Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Keeping Abreast of the Feeding

As a mother of three, I'm no stranger to the whole breastfeeding fiasco.

The 'talk' from the midwife during the antenatal classes, the questioning by the midwife while she fills out the green form.

The dreaded question is raised: "and will you be breastfeeding?"

We all give the resounding "yes" answer, full of gusto.

Because it's what we're expected to say. I have never attempted to say no. Mainly because, I, personally, was going to attempt it.

It's all about the word 'attempt'.

You see, it is a very different situation when baby arrives. It's generally not until you've had more than one child that you get a bit of confidence in you to voice what you want and what's going to be best for you and baby.

As a first time mother, the sheer panic when your baby is born turns you into a nodding dog. The midwife will check your wounds, while asking you about your ablutions and personal life and they will discuss contraceptives with you. Along with a check of your baby and of course, the famous 'latch on technique'.

Now, along with sleep deprivation, checking your child every thirty seconds, changing nappies, changing clothes, bathing, settling, winding, vaccinations, visitors, midwife appointments, health visitor appointments and the introduction to specialists if your child has difficulties...

...not to mention; the onset of baby blues, the extreme vulnerability you feel, the pain you have, the bleeding, the adaption to changes to your body, the physical and mental exhaustion and the complete change to your life....

...you have pairs of eyes from most people you come across, waiting for your response to the question:

"Are you breastfeeding?"

Now, don't get me wrong...I did for as long as I was able, and for as long as my child wanted to.

I had every intention to do so, pre-birth, because it was what was expected. However, when it came to the crunch, my children (and my body) had other ideas.

Thankfully, after being tipped off from a friend, I did purchase powdered formula and bottles before baby was born.

The most difficult time was when I gave birth to my tiny baby. At 4lb 4oz, he struggled to breast feed. He was so tiny that he would feed for about five minutes before tiring and falling asleep. We didn't know how much he had taken. I was given a feeding sheet to fill in, what was the point of that? We had no idea how much he had taken.

I was given a small bottle of top up formula, so that after each breastfeed, we would feed this to him through a syringe. He would take 5ml on average before tiring and sleeping again. I can't tell you the elation we felt when daddy managed to get 15ml into him!

When my baby was three days old, and still 4lb 4oz, I quietly asked the night shift midwife for his usual top up formula. She looked at me quite aggressively and questioned why.

I explained that this was what had been advised. She shook her head. "The government are doing a big push on breast feeding, so no more top up- breast feed only now" and she left the room.

I looked at my baby boy, fragility it's true self and hoped all would be well.

We were discharged from the hospital on day 5 and at home, I put the bottles and formula away.

"Breastfeed only" I told my sleeping boy.

As the midwife came and questioned my feeding, I explained what had happened and she happily ticked the 'breastfeeding exclusively'  box.

As my baby had some health concerns, I had a midwife visit every day.

One day a new lady came to visit. She looked at the notes in his book and looked at the scales.

"He's dropped weight" she said. It was more than the healthy 'allowance' he was 3lb 13.5oz.

We were sent to A&E. It was the last working day before a bank holiday weekend.

The Dr saw us quickly and concern rose about the intake of nutrition.

"Ok, let's see how he goes over the weekend, come back on Tuesday (it was a bank holiday weekend) we'll weigh him and we'll think about putting him on formula. In the meantime, please keep him indoors, he's very vulnerable right now, and even catching a cold could have serious consequences" he said.

We left the hospital, not speaking until we got home. I sat in the living room, looking at our small boy in the car seat. For me, there was only one thing to do...

Start the formula straight away.

My close family, all looking at me agreed, completely.

The kettle was boiled, the bottles made, and cooled.

Little man woke, I breastfed him, and,as he tired, I offered him the bottle....

...he took it.

Just a little at first, but he took it!

This began to develop nicely. gradually, he took more and more formula. It was such a relief. I felt happier that my precious little bundle was taking in the nutrition that his little body needed.

We took him back to the hospital as requested...he had gained a little bit of weight!

We had done it! The dr wasn't very happy, nor were the midwives, that I had changed to mainly feeding formula, but to me, government statistics don't have a place in my life when it comes to the health and wellbeing of my child.

Some mothers take wonderfully to breast feeding, and continue for some time, but others don't. It may be that they can't manage it, find it too stressful, or maybe their little one just can't get the hang of it. Don't criticise or judge! Each mother does what she thinks is right for her baby and herself, and it's not wrong!

I'm on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/katesvie
I'm on twitter at: @katesvie
I'm on The Huffington Post at: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/kate-shippey/

Monday, 8 June 2015

Good morning Monday! I guess I seem to have been off the radar for a little while haven't I!

Well I'm pleased to say it's actually for a good reason... I am now writing, as a blogger for The Huffington Post UK.

I am, I must admit, having an extremely proud of me moment, but, I thought that instead of letting you wonder where in the world I was, I would share my links and new contact with you! So here we go:

This is my author page:
http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/kate-shippey/

All of my published articles will be listed on my author page

I now also have a brand new Facebook page to like, where I will be sharing my published articles from The Huffington post UK, and SENDirect.com, along with other interesting things that I find along the way! So, here's my new Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/katesvie?ref=hl

And of course, I'm still on my old twitter stomping ground:

@Katesvie

So, come along and join the ride!

