Monday, 31 December 2012

Happy New Year!!

I would like to take this opportunity to wish all of my readers a very happy New Year. 2012 has been a perfect year for us and I count my blessings everyday that we have been so lucky; I know some people are not and those that have had a hard year, you are in my thoughts.

I truly hope we are privileged enough to have such an amazing year in 2013 as well.

Raise your glasses to your best year yet.


Best Wishes,


Jess (& Freddie!) Xx

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Freddie's First Festivities....

A Toy Box full of treats!
Enjoying Xmas Dinner with Nanna
Santa's Been!
Where have all these come from Mum?
Little Christmas Elf
Santa Baby!


What a Difference a Day Makes...

Or in fact a year!

This time last year, I had taken a pregnancy test and after those two minutes were up, I was greeted with this.


I have posted before about how I turned up in the pub carpark where Mr C was obliviously watching football and drink copious amounts of ale, clutching a positive test desperate to tell him our happy news.

That was exactly 365 days ago. We drove home excitedly chatting about what was to become. Would we have a girl or a boy? Who would they look like? What would they be when they were older? Would we be good parents? Would our baby be OK? That journey was the most surreal of my life. Looking back, I was certainly in no fit state to be in control of a car! 

That night, exactly a year ago, we imagined everything our baby was going to be. Tonight, as I kissed his forehead as I laid him into his cot, I realised. We couldn't have even begun to imagine how perfect our son would be. There was no way we could have estimated how much we would love him. He has surpassed every expectation we ever had. 

That night, we made a pact. We would love our baby with every inch of our being, with every cell in our body and beat in our hearts. And we do, we could not imagine life without him in it.

These days, every day makes a difference. Pre-Freddie, most days blurred into one. Work through the week, wine at the weekends. No day ever really stood out. Now everyday is to be cherished.  

I wake in a morning and look at him and I swear that he's got that little not bigger. Every day he turns into more of an actual person; a little man with the most amazing personality. 

17 weeks ago today, I was laid in a hospital bed, to terrified to sleep because I was watching over this...


Today, only 17 weeks later, this is the handsome little man who I kissed goodnight. I'll still check on him in the night, but I most definitely get a lot more sleep than I did that first night when I watched over my newborn son.


In the space of a year, we've gone from positive pregnancy test to this. How time flies. Our lives have been turned upside down since this time last year, they've been a whirlwind but I wouldn't change a second.

I want to stop time now. I want to encapsulate my little man and keep him and this tender age now. It scares me how time runs away with us. I blink and he's that second older. He can now laugh, he babbles away, he's beginning to sit on his own and today, we ventured into the world of solid food. 

I will love him every second. Cherish every moment. I cannot begin to imagine what our lives will be like this time next year but I know for sure, with Freddie, it's bound to be a whole lot of fun! 

Friday, 14 December 2012

Fashionable Friday

I know strictly we are now into Saturday however here is Freddie's Fashionable Friday outfit...


Red Knit Jumper: Gap
Check Shirt: Gap
Denim Jeans: Next
Boots: Ralph Lauren



Thursday, 6 December 2012

3 Months: For you, Freddie x

My beautiful Freddie,

You are now three months old. Three whole months since you came into our lives; a whirlwind of love and happiness. Since September, you have captured my heart and continue to amaze me more and more everyday.

The last three months have flown but I do not remember my life without you in it; when it was just me and your daddy. I do not remember what it felt like to sit reading glossy magazines for hours on end or to impulsively spend tons of money on a stupidly rediculously expensive pair of shoes. I do not remember what it felt like to spend lazy Sunday mornings in bed after a late Saturday night out dancing with daddy. I do not remember what it felt like to jump in the car without hours of meticulous planning. But do you know what? I do not remember ever been this happy. You have enriched every part of my life and fulfilled every single dream.

Although you're only a tender 13 weeks, you are already a big boy. Today, I took you to baby clinic to get weighed. You were 16lbs 9oz; much bigger than all the other babies of your age that were there!

I am astounded at how fast you are developing. Already you can bear weight on your legs, standing up whilst holding mummies fingers; you laugh and chuckle like a mini comedian (you're definitely going to be the funny man like daddy!) and reach out to grab at your colourful toys. You are so strong. You struggle with all your might to pull yourself up when mummy lies you down on the floor and it shouldn't be too long till you can sit unaided.


It's getting colder now and we love to snuggle in an afternoon whilst daddy is at work. I love enjoying your company; lying on the couch wrapped in blankets watching Christmas films. I can not wait for you first Christmas. You have been spoilt beyond belief. It's funny really because you won't have a clue what's happening but I will take lots of photographs and make lots of memories.

Memories are so important. The smell of your freshly washed hair when daddy lifts you out of bath. The tiny little Converse that I put on your feet. Your first giggle whilst daddy played 'peekaboo' with you. I will do my very best to remember them all.

As always, I love you.

Forever & More...

Mummy xx

Thursday, 15 November 2012

What we've been up to recently...

We've been smiling...


We've been on the train, looking out of the windows with Nana...



We enjoyed playing in the bouncer chair (even though this picture says otherwise!)


We watched Liverpool play with Daddy...


We had a bit of a grumpy day...


but that was because mummy dressed me like this!


Tuesday, 6 November 2012

'Young, very Young...'

I am 22 years of age. I am also a mother. Therefore am I a 'young mother?'

Apparently I am. I'm 'young, very young'.

And?

Does this affect my ability to bring up my son? Will it prohibit his development and hinder his chances in life? Will he grow up in poverty and miss out on vital opportunities that he may have had if his mother was 30? Will he be exposed to a life of poor health and living on benefits?

Absolutely not. So why is my age such an issue?

