Bye bye boobies?

I am so proud that I have managed to breastfeed Fenny for 16months. Initially I wanted to feed her (if I could) for at least 6 months. When 6 months came I said at least a year. When the year came and went, I didn’t really even notice. I have loved feeding her. The knowledge that you are giving your baby the very best thing, the ability to comfort your baby instantly and the beautiful bond you form are just a few of the amazing things I have enjoyed along the way.

Of course it hasn’t all been a breeze (the accidental biting when drifting off, the scratching, the blocked ducts and the blebs, oh the blebs!) but as a whole I have adored it.

However, the time has come where the accidental nibbling and the tooth scraping are getting too much, and I have also had a nasty bleb and mastitis in the last few weeks. My body needs a break! I have decided to start slowly weaning her, one feed at a time. Here’s how I am doing it:

Cutting out the random feeds:

I started cutting down the random, in-between feeds a few months ago. It was usually at about 4pm when she would try to lift my top up. Distraction worked a treat for this one, so an exciting game or mention of a doggy walking past the window was enough. A few days and she no longer asked for it.

Cutting out the nap time feeds:

This was going to be a little trickier. At the beginning of weaning she was still having a morning nap as well as her afternoon nap half the time. On the days when she woke at 5.30am, there was no way she could make it through to lunchtime. For both naps I was feeding her down (I know, terrible, right!) and letting her sleep on me. She was also waking after 30mins and needing milk to get back to sleep.

This nonsense had to stop, so I started rocking her off instead. This isn’t ideal either, but we will tackle her ability to get herself off to sleep in her cot during the day at another time when she is weaned!

On the first day, the rocking off took about 15mins of wrestling, but she eventually went. I decided that when she woke, that was it – no feeding – nap time was over! She had a few days of only napping for 30mins total all day, and she was really stroppy for a few hours when she didn’t get milk when she woke up, but she got over it. 3 days in and we had completely got rid of all nap time feeds. She no longer expects it when she goes down or wakes up. Yay!

Cutting out the first thing feed.

This was easier than I thought. Instead of bringing her in to bed for a feed first thing before getting up, we turn on the lights and get up for the day as soon as she wakes up. Yes, this sometimes means that we are up at 6am, but it worked a treat.

So where are we now?

We are 2 weeks into weaning and she is now only feeding in the evening before her bedtime routine, and once in the night, at around 4.30am. I think the fact that she is eating more to make up for the milk is helping her sleep better at night. She sometimes wakes at about midnight, but gets herself back off to sleep again. After the night feed, she usually sleeps in for another hour or so, so she is waking a little later now too!

The next step is cutting out the evening feed, and by then, I think my supply will be so reduced, it won’t be worth her while feeding at night. I will keep you posted!


Fenn – 1 year old!

Fenn’s is now 1 year old. Forgive me as I sob quietly… where did our tiny baby go?! To be honest she has always been adorable, but she is such good company now; I love every stage as she develops. 
Physical: Fenn mastered crawling at about 9 months and has been building up her strength and confidence since then. She has always enjoyed standing (with help) since she was a few months old, but she is now starting to go solo. She can manage about 20 seconds on her own, as long as she is distracted. As soon as she realises what she is doing she freaks out and sits down. She is walking really confidently with just one hand being held now, and this morning she took her first steps!! See below..

Her face seems to change every day. She looks so much like her Papa, and her face is starting to lose it’s baby roundness and get a little longer. She still has huge eyes though, and they are currently a khaki green/brown colour. Papa thinks she will have brown eyes and brown hair like him! 

Mental: She is so quick to learn! She knows the meaning of so many words and points to the objects when asked. She knows Mama, Papa, Mimi, Budson (the cat) apple, aeroplane, spider, kettle and tick tock clock. She claps along to ‘If you’re happy and you know it’ and knows exactly when to turn the page in all her books and can point out a picture of an apple when asked. Her favorite book at the moment is her Kiwi Old MacDonald board book. 

Verbal: “mamamamamaaa” all the time. She went through a phase of saying “Papa” and I’m sure she said “book”and “ballball”. The rest of the time is just cute babbling, squealing with delight and giggling. 😁

Teeth: Fenn finally got her first tooth through last week. Not bad going really! She loves having Steve (the tooth) brushed and demands it every time she sees her toothbrush. (Points and says ‘oooooffff, oooooff!’)

