Bye bye boobie

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25 May 2014.

Pegasus Air flight.

Somewhere over Europe…

What’s the significance?

It was my last breastfeed…

 

I struggled to start and continue breastfeeding, but once I had the hang of it I had set my mind on doing it until 6 months.  Once it settled down I decided to continue until a year old.  Whilst I had days and weeks moments of doubt where I felt trapped, like a milk machine and frustrated that no one else could look after my baby because of the boob addiction, by 9 months Jem went down to feeding only in the morning and last thing at night so it was manageable.  I even discovered that if I went out in the evening (about once a month I have an evening meeting for my voluntary work) although he wouldn’t take a bottle he would settle to sleep without milk with the Turk.  I began to question what he was really getting from breastfeeding, but given that it was only twice a day for about 5 minutes I figured that even if it was only for comfort or routine I could live with it.

In fact I was planning on continuing this pattern even when I returned to work, but Jem took a different view.  When we were on holiday shortly after his first birthday he didn’t seem bothered about his morning feed, in fact twice he went without it and didn’t bother at all!  By the final week of our holiday when I tried to feed him in the evening he actually burst into giggles (RUDE!) when I tried to feed him and was more interested in playing.

I can take a hint…

On the flight home Jem slept for an hour and then got very fussy, singing, toys, breadsticks, leftover simit, rice cakes didn’t do the trick so I broke out the failsafe booby distraction to try and stop invoking the rage from the other passengers.  He was still very tired so I thought it might make him nod off…it did not.

Anyway, what I didn’t appreciate at the time was that this was it.  When we came home I decided to start the “real” milk, and Jem loved it.  I was really surprised as he never really took to formula, it took months to get him to drink ANY water and when I tried cow milk before he wasn’t bothered.  Perhaps it was because I warmed it, or maybe he was just ready to move on, whatever it was I had expected to wind down from the breast and have a month or so of switching over, but it wasn’t needed.

I was reading other blog posts around the time and Donna from Red Head Baby Led was writing about her experience of finishing breastfeeding and my NCT friends whom mostly fed up to 12 months were going through the same thing.  It struck me that they were all experiencing pain, engorgement or other niggles from finishing bf…but I wasn’t.  In fact for a couple of months I’d been back in pre-pregnancy bras, I literally had no “side effects” from stopping…

…I suspect that Jem had been rather taking me for a ride for a little while!

Well I’m not complaining, it was mixed but overall I’m pretty glad it’s over.

Although as this is probably my last opportunity to comment on breastfeeding can I direct you to the Two Boys One Mum blog, here, for what is probably my favourite ever post on this topic.

Poonami and adventures with water

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It is strange that prior to having a child it wouldn’t have occurred to me to speak to complete strangers about toilet habits, but that’s all changed…well in respect of the boy in any event.  The big saga of poo started at around 5 months when we took Jem to Turkey for 3 weeks (brave you say?…yes, I know!)  For some reason the boy decided that poo was no longer necessary, I was still exclusively bf at this point, so it was a bit strange, as bf mothers will know that breast milk can lead to rather a lot of poo.  Despite being freezing cold the entire time we were there (no I didn’t take a coat for either of us, but I did take a selection of t-shirts, vests and shorts…it’s Turkey, it’s supposed to be hot) we thought it might be dehydration so decided to try and feed him water.  Jem has never really taken to a bottle after a bout of bottle refusal at around 3 months so we resorted to warm water from a turkish tea glass, which worked pretty well in terms of drinking but had no effect on getting things moving.  Despite my intention not to start weaning until we returned to the UK I resorted to fresh figs.  These went down a treat…but still no movement.

Anyway naturally what I should have done was simply take him to an inconvenient location, literally seconds after sitting down to my kofte in a restaurant in a busy shopping centre the poonami arrived.  I’m not going to lie, it was not my finest moment.  The whole situation ended with me throwing his entire outfit in the bin, using up a whole bag of wet wipes as I frantically cleaned poo from legs, back and hands, and screaming for the Turk to come and help me out in the ladies room…

You’d think that this would teach me a lesson, but no…in the entire 3 weeks Jem only emptied himself 3 times while we were away…all 3 times we were in the same blooming shopping centre…

 

Post-script:

We recently returned to Turkey for another three weeks.  Jem only had one poonami.  It was in a shopping centre #motherhoodfail

Turklish travels: Icmeler at the Fortuna Beach Hotel

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We’ve recently had such a great holiday I wanted to let you know about it, we don’t often go on beach holidays and this is our first since our honeymoon in Cuba.  Although we were visiting family in Turkey we found the cheapest way of getting there and having some holiday time was to book a package from the UK, with First Choice, and simply not come home!  I’ll tell you more about what we did after our holiday in a few future posts (don’t want to overexcite you by doing it all at once!)

