Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

To J – thanks.

Thursday, August 2nd, 2007

A friend told me today to go easy on myself. Or cut myself some slack, something like that. It transpires she’s wanted to say that for some time, but she’s not the interfering type. Not in the slightest.

And she’s damn right, it’s fine advice; reminded me in fact of the midwife in hospital that told me on day 3 no less to stop trying to be Superwoman. Shit. Slow learner… 6 months old they are now.

So anyway – you know who you are – you’ve made me think. Where’s the sense in putting life on hold until everything is perfect?

So thanks, I mean it. x

Lucky lucky me…

Thursday, August 2nd, 2007

I’m having yaki soba for tea. Oh yes. Miam… (Which is French for yum.) Lucky me. And it’s not a carryoot (which is Glaswegian for takeaway), it’s from MY kitchen, cooked by my very own handsome new resident chef.

What it is (as they say in Bristol), my wonderful boyfriend has suddenly decided he’s into cooking after all. (And in the way that men seem to do, has gone right out and spent a lot of money on equipment right at the outset of this new flirtation with the kitchen.) Only I sincerely hope it’s not a flirtation, and not because of the gleaming fifty pounds’ worth of rasor sharp new knife we now own, but because not only do I get to spend my time doing something else, I eat like a queen!

For the man to whom preparing food were akin to painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel; for someone who cooked me something fairly rotten by all accounts on our first meeting, this is a breakthrough indeed.

And as for my yaki soba, we had it last night too. Apparently it wasn’t perfect. He’s re-seasoned his wok 3 times today, and is making the same dish all over again. I proclaimed it utterly delicious the first time, so can only wonder at the standard of fare I’ll be served up tonight!

Masterchef? Bring it on!

On guilt and daytime sleep

Sunday, July 8th, 2007

My current hurdle (in case you thought I was sailing along, jollying about the place with two little impeccably behaved little angel babies) is sleep. Daytime sleep to be precise. I still haven’t fathomed why my precious young litter came home from prison the week after their birthday all sleepy and quiet, eating, sleeping, eating, sleeping (and being quite cute all rammed together in a tight squashy single carrycot, face into face most of the time) then suddenly 4 odd weeks later, WOKE UP! And haven’t slept since.

Well of course they have slept. Of course. But like the durbrain new mummy that I am, I have only just realised just how much sleep they actually need. And the answer is, blimin loads.

So while they were writhing around, shredding dummies (that noise – oink oink oink, furiously chewing, trying not to cry) wanting to be held the whole time (which I couldn’t manage; did my utmost, have a pile of redundant double carriers in every style), they were just utterly exhausted, and I didn’t get it!

Then all the efforts I did go to to get them to sleep, just for a bit (it was only ever for a bit); I seduced them with every womb imitating prop under the sun, as I missed each sleepy cue, and the whole crucial sleep window thing each twatting time. I’m ashamed to say that just a few weeks ago they were each taking their miniature little daytime naps in their own battery operated swing, sucking their little cheeks hollow on a dummy, or paci as they like to say in the US (don’t think we can get away with that), with various white noise machines playing a colourless harmony of nothing supposed in some way to imitate the sloshings of my amniotic fluid and pumping of my blood. How embarrassing.

Despite these tools however, they were rarely asleep for long, and seldom at the same time. My day was spent caring nonstop for (quite rightly) grumpy babies, and driving me round the bend. Caring for? No, just existing – we were all just existing, and they were probably longing as much as I was for the end of each trying day when we could all finally sleep. (Having had a bedtime routine established from six weeks, that bit was easy.)

Funnily enough (not really funny at all actually) such appalling days made the nights (up 3 times to feed, that is if they fed together, otherwise I’d expect 6 wakings on a good night) seem easy. And they were easy, because I knew what I was up against, and there was consistency. Yummy Mummydom, needless to say, has so far evaded me.

So anyway, not a moment too soon I made a fundamental shift in my approach, and set about restoring health, sanity and order under the rule of my cast iron routine, without which I would still by rocking, plugging, and white noising them to sleep.

I’d observed long enough to know just how long they were able to stay awake and read enough to have a good idea of the average 3 and a half month old infant’s sleep needs. Armed with figures I planned our day, and bloody well told them to get on with it. And to my amazement, they did! They seemed to accept quite willingly that I’m the one in charge, and did as they were told. I do admit to letting them cry just a little bit, well maybe a lot by some standards. (And then more guilt, and more tears: mine.)

