DIY Breastfeeding Vest

Standard

I am a Cub Leader (Cub Scouts) and wear a shirt weekly.

My youngest attends (10 weeks) and feeding in a shirt revels a little too much so i set about making my own feeding vest to go underneath

You will need 2 vests of same style, elastic, tape measure, scissors, pins and sewing machine.

First determine where the top section reaches under your bust. Mark with pins ensuring the vest is flat and smooth. You need to add 2 inches below that point then cut it. Set aside.

Measure the cut off piece to determine how much vest you just removed. Mine was 10.5 inches.

Add on 4 inches and measuring from hem off your second vest cut along. You will now have a top of a vest and the bottom separate. Don’t mix them up with discarded sections.

On both sections fold under 0.5 inch then another 0.5 so the raw cut edge is encased and pin in place.

Using a zigzag stitch you will be sewing on elastic to the front section of each part. You will be securing the hem and elastic at same time. I cut my elastic 3 inches shorter than width of top. You will need to pull gently as you sew. Don’t pull too much as you only want a gentle puckering.

On your back section repeat but continue the zig zag stitch without elastic around the back section, or you could use a long straight stitch to secure.

Place lower section inside upper and over lap at side seams by at least 1-2 inches. Pin and sew along existing seam to secure.

Work your way around the back (unelasticated section) and overlap by same amount you overlapped sides. Pin then zigzag stitch in place.

Your vest is now done and unlike a lot of feeding vest for under clothes you don’t have to reveal too much.

Easy access with minimal exposure.

Sewing the back down creates a smoother finish.

The extra 4 inches added to lower section ensures post partum tum says under wraps.

This was my first go and would like to make one from scratch in future. This project cost me approx. £5.50.

Advertisements

From 1 to 2, 2 to 4

Standard

Going from 1 to 2 kids was hard!! I would say harder than going from none to 1. With one you have all the time to rest, you only have yourself to feed and no urgency to getting dressed most days.

Suddenly with 2 you have a school run to perform EVERY day and even when you’re not doing that the little darling enjoys his early mornings.

When you no longer have one in a pram its like playing that game where you have to hit the lights and they are always opposite ends of the board! Mix in sleep deprivation and its like a mini workout daily.

Going from 2 to 4 kids was in some ways easy. I got this, I’m not worried if you don’t sleep or eat. I have learnt patience and I know this won’t last forever. Even the fact we’re officially outnumbered is fine. We got this.

But going on to have 4 children knowing my 3rd isn’t with us has made this a unique experience.

I worry more about death, I worry more about the speed in which time passes and I feel guilt at wanting some time to myself like I can’t miss a single moment.

Best bit my partner is no longer phased when I say one more?

R’s Birth Story

Standard

R is our 2nd rainbow baby after having a stillbirth at 27 weeks then ruptured ectopic 10 months after.

He is understandably very special after an anxious pregnancy full of confusion, grief, happiness, fear and worry. Much more than L’s pregnancy.

I developed gestational diabetes also so they wanted to not allow me passed 40 weeks. However due to my overwhelming anxiety they agreed to induce me at 38 weeks.

We went on Sunday for the first stage. We arrived at 10 but didn’t get seen till 11. I had to have half hour monitoring and a cervix check then the first pessary went in. This was called propess and had to go in for 24 hours.

I had a few niggles but nothing major and by following morning we knew it was looking at long process. After more monitoring and another pessary I wanted again. My partner at this point went home.

The second pessary was a gel that only lasted 6 hours as soon as it was in I felt a burning sensation which continued. I went off for walks and bounced on a ball to keep the waves coming which they did!!

4 hours in it all stopped. I had cramps but nothing else no amount of walking was bringing them back on. I reluctantly agreed to a second pessary after asking for a csection. It was choice of try it or wait the night out without so i agreed.

They took me to a private room to get a breather but turns out it was the post care room i had stayed with Elva so i went back to the ward

Come morning after getting no sleep with pain through my hips and noisy ward sharers i was more insistent on either getting a section or going home. By now it was Tuesday and my 3rd day there.

. Again I insisted I needed to be home so a consultant came and agreed a 3rd pessary would do no good and we would try to break my waters then go on a drip. He noticed my previous stillbirth on my notes and in 3 days was only one to acknowledge the effect that was having on me…. I cried ….. a lot!!!

