Wednesday, 24 August 2016

3 Months Of Breastfeeding

I did all my breastfeeding homework when pregnant with Max and even paid to sit in a 3 hour breastfeeding class. Nothing could prepare me for breastfeeding than actually trying to nurse with my newborn baby. Max's breastfeeding journey sadly ended after a few days I then went onto express soley for a further 10 days. It was painful, hard and absolutely exhausting. I promised myself I would try harder next time but decided not to put so much pressure on myself like I did with Max. I'm writing this now on my phone whilst nursing Emmie and I just cannot believe we've made it to 15 weeks! 

Here's what helped me breastfeed especially in those very early weeks of newborn life. 

• Nurse whenever your baby wants to feed. I remember how difficult those early few weeks were, Emmie literally never came off the boob. Luckily I had Freddie off on paternity leave to help keep Max entertained so I could focus on Emmie's frequent feeding. I've been told the reason why newborns nurse so frequently is because their trying to build up your supply and It has nothing to do with not having enough milk to feed.

• Try and have as much skin to skin with your baby as possible. I spent most of the first 5 days with Emmie on my chest or tummy under a blanket. It's a great way to bond, build up your supply and learn their feeding cues.

• If you have another child to look after keep a breastfeeding toy box to hand and wip it out when you need to nurse. That way your child is entertained and you can feed the baby without any interruptions. I kept toy cars, sticker books and colouring books and pencils in ours. 

• Invest in a good quality breastfeeding pillow. I bought the My Brestfriend one from Mothercare. It's on the pricey side but I pretty much used it for every feed within the first 3 months, I even took it out with me! It meant I had my hands free to eat my dinner etc. It also helped ease my back and arms from the mega cluster feeding sessions. This particular pillow even has a little pocket so you can keep  all your breastfeeding essentials in one place.

•Talking about essentials, make sure you have them to hand. The last thing you want is to sit down and begin a feed without your water bottle, snacks, nipple cream etc. Breastfeeding is thirsty work so you need these essentials with you before you begin feeding. 

•Figure out what position works for you. I found that on my left breast the rugby hold position worked best. My milk let down in my left breast is fast so I found she preferred being held in this position to ease off the flow. On my right side she prefers the standard cradle breastfeeding position. We also like the laying down position too. I use the laying down position the most at night when I'm able to nurse and sleep at the same time. Use the first week testing out different positions to figure out what works best for you both.

• Use nipple cream before and after every feed and even before you're due to give birth. I haven't suffered from sore or cracked nipples (touch wood) and I can solely say it's because of Laninsoh nipple cream. I slathered the stuff on! There's also no need to remove it before a feed with is a massive bonus.

• And finally find out where your local breastfeeding clinic is. We thankfully haven't needed to visit but I've heard brilliant things about them from my NCT friends. The counsellers can help with positions, your baby's latch etc. It's also a nice place to meet and chat to other breastfeeding mums over tea and cake.

Just remember to try not to put pressure yourself. If you can breastfeed than brilliant and if you can't that's okay! As long as your baby is fed, happy and healthy that is all that matters. You're doing an amazing job.

What are your tips on how to breastfeed for 3 months and upwards? I've heard it becomes a little tricker as they become more alert and interested in the world around them x

