Saturday, 28 March 2015

You know your a Mummy when...

So many things happen in my everyday life that make me think yep, the pre-baby, carefree former Amie is long gone. So I thought it would be fun to write a list of things that I am sure my fellow mums will relate too! I have been writing this for weeks, I kept thinking of more to add!

Friends without children, will be reading this thinking "I will never be like that". Well actually, Yes, Yes you will. Just wait!

1. You know you’re a mum when your idea of wearing clean clothes actually means you've wiped the sick off with a baby wipe. Well, I already have enough washing.

2. You know you’re a mum when your baby has wee'd on the rug, carpet and sofa but you really don't care. You will happily let visitors sit in the exact spot your baby wee'd on earlier.

3. You know you’re a mum when you want to kiss your baby's bottom. I could actually eat Freddie's bottom, it is so cute and squishy and soft I would happy rub my cheek against his 'cheeks'.

4. You know you’re a mum when you could literally burst into tears at any moment, it doesn't take much. A smile from your beautiful bubba and you can be a blubbering mess. I could cry right now just thinking about Freddie. *sob*

5. You know you’re a mum when a trip to Asda on your own feels like a luxury two week holiday to the Maldives.

6. You know you’re a mum when the feeling of fresh hot milky sick dribbling into your bra doesn't faze you. This is just normal life now.

7. You know you’re a mum when you dream of some alone time but miss your baby as soon as you get some.

8. Back to the baby wipes again. You know you’re a mum when you deem your house is clean because you have wiped down the kitchen sides, the coffee table, the baby's room and the bathroom sink with baby wipes. Who needs cleaning products? All hail the superwipe. 

9. You know you’re a mum when the perfect romantic gesture from your partner is him offering to change the next smelly nappy. Why do babies only poop 9-5? They save all the best bits for mummy!

10. You know you’re a mum when you are genuinely excited when your child does a big burp and shriek 'good boy' in your new found 'mum voice'.

11. You know you’re a mum when being dressed before 12pm is something you should surely get a medal for?!

12. You know you’re a mum when you can survive a busy day on hardly any sleep. Actually, scrap that. You know you’re a mum when you can survive months on hardly any sleep, and still keep yourself looking respectable (most of the time), bring up a healthy happy child, keep your house clean, and keep your family, friends and hubby happy. Seriously how do we do it?!

13. You know you’re a mum when you can sing Old Macdonald had a farm in a high pitched voice with a big smile on your face whilst worrying about a million things and writing several mental to-do lists.

14. You know you’re a mum when you don't use instagram filters anymore! Babies are beautiful and don't need filters! Mummy on the other hand...

15. You know you’re a mum when having a shower or a wee with an audience is completely normal.  Never take peeing on your own for granted!

16. You know you’re a mum when you fantasise about sleep before you are out of bed.

17. You know you’re a mum when you love buying nice new comfy PJs. You love pyjamas more than life itself.

18. You know you’re a mum when your baby has been in bed for half an hour and your still watching Peppa Pig and not ashamed to say you're enjoying it.

19. You know you're a mum when you rock the shopping trolly.

20. You know you're a mum when you've been washing the same load for 2 days, because you keep forgetting to dry it!

Thanks for reading, I would love to hear yours!

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Two blue lines

I cannot believe the post I am about to write. Like seriously. I know us mums say this alllll the time, but where does the time go?!

This post marks the date and time we found out that their was a little tiny life growing in my tummy, and of course I just had to write about it.

The week before we found out was actually full of signs, that I didn't notice at the time but looking back it was quite obvious! 

The Sunday before we found out, we went to the pub with some friends, it was the first sunny weekend of march and I ordered my usual Pink Bulmers my perfect sunny day drink which I usually would drink down no problem, but I just couldn't drink it, I played with it until it eventually went warm and left pretty much all of it (sign number 1!)

This was the week before I started my new job so I roped my mum in to help me wallpaper our bedroom, I usually love a bit of wallpapering, but I was a nightmare, I'm still surprised my mum didn't go home I was being that annoying haha.  I had to keep lying down like after each strip. I moaned constantly about my back hurting and that the paste smelt so strongly that I kept gagging. I remember my mum saying "the paste does not smell", I guess it does if your pregnant!!

Saturday 22nd of March was the day I was due on, I don't always come on exactly to the day but when I woke up on that morning, I knew I was pregnant.

Chris was at work and I laid on the bed waiting for what felt like an eternity for him to come home. Having had a negative test previously I felt like I was being silly and that it was just my imagination running away with me and Chris didn't want to get his hopes up, neither of us did.  Having being told I may suffer fertility problems and would be unlikely to conceive quickly and easily it was so unexpected.  I text Chris and asked him to pick a test up, and he excitedly rushed home. (Why do we always send the men for the tests?!)

I tinkled on the little stick and put it in the sink and wondered around the bathroom.  Mr P was so convinced that it would be negative that he continued getting changed.

I could not believe my eyes when I saw two blue lines, I kept reading the box to see if I was reading it wrong, but nope, there they were. Two Blue Lines.

I ran through to Chris shouting its positive, its positive, and standing with his jeans half on, Chris found out he was going to be a dad. His dreams had come true (top baby making points to me) I will never ever forget the huge smile on his face as we laid on the bed hugging excitedly but in silence.  Although it was something we both wanted, we were still shocked. We had actually made a baby, holy shit! haha. It sounds so strange but we laughed a lot, I honestly couldn't stop laughing... Probably nervous laughter!

Chris then went back to asda and bought a digital one that said how many weeks I was, only 1-2 weeks! Finding out so early meant my pregnancy was so so long!!!

We didn't know what to do, but decided that we should tell our mums, I regret telling my mum over the phone but she was so supportive, and assured me we would make great parents and she knew and was so supportive that, despite our ages (21 and 22)  it was 100% the right time for us.

People always ask me "was it an accident" #was it planned", I hate both of those questions, no baby should be described as an 'accident' and I'm sorry you cannot get pregnant 'by accident'! Freddie wasn't planned or unplanned, we  knew we wanted to start our family in our early 20s and Freddie surprised us earlier than we imagined, so although the timing wasn't planned, our baby was.

