Time flies when you’re …

Posted: May 13, 2018 in Blog

It’s been EIGHTEEN MONTHS since my last blog, I’m not even sure I have anything insightful to share but we’re still here!

I’ve moved jobs, we’ve moved house to our ‘homeland’ of the Essex, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire boarders…

and… we’re potty training!

Was hospitalised in November with my gallbladder which is due to be evicted on June 11th.

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So… in 11 days, on our baby’s first birthday we’ll have been breastfeeding a year… not without difficulties, especially at the beginning. Now, I am an advocate of breastfeeding … call me a #lactivist if you will, I don’t really care. I have spent the last year reeling off snippets of benefits when asked and to be honest I’ve not had the brain power to reply coherently sometimes… but this is what I’ve found out over the months. I’ve tried to back it up with background information as there is so much opinion and emotion on the subject. 

Benefits of breastfeeding;

Babycentre Article
Protects both you and your baby against a long list of diseases; stomach viruses, lower respiratory illnesses, ear infections, and meningitis occur in all babies and are often less severe for breastfed babies when they do happen. Your milk contains unique antibodies that you pass to your baby when either of you are poorly. They also keep you healthy by raising your immunity! 

-Better developed immunity.

-Less likely to develop allergies.

Better cognitive development. 

Encourages normal oral and facial development 

Less likely to be obese in later life.

May lower SIDS risk. 

-Lowers maternal stress and may reduce post natal depression. (It’s that oxytocin again!) 

-Oxytocin released while nursing also helps your uterus contract after birth, resulting in less postpartum bleeding.

-Oxytocin released in both mother and baby while nursing develops bonding. The love hormone! ❤️

-Oxytocin reduces blood pressure.

In fact just google the benefits of oxytocin, you’ll be amazed!

Breastfeeding may reduce you’re chance of contracting some forms of cancer.

Helps shift any unwanted baby weight, breastfeeding can burn up to 500kcal a day (figures may vary).

-convenient and free … no bottles, no formula …

We made our way down on Saturday, the roads weren’t too bad, mainly because we tried to avoid the M5 as much as possible, we got ‘trapped’ at the Gordano Services for an hour and a half in the carpark because people are tossers, basically the people that were struggling to leave were blocking parking spaces from those who were trying to park, in the end, I got out the car and actually directed traffic so that we could park in order for me to change the baby! Dickheads!  We missed our lunchdate in Newton Abbott as a result.

We arrived after a trip to the shop for supplies.  Started to get set up, settled in and got dinner on the go.  Then just as I was getting the baby ready for bedtime, we’re sat on the floor and I’m holding her hands/forearms, and she flings herself in lightening speed off to one side, headfirst towards the floor.  The floor being hard wooden bare floor, so instinctively I don’t let go (and actually I am not sure the outcome would have been different if I had…).  She was inconsolable and we were sure she had bumped her head, however it quickly became apparent that it wasn’t her head, there was no mark, she couldn’t be calmed, when she did settle a little she would instantly start up again when we moved her right arm. I had broken our baby and I was devastated.  We quickly called 111 and they directed us to the nearest emergency department, and advised we give calpol.  I managed to get her off to sleep and we secured her in her carseat for her first trip to A&E.

So to cut a long and very upsetting story for our babygirl and us, we got there asap, were seen within an hour, she cried, I cried, they gave her pain killers and we were seen again to be advised that they had diagnosed ‘pulled elbow’, the treatment for which was a quick but painful manipulation and if all went ‘back into place’ then recovery would be very quick and complete.  Luckily they were right and after a few moments of discomfort and more tears all round, our babygirl was fixed and back to her smiley, waving chatting self.  After another drive through the mist down axe-murderer lanes we were back! Steve was amazing, calm, sensible… I was a mess… note to self; must not break the baby again… EVER… She is completely fine, and recovered in moments, lucky babies don’t hold grudges.  You have no idea how relieved we were, and she slept through the night after that too!

