Category Archives: baby

My baby has turned 1

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It is unbelievable that only a year ago, I gave life to a tiny little baby. He came and changed my life. I have changed as a person because of him. I’m now more patient, I operate on 6 hour sleep, can never afford to be lazy, have a strict daily schedule. I’m tired but I don’t complain, I’m happy.

Now my son is still small in comparison to other babies of his age – he weighs just over 8kg. Yet he isn’t lacking in anything else. He is learning new words every day, he crawls and bum-scoots nicely, cruises along the furniture and is on his way to walking. Almost there. He knows how to have fun and play, but his favourite place in the world is in mummy’s arms. He has 8 teeth, and No. 9 and 10 are halfway out.

Although he is an adorable little angel, when it comes to eating, he can cause me headaches, as he is quite a picky eater, and if I’m not careful about feeding him, he gets anxiety about eating and will refuse to sit in the high chair. There are certain foods that he likes, so at least I know what should work with him. He likes the weirdest foods too, which is probably because of the fact that his taste buds and senses haven’t fully developed yet. For example, green olives is his favourite. Whenever I eat a salad with olives in, he will hover over the salad bowl while I eat and pick them out, and eat them. I also can’t have any sushi without having him whine about wanting some pickled ginger. Raw onions is another favourite. Too bad none of these foods can constitute an actual meal.

He is very good with learning new words and already has quite a broad vocabulary, both in Latvian and English language. That I am very proud of.

Sometimes I think back how small he was as a new born, and I wish I could start over and go back to that little bundle of joy, have a do-over with him to correct the mistakes that I have made within this year. Of course, not possible, and I can only say I’ll ‘ve wiser when I have the next baby, which will be God knows when.

Nevertheless, I’m very happy and proud of myself as a mum, and of my son, and just my family altogether. My heart belongs to them.

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Travelling with a baby

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It was always a plan to go visit my partner’s parents in the UK, so they can see and experience their grandchild for a month or so. We decided to do that in the offseason when flight tickets would be a bit cheaper and so that he would be relatively older and do better on the plane. Especially considering that I can’t just pop out my boob and feed him because of the breast rejection conundrums.

The journey to UK was a bit of a struggle but not too bad. I was hoping that he would sleep before the flight in the pram, which didn’t happen because the airport environment wasn’t boring enough to sleep. So we had a quite tired baby. Despite that, he was more or less ok during the flight, very patient, we showed him some “In the Night Garden” to distract him, and eventually I even managed to rock him to sleep in my arms.

A family sitting right in front of us was not doing so well – there was a 2 to 3 years old child which was throwing ridiculous tantruns, crying very loudly all the time, fighting his mum, and the mum even slapped him a few times. Hard to watch that was. Also, after visiting the toilet with him once, she refused to take him to toilet again and insisted (loudly) that he pees in his diaper. Several times he shouted at her: “mamma tu kaka!” (Mum you’re shit!). Mother of the year, people! I have no idea how my child was able to sleep through that drama show. A cue what to not turn into with my own child. I really hope my child/me never become like that.

After the flight, the rest of the journey was not too bad, he fell asleep in the pram, waking up only on the train and when we needed to put him into a carseat in a taxi. In the end of the journey I was happy with how patient and good our child is. Through all that he barely had anything to eat either, so bravo, baby, good job!

Now, after six weeks of visiting, the journey back home to Latvia was ahead of us. That meant an hour on the bus, then 15 minutes on a train, then about 20 minutes on another bus to the airport, 2 and a half hours on the plane, and finally, about 15 minute ride in a taxi to out flat building.

This time, not everything went as smoothly. On the first bus ride, it wet all well until 10 minutes before arriving to the train station, as our child threw up all over himself and his clothes, including, his snowsuit. He had eaten right before leaving home. I needed to go to the train station’s toilets to find a changing room and clean him up, put new clean clothes on. As a result, we missed our train. Luckily, we got permission to use our tickets on the next train, which was only half-hour later – not too bad. Train journey went well, it was only a short one. On the bus to the airport he was fussy but the Night Garden helped and we arrived successfully. After checking in our suitcases, I decided to feed him some banana&oats smoothy from a sachet, which he gladly ate.

Going through security was a bit frantic, as the lines there were rediculously long and our plane had started boarding early, but it all ended well, as everybody from our flight were called in to go through first.

