Fed Up

This was not what I wanted to write a blog post about. I did have a happy topic but that will have to wait now, because I have something to get off my chest.

I am fed up with people making hurtful comparisons about our babies.

I know that the mummy world is a very dog eat dog world. Everyone’s baby has to be better than everyone else’s. I’ll admit it I get things like changing bag, pushchair, baby clothes, high chair, baby crib, baby nursery envy. But I try not to compare children. This doesn’t just fall to the mummy world, everyone compares themselves to someone else. Most people see what people are “better” at and feel they are inadequate or somewhat lacking for whatever reason, which leads to the green eyed monster to rear it ugly head. Some people though are the opposite, they are better, no one is better, no one can achieve the perfect perfectness of their life. This is what I have experienced recently when it comes to Noah.

Noah can do sitting. I am immensely proud, and burst with joy when I see him sitting there, playing with toys. However this is not enough for people.

“Why isn’t he crawling? My child crawled at this age. He’s probably just a lazy boy.”

“Is he pulling himself up on objects yet? Can he stand? If he doesn’t learn soon he’ll never do it.”

Noah sits.

“Is that all he has achieved?”

That is what he does. That is what my gorgeous intelligent little boy has achieved. Noah has gone from a baby that could do nothing. So fully dependent on me, and now he is finding his first independent mile stones.

I’m really pleased that your child can; crawl, stand, pull themselves up, feed themselves, run a marathon, is on their way to a Noble prize, Grammy award, Oscar, BAFTA.

But what my boy has achieved is amazing. I don’t put Noah down for not moving onto more milestones. You, definitely shouldn’t put my son down, or me for that matter. My parenting is not bad, your parenting is not perfect. Why are we already asking so much of our precious children? Children learn in their own time at their own pace. You and me will not force them, and if you try it usually has a reverse affect. I tried to introduce Noah to finger foods. I was so unsuccessful at first because I kept offering him the food, kept trying to get him to eat it while I held it. So I changed my tactics, I placed a few objects on his high chair tray, and left him too it. Noah ate every single piece of finger food on that tray.

I don’t want Noah to grow up learning to compare himself on others, to find failure in himself from such a young age. I want Noah to learn that if he works hard and tries, then whatever he has achieved is great. I know that when he is older he will fall into the comparison trap, when he is more aware of the world around him. Sometimes this is good, people push themselves and can sometimes achieve great things. Some people though fall into depression, because they feel they are never good enough.

So in short I am fed up of people already putting demands on my child. Every child is amazing, whatever age, whatever stage. As parents we should support and encourage each other’s children, as well as our own, so they are willing to learn. That is what I want to do as a parent. I love seeing other parent’s children hit milestones, I know the feeling of pride and elation that comes with that, and love that they get to experience it too.

Our little babies have achieved so much already, why rush them to grow. I, for one, will enjoy my child staying in place for a little longer, still being there when I turn away, and not half way across the room, pulling out my entire DVD, magazine, priceless figurine, collections.

So let’s all take a breath, and calm down a bit, which is exactly what I’m going to do now I’ve got that off my chest.

Taking A Time Out

Hello my name is Amy, and I’m social media addict. I know it’s bad for me, mentally and physically but I just can’t help myself, it’s just too easy to access.

In a time before Motherhood, I signed up to several different social media platforms. Over a few years, as the Internet evolved, and way social media changed, I joined more sites. 

Things changed from ways to communicate with friends after school, to a way to share my daily life in different forms; photographs, video, “status updates” to name a few. I became one of these people who found it difficult to step away from the Internet. The harmless way to stay connected with friends new and old, had become a habit. I was on the platforms everyday, and very soon I was suffering from FOMO (fear of missing out)

Seeing what people were up to made me feel inadequate, I felt like I had to be better. I had to share more, become a more interesting person. I had become the kind of person that people wanted to ask out, someone to do things with, so I wouldn’t miss out and I could share it with all my friends. 

