Archive for the 'doctors' Category

What a week!

Somehow, it appears to be Monday again – which means I’ve spent another week neglecting my poor little blog.
But I have excuses! Lots of them!

Firstly: I had a birthday. yes, I am officially 29. And 12 months. Gulp.
(not to worry though, promise I won’t be going in for any of that ‘proper grown up’ stuff.)
Anyway, those of you who follow my twittery nonsense, will know that my Mr had the week off, and was cooking up a surprise for Saturday night… turned out to be a VERY big surprise, in the shape of a party! Had a fantastic time, still have no idea how he managed to keep it under wraps so long… sneaky little monkey.
AND, he even took care of the LD & let me sleep in till 10am the next day, and I escaped hangover free! Good Times ๐Ÿ™‚
Some of my birthday loveliness.
(some of my birthday loveliness :D)

Secondly: The rest of the week was spent enjoying some quality Daddy time ๐Ÿ™‚ We went on a few mini-day trips, Daddy came to his first baby clinic (LD now weighing in at 16 1/2 lb!!), and we went to the teddy bear’s picnic at the childrens centre (so cute :D), we went out for an awesome lunch on my birthday, and even squeezed in not one, but TWO mummy & daddy jaunts to the pub! So yes, safe to say, it was a good week.

Thirdly: The Daddy went back to work Saturday, but to cheer us up, the LD and I went to lunch with Kelly & Piran, and Mrs OMG – yay! The lovely Kelly had scored us a free feed at Pizza Express, so Three Ladies, Two Babies & A Bump, had a thoroughly pleasant time, and will hopefully be doing it again sometime soon ๐Ÿ™‚

And todaaay, my poor little man had his third appointment with the nurse for a dose of evil pointy needles ๐Ÿ˜ฆ He was a very brave little monster though, and now it’s all over till he’s one, hooray ๐Ÿ™‚

So yes, that lot, is why I’ve been such a rubbish blogger.
Hopefully things will be back to what passes for normal now, and I can start catching up – I have a bunch of lovey awards to say thank you for, and my google reader is bursting at the seams… who do I see about getting an extra hour in the day?


Three Magpies or Four?

Remember the Magpie rhyme?
One for sorrow, two for joy, three for a girl, four for a boy.

Well, on the way to our 20 week scan, we didn’t see a single black & white birdie.
Big help.

I knew from the start that I wanted to find out the flavour.
Of course I was more concerned that my little space prawn was doing okay in there and that everything was ticking along as it should be.
And I honestly had absolutely no preference either way, I was 20 weeks pregnant with my first child, more excitable than 20 small children full of sugar on Christmas Eve – either way, pink or blue would have made me grin like a loony, really didn’t matter.
BUT, I did want to know.

1. I’m a neurotic control freak. I like lists, I like to plan. I like to be in the know.

2. I hated the idea of the sonographer knowing something I didn’t. It was MY baby, in MY belly, how would that be fair??!

3. I’m not really a fan of yellow.

The Daddy wasn’t 100% for finding out- one day he wanted to, next he didn’t, next he’d say it was up to me… not that it mattered – I was fully prepared to bully him with the whole it’s inside meeeee argument ๐Ÿ˜›
But I didn’t need to- the big day came, and we both wanted to know.

I lay there nervously – part scared and panicky (please let everything be okay, please let everything be okay), part inwardly squeeing & hoping the little prawn wouldn’t be hiding his or her modesty.
On went the jelly, out came the proddy thing.
And there was my baby.
I instantly welled up just like I had the first time and grabbed the Daddy’s hand.
The sonographer pointed out the spine, the feet, the heartbeat.
‘Is everything good’ I asked?
He said it all looked perfect, I breathed a sigh of relief.
I grinned at the Mr & he said ‘go on then!’

‘Do you know if it’s a boy or a girl??!’ I gushed
‘I know’, said Mr sonographer – a little too smugly for my liking.
‘Because we only want to know if you’re definitely sure.’ (told you I was a control freak!)
‘You’re having a boy.’
‘And you’re really really sure?’
‘Yes. If it’s a girl, she’s got the biggest testicles I’ve ever seen.’
Okay, pretty sure then.