I was again checked and was now a 2-3 cm so the pains did something!!

Waters broken i had 4 hours to show progress or they’d pop me on the drip to really crank it up. By this point my partner was back and I felt calmer that we were being proactive.

Still though contractions weren’t cranking up so on the drip I went. That was pushed up twice and still not a lot was happening then we lost the trace on his heart.

He had done a big kick so assumed he had moved. After them checking and making me lie down to find it again they suspected we hadn’t lost it due to movement and he infact had a rather dramatic heart rate dip.

I was checked again and a hand not a head was felt. Baby wasn’t pushing his head down so no wonder nothing was happening. The consultants felt it best to go ahead with the csection at which he apologised after persuading me to go ahead with breaking my waters and the induction process.

They spotted my cannula for the drip had blown up my hand and I think contributed to it not working properly. At this point for whatever reasons the signs were there labour couldn’t happen and things like baby’s hand in the way and drip not working were stopping it going full flow.

Off we traipsed to the operating theatre. They gave me a spinal block that worked better in one side than other so was slight delay getting started.

As they cut through i was breathing deep to overcome the sicky sensation the tugging about gave me. I felt baby lifted out and they said he was fine and just needed a clean.

All of a sudden a little cry sounded out and I burst into tears. My partner was beaming and because they wanted to check his apgar scores I was shown a picture of his face.

As he consultant had read my birth plan he allowed the cut to be left long so my partner could still cut the cord, i was also allowed skin to skin.

I then got to hold him and the feeling of holding a breathing baby after years of grieving a stillborn one was amazing. He instantly calmed when he was put on me.

He was born at 5:08pm so i only went and missed my dinner!!! I was looking forward to that strawberry mousse.

L’s Birth Story

Standard

L is my second born and he followed an early miscarriage so is classed as a rainbow baby (baby born after a loss).

I wanted a homebirth with him also despite suffering severe PGP (pelvic girdle pain) I felt I could do it. Around 28 weeks he was confirmed head down and healthy.

By 32 weeks he was transverse (laying sideways). At this stage it wasn’t an issue we had time and we had a plan. Some exercises from spinning babies (see useful links page) and we were confident. By 36 weeks baby had done a full 360 but was still not head down again.

My midwife at this point realised I had excess water but needed a scan to confirm both babies position and the amount of water present. My scan was booked for Monday.

All day Saturday I had awful back ache which I suspected was early labour but by 9pm it fizzled out. I woke around 6am to a weird pop then I wet myself!!! My waters had gone…. well some of it.

As baby was transverse it’s considered risky as cord would come before baby and risk babies life and as I am only driver in household we had to ring an ambulance.

Now we lived 2 minutes away, you could see the hospital from the window but still we needed help. They arrived and essentially laughed at me telling me it was ok to be upright. I found out 4 years on its really not ok!

We arrived around 7am and a midwife checked where baby was laying. Still transverse.

A scan was ordered so a plan could be formed. 8am a scan showed baby had turned head down finally so the plan for vaginal birth was going ahead. I was no longer allowed my home birth due to risk of baby moving again.

We were sent to a ward to allow labour to come on. 10am and not a lot had happened and baby was checked and well.

Around 7pm that night we had seen noone all day not been checked over and labour wasn’t really going anywhere. I then started shivering. We were given a blanket and left to it again.

Around 9pm I’d had enough of being on a noisy ward and ignored. I said I was in pain and wanted more pain relief. They took us to delivery suite to be assessed.

As I had lied they soon said you’re not in active labour so will need to transfer you back. I asked for heart check as hadn’t had one in 12 hours.

I was put on a trace and asked to press when baby moved. They didn’t believe I wasn’t feeling him until the trace showed signs of distress. At this point a doctor was called in to examine me and more water went.

A senior midwife appeared next and spotted my shivering I said I was freezing. She said you’re burning up and may have infection.

I was moved to a delivery room and put on paracetamol to lower my temperature. Due to lack of progress in 10 hours it was suggested I have a section. I agreed.

L was born silently at 2:35 am which was scary. I was convinced he had died after a few minutes we heard him scream and I cried harder!

He then silently surveyed his environment from his dads arms which is only time he’s been quiet in 4 years!!

Gender Stereotypes

Standard

I have a few questions why are the following deemed girly: cupcakes, cats, bows, polka or any uniform dots, Peppa pig

My boys love cake. Sure they’d not want one on a top or socks but why do girls want them on clothes either? Cats can be either gender but tend to only feature on girls clothing usually pink, pink and with a bow or two.