If I’m honest it really took Noah making his surprise appearance in my life to really take a step back.  Now some of you are saying but you are blogging, and want to move onto vlogging, and are still very active on social media sites. While this is true, I really have had to take a step back from social media. Being a mum means some days I find just about enough time to spend five minutes being able to brush my teeth, wash my face and pull a brush through my hair. Let alone spend hours trawling through different social media platforms. 

Then the other day I read a blog post, by beauty and mothering blogger Hannah Maggs (link to the post is at the end), about the challenge her and her husband had set upon themselves, to have a internet and communication technology “Blackout”. After reading it I felt inspired, and ready to take on the challenge of not using my phone, the television, or any social media platform from the time Noah went to bed, till the time we got up. The only exception being watching movies, Hannah and Stef allowed themselves to watch box sets, but as I have a self confessed Netflix addiction I felt this would defeat the object of a blackout. 

As I settled Noah down to sleep I felt a sense of impending doom, how would I cope? My highest use of social media is after Noah has gone down to bed, or for a nap, but I had my mind set on succeeding so I started my internet free evening.

How refreshing it was, not only did I managed to get loads of housework completed, but I cooked myself dinner, and actually sat down and managed to finish a book. I slept so much better that night (when Noah wasn’t waking me up!), I felt like I had really wound down and distressed from the day, I also felt like I had really taken some time for myself. I think the other bonus for everyone else is they weren’t bombarded with photos of my dinner, my relaxing position on the sofa, the scrummy hot chocolate I relaxed with, several updates on how dinner was going, how well I ploughed through the housework, the list goes on.

I would definitely recommend to anyone who feels like the day just gets on top of them, those who feel too overwhelmed to settle down for sleep properly, to try having an evening of switching off. Honestly the benefits well outweigh the negatives, so I will be making this a regular part of my week, without a doubt.

Hannah Maggs blog post: http://www.hannahmaggs.co.uk/blackout/

Feautred image: http://www.ninjamarketing.it/2012/10/16/che-tipo-di-social-media-addict-sei-infografica/

Mummyhood

It has been such a long time since I last wrote a post.

Too Long…

Let’s try again then.

So there has been a major change since my last bog post. I am no longer 40 weeks pregnant (hallelujah) I am mother to one completely scrummy boy.

Ahhh yes I had a boy.

In my last post I was trapped in the unknown. I didn’t know what gender my little human bean was or when they would actually make an appearance.

I was 10 days overdue by the time that my little man made his entrance into the world. I had been in labour for 4 days, when all at once, baby decided he was coming out. He had passed “GO” and was not stopping.

I am happy, proud, excited, fit to burst, to finally introduce,

Noah George

Noah George
Noah George

and here he is in a more recent photograph…

Noah George
Noah George

When I was pregnant I thought I knew what love was, I thought I already loved the small person, who I was giving life to.

Nothing in this world could have prepared me for the, knock me flying off my feet, rush of love that I experienced when I first got to meet my little boy.

It’s like nothing I’ve ever experienced.

I am also blown off my feet by how much Noah amazes me. I thought seeing the same person, day in and day out, would mean that the magic would go. It would become “normal”. That things would cease to amaze and day to day life would slowly take over from the rush of love, pull me out of the baby haze that I found myself in.

This little person has gone from being this helpless infant, to a small person who can sit by himself, eat “real” foods. Noah has emotions, and can communicate those feelings with me. There is laughter, tears, chatting, playing.

No day is ever the same.

I am so looking forward to seeing what the future holds, what will Noah achieve? Who will he become?

Not to wish his life away of course, I’m just curious, because as a parent I know that the answer to those questions falls partially on me. I know that we choose our own paths, though we are sometimes swayed by our peers. Noah’s life is started by me, I put the building blocks in place, to help Noah make ” good” choices, choose a path that is fulfilling, and gives his life purpose, whatever he feels his purpose is. For the first part of his life the way I parent, and the person I teach him to be, is who he is. That is a scary thought. The choices I make even now, the things I teach Noah, may impact on his life, they may stick with him forever. That is a terrifying responsibility.

