Monthly Archives: December 2014

Ouch

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Mastitis. Sounds like some kind of made  up disease to put even the keenest of mothers-to-be off the concept of breastfeeding! Lying here in my second bath of the day, rattling with antibiotics and painkillers and the associated squirmy tummy to go with,  I don’t feel like a very happy chappy.

I’ve had blocked ducts before-a searing pain deep in the breast, red lumpy patches and feeling crap. Remedied by hot baths, massage, feeding from the painful side,  expressing,  “dangle feeds”(not advisable the day after a hefty workout) have all helped in the past but this is the first time I’ve felt like passing out with the pain and dizziness.  Blimey I’ve been blindsided by this one.

I spent the  morning in tears on the sofa. My toddler seems to know that I need him to feed more often and he’s more than happy to comply,  however his general “gymnurstics” and wiggling have led to most feeds ending in me crying. Turns out my racking sobs sound a bit like laughing and baby boy was very amused, giggling away whilst my tears fell on his head.

I really thought I could do this today though but after a mile walk to the shops and back I had to lie down which didn’t bode well. I rang 111 who were helpful and said I needed an appointment today so I waited for a call back from the doctors.  They summoned me in immediately (out of my bath) and I rather pathetically drove the half mile incapable of feeling I could walk it. 3 minute appointment later I had a prescription and by waiting in the pharmacy looking horrible I think my prescription got bumped to the front of the queue.

My little boy has been so lovely today. Luckily daddy was working at home this morning and then booked the afternoon off so he was able to give me a break or two when I needed. And baby D played really nicely with his toy cars most of the day. Hoping to squeeze a third lot of antibiotics in before bed in the hope I’ll wake up feeling better. I’ve got complicated catering to do for my family and want to enjoy their company!

Today I’ve been grateful for my husband,  my kind friends (even when I canceled on them last minute), the ladies on the “Breastfeeding older babies” Facebook group, my doctor and pharmacist, and the wonderful people behind the Kelly Mom website.

Knowing about antibiotic resistance had made me hesitant though. I’m always careful to finish a course of antibiotics as prescribed and would never request them if I didn’t think I needed them. But the thought of antibiotic resistance makes me nervous for the future. What will happen in years to come when as antibiotics become less effective? What happened in the past before antibiotics were invented? http://www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/ARC/Pages/AboutARC.aspx

Weirdly,  knowing everything that I do about breastfeeding-the challenges in the early days, teething,  marmite boobs after breakfast, sleep problems, blocked ducts and all I wouldn’t change this relationship for anything.

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December update!

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I have a feeling this is going to be a bitty one!

As of tomorrow I have a 15 month old (which seems ridiculous really). He’s running around like crazy, shouting and pointing, articulating a few words but understanding so much more. Even “Can you put the toy in your other hand so mummy can do your other sleeve?”. He likes to crash his toy cars saying “craaash”.

Baby (toddler?!) has been through a bit of a stressful clingy phase (which sounds actually quite normal when speaking to friends with similar age children) but he’s seemingly coming out of the other side, punctuated by a three day refusal to go to bed in the evening, regardless of daytime naps or any other factors! 11pm bed time (at least two hours later than MY preferred bed tim) three nights running with the first night involving very little sleep at all for the three of us, and all nights involving co-sleeping from the start. Teamed with a kitten scratching at the door from 5am, we weren’t our very cheery selves on Saturday. He’s feeding a huge amount at night still, which makes the potential to not be here in the evening (for whatever reason) rather impossible.

The weather has taken a turn towards proper winter from happily plus 10 celcius to minus three on Saturday morning and I’m still struggling to get baby’s layers right. I can’t get gloves with individual fingers on him, but mittens annoy him because he can’t pick things up or play with them. Think I should buy some nice warm tights to go under his clothes though as I worry about chilly legs when he’s walking or in the sling!

Been trying to think what Christmas pressies to buy for him and other small people we know, and I’ve been using the Let Toys Be Toys recommended retailers list.

Let Toys Be Toys is a parent led campaign to try to reduce the tired old gender stereotypes that are proliferated by some retailers, toy companies and publishers.

It’s something I’ve always felt very strongly about as a “tomboy” child, from a young age a feminist, and especially now as a parent. I find myself relieved that I didn’t have a girl because far apart from not being a “pink” person myself, I think girls in particular are marketed to in a really negative way. For example-selling separate sticker books for “Clever Boys” and “Beautiful Girls” further reinforces the sad stereotyping of women being only good for looking pretty. Selling medical fancy dress outfits that contain “Doctor kits for Boys” and “Nurse kits for Girls” sends out a powerful message about the expectations of girl’s future and career prospects. “Boys” toys turned pink and marketed towards girls, gives a strong impression that girls aren’t really welcome to play with trains/ toolkits/cars, and that they need some special kind of treatment. Even Lego- one of the toys I enjoyed playing with most as a child for hours on end with both my sister and my two half-brothers are now marketing pink “Girls” lego bricks. I certainly never had any issues with playing with boring old red/yellow/green/blue Lego (or should that be “Boys Lego”?)

I now volunteer for Let Toys Be Toys and it has opened my eyes even further to the whole issue- through the way the toy makers and publishers/ authors create a huge imaginary gender divide to suggest that girls and boys not only NEED separate things, but then the active promotion of this divide to ensure it’s upheld. I have spoken to some friends and family who don’t really understand why it matters, but if I want the world to be a better place, I feel it’s really important that my son grows up understanding that whilst yes, there are inevitably some differences between men and women, that children and adults can choose their own path. That even children are able to make some decisions for themselves- even if it’s just what kind of toy they want to play with. This is the 21st century. I don’t want my son to believe that women are good for nothing other than looking pretty and doing the housework, I need him to know that women can be whoever or whatever they want. As part of that I don’t want him to think that there’s any inherent weakness in being emotional, liking playing with dolls, wearing pink or anything that is sadly still considered “sissy” or “girly”. And If I can bring him up to be a well rounded individual who respects both men and women equally, and at the same time can help spread the message and get people to think, even if it’s just briefly, about the stereotypes in their mind that they project onto children, then I think it is important. Of course I should add the caveat that if your son loves football, dinosaurs and robots, whilst your daughter loves One Direction, sparkles, kittens and fairies- this is of course fine. However, the key factor is that these decisions are made by the individuals, through experiencing lots of different things. The current tag line being used by LTBT is “Tell them what it is, not who it’s for” which I think says it all.
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And a great blog post here about “What do Toys have to do with inequality”?

Not sure what else there is to say that’s baby related to I’ll leave it there for now! Hopefully some food for thought?