Bon Jovi

We booked our tickets for Bon Jovi in October last year. I couldn’t believe it when the day rolled around. It just seemed to happen so fast. PrincessIce was still swimming in my tummy when we decided we would go!

This would also be the first time I left Rudi alone with both kids. I had pumped breast milk for the occasion and had a special bag of frozen breast milk marked “Bon Jovi” in the freezer. Rudi was briefed on how to feed. From the day before the concert I started developing separation anxiety about being away from PrincessIce for so long. I was tearful and in two minds about going, but I sucked it up.

Sanita came to fetch me. We waited together for Rudi to get home from work. I was sure I was going to cry as we left, but somehow we became so hurried I was out the door in a flurry and the tears didn’t come. Perhaps I had cried them out during the day. We went to pick up Sanita’s husband and were then off to fetch their friends that were joining us.

Of course the buses would be on strike the only time I ever decide to attend a concert, so we would have to hoof it from wherever we parked. Our employer has a building in the CBD so Sanita arranged parking there. We assumed the waterfront would already be full by the time we got there. Traffic into town was a bit of a drag, but it didn’t take too long for us to get to our parking spot. I dreaded the walk, but luckily I was wearing comfortable shoes (thanks Sanita) and made it to the stadium without passing out. We were definitely not alone making our way to the concert, but there weren’t as many people as I was expecting on the streets. Arriving at the venue the girls decided to use the loo. There were about 8 portable toilets outside and after attempting two I decided I would rather wait till we were inside. The queues to get inside moved swiftly. My boobs were briefly felt up before my ticket was scanned and in we went. Inside there were LOADS of clean, well lit toilets. I was really happy I had waited! Again here the queues moved really fast! I was quite impressed with the facilities and the organization of getting in and out of the stadium. We made such good time walking to the venue that we had over an hour before the concert started. We bought some really over priced snacks from the vendors walking around while we waited. At first I thought I had no signal at the stadium, but was rather impressed to see the 4G symbol on my phone for the first time after having my phone out of my pocket for a while. I was messaging Rudi and was dismayed to find out he had already used half the milk I left for them before the concert even started! He seemed to be doing OK otherwise though and by the time the show started I wasn’t worried and could enjoy myself.

The band played quite a few songs I didn’t know, including the first two singles from their latest album. Thankfully they also played their old stuff, which had me on my feet screaming singing along. Hearing ‘Bed of roses’ live was surreal! I also really enjoyed their performance of ‘Bad Medicine’. I must say I really missed Rudi while they were singing the really romantic songs and I was sad he wasn’t there. At some point he said ‘I might not be as cute as Justin Bieber or be able to dance like Justin Timberlake, but I’ve been around longer than both of them put together’. Then they said goodnight and the stage went dark. People started to leave. After a few minutes they came back on and started singing again. After almost every song they said goodbye/thank you/goodnight and eventually we also started walking away, confused about when it was over. At that point they hadn’t done ‘Living on a prayer’ or ‘Always’ and I was a bit disappointed. The show went on while we were walking away and eventually Sanita and I went back to watch the aforementioned songs, but we were standing behind other people who had done the same. That sucked a bit, but by the end of the night I had heard all the songs I wanted to, although I’m sure ‘Always’ would of been super special if I was still in my seat.

We started heading back to the car and somehow deviated from the main route and ended up boxed into a parking lot of sorts with no way out but to backtrack. Instead of doing that the boys decided we should just scale a fence. Yup. We climbed over a wall/fence. Or rather the guys dragged the girls over it. I haven’t don’t that since I was a teenager! I’m really getting too old for these kind of shenanigans. After a long walk on a dark road we finally got back to the main road through the waterfront and stopped for coffee. It was really lovely, but we didn’t pause long before departing for the car again.

Here are some of the pictures I took (We sat in the first few rows of seated tickets behind the general standing tickets):


Filling up


Bon Jovi


The crowd goes wild

By the time I got home shortly after 1 AM I thought my boobs were going to explode and I was grateful PrincessIce was awake to offer me some relief. She had just woken up and they even had some milk left over! It took me quite a few feeds to get rid of the pain. My legs were sore for about 3 days after from the walking. I really should get back to gym!

All in all it was a great experience and I’m really glad I went.

Breastfeeding 4 months in

We have successfully breastfed for 4 months. Yay us! 4 months is also where we go for our second check up at the paed and this is where I thought our breastfeeding journey would start drawing to a close.

