my best shot then I should avoid having formula in the house as it would be ‘too tempting’ to switch to using it on a bad day. The night I broke down and decided I could no longer keep trying to breastfeed Jasmine, Stephen had to drive out to find the nearest 24hr supermarket to buy formula and bottles. I sobbed the whole time whilst watching Jasmine scream in hunger. Never, ever would I go through that again.

Second time around, I stocked up on ready-made pre-sterlised formula bottles (even packing some in my ‘just in case’ hospital bags). It took the pressure off me knowing that I always had a back up to hand which, ultimately, helped me to establish breastfeeding.

I knew where to seek professional help… and then got it.

There was a real lack of breastfeeding support available to me when I had Jasmine. It’s something I’m still quite bitter about. Because of this, I did my homework whilst pregnant with E. I found out where all of the local breastfeeding support groups were, I joined Facebook groups and I had a name and number for a local lactation consultant. I felt armed with information on people who could help me with any problems I may come up against. Elowen had a really shallow latch, which was what was causing my nipple pain. I decided I would go and see a lactation consultant about it. She spent a good 45 minutes observing E feeding, giving me advice, reassuring me that using nipple shields was absolutely fine and that the supposed ‘nipple confusion’ they caused was a load of BS.

I had a better support network in place

I had discussed my fears about breastfeeding with a lot of my friends (mummy friends, non-mummy friends, blogging pals, Instagram chums… whoever cared to listen) and because of that they went above and beyond to support me in those early days. They’d send me messages to tell me how well I was doing, giving me a little boost when my morale was low. Those who had been through this before gave me hints, tips and gentle encouragement. It all made such a big difference and for that I will be forever grateful.

I was more relaxed about breastfeeding

Like most aspects of parenthood, second time around I felt more relaxed, particularly in my approach to breastfeeding. If it worked out, great – if it didn’t, I’d formula feed Elowen and that would be that. Either way, the world would keep on spinning.

I took each day as it came…

I didn’t have a specific target in mind – I had no goal to ‘breastfeed exclusively for 6 months’… or a year or two! I decided to take each day as it came. Again, it took the pressure off.

3 months on and I’m very much still in that mindset. I’m enjoying feeding Elowen but whether it ends tomorrow or in a year’s time – that’s fine. Today I’m feeding her and that’s all I’m going to concentrate on right now.

Breastfeeding success second time around

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This post has ended up being a bit ‘wordy’ but I really hope it might help someone. Breastfeeding is bloody hard work and as I said at the start of this post, every baby is different. Whatever happens, whether you breastfeed or bottle feed, please enjoy your baby and soak up those newborn snuggles. I spent far too long feeling guilty and miserable because I couldn’t breastfeed Jasmine. I will never get those early days back to just enjoy my brand new baby girl without the all consuming guilt and sadness.

my-signature

{ Find me on: BloglovinInstagramTwitter & YouTube }

 

Theraline Mamma Pads Review
Baby, Breastfeeding, Reviews

Theraline Mamma Pads {Review}

Theraline Mamma Pads Review:

There were a few things that took me by surprise when it came to breastfeeding. In particular, just how messy it could be. My boobs have leaked milk since I was about 22 weeks pregnant and now that I’m a little over 3 months into our breastfeeding journey, it’s still something I have to deal with daily.

In the early days, before my milk supply had regulated (I’m talking the first 8-9 weeks or so postpartum), I would often wake up in a puddle of my own breast milk. I wore a bra and breast pads at night but they’d quickly become saturated and soggy. If I’m honest, after a while it started to get me down. I often thought ‘there must be another way’. I couldn’t believe, in this day and age, this should still be a problem for breastfeeding mamas. As it turns out, there is indeed, another way…

I recently heard about Theraline’s Mamma Pads – ‘smart’ nursing pads that don’t collect leaking breast milk, but instead stop the leakage from happening in the first place. Hallelujah! The slim and discrete silicone pads temporarily shut off your milk ducts by gently pressing in the nipples.

Once the pads are removed the milk ducts open again and your milk can flow normally for the next feed. Mamma Pads will adapt to every breast shape.

These clever little pads sounded far too good to be true so I was very pleased when Theraline kindly offered to send me a pair to review. Here’s what I thought:

What I loved about the Theraline Mamma Pads:

I think it’s great that these pads don’t collect leaking milk, but instead stop your breasts from leaking in the first place. It’s so, so clever. It means I feel cleaner and there’s no milky wet patches on my clothes (which I personally find quite embarrassing when out in public).

They are so easy to put on and once they’re on I didn’t notice them. They don’t crease up or fall out of your bra like regular breast pads do. (You would not believe the amount of times I’ve had to scoop up my regular breast pads off the floor of a coffee shop!)

They’re more discrete than regular breast pads. (This means on those rare occasions that you get to go ‘out, out’ you won’t be limited as to what you can wear!)

Theraline Mamma Pads Review

I don’t have to wear a bra to use them. (Great if, like me, you prefer to sleep without a bra on.)

They’re easy to clean – just rinse them with soapy water and leave to dry.