The next day; Sunday, started late as we struggled to shake off the trauma of the night before.  So we didn’t rush, we went for a stroll and fish & chips up at Torcross, and babygirl had her picnic on the beach, and the obligatory free range milk, her first beach visit, she loved it (I think) apart from her growing obsession with pulling her sunhat off, and no matter where I sat her or lay her to change her she always managed to end up with a fistful of sand/grit and decide that she’d quite like to eat it…..  We all had ice creams too!

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Monday we made our way over to Dartmouth to catch the steamboat around the river which was lovely, and babygirl spent most of the trip charming the old biddies on the boat, until she got wiggly and annoyed that she needed a nap but wouldn’t give in!  More ice cream of course and a bottle of pink fizz when the baby went to bed!

Tuesday we went up to Dartmoor, Dartmeet, Two Bridges and Princetown for a picnic, a touch of nostalgia and a little wander, we didn’t go as far as we used to when I was younger as I only had babygirl in a buckled mei tai sling and they’re not structured for a back carry so I couldn’t really see my feet, and didn’t fancy another trip to A&E.

We then walked up Cox Tor; Steve, Dolly and I with the baby in the sling, needless to say I hit my fitbit steps target that day!

Wednesday was nanny’s birthday so we went to meet them at Brixham.  This involved lots of food and drink, a touch of tacky souvenir shopping and the boys all went on the golden hind pirate ship.

Thursday we met a couple of friends for lunch which was lovely and they treated us, which was totally unexpected but totally lovely, then we went to see the Hughes’ of Broadhempston … My Mum’s cousin’s family. Had a lovely BBQ, and the next generation of our families sat and growled at each other across the table, it was adorable. We also went to check out the house that they’re building.

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Friday we met Steve’s family in Paignton after they had been to the waterpark, we decided that we were not going to go in; they wanted to charge £6 for the baby.  Even if we weren’t going to use the flumes they still wanted somethingnlike £14 per head, so it would have cost us £35 to sit in the sun, so we went to a nearby beach and met them for dinner afterwards.

Saturday was home time! We knew it would take a while and stopped a few times on the way.  The baby had to have breaks from the carseat and the roads were as expected.

It was a lovely week, I loved bumbling about together peacefully in the sunshine. Applied for babygirl’s passport when we returned.  Maybe we can do some more bumbling about in the sunshine ….

So, where are we now?  Babygirl is off to a flying start, she’s on the verge of so many milestones… well ok that’s code for being a lazy bum. No rolling as I write, but if the last post is anything to go by then by the time I publish it, she’ll be running!

She’s firmly into the weaning thing and becoming very wilful;  I get head shakes and definite refusal now. She’s started clapping, almost waving, she lifts her arms to be picked up.

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She’s a shouty, giggly, wiggly bundle of love…with teeth…and usually a bit dribbly.

We’ve had a few restless nights due to teething, and it seems as though the small amount of routine that was emerging has reverted to her waking whenever she feels like it, it’s hit and miss as to what she wants; cuddles and reassurance or a feed. I’m happy we’re carrying on with breastfeeding.  We have introduced one bottle of formula a day (it takes me 3 days to express a feed and it’s too stressful, and stress affects milk supply too!) mid morning, in preparation for me returning to work in November so I can carry on feeding her in the morning, when I get home and bedtime, that is if she still wants to. I’ll carry on with night feeds too, if she still wants, I just hope she gets some routine back!

The wake ups that RUIN me are when she wakes me soon after I go to sleep, I can cope with a couple of wake ups, but sometimes we still get a ‘newborn night’ when she’s waking hourly…yeah…That’s fun…

I’m not looking forward to going back to work, not because of any work negativity but that I’ll miss my bean, I can’t believe I’ll cope with seeing her a handful of hours at most a day! I have to. Nursery will do her good, she’ll have friends, meet new people and learn new things. We’re starting to think about local nurseries, I’ve looked at one, the closest, I’m not sold.

 

 

Time is flying….

Posted: June 2, 2016 in Blog

Bloody hell, last blog was January… it’s been nearly 5 months since my last confession… The last blog I wrote my babygirl was not even 3 months new.  If you follow my Instagram then you will have seen her grow in detail from the fragile Tiny New Human to a wiggly, shouty, beautiful amazing baby.