Food: She has reached the end of being spoon fed now, and demands to feed herself at every meal. She usually has a small pile of branflakes in milk with blueberries for breakfast, followed by a piece of my bagel with peanut butter on. A 10am snack of 2 baby puff crisps, a couple of apple slices and some raisins. Lunch is now a small sandwich or some kind of bubble and squeak fritters, followed by a biscotti. Afternoon snack is a rusk and some orange pieces and dinner now tends to be whatever we are having, cut up into small pieces. Gone are the purees and the spoon! 

She is also still being fed by me, with a feed first thing (6am), once at 1st nap (8.30am) maybe once at (3-4pm ish) if she wants it and then before bath time at 6.30pm. She also still wakes in the night for a feed/snuggle and although I would love to sleep through, I have no plans to night wean her just yet. I plan to carry on feeding her for at least another 6 months, or until she decided to stop. The feeds are gradually reducing, so it will happen when she is ready.

Sleep: Hmm, Fenny still isn’t a sleeper. After our cry it out attempt she now goes down to sleep at night without any fuss, which is great as we now get a few hours to ourselves. She goes down at 7pm and on a good night will sleep until 6am with only one wake up. A usual night has 2 wake ups (11ish and 3ish) and a bad night… You can imagine. Naps are still only 30 mins long on average, twice a day. 

  • Weight: 20lbs approx.
  • Height: Tall enough to cause trouble and reach everything she isn’t supposed to touch.
  • Teeth: One little stump and two erupting.
  • Loves: Blueberries, waving at planes, waving at anything else, Budson, raisins, eating in general, climbing stairs and crawling off half way through a nappy change.
  • Hates: Sleep, strawberries, tomato and being told ‘No’. 

6 months old!

Today Fenn is 6 months old! I can’t believe that our tiny baby is already half a year old and growing up so quickly!
Fenn is growing very nicely, and is now 15lbs 8oz. She is following her growth chart line exactly and is sitting firmly at the 30th centile. Everyone says that she is much smaller in real life than in photos, and I love her being my dinkysaurus. 

Fenn has mastered rolling from front to back, but is showing zero interest in rolling back to front. She will happily play on her tummy for about 10 minutes now before getting bored, and with her nappy off, can sit up on her own for a good few seconds! 

Fenn loves ‘botty out time’! I think that her cloth nappies provide so much padding, she rolls over too easily when sitting up.

She now has very good hand to mouth co-ordination, and can put a teaspoon in successfully (empty at this stage) and remove (and lick) Papa’s glasses. She grabs and drags things towards her and can grasp some quite delicate things. She has always been a keen watcher… just taking everything in, but now she really loves watching! She sat and watched my OH do his shirt ironing for about half an hour yesterday. Oh, and she loves watching our cat skulk around…watch out Budson, you are next for the grabby grab!

Verbally, she is expanding her repertoire, with ‘brrrr’ and ‘mmmm’ sounds her current favorites. She loves to sing to herself, and giggles all the time.

We have been going swimming on Tuesdays for about 6 weeks now and she is starting to relax more and more. My mum now takes her in (while I go proper swimming) and it is good to see her relaxed whilst away from me for 20 mins. She is happily reaching out for floating objects now, and absloutely loves being sprinkled over the head with a small plastic watering can. Plus she enjoys drinking the pool water whenever she gets a chance. Any liquid with a decent urine content is her favorite. Pool water and bath water are delicious, but a tiny bit of fresh water from a sippy cup might as well be lemon juice, with the face she pulls!

Yesterday we gave Fenn her first solid food! We started with a tiny bit of mushed down banana, and a tiny bit of carrot from our casserole. I can’t say that she was overly impressed, but we will continue the fun tomorow! 

Cardboard was her first solid food…

Right, it is 4.57am and time to go back to bed!

3 months old

Today Fenn is 3 months and 3 days old. 

Where oh where has that time gone?! It seems like only yesterday that we were bringing her home from hospital and introducing her to everyone. Now she is smiling and cooing and a real little character.

The last 3 months have honestly been amazing. Fenn is still such a laid back baby, and she just slots into whatever we are doing with no issues. There have obviously been moments when she is grouchy and overtired, but I can count those times on one hand. 
At the moment she is getting over a mild case of conjunctivitis (pink eye), but that is the first problem she has had. 

Breastfeeding is still going really well… in fact, so well that she refuses a bottle. It looks like I will be breastfeeding until she is weaned…I just hope she doesn’t teethe too soon!

We are still using Little Lambs reusable nappies and Cheeky Wipes and Fenn never has poosplosions or nappy rash. I would recommend this combination to anyone!

