I never expected to say this so soon after having Maddison but.. I'm feeling ridiculously broody?! "But you already have a baby?!" I hear you say, I know! But for some reason I just can't stop thinking about the next one!! Obviously I'm not wishing time away with Maddison, I love and adore her more than I ever could have imagined! I am making the most of every second of every day, because time goes just way too fast! I still can't believe she's 4 months old already. But there is just something so so incredible about having a teeny tiny newborn curled in your arms!! You know what I mean? Please say you have this feeling too?!
Whenever I'm not with Maddie and I see another baby, my heart just jumps and I want another! Or if I'm with friends and hold one of their babies, I want another! Watching "One born every minute" (which I have been obsessed with since being pregnant!) Makes me want to have the whole experience again! I find myself everyday saying something to Josh along the lines of "when I'm next pregnant.." or "when we have our next..", "If we have another girl, do you like this name?" or "oh I must save that ready for the next baby!" etc. etc.... I must sound like some baby obsessed lady! Like one of those crazy cat ladies, except with babies haha!
I often think to myself.. is this normal? Is it usual for women to get sooo unbelievably broody after having a baby?! I just enjoy every single minute of every day with Maddison, every tear, every poo.. it's all worth it! I also feel because I was lucky in having a fairly straight forward pregnancy and labour, it is another reason why I am so keen to have another baby already. Well I say that.. but I think my judgement and memory of being pregnant is clouded because all I can see is my beautiful little girl sat in front of me! I was horrifically sick.. incredibly uncomfortable and large.. awful hip pain.. and my labour was lonngggg!!! As my mum would say, "I'm looking through rose tinted specticals!!" But none of that seems to matter. My experience was definitely not traumatic enough to put me off. I'd totally do it all again to have another little squishy!!
Josh and I have always had a rough plan of when we'd like to have another. We would ideally love around a 3 year gap between Maddison and a second baby. For us personally, we always said we really don't want to do the whole "two-under-two" thing. I know it works for some.. but I always said I wanted Maddie walking around before having another - the thought of having to carry around two babies just seems like a lot of work! Plus the thought of having to re-buy everything because Maddison's not quite outgrown her carseat or cot. I think that makes Josh panic because you can literally see the pound signs pilling up in his eyes haha!! Now I have Maddison though, 3 years feels soooooo far away!! I honestly would get pregnant again now if I could! (In other words... if Josh would let me haha!) I definitely don't want any longer than 3 years though. My sisters and I are so so close and I'd love for my children to have that lovely close relationships.
Another (sensible) reason why we wanted to have a 3 year gap, is because I really wanted to give my body time to fully recover before going through pregnancy again. It is such an amazing but straining and tough journey on the female body.. it takes 9 months of stretching and changing to grow a baba, so you can't expect to feel recovered after a matter of weeks!! I know that is the sensible thing to do.. but my head and my heart are having a completely different conversation right now!
I guess my question is.. how long did you wait till you had your second baby? Was it planned or did it just happen? Please say you got this broody too to make me feel better about this feeling?!
Lot of love! x
I think it's safe to say that becoming a parent, you go through a lot of changes. Not only physically but mentally and logistically too!! Things that used to seem such a big deal, suddenly become so insignificant once you have a little one! You really do learn what's important in life and what you can just let go and laugh at!
Below are 12 things that I've come to realise since becoming a mummy...
1. Life doesn't stop
This one I feel very passionate about. I have always wanted and loved kids, and I really couldn't understand why some people say "oh I want to live before having kids", or "your life stops once you have kids"... well ladies and gentlemen, I call bullshit! I am here, I'm a mummy, and I've never felt more alive!! Your life is only just beginning! Children bring whole new experiences and opportunities to life! You CAN still "live" and do things for yourself! (It may just require more planning haha!)
2. Dry shampoo is everything
Yup.. I've been there, day 9 of rocking a mum-bun and your hair is so super greasy, but there is just no time to wash it (as per..) so what do you do? Dry shampoo obviously?! And there is no shame in that!!
3. Stretch marks are beautiful
When I was a teenager I used to be so scared of stretch marks, I was always paranoid and checking my body for them. I don't even know why?! Now post-baby, I have them on my belly and my thighs and I LOVE them! They are a reminder of the amazing journey I went through to get my baby! I would take a million stretch marks for my girl! So embrace them ladies, they are all part of the journey and you should be proud!
4. It's okay to have a bad day
Motherhood is hard. And some days when baby is cranky, you are tired, there's endless washing to do.. you just want to sit there and cry.. and that's okay!! Crying is healthy! Not everyday has to be perfect and it's fine to admit that some days, you just don't have your shit together! But you learn from bad days! So if I'm struggling, I tell myself 'it's okay because tomorrow is a new day!'
5. A new kind of love
The love you have for your children is INCREDIBLE and it is honestly like no other love you have ever experienced, and it feels amazing!!!! You know what I mean mamas?!