The Mr & I grinned at oneanother, clutching our new baby pictures, gazing lovingly at our little boy.
It was like peeing on the stick all over again, our special little secret that only we knew.

Not that it lasted long – we were soon telling anyone that would listen about our blue bump, buying babygrows covered in monsters and robots, deliberating over the perfect name. So much fun.
And I loved that I could start calling the bump ‘him’. Every morning when he kicked me awake, I’d give him a rub & say ‘morning little dude!’.
When daddy left for work, he’d kiss the bump and say ‘Bye little Dude’.
Space Prawn was a prawn no more. he was our little dude, and we couldn’t wait to meet him.

And while I can absolutely understand why some people choose to wait, I’m still glad we didn’t.

Brave Little Soldier.

We were having a lovely morning, the little dude & I.

He treated me to a 7.15 lay in (that’s 3 in a row people, yay!), we had our usual post-breakfast chat & singsong, and then he went down totally fuss-free for what’s become affectionately known as ‘the jeremy kyle nap’ (because it coincides with Mr K’s shameless parading of many unfortunates, which i never ever used to dream of watching, but since maternity leave started, has been slowly weaseling it’s way into my daily routine. oops.)

While my little man was in the land of nod, I checked emails, caught up with my google reader, found that I’d won a competition!! (excitement – I never win things!), and replied to texts. One of which, was from my friend S, to say yes, we are free for lunch with her & her little boy Z on Monday, fun stuff.

Before the arrangement details got lost in the candyfloss that is my brain, I grabbed my diary to write them down.

Crap crap crapity crap.
There, in pink capitals (you know, so that I wouldn’t forget!) was:

Note to self: diaries only work if you remember to look inside them occasionally.

At that moment, I kid you not, the heavens opened & the rain fell down.


All that said though, the J – A – B’s weren’t nearly as bad as last time – once again the little dude didn’t even flinch at the first one, but did turn almost purple after the 2nd.
*but* rather than crying all the way home & then falling asleep, this time he was over it before we even left the surgery. Progress helped along largely, by funny bug, his latest favourite toy.

We must never, ever, lose funny bug.

And now? He’s sound asleep, completely oblivious to why there’s a tiny red dot on each leg. And once again, I feel like a big girl for getting myself all worried about nothing. But I already know I’ll do it all again next month. Thank goodness that’ll be the last lot for a while.

And that funny bug will be on hand to help… assuming he hasn’t been usurped by something noisier of crinklier or fuzzier.

The controversy of boobies!

So as a new mummy, I can’t help but keep up with the mountain of media coverage breast feeding has been attracting lately.

My first thought on the whole thing, is why is it all such a big deal?
Why do so many people who aren’t even mothers, care so much about how those who DO have children, feed them?
(prime example – the breast feeding consultant who ‘helpfully’ manhandled my boobs in hospital, has no children, yet made it her mission to get me lactating like a jersey cow. go figure.)

Secondly, those who apparently find breast feeding in public ‘offensive’ or ‘inappropriate’- what exactly is your problem please?
If you find it so terribly awful, here’s a suggestion: don’t look.
We are not doing it for attention, it’s not a peep show (in my own experience, I’ll use anything available – blankie, bib, babies head – to make sure I’m flashing as little boob as possible!), we’re doing a job. Would you rather a hungry screaming baby interrupt your oh-so-civilised cappuccino & browse through the times? Thought not.

Thirdly, those of you out there who are so fiercely pro-breastfeeding you view formula as the devil’s baby juice & mums who use it as unfit, selfish anti-mothers, how about sparing a though for those who can’t breastfeed?
Oh I know I know, ‘it’s the most natural thing in the world’, ‘breast is best’, blah blah blah, but as with most things in life, sometimes it just doesn’t pan out.

And the last thing a new mum who can’t, or has decided not to breast feed needs, is someone who doesn’t matter judging her decision.