Monday, 22 August 2016

Emmie's Birth Story

Countless amounts of sweeps later I was sat waiting to be seen by my consultant on Friday 6th May 2016, one day before my due date. By this point I was exhausted, heavy and wanted this baby out! The weather was summer like and I just couldn't bear walking around in black leggings whilst squishing my poor swollen feet into flip flops. I was ready to poor my heart out to my consultant asking her if there was anything she could do to hurry this baby along. See max was 10 days overdue, weighed 10lbs 8oz and was welcomed into this world by an emergency c section. I could just sense history repeating itself all over and I desperately wanted my VBAC delivery. Once in my appointment my consultant said 'Look, let me give you one last sweep and we'll go from there.' It turned out I was 2cm dilated, she could feel the baby's head and my waters were bulging. 'Right, I want you to come in tomorrow first thing and we're going to break your waters for you!' I could have kissed her I was so happy! 
That night we sat outside in the garden just the three of us having our last supper and went to bed. Waking up the next morning it felt like Christmas Day. HELLO due date! We grabbed our hospital bits and Max's overnight bag and dropped Max off at his Grandparents house. I've never felt emotion like I have done the moment I left my baby to go and have another. I closed the front door and was in floods of tears the entire trip to the hospital. 'End of an era.' I thought.
In the hospital we were shown our room and had to wait an agonising 8 hours to be seen! Then it was finally our turn. 'Shit, this is actually happening!' 
Waters broken we were told to go for a walk. We sheepishly wondered over to the local Sainsbury's and then quickly decided it probably wasn't a good idea as I kept having mini gushes of water that no sanitary towel could hold. I was standing outside Sainsbury's with water gushing/trickling down my leg, it wasn't a good look and so embarrassing!
Back in our hospital room I could feel pangs of contractions that were coming every 5-6 minutes. 'These contractions aren't bad at all. I hope they continue like this'. I continued pacing around the room, bouncing on my birthing ball trying to hurry things along.
A few hours passed and my contractions were more intense and coming more frequently around 2-4 minutes apart. My midwife gave me an internal and said I was 5cm dilated. By this point I remember the pain exactly. Hunched over the bed with the gas and air nozzle in one hand and my tens machine strapped to my back. I couldn't help but moo like a cow and scream like a banshee. 'I need an epidural, someone please get me an epidural!!' I roared. The midwife explained that the anaesthetist was held up with another labouring woman and I was second in the queue and off she went, leaving  us in our room so I could continue to labour. It had only been 20 minutes before I was pressing the buzzer demanding the midwife to get the anaesthetist for my epi. 20 minutes just felt like an absolute lifetime! I remember I kept pressing the buzzer everytime I got a contraction, haha!
I continued on gas and air when my midwife decided to check how far dilated I was. 'You're 10cms' she said. I can remember how shocked she was that I had dilated so quickly. A few hours previously she was ready to move me onto a ward because she didn't believe I was in 'active' labour. 'You'll be ready to push in the next 30 minutes' she said as she closed the door behind her. I remember exactly how I felt at this point, relieved I had made it to 10cms but also extremely scared and anxious. With Max's labour I got myself to 10cms but wasn't able to push him out and all of a sudden I was in the theatre room being prepped for an emergency c section. I wanted a VBAC this time!
30 minutes flew by and before I knew it there were 2 doctors in the room and a whole bunch of other people ready and waiting for baby to arrive. 
I pushed for what felt like hours and her head would come down but then go back up so the doctors decided to help and gave me an episiotomy. Two pushes later and my baby entered the world. 'Is she okay? Is she okay?' I kept saying. 'Yes she's perfect!' She was placed on my chest and I immediately put her on my breast to nurse which she thankfully took to. I remember feeling this overwhelming sense of pure love and euphoria. I did it! I got the VBAC I wanted and I just couldn't believe my little baby girl was here. I had Emmie Jane de Metz at 5.50am Sunday 8th May and was home with Max by early evening ready for his bedtime bath. So perfect and exactly what I wanted. 

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

I had a baby

I blogged! I know I know It's been a while, so what's been going on? Well.. I kind of felt like there were so many parent bloggers and felt so overwhelmed by it all I just wanted to quit and not bother with my blog. I was also heavily pregnant with a toddler and needed a break to just breathe and take it all in. I needed space to relax and enjoy the moment of just having my one little boy before my little girl came along and I'm so glad I took the time out to do just that. Then one night as I sat cuddling my new baby I realised that I wanted to document her life just like I did with Max. I read through all my old blog posts and it was very bitter sweet. Sweet because I got to re live my baby boy's first year through blog posts and photos and bitter because I was yet to document my baby girl's first weeks. I think I've realised that blogging shouldn't be about how many followers you have or how far you are up the tots 100 scale. It's about writing and documenting your life so that one day you can look back and re visit your life's trials, tribulations and celebrations!  I'm just going to get stuck back into blogging and try my best not to feel so overwhelmed and swamped by it all. I'm going to blog about what I want when I want!

