Friday, March 26, 2010

Have you seen the milk bandit?

He is described as being short, with blond curly hair, blue eyes, cheeky smile and just gorgeous.

Cohen and I had a lovely morning visiting Noelle, Jimmy and Elizabeth today. I got to have a little cuddle with Elizabeth.....oh so sweet, thanks Noelle....cluck, cluck, cluck! She is just precious, but I am sure you knew that! Cohen had a great time as he always does at someone else house, investigating all the nooks and crannies he shouldn't be in. He followed Jimmy around as he played with his new truck he got for his birthday.....happy birthday darling. As for myself I got to see the wonderful job your are doing Noelle managing two children now at 2 years of age and under.

Whilst visiting the milk bandit struck on several occasions!

You see, I tried offering Cohen boob several times during our visit but he was too excited and distracted by everything else there was to look at and get into to. But with this kid you have to be quick, his eyes fixed in on Elizabeth's expressed breast milk bottle and was quick as lightening to get his hands on them and in his mouth on several occasions. Hilarious really, this boy of mine must be pretty damn keen on mothers milk and doesn't care about the source. Way to go my boy.

Anyways the milk bandit was later caught and taken home and settled with his mummy on the recliner for a quiet feed on the boob. I think we have a lot more work to do for Co to be feeding just anywhere we go anytime. So at least we have home and thankfully at least if we take him somewhere in the evening he will feed from me if I sit in a dark room with him and he has no visual distraction. No complaints it's just an observation that I have to work our day around being able to have enough time at home during the day to ensure he has opportunity to feed from me.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Better

Just a quick post to say since posting the other day and being a bit of a sook, things are better. I took some of the immediate advice and support I got from my fellow cloth nappy loving mumma's on Nappycino. I guess due to lack of sleep, I got a little off track about everything I was doing, sleep deprivation does funny things to you emotionally and mentally. Anyways I am back to concentrating on what is happening and not what isn't happening (thanks to Gis for that advice and reminder). I have tweaked our night routine and I am just being more mindful and in the moment and now Co and are relaxing together and he is having a big feed in the evening. In fact last night I closed my eyes whilst he was feeding and think I caught a wee little nap before dinner. As a result I am allowing my body to relax and I am trying to trust all the hard work we have put into this journey together and that just trusting Cohen knows what he is doing. Thanks to the support and advice of some of the NC mummas, which made me see things clearer through my tired eyes, Cohen has now had better more restful sleep and so has his mumma.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Just a bad day

This weekend just gone I have started to feel exhausted by it all on this re lactation journey. You know when you are so physically exhausted that you are then emotionally exhausted and question what you are doing and how well you are doing things. When I first breastfed Cohen from birth and he would have those really long sessions at the boob, at some point after a long day I would get a feeling like lactic acid had built up in my body. It would just make me feel so spent and achy and irritated that I would just want to be able to move around and release that tension.

Anyways Cohen has been waking in the early hours of the morning, 2.30am onwards and nothing or no one else has been able to settle him down except for me. Because it's too early, and I have been too tired and too physically drained with this tenseness in my body I have been bringing Co into bed with us and he goes on the boob and feeds. When he does this he is getting on the boob for an hour or more, I know he is getting milk but a lot of that time I imagine he would just have to be comfort sucking as well. Another thing too is I am finding it hard to get back to sleep when he is on the boob, so most mornings now I am awake from anywhere from 2.30am onwards. Don't get me wrong I do get a bit of light dozing in, but I am not getting anymore sleep for my body to recover. So it brings me to this morning when Co woke up at 3am, I feel so bad but my first thought was please could you not need me, I really am just so buggered I need rest. I asked Ben to get up to him to see if he could settle him or even try giving him a drink of water to hold him over until later this morning. Well Co cracked it and was pushing Ben away, so I ended up having to bring him into bed and give him boob early again. After an hour of Co sucking that aching feeling of lactic acid in my body was getting so bad I was just pleading in my head for Co to be finished. I feel even worse for what I am about to say but I ended up taking him off the boob after an hour gave him a little hug and put him his cot. As soon as I did that he royally cracked it again and I just started crying myself.