For about two weeks before the appointment I was agonizing over it. PrincessIce is a small baby. She was born at a fairly average weight, but her weight never really took off from there. It has slowly and steadily increased and she is following the curve on the growth chart, she just isn’t winning any races. She is still wearing her 0 -3 months baby clothes. I am enjoying the breastfeeding and the bonding with her, so the thought of it all being over was saddening.

I was certain the pediatrician was going to ask us to supplement with formula to get her weight up. I decided that we would rather take up mixed feeding so that we could still breastfeed. She could get formula during the day from the day mother and breast milk at night and on weekends. I do know, however, that the introduction of formula can spell disaster for breastfeeding for some. Babies get lazy to drink from the breast or start preferring the bottle, so I was nervous about this too.

On the day of her paediatric appointment I was calm. It wasn’t the end of the world. We had managed 4 months of exclusive breastfeeding and that was something I could be proud of. I was also steeling myself as I feared I might burst into tears in the pediatrician’s office when he confirmed my feelings of inadequacy. I decided not to raise the subject and take my cues from him. I undressed her in the office, he checked her height, head circumference, eyes, hips, tummy, arms, if she could hold her head up and almost as an afterthought plopped her on the scale. He said “I weigh 5.6 mommy and daddy” and returned to his desk while I redressed her. He sat making notes and then said we can go. I was a little shocked. I asked about when to start her on solids as we had started Babyice at 4 months, but I couldn’t imagine doing so with her for some reason. He recommended waiting till she is 6 months. I asked if we should just continue breastfeeding and he said “Definitely!”. I couldn’t believe it! He showed me her chart and said everything is perfect.  So after all that worrying, everything is great. We may have gotten off to a rocky start, but it seems things have settled nicely and everyone is happy.

This does mean I have a lot of breast pumping in my future, at work to boot. I already loathe it, but it’s a sacrifice I am willing to make. My goal at the moment is 6 months exclusive breastfeeding and I’ll play it by ear from there. I’m just so happy that it is up to me and PrincessIce in the end.


My cutie pie

Separation Anxiety

I’m having it. With T minus two months before I have to return to work I am starting to panic a little.

PrincessIce and I have been bonded since her days in the womb. A very different experience to what I had with Babyice. I was so jaded by our loss of Jamie I distanced myself from Babyice for the longest time, fearing I would lose him too. My bond with Babyice grew over time. He is still very much daddy’s boy. I love him to the ends of the earth, but it took time for me to move the fear from my heart and mould our relationship into what it is now. Even after he was born I feared things like cot death would rob us of him. Maybe irrational, but my reality. Still now I fear that he will be seriously injured or kidnapped, but I think it has normalized now into the kind of fears most parents have.

With PrincessIce it has been completely different. While I was carrying her I still feared some things, but felt free to bond with her. To talk to her and to prepare for her arrival. From the moment she was born I was on a high. That after-birth-high lasted a week. We’ve practically never been apart. For almost 12 weeks we were virtually physically inseparable as she breastfed frequently and we struggled through those initial bumps and hurdles.

She is a very good baby. She only cries when she wants/needs something. If she is crying she stops as soon as you pick her up. Babyice used to keep screaming. She is always at my side. She sleeps next to me, day and night. She goes to other people and is happy to, but before long she will look for her mommy again. We often hear what a relaxed and content baby she is. Her first night at home was a breeze compared to Babyice’s homecoming. I remember he cried and cried and we didn’t know what to do to make him stop. PrincessIce came home, slept in her cot, fed and barely cried. Almost like she didn’t notice she had just been hurled into a new environment. Perhaps the difference there was that we were no longer brand spanking new parents. We more or less had an idea what we were doing and were more relaxed in general. Maybe that made all the difference. Maybe she is just a chilled baby and we should consider ourselves lucky.

I am immensely enjoying my time with her at home. We cuddle, snuggle, feed and play all day. Again a striking difference. Babyice used to have naps in his cot and at night he used to sleep in his cot too. I didn’t want to have baby in bed with us. I had heard mothers at work complain they couldn’t get their toddlers out of their beds. PrincessIce has been sleeping in our bed since the second night she was home. With the breastfeeding it is just so much easier to have her close to her food source. Everyone just gets more sleep that way. No getting up, making a bottle, feeding it to her, burping and rocking back to sleep. Just pop the boob in and carry on sleeping. What could be easier?

