Archive for the ‘Rants’ Category

The breastfeeding thing – possible TMI warning!

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009

Okay, so I’ve mentioned having problems with feeding before but not gone into much detail – this is the detail, hence the Too Much Information warning!  I wasn’t going to eleborate but was asked to write it up for an academic study so thought I might as well include it here too in case anyone is interested.

Here goes –

When Owen was born, six weeks ago, I remembered being told at breastfeeding class that it was beneficial to feed in the first hour.  As we’d been left alone in the labour ward I thought I’d give it a try, and was thrilled when it worked.  However once we got to the ward I couldn’t get him to latch again, even with help from the midwives.

The next morning I’d still not fed him so a midwife expressed my milk and fed Owen with a syringe.  This was the start of a frustrating battle, with neither of us really knowing what we were doing. 

We did manage to feed a couple of times and we were sent home feeling fairly confident.  However when the midwife came to the house she realised his weight was not going up.  It hadn’t fallen past the allowed 10% but wasn’t rising.  As a new first time Mum this was devastating, I wanted to be a good Mum and wanted to do what was right but it just wasn’t working.  Owen was too hungry to sleep and too tired, through lack of energy, to feed.  He would also get really excited or agitated when put near my breast and toss his head about – none of the babies in class had done that, they’d all opened their mouths and latched perfectly.  We were trapped; and I was getting so exhausted that it was affecting my milk production, which hadn’t had a chance to even get established.  I was told to get formula into him immediately or he’d need to be readmitted to hospital.  It would also take the pressure of feeding him off me and relieve the anguish so that hopefully I could express milk for future feeds.  So began another tiring cycle of expressing and cup feeding, a process that took about 90 mins, and would need started every 3 hours.  At least the wee guy would sleep now though, especially as we’d give him formula last thing.

That first weekend my midwife was on holiday so I saw 4 different ladies, each with their own (often contradicting) ideas and suggestions to get him feeding.  One suggested breast shields, wee silicon gadgets for ladies with cracked nipples so the baby wasn’t feeding direct.  Fortunately these worked first time!  The next 2 feeds Owen latched and fed properly and I was thrilled and excited.  Then he got lazy again and wouldn’t latch, but would still use the shields.

So I kept trying but he wasn’t keen, I’ve only had him latch a couple of times since.  However the important thing is that he’s gaining weight, sleeping, and keeping happy.  Shields may not be the “proper” way but they work for us so that’s all that matters.  We do often leak some during feeds so need to use a cloth and sometimes still end up with me having a wet waistband on my jeans and him having wet sleeves.  I doubt I’ll ever feed in public but I can express for trips out and give him a bottle, now he’s old enough to not have to be cup fed!  My milk is so well established that he only occasionally gets formula now, just nights when he’s having a growth spurt and feeding every 2 hours as we both need more sleep than the hour you snatch between feeds.

That’s “how its been going”, as for “what has been helpful” – well the support of my husband, Mum and friends have been the main thing.  It’s amazing once you mention having problems just how many other people have had too.  Before I had Owen I thought it was a natural and easy thing to do – well I’ve seen various ladies doing it effortlessly in public and that’s how it looked in the class too.  There was mention of the possibility of mastitis or cracked nipples so I was prepared for those but I really wish they had pointed out that it can be hard to get established.  I realise that the main battle is to get women to want to breastfeed but I would think that those who go to a breastfeeding class have already made that decision so why not be honest and up front with them so they can mentally prepare themselves?  The worst part, for me, was feeling like a total failure and utterly useless – I didn’t know this was actually quite “normal” and a lot of women have problems to begin with – it didn’t mean I was a bad Mum.

But I’ve drifted to “what was difficult”.  Back to helpful – my husband was the one that was there encouraging me and trying to help with positioning.  He also kept me well fed with lovely nutritious food so I had the energy to go on.  The midwives were all helpful, although it was confusing with them all suggesting different things, and some were disapproving of other’s suggestions.  I also attended a breastfeeding clinic at the hospital with a midwife and an NCT councillor which gave us several new suggestions to try, and let me see there were other Mums struggling too.  I had to demonstrate us trying to feed and it wasn’t helpful when the midwife watched Owen tossing his head about in front of my breast, then laughed and said “yes I see your problem.”  He can’t have been the first baby ever to do this!  It was one of my friends who actually made the straightforward suggestion of holding his head still as I put him to the breast.  That helped, a bit.