So I ended up asking Ben to go in and try again with him, hoping now that he had an hour on the boob that he would settle and drop back off to sleep. Ben ended up with him for half an hour and finally got him back off to sleep. I just feel so bad I am having these pleading thoughts for Co not to feed so long as it is draining me and I need my rest too. Just the thought that I have put all this effort in with him and I am having bad feelings just makes me feel sooooo bad. I don't even know if I am making any sense all I know is I am tired and emotional. I know it doesn't help that we have had a really busy weekend, but I guess sometimes that just happens when you have a baby.

Anyways the day has ended better then it has started and I posted a thread on Nappycino about how I am feeling. I am lucky to have the support of some beautiful mumma's and they have given me a lot to think about. A lot of which I already knew but couldn't see because I am out of sorts. My whinge and gripe today is by no means the end of our re lactation journey, it's just a hurdle we have to overcome. When it all comes down to it Cohen still doesn't have words to tell me what he wants or what he is doing, so I have to do my best in interpreting his needs. It would have been naive of me to think that the whole re lactation journey would be breezy the whole way through. I know this time will pass and we will hit our groove but for today I just needed to be a bit of sook and have a moment.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

It doesn't take much.....

It doesn't take much to make me happy!

We have had a busy yet lovely weekend. Friday night we had dinner with the IL's, which is always nice to see them interacting with Cohen. Saturday morning Cohen had a swimming lesson, and it's the first time in several weeks I have been able to make it along. Poor darling was unusually moody and not into his time in the pool. I think some of it may have to the do with his neediness for me now that he is back on the boob. I ended up having to move out of sight so Ben could try and get him to concentrate more on his lesson. After his swimming lesson we dropped Ben of at home and, Cohen and I headed to Southport. We met up with one of the fellow Nappycino mumma's. She is in QLD from interstate at the moment and I took up the opportunity to meet her and put a face to the name and lovely words and advice I have received since being a member of the forum. So we all had a lovely time at a park by the Broadwater watching the boys play whilst we had a chat.

Saturday we enjoyed a lovely evening with some friends we haven't seen in ages and finally got to meet their little darling who is now 4 months old. We enjoyed handmade gnocchi for dinner and a gorgeous chocolate ice-cream dessert with hot berry compote yummmmmmm! As for this morning being Sunday we had another car boot sale and we had our most successful one to date which we are stoked about. I also managed to pick up two bodysuits for Cohen for winter, as well as a jumper and a pair of shoes for him all for $2. I also managed to pick up an old Tupperware butter saver and two floral tops for me for for a dollar each. I am really stoked with all the purchases, altogether I only spent $10, so that is really good going for a penny pincher like me.

For those who say they are shopaholics and need their fix and max out their credit card trying to get that high, well I had mine today and $10 is all it took and look at all that I got!










Now that's my kind of fix.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Lovers of old books and stationery

Caroline I know you will be reading this, this post is for you and all others who love books and stationery. Last weekend Ben, Cohen and I had an outing to the Mount Tambourine Markets. We were meant to do a car boot sale last Sunday but it was post phoned I assume due to the recent bad weather. So instead we headed to the markets for the morning for a bit if mountain fresh air. It's been a while since we have been to the market and one of the new stall holders we came across was:
www.jukyandbeatrix.com

She is doing a beautiful job of turning old books into handmade pieces of breathtaking journals, notebooks and stationery. She does all the work herself in putting them together and binding them. Her talents and work is breathtaking it was so nice to see someone doing something different. She was such a sweet person to talk to and even gave me a set of bookplates for stopping by her stall and chatting with her and complimenting her on her handy work. I didn't even buy anything from her or any stall holder for that matter.....so it was really nice to walk away with something from our lovely morning out. I thought the least I could do in return of her kindness was share her talents with you. She does custom orders as well and also sells some of her pieces on www.etsy.com

Even more.....

Even more developments to share. Since I posted the other day Cohen is no longer having a morning or mid-morning bottle of formula. Just like that and without any fuss I have been able to have him take the breast. We are still having issue with dropping his evening bottle, but I think his whole evening routine is so entrenched that any changes are not easy. However in saying that I have been able to reduce the amount of formula in his evening bottle, and he is now having more time at the boob after finishing his bottle. So in the long run we might be able to drop the evening bottle and just have the breast but we will wait and see I guess. I know some people are going to question why he would of still of been getting that many bottles a day or now breast feeds. Well I don't believe in dropping feeds or bottles if he still taking it, why force him to do something he doesn't want to do. If he is taking it he needs it and that's that and that is the way it will remain. I am sure in a very short period of time when things settle down further he will meter things out if not before his first birthday at least shortly after.

