Since the very beginning of finding out that we were expecting our son , we knew straight away that breastfeeding was the sure thing we wanted to do .
I had given breastfeeding a try with all of my other children and after only one week , I had given up and taken to formula , this time around I really wanted to give it a try and thinking that with the extra support I now have , it would be a lot easier .
Baby Joshua was born perfectly healthy at full term and 8 days + and as soon as he was born , he was placed straight onto the boob where we found he struggled a little but was able to latch for a short length of time .
We were released from hospital within the 6 hours after giving birth with no worries what so ever and it took us almost 24 hours to realise that our son was struggling to feed , find the nipple and latch properly .
Joshua was also being sick with every feed, he seemed to look Jaundice and also seemed rather twisty and by the third day we were a little concerned and decided to take him to A and E .
The hospital took his bloods to check the Jaundice levels, admitted us to the children's ward and kept us in until the next day.
Luckily there was no need for Joshua to be admitted any longer and his bloods came back in the early hours of the morning reassuring us all that phototherapy was not needed so we were discharged from the baby ward the next day but the whole process of what happened in the hospital became to much for me that I turned to the breast pump.
I had gone with no sleep what so ever since having baby Joshua and I was absolutely exhausted beyond belief.
The hospital began questioning a small mark on our sons knee which made us feel like we were being blamed for harming our son and emotions ran high making me feel incapable of feeding our son . I was scared to hold him, we had no idea what the so called mark on his knee was from and we were upset at how they treated us and we also questioned what the mark could be from but with us having no explanation ourselves , they seemed to question it themselves even more. They made us feel so bad ,they made me feel so guilty for not knowing where the mark was from that I began hoping that his bloods would come back with an explanation . I felt like I had done something wrong and my husband and I refused to allow anyone alone with our son at all during our stay .
We were so tired and all I wanted was a little support with feeding and reassurance that my son was ok.
Later on , we were told that the mark was none concerning but they left us feeling disgusted at how they treat us especially when on later checks, the mark was to be found as what is known as a Mongolian blue spot yet the discharge letter was left with the words 'bruise' which made me feel even more angrily at them for not explaining it correctly or correcting it saying it was not an actual bruise but in fact a birth mark.
We spent the night in hospital with Joshua with nothing but a Nappy changing bag and a car seat we brought him in , In hope it was to be a quick visit but ended up spending 16 hours in a room on the children's ward and with all the high raw emotions and over tiredness I felt incapable of feeding my son.
No support what so ever was given to us until a lady from the next shift 12 hours later asked us if we needed any help.
I had already told doctors and consultants previously throughout the night and morning that Joshua was struggling to feed and I was so upset that they were not even willing to help. I felt to upset, I had not eaten and was tired that I was unable to express.
I was expecting my local breast feeding support to visit my home later that day to help with getting Joshua to latch on to the breast but being in hospital we were not going to make that appointment.
After a long 12 hours in the room on the ward and after seeing four doctors and a consultant, we then were asked if we needed any help and she brought me an electrical breast pump which turned out to be my saviour through out the whole experience.
I quickly got to pumping by breast milk and expressed a staggering 6 ounces straight away , it boosted my confidence again and our son was able to feed .
We were discharged from the hospital at around 3pm and we were so pleased to finally get home.
A couple of days later , my health visitor brought me an electric breast pump which was free to hire from the Health care services of Durham for as long as I wished to borrow it for and it soon became my new best friend.
After 1 week , our son had put on an amazing 8 pounds and a half ounce and he was no longer regurgitating every feed .
By week two I had got myself into a routine, the bottles were stacking up in the fridge and I was ahead of my supply meaning I could sleep more but then by the end of week two he seemed to be feeding more frequently , becoming very restless, suffering with tummy ache and sleeping nearly never during the night.
I was once again running low on my supply of breast milk and getting very little sleep and my emotions were running high again.
I felt so low and when it came to the Tuesday baby clinic visit and I found out our son had put on only half an ounce I was literally fed up.
I was advised to feed him more often, try to fit in more feeds she said, but when I was pumping every single hour and he was feeding every single hour,he seemed to be wanting more than what I was able to produce , it seemed a losing battle and I just literally wanted to give in.
On the Wednesday morning , I took the children to school and it was the first day that our routine had started to get back to normal. Joshua had had another rough night and I was shattered so my first plans were to get back home and try and catch up on some sleep but as soon as I walked through the door I knew instantly that something was not quite right as my husband stood there looking all crooked and sore.
He had been on his way to pick his brother up for work and on route someone pulled out of a junction and plowed straight into his vehicle.
