YOUNG MOTHERHOOD

Are you an ageist mama? Have you ever found yourself sitting there, pondering that, ‘that girl is far too young to have a baby’? Or, on the other hand, are you a victim of an ageist mum or person? Have you ever been sitting in a café while your child screams and refuses to eat making you already feel like a failure to realise there is already a mum 5 years older sitting in the corner judging you as her child the same age sits nicely?

Now, do not sit there and act all perfect as you read this because we know we have all silently judged another mum at least once in our heads. However, most of us are quickly brought back to reality when our child reminds us how they can go from cute to feral real quick, then we get some guilt’s for putting our judgey pants on – well this is the normal scenario for most of us. It has been made aware to me that not all mothers function this way though.

Being a young mama of two has been an eye opener. I have been told a few things by various different people and it always seems to come back to my age. Why is it that some (to be clear there are plenty of older mums/people who aren’t judgey but there are plenty who are) older mothers think they are better than a women who became a mum at 21 because they became a mother at 29?

I sit in the ‘young mum category’ and I am proud to say I am a young mum and a dam good one at that. I do feel as though I have to constantly prove to those older, that I do know what I am doing, regardless of age. There is such a preconception on young mothers, by everyone – not just older mums. Example of this being that when Harlee-Jae was only 2 weeks old and she ended up in hospital, we were asked some pretty interesting questions from the doctor-

  • Do you have a cellphone?
  • Does your cellphone have credit?
  • Will you ring an ambulance if something is wrong?
  • Do you have a car to drive to the hospital in an emergency?
  • What sort of housing situation are you in?
  • Do you have heating in your house?

Well slap me sideways and call me sally. I knew I looked like crap because I had a newborn who was sick and bugger all sleep but never did I think I looked homeless, haha! Now sure this might be some sort of protocol but really. Did I really look like someone who would not ring an ambulance if I needed one? I still think I got asked these questions purely because of my age, I bet they didn’t ask the 35 year old mum down the corridor the same questions!

This is what I really felt like saying to the doctor but I was far too tired to care at that point. ”I do own a cellphone which always has credit, shock horror huh. Another crazy fact, we own a bloody car! It even has petrol in it and I even have a full license to drive safely to the hospital, if need be. And I know, you’re probably thinking ‘bet they live at home with their parents or in a run down crappy flat.’ We actually own our own home! All by ourselves! It even has a fireplace to keep us warm just too really throw you off.” Could you have imagined the look on his face if that is what I really did say, ha!

The most common phrases people love to throw at you when they find out you are pregnant usually include-

  • Oh you are so young, why have children now when you have your whole life ahead of you? Yes, I am young but having children young only means I get to enjoy my whole life with my children in it. When you are 35 with a new born, changing nappies and still having sleepless nights, I will be sleeping peacefully in my own bed while my grown ass children make their own food and wipe their own asses, ha!
  • You are just a child yourself! Thanks, for the input but 21 is not a child, I am a grown, independent woman who can look after herself and children.
  • Shouldn’t you wait until your friends are having kids? I have never been one to do something because someone else is; everyone leads their own journey and will do things when they are ready!
  • You should have travelled the world first! Has it ever occurred to people that travelling the world is not everyone’s cup of tea or that maybe I would prefer to travel when I am older?
  • You have not had time to enjoy your twenties! Oh sorry nancy drew, I wasn’t aware you were so invested in my life to know what I have and haven’t enjoyed! I have had my fair share of drunken weekends and concerts now I plan to invest my youth into my children.
  • Your parents are far too young to be grandparents! Gosh, I never knew there was an age restriction on when you can and cannot become a grandparent! These people would be shocked to know my youthful parents in there 40’s love having grandchildren and have the energy to enjoy them.
  • Having a baby is really expensive, can you afford that at your age? Babies are always going to be expensive. No matter what age you are, you will make it work and give your baby what is best in your ability.

Then there are just the downright offensive comments-

  • Was it an accident? Really, why is this such a big deal and why cannot we use the term surprised? Like yeah I was not planning on this right now but I would not call any of my children accidents. They were a surprise and I would not have it any other way!
  • It is just not right. You are far too young! Well regardless of my age, am I doing a good job? Yes, you say. So why not back off about the age side of things!
  • At least you got it out of the way early… Yeah really out of the way. The kid is our kid, and will be our kid forever so I am not quite sure how it’s ‘out of the way’, Ha!
  • Did you consider abortion? Do I really need to explain why this question is not okay? RESPECT people. It really is not hard!
  • Wedding must be happening before the baby is born then. Why does a ring determine if we will be good parents? To be honest, a child is a lot more testing and way more of a life commitment than a wedding soooo short answer, no.
  • You might regret having kids so young. The. Heck. What sort of assumption is this? I am pretty confident when I say that every mother who has had a child young would never regret them. But hey, what do I know? Because I am just a ‘young’ mum right. 😛

Why is it okay for people to be so offensive to mothers regarding age? Tell us how we are doing but do not regard it to our age. We do not need to be reminded every single day that we are young. We know our age and if a child is being brought up in a safe, happy and healthy way then who is anyone to judge?