I think the breastfeeding has a lot to do with the bonding. That and having had a lot more time to recover from the loss of Jamie. The difference in gender may also play a role. I wanted a girl when we had Elijah, but enjoyed being a boy mommy. When we got pregnant again I really felt no biased towards any gender. We weren’t “trying for a girl”. I would have been happy to have another boy. I have found though that I am thoroughly enjoying being a girly mommy. Playing dress up and so on. Regrettably I have turned into one of those mothers who smothers their little girl in pink everything and I don’t care. I love it.

Back to my panic. What is going to happen when she has to be away from me for an entire day every day? No more cuddles and snuggles at mommy’s breast. I mentioned this to the day mother and she said ‘You must stop spoiling her. I can’t have her in the arms all day. She’ll have to get used to being in the cot.’ Practically, unless someone was caring for her one on one, this would be the case anywhere. I known our day mother won’t leave her screaming in the cot, but she also has other children to care for and cannot carry her around all day. Arguably she’ll get more attention at the day mother than she would at say, a creche that has other babies the same age. She’ll be the only small baby at the day mother and she’ll get special treatment…but it won’t be the same. I also don’t think I am spoiling her by loving her, cuddling her and attending to her every need. She is still so tiny. She needs and deserves to be loved and cuddled.

I don’t know. Kids are resilient. Perhaps I fear more for my own broken heart having to leave her there. It is going to be so much harder this time. I can’t say why. It just is. She’ll be going from the beginning of June so that she can get settled there before I go back to work. She’ll also need to get used to drinking from bottles and I’ll need to get used to pumping milk for her. So many huge adjustments that will need to be made. I wish I could just stay at home, but that is financially impossible. Will have to close my eyes and just do it.

3 going on 13

When I was a kid I remember my grandmother and mother telling me to ‘stop being cheeky’ after almost everything I said. I didn’t understand their disdain at my incredible wit. You know how your parents always threaten you with your own children while you are still a child? ‘Wait till it’s your turn’ they’d say. Or ‘I hope you have a child just like you’. I think my mother got her wish.

Babyice has been saying the most cheeky things of late. He really can back chat with the best of them and clearly likes to have the last word. I don’t think having much older children at the day mother is helping at all. A while ago he passed Rudi the TV remote. Rudi asked ‘What must I do with this?’ He replies ‘Put on a movie. Duh!’ Really? Duh?! He also frequently retorts ‘Whatever!’ while he is being scolded. If he isn’t saying ‘OK. I get it!’ in an exasperated tone.

I have started sending him to his room when his tongue gets out of hand and that generally seems to work…once I finally get him in here. I said an “ugly word” the other day and I was ordered to go to his room. Not my room, his! Sometimes he’ll randomly start saying “I don’t say stupid it’s an ugly word. I don’t say moron it’s an ugly word.” I get the feeling he is cheating and just wanting to say all the ugly words. He also often refers to things and puts a “bloody” in front of them. “I can’t open this bloody thing”. He has picked this up from Rudi’s father. He knows he shouldn’t say it.

More often than I’d like to admit he gets the opportunity to reprimand me for swearing. It’s like I can’t hear myself doing it. I might be frustrated and say something like “Pick up the fucking towel!” and he’ll look at me and say “Don’t say fucking towel. Just say towel.” I then have to eat humble pie, tell him he is right and apologize.
Obviously someone has taught him this and I have an inkling the day mother may have been reprimanding him for swearing the very same way. Oops.

It’s like I am already living with a teenager. 3 is proving to be a lot more challenging than the “terrible twos” were. They were a breeze in comparison so far!

Hospital Care V2.0

When Babyice was born I blogged about the care I received in hospital. I was less than impressed and didn’t even want to return to the same hospital to give birth to PrincessIce. I discussed this with my gynae and he assured me that it would be better. The maternity ward had been upgraded and the nursing staff rotated. He then mentioned something about getting stuck in traffic en route to another hospital and not being able to administer an epidural and the subject was immediately laid to rest. He obviously knows me very well. I was sceptical, but decided this time I would not be bullied by nurses and would stand my ground and complain if needs be. I’m not a complainer, working in the customer care industry myself I have every sympathy for customer facing staff.

The day dawned that we would have our baby. I never had a problem in the ward where I gave birth. In fact, the same nurse assisted with all 3 my births and she has always been lovely…and somehow always there. There was a second sister that popped in every now and then and she was very sweet. These were not my worries. I worried about the care after the birth.