… And that leads me on to my next point – they’re reusable (for around 150+ uses) so they’re cost efficient and better for the environment. :)

What I wasn’t so keen on:

The fact that they are ‘virtually invisible’ is both a blessing an a curse. After removing one of the pads during the night to feed Elowen, I’d end up losing it somewhere in the bed covers. Being half asleep at 3am and in the dark made it impossible to find it again until the morning. (I had the same problem with nipple shields in the early weeks of breastfeeding.)

The ‘sticky’ adhesive side of the pad often ends up collecting hair and fluff which, whilst it doesn’t affect their use, is quite annoying.

The pads (and ultimately my boobs) end up a little smelly if I’ve worn them all day.

You have to leave them to air dry after washing (by using a towel or similar to dry them you’d end up wiping off the thin layer of adhesive). This means that during that drying time you’d either have to go sans pads (risky), use regular nursing pads or invest in a second set of Mamma Pads. To be fair. at around £15 a set, they’re very good value. I’m planning to buy a second set for myself.

Final thoughts:

These are such clever, little pads and I only wish I had known about them sooner. Whilst they’re not perfect, I certainly prefer them to conventional breast pads for the reasons I’ve listed above. If you’re a pregnant or breastfeeding/expressing mama then I certainly recommend giving these pads a try. Best of all, if you’re not completely happy with them, Theraline will give you a full refund. You’ve nothing to lose! :)

You can buy them here*:

my-signature

{ Find me on: BloglovinInstagramTwitter & YouTube }

* This post contains an affiliate link.

Baby, Breastfeeding, Elowen's Updates

Elowen’s 3 month update

It’s really hard not to open these update posts with a line about how fast the time is going but it really is flying by. My little Smoosh is 3 months old and she’s growing like a weed. I want her to stay tiny forever, damn it!

General: 

OK, first up, I think she has teeth coming through. ACTUAL BLUMMIN’ TEETHY PEGS! If she’s awake then she’s usually gnawing on her fists and dribbling lots. She’s been doing that for a good week or so. Today I noticed, what looks like, her bottom two teeth coming through. She’s been struggling with the pain and this evening she cried for a solid hour whilst biting her hands. I feel so sad for her. As much as I’m not ready for my 3 month old to have teeth, I do hope they cut through soon and give her some relief.

E still has mild cradle cap and I still haven’t done anything about it, partly because I think I’ll just end up making it worse.

In the last update I mentioned that I was trying to introduce a dummy. That lasted all of two days before I gave up on that idea. Elowen wasn’t interested at all and just ended up spitting them out. Ho hum. One less thing I have to get rid of later on I suppose.

We had her second set of immunisations yesterday. She was majorly peeved that the nurse she had been giving her best smiles to suddenly jabbed her in the leg with a needle. The cheek of it! She screamed bloody murder but settled after a few minutes and slept all the way home.

This photo cracks me up every time.

Weight: 

I haven’t had Elowen weighed since last month (bad mama). She’s now into her 3-6 month clothes and still in size 2 nappies.

Milestones:

Giggle! We’ve had a giggle. One solitary giggle. I was changing her nappy at the library last Friday (17th Feb) when she randomly started giggling. It was the sweetest sound EVER. Hasn’t done it since though!

Feeding:

I’m still exclusively breastfeeding Elowen and I’m really chuffed about that. I have had a bit of a wobble this week as I’ve been finding it hard not having any freedom and being solely responsible for feeding her. The most time I’ve had to myself out of the house since E was born was a 20 minute walk with the dog. My best friends are all planning weekend trips for birthdays (we all turn 30 this year) and I’m gutted that I may miss out because I’m breastfeeding. On the other hand, I know that this won’t be forever and I will probably miss it when E decides to wean off the breast.

Sleeping: 

We’re all getting a bit more sleep (most nights anyway) than we were last month. Elowen tends to wake up twice a night, sometimes three times, for a feed. The longest she’s slept in one solid chunk is 6 hours. Boy, were my boobs big that morning! She sleeps well in her next-to-me crib but is outgrowing her purflo nest, I don’t think it’ll before long before I have to take it out. :(

That’s it for this month – I’m hoping to report more giggles in my next Elowen Update! C’mon girl, quit holding out on me!

my-signature

{ Find me on: BloglovinInstagramTwitter & YouTube }

I’m linking this post up to Real Mum Review’s #LittleLeaps Linky. :)

Baby, Breastfeeding, Elowen's Updates

Elowen’s 2 month update

I can barely believe my littlest lady is already two months old. I think the time seems to go by even quicker with subsequent babies and I’m oh-so aware of how quickly they grow up. I only have to look at her big sister to remind myself of that. I’m really enjoying being a mummy to two girls and whilst it is challenging (understatement of century!) I wouldn’t change anything. Not one thing. I am so, so lucky. :)

Anyway, enough rambling – let’s get on with Elowen’s two month update… *sobs*

General:

Today Elowen had her first set of immunisations and took them like a champ. She’s calpol’d up and snoozing on the sofa beside me as I type this. She had a fussy period for a while this evening where she was crying inconsolably (normal behaviour for her at that time of the evening) but thankfully it didn’t last long. A boob cures all that ails her!