So next time, you want to judge a mum purely because of her age, stop and think is it really worth it? Because in all honesty, I am as much like you as you are like me. We all have bad mum days and we all have amazing mum days. We all feel mum guilts. We all feel like we could be doing a better job and we all feel some crazy love for our little humans but it is time for mum’s to stand together and have each other’s back regardless of age, race, working mum, stay at home, mum of one or mum of ten. We are all doing what’s best for our families and busting our butts to make the best of this crazy adventure we call life.

So, in case no one has told you today. YOU are a good mum, YOU are doing an amazing job and YOUR little humans are so lucky to have you! ❤

Lace xxx

LABOUR UNCUT TAKE TWO – KELLAN TREVOR POHE PATTERSON’S BIRTH STORY

 

The day I was absolutely dreading because it was my second time round and I knew exactly what I was in for, the day we spend 40 weeks waiting for – Labour. Again, it will be honest and it will be raw so only read if you enjoy the good the bad and the truth behind labour, well my labour.

It was early hours of Saturday the 2nd of September. I had taken my massive pregnant self out to the lounge to sleep on the couch for a few reasons. I was super uncomfortable and the couch seemed like a better option, I had crazy insomnia and Ben’s snoring was next level because he had a cold.

I woke up around 4am and went to the bathroom for what felt like 100th time that night. However, this time I noticed I was starting to lose my mucous plug. I went into full panic mode. Last time with Harlee-Jae, I started losing my mucous plug and she arrived five or so hours later. So obviously, I thought that’s going to happen again! I went in and woke Ben up, stressing that I was not ready for this baby! I still had so much to do. I was meant to have three more weeks! Ben managed to calm me down and assured me I was not having a baby right then and there and we would sort it and he was right. No baby came and I could relax again.

All day on the Saturday, I was so uncomfortable. I quickly regretted wishing he would not come and thought how am I going to do this for three more weeks. I had no signs of contractions all day and had stopped losing my mucous plug; I thought it must have all been in my head.

I had not started anything to naturally bring on labour as I did with Harlee except drinking red raspberry leaf tea on the 1st of September. However if you do want some tips on what I have tried, head over to Harlee-Jae’s Birth Story to hear what I did try with her!

Sunday the 3rd of September had arrived – Father’s day! I had woken up and had diarrhoea and some slight cramping – very similar to the morning that Harlee came. I said to Ben, I think I may have a baby tonight. He thought I was all shit because of my meltdown in the middle of the night hah. I rang my mum who was heading to Palmerston North for the day, which is two hours away from where we live. I was in two minds about this, I wanted her to go because what if I didn’t have a baby but then what if I did go into labour!? I need my mum if I am having a baby today! However, I told her to go because I did not think he would come until early hours of the next morning.

It was Ben’s first father’s day so it was a chilled morning for us to just enjoy it as a family. Around 11am Ben and I kind of got the same thought and said we should get organised just in case this baby does come? So, that’s exactly what we did. They say we women nest but seriously, I believe Ben was nesting hah! My typical male partner, who isn’t into the cleaning scene whatsoever, was into it! He did the lawns, he cleaned out the laundry, he washed the inside and outside of the car and got little man’s capsule and base sorted into the car. While he smashed that, I smashed the inside of the house – Kitchen, bathroom, sheet changing, vacuuming, bag packing etc. We were on a serious roll!

I then rang my dad who would be on Harlee duty IF I were to go into labour. So, off I shot around to his house to drop off the porta cot, just in case. Dad had visitors who looked at me thinking naaaaaaa, she’s not having a baby today. It was about 2.30pm when I said to Ben, I think my contractions are every hour now. Funny how it was my second time around and I still was questioning if I was going into labour and if I was really having contractions!

My mum then text at 3pm saying we are leaving now. She rang and said to me, I just have a feeling that we need to come back now and that is when I said to her ‘Thank fucking god because this baby is definitely coming’. Ben and I got all bags packed and the boot loaded up. All of Harlee’s bags and other things were packed and her car seat was moved into my Grandad’s car and she was ready to go with him to my dad’s once I was ready to go.

