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Flat

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Thursday, 22 May 2014: One Year and Fifty Two Days Old.

Today marked the second time in a week someone has commented on my flat chest.

Sure, I’d sort of realised that since going back to work my boobs had shrunk a bit, but I didn’t realise it was so noticeable’

Admittedly I’ve had to pack a whole bunch of bras away until such a time as I become pregnant again, but it turns out my decreasing milk supply is also resulting in ill-fitting frocks!

I’m not quite sure how I feel about it to be honest.

I’ve always been proud of my figure, attributing my boobs to being one of my best physical features, so now that they’re almost gone (like, actually gone) I’m definitely disappointed.

I also feel torn between sadness and pride; sad that my boobs are disappearing into oblivion before my eyes, but proud that I’ve been able to use them to sustain a human life, Ayla’s life, for nearly fourteen months.

I’m sad about the change in my figure, but I’m also proud for having lost my baby weight in a healthy, natural way.

And, I’m sad about the loss of my “youth”… The days of squeezing into too tight tops just to see how many second glances I’d get are LONG gone, but I’m proud to have swapped that for a gorgeous baby girl and her adoring father, and proud that I’m proud of that!

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No more expressing

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Wednesday, 23 April 2014: One Year, Three Weeks and One Day Old.

Sadly, I had to make the call to stop expressing milk at work today.

Even though I’ve only been back in the office a couple of weeks, I’m already feeling swamped and finding time to express is becoming more and more difficult.

Although I know I can get everything done at work during my part time hours, it means using every minute effectively to ensure no time is wasted.

It feels contradictory to put “time wasting” and “breast feeding” in the same sentence, and it kills me to think I’m putting work ahead of Ayla.

But the benefits of working part time are outweighing the need for me to be religious about Ayla’s breast milk consumption, so it seems like my days of sitting in the storeroom pumping milk are over.

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Argh!!

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Wednesday, 16 April 2014: One Year, Two Weeks and One Day Old.

Argh!! I’m so tired, so sick, stressed and my boobs are turning into empty sacks while I watch.

I’m over of having sickness in this household. Over of sleepless nights. I feel absolutely terrible and I can feel my body shutting down!!

So much for the “solution” to a full nights sleep I thought I’d discovered yesterday…

After not going to bed until 9pm Ayla was up at midnight, then again 2.45am, 4.00am, 5.00am and 6.00am.

At the midnight feed I gave Ayla another bottle, then at 2.45am I gave her breast milk.

Then after that there’s was nothing more I could do except lie listening to Ayla cry through the monitor, waiting for her go back to sleep herself.

Hubby was right there with me of course and he was willing to get up and give resettling his best shot, but Ayla’s tears are for mummy, nothing else.

I can understand where Ayla’s coming from, everything she’s experienced in life so far has been turned on its head and if I were her I’d be wanting cuddles too.

But where I’d usually enjoy our quite closeness in the wee hours, last night my body just wouldn’t let me.

Finally my fever has broken but I’m sicker today than yesterday! The antibiotics are making me ill and I feel weak from having had no appetite for days.

To add insult to injury I feel terrible for Baby Ayla who needs me to be there for her as she adjusts to her new routine but I can’t even provide her with the milk she’s relied on her whole life.

It sucks. I really want to be writing about happy things, new memories and fun adventures but it’s seems to be a downward slope at the moment! I’m sure things will turn around soon, and hopefully I’ll feel better after some sleep!

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Setting her own pace

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Saturday, 15 February 2014: Three Hundred and Twenty Days Old.

It amazing how over time Ayla is slowly setting her own routine that is much more “in line” with what I expected!

I was one of those pre-parents who raved on about the plans I had for my first child, saying things like “my kid will be in bed by 7:30 every night” and “my kid will have dinner when we have dinner” and “my kid will eat what we eat”.

But the reality is, it’s nothing like that (* insert collective “I told you so’s” from friends and family)

Since Ayla was born I’ve slowly learned to go of the silly, unsubstantiated “rules” I’d made up for what constituted good parenting, and instead have allowed Ayla to set her own pace for growing and learning… within a loose set of “guidelines” that keep her from completely ruling the roost!