Unfortunately by the following morning I was suffering with complications with my diabetes being caused by the pregnancy and I was admitted to Kings College Hospital in London.  My pregnancy was hard, so hard, and scary and I still cannot believe exactly a year to the day, I am laying here, with a beautiful healthy, perfect baby boy in my arms.

We couldn't be happier.

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Why you shouldn't shoot down parents who co-sleep

Co-Sleeping Dun dun Dahhh. A taboo subject. Most mothers will happily tell you how they would never co-sleep. But after 4 months of being a mummy, I think that behind closed doors it is a different story.

I am going to be totally honest - When I was pregnant I thought co-sleeping was the most ridiculous thing. Forgetting the apparent 'safety' aspect, I thought Co-sleeping was for hippy mums who had attachment issues. I strongly believed if you let your baby sleep with you, you would end up with your 7 year old still sleeping in-between you, I thought it would affect marital relationships, cause the child psychological damage and was just plain silly. Oh how wrong the pre-baby me was.

If co-sleeping is done for the right reasons at the right time there is no reason why babies will struggle to be independent. We Co-Slept for 2 months and our little Freddie is an extremely confident, self assured little boy. He happily goes to other people and now sleeps in his own crib 90% of the time and naps in his room by himself during the day. Apart from the many occasions during the day where he is just so cute and squishy asleep in my arms I just sit and relish in the opportunity to cuddle him close for as long as he sleeps. I know these moments wont last forever and the dishes can wait.

So how did we end up co-sleeping? One thing nobody told me prior to being pregnant or until after the event is that teeny newborns want to be on you all the time, constantly on mummy's skin. He screamed until he was blue in the face if I put him down in his swing, pram, moses basket or cot. We tried everything, swaddling, warming it up every tip under the sun. He would.not.go.down.  If he wasn't physically close to me he was broken hearted which in turn caused me deep emotional upset. I couldn't bare to hear by tiny new baby to be so upset.

Why, as a society do we make mothers feel bad for keeping their babies close? Why do we tell new mothers they are 'spoiling' their baby with too much affection? Even baby wearing gets a good few eye rolls. Really? I do not believe you can spoil a new born baby.  And after comments about me always holding Freddie, that it was my issue not his and people making me feel like I was doing something wrong and that's why he wouldn't lie in his moses basket that I decided to do some research.

I discovered that it is only the western world that behaves like this with newborns. If Freddie was born in Africa or Asia he would be in a sling on me day and night, feeding when he wanted until he was at least two. Now I am not saying I would go that far, but can we really expect a baby to leave his cosseted, warm womb into this bright scary world and then leave him on his own in his crib? Because some one tells you its the right thing to do? Millions of women across the globe can't all be wrong.

Freddie would cry in his basket, a cry that made my heart hurt, when he did drift he would wake every half hour. After 2 weeks of no sleep (like none, like seriously I went 2 weeks with about an hours sleep a day) I was ill, ill from exhaustion, my recovery slowed down, I started to have problems with wound pain, my body ached and my baby was suffering. I couldn't be the mum I wanted to be in that state, so something had to give. I had to do what I needed to do for my family to survive.  I know that sounds dramatic but for those whose babies went through the same I am sure you remember my pain. I spent some time reading pro co-sleeping information on the internet and found a vital floor in the information regarding SIDS. (I am going to talk about babies dying here just to warn before you read on).

It says that Co-Sleeping increases the risk of SIDS because the baby may suffocate under loose bedding pillows etc or parents may roll onto their baby. Now correct me if I am wrong somewhere, but SIDS stands for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and apart from risk factors such as smoking there is no known cause. So if a baby dies in the parents bed because he has gone under the duvet or been rolled on, that baby has died of suffocation. Not SIDS as the cause is known.  There is other articles about babies dying in parents beds, read on and you will see that the parents were drunk or had been taking drugs and had smothered the baby by accident in their intoxicated state. Again not SIDS. A baby could die in your bed for no reason, but they die in cots for no reason too.

*I apologise if that was too much for some of you, but I feel I need to justify my reasons, I don't want people to think I didn't care about my child's safety*

After doing a lot of reading I realised if I removed the risk factors, Co-Sleeping can be safe. Neither Chris or I smoke, we don't really drink and if I was to have a random glass of wine I would not bring Freddie into our bed.  I made sure the duvet was folded down and tucked between my legs without possibility of it moving, it was miles away from bubba. I laid on my side with him in the crook of my arm and my arm acted as the barrier between Freddie and my one pillow. Freddie laid on the outside of the bed as I think that is safer than baby being in the middle of the parents, much harder to keep duvet, pillows and rolling dads away from them, his moses basket was pressed against the side of the bedframe so he couldn't fall anywhere. And that night we all slept for 4 hours.

My mummy brain never switches off and I was subconsciously aware of him all night, so perhaps it isn't deep quality sleep, but do you ever get that sort of sleep again once you become a mum? I knew he was safe, I could feel him breathing. It was the happiest I have ever been, I felt so close to my baby and I knew he felt secure and was peaceful at last.

As much as I loved it, I did it for Freddie not me and after a few nights Freddie spent the whole day calmer and happier. Bedtime turned into a happy experience.  I stopped torturing myself about why he wouldn't sleep in his basket and I know now that most babies go through this phase and other countries recognise it as the norm. I wish I had known, it would have made those first few weeks a dam sight happier.

I am not pro co-sleeping, but I am pro parenting and pro doing what is best for your child and your family. We need to stop treating those who decided to co-sleep or like me end up doing it as a last resort like they don't care about our babies. We care just as much as everyone else. I am extremely anxious and on edge about Freddie's safety and well being. I didn't make the decision because I wanted a few hours kip, my baby was unsettled and frightened away from his mummy and I had to do what was best for him and it just felt right.

And I am so glad we did. After about 8 weeks, we slowly started putting him in his basket during the day and very quickly he became very happy in his crib. He will now go down awake and goes off to sleep happily. He absolutely loves his crib and his cot, it is lovely to see. Considering the horrendous screaming nights we came from, I would say that was a job well done.

After about a month I became confident in our decision and started to become brave enough to tell other mums on the 'down-low' that we were co-sleeping and guess what... every single one of them admitted they had with their newborns too, because like us they ended up bringing them into their beds because what else could they do? This made me sad, why do we have to pretend and shy away because we don't have perfect babies who sleep in their moses baskets all night no problem.

