family photographer near me

Family-friendly restaurants in and around Norwich

Family-friendly restaurants in and around
Norwich

Going out for lunch or dinner
as a family can be a lot of fun. Whether you’ve stopped to refuel during an
exciting day in the city or are treating your nearest and dearest to a slap-up
meal, taking the kids out for food is a great way to spend quality time
together as a family.

To help you find the perfect
spot for your next gastro experience, we’re taking a look at the best family-friendly
restaurants in Norwich and the surrounding area.

Giraffe

A lot of the time, chain
restaurants offer the best choice – and most competitive prices – on
kids’ menus. What’s more, they often have activities and games to keep little
ones entertained while grown-ups enjoy their meal.

If you’re looking for a
convenient and affordable place for a family lunch, Giraffe is a great place to
start. The restaurant’s dedicated kids’ menu features everything from katsu
chicken curry to fish fingers and beans, ensuring there’s something to keep
even the fussiest eater happy.

Las Iguanas

Another reliable
child-friendly chain is Las Iguanas. Located close to the waterfront in the
Riverside Retail Park, the restaurant offers a great choice of vegetarian,
vegan and gluten-free dishes. They also offer free organic baby food for
younger children and staff are always happy to reheat baby bottles. 

Zaks

Back in the ’70s, local
musician Harvey Platt decided to bring a slice of America to Norwich and opened
the first Zaks in 1976. The restaurant has been dishing up US classics to happy
customers for decades and now has a choice of locations across the city. Kids
will love the burgers and fries on offer while parents will appreciate the
colouring books and other games that are on hand to keep little ones busy.

Fatsos

If you’re taking your family
for a day out in Great Yarmouth, Fatsos is the perfect place to stop for lunch.
Located on King Street, the restaurant serves up burgers, fries, pizzas, wraps
and other crowd-pleasing American classics. Wash your meal down with a freshly
made milkshake before heading back to the beach.

Fatsos also has a location in
Norwich if you want to stay a little closer to home.

The Swan

If you want to take the kids
out into the countryside for a bit of fresh air, The Swan in Loddon is a great
place to stop for lunch. Grown-ups can enjoy mouth-watering meals cooked by
award-winning chefs, while kids will love the classic family favourites on the
pub’s Cygnet Menu. Ingredients are sourced from local farmers and there’s often
live music in the early evening. Once you’ve finished eating, head out for a
walk in the local countryside to help your food go down.

With so many family-friendly
restaurants in the local area, parents in Norwich are spoiled for choice when
it comes to eating out. Find out more about family-friendly activities in and
around Norwich by exploring our site today.

I know there are so many please
comment with your top favourite!

Jess

Ps: check out baby friendly cafes too here


baby photographer near me

Language classes for babies and toddlers in Norwich

Language classes for babies and toddlers in Norwich

As we all know, learning a new language as a child is a lot easier than learning a new language as an adult. Babies and toddlers don’t have to think about grammar, tenses or clauses. All they need is to become immersed in a new language and they’ll pick it up in no time.

Not only does learning a second language as a baby help to set kids up for a bright linguistic future, it can also help with brain development and general communication skills. Thanks to growing demand, there is now a great choice of baby and toddler language classes in and around Norwich. If you think this might be the perfect activity for your budding translator, here are a few of the best local language classes to try out.

Lingo Lions

Lingo Lions teaches Spanish to kids from 0–12 years. Kids are divided into different age groups, with 0–3 year olds all learning together. Lessons are fun and easy for kids to follow. Teachers have lots of experience working with younger children, so your baby or toddler is guaranteed to have a great time while learning new linguistic skills.

Lingo Lions, teacher Kate is very passionate and has sessions running across Norwich. Get in touch to find out if there’s a location near you.

La Jolie Ronde

Like Lingo Lions, La Jolie Ronde is suitable for children aged from 0–12. Both French and Spanish classes are available, giving you the opportunity to get your kids speaking multiple languages before they even start school.

Lessons are well-structured and are designed to reflect real-life situations. This gives kids an excellent grounding in their chosen language and helps to make the classes more relevant to everyday life.

As well as improving their communication skills, learning a new language has also been shown to give kids a confidence boost and aid all aspects of learning. Get in touch with the organisation to find out about lessons in your local area.