As we were handing over our pram to the staff, seconds before getting on the actual plane, guess what – my sweet little child, who was all playful just minutes ago, threw up again. It even went in my hair a bit, even though I had braided it, so it wouldn’t be in the way while travelling. This time the child was wearing a warm hoody jacket, which we took off, shoved it in the little storage bag under the pram, and the kind people of airport took the pram away.

With our baby snuggled in a blanket, mildly smelling of puke, we got on the plane. Beginning – not too bad, baby was still in relatively good spirits, but got more and more restless and cranky because now he was both hungry and tired. After sipping some water, he threw up – again. Only this time it was just a bit of water that came up, and we were prepared, with a small towel handy to clean up any mess. We had some of my breastmilk with us in thermal bags, hoping it would still be relatively warm, but no, it had gone cold, baby didn’t want it. Good thing we also had a bottle of ready made formula, so we asked the staff for help, got a cup of hot water to warm it up, poured it into a bottle and – praise Jesus – the baby drank it and slipped into a relieved sleep. A sigh of relief from us too.

He woke up a couple times, crying because of being uncomfortable, but after this point, the rest of the journey was fine.

On the taxi journey he was awake and in a good mood, so we finally arrived home, which we missed so very much! It was about 4am Latvian time when baby finally could go to sleep in his own bed.

Each of the filghts were a bit crazy, each in its own way, stressful for both the baby and parents. Going places, near or far, are not easy for us, so I envy the parents who do it all the time like it’s a no big deal. However, things could be much worse. Me and my partner listened to a podcast by Yoga Girl called Flight From Hell – that sounded pretty hilarious and aweful. I think we could be classified as easy travellers after hearing that podcast.

My son is 10 months old

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The last few posts have been rants and whining about how everything is bad and how I’m struggling. Today, nope, no complaining. 😋 Sure, life is hard with no spare time and insufficient sleep but it’s normal for me now.

I’ve been keeping a small diary of my son’s accomplishments and milestones. I write in there from time to time, whenever he has learned something new, such as rolling over or uttering new sounds. Usually it’s about two, three paragraphs. Two days ago I started writing and ended up filling in about six pages! He has had such a development leap in the last month, from small things to big. He is sliding on his tummy, and partly crawling properly on his hands and knees, he can stand up by holding on to furniture, he has learned to wave to people, he is saying “doggie” whenever he sees the dog, and so on, and so on. His eating has changed from eating blended foods to pretty much wanting to feed himself by hands and having chewable pieces of food, despite not having any molars. He is very picky about the food though, and we have to figure out every time what to give him so that he would actually eat – more than a few bites. It’s especially challenging when he’s teething. But it is what it is and I also have to remember not to give him feeding anxiety and not to force anything on him. If he only wants three teaspoons of food and then is done, then he’s done. 🙄 relax and take it easy!

We have been potty training him for about two months now and luckily he is very good with the potty and knows what to do with it and does it. I was a bit worried initially about him not liking it so I was careful, again, not to give him any anxiety about the process, but everything went really well. I expect that in about 6 months time we will either be out of nappies or transitioning to wearing pants at least.

Overall I’m very proud of my baby, he is my sunshine, always happy and smiley. I’ve managed to go to mummy exercise classes with him and he is basically just an angel there. Every single person who has seen him there has admired how peaceful, happy and independent he is during the class, just chilling on his own, not crying or fussing. I’m so grateful to have such a chill and patient child.

A tired mummy

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I don’t want to get up today. That’s what I admitted to myself this morning and instantly teared up – a lot of emotion has been piling up that I haven’t even had the time and luxury to feel lately.

Because of a back injury reminding of itself, my partner hasn’t been able to do pretty much anything around the house or with the baby. He’s been on bed rest on and off for around three weeks now. On and off – because he has tried doing things before he’s recovered out of wanting to help and being stubborn. And that’s set everything back every time.

So, I basically have had to do 99% everything. Plus the little one has been teething – the 4 top front teeth all coming out at once. That means extra fussiness, no appetite whatsoever and consequently being even fussier because of not eating well. Every day has been a race and a fight, which doesn’t even stop when the baby has gone to bed at 8pm. No, I still have to prepare everything for the next day, pump and tidy up. By the time I’m finished, the baby’s first night feed is up, and only after that I can go to sleep too. And even at night – I wake up several times to calm the baby when he starts to cry because of a bad dream, have to find and give him the dummy that he lost (most often it’s under the bed), put him in a normal sleeping position when he has tossed and turned himself into something nearly impossible, as well as feed him.