6. Don't compare
This is such an important one to me. I've learnt not to compare myself as a parent or my baby to anyone else's!! Every baby is different, develops differently, has their own personality.. so why stress myself out?! As long as she is healthy and happy, that is all that matters! And as a parent, just because I can't afford the most flashy stroller, or designer baby clothes.. who cares?! That doesn't define me as a mum! I know deep down I am giving my girl everything I can! It's so unhealthy to compare.
7. It isn't selfish to have some "me time"
Okay, so "me time" might be a lot less nowadays.. but if I don't have that time, how can I be truly myself? It's okay to have a coffee without baby, to have 10 minutes in bed reading, or to go get your nails done! I definitely feel a lot healthier for it. I know I can give Maddison the full attention/care she needs when I am positive and refreshed mentally! And that comes from that little bit of peace, that odd treat and clear head space! It's definitely not selfish to give yourself a little treat every now and then! You deserve it! Being a mum is tough!
8. Everyone has an opinion
The hard part about being a mum, is no matter how well you do, there will always be someone who will want to criticise you.. it's sad but true! As long as you know you are doing whats best for your little one and you know they are safe and well.. what more can you do! Being a first time mum, I probably learn something new everyday with Maddie. Yes experience can help, but remember that every baby is different, and there is a difference to constructive help and criticism.
9. Sleep is so precious
Why oh why, did I neglect the luxury of sleep and the opportunity to have power naps whenever I liked!! I know I am blessed with a baby who sleeps well.. but being a mummy is still full on and tough! So I have learnt, when I do have the chance to sleep.. I NEED TO DO IT!!
10. Go with the flow
These babies like to run the show, and seem to always work to their own schedule! The nightmare of trying to get out of the house to an appointment, meet-up or class.. I am always allowing literally double the amount of time, just in case something goes tits-up! But that's life!! Maddison likes to do things her way.. and I've just learnt to go with it!
11. The microwave is a life saver
Coffees gone cold. Microwave it. Dinners gone cold. Microwave it. Need I say more!!
12. Everyday is a blessing
Seeing as last week was miscarriage and baby loss awareness week, I feel so so grateful for having a easy pregnancy, birth and delivering a healthy baby! I can't even imagine how traumatic and heartbreaking it must feel to loose your child, or any loved one for that matter! Life truly is a blessing and you never know what's around the corner. So live everyday to the fullest, love and cherish every moment. Sending love and strength to anyone who has ever suffered a loss - you are never alone,
I'm sure there is a least one of my list that others can relate to hehe!! Anything particular you've learnt or discovered since becoming a mummy? Oh and by the way.. if you're reading this.. you're doing great!! Lots of love x
This post was written in collaboration with SNÜZ and BUMPPR
When I was pregnant with Maddie, I was so determined to make her as comfortable as possible (like any parent would for their baby!) Being a first time mummy, I had read ALOT of the baby books and I knew how much newborns love to be swaddled, as it reminded they of being in the womb.. Maddison however, HATES it with a passion!
The first couple of days when I tried swaddling her, she would just scream and go so red she looked like she was going to explode until I had unwrapped her!! I quickly gave up and accepted that swaddling just wasnt going to work for my little girl to sleep. So we moved onto the blankets, but soon found she would kick them off a lot in the night!! Maddison loves to sleep with her arms up by her head in the "surrender" position and her legs out, as if she is attempting the splits?! I guess she looks a bit like a starfish spread out while sleeping - haha! Despite tuckingthe blankets down the sides of her crib, and even under the mattress, she will always find a way of having one leg sticking out come the morning!! This wasn't much of a problem during the summer, but now the colder weather is upon us, I hate the thought of her waking up in the morning with cold feet...
When I was asked to review the new SnüzPouch by Snüz, I jumped at the chance thinking this could be the answer to our problems!! The SnüzPouch is their new sleeping bag for babies and comes in a 1.0 tog or a 2.5 tog and variety of cute patterns! I have tested out the 1.0 tog and tried putting this on Maddison first, then her blanket over the top (I wouldn't put a blanket over the 2.50 tog though.. as I think that would be way too hot for her - unless you live in an igloo lol!!) So I tucked her in and come the morning.. no cold feet!! Success!! I have actually ended up using the SnüzPouch more for when we are just around the house, especially in the evenings, as an extra layer. This saves having to faf around with blankets that, as usual, normally end up on the floor after shes kicked them off! Maddison's legs never stop moving I swear haha! Maybe she's going to be a runner when she's older?
I think one of the best features of the SnüzPouch is it has a curved zip across the front of the body, making it easy access for any nappy changes. This is super handy, rather than having to pull the whole thing off and then back on again every time, like some other sleeping bags on the market!
