Thursday, March 20, 2008

Birth story - the good, the bad and the (ugly) waiting game

One year on, I think that it's about time I finally published my birth story. Luckily I wrote a draft within a few days of the birth - by now I've forgotten a lot of the details, so it has been good to re-read it.

My 44 hr long labour might sound pretty awful, but I want to reassure anyone pregnant that is worried by it that it really and truly wasn't as bad as it appears (although pretty knackering of course). Hey, I actually enjoyed the first 22hrs labouring at home! It was a truly beautiful spring day; the sun was shining, it was warm outside and the daffodils were flowering and it all just felt so right. Plus I'd gone into labour overnight on the 7th/8th March exactly as I had long thought that I might. I was really pleased that I was able to cope with the contractions so well myself for so long (and with the amazing support of Karen & my mother of course - I really couldn't have managed anything like as well without both of them there to help me throughout it all). Even though it wasn't regarded as medically established labour, I view this time as my "true" labour, and have no regrets that I went through it, even thought I ended up having a completely different experience to actually birth our baby.

Having gone to bed at about 11.30pm on Wednesday 7th March, I awoke at 12.30pm needing the loo, but aware that I was experiencing a strange sensation - a kind of strong pulling feeling, rather like the feeling you are left with after you've peed when you have a urinary infection. I went back to bed, wondering if this was a contraction or not, and soon decided after a couple more of the same sensations that it probably was, so I got up at about 1.30am and went downstairs, to put my TENS machine on and start looking again at my birth plan/prompt cards.

It didn't feel like a great deal was happening at first (in fact, between contractions it felt like I was kidding myself that this might be labour, until the next one started), so it didn't seem worth waking Karen (or my mother) at this stage - I thought that it was far better to let them sleep. The contractions were a strong sensation rather than pain, but they were by no means unbearable, and I was easily able to breathe through them, with the aid of the boost on the TENS machine. I started timing contractions, and they were around 10 mins apart at first, soon going to roughly 7 mins apart. Suddenly around 3.30am, they jumped to being only 4 mins apart, and I thought that I had better wake Karen, as it looked like I might be in for a quick labour (ha!).

Karen came down and we rang the hospital, who then alerted our midwife team. It just so happened that "our" midwife Lisbeth was on call, so she rang us straight back. She teased us that Karen answered the phone saying "Oh, it's all so exciting!" rather than the more conventional "hello"! She came round to assess me, found that I was about 1cm dilated but said not to get all excited yet as my contractions were neither long enough nor strong enough to count for anything much. She left us to it, saying that we should go the antenatal clinic at the hospital for our 10.45am sweep appointment as planned, and that they would assess me again there. So we laboured at home until then, with contraction timings rather all over the place. They settled down to roughly 5 mins apart, until just before we went to the hospital, at which point they slowed again (and of course stopped completely on our way there).

A really awful maternity assistant at the antenatal clinic questioned why I was even there if I "thought I was in labour". Um, because I'd been told to come in? She didn't even know what the TENS machine that I had strapped to my arm was, which was worrying/astounding. She was so incompetent that it was funny in an appalling way. Anyway, I saw the consultant who examined me and assessed that I was 3-4cm dilated. He also did a sweep to try and move things along a bit. They asked if I wanted to be admitted, but I couldn't see the point at such an early stage (and I think that my midwife, who was round on the delivery suite by now, would have sent us home anyway if we'd decided otherwise - Lisbeth is nothing if not direct!). Lisbeth said to judge when to call the hospital again/come back in, by when the contractions became too difficult to bear with any longer. As soon as we left the hospital my contractions started up again, around 5 mins apart.

Once we got home, we decided to go for a short walk as it was such a lovely day. I kept having to stop for contractions, and found a lot of comfort in hanging around Karen's neck/leaning on her during contractions. At this point, I also started getting a stitch-like pain in my left hand side that was separate to the contractions (but caused by them) - it was this pain that was ultimately to prove my "undoing". We had some lunch when we got back (seriously comforting leek and potato soup made by my mother) and continued labouring at home, with the contractions gradually getting stronger and stronger during the rest of the afternoon and evening, as well as closer together, but without them getting established at exact regular intervals, something that we didn't realise was as crucial as it turned out to be. We thought that if the contractions were frequent and had been going on this long, then they must be achieving something; it seemed like requiring them to be completely regular was slightly pedantic.