Up to now, I’ve tried to suck it up, be strong, think about how it will be ok once my partner recovers and how I will rest once that happens and he can do everything for a day or two. In reality, that probably won’t happen! I’m tired and exhausted. I feel guilty for not spending time with my son, playing with him and using TV as a nanny a lot when he definitely shouldn’t even be watching TV at this age. But thank God for “In the Nigut Garden” show!

I wish I could just for a day sleep as long as I want, wake up and not do anything all day, and have warm, healthy meals appearing out of nowhere throughout the day!

Ugh, enough now, time to get my sh** together and get on with the day. I can do it!

Baby turns 8 months today!

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It has been a while since I spared some time to write. I thought before that having a child gets easier with time. The truth is – it doesn’t! You just get used to the fact that you wake up in the morning, the day is filled with you serving the child – feed, entertain, change, clean, etc., and then the day is over. I’m tired all the time, and at the moments when I am able to rest, I just blank out and don’t want to do anything, including writing. So no blog posts for a while.

Today I look at my child and think to myself – I can’t believe it’s been 8 months already. It feels like 4 months maybe, to me. Time flies, three seasons have been experienced – he came into this world in winter and summer is almost gone now. This is the first year that I haven’t even been to the beach – not to have a walk, not to sunbathe, nothing. The scarce tan that I’ve gotten this year is “pram tan” – mostly my arms and feet, from the daily hour spent on a walk, pushing my son in the pram. I do enjoy these walks as much as laying in the sand on a beach – it is time when I don’t have to do anything, think about anything, it’s a pause where I just walk. Through these months we have walked through ups and downs. The ups are the happiness my son brings me, teaching me to be in the present, be happy, wake up with a smile and love. I love him more than anything and want to give him the best of everything that I can. And the downs – the constant sleep deprivation and tiredness, the routine (good in some ways but sometimes makes me long for the old days when I wasn’t restricted), and the worst – the breastfeeding struggles.

Currently I’m feeding my child mostly solids, a little bit of my pumped breast milk during the day, and two meals of milk at night. A couple of months ago, he refused to breastfeed completely. He wanted the milk, but not from me. No matter how I tried and worked on getting him back on the breast, nothing brought success. The resistance to breastfeed had been building up gradually for a while. Initially he just got distracted easily during feeds and wouldn’t be interested to continue feeding, so I started feeding him in the bedroom, in the quiet. Soon he wouldn’t breastfeed and would prefer bottle if it had been a while since he woke from a nap, so I scheduled the feeds for when he wakes up. Next, he would be OK with feeding only a minute or two after waking up while he was still sleepy. Next – only immediately after waking up, so every feed during the day was me sprinting to the bedroom as soon as I heard the tiniest sound from the bedroom. God forbid he woke up during the daily walk before we had reached home – he no longer would feed from me, only bottle worked. Finally, the most stressful time was when I would only be able to breastfeed him while he sleeps. I made him fall asleep by bouncing on fitness ball to sneak in a feed. As soon as his eyes were open – hysterics about being on the boob, as if I was hurting him. For a while, at least night feeds were stressless, but even that ended. When he refused to breastfeed even at night, I just gave up, admitted defeat and from there on I have been pumping the milk and feeding it to him via bottles. That means working three times more – pumping, washing and sterilising everything, warming up the milk and then feeding – but there is less stress about it. Initially I pumped 4 times a day, one of them being at night but at least now I have reduced it to 2 times – in the morning and in the evening.

I try not to think about it too much, and life goes on, I am happy that at least my child is getting my milk and not formula, at least he is a generally happy little angel, learning new things all the time. But sometimes the pain about this surfaces. For example tonight, when putting him to sleep, he was upset and restless, so I had to warm up some milk for him and bottle-feed him for him to fall asleep. All the while, my engorged breasts were leaking milk. I would be so happy to just offer him my breast, hold him in my arms until he blissfully falls asleep whilst feeding. How I long for the times when he was very little, tiny baby! I remember how he used to stop in the middle of a feed to look up and smile at me, the little flirt! I’m heartbroken that it’s not so anymore.