KidsLingo

French and Spanish are by far the most popular languages among parents who want to give their kids a head start. So it’s no surprise that the third organisation offering language classes for babies and toddlers in Norwich also specialises in these tongues.

KidsLingo offers a variety of baby and pre-school classes in and around Norwich. Most sessions take place in the afternoon or mid-morning, making it easy to fit lessons into your child’s day. The structure of the lessons will vary depending on the age of the children, with play a big part of language classes for babies and younger kids.

Language classes for babies and toddlers are a fantastic way to boost self-confidence, improve communications skills and give your child a head start in the world of linguistics.

 

Find out more by getting in touch with a group near you.

 

Jess


mumbler blog

Norwich Mumbler my new pregnant guest blogger

Norwich Mumbler my new pregnant guest blogger

I always knew I wanted two children.  I used to joke to my husband about wanting
three just to see him squirm or get cross about what a logistical nightmare it
would be etc, etc. but I knew 2 was our number.

YET…along came baby number two and whilst I was ‘soaking her
in’ and ‘making the most of her’  because
I knew she was our last one, I had this niggle in the back of my head that
perhaps we weren’t done.  Lots of my
friends have said they absolutely, unequivocally knew they were done, but I
never felt it!

Fast-forward nearly two years later and we’d sorted out the
logistical nightmares of potentially having three children, when that little
line showed on the pregnancy test!  I
have to say though, even though it was what we wanted, I was not prepared for
the sudden guilt tears that followed.

Guilt for our two girls, who would have the upheaval of a new sibling, guilt
that they might think we weren’t happy with just them, guilt for people who
can’t conceive, guilt for people who have lost, guilt, guilt, guilt. 

It took a little while to get my head around having another
baby, our youngest has only just started sleeping through (she’s nearly 2!) and
the thought of going back to the 2-hourly wakeups and seemingly constant sleep
regressions was HARD but, after two children, I am well-versed in the fact that
nothing lasts forever and everything is a ‘phase’.  The days are long but the years are short,
right?

My past two pregnancies have been very sicky for the first 9
to 15-22 weeks, so when week 9 came with this pregnancy I was ready.  Apart from I wasn’t sick – hurrah!  I was nauseous from week 6 but nothing that
some bitter lemon or a sour Haribo wouldn’t fix.  I was so pleased, if not a little smug.

Then BAM, it hit - I thought I’d escaped, but no.  Eugh!  (and I’m definitely voting for this one being another girl – ha!)

The first 16 weeks have been hard.  Doing school runs and running after a ‘strong-willed’ 2-year-old, whilst trying to keep on top of my Norwich Mumbler to-do list (not to mention housework, cooking etc.) hasn’t been the easiest, but there’s finally some light at the end of my ‘morning sickness’ tunnel, so bring on the rest of the second trimester.

Check out my other blogs and we will hear from Katrin again in the future . Please also check out her awesome website ,a hub for all things family related!


Mummy

Mummy and Me! Mini Photoshoots 2019

Mummy and Me! Mini Photoshoots 2019

I’m so excited to announce the return of my popular Mummy and Me mini shoots for 2019.

These sold out so quickly last year I thought it was about time to bring them back. As mums, so often we are the ones capturing pictures of our families, we avoid being in the pictures (mum buns and dry shampoo anyone?)

I know as a mummy myself how many photos I find myself missing from, or as the professional how often it is me behind the camera, so it’s time for us all to exist more in pictures. Not only for you, but for your children and families to treasure forevermore.

It’s important you know this isn’t about buying new outfits and having to look perfect, this mini session is all about you and your child/children snuggling up to you and capturing you all just as you are, because that’s who they like best.

This is also a really great way to celebrate Mother’s Day (early gift idea!) and for you to say thanks

What is a Mummy & me mini sessions?

Held at my home studio, these sessions are 15 minutes long*, trust me, this is the perfect amount of time to capture some simple, natural and always beautiful portraits of you and your children. The perfect timeless memory.

Unlike a full-length photoshoot, this will be a simple set up with no outfit changes – I’ll advise you before the shoot on what works well outfit/dress wise.

