There is nothing more attractive than a wife who can put a baby to sleep. Without boobs.
Tonight Amy is all kinds of sexy. #mumlife
Our breastfeeding journey so far.
I had always wanted to breastfeed our babies. I come from a family where everyone “tried” breastfeeding, however, none were successful. Either their milk “didn’t have any nutrients” (?) or they just didn’t make milk. I was facing an audience who believed as most mothers do, that they knew more and “I should keep my options open incase I failed”.
I never bought a single bottle nor did I buy any formula. What i did do was go to breastfeeding courses and classes and joined many online support groups to keep myself encouraged and knowledgable. The whole pregnancy i would just keep saying “I can’t wait to breastfeed our baby”.
When Jude was born I just assumed they would place him on my chest and we would try to feed straight away. I kept asking them “do we try to feed now or what should we do?” .
3 hours after Jude being born we were transferred to the maternity ward of our private hospital and I was wheeled in. A midwife asked to see my nipples and said “you’ll need a shield love, you have flat nipples”. I felt so upset and scared at this point. I knew my nipples weren’t massive. I had seen pregnant ladies nipples and they were black and huge, mine were little and pink. I still just figured my nipples would grow. Apparently they hadn’t. The midwife then tried to show me how to get Jude to latch and for the life of him he couldn’t. He would for a second but then he would slip off. I have massive breasts by this stage – 16EE to be exact and probably bigger by this stage. All i ever wanted to do was breastfeed and this was how we were starting out. I was a little upset but knew that I would probably have to face many issues that i kind of swept under the rug so to speak. Jude eventually fed for a short time and it was magical. After he was done feeding Amy was giving him all the love and i was being shown how to hand express to collect the colostrum in a cup and save it in a syringe. I wasn’t very good at it but the nurses kind of just milked me and we popped a small stash in the fridge.
This continued for almost each feed. Amy would help me latch him but pinching my nipple to make it bigger, Jude would latch and then we would express. I was doing it, even if it was different from what I expected.
As with most newborns Jude fed quite frequently. The good thing was, Jude was wee’ing and poohing exactly as he should so we were doing something right. This really set my mind at ease as I knew that those two aspects were important and we were doing it. I recall my family came the next day and i was so scared that Jude would wake up and want to feed because it was taking an army at this stage to get him to latch but we were fine once he was. My breasts were sore, my nipples were traumatised and I was scared they would walk out and discuss how crap i was going at breastfeeding. I didn’t want to fail.
We continued on with everything and I recall my nipples being so cracked. During one of my sleeps I had this dream where I chopped off my nipples, I woke up and burst into tears to Amy because It was only a dream and my nipples were still there. I was DEVASTATED.
Each day got better and we were visited by a lactation consultant that showed us a few tricks as my breasts were so big. We attended a breastfeeding class with the same lactation consultant in the hospital and all the new mums were there. We all sat around, asked our questions and do you know what? Each and every new mother had the same exact same questions. We weren’t alone and we were doing it. This was obviously normal for the start of a breastfeeding journey. We continued to have Jude checked by the pediatrician and he was passing these checks every time. He had gained back all the weight he had lost and he was continuing to pass number ones and twos as he should so we were doing great. We were so proud of our chart that we had to track this on.
I had my placenta encapsulated and on day 2 the lady had brought it back to me, i took the recommended dose. By that afternoon i noticed my breasts were lumpy and hard and felt like the skin was so stretched it could have ripped. My milk had come in.YAY!! Again the midwives showed me how to hand express a little to make it easier for Jude to latch. I cannot recall a time when i would not squirt milk across the room or in Jude’s face after a feed. It was like my nipples were raining milk.
I felt amazing. I HAD MILK. Take that suckers!!!
On our third day we were asked if we wanted to go home early as we were doing so well. I was scared but was given the lactation consultants number and felt excited to head home with my little family. Off we went, off to continue to breastfeed in the comfort of our own home. My nipples were sore, my breasts were massive, sore and I was told they would all calm down in time but until then just keep doing what we were doing and call if we needed. We walked in, unpacked and smooched our little man in our own home. WE HAD DONE IT. Not even a few hours later my breasts were so sore i called the lactation consultant explaining how sore and uncomfortable i was, she suggested i express just enough to relieve the pressure. What an amazing feeling. 100ml expressed and I was feeling like i could get Jude to latch. Hallelujah!!