Polka dots are generally a girl pattern. You don’t find boys polka dot anything but if you were to search for spotty dinosaur clothes it suddenly turns into a disorganised spotty boy fest. Well once you’ve rifled through a few girl bits because dinosaurs aren’t just for boys but cupcakes are definitely just for girls (unless you’re talking about real cake then its pretty even. Anyone see the logic here? please explain if you do…

Bows are another thing. Add some tails to a boy and its for girls and girl cats only. Take the tails off make it in black or blue and bingo it’s a boy’s bow tie which again girls can wear too! Tailed bows girls only, tailless bow ties both genders.

Lets move on to Peppa Pig. Now I’m not sad I can only find mostly girl Peppa pig clothing and it’s a relief in all honesty however she is a prime example of gender stereotyping. Girl pig on girl clothes, boy pig (George) on boy clothes. Why? What if a boy likes Peppa but not George is it tough cookies wear George or nothing?

Another thing that irritates me why is it automatic boys are into cars, trucks, bikes, pirates etc etc. Don’t get me wrong my boys loved car tops but more so the youngest than oldest. He was more into kitchen roleplay and glitter, but god forbid I would try to buy a food theme top (think cupcakes). Glitter is severely lacking in boy departments too!

Animals. I know we mentioned cats but animals in gender are subject to heavy stereotyping. Girls as we said get vats but they also get cute pale puppies, sweet fluffy penguins, butterflies, ladybirds, bunnies, leopard print, owls.. you need me to go on? Boys get lions (which I adore btw), tough looking dogs with grumpy faces or pirate outfits on, tigers, occasional panda, elephants, dinosaurs, snappy crocodiles and dark looking penguins and not so fluffy bears. Why are girls the only ones allowed pale fluffy animals and boys get bright or dark very clean-cut animals.

Ladybirds are another bug bear (you have got all day to read my rant right? good!) lady doesn’t mean only girls can have these spotty insects on their belongings. We don’t need to weed out the non-existent, unpink, inoffensive items. By offensive I mean ‘Little Lady’ or Pretty Little Ladybird. Now some of you are thinking jeez she’s touchy but I’ve always hated phrases which define kids in a certain way which adds to my current rant.

For boys: Little man, handsome like daddy, mummy’s little star. For girls: Pretty little thing, beautiful flower, daddy’s angel, cute like mummy. My son is NOT a little man I know this isn’t the worse thing in the world but it makes me cringe so so much and I refuse to call my child a mini/small/little man! He is handsome but my sons are also beautiful with gorgeous curls and pretty eyes. MY daughter is pretty and beautiful but she isn’t a thing (yes I did buy a top with this on purely for the colour despite the wording), she is no more a beautiful flower than her brothers and in fact her brothers were and still are regularly mistaken for girls because of the curly hair and sparkly eyes.

Cute like mummy for girls but boys can’t be cute and look like mummy? Try it on google images put cute like mummy in and 99% is pink clothing that pops up. Whereas Mummy’s little star is mostly gender neutral or boys clothing. Odd.

So at what point were dinosaurs and trucks for boys, rainbows, toadstools and cats for girls. There is so much emphasis on allowing girls to have dinosaur clothing, trucks on their pjs but it still conforms and ends up pink and purple. There however is nothing to allow boys to have flowers on their tops, rainbows adorning their trucks and a splash of pink glitter without it being pointed out .

Colours I have spoken about but they are another issue ok I understand and I think we all get pink is mostly a girl colour but why is purple? It’s near impossible to find purple boy clothing, at least without spending a fortune on alternative clothing or the odd Little bird item. Trust me I’ve tried! Its made up of blue and red which are classed as boy colours just as much as girls so why is the mix of the two suddenly girly.  Similarly green is often in the boy section and not so much the girls unless it’s very pale or teal then you can guarantee a puff sleeve and a bow renders it useless to boys.

I’m tired out now and still could go on! If I had the money and the energy I would love to create a boys clothing range that challenges gender stereotyping. I fear though that I too would succumb to the usually downfalls of clothing and would use minimum pink, minimum flowers and no butterflies.

Boys CAN wear pink!!!

Standard

I know I’ve mentioned this before but boys can wear pink in fact pink looks great on boys!

