Guest Post: The one about breastfeeding….

As regular readers know I have been proudly feeding BB now for twenty two months, it was such hard work at the beginning and we have no idea how to stop now so instead we are just going with the flow.

Therefore I am pleased to hand over the reins today to Jo Middleton More

Breastfeeding: Yes I still am…..

Yes I still am…. 

Not that it really relates to you, but yes I am.

Whilst I appreciate you may think she is too old, I am of the opinion that she isn’t and she seems to agree. More

Parenting tips: Bleurgh

Things that make me go Bleurgh…..

1. Parking in a family parking bay. Yes you are late and yes its busy but people carriers were met to stick together. Don’t force me to park with the cool cars as neither I or the car enjoys the silent ridicule as I try and wrestle a buggy and 3 kids out with two inches of space.
However if you decide to park in my spot because secretly you want one of my children please feel free to check my ebay account as one or more is often found there. More

Breastfeeding: I am asking politely: please leave me alone….

When you see me shouting at my children just because I am having a rubbish day feel free to tell me to calm down.

When you see me bribe my children with chocolate feel free to suggest better ways to get them to behave well and play nicely.

When you see me “forget” to get the kids to brush their teeth at night-time because I have had enough and the bottle in the fridge is calling More

Breastfeeding: Is Breast Best?

This is a breastfeeding post I originally wrote as a guest post on plus2point4; where you can read some cracking articles.

After watching Is Breast Best? tonight I thought it may be worth reposting on my own blog to share a positive experience of breastfeeding as BB and I start the approach to our one year marker of exclusively breastfeeding.  Apparantly I am in the 3 of the population who exclusively feed past a year.

Please let me know what you think….

Written when BB was seven months old…..

“Like most things in life breastfeeding was not what I expected, it has far surpassed all my expectations and I feel I may have become a happy addict.

It looked really easy when I saw my girlfriends feed their babies, yet when I  latch on my rather beautiful baby I tended to resemble a big breasted king kong trying to navigate a mouse up to the nipple on the top of the empire state building.Not to mention that when she did latch on it felt like the mouse was trying to tear the nipple off the top of the empire state building with its toothless mouth.

It was all a bit of a kerfuffle really.Beautiful baby was born by emergency c section seven months ago, and as myself and fifteen other midwives had failed to get the twins to latch on I had gone into hospital prepared. I had a breast pump, nipple shields, nipple cream, and warm hands ready to knead my bosom to encourage the milk flow.

Turned out for her first feed she didn’t need anything but me, she lay skin to skin and latched on perfectly and it felt like how beautiful looks.It went a bit pear shaped after that, back on the ward she couldn’t latch on again until day four when a rather skilled midwife taught her what to do whilst I lay back and thought of breast milk. Until day four I became rather close with a medula breast pump and a syringe.

I was warned because I am particularly well endowed but at the same time not particularly ‘pert’ I may find breastfeeding hard work.Never had a truer word been said. For eight weeks my breasts worked overtime creating an oversupply that I couldn’t control.  Mastitis became my arch enemy and cold cabbage became my bosom buddy.  The stream of antibiotics I took caused me to get repetitive thrush in both my section scar tissue and my nipples.

One day I sat tears streaming down my face and dripping off my nose as I tried to nurse through a blocked duct and he who helped create them said;

“Just stop, its enough”.

I am no martyr to pain, in fact a paper cut can cause me to sob but for the first time in my life I realised that the enjoyment I had when nursing my daughter without infection was more significant than the pain I felt nursing through infection.  So me and beautiful baby decided to stick with it.

Seven months on I still struggle with trying to discreetly latch her on; you may notice the odd eclipse of the sun now and then when I begin to feed. I still love every feed and know this journey was right for me and bb.  It and she was more than worth it.

I figure I’ll stop when she goes to college.”

She seems to be doing well on it….

my imperfection for all to hear

I have spent the afternoon with a bunch of old gals huffing and puffing as they struggled to remember their breathing and push their newborns out into the world.

Its lambing time!

Me and my three offspring had a fabulous time at a local farm.  As usual our day was not without embarrassment.  Within minutes twin boy managed to identify the one ewe out of a hundred who had a traumatic birth resulting in an emergency c section. He proudly announced to the farmer that’s how his baby sister escaped from the womb and mummy has a similar scar.  If you look closely she is the lady ewe at the back and I would like it known that my scar is much smaller and i tend to keep it covered.

