Cracking On With Baby Led Weaning

Dear Sophie-Anne,

One thing we were quite taken on, after plenty of reading around, was baby led weaning but your schedule never really matched ours (until now) which made it awkward for you to share our meal times. At this point we have been giving you bits and pieces to snack on like the occasional rusk, petit filous, pieces of fruit and toast fingers but today we actually sat you down with us for dinner and you really seemed to enjoy it.

Tonight you had a mix of potatoes, carrots and green beans and you seemed to love it all, you absolutely demolished the potato, enjoyed chewing on the rest and only gagged once when you took on quite a chunk of carrot so we are classing this first real venture into full on meal times as a total success! We will hopefully be making a pasta dish this weekend for you to try, and from how today went I can honestly say that I am ridiculously excited ūüôā

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Now it’s time for your last bottle, bath and then bed so we’d better crack on!

Loads of love,

Mum & Dad

xoxox

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Time Flies When You Have A Baby!

Dear Sophie-Anne,

Tomorrow you will hit your 6 month milestone and I honestly cannot understand where the time has gone, it feels like only yesterday that I was giving birth to you but here you are, massive in size compared to when you were born, developing quite the personality and learning something new every day. It has been amazing to watch you grow and develop so severely in such a short amount of time. It’s also been nowhere near as much hard work as everyone made it out to be (which is nice!) and I’m loving every minute of being with you.

You have always been a fairly placid baby and you’ve not really had any problems with routines at all, you have always seemed to lead us down the path that you have wanted to go down which has taken quite a lot of the guesswork out of having a baby to care for. You have pretty much always been a good eater but unfortunately you and I were never able to perfect the art of breastfeeding which resulted in me expressing as much as I could and then switching you on to formula feeds when I just couldn’t keep up with you any more. I used to feel like I’d failed you by not being able to breastfeed but then I realised that I did the best that I could for you by expressing as long as possible so, all in all, I don’t feel too bad about the situation.

We have recently started to wean you and we are mainly trying you with a mix of puree feeds but we are also going to introduce baby led weaning properly. As we are new to this I have to admit that some days I feel terrified about giving you actual food just in case you choke, but I’m getting there – you do gag a lot but that is with both the puree and the little amount of solid food that you have had and some of the faces you pull at the new tastes and textures you are trying make it hilarious to watch. Right now you are loving sweet breakfast and pudding purees, you hate anything savoury apart from toast (you love toast so much that you crammed it in your mouth to the point where you gagged but then decided to swallow! That is the first solid you’ve swallowed so far) and you seemed to like sucking on an apple slice.

Last night you encountered your first ever thunder-storm and it was a good one to start you off with! It was so loud and you could even feel some of the rumblings but you didn’t wake up once. That being said, you have always been an excellent sleeper – some days I worry that you sleep too much but then I guess you’ll sleep when you are tired and wake when you’re ready … I’m trying not to focus too much on the “What your baby should do” information out there and just let you be. Your schedule hasn’t really changed much from you being a newborn in that life still sort of rolls around in four-hour blocks. Right now your schedule looks a bit like this…

08:00 – wake up with a whopping grin on your face ready for the day and cuddles with daddy before work

08:30 – 09:00 – breakfast of 240ml bottle and a breakfast puree/finger food

09:00 – 10:00/10:30 – play time!!! (jumperoo, activity mat, kick about, music etc)

10:00/10:30 Р 12:00 Рnap time

12:30 – 13:00 – lunch of 240ml bottle and a savoury puree/finger food

13:00 – 14:00/14:30 – play time!!!

14:00/14:30 – 16:00 – nap time

16:30 – 17:00 – dinner of 240ml bottle and a pudding puree/finger food

17:00 – 18:00/18:30 – play time!!! and cuddles with daddy when he gets home

18:00/18:30 – 20:00 – nap time

20:30 – supper of 240ml milk

21:00 – wind down

21:30 – bed time

This routine is changing tomorrow as we are moving you up to the next milk stage and down to three bottles a day with purees/the same meals as us and then two snacks during the day which will be pieces of fruit and vegetables so hopefully you will take to that as well as you have taken to everything else.

Anyway, it’s getting late so I’m going to end here but the last thing I’ll say for now is that I can guarantee that you are the best thing your dad and I ever did – the look on his face every day when he comes home and sees you is priceless and the love I feel for you when you fall asleep in my arms holding your hand to my cheek can’t be described. To us, you are perfect and the best little girl we could have ever wished for.

Love you tons,

Mum & Dad

xoxox

P.S Look how much you’ve changed!

