Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Milk Bottles.. My Formula Feeding Journey..

My little one, nearly 15 months is now drinking cows milk! It's been 2 whole weeks & he is loving it.. I know this isn't really groundbreaking news for many, but to me, it means my formula feeding journey has come to an end. I say this with a mix of both sadness (my little boy is growing up!) & happiness (Yay! No more $30 tins each week!).

When pregnant with my first child (8 years ago) I was undoubtedly going to breast feed, I hadn't even considered bottle feeding nor had I purchased bottles etc prior to going to hospital because that simply 'wasn't the plan' There hadn't been many babies born into our family, the only role model I had was my Aunty and she had successfully breast fed all 3 of her boys so I guess I figured it was the 'done thing' and that it would be easy..

Unfortunately it seems my body had other ideas and no matter how much poking, prodding, syringing & pumping I persevered, 5-10ml was all that was produced each time.. I cried, I struggled, I blamed myself and was told I had 'flat nipples' and a 'lazy sucker' & on day 6 in hospital, I admitted defeat.. I remember the moment quite clearly..
A younger nurse than normal came into the room & stood at the end of my bed and said ''Have you decided how your going to feed this baby yet?'' and I looked down at my perfect little man in my arms & I burst into tears & the whole past 6 days of feeding failure stories came tumbling out.. At the end I looked at her and said '' I really wanted to breast feed but I think I'm going to have to bottle feed'' to which the nurse responded with a huge smile across her face, ''I don't give a flying fuck how you feed him as long as you are happy and he is getting fed'' I cannot describe the relief I felt at that moment.. Her reaction was so different to that of the midwifes who had agonised over my useless chest all week, even yelling at me in the middle of the night when I would seek their assistance.. I was so thankful to this young woman for her understanding & unbiased support.

I still persevered for the next 2 weeks with the bf, even using an electric breast pump but nothing seemed to boost my supply and after 3 weeks I began exclusively feeding formula. It wasn't a decision I was happy about at the time, it is such a guilt loaded decision but one I made for the health of my Son. My supply came in by week 5, perhaps due to blood loss during the Caesar but by then I was content with bottle feeding & had found a formula, bottle, teat etc that agreed with him.

I thought buying bottles would be easy, but no, there is so much to consider. I initially went with the AVENT bottles as the chemist staff told me the teats were more like the natural nipple shape (I apparently have 'flat' nipples so I doubt they resembled mine!) needless to say the little one didn't like the AVENT bottle so we settled with the NUK variety & there we stayed! And S26 AR formula to help aid his reflux.

And as far as bottle feeding goes, I never got that whole your missing out on a bonding experience thing? I always held my boys in my arms for every feed, hugging them, talking to them about their day and usually nursing them to sleep..

My eldest didn't come off formula till he was 2. No matter what, he wasn't going to give it up.. so I was kind of relieved that this little fella took to cows milk so easily & readily.

This time round I had planned on trying BF, however, I was also prepared for bottle feeding and had all the gear on board if I chose to go that way too..

After he was born they placed him on me for skin on skin contact & asked if I'd like to try & feed him.. I tried, but to me (and I know this may annoy some breast is best people) it just didn't feel right.. I wasn't comfortable & all of those emotions from my first experience came flooding back. I met with the lactation nurse and she accepted my wishes at formula feeding and ran with it from there.. 2nd time round my milk never came in at all, nurses, doctors etc were surprised but it seemed like my boobs were 'broken' and unwilling to produce at all.
Still even after being supported in ones decision to exclusively formula feed by choice I still had a lot of guilt & worry.. You don't want to think you have exposed your baby to things that could have otherwise been prevented if I'd BF. However, with DS putting on 700g on average a week I had no worry with him thriving & that alone was proof enough for me that I'd done the right thing.

So today I walked past the formula aisle without having to put one in the trolley (such a knee jerk reaction) and instead put 3, 2 litre containers of milk in instead lol. :D

Sunday, October 14, 2012

My Headstart on Christmas Shopping..

I love Christmas.. it is my favourite time of the year. I love the atmosphere, the weather, the lights, the music, the food and even the shopping! (crazy right?)  However, last year after finding myself at our local Westfield partaking in their crazy 48 hour shop at 4am in the morning Christmas eve, I decided that WASN'T going to happen again this year!  I needed to be more organised with my shopping.. So I started early..
I'm not usually one to do the mid year toy-sale's because I usually change my mind by December or find the same toys cheaper come Christmastime (don't you just hate that?!) but I have decided with five kids to buy for I need to embrace the mid year toy sales and their longer payment terms, so this year I lay-by'd at both Target and Big W during the sales.. I shopped from the comfort of my bed between 12-3am on both of their websites and managed to get many of the kid's pressies, so I was pretty stoked. 
Normally I am terrible at sticking to in-store layby's -- I forget to make payment's and sometimes forget I have a layby at all until the letter arrives in the mail letting me know otherwise, so I was surprised to find how easy managing layby's online is; my Big W layby payment was calculated for me when I set it up and it automatically comes out of my bank account each fortnight and the Target layby I pay via Paypal or Visa as I please..
I had to make a change to an item on my Big W layby and it was really easy to call up and cancel an item off the order, However, when I tried to do the same with my Target layby I was unable, I will have to wait to pay it off then refund/exchange the item after collection ~ The little fella got 2 ride-ons for his birthday so he certainly doesn't need a third!
My Big W layby will be delivered to my door and I opted for a click and collect style collection from my local Target. Easy..
Since my head start via layby's I have also picked up a few things in store as I see things on special/things that the kids will like, as well as a few things on eBay.  I was lucky enough a couple of months ago to be the Facebook Fan of the Week on Bambini Pronto and scored myself a $50.00 voucher to use on their website, so tonight when i saw that they were having a 40% off sale on various products for their 11th Birthday I jumped at the chance to use my gift voucher on some fantastic Skip Hop Products for my littlest one for Christmas! I ended up buying the Zoo Dog Suitcase, Zoo Monkey Backpack, Zoo Monkey Lunchie, Zoo Dog Bowl & Plate set and all I was out of pocket was $40.00 for all of those great products..
Hubby chose the Monkey design for the backpack and lunchie
& I chose the dog design in the suitcase & bowl/plate set .(I like the dog But the little guy does have this thing for Monkey's.. so who am I to argue.. personally if it was for me I'd get the Owl, they are sooo cute! )

I'm pretty happy with the way my Christmas shopping is going thus far.. I know I'm never going to be able to resist the temptation of going shopping physically during Christmastime but least this way I will be a little better prepared and instead of shopping at 4am Christmas Eve I can be sleeping!  Have you started your Christmas shopping yet?