It hasn't affected my relationship with Mr P, lets be honest in those first 8 weeks the most romantic thing you want from your partner is for him to do the next pooey nappy! We loved having Freddie in with us, it was very special and it wasn't long before we got our bed back.

Co-sleeping in future will be for poorly Fred, unsettled Fred and morning snuggles when daddy has gone to work. I don't want a 7 year old lying between us but I honestly don't see this happening.

I am no expert, please don't take this as rules, or suggestions or anything, each person, baby and family is different. But I used to be one of those co-sleeping judgers and I just had to put down into words our experience. I feel so much better for doing so and reassured we made the right decision. Because as parents all we do is worry.

So if you're sitting on the edge of your bed crying your eyes out because your baby just wont go down, and as much as you love them sitting up and holding them all night is physically and emotionally draining, I want you to know it is normal, your are not alone and babies need to be close to you. I wish someone had told me.

I think the best solution for baby number 2 in the far future is to buy a side sleeper cot!

Sorry for the ramble, and I sincerely hope I have not offended anyone, as I say in all my posts, I support all mums and all decisions, we are all different.

Thank you for reading, I would love to hear your thoughts on this?

My first Mothers Day

Right this is ridiculously late and I know you are probably bored of reading mothers day posts but this week has been so busy and germ ridden I have barely had a chance to sit down, I know rubbish excuse! Most of the bloggers I follow have more than one baby, keep house, 3 blog posts a week and work.You are amazing! But of course this post still has to be done! It will be lovely to be able to look back one day and read about my first Mothers Day. A momentous occasion that I am so grateful for.

I am a firm believer that Christmas, Easter, Valentines Day, Mothers Day, Fathers Day etc etc have become so over the top, that people forget the real meaning. To me, they are not about presents or material things, they are a gift. A gift of time to dedicate to the ones you love. Of course you should show your appreciation to your mum/dad/husband etc every day, but it is nice to have days where we just stop worrying about the washing and the housework and just concentrate on each other.

However, When I woke up, Freddie had a little present for mummy, and I was over the moon with it. Mr P had put in so much thought and I was speechless.  Chris has bought me a lot of Jewellery over the years, bracelets, rings, and watches, but I don't own a special necklace, only statement pieces.  I was handed a beautiful box and inside was a beautiful silver necklace which had been engraved with 'Freddie' on one side and '16.11.14' (his date of birth) on the other. I was absolutely overwhelmed, what a beautiful gift. Top marks to Mr P. I have worn it with pride every single day.

I bang on about how much I love Not on the High Street all the time, to be honest, I didn't think Mr P ever took any notice but that is where my necklace came from! It is designed by HurleyBurley and they do so many beautiful pieces.

We brought Freddie into our bed and had lovely cuddles whilst I read my card. Cuddles in bed with my boys is my favourite thing to do.

At half 9 we sleepily headed out for breakfast at Frankie and Benny's. The wider family had all been invited too which was lovely.  My parents and siblings, grandparents and my Auntie and her family all came along so it really was a big family celebration.  I highly recommend F&Bs for breakfast! Food was fab; delicious, hot and refillable coffee! There was 12 of us and we had 9 large full English breakfasts, 2 smaller breakfasts and 2 Eggs Benedict's, with endless toast, orange juice's and coffee's, and the bill was just over £90. Which I think is very good value! We had a lovely time and Freddie absolutely loved the atmosphere and was smiling at everyone. I love seeing him so happy, taking it all in.

Freddie with his Grannie and Grandad
I have to tell you about our serious LOL moment... When the waiter was taking our orders, I gestured to Freddie and said to him "and he will have a large full English with extra bacon", thinking he would laugh, but instead he just said "oh" and went to write it down!!!! Me and Mum just started laughing and said no don't worry we are only joking!  He continued to look so confused? Poor boy.

At the end of our meal all the mums got a free bottle of wine of our choice! Result! Free wine is the best wine!

We then spent a lovely afternoon at Chris's mums house. Freddie was in a fantastic mood and played happily for ages. He even did his first proper laugh, he usually just squeals with excitement but he did a proper dirty cackle! Wonder who he gets that from? *cough*Mummy*cough*.

By half past two we were exhausted having been at breakfast by ten o'clock, so we headed home and I fell asleep on the sofa. When I woke up, Mr P had cleaned the house top to bottom and had done the washing! He is a keeper that's for sure. Then I had lots of lovely cuddles and played with my gorgeous boy and finished off with a Chinese.

The perfect day.

Chris spent the whole day telling me what a wonderful mum I am and how proud of me is for the mum I have become. So by 8pm I was feeling pretty big headed haha. On a serious note, I would like to say a huge thank you to Chris for making me feel so special, and reminding me that being Freddie's mummy is the best job ever.

Happy Mothers Day to all the wonderful women out there who have traded expensive perfume for baby sick, swapped partying for night feeds and who have given up their perfect toned tummies!

Especially to my own incredible mum, who has done so much for me that I couldn't possibly write it down, and thank you for becoming the most fantastic, loving Grannie. We love you.

And too those whose mummy's are no longer here, I spent Sunday thinking of you, sending you love, I hope you find peace in all your wonderful memories.

I hope you had a special day.

With Love,

Monday, 16 March 2015

A letter to Freddie at Four Months Old

To my darling little Freddie William,

I can't believe I am saying this but you are now four months old! You are less like a newborn baby and really starting to become a proper little boy! So much has changed in these last few weeks, you are coming on leaps and bounds. I am so proud of you I think I might burst. 

You are now eating 7 ounce bottles, sometimes even 8! You are a little guzzler and feeding you takes no longer than a few minutes. I wish you would drink with a bit more haste, maybe that would stop all the puking! Save mummy some washing? 

I don't think it will be long before you will need more than just milk, you are starting to show signs of needing more and I think in the next month we will need to think about weaning. Mummy is already stressing about the best way to wean you, I really hope I get it right. 

I got you weighed a week or so ago, do you remember? When you were flirting with that pretty little girl? You are such a cheeky boy! You weighed 13lb 10 ounces! You are so tall and still so dainty, mummy jokes you look like a little pipe cleaner . 

The beautiful soft hair that is covering the top of your head melts my heart, it is so fluffy and I take great pride in making it extra fluffy after your baths. 