Elowen’s developed quite a mild case of cradle cap over the last week or so and her head is really quite dry. I haven’t tried anything on it yet but I might give some coconut oil a go at some point.

I’ve introduced a dummy over the last few days (we never used one with Jasmine). She’s not overly fussed about having it and most of the time only keeps it in her mouth for a few minutes before spitting it out but I do find that, on occasion, it helps to settle her if I can’t feed/cuddle her as soon as she starts to create (which is often the case when you also have a clingy two-year-old to deal with).

Weight: 

I took E to the weigh-in clinic on the 11th January and she weighed 11bs 2oz! She’s in 0-3 month clothes and wearing size 2 nappies.

Milestones: 

Elowen gave me her first gummy smile at 4 weeks and 4 days old. Her smiles are adorable (not biased at all – HA!) because her whole face lights up. At first they were few and far between but she’s definitely getting more smiley by the day. In fact, she grinned at me from the pram the whole way home on the nursery run yesterday. She’s also started making little cooing noises with her smiles too.

E has had pretty good head control from the get-go but she’s fantastic when it comes to tummy time. She totally looks like a little turtle, though. :)

Feeding:

I am so, so pleased to be able to say that I am still exclusively breastfeeding Elowen. It’s not been without it’s difficulties (and I’ll try to get round to writing about my breastfeeding experience in a separate blog post soon). But we’re two months in and things are going well. Elowen is gaining plenty of weight and I’m finally starting to enjoy feeding her a lot more than I did – it’s hard not too when she stares at me with her big blue eyes. :)

It’s weird to not be able to talk about how much milk Elowen’s ‘taking’ because I don’t know! And I can’t even really go into how often she feeds because I feed her on demand and don’t really take much notice of how often that is. It varies from day to day anyway. All this has made my approach to feeding her quite relaxed (with Jasmine I would note down every oz of milk she took for the first 6 weeks or so!)

Sleeping:

Whilst E is still waking up 3-4 times a night for feeds (the downside to breastfeeding!) she does sleep well between them. I pretty much wake up as soon as I hear her stirring in the next-to-me crib, slide her over and nurse her back to sleep.

Elowen had been sleeping in the bed with me up until recently as it was the only way we’d get any sleep as she just wouldn’t settle in her crib. She’s now a lot happier to sleep in there during the night (thanks to our Purflo nest) although she always end up in our bed by the morning! I think that’s as much to do with me wanting her close as it is the other way around. ;)

I *think* that’s all for now. Let’s face it – at two months old, babies are still pretty much just eating, sleeping and pooping! I’m sure the next month will whizz by as quickly as the last two. Meanwhile I’ll be finding every excuse possible to not get rid of Elowen’s outgrown baby clothes…

my-signature

{ Find me on: BloglovinInstagramTwitter & YouTube }

I’m linking this post up to Real Mum Review’s #LittleLeaps Linky. :)

Baby, Baby Button Nose, Breastfeeding, Elowen's Updates, Motherhood, Parenting

The Newborn Diaries:
Elowen’s Fourth Week

After keeping a diary of Elowen’s first week earthside, I have decided I would carry on keeping daily notes for the next few weeks. The days all seem to roll into one at the moment (sleep deprivation will do that) and I know these early weeks will become such a blur all too soon. I want to be able to look back on them and remember as much as I can – the good days and the rough days.

Elowen’s fourth week:

Monday – Day 22:

I’m pleased to say that we made it to the church playgroup again this Monday morning. I love that it doesn’t start until 10am (lots of baby/toddler groups seem to start at 9/9.30am which is madness). Elowen slept the whole time we were there on my lap whilst Jasmine and I made paper crowns (ala the three wise men).

I’m so glad that Stephen has been making my lunch in the mornings before he goes to work. We got home from playgroup and I was starving (I’d had breakfast about 6am) but Jasmine needed feeding and Elowen was screaming for boob. Thankfully, I could just pull some chicken and salad wraps out of the fridge and chuck them down my throat. It’s the little things that make a big difference when you’re trying to juggle the demands of two tiny people.

Tuesday – Day 23:

Stephen’s using up some of his annual leave over the next week or so which meant he was off work today – woot! Jasmine was at nursery for the morning which meant we had some time to get some chores done. We had another estate agent round to value our house first thing. She told me I didn’t look like I’d just given birth three weeks ago. I could’ve kissed her.

I think Elowen is going through her 3 week growth spurt because she’s been on the boob pretty much ALL day. She’s quite fussy too – keeps latching on and then crying and pulling away. The lactation consultant I saw the other week warned me about this and reminded me that her constant feeding isn’t a sign that I’m not producing enough milk but a signal to my body to produce more. E has also been awake for most of the day which is very unlike her.

E had her first proper ‘Poonami’ today. Is there a milestone card for that? Anyway – bright yellow poo all the way up her ‘Best Little Sister’ babygrow. Sad times.