 After nine months of breastfeeding I had nothing but empathy for this poor sow.

 
We managed to watch the wonder of birth, which evoked a billion questions from twin boy and some rather embarrassingly large vomit sounds from twin girl as she watched the placenta fall out.

 ….and its twins!  wonder if the other ewes will ask the mum if they were ivf?

 But cute of cuteness was feeding the little lambs whose mums didn’t have enough milk.  And once more twin boy had the final word.

“Mummy you have lots of milk so bb doesn’t need a bottle; and you have more milk in one boobie because that one is bigger.”

As you can imagine we were surrounded by people.  My imperfections are now well known!

Its all about my boobies – please support them

I think it is important to try and have boundaries when writing a blog.  Areas of your life that you don’t go into.

My few boundaries are not having a pop at he who helped create them, to be fair he is marvellous so wouldn’t be possible anyway.  I try not to blog about me old mother as she doesn’t trust the internet and finds that facebook thing a bit weird and is often found wringing her hands asking why people don’t use phones to talk into anymore.  In general I avoid blogging about friends and family as I don’t want to offend inadvertently and I am sure if they wanted the world to know their business they would start a blog as well. (well not my mum she wouldn’t have the faintest idea of where to start – but she would call you!)

I also try to avoid blogging about my boobies; not always successfully as I am breastfeeding BB so sometimes the occasional comment slips in!  However today is all about the boobs in yet another cleverly concealed post that hopefully will drive you to my just giving site.

In six weeks me and my boobs are running a marathon.  We are doing it for charity, in support of an awesome little boy called Seth who has spent most of his five years on earth fighting acute myeloid leukaemia.  I am trying to raise awareness of the Anthony Nolan trust and hoping to raise two grand for them in the process.

So why the boobs?  Well I am going for the sympathy vote here.  Should you be wondering if this is a big enough challenge for me, should you be debating whether to sponsor me over the masses of great causes, then let me tell you a secret which hopefully will lead to some loving on my just giving page.

My boobs are big, I mean Jordan envy size, in fact whilst breastfeeding I am in the largest cup size available in the UK.  (If you don’t know what that is ask  the lovely TJ at bras4mums as she hooks me up with my overtheshoulderboulderholders) So I feel since each breast is virtually the size of a small person they deserve a bit of recognition and a bit of sponsorship!

And the boobs are finding it hard work in training.  They get blisters everywhere, in fact one of them is so heavily plastered up as the moment you could write well wishes on it like a broken leg cast (should anyone wish to write on my breasts in exchange for serious sponsorship lets talk).  They also have the added inconvenience of lactating.  I did a twenty mile race recently and the last five miles felt like I was running with six pints of milk in each breast.  I also had slight leakage issues as well which was a tad embarrassing at the finish line.

They bounce and jiggle and generally hurt like hell as my legs go through the same torture.  And as I run past supporters no one is looking at my face I can be sure of that! (which is good as I am normally a little red).

So please show the boobies some loving as I think quite possibly they could be largest to ever attempt the London marathon and if that doesn’t get a couple of quid sponsorship I don’t know what will!

Pop along now and do leave them a message.

The site is here!!!!!

To find out more about the fabulous work Anthony Nolan does and register to save a life click here.  Someone registered once and saved Seth’s life which allowed his adorable mummy to sit and weep her way through his first parents evening last week.  An event she never dared dream she would attend.

Kids shouldn’t get poorly, my boobs can take the pain if it helps to stop a little bit of suffering in the world please help me raise awareness.

Thanks

Dear Gina Ford, I’m sorry….

Dear Gina,

I’m sorry;

I have been bewitched. 

 I am completely and utterly spellbound by an eight month old baby girl.

Twin boy and girl were not different, they captivated my heart from the moment they crept out the sunroof, but as they came as a pair  adhering to your routines meant I had a life which involved sleep and lots of it.  But with BB  she has clearly cast a spell on me as she has conjured me into taking a new parenting path; which involves complete abandonment of the rules

Your much loved book sits dusty on the toilet windowsill.  I dare not crack the spine as I am pretty sure your routines don’t read like this:

 Routine for a breastfeeding baby at six to nine months

7am: baby to be woken by daddy’s gentle snores as she sleeps in between her besotted and tired parents.  Baby may or may not have a feed from both breasts; it really depends on how much she drank at 3am

8am:  baby to remain in pj’s for next few hours as twin boy and girl dominate the morning

 8.30am: baby to be tossed a rusk in the car for breakfast as mummy shouts at older children to buckle up and get a move on.

