Wednesday, 17 October 2012


....or that's Norwich, to anyone who doesn't have the Norfolk accent. I am one such person. This is my fourth week of being here staying with Mum. Our property completed last Friday and Caleb and I are moving back down at the weekend. Seth is down there now with his Dad, doing fun stuff like painting and making it look pretty for when we move back. It will be so nice to be together again rather than having a "weekend only" husband!

I had mentioned previously that being here is kind of bittersweet because although it's lovely to be here, I really miss Seth. And of course that's true, but I have had a great time being here too. When we come back to visit just for the weekend, there is never enough time to do everything we want to do and see everyone we want to see, but I have had the luxury of being able to do both.

Caleb has had a great time hanging out with his cousins, Sam and Caitlin. He has seen them both quite a lot and they are huge fans of his! They have helped to bath him and Caitlin particularly loves helping out with him, she feeds him, helps to clear up sick, puts his dummy back in his mouth when he spits it out and has learned the trick of holding the dummy in place for a couple of seconds until Caleb properly starts sucking on it. Cait is not that fond of showing any sort of affection and isn't really a huggy-kissy type of girl. I have been taking full advantage of this and every time she has asked to hold Caleb, I make her kiss me on both cheeks, on the forehead and on the nose. Because I'm really nice like that. And she does it! Which shows how much she loves Caleb!

My sister Deb has popped round a few times since we have been here and it has been lovely to see her. She adores Caleb and it's lovely to see her with him. I have also had the chance to spend a lot of time with Lins, one of my other sisters. She has Mondays and Fridays off work and so since I have been here, we have spent the Mondays together. It's so nice being close to my sisters at the moment and being able to see them!
Laura lives in Liverpool, but she has actually been here every weekend that I have been here! She has been travelling down to see us and it's been great. It's been just like old times, with her, me and Mum in the house, with the obvious addition of Caleb! We have had a lot of fun together and Caleb has really enjoyed being able to hang out with his Aunties a lot. Not that he tells me that, but he is always all smiles for them and he chats away to them, it's pretty cute.

Mum has loved having us here, although I think that's more to do with Caleb than me! She keeps telling him that she is going to keep him here and send me back down to the new home. He chuckles at that every time she says it, I don't know if I should be offended or not??!

I have also had the chance to catch up with a couple of girls who I went to university with. I haven't seen Sarah since my wedding three years ago so it was great to see her and to meet her beautiful children, Megan and Jack. I saw Bernadette last year at her wedding and when I caught up with her, she was heavily pregnant. It was fun talking babies with her. She has since had a baby girl, Freya but I've not had a chance to meet her as I have had a cold and I don't really want to share my germs with a newborn bubba!

When I first realised that our house wouldn't complete in time and that I would have to come and stay with Mum, I was sad that I would be away from Seth although pleased also that I would see Mum. Everything has worked out pretty nicely as I have had a lovely time here. Every cloud has a silver lining!

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

breastfeeding or bottle feeding?

I wouldn't usually blog about something like this, some people may think that it's a bit of a taboo subject, but I thought I would share my experience. Maybe no one cares, or maybe someone will find it interesting but I have personally found it really helpful to know of other people's experiences of feeding.

We all hear about "breast is best" don't we? I fully intended to breastfeed Caleb. I had no other thought of anything else. When he was born, I didn't own a single bottle or a steriliser as I didn't think I would need it. After all, I'm a woman who just had a baby, breastfeeding should be easy shouldn't it? Perhaps I was naive to think that, or maybe I just wasn't taking into account all eventualities. Because I had bled a lot following giving birth to Caleb, my iron was extremely low and as a result of that, my milk was slow to come in, ie. I had nothing for the first week. I was told to give him formula top ups so on one of the nights I was in hospital, Seth went out to buy everything that was needed and that we didn't already have. I gave Caleb the formula top ups but still carried on trying to breastfeed.

A couple of weeks in, breastfeeding was still a struggle. Caleb was latching on properly and everything but it wasn't as easy as I thought it would be! The midwife and health visitor told me that everything for me was delayed as my milk had only just come in. I found it difficult and painful too (I was doing everything correctly but it just hurt!), but I was adamant that breast was best and that I would continue to breast feed.