Wednesday – Day 24:

Just when I thought that Jasmine was over her little night waking phase – she was up at 3am again last night. Stephen ended up going downstairs with her again. I know you’re ‘meant’ to try and put toddlers back to bed but trust me when I say, it ain’t gonna happen. Once Jasmine’s awake, that’s it. Elowen on the other hand slept well between feeds (which were fairly short and frequent throughout the night).

It’s safe to say we are all feeling the effects of lack of sleep today. Jasmine fell asleep watching a film on our bed 9am. I left her to it and took Elowen downstairs – she was still cluster-feeding like a crazy baby as I worked my way through a tub of Celebrations. Whoops!

I had to wait in for some online shopping deliveries (the only way I’m getting any Crimbo shopping done this year) so it was a good excuse for a film and duvet day… not that we needed an excuse after last night’s shenanigans!

Right… Elowen needs feeding again…

Thursday – Day 25:

My poor bubba has a cold. I knew it was inevitable because the lurgy has been going around our house for weeks. Elowen has really been struggling with feeding and cries after latching on because she can’t breathe. I felt so helpless. I jumped on Amazon and ordered ALL the baby cold supplies – Snuffle babe drops, nasal aspirator and saline spray.

Friday – Day 26:

Elowen just wanted to be held today (as per usual) so I popped her in the carrier and made Paw Patrol cupcakes with Jasmine. The day went a bit downhill after that. Jasmine’s been particularly needy and attention seeking today. It’s been exhausting. At several points throughout the day both girls were crying at the same time. It was the sort of day I has been dreading before becoming a mama to two. To be fair, I thought I would’ve had a a fair few days like this already so far but coping with two hasn’t been as bad as I feared. (Famous last words.)

E was still suffering with her stuffy nose, especially when laying on her back so bed time was… interesting. I used the Snuffle Babe drops in my diffuser which seemed to help ease clear her airways a bit. I really hope she’s feeling a bit better soon.

Saturday – Day 27: 

Elowen had her first ever bath this morning! I was so worried about her losing that ‘newborn smell’ and her super soft skin that I had been putting it off. Basically I didn’t want to wash away her new-ness! She was so chilled out and hardly seem phased at all. I’m happy to report that she still has that new baby smell and her skin is still super soft! :)

My dad came up from Bristol to visit us today which is kind of a big deal. We’ve had a pretty crap relationship over the last few years and to put that in to context, until today he hadn’t seen Jasmine since she was 6 weeks old. We’re both making more of an effort to stay in touch these days though and I’m glad my girls will get to know their grandad.

Sunday – Day 28:

Slept in this morning and felt better for catching up on some sleep. I feel like I constantly need a shower at the moment as I seem to wake up smelling of sweat and sour milk (E has a habit of spitting milk back up all over my bra!). My skin and hair are both awful at the moment and I just feel a bit ‘meh’.

Anyway, enough of my whinging…. my baby is 4 weeks old. 4 WEEKS! I can hardly believe it. I’ve noticed in the last few days that some of her newborn babygrows are already becoming a bit snug. My Baby Button-Nose is growing like a week.

I’m so happy that I’m still feeding her and on that note, I’ve not used the nipple shields for at least 24 hours so I think we’re pretty much weaned off of them now. VERY happy about that.

Here’s her ‘4 week’ photos…

The other night I sent a message asking my one of my best friends, who is a neonatal nurse, how long a baby is classed as a newborn for. (Google gave me lots of different answers). She told me that at her work they classed babies as ‘newborns’ for 28 days. Waaaaaaaah! I wish I’d never asked. ;)

I’m probably going to stop writing these weekly ‘newborn diaries’ now and give myself the chance to write some other kind of blogs posts (I’m only finding enough time to do about one post a week at the mo). I’ve really enjoyed keeping these little notes over the last 4 weeks and no doubt they will make for interesting reading in months/years from now  (basically when I’m feeling broody and nostalgic).

my-signature

{ Find me on: BloglovinInstagramTwitter & YouTube }

Baby, Baby Button Nose, Breastfeeding, Elowen's Updates, Motherhood, Parenting

The Newborn Diaries:
Elowen’s Third Week

After keeping a diary of Elowen’s first week earthside, I have decided I would carry on keeping daily notes for the next few weeks. The days all seem to roll into one at the moment (sleep deprivation will do that) and I know these early weeks will become such a blur all too soon. I want to be able to look back on them and remember as much as I can – the good days and the rough days.

Elowen’s third week:

Monday – Day 15:

I survived my first day of solo parenting with two kiddos! I must admit, I had been really nervous about Stephen going back to work but today went a lot better than I hoped. I managed to get us all fed, dressed and out of the house. We went to the local church playgroup in the morning. Jasmine and I did some Christmas crafts whilst Elowen snoozed in the her carrycot. I felt like super mum! Pride before a fall?!

