Sippy Cup Sillyness

A couple of weeks ago we bought Babyice a new sippy cup. We allowed him to pick it himself and he chose a green Nuby sippy cup with tractors and digger loaders on it. I was most chuffed with his new sippy cup and we decided that we would let him drink *everything* out of it and no more bottles would be offered. In fact, he asked for the sippy cup time and time again. Washing bottles is getting really tiring! After using this cup for a week I took it back to Dischem where we bought it. The bloody ‘non-spill’ cup would leak terribly every time we tried to use it. I hated it. I even flung it across a room once or twice out of frustration. Thank goodness for durable plastic! We arrive at the client services counter, explain the problem and are redirected to till number 1 who handles returns. Till number 1 was unmanned though, so the cashier at till number 2 called us over in order to help us. Note: Not the cashier who usually deals with returns, another, random cashier. I explain that the stupid cup leaks all the time. Rudi wanders off to the sippy cup aisle to see if he can find a replacement. In the interim the cashier removes the seal from the sippy cup, replaces it and says she can’t see anything wrong. I told her it’s all very good and well when there is no water in the sippy cup. Conveniently she had a bottle of water at the till and she put some in the sippy cup. Low and behold! Not a leak in sight! I ask her to take it apart again and show me how she did it. She does. No leaks! Then I insist on trying to do it myself, under supervision…and wouldn’t you know it…NO LEAKS! By this time Rudi has come back with the news that there aren’t any other sippy cups, which is fine, because it turns out it was a user problem. Multiple users, mind you. Rudi then tried with some instructions and voila! No leaks!   We were so embarrassed!  Since then we have not had one incident of leakages and we love the sippy cup so much that I bought another one for him today. Same brand and same type of cup, with different pictures on. The only other complaint I have about the cup is that the rubber seal that removes from the lid seems to retain the smell/taste of whatever was in it. We would make him chocolate milk and after washing the sippy cup we would give him Oros in it. After that if you smell the rubber it smells like orange chocolate. I have managed to get it out by soaking the sippy cup in Jik. This is the actual reason I bought another one, so we could use one for milk and one for cooldrink/juice. Picture of the sippy cup:

 

 

Sippy Cup

 

 

Our housekeeper didn’t pitch this weekend. Apparently she had a really bad headache. Her sister works at the flat across the way from us and she didn’t pitch either, but a replacement sister was sent for our neighbour. Out of desperation I asked him if would ask her to pitch in with just the ironing on our side for R60.00. We hate the ironing. She said she would see what time she finished at his place and luckily she was able to come do the ironing. I went to another La Leche League meeting on Saturday, which was very useful and informative again. Babyice and Rudi went to play on the beach while I was there. After that we headed home, to be faced with the dirty house, with neat little piles of clothing that had been ironed. I was exhausted, sore and moody. Badly so. I was also suffering from the most awful hayfever which only made me even more cranky. I feel so helpless…so many things require me to bend down and I feel so heavy and uncomfortable doing any kind of housework is strenuous right now. I know that Rudi resents me for not helping, I would feel the same if I were in his shoes, despite the reason for him not helping. I actually discussed this with him yesterday. He didn’t deny it. He really does pull his weight around the house and of late I have not been able to. On Sunday morning I felt more refreshed and not yet exhausted and sore. He started cleaning and I pitched in by doing the vacuuming and folding laundry. It made me feel a little better and maybe it made him feel better too.

 

 

We intended to put the Christmas tree up this weekend, but discovered that the tree was too far back in the ceiling to be taken out without a ladder. Poo. We’ve asked our downstairs neighbour to organize a ladder for us so we can get the Christmas tree out and put it up. Babyice still quite keen to have his Christmas tree out!

 

 

Babyice has been snotty since before the weekend. I’ve had a stuffy nose all weekend, but attributed it to the hayfever…until this morning. This morning at work I realized I also have sore ears/throat and a headache. All signs that I am, in fact, sick. The symptoms aren’t too bad at the moment. Touch wood. I hope that I’ll be able to recover on my own without having to visit the doctor. Babyice is still quite snotty and some of it is travelling down to his chest resulting in a yucky cough. There are a couple of sick kids at the day mother and I suspect that is where he picked up the bug. I just wish he wasn’t so into sharing :P

Tick Tock

Time is ticking away…I’d like to say slowly, but it really doesn’t feel like it. Tomorrow I will be 31 weeks. Babyice was born at 38 weeks 5 days. The gynae reckons PrincessIce will also come sooner than 40 weeks…which means I potentially have 7 or 8 weeks to get everything ready and for everything to be done. SEVEN TO EIGHT WEEKS. That is NO TIME AT ALL. That is more or less two months. When you say two months it actually sounds a bit longer…but my supervisor said in a meeting yesterday ‘You’re going on maternity leave next month’ and it hit me like a ton of bricks. Next month. Right. You get it. There is very little time left and I’m panicky.

