Where do I even start?

I have so much I need to get down on (virtual) paper. But no idea where to start.

What do I even want to say?

Do I even want/need to write it?

I’m in a funk and I don’t know how to snap out of it.

All I’ll say is.

There is a lot more to birthing a child that I’m finding hard to deal with.

#TheBoobDiaries: Mama’s Magic Milk

So far Aria has been exclusively breastfed, with a nightly bottle of expressed breast milk. Breastfeeding is the most wonderful yet demanding and worrying way to feed a child, imo anyway!

When Aria was born I was told she was born on the 50th centile, yet with every weigh in she was getting lower and lower down on that centile and has now ended up on the 9th centile! I was devastated. 

When I got her weighed the time before last she was 10lb3oz and the HV recommended I top her up with formula, and to be totally honest, I was angry. Angry that a HV who had looked after us both since Aria was born, who knew how important breastfeeding was to me was so quick to tell me to give her formula. I just couldn’t understand why she had suggested that, Aria was still gaining weight, she was happy, healthy and thriving, so why on earth would I need to give her formula?

Well I didn’t.

I came back from that appointment so let down, upset, angry. A feeling of guilt and like it all rested on me. It was my fault that Aria hasn’t gaining as much as ‘she should’. 

I quickly took to one of the breastfeeding Facebook groups I’m part of, explained the situation and got some advice. Well for starters, they had marked Aria on the wrong centile when she was born, she should have actually been on the 25th when she was born, so in actual fact she had only dropped one, not two. I was quickly encouraged to top her up with breast milk if anything, but to just being her to the breast at every opportunity.

In the next 3 weeks Aria fed for longer and more frequently, I assume this was because of the warm weather, but it could have happened anyway.

Well this week I took her to be weighed, and she is now 10lb13oz! The HV (a different one this time) said she had no concerns about her and could see that she was a happy healthy baby.

Relief!

So for any breastfeeding mummies out there, don’t give up, keep pushing forward and try your hardest. Of course there are times where formula may be needed but most of the time breastmilk will suffice and will help your baby to thrive.


#TheBoobDiaries: Dear Aria

So I wanted to start another blog post series and this one is going to be all about…Breastfeeding!


 

Dear Aria…. My love for you is infinite. There isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for you. You bring me so much joy, love and laughter. Everyone who meets you falls in love with you too. Those gorgeous blue eyes, and that cheeky gummy grin, who couldn’t love a face like yours?

I feel so privileged to be your mummy, and even more so that I am the one who gives you all of your nourishment! We have been on our feeding journey for 3 months now, and what a 3 months that has been! From the early days when you were like a rabid dog, to now when you open your mouth so wide hoping to get as much breast as possible into that tiny little mouth of yours. Your are such a noisy and greedy eater. The amount of times you are gulping that milk down and you start to choke! Of course I then sit you up to help you clear your airways, only for you to to start crying in indignation that I have stopped your food! Being souly responsible for your growth and nourishment is such a gift, one that I hope many other mothers can have for their own children.

In the last 5 weeks, Daddy has started to give you your evening bottle of expressed milk, so he can too enjoy the wonders of what it’s like to feed you. Having those beautiful blue eyes stare up at us, whilst you slowly finish your feed and drift of into a milk coma is something that I enjoy very much. That daintily placed hand on my breast once you have finished your food, is something you find comfort from. Whilst you feed, you have taken to hitting my chest until I hold you hand. Sometimes when I talk to you, you can’t help but smile up at me, losing concentration at the task in hand, just for one moment.

From that tiny newborn, to that now dainty little 3 month old bubba. I am in awe of the things you can do, and the strength you have in your body, all from drinking my milk. I am committed to letting our journey go on as long as you still need me. But I know, that one day, that responsibility will no longer be just mine. In just a few months you will be able to try real food, and a part of me aches inside, knowing that I won’t be the only thing that is making you big and strong. But for now, I intend to enjoy every feed that we have together.

 

Lots of love from

Mummy xxxx

#Mum Life: Mum Guilt (But not the type you’re thinking of)

mum guiltSo, when people talk about mum guilt they are normally talking about the guilt they feel surrounding their children. But I’m not going to talk about that type of ‘Mum Guilt’. The type of mum guilt I have been feeling is in fact, for other mums!

Since Aria has been born, in all honesty? I have found it pretty straight forward. That might be to do with the fact that I am currently living with my parents, so I have a few extra pairs of hands around if I need them, or it could just be because I am one of the lucky ones!

