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30.6.11

The Waiting Game.

I'm 39 weeks and 1 day pregnant. 6 days until due date.
How am I feeling?
I'm feeling 56 weeks and 4 days pregnant (numbers picked at random)
This pregnancy has gone so quick but I feel like I've been waiting for this baby to come for such a long time.
I'm not a pregnancy moaner, normally. I hate people wishing their babies out. No matter how uncomfortable they are. The baby will come when he/she is ready. That's what I normally live by.

Yet this time I am a moaner, and I hate it. I hate myself for wishing this baby out and for being impatient.
He's not here because he's not quite ready to be here. Simple.
I'm angry at my body for not hurrying up the process and not being ready to get him out.
My body isn't ready yet either. Simple.

I can't seem to snap out of it.
There's a week to go. Why am I being this person I do not like?
I think part of it is the panic of not being able to just leave the house, we have to get childcare for Charles sorted too.
I know the type of birth I want this time, I knew last time and had that exact birth, and so this time I want the same, yet there could well be the chance that I don't get that birth. And it makes me angry and anxious that I can't be guaranteed that exact birth.

Saturday has be in a panic. We have 4/5 people on back up for childcare. On Saturday all of these people have other plans, including work, holiday, travelling back from a mini break and a Take That concert. And my husband is at work, an hour away.
I can't help but imagine the worst....my waters break, contractions start immediately and I have to contact my husband to get him home [wait for his cover to take over] ring 999 to get to hospital, make sure Charles is ready to go with me. Yes, with me. So I'd be in an ambulance then in a delivery suite, in labour, with my toddler.
My toddler seeing me in labour is not something I want to happen at all. And it scares me that it could happen.
Its not these peoples fault that they have other plans of course, my I can't help but feel panicked and disappointed that my support network is in tatters and has the chance of failing me. Especially as I never ask anything of others, with regards to childcare anyway.

The other thing that I hate about this stage is the not knowing. Not knowing when he's going to come. Or how. When I say how I mean will my waters break? Will I just have contractions and then head over to hospital for my waters to break mid pushing like they did with Charles?
Will due date mean due date [again]?

The birth I'm relaxed about, I'm bizarrely laid back about all that, as long as I have the birth I want. And I know the most important thing is that the baby arrives safely and is healthy. Noted. But its the last time I'll be pregnant and my birth with Charles was perfect and I want the same again. Desperately.
When will the waiting game be up?

26.6.11

Emma-Jane Nursing Bra WINNER!

As National Breastfeeding Week comes to an end so does my first competition!

Thank you for your entries.
Rules of entry were as follows:
To be in with a chance of winning on of the  Next Generation Seamless Bras you must to do the following and comment below to say you have done so (one comment please). 
Follow @emmajanebras and @laurenhousewife on Twitter
Tweet the following:  "I want to win a Next Generation Seamfree Nursing Bra from @emmajanebras http://tiny.cc/wnirg @laurenhousewife"
Sign the Petition to get the Government to reinstate the funding for Breastfeeding      Week.
 FOR AN EXTRA ENTRY: (you will need to leave a second comment to say you have done this)
       'like' the Emma-Jane Maternity Facebook Page
Winner will be selected using random.org on the 26th of June. Please make sure you leave your Twitter name or some form of details so I can contact you if you are successful.
 Here is the list of entrants and their/your respective entry number.

The winner has been selected by random.org:

 Congratulations to I Heart Motherhood!


Silent Sunday


Silent Sunday

25.6.11

Breastfeeding Guest Post: The Selfish Me


For 9 months I grew. nurtured and cared for this tiny new person.
I kept him warm, fed and alive for all that time.
Then would come his day to arrive in the big world, where there would be all these other people wanting to do the same thing I had been doing for those 9 months.
I didn't like it.
I wasn't ready for it.
I wanted those responsibilities to remain my own (with the only addition being my husband) for a little while longer.
He was [is] our baby and our son afterall.

Breastfeeding was the one thing ONLY I could do. The only thing I could provide and give him that no one else could do.
It transpired that this would also be the only way to comfort him if he hurt himself, would be the only way to get him to nap [unless we were in the car/out with him in the pram] or sleep at night.
Until he was 12 months he would not drink from anything other than me. We tried every bottle and every cup but no, breast for him was best. 

No matter how much people tried to sooth him when hurt or tried to get him to sleep they couldn't, he needed me. And only me.

Selfish. Maybe.
But as much as I was giving him what he wanted (lets be honest, I wasn't forcing him to breastfeed and to need me in this way) he was giving me what I wanted, and what I needed.
The feeling of still being the most important person in his life, being the one he depended on the most.

Selfish. Maybe.
Do I regret or feel guilty about these feelings? Most certainly not.

24.6.11

Breastfeeding: What about the dads?

From day one I was always very open about the fact that I breastfeed and how much I was enjoying it, despite the tongue tie, and also very open about how important it was to me to breastfeed.
I found this equalled in a lot of Facebook messages from friends asking for breastfeeding advice, whilst pregnant and also whilst breastfeeding themselves.
I'd be lying if I said I don't enjoy recieving messages asking for advice. And the fact that these people see me as someone to come to for encouragement.

One question I was asked from a 'would-be-breastfeeder' was "well, won't my partner be missing out?"
My reply: not at all!!