 

 

We still have to move furniture around in our house so that the cot can go next to our bed. We still need to get a new mattress for the cot. We have to do a major cleaning out of stuff to make space for PrincessIce’s clothes. Most of the clothes we have bought are still lying in the packets they came home in. They also all have to be washed. According to Twitter it is unnecessary to use special washing powder/fabric softner for baby’s clothes. I did with Babyice, but I really don’t see the point of buying separate stuff this time around, unless of course PrincessIce has a sensitivity. I want to steam clean the carpets with a hired machine before baby arrives (nesting much?). We need to pick up/wash/find space for stuff we’ve put at Rudi’s parents house like the baby bath, snug ‘n safe and bath chair. I need to unpack my summer clothes. I want to tidy the cupboards in Babyice’s room that are stacked with medicine, baby bottles and a whole lot of other stuff.

 

 

In the face of all this chaos I also remembered that having a baby entails a lot of admin. So yesterday I phoned the medical aid to pre-authorize my hospital stay. I’ve also filled in the hospital admission form that has been lying on my desk since the 10th of October. While I was at it I got a quote for how much our medical aid contribution will be once the baby arrives. Adding an additional kid to the medical aid isn’t so bad (R575/pm)…but all our premiums are also going up next year…so at the end of the day medical aid is going to cost about R900 more per month. That doesn’t include the R200 for Vitality and R200 for gap cover. We’ll be paying around R4000 just for medical aid. There is absolutely no way I can bolt off Discovery right now anyway since my birth won’t be covered if we do. I had a look at the Bonnitas website and their plan before their price increase is only about R300 less. I do think they might offer better value for money though…but will have to explore that option at the end of next year…you know, after paying in about R10 000 when my medical savings has run out on Discovery while continuing to pay my monthly contributions. This news did not make me happy, but what can you do? You need it. I’ve gotten my Discovery “baby bag” gift voucher and printed out the medical aid application forms to add baby to the medical aid once she is born.

 

 

Yesterday I also decided to finally phone the gynae about something that has been bothering me and he sent a prescription for antibiotics over to a pharmacy close to my house and we went to collect it. This issue (which I’d rather not discuss in detail in order for you to keep your last meal down) has actually been bugging me for quite some time, I just haven’t gotten around to phoning the gynae. I didn’t have enough privacy to make the call at work and we get home too late often. I’ll be glad to finally get it sorted out and by the time I have my next appointment everything should be fine again. I’m just hoping he isn’t going to feel like probing to be sure. I’ll have to have some blood tests done at my next appointment too. Ching Ching. More money. Medical aid is totally depleted already (thanks to the pricey root canal I had to have done). I’ve paid the last 3 gynae appointments out of my own pocket. My gynae likes to prescribe cost effective medicine though. The antibiotics yesterday only cost R37.

 

 

Come to think of it, yesterday was quite a productive day. Today I booked my maternity photo shoot for the 15th of December.

 

 

So, yes. Time is running out and I’m sure I’ve forgotten to mention a million things I still want to do before the baby comes…I’m overwhelmed by the things I’ve mentioned already. The fact that I barely have the energy to get out of bed in the morning does not bode well for getting all this stuff done. Oh yes! I still have to pack my hospital bag. Fuggit. I wish I had some minions I could just delegate all this stuff to!

Things My Kids Say

We were driving to the day mother to drop Babyice off for the day when he saw a truck on the road and he said ‘Mommy look! A BIG truck!’

 

As we’re teaching him colours I said ‘Yes! What colour is the truck?’ he responded with ‘Yellow!’ which was correct and he received the appropriate praise. Not a minute later he saw an African guy walking on the sidewalk and he said ‘Look mommy! Black people is brown!’

 

 

I have NO idea where he came up with this. He was, of course, 100% correct…but I don’t remember ever referring to an African person as ‘black’…and how would he know to do this if they are clearly brown? All I can conclude is that he must of picked this up at the day mother who has African neighbours.

