Ending and beginnings

At 0938 on 6th January Jess had her last boobalicious experience. We have decided to stop breast feeding. Many reasons for our decision. She will continue to get my milk in a bottle till I stop producing it, and will have the odd formula bottle throughout the day. We will see how this goes. 🙂

So far what I miss is her wee full up contented face that she had after a feed, that silent little smile with her eyes closed. I haven’t seen that with any bottle feed yet. I think it’s because she would feed till she was full and no matter how much you have in a bottle she either has to rest or burb or the bottle runs out before she reaches that place. I’m still holding her close and giving lots of hugs during feeds.

Why have we stopped? Well the main reason is my energy, both physical and mental. I was rushed into a&e on the 28th dec with tubo-ovarian abscess. Though it took till a scan on the 29th for diagnosis. I was hooked up to an IV antibiotics and kept in for a week. I saw Jess for about an hour a day and was very very poorly! 😦 I expressed the whole time I was in to keep up my milk but it wasn’t enough I think and on retuning home I felt she was hungrier and having to work hard at the end of feeds, also the thrush pain reoccurred slightly and I couldn’t fight it again or start the whole business of setting up production all over again. Plus she was happy with my mum and dad for a week on formula so I knew we’d be fine. I have to conserve energy to get better as I don’t want to be that ill again or be apart from my baby girl for so long.

‘Missed her’ doesn’t even come close to the feelings I had when in hospital. It felt that a part of me was gone, I cried lots. For a while I worried that she would prefer my mum to me and that she would forget me but skin to skin and bf reassured me that was silly. 🙂 she got her jags on Hogmanay and my brother brought her in to see me. It was horrific: all she wanted was to be held, and walked, and cuddled. I couldn’t do it, I got upset and felt like such a woose! I couldn’t comfort my little girl on the one day I needed to. The nurses in the hospital were great and said that I hadn’t to worry, I was really ill, my body was done in by this infection and Jess would be cared for by my folks really well. I might have missed a day but I needed to get better for all the other days.

My new year, first one as a mum was spent hooked up to an IV machine, not great but just another day. I think it’s good that I don’t really care much for new year.

So that year is over and a new one is here. Me and Jess and are gonna have lots of fun. We have a fresh new routine to settle into and some new places to explore. Once I’m back to full strength again there is no stopping us.

Advertisements

What a day…

Well today has been a day of two halves. It started at 5am with me shivering and feverish and feeling like id been hit by a truck and has ended with me happily, pain free feeding on both sides with a content stuffed wee lass in my arms.

Turns out I had mastitis in my left side. Got the red mark now, was engorged and soooo sore, it felt like mike Tyson had been training on me. The chills and flu like symptoms struck so fast and I was sitting in bed from 5 am- 8.30 am in tears, whimpering, had to get mum out to get Jessica dressed and ready for the day- she gave her a wee bath as her hair was sodden with my tears. 😦 after speaking to my cousin I took some paracetamol and brufen and massaged my left side all day, had her feeding from it for a while and expressed out as well. Saw a doctor who prescribed antibiotics but I don’t think I need them plus they will aggravate the thrush, which is getting treated again!!!!

Then out of nowhere me and Jess finally got it, the penny dropped and she latched on easily and painlessly on both sides, have had great feeds all day, nipples don’t look mis-sharpen and now we hope they will heal. Getting dressing from the doctors too.

I really didn’t think at 8 this morning id be sitting here feeling fine and feeding well. So happy!!! The support I’ve had here from health visitors, breastfeeding coordinator and nurse practitioner has been amazing!! They are all working as a team and coming in to offer support, hold Jess till I get dressed, make tea, listen to my gripes and allow me to cry. My mum is great but she doesn’t know anything about breastfeeding so doesn’t know how to help, these people have gone above and beyond for me. I really am lucky that I’m here. It truly was all meant to be. 🙂

So yes a day of two halves indeed. Oh and yesterday we fed in ikea, in a quiet corner, on a random bench. It was great!! 🙂

Lunch out

I realised the last few posts have been quite negative, but then the past few weeks have been a struggle. However there have been good days and today was one of them.