So as the title suggests I've had a baby. I think my last pregnancy update I was 35 weeks pregnant and dying for it all to be over! Oh how different that story is now as I'd do it all over again in a heartbeat. It's funny how once you have your baby here you forget about how hard those last weeks of pregnancy are.  I had my baby girl at 40+1 weeks on Sunday 8th May at 5.50am and she is SO perfect. I can't stop staring at her, I just cannot believe she's all mine. She's the most happy and content baby I've ever met and she's slotted into our family perfectly. I honestly can't remember life without her. Max has also flourished since her arrival and become the best big brother. He cuddles her when she cries, plays with her when she's awake and is protective of her when people approach her. I'll post more about how Max has adapted to his new role soon as well as my little girls birth story.

Let me introduce you all to my gorgeous baby girl Emmie Jane de Metz who weighed a precious 8lbs 2oz. I love her so much. It's true what they say. You can love another, your heart just simply gets bigger x 

Thursday, 7 April 2016

New Purchases For Baby Number Two

Since having Max almost exactly two years ago there's been a few new releases from baby brands we love. Although we pretty much have everything we need for baby girl I just couldn't resist these baby buys especially if it makes my life as a mummy of two easier. Here's to hoping!

1. We used our last Tommee Tippee steriliser to the ground, it was fab and did exactly what it said on the tin. We decided we would upgrade to their new and improved steriliser as our last one was kind of on its last legs. We are yet to test it out but I'm sure it will be just as good as our last one, I also prefer the design of this one compared to the older model. It's a lot more space saving and looks a lot sleeker on my kitchen counter top.

2. We loved our bedside crib we used with Max however we had to sell it on due to lack of space in our tiny flat at the time. I'm kind of glad we did because although we adored our Troll Bedside Crib I've now discovered the Snuzpod Bedside Crib and fallen in love. I've been desperate to purchase one even before I found out I was pregnant, I love the design, the removable bassinet and that is has see through breathable zip down mesh sides. It's all set up and ready to go and everytime I see it I get so excited, I just need the baby now!

3. I didn't baby wear Max as much as I should have but I think that was probably due to having just the one baby to contend with and he always seemed happy in his bugaboo pushchair when out and about anyway (he was also almost 11lbs at birth, so that was another deciding factor for not wanting to wear him. My poor back haha). This time it's going to be very different and I'll need to wear baby girl a lot more to be able to get things done especially with the likes of a crazy toddler around. I decided on the Solly Baby Wrap as I wanted something that would keep her nice and snug especially as a newborn. I love the patterns and the feel of the fabrics used, there's also something really nice about having your newborn nice and close to you especially as they grow up so quick. 

4. Native Wilds wasn't a company I'd heard of whilst pregnant with Max but once I deserved this US brand I just couldn't resist their gorgeous striped 'nest'. Basically what you're looking at is 'the ultimate motherhood accessory' you can use it as a nursing cover, car seat cover, trolley cover or baby blanket. It's made from hypoallergenic bamboo and even has an in built pocket for baby essentials. Sold! 

5. Having read and heard amazing reviews on the Sleepyhead I knew I had to have one for my second baby. Luckily my friend was selling hers on so I snapped it up as these sleepyhead contraptions can be pretty expensive. I'm yet to try it out as obviously baby girl isn't here yet but I'm sure that the sleepyhead inside her snuzpod will aid her into a nice sleep to give mummy some well earned rest. 

6. Now I don't know whether this is essential or not but when I saw Tommee Tippee's Express and Go Kit I just couldn't resist (especially because mothercare have it on offer for £49.99 instead of £74.99!) So what you get is pre sterilised pouches, bottle and pouch warmer that automatically heats milk to the perfect temperature whether the milk is frozen or from the fridge. Compact and lightweight breast milk storage case and breast pump adaptors so I can use my Medela Swing pump. Having only breastfed on the boob for a total of 5 days I decided to stop and express instead as I was in SO much pain. I found the whole process of expressing time consuming and exhausting so I'm willing to give this a try should I have problems with latching etc.