I was fortunate enough to get a semi private room as the general wards were all full. About 2 hours in my roommate had to be rushed to theatre and I found myself alone in the room. She never returned to the room while I was there. Fortunately this time my room was far from the nurse’s station, but it was directly opposite the nursery.

I desperately wanted my drip removed from my arm. I loathe drips. They render my entire arm utterly useless to me. They require you to urinate on your own after your catheter is removed in order to take the drip out. Upon inspection my catheter had dislocated itself. After Babyice’s birth I was left to go to the loo on my own, resulting in a pool of blood on the floor next to my bed. After I had finally gone to the loo I waited another few hours for them to come and remove my drip, despite requesting they do it more than once.  This time a lovely nurse helped me prevent the pool of blood on the floor and even accompanied me to the bathroom to see if I required assistance. She left me alone and returned shortly after. I was unsuccessful. She told me to call her should I need to go. Later I wanted to try again and she again helped me. This time I managed and she came into the bathroom to assist and removed my drip before we even left the room. What a relief! What a difference! She was very kind and I didn’t feel embarrassed at all. Everyone knows you lose all your dignity when you give birth, but she never made me feel that way.

All the nurses were very professional and friendly enough. No surly ones this time! There was that one that dispensed incorrect breastfeeding advice, but I am sure she meant well and was only trying to help. Luckily I knew better than to listen to her. As mentioned in my breastfeeding posts the lactation consultant was much more attentive and helpful this time around too, despite being the same lady that was there 3 years prior. Kim suggested she may have gone on a course ;)

Not being in proximity to the nurses station was lovely (and quiet). Being opposite the nursery had it’s own problems. Whenever PrincessIce wasn’t with me and one of the babies cried I wondered if it was her. Yes, I went to check. Did no good for my lactating breasts either all those crying babies! She was with me most of the time though so that wasn’t too bad. I can sleep through crying better than a ringing telephone it turns out!


The maternity ward had certainly been pimped...our room's shower

Rudi and I received our Mediclinic Baby meal:


Still nothing to write home about

I received a roommate very early in the morning on my last day. A tiny little woman scheduled for a c section. Poor lady was in so much pain after I felt very sorry for her. I was out of there by 22:00 that night though, so never got to see her get any better.

All in all I had a MUCH  better experience than I did the previous time and can’t complain at all. Except about the pediatricians. That hospital has shitty ones. Much prefer the paeds closer to home. Happy it all turned out well :)

Breastfeeding – 11 weeks in

I don’t think I have ever had to work so hard at something in my entire life. Breastfeeding looks so easy. It’s supposed to be so natural. Utter bullshit. Some women are lucky and it is easy for them. I am not one of those women. A lot of women say they hate breastfeeding. I don’t really understand that, despite it being hard for me I really love it. The closeness and cuddling I get to enjoy with my daughter is priceless and I am certain it is something I will sorely miss when our breastfeeding journey comes to an end.

I have been fortunate not to have any “technical” issues. We have a good latch and PrincessIce transfers milk well. That means that I haven’t had cracked or bleeding nipples and relatively little discomfort after 6 weeks of breastfeeding, but it has not prevented the one thorn I have in my side. Weight gain.

PrincessIce’s weight gain has been a constant worry for me. She gains, but so very slowly. She gains the bare minimum. There is no such thing as “weak milk” and I have already taken Eglynol to increase my supply to ensure it isn’t that. I’ve seen more than one Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant. I’ve taken her for many weigh ins to monitor her weight. We’ve ruled out reflux. She just continues to gain slowly, but she gains. Every time I used to go and weigh her I would end up in tears wanting to quit breastfeeding. Feeling responsible for the “problem”. After all, I am her only source of food/nutrition. There is nobody else to blame. I feed her CONSTANTLY. If her eyes are open she has a breast in her mouth. I could not possibly feed her more or more often. It takes up absolutely all of my time and we are inseparable. It can be incredibly frustrating sometimes and that is where the perseverance comes in. I keep being told it gets better and I am clinging to that thought. At some point my life will resemble normality and I won’t have a baby permanently attached to my chest. Right now I don’t have anything more important to do than care for my daughter. I am still often tempted to just take the easy way out and put her on formula, but I have promised myself never to quit on my worst day and not all days are bad. Formula feeding has some benefits, but they are all for me and not for her. That would be selfish.