4pm hit and I text mum telling her she needs to hurry up. I think I was in denial and my contractions were actually happening every 20 minutes at this point and things were progressing very quickly. I rang my midwife and because we had to travel an hour north to Base Hospital because of my history of haemorrhaging, she said I needed to let her know when contractions were 10 minutes apart.

This next hour waiting for my mum, was the longest hour of my life. I could feel my contractions getting closer and the clock was not going any faster. Finally, they arrived just after 5pm. We packed Harlee up and sent her off to my dad’s and little did she know next time she would see us, she would have a little brother too! I do think she knew something was up though; she was not having a bar of Ben and I and couldn’t have been happier to get out of the house.

Once she was gone, I finally sat down to time my contractions properly so I knew where I was at. I had figured they were around 8-10 minutes apart so on the phone I got again to my midwife and we were off to Hawera Maternity to meet her in half an hour.

6pm hit and it was kind of like dejavu! We arrived at Hawera Maternity. It was nearly a whole year ago that I was walking into this place with no idea what was ahead of me. Only this time, I knew full well the pain that was coming for me! Just like with Harlee, I walked in as normal as could be so the other midwife on said to my midwife – she is not in labour!

I was popped on the monitor for a while just to make sure baby was still happy in there. Then it was that fun time for an internal! And just like that, I was five and a half centimetres dilated – woohoo! My midwife went and sorted out the ambulance and brought me a MASSIVE pad to sit on. When I say massive, I’m talking like a bloody surfboard! But she had told me my waters were right there and ready to pop so the pad aka surfboard was just to help absorb it if my waters were to break on the ambulance ride! I got out of my clothes and into a hospital gown because I really could not have given a shit what I was wearing when I was about to have a baby.

Because of my postpartum haemorrhage with Harlee, I also had to have a IV line in, just in case. However, my veins are extremely hard to see, you would have more luck finding water in the Sahara desert! My midwife got a nurse from A&E to come down and tackle my veins to try to make it a reasonably fast process… She could have not been more bloody wrong! When the nurse first arrived, I heard her say ‘oh I will give it a go’. First off, her confidence was not there so she should have turned around and got someone else! I was already in labour with contractions hitting hard and fast and I really wanted to get on our way because I did not want to have a baby in the ambulance! So the sooner we got to New Plymouth the better!

The nurse came in and probably spent the next 10 minutes examining my veins, saying the same old thing over and over. She then thought she would give it a go in my right arm. She sat down, stole my pillow, got a chair and sat down. I was about ready to offer her a cup of bloody tea hah! She then prepped my arm and took her time flicking my vein and all sorts of other things. After wasting another 20 minutes, decided this arm was not going to work for her so moved over to my left arm and repeated everything all over again. Except this time, the midwives had come in and she had an audience! Obviously this did not help her confidence and she went straight through my bloody vein – that made for a beauty of bruise the next day! I could see her confidence was at an all time low and my patience was wearing very thin. Back to my right arm she went, taking her jolly good time all over again and refusing to put the big needle in, in case she stuffed it up again. Finally, after using the little needle rather than the big and wasting soooooo much time she got it in!

Finally it was time to get into the ambulance! On the bed I got, and all set up and ready to go. I quickly remembered how small an ambulance was and was determined to not have a baby in there! My midwife and Ben jumped in the ambulance with me and my mum and her partner followed very close behind.

Following Lacey up to Base in the Ambulance Sunday 3rd of September 2017 before Kellan was born

Ben and my midwife talked and talked the whole way up. It was great for me because the constant conversation was a good distraction. It was pitch black outside and I could not see a thing – thank god! I had no idea where I was so the whole time I kept my legs tightly crossed and got through my contractions hoping for no baby just yet.

I said to my midwife, I am starting to feel some serious pressure down there. She later told me we were only about 10 minutes away from the hospital but she didn’t want to tell me that then in case I wanted to push.

We got to the hospital finally around 8.30pm. My mum and her partner were already in the birthing suite waiting for me to come in. I went in and they could not believe how calm I was – that was the one thing I really wanted to do this time, I knew it would be a lot easier for me if I kept calm and did not stress. My midwife told them that I was so calm coming up throughout my contractions that you would not have even known I was in labour.

I went to the loo, we all just took our time to get settled in and then I knew it was nearly time. I asked for gas and I was determined to get it this time! I couldn’t figure out how to breath and suck on the gas when I had Harlee but this time it was bloody good! My contractions were super close and I was feeling ready to push!