The hotel

We didn’t pay a great deal for our hotel and flights as we were out of season, and we decided to go all inclusive as we figured this would be the easiest option with a baby.  We stayed in Icmelar at the Fortuna Beach Hotel.  What I didn’t appreciate at the time was that this was over 2 hours from the airport, and we landed at around midnight…I was not particularly happy!  The 4 hour flight had been ok (although my grand plans of Jem sleeping did not pan out) but we were well equipped for entertainment, snacks and water.  The water was all drunk and this led to a leaky nappy all over my lap and the Baby Bjorn so a 2 hour coach journey did not put me in the best of moods.  However we were met at this antisocial hour with a drink, an offer of soup and a cot already set up in our room.  This was a smaller hotel than we would normally stay in, but I was impressed with the condition of the room, clean, well maintained and with a cute balcony.

We had specifically asked for a quiet room and we had no issues on this front, noise does tend to echo around the central foyer which I suspect would affect all rooms, but it was a quiet place and the other guests were considerate.

We woke up on our first day to dull grey weather which soon transformed into rain by the afternoon, but we did manage to sit outside for breakfast and our first beer [on a side note they had Efes on tap – virtually unheard of in the UK but my absolute favourite lager]!  We taught Jem to “cheers” and met a lovely couple to chat to.

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To be honest the weather didn’t really matter, although I was desperate for some serious tan time I hadn’t quite appreciated the fact that every time Jem was released from the pushchair or highchair he would head straight for the pool…not exactly relaxing for daddy who was in charge of the recovery missions!

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There were plenty of refreshments and we spent time in the lobby and lounge area either with hot chocolate tea or coffee but mainly beer.  It was perfect as Jem really just wanted to explore so he crawled around, the other guests were great with him, but nothing compared to the brilliance of the staff who without exception would stop to greet him whenever they walked past!  Some guests did panic when they saw him near steps (because he just won’t use ramps) but luckily he could easily get up and down the couple of stairs on each level.

The weather did pick up throughout the week and we got a few days outside and Jem tried out the pool, which was impeccably clean if rather cool!

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There were plenty of sun beds for the number of guests there and outside seating for meals.  The bar was outside and snacks were all close at hand.  All the eating and drinking made Jem quite tired!

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There were plenty of opportunities for exploring, up to the market, nearby shops, along the seafront past other hotels, the path towards Marmaris, and of course the beach.

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I must confess I don’t really like the sea or beaches so the Turk did most of that when we did go down there, I much preferred the poolside at the hotel, but it was ok.  There was an area just for our hotel, someone on hand to help with sunbeds and as beaches/sea go it seemed just grand.

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The real bonus of this holiday was the food, we expected there would be something for us to eat because the Turk and I will eat anything, pretty much, within reason…and we thought there would be something for Jem who will eat any meat, but it far exceeded our expectations.  I was almost dreading breakfast as I like a full English but knew it was unlikely, Jem has toast with Turkish cheese on at home so I figured he would be fine!  Actually the choice at breakfast was splendid and different every day we were there.  We tried allsorts, but I think the omelets might have been his favourite.  The same went for lunch and dinner, great food, all tasty, and the best bit was the selection of meze at each meal and the fantastic fresh salads.  I like salad and I usually complain when I’m away because they tend to be a bit wilted and unimaginative, but not here, it really was a great selection.  If I had to criticise anything about the hotel it would perhaps be the lack of hot vegetarian food, it didn’t bother us but my mum is a veggie so it’s something I do tend to look out for.

The other thing that I would like to mention is the staff, what a team.  Without exception every staff member was exceptional.  I often complain when in Turkey that I get completely ignored as everyone talks to the Turk, but that wasn’t the case here.  The staff were helpful, friendly, competent and extremely hard working, they really each took care to ensure that we got good service and enjoyed our time.  They were the best team I have experienced in a hotel and I simply can’t name names because they were all so good and it wouldn’t be fair (…although Jem did have his favourites!)