You see it was hard for my husband in the early days at times. Charles would be crying and I'd be cooking tea or wanting a bath etc and all he would want was me my boobs.
It almost left my husband feeling helpless and slightly rejected I suppose as he couldn't do anything for Charles other than to hand him over to me.
We decided though, whilst I was pregnant, that as I would be doing the feeding and it would be my job, that we would have something that my husband would do which would end up being his job and his responsibility.
In the first week he became head of nappies. I was quite freaked out by the cord so he kindly took over, other than at nighttime, and would change nappies. He ended up having to teach me how to change a nappy as I'd never done one before. (I will never forget those moments, I never knew I could bond with my husband over nappy changing!)
We also decided his job would be bathtime. And this is what I recommend to all mums who are concerned that the dads will feel left out. It gives them the chance to bond as there is a closeness to bathing your child, then having what we call "daddy drying cuddles" and then the dad getting the child dressed for bed.


At 2 years old this is still my husbands job, I will do bathtime if he has to work late or is busy doing something else....or if I just fancy doing it.
I love sitting downstairs listening to the two of them laughing as Charles splashes my husband whilst he's in the bath and my husband sits on the bathroom floor with a towel over him avoiding getting completely soaked.
I love listening to them as they have the daddy drying cuddles, giggling or talking about what each of them have done that day, and then listening to my husband settle Charles into bed.

And now a big part of the bedtime routine is storytime. In particular, The Gruffalo.
My husband used to read to Charles when I was pregnant, something we, well he, sadly hasn't done in this pregnancy, and we always said this would be another one of his reponsibilities.
As a voiceover artist and radio presenter it seems only right that his job is to do storytime.

There have been times that I've heard them playing in the bath or laughing as Charles gets ready for bed that I can't listen to it anymore and feel I have to join them upstairs and be part of it.


I had a conversation with my husband regarding this tonight. With baby two due in the next two weeks or so, if not earlier, I reminded my husband of the tough early days when I was all Charles wanted, and asked him if he finds his bond is stronger now that Charles is older and that he depends on the both of us rather than predominantly me. The answer was expected. Yes.
He said that he didn't feel a lack of bond with Charles when he was a baby, but it was difficult in a way at times because he couldn't comfort him and it never made him resent breastfeeding. 
He understood, and still understands, why Charles was the way that he was and that it wasn't a reflection of his feelings towards my husband [ie, that he didn't want him or love him] it was simply that he wanted my breasts and what was contained in them!

It just shows that yes in the early days I was mainly the person Charles needed. But when we look at the bigger picture, my "main role and responsibility" ended at 18 months, yet at 2 years old, Charles is still bathed, cuddled, dressed and put to bed by daddy.

My husband also tends to deal with Charles in the morning [most mornings] and gets him dressed. They have the same conversation every morning:
Husband: "did you sleep well Charlie?"
Charles: "sleep well, towel on" [he calls his duvet a towel]
Husband: "Do you want some minarni?" [Charles' word for food which seems to have stuck!]
Charles: "Yes, star spoon!"
Husband: "Do you want milk?"
Charles: "Yes, star spoon" [Star spoon is basically a white spoon with a star on that he loves]
They then head down for breakfast.

So, what about the dad? Give him his own responsibilities. This has definitely worked very well for us. When I was breastfeeding my husband would also sort out Charles' main teatime meal which we then made my responsibility.
And of course there is the fact that you can express your breastmilk and the dad give the baby the milk from a bottle. Best of both worlds surely. [This never happened for us as Charles wouldn't take a bottle until 12 months and then it had to be water rather than my milk/cows milk]

Sadly, my advice obviously wasn't good enough for the friend who asked me the question originally and she went on to formula feed straight away anyway, despite telling me she really really really wanted to breastfeed. [I do hate it when people say these things just because they think I want to hear it]

So, again, what about the dad? Well, what about the dad??

23.6.11

Breastfeeding: Four Honest Views

As I've said in previous posts, breast vs bottle seems to be one of the biggest debates in parenting. It annoys me. In my opinion, and I can't see why anyone would disagree with this, we are all free to parent how WE want to parent, and make our own decisions.
I've also made it very clear how passionate I am about breastfeeding. In all honesty its hard for me to hear or read people being negative about it and I do sometimes, ok the majority of the time, find it difficult to accept why people are against it and don't choose to do it.
I asked fellow bloggers and twitter followers to participate in this post to share their views on breastfeeding. Mainly so we can all try and understand or get a bit of insight into why we all feel different towards it.
I asked each person to be very honest about their feelings.


I always knew I was going to breastfeed, even before I was ready to have children. It’s how I was fed and for me it just felt like the most natural thing to do.

I was prepared for the fact that there could be some problems at the start but from the moment Iyla latched on for her first feed she was a natural.

I have been breastfeeding for nearly 8 months now and although I feel proud of myself, I can appreciate that I've had an easy ride compared to some women. I do however think that it’s equally as important to raise awareness of how easy it can be as well as how difficult it can be.

I've heard a lot about all the negative things lately and although that's really great for anyone who is struggling, I think it might also put some women off the idea. Especially if they are in two minds about what to do. I know I've been really lucky but I'm not the only one, a lot of my friends have had problem free experiences as well. 


I'm not anti-formula feeding at all and would never judge anyone that I see bottle feeding as people are free to feed there babies anyway they like. Not all of my friends breastfeed or intend to breastfeed and I have heard a variety of reasons such as wanting more freedom, too uncomfortable with the idea of a baby sucking on their nipples and not wanting to feed in public but I do believe that everyone should try it even if just for a day because they might be surprised and find that they enjoy it. 


My partner and family have all been really supportive of my decision and although when Iyla was a few days old all the men (apart from my OH obviously!) would disappear as soon as they saw I was about to start feeding, now they are used to it and don't even notice.

So overall my breastfeeding experience has been extremely enjoyable, if I had to find a negative then it would probably be the leaking. In the early days I would wake up and the mattress, duvet and me would all be drenched!

It didn't last long though and the positives were endless.
Its free, its easier in the middle of the night, you get to sit down a lot, you get to eat mountains of cake and its such an amazing way to bond with your baby.

