Keeping A BREAST with World Breastfeeding Week

So 1 – 7 August 2017 is World Breastfeeding Week.

It’s ironic as Troll, who is just over 6 months old, has decided to “wean” himself from my breast… When Troll was in utero, I decided that I would be happy if I could breastfeed for 6 months. Perhaps I would make it to 12 months. Who knew? I decided to set a realistic goal of 6 months. And true as shit, he weans himself at 6 months.

Also, I think his self-weaning was aided with me being sick for 4+ weeks, being on various medication. The turning point was last week though. I was put on a high dose of antibiotics and was given strict instruction NOT to breastfeed. Of course, I could express my milk but I would just have to throw it away.

If you breastfeed or have breastfed, you’ll know that that milk is “liquid gold”. I would cringe even if we just wasted a drop. Imagine my horror just throwing it down the drain.

As the situation currently stands, I have two bags of frozen breastmilk in the freezer. This is the last of my stock pile. I currently have very little milk left. I have tried to boost my supply and even taken the infamous jungle juice. But alas, my milk supply is drying up.

It is bittersweet. This is the end of my breastfeeding journey. I am OK with it. I have come to terms with it. I have NO intention to have any more babies. BUT it is also the start of a new chapter for us.

I am honoured that I had the opportunity to breastfeed my boys. As Troll is now eating solids, which I make fresh by the way, I would’ve liked to have kept breastfeeding for another 2-3 months. I feel that this would’ve prepped him for the world. It may have helped keep allergies at bay. Fingers crossed Troll has NO allergies.

Breastfeeding is NOT easy. Once you get the hang of it and your nipples are no longer cracked and/or bleeding from constantly being sucked on by a baby, you may actually enjoy breastfeeding. I also know of some people who find it the hardest thing to do. It’s stressful and yes your milk too can become stressed.

What I find even more ironic is that today is the last day of the World Breastfeeding Week. Today is also the day that I have set myself “free” from expressing and/or attempting to breastfeed again. Troll is happy and so am I. When I offered Troll my breast, he looked at me weirdly and just pushed it away. Now Troll happily just positions his head in between the warm squishy boobs, that once was his only source of nutrition.

Kudos to the moms who can breastfeed for extended periods.

Happy Monday…

Spirited Mama

Derailed and binge drinking

Not me…the baby…Troll is binge drinking. At first I thought it was growth spurts but it has become a daily occurrence and I guess this is just what he does. I really think I should just connect the tube from my breast pump directly from breast to Troll…

My plans are being DERAILED. Clearly I have forgotten how long it takes to get out of the house with a new baby. Just to get to PicknPay, which is literally across the road from our house, takes forever. I swear it’ll be quicker if I sent one of the dogs with a note and some cash to bring back the goods.

One Sunday I had a plan of action for the day. We would go to church, go to Checkers straight after the service because the toilet paper was on special. BabySoft hasn’t been R79.95 since forever. I wrote about our use of Toilet Paper here.

Then I wanted to stop at Woolworths because I have a gift voucher to pamper myself. And I had to change baby clothes because we had duplicates, a gift we received when I already bought the exact same outfit for Troll.

Well, this is how my plan of action actually went down:

We skipped Church because I just didn’t want to wake the sleeping baby. My 7 year old said “Mom you can just pray harder here at home.” Then my 7 year old took an eternity to get done. In between Troll kept feeding as if it was the end of the world. Me having a hissy fit because the 7 year old showers for an eternity and yet he is the first to preach that we should save water. Oh and then Dude, aka the husband, messages me that he needs to go to PicknPay after work but we should enjoy our outing. I responded that we were going nowhere slowly. At 11am I put Troll down for a nap. I hurriedly dust the bedrooms, get the eldest child dressed and ready for the day. I fold the clothes from the dryer and put the next load. I never hang the laundry. I tumble dry EVERYTHING. Even the ones that say DO NOT tumble dry. I take a quick shower. I nibble on some biltong because with a new baby you kinda forget to eat nevermind make a proper lunch. Then the 7 year old is calling for food. I waiting for Dude to get home from work, just to offer me a few minutes of respite. I look at the clock and think shit it’s only 12:35 but it feels like bedtime again.