 I am not a 15 year old mother. I was 22 when I gave birth to my son, who, by the way, was very much planned for. Even if I were 15, why couldn't I have given my son the best possible life, regardless of age. Some of the best mother's I know were teen mums.

Yes I'm classed as 'young' but I have my own lovely house; I drive and own  my own car; I have a good education and have an excellent class teaching degree. I have manners, class (if I do say so myself haha!) and I like to think that I am a bloody good mother.

So what's the problem? 

Recently, I went to my local children's centre to enquire about baby massage and other groups that I could take Freddie too. I used my own initiative to figure out that these groups would be beneficial to his development in the long term so along I went. 

I got talking to the lady who ran the centre who seemed very pleasant. We talked about my teaching degree as she was also an ex teacher, we chatted about my recent move to the area and about Freddie. I then filled in a form with all of my details; one of which being my date of birth. I handed the form over and the lady began to read my details. And said...

'Oh, you're young. Very young'.

What the hell does that mean? Am I excluded from these classes because of my age. I sincerely hope not! 

Maybe she was shocked? Maybe I look older than my years? Maybe I sound older? Maybe it was because I'd talked to her about my teaching career? 

Either way, I took offence at the way she made that comment. It seemed like there was negative connotations because of my age. I felt excluded because of my age. I felt judged as a parent; something no one should ever do. The only person entitled to judge me as a parent will be my son.

So anyway, it got me thinking. Will my son be affected because of my age? 

I recently read in a magazine that scientists now say that according to recent UK studies, in the long term, children of older mums are healthier and more intelligent than those born to younger mothers. According to the study older mother's are less impulsive, have better parenting skills and have more life experience that makes them better equipped for parenting...

But again... how old is an 'older mother?'

If you're over 30 it seems like you have bag films of cash, an excellent job and the patience of a saint.

On the flip side, if you're younger than 30; you have unimaginable amounts of energy and are great 'fun' as a parent. 

It seems to me that none of us can win. As they say, you're damned if you do and damned if you don't. At the end of the day, it appears to be simple...

If you love your child with all your heart and do your upmost best by them, then surely age is only number; not a indication of your parenting skills?

So yes, I may be young. I don't have bag fulls of cash however nor do I have bag films of energy however I have a heart that is full of love for my son. That's what makes a mother, not a number.

Friday, 2 November 2012

Fashionable Friday


This is my fashion icon sporting his 'fashionable Friday' look.



Red chino style pants: Next £8
Grey headphone tee: Next £5
Aztec reversible denim shirt: Next £13

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

A quick plug to let you know...


that I have listed lots of Freddie's clothes on eBay.

If you're reading this, it's highly likely you're either pregnant or you have children. If said child is male & wearing 0-3 month clothes then you're in for a treat!

The trouble with having a super-sized baby is that clothes get worn once (or not at all in many cases!) then they are too small so I figured if I sold them on eBay, I could raise some much needed funds for shopping sprees!

There are many Next, Mamas & Papas & Ralph Lauren items; most of which are brand new!

So take a look; see if anything floats your boat! Click here to see an item and then click 'see sellers other items' to view full listings.

If you are a 'A Whole 9 Months' reader, then I will offer you a 10% discount on any item thast you win. Just email me to let me know you've seen this post and i'll ammend your invoice.

Thanks!

Jess x

Pregnancy Post: My Labour Essentials

During my pregnancy, I reads LOTS. I scoured the internet, books and asked endless people for advice. One of the things that I worried about was what to take to hospital; what would I take, what if I ran out of something? I ended up getting a checklist from a pregnancy magazine which even prompted me to write an advice post on my blog. I took so much stuff to the hospital, I looked like I was going for a weeks holiday!

In reality, I hardly used any of it. Who needs an iPad loaded with films in the height of a contraction!? The majority of what I took to hospital was useless but there were others that were an absolute life saver! Here's some of my must have products for labour:

1. Cooling water spray

By far, these were the most useful thing throughout my whole labour. I was absolutely BOILING the whole time and these were so refreshing and seemed to give me a burst of much needed energy. They are sold in Boots, Superdrug etc but be warned, they run out fast and you need loads!

2. Energy Drinks


I supped my way through lots of these during my labour. In fact now I can't even stomach one because I drank that many!

3. Strapless cotton dress


I wore a strapless beach dress from Primark during labour. Most of my friends laughed and reckoned I was vain however it was really useful! It was much more comfortable than the cardboard like hospital gown and enabled me to protect my modesty whilst also being able to quickly pull it down to ensure skin-to-skin after Freddie was born. You can pick them up really cheap in places like Primark as you don't want to be spending a small fortune on something that it going to get pretty gross!

4. Maternity Pads (& lots of them!)


Obviously I don't need to go into too much detail but you need these & lots of them. Normal sanitary towels just don't work and you need to ensure that you get 'maternity pads' which are designed especially for after birth.

Other items I found essential were:

  • Snacks for birthing partner - I wasn't hungry during labour however Mr C was. It was the middle of the night so the hospital cafe was closed and, I wouldn't have let him leave me anyway but luckily he had some pasties in his bag that he'd bought earlier in the day meaning that he wasn't going to starve all night!

  • A 'going home' outfit for mum - This is most definitely an essential however Mr C forgot mine!! In the end I had to leave the hospital wearing a tight maxi dress (not a good look with an after-birth tummy!) and my dressing gown!

  • Hair bobbles & clips

2 months: For you, Freddie x

My gorgeous Freddie,

This week you are two months old. Somedays I pinch myself to make sure that this is all real. After nine months of waiting; expecting and imagining, you are here. You are far beyond anything we ever anticipated, a real dream come true.