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Positive, with proof that there are some negatives felt by some breastfeeding mummys: Following courtesy of Deskmonkeymummy
Breastfeeding was always on the agenda for my first baby.  After having the cost (free) reinforced by the antenatal class and with my Midwife being married to my uncle it was an obvious choice, particularly as the OH and I were in the process of purchasing our own house and were looking at all possible money saving options. 


I really loved the idea of being one of those “all natural” types and having watched my OH's sister feed two of her kids, I thought it would be the best option for all of us.

This time, I didn't even consider bottle feeding as an option.  I stopped feeding The Toddler when she was 15 months and I was already 4 months pregnant at this time, so the transition was almost automatic.


My partner was and is completely supportive of my decision to breastfeed and was always there to make sure I kept going when things got tough the first time round. I got thrush in my nipple and she had it in her mouth.  Nothing would clear it and the pain when feeding was like someone driving hot needles into my chest. Various people told me to give it up, that it was causing too much distress and bottle feeding would be better for all of us, but I persevered, expressing milk from the sore nipple until it healed.  This has left me slightly lopsided but it is a small price to pay which enabled me to continue feeding The Toddler and to go on to feed Oscar.


My mum questioned my choice to feed the Toddler for so long and kept hinting that I should “Get her off me”.  One of the most supportive people was my partners mother, who had chosen not to breastfeed either of her children.  She never told me to give it up, forget it, try a bottle, etc etc.


My relationship with breastfeeding the first time was somewhat love hate.  I didn't get the intense joy I thought I would out of it and I had days when I resented the pressure and latching on an ungrateful child.   There was an extreme pressure that came with breastfeeding the first time that I felt I couldn't give up, and that coupled with the thrush made me really hate it.  I suffered with extreme engorgement on day 5 the first time and the pain was unbearable, and my letdown is still rather a strange feeling as it is slightly overactive. All this said once I got over the initial few months, it did become natural and it was more convenient to keep it up than to give up and start making 6 bottles a day.  


This time I'm not suffering from PND and the journey so far has been relatively easy (he's still learning but I like to think I'm a good teacher) so we just do it.  I feel confident and would even go as far to say as I love being able to feed my baby.  I'm so proud of myself for my decision and I know without a doubt that not giving up the first time was the right decision for all of us.  I get irritated being pinned to the sofa or the floor while the Toddler runs wild and my washing piles up, but the housework will still be there when he takes a nap and I'll happily play as much as I can with the Toddler while feeding. 


When I see other women bottle feeding, I am curious as to what made them make that decision, whether it was something that they decided before the baby was born or whether they had problems with breastfeeding and felt that bottle feeding was the best way forward, or whether the bottles they are giving are actually expressed breast milk and they are just not yet confident enough to feed in public.


All in all, my breastfeeding journey has been positive.  There have been some bumps along the way which have made me hate that little mouth clamping onto my body, but there is nothing like knowing that you and you alone are enabling that child to thrive.  I'm sat here now writing this while feeding Oscar and I'm so glad I decided to continue feeding.

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My daughter Kate was two in April.  Breastfeeding was something that never really appealed to be.  I had decided before I even got pregnant that I didn’t want to breastfeed.  Neither my mother or my husband’s mother breastfed and we were both born in the 1970’s.  Being formula fed did us no harm.
Most of my friends didn't do it either & the few who did didn't really have positive experiences so that was probably another reason for putting me off. Some had good experiences also but the bad outweighed the good. Most only did it for a week or so b4 going on to formula.
When meeting with the midwife I did ask her advice as both hubby and I had eczema and asthma as kids and wondered if breastfeeding would have any advantage.  She was honest with me and said that if a child is going to get eczema or asthma well then breastfeeding is not going to prevent it so that really made my mind up for me to formula feed. 
I have friends who have breastfed and formula fed.  Some of my friends who breastfed had a positive experience, whilst others didn’t, everyone is different I suppose.  The advantage of formula feeding is that you can take a break and let hubby or grandparents take over!!! 
My hubby was very supportive of me not wanting to breastfeed and my friends and family didn’t really have anything to say in the matter.  The decision was mine and I’m glad with my decision.  If we have another baby (which we hope to have) I would formula feed them also.
I didn't miss out on bonding with my daughter as from the moment I held her I loved her albeit about 2 hrs after she was born after an emergency c section. Her daddy gave her her 1st bottle and we never looked back. 

Kate is a happy, playful, typical tantrum throwing little 2 year old.  She did get eczema and asthma but its not too bad.  Her eczema only flares up when she gets too hot and her asthma really only when she has a cold. 
I don’t have a problem with other mums’ breastfeeding and would support anyone doing it.  Its hard work and full praise to all mums that do it. 

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Mixed: TheBoyandMe
My feelings about breast-feeding are very mixed and have become deeply conflicting throughout the past two-three years. I have an older sister who breastfed her oldest child until she was 18 months old. At the time I felt that this was too old, and hand on heart (no offense to the blog-host), I still feel that there is no benefit to either mother or child breast-feeding this long. That is my personal feeling which I would never normally say to anyone else. My sister may have actually put me off breast-feeding, especially hearing that she did it through cracked and bleeding nipples. Why?!

When I became pregnant, I was pretty determined that I was going to formula feed. However, towards the end of my final trimester I changed my mind. When I started spurting milk a week or two before The Boy's birth, this to me was my body's confirmation that I wanted to breast-feed him. 

Being honest, it broke my heart and I still have terrible guilt and difficulty accepting what happened. I wish to God that I had been able to feed him for longer, my intention originally was only a month or two tops, as I wanted my husband to have the opportunity to feed him. It always amuses me when people say it's a bonding experience; I found it very difficult to look the baby in the eye when breast-feeding, however The Boy and I always look each other in the eye with his bottles. We stare into each other's souls and bond on a level I never thought possible.