Well that’s that. I ate some fruit and some yoghurt. I’ve learnt to stock up on food that you can snack on whilst breastfeeding or handling the baby…One-handed operations only. I never got to PicknPay, neither did I make it to Checkers or Woolworths. I sat down and realised shit I still wanted to go to Makro as well. What used to be a seamless operation now takes forever and a day, planning and coordinated movements…all just to get to the shops with two kids by my side.

I always pack two baby bags. One to take with us when we leave the house and an emergency backup if we need to rush out. My 7 year old always grabs snacks for the road, albeit just to PicknPay across the road. I kid you not. Dude will attest to that.

How do you manage with kid(s)? I only have two but some days it feels like I have twenty…

#thestruggleisreal

Spirited Mama

P.S. My 7 year old says “Mom if you don’t want to smell like the baby vomit just wash with water and soap and you can smell like you”. The honesty of this child sometimes…

 

The entire family admitted to hospital in the same week…

Ok so Troll, aka new baby, is not so new anymore. He is 4months old already. The pregnancy was not all smooth sailing as it was with Dudie. It was challenging and even more so for my spirited household. Cos you know, the wheels on the bus fall off when Mom aint around. Kudos to Dude who did his absolute best whilst I was in and out of hospital.

Here’s the background…throughout most of my pregnancy I noticed that my feet were swollen ALL the time. Whenever I went for the checkup, the gynaecologist always found traces of protein in my urine. I should mention that I am high risk for DVT too, but that is another story. Somewhere after 30weeks my Dr wanted more frequent check ups to monitor me. And it just so happened that we went on a roadtrip the week before my scheduled checkup. Well when we came home, I was admitted to hospital for observation. I can’t even remember the diagnosis. We had a lovely holiday period at home over Christmas but then I noticed that my left leg had been doubling in size…I went for a checkup and did the 24hour urine sample test. Well they rushed the results and I was admitted to hospital again. Diagnosis…Preeclampsia. Whoa! I was nervous and a little freaked out. I was not even 33 weeks and my Dr advised that Troll might have to be delivered soon. They started with steroid shots to boost his little lungs. Holy crap those shots burn like crazy. I was constantly being monitored. Me being me, I negotiated with the Dr. She said we will deliver at 35 weeks. I said no we can wait until 37 weeks. And during all this time, I had to stay in hospital whilst Dudie started Grade 2. What a hellavu long hospital stay that was. (Did you know you get a long stay menu in hospital? Best you ask for that menu cos the food is sooo much better.) And to top it all my condition remained stable whilst in hospital until I reached 36weeks. Dr was ready to deliver Troll but I knew I had to trust my gut. I just wasn’t ready. He wasn’t ready. After much persuasion from my side the Dr agreed to wait until 37 weeks. Well folks, I was in such good shape after those negotiations that I got a weekend pass to go home.

I managed to get pass the 37 week mark and again negotiated with my Dr to just wait until 38 weeks, unless of course it is an emergency… Dudie had a swimming gala the Monday from 11am. I reschuled my doctor’s appointment for 9am so that I would make it to the gala on time. Dude decided he needed to take me to the doctor himself and he even packed my hospital bag in the car 😳 I was not impressed with him because I was going to watch Dudie swim that day. That morning the Doctor politely informed me, after doing a stretch and sweep, that she is admitting me immediately and should Troll not make his appearance, she will induce labour on Tuesday morning. It is an understatement to say that neither the doctor nor Dude was impressed when I said that I was going to the gala and would check in at the hospital that afternoon. The doctor almost gave herself whiplash as I answered ” I will be back at 5pm” 😂. Dude was like hell no. I will bring her as soon as the gala is done. Let’s just say there is no point in arguing with me once I have made up my mind.

