Mastitis, Baby sick and lots and lots of breastmilk

My Hungry Little Caterpillar

My Hungry Little Caterpillar

Having the time to blog is now something of a luxury. I’m sitting in bed with my baby beside me, all plump and satiated; having drained the milk of both boobies [and puked the excess down my cleavage and new nursing bra!] THREE WEEKS; how is my baby boy THREE weeks old. Time has taken on a whole new concept in the past weeks; as have day and night … life is simply and wonderfully revolved totally around Little Lord Freddie.

The week hasn’t been without its challenges; last Saturday I found myself at the out of hours GP with mastitis after a sleepless and painful night. Ouch. Serious ouch. It’s also quite hard taking a 2 week old baby to the out of hours unit alone …. whilst they give you a specific appointment, such as 10.47am [really? 10.47?], you still have to wait 2hours to be seen, during which you need to feed baby several times through agonising pain … and realise you need to change a pooey bottom but don’t want to lose your place in the queue. Fred and I were both most relieved when the prescription was printed and we could go home chomping on the antibbiotics. I very nearly joined him in the wailing. Aside from a sniffly nose, I’m feeling much better and the boobies aren’t sore anymore [thank goodness!] Incidentally I did find it funny that the doctor asked if there was any chance I could be preggers … erm, NO.

Breastfeeding is amazing … despite the mastitis … I find it the most nurturing thing you can do for your baby. I feel like the 9months he was in my tummy, I sustained him through my food and the placenta … and now he’s here, I can carry on nurturing him. The unbilical cord may have been cut, but Momma’s milk can feed him. And feed him well, as he weighed in at 9Ib this week! I can definitely tell he’s put on weight …. getting heavier to carry up the stairs in his car seat!

As for the lady bits, I actually braved taking a mirror to the brutalised bits, and [continued several hours later; baby and momma now fed and changed and ready to face the day!] – anyway, ladybits – not as mashed as I thought. Looking quite normal. The human body really IS amazing.

Still, in the small hours when I look at Freddie beside me; I wonder how on earth I created anything so perfect … and ow wonderful the world is with him in it. He’s mine, he’s really my baby boy …..

Momma’s baby boy

Momma and Freddie, 12 days old

Momma and Freddie, 12 days old

These past two weeks have been the most enriching, exhausting, emotional, and quite frankly mind blowing of my entire life. It really is two whole weeks since I caught my baby boy in the birthing pool, and the world greeted┬ámy Freddie. There is no blog long enough to capture all the moments; except to say that life has changed irrevocably for the better with my little Fredders. He changes every day, and sometimes in the quiet darkness of night feeds, I wonder how I ever produced someone so perfect. I also wonder if I’ll ever sleep for more than 2hours in a row ever again …

I think when you’re pregnant with your first baby, you struggle to see beyond the birth. As your belly grows and the kicks get stronger, you realise the blossoming baby has to emerge from one’s vagina. I hadn’t given much consideration to the practicalities of day to day life with a newborn [after all, death by childbirth was always a possibility!]. I adore it. Yes, I’m tired, and there are times when I’d love a cup of tea or some lunch; but there is nothing more fulfilling than nurturing the little one who grew in your womb.

There was such a lot to do when pregnant; move house, overhaul my house-share/student/Bridget Jones lifestyle … whilst working and becoming enormous. I’m glad I didn’t read too much … glad I wasn’t aware that I would be gushing breastmilk everywhere at regular intervals …. I’m also glad that I didn’t know the overwhelming LOVE I would feel for this little boy, because it is such a wonderful surprise to feel this way. I feel a huge surge of protection towards him; this feeling that if anyone ever hurts him, ever upsets him, I’ll want to kill them [harsh, perhaps]

I’m loving breastfeeding, despite the leakages. It’s the most natural thing a mother can do for their baby, and I wouldn’t swap it for the world. Freddie has a sucking action similar to a Dyson, and after weighing 7Ib 9oz at birth, and losing a few ounces in the first days …. he now weighs 8Ib 8oz, so he’s obviously guzzling the boob-juice. That would explain my hourly feeds last night! Actually, talking of milk, whilst I craved milk and steak when pregnant, I now can’t face the thought of either!!! BUT, thanks to breastfeeding, I’m now back in pre-preggers jeans!

