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The best Christmas present in the world ever: a 30 year old dolls house

After a two-week Christmas and new year break (bet you didn’t even notice) we’re back. And while we might be [...]

By |January 7th, 2015|Craft, Family life, Parenting, Pregnancy|4 Comments

Bedside cribs: a ‘safe’ co-sleeping solution?

At just six weeks old Little B has outgrown the moses basket. Not that he slept in it much anyway, preferring to sleep in our bed spread-eagled between us. But while this would send him into a deep, peaceful sleep, it of course meant I slept terribly, worried one of us would roll onto him, accidently pull the duvet over him or that he would shimmy himself against one of the pillows in his sleep. The health visitor advised putting him on my side of the bed rather than between us because as his mum I naturally sleep more lightly, but that’s hardly a long-term solution for the next few months when he’s too small to go into a cot in his own bedroom. So, after a bit of research, I think I’ve come up with the answer: a bedside crib (pictured). There are lots on the market, some as much as a couple of hundred pounds, but we went for the cheapest, Chicco’s Next2Me (£149.99), given he will have outgrown it by six months old. Even Misery Guts, who was predictably sceptical about buying yet more paraphernalia, admits it’s a nifty bit of kit. (You can hire other brands through the NCT, but the waiting list was until the middle of January, so not much help). […]

Running after pregnancy: I’m pounding the pavements again

It’s the moment I’ve been waiting for: at long last I can pound the pavements again. After hanging up my trainers at 36 weeks pregnant I then had four weeks ‘off’ after Little B’s birth and went for my first run exactly four weeks later. Without a bump I felt like I was flying. My running bible throughout pregnancy has been Runner’s World Guide to Running & Pregnancy by Chris Lundgren, one of only a handful of books I’ve been able to find on the subject. She advises waiting until you’ve stopped bleeding and then adding another week before attempting your first post-partum run, and then if you have any fresh blood afterwards wait another week before going out again. I followed this advice with both BB and Little B, and it seems a sensible approach to me. I was careful to stick to my pregnancy pace – you’re actually more at risk of injury in the months immediately after giving birth than you are during pregnancy – and not to take too big strides owing to my recent date with the needle and thread, but wow. As it did after BB was born, it felt brilliant. […]

Stretch mark creams review: Bepanthen, Palmer’s & Bio Oil

They say there’s nothing you can really do about stretch marks: it’s in the genes and you'll either get them, [...]

Little B’s first smile: the most rewarding moment so far

At 5 weeks and 4 days old I’ve managed to capture Little B’s smile on camera for the first time. There have been fleeting mini smiles over the past week or so – and never with a camera to hand – but now he’s properly beaming and throwing in gurgles for good measure. After almost six weeks of not sleeping longer than a couple of hours at a time, the pain of bleeding nipples and stinging stiches, the indignity of big pants and industrial strength wadding, scraping poo from under my fingernails (not mine, obviously), soothing colic, cold tea, snatched baths and even colder dinner, to be rewarded with a smile is the most momentous, fulfilling moment so far. […]

By |December 10th, 2014|Breast feeding, Family life, Health, Parenting, Pregnancy|2 Comments

Hopefully that’s our last medical-related appointment for now…

Not only was Little B diagnosed with tongue tie on the day he was born, the paediatrician also discovered a heart murmur. This was found at his paediatric check, which took place when he was just a few hours old because we were on a six hour discharge from the hospital. I wasn’t overly concerned: he has a good colour, has put on a whole 2lbs since he was born almost three weeks ago and doesn’t look like there might be something wrong with him. Apparently a heart murmur isn’t unusual in really newborn babies after their circulation switches from running on the inside to functioning on the outside, and we were told that had the paediatric check taken place the following day they may not have detected anything at all. […]

When the nurse brandished some shears I nearly passed out…

At 13 days old Little B’s tongue tie has finally been sorted out. I’m not normally squeamish, but when the nurse brandished a pair of shears scissors to make the snip at the base of his tongue I nearly passed out. And I’m not joking. Admittedly the room was hot – stiflingly hot as only ante natal units are – and I was already feeling a little light headed because it was way past lunchtime owing to the fact they were ‘running behind’. But even so, after reading somewhere that they take the baby away to cut the tongue tie, I didn’t expect to have to hold him down while they actually did it. […]

By |November 12th, 2014|Breast feeding, Family life, Food, Health, Parenting, Pregnancy, Weaning|2 Comments