I had planned to write you a letter sooner but the last two months have been a whirlwind of nappies, sleepless nights and keeping your tiny tummy full! It's hard work and mummies often rushed off her feet but when I take the time to sit down and stare at your perfect face, taking in all of your features or when you clasp your tiny fingers around mine, I realise that it is the best job in the world! You have turned me into a real slushy mummy. I shouldn't be telling you this but you well and truely have me wrapped around your little finger already!

You are continuing to grow at a phenomenal rate. Your definitely your father's son. You have been weighed at the baby clinic this week and already, you are over 14lbs! Everyone says that you are the spitting image of your Daddy and are beginning to call you his 'mini me!' I love that you look like him and I am always saying that I have my 'two gorgeous boys' to take care of me. Your daddy loves you so much Freddie. I have never seen him so proud about anything. Before you came along, I imagined what he would be like as somebodies 'daddy' and I expected that he would be perfect but he has surpassed any expectation that I ever dreamed of. He really is the perfect daddy and I am so excited for all his plans for you as you grow.

You are becomming a proper person now complete with a whole big personality. You've most definitely inherited daddy's laid back personality although, much to my amusement, you've got mummy's stubborn streak running right through you. Another trait that you've seemed to pick up of me is that you are a right old nosey parker! Daddy laughs and says that you are just like me because you love to be upright looking at the world and staring at people! Don't tell him but I think you take after your Nana; not me!

You are so alert and people are shocked when I tell then you are only two months old. You could easily pass for a 4 or 5 month old baby as you are so strong, (and long!) You get lots of attention from everybody we see as you really are adorable. Everyone wants to fuss over you; especially Grandad B! When he walks into a room he says 'Grandad's Here!' in a funny voice and you smile away at him. In fact, he was the first person to get a smile from you. You love him lots already, and he loves you in return. I am glad that you will have a close relationship with him, like I do with my Grandad; your namesake.

We've recently moved house to be nearer to Nana & Grandad B. Our new area provides us with a much nicer setting in which to raise you and I keep imagining what we can do with you as you grow.  There is a steam train, a park and lots of room for you to run about and play football with daddy. We've been taking you on lots of day trips; on Sunday we went to Skipton to have a walk on the canal except you slept the whole time, even when daddy was trying to show you the ducks and the barges! We'll take you again when your bigger because mummy really wanted to take you on the tour boat to see the castle!

You sleep alot. We are very lucky.You go to bed at 8pm and only wake up once in the night, usually at around 3am. You are an early bird though; nothing like mummy or daddy. As soon as 6am comes, you are awake and wanting to start your day. I lift you into mummy and daddies bed and we have snuggles before daddy has to get up for work. He misses you so much whilst he's at work and I often have to send him lots of pictures throughout the day. You lie in our bed all cheeky with a great smile on your face and I can tell, it breaks daddies heart to leave you!

It's unsurprising really as you are just so cute. I know i'm biased as you're mine but you really are beautiful. You will break some hearts when you're older and I do belive you're going to be a bit of a ladies man like Uncle Jack and Great Grandad Fred! Already, you have a cheeky smile when the ladies at the golf club fuss over you! You really do revel in the attention!

The last few weeks you've just blossomed into a tiny person complete with his own personality. Your not a 'baby' anymore which sometimes saddens me! I want you to stay newborn forever but I know that as you continue to grow, we will continue to make lots of memories which I will cherish forever. You have found your hands these last few weeks and appear facinated by them; constantly shoving them into your mouth and gumming your fingers. You have also began to gurgle which is quite possibly my favourite sound i've ever heard. You lay in your crib and stare at the animals dangling from your mobile and your gurgle away. I'm pretty sure that there is a laugh right there ready to come out anyday soon!

Every day I am proud of you. You are my greatest acheivement and I love you lots.

Forever and more,

Mummy x


Tuesday, 23 October 2012

They Grow So Fast....

It's true... they really do!

Freddie is still only 7 weeks old but already, I feel like he isn't my 'baby' anymore. He is developing at such a speed that I blink and I miss something. He's beginning to develop such a personality and is already a little character who is full of smiles.

Smiles all round...

He has inherited his daddy's laid back personality which, is most probably a good job as I doubt Mr C could have coped with two frenzied stress heads running about the house! He is however a nosh Parker like mummy, forever gazing around and people watching! He's beginning to establish a routine and, touch wood, has only woke once a night over the last week. I am in no way tempting fate and presuming that this will last however!

What really hit home this week was the fact that he no longer fitted into the majority of his babygro's and had to begin to wear his 'big boy' clothes. I despaired over the idea of dressing him in 'real' clothes as I felt he was still a baby and I didn't want to dress him in 'proper clothes' till he was older however, with a wardrobe FULL of clothes and a ever growing little man, I had to take the plunge or risk him being too big for the majority of them! Even at 7 weeks, he already fits well into 3-6 month clothing!

Sporting his 'big boy' clothes

It is true; they do grow up fast. Too fast. I am determined to cherish every minute, enjoy everything and make lots of memories.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Life after 'A Whole 9 Months': An Update

6 weeks ago, a whole nine months came to an end and a new era began. A whole life. So much has happened in the last 43 days, I can hardly believe! Some one said to me that you don't know what you do before you have children and, it's true. I can not imagine my life pre Freddie.

Freddie at just minutes old.

I know that my blog posts have slowly withered over the last few weeks so I felt that it was only right that I give you all an update. Taking this (not so) tiny baby home on 3rd September, we were embroiled in a whirlwind of nappies, feeds and sleepless nights. The first few weeks passed in a blur but once things settled down, we quickly got into a routine.

