Musings of a working Mom

Archive for February, 2013

March Blogging Challenge

I saw a blogging challenge on Love, Harmony, Peace about a blogging challenge from Fabulous Finds by Tiffany and decided to join. Will still see if I’m actually going to do it, because I’m very good with starting something, but not with finishing it.

Here is the details

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Don’t forget to tweet your daily posts using #31daymarch

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Mirena

After the birth of my second one I was looking at the different contraception options. I got a pamphlet from my gynae about Mirena and it looked really wonderful. I was still breastfeeding, so couldn’t go on the normal pill and the mini-pill wasn’t working for me. I’m also not good at remembering to take the pill. The dr spoke to me about permanent contraception options, but, even though I don’t want any more kids the thought of that just made me panic. In every way the Mirena sounded perfect. It is not permanent, it should stop my period, I don’t have to remember anything etc. I did a lot of reading, and I don’t know how I managed it, but I only saw the glowing reviews and managed to miss the negative press.

The first red flag was that I did not have the money to buy it. I justified putting it on my credit card, because in the long run I was going to save by not paying for contraception every month, and also not buying tampons. So the big day arrived and the second problem. I thought about the cost of buying the Mirena, but not the insertion, which also involved an ultrasound, so it was very expensive. I’ve read that it can be a bit painful, almost like have period cramps, so I wasn’t prepared at all for what followed. The gynae first tried to insert it, but couldn’t get it in, then he dilated me, almost got it in when it came out by itself, dilated more, tried getting it in. Even the gynae was exhausted by the time he got it in, and I was crying from the pain. 6 weeks before that I gave birth to my baby naturally without any meds/epidural, and this hurt a lot more. He said he’s been inserting them for years, and this was the first time he struggled like this. It’s is always wonderful to hear you’re a first….

I had to take some time to recover in his examination room before I could walk. The cramping started immediately. It felt the same as labour pains. Not constant, but every now and again I had to stop what I was doing just to breathe and get through the cramps. I was assured this was normal and I didn’t need to worry about it. It lasted for 2 months. I had very heavy bleeding and because of the Mirena I couldn’t use tampons, so it was back to pads. I was also assured the bleeding would not last long. I was also having a lot of lower back pain and constant headaches. Also zero sex drive…but that could be from having a constant period. It would be heavy for 3 days, then spotting for a week, if I’m lucky a clear day, and then back to the heavy period. I experienced dizziness often, and was more tired than ever before in my life, itchiness all over and hair loss.

I kept on thinking of the money that I spend on it, and if I just stick it out it will get better. About 6 months after I got it I went back to the gynae. Another expensive appointment because he had to do another ultrasound. The Mirena moved and was embedded in my uterine wall. According to him it should still work as contraception (he didn’t sound very confident to me), and it was very common that it happens. He gave me a one month supply of a hormone pill that would stop the bleeding, but I couldn’t take it while breastfeeding. When I stopped breastfeeding I took the pill, and it did stop the bleeding. But the day after taking the last one I was back to bleeding, and to get more pills I had to make another appointment.

16 months after getting the Mirena I went my first week without bleeding. And then the pregnancy symptoms started. I picked up weight, my stomach was bloated, nauseous, and it felt like I could feel a baby kicking. I was 100% sure that I fell pregnant somewhere along the line, and just didn’t realise it (it can happen). Pregnancy tests were negative. But then I Googled Mirena and pregnancy symptoms, and discovered it is a very common side effect. I don’t know how you are supposed to know if you are pregnant or having the fake pregnancy symptoms. Somewhere in between the reading I saw that they’ve downgraded it from being 99% effective to 95% effective, but even at 99% it means 1 out of every 100 women with it still falls pregnant.

It is now 18 months after insertion, and I now have a week of full period, a week spotting then a week without a period, but never know when it will start again, or when I’ll be spotting. My husband just went for a vasectomy (also with complications….it’s like the universe wants us to have more children) and when he gets the all clear from that then I’ll have the Mirena removed. Because it is in my uterine wall it would probably have to be under general anaesthetic, and then I have the Mirena crash to look forward to.

Please read the following about the lawsuit against the Mirena manufacturers and the dangers of it moving to different parts of your body, as well as the future miscarriage risk
http://www.drugwatch.com/mirena/lawsuit/

A day at the theatre

During the December holidays I was looking for something to do with A1 (4 years old) where we could have an outing just the two of us. A bit of girl bonding. For months before that she’s been telling me for her next birthday she wants a mermaid party, and then I saw that The Little Mermaid was showing at The People’s Theatre in Johannesburg.

It is a very small theatre, perfect for the kids. She was a bit nervous before the start, not sure what to expect, but from the start of the show she was absolutely mesmerized, mouth open, and staring with big eyes at what’s going on. It is also interactive with them e.g asking the kids where Arial is hiding etc. The acting was great, and the singing wonderful. I was laughing and singing with through the show. A1 believed everything was real, and recently we saw a lady at a shop with long red hair and A1 almost had a heart attack, telling everyone that is Ariel over there.

