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My Feeding Battle

I’ve been considering writing this post for a few weeks now, but felt unsure how to go about it.

I’m not pro-breast feeding per say, I’d say I’m pro-feeding, but the problem is as soon as you start writing about breastfeeding people think you’re anti-formula, which isn’t the case at all. I’m currently breastfeeding Nicole, but I’ve formula fed, I’ve bottle fed expressed milk and I’ve breastfed, they were all great and all difficult for different reasons, so I thought I’d write my take on each of them.

I’ll start with saying breastfeeding is much harder than I thought it would be, the four things that tipped the scale for me in the favour of breast feeding were:

  1. No going downstairs in the night to make bottles up
  2. No washing and sterilising bottles
  3. No-one else can do it
  4. You don’t have to prepare and take bottles out with you

But I never realised the battle that can be involved with breastfeeding, my first son was 10 weeks premature and never latched, I tried and tried but the sucking reflex just wasn’t there, it was heartbreaking and frustrating.

My second son was premature but eventually latched, but it took a few weeks to get him exclusively breastfeeding, I gave him bottles occasionally, but the teat and nipple confusion made it more difficult.

Then I had Nicole, I was fully aware she might be my last so I really wanted to exclusively breastfeed, just as a personal goal for myself.

She is now nearly 10 weeks old and hasn’t had one bottle, but oh my the first three weeks were so hard. My nipples were blistered and bleeding, from where she hadn’t been latching properly, I got Mastitis (ouch!) and she was feeding every two hours, plus no-one else can do it, which is a bonus for bonding but not when you’re exhausted. I’m now two and a half months in and it’s a doddle, I’m so glad I pushed through that hard time, I’ve reached my goal and I feel like I can keep going for as long as I feel happy.

Formula feeding was more complicated than I thought, you don’t realise how many different formulas there are to choose from! First there’s the different brands and everyone has their opinions of of course! Then there’s the different types of milk, some rave about hungry babies yet others warn you to stay away. I did find that formula always made them more constipated. The washing and sterilising of bottles was frustrating at times, but then being able to ask someone to watch the baby whilst you have a shower or go do some shopping is attainable because they aren’t surgically attached to your breast! The benefits I found of formula feeding were:

  1. There isn’t the frustration of baby latching
  2. Other people can feed baby
  3. You can eat and drink whatever you like without worrying about it affecting baby
  4. You know how much milk they’ve consumed

I say that formula feeding was more complicated than I thought but in some ways it’s really simple, you make the bottle, you feed the baby and that’s it, there’s not need to work on latching or worrying about how much milk baby is getting because you can see it for yourself.

Expressing milk, I take my hat off to any momma who express their milk and feed it their baby through bottles. Above I’ve discussed the pros and cons of breast and bottle feeding, well this is both! So you’re getting all your amazing ‘liquid gold’ milk (as it is referred to in NICU) out through a breast pump, washing and sterilising bottles then feeding baby. It takes double the time and double the effort. I expressed while Jack was in NICU for 6 weeks, then for 6 weeks at home, he ended up needing premature baby formula to put weight on, but during the time I expressed it was very rewarding but it was hard work. The benefits to expressing are:

  1. Baby is still getting your milk
  2. Other people can feed baby
  3. You know how much milk baby has had
  4. You can freeze the milk and stockpile to use at a later date

Even though expressing is hard work, it is definitely worth it, it has so many great benefits for both mum and baby. Having battled trying to get Jack to latch and being unable to, I found this worked so well for us and I was so happy he could still get my milk.

So there it is, my take on the different types of feeding I’ve experienced first hand. There is a lot of judgement out there about each of these types of feeding, but there is one statement I stand by…

“All a baby cares about is that their belly is full and that you love them”

Really, as long as your baby is fed and happy…that’s all that matters. People will judge you no matter what you do, so you have to do what is best for you and baby not anyone else.

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Christmas Gift Guide Request

I’m creating a Christmas Gift Guide of tried and tested toys!

I will try some my self with the kids and also accept reviews from real mum’s & kiddies with pictures!

If you would like to get in contact for my boys aged 1 & 2 to try your product or to send your review in for consideration then please get in contact via Facebook or Twitter!!

Happy Holidays!christmas-presents

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Halloween with kids ideas!