Despite his tender weeks, Freddie has already experienced lots! As a family, we have experienced some massive upheaveals but for once, everything has fallen into place nicely and we are enjoying having a whole new life together. 

We have enjoyed shopping trips, football matches and endless cuddles...

It's tiring being this cute!

Mum, all this shopping is hard work!

Come on you Reds!

We are all settled into our lovely new home after re-locating to the other side of the country to be near to my family. The decision to move and leave our jobs and home to be with family has paid off and we are elated with the decision. It was a risk but we've got ourselves an even lovelier home and Mr C found a new job straight away with great prospects. Touch wood, the future is looking positively bright.

Freddie is developing well. At our last baby clinic appointment, he weighed in at a massive 12lbs 10oz! He is already wearing 3-6 month clothes (& some are becomming a little tight!!) at only 6 weeks! I love his little chunkiness! He most definitely takes after his dad with his long figure. With a 6foot 7inch daddy, he is most certainly going to be tall, dark and handsome! He has just started to smile which makes the sleepless nights all worthwhile. I am truely blessed.

Sporting his 'Tigger' PJ's... Cosy!

Enjoying cuddles with Mummy




We've got lots to look forward to over the next few months. Freddie's Christening, day trips, our holiday next Summer. We will be making lots of memories and I am determined to enjoy every single second of my beautiful little man!

Friday, 5 October 2012

PilatesOD.com - Postnatal Pilates from your living room

PilatesOD is a great Pilates fitness website where you get unlimited access to a wide range of top quality HD video classes and workouts with the UK's best teachers. Whether you are already doing Pilates at a gym or studio and want to do more in your own time, or if you had been thinking of starting but never got round to it, PilatesOD.com has classes and workouts to suit everyone. From beginners to advanced, 10 to 60 minutes and special sections for pregnancy and postnatal Pilates - you are sure to find the class to fit your requirements and schedule. 
PilatesOD.com classes are ready whenever and where've you are - at home, on business trips or on the go with your mobile devices.
 
 

For all 'A Whole Nine Months' readers, Pilates on Demand is giving you a special offer of 20% off the price of a monthly membership for the first 3 months, which means that your membership will cost £10.37 per month! To benefit from this special offer you will need to use our special promotion code: THNMDIS when you sign-up.

Also, you can try PilatesOD for FREE for 14 days! To start your free trial please visit: www.pilatesod.com/register/ and don’t forget to use this promotion code THNMDIS!



As a new mummy, I am eager to give Postnatal Pilates a try! Once I have been given the all clear by my doctor at my 6 week check up (on the 18th!), I will be reviewing postnatal pilates on a regular basis for 3 months to let you all know how I get on! In the meantime, take full advantage of the brilliant offers above and let me know how you find it!





Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Having a Newborn Baby: Surviving the first few weeks!

I am very lucky that, touch wood, Freddie has been a wonderful baby since arriving. I don't know whether it was his large birth weight (10lbs 1 1/2 oz) or the fact that he's inherited his dad's laid back genes but he's a very contented baby. All he does is sleep, eat, sleep, eat, sleep, eat and so on. He really has the most perfect life (& one that i'm rather jealous of!)

So far, the first few weeks have gone extremely well & we've all settled into our new lives very well considering the massive changes that we've experienced. Here is some of my 'top tips' so to speak!

Don't be ashamed to accept help
I have no shame in admitting that my mum has been heavily involved in Freddie's life over the last four weeks. Once i'd come out of hospital, she stayed over and helped with not only his care, but took care of me and Mr C by making dinner, doing the ironing, running the hoover round etc etc. Does this make me a bad mum? Does this mean I can't cope on my own? Of course not. It means that I was able to snatch a few hours precious sleep where I could that in turn, meant that I was more human to look after my son. If you are lucky enough to be offered that sort of help, take it!

Plan ahead
I didn't want to be stuck in the house for weeks after having Freddie however, I found it a little daunting the first time I took him out, especially on my own! I found that being prepared helps lots and the positive is that, Freddie seems to sleep more whilst out in the car or the pram which means he'scalm and contented too. He's been on lots of trips out since his birth and is a frequent visitor to the Trafford Centre! (he shares his mummies love of shopping!) I bottle feed Freddie so I try to plan our visits so that he feeds before we set off so he sleeps in the car and then I have time to find somewhere suitable to sit and feed/change him when he's next ready. Places like M&S and large department stores often have cafes where you can feed baby and excellent changing facilities.

Be prepared
During the night, the last thing you want to be doing is traipsing into the cold living room to heat borrles and find nappies. Freddie has ready made Aptimil cartons at room temperature (a god send!) so I don't have to worry about warming bottles.I find that having a basket of things that may be needed at the side of the bed means that at 3am, when you're bleary eyed and yawning, that poo explosion is not as daunting!

Take time for yourself
Take a few minutes a day for yourself to remember who you were before you were just 'mum'. I like to wake up half an hour before Freddie to shower and do my hair or pop him in his bouncer whilst I paint my nails. I find that I feel much better in myself and develop an ability to cope with the fact that i've had 2 hours sleep if i've got my make up on and set of freshly painted nails. It's small things but they seem to make a world of difference.

& finally... Enjoy it!
Freddie was a month old yesterday & it's true what they say... time flies. I just know that it won't be two minutes till i'm throwing his 1st birthday party, then taking him for his first day at school followed by university then, as stupid as it sounds, meeting his children. I'm determined to enjoy every minute, make thousands of happy memories and cherish him every single day.





Thursday, 20 September 2012

My Labour Story (Part 2)

Once I'd moved across to the delivery room, it suddenly hit me that I was going to have a baby! Much to my dismay though, I still wasn't in that much pain and Mr C was incredibly calm and composed. My first mistake however was getting onto the bed; once there, I didn't move!