About a week or two later again, everything was going swimmingly. I was able to breastfeed, the milk was most definitely there! He had one formula top up a day but other than that, he was just being breastfed. Caleb wasn't putting on weight as fast as the doctors, etc. thought he should. He was also suffering with reflux and colic and so I was told to give Caleb 3 formula top ups a day. Being a first time Mum, I didn't think to disagree and to say that I just wanted to breastfeed my baby, I was doing whatever I was told to do. Which wasn't always easy as on more than one occasion I was given conflicting advice about what to do. But I gave Caleb the 3 top ups a day and gave him the medication that was prescribed. I was then told to put him on a different formula only available on prescription which was supposed to help his reflux and help him to gain weight, and he was given different medication. Long story short (I know, you're thinking, this is the short story? You've been going on for long enough! But indulge me!), when he was on the new formula top up, he wouldn't want to eat at any other time. I'm not sure if it filled him up too much or what, but every time I tried to breastfeed, it was a battle to get him to feed and even when he did, it was only for a few minutes at a time. I told the doctor about this and was informed that maybe it was best just to put him back on what he had been having before, both in terms of formula top ups and medication. So, that we did! Everything should be fine, shouldn't it??

Caleb decided that he didn't want to breastfeed anymore. I tried every trick in the book to try and get him to breastfeed but he just decided that he didn't want to. He would scream every time I even attempted to breastfeed him. He went on complete hunger strike. We both shed a lot of tears over it, but in the end I decided to bottle feed.

What was that, bottle feed??! What a crime!

I know that's what some people might be thinking. I never actually thought like that about any mother who chose to bottle feed as it was their decision. I had a hard time with it though. I had really wanted to breastfeed. I felt like I was letting myself and Caleb down, and I guess I felt like a bit of a failure. It also made me sad because I felt like I had gone through so much to be able to breastfeed in the first place and having got over so many obstacles, I now wasn't able to. Plus, as silly as it may sound,  I almost felt like Caleb didn't really need me anymore, as breastfeeding was something that only I could have done for him and now anyone could bottle feed him. I was going through a whole host of emotions. After just over a week of bottle feeding, this is what I think now....

The decision not to breastfeed was Caleb's, not mine. I didn't expect him to be bossing me around at such an early age! I would have loved to have been able to continue, but what with my little one absolutely refusing and going on a hunger strike, I didn't have a huge amount of choice.

Because I'm not breastfeeding doesn't make me a failure as a mother, it just means that I have to take a different approach to feeding than I was expecting to.

Breast is best. But only in as far as the baby and the mother are happy. The main thing for me is that I am doing everything I can to look after my baby and take care of him in any and every way I can.

What anyone else thinks of my decision to breastfeed or bottle feed doesn't matter. Everyone's experiences are different and everyone needs to do what they feel is right for them and their baby.

My baby is happy. He is smiling and chatty and putting on weight. And if he's happy, then I'm happy too.


Yes, indeed, we are homeless. It's not as bad as it sounds, we're not exactly camping out on a street corner or anything.

We are buying a property and we were hoping that the dates would tie in nicely for when we had to leave our home. They didn't. So, a couple of weeks ago we had to pack up our lovely little home and put everything in storage. Mum was an absolute star, she came down to stay with us for the week and helped to pack everything. My sister Deb also came down to help, they were both amazing, we couldn't have done it without them! So, where are we now? We are still waiting for exchange and completion to take place. Hopefully we won't have to wait too much longer now. Seth is staying with his brother in London, as he is still working there and needs to be able to get back and forth, and Caleb and I are staying with my Mum in Norwich. It is fairly bittersweet and I have mixed feelings about it all. On the one hand, it is lovely to be back "home" again with my family and getting to spend time with them, along with seeing friends that I haven't seen in a long time. But on the other hand, we're not with Seth! He is coming up at the weekends to be with us which is lovely, but we really just want to be together again. So we're crossing everything and hoping that it all goes through quickly from this point onwards.

Caleb is amazing. I just thought I'd put that out there. He is smiling away and talking to himself, it's adorable. I took him to be weighed yesterday and he is now 9lb 14oz, which is great, he's really putting on the weight now, despite being a bit of a slow starter in the whole weight gain department. I love him so much and I can't wait until our little family is properly together again!