If I have another child I am not able to say what I will do. I'm not sure that I could put myself, and the baby, through the ordeal that we did. Failing at breast-feeding has been probably one of the most traumatic events of my entire life; can I put myself in the same situation again? The physical pain of engorgement and mastitis, plus trying to get your EE breasts to dry up while nursing a poorly 3 week old child, combined with the emotional pain of not being able to hold your newborn baby in an ambulance blasting sirens, whilst wondering why this has happened is a prospect that I don't think I can cope with again.

And yet, I want to know what it's like to successfully breast-feed.

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Thanks to all four ladies for providing their stories and feelings for this post.


22.6.11

My Gallery: Breastfeeding

Almost every week I take part in The Gallery link up and follow the theme set by Tara, the host.

To celebrate National Breastfeeding Week I wanted to post my own Gallery.....My Gallery.

Criticisms and negative comments I hear so regularly in response to public breastfeeding are mostly the following:
1: I don't want everyone/people to see my boobs [breastfeeder]
2: I don't want to see someones boobs [randomer]

I fed anywhere and everywhere, my husband and my mum soon realised how important it was to me to record this through photographs. I know for  fact that noone ever saw my breasts.
Honestly, I think you see a lot more cleavage and breast from girls on a Friday and Saturday night than from a Breastfeeding Mummy.

Take a look at the following photos, do they offend you?


Well..........

21.6.11

Breastfeeding Publicly. Knowing Your Rights.

When I started off breastfeeding I felt very confused and puzzled as to what would happen if I was asked to stop breastfeeding somewhere.
How would I just unlatch my baby beginning or mid feed and then find somewhere else to feed him without flashing a boob or spraying someone with milk or ending up with a screaming baby on my hands creating a lot more attention than me simply sitting there discreetly breastfeeding in the first place?
How would I stop myself from bursting into uncontrollable tears at someone telling me to stop? At feeling guilty that I had to stop and my baby not knowing why?

I didn't feed publicly until August 9th (Charles was born June 14th). Well, I fed publicly in July but no one was aware as I fed Charles whilst he was in the Moby sling. The feed on August 9th was the first one where people could see, if they really looked at me, that I was breastfeeding my baby.
It was a big thing for me and thankfully I had met up with a group of mums I met from a baby forum, 3 of which were also breastfeeding and had fed in public a few times previous, so were very encouraging and supportive.
I felt amazing feeding him for the first time.
More so because I had a piece of paper in my bag which protected me if I was asked to stop breastfeeding.
It happened that this week we had two birthday meals to go to so there would be more opportunities to feed publicly. I had my husbands support which helped immensley. We also made sure he had read up on our rights too and knew exactly where the paper was in the change bag.

I'd researched my rights online. Basically a company can be sued if asked to stop woman from breastfeeding. Knowing I had this behind me felt like I had a protective barrier around me. If I was asked to stop I would mention my rights, if they didn't believe me or disagreed I would show them this piece of paper.

Looking on the internet now it seems that in the time since I first breastfed to now the law has really tightened up to protect breastfeeding mothers further.

The following is taken from Maternity Action:

What does the law say?
The new Equality Act says that it is sex discrimination to treat a woman unfavourably because she is breastfeeding. It applies to anyone providing services, benefits, facilities and premises to the public, public bodies, further and higher education bodies and association. Service providers include most organisations that deal directly with the public. Service providers must not discriminate, harass or victimise a woman because she is breastfeeding. Discrimination includes refusing to provide a service, providing a lower standard of service or providing a service on different terms. Therefore, a cafe owner cannot ask you to stop breastfeeding or refuse to serve you.
How long does protection apply for?
There is no age restriction, the law protects you for as long as you wish to breastfeed your baby.
Where can a woman breastfeed?
You are protected in public places such as parks, sports and leisure facilities, public buildings and when using public transport such as buses, trains and planes. You are protected in shops, public, restaurants and hotels regardless of how big of small. You are also protected in places like hospitals, theatres, cinemas and petrol stations.
Which associations are included? 
An association must not discriminate, harass or victimise a person because she is breastfeeding by refusing membership or discriminating in provision of benefits, facilities or services.
An association includes clubs, such as golf clubs, that have rules of membership, with at least 25 members, where members have to apply to join. Private clubs, with less than 25 members, that have no formal rules of membership, such as a book club, would not be counted as an association. Clubs where you simply pay a membership fee to jioin are not counted as an association but would be considered to be providing public services.
Are there some places where I cannot breastfeed in public?
Yes, it is not against the law to prevent a woman breastfeeding in a service which is a single sex service for men. This single sex service must be justified, for example, where only one sex needs it or one sex needs the service more than the other. Voluntary groups or charities set up specifically to benefit one sex may be acting lawfully if they exclude women. Religious organisations may offer services to one sex if it is in line with the doctrines of that religion. In some cases, where single sex services are justified, it would be reasonable to object to members of the opposite sex being there.
It is not against the law to prevent a woman breastfeeding where there are legitimate health and safety risks, for example, near to certain chemicals or radiation.
What can I do if I am discriminated against because I am breastfeeding?
Firstly, you should make a complaint to the organisation that has discriminated against you. Most service providers, educational bodies and other groups should have a complaints procedure, if not, you should ask who to complain to.
If you cannot resolve the matter you can bring an action in a county court in England or Wales or a sheriffs court in Scotland but you should seek advice as these can be expensive cases to bring. You must start the case within 6 months of the date of the act you are complaining about. This time limit will only be extended where it is just and equitable. If you win your case the court can order compensation, an injunction or a declaration but if you lose you may be ordered to pay the other side’s legal costs. Compensation can include an amount for injury to feelings.