I kept cool, calm, collected, and kept on chatting away to everyone. My midwife then said, your waters are going to break any minute now and probably hit that wall over there and then I will be catching a baby about here! Sure enough a few minutes after the tsunami otherwise known as my waters, it burst and after a super quick three minutes of pushing, out flew Master Kellan Trevor Pohe Patterson and 9.05pm on the 3rd of September 2017.

Straight away, I was hooked up to a machine for four hours of drugs to keep my bleeding at bay. There was no hesitation to whether I was haemorrhaging or not, they just got me all connected to be safe. I did not haemorrhage because they were super organised but I still did bleed more than your average person – so it was for the best that we made the mad dash up to Taranaki Base Hospital.

Just like that, our hearts had grown that little bit bigger. Our new addition was here 3 weeks earlier than we thought he would be but we would not have had it any other way! We all had cuddles and photos taken and before we knew it, it was nearly midnight. My mum and her partner headed back to Hawera and Ben was allowed to stay with me. I was running off adrenaline and could not sleep. After that long four hours of having drugs through the IV line, I was finally all good to be taken off and allowed to have a shower – If you have had a baby, you will agree that first shower is amazing and makes you feel so good! If you have not had a baby, trust me you will love the first shower, even if it feels like your vag is hanging down to your knees, hah!

As crazy as it sounds, the second time around was definitely easier than the first for me. It was absolutely petrifying knowing what pain I was in for but it also helped me know what to expect so it was easier to keep calm – this was my one goal this time and I think I did it! My midwife joked that I would be no good for students to come and watch my labour to put them off getting pregnant as teenagers, because I make it look far too easy, hah!

I hope you enjoyed my birth story, take two and remember you can also check out my first birth story here. Hopefully this hasn’t scared the daylights out of you if you’re expecting but I hope it has given you a little bit of an idea of how labour can play out – even though yours could be completely different! Check back in a fortnight to see the latest blog post, in the meantime come and follow us on Instagram and Facebook to keep up with us in-between blog posts!

Lace xxx

THIRD TRIMESTER UPDATE- WEEK 35!

 

Just like that, we are at week 35! Five bloody weeks to go. In just over a month, we will have not one, but two tiny humans to care for! Super exciting but yet super scary! I have an app on my phone, which happily reminded me I have 33 days to go. When it is said like that, it really does not feel like that long! So, since I am nearing the end, I thought I better give an update on pregnancy and life in general!

I find it so crazy how fast; this pregnancy is going/has gone. I think I almost feel bad for this little babe because I cared so much with Harlee and was super organised but I guess it is not that I don’t care about this pregnancy it’s just that I have got a nearly one year old keeping me on my toes constantly. With your first, you kind of spend your days in the last weeks waiting and waiting, this is definitely not the case this time. I still have plenty to do! Here’s just a few things on my list off the top of my head-

  • Little mates nursery is still not finished! I do have most of the necessities but the room itself is nowhere near done but hey, as long as he’s got clothes and a bed we will be right – hah. I do plan to get most of his room sorted over the next couple of weeks so fingers crossed I stick to it and once it’s done I’ll do a little blog post on it! Well hopefully!
  • I haven’t even thought about my hospital bag yet! In my head I’m definitely going to make the 40 week mark so I haven’t been stressing about this too much. However, we all know things don’t necessarily work out the way we think, especially when it comes to babies – hah. So, I’ll get onto packing that bag in the next couple of weeks too, just in case! Again, I do plan to do a blog post on this too, to try take away the hassles and the ‘have I got everything’ questions when packing your hospital bag!
  • NAME! We still have no idea whatsoever what this little guy is going to be called! We get ideas of what we think we like then a few days later one of us goes off the idea. I always knew I liked Harlee for a girl so always had my heart set on it. Her name was so easy, I expected it to be just as easy this time but I could not be more wrong!
  • House renovations. For those of you, who know us; know we have been renovating our house! We have ripped out two walls, put in a completely new kitchen, put in new bi-folding doors in our lounge, repainted all the bedrooms and had a supporting beam put in where one of the walls was taken out. We have accomplished a lot but we still have a lot to do! We still need to build a ‘fake’ wall around our pantry just to give it a nicer look, gib over the new beam and a tiny bit of the wall, rip the rest of the wallpaper off, and repaint ceilings and wallpaper. In the perfect world, this would all be finished before the baby arrives however, this may not be the case! We will try get as much done as we can but between Ben being a shift worker and my dad being a shift worker (who has been helping us) and just life in general, we are running out of time!
  • Harlee-Jae’s first birthday is just around the corner! In fact only 10 days before her brothers due date! So, on top of all of the above, I’m also planning a first birthday! We are keeping it pretty chilled for her first birthday. It’s more of just a gathering of family and a few close friends but even this requires preparation! I think I’m doing pretty well so far though, most things are organised for the party side of things and I have most of her birthday presents sorted! Lets just hope baby brain hasn’t let me forget anything major!

