Using a manual breast pump for the first time

I can tell you for free that motherhood is a life long learning experience. We have to learn new things day in, day out.

We all want to breastfeed for as long as least I imagine that we all want to unless circumstances do not allow. However, we still have a life to live and most of us have to go back to work. When I think about leaving my baby and going to work, it drives me crazy but at some point it has to happen. And in order to feed him on breast milk for the recommended 6 months, I have to pump milk and leave it for him to feed.

I have started practicing how to pump and today was the first time I used a manual breast pump. Assembling it was a difficult thing yet I had been shown how to do it several times. I did not buy a new breast pump but got a used pump from my sister in law. She has two little boys and I was so glad to get some of the baby stuff from her.

So, I sat down, took like 30 minutes trying to set up the manual breast pump and since I did not have a manual, I had to figure it out. I stuck it on my breast and started pumping. I didn’t know how to use a manual breast pump since I am a first time mom and I have never seen someone else use it. Nevertheless, its easy to use and I got the groove fast.

It felt ticklish at first and seemed like hard work but once I found my rhythm, the milk started flowing and I can honestly say, it went well.

The only problem was that once I gave baby Lowell the bottle, he refused to take it and he just wanted the breast as usual. Any tips to get him feeding on the bottle are welcome…

I do encourage working moms to try the pumping way. It is surely better than starting baby on formula too early.

Thursday Afternoon

Since my baby was born, I have been keeping these little diaries when I can so I don’t forget these days. He is now 10 weeks but this is what I wrote 4 weeks ago…

24th October 2013

Its 5 oclock on a Thursday afternoon. It’s a beautiful day, sunny and blue skies. We are just relaxing on the sofa with me and my baby. He is just lying on the sofa making cute sounds while I type this. Its so difficult to even have one eye away from him.

Baby Lowell


He is one day shy of 6 weeks, that’s 11/2 months. I cant believe it. My baby is growing so fast. I feel like am missing something. I feel as if my head is not big enough to hold all the memories we are creating together. Sometimes days just pass without my knowledge. I just find myself at the weekend not knowing how the week passed. It is so surreal. 2 months ago, I was a pregnant lady. Now, I have this cute little baby looking upto me for everything. One year ago, I was just a woman, going through life not knowing how awesome things were gonna be. I might have even been a little sad, thinking that life was not moving as expected. Am so amazed at the blessings I have received this year.

To say that my life has been turned upside down is an understatement. Am blessed beyond my wildest imagination and am so grateful.

My baby already knows me and his daddy. He already smiles and imitates the sounds I make. He is so adorable and the apple of my eye. I thought baby girls are cute, turns out that baby boys are awesome.

2 months

My baby boy is  2 months old today and I love him like crazy.
He is growing up so fast.

                                                                       Much love!!!

Fare Thee Well Mum

Hello lovely people:
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your support through this difficult year and my mother in laws battle with cancer.
However, for those who do not know, she passed on peacefully at home on Sunday 23rd June, 2013.
We held a service and burial ceremony on 29th June 2013 and are now in the process of trying to move on.
It has been a truly difficult time for us.
We loved her so much and were torn between letting her go since she was suffering too much from the cancer or holding on too her and continually taking care of her.
Sometimes, its such a conflicting situation. We have had conflicting feelings for such a long time.
However, she did prepare us.
She told us not to pray for her healing but for God to do his will.
The night before she died (I still cannot believe am typing that word) she prayed for each one of us separately. She talked to us and told us the kind of life she wanted us to live.
It was an emotional night but an amazing fellowship.
Its like she knew.
Looking back, I know she was ready and when that Sunday afternoon came, with my father in law watching and praying with her, she breathed her last and slipped into the hands of God.
She was a firm believer so I know that her eternal dreams have been fulfilled.
We loved her and will always do and we do miss her terribly.
We cry a lot.
But we know that God picked the best from His garden.
He did not want her to suffer anymore.
He wanted to restore her health and give her the fullness of life.
I do feel teary writing this but I know she is in a truly better place.
A place where cancer is non-existent.
A place of pure and unrestricted joy.
Fare thee well Mum!
We do love you so very much!

On my Heart

There are times that life serves us things that are too scary, we try to run  away and hide our faces under the sand.
I have been wanting to talk about the issue that has been on my hear for a long time.
However, when I open the blog and try to type in the words, I just crash and hide under the sand.
But, today is the day.

On my heart today is my mother in law.
Just a fact you should know is I love her to bits.
I don’t know how us as human beings can meet someone at a later stage in life and just love them like your own. Am very protective of her.
However, the reason why she is on my heart constantly is because of Cancer.
Yes, it is scary and that is why I have not been able to write about it.
She was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer a few years ago and it has been a difficult couple of years for her.
There have been numerous trips to the hospital, abroad and in Kenya.
There have been huge medical bills that have had a huge impact on the family.
There have been constant medication, surgery, chemotherapy and just a crazy medical schedule.
There have been numerous hospital admissions.
There have been crazy days when she got so sick and we got so scared.
And then there have been the difficult days, the days when we all give up. The days when we all do not know what to do. The days when even with all the strength we have developed so far, it is not enough.
The days when we just sit and wonder what next.

