Sara’s prompt this week is a word I know all about: Reflection. At first I thought I’d write a post about my book, which entails a lot of reflecting back on my past experiences. When I sat down last night though, it dawned on me that the word Reflection actually sums up my week rather well. Although it pains me to write some of this, I need to get it out of my head.
I’ve written before about our eldest being a rather challenging child. Food intolerances, poor sleeping and bad behaviour have ruled our lives for the best part of two and a half years now. We’ve had some pretty desperate times, a particularly bad phase being when I posted this in September. Hubby and I put all the tips and advice we received to good use though, and I’m pleased to say we saw improvements. By the end of the Xmas holidays we were in a great place. 4yo was sleeping all the way through most nights and she and 2yo had never got on better. We thought we’d cracked it at long last.
Then along came her baby brother, and her ability to sleep and behave seems to have disappeared. She’s gone back to waking up most nights, and is getting up for the day at 5/5:30am. On Wednesday morning she screamed the house down at 5:10am because we tried to get her to go back to bed, thus waking the other two up. By 9am I had an inconsolable baby on my hands refusing to go sleep, and I couldn’t get him to settle until almost noon. As you can imagine the day was hard going, only to get a million times worse when she came home from school. Cue three hours of tantrums, picking on her little sister and ignoring me every time I tried to talk to her. And repeat on Thursday…
Fortunately school have been really helpful, and she now has a daily reward chart whereby they’ll highlight all the positives for myself/hubby and 4yo to talk about when she gets home. We also have a communication book so we can give the teachers the heads up if we’ve had a particularly bad night, etc. This is a fab idea, as it means they can have little chats with her throughout the day which we can then build on at home.
A child that gets enough sleep and is generally well behaved will more than likely be thrown off kilter by the arrival of a sibling, but with our girl it goes much deeper than the obvious. Right now it feels like she’s fully embracing every opportunity to do the wrong thing, and there is no reasoning with her when she’s this tired. It makes me too sad to see how selfish she is capable of being, and how utterly vile she treats her sister at times. On the flip side she can be super kind, caring and loving when she wants to be. She’s really bright, but channelling it in the wrong places. I think she feels that everything is on her terms, which is too much power for a child that isn’t even five to have.
We had been successful this year with a star chart and weekly reward of £1, but this will be the third week in a row that she has failed to get her stars and it’s clear the magic has been lost. We’ll be taking the chart away at the weekend, and starting the beans in a jar reward method instead. This idea is inspired – you let the child put a dried bean into a jar every time they do something worth praising, and take a bean out when they’re being naughty. Once the jar is full they get a treat of some description – read here for further details. I’m also going to get her retested by our allergy nurse, so we can rule out food being the underlying problem. This may sound like clutching at straws but her eczema has flared up recently, and that’s usually a tell tale sign of an allergic reaction. It could also be down to the stress she’s putting herself through daily with these awful tantrums though.
I’ve been reflecting a lot over what we have or haven’t done and how things need to change. Permanently. What we’ve been doing clearly isn’t working, and it’s time to find something that does work. So yes, the word reflection just about sums up my week!
As always, any advice from people that have been where I am would be really appreciated
Here in the UK we are fortunate in that many firms offer two weeks paid leave to the father after a new baby is born. Our boy arrived on a Friday, and my hubby had worked from home so the first day of his leave didn’t start until the Monday. Him going back to work on March 3rd seemed like light years away at the time, but those 18 days have whizzed by and here we are.
Our two weeks together as a family of five have been a mixed bag of emotions. Our eldest has fallen back into bad sleeping habits which has been tougher to contend with than the baby for the most part. Our 2yo has been heavily resisting her nap but still desperately needs it and is so tired. She’s a totally different kid to the one she usually is that sleeps well.
Our time together hasn’t been perfect, there have been cross words and tensions running high. There have been thoughts in my head that haven’t been entertained for years. We have all spent a big chunk of this past fortnight in survival mode. Luckily there have been some magic moments too, here are my favourites.
- the fab lunch we all enjoyed at a beautiful restaurant to celebrate our anniversary
- Hubby taking 4yo to the cinema to see Tinkerbell while I sat in a cafe feeding baby and reading as 2yo napped in her buggy
- Hubby taking 2yo swimming and seeing how excited she was about going
- watching the girls playing nicely at home in between the chaos before they started fighting (again!)
So as of today it is business as usual, except I now have a newbie to feed every couple of hours and care for in addition to everything else that needs doing, and everyone else that needs looking after. Right now on a few hours sleep, I’m wondering how I’m even going to manage to brush my teeth or have a shower today. Wish me luck! On the plus side I get to look at the gorgeous little fella above all day
Linking up to #MagicMoments over at http://theoliversmadhouse.co.uk
I’ve had a growth spurting newbie attached to me for the latter part of this week, so it seems fitting that the word to sum up my seven days is: Breastfeeding. I came across this post the other day about bf advocacy. It’s written really well, without too much emotion, and it made so much sense to me. It got me thinking about my own experiences of bf over the past five years, so I thought I’d share some insights.
If you are struggling ask for help. The day my milk came in for my eldest I was in agony, both physically and emotionally. My boobs were full to bursting and she was unable to attach. After her screaming at the breast for what seemed at the time like hours, and by sheer coincidence, the midwife popped in. She calmed me down, and talked me through the process of getting my baby latched on and staying on. She also gave us information on the local breastfeeding counselling services in the area. Hubby and I went to a drop in session the next day, and was given some invaluable advice. Without these two pieces of help, I have no idea if I would have managed to successfully bf first time round. I had similar issues with my second and third babies on the day my milk came in, but was able to put what I’d learnt first time to good use, and not get so upset and stressed out.