That is just a little run down of a few of the big things that are left to do. On top of that there is still all the little things like birthdays – august is an extremely big month for us with birthdays! Getting the house sorted and ready for baby life again and just life in general! It feels like one day I had six months to go, now I have practically one month to go!

If you read my labour uncut blog post, you will probably remember me talking about haemorrhaging with Harlee. If not I will just give you a little bit of a run down. My mum is a known bleeder and my midwife was also her midwife so she was pretty on to it with my labour and wasn’t willing to take any chances! I had an IV line put in my arm about an hour before Harlee was born and lucky I did because as my midwife thought, I did haemorrhage. From what my midwife tells me, it was pretty bad, although I never realised this because she remained so calm and got it under control pretty quickly. I did know something wasn’t right when every doctor at our little hospital came running in but didn’t think too much of it!

However, I recovered well and everything was good! Until I got pregnant again and I found out it is likely for this to happen again and generally the second time is worse than the first. As you can imagine this has made me pretty dam nervous for labour. Labour is nerve wrecking enough on its own, minus complications! My mum bleed extremely bad with her third – my brother and this makes me pretty nervous. I have a tendency to follow my mums footsteps, problems and all. I have to give birth at Taranaki Base Hospital this time just in case they cannot stop the bleeding. So, if worse does come to worse I can be taken into theatre to stop the bleeding. Our little hospital in Hawera does not have these sort of facilities but I am hoping everything will go smoothly enough for me to come back to Hawera Maternity because I do not really fancy being an hour away from home!

I even contemplated asking to have a caesarean but my midwife was quick to tell me I can still bleed in a caesarean, and quite badly too! The worse thing about it with a caesarean is if they can’t get the bleeding under control then they will give you a hysterectomy and that’s not really a decision I want made for me! So the plan is to go in with no plan – Hah. If I have him naturally, cool. If I have a caesarean, that’s cool too. All I want is the best option for a healthy baby and a healthy me! I’ve decided to stick to that plan because I’ll be honest, its freaking me out a lot! I could be freaking out over nothing because I may not hemorrage but then again it is likely I will. I just have to keep positive!

My pregnancy symptoms this trimester, have consisted of low iron = meaning no energy, excruciating back pain, nausea and indigestion! My iron levels are extremely low! So low that my midwife was contemplating me getting an iron transfusion, mostly because low iron levels mean more likely to haemorrhage and more likely to haemorrhage worse. So as you can imagine getting on top of this is very important! Iron tablets are not my friend though. They make me extremely constipated which make me get the worse sore tummies which don’t make pregnant life any better. I have found an alternative called Spatone, which is great! The only downfall is that it is about $38 for 28 sachets which works out a hell of a lot more expensive than iron tablets that are subsidised!

That awesome excruciating back pain I talked about in my second trimester blog post has been back in full force! Ben has even had to take days off work to stay home and help me out because I was not able to lift Harlee! I don’t even know how to explain the pain but it is my lower back and it sends shooting pain down my legs and through my whole body. It really is not much fun at all! The only things that I find that help are my back belt and a hot water bottle. Even these two things aren’t great but they are better than nothing.

My indigestion has come back with vengeance in this pregnancy also! I think it may be a little bit of acid reflux as well, it’s not great but luckily my old mate gaviscon is up in the cupboard ready to come to my rescue everyday – Hah! The old wives tale is that indigestion means a baby with lots of hair which was very true for miss Harlee so hopefully that’s what it means for this one too!

The one thing I didn’t experience with Harlee’s pregnancy that I have in this one is getting morning sickness again in the third trimester! It hasn’t been extreme morning sickness like some people get but, it has been enough to put me out make me feel pretty blah! The only thing I have found to help is to take it easy! Put all the house chores to the side and save all my energy for Harlee and rest when I get the chance. Oh and a bit of ginger beer always seems to settle my tummy too!

And like every pregnant women in the last few weeks, sleep becomes a distant memory! I am a tummy sleeper so getting comfortable is extremely hard! I also feel the need to pee 10,000 times a night and seem to have really bad insomnia. So any sleep is good sleep at this point – hah! I also feel massive this pregnancy! I constantly find myself feeling uncomfortable and in some sort of pain – especially at bedtime! I don’t remember being this uncomfortable with Harlee until I hit the last couple of weeks. So, five weeks is actually still sounding like a long time to feel this way! Even the most simplest tasks, like getting off the couch are so bloody hard – hah.