Oh well, it is what it is now and all I have is these blissful memories, saved as screenshots in my mind. And the thought that I’m wiser now, and won’t make the same mistakes with the next child. Maybe I will still get a good and long breastfeeding experience. 🙂

As to how the baby is doing – he is quite mobile, as he rolls and rotates easily. He hasn’t figured out crawling yet, but it’s a work in progress. He has three meals of solids every day – porridge in the morning, fruit smoothies or yoghurt for lunch and blended veggies for dinner. He also has snacks that he handles himself – some donut cookies (or barankas), peaches and melon pieces (from a mesh feeder), cucumber sticks, and the latest favourite – blueberries. He is a bit awkward with picking the berries up and putting them in his mouth, but he manages and successfully chews and eats them. I do monitor all that, just in case he chokes on bits of food.

He is learning to pronounce new sounds and repeats them like a parrot. For example, for a few days, the first sounds upon waking up were “taco-taco-taco-taco…”, and that was all he was saying all day long. 😀 A new discovery for him recently is that if he “speaks” into a cup that we use to pour water on him during bathing, the sound echoes. So during the baths, there is a lot of singing into the cup. He is good at drinking from a sippy-cup, and when he has satisfied his thirst – he sips and gurgles the water instead of swallowing, entertaining himself and getting himself all wet. A clever little baby, isn’t he!? Another thing he does for entertainment recently is bob his head – again like a parrot. 😀 Fun times!

As for myself, despite lack of sleep and time for myself, I have managed to find the time to go to a fitness class twice a week – an exercise group for mummies, so I can take the baby with me. That makes me feel good about myself, as I can do more every time and feel stronger overall, and my posture has improved a bit. Exercise is such a good thing, and I hope I can keep it up.

That’s all for this time! 🙂

 

Dealing with breast rejection

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Right now I’m sitting on the side of my bed, holding my sleeping baby, hoping that when he wakes up soon he will feed. 90% possibility  that he wont.(note from my future self – he didn’t).

For the last two weaks I have been working hard on getting him to like feeding from me again and I just feel physically and emotionally drained. I’ve searched the internet with fire to understand why this is happening and how to solve it. I’ve cried my eyes out for a few days. Spent some time blaming myself for my mistakes and the world for the negative experiences we have gone through. I wish I never gave my son a pacifier,  I wish I never fed him by schedule rather than on demand. I wish he had been fed by bottle as little as possible. I wish that my son felt safety and bliss when feeding instead of stress and anxiety.

I wish we never had that ultrasound that made us go through such a stressful and painful experience at the hospital and after that. I wish I never had milk supply problems.

I would never wish this all to anyone.

Lately, to get over this all,  I’ve been spending pretty much all of my time with my baby, topless like an African woman to make him used to my breasts and to make them always available. I have taken away the pacifier with the exception of sleeping times.  Trying to also do skin to skin with him but that’s only been nice while taking a bath with him. Will have another bath together today as well. I bottle feed him only about 60ml while he’s awake to take the edge off the hunger and then bounce on the ball when it’s sleep time,  wait for him to fall asleep and then feed him. I never show any pressure for him to latch on and feed. So far we have tiny progress – he’s ok with my breasts being present and even in his face, he enjoys being carried around a lot.

One of the big progresses – I was bouncing him to sleep like always, singing to him,  and decided to try taking the pacifier away for a bit to see how he reacts . He didn’t show any reaction whatsoever so I just carried on singing Brahms lullaby to him,  and then he just turned and latched on and fed!  I felt like peeing my pants from joy,  and regretted pumping an hour before – my breasts we’re pretty empty. There were two more times when he shortly latched on and sucked for a few second’s only at bedtime in the evening when we both just lie in the big bed until he falls asleep. That also felt awesome,  like I’ve been kissed by a prince from fairy tales. At those moments of progress I see hope,  light at the end of the tunnel,  and could do a happy dance. But the rest of the time I’m just tired of it all.

I have had no time for myself to the extent that I don’t brush my hair or shower for three days straight. We have been skipping walks lately too,  so I also feel trapped at home. Right now I just want to return to a somewhat normal life, and stop this all,  it’s hard not only for myself but also for my partner. Thank him for his patience,  help and understanding about all this.