I often look back over the photos and videos of Fenn from when she was first born, as I struggle to remember how tiny she was. I made the image below at 12 weeks old, showing how much she had grown. It is the same romper!

Fenn was 6lbs and a few days old in the first picture, and 12lbs and 12 weeks in the second. I don’t remember that romper being so baggy on tiny Fenn!

6 weeks old.

Today Fenn is 6 weeks and 5 days old.

Time is flying by so quickly! Is seems like only yesterday that she was a tiny newborn, and now she can support her own head and is on the brink of smiling.

At 4 weeks she had gained 2lbs, and at 6 weeks she is just shy of 4lbs total weight gain. We got her weighed last Monday at 5 weeks and 5 days and she was 9lbs 9oz! She is still feeding like a dream and as my flow is so good, she can get a full belly in 6 minutes. Yay, more sleep for me! 

One development is that she has started to be sick a little more. At 4 weeks, I was feeding her at night, changing her and then feeding her again. I have to change her first now, otherwise she will chuck up everything she has just eaten. It is good because I can get her back down to sleep a lot faster at night, but bad because the screams the house down if I don’t catch her early enough! 

On Monday my OH went back to work. He struggled badly, not only with the physical shock of having to get up at 6am and work to set hours without an afternoon nap, but also emotionally as he couldn’t see his little maggot during the day. Fenn and I have taken to walking the 20mins to the station in the evening to meet him so that he can have as much Fenn time as possible.

Things were going well and my OH was settling back into a routine and I was getting used to doing all the night feeds. Then on Wednesday evening he decided to go for a run and on his way home, only 50m from our house, face planted into the pavement. He was sprinting full pace when he went down and he was so tired from the broken nights, he couldn’t protect himself properly.

He came through the front door and I honestly thought he was having a stroke by the sounds he was making. Poor Fenn was ripped off the boob and plonked in her bouncy chair while I ran to take care of him. His hands and face were grazed and bloody, so I sorted some water and cotton wool to clean him up. He then pulled his trouser leg up, and oh my god, his kneecap was fully exposed! The skin and muscle on his knee has come away in a flap and you could see bone and tendons. Luckily I am not squeamish and I managed to calmly say “OK, I think we need to get you to A&E for some stitches.”

It is no longer possible to just jump in the car and whizz to the hospital as we have Fenn, so I had to ask my Mum to come over (she only lives 6 mins away) and we decided that she would drop him at A&E. It would only be a few stitches and a few hours and he would be home, right??

Wrong. He was told he needed to go to the other hospital (the one in which Fenn was born) as it has a 24hr x-ray department and that he would probably need surgery. We all jumped in the car and went to pick my OH up from one hospital and drop him off at the other one, half an hour away. 

It ended with him being in hospital for 2 nights and having 2 hrs of surgery under general anaesthetic to check that there was nothing in the knee joint and that all the tendons were OK. He finally came home on Friday night and has been hobbling around in a brace and on crutches since then. 


It is amazing to have him home, and he will be working from home for at least 2 weeks, which is lovely. Although I do now have a baby, a big baby and the cat to look after. No rest for the wicked…

4 weeks old.

Today Fenn is 4 weeks and 1 day old.

She is a dream. Possibly the most laid back, relaxed baby in history. We couldn’t have asked for an easier introduction to parenthood.

She has grown so much in 4 weeks, it is scary. She was 6lbs at birth and is now roughly 8lbs! She had recovered her birth weight within 3 days and is now packing on the podge like a trooper. 

She is mostly storing the podge in her cheeks and double chin!

Her head has grown massively. You can see in the photos above how her hairline has moved back with the growth. I just measured her head and it is 2cm bigger than it was at birth. 

The scary thing is, she could still be inside now. I would be 12 days overdue, and most likely would have been induced this morning. I struggled to get a 6lb baby out… An 8lb baby with a 37cm head circumference would have resulted in a C section, I am sure.

*(I know that she wouldn’t have grown at quite the same rate as an escaped booby monster, but an eye watering thought just the same.)

A booby monster she certainly is. She feeds all the time and has gained the nickname ‘the human bilge pump’ in my house as she gulps and guzzles like she has never been fed before. A greedy little pig beast indeed! 