7. Girls clothes! We decided not to find out the gender with Max (although I had a feeling all a long we were team blue because of how BIG I got) however this time around I've gone all out and picked some gorgeous girly bits from Zara baby, Gap and a pack of three gorgeous flowery sleep suits (pictured) from Marks and Spencer. Just perfect for our Spring little baby girl. 

I think we have everything we need now for our new addition. We just need the baby so we can make use of all this stuff we've accumulated. Once she's here and we've test driven all our new baby bits I'll of course upload reviews etc on the blog!

Thursday, 31 March 2016

35 Week Pregnancy Update

It's been a whole 15 weeks since I last posted something on my blog. Having reached 35 weeks pregnant, moving and settling into our new house all whilst trying to contend with a crazy active almost two year old meant my blog had to take a back seat. I really wanted to get back to writing again because I love reading my pregnancy updates and all the other bits and pieces that come with being a mummy, it's like my own personal diary. So I'm back for good, ha! I thought I'd kick off my return by updating you all on my 35th week of pregnancy!

How far along?
35 weeks today. Let the countdown begin!

Baby girl

We've recently upgraded from a double to a super king size bed and oh my what a difference it has made to my sleep. I'm able to really stretch out and get comfortable without nudging shoulders with the other half! I feel like I'm 100 degrees at night so it's nice having my own space. I've also invested in the biggest pregnancy pillow that I could find on Amazon which allows me to sleep comfortably and helps relieve those awful lower back niggles.

Best moment this week
Feeling baby girl kick and move from the outside. I've got a high anterior placenta which means baby girls movements have been some what muffled compared to Max who would show me his entire anatomy on an hourly basis. As my pregnancy has progressed and she's become a lot stronger I'm able to feel those precious movements and kind of sense what her routine is going to be like once she's here. Night owl! #teamupallnight haha!

Worst moment this week
Feeling drained. This pregnancy is completely different to my last. Not only is it difficult having to look after a toddler whilst trying to grow another baby. I'm finding it really difficult to keep on top of housework and general life activities. Everyday feels like I'm doing the same chores over and over. I'm lucky I have a cleaner who comes once a week but little tasks are becoming such a strain on my body. I have to say though I feel a lot fitter in this pregnancy than I did with Max because sh*ts just got to get done regardless if I'm pregnant or not (10 mile walks in the park with the toddler, constant picking up and bending down etc) I'm hoping it will be easier having a newborn and toddler versus heavily pregnant and toddler. Although I'm not holding my breath on that one.

Miss anything
I really miss working out. I know I can still work out whilst preggy but I miss that feeling of achievement you get when you've completed a tough workout. I cannot wait to get back into working out once the baby is here and I've been given the all clear to do so. I also miss being able to bend down with ease, I need one of those picker upper stick things. 

Maternity clothes 
A few new bits since my last update. A pair of black leggings from ASOS that are kind of see through but will have to do until baby arrives as there SO comfortable and I can't bear to be in jeans. A few new basic tops from h&m including a checkered shirt which I wear open with a black maternity vest top underneath, black leggings and ankle boots. That's basically my go to outfit! I can't wait to wear my normal clothes again, I miss my wardrobe so much! I actually popped into a few NON maternity shops the other week and bought a few cute bits for Spring/Summer. I'll post my new purchases on a separate blog post.

Food cravings 
Chocolate, chocolate and MORE chocolate! I'm also weirdly craving salads. Last night we cooked Jamie Oliver's duck salad and oh my god it was yummy!

Anything making you queasy or sick?
We had a dodgy Wagamama the other day which made me feel so sick and nauseous the following day. It's fair to say I won't be eating from them in a hurry, it's really put me off. I'm also weirdly suffering from morning sickness once again. It's on and off though and not as intense as the first trimester. 

