Archive for the 'nhs' Category

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 😛
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:
DYLAN – DOCTORS – JABS ROUND 2 – 1PM!!!

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.

Brilliant.

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.
WRONG!
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 🙂

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?
Doubtful.
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 😀


{click to follow us on twitter}

Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.

i heart stokke

{retail therapy}

Otherland: quirky toys and gifts for big kids and littl kids alike.