To be honest it wasn’t until about 6 to 8 weeks that I noticed my nipples stopped hurting. I could have a shower without dodgy the water from hitting my breasts, and i no longer needed our fancy soft towels to dry myself after the shower. We had a few bumps in the road. I tried the shield – it didn’t work. I tried different positions and we just worked and worked on it. It was hard and tiring, but i had done it.. WE HAD DONE IT!! We didn’t venture out of the house for the first 8 weeks (Other than seeing my MIL at her place). Breastfeeding was our main priority and i needed to learn how to feed our boy, so i spent most days completely naked from the waist up.
Fast forwarded to now, and 8 months exclusively breastfeeding I wouldn’t change any of it for the world. We have since found out Jude has an upper lip tie but we’re not sure if we will get it fixed or not just yet. We’re doing fine and I am so damn proud of us, all three of us. Amy has been our biggest supporter and even to this day will bag up my milk for the freezer stash. She will bring him to me for a feed and she will always be the first person to say something if anyone makes mention of our journey. We could have given up but we didn’t. We could have failed but we really just educated ourselves. I’ve been on Motillium and we’ve had elimination diets due to Hives (I’ll blog about that too) but all in all we stuck it out and I feel so freaking proud.
We have a ‘booboo'(name we gave my boobs, so that Jude understands and is easy for him to communicate) baby and he loves it. He will now hug me and slap my breasts when he is hungry. If I lean over him he will guide my breast to his mouth and do that cute rooting round thing all babies do. Amy does feed him breastmilk in a bottle when I have something to do or have a migraine etc. Jude does try to latch onto his Mummy even thou there is no milk there. I find it so cute. I just love what breastfeeding has done for us. I feel this sense of love when i look down and see him with one hand under his ‘booboo’ and one arm cradling it like it’s the best thing he has ever known. LIQUID GOLD!! I honestly adore that we as a family persisted and continued because now we see how much he loves it. How much Jude is comforted by his ‘booboo’ and how good i feel that my milk has grown this human. Last checks Jude was just under 9kgs and I am so very proud of that.
Next up I’ll let you all know about our co-sleeping, baby wearing and car travels. Boy, oh boy, does Jude hate the car! LOL!
This post is super late. In fact almost 8 months since the day but i thought why not update the blog. I have been reading everyone’s posts and have to really make more of an effort to blog.
It was a Friday, I was 38 weeks, we went in to see our Obstetrician and everything was going great. I experienced my very first stretch and sweep and found while it was super uncomfortable the pain kind of went away straight after. We had been worried as Jude was breech for all of my pregnancy until about 33 weeks, when he decided to flip which also brought on some new lovely pelvic pains. I had been suffering from pelvic pressure and had been wearing a special band from about 16 weeks, so I was kind of used to it but boy, oh boy, did it hurt for the last 6 weeks.
Everything was looking fine and much to Amy’s protest our Doctor wouldn’t induce me just yet (I was cheering). We were scheduled to come back the following week which would also have been my last week of work. I wanted to work as close to birth as I could, however, Amy wanted me to finish up 2 weeks early and rest.
It was a Thursday, I was 39 weeks when i officially went on maternity leave. I finished work and headed home, i was stressed (don’t know why) and over the day. Amy decided to try to cheer me up so we went out to enjoy one of our last nights out for dinner, just the two of us. We decided on Mexican, our dinner arrived and I begun to eat my corn chips until i felt something very hard between my teeth. I was unsure if it was my corn chip or my actual tooth, turns out i had chipped half of my tooth off on this corn chip that was meant to cheer me up. Meanwhile, Amy is pissing herself laughing. Still to this day i have that part of my tooth in my wallet – don’t ask me why. LOL!
The following day we headed in to our obstetrician appointment and all the regular checks were done. Nothing new to report but was 1cm dilated but Jude was still happily in his hammock (the name I gave my stomach). When our Doctor checked my blood pressure it was high so he gave that look to Amy and then made a call. He then gave me the news that i would be getting bloods drawn immediately and presenting at our hospital on Sunday night at 9pm to start induction. Amy was so excited she practically made out with him. I was so scared i almost vomited on him.