So many people ask me the same question time and time again “Are you getting a lot of sleepless nights?” and my answer is “No. She’s a really good sleeper actually!”. There are so many things I read up about on before I had Aria, ready to face an obstacle that might come my way:

  1. Struggling to breastfeed: For a lot of mums, when it comes to breastfeeding the struggle is real. The baby has a poor latch, the baby is tongue-tied, they get mastitis, they get thrush therefore the baby has oral thrush, the baby is fussy at the breast, they aren’t gaining weight properly, the poor mother has cracked and bleeding nipples, the mother has a slow let down, the list goes on! I have been so lucky on my breastfeeding journey so far and the fact that it has come so naturally that I feel so guilty knowing there are so many other mothers struggling out there!
  2. The baby won’t take a bottle: For a lot of breastfeeding mums, from time to time they want to have a break, or they want their partner to be able to feed the baby, so they look to introduce a bottle. Whether that be formula or expressed milk. Again, Aria was great at the breast, and is also really good at taking a bottle. I have read on so many forums about women trying every teat and bottle under the sun, and still their baby won’t feed from it, therefore, never giving the tired mother a break!
  3. Sleepless nights: Again, I have been so lucky with the way Aria sleeps. She very rarely will sleep for less than 2 hours at night. At 4 weeks old she was sleeping for 4 hours at a time, and she has also done a few stints of 6/7 hours. Now for a breastfed baby that young, it’s pretty much unheard of!
  4. Cluster feeding: Cluster feeding is when your baby is pretty much hanging off your boob all day! Yes, Aria has days where she is having a growth spurt and she feeds more frequently, but I haven’t had a day, so far, where I have been chained to the couch/ bed, not being able to shower, or even wee or eat. I have been so lucky that she will feed, and sleep for nearly an hour before round 2 starts.
  5. Breastfeeding in public: Again, I have read on forums where poor women have been given dirty looks, or even had some rude comments said to them for breastfeeding their little one in public, and I myself am yet to experience that, if I ever do that is!
  6. Cold dinners: Okay yes. I have experienced this, but this was only in the first 3 weeks. it’s pretty much expected that the first 2 weeks are the hardest, but for some women, this literally goes on for weeks and weeks!
  7. Being housebound: Since Aria was 4 days old I have been out and about with her. I wanted to get out as soon as possible to try and get a bit of normality, and also to build my confidence with going out with a brand new baby. We actually went out for a family meal when she was just 6 days old!
  8. Colic: Some babies get really bad trapped wind, and it is awful! So far Aria has only had this twice which I am so happy about, because there really is nothing worse than seeing your baby scream in pain, and whatever you do doesn’t seem to work.
  9. Content baby: Everyone that meets Aria always comments on how content she is, and how happy she is to be out and about whilst I’m being a lady that lunches!

 

I haven’t written this post to brag about how great I have it compared to others. I am writing this post to say to all you mums out there, I am so sorry if you are having a tough time, I do truly feel guilty that so far ‘touch wood’ that motherhood has come to be like a duck to water. There isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t feel guilty that I’m having it easy. But hey, I’m only 10 weeks in so something is bound to happen to me eventually!

 

 

Body Blues…

So I am now 9 weeks post partum, and the body blues are real! I am fed up of having the new wobbly tummy, these chunky thighs, and quite frankly, I am sick and tired of having to wear frumpy clothes!

I have never really had any real major concerns with my body, yes there are always things I wish ‘looked better’ but I was still happy to wear whatever clothes I wanted and rock a bikini whilst on holiday. But since having a baby that has changed.

The hardest part of pregnancy for me was how much my body changed. I was pretty much all bump though, which did help a bit, but I still found it very hard to get my head round to the fact that I did infact, have a bump. I would catch sight of my reflection in mirrors whilst rushing around at work, or in a shop window and it would startle me at first! Although I knew I was pregnant, it still took my brain a while to remember that I had this bump infront of me. I was still trying to fit through gaps that definitely were not big enough for me plus a bump! The brain is a weird thing! I found it increasingly hard to accept my new body, which I had very little control over, but that’s what helped me a bit ‘I have no control over this’. So I just carried on as normal and tried to push it out of my mind.

Towards the end of my pregnancy I was fed up of trying to stuff myself into jeans and t-shirts, that really were too tight, and I was looking forward to swapping my old wardrobe back. WRONG! Since giving birth I do not fit into any of my pre-pregnancy clothes. I can just about stuff myself into a pair of jeans, but I have the biggest ‘muffin top’ hanging over the edge, and to be frank, I’m just uncomfortable! I thought that once my bump was gone everything would be easier, forgetting the fact that when you breast feed you go up a cup size, or 2 and now have 2 different bumps to contend with and STILL do not fit into my old clothes!

Now I do have control over my body, things haven’t got better for me, if anything they have gotten worse! I am constantly standing on the scales day in day out, hoping a pound, or just an ounce would slip of my body, but alas, still not back to pre-pregnancy weight. Okay, yes I have lost a stone, but half of that was baby, a portion of that was placenta, and the rest of it was obvious water because I dropped that in a week and nothing has come off since.

I’m not entirely sure what the point of this post is to be perfectly honest. I think it’s just a way to get all my feelings onto ‘paper’ to hopefully get it out of my system and just MOVE ON! But we will see, I am a woman after all, and we can hold onto things forever!

#MumLife: I have no idea what I’m doing!

So Aria is 6 weeks old now, and let me tell you. I have learnt quite a bit in the last few weeks! The biggest thing I have learnt though, is that I have literally no idea what I am doing!

