Fertility, First time Mum, Mental health, Parent

I am Woman hear me roar!

I am Women by Helen Reddy came on the radio today and it actually brought a tear to my eye. Not because I feel persecuted as a women, far from it. I feel lucky to have been born into a family, in a time, in a country that celebrates women and sees them as equals. It did make me realise, however, what came before me and what is still happening in other parts of the world. The fact that I got emotional about it made me think about my own mental health. It was the second song I had cried at today and since having Samuel I am definitely more emotional in terms of crying at daft things.

People who know me will say that I’m a positive person. I could put a positive spin on the worst case scenario. At work I am known for being laid back and the one that doesn’t let anything phase her. However 4 years of trying and failing to conceive definitely took its toll mentally as well as physically. In that time I had some horrendous panic attack’s and every month my period arrived would leave me devastated. When I was on fertility tablets I was in so much pain that I would lay awake at night sobbing and that definitely had an impact on how I felt. When you have no control over what is happening to you it can leave you feeling incapable. I hid it well. Put on a brave face.

If anyone who knows me is reading this don’t worry I’m all good. Samuel definitely made everything I went through worth it. I would do a thousand times over for him. I just wanted to highlight that sometimes people who look okay are not okay and that we all deal with what life throws at us in completely different ways.

Breastfeeding, Child development, Fertility, First time Mum, food, Parent, Weaning

National Breastfeeding Week

As it is national breastfeeding week I wanted to share my breastfeeding journey so here goes.
I always knew I wanted to try and breastfeed but I also knew that it might not work for me and I was happy to just see what happened. If my baby needed to have formula instead then that is what would happen. Fed is best after all. I even had bottles and a perfect prep machine just in case. 

Let me start at the beginning. When Samuel was born he was placed on my chest for that first skin to skin cuddle. Like all mums, I’m sure, who had just experienced labour I was in a bit of a daze and to be honest those first moments are still a bit of a blur. Samuel was then taken to be checked over and then placed back on me. The midwife suggested that I encourage him to latch on and feed. Before Samuel was born the midwife had asked if I wanted to breastfeed. At no point did I feel pressured to do so. You hear stories about how newborn babies move up their mothers chests and latch on by themselves and that’s exactly what Samuel did. He just knew what he was doing straight away. Within minutes we had established breastfeeding and it just felt so natural. 
Samuel was born at 12:01am and at 6:30am of that same morning we were sat at home on our sofa with Samuel still feeding like a pro. The next day a feeding consultant came to see how we were getting on and to be honest it seemed like the easiest thing in the world. Two days later Samuels weight was checked and he had actually gained. After 4 years of struggling to conceive I felt like my body was finally doing something right. 
When Samuel was about 3 weeks old I expressed my first bottle and Samuel happily took it. However expressing is not something I have done a lot of. From about 4 months old Samuel took a formula bottle and if I ever needed to leave him he would just have the formula. 
Thankfully I have never suffered with any of the pain associated with breastfeeding. Even at the beginning I didn’t get the engorgement people talk about and other than the odd leak through my top it has been pretty plain sailing (touch wood). 
Now Samuel is on solids and has extra formula bottles he breastfeeds less. We are down to morning and night feeds and the occasional afternoon one but it is still working for us. I go back to work in just over a week and it will just be those morning and night feeds that continue. Samuel also turns 1 in 6 weeks time and after that who knows. I don’t have a plan. We will continue to do what works for us and what we feel comfortable with.