Breastfeeding anxieties – so confused what to do!

Can I cope with failure again?

With only 8 weeks to go until our due date I have started to worry about breastfeeding again.

Last time I was adamant that I would breastfeed and, at the time, was anti formula feeding. I understood the benefits of breastfeeding, health benefits and financial benefits, so I was absolutely gutted to find that M had no interest in breastfeeding (or bottle feeding for that matter but at least you can stick a bottle in her mouth to get her going). She would not latch on at all, even with a bottle she would not open her mouth for it but for the first month and a half I tried my best to get M to have as much breastmilk as possible.

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When we were in the hospital we did get some help from breastfeeding support workers but they seemed as stumped as we did about how to get M to latch. The midwifes didn’t have the time to help and forced us to bottle feed, telling us we would not get home if M wasn’t bottle fed. During this time one midwife did give us a breast-pump to use and we did but we were greeted with laughter when only 1ml was expressed after 30 minutes.

We went home having fed with a bottle and even then M was just taking 5-10mls a time. She just wasn’t a hungry baby.

When home we spoke to the midwife about breastfeeding and she said my milk would be delayed because I had had a c-section and because I was so unwell. Why had no-one at the hospital told me this? She did not help with breastfeeding but did book me an appointment with the breastfeeding support worker who was on holiday at the time.

In the week we were at home I tried where I could to breastfeed but I felt useless. How do you hold a baby on your boob? How do you get them to open their mouth? How do you get them to stop crying when you try? How do you stop crying when your baby refuses to latch on? It was just awful.

Then the support worker came and just said to me that I had two options: 1, I could keep trying but she did not think M would ever take to the breast and I could fall into depression and resent feeding or, 2, I could give a bottle and enjoy the time I have with my baby when she is small. This was the turning point for me. When an expert tells you that you should bottle feed and enjoy life. I am so glad she came even if she couldn’t help me.

I did express milk from a borrowed hospital grade breast pump for a month or so but even this became to much for me to cope with.

Fast forward another pregnancy and this time I just don’t know what to do. Of course I want the best start for my baby but can I hand the rejection of another baby who maybe won’t want to latch on? Can I cope with the feeling of devastation if I fail at breastfeeding once again?

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I want to try again with breastfeeding again but I think I am more anxious and worried about what will happen this time. I feel more awkward about how to position a baby on my breast. I am worried because I know just how upset I would get about breastfeeding when I tried, and failed, with M. I am also confused because this time around I know that formula feeding is not the evil that I had thought it was last time.

31 weeks pregnant

Blood pressure, sickness and tiredness

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It has been a while since I did a pregnancy update. I have been too tired, too busy or just too unwell to write much but I have finally found some time to sit down and write a wee update.

The last update I did was when I was 25 weeks pregnant, oops didn’t realise it had been that long!, and in that time we have had a good few midwife appointments.

At the 28 week appointment with the midwife it was found that my blood pressure was raised (140/80) although the student first got it to be 140/100, so I have now been asked to come in for blood pressure checks every two weeks. At that appointment I has had protein in my urine so it was looking like pre-eclampsia could be rearing it’s ugly head! They also found I had a urine infection so all in all the 28 week appointment as a bit of a disaster.

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Fast forward a couple of weeks and I had a blood pressure appointment at 30 weeks and thankfully my blood pressure has gone down (118/78) so that is positive and my urine was also clear so I am hoping that the high blood pressure at 28 weeks was a blip (on the way to the appointment M feel and really banged her head on the carpark which made me feel sick from the sound so it could have been that).

As well as having a urine infection, which I did not really notice I had and would not have known if the midwife had not phoned to ask if I had any symptoms (a week after the urine test), I have had a stomach bug which really made me feel miserable. Thankfully that passed after a couple of days and now I feel so much better.

That said with nine weeks to go I will admit I am now getting very tired and very ready to meet this little one!

What vegetable are you?

At 31 weeks I am now carrying a coconut and baby now weights over 3lbs (3lb 3oz approximately) and is now around 41cm long! Not much more growing left now.

Swelling?

With my raised blood pressure and protein in my urine at 28 weeks I had fully expected swelling to be all the range right now but strangely I am STILL wearing my wedding rings!!! Even if I had to take them off tomorrow I would be so happy to have just been able to wear them this long. Last time we are sure I had taken them off before the 20 weeks scan (using every method known to man to try and get them off without chopping off my fingers).

Symptoms?

 

Heartburn. Need a say more. Awful, dreadful, painful heartburn.