Talking of baths, what's all that about? You used to love baths, from your very first one you were so happy! But now you scream the most awful scream, I bought you a nice seat to use in the big bath but you are still not happy! I hope we can get to the bottom of it soon, I miss our fun bath times! 

Our daily routine is still pretty the same, we are busy people! The biggest change is that you are now napping in your room during the day, only for 20-40 minutes but it's enough for mummy to eat! We have bought a sensor and video monitor and now mummy feels relaxed enough to leave you.  You absolutely love your big boy cot and squeal with excitement when I put you down, it takes you a while to drift off to sleep because you are too busy smiling at your mobile, I love seeing you so happy in your cot, considering you started life hating ever being put down!

We are still enjoying baby yoga and have started musical bumps, and you love being given the musical shaker.  You absolutely love singing, mummy sings to you all day, everyday and your favourite is 'row the boat'! It is so cute how you stand with excitement at 'don't forget to scream'.

You can roll over but only like to do it for Grannie and Granddad and pretend you can't when your with me, such a cheeky boy!

You are now giggling, and love to wave, you don't just wave at people, you just wave all day every day. I am pretty sure you are right handed as you predominately wave your right arm.  Your fine motor skills are amazing and you can use your fingers to grasp something. You can now hold your teething rings in your mouth, although sometimes you would prefer mummy to sit and hold them in. lazy boy!

Excuse the sicky dribble but you are so clever holding your balls! (I gave up trying to write that without innuendo!)

You still love to stand all day long and are loving your jumperoo that your little friend let you borrow, you would bounce away all day if you could! Everybody comments on how amazing you are on your feet, so sturdy! 

You are enjoying tummy time more now, you love your playmat and are really interested in all your toys now which is a joy to see. 

You still don't like waiting for your milk or having your vest taken off. You don't mind letting me know what you don't like with your dramatic bottom lip, you look just like baby Oleg when you do it! You love being noody doody and have started screaming with excitement at all the things you like.

Bedtime has regressed slightly. You still go down happily about 8pm but you are now waking at 3am for a feed, even if I feed you at 12/1 you are always hungry at 3am! We will just ride it out and hope it's just part of your developmental leap.

We have our ups and downs but on the whole you are the happiest easiest little boy to look after, it is clear to see how bright you are, it is not easy to entertain you, you like mummy to work hard and we play lots of fun games, I absolutely love it! 

The best thing about being your mummy is seeing your eyes light up when you see daddy and I, I love how your beautiful, infectious smile spreads across your face and I love how, to you, we are the funniest people in the world! 

Thank you soo much for making the last four months the happiest time of mummy and daddy's life. I cant wait to see what the next month brings us. 

Love you always and forever, Mummy xx

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Just a stay at home mum?

Freddie was two weeks old when someone first asked me if I was going back to work. Two weeks. It took me everything not to snap "can you ask me again when the 7 inch wound in my stomach has fully healed". But of course I just smiled sweetly and said not sure yet. 
I have been asked countless times since and unfortunately I can feel a ranty post coming on. 
I am very lucky that my wonderful Mr P has said from the get go he wants me to be there for our children and 100% doesn't want me working full time. I mean, I might have to go back to work at some point part time, because we want to move and I would need to be earning for us to get another mortgage. But I know Chris's long term plan is for me to be at home with our children. And I will do whatever is best for me and my children. I want to work, I love working, if the right job came along with the right hours I would jump at the opportunity, but when I look at my beautiful baby, I just want to be with him and I would feel so guilty leaving him.

Working mum/stay at home mum it is such a hot topic and is personal to everyone. But when I am asked about 'going back to work' this is how it makes me feel -
Like I am lazy
Like I am stupid or uneducated
Like I am not good enough
Like I am taking advantage of Chris
Like I need to get off my fat arse and go to work right now
Like I'm straight out of Channel 4s Benefit Street. 
I have no idea why I am justifying myself but I have to say it, I have worked hard since I was 16. I love working, I have had a successful career for someone who is only 22, successful enough to get a mortgage at the age of 20. I am a hard worker and love working. But I love my child more.  When I look at Freddie I can see how much he needs me.  It is only 4 short years until he will go to school, and then I can do whatever I want to. But only ever part time. Children and teenagers need you too.
I recently mentioned 'pay day' around some friends and the way they looked at me! As if I'm scrounging off Chris, like poor Chris has to work all day while I get spa treatments and go shopping. (Ok, ok sometimes I do go shopping!)
I have had hard jobs, but being a mum is the hardest. I don't go home at 5pm. Everyday I am up for at least 18 hours, I clean the house, I cook, I do all the washing, and of course have Freddie to entertain, we go to baby classes, come home and do other activities, sensory, massage, playing etc. I have the huge responsibility of bringing him up to be a clever, well rounded member of society. That's a lot to have on your shoulders! His whole life will depend on what I do now in these early years.  I also have my health to manage. Having type 1 diabetes is like having a full time job too, and I need to be well for my boys. So anyone who thinks what I do is easy, I welcome you to spend a day with me. My bum barely touches the seat.

Of course that would be a million times harder if I was working too, and I admire mums who can do it all. A common worry I have heard is that working mums feel they are giving 50% at work (as they are always thinking about home & the kids) and 50% at home (because they are worrying about work. Us mums get it hard. No matter what we do we are judged, by each other, and everyone around us, which is so sad. We should support and empower each other. We, as women, are amazing. 
Just before I fell pregnant with Freddie I changed jobs, on a 6 month contract, all people in the company start on 6 month contracts and 99% end up on permanent ones, but obviously if your 7 months pregnant and have been signed off with pregnancy complications for the majority of your contract your not going to get your contract renewed so I have officially been unemployed since End of September. However, because I have paid so much tax since I was 16, I've been entitled to SMP so I am technically on maternity leave until June.  So even if I wanted to go straight from the post natal ward back into the office, it wouldn't be quite that simple for me, I can't just 'go back to work'.   So in May we will be discussing our plans, looking at our financial situation and deciding what will be best for us. It is between Chris and I. No one else. (apart from you, I will probably share our decision making here haha). 
I have no idea where I am going with this, not even sure it makes sense but I had to get it off my chest. Please don't ever say someone is 'just a stay at home mum' or ask someone if they are going back to work with that judgemental tone in your voice. Think about how it might make them feel and remember every family is different.  Women are entitled to a years maternity leave anyway, so let me have my year before interrogating me!  