Around 9.30-1opm, contractions were getting much stronger and required a lot more in the way of breathing/visualisation in addition to the TENS machine, so we thought that we might be getting closer to the real action and that we should get to the hospital. We packed the various bags (labour bag, post-birth bag, food and drink bag etc.) in the car and set off. Being late at night, at least we didn't have to worry about finding a parking space near the maternity unit (although Karen did drop me and my mother (plus bags on a trolley) off at the entrance - I wasn't about to walk from the car park!). On being admitted, we met with Pat, one of our team of local midwives (as opposed to the hospital midwives), who examined me and said that I was still only 3-4cm dilated - very disappointing after 22hrs of contractions. She then said that as she had been on shift since 8am, she wouldn't be staying with me overnight as there was obviously still some way to go. Around 11pm she handed me over to one of the hospital midwives, Hazel, and we were basically left alone to get on with it. I was still using the TENS machine plus breathing to get through the increasingly strong contractions, and I also found the rocking chair in the delivery suite was useful, rocking through the contractions and leaning forwards as they peaked.

When Hazel re-examined me at 2.30am, she said that dilation could be "up to 6cm", but that the cervix was still thick and the baby's head too high. However, by now, my discomfort (the word we wrote in the labour notes we made!) had increased, especially as by now I had fairly severe stitch pain down my left hand side with each contraction. We requested gas and air to help me through contractions - something I had been rather looking forward to, as I've always wanted to know what it would feel like to get a bit of a high! However, although it did help me get through contractions, it essentially just made me feel very fuzzy-headed and slightly sick/drunk. Plus the bloody equipment was half-broken and the breathing nozzle was stuck on to the supply tube with a whole load of sticky tape, and often came apart at the crucial moment!

By now we were all a bit spaced out (not just me from the gas & air!) due to lack of sleep, and Karen in particular kept falling asleep as she sat by the bed. I vividly remember yelling and kicking her to wake up on several occasions to get her to pass me the gas & air as a contraction started. Labour was punctuated by the necessity of frequent trips to the loo - necessary but dreaded, as each time it made the contractions much worse. However, I didn't ever really feel that the contractions were "painful" as such; it wasn't as if they didn't hurt as labour progressed, but I saw it only in terms of degree of strength and bearability.

At 6.45am Hazel came and checked me again - I couldn't believe it when she said that I wasn't any further along, as the past 4 hours had felt like pretty tough going. At this point, we agreed to having my waters broken. Unfortunately the amniotic fluid had a very slight tinge of green, indicating some meconium content, so I had to be continuously monitored from this stage on, which meant being stationary on the bed in a semi-reclined position (not that I really had the energy to move around much by this point). The monitoring equipment was also pretty useless and kept falling off, but (when working) it did reassure us that Toby's heartbeat was always good, strong and consistent. Also around this point, Hazel went off shift and I was passed over to the lovely Pam, head of the hospital midwife team - in hindsight, she was the only midwife we actually had real confidence in during the labour.

Breaking my waters didn't have much effect on the labour itself, but it did make the not-quite-regular contractions even more intense and re-inforced the agonising stitch-like pain in my left-hand-side (which we think was caused by Toby resting on a nerve) that became increasingly unbearable as I ended up with no let-up between contractions (I was able to cope OK with the contractions, as it never felt quite like "pain", or at least not in the sense of when you hurt yourself; plus each time I knew that it would soon be over). What also didn't help at this point was that I was re-examined and told that I was probably still only 4-5cm dilated (the number of different midwives examining me did not add up to consistency!), plus I could hear the woman in the room next door absolutely screaming her head off while being told to push, for what seemed like hours - I was so knackered by now, I was virtually in tears at the thought that I probably had some time to go before getting to that stage, let alone how I would find the energy to get through it. Another of the midwives from our local team, Stephanie, came on duty at 9am, but Pam also kept an eye on me for the rest of the day.

After a further 3hrs of strong contractions, I was both exhausted and quite literally beside myself with pain from this "stitch" (I could only speak to yell for hot cloths to press on my side as they were the only thing that marginally dulled the pain) and asked for an epidural (to take away the pain of the stitch rather than the contractions). The pain was so severe that it actually pretty much stopped my contractions - when the anaesthetist came in to assess me for the epidural, he took some convincing to agree to it, as he didn't believe that I was actually in labour! After 29 hours of frequent contractions, if I had had any energy left and wasn't in searing pain, I would have quite cheerfully throttled him. It was a bit scary having the epidural (I was terrified of the thought of paralysis), but I would have done almost anything to try and get rid of the pain I was in. We also opted for a Syntocin drip at this stage, to bring on regular contractions. By this time, all thoughts of our desired natural, non-interventionist birth had long gone out of the window - it was clear that my body just wasn't going to do it on its own and I needed help if we were ever going to get the baby out.