SUNDAY was only 1 full day away. We were going to be in the labour suite on Sunday night to start the induction, to bring on labour, to have OUR baby. I was so anxious. I was so scared and I was so over Amy being so excited LOL! We had made the decision that we didn’t want anyone to know. We didn’t want to be bombarded with questions and constant calls and texts. We didn’t want to have people waiting and more importantly, after loosing Indie we didn’t want to share this with anyone but each other. We just wanted to be selfish and keep him all to ourselves for as long as we could.
That night Amy decided that she would pack our hospital bags and I decided to check mine (Amy had packed it) and thank gosh I did. She had packed me a shirt that didn’t even fit me when i wasn’t pregnant. A single pair of pyjama pants and underpants a few sizes too small and a Bali shirt that was more like a tank top (which was apparently for labour). Now I do understand i should have packed my bag myself but honestly wife, WTF! I looked over at Amy’s pile and found changes of her best clothes for the week, jumpers and lounge pants etc. Made me giggle but also meant I could go shopping. YAY!
Saturday came before I knew it, and Amy was in full nesting mode. I was in full shitting my pants mode. Amy would clean the house like a cool, calm and excited mum to be while i was doing my best to sleep it all away and not stress about what was about to happen.
Sunday came around even quicker than Saturday, we just went about our day. We had some early dinner and just got on with being either excited, scared and finally made our way into the hospital. Amy had left super early and taken the toll free roads which meant a super long ride to what felt like the last day my vagina would ever be the same – thanks wife.
We arrived and they were waiting for us and gave us the room with “beautiful city views”. I wanted a room with a birthing bath but there was none. Our room still had a bath I could labour in but couldn’t birth there. I was fine with that.
I literally settled in, was hooked up to monitors and before I knew it the midwife was inserting gel to soften my cervix and i was told to lay still for half an hour. I started having period pain like cramps almost immediately. I just knew this was going to be so painful but i was prepared as much as i could have been and just tried to be positive, while quietly shitting my pants. Meanwhile i look over at Amy who is being shown how to look and read the big monitors and how to see when i was contracting etc. I was secretly envious of her for a moment. I wished i was on the other end.
Nothing much else happened. I contracted and contracted and got to 2cm but was doing the best I could to just get on with it all.
The contractions were pretty intense so I laboured a while in the bath but felt more at ease moving around. I would then relax on the bed while Amy would tell me when a contraction was coming. It was the calm before the storm and while the storm would get much more intense I was slowly realising I could do it.
I had another dose popped in and once again was bed bound for half an hour and then could move around. I recall sleeping on and off and feeling trapped, like I was stuck in the bed until the 30 minutes had worn off and as soon as i knew i couldn’t move i immediately wanted to move.
A new midwife came on Monday morning and it was time for another dose to be administered, it was about 10am at this point however, this time when she popped it in I felt like a million razor blades scraping my insides. It felt like a cheese grater had gone to town inside me and i felt swollen and sore and I immediately jumped back and said “no more”. I could not take one more internal – I was done. She explained i was at 4cm and that things were moving along slowly. She wanted to break my waters and at that point labour would become stronger and they could pop me on the drip instead. She explained i could opt for the epidural at that point and honestly while i was dealing with the pain externally, internally my insides were done. They felt so irritated and we hadn’t even got to the good bits. I couldn’t handle another dose to be honest. I often think to myself that I’d rather labour pain free naturally than to ever have another dose administered internally ever again. Amy and I tried to move things along by walking the birthing suite hallways, then back to our room to squat, then repeat all over again for which felt like a lifetime. Amy was still excited as all hell and getting more eager with every contraction. She was walking by my side the whole time, helping me squat. We were working as a team to get this baby out.
I could feel the contractions. One after another. Stronger, more frequent and I was trying to remember to breathe. I guess those four hours went by because before we knew it I was back on the bed discussing what happens next because I was not going to have another internal.
At some point we decided to call the anesthesiologist and he came in, I was propped over a pillow holding onto Amy while the epidural was inserted. I was always open for anything as long as Jude and I were safe. I felt a little scared to be honest getting the epidural, but it was over before i could even begin to worry. By this stage i was feeling each and every contraction, while i wasn’t screaming from pain i was internally screaming. It was such a weird feeling though, as each contraction meant i was closer to Jude. The epidural was done, however, I could still feel my left side and the right side was completely numb. The midwife then went along and broke my water and i was hooked up to a drip. The midwife mentioned that after breaking my water that Jude’s head had come quite further down. Whoop!! Finally!!