To all those stay at home mums who feel judged, keep up the good work, just because you don't earn money it doesn't make you less of a person. I've got to say, hats off to those mums who work full time. My mum did it and I know how hard it was for her, and so to me you are Superhuman!
This post was not meant to offend anyone, I am quite old fashioned in my views and would happy living like a 1950s housewife haha but I support all mums, all decisions and understand everyone is different, which is what I love about the world we live in.

LOL! sorry couldn't resist!


Thursday, 5 March 2015

The hardest thing about becoming a parent, and it's not what you think...

I often hear people talk about the hardest thing about being a parent, lack of sleep is the firm favourite.  Don't get me wrong, those loooong sleepless nights and endless feeds are hard and so very exhausting. But the hardest thing I find about being a parent, is something you may not have heard anyone say before. 

For me, the hardest thing, is love. 

It is hard to comprehend how much I love this tiny human. 

From the moment I met him, before we even got to know each other I loved him in a way I had never experienced before and I found that utterly terrifying. 

If I had to throw myself of a cliff to save him, I would jump without a second thought. That's a scary kind of love. 

My mind is now never my own. Freddie is always there. My mind, body, heart and soul is consumed by the love I feel for him.

I worry about him every second, of every day.  Not just about his physical health, but whether he is happy. Whether he will grow up to be happy and fullifilled and weather I am getting this parenting thing right. And that is more exhausting than a million night feeds.

When you are a mother you never sleep the same again. Our partners may snore away happily beside us, but our mummy ears are always open.  We never get so much as a second off. 

I appreciate the break when Freddie's Grannie has him for an afternoon, or when daddy takes him out to give me some peace. But you never get a break when you are a mummy. I think about the little piece of my heart that's outside my body 24/7. I might be having a nice conversation with you, but I'm thinking about Freddie. He is always there. 

Everyone always tells you before you have a baby that you will never feel a love like it. And boy are they right.  You can't explain it. You have to feel it. 

I am not saying I don't like it, or that I don't like loving someone that much. I do. I love it so much, I wouldn't have it any other way. Every time he smiles at me, even when he is grumpy and hard work, I love it. I love being a mum and I never knew I could be this happy. He makes my heart melt.  I have finally found my calling in life and there is no better job than being a mother. 

But it is a 24/7 job, for the rest of your life. And to love someone so much that it physically hurts, is hard, hard work. 

But I wouldn't change it for the world. 

I am nervous about posting this, you might completely get this, or think I am a complete loony. 

To my beautiful Freddie William. I love you so very much. Always, and forever. 

Mummy xxx 

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Freddie's first update!

So Freddie is now 15 weeks old and he turns 4 months on 16th March! I will do monthly updates from now to keep a nice record of his development.

Freddie's first trip to London on his 3 month birthday!
I last got Freddie weighed about 3 weeks ago. Unfortunately our local clinic clashes with our swimming lessons, I am not too worried because he is certainly growing! He weighed 12lb 5ounces. He is putting on weight nicely and is following the 25th/50th Percentile. He is still really dainty however, which pictures don't really show, but he is quite petite. (Apart from his ears, he has big ears haha!)

We kind of have a routine, he wakes up about half 5, 6 and Chris changes his bum and gives him his bottle before he gets ready for work, then he goes straight back down until about half 9/10.  He always wakes up happy and chatting and will sit on my lap while I eat breakfast, he loves to watch me eat and waits happily for his milk. I change him and feed him, then he goes in his bouncer where he chats away to his monkeys that hang over it, while I have a shower and get ready. Then we have a cuddle and a play, then back in his bouncer for a short nap while I sort the washing, sterilising etc. Then we usually go out, if we stay in our day just consists of moving from one activity to another and out for a little walk for some fresh air. I am so jealous of people whose babies have like a solid midday nap, Freddie only catnaps for like 20 minutes at a time, throughout the day. So by late afternoon he is always over tired and crabby.  I have tried everything to get him to have a solid nap but no such luck.  He usually goes about 3 hours between feed, longer if we are out and there are lots of distractions. He usually has a bottle about 6pm then daddy arrives home about half 6.

He needs ALOT of entertaining during the day as he is so bright, and likes to be standing up, so I have very achy arms. he is full on and tiring but I wouldn't have it any other way. We now have a Jumperoo which is saving my poor arms and he loves it and will happily play in it for about half an hour.  He has so much personality and is full of smiles and he has become a real chatter box in the last 4 weeks.
Talking to his monkeys

Baby Gruffalo in his Jumperoo!

Baby sensory activities at home - Ball Pit!
This has taken a while to establish mainly because we were so used to him being a tiny newborn, where there is no such thing as bedtime. Just 24 hours of eat, poo, sleep and over Christmas we were out so much it just kind of got put on the back burner. So once NYE was over we decided we needed to be home by 5 every night, just the 3 of us to concentrate on getting some sort of night time order!   I was a poor sleeper as a child and it still affects me now, so I was nervous not to make too much of a fuss about 'bedtime'. But this is the routine we have established.

We do bath time as a family, I love having that time the three of us every night. After his bath, we go through to the lounge where I have the change mat, a big towel, all his toiletries and PJs waiting on the floor (I bring these through from his nursery before we bath him). I sit on the floor with him and let him have a good 'nudey dudey' kick about, and then give him a baby massage with his lotions and potions.  Then I put his Pyjamas and  sleeping bag on, which we always have hanging on the radiator so they are warm and cosy. Then Chris reads him a bedtime story, dummy in  cuddles to sleep and down in his basket about 7:30/8.  He then has a dream feed at 10/11 and sleeps through until 5/6am.

Bedtime stories with Daddy

Bath time
We do two classes a week and as from tomorrow that will become three! He does Baby Yoga on a Tuesday morning, Swimming lessons on a Thursday afternoon, soon to be a Monday morning and we start Musical bumps tomorrow morning! When our yoga term finishes we are going to try 'Baby Explorers' sensory class. I love the classes and cant believe how much Freddie loves them, smiling and chatting to other babies. They are so worth the money and because we are so flexible and don't stick to a strict routine they fit nicely into our lives.

