Thursday, 29 July 2010

More Eating

Well, the Baby Led Weaning (BLW) seems to be going very well! Even better since we got the new high chair to be honest. You're not really supposed to start on the eating thing until sprog can sit up pretty much unaided. Jess' attempts at sitting at the moment result in a very well practised quick lie down. Sometimes face first.... We initially got her a booster seat which, even when well padded out with a towel, didn't really offer much in the way of support and had her peering over the edge of the table so she struggled a bit to reach her food. I realised that it wasn't helping her when we visited a friend with a proper highchair which Jess sat in and happily devoured six large strawberries with not that much going on the floor. Needless to say, it was a very understanding friend who helped me hose the child down in the bath afterwards!

So I did a bit of research and brought an East Coast wooden folding highchair which was possibly a bit expensive; £44 off ebay in comparison the the ikea antilop wonder highchair which sells for £10.99 with the table being an extra budget busting £4.... Don't get me wrong, the antilop is actually excellent but crucially for us, it has slightly splayed legs and it doesn't fold and did I mention we live in a shoebox? Anyway, we now have our very pretty folding wooden highchair which keeps her mostly upright and will be even better when we get the insert for it so she doesn't keep smacking her head on the back when she's decided she's finished eating. It has a tray which is handy but the tray folds back too so she can get right up to the table and eat with us without being eye level with her lunch. Forgive me for raving about highchairs, makes a change from the nappies though....

I am eternally amazed at the development of her skills when it comes to eating. Depending on what it is she has come on leaps and bounds within a few weeks with getting things in her mouth and swallowing them and she knows that when the highchair comes out and Mummy starts laying the table it's food time and she'll shout at me until she's fed. While I'm typing this she's finishing her lunch which was soup followed by plum. The soup I leave thicker than Meanderingfather and I have it so it's bordering on veg puree but Jess eats it herself. I either pass her a loaded spoon or I leave the spoon in the soup in front of her, either way, she knows just what to do! Right now the plum is being decimated. I cut it roughly off the stone and Jess very efficiently eats the flesh and spits out the skin. It's great watching her learn that two hands are better than one when picking up something slippy.

Mmmm, plum!

Obviously though, she now wants EVERYTHING! Which means I have to be very aware that she will be lunging for my glass of wine in the pub. Luckily she will be fobbed off with sipping from a glass of water.

We're still going strong with the breastfeeding and hopefully will continue to do so for a while longer yet but she did have an odd wobble when the weaning started in earnest and for a few days she didn't want much boob but would just howl at it when I got her in position. I eventually worked out that she didn't want to be held so much so for a while she was feeding sitting beside me with minimal support and now she's back to normal thankfully!

In other news still not much luck with the nappies and the smell. I'm trying a few other things and if they work I shall up date you (lucky things that you are!)

Friday, 16 July 2010

Wee Notions. If you've had enough of nappies look away now.

Jess modelling her new nappy.

Anyway, the height of nappy fashion has arrived! Designed by me, worn by Jess and it is gorgeous.

The outside is the great skull picture on lagoon minkee gelato fabric and the inside is raspberry slush minkee gelato fabric. It's really nice and soft and great quality. Wee Notions is a small family run business who make by hand every nappy that's ordered which makes me feel all happy inside. If anyone doesn't know what to get as a present for new parents these make great gifts, I reckon that even if someone's not doing cloth nappies one of these would still hit the mark (and might persuade them to use cloth which is all good!).

Anyway, for my readers who are fb friends, I apologise for deluging you with photos, I'll stop now!

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Friday, 9 July 2010


Don't worry! This isn't a birth story! While I have no objection to reading other people's or telling people about mine I have a bit of a weird thing about committing it to paper (virtual or otherwise) and sharing it... Same sort of thing with photos, I didn't want any taken of the birth or immediately after because I'm never going to forget what it was like and no one else needs to know! I also wanted John to spend time with his new daughter too rather than fiddling around with the camera. Also, as John said, after I'd given birth it looked like someone had been murdered on the bed and no one needs to see that!

First photo; post birth, post first feed and post shower.

Anyway, to get back to the point, I was inspired by a friend's facebook status to write this and it's directed at anyone who is due to give birth in the near future (and there seem to be a helluva lot of you!). Like everything to do with parenting (nappies, breastfeeding, sling use etc) people have very strong opinions about the birth itself. Some consider it as an unavoidable experience which will be horrific, some would prefer to have a c-section, some are desperate to give birth naturally etc etc, the list goes on and on.

One thing that is for sure is that childbirth is portrayed very oddly in fiction. According to most TV shows and films women are likely to have their waters break very suddenly then be doubled up in agony instantly before giving birth while screaming themselves stupid. Or the actual birth is quite easy and doesn't spoil perfect hair and make up. In reality most (not all) women go into labour slowly and have a gradual build up. I was in labour for over two days at home so although I had had very little sleep in that time I'd also had a nice long build up. By the time we got into hospital I had worked out how to deal with the contractions and was happy to see how I got on without drugs.

I should probably point out at this point that Jess was lying in the perfect position for birth (bless her little soul) and as we didn't have any major complications things were "easy" for me and I know that's not the way for everyone.