Maybe  I just should relax and let whatever happen and try to be ok with it. I’ve been so attached to the idea of breastfeeding my child until he weans off himself,  but he and karma seem to have other plans I guess. Maybe I will try to relax and let go and see where that takes us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Breastfeeding is hard work

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I cherish so much the moments when I have successful breastfeeding experiences. If my baby eats out both breasts and then falls asleep, milkdrunk – that’s just bliss for me.

Unfortunately, that is now not happening so often. Just after I dealt with low milk supply and got around solving it, and making sure it doesn’t go down, now I’m also dealing with my son rejecting my breast. The only way I can breastfeed him, is right after he has woken up, while he’s still sleepy. Or I have to make him fall asleep and then feed him. On rare occasions he has also fed while he’s awake if we are bouncing on the fitness ball. All other times it’s pumped milk in a bottle, or in the worst cases milk in a syringe.

I don’t know what has caused all this. A couple of times it has been because of him having teething pains – then he literally looks at the breast or bottle and cries because he wants the food but it just hurts, and the syringe then is the savior. But in general, the only idea of the reason that I have is that he might have formed negative associations with the breast when the milk supply was low and that made him upset. I don’t know why exactly, but it sucks.

This morning, for example, he woke up after a four hour sleep. Not upset or anything, but wont even look at the breast, just chilling in my arms and making fart-pushing faces. OK, I still had a hope he would eat a few moments later, bouncing on the fitness ball, so we moved on to changing his nappy, giving it a go on the ball, with no success, so I put him on the floor for playtime. Nope – upset because of being hungry. Back to the ball, and yesss – he actually started eating. But then that lasted only 2 minutes instead of at least 4. He was still grumpy when I put him on the floor. Oh, what to do, I pumped 2 ounces of milk and tried to feed him with bottle – no, not gonna happen. A few sucks and then he started doing the wiggly worm. Last resort – the syringe. No resistance there, except half of the milk ended up on his clothes because he just spat it out mostly.

This is so stressful and upsetting for me. If he at least was a chubbier baby, I would be OK, one or two skipped meals won’t do any harm. But he has barely gained any weight within a month – only around 300 grams. And that’s while having a bit of solids every day. I’m literally fearing every doctor’s visit when he is getting weighed.

Another more of an annoyance with this is that we can’t really go anywhere with the child without stress. Going to visit my parents is a headache because I know that will be a day of feeding problems. Everything has to be planned and timed precisely – he always has to go on a nap just in time so he would wake up for meal time, and so that the meal time wouldn’t come while he’s fully awake. Even going on a walk with a pram is often stressful – god forbid that he wakes up before we have returned home!

I did discover a very good YouTube channel that talks about all the breastfeeding problems, including milk supply and breast rejection – Lyndsey Hookway – Feed Sleep Bond. I wish I had come across it when I was still pregnant, or at least in the early days after my son was born. Such good insight and important details are given by the lactation consultant there that no one tells anyone here. No prenatal classes talk about it to so much detail. All I have is a handed out book called Breastfeeding ABC, which does touch upon my issues but barely. After reading it while being pregnant, the only problem I feared with regard to breastfeeding was mastitis and clogged milk ducts.

Turns out that breastfeeding is so simple yet very complicated at the same time. Let’s hope things get better and I don’t end up having a nervous breakdown. Just kidding. Or am I? :p

My baby is 4 months old!

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My son has reached four months and it seems to me like time is running a bit too fast. I want him to grow but then I know I will miss this time when he is just a small baby.

He hasn’t grown much lately, as he weighs about 5.9 kg. I would be happy if he was slightly heavier but as our GP said, he is within weight norm for his age, nothing to worry about. I don’t know any more what is to blame – the milk crisis situation, his appetite, or maybe that’s just what he is supposed to be, regardless of what and how much he eats. What he is growing though is hair, forming a cute ginger mohawk!