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I feel like it’s only been since she has reached the 6-month mark that I am coming out of the fog; the nights are getting easier (although that’s the parent curse right there), I am still mortally tired, confused, sensitive, hormonal, anxious… more and more anxious but that’s another story. We’re still breastfeeding which is a pretty good achievement, and we have started weaning, I would love to say we are purely baby led weaning, but we’re not, she is having a mix of puree and finger food, sometimes the finger food thing is not practical.  She needs food in her face not all over it, and all the advice says that she wont drop a milk feed for another couple of months but that’s simply not true, I would say that she has dropped one if not two feeds as soon as we started solids.

We’ve moved house (Like having a baby wasn’t enough stress), and I’ve started to go to baby groups, which have been a lifeline, I’ve met some lovely mommas and babies, we talk a lot about poop.  It’s so nice to start to feel a part of something with Amber, I want her to have baby friends!  I have to wrestle with my negative personality traits to try to be a lot more palatable to normal people. I hope it’s working!

 I blame the baby brain entirely for forgetting to post this,bugger me, i forgot I’d written it!!

At 13 weeks in to my maternity ‘holiday’ I totally get this! I had such plans!!!

Mumoirs

‘A YEAR off work???’ my colleagues said to me when I told them I was pregnant. ‘A whole year!’

I had to admit, it sounded pretty damn good.

There we’d be, my baby and I, wandering the streets of Birmingham with not a care in the world. I’d be a lady who lunched, wearing flattering maxi dresses to hide the lumps, donning oversized sunglasses and a snazzy large hat as we sat in the beer gardens of the West Midlands.

At home, while the baby sat in his bouncy chair and amused himself, I’d bake cakes, lots of them, and make fabulous dinners for us all to enjoy once my husband came home from work. If I was struggling for something to do during the night feeds, I’d learn a language (insert hysterical laughing emoji here).

There’d be several holidays and weekends away. We’d while away the days shopping, and…

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So you’ve spent X number of hours in labour which is hell on earth, then you spend a few sleepless nights in hospital being poked and prodded, while trying to take in all the instructions and hoping you’re doing it all right.  Then they send you home with the tiny, pink wiggly human.

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Image: Me and Our Tiny New Human

Now, if you’re anything like most first time parents, then you would have spent some time amassing baby ‘stuff’.

There are some things that I really wish I hadn’t bothered with, and one or two things that I wish I had, and you know what, it’s not some secret club, someone should have told me!  (Please note that any links to sites are purely based on what we have bought, I am not intentionally endorsing these products, have not been paid to do so either – more’s the shame!)