My ribs have been pretty sore for about a month now but they do seem to be easing a bit and are certainly now as bad as when I had rib flare when I was pregnant with M.

Baby update

At 31 weeks Button will be gaining weight by growing body fat. Button’s skin will also be becoming less red and more pink in colour.

His or her iris’ can now dilate  in response to light changes.

At this stage in development baby is having longer sleeping periods which would explain why I don’t feel it move for longer periods of time (which Button then makes up for later when he or she awakens!).

99 days to go!

99 days seems so much closer than 100!

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So today marks a huge milestone in the countdown to becoming a mum for the second time as it marks 99 days until my due date.

Realistically I realise that chances are we will go overdue and this number is lower than the actual days until I meet Button but I do love the fact that we are into double figures.

In around 99 days we will find out if we are having a son or another daughter.

In around 99 days we will have to seriously work out what we are going to name our newest child.

In around 99 days we will go back to night feeds and tiredness (unless Button is as good as M was).

In around 99 days I will be a mummy of two.

In around 99 days we will be a family of four.

I know now that we are into double figures the time will just fly by and we may have to eventually become more prepared than we are now – we only have one vest and grow bought. Luckily will will have some unisex bits and bobs to reuse from when we had M so we juts need to get the stuff out of the loft an washed.

All big items are going to be reused from M so we just need to get a moses basket mattress and a hammock mattress (which I only just thought about now). Never mind I doubt it will take 99 days to get those!

We are planning a VBAC!!!!!

Go ahead given for VBAC

Last week I had an appointment with the consultant to discuss our birth options as a result of having a c-section with M.

I didn’t really need to discuss this with anyone as I wanted a VBAC and have done since I had M but we had to go along – I will admit that I Was so nervous about this and have been dreading the appointment since we fell pregnant.

What is a VBAC? 

A VBAC is a Vaginal Birth After Caesarean section and is something I have longed for since the minute I had M.

Well first thing I can say is that the appointment went fantastically and all the fears I had (that I was going to be called fat, lectured about weight etc) were stupid as never once did the consultant even bring up my weight. She was easy to talk to and made me feel so relaxed. We both agreed that VBAC was the preferred option for us so I think that helped.imgp5289.jpg

We were given a 60-70% chance of having a VBAC which is slightly lower than some due to never getting into labour with M and not dilating at all despite being on the hormone drip. She did say that nationally around 25% of birth were sections so that means I only have a slightly lower chance of a normal birth than most mums.

Since we have only have the one section I was told that the risk of anything going wrong was really low and that I had as many risks as a first time mum giving birth. This put my mind at ease as I was worried about rupture etc.

The only thing I was upset about but knew it was the only option for me was that I have to have my baby in the consultant ward rather than a midwife led unit but I will not argue with that as all I want is a baby at the end of the day.

So I have been handed back into the care of the midwife – no extra appointments if the consultant unless I am overdue and even then I might not have to see the consultant unless she thinks it is necessary.

Having said all this I think I have it in my head that I will end up having another emergency section but I would rather at least aim for a VBAC. I could not see any real benefits, to me, about choosing a planned sections other than knowing what day baby would be delivered.

Now I just have to hope my blood pressure does not rise (it was low at my last appointment – probably the lowest it has ever been when I have been to the midwife, ever).

The count own is well and truly on!

25 weeks pregnant

25 weeks update – only 15 weeks to go.

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Here we are, writing yet another pregnancy update, and getting my head round the fact that I am 25 weeks pregnant already.

At times I feel like I have ages to go until we are due (15 weeks, or 12 until we are full term) but at the same time I feel like it was just yesterday that we thought about trying for another baby.

What vegetable are you?

At 25 weeks Button has now grown to be the size of a swede (or as we call them here turnips) around 34 cm in length and 1.5lb in weight!

Swelling?

Still none! Can you believe it! I am so happy so far. By 20 weeks I had to, forcibly, take off my wedding rings (so sad when I had only been married for 12 weeks by then) but this time round my rings are still loose and I am constantly playing with them. I don’t thin my feet have changed size yet either.

Symptoms?

Nothing new has occurred since my previous post – boobs hurt, heartburn, faintness, tiredness etc.

I am starting to feel huge and fat at the moment. More fat than pregnant to be honest.

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Baby update

At 25 weeks Button is moving about so much but cheekily stops moving them minute my hubby or I try to feel the kicks from the outside. Yes we have felt it but it just seems to sense that mummy or daddy are wanting to feel kicks and it stops. Dash.