The most helpful thing was my final acceptance that breast shields worked for us and that I don’t care if some people don’t approve.  Hopefully at tomorrow’s weigh in Owen’s weight will be back up to the centile line it was at when he was born.  That is all that matters in the end.


Sunday, January 4th, 2009

I got an email today that really struck a chord with me so I’m going to share it with you.  It will upset some people possibly but I think there’s a great deal of truth in it and I’m entitled to my opinion so apologies to those who don’t like it and I’ll happily listen to your opinion in return.

Just to explain why I feel this way – bear in mind that I was born in England, to an English Mum and a Scottish Dad who were working down there.  We moved back to Scotland when I was eight but obviously my accent was quite English by that time.  Kids can be cruel and I did get teased, and occassionally hit, for bring “English”.  These days I refer to myself as British, its easier and less controversial that way.  Now, I never asked people to change to suit me and I know how much it hurts to be told to “go home”.  Ask me why I’m so scared of SNP getting into power and it’s still because when we did a pretend election in my school the SNP candidate told me in no uncertain terms that his policy was to send all English back to England.  I should maybe add that the guy talking was Spanish…

I didn’t think of myself as English, it was just that was where my parents were working when I was born so being sent back there was not something I relished.  Not that I have anything against England, I just prefer living in Scotland with its lochs, mountains, snow, men in kilts and bagpipes.  On Boxing Day it came up in conversation that Dad wanted to drive Mum to Scotland to give birth but she didn’t really fancy the drive (we lived in Devon…).

Anyway these days everyone goes on about how we have to look after miniority groups, and they usually mean foreigners.  I’m British and the government never looked out for me.  I think that people should be allowed to choose where they live and that they should then adapt to fit in with the environment they have chosen.  If you don’t like British culture then don’t live in Britain.  I wouldn’t choose to live in a muslim culture as I quite like showing off bare skin – but if I went to visit a muslim country I would respect their culture enough to cover up whilst I was there.  Same as I choose to live in Scotland, and so will put up with the occassional comment about the English.  Luckily the bagpipe player at my wedding was happy to leave off the usual inclusion of Scotland The Brave, without me needing to explain how much the added word “B*****” hurt.

It still sickens me that one place I worked said they didn’t have any spare rooms they could have as a wee sick room – somewhere to go if you felt ill and needed a wee lie down (we had an epilectic staff member who would have really benefitted from this) or somewhere for the various diabetics we had to go and do their tests and injections (would benefit them and everyone who had to use the kitchen which is where they sometimes ended up using, not the most hygenic).  Then one muslim came along and suddenly there was a room she could have for her prayers.  The space was empty when she wasn’t praying and only she was allowed in it, yet there couldn’t be a sick bay for the use of anyone.  Hmmmm, limits guys.

Anyway I will stop waffling and just share the email I was sent.

I think this really sums it all up.

After hearing that many cities did not want to offend other cultures by putting up Xmas lights, so DIDN’T!

After hearing that the Birmingham council changed its opinion and let a Muslim woman have her picture on her driver’s licence with her face covered.

After hearing of a Primary School in Birmingham where a boy was told that for PE they could wear Football League shirts (Aston Villa, Birmingham, West Brom etc) but NOT an England shirt as it could offend others !

This prompted the editorial below written by a UK citizen.
Published in a British tabloid newspaper.


Take It Or Leave It. I am tired of this nation worrying about whether we are offending some individual or their culture. Since the terrorist attacks on London , we have experienced a surge in patriotism by the majority of Brits.

However, the dust from the attacks has barely settled and the ‘politically correct’ crowd begin complaining about the possibility that our patriotism is offending others.

 there are a few things that those who have recently come to our country, and apparently some born here, need to understand.

This idea of London being a multicultural centre for community has served only to dilute our sovereignty and our national identity. As Britons, we have our own culture, our own society, our own language and our own lifestyle. This culture has been developed over centuries of wars, struggles, trials and victories fought by the untold masses of men and women who laid down their lives and one of the millions of men and women who have sought freedom.