But for now I will concentrate on the present.

Make every moment count and cherish Noah everyday.

Noah and Mummy
Noah and Mummy

I won’t promise to become a regular blog publisher, but I am going to try harder, I am also going to work on getting my YouTube page up and running. These things I want to put in place so that Noah has something to look back on, as well as the photo albums filled with hundreds of photos (and that is just from when he was born to a week old!).

Well I hope all these platforms are still in place when Noah is older!

Due Date

40 weeks pregnant.

And there is no sign of little bumpy wanting to meet the world anytime soon.

Which is leading to a lot of impatient people, myself included!

I have been spending the last week trying to keep myself occupied and trying to forget that my impending due date was fast moving towards me, with no sign that my baby was making any movements towards being born.

I kept myself moving and spent a lovely day in town with one of my best friends. This meant that I was moving around, which is one of the tricks that I have been told to use to get labour going. Instead it just made me feel uncomfortable, and for the first time I had to use little steps in order to stop my pelvis from feeling like it was going to split in half. I spoke to my midwife and she says that it sounds like I am suffering from PGP (Pelvic Girdle Pain), which had it been an issue in the beginning part of my pregnancy I would have been offered physiotherapy as a way of easing  any discomfort. However due to me being in my last week of pregnancy, I was told to rest whenever I felt pain. Which is totally not what I want to be doing, but its best to be comfortable than in pain before everything really kicks off.

To make sure that I do not come to a total standstill I have been using my birth ball LOADS. I find it more comfortable to sit on than normal furniture, mostly because I find it easier to get back up again. Also I find that it means my knees sit at 45 degrees or lower than my hips which takes lot of pressure of my pelvis. I sit on it to watch telly, and to keep everything mobile I move my hips in little motions, circles, side to side, figures of 8. I find it helps the most to sit on the ball just before I go to bed, it means that I am woken up less in the night with hip and pelvis pain, which when I am trying to store up as much sleep as possible, is a really good thing.

I then did some research into other techniques that can help get labour started naturally.

I found that eating pineapple can help kick start labour because (and here comes the science part) it contains lots of Bromelain, which can help to soften the cervix, as well as an enzyme that can cause mild contractions. What I also found out is that pineapples Tropical Fruit Salad buddies; kiwi, mango and papaya, also contain this enzyme. One issue is that you would have to eat A LOT of these fruits to really get things going, but it is one way of making sure that you staying healthy right up to the end of pregnancy.

Eating Pineapple for breakfast
Eating Pineapple for breakfast.

Making sure I am getting what I need in my diet in terms of fruit and vegetables had been important for me, especially when combined with the other food that I have been eating to try and bring on labour.

I have been devouring curry!

The only issue is I tried to go really spicy and ended up triggering a painful bout of heartburn. So I have been eating curry, but probably not as spicy as would be recommended to trigger any labour.

I did get some Raspberry Leaf Tea, but the smell alone turned my stomach, so I didn’t drink any of it.

Even though I was trying the techniques, I needed to do other things to keep my mind occupied.

I had a little arts and crafts day in which I made a canvas to place by the baby’s crib and put my scan pictures in a photo frame.

Now I do not claim to be the next Leonardo da Vinci, but I am quite proud of my efforts because it adds a personal touch to the decorations in the room.

Shooting star canvas
Shooting star canvas.

It is quite a simple canvas, with a shooting star image, with the lyrics from Ellie Gouldings song How Long Will I Love You. I then added some little stars stickers to give it some depth. It was relatively cheap to do, which is another great thing when expecting a baby. The canvas and star stickers cost £2.00 each from Hobbycraft.

I also put my 12 week and 20 week scans into frames. The frames come as a set of 3 which was £6.00 from Next, they are a beautiful design though super simple. I just have to add one more picture to the middle frame, I am still trying to decide what kind of picture I want to place in the middle, be it a picture of just my newborn baby, or a first picture of the both of us.