 

 

Over the weekend Babyice was playing with our downstairs’ neighbour’s son. He comes around every second weekend to stay visit his dad. Yesterday on our way home he was saying he wants to play with Seth and I tried to explain to him that Seth has gone to stay by his mommy. The dynamic obviously didn’t make sense to him at all, because in his reality mommy and daddy live together. That is all he knows. So after the umpteenth time asking to play with Seth, I explained that Seth’s mommy and daddy do not live together. He looked at me and said ‘Is that because Seth is naughty?’ Again, I was floored. Where would he get such a notion? I carefully explained to him that it was definitely not because Seth was naughty (which he isn’t, by the way). I didn’t go into too much detail since Babyice is not even 3 yet and a more complicated explanation did not seem warranted. I just tried to make sure he understood that Seth was a good boy, even if his mommy and daddy don’t live together.

 

 

 

As much as we try to control what our children are exposed to, there is still so much that we cannot control at all, even before they get to school where they are surrounded by peers. I guess we just have to hope that we instill the right values and principles in them and that they trust us enough to speak to us about their perceptions and what they hear.

Agony!

On Saturday morning I got up to make breakfast for everyone. Not long after I did I was in excruciating pain! Suddenly something around my pelvic area just wasn’t right anymore. I couldn’t walk, turn from side to side while lying down or lift my legs without crying out and on occasion crying. I remember my joints becoming more loose towards the end with Babyice, but this was something else entirely. Rudi had to help me to get up and sometimes even to sit down. I ended up in tears just trying to turn from one side to another while in bed (I had decided bed rest might help). After that Rudi was finally convinced I wasn’t just bitching for no reason.

 

 

Of course I tweeted about my predicament and @capetowngirl1 (who also happens to be pregnant) was nice enough to respond with some helpful information. Twitter really does save my life sometimes. She gave me some instructions for doing ‘spine twists’ or massaging your spine which may help. I eventually tried it, desperate for some relief. While massaging my spine on the hard floor it almost felt like something was pinched in my lower back on the left side. I kept doing the exercises a little anyway, even though it hurt like a bitch. After doing the exercises it was a little easier to walk, but the pain seemed to have moved to the middle of my pelvis. Almost like PrincessIce had decided to stick her head in there. Ouch. I didn’t want to take Panado, I didn’t feel like it would do any good anyway, but eventually I did and it did actually offer a little relief.

 

 

I had a million things going through my head, also that it could possibly be SPD which is kind of scary. I decided that I would go for physio on Monday if there was no improvement, but wasn’t sure how I would get to and around work. I really do not want to take any sick leave as I would be penalised on my performance bonus if I do.

 

 

I still experienced pain that night while turning around in bed, but by morning I felt SO much better. I am so grateful that it went away. I’m not at all sure what caused it, which poses a slight problem since I want to prevent it from happening again. It really is too soon to be in that much pain though and I hope it stays away until actual labour now. I don’t think it helps that PrincessIce is sitting a lot lower than Babyice was. I’m carrying right at the bottom. People keep telling me I’ve ‘dropped’ and look ready to go into labour. Of course, I haven’t dropped, but I am carrying quite low which would explain all the pelvic discomfort.

 

 

Another thing that I’m experiencing this time around which I didn’t have last time is Braxton Hicks. They are super uncomfortable. I didn’t even realize that was what I was experiencing until one of my belly buddies on Twitter complained about hers. I googled to see what the symptoms were and a light bulb went on. Look, they don’t hurt…but they are uncomfortable and it feels like something is “wrong”. When I didn’t know what it was it kind of freaked me out and I was worried. Now that I know I am much more at ease and just breathe through them. What is this practice labour all about anyway?! I am more than happy to wait for real labour and then check out with an epidural. No practice required! :P

 

 

Because I’m carrying PrincessIce quite low the heartburn has been a lot easier than it was with Babyice. Touch wood. I still get the occasional need for Gaviscon, but I’m saving bucket loads of money on the stuff this time around.

 

 

Next time someone tells you every pregnancy is different, believe them! I’m not sure if the gender of the baby really has anything to do with it, as my experience is limited, but they have been vastly different. How about those mommies to two boys or girls? What’s your take?

Happy birthday, Jamie

Four years today. I cannot believe it has been four years already. Today it feels like it happened a lifetime ago. So much has happened between then and now.