  1. Outfits to bring new human home in… yes you have to pack a few outfits for the hospital, but even with the additional growth scans that we had which told us we were in for a 7.5 to 8.5 lb baby, they were wrong, she was a tiddler at 6.09 and even the ‘newborn’ sizes were swamping her.  She was 4 days old when we had to take a trip out to find some ‘tiny baby’ clothes! So maybe pack a tiny baby set, a newborn set and a massive baby set (if there is such a thing).  Your fella/birth partner can always go get more of the right size when they get kicked out after visiting hours!
  2. Bounty hospital photos, have them done, you wont get another chance, they’re not cheap but they’re lovely.  So maybe do some research about the packages and the prices.  We really liked the ‘special delivery’ cards and used them to announce her arrival to family.  A lot of the photos that we got are still in a folder awaiting framing etc. so perhaps we didn’t need them all, but they will have their places in time… when we have time… so never?
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  1. Nappies…. don’t bulk buy before the arrival of the tiny new human.  You my find that the brand of nappy that you have bought in by the boat load doesn’t agree with the tiny new human’s delicate derriere.  They might be the wrong shape for them.  E.g. we were gifted a number of different brands, many of which the tiny new human (TNH) leaked out of or got nappy rash from, the ones that worked a charm for us were the Aldi Mamia nappies.  As soon as the TNH is big enough I am also going to try to use cloth/resusable … do not try this until the TNH has stopped pooping marmite, or you may as well bin them along with the disposables.
  2. Wipes…. they tell you that you can’t use any wipes in the beginning, and you are meant to use cotton wool and water.  DON’T… think about wiping up marmite with cotton wool balls…. fail.  We found ‘water wipes’ they were brilliant, and from what I have seen on the market there are other brands that are now marketing wipes for newborns… use them!  We have since moved on to cheeky wipes (reusable wipes) in the house and only use disposable wipes when we are out and about.
  3. Nappy disposal system things… Forget it, they’re all the expensive space invading pile of rubbish, all they do is wrap a nappy which is exactly what a biodegradable nappy bag will do (I got 250 for a quid in the Range! and Boots do their own for 50p)
  4. Baby Toiletries… yes that new baby smell is not Johnsons, and in fact you shouldn’t use anything on the TNH’s skin until they are 6 months or more, especially not soaps or talcs that dry the skin, or baby oil (you end up with a slippery TNH and that’s no fun!), or indeed the baby lotion, it’s perfumed and in my mind if it can take off my 24 hour mascara then it’s too strong for an infant’s skin.  I use coconut oil for everything; baby bum/barrier cream and moisturiser.  Also there is no need to use baby bath – same as soap, dries them out!  This is all a bit of a pain in the butt when it’s one of the main gifted items… still we have ended up using it all on ourselves, so maybe it’s the parents that smell like new baby?
  5. ‘White Noise’ App/monitor/toy – you NEED one, whether it’s an app on your phone or Ewan the Dream Sheep, or on your baby monitor, one with or without light, light shows, night light… whatever… you need it, trust me.  The bounty lady introduced me to the app when she was taking the pictures of the TNH and it calmed her like a dream, enough to get some lovely first pictures.
  6. Swaddle blanket… in the beginning while I was in hospital she wouldn’t tolerate being swaddled and I spent two mornings (like from midnight to 5am) walking the halls of the hospital ward as the TNH wouldn’t settle in the hospital cot, and I was too afraid to have her cuddled on me in my bed as I’d had no sleep in three days and the hospital beds are high!  As time has gone on we wouldn’t have coped without the swaddle blanket.  The TNH is a night-time raver; she flings her arms about, knocking her dummy out (another thing we didn’t want to give her but colic at 3 weeks old showed us the error of our ways!), and generally being a bit of a wally and waking herself up…. get those arms swaddled, and if you need to, use the ‘double swaddle’ where you trap their arms with muslin before wrapping your baby burrito for the night.  Granted she is now coming up to 12 weeks and is big enough for the grobags so we don’t use the swaddle but we have still wrapped her arms if we need to.
  7. Snugglebundl….. now this is something that we didn’t have but my god do I wish we did.  In fact I regularly scour ebay for second hand ones as for a simple design they are bloody expensive  new. (Edited: I have now managed to get a second hand one and despite my declaration that it is ‘just a blanket with handles’ I LOVE mine and totally wish I had got it when she was newborn!)

    (Apart from anything else it makes weighing the baby dead easy with luggage scales)