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Loops...just loops

So, dressing as an adult should be run of the mill...yeah?
well, see, that's what I thought, and it really has been for many, many years. Until yesterday.
Yesterday I had a very early start and I was extremely prepared by sorting my morning clothes so that I could get ready without disturbing the household too much.
When the dreaded alarm went off, I tiptoed into the bathroom with my attire and began climbing into my daywear. Only to find my arm getting stuck.
What the.....?
I attempted the jumper again, I mean, really, how hard should this be?
No, the arm was stuck. Now, I'm no size 0 or 2...or 4........or 6 for that matter, but moving swiftly on, this top was well within my sizing and it was impossible that my two glasses of vino the previous night could have done this much weight damage, but there really was no give.
At the end of my tether, I switched the light on, and found the culprit.
Those thin, little straps. So thoughtfully attached by the makers of the top were hanging their heads in shame as I discovered them. Little satiny loops. I believe they are supposed to keep the top on the hanger. However, for me they were keeping my arms out of my jumper.
Anyway, after cutting them off and seeing them slither into the bin in embarrassment, I opened the bathroom door to find my whole household wondering what on earth the trouble was in the bathroom at such an ungodly hour...
ever tried getting toddlers back to sleep at 4.30am?
Follow me @katesvie

Saturday, 20 December 2014

'Its Christmas time, there's no need to be afraid'...of glitter...

It's Christmas, quick, grab your dust mask!

I don't know about you lot, but Christmas brings one thing to mind...glitter.
It's everywhere! You only need to look at the Christmas decorations to find a sparkle on your hand!

It starts off with the decorations. We put ours up at the beginning of December, so that we can enjoy the atmosphere to the full (....it has nothing to do with the constant moaning of the kids from the beginning of October...oh no!) even the decorations that don't have glitter...have glitter.

There is soon a gentle glinting in the daylight of errant 'glit' on every surface available. A stray 'gilt' here and there...nothing too extreme.

Then the cards arrive and it goes so wrong!

The envelopes have glitter on them, the cards inside are coated with the stuff, it's on your hands, it's on the floor, your children are wearing it on their freshly washed uniform, your boys have glitter on their black shoes...oh boy...

By the middle of December, it's on the sandwich you prepare, it's floating in your cup of tea. It's in the water as you wash your face.

It gets even worse on the last day of term for those of you with kiddies! The glitter comes home in abundance! It's on their cards, on pictures, on little self made angels, on calendars (with an odd little star flung in now and then) it's on home made cakes and on the crowns they made. Surely it can't get any worse.....

.....well....

The week leading to Christmas Day, you see the Christmas party goers dolled up, ready with the mistletoe...then you see the boys: hair gelled to perfection; eyebrows gelled to perfection(!); eyelashes combed (!!) immaculate designer jeans, jumpers and shoes; the ultimate in alpha male, ready to pounce, then you see it...the covering of glitter dust, just to the left of their brow.

They couldn't escape it! It gets EVERYONE!

Writing out Christmas cards the other day, I took a badly timed sigh and thought I was choking to death! A plume of glitter flew into my inhalation and oomph into my lungs it went! After a spluttering cough and copious amounts of wine, I recovered. Thankfully (although I'm sure the glitter will be taking up residence on my insides until my dying day).

Next year I'm thinking of just throwing twenty vials of glitter around my home at the beginning of December and not opening a single card, so I'm done with. Then after a month of vacuuming, it should be all gone by Christmas Day!

So, take heed, always pop to B&Q and get a dust mask in time for December, and please, those weight lifters and bouncers out there, avoid Christmas as much as a possible, glittery cheeks ain't a good look!

(PS I know for a fact that those of you who do send me a Christmas card are now going to look for the glitteriest card you can find for me next year! I do love you all for that! :-))

Follow me @katesvie on twitter!

Sunday, 19 October 2014

The Funny Side Of Learning A Foreign Language

I was watching a documentary the other evening. When I say watching, I was busy doing something else, but was kind of listening, which for this documentary didn't fare too well.

On the documentary, there was a man, who's first language was not English...in any form... The subtitles told me what he was intending to say in English, although, even with the subtitles, it didn't remotely sound anything like what the subtitles were telling me...until...

He swore. In English. It was pronounced so clearly and carefully, even using the plural, and used in the correct context! The man was explaining how he had been robbed. He told us all, sitting at home with our horlicks, that the 'f*****s' took everything he owned. He also used the swear work in not only the correct context, but also he demonstrated it in the correct tense! He told us all, who by now had choked on our horlicks, that he was now 'f****d*' because he had nothing.

That is pretty impressive...is it not? I'm not sure if his English tutor has been doing a darn good job, but with a bad choice of words, or an appalling job with wonderful vocabulary!

This made me think of my language lessons at school and college. I recall sitting for hours in lessons listening to people, embarrassed in pronouncing a French/Spanish/German word, getting it wrong on purpose. The teacher groaning a sigh of defeat and pronouncing it with exaggerated mouth work out to attempt even one pupil to have the word flow of their lips... It never did.