Tuesday – Day 16:

Jasmine had nursery this morning which meant 5 hours of guilt-free time with my littlest lady. It was nice to be able to feed Elowen without having to say things like “I can’t do that right now” and “I’ll do it in the minute, Jasmine”. At 12pm I had the Health Visitor round. I now have another bunch of leaflets to read… I’d only just finished reading the ones the midwife gave me last week! Elowen weighed 8lb 11oz today so she’s putting on weight nicely. The HV asked me if I’d thought about my contraception options. Honestly? It’s the LAST thing on my mind!

img_20161206_103933

Also today this happened:

Wednesday – Day 17:

Today has been exhausting. Elowen was quite unsettled last night and was waking up for feeds very frequently. I felt like Jasmine was really pushing my buttons throughout the day but my tiredness didn’t help matters. We went out for a walk to the shops in the morning, just for something to do. Jasmine kept running off down the aisles despite me asking her to stay close to me. Later on in the afternoon I snapped at her because she was pushing Elowen too roughly in her Nuna chair. She got tearful and her bottom lip wobbled which made me feel like a horrible mum because really she was only trying to comfort her baby sister.

I’ve consumed a silly amount of chocolate today. Hopefully tomorrow will be better.

Thursday – Day 18:

I’m feeling more human today. Last night E had her last feed before bed at around 11pm and then didn’t wake again for another one until 3.30am. Not only that, but she also slept in the Next to Me for most of the night which is a first! *fist pump* Normally she will only settle to sleep when she’s next to me in our bed which I don’t mind but I don’t think I sleep as well/deeply when I know she’s in the bed with me.

Jasmine was at nursery this morning so I took E to the cinema for the parent and baby screening of ‘Sully: Miracle on the Hudson”. I felt like I should’ve been doing something else ‘more important’ but once I got there, I enjoyed the film and uninterrupted baby hugs. Plus the walk to town and back (half an hour or so each way) probably did me some good.

img_20161208_143520
I’ve been using the nipple shields a lot less today and whilst it takes E a bit longer to latch on without them, feeding is still going well.

Friday – Day 19:

Whoa, I’d totally forgotten how tiring it is having a newborn. I am beyond exhausted. I managed to convince Jasmine to snuggle up in bed with Elowen and I a little longer this morning. I needed a bit more time to wake up so I stuck Blaze and the Monster Machines on the telly and semi-dozed for a while.

img_20161209_155219

I realised once I was up that I’d ran out of my medication (in fact, I missed a day yesterday) so we needed to take a trip down to the doctors surgery to pick up my prescription. I wore Elowen in my Boba 3G carrier and Jasmine walked. We popped into the coffee shop on the way home for milkshakes which made me realise how much more grown up Jasmine has suddenly become.

img_20161209_113410

The afternoon passed by in a blur – there’s always something to do or somebody who needs attention. And before I knew it, it was 6pm and Stephen was walking through the door. I survived my first week with both children! We’ve gotten outside every single day and dare I say it, but I’ve actually enjoyed having the two of them to myself. Well, except when they’re both crying at the same time – that’s headache inducing!

Saturday – Day 20: 

Well last night was PANTS! I’m not sure I got any sleep at all, I certainly don’t feel like I did. Elowen was waking constantly for feeds and would not settle after them – she just kept crying. She seemed frustrated for whatever reason and I was getting irritated because I couldn’t do anything to calm her down. I’d shove a boob in her mouth but that only worked temporarily.

I’m so glad it’s Saturday so that Stephen was able to get up with Jasmine (at 6am) and I could stay in bed. Elowen and I didn’t get up until gone half past ten! It meant that today was a bit of a write-off because I was too tired to do anything. I managed to order a couple of Christmas presents online but that was the extent of my productivity.

I can’t believe E will be 3 weeks old tomorrow. I feel so sad about how quickly the time is going – I think it’s because I know she will my last baby. She already seems so much bigger than Jasmine was at this age (because she is).

Sunday – Day 21:

Ahh look at my gorgeous girl…

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

It’s so crazy to think that she is three weeks old already. I feel a bit guilty that I don’t take as many photos of her as I did when Jasmine was a baby. I try to make a special effort to get some nice ones every Sunday so I can at least see how much bigger she’s getting each week. Today she seemed really alert when I was taking her photos – she was taking everything in and wondering what on earth Mummy was doing. It’s something she’s going to have to get used to! ;)

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

We’ve had a nice chilled out family day today. We took the dog out for a walk this morning – it was freezing! Annoyingly I can’t do my coat up all the way when I’m wearing Elowen in the carrier. I have ordered one of those fleecey jumper tops though with the hole in the front for baby! The sooner that arrives, the better!

We also put up the Christmas tree… well, Jasmine and Stephen put up the tree. I was stuck on the sofa feeding Elowen (who I swear, has been non-stop feeding today). I did hang a few baubles up at the end so that was something I suppose.

I’ve been struggling to do the online food shop this evening because E screams the moment I put her down. I secretly love having a clingy baby but it does make simple tasks a bit difficult at times!