  8. Scratch Mittens… pointless, burn them… if you find you need to keep your TNH from gouging out their eyes with their razor sharp fingernails then get the sleepsuits with the integrated mittens, even then they WILL wriggle out of them.  We had to put mittens ON TOP of the suits with integrated mittens to succeed, and even then in the morning we would often find that little Miss Houdini had her fingers firmly in her EYES!! (Dear god child leave the eyes alone)
  9. Anything from the Natural Birthing Company is amazing! I used their perineal massage oil (still needed an episiotomy mind you!), their down below tincture for recovery and the bosom buddies kit while breast feeding. All blissfully amazing! You’ll also need reusable breast pads and sanitary pads. They’re kinder to your delicate areas and better for the environment.
  10. A Nursing app, I use BabyNursing, you will be in no state of mind to remember when you last fed your baby, from which boob (if breastfeeding you should always start on the breast they finished their last feed on).  It also can record nappies which was great when we went through 11 days of no poops! (Which is normal for breastfed babies, but we didn’t know!).  I had to use an app as ‘feeding on demand’wasn’t working for us, so I had to switch to feeding every two hours regardless of whether she gave cues.
  11. A Sling; Not one of those solid form carriers, I am talking about a stretchy flexible sling like this;
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It can be used as prescribed so that you can get some stuff done in the house, take a walk, go to the loo even, with the little TNH attached to you.  You can also use it as an impromptu breast feeding cover (which personally I never covered for as the TNH didn’t latch with her face covered), changing mat, blanket etc.  There is a whole community of ‘baby wearers’ out there, there are sling libraries that you can borrow from and other ‘wearers’ you can get advice from.  You also don’t need buy a jazzy new expensive one, I got mine off ebay second hand for £10 and it’s been amazing, you can even make your own and there are ‘patterns’ all over the internet, however it’s just a VERY long piece of slightly stretchy fabric!
Things that they don’t tell you that you need to know…
  1. *TMI Warning* The first post-partum poop! It’s terrifying, thanks to another Mummy friend I survived.  You will need a flannel/washcloth and a sink of hot water (as hot or warm as you can bare on your nethers) when you feel the urge – which might not be for a few days (the longer you wait the harder it will be) press the hot washcloth over your perineum and vagina while you go.  It’s not a pleasant experience but one that is made easier the earlier you go.
  2. You will never get anything done ever again… or if you do (via the grace of a sling) it’s 100 times slower than you ever expect.  You will need hours to prepare to leave the house, then double it.  Shower? Dream on!
  3. “Sleep when the baby sleeps” is bollocks! – when the baby sleeps you’ll want to shower, eat, brush your teeth, do laundry, hoover, yadda yadda yadda – you never sleep when the baby sleeps.  Sometimes you even just sit there staring at the TNH while they sleep, waiting for them to wake up because you can’t quite believe they’re actually asleep…
  4. The only thing you can do when your Velcro baby is sleeping on you is use your smartphone, that’s why we’re all on Facebook, or amazon… Same when you’re breastfeeding…
  5. You talk about poop A LOT…
  6. You recall other parents at baby groups by the name of their child… my memory is still shot to shit and I can barely remember my own name most days.
What I will say about this life changing event (becoming a Mum!) is that it has taken me to the highest I will ever be, I can’t believe how amazing this Tiny New Human is, and how much I adore her, I could kiss her baby head, breathe in her skin and cuddle her to me, or just watch her breathe, all the hours on the earth.  In the same breath she has brought crashing lows; 3 days with 20 minutes sleep makes you question everything, when they just WONT sleep, or when they are crying with such desperation and there is nothing you can do.  It will test your sanity.  I know that in 12 weeks we probably haven’t even seen the highest high or the lowest low yet, but I do know there is probably very little I wont do for just a few more minutes sleep…
Adventures with our TNH can be seen on Instagram; PandoraPeroxide
I am sure there are loads of other things and anecdotes that can be added to this, so please feel free to add your own in comments.
And of course … not to mention that without my Steve … well we wouldn’t be here with our amazing little Squidge.  He is the most amazing man in the universe. xx

41 weeks!

Posted: October 25, 2015 in Blog
Tags: , , ,

Our beautiful and miraculous little girl arrived! 4:49am Friday 23rd October 2015. 6 lbs 9 oz. 

  
Thanks to weeks of yoga we got so far but needed a little help right at the end.  The only implications from the weightloss surgery last November was dehydration, from vomiting in early labour and generally not getting a lot of food and drink in.  If I was fully hydrated would we have made it through to the end? Who knows! 

7am 22nd October I started contracting, coped with tens and a bath (not at the same time….. Silly) until contractions were regularly 3 in 10 minutes, went to hospital at 4cm dilated at 11pm, hind but not fore waters had gone, agreed to have them broken manually (birth plan part one out the window)…. Dehydrated due to puking and WLS, had 2 bags of IV fluids.Birthing pool also not an option at this stage (another bit of the plan out the window).

She was on and off tachycardic so we agreed to scalp clip (birth plan part two out the window). Did really well got to fully dilated and pushing by 4am ish… Then the little monkey got stuck!!! At 10 cm!!! Omg the pain…. Epidural, forceps and episiotomy, which is better than the c-section they had prepped me for (last resort)… Due to her distress and the fact that I could do no more to get her out (Remaining birth plan out the window) Boo. 

