Monday, August 30, 2010
Firstly thanks to Lizzie and L'il Runner for your kind comments and to friends who called/messaged after my last post to check I was OK or to give encouragement and to reassure me that it is OK to swop to formula if that is what I want. I'm still breastfeeding, but am combining it with bottles /expressed bottles if out / swimming (mum can feed him then) and for his last feed at night. Just knowing that I have that option helps and actually since the gaviscon has kicked in again Murray has been feeding better again. Also letting someone else feed him by bottle just really allows me to get a break.
Night Time Routine
Last night we commenced with a proper bed time routine. I've been wanted to try one for a wee while but as Al gets home so late it has been difficult to know how to do it. Anyway we got to grips with the monitor yesterday and as it was Sunday Al was home to help. Murray always gets cranky at about 6pm - he's tired and has often had a wee nap at this time, but we didn't let him sleep and bathed him instead. Then fed him in our room with curtains closed and music on. He was exhausted and the worst bit was trying to keep him awake enough to feed enough. We put him down and left him there (felt sooo wierd). He awoke and had a wee cry, but a wee cuddle and final burping and he went down again. No more crying and he stayed asleep until 6.45am this morning! I changed and fed him and put him back down again as he often wants to sleep then (about his only time all day) and as he was in our room I was able to move about downstairs freely cleaning and having breaky. He woke at about 9.30am and true to form was awake solid until 3.30pm when he couldn't fight sleep any longer so I put him down for a nap upstairs for an hour while I did some work for the business.
I did the routine again tonight - quite good actually as it made the day seem shorter as I had the routine to do instead of just waiting until Al got home. Al was able to join us while he was feeding and give his wee boy a cuddle. Again he needed an extra wee cuddle, but we were then able to have dinner and are now sitting on the sofa enjoying adult time.
I'm so pleased that I took the plunge. I know it sounds easy, but I'm sure the fact that I've been getting Murray to settle himself in the mornings after his first feed has helped this process. I would always walk away and go get breaky in the kitchen and just come back to reassure him if he cried.
I was worried he would wake in the night, but recently he's not wanted to wake for his 10pm feed if he has fallen asleep in our arms or not been too interested in taking too much then. Mind you we'll see if he wakes tonight and last night was a one off!
On Sunday we went out for a family walk up at Loch Turret. It was quite hard work as neither of us had realised how rocky the path is - well you don't when it is just you without buggy - but it was great to be up there as it is so beautiful. It was really windy and there was a definite nip in the air as you can probably tell from what we are wearing!
Getting Murray Wrapped up.
It was Steeper there than it looked - good way to warm up!
End of our walk for today - Time ticking down to feeding time! Never Tire of that View!
Thursday, August 26, 2010
My baby boy is 8 weeks today! I cannot believe it!
He had his 8 week check yesterday. All is well. His stats are now:
Weight: 11lbs 14 (a bit of a relief as when he was weighed on Tues I thought he had only put on 2 oz as my health visitor read the conversion chart wrong. I had been really concerned about his feeding so it was a bit of a worry, but more on that later). Gained 3lbs 150z since birth!
Length: 60cm - grown 12.5cm since birth
Head Circumference: 39.5cm - grown 6.2cm since birth
His eyes, tracking, head control and hips are all good. He did not like getting his hips checked and I can't say I blame him!
He then had his jags. OOOOOHHHHH! He did not like that, poor wee fella. It actually wasn't too upsetting because you knew why he was crying, and boy did he cry. Bless him, he'd almost stop crying and then he'd remember it and start up again. He was then OK - not terribly lively, but OK until about 2pm when he wanted a feed. He had a good feed and then was uncharacteristically sleepy. He went down for an hour (unheard of during the day) and woke at 3pm with crying that was so obviously saying "I don't feel well!" I gave him some calpol and took him out of his blanket too cool him down and he went to sleep again. If he surfaced at all he cried, but thankfully mainly slept. He woke at 5pm for another feed and then back to sleep once I had taken off his outer clothes to wrap him up in his blanket until 9pm when he wanted another feed. He was definitely a lot better as no more crying, but just wanted to be cuddled and still quite warm so post feed I gave him his second dose of calpol. He took a while to drop off to sleep (no wonder after sleeping all that time, but seems a lot happier this morning.