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I’m Back … Again!

Hello again!

Well as the title says, I’m back again but this time I’m going to try to make a real effort to keep on writing because I’d like Sophie-Anne to have something to look back on one day if possible and this works well for that I guess.

I’ve not been around for a couple of reasons really, the lesser one being that I wasn’t overly sure that I wanted to keep posting online due to some family issues where I’d prefer it for certain people to not see what I write as I don’t want to share Soph’s life with them in any way – at the same time I don’t like feeling that I have to try to hide her, or myself, ¬†away. Why should I? It’s their loss at the end of the day and seeing a picture will in no way make up for missing out on her life.

The other, much larger reason is that I have an almost six month old baby who keeps me very busy and refuses to be put down for a nap at any time during the day – she will either sleep on me (or her daddy) or cry because she is over-tired from refusing to sleep and that is just how she rolls! I must admit that I truly love my cuddles with her throughout the day so I’m not complaining in the slightest but it does make typing (and doing anything else) quite awkward.

So, lets see if I can stick it this time!

 

From Newborn To Six Weeks In Pictures

P1000468 Newborn in the hospital

P1000470 Still in hospital and too small for her smallest sleep suits

2013-02-04 19.49.27 Home now and sleepy

2013-02-01 16.42.58 Making shapes

DSC_0837 Big yawn!

DSC_0853 Cheesy grin

DSC_0855 !!!Holy shit!!!

DSC_0860 Taking it all in

2013-03-11 14.25.08 Having fun

2013-03-11 14.24.08 Ooooooh pretty!

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10 Lessons That I Have Learned So Far

1. Time flies!

I can’t believe that our daughter is six weeks old already … nearly seven weeks in fact! It feels like only yesterday that I was in hospital on the labour suite giving it my all in order for us to meet her for the first time. It’s not even just the length of time that has passed since her birth that amazes me, it’s how quickly the hours of the day pass by when you are just plodding along changing nappies and making up feeds. Right now Soph is on a rough four-hour schedule which means that my life is being lived in small four-hour blocks where I have to fit in everything that she needs (change, feed, burp, cuddle, calm when she cries, soothe to sleep etc) along with anything that I’d like to do (cook, eat, do chores etc) in that time – four hours sounds like plenty of time and when I thought about it before I had her in my life, I honestly thought that I’d have no problems in fitting in everything in the world and more … how wrong I was! There have been times when I have planned to have my lunch after having Soph fed, changed and settled to only be sat with my dinner going cold on the side while I rocked her to sleep again after she had startled herself awake or I never got around to cooking it in the first place as she wanted company and cuddles (which I’m more than happy to give!) for the majority of the four hours when the process starts again. I’m not complaining as the quicker the hours go by, the sooner it seems that my hubby is walking through the door at the end of the day which I love as I miss him while he is at work (we used to travel together, work together and take our breaks together so it’s still quite strange only seeing him for art of the day) and I also love to see him with Soph – it’s just so cute! The one complaint that I do have about the time flying by is that it if it carries on at this rate I’ll have a teenager before I know it.

2. Don’t listen to anyone else

I should have learned this lesson a long time ago but things are rarely ever as bad as people make out. I was told, on a near daily basis, how awful childbirth is, how painful every millisecond of labour will feel, how awful I would feel after all he sleepless nights and how hard it is to cope with a newborn. I can honestly say that¬† childbirth was not awful – it was amazing, labour was painful at times but it was nowhere near as bad as what people made it out to be, the sleepless nights are non-existent¬†in that Soph has always slept through in solid blocks so all that we have needed to do is wake up once for a change and a feed which we really can’t complain about and coping with a newborn is just fun! There is nothing better in my opinion, watching how Soph is learning with every new moment, developing her personality or growing in some way every day is a real treat, not the chore some ¬†people make it out to be.

3. Books, websites and other peoples experiences are helpful but they are not the only way to do things!

I started out my journey into motherhood quite stressed out as not everything with Soph was working as so-and-so said it should! I seemed to have it in my head that if Sophie-Anne wasn’t functioning exactly like the books/websites/others said she should that I was failing in some way but thankfully, I have started to calm my ways now and have found that being baby led (whilst still being slightly scary to me as so-and-so still says it is wrong!) works a treat … she will do whatever it is that she wants to do!