 

 

Sometimes having a healthy, living child makes it more difficult. Despite being extremely grateful for the beautiful child I have, it is a reminder of what Jamie’s life could of been. What was taken away from her. I still don’t think we made the wrong decision all that time ago, because her life would not have been like Babyice’s. It would of been a life of pain and strife.

 

 

There is no point in lingering on the ‘What ifs’ of the past though. I was having a tough time dealing with the added hormones this morning, but feeling a bit better now.

 

 

So to Jamie, a happy 4th birthday my angel. I hope you and Oupa are having a wonderful time together in heaven. Love you always,

 

 

Mommy

xx

 

 

P.S. I’m busy migrating to a new comments system and it seems to have closed all comments, even on new posts. I hope to have this sorted out in the next 24 hours. Thank you for your patience.

The Chosen Name

Co-incidentally as I was contemplating this post when Angel blogged about names. We’ve settled on a name for PrincessIce. After much deliberation and going through what felt like a thousand names we settled on one of the names I came up with initially. It took Rudi quite some time to grow accustomed to the name and to like it enough to settle on it. Once he was comfortable with it, I wasn’t convinced. You would think I would be happy since it is a name I chose. Choosing someone’s name is such a huge responsibility. With Babyice’s name the moment both of us heard it we agreed on it and it ‘felt right’. I’m not sure how to explain it, but this time around it was an arduous process and it kind of feels like we’ve just settled…it doesn’t feel the same way as it did last time. Perhaps my expectations of the process are too high?

 

 

 

Babyice has a biblical name. When we found out we were having a girl I knew I would also like a biblical name and went through them. There were a few I liked, most of all Rebecca and Rachel. We already have friends that have daughters with those names though. Also, I wasn’t too fond of the meanings of either of those names. Chloe also made it into the top 5 (also biblical, believe it or not), but I didn’t like that too much. The rest of the names were not to my liking at all. Even though I quite like Sarah, it is quite a commonly used name and we wanted a name you don’t come across too often. One of my best friends is also named Sarah, so very close to home. Babyice’s name is Elijah. His name means: ‘My God is the Lord’.

 

 

I have finally started to feel comfortable with the name that we have chosen and have even started to call PrincessIce by her name when I talk to her. We have decided to call her Gabrielle. The female form of Gabriel, one of the arc angels. Her name means ‘God is my might’. I quite like how the meanings of their names relate to each other. I also like that we can call her Gabby for short. In fact, that is what I call her now.

 

 

 

After deciding on this we started contemplating a second name. Babyice has a second name. Strangely enough this came within minutes. Babyice’s second name is a family name for both of us. So I asked Rudi about female names in his family since none of the names in my family appeal to me in particular. Or rather, they’ve all been tainted by their owners. Unfortunately his lovely grandmother’s name was Dorothy. Neither of us really liked that, but his aunt’s name is Rose and both of us liked that.

 

 

So there it is. Her name will be Gabrielle Rose.

Co-sleeping Woes

It’s not secret that Babyice comes to sleep with us every night. At first he would cry and Rudi would go and fetch him, but he has graduated to running through to our room and standing on Rudi’s side of the bed to be picked up. We have a king size, so it’s a bit high for him to climb up without a little help. I’ve protested the situation on numerous occasions, but my pleas have fallen on deaf ears. Rudi even suggested we put a step next to the bed for him so it’s easier for him to get up by himself! Bear in mind I am the sleep training champion in the house and Rudi is the ruiner. Rudi’s excuse all winter long has been that he is probably cold, despite being warmly dressed. The weather has certainly warmed up…and now I have to hear that he will just come to our room anyway. *sigh*. Look, I am not completely heartless. On the odd occasion that he *does* sleep through I wake up and wonder if he is okay and I miss him there. Once he is there it poses all sorts of problems though.

 

 

I am concerned about what will happen once PrincessIce arrives. You see, Babyice pretends he is a helicopter while he sleeps. He flips and flops and literally spins 360 degrees sometimes. Somehow his feet often end up in my face. I ended up getting a hiding the other morning. He kept kicking me in the face/tummy/back and after numerous warnings Rudi tried to give him a whack and ended up whacking me on the bum instead! Rudi was reprimanded for this later on. Babyice cannot control what he does in his sleep and cannot be given a whack for it! This morning I was driven out of my bed by the situation. Instead of going to sleep after being kicked in the face, instinctively I would lay awake waiting for him to do it again so I could protect myself. After realizing that I was the only one losing out on sleep here (he never seems to aim for Rudi!) I got up with my pregnancy pillow and went to sleep in his bed. After I woke up this morning I saw him sleeping peacefully, spread eagle on my side of the bed. When I told him in the car that I had to go sleep in his bed he looked very confused, oblivious to the happenings of the night before. What is going to happen when I am breastfeeding PrincessIce in our bed? We already don’t put him on the edge of the bed since the bed is so high, we wouldn’t dare put him in the middle and her on the edge…or visa versa.