I had so many ideas for Halloween with the boys but unfortunately they got struck down with a sickness bug, they are recovering now, but since they are too young to understand Halloween I saw no need to dress them up when it would benefit them more having a cosy day in their PJs. Plus it’s the one night a month they spend at Nanny’s house, so they’re having a quiet one!

But saying that I do love Halloween and think kids are adorable dressed up for it! I really wanted to do Jack dressed as Chucky and Mikey as the baby from The Adam’s Family. I then saw a friend of mine on Facebook, Harriet, who has a baby the same age as Mikey, dressed her and her son Luca up for a Halloween competition and won 1st and 2nd Place!

Like me, Harriet likes to create a lot of homemade sensory activities for her son, she gets creative and look at the results!

Luca1 Luca2 Luca3

Harriet was kind enough to let me use her pictures for this post!

So there you go a fun and creative way to dress up with your little on for Halloween.

If any readers have pictures of their cute little ones, comment with them or send them in via Facebook or Twitter!

Happy Halloween!

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The screaming, kicking & punching terrible 2’s are here!

Jack turns two on the 11th November, it’s hard to believe that my tiny premature baby that was born at 29+5 weeks Gestation is almost two!

... jack

Especially since he started not even being able to breathe by himself and now he has got a whole personality of his own, saying words, starting to string sentences together, feeding himself, knowing he does NOT want to use the potty and of course the reason they are called the terrible two’s….the tantrums.

He’s always been very loving and affectionate especially to his little brother, but I will give you a few scenarios in the last week that have shown the sudden change in his behaviour.

Tantrum 1 – Biting

We were playing “tractor” which started with me getting a picture of a tractor on google images for Jack to point at and say “tractor” to on my laptop, we have gradually progressed and now he says around 30-40 words, the other day we were playing a lovely game of tractor when Jack started smacking the laptop, so I looked at him and said “No Jack, that’s naughty”, he looked at me with anger, his body went rigid with rage, he ran over to his Daddy who was laid on the sofa and without any warning, bit him on the leg! There was pure anger, from nowhere! All of a sudden he was fine and accepted being told off, he gave Daddy a kiss and a cuddle with an apology. But it was so shocking! He has never bitten before!

Tantrum 2 – Raisins

Jack loves eating his dinner, him and Mikey sit side by side in their high chairs and never have any objections, except for Tuesday, on Tuesday this all changed. He screamed and went rigid, he wouldn’t calm down and just stormed about screaming, then all of a sudden walked over to the table and pointed at a box of Raisins, we handed him the box and he was fine, he then got in his high chair and ate all of his dinner. I didn’t see this as giving into him, as I’d happily give him a snack and considering he ate all of his tea, I saw his anger as frustration that he couldn’t communicate what he wanted.

Tantrum 3 – Bath time

Bath time is Jack’s favourite time of day hands-down, so when I get him out of it, there is a 5 second struggle until he remembers he then gets to watch a bit of Peppa Pig and have his night time bottle. Tonight I laid him on the towel and he kicked, punched and scratched, it only lasted for maybe 20 seconds then he was fine, he had his nightly inhaler and calmed down, I was in shock though, shock that my tiny snuggly baby that needed me to survive would try and hurt me! I know he doesn’t know the difference and is learning from his emotions, but still it’s hard to deal with!

They say that a toddler’s hormones are the same as a teenagers, well if Jack’s feeling the hormones I felt as a teenager I’m going to run and hide…this can only get worse!

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The daily battles of being a Mum

There’s always something that “could be done” in my house, whether it’s housework, paperwork, something with the kids etc. There’s never nothing to do! As I’m sure most mother’s can relate to.

Take the dishes for instance, I can clean the entire Kitchen and nothing makes more of a difference to the naked eye than the dishes, they look the messiest and soon pile up, doing them instantly makes the place look better….so why do I leave them until last?! They’re not hard to do, I don’t mind getting my hands dirty, but I will make excuses in my mind! Like “There will be more upstairs, might as well do them all in one go, so wait”, “They’re one of the quickest jobs to do so leave them until last” or my favourite “There isn’t enough there to justify doing them, wait until there is more”. None of which really matters, because that is all they are….excuses. I just don’t know what it is about them dishes I just can’t seem to get the motivation!