Because ultimately, that’s what it’s all about – each individual mother making her own choice. And it should be an informed choice – as my good friends cafe bebe & OMG Pregnant have been discussing, and it should be respected.

Personally, I always wanted to breastfeed. I didn’t even think about it, just assumed it’d all fall into place.
My birth was traumatic.
Afterwards, I was exhausted, and the little dude was too.
We tried almost immediately, he wasn’t interested.
A little later, the breastfeeding consultant came to visit, poked, prodded, and shoved my boob into the little dude’s face, not happening.
A little later still, he woke up from a nap & I tried myself, he got there. I was full of joy. For about 7 seconds.
Oh my God it hurt.
Nobody had told me ‘the most natural thing in the world’ would make me want to swear like a sailor.
But I persisted. After a week of feeding on demand, often 2 hourly for an hour at a time, my boobs, and me were a mess.
The HV came round to weigh the little man, he had lost 14% of his body weight. I was distraught. I was so disheartened. I felt like a failure.
We had to take him back into hospital, he was weak & listless & just didn’t have the energy to feed.
They gave him some formula through a tube (which utterly broke my heart) & encouraged me to express as much milk as I could, which went down too.
(NB: they lent me an electric breast pump – that did NOT help my painful boobs one bit. Imagine a hoover latched to your nips. Yeah, owch.)
Withing 48 hours, he was back at my boobs.
It was still killing me, but I was so relieved, I grinned & bared it.
The doctor’s guessed that he may have been ‘lazy feeding’, I didn’t care, it all semed to be fixed, we could take him home, I was happy.
A week later, still feeding on demand what felt like a thousand times a day (and night!) the HV weighed him again, he’d put on 3 ounces.
That was my lowest point.
HV suggested topping up with formula after every feed, and after she left, I reluctantly sent the daddy out to get a pot of Aptamil.
I cried for over an hour.
Within another week, we were officially combination-feeding – alternating one boob, one bottle through the day, and just boobs at night.
And we were all SO much happier for it.
The little dude started gaining weight beautifully, my boobs started healing, the daddy stopped having to watch me cry every time I fed.

Breast is best? No, this was much, MUCH better all round.

Now, 3 months on, it’s about half & half. The little dude is happy, healthy & thriving – and seems to be slowly weaning himself off the boobies, which is good,I only ever wanted to breastfeed up until proper-food-weaning, as I personally believe that’s long enough.
(But that’s another story!)
And for the record, my son & I have bonded fantastically despite our bumpy road, so there goes that ridiculous formula = no bond with baby theory.

The best advice I can give to expectant mummies, is go with the flow, and expect the unexpected.
Give it a go, you might be one of the lucky ones – you & your baby will take to it like ducks to water & it’ll be great – but, be prepared to have to work at it, you’re both learning! And, in case it doesn’t go according to plan, have bottle-feeding equipment on hand as a back up plan, and DO NOT beat yourself up about using it.

Those first few weeks are far too precious to waste on a boobs vs. bottles guilt trip – and as long as your little one is full, nourished, and happy, you’re doing a great job, regardless of what you’re using to do it ๐Ÿ™‚

So apparently, pain in labour is a good thing.

Or so says Dr Denis Walsh in this article in The Observer. (Brought to my attention by the lovely & equally outraged Sandy at Baby Baby – her blog is great, go have a peek!)

Yes, that’s Denis Walsh, as in a male of the species, so probably not all that experienced in the field of childbirth.
Ah, but he is “a senior midwife and associate professor in midwifery at Nottingham University”, so y’know, he has watched a lot of women give birth. Well that’s okay then. HA!!!

The good doctor claims that:
“A large number of women want to avoid pain. Some just don’t fancy the pain [of childbirth]. More women should be prepared to withstand pain. Pain in labour is a purposeful, useful thing, which has quite a number of benefits, such as preparing a mother for the responsibility of nurturing a newborn baby.”

He sounds great, doesn’t he?
DEFINITELY want him on hand in the delivery suite if I ever have a second.
So that I can punch him repeatedly in the head.

Seriously, what a lot of nonsense. (That’s not quite the words I used as I was reading, but I’m trying to be polite!)