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Photo on the left is 36 weeks with Harlee-Jae. Photo on the right is 34 weeks with little man.

So despite all the unenjoyable things, the end is near! I complain a lot and say how much I dislike pregnancy but one day I will probably miss it! I hope that was a good little update for you all and I hope to do another one closer to my due date! If you have any questions about anything, do not hesitate to ask me! I am an open book! Catch you all next week or head over to Instagram and give us a follow and keep up to date with our days on Insta Stories!

Lace xxx

IS BREAST BEST?

What better week then World Breastfeeding Week to do a post on breastfeeding or bottle-feeding. This topic, as we all know, that it is a very controversial one. Sometimes it really does bring the worst out of people and I dislike that. We should all be joining and supporting each other no matter what our feeding journey may be.

I am not really sure where to start this post so how about with – Breast is best. There is no doubt about the fact that yes, breast is best. However, this does not mean it is the best for you. Breast milk contains so much goodness that we just cannot put into formula. This specific term does not mean that this is the best option for you – just like it wasn’t the best option for me.

Formula feeding is such a great alternative. We as mothers should not have to feel guilty buying it from the supermarket or giving our babies a bottle in public. It is pretty dam amazing what people can do these days, we are only going forward in life! Formula is only going to be made better and better. Truthfully, I believe they would not sell formula if it were not any good for our babies! You know, people are doing far worse things like smoking drugs while breastfeeding or abusing their children constantly but here we are still stressing and bullying mothers who are doing far less worse – formula feeding. Why do we focus on something so minor when there are definitely bigger issues going on in the world?

I will openly tell anyone who asks, I did not breastfeed. I tried, not for long but I tried. Harlee was born and she was latching perfectly. I thought I was going to have the perfect breastfeeding journey and I was stoked! However, 24 hours later that all changed. We were still latching fine but my little baby was not happy. She started getting really distressed and just shaking her head back and forth while she was trying to feed. I would have her sometimes up to an hour on each boob sucking away until she would again, start destressing herself. I was so confused as a first time mum. She latched and was supposedly, feeding but she would come off the boob and cry and cry and cry.

It turned out that I had no milk. We had one hungry baby and I could not even produce 10mls. However, the midwives ensured me it would come through really soon, I just had to keep putting her on and letting her suck to encourage my milk to come through. So, I was breastfeeding a baby while not giving her any milk at all. We were topping her up with formula at this stage because we could not let our little girl go hungry. I will point out the cool technique they used for this in maternity though – well I will try my best to explain it! I am not sure if it has a name but it is like a thin IV line tube – tiny tube so not much goes through it. I would latch Harlee on and then sneak this handy little tube into her mouth so she still thought she was exclusively on my breast. The tube ended in a tiny little pottle of formula and as Harlee would suck it would travel through the little tube and into her mouth. It tricked her into thinking she was getting breastmilk while also let us keep on going with that precious bond. I honestly thought this was such a cool idea for those first few days to try build our bond but obviously as they drink more it would become harder.

It had been two days of using the handy little tip above, while also trying to pump several times a day. I pumped and pumped and pumped and got absolutely nothing. I was lucky to get 5mls out of each boob. I also tried breastfeeding tea’s and all the other natural things to hurry it all up but nothing was working! It was getting to a point of feeling embarrassed asking for top ups of formula from certain midwives because they were so pro breastfeeding while also starting to lose my sanity being stuck in maternity. They were not willing to let me go home until feeding was sorted. My baby was not happy and I was not happy.

After a long few days and an unhappy baby I finally cracked early hours of one morning. Luckily, my amazing midwife was on and was happy to come in and talk to me. I was and am so lucky to have her. I said to her that I did not think breastfeeding was for me, I was starting to lose my sanity and I hated seeing my new baby so upset and hungry. I remember her exact words being ‘Let’s give bottle feeding a go and if it works we will toss the tits!’ Just from speaking to one person and finally speaking up about how I felt, a massive weight was lifted off my shoulders.

Ben and my family were all supportive no matter what decision I chose. Let me tell you, it was not a decision I made lightly. The pressure and guilt of having to explain to every other person why I was not breastfeeding was daunting. We all know that’s one of the first 500 questions people think is okay to ask and judge you on once you’ve had a baby. Here is the issue with this though – notice how my initial thought and worry was about the judgement I would get for not breastfeeding, not what was actually best for my baby and myself. This is the problem with society – we should not have to worry about this stuff. Becoming a new mum is hard enough as it is without stressing what everyone is thinking about your every decision.

