Mama Shiz (Breastfeeding)

This deserves a note in itself as quite possibly it’s the hardest thing about having a baby. After our escape from the hospital we got our beautiful baba home and then the reality set in – the kid needs feeding and it was up to me. Layla weighed 7lbs 8 when she was born and within a week had dropped down to 6lb 7 which apparently is completely normal – something else they don’t tell you.
Cue the daily visits from the midwives where they would weigh her and then look at me with an eye-roll highly disappointed that she had only put 100g on in 24 hours whilst I stared back at them looking like Worzel Gummage on a downer having just dabbed myself down with a wet wipe in an attempt to look lively… I have a bit of a love hate relationship with midwives – what gets me most is that the majority I met didn’t have children and yet tell you what is “best for baby”. They tend to come in when baby has JUST gone to sleep, wake her up, wonder why she’s crying and shoot you a smile/snarl that suggests – “don’t worry we’re here” – yes but you weren’t at 1am, 3am, 4am and 6.30am and just half an hour before you arrived when baby was screaming but yet refusing the boob BITCH
The pressure to breastfeed was massive – I received lots of conflicting advice “wake her up every two hours to feed her” / “don’t wake a sleeping baby”. I joined a group on Facebook called Liverpool Community BAMBIS which at times was a god send and at others (when you’ve spent 45 minutes trying to pump your boobs, proud that you got a table spoon’s worth and then some fucking Earth Mother posts 8 milk bottles full of freshly pumped goodness that she plans to feed her 3 year old- piss off!!!) sends you into a state of depression.
When I think back to the beginning, setting my alarm for every 2 hours, I just wished i’d listened to my own instincts. I used to sit up in bed, bracing myself for what was about to come – the baby sounded like a little pug dog who couldn’t get enough. My toes would actually curl at the pain (or was it the sight of my nips which were starting to resemble those African women’s off Comic Relief?!). It wasn’t until I had a visit from one extremely lovely midwife who was actually on her KIT day of her own maternity leave who told me about Multi Mams (…) – a miracle compress for your stinging, blood red nips and introduced me to nipple shields – there you go expectant mums you can thank me later. She also corrected the baby’s latch position (making me take her off the boob at least 10 times until it didn’t feel like my newborn had teeth) and hey presto – breast feeding became a different experience, dare I say enjoyable? The feeling you have when baby is staring up at you cupping your over inflated breasts with their tiny little hands, reminds you why you do it.
Layla is now in a phase of rejecting bottles – we’ve tried all sorts and one of my girlfriends actually had me off last week when she went to use google and the last search that was on my phone was “Boob shaped bottles” – yes that is what I was rejected to. Again something I wish I knew before was to introduce a bottle from day 1 – same time every night (whether that be your own milk or formula) – it will help with a “routine” – I hate that word. I’m going to try and keep at it for another couple of months at least when we will try and introduce solids – I already have my theme tune for the day I can give up completely and it’s all based on this Vodafone advert (where I plan to re-enact this replacing the letters with my breast pads) – you will later see me pissed as a fart in Soho after a 48 hour sesh.
Don’t get me wrong, there are still days when all I want to do is sit braless, in my big massive maternity knickers, eating a whole packet of Jaffa Cakes and crying my way through adverts (DIY SOS and One Born will no longer be on my watch list) but i’ve since learned that is ok, you need days like that. Give yourself a break new mums – I was sick and tired of hearing it… but it will get easier.
4 months on and I have added a new skill to my C.V. – BREASTFEEDING LYING DOWN – revolutionary! Nap and feed…. BINGO 🙂 Over and out x

Mama Shiz (the birth)

This post has been coming a while – I should have written about being pregnant but part of me was still trying to get my head around the whole thing plus all I really remember was that I couldn’t drink on my honeymoon, the smell of the michelin starred Thai restaurant we’d booked made me balk and that I was massively constipated for most of it – never mind Teddy’s Leg, I was passing Teddy’s torsos. Don’t get me wrong, this was something we always wanted, and doing the job that I do I thought I could plan and prepare to make the whole process easier, that was my first lesson learned – no matter how much you think you are organised, your world is about to be turned upside down.
At 38 weeks pregnant I was told that Layla was breech – she was basically using my cervix as a hammock. We went to visit a consultant who told us they could try and manually turn her. After mulling it over in Carluccios whilst stuffing in a quick Penne Giadiniera and a Sav blanc, we said yes… A decision that proved a lot more traumatic than I thought, the feeling I can only describe as someone trying to wring your insides out. She became distressed, I burst into tears and we put a stop to it realising that we were dealing with one stubborn little diva (she takes after her dad obvs!). Getting my head round not being able to have a natural birth was really difficult, visions of me singing along to a bit of Adele, digging my nails into Zak just to make him feel a bit of pain, whilst floating round a birthing pool like the Little Mermaid (in reality more like Keiko the Whale) were dashed.
On the plus side a date for the C-Section had been confirmed, I hot footed it to the hairdressers for a curly blow and put on a bit of Leopard Print (courtesy of nana Rose – my “lucky” top) and I was ready to go – GET THAT NEEDLE IN MY BACK AND CUT ME OPEN – I WANT TO MEET MY BABY!!
All was going well – I remember us laughing away (I think it was the drugs that made me think Zak was funnier than he actually is) and then next minute a nurse whispered “Your baby has been born”… and then SILENCE. All we’d asked was that the baby was lifted above the curtain as soon as she was out but that didnt happen, little did we know she wasn’t breathing when born and was rushed to that little side table that you see on One Born Every Minute and think to yourself “oh nooo” and the Emergency Care button was pressed. What was probably 5 minutes felt like a lifetime, if Zak could he would have turned white, every man and his dog came running in… luckily once she had an audience, she let out a massive scream… whilst we let out a massive breath…
I was sent to a high dependency unit having lost a lot of fluids which was bliss- just a room full of new parents cooing over their babies. They encouraged me to get up and walk the same day and with the help of this amazing dressing (battery operated called the Pico!) I felt ok. Close family (and Peebs) came in to visit and before we knew it it was 1am. That first night on my own in the hospital with her was petrifying – I kept waking up asking where my baby was (she was right next to me… gotta love Morphine) and putting my finger under her nose to check she was still breathing – nearly 4 months on and we still do that.
Unfortunately this safe haven wasn’t to remain as I was later transferred to an antenatal ward due to a bed block situation, basically meaning I was surrounded by mums in labour. I was woken around 9am with what I can only describe as a BIG SCALLY BASTARD asking the nurse if there was any credit left on the TV before turning it on to watch Jeremy Kyle at full blast – I thought I was still high. BSB then turned on his partner asking her when she thought she would be finished because the hospital was and I quote… “fucking boring fam”. If that wasn’t bad enough I then had the Queen of Arabia opposite me, phoning everyone in her phone book for approximately 40 minutes a go and obviously reliving her contraction experience… in Arabic. Needless to say by lunchtime when my cavalry (mum and Zak) had arrived I just wanted to go home. The crux of it came when I had to try and wee in order to be discharged. Bearing in mind, I had just been cut open and told I was severely dehydrated, going the toilet took me slightly longer than usual…to which BSB had picked up on “She’s been in there ages blud, it’s probably going to stink of shit when she comes out”… delightful
I’ll leave you all with that thought before venturing into Mama Shiz (the aftermath) coming soon 🙂 x