Persephone: Parent

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Bad Days!

I’m not sure if it’s my constant headache, my full days to fill in for hubby being back at work, the constant streaming nose, the extra energy looking after Elvis alone all day or something completely irrelevant, but I’ve been having a bad few days.

It culminated the other day when everything in my local bank just kept going wrong. It would have been a comedy if it weren’t my life! And it resulted in me walking along, crying in the pouring rain pushing E along. I looked so desperate that some random man tried to stop me to help.

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Mega Mummy Moment

I’m going to write this post as a two parter – the lead up and after-show of a Mega Mummy Moment.

Daddy has the day off to visit the dentist in an hour and the sun has finally gone, the breeze is actually kind of chilly! It’s lovely. So after what should be a feed at 2pm, I’m going swimming!

I am going to leave the house, leave my boy and go swimming. Alone. I am going to have a 15 minute walk there and back. Alone. I’m going to swim for 30 minutes. Alone. I’ll probably leave washing my hair until I get home, just so I’m not out too long. Just in case.

I haven’t been swimming since week 39, 12 weeks ago! I found it so relaxing whilst pregnant. I could manage 22-24 lengths in 30 minutes. My quick, painless recovery from my c-section is all down to swimming, I reckon.

I’m quite excited, fingers crossed nothing comes up!

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Month Update: Month 2

Weight: 14lb 9

Bedtime: Elvis’ at 1930, mine around 2000! But we’re still bed-sharing with Daddy on the sofa!

Naps/Length: Hit and miss – he’s still just kinda always sleeping.

Number of feeds in 24hrs: approximately 8. He can manage 5 hours overnight without a feed.

Favourite toy/objects: Loves his playgym at Nanny’s. Oh, and his cot mobile can entertain him for a full 20 minutes whilst I get a quick rest on the bed!

Clothing age: Already in 3-6 month! Holy Hell!

Foot length: 8.8cm.

Milestones: Aiming with his hands and getting much, much better at tummy time and holding his head, although he could do both of these last month.

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Sleep + Food

A few weeks ago I posed the following question to my husband: if I’m supposed to sleep when baby sleeps and that can be every 3 hours or less, when am I supposed to eat?

From what I know different foods metabolise at different times, rangung from as little as 20 minutes to over 4 hours. So, I repeat when should I be eating?

Metabolism slows when you’re asleep and you shouldn’t go to sleep on a full tummy. Now I know you should eat little and often but if proteins take a few hours to digest it really doesn’t matter. Plus what new mother’s going to get up every few hours, eat and then go straight to sleep? And what new dad’s going to prepare healthy snacks at night?
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Week 31: GP

As this is technically week 31 (from the beginning not up to my due date), I had to have a GP appointment.

I’ve only had to see a GP twice, and I’ve seen a different GP each time. The first time it was Doctor Useless who used to be one of only 3 doctors at the practice. They’re absolutely awful. At the antenatal appointment, Dr Useless barely asked me anything, measured me and listened for Elvis’ heartbeat without actually telling me what they were doing and without explaining any of the results. I’m used to Doctor Useless, luckily.

For the second GP appointment, I saw a new person that I’ve never seen there before (we’re now a practice of about 10 doctors) – Doctor Glasses (simply because they wear glasses and I’m feeling unimaginative!). And how refreshing the appointment was. Doctor G explained the tests, checked my swollen ankles, asked me about the iron tablets and made me feel so much more at ease. They confirmed that Elvis’ head is still at the bottom (I think he’s pretty comfortable and doesn’t spin or turn anymore), but not engaged – good! Dr G also asked if I feel lots of movement and I said yes, that Elvis had found my ribs the day before.

He’s only attacked my ribs the twice, but he’s definitely always kicking just on the one side and slightly in the middle (some of it feels like he’s trying to escape through the tummy) so I’m hoping that points towards him not being back-to-back, rather side facing.

Now I just have to wait 2 more weeks for the next Midwife appointment, which was made for a Bank Holiday… umm…

~ Persephone M

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63 Days encounting: 9 weeks +/-2

I had another random day off today (annual leave I need to take or lose) and it’s currently the same time as I’d usually be home, but it feels so much nicer!

I spent my morning catching up on TV, as I can at the moment. Then a spot of food shopping before cooking 3 meals to freeze for once Elvis is here. Then I went swimming at the lovely time of half 2.

Its so nice swimming with few people there. And swimming really helps. I went last night when I was in a bad mood and I came back much happier. It never hurts as much walking home either because I’m all stretched. Somehow I always feel more flexible after swimming.

I just wish I could go at a more reasonable time every day, but I have to work!

I’m still making my way through my “iron rich” cupcakes which are surprisingly yummy and I had my whooping cough booster on Monday – my arm still hurts!

Here’s to tomorrow not being too bad at work and having the energy to swim some more!