As many people had told me prior to labour; my birth plan went well and truely out of the window. The midwife didn't even look at it and it was the last thing on my mind! Originally, I wanted an active labour where I birthed on bean bags on the floor and used a birthing ball to encourage baby to move down. At one point, I laughed at the sheer rediculous-ness of that & told the midwife that there was no way on God's Earth I was leaving the comfort of that bed!

I changed into my 'birthing outfit'; a beach dress from Primark, and the midwife asked me what I wanted in terms of pain relief. I opted for gas & air however, to be honest, I don't think it worked! I didn't really feel any different but the action of using and holding it in my hands during a contraction was a real comfort. Mr C even had a sneaky go but said that he felt no different! Further on into my labour when the midwife suggested giving the gas & air up, I laughed in her face and refused to let go! I was saying 'someone's turned my gas off!' and 'tell the woman in the room next door to stop using my gas & air because I can't taste it!'. Madness!

At 11pm, as well as gas & air, the midwife gave me an injection of diamorphine. Originally, I felt reserved towards using this as it can pass through to baby and make them drowsy once born however the midwife assured me that I had time to let the diamorphine pass before baby was going to be delivered therefore it would be out of my system by then. I started to have all of my pain in my back (exactly the same as my mum's labour with me!) and it felt like someone was twisting a knife in it, causing me to writhe around the bed in pain so the diamorphine was a welcome relief from the pain! It was still there but somehow, I didn't really care that much about it and at points, I even fell asleep during contractions which meant I could re-fuel my energy before pushing. On occasions, I was that relaxed that I thought we were on holiday! Apparantly I asked Mr C if we were going to the water park and whether he was enjoying his holiday in the sun!

During the night, I dozed and chatted with Mr C whilst he ate Greggs pasties all chilled! I vividly recall looking over at him and he'd reclined his seat back and was fast asleep like he was at home!

I kept focussing on the fact that I could have another shot of diamorphine at 3am so watched the clock on count down mode. The midwife had turned the lights down and the whole atmosphere was strangely serene and peaceful. I remember thinking 'this isn't so bad afterall' whilst in a lovely diamorphine fuelled haze! As it wore off, I was asking for more so at 3am, the midwife performed another examination before she was to give me another injection. She asked us how far dilated we thought I was and myself and Mr C agreed on 7cm. We were overjoyed when she told us I was 10cm dilated! She informed us that baby C wasn't quite in optimum position yet but to get myself ready because it wouldn't be long before I was to push!

At that point, I proceeded to absolutely shit myself (not literally!) and begged her for an epidural even though I wasn't in that much pain! The midwife simply laughed and said I'd coped with the pain amazingly and there was no way I needed an epidural and besides, it was way too late! I'd convinced myself that I was going to have a shoulder distocia because of his predicted size and I was resigned to the fact that he was going to get stuck. Mr C was an absolute star at this point and calmed me right down whilst massaging my feet and spraying my face with a cooling water spray.

At around 3.45am, our lovely midwife came in accompanied by another midwife and told me that my baby was going to be born! I started to push at around 4am although I never actaully got that urge. I'd been told prior to labour that i'd feel an overwhelming urge to push but that never came. Pushing was hard, hard, hard work! At times I felt like it was never going to end and giving up was the only option. It seemed like he didn't want to arrive and even though his head kepy peeking out, he'd quickly retreat back inside, much to my frustration.

Mr C was such an encouragement and when I felt like I could do no more, seeing the excitement on his face made me summon up strength from somewhere I never knew existed. He kept telling me that we were going to meet our baby soon and our family would be complete which somehow made things easier. With a little help from an episiotomy (ouch!), I managed to give birth to my (not so little) 10lbs 1/2 ozbundle of joy at 4.55am on 2.9.12.

The midwife passed him straight up onto my chest and I remember saying 'hello Freddie, you're so beautiful Freddie!' The midwife said "don't you want to double check he's a boy first?" jokingly however I panicked and said to Mr C "I don't want a girl, I want my Freddie!"

I was elated to find that I did indeed have my Freddie and what I joy he is!

Saturday, 15 September 2012

My Labour Story (Part 1)

Prior to giving birth I read countless labour stories in a feeble attempt to predict what my labour would be like. In the end I decided on the fact that i'd feel like I was dying and prepared myself for an unimaginable amount of pain. In reality, I was very lucky and it wasn't half as bad as what I expected! Here is my labour story...

My Due Date was Friday, 31st August however I was already booked in for a planned induction on Monday, 3rd September as a result of being large for dates. Once i'd got the date for my induction, i'd resigned myself to the fact that baby C would never arrive on his own accord therefore I never expected to go into labour naturally. Little did I know!

Friday 31st came and I felt fine at first. It wasn't till I got into bed to snuggle down to watch The Batchelor that I started to feel a few niggles of back pain. The pains seemed to last a few minutes and were, at times, painful enough to wake me. I woke Mr C up countless times throughout the night simply to have a whinge at him but not at any point did I expect that I were in labour.

Saturday 1st September - After a restless night, I eventually decided enough was enough and got up at about 6am. I had an urge to clean my kitchen cupboards however it wasn't strong enough and I fought it and relaxed on the couch eating giant Haribo strawberries instead! Once Mr C woke, we decided to go to Toby Carvery for a breakfast. I didn't think for one minute that I was in labour so off we went! Once we got there, the pains were getting a little stronger but I thought I needed a poo! Classy lady I am!