At the last La Leche League meeting I had a lightbulb moment. Another mother had her almost one year old son there. He looks about 5 or 6 months old. She had the same problem. Her baby just gained slowly, but he gained. He is a happy little baby. He didn’t look at all starved or malnourished (neither does PrincessIce mind you) and she said “You get big babies and small babies. We just have small babies. As long as they are happy and gaining, why worry?”. She is still exclusively breastfeeding. Hearing it from someone who has been through the same just made me feel so much better. That is what is so wonderful about LLL and why I try to attend every meeting. The added advantage is that babies that grow slowly don’t grow out of their nappies or clothes so quickly and that saves the parents money :)

I want to exclusively breastfeed for as long as I possibly can and plan to express when I return to work. If things don’t work out very well then I’d like to do mixed feeding where she will get formula during the day and I would feed her at night, during the night and in the morning. One day at a time, one never ending feed at a time. I can do this.

If only I could stick to a diet like I have stuck to this!

Photos are long overdue


Taken at 1 month and 10 days


2 months old


So beautiful ❤


Pretty in pink


Nap time


Best family photo ever


Big boy already!

Babyice The Big Brother

A question I get asked very often is how Babyice is adapting to having a sibling. I was quite worried about this while I was pregnant, especially since I planned to breastfeed and I knew this meant that I would be somewhat indisposed a lot of the time in the first few weeks.

Babyice really surprised me! He loves his sister very much. He tells everyone about her. When he ran into my grandmother at the hospital after she was born, he ran up to her saying “Ouma GG my sister is out!”. Whenever he sees her he wants to kiss her or stroke her head. He insists on kissing her goodnight. If she is out of sight he asks where she is. He often says “Awww my sister is so cute”. He also tells everyone that his sister drinks milk from mommy’s boobs. In fact, when I asked him where milk came from the other day he replied “Mommy’s boobs”. I thought that was hilarious!

Babyice has always been his father’s child. They do everything together (even go to the traffic department! Rudi is a brave soul) and daddy is always the one that gives in. I think that has helped a lot with the transition. His dad is always available and he doesn’t seem jealous when Rudi holds the baby while I get something done.

We did have an incident where Babyice hid in my clothes cupboard and thought it was a good idea to pee on my shoes. Yes. It’s funny when it’s not *your* shoes. Maybe a bit our own fault for letting him run around without any pants or underwear. I was told that “potty accidents” with usually fully potty trained children are common when a new sibling arrives. He has also started biting his nails. I’m not sure if it is related, but it’s not impossible.

We have recently taken him off the night nappy and he has accidents quite often. We’re restricting liquids after 18:30 and he goes to pee just before bed. We just don’t take him in the middle of the night. We’re supposed to, right? We kind of sleep through if he does. What do you do? Set an alarm?

Anyway, he is a great big brother. I am so very proud of him. He really surprised us and I couldn’t be happier that we’ve given him the opportunity. He is a very loving and compassionate child, this will definitely stand him in good stead in his new role. Yay for Babyice!

Breastfeeding Take Two

If you follow my blog you’ll know that I only breastfed Babyice for 3 weeks before quitting. I had an awful time of it. I wasn’t even sure I would try again with PrincessIce. After tweeting about it I was referred to Kim, a La Leche League (LLL) leader, and she encouraged me to attend a meeting while I was pregnant. I understood that having a support system was important and decided to start building one in the form of LLL before PrincessIce was born.

I attended two meetings while I was pregnant and purchased a copy of The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding on Kim’s recommendation. I was still very nervous about doing it all again, but found myself learning so much through other mothers and the book. I was really clueless before. Sometimes while reading the book I found myself getting excited at the prospect of being able to feed my baby and bond with her in this way.

There were certain things I wanted to happen when PrincessIce was born. I wanted them to put her on my chest skin to skin and I wanted her to drink as soon as she was born. This never happened with Babyice at all. I really wanted it to be different and to get breastfeeding off to a strong start. I never voiced these desires to my gynae or the nurses at the hospital. Minutes after PrincessIce was born the nurse put her on my chest (incidentally the same nurse that helped deliver Babyice). They took her back to wipe her off a bit and the nurse spotted the lady who helps new mothers breastfeed in hospital walk past my room. She called her over saying “We have a new baby here” and she came to help me latch PrincessIce for the first time. So even though I never told anyone what I wanted, everything happened as I wanted it to. I was so happy I could cry.

