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 of skin is anchoring his tongue to the bottom of his mouth. Apparently this is more common in boys than girls, and isn’t good in the latching on stakes. The limited movement of his tongue makes achieving a good latch a challenge, and he keeps slipping off because he simply can’t get a good purchase on the boob. As a result he inevitably ends up sucking the nipple as opposed to the breast, meaning both are now cracked, bleeding and Oh So Sore. Luckily the situation is affecting me more than him – rather than losing weight as many newborns do he’s actually gained 5% of his bodyweight since birth and now weighs 8lbs. It’s the actual feeding which is the problem, and has made me realise that breast feeding a newborn and breast feeding a toddler are two completely different things. […]

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 old son sleeping peacefully on Misery Guts’ chest. That’s right: BB is officially a big sister after Little B graced us with his presence in the early hours of Thursday morning. Just three days overdue compared to BB’s 14, his delivery couldn’t have been more different – or quick. Instead of being anchored to a hospital bed on my back by an epidural, heart monitors, various drips and a catheter I delivered Little B on all fours in the tranquillity of a birthing pool on the 13th floor of the Royal Sussex Hospital with the bright lights of Brighton twinkling outside. The midwife passed him to me under the water and he emerged calmly blinking up at me, less than two and a half hours after arriving at hospital apparently only 2cms dilated, and then we climbed out of the pool and snuggled down on bean bags on the floor. […]

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. […]

Running in pregnancy: I made it to 36 weeks

It is with the greatest regret that I have finally admitted defeat and hung up my running trainers. I made [...]

It’s probably not surprising she’s playing up…

Last night marked our ninth consecutive broken night. It all started when BB came down with a bug last Monday, and spent the majority of the day in her nightie on the sofa (pictured). So I expected an unsettled night or two, but not nine. She’s bright as rain now, but the bug has taken her usual night time routine with it. It takes her ages to settle, she cries repeatedly, and then she wakes throughout the night crying out for us. Not what we need when trying to conserve energy for our new arrival in a couple of weeks. Worst still, I’ve got absolutely no idea how to deal with it. It’s probably not surprising she’s playing up – the last month has seen several big changes including a new bed (her old one has been made back into a cot) and graduation from her nursery’s toddler unit to preschool, which unfortunately – and unavoidably – have come at the same time. Add to that impending threat arrival of a brother or sister, and I suppose it’s a recipe for disaster. […]

By |October 8th, 2014|Discipline, Family life, Health, Parenting, Pregnancy|4 Comments

Pregnancy after multiple miscarriage: we’re technically full term

Week: 37 Waist: 41.5 inches (+ 1 inch) Feeling: Grumpy At 37 weeks – that’s technically full term – the trials and tribulations of pregnancy are catching up with me. It’s been another hormonal week thanks to Braxton Hicks making my evenings uncomfortable, hot flushes playing havoc with my sleep and the discovery of a lump on one of my boobs. I went to the doctor who found not one but three lumps, but because they are all roughly the same size and shape he’s ‘confident’ they’re enlarged milk glands and told me to keep an eye on them and come back if they get bigger, change shape or don’t disappear after breast feeding. I reported this information to my midwife, who helpfully told me she has a friend who found similar lumps while pregnant which turned out not to be enlarged milk ducts, and she had to have them removed. Why did she tell me this? Why why why? […]

Pregnancy after multiple miscarriage: it’s been a BAD WEEK

Week: 35 Waist: 40.5 (+0.5 inches) Feeling: Hormonal Highs are always followed by lows. This time last week I was feeling rather smug after the baby’s head engaged and instead of feeling even more uncomfortable and full of pressure I felt liberated because I could breathe freely and my heartburn subsided. I did a five mile run in which I felt like I was skipping and marvelled at how well I felt. Not anymore. This is probably the result of it having been a trying couple of weeks owing to Misery Guts spending two days in hospital with a severe migraine (again) and almost two weeks recovering at home (it’s a long story) and my tiredness from the whole ordeal finally catching up with me. It all started when we went to Ikea to collect a chest of drawers big enough to take BB’s and the new baby’s clothes. I’d never been to an Ikea before, and I never want to again. It brought out the worst in me, and next time I’ll happily pay the £39 charge to have an item delivered to my door. In fact I would pay more than that if it meant not having to drive for two hours, queue to get into the car park, battle my way through people wandering about in no particular direction in a windowless vacuum with lights that are too bright only to queue to collect the damned thing and then again to pay. […]