I could never of imagined that this whole re lactation effort would have turned out to be so successful.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Hard work has its rewards

Just a quick update to say that things are going along swimmingly with Co's breastfeeding. My supply is really starting to come back, and Co has been having some really long sessions at the boob which would be assisting with milk production as well. He doesn't seem so bothered anymore if I move around or even carry him around sometimes whilst he is on the boob feeding now. That in itself is a big deal, because previously if I so much as moved more then inch whilst he was on, he would take himself off the breast and get distracted.

The most fabulous thing happened just this morning after having a big long feed and a top up an hour later; we have been able to drop his morning bottle. It was just yesterday I was starting to get myself concerned about how I was going to navigate him away from the bottles. I am so stoked and I am continuously amazed how this whole journey keeps going from strength to strength.

Here is a pic of my little champ having a feed after his afternoon nap on the weekend.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Thoughts

I have been pondering many things lately and looking at some of the decisions that DH and I have made since having Cohen, and I guess some of the decisions we or I had also made before he arrived. It was always my intention when I had Cohen that I would use cloth nappies. In fact when I was pregnant with Elle and Meg, that is what my intention was to be even then. But alas we all know I didn't get to fulfill that journey with the girls. The only thing I was aware of when falling pregnant for the first time about cloth nappies, was terry towelling nappies. I never knew there was a whole other world out there of things called Modern Cloth Nappies. Even when Cohen was born I was still very unaware and only had several dozen terry towelling nappies.

When Cohen was born I thought I was fairly organised with terry nappies all washed and folded and lined ready to go. It was when I got home and realised that all the folds I tried on Cohen all looked way too bulky and I started to lose my nerve. Not to mention I was recovering from a c-section, breastfeeding and still what I realise now as grieving over Elle & Meg to add to the mix. I did go in search of another options and I only got as far as finding a women on eBay who sold pre-fit terry nappies. I did purchase some off hers and with those and some terry flats and disposables we were doing a combo of all of these.

It was when Noelle started to mention and speak with me more about investigating Modern Cloth Nappies that I started looking into it further. Oh my god there is a whole other world out there of these ingenious nappies that go on with as much ease as disposable nappies. I knew that with my initial determination to have Cohen in cloth full time at some point that I had found the answer for me, and there brings us to where we are now. Cohen was in part time cloth since he was born and has now been in full time cloth since he was about 5 months old. I have not looked back on the decision for him to be in cloth it is one of the best decisions I have made.

It feels so right, it's not hard as others will have you believe. Rather then it being hard I find it calming that we are clothing his butt in softy goodness rather then plastic. DH and I both find it relaxing sitting down in the evening making sure all Cohen's nappies are put together and ready to go. We both feel so much better about what we are doing for the environment.......just think of it that every disposable nappy ever made is still in existence today, it's sitting there in landfill and hasn't broken down. I find that latter thought so impossibly disgusting that, that alone will ensure that plastic will never go near Cohen's rear or any other babies rear of mine in the future. Aside from the fact that Cohen not being in disposables means I don't have to put up with irritations from all the nasties that are in disposable nappies......and the same goes for wipes, yuck, yuck they are just as bad.

As many people will relate, when you have a baby and you end up as a one income household, finances are tight. It just occurred to me recently when looking at all our fluffy nappies that if we had not decided on cloth full time we couldn't afford disposables each week, we would be dead set broke. We would not be able to afford to be spending that sort of money each week on nappies and we would have to consider going without certain things. I can't speak enough about why I think cloth is the best, the way to go, the way I think everyone should go.