Breast Feeding Dilema
On Tuesday I was ready to transfer Murray onto bottles. His feeding was just so awful. He was so restless and would take me for a couple of minutes and then come off and then on and off and on it went all day. This came on the back of a tricky feeding day on Mon and Sunday evening. He didn't even really want to take a bottle. I'm not sure, but I think it was because we ran out of gaviscon on Sunday and then it took a while to get the prescription on Monday so he only had half dose on both those days. Both Monday and Tues were puking days and I just think it has taken a while for is tummy to settle down. It is hard to tell, because he was so sleepy yesterday with his jabs, but he has just had a good feed this morning too, so hopefully he will be better again today.
I am really struggling with transferring Murray onto bottles. I haven't as of yet (except for when I've run out or like on Tuesday when I just needed a break), but am seriously contemplating it, but just cannot seem to bring myself to make the change. I have found the experience so difficult and it has been such a blow as I never even considered it would be. I always just thought that was what 'they' were there for and mum BF 3 of us (she couldn't her first as he was brain damaged and didn't have a strong enough suck). I know it is completely irrational, but I feel a bit inadequate. It is such an emotive thing. I think what I will do is try to relax and feed when I can and combine expressing and formula to give myself a break from time to time. It is just really good to see him getting a good feed sometimes, plus when out and about it just takes the pressure off finding somewhere discreet and the stress of nipples on show. I had thought I wouldn't care, but I do still find it stressful - mainly because, I never know if Murray is going to latch on well or not. I think the most important thing is that I really don't want to regularly feel like I did on Tuesday. I felt so stressed and crap and that cannot be healthy for Murray on a regular basis. As my mum said - I have given 2 months of Breast Milk, which will have stood him in good stead, and anything else is a bonus. I must remember what my health visitor said - 'after what your nipples have been through it is a miracle you have made it this far Karen' and give myself a break. I am far too hard on myself. I'll just try and take it day by day.
Last week, I managed my second swim (did 2.2km) and walk (although the walk was 3 miles not 4), but I just did not have the time to do my 2nd Pilates session.
This week so far I have done a 2km swim.
It is a miracle I managed to get that swim, between expressing and getting prescriptions. I didn't get in the pool until an hour later than planned, but fortunately mum was still able to look after Murray. I nearly backed out, but the knowledge that I wouldn't be able to swim again until Fri gave the motivation to kick my butt through the door!
50 minutes of Pilates.
I still can't do Ab work that requires me to roll on my backside, but I can replicate the moves on my swiss ball which is great and it feels good to be doing some Ab work. I'm glad I've not been able to do this until now though and the other pilates work has built up some strength there gently before ploughing straight in.
I hope to get out for 2 walks and another pilates session. I'm debating instead of a swim, trying some gentle gym work, but I may leave that for another week, as I've upped the pilates already. I'll don't want to put too much strain on my steadily mending Pelvic Floor. Must quiz the physio friends and get their advice.
OK, shower and chores await while Murray has his only sleep of the day!
Saturday, August 21, 2010
The gaviscon seems to have really helped. The puking has much reduced and the wind isn't nearly as painful for him and as such he is a much, much happier wee man. It is just lovely to have a happy boy between feeds. He has cries, but a wee bit of attention usually sorts that out, or a wee suck on the dummy now that he is happy to take it (sometimes), or a nappy change or a wee fart that he can get out, but it doesn't last too long unless he is hungry.
The only thing I would say about the gaviscon is that because I'm BF I have to give it to him by syringe post feed. It is 3, 5ml syringes and it is just horrid to hear him cry, or if he refuses to open his mouth have to wake him up until he does cry. The only thing that makes me keep on with it is it really does help him sooooo much.
