Thursday, July 29, 2010

4 Weeks Today!

Murray is 4 weeks today - I just can't believe it!

The health visitor came to visit today to weigh Murray, amongst other things. He is now 9lbs 14! What a wee porker! At least all his fussing at the breast isn't effecting him - just causes me discomfort. I worry that he's getting all his milk from the expressed bottle and then not feeding so well from me, but there always seems to be plenty milk in my left breast so I guess he must be getting milk. My left nipple is starting to split like my right one though so it's getting pretty sore. My Health visitor wonders if he's attaching properly so said I could call her tomorrow when he's due a feed and she'll come and have a look.

So far we are having a better day than some of the others. Even my mum said the other day that he is tiring as the wind is causing him such grief.

Yesterday afternoon was constant gurning and crying and little legs kicking with tummy pains. Then he would want to feed, but only do so for a wee short spell as his tummy would get sore and then we'd repeat. Eventually at 5pm I cracked and phoned Al totally exhausted. I just wished he was home already, but knew I'd have to wait another 2 hours. He had the good idea of putting Murray in the car and driving down to pick him up from the train with the hope that Murray would sleep in the car and Al would be home sooner to help out. After enduring another 40 mins of crying I texted Al to say we were en route. Great idea Al!

Today has been a lot better. He fell asleep after his first feed and gave me 45 mins of peace. He was then quite happy in his bouncy chair while I had a shower and got dressed and did the dishes. I then thought he was hungry, but he sucked for about 5 mins max and fell asleep so I managed to put him down for another spell. When he woke he was properly hungry and fed for 15 mins despite choking himself and needing burped every few mins due to gulping so much air. Fortunately he had the sore tummy while the HV was here so she could see what I meant. He was pretty gurny for a bit but chilled out in the bouncy seat and let me express and get my lunch. His tummy started to hurt again so I put him on his play mat and played with his legs to see if that could get any wind out. It did and then he dropped off to sleep on his mat. I've just left him there as he needs the sleep and it is bliss for me to get a chance to relax for a while. I can't describe how cute he looks on his mat, so I'll let this photo show you!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Every Day is a School Day With Murray!

No kidding - I feel like I'm on the steepest learning curve EVER! I've never felt so blooming clueless in my life!


Murray has developed a terrible problem with gas. Every day from Wed has been plagued with his gas problems except from Friday when we had a great day. The poor wee soul gets it so bad, his little lips go blue and he cries and cries! At least I now know his gas cry as opposed to his hunger cry. This is good because on Wed and Thurs I kept thinking he was hungry and kept trying to feed him but of course to no avail. The gas problem is exhausting because he just hates to be put down. I was so glad to have Al home over the weekend just to get a break for a while.

Great Things I've managed to do with Murray

On Thursday my mum and I took him for a walk in his buggy for the first time and I even managed to walk about a mile!

On Friday, I had the girls from my NCT classes for coffee in the morning. It was great fun having 4 mums, 4 babies, 1 mum to be and 1 bump in my living room, along with all the paraphernalia that goes with babies. I was so impressed with hoe well Kathryn and Fi are breast feeding. I felt like a complete rookie next to them, but on the positive it made me wonder if I could feed Murray without a pillow underneath and today I managed! Then in the afternoon, Murray and I met up with my firend Liz for a walk in his buggy. We managed to walk about 2 miles which was fab, but i did really feel it the next day, so I must be careful.

On Saturday, Al was running leg 1 of thye clubs fun 5x5 relay event so we all went up to cheer Al on and pick him up at the end, Murray was a sleeping Angel and I felt really pleased to have been able to get out on time. In the evening we went to the BBQ. This was a tougher experience. I was quite tired by then and I felt very overwhelmed especially as Murray woke up as we arrived and stared crying with his gas. Al managed to settle him and we were able to enjoy a wee while, but I did find it very difficult indeed. I think it was the realisation that life is very very different now!

On Sunday we got out for lunch as a family. I had expressed so when he woke up from his 1 and only quiet sleep (thank heavens for the car ride that sent him to sleep) I could feed him while we were out and I did his first change of nappy out and about too. Talk about fingers and thumbs trying to get the change station down while holding him in my arms! I was so glad we went out as he was so gurny for the rest of the day that I may have gone potty if we had stayed in all day!


Somehow I pulled a muscle in my chest yesterday, so my mum came to help out today as last night I was struggling to lift Murray without being in major discomfort. I've no idea how I did it but can only think it was from lifting the car seat or the buggy into the car. Anyway it was much better today but mum's help was greatly appreciated. She even sent me out for a couple of hours to get some 'me' time. I nipped up to Liz's for a cuppa in her garden and it was absolutely bliss to sit out and relax over a cuppa and not be waiting for the next lot of crying!