When I got pregnant though I was terrified at the idea of giving birth (mainly because I watch too much telly) but by the time I actually came to it I was feeling quite positive. One of the reasons for this was a book called Ina May's Guide to Childbirth which a lovely friend brought me and it was just fantastic. Ina May is the midwife who has documented orgasmic childbirth and if you can pop one out while you're giving birth I'm delighted for you but it is the rest of the book that's so fantastic. She makes it very clear that childbirth is what a woman's body is geared up to do. It's all designed to stretch and push and yes, it probably will hurt but it's a very positive pain. Also, unlike most pain, it's not destructive, it's happening for a reason and it doesn't stay with you. She talks about visualisation techniques in a useful way too, I could never get my head around trying to visualise yourself on a beach when you're quite blatantly in hospital trying to get a baby out, maybe my imagination isn't up to scratch! Anyway, I found it much more useful to visualise what each and every contraction and later on every push is doing. It's a way of focusing positively on what your body is doing rather than trying to remove yourself from it.

I also found it quite useful to ignore people a lot of the time.... I had a really positive conversation with a work colleague who, when I told her I wanted as natural a birth as possible (she asked!), told me not to be so stupid and by the time I was in labour I'd be screaming for all the drugs they could give me. Cheers for that.

I'm not saying I do or don't advocate drugs in childbirth, they can be incredibly necessary but I feel strongly that going into labour thinking it's going to be awful and you want to be completely dosed up is a bit counter productive. And I know some of you are reading this knowing I didn't want an epidural because I'm scared of people putting needles in my spine. I hold my hands up; I'm a wuss! Throughout my labour though I wasn't thinking I don't want any drugs, I was thinking, I'll see how I go and if it gets unbearable I'll think about having something and then Jess was born and I hadn't had anything and I'm so thankful for that because I remember it so well and now, six months later, I just look back on it as a massively positive experience and I still get a kick out of it.

I know a lot of people who haven't been so lucky so I know that things don't always go to plan but I think anything positive you can take away at the end should be what you dwell on, the biggest thing obviously being that you have produced a beautiful baby.

So meanderingmothers top tips for childbirth are:

  • Be positive, you and your body can do this
  • Don't feel pressurised into anything, if you feel you need drugs go for it, if you want to give birth on your hands and knees or what ever, go for it!
  • Visualise getting the baby out
  • Count while you're breathing, for some reason this really helped me although I couldn't stop after she'd been born....
I hope you all have the births you want or as close as possible to what you want. Unless you're not pregnant in which case giving birth in the near future would come as a bit of a shock anyway. Especially for the boys....

Sunday, 4 July 2010

The start of Jessie Led Weaning

We're not really supposed to be offering Jess food yet but as she's stolen a few bits off my plate we just thought we'd go along with it and see how things go. At the moment she doesn't get offered three meals a day but if she's awake and we're eating something suitable she can join in. Just to update, we're doing this hippy method of weaning which means Jess eats what we eat, no purees, no force feeding. Her main source of nutrition til she's got to grips with food is boob juice so hopefully weaning will be a fun journey into the delights of food and not a three times a day struggle to force mush down her throat. The only things that are out are excessive quantities of salt or sugar or anything she might choke on (biggish bits of nuts and seeds) which gives us quite a bit of scope!

So far she's had orange (which she adores), dates (maybe not the best plan, I have yet to find out!), tomato, avocado, cheese, cake, toast and butter, banana, scotch pancake, cous cous, pasta with tomato sauce, hummus, ice cream, yogurt (she actually sucked it off the lid, very cool!), cherries, nectarine, strawberries, cucumber and courgette. For the most part she has a suck and a gum of things just to get to grips with textures, tastes and how to pick things up but a lot of the fruit gets yummed up!

The only problem is the mess, which isn't really a problem because what gets dropped on the floor can be picked up again! And Jess can obviously be held under a tap to get her clean.... I've found that to save on washing eating half naked is better, skin being wipe cleanable, although food gets everywhere when they DIY! But as she can't sit up properly and can only be propped in the highchair for short periods (and some might say not at all!) she does a lot of her eating on my knee and happy as I am to be filthy dirty I have a real problem with being sticky and a baby sucking banana out of your hand brings a whole new meaning to the word! Although it is a good excuse for us to share a bath after tea....

The best bit of all this though is the faces she makes, my favourite being mouth hanging open, slight frown and a general how dare you poison me aura. Usually accompanied by a urrrrgggghhhh sound. Bizarrely this doesn't mean she hates it and she will go back for more!

 Jess getting to grips with avocado.

In other news, we've done a bit of swimming which she does seem to enjoy! We usually go with my incredibly lovely friend who sits in the coffee shop with her so I can do lengths for half an hour (bliss), then he swims while Jess and I bob about in the toddlers pool. We've also been with my Cousin and her bundle of joy who's a water babies baby and can apparently go underwater! I'm very impressed by this but haven't had the guts to dunk Jess yet although god knows why, seeing as I dropped her twice in the bath earlier and she managed not to inhale any!

We've (I've) also designed a nappy.... I have had ever more adventures in the world of nappies since my last post and my dear sister has introduced me to a website called wee notions (see links). It seems to be a family thing, when we find things we want but can't afford and /or don't need we like to tell as many people as possible to share the pain as it were. Anyway, on wee notions you can design your own nappy and they will make it and send it to you. And my god these things are exquisite. Needless to say, I couldn't really afford one and I definitely don't need one but I've ordered one anyway. It will arrive in a few weeks and I promise to post a photo as soon as I have it on the child!