20.6.11

Not Just Humans.

I always feel a sense of sisterhood when I see a fellow mummy breastfeeding her child. I almost find myself staring hoping to make eye contact and wanting to say "well done you!"

I also love driving along country roads and noticing lambs and calfs latched onto their mummies. Especially when you see a lambs tail wagging quickly in delight.

In March 2010 we holidayed at Center Parcs Longleat and had a day out at Bristol Zoo. I'd visited a few times as a child when we stayed with my nan who lives in Somerset so was quite excited to be taking my husband and child for a day out there too.
We'd just been into the Gorilla house and walked outside to go and visit some other animals. As we walked past Gorilla Island I noticed a Gorilla sheltered with her baby.

She was breastfeeding.

I sat on the bench near the fence of the enclosure and stared for ages. She noticed me watching her.
Not only was I fascinated at seeing her breastfeeding, but I was captivated by everything about it.
How similar it was to me feeding Charles. The fidgety things her baby did that Charles also did with me. The way the baby changed from one breast to the other, making sure he'd got all he could from each one.

At one point the baby took her nipple into his mouth and turned his head round to face in my direction, stretching her nipple too far. She flinched and tapped his head. Charles had recently started doing similar to me so I knew exactly how she felt.

It was almost as if I could have a conversation with her about it, and reassure her that my baby does that too. Except I couldn't. But I was getting reassurance from her at least.

My husband had taken Charles to see some of the other animals, not quite understanding the extent of my fascination. Other visitors walked passed, giving a quick glance but not appreciating the scene before them.
I wish I remembered how long I was sat there for.

At times I wanted to apologise to the Gorilla for staring, especially when she would look over at me. At times I wanted to grab Charles, latch him on and shout "LOOK, I'M DOING IT TOO!"

Instead I just sat in admiration.

And of course, I couldn't resist capturing the moment on my camera, to remember the experience and to share with others.

19.6.11

National Breastfeeding Week: The Petition


Throughout pregnancy we are all encouraged to breastfeed. Not all of us choose to but those of us who do like to feel supported and NEED support, just to be encouraged or to be advised with latching, position, expressing, etc.

We are lucky that in our area we have a 24 hour Breastfeeding Team. It seems this is very rare and I am unaware of other areas that have such a service.

The Government, whilst making reductions, have cut the funding for National Breastfeeding Week.

Its no surprise to you,  I hope, that I am very passionate about breastfeeding. I think any funding towards the support for breastfeeding mothers is essential.
National Breastfeeding Week is for me, so crucial; to ensure that the benefits of Breastfeeding are put out there and women feel the value of breastfeeding and to feel that what they are doing IS important and supported.

For any of you who breastfeed, or tried breastfeeding, or even support breastfeeding even though you were unable to do so, I ask you to please follow the link below and sign the petition to bring back Government Funding for National Breastfeeding Week.

Just because you don’t breastfeed, and don’t feel passionate about it, lets support each other, help fellow mums by signing the petition. 
Please.


Yes I breastfed, why can't I feel smug?

Breastfeeding and bottle feeding seem to be one of the biggest debates when it comes to parenting.
I am very pro breastfeeding. I'm not ashamed of that.
But at the same time, I can see why some mums bottle feed....due to not enjoying it or simply not being able to because of their baby not latching or poor milk supply.
I find it hard to understand some reasons for women not breastfeeding...its disgusting, I don't want people to see my boobs, its unnatural.
Why is it disgusting? Why is it unnatural? Our bodies create this milk, so its completely natural!
And in the 18 months that I breastfed, the only two people who actually SAW my boobs were my husband and my son.
I see much MORE of womens boobs when down the beach/on holiday/looking at photos of girls on nights out in Facebook. Low cut tops reveal a lot more than a breastfeeding mum!

I would never ever make a comment to a bottle feeding mum saying she is disgusting for doing what she is doing, so why should I be subjected to the same? [Luckily I only ever had one negativeish comment which was at 8 months saying "isn't he too old to still be breastfed?"]

I had a tough start with breastfeeding. Starting with Charles just being placed on my chest and being told nothing about positioning to then being ignored really when I informed midwives about how painful the feeding was. "Just a strong suck". "If the midwife yesterday said he's just got a strong suck then that's obviously what it is".
A late evening phone call to the local Breastfeeding Team and one of their amazing ladies coming out to see me at 9 o clock confirmed what I suspected. There was a problem, latch was fine, position was fine, but something else wasn't. "I'll send Dawn to see you in the morning so she can give a second opinion but I'm pretty sure that's what it is"
The next morning Dawn walked into our house, we latched Charles on and immediately she heard clicking, "he's got tongue tie. I'll call straight away to get an appointment to get it snipped. You should get an appointment for tomorrow" Except we didn't, the consultant was away and we'd have to wait until the following Monday.  This consultant made himself an expert and specialist in tongue tie at the hospital an hour away from us. No one else specialised in this area and he wanted to correct that as its a lot more common than thought.
This consultant also doesn't use pain relief. I hated this thought at first. But with Dawns reassurance that the procedure was simple and would be over in seconds we agreed to see him, we had no choice.

She was right, it was over in seconds and then I could feed my baby properly without the toe curling pain. I could start to enjoy breastfeeding properly. It took me a while to feel comfortable and get used to the fact that it didn't hurt anymore but Charles took to it like a pro. He even surprised the midwives, health visitor and Breastfeeding Counsellor but not losing any weight at all in the first week, which mean that despite the tongue tie he was able to get all he needed. It probably helped that my supply was almost too much [honestly, I could've fed 6 babies and still been able to express for another day!]