 9.15am: baby to nod off wherever baby happens to be

 10am:  baby to be woken by frantic late mother scrubbing remains of rusk off her face with johnson’s baby wipe before heading to some activity that no doubt will include winding up the bloody bobbin again.

 10.30am baby starts to grizzle and arches her body towards mothers breast, mother to then sigh and comment how she should have dropped this feed  ages ago whilst lifting top.

 10.32am: baby unlatches with wicked glint in eye, giggling at yet another exposure of mummy’s boob.  Mummy eats cookie as forgot to eat breakfast.

 Between 10.32 and 11.45: baby lurches towards breast in annoyance if anyone says ‘are you still breastfeeding her?’ Or ‘isn’t she getting too old for that now?’

11.45am: baby throws a variety of food on floor and grins madly at mummy who claps and shrieks well done every time a tiny particle enters her mouth.

12.30am:  mummy places calm baby in a darkened room in her cot for lunchtime sleep.

 12.32am: baby shouts until mummy comes back and hands over the boob for one last feed before nap time.

 Baby now sleeps as long as baby goddamn wants.

 2.30pm: baby refuses a milk feed, preferring to wait until mummy is driving to school to pick up the twins to mention she is peckish.

5pm: baby once again covers the floor with a variety of food.

5.30pm: baby has some open air time, on change mat mummy  encourages her to have a kick.

5.32pm: baby defecates on said change mat much to wild amusement of older siblings and encourages unhealthy interest from rapid hound.

 5.34pm: bath followed by quick once over with massage cream.

 6.00pm: baby takes full feed from both breasts whilst mummy bathes older children, practices reading with them, gets them into PJ’s and mops floor with the broom handle protruding from her arse.

 7.00pm: baby goes to sleep in darkened room in own cot.

 3.02am: baby wakes up for a snack

 3:32am: baby points out that mummy and daddy’s bed is bigger, more squidgy, and warmer than own cot and refuses to settle until she gets her own spot in it.

 3:45am: baby sleeps attached to mummy with daddy’s arm on her tummy.  Baby is happy.

From the last time I read your manuscript Gina, I recall your routine to be a little different.  So I apologise; I still think your routines are superb but this child has stolen my heart and ridiculed my authority and I can’t bear to hear her sob.

Plus there is only one of her so I can bend the rules a little; can’t I?

yours sincerely,

a little tired northernmum

xxx

one mothers shame

Discretion – my kids have none. They were also at the back of the queue when tact was handed out.

In short this means they are all capable of giving olympic gold performances in the sport of embarrassing mummy.

Take today at the twins’ swimming class, the three of them conspired to find a new way of heating my face.

Our local baths are extremely uncomfortable. In fact unless they attached large spikes to edge up your backside when you sit down I don’t see how the swimming pool manufacturer could make it any more unpleasant to sit in. However owing to my own bad planning it is here I sit weekly with crippling back pains giving baby beautiful her bedtime milk.

To be honest whilst not being a ‘shy’ breastfeeder I am also not partial to getting my puppies out to an audience. Even more so at swimming lessons as there is a dubious looking chap who seems all a bit too interested when baby beautiful starts to nuzzle for a feed.

Tonight as my elder two did imitations of frogs missing a limb in the water I discreetly lifted my top and popped bb on when I heard a high pitched girlie voice cry;

“Oooh mummy is showing her booby off”

Twin boy stopped mid stroke and managed to tread water successfully for the first time ever and called out;

“Oooh she has got the big booby out”

Up until this moment I genuinely believed the size discrepancy between my two breasts had gone unnoticed by most.

Firmly distracted by all the shouting and sniggering baby beautiful decided to go for the grand finale by wrenching her head off the abnormal boob and turning her body full circle so the breast in question exposed itself to one and all.

Three against one – its not fair!

Jumping on the bandwagon: breast is best?

I have read a couple of blogs  (mammywoo and the boyandme) today on the ongoing debate between breast and bottle feeding babies and the guilt that can fill ladies who choose (or indeed have no choice) to give their baby formula milk.  This sparked my interest and I thought I would add my thoughts to the discussion.