I continued to breastfeed in hospital. We really struggled at first. I could barely fit my nipple into PrincessIce’s tiny mouth. My nipples became sore and a guy (!) on Twitter recommended I request physio for my nipples. I never knew such a thing existed! I asked for the physio to come around and they did. She treated my nipples with a laser and ultrasound. It really helped! The breastfeeding helper, again the same woman I encountered when having Babyice, was so much more attentive this time. She took her time helping me and answering my questions. She came to see me every time she came to the hospital. It was surreal. The polar opposite to my previous experience.

I was quite overwhelmed by the oxytocin released while feeding and at one point I was afraid I would fall asleep and suffocate PrincessIce.  I asked the nurses to take her away for a while so that I could sleep. One nurse told me not to put her on the breast repeatedly as my nipples would get sore. On another occasion the same nurse told me not to feed for longer than 20 minutes per breast for the same reason. Such misinformation! Luckily I knew to just nod and smile as my newly gained knowledge empowered me. I felt sorry for the new mothers who would blindly follow this advice. Would they succeed? Although these tid bits wouldn’t lead to failure themselves, what else were new mothers being told that just wasn’t true?

I fed PrincessIce as often as I could and when we finally came home I focused on feeding her. It was my only priority. When we were booked back into hospital to treat her jaundice the pediatrician questioned my milk supply. What he based this assumption on I don’t know. He had suggested temporary formula to help clear the jaundice and I told him only as a last resort. He offered me meds to increase my supply and I said I would prefer to go that route over substituting breastfeeding with formula. I was in constant contact with Kim and she found resources and articles for me to read, again preparing me with an arsenal of information and equipping me with questions to ask the paed instead of just accepting everything he said as gospel. I now knew that babies rid themselves of jaundice by means of dirty nappies. I could then make the argument that frequent breastfeeding which is a natural laxative would aid this process in a way formula might not. The paed didn’t argue. You can’t very well argue with logic. PrincessIce gained 70 grams in the two days we were in hospital. He didn’t question my milk supply again and said if I ever felt I needed the meds I could call him. The meds had now become optional instead of being deemed necessary. I felt so very proud of myself for standing up for what I believe in and so grateful to Kim for giving me the means and confidence to do so!

After being back at home my nipples were still very sore and should of gotten better. I wanted someone to inspect our latch and check for thrush. A friend who has a 3 month old was taking her baby to the breastfeeding clinic in Panorama and I asked if I could tag along. We set off on a Tuesday morning and I saw an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) there. People with this qualification are the only true lactation consultants. She seemed sceptical about Princessice’s weight gain as she was not yet back to her discharge weight, but said that it could of been affected by the jaundice and that the scales may differ. She asked me to come back on the Friday to weigh her again. She gave me breastfeeding tips and information. Almost all of which I already knew from LLL and reading the book. I know the theory back to front, but in practice it is something else altogether. It turns out having bigger/heavier breasts makes things more challenging in the beginning. Just my luck! I mentioned to them that PrincessIce thinks she is too much of a lady to poo more than is absolutely necessary and that she only has a dirty nappy once every 7 – 10 days. They said this is completely normal for a breastfed baby (even if younger than 6 weeks). A breastfed baby can poo 14 times in a day or once every 14 days.

For the rest of the day I was in tears. Proper crying too. I was feeding and crying. Almost hysterical. I felt the exact same way that day as I did on the day I quit breastfeeding Babyice. I felt terrible. I reached out to Kim and I tweeted about it. People came out in full force supporting me and encouraging me to persevere. Rudi came home to me in an emotional mess and even said “Just put her on formula” which didn’t really help. It just upset me more. I asked him to go with me to he clinic the next day before we make that decision and he agreed.