I’m sad the weekend is over but looking forward to what the next week with my two babies holds. I’ll be trying not to get too emotional as my littlest lady approaches the one month old mark! Waaah!!

my-signature

{ Find me on: BloglovinInstagramTwitter & YouTube }

 

 

Baby, Baby Button Nose, Breastfeeding, Elowen's Updates, Motherhood, Parenting

The Newborn Diaries:
Elowen’s Second Week

After keeping a diary of Elowen’s first week earthside, I have decided to carry on keeping daily notes for the next few weeks. The days all seem to roll into one at the moment (sleep deprivation will do that) and I know these early weeks will become such a blur all too soon. I want to be able to look back on them and remember as much as I can – the good days and the rough days.

You can read about Elowen’s first week here.

Elowen’s second week:

Monday – Day 8:

Felt like I saw every hour last night. Stephen took Jasmine to playgroup. I rested in bed for a while and tried to nap and E slept all morning. I had a shower and put make up on for first time in ages.

Went to the garden centre in the afternoon. The pushchair had it’s maiden voyage! Jasmine was chaos, running around all over the place.

I breastfed in public for the first time. It felt really awkward.

I tried a feed without a nipple shield – E did latch on but was fussing and kept coming off the boob. Has spurred me on to keep trying though.

Tuesday – Day 9:

Busy day today. Stephen dropped Jasmine off at nursery and then we headed into town with Elowen to register her birth. We were both too sleep deprived to remember what year we got married (2015). We went for celebratory hot chocolates after and I breastfed E in public again. I felt a bit more relaxed this time but I’m still finding using a nipple shield whilst trying to maintain my modesty a bit tricky!

We did a bit of Christmas shopping and I even managed to squeeze in a well overdue eyebrow wax at the Benefit Brow bar! It’s the first time I’ve done anything for ‘me’ in months.

In the afternoon, Stephen stayed home with Jasmine whilst I took E to a breastfeeding clinic to see a lactation consultant. I want to be able to ditch the nipple shields! She checked for tongue tie (no obvious sign of any) and watched me feed Elowen. Sarah, the LC, told me that E’s jaw was quite tight and she wasn’t using her tongue as effectively as she could be. She explained that this was probably due to my fast labour and that E’s latch will probably improve itself over the coming weeks and that she’ll most likely wean herself off the shields anyway. Sarah suggested that an osteopath may be able to help speed the process up a bit but that could get expensive. All in all, it was a really useful and positive appointment. I got lots of answers to my feeding questions.

I spent the evening baby spamming one of my besties on WhatsApp. Told her that E is so cute I wanted to eat her. Bestie told me that there’s a name for that: “cute aggression”. You learn something new every day.
I’m hoping to find out that E’s had a good weight gain tomorrow and we’re discharged from the midwives…

Wednesday – Day 10:

Had my midwife appointment this afternoon. Elowen is over her birth weight and I’m absolutely thrilled. I’m so proud of us both. We’ve been discharged by the midwives.

img_20161130_190650

I’ve been a feeling tired and a bit snappy today – not helped by the fact that I’ve had a pounding headache. Both girls had a screaming match in the back of the car on the way back home from my midwife appointment. Paracetamol needed, stat!

In the evening I suddenly remembered about a mess-less footprint/handprint kit I bought when I was pregnant. I had meant to do when E was first born but totally forgot about it so did it today instead. Loving E’s iddy biddy footprints…

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

I have a spare sheet so I’m going to try and do the same with Jasmine (that will probably be easier said than done) and frame both sets of prints together.

Thursday – Day 11:

Jasmine woke up in the middle of the night again last night. That’s the second time she’s done this since Elowen was born. We hoped she would settle herself to sleep but nope. She was sat up singing the ‘Paw Patrol’ theme tune. Then she started calling out “I miss my mummy! I can’t find my mummy’. She ended up in our bed again but kept us awake for several hours, wriggling around and talking. Stephen ended up taking her downstairs where they slept on the sofa. After a quick Google search, it would seem that it’s very common for toddlers around Jasmine’s age to start waking in the night after a new sibling is born. I hope it doesn’t last long, it’s exhausting enough having one child waking in the night, let alone two.

Elowen has been super clingy today and has not wanted to be put down AT ALL. I don’t mind, I’ve waited a long time for newborn cuddles. It did take me an hour and half to change our bedsheets though (duvet covers were soaked through with breastmilk again). I eventually wore her in the Caboo carrier in order to get sh*t done!

Today was the first day that I’ve felt sad since having E. I feel like I’ve barely seen Jasmine all day and had no one-to-one time with her. She was at nursery this morning and this afternoon I’ve had a baby glued to my boob constantly. Feeling all the mum guilt. I managed to read her a bedtime story at least but still feeling a bit pants.

I’ve been trying to feed Elowen without nipple shields every few feeds with mixed success. She seems to latch on much better on my left side than the right. I probably need to try a few different positions. Feeling positive that we’ll be able to ditch the nipple shields soon though. Practice makes perfect…

img_20161201_135624

Friday – Day 12:

Elowen met her granny (Stephen’s mum) for the first time today. We’ve held off having visitors up until now as I found it a bit overwhelming having people visit when Jasmine was born. I wanted a week or so to just spend time alone as a family and also be able to get to grips with breastfeeding in private. Jasmine’s doing alright out of being a big sister, she’s had so many lovely presents from friends and family. It’s a bit like Christmas has come early!

img_20161130_100120

It was nice to see my mother-in-law but I was struggling to stay awake towards the end of her visit. I could feel my eyes getting heavier and heavier. As soon as we said goodbye, I went up to bed with Elowen and had a long nap, waking up just in time for dinner which Stephen had cooked. I still felt tired and fuzzy around the ages – it was one of those naps that makes you feel worse!