For the good of the mothering world I am conducting a social experiment, in seventeen years and six months I will publish the results.  I have two formula fed children and one exclusively breast-fed child, when I have all their ‘A’ level results I will be able to tell you if there is any truth in the rumour that breast-fed babies are more intelligent.  Of course this experiment is reliant upon the formula fed babies passing their GCSE’s in order to get to A levels…..

Seriously though I attempted to lovingly hold my twins to my heaving bosom upon their arrival into the world.  Twin girl weighed in at a mighty 5 pounds two ounces and after twenty minutes of trying to latch on the midwife gave up and fed her some rather tasty formula as the poor child had forgotten to eat before she left the womb and was starving.  Twin boy had a bit of a crack at the boob but he saw his little sister have a good old slurp on SMA gold and the teat looked a hell of a lot easier that his mummies rather scarily large breast so he kicked up a fuss until someone went and got him a bottle as well.  Fast forward a week in hospital and no midwife could manage to get either twin to latch on and sample some mummy goodness.  I had rather impressively sized boobies which apparently even Houdini would struggle to crack open.  So the doors stayed locked and my milk went away.  My children loved their SMA, they were fed by everyone that loved them, they grew healthily and happily, twin boy suffered with reflux for a couple of years but in no way do I connect that to him being bottle fed.  However twin girl does have a small birthmark which I reckon is because she never sampled the boobie milk.

Four years on and into the world pops baby beautiful; well pops is a rather understated term for her arrival, it hurt like hell and she came out via the sunroof.  Turns out that if medical science had not evolved so well I would have died during natural childbirth; I reckon if the human race is clever enough to invent ways of saving a mother and her child in labour then it can probably knock together a decent bottle of formula.

I wanted to have another attempt at breastfeeding; I never felt I missed out with the twins by not breastfeeding I just wanted to have a go.  Kind of like how I wanted to see what a contraction felt like without an epidural (regretted that afterwards – it felt like a red hot poker burning into my spine).   By some miracle baby beautiful nestled into my arms like the last piece of a jigsaw and latched on perfectly; I loved the feeling, I was blissfully happy. 

Back on the ward it was like I had turned back time, every time I tried to latch her on she couldn’t get a grip; it was like the milk float was reversing away from my body (This vehicle is reversing, this vehicle is reversing).  Not to be thwarted out came the milking machine and I expressed tiny droplets until I could syringe feed my child.  Three days later and the expressing was wearing thin, I felt like a cow with swollen udders but my milk had arrived and it had to go somewhere. 

On my last day in hospital I met the world’s scariest midwife, a young polish woman; she blustered into my cubicle as I sat with it all hanging out spending some quality time with the breast pump.

‘you are doing that wrong, why not put the baby to the breast?’

Three days after giving birth, fed up and cross I wept in her arms ‘I can’t do it, no one can latch her on’

Looking proud and motivated by a challenge my polish angel declared ‘I am good breast feeder, I will get you on.’

At this point my two children turned up and twin girl joined in to help by lifting her top and breastfeeding baby Annabel (she made it look easy).  For twenty minutes the midwife manipulated my bosom into positions any contortionist would be proud off and then suddenly I heard the contended sucking of my three day old child.  Sweet hallelujah she was on.

I would love to say it was all sweetness and light from that point on, but three case of mastitis, two cases of thrush (yep you can get that in your booby apparently), and some spectacularly cracked nipples meant I found breastfeeding incredibly hard work for the first eight weeks and then suddenly it all settled down (with the help of painkillers, antibiotics and white wine).

I love feeding my daughter, and I loved snuggling up in an evening twin in each arm giving them a bottle.  They are all happy and healthy.  Someone asked me if I regretted not ‘trying harder’ with the twins – I don’t feel I need to justify that question with an answer.

Just for the record, I bottle fed my son until he was eighteen months until he switched to a beaker, twin girl stayed on a bottle until she was two.  Baby beautiful will remain breastfed for as long as we both desire; I am not doing it to make a point I just enjoy it and she seems to like it as well.  I am almost certain she won’t still be breastfed when she goes off to Cambridge University with her six A stars.

To all mummies out there, feed your babies milk not coca cola and you will ensure they get a good start in life.

 Merry Christmas

xxxx

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Copyright © Jane Blackmore and Northernmum, 2010-2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jane Blackmore and Northernmum with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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