Once we'd got our breakfasts, I stood up to go to the bar to get a coffee and as I did, I felt a trickle of liquid between my legs. I shouted 'I'm weeing and I can't stop!' to Mr C right in the middle of, a fully packed, Toby Carvery and ran into the ladies loo's where I promptly rang my friend who's a midwife. Mr C came running into the ladies toilets after telling the manager that his girlfriend was going to give birth! After finding out that I wouldn't be giving birth for a fair few hours yet, Mr C promptly relaxed and returned to eat his breakfast. I waddled out of the toilet still wearing my damp jeans to be greeted by Mr C calmly enjoying his sausages looking like he hadn't a care in the World! Men eh?! He was even more made up that we didn't have to pay as the manager said it was good luck!

Once home, I rang the hospital where a VERY grumpy sounded midwife proceeded to tell me that, my waters hadn't gone; I was in fact experiencing 'increased vaginal discharge'! (Sorry for TMI!) I was adamant that she was wrong however she told me that I wasn't to go to the hospital as I wasn't in labour. This infuriated me and I spent a good half hour stomping around the house telling Mr C that I knew my body and I most certainly wasn't experiencing increased discharge! Over this time I kept feeling slight trickles but there wasn't that whoosh that I imagined. I sat bouncing on the birthing ball watching TV whilst moaning (again!) at Mr C that 'the stupid bloody effing idiotic midwife' doesn't believe me and I'm right and she's wrong and blah blah blah! (I told you he deserved a medal!)

We went for a stroll around Asda to try get things moving and armed with a maternity pad, I was determined to prove that midwife wrong! Once we get home, I found that the pad was still dry and I started to doubt the fact that I was in labour at all. I got myself an ice pop (pregnancy life saver!) and sat on my birthing ball once again and there it was... a WHOOSH! I jumped up; splashing amniotic fluid all over my living room carpet and shouted for Mr C to come and see! I rang the hospital to be greeted by the same grumpy midwife again but was pleased to find that she advised me to go into the hospital to confirm that my waters had indeed gone. Excited, I took it upon myself to re-paint my finger and toe nails so they matched, plucked my eyebrowns and did my hair & full face of make-up. There was no way that I was going to give birth looking a minger!

We got to the hospital at around 5pm and I was hooked up to a ECG monitor to check how baby was doing. I was pleased to find that he was well and more than a little surprised when she told me that I was having regular contractions too; I still thought I only needed a poo! At this point, I wasn't in any great pain so when advised to go to the ward, I opted to go home and labour there instead. The midwife said this was fine as long as we didn't indulge in any intercourse! WHAT?! I was in labour, a quickie was the last thing on my mind! So off we went home...

Once at home, Mr C got himself comfty in front of the TV to watch Doctor Who. We thought we were going to be in for a long night so I laid down on the bed whilst the pains got more and more frequent (but I STILL was adamant I needed a poo!) . Once X Factor started, the contractions started to hurt a little more so I called for Mr C to come into the bedroom armed with his 'app' to time them. The strangest thing happened when the app showed that they all lasted exactly 53 seconds and they were 3 1/2 minutes apart. Mr C rang the hospital who advised us to go in straight away. This time, make up and sleek hair where the last things on my mind and I turned up at the labour ward wearing Mr C's Homer Simpson slippers!

The midwife said I seemed very calm to say how my contractions where going and I was a bit peeved as I felt she didn't believe me. When she eventually examined me, she found that I was 5cm dilated already! Bonus! I thought she was about to send us home again as she thought I was exaggerating so I was made up when she said I could have pain relief and I was going to be moved into a delivery room.


Part 2 coming soon!

Friday, 14 September 2012

Welcome to the World!

I haven't been blogging for a couple of weeks and I apologise for my absence, however... I have a VERY good reason.

Welcome to the World, Freddie Jacob!


I am ecstatic to announce that I gave birth to Freddie Jacob on Sunday 2nd September 2012 at 4.55am. He weighed a whopping 10lbs 1 1/2 oz and truely is, an absolute gem. The last 12 days have gone by in a whirlwind on complete and utter bliss and I am loving being a mummy! I genuinely do not know what I did when he wasn't around! Nothing can prepare you for the overwhelming, unimaginable love that washes over you the moment that you meet that little bean that has been growing inside of you and I am overwhelmed by the adoration towards him that grows in heart every second.

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Looking Back over A Whole 9 Months... The Good , The Bad, & The Ugly

I apologise for my lack of posts recently. I have been AWOL again and my days have been taken up with the joys that I believe they call 'nesting.' I believe that I am becomming a lovely homely mother however, Mr C begs to differ and thinks that cleaning the toilet at 2am constitutes as a 'mad woman' not a earth-loving mumsy type!

 As I mentioned in my previous blog post, I am now less than one week away from Baby C's due date and with this comes the reflection of the last 9 months and it got me wondering; what will I miss when i'm no longer a firm member of the 'Pregnant Lady Club'?

Laugh as you may, I firmly believe that there is some sort of unspoken 'Pregnant Lady Club'. Not a Hogwarts for ladies carrying life, but a 'look' or an acknowledging smile that says 'Hang on in there fellow pregnant lady, I feel your pain!' Mr C finds it highly ammusing that I like to grin like a cheshire cat at any fellow mummy to be but I feel that being part of that exclusive unity of women is a lovely feeling and one that I will miss!



What else will I miss?

The good...

Carrying my child inside of me - Knowing that my body is nurturing my son and will soon deliver him into this world is most truely the wonderful blessing. The bond that you experience from the moment you find out about the little bean right up to times when you can actually see little limbs flailing about inside of you, like something out of Alien, is magical. The blessing of carrying and nurturing a life inside of your body is quite simply, the most beautiful thing you could possibly experience and I will forever count my blessings that I was priviliged enough to experience it.