Liz gave us a great bouncy chair for Murray. It is so cute and we tried it out tonight. He liked it for a while, but hunger struck and so his calmness was broken. Here he is looking just gorgeous.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Rock Bottom + Gaining Confidence!

It has been a funny few days.

Rock Bottom.

On Sunday I reached rock bottom. On Saturday Murray was feeding every hour and by the end of the day my right breast was so sore that through the night I was in agony and couldn't get Murray to attach. I had to keep feeding on the left which of course was getting more and more deflated while the opposite occurred in my right. In the morning after a night of Murray taking forever to feed and settle I was exhausted and I was a bawling mess - the antibiotics had upset my stomach, my left nipple was in agony and I couldn't feed my hungry boy. I didn't know what to do, so in desperation phoned the midwife team who eventually phoned me back and said that I could express and give with a bottle and keep feeding on my left. After sterilising and generally taking ages to get that all organised as we hadn't used all of the bits and bobs before - eg - correct flow of teats we got everything together, expressed and Al fed Murray from a bottle. I thought I'd be relieved but instead burst out crying because Al was feeding my boy and I couldn't. I hadn't expected that! It was at that point, bawling my eyes out I said to Al, we have to get out. I'm going crazy in here. I just can't see how I'm going to get out. A quick shower and we were out up to the Crieff Hydro to get coffee. My friend Liz and family came to meet us and it felt AMAZING to be out! It was the best thing we could have done. I can't believe what a difference it made to how I was feeling. I did have another wee cry later when I was feeding Murray with a bottle but at least I could still feed him on the left side and get that closeness.

Another Education in Pregnancy / Post Birth Discomforts

On Monday my health visitor phoned to check I was OK after seeing the doc on Fri and the midwife team had alerted her that I'd been struggling over the weekend. She made me an appointment to see her so my sis (who has stayed since Sunday evening until tomorrow) took me up. Turns out I have a huge fissure on my right nipple - didn't think there should have been that huge crevass thing there and nipple thrush!!!! Seriously - any thing else like to come my way. I honestly rattle with all the medication I'm having to take. I am a walking pharmacy! The good thing was the she weighed Murray and in 5 days he had put on 8oz and is now 8lbs 12!!!!!

Starting To Gain Confidence

I am so lucky with my health visitor. She suffered in much the same way with her second and gave me a massive hug. She said your baby is thriving, your just suffering. Anyway as Murray had been fed his bottle of expressed milk he was dead sleepy so my sis and I took the chance to go out for lunch. He slept the entire time and we really enjoyed being out and about. All of a sudden it is starting become more of a reality that I was going to be able to start getting back some life.

Yesterday evening was a bit of a trial as Murray had 5 oz from his bottle and then fed from me for another 30 mins and was still hungry. I fed him after a short break for me to eat for another 15 mins and simply had nothing left to give. Thankfully he then settled down and slept until 3am this morning when things had a chance to refill! I can't believe how hungry he is. I am expressing and feeding and he is still not necessarily satisfied.

Today after a visit from my friend Emily and my wee godson Finlay, my sis and I went to the post natal group. It was great as I could ask what to do if I had expressed and fed Murray as much as I had but he was still hungry. Pauline my HV said I could top up with formula if needed and some of the other girls said that they had to do that too. It also came up how guilty they felt when doing that or of they had had to use formula completely for one reason or another. It was so good to know others feel the same way.

After the class, we popped into the supermarket. Murray was hilarious - he looked utterly confused the entire time!!!! LOL. I'm really beginning to feel like I will be able to manage once Helen leaves tomorrow evening. I'm moving more freely and I was able to lift Murray in his car seat today so am getting stronger and generally feel like I can do more each day. I must say though - if there is no one else around how do you get a shower etc? Fine if he is alseep, but if he unsettled.... I'm sure I'll soon find out!

Hungry Horrace!

I was so hungry after all my little trips out and feeding and expressing. I was sort of light headed and had to absolutely stuff my face and then go for a sleep before Murray's next feed. I wondered if I wouldn' t be so hungry for my tea but no - I had a huge portion and pudding and finally felt satisfied!!! I've turned into Murray - a bottomless pit! LOL!

So the past few days have been really crap, but also so much better. I'm hoping everything will heal and I will be able to re feed on the right side, but for now I'm enjoying feeding pain free and also being able to get out and about when I'm using the bottle as I'm still so indiscreet with the proper apparatus!

OK, another feed / expressing session is required before this mummy can awa' to bed.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

A 'Trip' Out!

Yesterday during the day we had a good day. In the morning Al had to go to Auchterarder to register Murray's birth. He was away for over an hour and in that time I needed to feed Murray. I was very pleased to do nappy, feed, burp and settle him back down all by myself! I know it seems ridiculously easy but it is nerve racking on your own and it has given me some confidence for when Al goes back to work. It is funny, I really wasn't worried about doing it myself before his birth, but I think my confidence has taken a bit of a dint with every day I'm stuck in the house. The worries start to build, whereas if you're just presented with the challenge, or get on with it straight away, you take it your stride more. Of course it's not helped that I've been in so much pain since the birth.