Even now, as an adult, if  a friend or colleague reads out an except from a magazine, will even the simplest 'bonjour' come out as 'bonshjoor' with the same nasally deep sound it is intended as? No.
It comes out as 'bonnjoower' doesn't it?

Yes. We are no good at this...at all. Our embarrassment overcomes any slight hint that we are pretty darn good at any form of foreign language pronunciation.

HOWEVER....

However, have you ever been to a football match? WOW! Every football fan in the British isles becomes completely fluent in their pronunciation! It's incredible! From the highest of the Scottish highlands to the broadest cockney...they can pronounce an Italian footballers name to a T! The French names roll of the tongue with a flourish and, women beware... Has your man even corrected your pronunciation?! Yes! I believe the answer is YES!


Sunday, 12 October 2014

The Black Sock

It's a funny thing when you do the washing isn't it! (Laundry for my American readers!)

It's the socks.

They cause no end of trouble, regardless as to whether they are in pairs or on their own.

They are worse than kids!

Walking past my washing machine, whilst my whites were in and during the spin cycle.

I saw it...

THE BLACK SOCK.

It stuck to the glass of the washing machine, doing backflips and sticking it's tongue out at me. It knew I could do nothing about it. The damage had been done. My head fell into my hands. How did that happen?!

I had religiously sorted each white item into a pile, and into the washer they went.

Yet there, laughing at me through the window of the machine was the black sock.

Here are five things to remember while washing:

1) The black sock will ALWAYS find a way into your whites.

2) The black sock will always manage to stick itself to the glass so that it's in birds eye view.

3) The sock will always be single.

4) You will vow to ban black socks from your home.

5)  Grey will become a colour of choice in your household...no questions asked.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Dear Drivers'/ Pedestrians'

Dear impatient car driver/ pedestrians

I am smiling because you have no idea of the day I have had, I am smiling because you are simply ignorant and I am smiling because it's what I do best.

After a sleepless night, with all three of my children, you, yes, the male in the blue car, you thought that I should have driven onto the roundabout tailgating the white Range Rover that I was following. This would have caused me to drive into the path of a bus who was driving at speed to make up for lost time. I had two children in my car and their lives mean much, much more to me than you being late for work. And yes, I saw the obscenities that you were spitting all over your windscreen and I saw the obscene gesture you used. I do hope that you cleaned you window, in the name of hygiene. And frankly, driving the way you did, it would amaze me if you arrived at work with your car in one piece. I would strongly recommend anger management class and perhaps a course in time keeping.

After a meeting regarding children with severe medical needs, I joined a traffic jam, and whilst waiting, I turned on my favourite chill out tunes. Sitting back in my seat, I noticed you. Yes, you, the male in the black car. I watched you waving your arms around and smiled to myself. You had a problem that I hadn't pulled up to the car in front of me close enough for your liking. I had left a massive three foot gap. You needed me to be closer. I recounted the meeting that I had been in, the parents who I had chatted to, who's children were dire need of medical intervention. You manoeuvred your car so that you were next to me, using your hands to show me how much room I had left between my car and the car infront. Thanks, although, I really was fully aware. You used obscene gestures, then shouted profanities at me through your open window. My window was closed. I chose to smile with sympathy at you son in the back seat, who looked to be about 6 years old. He was learning a lot from you. You drove on. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me. They weren't needed.

In post match gridlock, my youngest child was being sick in the back of the car. Having a bad chest infection and generally unwell, my child was very distressed. Thank you to those football supporters who felt that two of three driving lanes cordoned off for those who were walking wasn't enough. To those fans who walked in front of my car, banging on the bonnet and forcing me to stop, my autistic child and my child who was ill really didn't appreciate it and nor did I. To the old lady, who really should have had more sense, I am appalled by your behaviour. It would be safe to assume that you would be the first to complain about 'youths these days', I hope you're ashamed of yourself. Thanks all of you for frightening my children beyond comprehension, and causing me to spend the night reassuring them that you were never coming back.

Thank you to the drivers/pedestrians who caused me to leave the car at home and walk to the shop with my little child in the pushchair and my older child toddling beside me. This caused a different issue.

Thank you to the drivers who park partly on the path. Why do you do it? So that other cars have room to get past? Well, what about those in wheelchairs or parents with pushchairs? I had two options. 1) walk in the road, with my children or 2) walk on people's gardens. On this instance, I walked on the road. Hurrying my child along as we skirted around the freshly washed red shiny car, worrying that those impatient drivers that I had encountered through the day would come barrelling down the road, blasting their horns and using obscene gestures telling me what they thought of me, yelling at me to get on the path, which was taken up with a car.

What on earth has society come to? Do we have no decency at all anymore? The only drivers that I complain about are those who are in too much of a damned hurry to consider any matters of safety. For those who feel the need to have a go? You'll receive a lovely smile and a kiss blown from me.

You all need to give yourself more time and space to live your lives. If you need any pointers, drop me a line.....

Twitter: @katesvie
Facebook: Blue With A Touch Of Pink