My photo frames.
My photo frames.

I will share what I have decided in one of my next posts.

Well that is the end of my week. It wasn’t completely manic, but when you can only move at snails pace you are slightly limited in what you can do.

Hopefully by the time I do a post next week, I will be introducing you to my new baby.

Fingers crossed!

On a side note, I have filmed my first Vlog and it should be ready to go up on my channel soon, but it became a back seat priority to making sure that I was ready in the event that labour did happen. I really won’t be leaving the house much for now till I am going into hospital, just so I don’t get stuck in Tesco or somewhere on my own, so I will be uploading it soon, it just needs a little editing.

Heading in a new direction…

This will not be a usual blog post.

I have been doing something of a different sort for the last few weeks, and I finally feel that I am ready to share with you, the new path that I am going to take.

Alas do not panic, there will still be blog posts to keep you all entertained!

There will be more blog posts in fact.

When I started this blog it was a blog to share my thoughts and feelings. There was no structure as to when these blogs were going to happen, and most of the time they have happened when I really had something to get of my chest, or something super duper to share. This erratic nature is a little too lax for me. I love writing and sharing what is happening, with those of you that read my blog, whether you are and avid reader, or an every now and again kind of reader. I want to share more of my life with you guys, particularly because of the awesome feedback I have had from those that have read my posts.

I am going to add more of what happens in my life. I want to share more moments that happen, everyday kind of things, so time I spend with my friends and family, and especially I would like to share with you the time I spend with my baby.

I would like to share what I am into; beauty products that I cannot get enough of, clothes that have become a staple in my wardrobe, places that I wish to visit again and again, things that keep me entertained like books and films. Also products that I use for my baby, and the things that we do together.

Basically just opening up my life for you guys.

As well as adding more to my blog posts, I have also been working on getting a YouTube Vlog up and running.

I am really looking forward to sharing my life with you guys through the medium of video. This is a big step, because even with editing, it is hard to hide when there is a camera in your face. But this doesn’t bother me. I am actually excited to document in film how things are going in my life.

I also have a special reason to start vlogging. I have family that don’t live nearby and don’t even live in this country. My vlogs will be my way of making sure that I can keep them updated with what is going on in my life, like what is happening in the madness of me becoming a mother.

I really excited to do this, I already have a blog post to go up but I will be putting it up in a few days, I have some tweaking and refining to do first. I don’t have a vlog as yet, but I am in the process of getting that sorted.

I hope you enjoy the way that I take my writing, feed back will be great especially as I find my feet.

Featured image from: http://becuo.com/tumblr-quotes-about-moving-forward

The Final Countdown

♥It’s the final countdown, Do-do-do-doooo-do-d-do-do-do♥

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I have made it to WEEK 39 and still no sign of little bumpy making an appearance anytime soon.

And I am taking full advantage of this fact!

As I write this blog post I am lounging in bed with a cup of tea that is still warm, taking to time to sip and savour, whilst pawing through my Cosmopolitan magazine. I know soon that this small act will be a thing of the rarity. I will have the number one distraction to occupy my spare time, and cold cups of tea and coffee will become life.
But boy am I savouring this moment.

I have spent the last week seeing the people I love, going out for meals and coffee catch ups, without the plethora of baby paraphernalia that will accompany Baby and Me if we dare to venture beyond the confines of home.

I am have taken advantage of the fact I can drive to the shops, pull into a space, leap from the car (think less gazelle like leaping and more Orca emerging from the ocean!) and swan to the shops, carelessly locking my car over my shoulder without a backwards glance.

Now you may be mistaken into thinking that I am aggrieved by the changes that I will be facing, whenever Mother Nature decides that it is time I became a mummy, but you would be wrong.

Of all the “negatives” there may be surrounding having a baby. I can honestly say I am the most excited, nervous, and happy I have ever been.

This tiny being who has hiccups, and could win a part in an Alien remake film, with all the moving and dancing that is performed just underneath the surface of my skin. Who terrifies me because of how much love and care I already feel for them, and I know I would do anything to make sure they and safe and know how completely I love them.