That settled it and off we went to the gala. Sadly, we missed Dudie’s first race which he won by the way. But my golly, I was so proud with tears streaming down my face, to see my 7year old compete and win all his races. He looked so small in comparison with the other kids. Dudie was so happy that we came. The headmaster alerted my husband that should we need to leave in case I go into labour we should just go. Dude announced to the headmaster, “oh don’t worry I’m taking her to the hospital after the gala. This baby is coming today or tomorrow”. The look on the headmaster’s face was priceless😂 And I’m pretty sure he, his staff and a few parents were freaking out on our behalf.

So Dudie got first prize in all his races. Now wasn’t that worth going for? To share that moment with him. Dude gave me the look “I think it’s time to go” but I went off to chat to Dudie’s new teacher and then found his previous teacher and chatted etc, etc, etc. When I got back to the car, my family were pacing up and down anxiously waiting for me so that we could leave. My husband was calmly sitting and waiting and just said I told them you will come when you are ready. (Oh forgot to mention that some family came to visit all the way from Cape Town and was hoping to still be around for the birth. But they were flying back to Cape Town that very Monday as well)

We came home. We had a late lunch. Everyone was gobbling their food except me😂 I was so not in a hurry to leave. Bags were loaded and off we set for the hospital. Take note, Dude still had to drive the family to the airport and make it back to Pretoria in peak hour traffic. Thankfully, we had my Great Aunt visiting, so Dudie, Great Aunt and I were dropped at the hospital. In the parking lot. Like a proper drop and go🤣🤣🤣. My Aunt and her daughters said their goodbyes and told Troll to please wait for Daddy before he came.

We got to the labour ward and the Nurse jumped off her chair telling me how panicked she was because they have been waiting for me all day. My dr called them in the morning and they had prepped my room and everything. Well here I was and I was ready to get the show on the road. Dude made it back to the hospital in record time but I knew nothing would happen that night. I told Dude, Great Aunt and Dudie to go home and relax. The hospital will call should Troll decide to come.

That Monday evening, Troll and I had a discussion. I was sick and tired of the to and fro from hospital. And I really didn’t want an emergency c-section. So I asked Troll to work with me. I was ready to meet him.

Tuesday

I woke up at 5am and had a lovely warm shower. The nurse was on point and at 6am my labour was induced. Dude arrived just before 7am. Dudie was happy as a pig in mud as he got the day off from school, just waiting for Dad to fetch him at home to come meet his baby brother. Well, things progressed very slowly. Albeit that I informed the hospital staff and my dr that when it’s happening it will be quick, seems no one really believed me. I walked and walked and walked and walked right up until 30minutes before Troll was born. I wasn’t in pain but I could feel my contractions. The nurse asked what pain relief I was going to use and I politely said “nothing”. She did a double take and asked me if I knew what an induction was and how it progresses. I said yes, Dudie was also induced and I birthed that 3.4kg monkey drug free. All. Natural. She smiled and said just remember you are allowed to change your mind.

At about 14h30 I could feel I was leaking amniotic fluid and the nurse then proceeded to break my waters for me. Holy crap!!! The contractions hit me like a bus in a head on collision. I could barely breathe. It was that intense. I went from 4cm dialtion to full dialtion in 30minutes. As the nurse stepped out of the room to get paperwork, I told Dude to call her as Troll was coming and I needed to push. She promptly turned back and said he is crowning. Just hold him in a little 😳😳😳😱🤔uhm, how do you suppose I hold this baby in my womb when everyone has been wanting him to be born. He is ready whether you like it or not. And he is on his way. The dr came running and made it just in time as my BODY birthed this boy by itself. I didn’t do anthing. I just went with it. My body knew exactly what to do. And thank goodness I was intune with myself.

The nurse announced Troll weighed 4.04kg. Both the dr and I checked the scale just to be sure. (We discussed his weight and estimated that he would be 3.5 or 3.7 kg. Definitely NOT 4kg.) But there he was my chubby Troll. Finally here to meet us. We were so happy and relieved that both mom and baby were in good health. The other nursing staff came rushing into my room to see what the fuss was about. They couldn’t believe that just 30minutes ago I was walking the passages and chatting to them and here lies my 4kg Troll, whom I had birthed drug free. What a story I have to tell Troll when he is older.