At times I’ve seen a few raised eyebrows from people who’ve been shocked that Ayla’s bed time was anywhere between 8 and 9.30, or that Ayla might go a couple of days without eating hardly any solids but hey, at the end of the day I think being flexible and intuitive has contributed to the happy, healthy Ayla we all know and love.

But as my return to work looms in the near future I’ve been questioning some of my decisions and worrying about how a 9pm bed time is going to be sustainable.

I’ve also spent many a long night wondering about weaning; should I wean Ayla, how can I get her to take a bottle, will she go to sleep during the day if she can’t nurse?

I’ve been trying to catch myself in the act of over thinking, reminding myself that it will all sort itself out in due course and, well, turns out it is.

Around 6pm each night, Ayla starts getting hungry for her dinner. By 6.45 she’s usually finished and having a bath and by 7.30 Ayla’s starting to get tired and rub her eyes.

By 8pm, for the last few days anyway, Ayla’s read a story, been cocooned, and tucked into her bed, preferring to fall asleep on her own now instead of in my arms.

Ayla’s also sleeping much better through the night, and we’ve finally returned to the 7 or 8 hours stints she had when she was six months old.

While Ayla still refuses the bottle, and still relies on mummy cuddles for her day time naps, having a consistent, calm and natural bed time routine is making a huge difference to my confidence and I’m sure the other things will follow in due course.

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Second tooth

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Friday, 10 January 2014: Two Hundred and Eighty Four Days Old.

Ayla’s second tooth has cut through!

My baby girl now has her two front bottom teeth and she certainly ain’t afraid to use them!

Ayla has been chomping down on everything, and I thought the drool was bad before… Ha!

Ayla got to test out her new tooth today when she took her first proper bite of food; Hubby offered her a suck of his paddle pop and it came back looking like a giant one-toothed rat had had a chew.

Thankfully though (touch wood) I have so far escaped becoming a teething toy, but surely it won’t be long before I let out a yelp that will echo in the ears of breastfeeding mothers everywhere.

But impending bloodshed aside, I’m glad the tooth is here and I’m hoping we’ll get at least a couple of nights of normal sleep now, until Tooth #3 starts making an appearance.

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Hands full

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Saturday, 17 August 2013: One Hundred and Thirty Seven Days Old.

Hubby and I are going to have our hands full with Baby Ayla pretty soon (if not already!)

It started a few weeks ago when Ayla (who’s still exclusively breast fed) decided she didn’t want to take the bottle anymore.

We’ve tried everything to get her back on it – different bottles, different teats, frozen milk, fresh milk, different feeding positions, different times – but nope, she doesn’t want a milk bar of it!

Then in just the last few days, she’s started to fight bed time.

Take a happy, but sleepy, Ayla into her room, turn the lights off and what do you get?

Rebellion! Ayla cries and wriggles and kicks and squirms; at four and a half months old she already knows what bedtime means and she knows she doesn’t want it!

And there’s one more thing… The TV.

I was out at a friends place tonight so Hubby was on Baby Duty.

Ayla was doing her newly discovered “don’t take me into the dark room routine” so Hubby had her in the lounge.

Every time he turned Ayla away from the TV she’d crack it. Spin her towards it again and she’d be happy.

Like a big kid! At four months!?!? Who on Earth suggested having an Aires baby?! 😉

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Struggling to keep up

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Friday, 5 July 213: Ninety-Five Days Old.

Ayla must be having another growth spurt I think, she’s been feeding hourly and I’m struggling to keep up!

It’s to be expected I guess; she’s developed so much in the past week that now it’s time for her body to do the same.

But, I’m worried if I’m giving her all she needs, and enough of it. Ayla’s still exclusively breastfed and I’m pushing myself to drink at least 5 litres of water a day so that there’s enough milk by bed time.

But, good ol’ “Mummy Guilt” prevails and still I am riddled with self doubt;

– Do I have enough milk?
– Is it a growth spurt or is she starving?
– What’s wrong with formula?
– Should I try her on it?
– When?
– HOW?!
– If I do, then my milk will surely dry up, won’t it?

ARGH! So many questions and no right or wrong answer! Some tough decisions ahead I think.