Six Months of Breastfeeding

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Before I even got pregnant I knew that I wanted to breastfeed, it’s just something I always assumed I’d do. I couldn’t imagine going to all of the effort of sterilising and making up bottles. Once I was pregnant I started researching and reading about other people’s experiences and that’s when the doubt started to creep in. What if I couldn’t do it? What if my supply was too low? Would Matt miss out on bonding with our child if I was exclusively breastfeeding? I decided that I definitely still wanted to breastfeed but I was certainly more worried about the whole thing. The only thing to do was wait and see. So that’s what I did.

Fast forward to Lyra’s birth and nothing went to plan. The labour was long and ended with help from the ventouse so Lyra was understandably pretty shocked. Pair that with my tiredness, cannula in both arms and a catheter and lets just say motherhood did not start how I imagined it would. This, of course, had an impact on our breastfeeding journey. Lyra fell asleep as soon as I brought her to the breast and wasn’t interested in the colostrum that I hand expressed for her. I was so scared that my breastfeeding experience may have ended before it began. Looking back it was probably my hormones making me despair when really all I was facing was a minor setback because, sure enough, 24 hours later she latched on for the first time. I’ve got to say that the first time she fed was probably my favourite moment of motherhood so far (Matt captured the moment in the picture above). It was clumsy and a little painful since we had yet to master a good latch but I felt, for the first time, that things were working out OK. I just want to take a moment here to make it clear that I don’t for one second think you have to breastfeed to feel like this, I’m only taking about my own wishes and experiences.

Since those first few days in the hospital we’ve been very lucky in our breastfeeding journey. After some pointers from the midwife 4 days after Lyra was born, and the invaluable advice to use pillows to boost newborn Lyra up, we’ve had it easy (touch wood). Lyra got the hang of it quickly and I tackled feeding in public much better than I ever thought I would. My personal target was to reach six months and I feel so proud that we’ve made it. I’m certainly not ready to give it up yet but I know that with the introduction of solids and my return to work looming, the likelihood is that my supply will start to decline. I’m just very grateful that we made it this far.

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Letter to Lyra: 6 Months Old

Lyra,

This week you turned 6 months old. Six months, half a year, how can that be?! It feels like only yesterday that you were placed in my arms for the first time, when you took your first breaths and I began my new life as a mother. Your mother. You were 11 days late and I’d begun to think (irrationally) that you’d never come out. When I started my contractions on the Monday I was so excited to think that it was actually happening, that I was about to have you. Little did I know that I had another 3 days to wait. Three long and painful days, and even then you didn’t want to come out, you ended up needing a helping hand. As long and overdue and slow as your entry into this world was you have been the complete opposite in your approach to life so far. It’s like you’re making up for lost time. Since the beginning you’ve been determined and eager to reach the next milestone. You were never content to lie there and watch the world go by, you wanted to sit and reach and grab. You are an absolute delight to watch, your curiosity about the world evident in everything that you do. I hope you never lose that curiosity. Or your determination because with those two things you could do anything.

I could write for days about how much my life has changed for the better since you arrived or how much I love you but I won’t. Not here. Instead I’ll make sure that you always feel it. That you always know in the little moments, and the big ones, just how much you are loved.

Thank you for an amazing six months little one, I’m really looking forward to the next six. Because something tells me you’re just getting started…

I love you Lyra,

Very Much So xxx

26 Weeks Old.
I’m stuck for what I can say this week without sounding like a broken record. It’s been another week of teething, no sleep and days full of cute moments. Her second tooth caught us by surprise at the end of our holiday, we thought the sleeplessness was all down to her cold but turns out she was also teething. Poor thing. Now it’s cut I’m hoping she starts sleeping a little better. 
Lyra coped pretty well with Matt going back to work but I think it’s helped that we’ve had some lazy, cuddly days this week so she hasn’t lacked any attention. When I have had to get some housework or cooking done she’s happily sat in the Ergo which is a new development. She used to get frustrated in the carrier if we weren’t on the move but this week she just seems content to be close to me no matter what’s happening.
I really can’t believe Lyra turns 6 months old tomorrow. Time is flying by!

26 Weeks Old.

I’m stuck for what I can say this week without sounding like a broken record. It’s been another week of teething, no sleep and days full of cute moments. Her second tooth caught us by surprise at the end of our holiday, we thought the sleeplessness was all down to her cold but turns out she was also teething. Poor thing. Now it’s cut I’m hoping she starts sleeping a little better.