Speaking of the pain, on Thursday it was getting worse and not better so I phone my health visitor and she made me a doctor's appointment. I have never been so excited to go to the doctor in my life. It worked out well time wise as my appointment was mid way between feeds and Murray was spark out the whole time - even when transferring him from mosses basket to car seat! I actually nearly cried driving up to Crieff as it was so nice to have a change in scenery!
Good job I went to the doc. She was able to take out the knot which wasn't dissolving and as such had caused an infection - thanks for that, just what I needed on top of everything else! Anyway I now have antibiotics so hopefully that will help things considerably. In fact simply removing the knot has made a massive difference already.

Last Night

After being so good all day, Murray decided to be pretty unsettled last night. I shouldn't really complain as despite a wee gurn when Al first brought him up he did sleep until about 4.30am. I think the main problem during the first part of the night was that I didn't really sleep, so was aware of every little murmur or squeek he made. Then at 4.30 he needed to feed. It was on my right hand side and it was agony at first and then he fed for nearly 50 mins but at the end instead of being sleepy was wide awake and just wouldn't settle for another hour. Eventually I tried to feed him again as it was the only thing we hadn't tried. He fed for about 5 mins and then fell fast asleep! I've no clue! Needless to say Al and I are pretty tired today!

Grandma and Grandad Nicholl

Al's parents have been visiting for the past few days. They are totally besotted as I knew they would be and have taken a hundred photos. They were brill today as they cuddled Murray when he was a bit restless and gave mum and dad a break.

OK I'm off for a nap, but before I go - another positive is that I managed to feed Murray on my right with him across my lap. I just couldn't face rugby ball as I actually had drawn blood from his mammoth feed during the night. I was so stressed about the feed I could feel my self welling up at the thought of it, but accross the tum gave me a chance to change the position slightly and so it didn't hurt so much and he had a really good feed. Trying to focus on all the little positives that happen each day!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Health Visitor + 2 Weeks Tomorrow

Today we had our first visit from our Health Visitor. She is absolutely lovely and makes me feel a little less 'abandoned'.

She weighed Murray again and he is now 8lbs 4oz! Well done wee man!

Post feed that is helping him grow!

Thanks Girls!

I was feeling a little blue about being stuck in doors, but yesterday and today 2 of the girls I met at antenatal classes came for a visit. It was lovely to see them and share experiences and to meet their wee boys. I'm so jealous of them being able to get out and about even though the thought of it terrifies me, but it really really helped being able to see a new face!

Al's Parents

Tomorrow Al's parents are arriving for their first visit since Murray was born. What a nice 2week birthday present for Murray. They must be so excited to see him! They are coming until Saturday so will get 3 days to coo over him.


Yesterday Murray was a bit more restless. HV thinks he may well have been having a growth spurt so he needed some more cuddles. Al discovered this position that he really liked. How cute!

My Heart Brimmeth Over!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

No More Midwife - Yikes!

Today was the last of our midwife visits. Our health visitor will come from tomorrow, but I'm so bummed that Morag and Kirsty will no longer be popping in to check all is well with Murray and me!

Things I have learned to since the birth:

Getting Murray latched on - across my front on the left and rugby ball on the right.
At first I needed Al to keep Murray's hands out of the way and help big time with right side. Yesterday I learned how to keep Murray's hands away while getting him latched on all at the same time. I am very proud of this as it means I will be OK when Al goes back to work. It was really good actually as Murray had been a bit unsettled and I was very tired and struggling a bit with the relentlessness of it all and then I was able to do that and I thought: 'hoorah, a positive!'

I feel quite confident with this and bath Murray in the evening when his feeding times allow for it. Murray yells quite a lot while I'm getting him ready, but when I actually put him in the water he calms down! So cute!

Nappy Changing.
I feel pretty confident with this too. As I get a little less sore it gets easier to lean over and do this too.

Why you cry?
I'm still learning this, but I was very pleased to work out it was a nappy change needed whilst Al was in Crieff and settled him all by myself.
Fists in mouth = I AM HUNGRY!

Self care.
I'm getting better ant timing my food so that I've eaten before a feed - snack or meal. So hungry and thirsty - hard work this feeding!
Afternoon sleeps or early evening sleeps rock.
If I go to bed and get sleep before Al brings Murray to bed with himself I am rested and ready to feed Murray in the night.
The fit for motherhood tummy exercises really do pull your tummy in - the jelly on a plate is much reduced in size!

These make all the hard work worthwhile. I love it when he falls asleep in my arms post feed!