This week Button’s body a parts are continuing to grow in proportion to each other and his or her body is filling up with body fat.

Hair continues to grow and is starting to develop texture and colour (oh what colour is your hair going to be little one?).

Capillaries are developing and filling with blood and by the end of this week air sacs will develop in Button’s lungs.

Button’s nostrils are also preparing themselves for the outside word and are starting to open. The vocal chairs are also getting ready to be used too!

24 weeks pregnant – we are viable!

Only 16 weeks to go!
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At last we have hit the huge milestone of having a viable pregnancy.
Between weeks 23 and 24 a baby’s chances of survival increases about 3-4% a day which is amazing news! Even better news is that at 24 weeks our baby as up to a 70% chance of survival compared having only an up to 35% chance of survival just a week ago!
IMG_4409-1.jpgSince we hit 20 weeks I feel like the weeks are just flying by, which is amazing, and I am starting to think about having two children under two years (still sounds odd!).

Now we have 16 weeks to choose a name for Button which is proving difficult as we have neither a boys name or a girls name despite reading through entire naming books. I suppose a name will come to us at some point but it is becoming an bit alarming that we have no ideas at all. Unlike last time we really have no ideas, not even names that one of
us likes and the other doesn’t, we honestly just don’t like anything enough to consider it as a name we would want to give our child. How do you come up with a name that you love enough?

Had my 24 week appointment with the midwife this week and so far so good! My blood pressure is low which is amazing and I just hope it stays like this throughout the rest of the pregnancy.

  

What vegetable are you?

At 24 weeks Button has now grown into a beautiful sweetcorn, measuring 31.5cm long and weighing in at around 600g which is amazing.

Swelling?

The heat does make my fingers swell but they would do that whether I was pregnant or not, I do still have my rings on which is definitely longer than last pregnancy,however I would have been pregnant during summer and so the heat would have been a problem sooner than at the moment. Shoes are still fitting (which is no wonder as my feet have no gone down to a size 4 from size 5 which I was pre-pregancy with M).

Symptoms?

Boobs are so sore. Looks like I won’t be getting any reprieve from this, though I am sure they hurt until the third trimester with M so maybe it will be the same this time round.

Tiredness, heartburn and headaches have also been regular symptoms this week and I am getting a touch of rib pain although not as bad as with M.

I do feel I am beginning to waddle a bit but that tends to happen when I am tired and have pelvic pains.

Baby update

At 24 weeks Button is kicking so much and even with anterior placenta I am feeling him or her so often which is great. What is not so great is that I usually feel Button the most when I am shattered and really wanting to sleep. Beggars can’t be choosers though an I would much rather enjoy feeling Button than not feeling him or her.

At the midwife on Wednesday, when I was 24 weeks exactly, I measure just over 24 weeks so growth appears to be in track.

Button’s respiratory system is now developing well. The lungs move amniotic fluid in and out in preparation of breathing although all oxygen still comes from the placenta.

Button’s face is almost fully formed (aaah I can’t wait to see what it looks like), with hair, eyebrows and eyelashes. Cute! Although the colour of his or her hair is a secret to us, the hair on Button’s head will currently be white as there is no pigment yet.

 

 

Which? Birth Choice – making having a baby easier

Informing you about your birth options

When you fall pregnant it seems a long time until you have to think about the birth but it is something that you should take time to consider seriously.

Some people have set ideas on what they want for a birth and others are a little easier going but at the end of the day where you are to have your baby has to be decided at some point.

To help make a choice about where you want to have your baby a little easier, and to give you a list of available options to you the Which? Birth Choice website is available to all expectant parents.

The website provides a Birth Choice tool which can help you decide where you want to give birth and gives you a list of local options available to you by answering a few simple questions about your wishes and desires.

The website also provides information about all the options that are available and what the differences between all the options are.

If you are unsure about having a home birth, a birth centre birth or a hospital birth, the site lists the pros and cons of each option.

As well as giving you help on where you want to give birth the site also features easy to understand information about the different options you have once you are in labour – do you want a water birth? what pain relief is available to you? who will be there to help you when in labour?

Once you have decided what birth you want you are going to have to pack a bag to help make things a bit easier for you when the times comes to bring your baby into the world – it does not matter where you are having your baby, even if you are staying at home, it is best to have things packed and at hand so you are ready when your contractions kick in.

I was lucky to be given three boxes from Which? to help prepare me for birth – a hospital box, birth centre box and home birth box, containing a few helpful items that would be useful for each eventuality.