He might not be very chubby, but he is learning new things quickly. He now operates his hands very well – he holds toys and grabs things, mostly with the goal to put whatever it is in his mouth. There is almost always something in his mouth – either the pacifier, or his bib, a toy, his sleeve, or if nothing else is available – his own fingers. A few times he has also put just the thumb in the mouth, sucking it. He can take out the pacifier and put it back into his mouth. He has learned to lift his legs in the air and grab his feet in his hands, rolling to the side. The first thing he does when he wakes up is lift his legs, lets a bit of gas out, and then sometimes roll to the sides, propping them against bars of the crib. Quite often he wakes up and quietly hangs out by himself. Once, I had put him to sleep in the crib and thought I would sneak into the room to get something there, and to my surprise there was him, looking all innocent as he had rotated 90 degrees and had his legs against the bed side. 😀 Getting very good at tummy time, often trying to grab things with his hands while on the tummy. Not rolling yet in any direction, but he has all the time in the world to learn that. But the best ability of all of them is that he laughs when we play with him. It can happen when I exercise his arms, or when I’m showering him with kisses on the belly and neck, and it is the most adorable thing. He is such a good baby!

In attempt to help the weight gain I decided to try to offer him some solids and bought two jars of baby food for infants starting from 4 months. It says it’s applesauce, but it really tastes like cardboard to me. However, when offered to my little nugget, looked like he loves it. He was more and more excited about each next spoon and ate like a champ. We started with just a few spoons the first day, the next day he ate a third of the jar, and half of the jar yesterday. So, looks like we are going to continue having some solids in his diet and I hope he benefits from that.

Good news about his liver condition – it has been confirmed that it is a liver haemangioma, and no treatment is required presently, only monitoring from time to time. Hopefully nothing will progress and now signs of worsening will show.

One thing that I didn’t look forward to – he has started teething, which is very annoying to him, his gums are all itchy, making him cranky. I am using some soothing gel for teething and got him a teething ring. The teething ring might be more useful later, but for now, nothing works better than me massaging his gums with a finger. Even though the teething process has started, the first teeth might take up to three months to come out, which I hope will not happen. Ideally it won’t take too long, otherwise three months seems like a torture both for him and us as parents.

Poot!

Never-ending streams of milk

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Recently I experienced a milk crisis. I don’t know if maybe it was just a coincidence, but it was right after (or maybe already during) our hospital visit, which stressed us out and starved me. So I blame that whole experience.

I didn’t even realise that my milk supply had decreased until I brought my son in for a GP visit where he gets weighed and measured. In three weeks he had gained only about 200 grams. Very disappointing for me to see, yet I right away defended my boobs and blamed the hospital and the large amounts of spitting up, and said that now that I have a dairy free diet, it should normalise soon because I already see improvements – he’s spitting up less, and his bowel movements are not as liquid. A couple of days later, at home I realised that the reason he’s not spitting up much is because he doesn’t have much in him. He’s been starving for a while. The GP was right this time – I didn’t have enough milk.

When I realised that my milk sacks have barely any milk in them, I tried mending my diet, still keeping it dairy-free, but cooked nourishing meals to help it all. That did fuck all. Once, after he had emptied one breast, I offered the other one, which he also emptied. However, that left me with barely anything for his next meal, as it doesn’t produce that quickly. When that next feeding time came, of course, he was hysterical – why are you giving me empty boobies??? I cried with him, and quickly got out one of the frozen milk bags from the back-up supplies in my freezer. I put it in hot water to defrost, which luckily took only about ten minutes, and then bottle-fed him that. Holy silence of satisfaction!

That’s when I had had enough of this dairy free diet, I entrusted the baby to my partner, got myself a nice Napoleon cake all for myself and ran a bath. Spent about 4 hours there destressing, binging on the cake, drinking a lot of water, and most importantly – making good use of my breast pump, almost non-stop. Praying for the milk gods to hear me out. Also, thanking myself that I have frozen breast milk supplies for times like this. If I didn’t start producing enough, it would last a few days before I would reluctantly have to resort to feeding him formula. That is my one principle I don’t want to give up – I don’t want to feed him formula.

Luckily, the milk gods heard me. After power-pumping all day, I managed to get out decent amounts of lactation fluid. 😀 I still mostly pumped the next day as well, to stimulate my milk factories more, and now everything is back to normal and I have a happy, well-fed baby. I eat everything I want, all the dairy that I care for.

I experienced what it means that breasts work by the demand-supply principle. I was pumping for periods of at least 10 minutes, even when nothing was coming out, just to stimulate it. And after a while I would literally feel the milk being “injected” into the breast and the flow would renew, and I would get an extra ounce from each breast. It’s amazing how it works.

Also, I have two manual breast pumps. One is by Nuk, and cost around 30 euros, and the other one is a cheap thing I ordered on E-bay, which came from ping-pong land and cost me 6 euros. The cheap one was what rescued me, it’s better than the expensive one, at least I now prefer it.