Here is a picture of Ariel, played by the beautiful Alexandra Snyman (Picture from artscomments.wordpress.com)

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It is an ideal outing for kids of all ages, there were even a few babies in the audience.

I signed her up for the kid’s club, which means you get reduced ticket prices, the show closest to the kid’s birthday is free, and on the birthday show they get to go on stage and get a gift. It is difficult to find better value for your money.

The next production (March – April) is Sleeping Beauty, and I can’t wait to take her again for a girls day out. For more details and bookings go to http://www.peoplestheatre.co.za/

Looking back at breastfeeding

After reading acidicice’s breastfeeding experience  it made me think of my experience with both kids.

Before having children I’ve always known I wanted to breastfeed and while pregnant I would often dream that I was breastfeeding them. These dreams happened with both kids.

When A1 was born I thought I would just pop her on the breast and that would be it, but I was surprised at how complicated it was. After she was born she had to have oxygen first, and I have no idea how long it was before I could hold her and try feeding. That first afternoon was just a blur. I can just remember various nurses coming through, and each one had different advice. I would do what the one would tell me and the next one would show up and say ‘no, no, no do it this way’. There were lots of tugging on breasts and checking for milk etc. It was very overwhelming. The nurses told me it’s better to have the babies in the nurseries and they would bring A1 to me when she’d have to feed. She had a sign on saying ‘Exclusive breastfeeding’. The next morning I realised I slept right through the night, no feeding, and when I went to look for A1 the nurse said: ‘What a night, they had to aspirate her after she choked when they gave her a top up feed’. I was livid. After that I didn’t want to sleep again and just wanted to go home with A1, but after a blood test her sugar were too low to be released from hospital, so we had to stay an additional night (total of 3 nights). So I had 1 night of sleep and then 2 nights where I didn’t sleep at all.

Getting home I could relax and feed her as much as possible, but there were lots of problems. I didn’t know if she was latching correctly. I tried to limit her feeding (as they told me in the hospital). She would cry and cry and then the moment I put her on the breast she would promptly fall asleep without drinking anything. Take her off and she’d start crying again. I woke her in the beginning for feeds, because she would not wake up at all during the night. At least at the first weigh-in she picked up weigh nicely and I just started to feel a bit more confident.

At her first check-up directly after the birth the paediatrician picked up a click in her hips, and at 3 weeks I took her to an orthopaedic surgeon that diagnosed bilateral congenital hip dysplasia. She was immediately put into a harness and she had to stay in that for 13 weeks. Everything I figured out before that I had to relearn and I spend many days crying. I struggled changing nappies with the harness, couldn’t hold her while feeding like before because of the harness, and the only time she would relax and stop crying was in a bath, but now we could only give her a quick bath once a week. She then also didn’t pick up weigh like she was suppose to and if I had R10 for every person that told me I should just start giving formula I would be a very rich woman. She had colic, reflux and hip dysplasia so it was trying times. I even tried formula once after the paediatrician said I should, but it made the reflux so much worse and she kept on choking with the reflux. I recently found a calendar of her second month, and realised we had dr’s appointments every single day. It is no wonder she didn’t pick up weight.

Things finally got better when I decided screw everything else; I’m just feeding her and doing nothing else.  No watching the clock, no counting how many feeds a day, just holding her and if she wants to feed for 3 hours nonstop she can do that.

I went back to work when she was 4 months old and I expressed at work (which I hated) with her drinking in the mornings before work, after work and during the night. I really loved the time spend with her feeding. After 6 months I stopped the expressing at work, and she got food and 1 bottle formula during the day, and breast milk mornings and evenings. At 10 months I stopped breastfeeding, but actually wished that I continued for longer. I can’t even remember why I decided to stop, but I found it a lot more difficult to stop than she did.

With A2 the experience was very different, even though it was the same hospital. Directly after he was born they gave him to me to start feeding and he started drinking immediately. I even tried the breast crawl with him while in hospital, and he crawled from my stomach right up to my nipple…where he started sucking on his fist. I did struggle a bit with latching and this time they only had one breastfeeding expert nurse that gave advice. At home I spend as much time as possible with him feeding and the only problems were too much foremilk at some stage, for which I would lie on my back to let him feed like that. I still had lots of anxieties from A1 and was so stressed at every weigh-in. This time going back to work I only expressed about 3 or 4 days, just to relieve my full breasts, and immediately switched to mixed feeding. It made life a lot easier. I breastfed until 14 months, and the last while A2 started to just use me as a dummy to sleep. We weren’t co-sleeping so getting up 10 times a night wasn’t working, so I stopped breastfeeding. Once again more difficult and emotional for me than it was for A2 and a few months later and I’m still missing it.

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