But then after a few days of giving up, we realize that she is still here and we have to be strong for her and for ourselves.
Those are the days when we wipe our tears and start looking for a new way to help her feel better.
Ways to show her how much we love her.

She is on my heart today because she is very protective of me too.
She is so eager to meet her grandchild and I totally hope its a girl because I want to name her after her.
She has taught me so much.
I now know how to love my siblings more because of the way she relates to hers.
I now understand that family is the greatest gift one can ever have.
I also know that am loved because she has shown me love.

I just keep praying that she feels better and that God restores her.
That God touches her and resuscitates her health.
My biggest prayer right now is that God gives her strength to take each day as it comes.

My heart be still, for things will be alright!

Random things about Pregnancy, A letter to baby and Inaugural blog bump pictures

Hello lovelies!
I know I seem kind of unstable in my blogging.
Unstable is even an understatement. I usually don’t even know where to start when I open a new blog post.
Frankly, the blank page kind of scares me.But am trying to get back, little by little.

25 weeks 1 day

So today, I wanted to share with you some pictures of the bump.
Baby is growing so fast. Am getting bigger by the day and this whole pregnancy shenanigans will be over before I know it.

-Oh, and my feet are more swollen than ever so there’s that.
I swear I’ve never had feet as big as this. And I totally dislike when everyone is like, ‘Oh, your feet are so swollen, sorry, do this and that and that and it will help”.
I know people are just trying to be helpful but it sucks to have ankles the size of apples and shoes that don’t fit by the end of the day.
-Oh another random thing about pregnancy is the medication. One day you are on Folic acid tablets, next day is iron supplements, next time is an antibiotic to fight an infection, next is vitamin supplements……its actually kind of crazy.
I actually told my hubby today to go buy the meds prescribed by the doctor yesterday and come take them himself. It kind of sucks to always be on medication but if its for baby, I guess I can take a few more.

25 wks, 5 days
-One beautiful and random thing is the big kicks am getting these days. I will be 26 weeks on Saturday and the baby is one strong one. The kicks are getting stronger and baby is active all the time these days. Its exciting and so reassuring to know that someone is growing in my tummy and they like to play around.

-Appetite has not been too good these days. I eat something little and my stomach get full. Sometimes during lunch time, am still full from what I ate for breakfast making it difficult to maintain proper feeding habits. I think the baby has pushed my intestines up so they do not have enough space for food.
Am really rambling here, so let me leave it at that.

Dear Baby,

25 weeks, 5 days

One sentence. We love you too much and we cant wait to have you here with us so we I can dress you up in the cute clothes we’ve been buying you.
Loving thoughts,
Mummy and Daddy.

Bumdate: 24 Weeks

Hello good people,
Am back again with another bumpdate.
I can honestly tell you that the baby is definitely getting bigger. No more hiding.
My bump is all over the place.
But, I think that’s a good thing coz it only means we are getting closer to meeting our baby for the first time.
How far along am I: 24 weeks 4 days
How am I feeling: Right now? Sleepy. Generally feeling good
Total Weight Gain: Maybe 6 kgs or 13lbs. Sometimes I feel so huge yet at other times I feel too tiny.
How big is Baby:According to Baby Center, baby is the size of an ear of corn. Really, that sounds weird. Anyway, lets just say that is the size.

The baby is a foot long this week.
Maternity Clothes: Yes, all the way. Am thinking of shopping for some more this week.
Stretch marks: Not yet. However, for the past week I had this weird rash on my breasts that spread to the neck and was really ugly. I went to the doctor and was given some medicines which have worked miracles. Its now clearing up and I am slowly going back to showing off my cleavage! (better do it while you can, right? Who knows what will happen when the baby is here.)
Sleep: Am always sleepy. But I think I was a little overworked last week. Hope to catch up on sleep as the week wears off.
Best Moment of this Week: I could say Sunday when my hubby’s family came to visit my parents. It was a really good day for us.
Movement: Lots of movement. The baby likes to start moving around when am lying still or just silent and relaxed which is similar to last week. He also moves when I eat or drink something. Am yet to master what he likes and what he doesn’t.
Food Cravings: Most definitely! Loving soups and comfort food. I’ve been having a terrible cold so I’ve been really specific on what I eat. I found a really nice website called Hellofood that delivers food from my favorite local Nairobi restaurants at a very low cost. Am loving it coz now it means I can actually eat what I want without the stress of cooking or physically going to the restaurant.
Food Aversions: I just don’t like strong smelling food. Thats it.
Labor Signs: Nope.
Belly Button In or Out: Kind of almost out. I can actually say it is overstretched. This baby is really getting big.
What I miss: Feeling more energetic and not having to take medicine every night.
What am looking forward to: More baby shopping. Cant wait to get the baby some more clothes and cute stuff that just makes me wish the baby was here already.
Milestone: 6 months already!!Doing good!!Am proud of me, hubby and baby!