The works van was trashed and he had his dad bring him back home but he was in agony with pain and I could see he was in shock and trying to act like he was better than he was.
I arranged for him to see a doctor and she advised him to get to a hospital so he went as soon as he could but in all the worry and stress of the day I totally missed my routine and for the remainder of the week my supply seemed to dwindle even more with not having time to express. Luckily for Joshua I had a back up supply to keep going for a little longer but by the time it got to Friday I totally broke down.
I felt so helpless, not only was my husband in pain and I was unable to help him due to the fact Joshua needed my full undivided attention, Joshua was no longer settling , putting weight on, sleeping or getting enough milk . I felt like if I was not walking around trying to settle Joshua , I was hooked up to an electric breast pump or feeding him. I could not remember the last time I even slept and I felt like I just wanted to crawl away and be left alone to cry it through.
Trying to take care of baby, 6 more children , a wounded hubby and three large dogs , I finally admitted it was all too much for me and I literally begged my husband to just let me give up.
I literally just broke down and cried and once I started I found it hard to stop.
The one thing I had looked forward to doing was try and give my son the best start I could by breast feeding and I had failed at getting him to feed directly from the boob and now I was failing at the expressing , I was totally wounded but my body was tired, I knew it was time for me to admit defeat and just give in , after all what good would I be if I was too upset, tired and worn out , he needed me fit and well and the only way I could see through this was to go and buy formula.
On the Friday night our son and myself slept better than we had in all the three weeks since he was born, he did not sleep great but we got a good few hours which to me was so much better than it had been.
I felt more relaxed, a little more time to at least wash bottles or even if I was lucky grab a cup of tea which felt good but most of all I did not feel like I was pressurizing myself into breast feeding when I knew it simply was something I was unable to achieve in my busy and tiring life.
I was able to enjoy a long hot soak in the bath, prepare bottles in advance and those middle of the night pumping sessions to release those over filled boobs, well I was definitely not missing those.
We tried and failed but the important thing to remember is that breast feeding is not for everyone , need that be from boob or bottle and no matter how you feed baby, as long as baby is fed and mum is happy and healthy with them, that is the best you can do.
I really wish I could have carried it on but it was meant for me , I applaud all mums who stick with it . I honestly think that my failure began with the lack of care from the hospital but also lack of patience .
What are your experiences , breast milk or formula, how did you decide what was best for you?
Ok so you may be thinking ''What on earth is happening with Lisa?''
Well this happened-
On the 15th October, my lovely Midwife Janice came to do the Membrane sweep .
I did warn and remind my husband that in previous pregnancy's we have had our baby within 24hrs of having a sweep but because we had gone over a week and already tried everything else he was left feeling a little deflated .
I went to the toilet on that afternoon finding that the sweep had worked and I was losing what is called the plug which looks a slightly bloody mucus discharge and the rush of excitement and worry quickly kicked in.
I told John to get some sleep, it was going to be a busy time ahead, I could just feel it was all about to start and wanted a good night sleep ready for all the hard work we were due to endure.
I told him we were going to be awaken at 6am and our baby would be here by 11am and I was not that far from being wrong.
At 6am exactly I woke with a sharp pain in my back and they carried on every 3 minutes until I realised that they were the start of labour just half an hour later.
I woke my husband and told the children to get ready and it all became a little bit of a flap .
We dropped the children of at their Nans and shot straight of to the hospital but on getting there they told me I was only 2cm dilated and I had to go home .
I felt totally gutted. I had been getting the pains regular and all the worry through the pregnancy made me feel a little eager getting to the hospital so early on in the labour .
I packed up my stuff, put my coat back on and made my way towards the exit but on the way out things kind of went rather quickly .
By the time I had walked out of the room , the pains became intolerable. I was in tears but hearing that I was only 2cm dilated made me just feel a little emotional and so I told myself I had a long way to go and the doctors know I am not ready or in full blown labour yet and made my way to the exit of the Hospital where we rang our parents to let them know what was happening and see that our other children were all ok.
Whilst my husband was on the phone to my Mother in law I was getting very strong contractions and turned to him and said that I wanted to go back up to the ward , there was no way I would of made it home and I really did not care that they may turn me away again. I knew my body was nearly ready and slowly but as quick as we could we made it back to the ward where one of the midwives saw us and said that we did not look like we would be long and she would get our Assigned midwife back to us straight away.
I was examined straight away and it seems I had gone straight to 8cm in less than half hour of leaving the room previously and so on reading my notes, the pool was filled and with hubby on one side and midwife on the other, I was shuffled towards the Cathedral suite where on arrival we found someone had emptied our pool and the midwife and hubby had to fumble around to try refill it as I scurried along the floor in discomfort wondering if I was about to have my baby on the floor beside the pool before they had chance to refill it again.