My wish for new mums who want to do cloth but get turned off my disposable users telling them it is a waste of time, is for them to understand it is only as hard as you make it out for yourself. It's like anything in life if you think something is going to be hard, it's going to hard. If you approach something with an open mind and some determination you will be just fine. Modern cloth nappies are just easy to change as a disposable (you can even ask my DH), yes you have wash them, you don't need to soak them as some nay sayers will have you believe. Don't complain to me about the washing, it really is no big deal since you will be washing every day or second day anyway. I guess at the end of the day people need to stop being ignorant about cloth and stop making comments about something they haven't tried or researched properly. So give it a go look into the world of modern cloth nappies, once you buy your first one and get that hit of it on your little ones butt and it's cuteness.....you will be hooked, you will be addicted and you will never look back.

To new mums, cloth is great, cloth is easy, cloth is right, cloth is cute, cloth is environmentally right, cloth is squishy, cloth is cuddly, cloth is all that is good and pure......check it out for yourself.

Monday, March 8, 2010

One soon

Well I am starting to try and put some thought into Cohen's birthday, 24th of next month and my little guy will be ONE can you believe it? I can hardly believe it myself, where has the time gone? DH and I are very fortunate to have a wonderful group of friends and randomly on the weekend we were trying to count up people to invite to Cohen's birthday celebrations. Goodness the boy is going to have as many if not more invited guests then what either of us would at something for ourselves. So our current thoughts are to split celebrations with friends and family. As Cohen's birthday falls on a Saturday we will likely have a morning tea here at home with DH and my family and then a party with friends and kids at the park on the Sunday.

Some time ago my SIL asked if she could make Cohen's birthday cake and at the time I said it was fine. However I have been giving it thought and it's 'my' boys first birthday and I feel like 'I' should be giving it a go good, bad or otherwise. So all though I don't mind my SIL making a cake for him she can do the family one as I am going to try and do my own for his party with our friends and their kids. My thoughts at the moment are to try and do something to do with ducks for his cake, as he seems rather found of them.....or any animal really. So who knows what I am going to come up with and how it's going to turn out, but it's something I want have some fun with.

As for his birthday present I had thoughts of making him some puppets (he loves puppets) but I have had no time with our re lactation efforts so my sewing has taken a back burner. As it is a have a pile of other things as well that need sewing attention that have been neglected as well. I really don't know what we will do on the present front as we personally want to start steering away from him having so many plastic toys. Oh well if I don't get to sew him puppets, perhaps I will buy some and a few other little wooden toys. It's likely though whatever we get him it will get lost in the sea of other things I am sure he will get for his birthday from others. In the overall scheme of things it doesn't really matter what we get him because he gets our love and that's the best gift he could ever have.

But yeah, can you believe he will be one so soon?

Booby Hiccup Diverted

Cohen is eagerly getting into a routine and seems to be expecting boob at different times of the day which is great. I am also trying to pump every 2 - 3 hours, which now means the house is starting to look like a big mess. Between pumping and allowing Cohen to feed when he wants and spending play time together during the day, some things have had to give a bit on the home front. I am happy for the sacrifices although an untidy house bothers me, it's not important in the overall scheme of things.

So I must tell you something - yesterday morning (being Sunday) I was trying to pump whilst Cohen had his morning sleep. In the middle of pumping the pump started to make funny sounds and lose its suction. It is a loaner from the hospital and I have checked it over for cracks and splits and so forth, but I just think it's on it's way out. It would have had a work out in it's time, I would imagine. So of course with our re lactation efforts going so well, the first thing I thought was "no, no, no this can't happen, I need this pump it's crucial at the moment". So I went into SOS mode and posted a help thread on Nappycino as well as a Facebook status plee and I mass text messaged some people I knew. I was desperately hoping that someone would be able to help me with the loan of an electric breast pump for a while longer. Thankfully half way through the day after spending time fretting about what the hell I was going to do, I got a text message from a friend of mine. After Cohen's sleep yesterday afternoon we ducked over to her house and it turns out she had the same pump I have been using from the hospital so she didn't even need to give me the run down on how to use it.

I am so thankful to my friend for help and I was in tears when I go the text message saying I could borrow it. She has only in the last few weeks weaned her son to the bottle because she is going back to full time work in about a months time, otherwise I wouldn't of been able to have the use of her pump......how lucky am I. DH and I were laughing yesterday about how much has been thrown at Cohen and I way during this re lactation journey so far, teething, sever biting, colds, coughs, me going away and now the pump breaking down just to name a some of the things. Well here's to perseverance I say huh?