~Persephone M

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66 Days Encounting: Dietary Changes Needed

After my last post, I noticed, but kinda ignored an extreme tiredness simply putting it down to being pregnant and all.

Until I got a call from my doctor’s receptionist saying that my blood tests were back and I have slight anaemia, that there was a prescription for me and that I needed to collect it. Okay, I thought, that’s all normal. A lot of pregnant women become slightly anaemic in their pregnancy. Especially in the middle-later parts. I was fine with this.

Until I started thinking a tad too much.

Was it my fault?

Is my diet that horrendously bad?

Am I already an awful mother?

It’s not easy to have a balanced diet at the best of times. Day after day there’s another news story or health scare about what people should and shouldn’t eat. You shouldn’t drink alcohol. But red wine’s good for your heart. You shouldn’t eat ready meals, but they have less salt than store-made sandwiches. You can’t win 100% on everything. And that’s for a normal diet, let alone a pregnant one.

Take this anaemia thing. Anaemia is essentially from a lack of iron in your diet. It causes a decrease in haemoglobin and therefore in your red blood cells. You don’t have enough red cells to carry oxygen around your body and can therefore feel faint, dizzy, light-headed. It can happen to anyone who doesn’t eat enough iron rich foods, but is far more common in pregnant women because their baby is “stealing” their iron and their blood volume increases over the pregnancy. If your blood volume increases, but you don’t have enough iron, that blood volume won’t contain enough red cells and it’ll be mainly water.

So the “cure” is to eat more iron, which is commonly found in fortified cereals, red meat, nuts, pulses, green leafy veg, eggs, etc. Okay, well too much red meat is bad for you, but the rest should be fine for most people. And pregnant women should try for two portions a day. So cereal for breakfast and then meat/pulses and broccoli for tea. Sorted, yes?

No, because that’s where you get the usual dietary problems of good and bad qualities. Iron absorption is aided by Vitamin C (fruits, fruit juices, tomatoes) and like any vitamin/mineral only a certain amount can be stored at any one point, and absorption is better from food than tablet. Okay, so cereal and a glass of Orange Juice for breakfast is perfect then?

No.

Because whilst Vitamin C helps iron absorption, calcium prevents it. Just as caffeine inhibits calcium absorption (so forget that morning cup of tea with cereal), calcium inhibits iron absorption. So that bowl of cereal with milk on it… Are you absorbing all of the iron? Should you be eating dry cereal?

Is that why I’m anaemic? I’ve consciously increased my calcium intake to protect my bones, has it decreased my iron absorption?

As I said, nothing in diets is that simple whatsoever. It’s all about trying to maintain a balance and hoping to some extent that some of the good you’re doing is prevailing.

I’m taking my iron tablets (so far without the side effect of heartburn because my hormones give me plenty of that!) and I’m consciously avoiding milk at meal times (but drinking it other times) whilst also increasing my broccoli intake. I’m also off to make myself some healthy muffins and flapjacks with pecans and raisins in; both a source of iron and perfect for me to nibble during the day.

A small part of me still wonders if it’s all my fault and that I should have been clever enough to not get slightly anaemic, but I know it isn’t true and that I am doing my best.

Now with added muffiny goodness!

~ Persephone M

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70 Days And Counting: What I Learnt Today

Still having a few days of annual leave that need using by the end of March, I opted to basically take every Wednesday off so, for a month at least, I don’t have to work more than two days in a row.

My only plan for these Wednesdays off is to go swimming when there are fewer people there. At 4, 5 or 6 in the afternoon there are too many swimming groups or families with young kids or teenagers on a date. I have no idea why you’d go on a date to a swimming pool!

So today I went at 3pm, before schools let out and during a slot where kids can’t go free and it was lovely! Half the pool and only 7 people max.

And I also decided to attend a Pregnant Mums Breastfeeding Class. I have another booked for an evening session so hubby can attend, too.

So, what I learnt:

  • A day old baby has a stomach the size of a marble and it holds 6ml. A lot of mums give up breast feeding early as they think their baby isn’t eating enough when they maybe don’t realise it can only hold 6ml.
  • One of the things colostrum does is seal the newborn’s stomach. The stomach is actually perforated and without sealing those holes milk will leak out. If a baby misses the colostrum (being breast or bottle fed) they have a higher risk of GI infections and UTIs because of the milk leakage.
  • Breast fed babies stop feeding when they’re full or when the breast empties (breast and stomach are tuned to each other) which is why they have a lower rate of obesity later in life.
  • A lot of parents don’t realise how small their baby’s stomach is so, when using a bottle, when the baby stops they wind the baby and continue feeding. With winding, some milk is regurgitated creating space for more. This isn’t as common with breast fed babies.

I also saw this amazing video of the first skin to skin contact from an unmedicated baby that had immediate skin to skin. The crawling and suckling reflex was amazing. It really felt miraculous and I can only hope my labour is “normal” and I get to see my baby do that!

~ Persephone M

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