Previous month:
January 2006
Next month:
April 2006


There seems to be something about having had an epidural that gives medical staff cart blanche to shove you about, pull, stretch, scratch and generally mangle in a way that leaves you battered, bruised and sore in all the wrong places for days and days.
Plus I had stitches but honestly, they aren't the real problem - the real problem seems to be just bruising, and lots of it. Internal and external. Oh that plus one particularly tender bit which has scratches and is swollen as hell. there is also one other problem attached to all this internal bruising and numbness, and I'll leave that to the ladies to know and recognise. Keep doing the exercises.

And the back - oh dear. Oh deary deary me! Having 4 inch tubes plugged in to your back and kept there for er... 13 hours+ probably doesn't help. So you've also got all that looseness and general hormonal stretchedness - and then your body suddenly loses about 2 stone in weight. In 2 days. And your back is expected to cope with this. So lots of bending at zee knees.

So - update on the eating front


So we haven't really moved on from yesterday's gains. He can suck, but more like he latches, then just sits there, then has an ineffectual suck... and gives up, crying (as in: screaming his head off), to revert to the classic "headbutt" manoevre.

I can't keep putting him through that. It's not fair, it's stressful for all concerned and it adds christ knows how much to the feed, after wshich he still has barely eaten anything anyway, so I pump out. If mck's here then I do that whilst he cup feeds James the last lot, but otherwise I have to do it after all of the rest.


So today I tried the old Medela nipple shield. I'm not 100% keen on it as a move, given that over time it reduces the amount of milk you produce. However, not only did he latch almost immediately but he stayed latched, and sucked like a bugger. I pumped out afterwards (yes, I do know just how weird all this must read to anyone who hasn't been through the parent thing, but you know... you don't have to visualise if you don't want to) and there was very little left.

This I like. Now then, James also had a cup with about 20 ml in as a backup - which was half of that which was available but that was approx what was taken out at the end. Given that he had had a good half an hour of screaming and headbutting, you know... you never know he might end up sucking the whole lot later. I've taken the precaution of sterilising my trusty old Avent and all needed extras just in case, and we have another 40 ml backup.

So anyway. What are the plus points of shields: well. It might be that he's only headbutting because he's so wee, and I'm rock hard at the mo. It must be like trying to suck ice sream through a cement wall. So once I've gone "normal", maybe no more shields? We went through part of this with Nora - and it took a hell of a long time to get her off the shields. Meanwhile my milk started reducing and I got totally freaked out. Until an incredibly sensible health visitor said to me "Look, do you know of any child who has been poisoned by drinking formula?" at which point, I flustered a "But! But!" reply whilst the undoubted, simple wisdom of her point sank in. Did it matter if Nora had one formula drink a day whilst we sorted out all the rest of the crap? not in the bloody least. it was that simple change that saved my breastfeeding. Do I give a fuck if James has the odd drink of formula? well right now, with a delicate new tummy, I'd prefer not to, but long term I don't give a toss. The vast majority of his milk will be mine for at least a year. He'll get all the benefits, and I *absolutely* refuse to go through all that stress again. Besides the point, with Noo around too, I don't think that level of stress would actually be feasible.

A minor downer is that whilst he's still using the shields, they're a pain in the ass to carry about with you, whilst sterilised (this has always perplexed me - since when were your knockers ever sterilised? What - are they exempt? No bacteria ever touch them?) butttt you know... talk about a minor bloody hassle, as it goes.

So. To summarise: things could be turning a corner.

Is it Thursday?

So last night Jimminy decided to have a "not quite asleep, not quite awake" 4 hours, bang on in the middle... ie: ok... I think I sort of dozed, and poor Mackay definitely only dozed, with his little finger shoved in to James' mouth.

We have bought dummies. He doesn't like them. It took Noo about a week of solid training ;)

Right then...

The big review will come but it's big, y'see - and at the moment, our lives come in bitesize pieces, dictates by how exhausted we are / whether His Nibs needs feeding - of which more in a minute.

We are currently seriously in Week One Hell. James has - yes, of course! you guessed it. Jaundice. Why did I think life might be amiable or simple in any way for at least part of the journey?
So. Upshoot *isn't*, thank Christ, me not sleeping (as in - at all) for eight days, and His Nibs readmitted through A&E. It's not that bad, see.