So from going from a horrid horrid start, where I could've easily have given up, we ended up feeding for 18 months. I still fed him for the first 8 weeks of my second pregnancy. My boobs were tender and sore and at times it was almost like that first week again and feeding a tongue tied baby, but I didn't stop him. He eventually weaned himself off, mostly due to the fact my supply had plummeted and he just wasn't getting much from it at all.

Up until we finished breastfeeding I fed publicly too. Everyday I risked receiving negative comments from people disgusted by what I was doing. I expected negative comments more so as Charles was older than when he was a baby. I didn't receive any negative comments, apart from the one mentioned above and the occasional horrid "bitty" comment from family or friends and the "you'll have to stop when he's 16 you know, you need to stop sometime" remarks, which to be honest, just spurred me on to want to continue.

I knew Charles was benefiting as much as me from this and yes ok, I am smug about feeding him.
I'm smug that I got through the 8 days of him being tongue tied without using nipple shields or any other assistance, without expressing into a bottle and giving him my milk that way, without giving up and sending my husband out for formula.The pain from those 8 days stays with me more than the pain of labour. I'd rather feel a babies head crowning than to feel the pain of tongue tie again.
I'm smug that I fed longer than my friends did. That whilst my friends faffed with heating up water and bottles I just pulled my top down a little bit and there, my child was being fed.
I'm smug that I was able to just latch Charles on for as little as a minute sometimes just to comfort him and to stop him from being upset if he'd hurt himself. Or that by latching him on when tired meant he would be asleep in a matter of seconds.
I'm smug that I was able to give him something that no one else could. That its something that he will never share with anyone else. Ever.
Breastfeeding was my choice, I'm not asking you to worship me or praise me for getting through those horrid 8 days and then the 18 months, but don't make me feel bad for being smug, or proud of myself.

I'm not saying I'm better than you. But don't take this away from me, its not always as easy as it seems to breastfeed.

Silent Sunday


Silent Sunday

15.6.11

What if they got it wrong?

I've blogged before about the 20 week scan and finding out the sex. Both times we have found out the sex of our baby. 
Mainly due to the fact that, simply, we could.
Also so that we could prepare clothes etc.
We could decide on a name.
We are impatient.

So when we found out we were expecting baby number two there was no question about whether or not we'd find out.
The sonographer stayed in "that area" for a while and we clearly saw that we are expecting another boy.
"So, taking your professional hat off, if you were me, would you buy blue clothes?" I asked the sonographer, the exact same question I asked when pregnant with Charles. "Yes" she replied.
Brilliant.

So, name chosen, we've bonded with my bump as a boy, everyone is expecting a grandson, nephew, godson, son and most importantly.....brother.

I sat in the bath recently thinking about how this birth could be, thinking about how Charles' birth was. How even though I knew I was expecting a boy I still felt between his legs straight away as I held him in the birthing pool, double checking with the midwives that I had just given birth to a boy.
Again, one thing I think I will do is to check the sex, even though we've already been guaranteed that he is a he.

But.
It dawned on me.

What if he did turn out to be a she. What if the baby we'd bonded with as a boy was infact a girl. And X [baby name yet to be revealed] was actually Evelyn [the girls name we'd chosen].

I can't help but feel that it would be such "hard work" to then bond with this baby.
I know that this happens and that people are told one sex and it turned out to be wrong, but it seems this is done more in the case of told a girl, had a boy.

Don't get me wrong, if this baby was a girl and they had got it wrong, she would still be loved and still be welcomed into the family.
But it would possibly take longer to slot into our family unit than if the boy we are expecting was the be born. He's already part of the family. He's already talked about. He's already involved in things.
He's here, just not here yet.
Everything is ready for him. Its X's swing, X's bed, X's toys. Charles will be giving X cuddles, X kisses, and letting X watch Postman Pat with him.
We know him already.

We don't know Evelyn. Her swing isn't ready. Her toys aren't ready. Her bed isn't ready. Her clothes aren't ready. Charles isn't ready for her.
We don't know her.

And what would happen if it was Evelyn, and not X. What happens to my feelings for X? They can't just go. I'm in love with him. I would love Evelyn too yes but the feelings for X couldn't just be transferred like that and completely disappear.

The thing is, we definitely know this baby is a boy.
So none of this needs to be worried about, but it entered my head that night and has stayed with me.

Second birthday celebrations. The Family Day Out Edition.

We have decided that, when we can, we will spend our childrens birthdays as just the four of us. We want to go on days out for their birthdays so plan in advance where we will go [which zoo] with an alternative if the weather decides to be bad [sealife centre?]

Last year we visited Banham Zoo and this year we decided to visit Africa Alive. Charles has been to Africa Alive before, infact his last visit was on the 7th of November last year, the same day we found out that I was pregnant with his baby brother!

Thankfully the weather was fantastic again.
Charles woke up in the morning and we played upstairs until we were all ready to head downstairs for cards and presents.

We planned to leave early for the zoo but he loved his presents so much that we left him play for a while and eventually headed for the zoo [a 10-15 minute drive] at 11 o clock.

As soon as we got there we had to go and find the Rhinos, Charles' current favourite animal and then we walked around the rest of the park, went on the train which circuits the zoo, then stamped our hands and headed to a pub by the beach for some lunch....which Charles didn't really eat because he wanted to see the animals again!


We then went back to the zoo for another couple of hours, grabbed an ice cream and daddy treated the birthday boy to a cool pair of sunglasses, mainly due to the fact that Charles kept stealing my husbands [prescription] sunglasses.
We sat and watched the lions, who were incredibly boring and lazy that day, and then again went to see the Rhinos.
After saying bye to the Rhinos and blowing them a kiss we went towards the "big ducka" [Ostrich]. When we visited the zoo in November there was a very aggressive and annoyed Ostrich who kept pecking at the glass in his enclosure.
We thought he wouldn't still be so angry and frustrated.......we were wrong.

