Today is a sad day for me. I return to work tomorrow after 9.5 months off on Maternity Leave.

It’s been a lovely weekend full of fun and firsts. 

LM got his first 2 teeth through, had a settling in session at his nursery, went on a train, visited the aquarium and learned that he can shake his head.

End of an era 

Today feels like the end of an era. 
It was my last day on my own with LM before I return to work on Monday after 9 months of Maternity Leave. Hubby has taken the rest of the week off as holiday to spend with us.
We went along to Bounce and Rhyme at our local library, as we’ve done most Tuesdays for the last 9 months. As always the ladies who run the session were friendly and lovely. LM loves bouncing around and playing with the other babies.
We went for lunch with a couple of the Mums afterwards. It was so nice and we stayed at the pub for 3 hours. Don’t worry, only 1 alcoholic beverage was consumed!!
I’ve made a group of awesome friends who we see each week at B&R and I’m going to miss seeing them as much. I really don’t know how I’m going to cope with going back to work. 

Weaning – update 

For the last 2 weeks I’ve been gradually weaning Little Man from breastfeeding to bottle feeding between 8am and 6pm in preparation for him starting nursery on Monday (Yikes!).

Week 1 was the morning bottle. LM will have a breastfeed first thing when we wake, then a bottle of formula milk around 4 hours later. This has worked out ok. He only takes around 2 ounces of milk, but as my boobs don’t have a gauge perhaps he only drank this much from me. 

4 hours after the morning bottle he’d have a breastfeed and then a breastfeed at bedtime. I also breastfeed if he wakes overnight.

Week 2 was the afternoon bottle. LM started to have the afternoon feed as formula instead of breast.

It’s been emotional for me. I’ve learnt that:

1. Formula milk is expensive. I paid £11 for a tub of Aptamil milk. Breast milk was free! 

2. Bottle feeding is fiddly; I have to sterilise, make up bottles, wash up…

3. Bottle feeding takes preparation. If I go out I only had to remember my boobs when breastfeeding.

4. LM likes his milk cool! But he loves the boob… men are strange.

5. I miss the snuggles during the day. I don’t get the same closeness when bottle feeding.

6. My body has adjusted ridiculously well. I only begin to feel engorged right before the bedtime feed.

7. My NatureBond breast pump is brilliant. During the night feeds I squeeze it on to the boob I’m not feeding from and it catches excess milk. This saves me expressing for LMs cereal in the morning.

8. Hubby still doesn’t help with the feeding during his days off. Even though he can now make the bottle and feed LM without my in put. 

9. It has taken trying 5 different bottle brands to find one LM likes. He’s chosen Nuk. German engineering in a baby bottle… both Hubby and I work for German companies. It’s taken over our lives.

10. The Perfect Prep was worth £60! I hit the roof when hubby bought it as it’s a lot of money. It does make a bottle in 2 minutes though without me needing to measure out water or worry about temperature.

I’m still breastfeeding first thing, bedtime and overnight. I’m happy to keep going with this for as long as LM wants. I love the ease of breastfeeding and the bond. 

38 weeks

So LM is now 38 weeks old. I only used the phrase “38 weeks” for this blog. If anyone asks he’s almost 9 months, I’m not one of those annoying mummies. I hope!
Each week I go through the checklists in my Wonder Weeks book to see which new skills he’s mastered. 
LM finished Leap 6 last week (thank god) but he is still mastering skills from Leap 4 and 5. 
This week he’s started to try and “feed me”. It’s Usually just his teether, but he offers to share it and shove it in my mouth. If he offered to share actual food I might take him up on the offer! 
He’s getting closer to crawling and is rolling around the room much more quickly. This is keeping me on my toes. Especially as our stair gate came off of the wall at the weekend and we’re still waiting for the plaster to dry out so we can put it back.
He seems to be teething a lot this week. I’m wondering if his 2 bottom teeth are about to make an appearance? 

Returning to work – wardrobe 

So, I return to work 2 weeks today. This scares the hell out of me! I’m worried about leaving LM, getting all the housework done around my job, working with an idiot that I’m now supposed to share my work with and also about how I’m going to dress. The wardrobe issue is probably the easiest to tackle.

Before I fell pregnant I had a work “uniform” of quirky outfits from Yumi and Desigual. I loved my work clothes! Since having LM I’ve lost 10kg in addition to my pregnancy weight. The result is that none of my pre-pregnancy clothes fit!
I’ve had to buy a new work “uniform”. This is the first time that I’ve had to really shop on a budget. I’m lucky that I live near an outlet centre so can get some bargains! As I’m sure you’re well aware: Statutory Maternity Pay is SHIT.
I’ve bought 2 pairs of slim boot cut jeans from M&S:

A denim skirt from Dorothy Perkins 

And a cute Desigual skirt

I’ll pair these with basic T shirts and cardigans. Once I stop breastfeeding completely I’ll start to wear dresses again.
Hopefully these will all work together to help me feel more confident about returning to the office.
I’ll deal with my other worries later!!

Weaning update 1

So, bedtime feed weaning didn’t go sleep well so we gave up on this after a week. LM was poorly with a temperature for a few days so I also delayed implementation of a bottle of formula mid-morning. It all seemed a little like a lost cause.
Once LM started to seem better, on Tuesday, I tried with the bottle of formula at 10:30 each day. To begin with he only took half an ounce but after a few days this increased to an ounce. My guess would be that this is all he took from me when I breastfed him at this time.
Today I tried to give him a formula bottle at 15:00 (4 hours after his morning bottle). He took quarter of an ounce before crying. I breastfed him and he fell asleep. I think this is going to be another curve for us so we’ll just persevere with the mid-afternoon feed.
My big challenge for this week will be to get LM used to being up at 7 as this is the time he’ll need to be up when he starts nursery in 2 weeks time. I am going to go cold turkey on this one and just wake him up at 7. Hopefully this will help his bedtime as well. By the end of the 2 weeks he should be used to it! 

Where have we been?

We haven’t posted in a while? Why? Because we’re exhausted.

LM is currently on his way out of Leap 6. He hasn’t slept well for about 3 weeks now and has been up for an average 5 times a night. Add this to the fact that I get next to no help with night wakings and the icing on the cake has been being ill. 

The wonderful (!) outcome of this is bring constantly tired and stressed. I’ve written and deleted 4 posts about how unhelpful my husband has been but didn’t feel to post them as the person I need to discuss this with is him. I’ve also had no help from my family (they haven’t even asked how we are!)

I hope to start a new routine with LM on Monday to try and reduce the night wakings, give me back some time in the day and prepare him for nursery. I’ll keep the blog updated if I can!