I really want to start giving E some expressed milk in a bottle so Stephen can help with feeds but I think it’s probably a little too early still at the moment. My boobs still don’t know what they’re doing half the time and still seem to feel quite engorged for most of the day (other than just after feeds). Hopefully my supply will regulate in the next couple of weeks and then expressing will be more of an option.

My 3 best friends (who live in Bristol) are coming up to visit us tomorrow – I am so excited to see them. I just hope that I’m feeling a bit more awake than I have been today.

Saturday – Day 13: 

Ahh today was so lovely – it was amazing to spend time with my friends. They absolutely adored having Elowen hugs and of course, they made a fuss of my biggest girl too. We spent most of the day at home just catching up and having a good old chinwag! Once Jasmine went to bed we headed out to the pub for dinner with Elowen in the pram. I was a bit nervous about going out for the evening with a newborn but my friends convinced me it would be fine. They were right – E slept pretty much the entire time whilst I made a pig of myself. (I had the ‘Ultimate Burger followed by a Chocolate and Bailey’s sundae – happy days!) Elowen woke up just as I finished my pudding so I quickly fed her before we left. It always feels weird to go out and do ‘normal things’ when you’ve just had a baby but it was just what I needed.

img_20161203_195921

Sunday – Day 14:

After taking a while to settle last night, Elowen only woke up about two times for a feed so I actually don’t feel quite so tired today. The weather was gorgeous – cold but sunny – so we headed out as a family and took Jasmine to our local park. It felt strange being there with two children – very surreal.

Once we got home we had lunch and Stephen and I tried to get some chores done (he’s back to work tomorrow). Jasmine had a few emotional breakdowns today – at one point, curling up into a ball and saying “nobody likes me”. I know she’s only saying it to get attention but it’s still not a nice thing to hear. We reassured her that we loved her very much but that we sometimes had to do other things and not just play with her constantly.

I tried feeding Elowen without nipple shields again this afternoon (from both sides) and it went well. A little uncomfortable on the right side (as usual) but we are getting there!

And that brings us to the end of Stephen’s paternity leave. The last two weeks have gone way too fast but at least it isn’t long until Christmas now. I’m feeling nervous about tomorrow – my first day alone with both kiddos. I’m hoping to get Jasmine to playgroup in the morning – we’ll see how that turns out!

I can’t believe my baby girl is two-weeks-old already. *sobs*

20161204110311

my-signature

{ Find me on: BloglovinInstagramTwitter & YouTube }

Baby, Baby #1, Breastfeeding, Motherhood, Parenting

My trials and tribulations of breastfeeding

I’ve been putting off writing this blog post for a little while now. Breastfeeding is still a touchy subject for me and my bad experience of it still feels very raw.

A couple of nights ago I was up in the small hours of the morning, unable to get back to sleep after feeding Jasmine. I was browsing the usual social network sites on my phone and up popped a Facebook message from an ex-work colleague. She’d given birth to a sweet baby girl just two days before. The message simply said “please tell me that breastfeeding gets easier”.

For a minute or so I didn’t know what to say, I didn’t want to lie to her but nor did I want to discourage her. I’ve been that person wanting reassurance and I know all she really wanted me to say was “yes, it gets easier.” But for me, it didn’t get easier.

Breastfeeding didn’t get off to the best of starts for Jasmine and I. Right after she was born and I had been stitched up, the midwife disappeared and we were left alone in that birthing suite for several hours. I hadn’t yet tried to breastfeed Jasmine. I knew from the research I did during pregnancy that the secret to successful breastfeeding was all in the technique. I knew it was important for my baby to latch on properly so with this in mind I wanted to be supervised by a midwife the first time I got Jasmine to latch onto my breast.

So I waited….and waited… and waited for a midwife to come in and help me. I was getting frustrated that there was seemingly not one person around to assist and Jasmine seemed to be getting agitated too. In hindsight, I wished I’d just picked my baby up and tried to latch her on myself but I had it in my head that if I didn’t get it right the first time then I’d never get it right. Eventually a midwife did turn up and casually asked “have you fed your baby yet?” I replied no and she then asked me to just try it without any instructions from her (so I had gained nothing by waiting).

I felt all fingers and thumbs but eventually Jasmine did latch on and it hurt like hell. I let out a yelp and the midwife said “yep, it’ll hurt.” She walked over to me and said “relax” as she pressed down on my shoulders. It was only then that I realised how tense I was, my body was completely rigid. Jasmine didn’t suck for very long, she fell asleep and came away from the nipple. The midwife left the room again and we didn’t see another soul until the morning. Nothing about this felt natural to me and I was left feeling confused and frustrated. Was I even doing it right? It didn’t feel right.