I am glad I kept an open mind, and yes I asked for an epidural earlier, but anaesthetist was in theatre (I’m sure they say that when they think you are close and can do it!!). Although I am disappointed to have got so far and then had to have intervention. She’s safe that’s totally the main thing. 

 Steve was amazing, both to me as a birth partner, but also keeping calm and being awesome. He reminded me of my choices and helped me make the right decisions to keep our baby safe.

Afterwards was placed on IV antibiotics due to raised temp, felt like a pin cushion especially after both my canulas failed and me practically begging to have them removed and placed on oral antibiotics as there was nowhere else to site a new one. 
Discharged 9pm 24th October.  

The final hurdle!

Posted: October 1, 2015 in Blog
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Well we’re 38 weeks along now! Babygirl is weighing in at about 7lbs according to ya kno ‘science’ …. We’ve been discharged as high risk so now it’s just a waiting game!  Bouncing on my birth ball and drinking my raspberry leaf tea. 

  
I finished work a couple of weeks ago and it’s been awesome, I’m tired and achy but I’m not having to deal with that too! My send off was lovely and we’ve been very spoilt.   

 I’ve been trying to do little bits at home (there’s still lots to do lol) but interspersed with lots of sitting! At least until Steve is up here full time which should be from this weekend.  Steve will be cracking on with our new kitchen while either waiting for her to arrive and/or while she’s here. So I’m attempting to help moving stuff out of the way so he can crack on….

I’ve maintained weight and was discharged by the dietician a few weeks ago, thanks I think to chocolate, and wine gums! There’s a little part of me that is still hoping that when babygirl is born that the resulting weight will be under 12 stone but honestly my priority is having her here safe. 

We have a ‘plan’ and we have I think everything we need for her, the bags are packed and the baby seat is prepped…. But everything is so uncertain until she arrives! Is anyone really really ready? 

Well, today feels like a massive write off.  Had an awesome week away staying in Mablethorpe on the East coast, no alarm clocks, no rushing about and it was fab; I had no digestive problems, no funny fainting fits, no crazy tired twitchy eyes.  It was bliss and at 33 weeks pregnant makes me realise how stressful work and working is at this stage.  I have 3 weeks left at work and I am counting the days.  Had a meeting this morning, and had forgotten that I had booked the car in to have new front tires fitted, so the ever forgiving boyfriend ferried me to the meeting and picked me up, then I went back to the office for an hour, only to realise thanks to my work calendar that was reminded that I had a midwife appointment, so out I went again, having been in the office an hour! I had come back to over 100 emails but not actually as many as I had expected which was a relief. Within two hours of being in the meeting this morning I developed crazy twitchy eye…. joy.

Midwife appointment was good, babygirl is measuring spot on at 34 weeks, went through ‘birth plan’ or should I say ‘wish list’ as it’s not really down to me what I want. Baby is getting more and more wiggly which is good, but can also be little uncomfortable.  Sleeping has started getting uncomfortable with my hips aching but to be fair I’ve been ok sleeping until now.  I’ve been lucky I think.  We cleaned the car and fitted the car seat at the weekend, and I’ve packed my hospital bag, only the baby bag and Steve’s bag to go, I’ve cleaned the washing machine in preparation to wash the baby clothes, and I made scones…. I am not nesting…. there is still a lot to do and I have a lot of clearing out to do so I am hoping that the few weeks we should have before she arrives is enough time. Steve still has some work in Essex so we are hoping she stays in for her time and doesn’t surprise us early!

In terms of the weightloss and where I am with my surgery recovery, I was 14 stone when we got pregnant, down from 17 stone pre surgery, I went down to 12 stone at my lightest and I am now 12.7 stones, I’ve gained 7 lbs in the third trimester and I am pleased, after all babygirl needs some fat! I am confident that after she is born and when I need to I can get back on track but her nutrition is key, I will forever come second to her needs and I guess that’s just not gonna change!

No pics or links in this one; quite frankly can’t be arsed…. I’m pregnant… that’s my excuse!