Okay, that’s a bit of an over exaggeration. I know the basics. Make sure she’s fed, make sure she has a clean nappy on, make sure to clean her and bathe her, make sure she is happy, and make sure she is stimulated. But with all of that there come so many questions! In the last few weeks I have googled more than I have ever googled before- and I am a massive google lover so you can imagine how much data I must be using on my phone!

The problem with google though, is that there are so many different answers to the same question, and that poses a big problem… which answer is the right one? As a first time mum I am literally going in blind. Yes we went to our antenatal classes and learnt a fair bit, but there is so much that isn’t covered in those classes that I really think their should be!

So many people always say to ‘check with your midwife’ or ‘Ask the health visitor next time you see her’. Well I’ve done that, but what do I do when I’ve asked the same question but been given 2 very different answers?

So many people say how good it is that there is so much available online now, but in all honesty, I think that makes it so much harder, because there is so much conflicting information on there! However, like I’ve been told time and time again,  for a lot of things its just finding out what works best for you and your baby. What works for one may not work for another. What I’m learning, is that there is no hard and fast rule to solve any qualms a baby may have. Some days Aria likes being sat up to be winded, some days she likes to be laying down. It’s all trial and error!

Slowly but surely I do feel like I am getting the hang of this motherhood malarkey, but lets see if i’m still saying that when I face the next lot of obstacles!

#MumLife: Adjusting to a Newborn.

Here is the first post for my new ‘baby related series’ titled ‘#MumLife’. I hope you enjoy this post, and the many more I am sure to write, as I embark on this crazy journey that they call motherhood!

So Aria is 3 weeks old, and let me tell you… it has been an adjustment! Don’t get me wrong, she is such a good baby in comparison to the horror stories I’ve heard about but it really is exhausting being responsible for someone who is so small and needs so much care and attention!

As a newborn babies are pretty easy to look after in the grand scheme of things. You just have to make sure they are fed, have a clean nappy, wind them once they’ve been fed and give them lots of kisses and cuddles. Simple. But who would know how draining it actually is?

There are so many things that come with being a mother to a newborn, and these are just a few to mention.

  1. I am on constant Aria watch. As soon as I wake up I check that she’s in her crib which is attached to my bed. One morning I woke up and she wasn’t there. I quickly turned over and saw she wasn’t in Ryan’s arms either. PANIC! She was actually laying in between Ryan’s legs but I couldn’t see because I was laying down, but in that moment I was terrified! Once I realised where she was an instant wave of calm flooded my body. Phew.
  2. Whenever she’s asleep I’m constantly looking at her making sure she’s breathing, sometimes her breaths are so shallow I have to poke her, in hope that she’ll flinch and I’ll know she’s still alive!
  3. The overwhelming tiredness that hits you when you’re awake for the 3am feed, and you’re looking at your husband who you seems to be blissfully unaware that you are awake and is enjoying his sleep (which of course is not his fault as he is unable to produce ‘Milkies’ from his manly nipples) can really get to you and you can feel so lonely, and also terrified that you might fall asleep mid feed and end up unlatching your child and spraying them in the face with milk, or worse, dropping them!
  4. The days when all your baby wants is you, no one else will suffice for more than 5 minutes. So far we have only had 2 days like this, but these are the days where I have felt the most drained and emotional.
  5. The days when they are having a growth spurt. You literally feel like a dairy cow where you child is constantly suckling at your bosom, whilst you, once again, stare at your own meal going icily cold (I’m sure they know when it’s your meal times, it’s like as soon as they smell food they’re awake, regardless to the fact that you have just finished nursing them 10 minutes ago, in the hope of getting ahead of the game so you can have a hot dinner for once).
  6. The days when it feels like all your baby is doing is constantly filling their nappy, normally before you’ve managed to button up their baby grow after just changing their previous poo explosion.
  7. But even with all of that constant caring and tending to your child, there really is nothing like holding your precious child. That child you have grown in your body for 9 months. The child that is half yours and half your husbands.
  8. Those little eyes that look up at you when you’re nursing them, with their little noises of enjoyment and satisfaction of being fed their mother’s milk.
  9. Those little faces they pull when they are milk drunk, and look so content with their now full belly (which will be ’empty’ in approximately 10 minutes once they have either A) Burped/sicked up their milk. B) Done an almighty blow off that has caused their bowels to now open and fill that clean nappy that was put on them just 20 minutes previously. Or C) Forgotten that they have just been fed for 25 minutes on the left side after their 5 minute power nap, and start shrieking as if they have been starved for a week so you now offer them the right side).
  10. The constant worrying that your child is okay, and wondering if those noises are normal for a baby to make (Aria started making a squeaking noise on her third day of life, and because I hadn’t heard it before I was convinced I had broken one of her bones and she was now squeaking in pain). 
  11. You get so much joy when they smile for the first time (not all smiles are ‘wind’ no matter what people tell you) and get so excited when they start achieving their milestones.

Being a mum to a newborn is draining, but so rewarding. I feel so blessed to have Aria as my daughter, and I can’t wait to see what funny things she’ll start doing next!

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