I wouldn’t have chosen to be a single mother; but the love I have for Fredders exceeds anything I previously imagined. I keep using the word love – but there is no other word. I’m sitting here in my lounge, Freddie asleep in his moses basket. This morning we went to a baby group, and then the midwife came to discharge us … and then I put him in his sling for the first time and went for a walk around the park. My cousin and I walked around the park so many times when I was in early labour … it was quite nostalgic doing the same walk with my baby. Indeed, the same walk where I fell on my backside in the ice at 39 weeks preggers. They say sleep when the baby sleeps, but I wanted to blog … and as I remind myself during night feeds; I will never get these precious moments again. There will be time for sleep later … and here I sit, in a room filled with baby cards and gifts …. Freddie and I both feel loved, and my little boy will never doubt his Momma’s love for him …

Warning graphic feminine content

It has been 5 days since little Fredders entered the world, and yet I can no longer remember a life without him in it. People say there is no love like the love of a mother … but until you have your precious warm squishy bundle in your arms, you cannot comprehend it. Your purpose in life is suddenly gravitated around the little piece of perfection you grew in your womb. Observations from a 5 days post partum momma [no stigmas barred]

1. After spending a great deal of time whilst in the birthing pool declaring that I was going to poo and that it felt like Freddie was coming out of the wrong hole, one of my biggest fears post delivery was the inevitable first poo. I’m relieved to report that my insides didn’t fall out when it happened …

2. People don’t really talk much about bleeding after childbirth; in fact I was quite horrified at the one birthing class when it was suggested we buy maternity pads. Why? I’d asked innocently. Oh boy, now I know. I had a mild panic attack at what seemed to be an enormous piece of womb which emerged one day, and yet was reassured that practically, to quote a friend, if it isn’t as large as your fist, you’ll be okay. The human body really IS incredible [still alive]

3. Your breasts suddenly inflate within a matter of hours on the day your milk comes in. Woah. I mean, seriously! When people said I may leak a little bit, I imagined the odd drop – not to be walking around as if I’d poured a pint down my pyjama top. That said, breast feeding is THE best feeling, so I can totally deal with the sore nips. Natural coconut oil is proving a god send …

4. Throughout my pregnancy I craved steak and glasses of cold milk. I can’t bear the thought of either one now …

5. Not getting round to cleaning your teeth until 3pm is totally acceptable

6. Little boys willies have a good spray on them, especially when changing a nappy!! Poor Fredders got himself in the eye one day, and my glasses got a good spray the next!

BEST JOB IN THE WORLD.

Talking of which, Master Freddie is stirring, so it must be time for some boob-juice. More snippets soon ….

Welcome to the world, Freddie!

Momma and her boy

Momma and her boy

This photo says, He’s Mine, my beautiful baby boy …my little Freddie, who arrived on Thursday 5th March 2015 at Worcestershire Royal Hospital, weighing 7Ib 9oz. I’m sitting here in bed [our first night at home last night] watching him sleep beside me in his moses basket after a long feed. I’m sipping the luxury of a cup of tea … and reminding myself to cherish every single moment. Needless to say it has been the most miraculous week of my life. It was the early hours of Monday morning when my “show” arrived, and for the next few days [including a fall onto black ice on my backside whilst trying to be healthy and energetic!] I was awaiting regular and stronger contractions. My amazing cousin Sarah, my birthing partner, came to stay late on Monday night, and didn’t leave my side until Freddie was born. We walked a lot, we tried to get to grips with the contraction application on the iPhone …. and ultimately on Wednesday afternoon we went to the hospital to be assessed. I am quite a chatty person, and the midwife who examined me on the triage ward seemed a little unconvinced that anything was happening as I appeared too “talkative”. I should obviously have been more melodramatic, but I find when I’m REALLY in pain I manage to give the impression that I’m okay.

[Contd several hours later; laundry done, baby fed, changed, I jumped in and out of the shower in approximately 50secons, got dressed myself, made bed, hugged baby, fed baby again, cleaned kitchen etc.]

11025812_1726138594279238_2382322602360524618_nAnyway, so where was I? Childbirth. Previous posts alluded to my anxieties about being able to keep calm and “do it”. I was absolutely blown away by how your body can take over, and you become Neanderthal earth mother who goes very into herself and manages to breathe, and grunt, and poo in the birthing pool. By 10pm on Wednesday I was practically delighted when a rather lovely midwife shoved a lot fingers up my chuff, swept them around and proceeded to break my waters in the process. Next stop was the birthing pool!

I had always dreamt of a totally natural no pain relief [not even gas and air] delivery – and by jove I actually did it. I have always loved water, and just getting into the pool was a huge relief. The things I didn’t expect about contractions for me, was that whilst they began in my lower abdomen, they centered in my backside and radiated down my thighs. This meant that lying/sitting down was unbearable, even the birthing ball was hard work. As soon as I got in the pool, I didn’t have that problem [after hours stood up jigging around and leaning over a bed]. The waves of contractions got rather furious as expected, but in those early hours of the morning it really was quite beautiful – there was a dim light in the room, and I had these supportive women [a midwife, a student, and my birthing partner] knelt around the pool as the waves of pain rose and fell ….

15890_1725298581029906_2026800609728213485_nWhen it came to pushing, I don’t think the English language has the words to adequately describe it. What I will say, is that for me, with the agonising crowning, and the subsequent almost involuntary push; the world, my life, everything I had known until that point – changed forever. Freddie shot into the water of the pool [only for me to pick him up upside down and wrap the cord around him!!] and a love was born which I didn’t previously know existed.

[Another break for more boob and a change!]

There can be no greater love; even if my ladyparts may never be the same again. Perineum anyone?