In victorian times pink was for boys and sometimes between then and now it became a girl colour and totally taboo to put it near boys.

So here’s my little selection of boys can wear pink

Raglan top from H&M. I bought this online and this is fresh out the packet. It is duskier than I expected but I love it and matched with jeans will look great. You could get a nice vinyl very cheaper to make it more gender specific if you like. I’m toying with getting boys can wear pink to iron on .

image

You could make your own clothing and add a flash of pink without it being all about the pink. Team with plain gender neutral trousers and let the shirt speak for itself.

image

You could also get around the whole pink thing by buying dark pink trousers. This dark pink is more of a purple pink than a in your face girly pink. Teamed with a ‘boy’ top and no one will be looking at you weird just in awe of your epic styling. These are from Debenhams.

image

You could incorporate it in a subtle way in other things like blankets. I planned to do the odd flower because you can’t have Totoro without nature and flowers are nature. But then it struck me how ace the soot sprite would look against a dark pink (2nd row, 2nd from left) without it taking over or being odd. Click the picture to access a free bobble alphabet to crochet and the link to this blanket pattern.

15107313_1636055600024908_8778141758359055782_n15068990_1636057623358039_3527978208339212870_o

You could also buy items that have pink added in nicely like stripey fabric or socks like this set that is aimed at either gender and this set.

Even just a line of pink topstitching could be enough for you.

If you still can’t face pink on boys why not make stuff you will be using and make it girly because technically it’s yours. Click the pictures or the tutorials.

image image

J’s Birth Story

Standard

J is my first baby and was something of a shock. I knew early on I wanted a home birth as I was scared of being in a hospital environment.

I mentioned it to my midwife around 28 weeks after swapping midwives and meeting a new one. She was all for it and so the plan began.

I collected shower curtains for my floors, found old beach towels to lay on top. I was so sure of this plan I didn’t pack a hospital bag (I wasn’t that cocky again)

At 38 weeks the midwife brought round a homebirth box and tank of gas and air in preparation. I was given a list of on call community midwives to ring should I go into labour.

At 38 weeks and 4 days my midwife spotted my blood pressure was up. It was agreed I would get it checked next day and if still up I’d need assessing at the hospital.

Next day, Tuesday, it was still up so an appointment was booked for me for the Friday.

That night I experienced bleeding and clots with a few cramps. I went to hospital to be checked but was left waiting nearly an hour to be seen. Once i was seen a cervix check was done plus palpitation (manually feeling a womans stomach).

They requested 24 hour monitoring but I went to say I refused I didn’t want to stay in or I wouldn’t have opted for a home birth.

They informed me, not asked, that I was being induced!! Instantly I said no you’re not. A doctor was sent to see me and requested i lay flat she half heartedly felt my bump then towered over me insisting I was risking my baby’s life. I asked why I was being induced they said because we don’t know whats going on.

I felt that wasn’t good enough and we assumed we were being pushed as she felt us too young to make the right choice. I was 22 but looked a lot younger.

We went home but agreed to come in following day for another check up. By now I was 38 weeks and 6 days and it was. A doctor that day agreed to scan to rule out placenta abruption and confirmed baby was well and she felt I didn’t need inducing.

We went home only to wake around 3 am and i was uncomfortable so I had a bath. By 6am i knew it was labour time. As it was early we waited till 8am to ring and chance had it our on call midwife that day was my antenatal midwife!!

By 11am I was only 3cm so my midwife left. I don’t remember when she came back but it took another 13 hours to start feeling the pushing urge.

I had spent most my labour on all fours or hanging over my ball.

As I started pushing he was getting lower and lower till I was finally pushing him out. At this point my waters hadn’t gone and the midwife could see the waters. 2 more pushes and they popped they could then see baby had his hand by his face and was the reason he kept bobbing back.

The midwife pushed his hand back in and he started to crown. I pushed for around 45 minutes and he was born with a scream 2:45am on Friday meaning on my living room floor.

We waited for cord to stop pulsing which in turn made the placenta arrive and my partner cut the cord. He then did skin to skin, helped weigh and dress baby.

By 5am everyone left and as first time parents we were petrified and lost.

I went through 3 canisters of gas and air but I did it relatively drug free because gas and air only serves to make you giddy.

My shower curtains were used as were the towels and best part the midwives cleaned everything up.