I certainly don't have regrets about having taken any of these intervention decisions; we just wish that once we started down that path, the whole thing hadn't ended up being drawn out for quite so long (13hrs from membrane rupture to delivery) when I'd already been in labour for so long, albeit not "established" labour by the hospital's standards. I'm pretty sure that this is where my "natural birth" plan backfired on us, as I'm sure that at each stage, they held back from intervening further, to try and give me the birth that I wanted. However, as I'd been having contractions at intervals of 3-7 mins ever since midnight on Thursday 8th, without any real let-up, it had been quite a tiring process.

Once the epidural had taken, it really just became a waiting game (we realised at this stage that I was extremely likely to end up with a Caesarean). We were all absolutely exhausted after having had virtually no sleep for nearly 2 days by this stage, counting from Wednesday morning - only my mother & Karen had had a few hours sleep on Wednesday night before I woke them after I'd been contracting for 3hrs on my own.

Following the epidural, I was only assessed every 3-4hrs for progress, but my contractions did become regular, and I did eventually fully dilate by 6pm (42hrs in!). By now, I felt very out of sorts with the numbness induced by the epidural, and was worried about the effect on my back of being in one position for so long - little did I realise that I was going to end up being in the same position for about 2 days in total before I was able to get up after the C-section! My legs, in particular my left leg, felt like horrid dead weights - I could still feel them, but it felt like I had a really bad case of pins and needles rather than any other form of sensation. Our midwife Stephanie assessed me and said that she thought that the baby's head wasn't in the right position, having turned slightly sideways, but she couldn't be sure, so we tried 2nd stage labour pushing for an hour. Very bizarre when I couldn't feel a thing (and at first I honestly couldn't remember where my bum was/how to bear down as if having a poo!). And totally pointless as it turned out. After an hour of pushing, the registrar came in for the first time to assess me, and to decide whether we should go for an assisted delivery (i.e. ventouse/forceps) in theatre, or a C-section.

I was so relieved when she said a C-section was necessary due to the head position, although she said that it might be quite hard to get the baby out as they thought that he was further into the pelvis than he turned out to be (his cord was also around his neck, although they couldn't tell that at the time). I just wanted it all to be over, and for us to be able to hold our baby at last - it felt like far too long a process before we were able to meet him.

We had a brief respite while they prepped up (and Karen gowned up) - I even got to listen to that night's episode of The Archers on Radio 4! We then went in to theatre, and once they'd topped up my epidural, they got Toby out within a matter of minutes at 8.02pm (weighing 8lb2oz) and into Karen's arms where he calmed immediately - truly miraculous to witness; he really did know who she was. I wasn't really able to hold him properly with the screen being in place, and lying on an impossibly narrow bed, so I couldn't put him to the breast as soon as I would have liked. As his head was covered by a knitted hat, I also didn't realise until I saw photos later that he had a cone-head!

My uterus wouldn't contract back into shape for them to stitch up as it was so exhausted, so they had to use all kinds of drugs to make that happen, which took a while, and I lost about 1 litre of blood. The operating theatre nurses had warned me that although I wouldn't feel pain, the C-section would feel like someone was doing the washing up inside me - a very accurate description. What with all the pushing down on my abdomen to try and get my uterus to contract, it also felt like I was like a sofa cushion someone was trying to knock back into shape.

Eventually I was sewn back up (I think that I was in theatre for about an hour total), then wheeled off to recover for a further hour before being taken up to the post-natal ward for the night at 10.40pm, after which Karen & my mother went home for a much-needed bottle of wine, some pizza and sleep. I desperately needed rest too, but didn't get a lot of it what with being on a hospital ward, and having a hungry baby with latching issues. I think that I became almost delirious, and certainly a little manic through lack of sleep over the ensuing days. Toby & I were in hospital until Monday afternoon - we got to go home on Karen's birthday.