Obviously, yes, a natural, drug-free labour is the ideal situation.
But we don’t live in an ideal world!!
And yes, I appreciate that in ‘the old days’, women had no choice but to grin & bear pushing their babies out drug-free – but doctors also used to amputate limbs with no pain relief – should we go back to doing that too Dr Walsh? No, thought not.
And let’s not forget, in the ‘old days’, all too many mum’s & babies tragically died in childbirth – we have the technology to avoid that now – why on earth would we go backwards?

The fact is, modern medicine is constantly evolving & presenting pregnant women with options and choices. And that’s just what they are – CHOICES. Which should be respected. If a woman chooses gas & air, an epidural or even an elective c-section, that is her choice, and she should definitely NOT be made to feel any ‘less of a woman’ because of it.

A pain-free birth may negatively impact your bond with your baby?
A wretched little man spouting nonsense about pain as a ‘rite of passage’ & making you feel inadequate for accepting help?
I’d say that’s more likely to cause problems. But then what do I know, I have no medical training or qualifications, I’m only a new mum who’s actually had a child.

And incidentally, my own birth plan had ‘Natural’ plastered all over it.
I wanted to grin & bear it & do things the old fashioned way.
But in the end, I did have an epidural (after dilating only a cm in 14 hours & getting utterly exhausted), which failed, and resulted in me needing an emergency c-section. None of which was in anyway fun, or an ‘easy’ option.
I had nightmares about my birth for weeks afterwards, which were not at all fun either.
I did feel inadequate because I hadn’t given birth ‘properly’. Again, not fun, not easy.
But I got through it. And not once did it effect my bond with my son Dr Walsh, if anything, it made it stronger. So there goes that theory.

And the ‘rite of passage’ involved with becoming a mother, is certainly not the pain.

It’s carrying your baby for 9 months & dealing with all that goes with that.
It’s holding your tiny baby in your arms & promising to take care of him for the rest of your life.
It’s changing your first nappy.
It’s gushing over the first smile, the first steps, the first words.
It’s a million other things on a daily basis that are nothing to do with being in agony for however many hours.

Mothers are amazing. How we bring our babies into the world, is irrelevant. We’re clever, strong, adaptable, resiliant and feisty.
And there are a lot of us.
So you should maybe keep your head down for a while Dr Walsh, because we can get rather vocal when provoked too!

(Can’t help but wonder if Dr Walsh is married? My guess would be no. Or if he is, his dinner will be in the dog for sometime to follow.)

Okay, rant over ๐Ÿ˜€

All aboard the guilt train!

So all of you more experienced yummy mummys will most likely read this either nodding sympathetically or thinking ‘ah, bless the naivety of the newbie’, but really, none of the baby books mention it – The All Consuming Guilt that comes with your pass to the mummy club!

It starts while you’re a preggopot:
-guilt about not eating like a super duper health goddess
-guilt about thinking ‘antenatal yoga classes, what a good idea’, then never actually doing anything about it
-guilt about those boozy nights before you realised you were pregnant and the damage you might have already done to your tiny unborn child.

And then just gets worse in labour & beyond:
-guilt about giving in to the drugs when your au-naturel birth plan goes awry
-guilt about just wanting to sleeeeep
-guilt about secretly not actually liking some of the ‘lovely’ gifts people give
-guilt about not sending thank you cards, replying to texts, answering phonecalls…
-guilt about eating chocolate digestives for breakfast
-guilt about leaving your wide awake baby all alone in their moses basket for 2 minutes because you simply have to pee & there’s nobody else home!
…the list goes on. and on ๐Ÿ˜›

However, the busy-busy of the last fortnight has made me a little late in mentioning the worst guilt so far: the little dude had his first round of injections last week – oh the trauma!

I’d been dreading it since the appointment slip came through the door (I HATE needles, so the thought of someone sticking them into my tiny little baby was not good!), but the day came, and I was brave – faked being all super happy & calm so as not to worry the little man.
We sat there in front of the nurse, and her two evil syringes.
I babbled to the noodle like a loony, keeping him distracted.
She landed the first one.
He didn’t even flinch. Not a peep. I thought ‘Brilliant!, what was I worried abut?!’
Second leg, Second jab.
Oh dear.