Lyra coped pretty well with Matt going back to work but I think it’s helped that we’ve had some lazy, cuddly days this week so she hasn’t lacked any attention. When I have had to get some housework or cooking done she’s happily sat in the Ergo which is a new development. She used to get frustrated in the carrier if we weren’t on the move but this week she just seems content to be close to me no matter what’s happening.

I really can’t believe Lyra turns 6 months old tomorrow. Time is flying by!

Raindrops on the Window

Raindrops on the window. So beautifully ordinary. Yet watching them can bring up so many feelings. Frustration at plans that will have to be cancelled. Gratefulness at being inside in the dry and not stuck out there in the rain. Even a sense of security at being protected from the elements. I can often feel all these and more when sat watching the rain fall against a window but I must admit it’s been a long time since I’ve felt wonder.


Watching Lyra stare at the window fascinated by the raindrops forming and falling there, I caught some of her wonder. She reached out smiling and giggling and I felt myself drawn closer to the window staring at the individual drops in a way that I hadn’t since my own childhood. We stayed that way for a while, all plans forgotten, and just enjoyed the moment. That special, extraordinary, ordinary moment.

Having a child is such a gift but it is also an amazing opportunity. A chance to see the world with fresh eyes. To once again discover the wonder in the everyday moments. I will forever be grateful to Lyra for making me a mother and giving me this chance.

Holiday Adventuring: The Aquarium

Whilst on holiday we headed to Weston Super Mare and the aquarium there for the day. It was a Thursday and the weather was dodgy so everything was understandably quiet. In fact, when we arrived at the aquarium we had the place to ourselves which was perfect for us. When Lyra and I had been to the zoo last month I’d noticed that the fish were the only bit that Lyra had shown interest in so I was eager to show her more. Lyra started off in the pushchair and then, as we realised there was no one else about, Matt carried her and we lingered at each tank. Lyra loved it! She babbled away at us and the fish all the while grinning and reaching out. It was such a lovely experience.

After we were finished with the aquarium we walked along the sea front (almost being blown away) and headed up the pier. We had fish and chips because what would a trip to the seaside be without fish and chips and played in the arcade. It was such a typical British seaside day out and we had so much fun. It was nice to do something that Lyra could enjoy as well rather than just being carried around asleep.

Holiday Adventuring: Cheddar Gorge

For our first little day trip we decided to head to Cheddar Gorge to walk the National Trust trail there. It probably wasn’t a very sensible plan to do this as I’d only had about three hours sleep the night before but I’d wanted to go for a while now so I wasn’t about to let a bit of tiredness put me off. The weather was looking a little suspect and even rained for a while on our drive over so I was worrying about where we would eat the picnic we had packed. Once we’d arrived and parked up we headed to the National Trust shop and were helpfully given a map for the walk. The assistant also warned us that due to the weather parts of the walk would be slippery and so we might want to go another way.

The walk up was tough! Especially since I had offered to carry Lyra on the way up, I wouldn’t have managed it without our Ergo. The view at the top was more than worth it though, the weather had cleared up and we were able to have our picnic. One thing I discovered was how difficult it is to climb over a stile whilst wearing Lyra! I swear it took me almost 10 minutes of undignified clamouring with Matt helping me to make it over. Glad there weren’t too many people up there to see me.

I’m so glad we went out despite the lack of sleep and the bad weather. It turned out to be one of those special days. Lyra slept most of it, thanks mostly to the upright position that the Ergo held her in, which meant that Matt and I could wander along holding hands and chatting. It felt so good to get a chance to reconnect with my husband and I always find fresh air good for the soul.

Holiday Adventuring

We’re back from our first little family holiday. We booked it back at the beginning of the year before Lyra was born and since we had no idea what life with a 5 month old baby would be like we chose somewhere close to home. In the run up to last week I was starting to wish we’d been a bit more adventurous with our destination choice but when Monday rolled round I was relieved. Lyra had her first cold and was grumpy and clingy with it. Sleep for me was non-existent all week as I nursed Lyra more than usual and held her upright against me so she could sleep. This meant that we took a very relaxed approach to the week and our activities, and to be honest it worked out really well.

I loved watching Matt spend time with Lyra and she seemed to thrive from his attention. We spent time relaxing in the caravan, just playing and being together, as well as going on little day trips which I’ll post about separately. As we were about to leave on Friday we discovered that Lyra had cut another tooth, no wonder she had been grumpy!