Having the 'pregnant lady' excuse! - 'You'll have to drive; i'm pregnant.' 'I'll have another slice of cheesecake; i'm pregnant'. 'Can you run me a bath?; i'm pregnant'. 'Can you take the bin out?; i'm pregnant'. 'Can you massage my feet?; i'm pregnant'. Mr C is well deserving of a medal of some sort, in fact, get that man a Blue Peter badge!

Talking about my 'baby.' - Since being pregnant and having a bump that actually looks like a baby bump and not just the result of too many hob nobs, I have been inundated with questions and comments about my pregnancy and the baby that is growing inside of me. Wherever you go, be it work, the checkouts at Asda or even in the queue in the petrol station, people love to ask all about your bump and well, as a very proud mummy-to-be, I love talking all about him! I used to laugh at mothers that talked non-stop about their children however I hold up my hands 'I am one of THOSE mothers!'.

Having lovely hair & clear skin! - Since being pregnant, i've been blessed with a glossy thick mane of hair and my skin has not seen even a hint of a pimple since those two little pink lines flashed before my eyes. Hopefully (fingers crossed!) this is a change that is here to stay post-pregnancy but knowing my luck, a big mount vesuvius sized monstrostery is getting ready to rear it's ugly head... right in the middle of my forehead!

The bad...

I have been blessed with a reletively stress-free pregnancy and I am thankful for the love and support that I have been showered with during the past 9 months. There have been no 'bad' aspects whatsoever; how can there be when the outcome is the most perfect gift you could be given? However, I'd be lying if I said that there weren't things that I wouldn't miss!

Being a human pin cushion - Prior to pregnancy, I was a TOTAL needle-phobe. Nowadays, I am that used to being prodded and poked that it has become a long standing joke between Mr C & I that the hospital have some sort of secret mission to stab me with as many needles as possible. Repeat GTT's, conflicting rubella immunity results... the list is endless and has resulted in tons of needles!

My bladder shrinking to the size of a pea! - I will not miss this. 12 trips to the bathroom last night, i kid you not! The only plus side is that we have an en-suite so I don't need to go to far to empty my pea bladder but it's most definitely not a highlight of pregnancy!

& finally, The Ugly!  Beautiful!
Stretchmarks - Some may say these are ugly but truth be told, i've grown fairly proud of my 'tiger stripes' over thre last few weeks. They are a sign that i've nurtured my son and provided him with a home throughout the lastnine months. Pregnancy has been a blessing and my body has created the most precious gift I could have possibly wished for therefore I aren't going to see my stretch marks as ugly. They are part of me. Yes, I won't be wearing a bikini or auditioning for Miss World anytime soon, I may have days where I feel like a slob and mourn my pre-pregnancy body but I have a new found appreciation of my body... it gave my son life and for that, I will always be thankful (no matter how saggy it is!).

Monday, 27 August 2012

Pregnancy Post: 39 Weeks

I can not believe that I am now less than one week away from our due date! The time has absolutely flown!

Here is my GINORMOUS bump at 39 weeks.



So what's going on this week?

Your baby

Your baby is still putting on weight - and the new body fat will help regulate their body temperature after the birth.

Your little one’s eyes will be well formed, but they won’t be able to focus just yet. The eyes will continue to develop after the first few weeks after the birth.

You

You may have backache and are probably feeling restless and eager to meet your baby. You may even have decided on a name by now.

Some women experience diarrhoea as their body is getting ready for the birth. Clearing the back passage will make your baby’s journey easier. If it lasts for more than a day, speak to your GP or doctor.

You might be experiencing Braxton Hicks contractions; this is a sign of your body gearing up for labour. Some women describe them as tightening, or like period cramps. If the 39 weeks pregnant cramping becomes regular, then you may be having contractions. These will increase in intensity and may occur every 15 minutes.

Have you noticed an increase in vaginal discharge? If you have a mucus discharge with a little blood, this is the jelly-like plug that seals the cervix called the ‘show’.

What to think about

Make sure your hospital bag is ready to go. Some things you might find handy are a bag of small change (for parking and vending machines), camera and something to read.

Practise the relaxation techniques that you have picked up from your antenatal classes with your birthing partner.

Have a look over your birthing plan with your partner. Do you want to make any changes? If want to make amendments, discuss this with your midwife?

Friday, 17 August 2012

Pregnancy Post: 38 Weeks

This week sees the start of Week 38!

Maternity clothes: I am MASSIVE! Baby C is just raring to pop out and at approximately 10lbs already, i'm resembling a baby hippo! I am living in maxi dresses, leggings and Mr C's Captain America dressing gown!

Stretch marks: My tiger stripes have well and truely appeared. I thought that i'd avoided them and initially, I was horrifed when they appeared but I am now very much comfortable with them and see them as my permenant reminder that i've carried and nurtured a miricle in my body and I should be bloody well proud of that!

Sleep... is far and few between. My bladder seems to explode as soon as I lie down however, I am grateful for the fact that, even though I have to get up 4 or 5 times a night to go for a wee, I am able to go straight back to bed rather than having to feed a screaming baby!


Best moment this week: Finding out that I am 2cm dilated already and my cervix is partially effaced. We came to the decision that I will go for a vaginal birth rather than an elective section which is what i'd hoped for. Even though baby C's predicted birth weight is more than 4.5kg, the consultant said that there should be no reason to at least attempt for a vaginal birth which is good news!

Movement: Lots and often painful. He likes to party all night (like his mummy in previous times!) and I often wake up to find Mr C playing games with him during the night! Lets see if he's so keen to entertain him during the night when he arrives!

Food cravings: None.

Gender: Still a boy!