4. There is nothing scarier than that first day back at home

We were terrified and Sophie-Anne knew it, she was on edge because we were on edge and she sobbed uncontrollably when we got her in the house and settled, which in fairness is exactly what I wanted to do too! I think we were so scared as there was nobody to fall back on now, we were responsible for this little person who was relying on us so completely to give her everything that she needed – it was just an overwhelming feeling at the time and one that we didn’t expect in the slightest. It is amazing though how quickly instinct kicks in and how you adapt and just know how to crack on and get things sorted.

5. The worst sound you can imagine is the sound of your own child crying

Now we are lucky in that Soph is a very content (or so everyone says!) baby and because of that she doesn’t really cry a great deal. She does hate being changed and she will let us know it but other than that she only really cries to let us know that we are late with a feed, when she has accidentally spat out her dummy or when she has a bit of trapped wind – she’s not one of the babies who can just cry for no reason (thank you Sophie-Anne!) but when she does cry it just shocks us into action. We hate to see her cry and we just want to do everything and anything we can to settle her which has also led me to realise that leaving a baby to cry so it can learn to settle itself is reallllllllllly not for me!

6. Breastfeeding is not always as easy as you’d think

I had planned to breastfeed from before I was even pregnant and I never expected that I’d struggle with it, but I did. In hospital I had an awful time getting Soph to latch and there was one midwife (apparently a breastfeeding pro) who upset me so much one evening with her slamming about, huffing and puffing and sighing every time she couldn’t get Soph to latch that I was left crying my eyes out with a baby who had not been fed properly, a flat battery on my mobile and an insane feeling of isolation as I had nobody to talk to about it. I asked for a bottle of formula in order to make sure that Soph had actually gotten a feed (the midwife made me hand express and decided that a 1ml feed was enough to give her by syringe before storming off) and the next morning I was given the use of a pump from a different, and much nicer midwife, which was just so much easier – at that point I was furious that I’d not been offered that the evening before but it was working so I just concentrated on getting Soph fed. When we got home the visiting midwife had me get some nipple shields but no matter what we did it just didn’t work for us so I started to express and bottle feed. Sadly, I wasn’t able to keep up with demand so last week we took the decision to introduce formula which saw my supply start to diminish and now we are 100% formula fed. I went for as long as possible which meant that Soph got a solid five weeks of breast milk, which has to be better than nothing!

7. Failing to breastfeed does not mean that you have failed overall!

When I had to resort to expressing I was truly devastated and I felt like a complete failure but seeing Sophie-Anne thrive no matter how she is fed and after listening to my hubby tell me that I’ve not failed her over and over again I now realise that although things didn’t go to plan, I have a wonderfully happy, full and thriving baby and that is all that matters.

8. Reusable nappies are not as terrifying as people may think.

I fell in love with the idea of¬†reusable¬†nappies a while back and we decided upon using TotsBots which we purchased at the baby show months ago. After we bought the nappies people started telling me (again with people and their opinions!) how hard they would be to use, how we might fail and have wasted all that money etc. and this started to drain my confidence which led us to buy more disposable nappies than we had originally intended to. The disposables were soon used up though and the Tots came into force and we haven’t looked back since – they are very easy to use and clean and I don’t get why people thought we’d struggle?!?!?! I know that my brother and his partner had their doubts but they have never thought about using reusables on their daughter so it’s just an alien idea to them … maybe that is the case for the people who doubted us too?

9. I can do anything

At first, when the hubby went back to work after his paternity leave, part of me was terrified of having to do things alone but now I have settled into Soph’s routine, I’m much more confident and with a bit of planning around timings I can do anything I want. I don’t worry about putting the travel system together now, I don’t panic about leaving the house with Soph, I don’t fret about going to the shops in order to top up on anything we might need … I actually look forward to my walks out with my daughter as this is going to be the way that I lose weight (I’ve lost 3lbs in this past week without dieting or exercising so I can’t wait to see what happens when I actually TRY to lose weight!), trim up and get healthy and fit and a fitter me makes for a more active and playful mummy in the future!

10. Family = Everything

It’s as simple as it sounds really. All I can say is that since Sophie-Anne was born I have felt totally complete – I’ve always wanted kids and now that I actually have one I couldn’t imagine life any other way, messy poops, middle of the night feeds, sick n’all. My family means everything to me and I’m determined to be the best parent (and wife) that I can possibly be!

How Life Has Changed!

Well I was planning on getting a post together much earlier than this but I’ve not had the time or drive to do so as we welcomed our little miracle into the world on the 24th of January and since that day, we have not been able to take our eyes off of her!

