Sunday night ramblings

27 Nov

I am utterly knackered tonight. In fact, if I didn’t want to jot down a quick post I’d be heading to bed! Though I’ve had such a lovely weekend that I don’t mind the bone-crushing tiredness (and baby is nice and active, which makes everything, even blogging,  more fun – it’s that stage of pregnancy where you’re really aware that a new person is wriggling away inside getting readier and readier to make his or her appearance).

Yesterday my sister (also married to an American) and her two girls came to celebrate a belated Thanksgiving with us. Before they arrived we had a frenzy of cleaning. I’m strict about food hygiene (a relic of years of waitressing through university) and like general tidiness (so toys and books get put away every night) but I’m otherwise pretty relaxed about cleaning. Which is the polite way of saying I generally can’t be bothered with “proper” cleaning! As my husband said yesterday, if people didn’t visit us regularly I doubt we’d clean as often as we do…

Anyway, our bout of dusting/window wiping/hoovering/mopping paid off and the flat looked spiffing when we all sat down to our turkey dinner. One of the things I love about Thanksgiving is how sweet the dishes are. My husband makes a mean sweet potato with marshmallows that we enjoy only at Thanksgiving (reckon our teeth would fall out if it were a regular treat!). The pumpkin pie my sister brought was a great mix of spicy and sweet. Our son did us proud by scoffing a big slice of of pie (he also seemed particularly taken with cranberry sauce, which meant he spent the meal looking like he was bleeding from the mouth as cranberry sauce ran down his chin!).

This morning we headed to London Zoo to see Father Christmas. At 20 months, our son had little clue what was going on but the reindeer were cute (much smaller than I imagined) and we enjoyed seeing the penguins and the playground. We’re members at the zoo, so go fairly regularly. We hummed and hawed about going so early, but decided that since today is the first day of Advent (and all of our weekends between now and Christmas are busy) a trip to Father Christmas wasn’t totally ridiculous. I then had yet more pumpkin pie this afternoon when I popped to a friend’s for coffee and a catch up. Dinner consisted of turkey & stuffing sandwiches, which is one of the treats of a big roast meal (sometimes the leftovers are even tastier than the main meal!). It whet my appetite for those days after Christmas when you can subsist on leftovers (and chocolate!).

I’m reading The Politics of Breastfeeding by Gabrielle Palmer at the moment. It’s been on my to-read list for a long time and I’m enjoying it, although I’m also finding it incredibly moving. The fact that our culture has become so removed from this natural process, leading to so much heartache and stress for so many babies and their mothers, all for the pursuit of profit and some sort of “scienceification” of life, makes me sad. It’s also stirring up memories of the start of my own nursing relationship with my son.

I didn’t anticipate any problems with breastfeeding (despite hearing plenty of horror stories about shredded nipples and the like when I was pregnant, usually from the same people who like to tell birth horror stories…). I assumed that I’d find it a breeze and got off to a great start in hospital, even with recovery from an induced labour and a c-section. Instead I ended up with bleeding nipples, undiagnosed thrush, and then infected nipples. Feeding was terribly painful for the first couple of months of my son’s life. Even worse was the guilt I felt as I started to dread feeds and the toe-curling pain they meant…But I was determined to get help, and found great resources like Kellymom, Mumsnet and the Breastfeeding Network, as well as local drop in sessions in Haringey and Islington. It paid off and by 12 weeks we were enjoying pain-free feeding and went on to feed until my son was 19 months. I really appreciate that we got to enjoy such a lovely nursing relationship in the end, and reading this book is making me even more grateful that I could get over the initial problems.

I’d like to post a proper review of The Politics of Breastfeeding at some point.

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8 Responses to “Sunday night ramblings”

  1. Living Life as an Expat Parent November 27, 2011 at 10:43 pm #

    Haha! I love your explanation of why you clean. I always say to the Native, ‘Inviting guests over makes sure that we keep our house clean.’ It’s clearly the way forward. Sounds like your meal went great.

  2. lowimpactmama November 28, 2011 at 8:44 am #

    Haha! Glad we’re not the only ones who only clean on demand! I’ve been enjoying your reasons to be thankful. I think Thanksgiving is a very fun tradition at a time of the year that’s ripe for a bit of perking up.

  3. Rach November 30, 2011 at 10:43 pm #

    Looking forward to reading your blog. I’ve been meaning to read this book too, but think it would make me mad too. As it was I was shouting at the radio today at some of the callers about the strikes. I love that your sis has married an American too!

    • lowimpactmama December 1, 2011 at 7:48 am #

      It is making me mad alright! Though now I also want to read her latest book on introducing solids…

  4. charlieedmunds December 1, 2011 at 6:23 pm #

    I always assume that my guests have higher cleaning standards that I do. 🙂

  5. Tracie December 1, 2011 at 8:36 pm #

    I’d love to read that book and would like to read your review if you ever write it.

    Must check it out myself, am sure it will bring back fond memories of when DS was younger – stopped breastfeeding when he was 11 months.

    • lowimpactmama December 2, 2011 at 8:46 am #

      Thanks for your comment! The book is great, though it makes me angrier than I expected…

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