It's nice for me to meet other mums, and even have a few coffee dates lined up.  It's great for Freddie to socialise and the best thing about it, all the yoga, sensory and music class are all in our local community centre a lovely 10 minute walk away in Kings Hill.

Milk, Milk, Milk!
Freddie is on Aptamil First Milk and drinks from Tommee Tippee Bottles with variflow teats. He has 6 ounces every 3 hours, sometimes 4 or sometimes just 2 hours! He is a hungry boy, and can be a bit greedy and make himself cough and splutter! We dream feed at about 10/11pm and he has about 5 ounces.  He very rarely doesn't finish a bottle now.  Unfortunately he is still a spewer, and will puke 2 or 3 times after a feed.

  • Rolling - I was starting to worry about the fact he hadn't rolled over, he has no interest in lying down and wants to be up all the time. At 14 weeks he rolled back to front once, and front to back once and has never done it since. I probably need to spend more time with him on his tummy or lying down on his back but he gets cross, he is so nosey and can't see what's going on!
  • Mr Chatterbox - Freddie loves to talk, he never stops chatting. He wakes up chatting and goes to sleep chatting! His little noises melt my heart! He doesn't 'giggle' as such he kind of does a silent laugh and ends it with a big loud squeal. He can make his voice really loud too, my favourite is his big loud sigh!
  • Grabbing - He has started grabbing and reaching out for toys, he is still more interested in people but does now have a few favourite toys and when you read to him he always reaches for the book and tries to grab the pages.  He also using his fingers to touch thing and is getting closer to having a pincer grip.
  • Walking - Pretend walking that is! He loves to stand, our yoga teacher has commented on how advanced he is on his feet, he can hold his weight with just me holding his fingers. He likes to walk to people across the room with in his over exaggerated slow motion style! It's his favourite party trick! I've got a great video of this I will share on twitter!
  • Teething - The red cheeks are here and the amber anklet is on! He is such a happy baby, and only cries when he is hungry and even then it's a shout not a cry, so it's horrible to see him in pain and so distressed.
Attempting a roll but being nosey at Daddy on the sofa!
Favourite things
  • Hands! Freddie loves his own hands, other peoples hands, and any fingers he can grab a hold of!
  • His Yellow car keys that flash and play music
  • He loves music and smiles to the radio in the car
  • He loves cuddling mummy in mummy and daddy's bed
  • He loves to stand and wiggle his hips
  • He loves it when daddy comes home!
  • He loves Mr Bunny and loves to suck his face!
He loves visiting Grannie and Grandad, they have such a good playmat!
Mr Bunny

Loves a snuggle in Mummy and Daddy's  bed!
His not-so-favourite things are - putting his vest on/off, that makes him very angry! When his milk isn't served quick enough and when the wind blows in his face! He makes a funny gasping noise at the slightest breeze, even when the tiny breezy as I pull the covers off him!

I cry all the time at how quickly my boy is growing. But I love all the new things he is doing each day and I am excited for all his next milestones! Apologies this post is so long again! This is the last of the super long posts. I promise!

Love my happy boy, but stop growing so quickly!

Monday, 2 March 2015

My newborn must haves

I waited until 20 weeks to start our baby buys, but when it was time I knew exactly what I wanted to buy, thanks to reading lots of fantastic blogs.  The first 4 products are things I bought which are my baby must haves, and I have added 2 things I would buy differently next time.

Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep Machine
I will do a separate post on this at some point, but very sadly breastfeeding didn't work out for us.  We didn't buy a prep machine before Freddie was born which I regret! for the first 24 hours home from the hospital, each time Freddie woke for food we had to boil the kettle, make up the bottle and then cool it down in a jug of cold water, by which time Freddie was a very cross, very hungry baby! So day 2 at home Chris went out to get a prep machine (he also came home with a new pair of UGGs for mummy, top daddy points!), and our lives were made 100% easier! 

The Prep machine works by making a bottle at exactly the right temperature in under two minutes. All we had to do was keep it topped up with tap water as it sterilises it for you and put in the formula. It puts a shot of hot water in, then you put in the scoops, then it puts in cool water leaving you with a bottle at a perfect temperature! Bliss!

It can be bought for £69.99 on Amazon and Babies R Us at the moment, but it is so so worth the  money. You will also need to change the filter every few months, these are £8.99. The Perfect Prep Machine takes away stress and it gives parents the peace of mind that their babies bottles are 100% safe. Definitely my number 1 top by! Plus you can now get it in a sleek black, for all designer mummas! Buy here now!

Changing Table
 I deliberated over buying a changing table for ages, I think they are a real marmite product. Some people said to me 100% buy one, and others said you wont use it, you will just use your changing matt on the floor. I found this beautiful John Lewis changing table on Ebay for a fantastic £20! it was in brand new condition so I thought what have I got to loose? I am SO glad I bought one, especially after having a C section, there is no way I can get up and down off the floor, I have baskets on the middle shelf all organised with nappies, wipes, lotions and potions and on the bottom shelf I have a box of spare nappies, wipes etc and his bath box. It makes life so much easier, and I certainly do think these are a must have. Plus you can pick them up fairly cheaply, Ikea do one for about £25 I think. Plus you only use a changing table for like a year max? Obviously you must never leave your baby unattended on a changing table, so I just pop Freddie in his cot whilst I wash my hands etc.
If there is one thing you can count on when having a baby is that you will mop up a lot, and I mean ALOT of bodily fluids, So Muslins are an absolute must have. Muslins were very popular in the 70s too, so they have been around for a long time, so these really are a tried and tested product. I have bought them from almost every shop and my favourites are Primark, they are soft, thicker so great absorbency I can use just 1 a day, they are nice and big so they cover mummy's top well and are a bargain price. They was well too. I love Muslins so much, that I have started keeping one handy when I eat my dinner! haha. Baby pukes on your shoulder, no worries. Spill tea on the table, no worries. baby pees on the floor, no worries! (although maybe pop it in the wash after that one haha!)
We have the Fisherprice rainforest bouncer, and this really is a fab product. It keeps Freddie amused for ages! The monkeys hanging over him are literally his best friends, I think its because they have lovely happy faces and he happily sits and chats for them for a good 20 minutes. It vibrates which helps soothe him to sleep and he will happily take a nap in it too, the bar is detachable so once he is asleep I can remove the toys above.  This is great if like Freddie, your baby suffers from reflux as it keeps them that bit more upright. I can strap Freddie in so I know he is safe while I pop for a wee! Its a great cosy shape too and Fred just loves to be in it. Because of its deep bucket seat it will last a long time too. The best thing about it for me is its rubber feet, it literally does not move, I cant even drag it on my laminate floor, the rubber really holds its grip. So it is great to pop on the kitchen table whilst I get dinner ready, he chats to his monkeys, he is safe and secure and I can get things done. win win. Although once he is a real wriggler I will only use it on the floor. I highly recommend these and know they are very popular with all new parents. At just under £40 these are a great price too. buy one here. 