 

 

 

I’ve seen more than one Nanny911/Supernanny episode on this problem. All she did was to take the child back to their own bed repeatedly, no matter how many times they got up. Of course the burden to do this would be on me, because I want it. I can’t pick Babyice up now though, so it won’t get done. Apparently the fact that I want to do it makes me heartless/too strict. I guess I’ll just have to keep on moving over to Babyice’s bed. That seems to make everyone except me happy and isn’t that what mommies do? Sacrifice to keep everyone else happy?

From Ashes to Forest…

Saturday was pretty uneventful, unless you live in my region and you are a rugby fan. Our team won the provincial championships (also known as the Currie Cup) for the first time in 11 years. I believe there was much fanfare and celebration afterwards. The only thing the rugby meant for me was that my landlord “couldn’t” come out to fix our leaking kitchen sink and would come through on Sunday.

 

 

On Sunday I woke up and made breakfast for the family. After eating my own breakfast I suddenly felt so completely drained that I didn’t even have the energy to get up and brush my teeth. I tried to get up a few times to get ready for church, but could not muster enough juice to do it. I was worried that I would not be able to gather the strength to go and scatter my grandfather’s ashes as intended. We decided to skip church and I lay down and rested for a while. By the time my grandmother phoned to find out why we weren’t in church and whether we were still on for later, I felt much better. I managed to get up and get dressed to head out to Newlands Forest.

 

 

We got a bit lost looking for Newlands Forest. Somehow we found it though and we set off. My grandmother can’t walk very far, definitely not uphill on a hiking trail. I was determined to be there though. My uncle said a few words and a prayer. He had us all in tears. My aunt decided to stay with my grandmother and my cousin did too. Lazy buggers. So off we went. We walked up to the path until we came to a stream. I thought about scattering the ashes into the stream, but apparently people drink out of it so we did not. I actually hope people don’t drink out of it because we saw a few dogs taking a lovely dip in there :P There were a LOT of people walking their dogs. We walked past a beautiful path surrounded by ferns, but Rudi felt we had not gone far enough and we carried on walking up to the first ‘gate’ into the forest. I didn’t see anything too promising up ahead so I suggested we go back to the beautiful pathway we had seen earlier. Considering I was the only blood relative other than Babyice on this trip, I kind of had the last say on it so we headed back down.

 

 

 

We walked back down to the pathway and headed down through the ferns. Before long I found a beautiful clearing overlooking the stream that had some mottled sunlight filtering through the trees. It was a gorgeous spot and I was drawn to it. We unscrewed the box and started scattering the ashes. I was very surprised. How many ashes do you think you could fit into such a small box?

 

 

Ashes

Bottom of the box

 

 

You would be surprised! We scattered ashes all around the clearing and before long everything was covered in ash and we still had half a box of ash left! We decided to scatter the remaining ashes up along the pathway between the ferns on the way back and even that took some doing! I think I said ‘Sheesh there are a lot of ashes!’ and Rudi replied ‘Well, there was a lot of Oupa’. I guess he had a point.

 

 

 

In the end if felt really good to put him to rest and to carry out one of his final wishes. Newlands Forest was one of his favourite places in the world. It really is beautiful and I can understand why he loved going there. I’m just glad we were able to find where he wanted us to be. It never occurred to me to take a photo of the actual place the ashes were scattered. I guess I got caught up in the moment…perhaps that is the way it was meant to be. So that he can rest in peace.

 

 

We found the right place :)

 

 

 

After our emotional morning we all went to the in laws for a braai. I had to leave to meet our landlord to come and fix our kitchen sink which had started leaking really badly into the cupboard underneath. He came and replaced all the pipes and the leak seems to be fixed now. As long as we don’t knock the pipes underneath the cupboard around too much. We store our pots in there so that might pose a bit of a problem, but we’ll be careful. Our extractor fan above the stove has also been giving us some issues. He reckoned that it needs a really good clean and hopes it will sort out the problems we have with it. Before I knew it he had the extractor fan under his arm and off he went!