After seeing the Big Ducka for almost half an hour we went and saw some ducks and then sat near the Giraffes and the boys decided to roll down the small hill whilst I sat and watched them realising just how lucky I am to have these two special boys in my life.


Then came home time. Charles had missed his nap so was grumpy, my husband took him to the front of the gift shop whilst I hunted for something to buy him to keep from his special day. Armed with 5 £1 coins [birthday present] to put towards the gift I found a gorgeous cuddly Rhino for £10.
Perfect.

Coming home I spent some quality time [as I do everyday] with Charles whilst my husband did a little bit of work. We played with his new toys, talked about his day, ate some dinner and birthday cake and then did the usual bedtime routine of bath, story with daddy, then I joined him again as my husband went downstairs.
He had a cuddle with bump before we had a cuddle in his bed and again spoke about the animals he'd seen, the noises they make, and the fact that the lions aren't allowed to eat him and that Rhinos have big bums....and the goats had done a poo.


Then he drifted off to sleep and I had my little cry.
My baby is Officially Two. A big boy now.

Second birthday celebrations. The Weekend Edition.

Yesterday, June 14th, our "baby" officially became a "big boy". Charles turned 2. It doesn't quite seem possible.
Saturday morning, in preparation for the weekends birthday celebrations, I popped to the local balloon shop to pick up the "2" balloon I had ordered. As I walked to the car " looked up. 2. I almost went back into the shop to tell them of my mistake, I meant to get a 1. I sat in the car, trying to manovur this balloon to a position so I could see out of the windows and had a wave of emotional flood over me.
I did mean to get a 2.
My baby was no longer a baby, but now a big boy. But it wasn't as bad as it sounds. I sat in the car for a bit to calm myself down and thought of all the positives of this two year old.
The conversations we now have. The way he understands what I tell him, ask him and talk to him about. The way he can help me with things, sometimes through his wanting to help, sometimes through me making him help [tidying toys and books away!] And mostly the feeling of having company now.
Being a stay at home mum/housewife can feel a little lonely sometimes, I've been lucky enough to not experience the loneliness or boredem really but sometimes its nice to have proper company other than a baby. And now this toddler means I feel like I have constant company.
If I am feeling sad I can tell him and he will comfort me (who knew 2 year olds did this?!)
If I am feeling happy we can dance around together and be happy together.
If I just want a cuddle he will give me one.

And of course him turning two gave us the great excuse to have a weekend of celebrating and a mid-week family day out!

Saturday morning saw my mum pop over so I could go and collect the balloon and some garden furniture from a friend and not have a toddler in tow. She also let Charles have his birthday present from her early. A "bounce" [trampoline].


On Saturday afternoon, we had my dad, his wife, her mum and my nan over for sandwiches and nibbles. My dad got stuck in helping my husband put together the gazebo (last minute plan which eventually turned out to be a good idea!) and then assembled Charles' birthday present from him and my nan.

Charles was well and truely spoilt with attention from his grandad, being chased around the garden, up and down the slide with grandads assistance and eventually both eating birthday cake together and watching a plane in the sky.



We were really lucky with the weather and the sun shone the whole afternoon. After our guests left Charles ended up falling asleep in his highchair in the middle of eating an ice cream, after being cleaned up and put to bed he slept very well that night!






The next day [Sunday] we were delighted when we woke up to glorious sunshine. We popped out to get the last minute food bits for the party planned for the afternoon, and to also pick up a barbeque from Argos as we hadn't cleaned our one which was stuck in the shed!
As soon as we got home I decided, with an hour and a half until the first guests were due, that I should do my roots. Nothing like leaving it until the last minute. So I left Charles and my husband to get the barbeque built up and prepared and off I went.
Then came the mad panic of getting the other nibbly bits ready. Mini pizzas, sausage rolls and chicken nuggets all took their turn in the oven, homemade coleslaw prepared, as well as greeting my mum, my mother in law, my sister in law and brother in law, getting Charles' party clothes on, and watching him open some of his presents.
The rest of our guests started to arrive and the food was ready. As everyone plated up and sat down outside it started to rain. Typical.
But my party guests were fantastic and didn't let the rain spoil their celebrating.
Some stayed sat/stood in the rain [despite being invited inside] and some sat under the gazebo.
The children hardly noticed the wet weather and continued to run and around and play together.
Charles was utterly spoilt by everyone and despite the weather a good time was had by everyone.
Highlight of the Sunday though had to be when the cupcakes were delivered to me in the morning. Very beautiful and soooooo yummy! The children had a green cupcake each and the others are saved for the three of us to enjoy.

This cake was given to everyone else:

Breastfeeding and Tongue Tie.

From the first day I found out I was pregnant in 2008 I knew I wanted to breastfeed my baby. I’d always been pro-breastfeeding and I think this stemmed from the fact that my mum breastfed my brother and me [twins] until we were 7 months old, when sadly her milk dried up due to a stomach bug.

My mum had made me feel very positive about breastfeeding, but at the same time didn’t make formula feeding a negative issue, we just never talked about formula as we never needed to. At the same time as wanting so desperately to breastfeed I was aware that for some women it just doesn’t happen. Either they don’t take to it, have low milk supply issues or the baby simply won’t latch on, and I wanted to keep in my mind that just because I want to breastfeed, it doesn’t mean I’ll be able to. We had bottles and a breast pump in the cupboard ready for the baby’s arrival. I’d hoped that at some point I’d even be able to express and give a bottle, like when returning to work.