So I guess I’ll start at the beginning. On the 23rd of January my hubby went off to work as normal and at 10am I started to feel niggly aches and pains – I didn’t think too much of them at the time as I was sure that I’d have to be induced on the 28th as planned so I just figured that these little feelings were just “one of those things”. Around 11am the sensations hadn’t subsided any so I thought I’d let the hubby know what was happening but I also didn’t want him to get his hopes up so I just sent him a brief email to let him know what was happening.

The rest of the day passed and the pains didn’t get that much more intense so when he came home from work we just plodded on as normal but come bedtime things had started to ramp up and I was starting to feel quite a bit of pain so I had the hubby slap on the TENS machine that we had rented from the midwife and tried to get some sleep … sleep did not come (for me anyways! the hubby got his full 8 hours though!) but the pain just intensified. I decided to go and sit downstairs as I had started to flail around in bed and didn’t want to disturb the hubby’s sleep so there I was bouncing on a gym ball, crouching over the couch arm, lying on my side, curling into a ball, pacing back and forth – whatever I could try to do to take the pain away I did … I must have looked insane!

I finally caved at 6am and rang the delivery suite at our hospital as the contractions (yes, I had now decided that I was indeed having contractions and that I was actually going to give birth to a child!) were getting closer together and were more and more painful and prolonged. The midwife on the desk didn’t seem concerned in the slightest and told me to sit tight and take two paracetamol as that is what they would do for me at this stage. “TWO PARACETAMOL … are you kidding me?!?!?!” is what I wanted to screech, but like a good woman in labour I thanked her for her time and took the paracetamol as advised.

They. Did. NOTHING!

A couple of hours later, I then got to the point where I thought that I was losing my mind, everything hurt during each contraction but I felt perfectly fine in between which left me feeling like a bit of a fraud really but I decided to call in again to explain that things seemed to be progressing and that I was really struggling with the pain. The midwife explained that as I could still speak through my contractions that I wasn’t to come in – this really annoyed me as yes, I was determined to answer the questions that were asked of me but I really wasn’t able to get a full¬†sentence¬†out in one go and I felt like I was being fobbed off.

The hubby then woke up and came downstairs to see me in quite the state, he tried to help me out in any way that he could but how can you really do¬†anything¬†to help someone who is in pain but can’t take anything for it? Bless him, he did want to be there for me though and he asked me to ring the hospital again which I put off for a while but I did finally give in and call again. I was told that I could now make my way in and we got there and checked in for 10:20am on the 24th. I was given an examination and was told that I had measured at 3cm but during the exam that I had now progressed to 4cm¬†dilated¬†– I wasn’t being sent home … YAY!

We got taken to a labour suite and put in the capable hands of our new midwife, Roe, who was lovely and I was told to bounce around on a ball or do whatever I could to be as upright as possible, I was also given gas and air to try and I hated the taste of it but thought I’d have a chug on it to see if it made any difference – I really didn’t feel like it did but I was going to keep going with it anyway.

Lunch time came and I was brought a sandwich and a syrup sponge with custard, I couldn’t bring myself to eat the sandwich but I was going to eat the cake because it’s cake and it would be rude not to! but I have almost always been physically sick when I suffer period pains so I wasn’t really in the mood to eat anything but I was told that I needed to eat so eat I did.

The pain of each contraction then got worse so I was laid on the bed and sucking on the gas and air to be told that I wasn’t doing it right. The midwife told me to take long, steady breaths on it so I did and I instantly started to gag. “It can make you feel a bit sick” said sweet midwife Roe to which I promptly replied by projectile vomiting the entire length of the¬†hospital¬†bed, all over myself and I even managed to get a bit on my hubby. I was then given a little sick bucket which I filled in seconds to then be given a second and for that to then be filled just as¬†quickly¬†…. niiiice!

At this point I was sworn off of the gas and air so I opted to have some diamorphine as I was told that it would make it so that I no longer cared that I was contracting … this was a lie! A sweet lie to convince me to have some pain medication (I never wanted anything more than the gas and air originally) but a lie none the less. I was apparently doped out of it all but each contraction was still felt and disliked!

After apologising for throwing up on him, I then started to tell the hubby that I felt the need to push but that I didn’t know if it was actually the need to push or the need to poop that I was feeling, this was also explained to the midwife and she told me to breathe through it if I could, I tried to do this but I just couldn’t seem to stop so then I was given another examination to check my progression and it turned out that I was fully dilated and that my waters had gone (probably when I was vomiting all over myself!) and that I was ready to push – it was also noted that there was meconium in my waters.

