Sunday, 30 November 2008

From his Sunday best to his Wednesday worst

How to begin.....a confession perhaps? Forgive me, it's been 24 days since my last post.....

It's not that there's been a lack of activity Chez Kitchen Table - quite the contrary. But I have put myself on a little internet diet, trying to savour the last days and weeks of my maternity leave. I think it's working, because it's 8:05pm and I've just turned on the computer for the first time today to write this post. Normally I turn it on on the way from the bedroom to the kitchen to rendezvous with the teapot first thing in the morning.

A few things have been going on, so here are some random (love the random) points.

1. As alluded to above, my maternity leave it nearly over. I'm due back at work on December 15th, just TWO WEEKS away. To say I feel quite unsettled would possibly be understatement of the year. Childcare for the Princess doesn't begin until the new year though, so I'm taking more leave until January 12th. That gives me a week to settle her into childcare and get our feeding routine sorted out.

One of the perks of the Public Service is that I am entitled to the very glamorously named "lactation breaks" to go the the centre and feed her, or to express. I hope to do a combination of both - go and feed her once a day and express however many more times is needed.

I went into the office last week for a meeting about my return to work, and it was made quite clear I wouldn't be getting any projects of my own. One of the downsides of those afore-mentioned perks, and working for a group of middle-aged men with teenage or adult children, is that I obviously have to prove myself all over again, while dealing with my emotions about returning to work and continuing to breastfeed my 6 month old daughter.

Looking forward to January. Not.

2. As I said, lack of blogging does not signify lack of activity. Today, for example, I kicked off the Christmas baking season with the first batch of biscuits and two plum puddings, dyed, dried and skeined 200g of yarn, did the menu for next week (in which Beloved is away and Nana is visiting), cleaned up the living room three times, and the kitchen twice, fed the Princess 5 times, picked a kilogram of mulberries (it turns out we have a tree in the backyard!), put away 2 loads of washing, made lunch and dinner, bathed both kids and read several stories to PJ.

3. There has been mucho crafting. I've got several knitted FOs to blog, several more things on the needles and I've been continuing to sew up a storm. Almost finished (and to be blogged - all in good time my pretties) is my first Softie. It is for the Princess for Christmas and I love it. PJ saw it and immediately wanted one of his own.

Although I haven't taken the Handmade Pledge due to lack of time and confidence, I've got a few things on the go. The kids will each be getting something handmade, and gifts for friends will be handmade too.

4. This internet diet. I have been reading blogs every few days (keeping Bloglines closed when the computer is on is a good way to cut down the computer kilojoules), but obviously I haven't been commenting. Or emailing. If I owe you and email, I really do apologise; I think of you all the time and I promise I do love you and care! Part of my To Do list every week is a list of emails to write. I think I've crossed off two names in the last three weeks. Please don't abandon me just yet.

One of the upsides of returning to work (I'm taking all the upsides I can get) is that I get to spend 8 hours in front of the computer. I will get back into online life then.

5. The Princess is growing! I say this with some excitement because despite being almost in the 90th percentile when she was born, she had dropped to 10th percentile at 3 months and was only putting on about 80g a month. I nearly slapped the Maternal and Child Health nurse when the first thing she said was "You should try giving her formula". A baby who sleeps 10 hours straight, who puts herself to sleep several times a day with barely a whimper, and who is happy and calm and alert and engaged for her waking hours is NOT HUNGRY and it made me furious that the first thing they think of is to give formula to a happily breast-feeding baby. Her next suggestion was that I WAKE UP in the middle of the night to feed my otherwise sleeping baby. Not doing that either, sister. The Princess has since started waking for an early-a.m. feed, but entirely of her own accord.

So when we weighed in last week and had gained 250g for the month, so we are now tracking along a percentile instead of crossing it, I was really happy. And she's finally into the next size clothes! We are off to the paediatrician this week just to rule out any underlying cause for her slow weight gain, but I'm really not terribly concerned.

Is this a starving baby?What I am concerned about is that this nurse is advising first-time mothers, who are probably anxious and uncertain when they face issues like slow weight gain, and take what the MACH nurses say as gospel. Your baby is low on the charts, therfore she isnt getting enough food and it must be a problem with your supply, or with you in some other way. Grrrr.

And no, I've no idea where that red hair comes from!! She's quite the strawberry blonde.

So, that's enough then. I don't pretend to be caught up; hopefully that will come soon. I also don't pretend that I'll suddenly become a super-commenter and timely emailer (at least not until January!), but be assured that I'm lurking about and you're often in my thoughts.

G xo


Monique said...

Oh, I am so glad you are back. i have to say I was a bit worried about you. Glad it was just Life (capital L). The princess is truly beautiful. I went down that path with Luca, re the drop in weight and the suggestion of formula. Rememeber how riled I was? I was getting antsy just reading your blog. Same pattern has happened with Ellie. She is just grazing the 15th percentile after taking a slow gradual nosedive.
Enjoy the last 2 weeks with your girl. Am loathing being back.

knitting sprouts said...

it is very nice to hear where you are up to - can't wait to see what you have made. And don't get me started about midwives and breastfeeding - though mine went the opp way. I didn't produce enough and as the pirate was in hospital for his first 6 weeks every shift a new nurse would start lecturing me about what I wasn't doing. arrrrrgh.
you have the lovliest bub - but you know that.