Scary things still to tackle:

Venturing outside for longer than 10 mins
Breastfeeding in public.

These scary things will have to wait a while as my midwife thinks that I should aim to start getting out and about in about 2 weeks time. When I'm in the house pottering around or resting I think OMG 2 weeks, but then if I've been for a wee walk to the shop I realise how right she is. Today I felt much more sprightly so went around the school before the shop. When I left the shop I was starting to get so sore I truly wondered if I was going to make it back to the house no more than 200m or so away!

Today it hasn't really upset me because my sis and Ian came to visit, but I can really see cabin fever setting in soon. I was definitely feeling that way by the time I went to bed last night. I felt like I was on a conveyor belt: sleep, eat and feed Murray, interspersed with wash pooey clothes, shower, do tummy exercises, do dishes ad repeat! Love the cuddles though!

Murray's Weight
He was 7lbs15 when he was born.
He lost 12oz between Thurs and Mon.
He gained 9oz between Mon and Friday - well done little man!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Our Wedding Anniversary + Murray's 1 Week Birthday

Yesterday it was our wedding anniversary. 4 years ago I felt completely overwhelmed in the car with my dad as we drove to the church, as the enormity of the day finally fully hit home. I remember my heart beating away like crazy and then we were saying our vows and a calmness came over me and I felt so happy.
Fast forward 4 years and we have spent the day feeding, changing, cuddling and generally staring at the most amazing anniversary present ever! I'm not sure which is most special - both are completely overwhelming emotionally.

Husband and Wife in our Back Garden.

Our Anniversary Present!

One Week Old

I can't believe Murray is a week old already - where has the week gone?

Getting Ready for A Birthday Breaky!

I still feel very sore and the whole process has taken a lot more out of me than I expected or could have imagined. I am still quite emotional about the birth and how frightened I was at the end. Al said to me that when Murray was finally born he could feel the relief rush through every single cell in his body that both of us were going to be OK. I felt the same about Murray when he came out screaming, but I think the relief about my self is still coming out and will continue to do so for quite some time to come. Let's put it this way - I'm in no rush to add to my family!

Murray's First Night Home...

...Was exhausting to say the least. We didn't get back to the house until about 8pm and I think becasue of the trip and the fact that he had been handled so much he jsut wouldn't settle at all on his own. Al and I ended up taking the night in shifts holding him while the other slept! I was soooo tired as I still hadn't really slept post birth and I remember thinking: 'OMG I should have stayed an extra night in hospital'. Finally morning came and by some miracle we were able to finally settle him in his moses basket.

Our midwife came to visit the next day and gave us advice of getting him awake every 3 hours to change and feed him during the day. Showing us how to burp him after a feed. She also advised us to start a night time routine of bath with music and low light on at bed time. Well it all seems to have helped as that night he slept from 11pm to 4.30am and the 6.30am to 9am! He's been really good ever since. We weren't so sure he would be last night as he got quite cranky in the evening and as I had just fed him I didn't think he could be hungry. Anyway we did a feed at 11.30pm and although he gurned a little at first, he then slept from midnight to 5am! He topped up on some food and went back down from 6 to 8am! What a good boy!

First Trip Out.

Yesterday we had our first trip out. After a feed all 3 of us walked (v slowly) along to the village shop. The lady who works there and her friend were so excited as they had been watching me get progressively bigger in the last few weeks and could now meet the expanding belly. We spent about 10 mins chatting and by that time I had to ask Al to carry Murray back as I was done in! It is going to be a long road back to fitness. Still - at least I was able to start doing my pelvic tilts etc today to try and get this stomach pulled back in. My tummy is 'hilarious' / disconcerting - very reminiscent of jelly on a plate! Can't wait to get that pilates started but at the mo' I would take being able to walk more than a few minutes!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Murray David Nicholl

The short version is:

After 31 and a half hours of labour, Murray David Nicholl was born at 9.25am on Thursday the 1st of July 2010 weighing 7lbs 15.

He is absolutely gorgeous and I am so in love it is really quite hard to describe.

Murray and Me

The Nicholl Family

He is Soo Perfect!

I will do a longer post once I am a bit more settled into home - feeling a bit overwhelmed not having a buzzer to be able to get a m/wife to help - and once I've got my head a bit more around my birthing experience. It was all a little traumatic. I had hoped to be au naturel as much as poss, but if needed intervention would do what I needed to do. As poor wee Murray refused to tuck his head in and turn around, Forceps and a spinal were finally required to get him out, but not until I did pretty Herculean effort for about 30 hours to get him out myself. Let me run an Ultra any day of the week - let me tell you. Al is pretty proud of the fact that throughout this effort my HR didn't go much above 60BPM! He nearly wet himself when the m/wife asked if I usually kept myself fit!

Any hoo! I'm off for a snooze before Murray needs another feed.