In the first days of this ’sleep training’ as people like to call it, I felt a kind of permanent, low level background guilt for causing their pain, and for not stepping in to save them. But had I continued each time to step in and save them, they wouldn’t have learnt to fall asleep unaided, and the misery and fatigue would have continued.

Previously the whole focus of my day was to alleviate all pain, and sooth all crying, whilst a granny in each ear urged me to let them cry a bit (I wasn’t having any of it). I never did leave them to scream themselves into sad and lonely sleep, but regardless, I did find it painful at the start. However – my rational and unemotional side took charge, concluding that I hadn’t a choice – they need to sleep, and I needed to teach them how to get there. Simple as that. Actually, I was giving them the space to learn how to get there alone (with plenty of support and encouragement), a crucial skill if I’m to get any sleep.

So now, 3 weeks in, and the payoff is that they seem positively relieved when I prepare them for bed and put them in. We have a little song, some hypnotic words, and a very special cuddle. Not bad at all really, I reckon I’d quite enjoy being put to bed that way myself, if there are a pair of giant and willing arms out there anywhere? Mostly, they’re asleep within minutes. We do have tears at bedtime on occasions, but overall they are a million times happier. No, a googleillion. Really… And me too.

And suddenly, I have time once again to write.

Pinkpeglegs2 warns of baby swing addiction

Wednesday, May 30th, 2007

I’ve just secured myself a second battery operated baby swing via the marvelous eBay after the first proved itself such an indispensable calming device. And two calm babies vastly better than one I thought.

A quick glance on the web for reviews of the particular model on offer unearthed this gem. Rather than describe the various merits of the new contraption myself, I thought I’d leave it to pinkpeglegs2 to do so in her own very fine words…

Hi its me again with baby review
I am giving a review on the travel swing by graco
costing off good old eBay £45

This is a swing that you put your baby into it as lights 4 at the top green yellow blue orange all the colours that babies love,
there is music 15 songs, that is nice for the baby to listen to while there sleep, it as around 8 speeds to the swing but my goddaughter just likes the first speed .

It runs on 4x 1.5v battery ,I must say you do go threw a couple of them it depends on how mush you use it,

my goddaughter loves this ,she will not have her afternoon nap any where else only in her swing, but you can only put them in it up to 9m old or by weight , as it can tip over whit the moves from your baby .

I told my sister the other day I am a bit worried when she gets to big for it as she loves her swing, and it will be hard to get her to go to sleep with out it, but we will come to that bridge when we come to it,
it’s a bit like a dummy once they have had one its hard for them to get out of it,

but she loves her swing she sits in it watching cbeebies, then she falls off to sleep, when she not in her swing she plays up a bit so be careful buying this swing may be a good idea at the start, but I know there will be trouble to get her out of it,
when she is to big for it , as the other day the battery went, well she kicked off big time screamed the house down for a about a hour, until I sent someone up for batteries then she was fine, then she went to sleep good as gold , great idea to have them but not all the time., i am trying to just put her in it a few days a week not all the time to make it easyer on her when she gets to big
my sisters tells me i am worring to much as when she grows out of it she will be in to something else, i do see her point she will be older i was just worried i give it 7/10

Beautifully put Madam.

Yet more on br****feeding

Thursday, May 10th, 2007

Here’s a funny thing people say. Or at least I find it funny. And kind of British….

“Are you feeding them yourself?” As if somehow they’re afraid to utter a rude word out loud.

To which I feel like replying “Oh yes. With my breasts. MY BREASTS!” In a really loud voice, and hopefully in a busy public place.

Obviously I am a novelty feeding two with my very own you know whats…

Our preferred mode of transport…

Friday, April 20th, 2007

…bit like being pregnant again.

Twin Carrier

It’s just a gert bit of fabric, all wrapped round. Sweet…

Nappies

Friday, April 20th, 2007

How do they manage to fire it out, round the corner, and so far up the back that it reaches the neck? Explosive isn’t the word. Luckily it’s only happened once. Unfortunately I didn’t have the foresight to suggest daddy did  a nappy on that particular occasion.

I’m working on the development of a rectal evacuation device to assist mothers the word over. Should be a best seller.

It was a strip off, hose down, clean threads were donned, and we were back on track. She didn’t like it, but then nor did I.

Bad baby…

Two babies, two breasts – perfect…

Thursday, April 12th, 2007

We’ve nailed it!