This little person who will fully command my attention and time, and I will give it freely, yet doesn’t have a face or a name, who is unknown to me, even as much as I know every kick and wiggle.

Yes things will change, but I have accepted that, and am ready to meet my son or daughter, and move onto this next path of my life.

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36 Weeks!

Oh blimey. I have made it to 36 weeks. Which leaves only four weeks to go. Well that is if baby doesn’t decide he or she has had enough and wants out.

It absolutely boggles my mind, how quickly the last four weeks have gone. When I reached 32 weeks I had a little celebration, because I have done better at being pregnant than I was as an impatient baby bump. But it seems like last week I was having this celebration, rather than a whole month ago!

Things are starting to fall into place, and even though my nerves and stress levels have been all over the place, which probably hasn’t been pleasant for a lot of people, I am able to calm down and know that if baby came now I would be prepared. The hospital bags have been packed for a few weeks now, and I keep packing and re-packing them, even though the very detailed checklist shows me nothing is missing, but it passes the time since I left work.

I never thought I would say it, but I miss work. I miss the structure and routine of going to work, and I’ve tried to keep some sort of structure in my days so I don’t completely fall out of a routine before baby comes along, but it’s been difficult. I get tired throughout the day even though I don’t do much, so I have a nap every now and again. Something I definitely couldn’t have done in a 12 hour shift at Gatwick. I saw my midwife this week and she did a little happy dance of joy, she didn’t like the hours I was working or the shift pattern, but I felt comfortable enough to continue so why not? I suppose she had my best interests at heart, but I didn’t feel the need to give up work. My maternity leave officially began on the 20th of September, and I only left at the end of August because I had leave to take, I was told to either use it, or lose it. So I took advantage!

I also miss the people I worked with massively, I miss the banter that happened everyday. I miss the drama (well most of it!). I also just miss Gatwick as a place. I very always been fascinated by the airport, and I love working within it, knowing how it works, and seeing how everyone’s different role keeps Gatwick going, but let’s keep my Gatwick geek side between us!

I do have a confession to make. I feel like a fraud. I have been going to antenatal classes, which were good, I would listen to all the other mums to be with their complaints, and I decided I am really lucky. I had a tough time at the beginning of the pregnancy, with morning sickness and a couple of funny turns which resulted in trips to hospital. However I have had it pretty easy since those little humps at the beginning. Okay apart from my ankles swelling, and my hands now joining them, which means I can’t wear any of my rings anymore (majorly upset about that fact, it’s not just pre-pregnancy clothing I’ve got to get back into, but jewellery as well!), and pretty relentless heartburn, which even my super strong Gaviscon doesn’t really have any effect on anymore, it’s quite painful and I feel like a human volcano ( just call me Eyjafjallajökull!), mostly because of my size and I feel like an eruption waiting to happen every time I get heartburn.

Even with those lovely pregnancy side effects, I feel lucky, mostly because people just say how well I look. Now I am not the most accepting of compliments. I am quick to come up with an excuse why the complimentor is wrong or “You’ve just caught me on a good day“, or the go to “I’m glowing? No it’s just make up!“. But even with all those handy excuses up my sleeve, I have had to come to the admission, that I look good. I don’t always feel it, but apparently I look it. I decided I would start believing people because of the look of astonishment that accompanies a compliment. People are quite good at telling white lies to make someone feel better, but usually the truth is written all over their faces.

Another reason I feel lucky is I still get eight to nine HOURS of pretty much unbroken sleep! The women I went to the antenatal classes with seemed to be surviving off regular naps, waking up numerous times in the night, and feeling generally unable to have a comfortable nights sleep. I would stand there making fraudulent noises of agreement, making a pact with myself to never let that secret out. I feel lucky, and you can trust when I say that I am taking full advantage of all the hours sleep I am getting at the moment, especially as I know it will change very soon…

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Me after I was born eight weeks early, so small! Look how happy my parents look!