I recall having this feeling like it was just going to happen almost immediately. As soon as I was feeling more relaxed and able to process more of what was happening Amy would update me on the contractions and I would be ever so thankful i could only feel them slightly. I recall it being late afternoon and dozing on and off and waking up feeling uncomfortable. We kept asking how things were going and I was examined and told 7cm and Jude’s head had come down further again. This part for me was the hardest. I no longer could feel the contractions as much, they were slight period pains and again only on the left side so it felt like i wasn’t progressing although my body was.
Moving along a few more hours I recall it being around 11pm and I was examined again. Everything was great. I was about 9cm at this point and I was told I would feel pressure and soon enough we would be ready to push.
I recall feeling this pressure get worse, just after the midwives last check. It was like there was a bowling ball just ready to fall out of me. I still didn’t say much, instead I just sat there and thought “ill know when I need to push, they keep telling me”. I mentioned it to Amy and she went and got the midwife. I was examined and was told Jude’s head was sitting right there. The midwife called Amy over and made me push slightly, between Amy and the midwife’s excitement i thought Jude’s head was practically ready to come out. Little did i know, it was just the top of his head.
It is now early hours of Tuesday morning, and the midwife went out to call our Obstetrician. When she came back in she started to get the room ready, and got me to start pushing. Within 30 minutes our doctor had arrived and he began to examine me, he asked me to hold onto my legs and push, I still could not feel one side of my body so this was useless LOL! Amy had one leg and the midwife had the otherObstetrician Our doctor could tell that the midwife was annoying the hell out of me, so told her to move and he grabbed my numb leg. Don’t get me wrong, the midwife was lovely, but boy was she annoying. She kept saying to me “get angry with your bottom” – WTF?!!
My doctor realised that I was numb and could not feel where i needed to push properly, so he got the midwife to grab a mirror. Here i was thinking a little handheld mirror, nope. Next minute the midwife is wheeling in this gigantic mirror and stops it at the end of the bed, now i can see EVERYTHING. I began to push with every contraction, and there he was, i had birthed Jude’s head, it was almost over. I remember seeing Amy’s face and she was scared, like something was not right (scared after losing Indie). Our doctor reassured Amy, as he began to unwrapped the cord from around Jude’s neck TWICE! He turned to Amy and said “come on, birth your son”. Amy freaked out and said she couldn’t, I reassured her she could. Our doctor told her to grab under his shoulders with the next contraction while i push. There he was so beautiful and covered in vernix, Amy placed him on my chest and he made his first sound. His very first cry, then he just laid content on my chest. He was happy to just lay there and so were we. Holding each other in amazement at what had just happened. Here he was, our amazing rainbow baby – so alive and healthy. Everything we had hoped and dreamed.
Today I received approval that my name has been changed.
I am now officially Belinda Hay! I have the same name as my partner and both my babies (when he arrives).
Since it’s still illegal to marry in Australia (so sad) we had to go about it this way but at least we appear to be a family unit now.
My previous name was my fathers and while I know of him and see him once every several years I never felt a connection to the name. Today when I received this I actually cried. Our babies and I are finally the same as their mumma. We are all a Hay now!
Tomorrow we will be 27 weeks pregnant. Where has the time gone?
A quick update of things that have been going on baby and non baby related.
Things yet to come that were both excited about both baby and non baby related.
I’ve probably forgotten a million things but I’ll do a proper update soon enough.
In terms of how things have been, I can’t complain and to be honest I wouldn’t even if I had something to complain about. We are both so happy to finally be in the last trimester (depending on what app you read) and can’t wait to have him in our arms.
We have decided to have no one other than us at the hospital until we’re ready (blog post to come about this). Mainly just to soak him up and enjoy everything we missed with Indie.
I’ll leave you with some photos of my bump and some ultrasounds (he didn’t really like showing us his face at first) and promise to return ASAP with a bigger and more in depth blog post.
19 weeks and showing us how to open his mouth.
Another face shot.
So my lack of posting is a direct result of this.
I’ve been feeling a fair bit of sickness this time around and I was so scared that one of my family members would find out via the blog so that’s why I haven’t been posting. I do apologise.
At least now things are out in the open I can finally blog freely and happily about all things life and baby.
I can’t believe Indie will be a big sister, I can’t believe our family is finally growing ❤️