Side Sleeper/Crib
I, like most people automatically bought a beautiful blue moses basket, I loved it, it was so cute and I couldn't wait to put our tiny baby in it. However, I had no idea that I would be so terrified about Cot Death, and I couldn't see into the moses basket to keep an eye on Freddie. For the first week I literally sat up in bed and watched him breathe. I was on my knees exhausted and I ended up needing help to catch up on sleep. Freddie also went through a stage of refusing to go in his basket, no matter what we did he would cry and cry every time we put him down. So we ended up Co-sleeping for 4 weeks.

I really believe having a Chicco Side Sleeper would have been the answer to our problems. The side comes down and slides under your matress so you are in effect co-sleeping but plenty of room, and it is perfectly safe. I would have been able to see him, which would have made me more relaxed, I would have got some sleep and keep my hand on his tummy to keep him settled. Only problem is these are £150. I am more than prepared to spend that for baby number 2 one day, as I know It would have made those first couple of months so much better for me and my anxiety.  Even now sometimes he cries just for a cuddle and I have to get him out his basket.

Alternatively I would buy a crib, so at least I could see baby clearly whilst lying down and wouldn't need to keep sitting up every 30 seconds to check him, We like having Freddie close to us, and it works for us.  Plus moses baskets last like 30 seconds, Freddie is crammed into his and we need to move his cot into our room. The Side Sleepers are huge! Buy one here.

Baby Wrap
When I came home from hospital I wanted to carry on doing skin to skin as much and for as long as possible, but that's not easy when you've got things to do, visitors etc and in hindsight this was exactly what I needed. I thought they were a hippy load of nonsense and why would I need one. I didn't expect to want Freddie on me all the time but I really did. He also went through a stage of having to be on me all the time, which I believe is quite common and this would have made life so much easier. I am now a firm believer that newborns need to be on their mums as much as possible, it is so important for those early development days, and don't let anyone tell you you are 'spoiling your baby with too much cuddling'. You cannot spoil your baby, it is what they need. its innate and millions of women do it around the globe, its only the western world where baby wearing is not the norm.

There are lots of different makes out there to choose from, they are around the £50 upwards price mark but you can hire them from lots of places, and our hospital actually sells them on the post natal ward for £10 which is a trial at the moment. Also had breastfeeding worked out for us, baby can feed while you do your washing up and you know us women love to multi task! I got one when Freddie was 2 months old, but so wish I had had one from day one.

Do you agree with my top products? what are your 'couldn't live withouts'?

Thanks for reading! (apologies for another long post!)

Sunday, 1 March 2015

My Birth Story

So I thought where better to start than a nice gory birth story! It's going to be pretty long, so hope you are sitting comfy!

I'll start with some background info.  I have type 1 diabetes that I have had since I was 9. This made my pregnancy complicated with extra risks. risks that were reduced by having my children young, which is why having our babies in our early 20's was the best decision for us.  The risks involved mean that babies of diabetic mothers are induced at 38 weeks.  The silver lining being I would never have to experience the agonising wait for baby to make an appearance.

I had 4 weekly scans throughout and baby was head down very early on. Up until week 34. I had been having strange feelings in my pelvic area which felt like kicks but surely it couldn't be? Yep. Baby had turned and was now breech!! I tried everything to get baby to move, spent hours on all fours, put my bum on the bed and head on the floor, the lot. But nothing was going to make our little pickle turn.

At 36 Weeks I was offered an ECV (where the baby is manually turned by a doctor) and after talking it through with Chris, we decided against it.  I will do a separate post on ECV's and why we chose against it at some point. So I was booked in for a Caesarean Section on Thursday 20th November 2014 and had to be at the hospital by 7:30am. It was officially time to panic.

I spent the next few weeks bouncing on my ball, feeling massive. I've heard people say they feel like a football whilst pregnant. Never mind a football, I felt like a bloody football stadium. I particularly enjoyed peoples comments on my size.

I had my Pre op on Wednesday the 12th and met the lovely midwife who would be with me on the day and all the ins and outs of before, during and after the procedure.  I felt quite calm and actually pretty excited. Only 8 days to go. Or so I thought. 

We had arranged for some friends to come over for a takeaway on Saturday night, I had been in bed all day and just felt awful. Huge, pregnant, uncomfortable and downright bleugh. About half an hour before our friends were due to come I asked Chris not to let them come, that no matter what he had to say, just cancel (sorry Amy and Scott!). I felt really protective over us and just wanted to be alone, shut the curtains and have some peace and quiet. I was exactly 38 weeks.  Chris had taken the week off and we were planning on lots of quality time together before baby arrived on Thursday, but I wanted to start our quality time right then and there.  We ordered a Chinese and put Xfactor on.  I felt worse as the evening went on, so Chris ran me a bath and as I was lying in the bath I noticed a strange rash on my tummy, like red blood blisters (would be really interested to know if anyone else experienced this before/during labour).  So I thought we better ring triage. When I spoke to the midwife she said it was probably nothing but would be best just to get it checked just as a precaution.  So I put my pyjamas on, grabbed my handbag, didn't bother taking my hospital bag and off we went.

We arrived at about 8pm and they were so busy, women in labour all over the place. So they apologised and we waited in the waiting room for about an hour.   Eventually we were taken through to a room, and the Clinical Support Assistant checked my temperature, blood pressure and wee, all of which were fine. She had a quick peek at my rash, wasn't too concerned. She decided to put me on the monitor to listen to baby just as standard procedure. She said I only needed to be on the monitor for 20 minutes but it might be longer as they were so busy.  I wasn't worried, we loved listening to our little man, and I wasn't feeling too bad, just fat and tired.