Dudie came to visit his baby brother later that afternoon. He was and still is such a proud big brother. He waited for his baby brother his whole life, his words. When it was time to say goodbye, tears were shed but I noticed he did not seem to be quite himself. Anyway, I put it down to not wanting to leave mom and baby.

On Wednesday morning 3am, I get a text from Dude saying Dudie is vomiting and he is bringing him to the ER. I said they should come to my room once they know what’s happening. Well they had Dudie on an IV and did blood tests. Around 8am, they showed up in my room. Dudie was sent home with medication and needed to rest. Dude sent me a text during the day saying Dudie is fine and they will visit in the late afternoon. They will pick up my last supplies from Baby City, as I didn’t get around to doing that before I was admitted again. At 4pm, I started to worry as they were on their way but just not showing up in my room. As I picked up my phone, I saw Dude’s text, “Dudie being admitted now. Got sick in the hospital parking lot”. Well here I was in the maternity ward, with a day old baby, and my 7year old was being admitted in ER. Thankfully, the paediatric ward is right next to the maternity ward. I fed Troll and wheeled him over to the nursery. The staff was asking questions about Dudie, as they became close with him during my extended hospital stay. They were expecting him. They were shocked when I said “well I’m off to the paediatric ward to go see Dudie now as he was admitted”.

Dudie had some bug that was dehydrating him at a rapid rate. They were doing all kinds of tests but it seems the hospital was just full of sick kids. I walked between the maternity ward and paediatric ward the entire evening until Dude got back from home with supplies for Dudie and himself. So I was in the maternity ward with Troll and Dude was in the Paediatic ward with Dudie. The entire Spirited family was in the hospital.

On Thursday, Troll and I were given the go ahead to be discharged. I visited Dudie and said goodbye as I was’t sure how long he would stay but promised to come visit in between. That Thursday evening, Dude sends me a text ” Hey, I wasn’t feeling well and am now admitted too. On an IV. Must have gotten the bug from Dudie”. Wtf. My entire family admitted to hospital in the same week. I was going to have a ball explaining this to the medical aid cos someone is bound to screw up the records.

Thank goodness, their hospital stays were short and they responded rapidly to treatment. They came home on Friday evening. The Spirited family reunited. As we know, it’s always darkest before we see the light. And believe me, my Dude and  I can attest to the fact that we always have the most amazing trials and tests before we live a happier life…Have you experienced this? Is this a way of making us more grateful for what we have/are receiving? I think so. Somehow, through all our tribulations we have kept our faith alive.

For us, living in a different province with NO family support, we have found a way to manage our lives effectively and to the best of our ability. We know that WE have to count on ourselves to make our lives work. It is hard at times but yet so rewarding too. Just thinking of all our family drama, I am a little thankful that we are a long way away from it all. Yes, we miss out on family gatherings but we have some really awesome friends. These friends are our family. We have formed a family unit with them. We support one another and love one another and fight just like any other family. You’d be surprised finding out that we are in fact not related…

So that is how my entire family was admitted to hospital in the same week. When I was consolidating the medical bills, because you know the Medical Aids ALWAYS short pay the damn accounts, the consultant was in shock because she had 4 different accounts. One for each one of us for the same hospital. For the same week. It was a first for her. I am so glad we could help educate her…

 

Spirited Mama

 

P.S. The labour and maternity ward was full the entire time that I was there…thankfully, Troll was healthy and didn’t need NICU. I feel for the moms who gave birth and had to be transferred to a different hospital because there just wasn’t enough beds available… In fact, the hospital was full everytime I was admitted.

Starting 2017 from my hospital bed

I’m amazed at how calm and accepting I am of my current situation, being hospitalised at #35weekspregnant. My doctor has been monitoring me closely, as I’ve had traces of protein in my urine since 29weeks of my pregnancy. I’ve had more than average swelling but my blood pressure has been stable. Just last week, on 1 January 2017 to be exact at 3am Dude and I were discussing the possibility of taking a drive to Durban just because… well We went to bed just after 4am and I woke up with a very strong conviction that I should stay close to my doctor as well as my hospital of choice. It was something that couldn’t be explained but I knew that I had to believe in my sixth sense.