After having a chat with everyone who mattered and having a good day bottle-feeding we decided to turn to formula also known as ‘the dark side which only mothers who don’t care about their babies choose’. I laughed as I wrote that but sadly; this is what many people think of formula feeding. I honestly question if and when my milk would come through. I had no problem when I dried up with leakage or sore boobs because I literally had no milk!

The problem is, many women think they can bad-mouth mums for not breastfeeding but then some formula feeding mums think it’s okay to bad-mouth breastfeeding mums. WHY? Why can we not all lift each other up? Yes, we are all entitled to opinions but there is no need to bully each other about it. Myself as a formula feeding mum, felt like I was constantly judged. Do not get me wrong I had many supportive people around me but the negative always seems to out-weigh the positives. We all know how hard this mum gig can get. Do you really want to be the reason of pushing a mum over the edge because you could not keep your opinion, just an opinion – you made it into a bullying tactic and you absolutely crushed that mother. Unfortunately, majority of mothers that are left crushed, are us formula feeding mums. I am not picking sides here, I am just pointing out the obvious. Formula feeding mums will always be classed in a different category to breastfeeding mums. Formula feeding mums cop so much crap from doctors, nurses, midwives, friends, family and even strangers – it is mentally really hard. Breastfeeding mums cop backlash from formula feeding mums and that is it – everyone else praises them for doing the right thing. I am not saying that it is okay to give breastfeeding mums any slack because they do not deserve it either but I believe that it is society’s fault for putting so much pressure on formula feeding mums.

The core of this will always come back to breast is best and yes factually breast is best. It is what our bodies are supposed to do. However, it is not always that simple. That is why there is this amazing alternative – formula! So yes for the facts side of things breast is best but for a happy, healthy, fed baby and a happy and sane mother – FED IS BEST! At the end of the day when our children are all five and at school, I can guarantee you won’t be able to tell what child was breastfed and what child was bottle-fed. They will both grow up healthy and live their lives.

Basically, what I am trying to get across here is no matter your situation – you are a good mum. We all need to learn how to share our opinions nicely. We all need to support each other whether we breastfeed or bottle-feed. Everyone’s journey is completely different! As I’ve heard a few people say this week on social media – we need to use world breastfeeding week as a time to share our stories to let mothers know they aren’t alone, to share our advice when things were not happening how it should, to educate one another with tips and tricks. We all need to hear the real stories of breastfeeding – not how beautiful and amazing it will be and how easily and naturally it will come because truth is, it may not be like that.

So please ladies, can we join together and support each other. No one should be made to feel like a bad mum because of her choices. At the end of the day, the one thing we are all trying to accomplish is to bring up our children to lead an amazing healthy life. No matter how we get there, we will. Let’s use world breastfeeding week for what it is intended to be – a week to share our stories, educate each other and support each other.

I really hope no one has taken this the wrong way. I am on both teams and understand both sides! However at the end of the day a healthy you, a healthy baby and a fed baby is best! No matter what anyone says that is truly all that matters. Hope you all enjoyed this post and come back next Sunday to hear some more yarns about something mum!

Lace xxx

BABIES AND FRIENDSHIPS

Keeping friends once, you have had a baby, sounds simple right? It really is not. When they all find out you are pregnant, everyone is your best friend. Everyone is so eager to know the details and remind you how much they will be around once baby is born. It is very easy to say things and never go through with them. I know for some people, they may be lucky enough to actually have their friends stick to their word and actually hang around but I know a lot of the time this does not happen. I remember many people telling me, ‘you will find out who your real friends are when you have a baby’. Unfortunately, it is a very real thing.

For me, I was the first to get pregnant out of my friend group. As soon as I announced my pregnancy, they were all super happy for me and were fast to tell me how they would all make the best aunties. All of a sudden, they all wanted to be my best friend and know everything. As most people, I have a few friends who I class as my best friends and a couple of them offered to throw my baby shower – which was awesome and the baby shower was a hit! I had a massive turnout of people who all had to be there and I was very spoilt! However, do not be fooled by all these people who come to these and tell you how much they are going to visit… They probably will not. I can count on one hand who has been to visit regularly out of 20+ people who were at the baby shower!

I actually started to pick up that people were not really going to stick to their word and hang around once Harlee was born. However, I just sat back and waited it all out to see what the outcome would be.

You will eventually give birth to your perfect little bundle and then the messages will flow in of asking when they can come visit. Everyone wants to be your friend again! I have a big family and so does Ben so we decided to limit our visitors to close family and friends for the first few days. This did not go down well with some of my friends. Although they never told me to my face that they were not happy, it obviously got back to me. I had just had a baby, I was learning what I was doing as a first time mum and as soon as I found this out I knew they weren’t my real friends and I tried not to let it get to me because I clearly had bigger things on my plate.