 

 

 

We also had Babyice’s hair cut this weekend. Even though we gave him the medicine prescribed by the doctor again in the morning, he refused to get his hair cut. At one stage the entire salon burst out laughing when the screaming/crying toddler wriggled out of Rudi’s arms and bolted straight out of the door! Rudi dragged him back in, but we were having no success. Before long the owner of the salon grabbed Elijah by the hand and said ‘Come, let’s go buy an ice-cream’ and they did exactly that. The ice-cream distracted him enough to get the haircut started, but soon he started to become upset again. She then handed him a spray bottle with water in and soon she looked as though she had taken a dip in the pool! He enjoyed spraying all of us in turn and was laughing and crying at the same time. Somehow we managed to get it all done to the best of their ability. If the salon owner had not taken the time or been interested in helping us we probably would of walked out there sans haircut. I was very grateful to her. She even refused to put the ice-cream on the bill, although the haircut wasn’t cheap at R75.00 a pop. Maybe one day we can graduate to using the shaver on him again thereby stretching the time between visits. We didn’t even get to put a cape on him and the hair on his skin really freaks him out. He also get really hysterical when you’re anywhere near his ears. The hairdresser suggested he might have sensory issues (her son had and she used to have to sit on top of him when she cut his hair). I never thought about it before, but he did complain about a clothing label the other day, saying it was hurting him. Only a specific one though, he is fine with the others…so I don’t know. I’ll keep an eye on him. Anyone know of anything else I should look out for?

 

 

Otherwise I think I might have overdone it a bit hiking up into Newlands yesterday. The ligaments carrying my tummy are extremely tender.

Into the wind…

We are fast approaching November, or my “death month”. On the 5th of November it will be 4 years since Jamie died. Four. It seems like such a long time ago, yet still so recent. On the 17th it will be two years since my grandfather passed away. Sometimes it is like he isn’t gone. Sometimes I feel like he is just a phone call away, but of course that is not the case and I soon remember that.

 

 

 

Before he died he asked us to scatter his ashes in Newlands Forest. My grandfather was an avid hiker. Out of all the hobbies he took on in his lifetime, this was one that was consistent throughout. He loved nature and bird watching. When I was a little girl he often used to take me with him. He liked to tell the story of a trip we took when I was about 3 or 4 years old. We were walking a long a path and I was complaining a lot. He tried to ignore my whining for the longest time, putting it down to me being a toddler.  I continued complaining though and eventually he couldn’t take it anymore. He started looking behind him while we were walking (not a very safe thing to do on a hike!). Obviously I was a lot shorter than him, he was quite a tall man. After observing for a while he realized that he was brushing the bushes forward with his legs and they kept smacking me in the face! He laughed about this encounter until the day he died. Obviously I wasn’t very good at articulating why I was unhappy ;)

 

 

But I digress. On Sunday we will finally be going to scatter his ashes as per his wishes. Why did we wait so long? I’m not sure. There were times where we used the weather as an excuse and times my grandmother just burst into tears when we discussed it. Like she wasn’t ready to let go. Then there were times when our lives were just too busy. My grandmother  also brought it up often though. Rudi brought it up this time. He said to me yesterday that we’re having nice weather this weekend, why don’t we go to Newlands on Sunday? So I phoned up the family and suggested it and everybody is available. Rudi also suggested we all have a braai at our place afterwards.

 

 

I am not sure how far into the forest I will get. My back and hips have not been playing nice lately and sometimes walking can be painful. I hope to find a nice place. Can we pray for no wind on Sunday please? Don’t need my grandfather blowing all over the place and potentially ending up in my hair and going home with me and down the drain, you know?

 

 

I’ll be glad to finally put him to rest and to have his wishes fulfilled.

La Leche League

After a recent blog post where I spoke about breastfeeding and how I am not sure what I will do this time around, someone on Twitter pointed me in the direction of @flabbymommy AKA Kim.

 

 

Kim read my blog post and immediately reached out to me and invited me to contact her regarding my concerns. I fired off a short e-mail to her and in no time we were exchanging really long e-mails speaking about my concerns, fears and past experience. She has been incredibly supportive and forthcoming with a wealth of information. Kim is a La Leche League leader:

 

 

La Leche League South Africa is a voluntary organisation which provides information and support to women who want to breastfeed their babies.