I’m already missing our little caravan, it was so good to spend time as a family. Matt went back to work today and I’m already counting down the days until his next time off (at Christmas). 

25 Weeks Old.
This weeks update is a little late as we’ve been on holiday!
This week has been a good one. Apart from the lack of sleep. And the cold. And despite Lyra being super clingy. There is just something about having someone else there with you that makes it all much more bearable. Lyra has loved having Matt around all week and I’m quite nervous about how she’ll be tomorrow when he heads back to work. She dealt with her first cold like a trooper, it only really seemed to bother her at night and it appeared to be more confusion than discomfort. She wasn’t sure how to cough and she thinks sneezes are the funniest thing ever now which is pretty cute.
Lyra has also started reaching up to us when she wants to be picked up which makes her constant need to be held this week much cuter. There is nothing better than looking down and seeing her little face pointed up at me with her arms outstretched, I love it.
Sleep has been difficult this week but since she had a cold and was in a new place I’m not too surprised. Her naps do seem to be getting more regular now which is nice although she still fights them as long as possible.
The weather has become cooler as well and I’m enjoying dressing Lyra in tights, jumpers and hats although she is now being mistaken for a boy more than ever. Oh well. Her hair is slowly growing and although she now has much more than at birth it’s still difficult to see.
Each new day at the moment is super exciting and I’m loving it (although I wouldn’t say no to a bit more sleep)!

25 Weeks Old.

This weeks update is a little late as we’ve been on holiday!

This week has been a good one. Apart from the lack of sleep. And the cold. And despite Lyra being super clingy. There is just something about having someone else there with you that makes it all much more bearable. Lyra has loved having Matt around all week and I’m quite nervous about how she’ll be tomorrow when he heads back to work. She dealt with her first cold like a trooper, it only really seemed to bother her at night and it appeared to be more confusion than discomfort. She wasn’t sure how to cough and she thinks sneezes are the funniest thing ever now which is pretty cute.

Lyra has also started reaching up to us when she wants to be picked up which makes her constant need to be held this week much cuter. There is nothing better than looking down and seeing her little face pointed up at me with her arms outstretched, I love it.

Sleep has been difficult this week but since she had a cold and was in a new place I’m not too surprised. Her naps do seem to be getting more regular now which is nice although she still fights them as long as possible.

The weather has become cooler as well and I’m enjoying dressing Lyra in tights, jumpers and hats although she is now being mistaken for a boy more than ever. Oh well. Her hair is slowly growing and although she now has much more than at birth it’s still difficult to see.

Each new day at the moment is super exciting and I’m loving it (although I wouldn’t say no to a bit more sleep)!

Favourite Moments

We’re on holiday at the moment so I don’t have access to my camera photos but this picture is my favourite off of my phone this week. Lyra watching the rain fall through the window of the caravan. She is so curious and spent a lot of time holding herself up against the window watching the world go by. I wish I knew what she was thinking!

Favourite Moments

We’re on holiday at the moment so I don’t have access to my camera photos but this picture is my favourite off of my phone this week. Lyra watching the rain fall through the window of the caravan. She is so curious and spent a lot of time holding herself up against the window watching the world go by. I wish I knew what she was thinking!

Letter to Lyra

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(written 6th October 2014)

Lyra my love,

I’m supposed to be packing right now, we should actually be in the car on the way to our first holiday but never mind. As usual, since you came along, things are a little behind schedule. I think you’ve come down with your first cold, you were up every hour during the night and your usual smiley self is nowhere to be found this morning. Right now you’re cuddled up asleep on my lap and I’m writing this little letter to you (one handed) instead of the packing that needs to be done. Instead of getting the house in order, I’m holding you close and comforting you when you cry out.

We’ll be on the way eventually. We’ve booked a little caravan for a few days, nothing fancy but I’m excited to spend some time as a family of three. You and your Daddy are both ill, the weather is supposed to be terrible and I’m exhausted but I really hope that we have a good time regardless. It may seem that the odds are stacked against that happening but I’m reminded of something I read the other day…

Attitude is the difference between an ordeal and an adventure

So we’ll head into it with the right attitude and just laugh off everything that may go wrong. I know you won’t remember the holiday but your Daddy and I will and I want to start making memories now. I want to fill your days with little adventures and fun. I hope that’s something you are surrounded by your whole life.

I love you little Lyra,

Very Much So xx

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