I knew that life would be harder with a baby; I just did not quite understand how hard it would be. It is not all fun and games of having all the energy in the world and feeling like visitors all the time. A lot of the time, I just did not feel like any visitors. I just mostly wanted to sleep the day away whenever my baby would sleep. True friends – they get it, little things like these are what makes you appreciate them and have that lifetime bond grow. Fake friends – they will take it personally and think it is because you don’t want to see them. However, all of you with new babies will know it is really just because you are so bloody knackered!

So far, this post has been a bit of a Debbie downer, Hah. So let us finish up with the carryon of fake friends. I do not even know if fake friends is the right term to use. Its more so friends you lose touch with and friends that cannot adjust to your new life as a mum. Try not to let this upset you too much. People go their separate ways in life – it just happens. You may not fully disconnect with them as I still do see friends I would not say I am that close to anymore. Once every now and then something comes up that everyone attends and you do see each other. Do not hold grudges with them; just let it be a nice friendship you do not have to fully invest in as you do with your best friends. You have to remember, especially if they do not have kids, it will be really hard for some people to understand your new lifestyle. Do not stress about it and remember what your new priority in life is!

Making friends with babies – This I find extremely hard. I still would not really say I have many friends with kids since having Harlee. I mean, I am most definitely not shy but making mum friends is just awkward. How do you initiate it? Like ‘Hey, I see you have a little human. I have a little human too – let’s sit and watch them destroy our houses and complain about it at the same time’. I know many people who have had kids, it is just the how to start the friendship I struggle with. So, I’m not really going to offer any tips on this because I actually suck at this, hah! I know I could attend coffee groups and things similar but I am one of those people who prefer to know at least one person at these things so if it were to go pear shaped I would have someone! Stupid I know, but that is just me. I am sure Iots of people feel this way so do not let it stop you! I am sure that all the mums at these kind of things are actually really nice and welcoming.

I literally have three friends who I class as my real friends who are always there for me no matter what. We do not see each other often but when we do, it is just like the good old times. Social media is a massive help to these friendships that I cherish. We may not see each other every week but we keep in pretty good contact on a daily basis thanks to snapchat and Facebook chats. The thing I love about these friends is that if I needed them, they would be here in a heartbeat. They are the ones you need to look out for and keep close! The make or break with these friends all comes down to how understanding they are. Your friends will understand why you can’t go somewhere at a certain time because your baby is sleeping, they will be happy to work a day out around you and a routine and they will just understand why sometimes you have no energy to cart a baby out.

Are you still finding it hard to juggle your important friendships with your new lifestyle? Here are some of my tips-

  • Have a regular catch up

So, we haven’t been doing this for too long but we have started having a regular catch up dinner once a month. Once a month is good and realistic because we all have lives and we all get busy. It is an awesome way to have a catch up and just chill out with your girls.

  • Always try attend special occasions

If it is a special occasion, go! Birthdays for example happen once a year so it is important to make an effort for these. Even if they do not do anything for their birthday, call in for a visit!

  • Make a Facebook chat

This is an awesome idea, if you see something somewhere and you just need to talk about it, just pop it in the good old facebook chat and then before you know it you will probably be messaging all night, hah.

  • SNAPCHAT!

Snapchat is awesome, you get to see what your mates are up too and you can show them what you are up too everyday through pictures! It is like seeing their face every day but you are not, hah!

  • Call in for a random visit

I am actually bad at this, I need to improve on it but call in for a visit! Even if it is for half an hour. Use your spare time on things that will make you feel good!

There is a few little things you can do to keep in touch with your fav gal pals. There is much more but that is just what I find helpful!

Here is a little tribute to my three very close friends. Rylee and Cheri, my friends with no kids but yet so understanding of my lifestyle and Kelly, my friend with a kid but still always there for me :P. If It wasn’t for you three I would go insane. I am lucky to have people super understanding and always willing to be there. Thanks for caring about my kid. She is so lucky that she has been blessed with three more awesome ladies to call aunty. Thanks for wanting to see my baby more than me, Hah. I am glad that she is not a burden to our friendships and you guys are all so welcoming of her. Thanks for sticking around, even when we do not catch up for a month, sometime even two – life never changes we are still the same. I am glad on days that suck; I know you are all just a message away. I imagine you all in my life forever and I am so happy to call you guys my best friends!

 

There is my little bit about friendships after babies. You will lose some, you make some and some will grow stronger. It is funny how so many things change in your life once you have kids that you would never expect. Hope you enjoyed the little read and I will catch you all next week!

Lace xxx