I must say though that BF hasn't been the wonderful, joyful experience I thought (and was repeatedly told) it would be. Not many relaxing cuddles post feed from a sleepy wee boy for me. So far it can be summarised as:
No help at the first hospital (Dundee) and I quote: "Oh, no we don't have time to sit with every first time mum with their first feed" Thanks midwife, I thought that was actually part of your job! Poor boy didn't get his first proper feed until 18 hours later because no one would help until i managed to pin a night shift midwife down.
Inverted R nipple so needed help to shape, but between me and Murray's sore neck, ended up with a huge fissure and total agony and having to express for every other feed.
Really bad colic that is now finally diagnosed as reflux so has resulted in me post feed having crying baby and a variety of things to try to ease his discomfort.
Gaviscon post feed
And now... to the other subject of my post:
Murray's last feed has had to be a formula for quite a while, but this week Murray has had to be topped up with formula for his second last feed and that is because I'm having to double boob his 3rd last feed where as the other feeds, one side will be enough. I'm starting to worry that I'll just keep reducing until it will all have to be topped up. How can I increase my supply? I'm getting to stage now I have to carry formula with me in case I can't give him enough while out. That all probably sounds quite negative, but it is starting to grind me down a bit. Trying to stay positive, but I've been a bit upset about it today.
I wrote the above yesterday and decided instead of whinging I'd do some research and see what I could do to help my milk supply. So far I set my alarm to wake up at 3.30am to express (Murray has been sleeping to 6am so has not been feeding in the night.), I've had porridge for breakfast (oats are meant to help) and Al is going to buy me some fenugreek tea tomorrow as there is a health food shop just beside his work. Oh and as it is my right side that is producing less I've been offering that side first all day to try and stimulate milk production as much as poss. At least if none of this works at least I'll have known I've done my best..
On a more cheery note some cute pics of Murray:
Spark out on Bean Bag chair/bed thanks to dummy.
Al trying to entertain Murray with noisy rings while I cooked dinner! Look at his big beefy thighs! That's a hill runner/ skier right there!
Murray in his new big boy clothes that we bought in town yesterday with the vouchers we've been given from so many people.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Monday and Yesterday were hideous days. Sunday wasn't great either, but not relentlessly, but Monday and yesterday Murray was just so unhappy and the spitting up post feed or full on puking that has been increasing and increasing for a while was just getting worse. Not enough to be fearful, but enough to know this is not right and he is sooo unhappy. Gripewater had stopped helping and by yesterday I just didn't know what to do for him. Not helped by the fact that I had to stay in the house in the morning as his Bean bag bed (I'll take some pics when he is on it next to post) I had bought for him was arriving and I didn't want to miss it. Anyway thankfully at post natal group he had a feed and then proceeded to spit up 3 or 4 times with the bubbles at his mouth and the retching, so the health visitor could see what I meant and thinks he may well have reflux. She got me a prescription for Gaviscon and said to stop using the infacol and gripe water so we can see if it helps. Fingers crossed it does!
Murray did give me a wee spell where he slept - not his usual morning one, but over lunch so I was able to do 30 mins pilates and get some lunch in blessed peace. I'm definitely feeling stronger and as I write this today I realise I'm not sore, so bit by bit I'm getting there. I have noticed tat after ever pilates session I do, my stomach has pulled in a bit more. The swimming on Monday will have helped too.
So so far this week:
30 mins Pilates
Plan for rest of week:
2 walks of 4 miles
1 more swim, hopefully get an hour this time so should be at least 2k
1 more pilates session.
Murray will be 7 weeks tomorrow and his weight yesterday was 11lbs 7oz. He had put on 10oz in a week!!!! Clearly the reflux isn't affecting his weight gain, but it is just making him feel pretty miserable.