Labor Signs: I had a sweep on Wednesday and found that I am 2cm dilated so hopefully he should be making an arrival sooner rather than later. The hospital has said that I will not be allowed to go over my due date (31st August) so I am safe in the knowledge that in 2 weeks, he will be here in my arms!


Belly Button in or out: A bit of both dependent on where he is!

What I miss: This week I am thinking more about what I will miss rather than what I currently miss. In 2 weeks I will no longer be 'pregnant'. In reflection, I have had a lovely pregnancy and although i'd much rather be a mummy & have my boy here, I will miss being pregnant!

What I am looking forward to: his arrival!

Weekly Wisdom: Enjoy your maternity leave whilst you can. I have been off 2 weeks now and have completely spring cleaned my house, met up with friends, had lots of lazy days, watched a whole abundance of films that i've been meaning to watch for months, laid in till 10am and tomorrow, me and Mr C are going on a romantic date (on the proviso that I don't go into labour tonight!!).

Milestones: 2 weeks today & i'll either be in labour, or nursing my son in my arms! Fab!

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Pregnancy Post: Signs of Labour



As I am 37 weeks pregnant, chances are, in the very near future, I will go into labour. One of my big worries is that I will not know when I am in labour. People have said 'you'll know' however this does nothing to put my over-hormonal mind at rest!! What are the signs? So this post is more so for me, to put my mind at rest and remind me of the signs of labour starting.

Am I in labour?

Everyone worries about whether they will know they are in labour. If this is your first baby, it’s easy to think ‘this is it,’ only to find you are just getting ready for the birth. Here's some tips to help you recognise signs of labour:

In the week or so before labour you may notice:

  • An increase in vaginal discharge.
  • The appearance of the ‘show’, the jelly like plug of mucus that seals the cervix during pregnancy. 
  • A need to get things finished and ready – the so-called ‘nesting instinct’. 
  • Feeling quite emotional; crying for no real reason as your hormones get to you. 
  • A sense that you don’t want to be far from home. 
  • A mild dose of diarrhoea. This is Nature’s way of clearing out your lower bowel before labour begins. 
  • Braxton Hicks contractions that feel like tightening or period pains.  Find out more about Braxton Hicks here.

Here are labour signs that you may notice:

  • The ‘show’ (if it has not come away earlier).
  • The waters breaking, either in a gush or a gradual trickle.
  • Low back pain as the baby settles well down, which may turn into...
  • Regular contractions that could feel like period pains or tightening pains across your bump.   Find out more about contractions here.

The waters

Your unborn baby floats in amniotic fluid, a straw-coloured liquid, mainly consisting of water. Labour begins, for some women, with the waters breaking.

If the waters go with a gush, contact your midwife or hospital. You may be asked to go into hospital so that they can check that the baby is well. It will help your midwife if you can remember when the waters broke, roughly how much fluid there was (an egg cup full, a coffee cup full?) and what colour it was. Amniotic fluid is usually pale. If it is green or has black bits in it, this may show that the baby is, or has been, in distress.

If the waters trickle out, it can be hard to decide if they have gone. Put a sanitary pad on and, if it is wet after an hour, it’s probably the waters leaking. Smell the pad; urine smells, amniotic fluid doesn’t. If you are still not sure, contact your midwife or the hospital. Your midwife can do a vaginal examination and test the fluid.

Friday, 10 August 2012

Baby Shower Gift Ideas

I posted recently about my baby shower. If you've not yet read it, find it here.

As I said, I was 'showered' with lots of lovely gifts and I was astounded by the sheer generosity of my guests, especially seen as lots of them had already bought gifts throughout the pregnancy for the baby. I am truely blessed with extrememly kind, supportive and thoughtful friends and family and I was overwhelmed with the love I encountered on the day!

I am VERY fussy. It is common knowledge amongst my family and friends that I am particular about things and they knew that I'd already bought all of baby C's things that he needs (and more!) therefore they decided between themselves that they would by gifts for me rather than the baby. A common occurance from all my friends and something that kept cropping up in conversation was the difficulty of knowing what to buy as a gift. A new 'fad', many of them had never been to a baby shower before therefore wasn't aware of what the 'done' thing was, so to speak. I was over the moon with all the gifts that I recieved therefore they obviously did something right!

Here are some gift ideas...
  • Smellies for both mum & baby - This is always a fail safe idea and perfect gift for any occasion. I received quite a few luxury smelly sets and seen as I am shortly going to be run off my feet caring for baby, I will very much appreciate having a soak with some of these gorgeous smellies!





  • Jewellery - I am the proud owner of a Juicy Couture charm bracelet so was overjoyed to receive a baby bottle charm from my brother and his girlfriend. If the mummy-to-be has a bracelet of this type then it would be a lovely gift idea. My mum has a Pandora bracelet and received a baby pram charm as a gift from my dad which is also a lovely sentimental gift idea.


  • Nappy Cakes - I received two of these and I can honestly say, they are wonderful. One was homemade and the otehr bought but they were both equally lovely. My friend that made hers, said it worked out as expensive as buying one however, if you can make one then it is more personalised. Looking online there seems to be lots available with many different items. The ones that I recieved contained, blankets, nappies, wipes, muslins, socks etc etc so will prove very useful when baby arrives!


Other gift ideas include:

  • Candles - I received lots of lovely aromatheraphy candles for after baby is born.
  • Decorative Items - Gifts such as photo frames and ornaments are a fab gift. I was given two 'Willow Tree' ornaments (both pregnancy/baby related) which will prove sentimental and a great keep-sake.
  • Flowers & chocolates- who doesn't love receiving flowers & chocolates?!
I hope that this has provided a small inspiration and proved a help if you are debating over what to buy as a baby shower gift!