My labour and birth weren't at all how I had wanted them to be, but it was certainly a learning experience. Being a bit of a control freak, it made me realise that something as fundamental as labour cannot be controlled, however much you plan ahead of time. Looking back though, I don't regret how it turned out - our beloved Toby was born hale and hearty, albeit to a knackered Mummy and Mimzy (which didn't help us cope well with the first couple of weeks of his life). Next time though (hopefully!), I won't even bother with a birth plan - we'll just go with the flow!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Long overdue - snippets from the past year

I've been so absent from any kind of online presence in this last year - I am constantly amazed at how other parents manage to find time to post, whether on a blog or message boards. I know that we all suffer from a lack of "me" time, but I guess it's all down to how you prioritise things. Because I work from home, I have to do pretty much all my work as soon as Toby goes down for a sleep/to bed at night; I simply can't spare that time to do much in the way of selfish surfing, unless I want to suffer the after-effects of the stress it induces by my work never getting done. However, with Toby's 1st birthday fast approaching, I've been getting all nostalgic, and reminiscing about where we were a year ago, impatiently awaiting his arrival. One of these days, I may even get around to posting my birth story!
It's hard to believe that it's a year since Toby's birth (his birthday is this Sunday), it seems both an absolutely age ago, and yet no time at all. So much has happened, and my only regret about it all is that I've been totally rubbish in keeping a proper note of milestones! He's definitely grown into being a little boy now, our baby seems to have well and truly disappeared. The really major changes, especially personality-wise, seem to have occurred in the last couple of months since Christmas, especially since he started crawling/pulling up. He is so gorgeous and such fun - although we're also starting to have more instances of him asserting his independence, which can be trying.

Major milestones inasmuch as I can remember them:
First smile - somewhere around 8 weeks I think, he was definitely the last in our baby group to do so
First bottle feed - approx 3-4 weeks old (Karen had been doing regular cup feeds until then)
First rolling over/sitting up - can't remember!
First family holiday, aged 10 1/2 weeks (flew to Mallorca). This was also the point at which I gave up the nipple shields (after leaving them behind accidentally on a day trip out). Breast feeds shortened from 1hr at a time to 15 mins - did wonders for extra sleeping! I also stopped expressing, as I started getting severe breast pain which later turned out to be deep-vein thrush. Nearly gave up breast-feeding several times over the next few weeks as it was so agonising, but managed to grit my teeth and stick with it as I was so determined not to give up. Finally got proper treatment from GP after several visits, having managed to convince them to give me a not-officially-approved-for-breastfeeding-mothers drug (even though it's approved in other countries).
Moved Toby to his own room at about 4 1/2-5 months, despite having no intentions of doing this until the 6 month mark. Did it in desperation from sleep deprivation/constant waking at every little sniffle/moan! Made life sooo much easier, even though I still had to get up 3-4 times a night. Toby slept through once or twice not long after the move, although it wasn't to last!
Started Toby on solids at 5 1/2 months - he's been a great eater ever since, and went from being a skinny minny to a solid, well-rounded baby very quickly. Zoomed up the weight charts from being under the 50th centile to well over the 75th!
Sleeping through the night finally happened at 7 1/2 months. We literally went overnight from a couple of horrendous weeks of being up hourly all night to consistently sleeping through from roughly 7pm to 6-7am. Not surprisingly, this is also the point at which I started to regain my own identity.
Breastfeeding stopped at 8 months - Toby's choice, not mine! He'd been going through a stage of fighting/messing, then one weekend simply closed his mouth and refused me completely whenever I tried to feed him. I decided not to push the issue too much, even though I wasn't emotionally prepared for him stopping, as I had always felt that I woud rather that he chose to stop than had me force an end to b/fing. It was a bit sad (and still is actually), but bottle feeding him is a lot easier than all the fighting over breast-feeding was. The great side effect of this transition was that Toby also rejected his dummy, so we've never had to go through a battle trying to wean him off that.
Started clapping at 9 months (just in time for showing off to all and sundry at Christmas!), and also learning how to hide himself when playing peepo with his bath towel (utterly endearing).
First two teeth cut (in quick succession) at 9 months. Top front teeth followed within a month, and two more top teeth by 11 months.
First crawled at 10-10 1/2 months (you'd think that I could remember this, seeing as it's relatively recent!). In many ways, I was hoping that he wouldn't start crawling too soon as all I was worried about was how much baby-proofing we would need to do. What I hadn't considered was how much happier he would be once he was properly mobile, and how much more easily he could entertain himself. This is the point at which it seemed like a much stronger personality emerged. He's now also pulling up all the time, and cruising quite a lot.
Next big steps will be walking and talking I suppose, as well as proper self-feeding (i.e. learning to load a spoon himself, rather than just using his hands/taking a loaded spoon from us). And he'll also be moving up to doing 2 days a week in nursery from the end of April.