However. It *is* bad enough for him to be asleep almsot constantly over the last couple or days. Which means the journey toward successful breastfeeding right now is *disastrous*. How so? Well you can strip a baby down and put it to your knocker, but if your knocker resembled a torpedo with a flat head because it's engorged (tell me when I'm getting too personal here - we also have a photo of the placenta if you're interested ;) and your body heat sends Jimminy Cricket straight back to sleep, despite open doors, cold wipes on the feet *you name it* then young Jimminy bloody Cricket will pretty soon become Skinny Ribs, the starving baby.

So, what you do is - and I thank my stars I have Mackay here, you try him on the knocker, you try to get him to latch on to your swollen, painful tits (pretty fucking unlikely, frankly), then Daddy takes over, and puts the *last* feed that you pumped out (extremely painfully) last time, in to young James via the "cup" mechanism. A very tiny baby will help and lap (just about) at the side of a wee measuring cup of milk if you give it to them (as well as the odd very small slop in to the mouth to help).So whilst Mackay is manhandling milk in to the baby, I am pumping out the next meal, after having given him a good go on both, at present to no avail.

Problems with this approach:
He's learning that sucking on the knock is not the easiest way to get milk.
It is very time consuming
It's a constant churning cycle which has destroyed our sleep for the last 2 nights. now, I reckon that unless we both get some sleep during the day tomorrow, we're both going to be gibbering wrecks by friday which oh joy! Is when Nora is at home. Not that I'm suggesting having Noo around isn't lovely and brilliant. It's just that right now, it would be lovely if she could go on a holiday to her Nanny and Grandad's for a few days.

Common sense suggests that that is unfortunately a Really Bad Idea re: bonding with James, not feeling excluded, etc.

BIG SIGH. It all just feels like deja vue gone mad right now. Nora's first couple of weks were like something from a living nightmare. I didn't sleep, I was stuck in this cycle of pumping out every 3 hours and getting her to drink from a cup, I was absolutely fucking terrified of her being so ill; no community midwives came because the Lambeth midwives services is so shit - any sense of control or support was lost and my sleep loss meant that by a certain point, all I could do was cry. Constantly. Through inhuman exhaustion. Can you imagine the emotional discharge to Noo? She spent the entire week screaming. It was totally unbelievable - particularly after such a difficult birthing process.

Anyway. this ISN'T the same. He's 80% there. Come on darling, all you have to do is get over your jaundice. Please. Pleeeeeeease.

MT / typepad hexpert volunteer please?

Frankly, whoever this is doesn't really need to be much of an expert, but I have no time to work out why my missing posts doc won't load, and that includes a tortuous route through multiple emails to the Typepad help desk, much as they are very nice.

There are a few other teeny glitches that need sorting and right now we really, really have no time at all.

Can someone spare half an hour? Can you mail me at my gmail address? cait dot hurley at?

Merci merci merci.



This is short. I've got better things to do at this time! Full report coming up because the contrast between this and the last is so extraordinary it demands a review - that, despite the fact that the labour in itself was still... let's see - started proper at approx 10pm Friday night but had been having contractions (which I mistook for feeling unwell and Braxtons! twat) for a couple of hours before then.Mr Magoo here came out at 3 minutes past 4 Sunday. So that's what, well.... ha. 42 hours. Exactly the same as last time.

And yet, last time was a horror story. This time was an informed, confident and supported experience... and I gave birth without ventouse (although it was minutes away). I can't explain adequately what a difference that made. I felt James come out. I saw him and held him immediately. Wow.

Meanwhile, this is a note for Nora, which is quite important: Nora, my darling - you won't really remember James appearing, but let me tell you now that so far you have been fantastic. That's first. Second, I know that the description of your birth on this diary sounds like it was a really awful experience, but the thing is, sometimes you have to do bad things for really great things to happen. And you are a really, really great thing. I would definitely do it all again to have you here, so it couldn't have been that bad really, could it. It was just a bit of a shock at the time, is all.

Hello viewers

As you can see below, the export went phut after January. This is currently a work in progress. Feel free to peruse previous entries and leave interesting comments, unless you are a practicing moron, who desires to leave posts with inane philosophical themes, which apparently advertise dubious online chemists.