Vacuuming, it makes me feel like a good housewife, while doing it and sniffing in the vacuum smell I boast to myself in my head (Sad? Yes I know) about how tidy my house must be that there is enough floor space to vacuum it! If the house isn’t tidy, the vacuum’s collecting dust in a whole different way…by being sat in the broom cupboard, because I’m telling you if there isn’t a spotless house to vacuum, it isn’t getting done. Therefore vacuuming is a triumph.

Matching socks, the peril of my life. I never saw matching socks as that big an issue, until I became a mum, then suddenly if your child has odd socks it instantly puts you in the “bad mum category”. Not that I think you’re not a great mum if your child has matching socks, I take my hat off to you, but it really isn’t that big a deal to me. I am not a greatly religious person, but since having children I do believe in Sock Heaven.

Milestones, sorry to sound brash but I don’t give a shi*t what milestone my child is at. I only have two children, but they are complete and utter opposites. When parents compare at what age their children teethe, hold their head up, crawl, walk etc. It really gets on my nerves! Every child is different and will develop differently, the will do it, just in their own time. For me personally I am in no rush for my baby to take one more step away from being a baby!

The daily battles of being a momma never end, but they will be the battles we miss when our babies are all grown up! Enjoy it while it lasts!

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Turning One

On the 1st October my youngest baby Mikey Moo will be one!

Time has flown so quickly, this time last year I was preparing my self to have a C-section with my Breach baby!

Then at 11:57am weighing 4lb12oz my gorgeous Michael David Woodhouse was born.

6 months to the day after my Dad died, he brought us light in the darkest of times.

Here are some pics from the last 12 months:

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Finding Mummy’s Switch Off Button

Before you become a parent, there really is no way to understand what it feels like.

Yes you may have family members or friends’ babies who you are close too. But that bond of holding YOUR baby in your arms is like no other feeling in the world.

It sounds patronising for others to tell you that you don’t know what it’s really like until they are here. But once your little one is born, you find yourself saying it!

It’s amazing how many news stories suddenly stand out to you and terrify you to the point you can’t sleep, films and TV shows will make you cry where they wouldn’t have before, you can be so incredibly frustrated by this little person who has caused you physical pain by being born, kept you awake all night and turned your house in to a bomb-site, yet you idolise them above anyone else in your life.

You quickly realise your brain hasn’t switched off since the moment they were born, this isn’t to discourage that pregnancy isn’t equally as enjoyable yet terrifying, but once they are here it is a whole other ball game.

So how do you find your switch off button?

Your child is fed, bathed, in clean clothes and laid on fresh bedding. Their nappy is clean, the house is clean and so are you! There’s nothing left for you to do…but switch off! So you sit there, with all this time on your hands, what do you feel? Joy? Peace? Relaxation? NO! You feel guilt (you don’t know why) you feel worry (about everything and anything that could possibly ever happen, including the end of the world!) and you feel stress (about why you have got nothing to do!). You’re listening to your child breathing (making sure they are) and looking at them full of love, but the worry still doesn’t go away, you can see them, hear them, feel them and you know they are safe, so why can’t you settle?! Maybe you need a night off?!

You’ve finally bucked up the courage to let Grandma have your precious baby for the night, you and the hubby have some free time, so what do you do? Let your hair down? Relax? Have some care-free fun? NO?! You do nothing but worry about your little one, check your phone constantly and ring/text for updates. Even if you’re not saying it, the back of your mind is doing overtime!

Maybe you need a break from your little on to relax, but not be too far away? Your hubby tells you to go and enjoy a bath and he’ll watch bubs! Bingo! So you’re laid there in the bath, soaking up the bubbles, then you hear a gurgle?! you shout down to see if your little one needs anything,but of course he’s fine! A cry?! He’s fine, Daddy can handle it, but you still need to check. Nothing?! That’s right you hear nothing, you should be enjoying the peace, but no you need to find out why you can’t hear your little monkey.

So where is Mummy’s switch off button and why is it so difficult to find?! I have the answer….

It doesn’t exist!

Now if I have just rained on your parade, hold that thought! Ask yourself this….

We can’t switch off, why? Because these vulnerable little people who lived inside us for 9 months, need us to protect them no matter what, they need all the awful thoughts of what could happen to go through our minds so we can protect them from it, they need us to NOT switch off, because they need us to be there for them no matter what, day or night.

So if the above describes you, if you can’t switch off, it’s because you are everything a mother should be, you are your little one(s) everything and that is because you never ever…switch offf