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Another booby update....

So Monday morning Cohen and I headed into the hospital to see the LC and collect the breast pump. I have been taking medication, and since Monday I have been trying to pump every 2 - 3 hours. Which for some of this week has been very difficult to manage time for, with Cohen getting over a sniffle and cough. Nonetheless I have been able to do it with Cohen's new found ability to do the "ta for mummy game". If Cohen is playing whilst I am pumping I will call out to him "ta for mummy", whatever he is playing with he will walk over to me and give it to me. If I say "another one" he will go and get another one and give it to me. Even if I don't have my hand out waiting for the item, he grabs my free hand and puts it in my hand......ohhhh it's so cute.

So the pumping is meant to be stimulating my breasts regularly enough during the day to encourage further milk production. I haven't been able to express any milk to save and offer Cohen, but I can feel the change in breasts and can tell that things are slowly happening with milk production. This morning in fact I woke up and I felt that little bit heavier in the breasts. When Cohen woke this morning and the first thing I did was go to his room and sit down in our feeding chair and he latched on straight away. He stayed latched on for at least 15 mins. I could tell with the way he was sucking that he must be getting some more substantial volume of milk then what he has been getting up until now. I could feel the strength of his suck changed while he was attached and on a few occasions I heard the sweet, sweet sound of those little gulps that tell you that they are getting something to swallow.......ahhh bliss.

Up until this mornings efforts Cohen has been happy to latch on most days up to 3 times a day with at least one of these times being for about 15 mins. I am fairly certain that he has been getting some milk at these sessions, but it would have only been very little snacky ones. I think it has also been providing him comfort regardless of getting milk until now, but at least it has been giving my breast stimulation which has resulted in today's efforts. Oh and I must add that after Cohen latching on first thing this morning I tried pumping for a while and was finally able to express a small amount into the bottle. With the pumping I am not expecting it to turn into me being able to express quantities of milk. When Cohen was originally breastfeeding full time I struggled to express 30 - 40 mls most of the time. So at the moment I am looking at the pumping as stimulation for my breasts, really at the end of the day the most efficient extractor of milk from a breast is a baby who is naturally design for the job not a machine (or at least in my case).

So that's where we are at, at the moment with our re lactation efforts. It is an up and down journey some days he is super keen other days he isn't as keen as the day beforehand. But overall every day we are having our moments and starting to establish a routine of sorts. In the morning I offer him boob even before changing his night nappy. Then after he has had his time at the boob I change him and then offer him his bottle which is still being hidden up my top with the teat against my boob and nipple (if that makes sense to you all). He has a bottle mid morning and this is our most challenging one of the day and I have not been able to get him to show any interest in the boob before or after this bottle, so I am not pushing it as I can't upset him on this re lactation journey. When Cohen has an afternoon nap often he will wake after 30 mins still exhausted and crying, regardless of him being that way or not I offer him boob at this time. For at least a week, nearly two weeks now he will have time after his nap at the boob. Nine times out of ten I will lay down with him during this one as he is often unhappy, and he will fall back to sleep at the boob for the rest of this afternoon sleep. After dinner and before bed I have been trying to offer him boob again before his evening bottle, and some nights he is keen for a little time at the boob maybe 5 mins or so and sometimes he is not. Also whilst he has been unwell from his sniffles and cough if he has woken early in the evening I take him from his cot to our bed and he has latched on during cuddles to settle him back down to be returned to his cot.

So overall things are going fairly well, I don't know where this journey is going to take us with the re lactating or how long it will last. If I look at things realistically with Cohen's interest in the boob at sometimes of the day and not at others, I think his return to the boob is going to end up being his supplement to the bottle. So all I can do is stay on our current path and allow him to direct where he wants things to go. I would love to think that he would drop the bottle all together and exclusively breastfeed again, but I can't push things with him. All of this re lactation started by his doing basically and I have just put in the effort to give him as much opportunity as possible. In the long run I don't know how long we are going to continue to have these moments that we have reclaimed together........but boy oh boy he is the luckiest bubba and I the luckiest mumma to have this time all over again with him. For the time being as long as he is showing interest and working at the boob I will be working to continue this journey for him. I guess at the end of the day this journey is open ended, I have no idea when or where it will end or end up.
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