He's so adorable, and has added so much to our lives (even during the severely sleep-deprived stages). I simply can't imagine life without him, or remember quite what life was like before he was part of our family. How on earth did we fill our time beforehand - there must have been so much free time (even if it didn't feel like it then)?! We love him so much; I always knew that I wanted children, but I really didn't have any idea just how much it was possible to love your own child; I can now truly understand why people say that they would do anything for their children.

We're starting to gear up towards ttc a sibling(s) later in the year (it was always the plan that we would start some time not too long after Toby's 1st birthday). Of course, this makes reading about others ttc #2/already with a sibling particularly interesting right now. A friend who has recently had their second son has been having a little trouble adjusting to the new family reality - as she says, she's actually mourning the loss of her exclusive relationship with son number one now that the new baby is here - I think that this is perhaps the only thing holding me back from trying again ASAP, as it will be very sad to lose that special bond with Toby. The past year has made me realise just how lucky I was to be the oldest of my siblings, and to enjoy that special time with my own mother (even if I obviously have absolutely no recollection of it!).

We'll be going straight for IVF/ICSI this time around, although we'll be getting our sibling sperm moved to a local clinic to make treatment easier. I'm totally convinced that I'll get pregnant with twins, which would be something of a logistical nightmare I should think. I'm certainly having dreams already about being pregnant with twins! To be honest though, we'd just be thrilled to have any kind of positive outcome from an IVF cycle.

Friday, May 04, 2007

The passing of time....

Oh, how time flies when you're enjoying yourself - and even when you're not, but you've got a baby who seems to take up every waking moment (and not a few of the supposedly sleeping ones too).
It's time for a progress report, but typically, just when I thought Toby was settled for a sleep in his swing (which is usually a pretty reliable "babysitter"), he's woken up screeching and isn't calming, so I'll have to come back to this post later.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

We interrupt this intermission to bring you....


Friday, April 06, 2007

4 weeks old

I can't believe that Toby has been with us for 4 weeks already! New parenthood has been proving all-consuming/ overwhelming, but we seem to have turned a corner in the last week, so normal blogging service (and some more recent pictures!) should resume soon.
I truly had no idea how hard work this was all going to be, or how utterly relentless the breast-feeding in particular would be. I thought that I/we had a pretty good understanding of the level of difficulty, having seen family and friends with new babies, but you just can't fully comprehend the exhaustion and constant demands until you go through it yourself. No-one can prepare you for it. And it doesn't help that you've gone through such an exhausting/draining experience as labour and birth first! I also had hideous back pain (and ghastly numbness in the base of my spine following the epidural/C-section), which meant that I couldn't stay in any one position for very long, especially sitting/holding the boy, which was tricky for feeding. The exhaustion, constant demands and emotional upheaval can result in some pretty dark times, and I've even wanted to give Toby back on one particularly awful night (not sure who I would be giving him back to - I really just wanted a break from it all).
Breast-feeding was bloody hard work in the first couple of weeks; I was prepared for it to be painful initially, but not for the level of difficulty in getting it established. Nor for the amount of time it would take up each day. Most of the time in the early days, it just felt like there was never any let up, as once you'd finished one feed and maybe had a short sleep or something to eat/gone to the loo, it was practically time to start over. Plus the pain from sore nipples was simply excruciating. And when my milk came in, it was almost impossible for Toby to latch on to my full boobs, as I have pretty flat nipples. So we started using nipple shields, which has made life generally rather easier, although I want to wean him off them soon. There was so much I didn't understand about breastfeeding and how it works in terms of the let-down reflex, demand & supply, how the baby's sucking pattern changes etc. I had previously been recommended a book called Breast is Best, which I so wish I had made time to read beforehand, as I wouldn't have struggled quite so much. But when I did get around to reading it, 2 weeks in, it really helped with various problem areas, and in simplyl understanding the mechanics of it all much better. For instance, I thought that if I couldn't hear Toby swallowing, then he wasn't actually getting any milk, and that the sucking he was doing was just comfort-sucking. Not so - he's still getting some milk, but just waiting for the next let-down. But it meant that I thought he was just a bit of a lazy feeder and had been taking him off the breast too early!
He was rather slow to regain his birthweight (probably because I wasn't letting him stay on long enough for all the reasons above), but once I'd read the book, I upped his feeding schedule to every 2 1/2hrs or so (every 3-4hrs overnight), and was expressing between feeds to increase my milk supply. It's all paid off, and he put on 8oz in the last week, so he's now up to 8lb 4oz (2oz above his birthweight). Still on a lower centile, but now gaining well.
We've moved from cup-feeding to bottle-feeding in the evening, as we didn't want him to refuse to go from breast to bottle at a later stage. We're using Playtex bottles/teats, which are supposed to be one of the closest to imitate breastfeeding. He loves his bottle, and Karen loves to be able to share in the feeding (she does the late-evening feed before we all go to bed). Sadly for my sleep pattern, he's now moved from one night feed to needing two, so I'm generally up with him at about 1.30am, and again around 5ish, feeding each time for about 45 mins or so, on and off. Quite often he wants morning to start once the second feed is over, which is pretty tough. It's amazing how you can adapt to so much less sleep overall, and broken sleep at that. Most nights he settles back to sleep after feeds reasonably easily, but some nights are pretty dreadful with us all just dozing for 30 min stretches at a time before he wakes again. I know that we have it fairly easy compared to many new parents though, going by the experience of the other mothers in my antenatal group. My antenatal group has quite literally felt like a lifesaver; I don't know how I would have managed without the other girls to share all our experiences with. Talk about instant bonding! We generally meet up a couple of times a week, and it keeps us all going through the tough times, although we are all beginning to find life a bit easier to cope with now.
Karen has finally found a parenting name that she likes - hooray! She didn't want a mothering-type name, as she sees herself as an equal parent to Toby, but not a mother to him. But equally, neither of us wanted her just to be Karen; we wanted a special name for him to use for her. We've been searching for something appropriate since before we started trying to conceive, without any luck (she's very particular!). I'm Toby's Mummy/Mama, and she is his Mimzy (she got the name from a childrens' film trailer, The Last Mimzy, and we both really like it). We also think it will be a good name as he gets older too, as it can be shortened to Mimz, which sounds quite cool.