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I always say that I would never go back to the same place twice…but we’ve already looked at prices to go back later this year, it really was very good.

The flight

Well the flights were never going to be great with an active 1 year old, we flew to Turkey with Thomson, having navigated online check in and been unable to print boarding cards due to a computer glitch at their end I was rather dubious.  However I was mistaken, the flight arrived on time despite leaving late, the staff were good and Jem was fairly well behaved.  The only slight issue came as we were trying to board, we were doing a last minute nappy change at the gate when they called for all passengers with children to board first.  I’m not certain I like this as it means even longer stuck on the plane so we were one of the last families to go forward, and when we did we then had a 15 minute wait in the tunnel waiting for the plane to open.  I appreciate this isn’t long but when you’re carrying a restless child and thought you were going to get straight on so closed the buggy it’s rather irritating!

The other thing I found unusual but was clearly just a sign that I’ve not been on a package holiday for a long time, was that staff from the airline didn’t join us on the bus (which was FREEZING – take a blanket!) but actually it didn’t matter.

The in hotel staff from First Choice were brilliant, we needed to cancel our return flight so had more interaction than we would usually and we were there while our original rep Alison was handing over to her replacement Joe.  They were both fantastic and lovely and quite willing to chat which we really liked, particularly as we hadn’t gone on any excursions or even attended the welcome meeting.

Our return flight was with Pegasus, a Turkish budget airline who are pretty much our only option for flying to and from family now Easyjet have stopped their route to Istanbul.  The price is similar to Easyjet, as are the flight times.  Again no complaints, the staff were friendly enough, the inflight food was comparable price to other budget airlines (we take our own snacks…) and although Jem was particularly energetic on the flight we had no complaints about the airline.

A one stop summer shop…nearly

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We’ve booked a holiday (YAY), this is to replace our holiday in Turkey in October, which turned into 3 weeks at my in-laws (…must…not…complain…), so we will be returning to Turkey for 2.5 weeks in May.  I am promised that it will be hot, I am promised that there will be a week in a hotel, some sightseeing, then just a week with the in-laws.

Following this I realised that Jem has outgrown his summer clothes…and his swimming costume…and his hats…SHOPPING 🙂

We hit Kiddiecare Enfield first (primarily to buy nappies…shopping was just a bonus!) where I found the sun suit I hadn’t realised I was looking for!  This was full price but a bargain at £8 for a high coverage long sleeve vest top, trousers and sun cap.  It provides coverage up to SF40 (clothing) and SF50(hat) which is a real priority given Jem will only be 1 year when we go away, and the Turkish sun can be hot.  Of course this doesn’t negate the need for strict sun block whilst we’re out and about but it’s a real relief to know that he can play with extra safety in the pool.  I particularly love the hat, we had one of these for him last summer…but we didn’t really need it, I particularly like the way this covers the back of the neck.

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Other purchases from Kiddiecare include a pair of jeans for £6, these were discounted, but even full price they were £8 which I think is great considering how long they’re in them!  I also managed to buy myself a lovely maternity dress…no I’m not pregnant…but it still looks good.  It was only £7.20 and has easy access for breastfeeding so I thoroughly recommend having a look there if you are looking for maternity clothes, I didn’t as I didn’t buy many maternity clothes and there wasn’t a local one at the time, but I wish I had!20140402_170150

Next we visited the Mothercare Outlet in Rotherham to top up the boy’s wardrobe.  We managed to buy an astonishing 14 items for less than £35 which was phenomenal and thanks to a sale plus buy one get one half price.

My favourite purchase was this dungaree set, they are possibly the least practical pair of trousers I’ve ever bought and I suspect I’ll really regret this once we get away, but at £7 I couldn’t resist, they’re lovely and cute and remind me of my tiny baby.
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With the offers we also managed to find 2 t-shirts at 64p each!  Who can argue with that…?

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I finally paid a visit to TK Maxx (to buy a gift…) and found this gorgeous outfit, the Turk was there but given the motto on the top he couldn’t really argue!  Long sleeved vest and leggins for £4, I find you have to be fairly careful with prices at TK Maxx generally but this was a real bargain.

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So we managed to get a full summer kit for under £50 and this included some additional outfits for later on in the year, I do love a bargain!