Michelle said...

Yeah, as I've said before, that is not a starving baby. Love that photo!

Well done on not slapping the nurse, even though she deserved it.

Kuka said...

oh Georgie that photo is adorable!!
Can't wait to see what you've been sewing!

2paw said...

The Princess looks like a very happy and healthy baby!!! The Third part of #1 makes me really cross. I am sure you will excel and put them to shame!!!

amy said...

I've been wondering how you are and don't blame you at all for putting computer-related stuff at the very bottom of your list. I'm very grateful I don't have to go back to work, although I have to say your b-feeding benefits are fabulous. Changing people's attitudes, though, not so easy, is it? I've been pondering (as I occasionally do) what I might do workwise post-childrearing, and I think I'd be a stellar lactation consultant, if I could figure out how to meet their requirements, since I'm not already in the health care field. But that's just daydreaming. Anyway, enjoy that beautiful girl. She looks happy and healthy to me.

Geek Knitter said...

Georgie, you're a better woman than I am... If it had been me, I'd have just slapped her! No, that baby isn't starving!

Alwen said...

That's a gorgeous baby!

That was absolutely the hardest part of having a baby for me, going back to work after. (We only got 6 weeks - a 6 week old baby is never big enough to be away from its mother!)

sweetp said...

Aww shes gorgeous! Go you! Grr I am SO SO SO over hearing stories about health nurses etc giving mothers dubious advice about feeding their babies (be it when to start solids or that they should supplement). Weight gain is surely not the only measure of a healthy baby. I know over here they use graphs designed for FF babies anyway so often the BF ones don't track the same. WHO have the proper ones.

Best of Luck with your return to work. I know the mixed emotions well. #3 baby was the only one I didnt return to work in some shape or form. I'm sure it will all work out fabulously.

Don't be a stranger xx

kms said...

so glad to hear some good news on the growth front, if only for your own piece of mind. she is just adorable! trent keeps asking when you are going to blog again... but i understand xx Ps word verification = holunch. what the??!!

Rose Red said...

Gads, I can't believe all the stuff you got done yesterday!! I thought I was good for doing 4 loads of washing plus all the handwashing, and packing 10 boxes of books!

And erm, I think parental leave legislation requires you to be returned to your pre leave role - so if you were doing projects before, that's what you should be doing when you return. I know it's a difficult one, because you don't necessarily want to rock the boat - but still...

The whole percentile thing has always puzzled me - it's not a competition!!

Bells said...

If i was not at work, and home trying to make the most of my mat leave, I'd be doing exactly the same thing.

That photo is beautiful!

Anonymous said...

Bloody Baby 'Elf Centre Nurses - they haven't bloody changed since MY day (er, that would be the late '60's).

Erich was a BIG thumper (rode half an inch above the shading on the weight graph) and he doubled his birthweight in 4 months. That is from 5 to 10 kilos, in 4 months, breastfed.

Anne was a dainty little sprite, and floated quite happily along half an inch BELOW the shading on the weight graph. Good sleeper, active and alert when awake, self settler (brother wasn't), rounded limbs, beautiful skin. She wasn't underweight, she was HER weight.

And don't get me started on the Sister who conned me into bunging Farex into Erich's gob, at four weeks. Shovel and scrape, shovel and scrape, kept it up for three distressing days, and then decided to forget it. He survived.

Gae, in Callala Bay

Donna Lee said...

Forget the computer and enjoy your time home with the kids. It's flying by at an alarming rate. We don't have lactation breaks. It's all or nothing. And for goodness sakes, she hardly looks starved! Over here, they call it "failure to thrive" and it's like being called a failure as a mother. You're a smart woman. Grace is in good hands.

TinkingBell said...

Luckily I had a very sensible and reassuring nurse who kept telling me with my prem baby that breastfeeding was great and she would gain in her own time and not to let anyone talk me into anything I wasn't comfortable with (eg - formula, bottloes, dummies etc)

You should have slapped her - and then screamed at her for good measure - your Princess is lovely and healthy - obviously!
Look - another almost word - ingosess

MadMad said...

Oh, don't worry about the internets! We're happy to come on over when you're here, but real life is MUCH, MUCH cuter! Give her and her brother a hug for me.

Five Ferns Fibreholic said...

What? Didn't anyone tell you that chubby cheeks are the sign of a hungry baby?

I had to give the Peadiatrician a funny look with my last baby when she asked me how I knew that my milk was in.....He was only my third breastfed babby so how could I possibly know these things....

Big hugs for you and the kids

Lisa [strickerin] said...

Definetly not a hungry princess at all. Yay to the power of human milk.