The night feeds are a mixed bag at the moment, although she is starting to settle for slightly longer. Usually we will feed and change her and get her down at about 10.30pm. On a good night she will wake up at about 1am and will be back down again after a feed, a nappy change and another top up feed at 2am ish. She will then wake again at 3.45ish and again at about 7.30am. A tough cluster feeding night will see me being woken approx 30mins after putting her back down, every time, all through the night. Zzzzzz…

As I am exclusively breast feeding, I have to wake to feed her every time, and If I am feeling lively, I will do all of the night feeds and nappy changes, allowing my OH to sleep through. However, most nights I find that I struggle to stay awake as she feeds and I really can’t risk falling asleep with her on me in bed, so once she has fed, I pass her to my OH after the 3am feed, to change her, settle her and put her back down whilst I go back to sleep. 

My OH goes back to work in a week and a half, so I am going to have to do all the night feeds so that he can function during the day. Nooooo! 

As for me, my stitches have finally stopped hurting and feel like they are healing nicely. I have very nearly stopped bleeding and I am feeling really well. I was back to my pre pregnancy weight within two and a half weeks, and I can’t wait until I can start exercising again after my 6 week check up! 

Baby Fenn – the 1st 10 days

My final bump photo with baby Fenn.

Today Fenn is 11 days old.

I can’t believe that we are nearly two weeks post partum already!

After the long and somewhat traumatic birth (see my previous post), Fenn was put onto my belly for 10 seconds while her cord was cut, and I managed to quickly stroke her head. She was then rushed straight to the Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) because she was struggling to breathe and had possibly inhaled the bloody amniotic fluid. They stabilised her and inserted the cannula so that they could start giving her antibiotics as a precaution. They took swabs from her nose and ears to grow as a culture to see if she had an infection. It would take 48 hours for the results, so we were in for a hospital stay of at least 2 days.
Once we were put into our little private room at 3am, we were left all alone. Me… alone with a baby! I immediately stripped and put Fenn onto my chest for skin to skin. She was so calm and quiet and it was wonderful.

Fenn in a milk coma on my belly. You can see the pin pricks from the blood tests on the back of her hand.

Fenn was born on the hottest day of the year (34 degrees in September) and it was so warm in the hospital that I kept worrying that she was too hot. I had no clue if she needed a blanket or not, long sleeves or no sleeves, fan on, fan off…aaargh! 
I hardly slept at all for the rest of the night as I was so worried about her. I struggled to get her to latch on because she was so weak from the birth, and when she did latch, she kept falling asleep on the boob after a few seconds. I asked the midwives for some help and they suggested expressing and syringe feeding her the extra, which I managed to do, 1ml by 1ml. Luckily my milk came in really quickly and really well.

My OH arrived back at 11am the next day and finally got to hold Fenn for the first time. He was a very happy Papa, in love with his tiny girl.

Whilst in hospital, we had to wheel her over to SCBU for her antibiotics every 12 hours. We took her together at lunch time, but I had to wheel her down on my own at midnight. Trying to navigate through the hospital on 1hr sleep with a tiny weak baby over the knobbliest flooring in the world wasn’t much fun. I did become an expert at  dodging the bumps after a while though.

Fenn was quite jaundice for a time whilst in hospital, hovering just below the treatment line. The best way to treat it is to breastfeed, so we really had to try and force as much milk into her as possible. At one point, she was so dehydrated that they couldn’t take any blood. It was so stressful knowing that your baby isn’t getting enough food or liquid, but doesn’t have enough energy to eat. It was a horrible catch 22 situation. We eventually worked out that if we woke her up every hour and a half, stripped her down and started to feed her, wiggling her the whole time and applying cold water on cotton wool to her back and legs to keep her awake, she would feed more. It sounds cruel, but she needed to eat. Combined with a top up with expressed milk, she started to get stronger. By Friday morning she was actually opening her eyes and crying! I have never been so glad to hear a baby cry. 

It took until Friday evening for the culture results to come back. The results showed a positive, but because the bacteria they found would have made her incredibly sick if she did that infection, and she wasn’t showing any signs, they decided that it was probably cross contamination. One more blood test for jaundice, which showed a small improvement and we got to go home! 

Fenn in her going home outfit. She might fit into it in a few months! 

Since coming home she has been a dream. She is the most laid back baby ever, making our lives really easy. She rarely cries as we feed her when she starts showing feeding signs, and when she does, the boob solves all problems immediately. This can obviously change at any moment, but long may it last! She was back up to her birth weight within 5 days, which is amazing considering she hardly ate for the first two days, and she is now officially a boob monster. 

The many faces of Fenn. 

I will do a post on how I am recovering post partum in a few days.