Dude: Why you worried about who catches the baby, if he decides to come? There should be good doctors and hospitals in Durban. 

Me: Not wanting to sound rude but the next time you carry the baby/are pregnant we can take that drive. All I can think about is that horrid episode on Carte Blanche about the lack of service delivery in the hospitals on the N3….

We chilled at home, and I burnt myself to a crisp in the swimming pool. No amount of sunscreen of playing in the shade helped. I am still peeling, face, arms, shoulders, back etc….but it was sooo worth it. I don’t think I have swam this much when I was pregnant with Dudie, 7 years ago. And it helped that Dudie loved being in the pool with me.

The 2nd of January, I decided that we needed to get out of the house. I rallied the troops, even though I had no idea what we would do for the day. I eventually got them all out the house at 1pm. We headed out to Hartebeespoort dam for an ice-cream, cos man alive I was wishing for that bubblegum ice-cream at the Chameleon village. It was so worth the drive.

I ended up buying some lovely trinkets and just stuff because I was in the mood. We ended the afternoon with the most deliciously early supper at Woody’s family grill. Omg, my burger was to die for.img_0629

I went back to work on 4 January as I wanted to sort out the last couple of things in my office before I go on maternity leave. That first day was soooo incredibly hard. I managed to get through the 4 days. On route home on Friday, my doctor calls with some test results which we did the day before, and says “You need to be admitted ASAP”. Me, ok….I am on my way home now so let me get my bags and stuff and I will be at the hospital later.

Well thank goodness i had packed our hospital bags 2days prior, albeit not entirely complete but at least it was packed. I informed my family and we had a late lunch/very early supper at home one last time as a family of 3 + my Great Aunt. (thankfully she is still visiting and can assist Dude and Dudie with keeping our home fires burning).

I was admitted on Friday, 6 January. Diagnosis is Pre-eclampsia. This is all new to me, never had this before. But I’m taking it in my stride and doing what I need to do for this littlest member of of family to have a better chance at a quality life. My doctor has informed me that I will remain in hospital until the baby is born, as she is just not willing to take any chances. I am constantly bring monitored. I love the fact that we are on the same page, and in no way do I feel pressurised, as we want to wait as long as possible so that this boy can stay in utero a bit longer. For now our aim is to get to 37 weeks perhaps even 38, but thats more me than the dr….I guess that technically I am on leave now until Winter 2017 😁

I am sad that I will be missing Dudie’s first day of Gr.2 this week but Dude will be making his day special for him. Just the thought of being away from one another, we are a close Spirited family, rocked our boat a bit. 2-3weeks in hospital, them visiting everyday -thankfully the hospital allows a spouse and own kids to visit any time of the day. I can see my Dude and Dudie is tkaing strain but doing the best they can. They are very independent but I think its just knowing that we are not together at home which is taking its toll on them.

Last night Dude and I discussed how this situation is affecting Dudie. Even though he knows it is necessary for my and his brother’s health and well-being to be in hospital, we can see that it has affected his stability, his environment, his life. He even said that his brother shouldn’t come looking for attention, he should just sort hi,self out😂. Smart kid this one, baby listen to your brother…

I am on day 4 of my extended hospital stay. I won’t lie-it’s not easy just lying in this bed. But I’m being forced to take it easy and just rest for my and my baby’s well-being. From my previous post, Goodbye 2016, I decided that I was going to live my best life. Well if this is how I have to start off to get to my best life, so be it. I am ready and willing and able to bring my part.

Cheers for now from my hospital bed. Here’s to #roomservice

How’s your Monday?

Spirited Mama

P.S. I made Dude bring my hairdryer and GHD as I can at least look presentable whilst lying here 😂 Just need to get him to buy me some more pjamas as I really think I need some more right now. What would we do without modern technology. He video calls from home/shop so that I can decide what I need. Love this Dude.

