Painful. (in more ways than one)

Friday marked the last day of breastfeeding for me.  As last time it is bittersweet, I know the reasons I decided to stop and I know it is the right decision, my little Bites is still her happy little self.  Me on the other hand I am walking around looking like Dolly Parton and in a lot of pain with my giant rock hard full up boobs. Sigh.

I cried, I’ll admit it Friday night I lay in bed whilst my hubby sat beside me giving Bites her 11ish feed, that was it, I knew there would be no more chest dives and wood peckering at my boobs if I was a bit slow and I was so so sad.  I have been very lucky with my breastfeeding experiences second time round I avoided cracked nipples and it was all plain sailing, she was a very efficient girl from the start the only thing that she took her time with was latching which meant a lot of milk getting sprayed in her face 😉

Sad also because in all likelyness it’s something I won’t be experiencing again, she was my last baby and I am proud to say I sustained her for 6 months, some might say too long others not enough.  But that’s the thing with breastfeeding isn’t it, everyone and their Uncle has an opinion and no one is shy about giving it…whether you asked or not.  I really wish people (NHS that’s you) would give the HONEST information, I still maintain that’s why so many of us backdown early.  That and the conflicting advice you get from each and every person you see.
In the last week I have seen two amazing posts on breastfeeding on two brilliant blogs Here and Here and it’s so nice to see the honesty, its refreshing, revealing but ultimately relieving, personally I know how hard it is and how much you feel like giving up, dreading that hungry cry because you know it’s going to hurt, sitting in the bath with two great big melons stuck to your chest milk streaming everywhere, being the only one that can sate your childs appetite. Yes, it’s a binding thing but it’s also amazing…noone but you can quench that thirst, you can proudly say that however long you stick in there that you and you alone grew your baby for X weeks / months.  IT IS BEAUTIFUL, and I don’t care what anyone in our over sexed over exposed world says it is natural 100% and rewarding as hell.

So, I could go on writing and writing about this subject because I feel so strongly about it but I won’t because I am bound to get ranty!

If you have a story please share, good or bad, I ♥ breastfeeding stories and only wish more people shared their experiences I think word of mouth and the truth is the only way we can truly understand it and hopefully help more of us choose to at least try it.

Newborns. What the books (and everyone else) don’t tell you

During pregnancy you tend to get a lot of people telling you a lot of stories, some birth horror stories and lots of people telling you how well-behaved their babies were, or some other nugget of wisdom (rusk in the bottle anyone?!)Even my midwife told us in Parent Craft / Antenatal an utter load of crap about somethings.  SIGH.  You expect them to be the one decent source of information out there, after your Mum obviously but even she sometimes can get those rose-tinted shades on!

Butter wouldn't melt...

Butter wouldn’t melt…

So here is my guide to babies…only from my experiences, I’m not about to write a book 😉

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#JanuaryJoy – JanuaryJoy update

So, I made the resolutions and I’m glad I have written them down aswell as the whys, its nice to have a point of reference for when you’re in a slump.

Have a dry week/month…I’m breastfeeding and have been off booze for the best part of two years, there is no way I am giving up the odd glass of wine!!

Date wise…we haven’t planned any of our Alphabet Dates yet…kinda waiting for our latest addition to settle down a bit.

Crisp walk…if only it had been crisp instead of soggy! Sogginess does not lend itself well to walking with a mad boxer and two babes HOWEVER when it sorts itself out we will be heading on over to Virginia Waters, one of our favourite walks.

Skin care. I have addressed my skin care, or should I say lack there of! I was treated to some gorgeous new pampering items for Xmas and I have been putting them into practice. And with the bags I am currently packing I am on the look out for some eye cream recommendations (on a tight budget, natch!), the vaseline just isn’t cutting it anymore (ms Anniston has no kids, that’s why it works on her)

Listen to some new music…I’d like to listen to any music that isn’t me singing the wheels on the bus, or something of my own creation that entertains the bean no end!! I plan to go through Penny’s old posts on Florence Finds and get downloading. I’m also desperate to try Spotify as a way of getting some recommendations based on what I used to listen to! I love how music can transport you to a moment in time, and I’d love some new songs to evoke the memories I’m currently making as they are the best yet – being a Mum is everything and nothing like how I expected but all the same I am loving the ride.

Exercise class is going to be Zumba, I’m still trying to pluck up the courage to do it. I know I’m out of shape and I’m terrified to find out just how out of shape I am!!

Breastfeeding

This weekend marked the end of breastfeeding for me. And today, I find myself very very sad that it’s over – I miss it so much, more than I thought I would do especially if you would have asked me 5 months ago!

It was something I freely admit to being terrified of and also quite (ashamedly so) judgemental of before and during my early pregnancy. It really freaked me out, I’m not sure if it was the sensation I didn’t like the idea of or the fact that in today’s culture in the UK breasts are seen as sexual before
Maternal? I’d go so far as to say I don’t think I have ever seen a women breastfeeding on tv but have lost count of the many other ways I’ve seen boobs on tv. Is it just me or is that a little wrong? I mean for gods sake why is it ok for any old act of sex to be shown/portrayed on tv but breastfeeding not to be shown, are they both not equally natural and essential to Human life?

I found out so much about bf from the parent craft/antenatel classes lots of stuff I wouldn’t have actively thought to seek out, but essentially we all know how good it is, look at every other mammal on the planet for gods sake! But what we’re not told by anyone (I think, like childbirth other women forget) is how full on and absorbing it is all I remember being told is

Feed your baby every 4 hours

I can honestly say that I NEVER had a 4 hour gap until I started introducing solids. The Bandit (my nickname for my daughter) was on me literally every hour or so and all I thought was

Holy Crap, what’s wrong with her? Am I doing something wrong

or

Not again!
My nipples seriously can’t take anymore, are you sure she’s hungry?

It’s hugely demanding, but then I guess that’s parenting fullstop! I just feel that we aren’t getting the full story and thats why so many may start but then change to formula because we think we are doing it wrong and our baby isn’t eating enough or is it because the paternity leave in this country may be 2 weeks but the pay is so SHIT many can’t afford to take it with one wage already taken from the family? Would the extra support from your man make it easier?
But, in the same vein I don’t see why we should be made to feel so guilty about giving formula for whatever reason especially by a healthcare system that offers so little actual support to breastfeeding mothers? The guilt and shame I felt when I finally did reach for the formula was immense, I felt like I was failing because I couldn’t keep up the boob for longer, that I was being selfish for wanting my body back and that I should be able to cope with the exhaustion.

I did a little bit of research whilst I was writing this and apparently breast feeding rates are up in England to 83% – where are you all hiding!? In the 6.5 months I’ve had a baby I have met 3 other Mums breastfeeding, none of my friends from antenatel did, almost all the babies at baby groups are bottlefed and when I have been out and about feeding in baby rooms etc it was just little old me with my boobs out! Or is it just everyone else is more practiced at being discreet than me 😉

It was such a wonderful experience but it took someone else to make me realise how special it is and how lucky I was to be able to do it.

It’s truly one of my greatest accomplishments and I would never have been able to do it without the love and complete support from my amazing husband. So this post is dedicated to him – Here’s to the next stage of parenting and whatever it throws our way – Mwah!

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