The next morning we went back. I took my own pillows with me determined to get help. The feeding position I was shown the previous day just wasn’t working for us (another reason for the tears). PrincessIce was weighed again. She had gained 30 grams overnight! The IBCLC was very happy about that. She said that she had doubts about her weight gain the previous day, but 30 grams in a day was excellent. She took us into a separate room and addressed my concerns about positioning. She helped me find other positions to try. The day before I had assumed that our latch was bad because my nipples were still sore and we were told to work on latch and positioning. She was surprised I thought the latch was bad. She said it really wasn’t. I cried. She showed compassion and said we were doing a good job and trying our best and to continue doing so. She asked us to come back a week later to weigh again. She wanted to see whether PrincessIce was back up to her birth weight. I was nervous about the next weigh in as I had been diagnosed with bronchitis the day after her last weigh. I was put on a heavy dose of antibiotics (875 mg!) and I wasn’t sure how that would affect us. A week later I returned. It was a great effort for me to go back. I had to cart Rudi to work and fetch him, all the while feeding in between, whenever and wherever I could. PrincessIce weighed in 45 grams short of her birth weight, 120 grams heavier than the previous week. I was disheartened as I had expected her to be at least back up to her birth weight, but the nurses said that 120 grams was a good gain. They weighed her before and after I fed her to see how much she drank and were happy with that as well. The nurse said she only had to be weighed again when she goes for her 6 week immunizations, indicating to me that they were no longer concerned.

It occurred to me later that this was EXACTLY the same thing that happened with Babyice. We went to the clinic, the nurse said he wasn’t gaining enough weight and I lost it. When recently comparing the two situations I realized that I gave up the first time because I was concerned that I was not providing my baby with enough nutrition, that I was failing at providing one of he most basic needs. It had nothing to do with my own discomfort or lack of motivation. Babyice was already being “topped up” with formula though and it was in the house which made it just that much “easier” to stop breastfeeding. I cried for days afterwards. Although I still regret not persevering with Babyice, I have finally forgiven myself. Having success with PrincessIce has shown me that it was possible all along with the right support and knowledge.

PrincessIce is more than a month old and we are still happily feeding today, but as mothers do, I am worried about the next weigh in that will be happening next week when she goes for her shots. I am sure everything will be fine as her nappy output indicates things are going well and she is generally content and happy. Fingers crossed! Even though I’ve done the whole parenting thing before, with breastfeeding in the mix this is a whole new experience with a whole new set of rules.

I am still in frequent contact with Kim. Her passion for breastfeeding is almost contagious! I’ll be going to my first LLL meeting since PrincessIce was born on Saturday and I’m really looking forward to it.

Thank you to everyone that has been so caring and supportive in our breastfeeding journey. We appreciate it from the bottom of our hearts!


PrincessIce was born on Wednesday 2 January 2013. As I had a natural delivery we were due to be discharged on the Friday. My gynae came to do rounds and said we can head home as soon as the pediatrician gives us the green light. A couple of hours later the nurse came around to tell me that they noticed that PrincessIce’s bili levels are high, indicating she has jaundice and the paed had requested a blood test for an accurate reading. I asked when we could go home and they said we would have to wait for the results. They put her into an incubator under UV lights in the interim to try and help for the jaundice. Luckily I remembered from our antenatal classes when I was pregnant with Babyice that jaundice is extremely common in newborns and isn’t serious. I didn’t panic. I shed a small tear, but was fine after that. The first test results showed she was borderline for receiving treatment, so they would keep her under the lights and test again later in the evening. At this point they indicated there was a possibility she may not be permitted to go home with me. I was distraught. I was breastfeeding and also most certainly did not want to leave the hospital without my little girl who I was falling in love with. I was left uniformed and uncertain all day. At 18:00 they drew blood again and we had to wait 2 hours for the results. I knew the medical aid would not cover my stay if I needed to stay with her and because she was not in the pediatric ward I could not stay with her unless I extended my stay in the ward. In other words, I would have to carry the cost. Bear in mind I was in a semi-private room as the general wards were full. Eventually after 20:00 I ran out of patience and went for a shower to pass the time while we waited to hear. After my shower Rudi told me we could all go home! I was elated. We were instructed to bring PrincessIce back to the hospital for blood tests the next morning. Finally around 22:00 we went home.

The first night at home was blissful in comparison to Babyice’s first night. My babymoon was in full swing. The next morning we headed back to the hospital and had blood taken. She barely cried. Themba at Pathcare in Louis Leipoldt Mediclinic was amazing after Rudi had threatened to find out where he lives. We had barely arrived home when the phone rang and we were told to bring her back on Sunday for another test. The standby paed uses different pathologists and they really churn out the results fast. We headed back on Sunday and I received a call from the pediatrician to say her levels were rising and that we should administer 30 – 40 ml of sugar water (1tsp sugar to 100 ml of water) 3 times a day and retest the next day. I asked him if I should sit with her in the sunlight and he stated that he doesn’t really think that helps. I was quite confused by this. It is common knowledge that sunlight helps to clear up jaundice. They put the babies under UV lights for crying out loud! We followed his advice, even though I was hesitant to give her anything but breastmilk. I noticed that she had a lot more wet nappies once we started with the sugar water and the next morning her fontanel was sunken, indicating that she was dehydrated. This concerned me, but I was happy to see it pop right out again after just one feed.