Monday, August 16, 2010
I had my 6 week check up today and got the go ahead to return to exercise so I headed to the pool today. I only had time for a 45min swim, but in that time I did 90 lengths (1.8km equiv to 4.5 mile run). It was great to do some pyramid work of fast: 2, 4, 6, 4, 2. It felt great to feel the burn in the lungs. It felt that, although running may take some time, there is a means for me to increase my fitness and get some endorphins.
Over the past few days we have had some good days and some bad. Last Thursday was a horror and I've never been so glad to have a coffee morning with the girls. If I had been at home all day, I'd have been pulling my hair out. Poor wee soul just had awful gas and the only time he wasn't crying was when he was asleep. Luckily he slept on me at the coffee morning, but it wasn't too hindering as the girls could pass me a biscuit or drink as honestly if I even thought about moving, Murray would scream! It's been pretty bad today too, but gripe water does seem to ease it a little. Murray generally hates to sleep in the day - he is sooo alert, but it does mean that if he is really gassy he is a bit of a misery guts which is a shame and I really look forward to the days when he doesn't have bad gas as he is so fun. He is starting to smile and mat time can just be so lovely. He was so gurny today that I ended up doing an hour of housework with him strapped to my chest in the sling as it was the only way I could keep him quiet. I was shattered by the time Al came home!
We have had good days too. My mum and I had a lovely lunch out after our sacro-cranial appointment on Friday as I was brave enough to feed at the cafe. My sister surprised us by ringing the door bell on Friday evening and staying over so we had a lovely day on Sat - out for a walk and lunch out (again as I fed out and about) and then on Sunday we went up to support some harriers at the Sheriffmuir Inn race (11 miles). It was a gorgeous day and we had a lovely walk while everyone raced. We then treated ourselves to lunch as the food is amazing there. Al enjoyed our new found 'freedom' as I'm getting more confident to feed out of the house.
We've booked ourselves a wee holiday in September. We've booked a wee cabin in Aviemore for 4 nights (Al's taken about 11 days in total) but we though that 4 nights away was enough both for Murray and our bank balance! We're very excited and it will be lovely to have family time together.
OK, must get to bed.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Murray is asleep (hope I'm not jinxing myself) so I'm going to try and get a blog post done.
I managed to go for a walk on Friday and Saturday. Friday was miserably wet but Murray had gas and was pretty restless so I decided the rain was less unpleasant than sitting in the house with him gurning. That said, I cannot remember the last time I was that wet. Miserable. I was soaked to my pants and my jeans were so wet that they were dragging on the ground and the turn ups were collecting gravel so that they were getting heavier and heavier! I was dreaming about a hot cuppa, but Murray had other ideas and wanted fed and then cuddles for the rest of the afternoon. Brrr! Bl##@y Scottish summers! Still 3 miles managed and wasn't sore after.
On Sat, the sun really came out in late afternoon so Al and I decided that we would get out for a walk while it was nice. We did the knock and wishing well route which is about 4 miles and hilly. I noticed I was walking much faster and was really pleased with myself. I was tired at the end but I thought yeah, here we go, thinks are on the up. On Sunday however I felt really very tired. Despite that I ended up doing 30 mins Pilates, but I think I maybe over did things as on Monday I was really quite sore and I was quite shocked to discover when out for a walk with some friends on Monday I just couldn't keep up and I was really very sore. Probably partly to do with having to sit for an hour in the car too as I still find sitting in the car sore. Anyway it has been a good lesson in making sure I don't get carried away with myself and just take it steadily.
I had had enough on Sunday. I had a total meltdown at one point when I wanted to get out for lunch but then Murray wanted to feed and I was hungry and oh...... I just felt like Daisy the cow. In hindsight I was possibly quite tired from that walk, but none the less I hadn't been out on my own for over a week. Once Murray was fed Al practically pushed me out the door saying: "I'll look after him. Get out and recoup." So a short while later I found myself in Crieff, filling the car up with fuel and thinking, what the heck am I going to do in Crieff on a Sunday (not a whole heap happening)? A quick text to my mate Liz to check it was OK to pop in and I found myself supping a cuppa in her garden keeping her company as her hubby and boys were all away for the day. Thanks Liz, I felt a new person when I returned. Al then took Murray out for a walk (his first time out and about on his own with him - Awhh!) and I totally vegged out on the sofa blocking out the dishes and washing load that needed to be put on. I had a TV dinner and a hot meal and cuppa and relished not having to either gulp them down or getting it cold later!!! Ah the simple things is life.