Another thing I’ve done, just in case, is taking a lactation supplement, which has herbs stimulating breast milk production, such as cumin, fenugreek, fennel, dandelion root, etc. Don’t know if it actually does anything, or if it’s just a placebo effect, but the fact is – I got milk! 😀

Praise the milk gods!

Baby almost 3 months old!

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It is now 6 AM, I’ve been up since 5 AM – mum life. Baby is now napping so I decided to finally have a moment to look back and write. I never got around to writing anything at his two months. Time just flies by and it is so much more difficult to find a moment to myself, and when I do have a moment, I just want to relax and do nothing, play candy crush on the phone or watch some YouTube videos. It’s a celebration if I get to take a bath and read a book!

I now appreciate so much when I can have a warm home-made meal and not just something quick that I can prepare with one hand while holding the baby in the other hand. Quite often when I do have the time to cook a proper meal, I then don’t have time to eat the meal in peace, so I either eat while bouncing with the baby on the fitness ball, or I eat a cold or microwaved meal.

All in all, I think we are doing good. The baby’s tummy problems are gone, I think, he is spitting up sort of a bit less, I feel much better physically, we are going on walks now almost every day, and I can get more sleep at nights. The baby sleeps well at night, meaning that he doesn’t stay up at night in between feeds. Mostly he has one longer sleep in the beginning of the night, which can be just three hours, or up to 5 hours maximum so far. Then, afterwards he has several short sleeps of 2 hours. It isn’t a lot, but I still am happy even about that. Usually we both get up half-asleep, feed and go back to bed, without waking up properly.

According to the recommendations, new-borns should be fed on demand or every three hours at least. In the beginning, I did the three hours, however, I’ve changed that to two hours, firstly, because he gets too hungry and therefore eats too frantically, swallows a lot of air, overeats, and as a result – spits up a lot. Also, my boobs would practically be explosive from waiting so long, I went through several packs of nursing pads in such a short time! At night, I had to wear either a bra or a tight top, or crop top so I could have the nursing pads on. Now the leakage and engorgement is gone, with the exception of nights when he sleeps longer and eats lazier. So I still wake up at night in soaking pyjamas, but that doesn’t really bother me. Also, when I feed the baby, the tap on the other boob also turns on and it leaks. I had a thought that if only there was a device that collects all the leaked milk, so I googled it, and it turns out that there is! The most promising one seems to be milk collection shells by Medela, they cost around 12 pounds on e-bay. I don’t know If I’ll order them, it’s not like it is a bare necessity. If I do, I’ll share my experience.

Another thing about feeding my son is that he eats very quickly, like a pumpinator, the meal is often finished as fast as in 4 minutes. That is when he will start freaking out at the boob, kicking and punching, trying to suckle some more but not being able to. A pacifier fixes that problem and instantly calms him down. I’ve concluded that he just has a very strong sucking reflex. One of the possibilities was that he’s freaking out because there is not enough milk, but that isn’t so – I’ve tried pumping instead and I produce around 2.5-3 ounces (70-90ml) of milk per each feeding, which is normal for feeding him every two hours. He pretty much eats up almost everything as well, I usually can only pump out a few teaspoons of milk after he is finished eating. So, I guess I’m lucky to have a very fast eater. Other babies can eat for a half-hour, or even longer.

The baby is growing quickly and learning new things all the time. He is now “talking” a lot, testing his voice, cooing and squealing, and smiling away, when he is in a good mood. He is always happy in the mornings and fussy in the evenings when it’s time to go sleep. If he is completely hysterical and won’t fall asleep, wrapping him in a scarf sling works nicely. We now have a few more things for him and our home is already slowly getting dominated by baby stuff. He has a rocking chair that I put him in after feeding, it keeps him a bit upright so he wouldn’t spit up as much, and he can enjoy some rocking and can see around him, so he just chills and “talks” in the chair for a few moments. I usually use that time to do some chores or prepare myself something to eat. Another new toy that I got him is an activity mat, which has two bows going across it with a sound/light toy in the middle and some more hanging toys along the bows. As well as a very simple mobile, which I set up on the changing station instead of the crib because my rule is that the crib is only for sleeping. He cannot yet consciously grasp anything with his hands yet but he is very good at kicking the toys and the music/lights device on the playmat and the toys on the mobile.