So this has totally solved our sleeping problems right now, and I'm definitely going to purchase the 2.5 tog ready for when the winter cold properly kicks in! The next challenge will be when we move her into her big cot (which will probably be soon as she id growing soooo fast!) and keeping her snug, safe and warm! Any tips mamas on keeping baba wrapped up nice and warm when in their big cot? Do you use sleeping bags? Or try to tuck a blanket in down the sides? Would love to hear all your recommendations so we can be super prepared for when the time comes to say goodbye to the baby crib! Lots of Love! x
Well mamas... it looks like its the end of the breastfeeding road for me! So when I last blogged about feeding, I shared how I had been struggling with my milk supply and that I had seemed to temporarily fixed it by eating more carbs! (CLICK HERE TO READ). However, this solution didn't last long...
Eating more carbohydrates seemed to initially give my breast milk supply a boost but within a week I seemed to be struggling again, and my combination feeding soon turned into 50% breast and 50% formula. Maddison seemed happy with this, in all honesty I don't think she really cared where her milk was coming from or what it was, she guzzled it either way! By this point I really was completely lost and had no idea what was going on, so I went to speak to my doctor about it.
I explained to my GP how I'd tried absolutely everything and anything to help my supply. I'd let her cluster feed and pumped after feeding to encourage supply, I'd tried eating more, drinking more water, more skin-to-skin, the retained placenta didn't seem to change much, I'd switch side to side.. the list goes on!! My GP was sooooo lovely and reassuring that I'd been doing everything right to try and help but for some reason she explained, some women just can't produce as much as others! She gave me these tablets (which are the only tablets recommended by midwives and health visitors) that might help give my supply a boost! I think I recall her saying they were actually anti-sickness tablets, but there was something in them that helped women's supply? And obviously safe for baby if you're breastfeeding! So I jumped at the chance of giving these a try! She prescribed me 2 weeks worth of these tablets and if they worked then great, and if they didn't.. then it looked like it was the end of the breastfeeding journey for me. These weren't a long term solution, I couldn't keep taking them forever! But if they were to give me a boost then I thought it was worth a shot!
Literally within 3 days of taking these tablets I was a milk machine!! I seriously thought I could give a cow a run for its money haha! I'd gone from barely being able to pump 20mls from both boobs, to being able to pump a full 125ml bottle from EACH boob?! whhaaatttt?! I was having let down again, had the feeling of being "full", Maddie was in a milky heaven I swear haha!! It was the BEST feeling ever having milk again.
I finished my 2 weeks course of these tablets, and I think it was literally within 24 hours, I was going backwards to what it was like before... boobs never filling, pumping barely anything, and I had to bring back the formula again.. WTF?! Unfortunately for me.. yes the tablets did give me a boost, but it wasn't sustainable and hadn't encouraged my body to produce milk on it's own.
I felt so deflated (literally!), and just cried. I had so desperately wanted to breastfeed Maddison till she was at least 6 months old. I have never had a problem with formula feeding, it's whatever works for you and your baby, everyone's journey is different! But I personally just loved the feeling and connection of breastfeeding! So I was a little gutted. But then something just clicked.. and you know what.. I had given my baby girl the best start I possibly could. Those first few months of her life when she was new to world and more vulnerable, I had provided her with the best possible source of milk I could. I should be proud that I managed to give her that! Yes, the journey stopped sooner than I had planned, but lets be honest.. with pregnancy and babies there is no such thing as planning!! Life will do what it wants, whether you like it or not!
I wiped away my tears and thought, right, Maddison doesn't mind formula, she takes boob and bottle, so lets just go with it and transition fully to formula. It didn't take long, seeing as my milk had virtually disappeared anyway!! I was able to cut back to just one boobie feed in 24 hours, and I made this the nighttime feed or first feed of the morning (if Maddie slept all the way through the night). I found this was the best time to breastfeed as lets be honest.. if your baby wakes at 3am, it's a lot more effort to go downstairs and warm up a bottle than it is to just stick them on the boob! I did this for a good week, and have now stopped breastfeeding completely.
I have now been exclusively formula feeding Maddison for 9 days and she seems really happy and content, and I'm a lot calmer and less stressed as I'm not constantly worrying about bloody milk!! I have got an appointment back at the doctors to report back how I'm doing, and I know my GP said she wanted to do some blood tests to check my thyroid as that can sometimes affect milk supply. But at this point, I'm happy that we have a healthy growing baby and I've discovered there are actually some good pros to formula feeding! These are just a few...
I think the message is at the end of the day, is you do what works for you and no-ones journey is the same! I am proud that I was able to breastfeed Maddison for at least the first 12 weeks of her life as I know some women don't have the option of breastfeeding at all! I am now really looking forward to weaning Maddison and can't wait to start that process at 6 months!! I know Josh is super keen too as he loves to cook and be in the kitchen!
I hope that sharing my entire breastfeeding journey with you all helps any other mums that are worrying or stressing about their journey. Breastfeeding is amazing! But as I've discovered it never seems to be straight forward or as simple as I initially thought! Just remember mamas, don't compare yourself to anyone else, and all that matters is you do your best! Lots of love! x
This section will all be focused on being pregnant, discovering motherhood and baby bits!