Friday, 6 November 2009

Express Yourself

Alex and I had our first evening away from mum on Tuesday.  We went to visit friends in Leith armed with a frozen bottle of breast milk.  (I should point out that the Laws were not expecting me to bring Alex, but were very accommodating none the less!)  I was not entirely sure it was going to work.

For the previous few days, Nic had been working on expressing milk.  This is perhaps not the most dignified procedure.  For one thing, the pump looks like My First Air-Horn.  For another, it's not as efficient as you might like.  (A lot of milk escapes due to dubious design.)  Plus, when you spend half your waking life feeding, the last thing you want to do in your free time is simulate feeding.

Still, we now had a tub of breast milk which may, or may not, be enough for one feed.  Breast may be best, but it's also impossible to tell how much Alex eats in a standard feed.  Nic found a website with a "simple" formula to work out how much your baby needed.  (I think it was something like: Weight in kg * 2 / Number of feeds in a day + phases of the moon ^ days in the months without an "r" in their name.)  The end result was 4.5 fluid ounces.  Great.  Now is that US or UK fluid Ounces...?

"Who the hell cares?" was our conclusion.  So I was dispatched with a bottle of milk (of maybe the correct amount) and instructions to bring Alex back if anything went wrong.

In the end, it was pretty smooth going.  Next time I might defrost the milk a bit in advance of Alex getting hungry.  (He's used to having food on demand, as Nicola does not usually need to be placed in a tub of hot water for five minutes before use.)  I may also choose not to pick up the tub of boiling water by the boiling hot bit.  Interestingly Alex was a bit confused by the bottle teat and different feeding position.  He got the idea soon enough though, and was quickly nomming down the milk.  (We had just the right amount in the end, thank goodness.)

Overall, the trip was a definite success.  Alex had a good feed, I got to spend lots of time with him and have the joy of feeding him and, perhaps most importantly, Nicola got a whole evening off to herself.  She spent it tidying the house.  Typical!

P.S. Oh, and no, the photo has nothing to do with this entry.  I just like it.

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