I can’t remember how long it had been after Charles was born that he was put on my chest and he latched on for the first time. He was born in a birthing pool and had to be taken out quite quickly to have a few pumps of Oxygen and I was bleeding heavily and had to be put on a drip and stitched up. I didn’t want to feed him whilst still being prodded and poked so had a cuddle then gave him to my husband.

When he first latched on though I remember thinking that the midwives didn’t really help or advice with latching him on, from what I’d read in magazines and seen on programmes there was a certain way to hold the baby and to cradle his head, tickle his top lip with your nipple etc. I just felt like they had launched his head quickly onto my breast! Maybe this was how it was done!

I remember instantly feeling a sense of pride that our baby was feeding from me, his first liquids and food were from my body especially made for him. Except a couple of hours on, whilst breastfeeding him again, I wasn’t so keen on the toe-curling pain. Something didn’t feel right. So I called a midwife, explained that it felt really painful. She checked his latch, said that it was fine and he must just have a strong suck. She could tell he was getting milk so was happy.

We went home 12 hours after he was delivered. We ended up co-sleeping that night and the next day was spent cuddling and feeding almost non-stop. Still it was painful but I remembered what the midwife had said about him having a strong suck and I assumed that my body would get used to the feeling, after all I had never breast-fed a baby before! The pain was so bad that at times I have to grip my husbands hand as Charles latched and flinched as the pain shot right down my body and really did make my toes curl. I hoped it would get better. Except the next day it seemed to be worse. He was definitely getting milk, we knew that for certain. In this area we are lucky enough to have a Breastfeeding Team, I had a wrist band with their phone number on and a leaflet, I planned on phoning them at lunchtime but fell asleep and thought nothing of it when I woke up. Surely they’d think I was over-reacting and tell me that my body would get used to it. But that evening I looked down at Charles when he was feeding and noticed blood around his mouth, I unlatched him and noticed my nipple was bleeding.

I phoned the breastfeeding team crying and begged for someone to come out. At

As the next morning came the second lady, Dawn, came round and as soon as I latched Charles on she said instantly, “its tongue tie”. She could hear a clicking which was related to the tongue tie. She phoned a hospital in the city, not the one closer to us which I gave birth in, to book in for us to get the tie cut. As this was a Wednesday she was hoping we’d be able to get in the following day as the consultant was in clinic on a Thursday and Monday, except he was away at a conference.

Dawn gave me amazing support and got us booked in the following Monday. I was dreading it. She talked through the simple procedure but I hated the fact that no pain relief was used. She explained the reasons why this consultant didn’t use pain relief etc which made a small amount of difference but not much. I didn’t want some stranger to hurt my tiny brand new baby, but I knew that for us to enjoy feeding, it had to be done. So the week carried on with painful latches, no more bleeding thankfully. I tried nipple shields and shells but they didn’t help at all but the fact that it was going to be better soon spurred me on. And despite the pain I loved the bond between us, and the fact that my milk was now well and truly in and flowing made a difference because I knew my supply was fine, our only obstacle was getting the tie cut.

Before seeing the breastfeeding team I had asked two separate community midwives to check the latch, positioning and so on because of the pain. One midwife checked and said again that it was a strong latch and the other didn’t check but said “what did the other midwife say?” and agreed that it was probably just a strong latch.

When I saw the second midwife again the day after Dawn had diagnosed the tongue tie I said to her what had happened. She said that she hadn’t heard a clicking noise when Charles had latched on to which I responded that the reason she hadn’t heard the clicking was because she hadn’t bothered to check the latch. She fell silent.

Monday afternoon we headed off to the hospital, the procedure upsets me and I would hate to put off any other mums so I won’t go into detail, although it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought. It was a simple snip and it was done. Feeding was amazing after that, Charles was so confident and it didn’t hurt! Result. Expect I was still wary of latching him on and had to build up my confidence and not back off as his mouth was reaching for my nipple. In that first week he didn’t lose any weight, which surprised me, the breastfeeding counsellor and the midwife, it meant that despite the tongue tie, which was quite severe, he was still able to get exactly what he needed. I felt amazing.

We continued to breastfeed for what I though would be 6 months, when we had planned for me to return to work. I was over the moon when my husband said that he thought I should hand my notice in at work at stay with our baby as long as I could because he could see that Charles needed me, well, he needed my breasts. Charles wouldn’t take to a bottle so expressing wouldn’t have worked and we were in a panic. My husband could see how well breastfeeding was working out for all of us and didn’t want it to stop when it didn’t have to.

We ended up breastfeeding until just after Charles was 18 months old. I never expected to feed for so long. I enjoyed every single second. I loved the bond, the fact that before solid food was introduced to his diet that it was me who kept him alive and healthy.
In that 18 months Charles was put on antibiotics once to combat oral thrush. He never suffered chest infections or ear infections, unlike his other baby friends who were formula fed. As soon as breastfeeding finished for us he suffered from his first chest infection and was put on antibiotics. This to me was proof that for those 18 months my milk was also his medicine and fought these horrible infections.

The reason for us stopping breastfeeding was due to low supply issues because of me falling pregnant with our second child two months previous. I am currently enjoying 7 months of having my breasts to myself until I have another baby boy latching on. One of the first things I’ll be checking when he is born is whether or not he has tongue tie, and getting it snipped as soon as possible, so I can hopefully enjoy another 18 months of breastfeeding.

13.6.11

This time two years ago......

  • I had my TENS Machine on. Low but it was on. 
  • I had a hot water bottle.
  • My husband cooked his delicious homemade lasagne for dinner.
  • Had a bath at 11 o clock at night, stayed in there for an hour until I eventually went to bed at 12.
  • Had my last night as a mum to be and a family of just two.
  • I was in early labour!