I’m on my way

I wrote this blog after being at Hampden in March for the Hibernian v Ross County League Cup Final when Hibs got beat 2-1 😦 

I used to go see Hibs home and away as a teenager. Then I met a man who wasn’t interested in football and he got me pregnant. Therefore, Easter Road was forgotten about until my son was at an age I could take him. We then started going to all the home games. Then he met a woman who wasn’t interested in football and got her pregnant. Now my son and I are just ‘allowed’ to go to the big games. It’s our day out together and we both look forward to them. Him because Hibs have a chance of lifting a cup. Me? Because I get to spend time with my son, drink Guinness and forget I’m a feckin’ Gran now.

So Scottish League cup final weekend and we had tickets for Hampden. *excited face*

Although the old Famous Fife supporters bus no longer runs, 2 big Hibs fan had taken on the thankless task of running a minibus. Imagine the widest assortment of Hibs fans you can – that was our bus load! The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, the 3 Musketeers, long suffering partners, lone wolves, well meaning parents, the guy that has been drinking for 3 days solid and the loveable rogue.

We were picked up outside Wetherspoons at 10.30am all resplendent in different shades of green. Apparently the carryout de jour was bottles of rose wine and Mad Dog 20/20. Of course, as a grandmother, I was a lot more sophisticated and had a floral design hipflask full of Jack Daniels secreted about my person.

As we made our way towards Glasgow the CD player, at full blast, played every Hibs song imaginable and then when they ran out Bobby Nicholson came on singing Go and See the Pandas (honestly You Tube it).

3 toilet stops later (lay-bys) and all bottles disposed of pre Harthill (to avoid the police) we were almost at the rugby club in Giffnock we had booked into for some (more) pre match drinks. It was at this point in the journey it came to everyone’s attention that there was an almost overflowing cardboard pisspot on board the bus. Yes – the ones you get in hospital – someone had come prepared! However, they hadn’t thought through the emptying of it. Every corner the minibus took became dicey as it sloshed about. The singing then restarted, ‘Your pissssss is stinking’ to the Proclaimers tune Sunshine On Leith. I deliberately looked away at the next red traffic light.

The rugby club was great – how/why they put up with us all (we weren’t the only bus load in town) gawd only knows – yes I know money over the bar BUT…(that was a big but btw)

Then it was time for Hampden *excited face* We got off the bus near the ground and was told Purple Zone carpark for pick up. Whatever. *runs off with excited face*

So then there was some football stuff. The guy who had the seat next to us (who I’ve met before) appeared at half time. Turns out his flight from London had been cancelled and he’d had to fly from Gatwick/Heathrow instead (I forget which one because JD and Guinness) and his flight didn’t get in until 2.30pm. He had managed to share a taxi with other Hibees he’d met on the flight and had just caught the equaliser at the top of the stairs. Unfortunately, he had to change his flight home too because of course his car was now parked at Heathrow/Gatwick. Therefore, he had to head straight back to the airport after the match. I don’t need to spell it out to you what this means but incase I do

D E D I C A T I O N!

Full-time whistle blows. Bugger.

So dejectedly we head back to the bus. Purple zone?? Excuse me Mr Policeman…. He directed us to Aitkenhead Road. What’s that word that rhymes with tanker? Long story short we got to the bus 40 mins later – it was parked right next to the stadium and I was the colour purple!

The best bit though (apart from the fact the bus had waited!) was one of the long suffering partners had made everyone on the bus a ham salad roll – yippee!!


Breast is best (another digression)

My daughter, Mini-me, gave birth to Teeny Mini-him just over 3 weeks ago. She is just 21 years old and was determined to breast feed. I had fed her myself and if she had decided not to breast feed I would have thought it odd and tried to talk her out of using formula. However, she was just as determined to feed Teeny Mini-him as I was to feed her so I was over the moon.

She had a traumatic birth, 15 hours of hard labour but the smiles at the end were all worth it. After the marathon, Teeny Mini-him was immediately put to the breast and completely naturally, started to suckle. Every member of staff who popped into the room encouraged her and they all had a top tip. Mini-me listened to them all just as determined as ever.

When she came home, only 24 hours later, she found it difficult. Teeny Mini-him had a tiny mouth and it was difficult for Mini-me to get all of her areola into his little mouth so her nipples suffered; cracked, sore and sometimes bleeding. Lanolin, the best nipple cream on the market, was £10 and not available as a minor ailment treatment and the cheaper creams did nothing to alleviate the pain. I bought the £10 cream. Twice. I bought nipple shields. I bought a breast pump. I bought breast pads. I was as determined as she was she would keep breast feeding and therefore, happy to fund the purchases.  Mini-me doesn’t get a lot of money and without my purse she wouldn’t have been able to afford the items.  To be honest,  I found it surprising the items that should support breast feeding mothers were so expensive. I’m quite sure Mini-me would have bought formula at £7 before she would have bought nipple cream at £10. Regardless, and thankfully, she kept breast feeding.

Then the pain just got too much for her and she found expressing milk and giving it to Teeny Mini-him in a bottle worked better. It helped her, and her concerned partner, see how much he was getting, it stopped the partner stressing and gave Mini-me’s nipples a break. I wasn’t quite as happy but obviously, glad she was still feeding herself.

Late one evening, a couple of nights later she called me. “Mum, if I come and get you can you, will you come with me to Asda so I can buy formula milk? He’s not settling, I’m not producing enough milk and he’s starving.” She was in tears.

“No.” I replied. “Bring Teeny Mini-him down here and I will help you.”

Thankfully she came down.

That night I sat with her. I got her to use the nipple shields. It was sore to begin with but he fed. The more he fed, the more milk she produced. Eventually sated, I took Teeny Mini-him from her and settled him as she fell asleep on the couch. I covered her up and made a little cot on the floor next to her.

He woke during the night and without my help she fed him herself and he slept again.

Since that night, she has stopped expressing and every feed is via the breast. She still uses the nipple shields but she has managed to cut out the middle man of the breast pump. Soon Teeny Mini-him will be big enough to suck her entire areola into his mouth and the nipple shields will be ditched.

She is a great mother, doing a great job and I’m thankful we have such a good relationship she turned to me for help that night. I know without that connection she would have bought formula and Teeny Mini-him, who would still be healthy and looked after, would miss out on the amazing bond that breast feeding gives. Without that bond would she have called?

No-one will ever convince me that breast isn’t best.

Although I’ve moaned about the price of items to support breast feeding, what I realise now is that support from family members is far more important and valuable to a new mum.