Al took Monday off and we went over to my friend Emily and Scott's house as our friends Claire and Neil were staying with them. We all went to Uni together and Claire and Neil live in OZ for now so we hadn't seen them for about 18months. It was absolutely great to see them and to see Claire looking so well and to meet her little 20 week bump. So exciting. There are 9 months between Emily's younger boy and Murray and there will about 6 months between Murray and baby Muir.
Claire introducing Murray to his future new friend!
Murray took the occasion to do a poo that was so explosive that it shot straight out the side of his nappy and onto his lovely baby grow that Emily had given us. Good job I had taken extra grows! I honestly thought he had soaked straight through to my jeans, but fortunately not, as I hadn't taken spare trousers!!!! LOL!
Claire is really artistic, and she had made me a lovely necklace and jewellery box in her Kiln for my birthday (it was a while ago, but between her head accident, post grad exams and first trimester puking, very understandably it took her a wee while to complete them) and Murray a name plate for his room. I'm so jealous of her skills. They are just amazing!
I was at Postnatal Group yesterday afternoon so got Murray weighed as I don't need to have specific appointments now as long as Murray and I are feeling OK. He is now 10lb 13 - 7oz in 5 days. I knew he had grown!
Hoorah, got this done, now, will I get Thank you cards done too?
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Yesterday I met up with my friend Emily and her gorgeous wee boys, one of whom is my god son, at Dobbies garden centre outside of Stirling. It is a perfect place for us to meet as it is exactly half way between us. Anyway I had fed Murray before I left, but as he hadn't had a very big feed first thing in the morning he was hungry when we arrived. I had taken a formula to make up in case and to give me longer to see Emily, but I just thought, 'what the heck let's give breast feeding a go. So Emi and I found as seat outside on the patio where I could turn my back on everyone and then we positioned both buggies either side and pulled my cardy around. Well I was so chuffed as Murray managed to latch on without too much performance on his trickier side and topped himself up. It felt great to just get it over and done with. I certainly would still worry about trying it if I was in the middle of a room, but I think the thought of not being tied to being back at the house at a certain time or need to give him a bottle would make me give it a go. A definite sense of liberation.
5 Week Weight
This morning I took Murray to be weighed. I was really keen to get this weighing as we have been pretty much exclusively breastfeeding - just one formula in the evening to let me top up and get to bed - and knew that if he had put on weight it would give me such a confidence boost that we were starting to get the hang of this milarky. I am very proud to say that Murray is now 10lbs 6oz so has put on 8oz in a week!
I am very pleased to say that I am starting to be able to get some gentle exercise. I've been out for a few walks and Monday saw my longest at 2.5miles. I've also done some Pilates. I've just been doing my prenatal pilates as it is pretty gentle and on Tuesday I managed to do the Standing Pilates and Full body Pilates units. I also started the legs unit but Murray woke and wasn't interested in sitting in his bouncy chair while I finished. Despite that, with my fit for motherhood tummy exercises, I reckon I did about 30 mins on Tuesday.
I hope to try and get out for another couple of walks. Hopefully tomorrow morning with my mate Wendy, weather permitting and at the weekend plus if I can I'll do another 30 mins of Pilates. Maybe I'll even get the legs finished if I do it at the weekend when Al is here!