Eventually the pool was ready and I got my Birthing Nighty on and crawled in as soon as I could.
The instant relief felt so great.
The pains were lifted instantly but although the midwife said the gas and air worked my husband and I are still unconvinced .
The pains got stronger and I became more uncomfortable but not being used to having so much room to move around in the pool due to having my other babies in smaller pools I struggled to get into a position where I was able to push easily and my hip kept on dislocating so I was in even more pain than needed .
The midwife and my husband decided it was best for me and baby to get out and get onto the bed .
She seemed a little worried as his heart rate seemed to dip a little and I was becoming a little tired and panicking a little .
Honestly , the image I have of me trying to climb out of the pool headfirst is something that will stick with me for life now. I just remember my husband behind me almost in the wheelbarrow position and midwife in front saying
''You need to go feet first , you cant get out head first down the stairs ''.
It was the only way I felt comfortable getting out and as they literally nearly carried me to the bed in hope I did not deliver on the way they dried me of and I noticed the bed had been raised to a level not even the Green giant could reach so in my moment of pain I raised my concerns about my shortness in joke to lighten the situation and my mood .
Nothing wrong with trying to laugh through labour is there , well that is always my husbands aim .
After getting onto the bed, changing out of my wet clothes (which I was not happy about due to the fact all of my babies were born with me wearing the same nighty) and propping my leg up to ease my hip from dislocating, the pushing soon occurred.
It was not long at all before Our little boy was making his appearance and he popped his head out and the room went suddenly calm.
For a full 5 minutes, our little boy decided to just sit there , look at the world and blow bubbles. The midwife was amazed at how he looked so comfortable and she kept telling me he was trying to to cry but blowing bubbles and taking it all in. It was the first time John got to see the whole thing from that position and he was in total amazement at the whole thing.
Eventually after we realised that we could not keep him like that any longer I was told to give it one more push but I could not feel any more contractions or pressure so I had to force the last push with no help from contractions and he was soon there on my chest .
John cut his cord and we realised how lovely and healthy it looked .
Me and my husband literally burst into blubbery tears, I remember crying with my others but this time it felt so different. I felt so much more emotional, relief , happiness and love and after 9 months it seemed to be all over in a flash.
Welcome to the world-
Joshua Michael Prince
Born 16th October 2015
TIME - 12:07PM
Weighing 7lb 2oz
So my birthing plan did not go to plan , no water birth this time around but he arrived safely and that is all that matters.
My timing was pretty accurate , I said labour would start at 6am and it did and I said he would be here by 11am and he arrived a little later at 12:07pm so only one hour later than I expected.
We snuggled our newborn , received my injection to help birth my placenta, gave our son his Vitamin K , and cradled him while the midwife tried to clean me up and check baby had all fingers and toes.
Within an hour I was enjoying a shower and cup of tea and within 6 hours we were on our way home.
Looking back now , I feel a little saddened that the whole pregnancy is now finished with but I have to admit , I am so pleased it is finally over with. No more sickness, pain or in my case the worry of everything .
Finally I can relax with my baby knowing he is here and safe now and before anyone asks
''Yes , this is my last!''
Although I did not exactly enjoy my pregnancy , the outcome is amazing , it truly makes you realise how lucky we are to be able to have yet another child .
I would just like to thank each and every one of you for all the amazing responses and support I have received throughout this whole 9 month . From announcement of finding out to now you have all been so helpful and I am greatful to have had you all to share this experience with.
So sorry I have missed week 39 , I feel rather disappointed in myself for letting you down on the week update but I suppose it is not bad really considering it is only one .
I just feel it has all got so much and I feel the past few weeks have been very tiring and also aggravating.
Now I have reached this very exciting time in my pregnancy at 40 weeks I am even more nervous that it could happen at any time but so far no signs to say it will.
I actually never thought I would reach full term so am in shock .
How are we doing?
Well to be fare I actually feel really good.
It seems that my husband decided last minute to put that new bathroom in so I have been spending the week shopping for tiles and other bits and pieces and trying to walk around as much as possible.
I know it may seem a terrible time for me to be dealing with all of the mess but to be honest it is keeping my mind of the fact that the week is here and I still have not had little man .
I keep saying to myself that once the bathroom is finished only then will he arrive, he is waiting for that lovely bath to be home for his own arrival to enjoy it.
I feel disappointed that my body is not yet doing what I thought it would or should have done already but still thinking to myself that although he is not here still , at least I know he will be in no later than another weeks time max.
Except for the disappointment of me not having him yet , I still feel surprisingly ok although a little tired but nothing major.
