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Blocked.

Now I know (I think) what it feels like to have a blocked duct. It’s horrible!

I don’t know why or how it happened, maybe it was some tight clothing/bra and/or a long gap between pumps but whatever it is, it hurts like hell. My left breast has been a bit of an under performer when it comes to milk production which is why it often gets neglected when its time for a massage before pumping. But today it is so so sore. It hurts to just graze my finger over it (especially a path over the top of it) and I actually cried when I had to massage it. I could’ve stayed under the steaming hot shower for ages just to ease the pain. It hurts so badly. I only hope it goes away without any medication or anything. Every single resource I refer to says I should just directly latch my baby onto the affected breast for it to unblock and the pain to eventually subside but why don’t they have resources with information for women who are exclusively pumping like me?! I pump because my baby doesn’t latch so you telling me I should latch to relieve a problem is pointless isn’t it?

Anyway, its not a good day for me and I hope this too shall pass sooner rather than later.

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Frozen

Ever since I (unconsciously) realised that I may have to become a full time expressing mum, I knew that I would have to build up a stash of frozen breast milk for days when I fell ill, my supply dropped or simply as a backup just in case.

We started off with some of the free stuff we got at the hospital; great milk bags and some containers and bottles. Little did we know that we would fall painfully short very very soon! Our little freezer was overflowing and we soon ran out of storage space AND containers. So the hunt began for a chest freezer (we got a lovely one!) and storage options.

Until now, we’d been using Avent storage pots (the 240 ml ones that can be reused) and some Autumnz bottles that we had purchased ages ago. But I felt these were not just expensive and encouraging the use of more and more plastic but also occupied a ton of space in the freezer. So I started to look up other options and came upon this. Sensible Lines seemed like a good bet, but it was so expensive! So when I found these food trays made in Korea I knew I had to try them out. And the best part, they were on offer at a baby fair (buy two and the third is free)

What I love about them is the option to freeze different portion sizes. And the fact that they can be reused for not just breast milk but also baby food and our food as well. It may not be as convenient as the sensible lines in terms of weighing out exactly one ounce but they do have individual measurements for each pot and thats easy for me to calculate my feed then.

Used them over Easter weekend and love love love them!

Image © TheAmmiDiaries

Image © TheAmmiDiaries

Image © TheAmmiDiaries

Image © TheAmmiDiaries

Image © TheAmmiDiaries

Image © TheAmmiDiaries

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Express Yourself – Hey Hey Hey Hey!

Never ever ever make the mistake of going to the first day of a baby fair ‘with’ your almost four month old, on a public holiday. We did that this friday and boy did we pay for it.

It was at the Expo, we’ve been to this fair the last time it was held (October 2013) and I was about 7 months pregnant. Although it was crowded then, it was nothing compared to this time. And since there was no one at home to watch Z we had to take him along. Now, Z was a complete angel, no fussing or crying but I felt bad for the poor chap as it was hot and stuffy and very very crowded. We hardly got the time to browse any stores, barely saw a quarter of the products on offer and yet ended up spending close to 5 hours in the fair – 43 of which were spent standing in payment queues. *sigh*

Personally I paid for this dearly. As an expressing mum, I need to express milk every three hours or so. But with such a small baby, planning doesn’t always happen on schedule and so I had pumped my last round at 9.30 am. It was close to 5pm and we were still at the expo. It would take me another hour at least to get home by the mrt (if I joined the queue for cabs probably longer). Luckily for me earlier in the day while I was browsing the store for stuff I noticed the Tommee Tippee Manual pump marked down to 34$.(less than half) We use their bottles and although I’m pleased with my Medela Pump in Style I needed something to throw in a bag when outside. I bought the pump and when we walked out of the expo hall realised that this was the perfect opportunity for me to test it. My breasts were hurting so bad that we barely had the time to tear open the wrappings and set up the pump before I started to leak 😦

Image courtesy :Amazon

The Positives?

  • Easy to set up.
  • Not too many parts to assemble. And not to difficult to use.
  • The big silicone horn was comfortable and didn’t hurt me at all. The box came with literally everything I needed to pump! which made it so much easier for me to use it then and there.
  • I also liked the lid they gave with the bottle.

The Negatives

  • Yes, I did drip all over myself, but then again that happens to me with my medela too sometimes so I think its all in the angle of holding the pump.
  • Having never used a manual pump before, I thought it was tedious and my hands did hurt.
  • Since I hadn’t pumped all day my milk was flowing very freely but I wonder if the pump would be as effective on a normal three hr schedule.
  • The teeny tiny milk jars that came with the box – what was that about?! they could barely hold a pickle. I think they should’ve put in one larger jar that held at least 120 ml. This was probably 50 or less.
  • When we got home and washed the parts up I noticed that one of the parts was not as easy to clean. If used regularly it could become quite a pain to keep milk free.

Overall, I like that it complements my tommee tippee bottles. It’s also handy to throw in a bag to avoid engorgement on a day out but it’s not as easy to clean and can hurt the hand if used continuously for a long duration.

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15 Weeks! (and two days)

How fast you grow my darling boy!

Was taking Z for a walk in the stroller the other day when we passed a new mum holding her spanking new baby in her arms. The little angel was so so tiny! just a little ball of wonder and my heart melted. Please note, I am not the kind of woman who gushes and goos at babies. I like them but I’m not the one who’ll rush to hold them or kiss them. But seeing this lil one reminded me of my sweet Z. And it all came to me in a rush then, he’s no longer a newborn, He’s an infant now. I can no longer hold him in a cradle pose and expect his limbs to tuck neatly in my arms. The breastfeeding pillow tilts at a precarious angle when I lay his heavy body on it and yes, the legs are way off the edge. His 0-3 months clothes are tight and he holds his head up observing every little thing that is around him. I miss his sweet sleepy jaundiced gaze when he was a newbie. ut I’m falling in love with his assertive gooey eyes and strong chubby hands that grab and yank my hair constantly.

Oh Baby Z, you are my constant joy! and I love you.

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“Sway”

Of late, I’ve caught myself swaying. Just swaying – my whole body moving from left to right, my foot tapping to an invisible tune. Rocking an invisible baby. It’s like my body remembers to move constantly otherwise the baby will get antsy. But my brain has forgotten to mention to my body that the baby isn’t there. H’s safe in his pram/bed/fathers arms/playing and here I am on auto sway – moving to soothe a baby who isn’t even there. *Sigh* Parenthood!