The rocking chair was passed on to me by my brother and the mat and mobile I bought used for 25 euros. It is quite ridiculous how expensive everything is for a baby and how much you end up spending. That mat, which is literally just some fabric and plastic with simple toys plus the music device in the middle would have cost me 80 euros at the shop! It is nice, but it’s not THAT nice!

What we have also spent quite a lot on is equipment for my partner to bottle-feed the baby, so that he can bond with him and I can rest or go out on an errand. We have bought a breast pump (30 EUR), a steriliser (50 EUR), 2 feeding bottles (8 EUR each), and now also a bottle warmer (30 EUR on offer). Over 100 euros, just so my partner can feed him too. It is possible to do without the steriliser, or the bottle warmer, but it’s much more inconvenient. Also, I learned that in the UK, which is where my partner is from, all this stuff costs less for some reason. The same Tommee Tippee bottle warmer, for example, costs around 15 pounds there. Here, in a poorer country, everything is more expensive for some reason. The same applies to baby clothes. No wonder the second-hand clothes shops thrive here!

One of the very useful things that we bought is a Lodger Bunker fleece sleeping bag for going out on walks in the cold weather. It keeps him nice and cosy in the pram, no need for a snowsuit. We just pop him in with normal clothes on (maybe an extra jumper or jacket if it’s very cold), only adding woollen socks, mittens and a hat. If we need to go into a shop with the pram, we only need to open the sleepsack so he doesn’t overheat, which wouldn’t be possible with a snowsuit. It did cost us 80 euros (la-dee-fucking-daaa!), but it really is worth it, you can use it until the age of 3 years (highly unlikely but you can, theoretically), you can keep it for the next children you’re planning to have, or you can sell it – even a used one usually costs around 50 euros and they go like cakes, as everyone knows it’s a good product.

OK, enough about expenditures, moving on about how the mummy is doing. My body is back to normal, more or less. I’m very close to my pre-pregnancy weight. Before birth I weighed 72 kg, a few days after birth – 62kg, and now – 68 kg. I’m in no rush to lose any weight, and try to eat properly so that my milk supply would be good.

One of the downsides of having a child is that from rocking the baby on the fitness ball and just carrying him all the time, I’ve developed an always sore back. I should remember to straighten my back on the ball, but in reality, I’m always hunched over, encasing him with my upper body. An achy back is the consequence. My arms and hands are also a bit stiff and achy from holding the bundle of joy in various positions. My left arm seems to have gotten stronger than the right one from holding him in that arm mostly, which I’m trying to change for the sake of symmetry of the baby and myself.

Another badness – I went to the dentist to fix a tooth, informed her that I’m post-partum, and at the end of the appointment she told me that as a dentist she does not recommend me to breastfeed for longer than 6 months. The reason is that the baby is literally sucking the life out of me and calcium out of my teeth. Well, as at now, her recommendation has not changed my determination to breastfeed as long as necessary. I’ll just stick to having a good diet and supplementing.

The third “joy” is that I think I already got my first period. Well, at least I don’t think it could be anything else. Normally breastfeeding mummies would get some time off the period, but I guess I’m among the lucky ones to get it returning two weeks after all the post-labour cleansing ended. I’ll see what happens. What if it was a one-off? If it wasn’t, then the next cycle should be starting any day now. At least I’ll now know I can already get pregnant again. That is, when resume doing the deed with my partner, which I still haven’t. Still haven’t gotten around to doing it. 😀 Also, my hormones have returned to pre-pregnancy mode, which manifests in my hair getting greasy in 3-4 days again instead of a week. And the hair fall. It’s fucking everywhere! LOL!

There is a bit of a situation with our little nugget’s health, which could be something and could also be nothing. When I know more I’ll write about that, but for now I just have to patiently wait to find out what is what. Oh, the glory of Latvia where health care for children is for free! The only thing is, to receive that health care you have to wait in line for months to get an appointment with a specialist! By the time you have that appointment, the situation has changed – either resolved on its own, or worsened. You have the option to pay for the appointment and skip the long wait, but it is mostly still quite a long time. That is quite frustrating when it concerns a small vulnerable creature that you want to protect and not allow anything bad happen to him. Anyway, rant over. Until I know more – bye!