Big Surprise

It has taken me a while to write this blog. A lot of courage has been required recently to keep going, and I feel that writing and sharing is the only way that I can cope with some pretty amazing changes that are going on in my life.

*and breathe*

Let me start a little way back around March 2010.
I was overweight on the outside and horrendously unhappy on the inside. But not only was I holding onto my emotions on the inside, my lifestyle was very slowly catching up with me, and not in a good way.
I always knew what I was doing was self destructive, foods that should have been reserved for treats or every now and again occasions, had made their way into my life and were everyday occurrences, sometimes I would indulge more than once a day on sugary fatty goodness that was no good for me.
I was at college, and worked for a fast food company to support myself. Being in that environment was an amazing way to self abuse through food. I would eat fast food 3 times a day, and have other meals cooked at home by my parents which were healthy and nutritious, but couldn’t compete with the call of the fatty foods.
I would eat on the sly and hide food packaging wherever I could.
I did a minimum amount of exercise, usually just the movement pieces set by teachers from my performing arts course at college. Which would probably amount to two hours a week, if that.
Then one day I was hanging out with my friends at college, when I thought I was going to die.
I couldn’t breathe, I had chest pains which were excruciating.
I went to the local hospital, who ran tests and eventually concluded that I was suffering from Gallstones.
They were so severe, that even though it was the first episode I had experienced, the doctors decided that surgery would be the only way to solve this problem. I had already done too much damage, and nothing would be able to stop any episodes reoccurring.
So I had a Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy, which is keyhole surgery to remove the Gallbladder.

You would think this would spur me to eat better, I was told to go onto a 5% Fat based diet which would help me manage my weight.

No. No it did not.

I hit fast food harder. Why did I need to diet? The issue was gone, and because of the surgery there was not threat of it returning.
Great. Right?

No.

I stayed in my job after finishing college, so gone was my little bit of exercise, I ate ridiculous amounts of fast food, smoked, drank, drove everywhere. I was on a one woman crusade to live the life of excess.

Eventually I left my job in the fast food industry to join a job at Gatwick Airport in May 2013. This job had me moving around more than I had done in years. I was told I could walk up to 10 miles a day. And I did. It was exhausting.
But in my first week on the job I lost an amazing nine pounds.
I was not eating fast food, and I was moving.

But it was also too late.

I may have been shifting weight, but I’d already done irreparable damage on the inside.

In the October I found myself in agony again, I was scared and in a lot of pain. At first I was diagnosed with a possible Appendicitis. But after more tests, some very invasive, I was eventually diagnosed with Polycystic Ovaries.
At first I was relieved that I knew what was happening. Then my doctor started to explain that because of my condition, I would struggle to have children.

I know a lot of women have this, I know we all have it for different reasons. However I was faced with the facts that I had done so much damage to my body, I had left myself possibly unable to have children.

It was time to change

I started to eat healthy. I found exercise, at first I hated it, but then I started to find things that worked for me. By the time 2014 started I had lost almost four stone and I felt amazing.

At this time I also started up a casual relationship. For the first time ever I felt confident enough.

But I was reckless

Being told that I may find it difficult to conceive naturally, I didn’t worry about taking birth control. But what I didn’t realise was that losing all this weight had taken pressure off my internal organs.

I found out February 14th 2014 that I was going to have a baby

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I was overjoyed, terrified, but in my eyes this was a miracle. In such a short space of time I had turned my life around, I had taken a promotion at work, was taking care of myself, and been blessed with naturally conceiving a baby.

So just a short skip back through time to get you to where I am today!

I am 27 weeks pregnant and don’t know what I am expecting.
It’s not been easy to get to today. I am going to be a single mother not totally by choice, but I can’t change things now.
And this blog is what it’s all about.
Me working through things.
I may be a single parent, but I’m not alone.

I have an amazing family and group of friends.
I wouldn’t have got this far without them.
I hope you follow me on my journey through pregnancy, to becoming a mummy.
It’s going to be one hell of a journey