We speak ENGLISH, not Spanish, Lebanese, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, or any other language. Therefore, if you wish to become part of our society, learn the language! ‘In God We Trust’ is our National Motto.

This is not some Christian, right wing, political slogan. We adopted this motto because Christian men and women, on Christian principles, founded this nation, and this is clearly documented. It is certainly appropriate to display it on the walls of our schools.

If God offends you, then I suggest you consider another part of the world as your new home, because God is part of our culture. If St. George’s cross offends you, or you don’t like ‘ A Fair Go’, then you should seriously consider a move to another part of this planet.

We are happy with our culture and have no desire to change, and we really don’t care how you did things where you came from. This is OUR COUNTRY, OUR LAND, and OUR LIFESTYLE, and we will allow you every opportunity to enjoy all this.

But once you are done complaining, whining, and griping about Our Flag, Our Pledge, Our National Motto, or Our Way of Life, I highly encourage you take advantage of one other great British freedom, ‘THE RIGHT TO LEAVE’.

We didn’t force you to come here.  If you don’t like it GO HOME!!

You asked to be here. So accept the country YOU accepted. Pretty easy really, when you think about it. I figure if we all keep passing this to our friends (and enemies) it will also, sooner or later get back to the complainers, lets all try, please.

No matter how many times you receive it… please forward it to all you know

Am I a wally?

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008

Went to see Wall-E last night with the hubby, well how could a self confessed “Monica” resist an advertising poster like this:


We love Pixar movies so were really excited, well I was excited, although part of that was the promise of ice cream of course!  As usual there was an amazing short cartoon to start with, featuring the cutest bunny who I really want a teddy of now!  The movie itself was very good, the animation is just amazing.  However I’m ashamed to say I came out feeling depressed.  I maybe am the only one who can go and see a funny kid’s cartoon and come out worrying about how awful we are to our planet and where the future will take us, but there you go.  It really does frighten me when I watch movies like this, saying how we’re filling the world with rubbish and becoming so lazy we’re going to turn into slug people.  It makes me wonder how people can have babies in such a world where the future, and not necessarily the distant future, can be very bleak.  Children of Men had the same effect on me, although in a different more severe way.  Could hardly even bear to think about the movie for about 2 weeks afterwards but then bought the DVD, well if it has that much effect on me it earns a space in my collection!

Dark Knight tomorrow night so fingers crossed for that one!  Am sure Batman can fix the world before the movie ends and leave me feeling happy and safe.  Although will probably be depressed over the tragic loss of Heath Ledger, may he rest in peace.  Ah well, at least I’ll get more ice cream…

Ice cream

Must vent…

Tuesday, April 29th, 2008

Ok so you get to the till, they take your card and hand you a pen whilst the slip prints out.  You put the pen into your left hand, yes I am a leftie.  Why then do they have to angle the slip towards my ***** right hand?!  Come on people, I maybe let you off when you hand the slip over as you angle the slip as I realise I am a minority group.  But when I’m holding the blinking pen there is no excuse!!  Bet if I offered a condom to a Catholic or pork to a Muslim I would get done for racism but us lefties are discriminated against all the time.  Ok so that’s maybe a bit harsh and controversial or whatever but it really really bugs me. 

A bit like a certain local bar who has only one chocolate related dessert on its menu and the two times that I’ve eaten there it has been “unavailable”.  There are various behaviours in life which are just not necessary.

On the upside (finish on a high note so I don’t seem totally like a moany old woman) today was Ben and Jerrys free cone day  and I actually managed to be in the right place at the right time!  Free tub of Chocolate Fudge Brownie for me – hurrah!!


Thursday, April 3rd, 2008


What’s wrong with glasses?!

Thursday, March 20th, 2008

Just watching Hollyoaks (well need to relax after Kinetics) and I realised that the opening thing is cruel.  Everyone is all sexed up which is fine and lovely but then it occured to me that no one has their glasses on.  Now are they trying to say that glasses aren’t sexy and attractive??!  And if so why do Ann Summers give them as part of their Secretary dressing up set?

 Grrrrrr, the world makes me MAD!!!

Secretary with glassesLibrarian with glasses