The first two weeks are the hardest, but things get much easier afterwards. Hopefully your partner, family members and/or friends will be around to support you through this time.
It only hurts when baby isn’t latched on correctly – if it’s painful take them off and start again. If you’re in constant pain then something isn’t right, and you could be at risk of contracting mastitis.
Every baby feeds differently, and chances are the last time you breastfed it was a toddler and not a tiny baby. I hadn’t thought of this, until the midwife pointed it out to me after my son was born. Made me think differently about my approach to feeding him.
Get comfortable. Poor posture while feeding can lead to all sorts of back, neck and shoulder problems later.
A full feed should take 20-30 mins, if baby is on one side for less time they are not getting to the good stuff. If they’re only having 5-10 mins from each breast, they’re only getting foremilk which will mean they’ll be hungry again in no time at all.
Planning is key if you have other children to consider - be organised and don’t get caught short. In order for hell not to break loose in my house on a daily basis I’ll need to feed baby directly before the school pick up. I’m hoping he naps afterwards, allowing me to get the girls’ tea sorted, then I can feed him again while they’re eating. All the while I’ll keep my fingers crossed for a happy baby while I get them down for the night. Hubby will usually only make it back from work in time to help with the ‘witching hour’ on a Friday, all other days I’m on my own so need to get this down to a fine art if I want to remain sane.
Eat well and eat lots – don’t even entertain thoughts of dieting. Exercise yes, cutting down on food NO!
Drink plenty of water. I have such a thirst when I’m breastfeeding, and nothing other than water even comes close to quenching it. Properly hydrating yourself is also essential to milk production.
Check out this post over at Suggy’s for a light hearted take on the bf benefits to be had
This is me giving birth less than two weeks ago. I was looked looked after superbly by a fabulous lady at the midwife-led Birthing Centre attached to my local hospital. My third birth was straight forward and quick. I arrived at 3:45pm 5cm dilated, and my son was born less than three hours later. He was only one day overdue, came out naturally, and I didn’t need any medical attention afterwards. My second baby came into the world in a similar fashion, in the very same room that I am in above. First time around was another story entirely…
We’d planned a home birth for 4yo, but after a five day early labour, and spending 12 hours in established labour, it became apparent that things were not going to plan. She was stuck and we needed to go to hospital. Fortunately I had a fantastically experienced community midwife with me throughout, and never once felt scared. She also insisted that I receive an epidural upon arrival (even though I was 9cm dilated) which gave me the chance to rest while they put me on the syntocinon drip. I was pushing for almost two hours, and my baby was delivered with forceps. I haemorrhaged quite badly afterwards, and was pretty much stitched from vagina to anus. 4yo was almost 9lb, and back to back explaining why she got stuck (I’m a mere 5’2″). Had the midwife not made the call to get to hospital when she did, who knows how things would have panned out for us both. What I do know is that we’re incredibly lucky to live where we do, and have access to the fantastic midwifery care that we have.
Every year 1 million babies around the world die on their first (and only) day of life. With the support of skilled midwives most of these lives could be saved. Please join me and sign Save the Children’s petition calling on David Cameron to ensure that by 2025 every baby is born with the life-saving support of a midwife. Together we can end the scandal of first day deaths.
Please share your own experiences of midwives and link up to highlight this campaign over at Thinly Spread.
If one word could sum up the week I’ve just had, it’d have to be: Whirlwind!
For me – on all three occasions – giving birth and the days that immediately followed have been exhausting, exhilarating and emotional! They’ve passed by in a hazy whirlwind of visitors, lack of sleep and running on empty.
This time around in addition to the above, we’ve also had to deal with some spectacular tantrums from 4yo, and general unwellness from 2yo. We attempted a day out on Weds, and although it started fairly well it ended in tears of epic proportions. Fortunately I’m not a fantasist, and was fully anticipating these early days to be *really* hard work. I find that being prepared for the worst puts me ahead of the game ever so slightly (as negative as that may sound).
I also have a strong suspicion that our boy has reflux. I won’t be making the same mistakes I did with 4yo though, and have already been putting my reflux knowledge to good use. Just hoping it doesn’t get too bad, and trying not to let my mind wander too far down roads that will do none of any good. That aside, our little dude is just gorgeous though. I can see how people get addicted to newborns
After posting this on Friday, which included a photo of my enormous (slightly overdue) belly, I promptly went into labour and gave birth to our beautiful Valentine’s babe early evening.
Thankfully Hubby was working from home as I woke up to mild contractions first thing. We didn’t want to get too excited as 4yo’s labour started the same way and lasted almost a week, but by early arvo I knew it was serious and action plan commenced. The girls went to my dear friends house for a sleepover, and she drove us to the hospital.
We got to the birthing centre at around 3:30pm, and our boy was out within three hours. Once again the midwives did a wonderful job and I felt completely confident in their capabilities. I was fortunate enough to not have any damage down below and after some sleep last night am feeling pretty good. I know the sheer exhaustion will hit me soon, and hard, but right now I’m enjoying the moment, and utter deliciousness of my brand new son.
We’re still in hospital, and there is more to this story, but I’ll have to share that another time. I just wanted to let you all know that he’s here, and say a huge thank you to each and every person that has tweeted or commented on my blog over the past few weeks wishing me positive birth vibes. Lady luck sure was looking out for me on Friday 😊