I’m loving NOT being pregnant

Isn’t the human body amazing? It takes 40 weeks to grow a baby but just a matter of days for it to look like there was never anything there at all. This is how mine has changed in the 10 days since Little B was born, although suggesting it looks like there was never anything there at all is stretching it a bit. There’s no doubt I’m a mother: the tell-tale linea nigra across my stomach, the midwife’s needlework skills and the fact I’m in dire need of some serious heavy duty eye cream are all dead giveaways, but all things considered, when fully clothed, I reckon I’ve escaped relatively unscathed. […]

Breast feeding a baby with tongue tie: ouch ouch ouch ouch ouch

Little B was diagnosed with tongue tie by our midwife as soon as he was born, meaning a little lip [...]

By |November 7th, 2014|Breast feeding, Family life, Health, Parenting, Pregnancy, Weaning|0 Comments

I may have overplayed the ‘he won’t actually be able to do anything’ card

I think it’s fair to say BB has taken to being a big sister like a duck to water. After six weeks of broken nights and being generally unsettled in the run up to Little B’s arrival, almost a week in we couldn’t have asked for a better outcome. She goes down at night without a fuss about ‘the baby in mummy’s tummy’, sleeps through the night and no longer wakes up grizzling. She loves kissing him, looking at him and lying next to him (pictured), and I may have overplayed the ‘he won’t actually be able to do anything yet’ card as she’s delighted when he simply grips her finger. […]

Pregnancy after multiple miscarriage: we did it!

I fully expected to be penning a week 41 post today: instead I am writing this with our four day [...]

Robbie’s welcome to sing & gyrate in my delivery room any day

So there’s been a great hoo-hah about Robbie Williams ‘live’ blogging and tweeting updates during his wife Ayda’s labour this week. I have to say if Robbie fancies coming to my delivery room and gyrating around the bed while singing Candy he’s most welcome – what better diversion? – but if Misery Guts tries it he’s likely to get a punch in the face. In case you’ve been on another planet for the last few days, you can watch one of Williams’ offerings here. You’ve got to hand it to Mrs Williams, who appears resigned to her husband’s behaviour throughout. She’s probably used to it. But what fascinates me is who is it behind the camera? Robbie hasn’t balanced the thing on top of a ventilator: there’s clearly someone filming proceedings. […]

Pregnancy after multiple miscarriage: D-Day has arrived

Week: 40 Waist: 40 inches (no change) Feeling: Ready and waiting What can I say? Today is D-day and the Big Wait has begun. What a 40 weeks it’s been: I’ve put on 10 kilos – that’s one and a half stone in old money – my waist has expanded a whopping 13 inches and my chest has grown from a B to a D cup. I’ve felt enormous for pretty much the entire pregnancy, but looking back at the weekly pictures I started taking at 20 weeks it seems to me that back then I barely even looked pregnant. […]

Pregnancy after multiple miscarriage: spoiling the sibling

Week: 39 Waist: 40 inches (no change) Feeling: In the mood to spoil I’ve spent my first week of maternity leave thoroughly spoiling BB, knowing it could be the last week it’s just the two of us at home. I’m probably setting us up for problems with the level of spoiling that’s gone on, and as predicted, it’s been a fairly busy week. We’ve been to the park, the library, baked, eaten the products of our baking and this afternoon we’ve got a hotly anticipated trip to the cinema. This morning, with BB safely stowed at pre-school, I also had a pre-labour pedicure so my feet are now officially ready for the delivery suite (when I had BB I had one foot firmly wedged on the midwife’s shoulder, so thought it best to safe than sorry). […]

Pregnancy after multiple miscarriage: maternity leave starts here

Week: 38 Waist: 40 inches (-1.5 inches, possibly owing to bump dropping further down) Feeling: Relieved At close of play today, I’m officially on maternity leave. As a freelance journalist I knew I couldn’t leave it too late to accept my last commission in case I couldn’t meet the deadline, but, at the end of a stressful few weeks and with less than half a day to go it looks like I’ve made it. It’s such a relief. Even so, I’m fried: I will have filed 7,250 words this week alone. With a bit of luck I’ll still have next week before anything happens – the plan is to recharge my batteries as much as possible, and spend time with BB doing mummy and daughter things as it’s the last time it will be just the two of us at home. The thing is, the list of activities she’d like to do is getting increasingly lengthy. Making Halloween cupcakes, going swimming, a trip to the cinema and a visit to the library are already on the agenda. I suggested it might be nice to rest on the sofa together but this was met with a definite no. […]