Hospital birth box:

A large number of people have their baby in a hospital for various different reasons. For us it was because I needed medical intervention but a hospital birth provides a midwife-led birth but has medical facilities available if needed.

This is the box I will most probably be using with my next baby due to a previous caesarean section (although I will be asking if I can plan for a birth centre birth at the hospital so if things go wrong I am right next to the labour suite).

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Lip balm: I never packed this when I went into hospital with M, even though I had read people saying they had packed in theirs, and it is something I wish I had packed. We had M in February and the warm was so hot. The midwives said it was the hottest they had ever felt it but that the heating was controlled in London and not Dundee! I can’t vouch for it as I never managed to get into labour but I have heard that labour can make your lips dry too.

Flip flops: OMG I was so upset that I had not packed these when I gave birth to M. The ida of standing in the hospital showers with bare feet made me feel so unwell. I put a towel down before I went in but flip flops would have been the best thing ever! They will be one of the first things I pack when I get my hospital back ready in a few months.

Fan: As I said before the ward was hot, too hot, so hot and I also had a fever. What a bad combination! Add to this the fact there were not enough fans to go around (only one person in our bay of four was given a fan and it wasn’t the fevered lil old me!) having a fan with you is ideal.

Phone charger: When you are in the hospital you will use your phone, a lot. Even in wards that have signs up to say not to use mobiles you will probably find that the midwives don’t mind you using them (that was certainly the case with us). Because of this you will need to pack a charger or you won’t get to take a 1000 pictures a day that you will if you have charge in your phone’s battery.

iTunes giftcard: During labour or even after there will be times that listening to music or watching a film will be needed to help pass time. Also you prob won’t be able to sleep at night so maybe download a book or two to keep you going through the long days and night – your baby will sleep but you won’t.

Water bottle: Hospital wards can be hot places so having a water bottle handy beside your bed is a great idea. We had a jug if water when we had M but I think I would have preferred to have a water bottle as it is handier and more portable. This one, the Brita Fill&Go, filters the water too which is great. I would also recommend taking in diluting juice if water is not your thing as buying juice can get expensive!

Snacks: You will get hungry and if you are allowed to eat during labour I would recommend it. I wasn’t allowed food so had to wait 18 hours for something to eat but boy was the hospital toast the best toast/food I have ever tasted! We got toast at 7am and then didn’t get anything until mid afternoon! Also when you are on the ward you might end up being the last served for every meal and not get a choice of what you get to eat – we didn’t get a menu to pick and everything tasty had been dished out before they got to our bay – so you might need some snacks to keep you going after the birth too.

Eye mask and ear plugs: Hospitals can be bright and noisy places so this can be an essential for some ladies to allow you to get some rest.

 

Birth centre box:

Many mums choose to have a baby in a midwife-led unit, which can provide a smaller place to have birth in a relaxed and homely unit. This is an option for women with low-risk of complications but some do have options for more high risk ladies so remember to ask.

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Dressing gown: Being comfortable is essential so having a nice comfy dressing gown packed in your bag is a great idea.

Hot water bottle: Trying to help ease pain in a natural way can be helped with the use of heat so a hot water bottle ay help ease the pain of labour a bit.

Hair bobbles: Hair can get annoying so tie it back. I will be packing these in my hospital bag for after the birth too because after you have a baby styling your hair is not a top priority.

Slippers: Getting up and having a walk is great to help you through about and also to help you recover afterwards. Again I will pack these in my hospital bag because I found walking after the c-section was the best thing I could ever have done and squeezing swollen feet into shoes was not the best thing.

Water spray: Water sprays can help refresh you and cool you down instantly so having handy spray with you can help make you feel a bit more comfortable. This would be great in any birth bag.

Home birth box:

Having a home birth is the top option for a growing number of women and is where the midwife comes to your home to allow you to have a relaxed birth in familiar surroundings.

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Baby blanket: Having a nice soft blanket is essential for your little one. They have just come out of the most comfortable and warm home and so having a lovely blanket that is soft and warm is so needed.

Birthing ball: Getting comfortable can be a hard task but many people find the birthing ball the comfiest way to sit. It can also help in the run up to having a baby with helping to get baby into position.

Waterproof sheet: Having a baby can be a messy affair this this sheet is great to help protect your bed from stains (which I had had this when my waters went!).

Aromatherapy candle, spray and body lotion: Smelly lotions and potions are great ways to help you relax and so finding a scent of your choice is a great way to help you relax and unwind.

Find out more and get informed

To find out more about your birth options and to take the simple and quick birth choice quiz visit the Which? Birth Choice website.