22 Weeks Bumpdate

Hello amazing people,
There I go again, vanishing from the surface of the earth and when you think I’ll never come back, I pop out again.
Talking of popping, someone has popped. And when I say popped, I mean some part of my body has really popped.
If you read my previous post which was like a month ago, I think, I spilled the beans on my pregnancy.
I am doing pretty well and although there are still no pictures, I still want to give you a bumpdate.
Its been a good ride so far and I only hope it gets better.
We are already past the halfway mark and time is waiting for no woman this time around.
So here we go:
How far along are you:  22 Weeks and 3 days
How I’m feeling: I feel pretty good these days. Hunger pangs do strike now and then but am doing Ok. Also, I’ve been bloated this week but today woke up feeling better. Also I’ve got this newfound enthusiasm for life. Guess thats what comes with being a first time mommy.
Total Weight Gain: Am not really sure, but at the last doctor’s appointment, I had gained a total of 5 kgs or you can say 11 pounds. My mum was a little happy about this since she has been telling me that am not gaining enough weight.
How big is baby: I hope baby is big enough. According to BabyCenter, baby at this age is 11 inches long and the size of a spaghetti squash.

Maternity clothes: Yep, none of my jeans fit anymore. But there is one that I still squeeze into even though I cannot zip up.
Stretch marks: No. Hoping that they don’t show up any time soon.
Sleep: Am kind of sleepy these days. I never stay up past 10.30 except when am working night shifts. However, this week I’ve not slept too well. Last night, I woke up in the middle of the night to tell hubby that my baby is not allowing me to sleep. I think I need some extra pillows.
Best moment this week: On Saturday, my sister and I went shopping and bought some baby clothes. Some onesies, little warm sweaters, socks and a warm hat. It felt so good and made everything so real. I really do adore my sister and she is great company esp. for shopping. I think she will be a great auntie.
Movement: Yes, the baby is very active. Especially when am relaxed, I feel like there is a boxing match in there. But I love it, so very much. Sometimes baby kicks when am at work or in a serious meeting and I just smile to myself thinking that no one else can feel it but am actually carrying a human being inside of me.
Food cravings: Yes. I’ve been craving fish for the longest time and I’ve not yet gotten around to eating some. Think I should do that today.
Food Aversions: None.
Labor Signs: Nope.
Belly button in or out: In. However, it is not as in as it was before I got pregnant. I think that as the baby gets bigger, it is coming out more and more.
What I miss: I miss wine or just some kind of alcohol. I juts love my baby too much to take any at this time.
What am looking forward to:Oh, am so looking forward to the ultrasound two weeks from now. I cant wait to see the baby move about and maybe have a peek at his nether regions to know the gender.
Milestone: Just getting to 22 weeks is a milestone by itself. Feeling he baby move is also a big milestone. I’ve started doing some shopping too and I think that’s a big milestone too.

Welcome 26 and A really big announcement

Hi there? Somebody, Anybody???Are you still out there?
Do you still come to this little space to see if I’ve updated anything??
Am sorry I’ve disappointed you over the last few months but there has been a lot going on.
Please bear with me and lets hope we can take this journey together all over again.

First things first: Today is my birthday. Am 26. Holy cow!!Am getting really really old. Like really old.
But am happy about it all.
It has been a great day, though a work day, all the birthday wishes made my day but most importantly, hubby made my day. Thank you to him.

Now onto the big announcement:

Yes, we are PREGNANT. Oh my God!I’ve been waiting to find the right moment to blurt it out on here but there seems to be no right moment. I don’t know if its pregnancy brain or its just me not knowing how time is flying. I think its just the joy of being a first time mom.
Am 18 weeks and that is almost halfway there and we are so excited. I hope you can read the excitement from these words. The whole experience has been life changing and I hope to share more with you as we go along!
Am so blessed to be carrying this little bun in my tummy and I already cannot and I repeat cannot wait to meet him or her.
I can only hope for much more fun and joy as this journey continues.
All your support and advice is highly appreciated.

Facts of Me

Its been a long time since I blogged.
I miss it, a lot but I cant seem to get it done.
We lost our camera and that has taken a toll on my blogging..
And then there are some other good things going on and I cant share them with you I just find myself kind of in a block…
But anyway, lets explore a little about me…
-I trip a lot, I dont know whats-up with that. My hubby sometimes holds my hand as we cross the road as he says I might trip and fall at the center of the road.
-These days am a crazy sleeper. I sleep everywhere and anywhere, and I start dreaming in like 2 seconds.I even sleep on my desk at work and start dreaming like immediately.
-Am obsessed with mangoes right now. I’ve already eaten three and its only 11 a.m.
-I love reality TV, Giuliana & Bill, Tia & Tamera, The Bachelor are some of my favorites.
-Am good at keeping secrets. I never tell, like never.
-I think I’ll never use my degree…
-I dont like drinking plain milk..I have to add chocolate or something
-I do love food, but I dont eat as much as I would like.
-My hubby loves pork and I love it too but he is kinda obsessed and we almost always disagree on what kind of meat to buy. His choice=pork always.
-I think I’ve come to the end of my facts.