I am not settling to sleep till very late worrying that something will happen in mid sleep but once I doze off I am gone for the night and enjoying the good nights sleep while I can.
I feel very hungry this week and find myself dipping in and out of the kitchen grabbing things like cheese and slices of ham , even cold leftover cabbage from the night before saved for a quick heat up for my dinner.
I feel my appetite is returning slowly and I welcome it .
Being the week for expecting to have our son here , my husband took lots of time of to help with school runs knowing that the walk is very uncomfortable for me so lucky for me I was able to get in the family vehicle most days but on others it is really painful as I know he has moved further down .
We have been trying plenty of sex and curry's and walking etc but it seems he is too comfy for him to want to come and meet us yet so as I reach my 41st week now I am becoming impatient but happy knowing I made it full term and he is still kicking and heart beating strong in there.
Our boy is wriggling about, not so much as I feel he has run out of space to give those oh so powerful thumps as he did before but he is still moving around enough for me to know he is ok in there.
When we went to see the midwife last week , she informed us that baby was still 3/5ths and not budged but knowing I had all my others at that stage did not phase me , I was just happy he was still engaged.
His heartbeat was strong and he gave the midwife a little wriggle .
We booked a day for her to come and give me a membrane sweep which is on week 41 on Thursday so fingers crossed he wont have us waiting that long but if so least things will be making a move and organised.
So I have gone one full week over my due date, its a little disheartening but while I can , I am enjoying my husband treating me to some tasty curry's (although I have given up now with fear I may poop myself before giving birth lol) , those comfy sleeps and relaxing while kids are in school . I even picked up a book this week which I have not done in ages .
Hopefully I will not see you with another disappointing post next week and instead be back to share with you the wonderful birthing experience or not so if things do not go to plan as they aren't .
Eyes peeled , I am sure I will be back soon.
Oh wow , we are getting closer now and it is not going to be much longer now before the due date is here .
I am not going to drag this one on as there really is not much to say this week except for the fact I feel myself becoming very tired and more lazy .
How am I feeling ?
I am waddling around and people have come to the point where they ask me daily, sometimes more than once if there is any sign that baby will be making an appearance yet.
My reaction to smile and reply politely with a no is hidden with the reality I have now gone from not being ready to now having enough and wanting this moment to be over with.
In the tiny little village we have moved to this year there were a staggering 13 people expecting around this time and it seems that I was one of the last to have my baby.
Now that everyone has delivered , I feel I am the only one left to be sharing my proud moment with and what feels like the world or more in reality (the school gate parents) seem to be watching my every move .
Maybe its just me being paranoid but fear is still there and although I am bearing the end of the pregnancy now I simply feel I am still not ready, none of this is real and one of these days very soon I am again going to be holding our son .
In all fareness I am at the point in my pregnancy where I have suddenly took a stance at being fed up.
I am trying to avoid seeing those new mums and their babies as I feel I may be inundated with even more queries into the when I am due although I have told them every day for the past 6 months or so, not just that but I still have this fear that because everyone is having such lovely birthing experiences, mine somehow is not going to live up to expectations for whatever they actually are.
My legs are killing me , my tummy is always hard , I can not sleep and the indigestion has returned with vengeance making me feel not all sociable and grumpy.
I literally want to curl up in my bed and sleep through the rest of it until the day is here .
How is baby?
Our little boy seems to be very comfortable in their, he still feels so small and there are days where I can cup his little bottom in my hand while I hold my tummy and he attempts to wriggle inside . These are the moments that make me smile and I hold on to .
I know his space is limited now as the movements are becoming even more less than they were and I am making point of counting the kicks as my worry sets in more on his progress in this last run up to him being born.
I have had a few niggles of spasm like pains but nothing to report as him making an appearance any time soon and he literally does feel like he is wanting to stay put for as long as we will allow him to .
I love how he still reacts to his daddy's voice by kicking out at his words each day , it seems those two have made a bond before arrival , I just hope he does not think that it is an excuse to keep me up all night with not settling anywhere but his daddy's chest like his other brother did.
The thought that he could be here any time is very strange , exciting but scary and now that I am on my 39th week it is not going to be that much longer before we get to see how his eviction plans out.
I am trying to be calm and think positive but maybe age is taking a part in my nerves more this time around, after all it is not like I haven't done this already before .
Maybe we will get to see another update before his arrival, maybe he will keep us waiting even longer, who knows but I do know this has definitely been my most strangely experienced pregnancy, for me emotionally , I just can not wait to meet him now and share what all the fuss was about.
This week I feel I have gone through a dramatic change in my body.