 

Admitted…

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I know, I know, “life is what happens when you making other plans…John Lennon”.

I find it rather ironic that I am in hospital and my bag and the resident alien’s bag is no where near being packed. I can already hear Mamma telling me that as soon as I get home I’d better pack my bag as well as the resident alien’s bag.

Side note: Somewhere in my 8th month of pregnancy with Dudie, I was admitted to hospital. No bags packed. Nothing. As soon as I got home, Mamma made me pack our bags just in case.

Well currently I am #27weeks pregnant and was admitted yesterday. I can hear Mamma tell me to pack our bags already.

Guess what I will be doing when I get home. I need to get a hospital bag🤔🙄

And over the weekend Dude was saying that we still have loads of time before the baby arrives. Really? I think we all got a wake up call. We need to be prepared…

I am in private room in hospital. I am actually grateful because I think I need the solitude right now.

Spirited Mama

P.S. There is still so much that needs to be done. I am not quite ready yet….

Stop and play with the bubblewrap

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Sometimes we get so busy and forget to just enjoy our present situations and be grateful for our blessings. Dudie and I are in a foul space. We are constantly bickering and quite frankly I’m not sure why. I am concerned that it may have something to do with the impending arrival of the resident alien, who is due in 13 weeks. Could it be a result of him not wanting to share my attention? Could it be that I am talking about the baby more and more?

Dude started painting the baby room, we had a slight mishap read here if you missed it, but thankfully that is now fixed. Soon we will no longer be 3 but 4 humans in the Spirited household.

As much as it is an adjustment for the adults, I cannot even begin to imagine how my 7yr old must feel. Suddenly, there will be a cute, cuddly and sweet smelling person in our family ALL the time. Suddenly, he needs to share his mom and dad with a sibling. It must be rough.

I am hoping that Dudie and the resident alien will become bosom friends and that they will share a love and connection so strong that nothing and no one can ever break it.

As for now, it is finally Friday. It feels like this week has taken forever. I am tired and my feet are swollen, #27weekspregnant .

I received a package the other day but I will share that news another day. My Dudie was way more excited for the bubblewrap in the box. Even the dog got into playing with the bubblewrap. Dude wanted to throw the bubblewrap away and Dudie protested. As pictured above even the dog went to lie on the bubblewrap to keep Dude from throwing it away.

It’s the small things, like watching Dudie and the dog, find their joy in playing with bubblewrap that fills my soul. I too have a love for bubblewrap. Sometimes I need to remind myself that I NEED to slow down, not because #Iampregnant but because I will miss out on the best patts of life if I continue to rush through it.

Happy Friday!

Spirited Mama

P.S. We had a freak storm last night and again at 1am this morning.

P.P.S I am taking the morning off to feed my unborn baby butter biscuits and lie in bed, whilst Dudie is at school.

Paint me like a….

paint

So yesterday the Dude gets home and is now ready to paint the resident alien’s, aka new baby’s, room. Granted we bought paint a few weeks ago. We even have new paint for our bedroom. Baby room Plascon Double velvet – a soft powdery blue, our room Dulux Colours of the World – Soulful Kenya.

Dude starts painting whilst I’m starting dinner. Something nudges me to go check if the stuff is covered in the room. I get there….and I say as calm as possible uhm what are you doing?”

Granted when I have “that” calm voice you should run because that is when I actually want to use some profanity but I digress and keep calm. Ironically, Dude chose the paint for the baby room. I had a general idea of the color but he chose the final product.

What did he do? He painted the baby room with our paint, the Soulful Kenya colour. Thankfully it was only half of the one wall.

I walked away and laughed it off as I continued in the kitchen.

He did fix it. And now the resident alien’s room is looking very nice. He also started painting our room. I would say with touch ups and finishes here and there we should have two newly painted rooms before the end of this week.

I am excited because frankly a fresh coat of paint is like a whole new room all together. Now to get some decor for the baby room.

Yes, you may laugh out loud. I told you before these things really happen in Spiritville. I do not make these things up.

Spirited Mama

P.S. So the USA got TRUMPED! I am gobsmacked.