Labels: ,

Saturday, March 24, 2007

First bath

Toby does not like being exposed! Nappy changes, bath time and general nakedness are a trial to him. I don't think he's quite ready for baby massage classes yet - they'd be more of an ordeal than a pleasure.
But he still manages to look sweet even when he's screaming.


Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Cup feeding

My milk didn't come in until the evening of day 3 after birth, and with Toby weighing 8lb 2oz at birth, the colustrum I was producing until then (and to a large extent expressing as we had latching issues) simply wasn't enough to fill his tummy and satisfy him, plus he started looking quite jaundiced. I knew that lots of new babies get jaundice, but wasn't really sure what caused it; apparently the baby is born with extra red blood cells to cope with the oxygen they are receiving via the mother's blood in the womb and then when they are born, it can take a little while for the liver to work efficiently enough to process these excess blood cells, and so that's why the baby turns yellow. Regular feeding helps to flush the toxins out of the baby's body.
So whilst Toby & I were still in hospital (and in the middle of my second exhausted night having had only about 5hrs sleep since the sleepless marathon labour, where Toby was really fractious and I was beside myself with tiredness), I decided to take the midwives' advice to give him a top-up feed with formula. Partly to stop the damn crying so I could just, please God, get some sleep, but mostly because of the jaundice issue (and because the poor babe was starving!). Our local hospital trust is incredibly pro-breastfeeding, so they weren't suggesting that they give him formula from a bottle, which I wouldn't have been happy with due to the possibility of nipple confusion (especially given Toby's lack of inclination already to latch on my large, flat-nippled boobs); instead they cup-feed. This is meant to more closely replicate breastfeeding, as although the baby isn't sucking, they lap with their tongue, just like a cat, which is the same action that they use on the nipple to "milk" the breast. It is so cute to watch, although they can tend to gulp down the formula/expressed breast milk and get a lot more windy. The picture above is of Karen giving Toby a cup feed - she's much better at it than I am. Initially the cup feeds we did were with formula, now if we do them, it tends to be with expressed breast milk, as it's lovely for Karen to be able to feed him too. And sometimes I'm just too flipping exhausted/fed-up of needing to feed The Boy yet again, so it's good that we can share to some extent.

Labels: ,