My little man turned to me with the biggest pout I’ve seen so far, a look of ‘what did you just let her do?’, went very red, then let rip with an almighty scream.
Which continued most of the way home.

I have never felt so guilty in all my life!
Of course *I* know that it’s for his own good, but there’s no way of explaining that to a pouty little baby who’s looking at you like you’ve just utterly betrayed him!

Thankfully, he went off to sleep when we got home & woke up having forgotten all about it – no bad reaction, no need for the baby calpol I’d stocked up on, all good.

But of course, we have to do it all again next month.
And again the month after that!

I just hope it’s not like when we take the dog to the V-E-T – when we turn that particular corner and it suddenly dawns on her that we’re not just out for a lovely extra long walk after all.
When we’re sat in the waiting room, will he remember the last time & try to make a break for it?! Or will mummy’s crazy-lady babbling & toy-shaped distractions be enough to keep him occupied?

Oh I hope so.
But either way, the guilt train will definitely pull in again as soon as I see those evil pointy needles.
The little dude might not remember it all in years to come – but I certainly will!

milestones a go-go!

Wow. That was a busy week. And full of little dude milestones!

We had our 6 week check at the doctors โ€“ all fine & dandy (and mummy took advantage of the free prescriptions perk to wage war on the evil forces of hayfever, yay!).

We went to our first weigh-in clinic (for LD to get weighed, not me โ€“ perish the thought!!), and heโ€™s now up to an almost chubby 8lb 9oz โ€“ woohoo! Heโ€™s still really not looking all that chunky though โ€“ I think his weightโ€™s all in his length โ€“ going to be tall & skinny like his daddy. (and probably able to eat what he wants when he wants without gaining a pound โ€“ like his daddy โ€“ jammy soโ€™nโ€™soโ€™s!!! :P)

Also went to our first mother & baby group โ€“ exciting! I was a tiny bit scared to be honest โ€“ had NO idea what to expect โ€“ and was dreading a situation where everyone already knew eachother & Iโ€™d be left feeling like a lemon!!
Neednโ€™t have worried though โ€“ I wasnโ€™t the only newbie, everyone was lovely, and it was nice to chat to grown ups for a couple of hours ๐Ÿ˜€ Think the noodle was a bit overwhelmed though โ€“ heโ€™s never really met another baby, then suddenly he was faced with a dozen of them! They were mostly quite a bit older though, and many were quite mobile, so I was a little wary of putting the noodle down to play for too long โ€“ just incase he got squished! I think he enjoyed it though โ€“ no screaming anyway!
Theyโ€™ve got someone coming to teach baby massage next week, so I think weโ€™ll go give that a whirl too.

And the biggest milestone, for me anyway, not sure the little dude even noticed!, was that the daddy & I went out!
Just the two of us!!
No baby!!!
The daddy’s mum came down for a visit & practically threw us out the house when we suggested maybe going to the pub for an hour or two! (yeah, chuffed to pieces to have him to herself for a while :D) so, off we went to our local pubโ€™s karaoke night.

So. Weird.
We used to go once a week like clockwork.
Then it lessened a little as I became more and more of a preggopotamous, then stopped altogether when LD was born.
So yes, it was strange to be out anyway, then throw in the feeling of having lost a limb because my little boy who has been no further than a couple of metres away for the last 6 weeks is suddenly nowhere to be seen, and it just gets ODD!

But after the initial shock, I chilled out and had fun. (I even had a pear cider โ€“ woo! โ€“ just the one though, not going to risk a drunken baby!! :P) It was nice to catch up with people, and most importantly, to spend some time with the Mr that didnโ€™t involve nappies or baby sick ๐Ÿ˜›
Still, I was SO happy to see my little man when we got back. Felt like I hadnโ€™t cuddled him for weeks!!!

Wonder if that bit ever gets any easier?

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