The midwife changed into her birthing smock and told me to start pushing if the need took over, so I did. At this point we found that the baby was twisted in the womb and trying to come out at a bit of an angle which caused her to be squished by my pelvis which in turn made her heartbeat drop. Roe then went to explain this to a doctor and a moment later the room was full of people, there were people telling me to push harder and for longer with each contraction and there was a surgeon in the room explaining to us how that I may be taken to have a forceps delivery and if that failed that I’d need a c-section … I honestly didn’t care what had to happen, I just wanted our little girl out safely, but I was determined to give it my best shot so I pushed as hard as I possibly could with each contraction and it seemed to be paying off.

A brief while late it was decided that it looked like I could manage this birth on my own (after a Dr with extremely large hands decided to have his ridiculously painful and wicked handsy way with me!) so people started to leave the room as I pushed like a madwoman and birthed my little girls head. A push or two later and she was here! her daddy was cutting her cord and she was being bundled into my top for some mummy-daughter bonding!

So at 4:15pm on the 24th of January 2013 we welcomed our little miracle, Sophie-Anne Elizabeth, into the world … and what a better world it has seemed since she arrived!

My sqidgy miss!

My sqidgy miss!

S'up?
S’up?

Chillin' with daddy
Chillin’ with daddy

My very own Sleeping Beauty

Our very own Sleeping Beauty

 

Just taking in the world

Just taking in the world

 

Ohhhh Dear…

I can’t believe that I haven’t updated this blog since week 34!!!! Since maternity leave has hit I’ve just not seemed to have the motivation/energy to do much, I’ve been trying to keep up with the housework (sometimes failing) I was supposed to finish off the name canvas for our little ones room (FAIL! … but she wont be in her room for a good six months so I still have time) I was planning on starting to get all crafty and such (::sigh::) ¬†and I’ve been determined to have the hubby’s dinner cooked and ready for when he gets home (the one and only epic success!) but I’ll admit that I’m finding it a struggle at times.

Not wanting to assign blame for my (sometimes) laziness and regular fail but WOW do I feel like I’m ready to pop?!?!?! My bump is just ever-expanding to the point where the hubby has to help me up off of the sofa as I just can’t wriggle free of it without moaning and groaning, I’m constantly sleepy, the pressure I feel in my bump is intense, I physically struggle to get out of bed in a morning, I seem to be perma-hungry, I hurt like crazy if/when I walk for too long and I feel like my pubic bone is being ripped apart a millimetre at a time!

My moaning does make it sound like I’m not enjoying this pregnancy but to be honest, this is still the best I have ever felt in my entire life! I love being pregnant, I adore my bump, I find it to be the cutest thing ever when the hubby rubs, pats and kisses my bump, I still smile at all of the kicks – even though they sometimes hurt like crazy! – and I’m going to miss this all so much when it’s over. The only downside to it is that I feel useless and lazy when things don’t get done.

Anyways, moving on and I am now at the 39 week mark, 39 weeks + 5 days in fact! Yesterday was our original EDD and our actual given EDD is in 2 days time!! TWO DAYS!! I thought at times that this pregnancy was dragging its heels but thinking about it now it has just flown by which makes me panic about how quickly time will seem to pass when our little girl is here, it scares me to think that if we blink that we will miss something!

So what has been happening in the weeks since my last post?

Not toooo much really, everything has been plodding on as planned with very little drama. At my last¬†consultant¬†appointment I was given the all clear for my thyroid and told that I no longer needed to come to clinic as my levels had stabilised (yay!) and at my last scan we were told that the baby had jumped from around the 10th percentile to the 54th (double yay!) so we were no longer needed in for monitoring as she was no longer considered to be small. At my last midwife appointment I was told that everything seemed fine across the board and our little girl was referred to as “one chilled out baby” as she was just chilling, head down but not engaged at the time. I rented a tens machine from the midwife as I still have this dream of the birth being as natural as possible, for as long as possible and I have been given the date of my first sweep if she doesn’t come on her own which is the 17th of January … my hubby’s 30th birthday! nice present right? ūüėõ

I have been having some period like pains and I’m hoping that they mean something is happening as I’d much rather just go into labour myself rather than having a helping hand (pun intended!) from the midwife but we shall see.My mum was induced with me and I was two weeks late myself so that’s what I’m imagining for myself now but you never know I guess.

I was supposed to be updating with pictures at this point but I still need to get one taken for this week so I think I’ll do a whole bump progress post a little later on but for now it is time to hang some washing out and for breakfast!

More as and when I guess … if I can get motivated enough to post ūüėõ

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