Monday, August 2, 2010
While I was pregnant, my wonderful sister said she wanted to pay for baby and I to have a sacro-cranial therapy session post birth to make sure both of us were all aligned. My sister goes to this practitioner regularly and she specialises in mums and babies post birth. My sister had a really bad head accident years ago when we were skiing (well, skiing off a 21 foot cliff and landing head first onto rocks will do that to you) and so suffers with terrible headaches. When the headaches get too bad she is back to Fiona for a session and the headaches go until her body becomes out of whack again. Well with all my problems post birth, I wasn't able to go until Friday just past, and can I tell you, I could actually kiss the woman, I'm that grateful.
Let me re-wind to Wed/ Thurs. Now despite Murray being more settled on Thursday his feeding on me was just awful. It was such a stressful time for us both. He would be shaking his head and crying and choking and hurting me. I really thought I was going to have to resort to expressing my milk and feeding it from a bottle, but it was really upsetting me because I really wanted to breastfeed and when he did it right it was lovely but it was getting worse, not better.
Anyway, we went to our appointment on Friday - my pelvis was really tight - not surprising really and apparently Murray's neck was really tight on his left side. She said that he probably would have never been able to feed on the right because of that and his neck will have been getting progressively tighter and affecting his feeding on the left. She also said his bowels were a bit blocked too and loosened them off too. Now it could be that the infacol has kicked in and that is helping his gas, but when we got home and the health visitor came to help with latching on, I didn't need her help, he latched on perfectly and fed without taking in any air. Typical I thought, but it has continued from then on, and over the weekend, while Al was home, I re-tried my right breast as it looked like it had healed and lo and behold he is on and feeding like a wee gem - now admittedly I'm still doing rugby ball on the right, but I wanted to get it up and running and my confidence re-stored before trying anything new. I can't tell you how much more relaxed I am. All day Sat and all day Sun he has fed properly, every 3 hours and then last night after his last feed at about 9.30pm (that was formula as I had nothing left in my boobs) he slept through until 6.15am!!!!!!! Now I don't care so much about the sleeping through, I'm just so happy that feeding is an enjoyable experience for us both and although he does still get antsy when he needs to fill his nappy and does need burped mid and post feed, it is NOTHING like it was. To put it into perspective, Sat night I woke to a really sore tummy and to put it politely I had to go sleep downstairs in the spare room which has an ensuite so I could make it on time and didn't wake up Al and Murray. This continued throughout Sunday, but despite feeling pretty miffed that I had yet another bl##@y ailment I continued to enjoy feeding Murray! I don't know if I ate something dodgy or if Fiona's unblocking of my bowels too caused issues, either way I did not feel very well yesterday and I was able to cope - of course it helped that Al sent me to bed while Murray slept in the afternoon and both of us slept for 3 hours and I then slept last night from 10.30pm to when Murray woke at 6.15am - My first full night's sleep since before Murray was born. Fantastic. I don't want to jinx Murray's feeding, but I'm telling you, if there is a problem again, I'll be back again to Fiona for another session (over and above the one we have already booked in 2 weeks time as a follow up).
Nanna and Grancha
Yesterday, I had hoped to get to church and we would have been able to go as Murray had fed at 10am but because of my tummy it wasn't possible. Mum and Dad were going to come with us so they went still and came in for a wee visit after. Nanna has been around loads as she has been helping me out with all the appointments I've had last week, but Grancha hasn't been for a wee while. It was lovely actually as Murray was wide awake while they were here so they were able to enjoy him on the play mat and bouncy chair. His eyes are so much clearer and able to focus on so much more and I swear he is not far off being able to smile. Grancha was able to get a wee cuddle too just before Murray started winding himself up for wanting a feed. I love this pic of my dad and Murray.
Mum Nicholl texted to ask if we could send some more pics of Murray by email, so we thought we would photograph bath time last night. He is so cute at bath time, and he even seems to quite enjoy it now - well the warm water bit anyway.
I've just woken from a nap!
Clothes off and wrap you up in the towel
Wash you hair
Wash your Face
Dry Your hair
All Clean, Dry your body
All ready for my last feed and bed!