Looking forward to
My final growth scan at 36 weeks 'the decider scan'. Will I have another 10lbser like Max or is she going to be a diddy thing? Hopefully the later so I can opt for a VBAC but I'm keeping my options open for now. I will let you know what I decide on doing soon.


Monday, 28 December 2015

A Baby Gender Reveal

In my last post I weighed up the pros and cons of finding out the gender at the 20 week scan and we came to the decision that we would keep the gender a surprise like we did when I was pregnant with Max. 

Before entering the ultrasound room for our anomaly scan we were STILL debating about whether we should find out or not. With Max we wanted a surprise from the get go but this time around we kinda wanted to know. During our anomaly scan we found out our little peanut was doing great and everything seemed like it should be and he/she was healthy and extremely active. The sonographer then turned and asked us if we wanted to know the gender. We had her write it down on a Christmas card for us to open on Christmas Day. As soon as we finished up and got ourselves into the car we couldn't bear not knowing and ripped open the envelope and I'm SO glad we did because...


We are happy to announce we are expecting a little baby girl! Max is going to be a big brother to his little sister come May 2016. We couldn't be happier and we're so blessed we get to experience what it's like having a boy and now a girl. We now have the important decision on deciding and agreeing on a girls name which we are arguing about pretty much everyday. We had our boys name sorted so we're kinda stuck. We have exactly four months to figure it all out! Not long to go....


Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Pros and Cons of Finding out the Gender

With my 20 week scan exactly one week away we've been contemplating whether we should find out the gender of this little nugget that's been growing in my belly for 19 weeks. There's so many reason to find out and again the same to stick it out and wait the whole 40 weeks for that precious gender reveal.

We've weighed up the pros and cons of finding out the gender and this is what we've come up with.

Finding out the gender

1. Pro: being able to organise before our pending new arrival. That includes buying gender specific clothing and kitting out the nursery to suit a baby boy or girl. Even though we'll probably end up going for an all white type decor in the baby's room. It would be nice to add gender specific finishing touches to his or her room. 

2. Pro: being able to bond with the baby throughout my pregnancy. Instead of calling the baby 'it' it would be lovely to able to call the baby him or her. Choosing a name before the baby arrives and not spend days choosing a name. Also explaining to Max that he will be having a little sister or brother would be nice in preparation.

3. Pro: it's like having a little 'halfway through your pregnancy' reward at your 20 week scan. The first half of my pregnancy (especially the first trimester) was so tough. I honestly didn't think I would make it through, but I did and what a lovely way to pat yourself on the back then to find out what gender you'll be having at your next scan. 

Not finding out the gender

1. In this day and age we know a lot more than we need to. Why ruin one of life's greatest surprises finding out ahead of time?

2. What if the sonographer tells you the wrong gender?! This thought has crossed my mind a lot. Can you imagine if I bought clothes and kitted out the nursery in pink to then find out I was having a baby boy?! Although this isn't a massive problem because it can be changed it would mean another added chore to add to my list with a newborn and a toddler in tow. Also I would have wrapped my head around having a specific gender and would find it really difficult to come to terms with having a gender that we weren't told we were having. 

3. Too much blue and too much pink. With Max we didn't find out until the moment he was born. The surprise was AMAZING even though I had a feeling he would be a baby boy by how BIG I was! However as a newborn he lived in white which made him look so angelic no blue until he was three months old. He looked like a sweet angelic newborn, which I loved. 

4. And finally I just don't care enough to what to find out during my pregnancy. I know this is so cliche but all I want is a healthy baby. I don't care if I have another boy because Max will have a brother to play football with. I don't mind it if I have a girl because I'll get to experience one of each gender and I'd love to see the bond Max will have protecting his little sister. 

So I think it's fair to say from this blog post that I think it'll be surprise again. Which I'm excited about! Another four months to go until we know if we will be welcoming a little baby boy or girl into our family.

Did you find out the gender or did you decide to keep it a surprise?