We had a lazy morning, then met up with my brother and sister for lunch. Was out the house by 12.30. Managed to have lunch in Costa, then wander round the shops with bro before heading to my sisters for dinner. Jessica was fab, slept most of the time and then was awake with her cousins. Fed well today too. Mostly pain free feeds, and if it wasn’t for shooting pains after feeds (due to thrush) I think I’d be so happy breastfeeding.

Now we are at gran and pop’s house, getting some cuddles. So even though it’s hard there are days of wonderfulness. Here’s hoping we have another good day tomorrow. 🙂

Breastfeeding: fact or fiction??

So you know breast is best and you strive to give your baba the very best. But what is the actual truth about breastfeeding? Well here I will, given my own experience try to battle through the fact and fiction.

1. You don’t need anything, just you and baby.
Well this isn’t exactly true. I’ve been amazed at what I’ve needed. Syringe in hospital to collect milk at start when baby won’t latch on. Breast pump- a necessity to deal with engorgement and to give nipples a rest when they are too sore to give to baby. Lansinohl cream: necessity for cracked nipples and sore nipples. For some people they have needed a nipple shield, and I got told yesterday about a nipple shell to collect dripping milk which brings me on to breast pads. I’m not talking the one or two boxes you’re devised to buy- you will need loads. Special clothes: feeding bras that fit, tops that have secret sections and make feeding easy, and enough of them to change possibly twice a day. Muslins to help with the leaking. Steriliser for the pump.

2. It’s easily the most natural thing in the world
Nope, I disagree, it’s hard, very hard and you need to learn and straight after giving birth you are not in the best place to learn a new skill. Baby also needs to learn, and not all babies know how.

3. Builds strong bonds
Well this one I agree with and once you’ve got the hang of it, it can be the best time of day. The knowledge that you are giving your baby all it needs to thrive is such a powerful thing.

4. Every feed should be pain free
Eventually, yes but I don’t know how many feeds I’ve had that have been excruciating. All to do with attachment an that new skill you are both learning.

5. Saves baby from illnesses and reduces risks for mum from certain cancers and illnesses
I’m sure this is true but in reducing te risk of these illnesses mum is being open to mastitis, thrush, engorgement, pain, bleeding, to name but a few. Not life threatening but when you are dealing with them they feel like it!!

6. Everyone says first few weeks are worst then it’s great and looking back it’s all been worth it
I’ll let you know the answer to this is 3 weeks time. 🙂

3 weeks in….

…,Feeding continued.

So the tale of today..
Feed 1- 4.30 am- felt fab, didn’t have to leave the room, just lifted her up, put her on and she fed then burped, changed bum and back to sleep

Feed 2-8.30 am- incredibly painful, thrush sucks, she was fussy going on and I just wanted a break. 😦

Feed 3-10 ish- still painful, still fussy but worth it

Feed4-2.30- sore on but once on very easy, milk splurging out all over her made me laugh.

Between sleep 3&4 we both curled up and dozed. Will never tire of her wee sleepy face.

Feeding, feeding

You know no one tells you just how hard breast feeding is. How tiring, how sore, how seemingly complicated at times. I find myself asking: is it worth all this?

I’ve been having issues really since my milk came in. Issues I now realise were all to do with attachment and making sure she was on right at every feed, but how do you do this!? Well my solution, or rather a solution from my mum was to call in reinforcements from my big cousin. She is a health visitor and has done loads of work on breastfeeding. And all this week she has been a godsend!! I now know what a pain free feed feels like but don’t get it yet all the time. We are still learning together. I think everyone who chooses to breastfeed should be given support face to face at home for almost every feed when their milk comes in. Prevention is better than cure right? If I’d had it I wouldn’t have cracked nipples or attachment issues.

So is it all worth it? Well today yes it is, I feel good about things and Jessica has been great. Yesterday was a different matter though and tomorrow is a whole new day. I’m not at the stage of giving up but I also know I can’t go on in pain forever. It is worth it to know that I’m giving Jessica everything she needs.