We went to the hospital in the afternoon as the home affairs representative is there on Monday afternoons to assist with registrations and went for the blood test after. They were taking forever to draw her blood and I could hear her crying. After a while I could not stand it any longer and I went into the room to comfort her. The nurses scattered when I came in and Rudi told me they couldn’t find a vein. They resorted to
tracking down Themba who had worked the weekend and successfully taken her blood on Saturday and Sunday with little fuss. Thankfully they found him and he swooped in and he found the vein first time, despite the immense pressure.

We headed over to Milla and Dennis for dinner. We planned to make pizza. The doctor was taking forever to call back. I hoped that meant that everything was fine. Eventually my phone rang. Not good news. The paed wanted to admit PrincessIce again for phototherapy. I requested to be admitted to a hospital closer to home where our own paed is based. He agreed and made the call. I had a small cry. I was upset that she hadn’t improved and nobody wants to hear that their child has to be admitted into hospital. I received a call from our paed’s partner who I am familiar with as he was on standby. We discussed how she was doing and he was horrified to hear the other paed had told is to give PrincessIce sugar water. He said they preferred a temporary switch to formula. I told him I only wanted to do that as a last resort. He advised he would notify the ward that we were on our way. We were already on our way home for me to pack a bag. I knew I would have to stay with PrincessIce and would need a few things. I had done this before with Babyice when he was 7 months old.

Booking in at hospital was a bit difficult. PrincessIce was only 5 days old and I had not yet had a chance to register her on the medical aid. The admissions guy took everything in his stride and soon we were on our way to the ward. It was already almost 22:00. They let me feed her and put her under the lights. Milla came around to bring me some pizza as we had rushed off before it was made. Milla and Dennis looked after Babyice while all this was happening. Bless them.

We stayed in hospital till the Wednesday. They did regular blood tests and once they found her bili levels to be on the downward trend they approved our release. There was another incident with nurses that couldn’t find a vein. Luckily they took PrincessIce very far away from me. I went to investigate at one point as they were taking very long, but turned away when I heard her screaming as tears welled up in my eyes. When I stayed at the hospital before they provided a chair that folds out for a parent to sleep on. It was basically a wooden crate. I was not looking forward to that. I was happy to discover that they now provide a mattress to go on top of the crates. It wasn’t a particularly thick mattress, but it was MUCH more comfortable! The hospital also provides subsidised food vouchers for parents. I paid R16 per meal and chose my meals as if I was a patient. We had our own room in the hospital. One of those glass isolation rooms. I had the curtains drawn around the room most of the time so I could breastfeed in private. Rudi came to relieve me while I rushed home to take a shower. There is a shower over a bath available in the ward, but we live really close to the hospital and showering at home is always nicer.

I was really happy to be able to work with our own paed (or at least his partner who I know). I have never liked the paeds at Louis Leipoldt. Even the paed that was assigned to Babyice when he was born rubbed me up the wrong way. We had seen our paed’s partner (Dr. Bruwer) with Babyice, but after accidentally working with our paed (Dr. Christie) as he was on standby when Babyice was admitted to hospital, we decided to switch. Dr. Christie is a gentle kind hearted man who has his own children. He is very sweet. Dr. Bruwer lacks a certain kind of bedside manner which I like to have in a doctor. I was disappointed to catch him on standby when PrincessIce was admitted, but had a good experience with him this time. I realized that he wasn’t so bad afterall. Maybe as a first time parent to Babyice I required some TLC that he didn’t provide. We will still take PrincessIce to Dr. Christie for her 6 week check up though.

Since we’ve been home PrincessIce has lost a lot of the yellow colouring and is doing well. She left hospital with an eye infection. According to the paed this is common in babies who come into the world via natural delivery and not in a sterile theater. He prescribed drops for her eyes, but the pharmacist tipped me off about using breastmilk in her eyes and after a few days of using the drops with seemingly little success, using breastmilk cleared them up nicely. I was pleasantly surprised and annoyed at having spent over R100 on drops we didn’t need. Somehow I managed to stay quite calm through all of the post birth drama and it didn’t ruin my babymoon at all :-)