Oh yes indeedy. There’s no looking back - I’ve put the Cow and Gate Organic firmly in its place (the larder, though the bin was calling) and sent the hired mint green milking machine back to the chemist (to be met by an astronomical bill: £80, have now bought myself one on eBay for £12, oops…) and we’re off, plugged in double-wise in front of the telly every time the girls lick their pretty 8 week old lips.

Being plugged firmly into my hungry pair feels far more satisfying than being sucked at by a pair of lifeless funnels on that machine I can tell you, and the ladies do love it. Oh yes.

For anyone else out there attempting the same? Don’t give up (unless you want to; that of course is completely allowed). And if you want some help? Email me. Text me. Call me. Come over, hell, move in… I’ve had so much help myself, I’m 100% willing and ready to give a load back. I mean that.

And this would be the point to mention (mention? Herald!) Sally Inch and Chloe Fisher at the John Radcliffe Hospital’s small but world class breastfeeding clinic. These are two of the most dedicated (yet underpaid) specialists in their field of infant feeding – a pair of amazing women I am truly privileged to have met, and certainly couldn’t have done without.

They willingly offered me two patient days of support, wisdom, excellent humour and homemade orange cake; having turned up a wreck believing myself possibly beyond repair I left a competent breastfeeder. I made a remarkable week’s progress in the space of each single day.

I’m very happy about all this. It was worth it. When they look in my eyes and give me two milky smiles at the end of a big fat feed, the struggle of the last eight weeks is a distant memory.

Bring on the next hurdle – I’m ready!

All about male lactation.

Wednesday, March 28th, 2007

Men can lactate. It’s true. Wikipedia said so. And what’s more, male lactation in humans has become more common in recent years they say.

So I was thinking… With the right amount of nipple stimulation and a little hormonal treatment, I could get Paul to help breastfeeding. Sure, men can’t produce as much milk as women, but enough for the odd night feed perhaps? I’ll just check with him….

…he’s not keen. Something about the lads at the gym.

Ah – says here that male to female transsexuals may also produce milk due to the hormones they take to reshape their bodies. And they would want more realistic, developed breasts wouldn’t they? That work, you know, tried and tested?

Brilliant – this could save my shredded nipples from disaster just in time. I’ll pop an ad in the village shop in the morning. ‘Wanted - M to F tranny wetnurse wanted for hungry twins.’ Could be a mutually beneficial arrangement methinks…

You could be forgiven for thinking that breastfeeding is on the up…

Tuesday, March 27th, 2007

…but you’d be wrong. Just as I thought I was cracking this breastfeeding lark, another ginormous spanner in the works.

The bad latch on incident (and now, I realise, many bad latch on incidents) has turned into a severely wounded nipple complete with blood blister and a dead patch on the end. A piece of skin is falling off it; I can no longer make it work. Actually it’s more that I can no longer stand the agony of subjecting it to my well meaning but vicious litter of terriers.

Here’s what I do – express on that side (yawn…) and nurse, as they like to say in America, on the other. Think about it… that means more bottles; I rotate the go on the breast, they take turns to chomp. So what happens next? Almost overnight, they:

FORGET HOW TO FEED!

Unbelievable. I offer them my delicious plump left mammary on Friday night, and they dutifully each open a cute little mouth, and… wait. And wait, and wait. For the milk to come. To be delivered onto each lazy princessly tongue I presume, for the little madams to delicately swallow at their leisure. Absolutely no sucking takes place whatsoever. In the space of 24 hours, they’ve totally forgotten it all! Girls, this is not how it’s done! You have to work for this dinner dammit!

A long story short: More tears from me (floods), then the WHOLE of Saturday spent re-learning basic nutritional survival skills, as per week one, only in the next size babygros. By Sunday we were starting to get back on track.

Now I’m juggling the delicate balance of nipple preservation, baby feeding skills practice, and adequate suckling to enhance milk production. Oh and adequate infant nutritional provision. But evidently that’s not been much of a problem – these monkeys are growing faster than Clifford the big red dog.

So the vicious cycle goes thus: I need to feed loads to keep them in training, avoid feeding to allow nipple repairs and then be sure to feed plenty to improve my supply. See? Tricky’s not the word. But rubbish is.

Anyway – that was that, but then there was this – yesterday morning my beautiful Rosa fed, and lying perfectly content on my chest, turned her head to me. With a cute sideways look gave me not one, but four of the biggest smiles her 6 week old mouth could manage. Amazing. Nipple pain? What nipple pain?!