La Leche League Leaders are experienced breastfeeding mothers, trained and accredited by LLL, who are happy to help other mothers with questions and concerns about breastfeeding.

 

 

 

I haven’t even had my baby yet and she has made herself readily available for anything I might want to know or even if I just want to talk. Since I’ve started talking to her I’ve already learnt so much that I didn’t know before. She even sent me some videos of a how to latch a baby…at which point I realized I had never seen a properly latched baby up close in my life before and that Babyice had never breastfed properly. He never looked properly latched and I never heard him swallow while we were feeding. Kim invited me to a La Leche League group meeting at her home. It is recommended that you attend a meeting before you have your baby. I dragged my friend Sanita along (she actually wanted to go, so I didn’t have to do much dragging) and we attended the October meeting for the area. The meeting was attended by breastfeeding mothers who spoke openly about their experience and struggles. It is a really supportive environment. Moms are welcome to breastfeed at the meeting should they need to do so and one of the moms let me inspect her latch up close. Her baby looked so happy, he had been feeding for a while and was ‘milk drunk’. It was so cute.

 

 

I had heard about LLL when I was struggling with Babyice, but this was post birth and I was an emotional wreck. I felt like I would just cry on the phone and I was embarrassed that I was failing even after being helped by a friend and a clinic sister. I already felt like a failure and like I ‘couldn’t breastfeed’. What I’ve started doing now is building my support system (Kim) prior to birth and arming myself with a wealth of information. I’ll be watching more latching videos and Kim recommended I purchase ‘The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding’ which is almost like a manual – I think. I haven’t started reading it yet as it only landed on my desk on Monday morning. I ordered my copy from Takealot and didn’t even pay for it with real money since I could use my eBucks. Kim has also told me that she would be willing to visit me at home to help me should we encounter any obstacles. Apparently most breastfeeding problems can be resolved with a little help.

 

 

With Babyice I felt that the hospital interference contributed a lot to our breastfeeding problems. At the time I thought they had screwed it up properly and that it couldn’t be fixed. I had the absolute worst time trying to breastfeed Babyice. At one stage it also became really painful and after listening to Kim and other mothers I wonder if I didn’t also at some stage have thrush which caused the pain, or whether it was just the latching that was incorrect. Some of these questions will never be answered. You can read about the hospital interference here and what I tried before finally giving up here. These two posts give you a rough idea, but don’t even nearly convey the emotional turmoil I went through. How inadequate I felt and what a terrible mother I felt like. The hospital post also doesn’t cover one of the things that happened which I also believe interfered with our success. Babyice needed oxygen after birth and was taken away from me shortly after. Even though he had had sufficient oxygen, they kept him away from me for two hours because they had to wait for a certain nurse to come and clear him or something. During this time they asked for a dummy. With my limited knowledge back then, even I knew that a dummy could cause nipple confusion and create breastfeeding issues. I didn’t want to give it to them. My child was crying, I couldn’t get up and go to him or fetch him (I was still incapacitated by the epidural), Rudi was flustered and the nurses persistant. Eventually I relented and let Rudi give them a dummy. This is just one of the things I felt contributed to our issues.

 

 

Something that I took away from the meeting – breastfeeding is a learned skill. It is not something that comes naturally to all woman as we are so often led to believe. My mother, aunt, grandmother and great aunt never breastfed. I had nobody to help me or show me how to do it. In my culture touching another woman’s breasts or staring at them while they are breastfeeding is taboo. Women cover up, we look away. Please note I am not saying this is a South African thing, I am saying this is the way of my culture within South Africa. There are other cultures where this is really not the case and a lot of women have an abundance of support from their families or women in their community. That is just not my experience. I didn’t grow up with breastfeeding women around me to watch and to learn from. My experience of breastfeeding women is seeing an occasional mother in a mall on a bench. With this in mind, how was I supposed to know how to do it? How was I supposed to know we were not doing it right?

 

 

 

I am hoping with the guidance of the LLL, the support of Kim and other mothers we will be able to breastfeed successfully this time around. I am hoping I’ll be able to stand my ground in hospital and that I will be able to have skin to skin contact immediately after birth and be able to breastfeed immediately too. I realize that it is not going to be easy and I hope that I am not being over confident. The money saved on formula and the time and trouble saved washing and sterilizing bottles alone will make it worth it, not to mention of course the best possible food and mother’s love for my baby.