The next morning after Jasmine had been checked over by the pediatrician another midwife came in to check on us. She watched me try to get Jasmine latched on again but baby girl was just too sleepy. I was advised to strip her down to just her nappy and try again so that’s exactly what I did. She still wouldn’t latch on. I was feeling fed up and just wanted to go home. I had gone from wanting assistance to being desperate to learn how to feed Jasmine in the privacy of my own home without being manhandled and constantly told to relax.

Every day for the next week or so I was visited by a different midwife, each one requested to see me feed Jasmine. I’d just had a baby, I felt tired, emotional and vulnerable so stripping off and trying to feed my baby in front of a perfect stranger made me want to scream. They’d all tell me that Jasmine’s latch was perfect (although it was still really hurting me at this point). It wasn’t Jasmine’s latch that was the problem, it was the fact that she didn’t want to work for mummy’s milk. She never seemed to stay attached to the nipple for any longer than a minute. I didn’t think there was any way she could be getting enough to drink.

A week later, in the presence of yet another midwife, my suspicions were confirmed when Jasmine had lost 11% of her birth weight. I now know that the average weight loss for a healthy breastfed newborn is between 7-10% of their birth weight. However, at the time, the midwife told me that they didn’t like it to be anymore than around 8% and made a huge deal about it. After that, as far as I was concerned I must’ve been doing it all wrong and I was practically starving my baby to death.

Later that night, with all this playing on my mind, I was attempting to feed Jasmine. She latched on and I instantly burst into tears because it was so painful. I immediately pulled her away from my breast as I just couldn’t take it any more. I didn’t understand how I had managed to give birth naturally and yet here I was struggling so much with the pain of feeding my baby. Jasmine was screaming out, hungry. I wept and said to Stephen, in between sobs, “I just can’t do this”. At the sight of the two of us so upset he began to cry too. We sat on the bed just holding each other and sobbing.

Jasmine’s cries grew more and more intense and I just felt so hopeless. Stephen looked up at me, wiping away his tears and whispered “shall I go and get some formula?” Cue another round of crying from me before I eventually answered “Okay.” With that, Stephen put some clothes on and headed out to the nearest 24 hour supermarket as it was past midnight. Jasmine wailed the whole time he was gone as I held her against my skin and repeated the words “I’m sorry, I’m so sorry.”

When Stephen got back with the formula we made a bottle up and Jasmine glugged the milk down way more enthusiastically than she ever did on the breast. I was so relieved that she was finally getting some food in her. Gutted, but relieved.

I knew breastfeeding wasn’t going to be easy as I had read up on the subject and gone to workshops during pregnancy but there was still part of me that naively thought that maybe I’d be one of the lucky ones who just took to it like a duck to water. Before Jasmine was born I’d refused to buy any formula or bottle-feeding paraphernalia so I couldn’t give up on breastfeeding so easily. Having that stuff in the house, I probably would’ve given in even sooner.

The truth of the matter is that I should’ve been enjoying my baby and relishing those first newborn days but instead I was hating being a mother. A week in and I already felt like a complete and utter failure.

My breasts soon became engorged, making me even more miserable. I tried to hand express my milk but even the act of gently kneading my breasts with my hands was agony. We rushed out to buy a breast pump and I expressed my milk that way. I continued to express my milk for Jasmine for the next few weeks, topping up with formula as needed. I was glad that she was getting to have my milk, even if it wasn’t under the circumstances I would’ve liked.

I found it hard to keep on top of the expressing, particularly when Stephen returned to work, as Jasmine required so much attention. I seemed to spend my whole day paying more attention to a plastic pump than I did to my baby.

Pump. Feed. Sterilise. Repeat.

A midwife had suggested that I should express milk every 2 hours, I have no idea how she thought this was possible. After 6 weeks, inevitably my milk dried up and now Jasmine is solely fed formula milk.

I know I shouldn’t, but I do feel ashamed every time that I bottle feed Jasmine in public, especially if I’m in the company of breastfeeding mothers. I wonder if they look down on me or even pity me. The reality is that they probably don’t give a crap how I feed my baby, I’m sure they’re far too concerned with feeding their own! Still, these thoughts enter my head. Every time. It doesn’t help that I’ve been berated by my own friends (who have yet to have children of their own) for not continuing breastfeeding. They make comments that suggest they feel I just gave it all up without a second thought. Like it was an easy decision for me. They couldn’t be more wrong.

I don’t know why I continue to beat myself up about the whole situation, it won’t change anything. I honestly couldn’t tell you if my own mother breastfed me or not. I have no idea and I wouldn’t love her any less either way. I guess, I just feel that I’m denying Jasmine all the benefits that breastfeeding brings with it. What I must remember is that I’m not denying her my love or total adoration. I will always try to do what’s best for her. That’s what us mums do, right? We try our best.

I’m happier, she’s happier and surely that’s what matters most?

 photo sugnatrue_zps37c179db.jpg

{ Find me on: BloglovinInstagramTwitter & YouTube }