At 10pm a midwife came into see me, but before she checked me over she checked the trace, I knew by the way she was looking at it that something was wrong. She then asked me if I felt like I was having contractions, which I didn't. I didn't have any signs of being in labour. 

About 10:30pm the midwife came back with a doctor who examined me, they told me I was having contractions but they were very far apart, I wasn't dilated so they said they would admit me to the ward and keep an eye on me and if nothing changed I would just stay in until my planned section date. 5 days away. I was so upset, I didn't want to be apart from Chris, I kept thinking about all the things I needed to do at home, the last bits of packing, the last sort of babies things, and all the lovely things Chris and I had planned to do together before we became parents. 

The midwife and doctor left to get my notes and sort me a bed on the ward, they came back about 11 PM to move me to the ward, I had started to feel the contractions, they were getting stronger and closer together, although I thought it was all in my head, wishful thinking. The midwife checked my trace just before she took me off and asked me again if I could feel anything so I told her that I could now feel contractions and they felt quite painful. She confirmed that the trace was showing my contractions were getting stronger and closer together.  I was strangely enjoying them. probably because I knew baby was breech so this would be as much of labour I would get to experience.

Knowing my baby was breech and that I was clearly in labour, I went from the girl who was fine to wait in the waiting room to an emergency. The doctor came back about 11:15pm and examined me again, I was now 2cm dilated, in the space of half an hour. They decided to scan me to 100% be sure baby was breech, (although it was pretty obvious from my bump!) If baby was head down they would leave me to progress naturally and if baby was breech, I would be having an emergency c section.  I called my mum to go to our house and get the bags, baby was on his way! They scanned me and confirmed that baby was breech, so to get my things they were taking me down to delivery now.  Chris and I were so excited, grinning at each other. I still didn't really believe I was having a baby.

As we walked down the corridor my waters started to leak. We got to the room you go in before they take you into theatre, and I started to panic. I was suddenly terrified and convinced I was going to die. The excitement was well and truly gone. they were fussing around trying to get lines into me, and it took 2 doctors and 2 anaesthetists to finally get the 4 lines in me that I needed, which was horrible. The midwife who was looking after me was from the Caribbean or somewhere and she had a big booming voice which I can still hear now, not that I had any idea what she was saying. I was in shock, one minute I was watching xfactor eating crispy chilli chicken and next I was having a c section. They put me in my gown, put my stockings on and took me into theatre.

The Theatre terrified me, it was huge and white and bright. I had to sit up on a bed which was so high, my knees were level with Chris's chest. The anaesthetist explained the spinal etc, but I don't really remember. I felt really hot and that strange feeling before you faint, and I fainted onto Chris. I felt horrible, shaking, hot and terrified. I had the mother and father of all panic attacks, I was telling everyone I wasn't having it done, I didn't want a baby, and to get my mum and she will tell you I am not having it done. God, how embarrassing. It's mortifying to remember. But I was told it happens a lot when people actually get into the theatre, even the most of strong people completely freak, so that made me feel better!

I suddenly calmed down and felt all happy and fuzzy, I thought I had successfully pulled myself together but after reading my notes, turned out my anaesthetist had given me a nice dose of diazepam! I highly recommend it. After that I was just loving life haha. the only problem, everyone was wearing blue hats and gowns, and in my fuzzy hair I had no idea which one was Chris haha.

 Once I had my spinal, which was no where near as bad as I thought it would be, just like hard pressure on my spine, it was just the strangest feeling, I thought I wouldn't feel anything, but I could feel my body as normal just couldn't feel anything touching it. was the strangest experience. 

I was surprised when they said they had started, then I started to feel some tugging and I was happy as larry haha. Chris was stroking my head and I was quite relaxed and excited for baby to be born.  The funniest thing was I kept saying to the anaesthetist not to look at my eyebrows or my hair and could he tell the surgeon not to look at my toes, because I had been booked in on Monday to have the works, eyebrows, hair cut and colour, pedicure the lot and in my drugged up state I was seriously concerned they would judge me haha. I also kept telling everyone our Chinese was still on the kitchen side and could someone put it in the fridge. Chris thoroughly enjoyed my druggy comedy. Chris's list of crazy things I was saying are quite hilarious.

Then they said we've got some feet and 2 minutes later, at 1:10am on Sunday 16th November, Our beautiful baby boy was born.  He came out crying which was the most beautiful sound I have ever heard and they held him up for us to see, and he started weeing!

They took him over to the resus table, and Chris stayed with me while the paediatrician checked baby over, after a couple of minutes he came over to say baby had scored 9 in his APGAR tests and was absolutely perfect and healthy. After a very difficult and worrying pregnancy this was the best thing we could ever hear.  Chris went over to see him, while I peeked over my shoulder, then Chris came back over with our baby and we met for the first time. Chris was crying and kept saying "he's amazing" over and over again and I was just grinning.  As I was rubbing my face against his. My heart just melted. I have never known love or happiness like it.

Freddie's first ever photo, on the resus table. I have never shared this before x

The first time I met my beautiful baby boy

Chris was cuddling us both and it was amazing to see him so so happy. He asked me what I wanted to call him, and we decided on Arthur William. But after cuddling him, he just didn't feel like an Arthur, so I asked Chris what he would like to call him. So he became Freddie William Peers. The most beautiful name that suits him perfectly.

Chris and Freddie were then taken through to recovery where my mum was waiting, while they finished putting me back together, then I was moved onto another bed, which was soo weird. Because I could feel my body but not people touching me, I felt like I was flying haha.

I don't remember much from recovery apart from millions of happy tears. I put Freddie on the breast straight away, and had him skin to skin for the first 48 hours. Skin to Skin is the most important and beautiful thing in the world.

I was in a bubble with my beautiful new family.

Although I freaked out in the theatre, It was an incredible experience, and having a Csection was no where near as bad as I thought it would be. I quite enjoyed it.  The rash I went in with went away after Freddie was born, so it was obviously a sign of labour! Still can't believe one minute I was chilling at home and 6 hours and 10 minutes later our baby boy was in our arms.

Freddie William
8lbs 6ounces
52 CM long
blonde hair
blue eyes

I am booing my eyes out reading this! As I look at the pictures it seems surreal. I can't believe what I went through to get our little miracle baby.

Thank you so much for reading. told you it was long!!!!