I can no longer stand standing too long, I feel I have to take more showers to reduce backache (still waiting on a bath been fitted ) , baby feels like he has moved right down and the braxtons have actually happened but come and go once I start settling down for bed.
How am I doing?
So last week I felt like I had a break and nothing was really going to happen anytime soon but almost straight at the beginning of this week I started feeling drained , very weighed down and those lightening strike shooting pains in the lower sides of my back started to happen.
I am now on stand still with every pain . I felt so sure baby had dropped further that I layed flat on my back and rested the palms of my hands onto my pubic bone to be in total shock to feel what I can only hope was his head turning just as described last week in a corkscrewing motion .
Midwife says we are now 3/5ths and head is down and engaged so my theory was right and he is definitely where I thought he was.
I am so pleased he is now even further down and being that I went into labour with all of my previous babies at this stage of engagement , it means for me that the time is drawing even closer and as the midwife said herself,
''He can come anytime now , I've made another appointment in two weeks but doubt I will see you there''
I just hope that this happens and he does not have me waiting like my little man did last time .
We went for a lovely long walk shopping again at the weekend and for the past few days the nerve in my back is twitching making me even more nervous, it is not going to be much longer now.
2 weeks left and I am still a nervous wreck although feel I am now ready .
My boobs are leaking so much more this week than before and for three days I ended up with wet patches covering my top , I just hope it means there will be a good supply for feeding baby when he is here.
I literally can not bare the pain in my already poorly legs walking the long school runs now either.
I spent a full hour walking to and from the school and turned back at my door in tears I was in so much pain. I merely think the factor of me having Tibial stress syndrome and is very painful as well as being pregnant with the extra weight means it is not more the being pregnant that is painful but the agony of the walking in general that is causing me to be in so much agony.
Honestly it feels like he is moving further down with each step and he is turning as I make every move. When I realise to my little self that he is not coming at that moment in time and the panic settles , I then realise that if I wriggle my hips and sway as I walk to school it makes things a little more comfortable and that is when I realise I look like a waddling duck . I tell the kids to slow down and am coming to the conclusion it is taking me now twice as long as it used to , to get them there .
How is baby?
Well we went to see the midwife and she says that he is head down and engaged now at 3/5ths and I can have him at any time now.
I am measuring at 38 which is wonderful and as I ask her more as to why my bump looks and feels like it has slowed down she assures me all is perfectly fine and her guestimations on his birth weight is between 7 - 8lbs.
The midwife then showed me the growth chart and I felt so much more at ease as I then realise that his growth went from being little to actually above the line of my biggest baby's weight which was 7lb and 14oz so luckily this is just a guestimation as I think that is a lovely weight although I do not still think this baby is going to be that big at all. In fact I have my own little guess at this baby being rather small and around the 6lb mark so we will see .
Baby has definitely quietened down and is making less dominant movements. He moves just as much but the kicks are now less strong than they were. This is more than likely down to the fact the room he has been renting is now getting a little too small for him and the eviction process is drawing closer now.
It is lovely to be able to feel and see his every movement though, I can literally hold his tiny little bum in my small palm of my hand when he turns around which also gives me the sneak peak feeling into how tiny he is going to be.
I also feel very scared at the thought a tiny baby that size is going to be under my care and protection once again and although I am mum to 7 already the thought still scares me how much responsibility I have over such tiny precious beings.
I went through the cleaning phase and again washed all of his baby things , even making his crib up ready and repacking my hospital bag and refolding all of his new clothes.
I keep finding new things I forgot we had .
There seems to be something fun and exciting about buying new things and I think all woman may agree , shopping is always therapy for those down and boring days , even just a good excuse to get out really .
So only two weeks left now !
It was lovely to have my nice usual midwife this week as she always takes her time in my visit and assures me all is well with our baby boy .
I received my appointment for a home visit from my health visitor which is due on the 5th October at my home .
For me , health visitors in my opinion have been a pain in the bum previously. I would much prefer to have the same midwife for the next 5 years of my babies life now that I feel a bond has been made during the pregnancy.
Hopefully we get a lovely health visitor.
I feel a lot more settled and ready than I have been through out. I reckon that instinct of baby is coming soon and I best deal with realisation has finally kicked in.
I feel myself preparing myself emotionally with all the niggles and pains with breathing techniques and letting them pass with no one knowing they are happening as I feel I do not want to make a fuss until the time is near.
There is not much longer to go and I hope you follow me for the rest of the journey as things are starting to heat up and our boy will be here soon.
Will our birthing plan go to plan?
Will I go early, on time or over my due date?
Will I get that water birth I have hoped for ?
Who knows , only way you can find out is to come back next week for an update.