Please be aware that mini sessions are suitable for babies 8 weeks old + upwards (not suitable for new-borns due to feeding on demand and short time frame) but I have several packages for new-borns that you can find HERE.

*If you would like longer in the studio with no time restraints, more outfit changes, different set ups and props, and more images in your gallery to choose from, then you can book a full length shoot off my main pricelist, please get in touch with any questions you have about this.

What does my package include?

  • 15 minutes in studio (studio at Sprowston, Norwich, NR7)
  • 5 digital images via download to print as you wish (approx of 10 to select from)
  • siblings only (no cousins or friends)
  • £60 - £5 off your package is being donated to a local Charity The NICU Parent Partnership 
  • (extra images can be purchased after)

When:

Friday 15th March am

Saturday 16th March -9-2pm SOLD OUT email to be notified if i add an extra date

Terms and Conditions

  • The session is purely for Mum and siblings, no cousins or family images will be taken. 
  • The number of images is dependent on the little/s one on the day, but you can expect 10- 15 images in your online gallery as a rough guide.
  • Due to the time limited nature of the session where a child may become shy or unwilling no guarantees are offered to provide a specified number.
  • You can purchase any extra images for £5 each. Images include print permission to print as you wish.
  • The images will be sent via a download link /Dropbox
  • If your child becomes unwell or upset, we may reschedule at the photographer’s discretion.
  • Due to studio size, I ask that only parents can attend (a max of 2 adults per time slot.)

ready to book? follow this booking link to secure your slot now!

https://jesswilkinsphotography.as.me/schedule.php?appointmentType=8811757

I can’t wait to see you in the studio!

Jess x

 

Mummy and me Norwich


Maternity Photographer Norwich

7 things you might have forgotten about having a newborn

7 things you might have forgotten about having a newborn

 

It’s so easy to forget each precious stage as they flash by before your eyes, but something I hear frequently from second time mothers and fathers is how much they had forgotten by the time baby number 2 arrives. So, I thought I would compile a list of 5 things to remind all you expectant second time mothers and also to prepare anyone in round one!

Baby photographer Norfolk

  1. Prepare to google ‘Can I die from sleep deprivation’ It hurts, it makes your body ache and its akin to torture. You exist in a weird mystical fog of forgetfulness and with no idea what the day is and even if it is day or night. You might forget the date your baby was born or maybe their name, who you invited round that afternoon and where you left your last cup of cold tea (cold tea is another point, read on!) It’s brutal, but it also jam packed with that wonderful thing oxytocin and it passes.

 

  1. The Love is like nothing you have ever known. The link between you and your baby is powerful, the dull ache you feel through your whole body when your baby cries, the desperate itch to whip them back to you if anyone hugs them for too long. The strange sensation for breastfeeding mummies of twingy boobs if your baby cries. Its magical stuff, my hubby didn’t experience this, but I did, anyone else out there too?

 

  1. It’s just a phase. How hard it is to remember that with a new-born. Endless nights of colic or maybe cluster feeding, illness, screaming or just no reason behaviour. It feels like the end will never be in sight. But with retrospect, it doesn’t last forever and it’s a rite of passage that all parents stare desperately at one another in the middle of the night and pep talk one another

 

  1. How to hold a new-born! This is a funny one, you’d think as parents of an older sibling that you have been there and done that, that’s its something you don’t forget, well I can assure you that while you will eventually get the hang of it those first holds put you under enormous pressure, which brings me to a sub-point of point 4! The enormity of being responsible for new life is just the same as first time around. To keep them alive and kicking – adhering to all the rules and regulations and advice as set out by everyone around you (authorities and family) It’s hard but remember you can do this!

 

  1. Cold tea. Your tea will not be hot when you drink it for a long time. There is no way around this.

 

  1. Never ever say out loud, or in your head that you are nailing something. As we all know, the minute your baby hears you they will immediately move the goalposts and you will have no idea what is going on. Be it sleep, feeding, routine, smiling, rolling you name it. They can smell parents celebrating success!

 

  1. In those hazy first days, it feels like no sleep, no hot tea, no routine and no idea will be your life forever, but, just remember, you will re-enter the normal world at some point. So, try to enjoy being home in a new-born bubble. Because as we all know ‘It’s just a phase’

Family baby photographer near me

And just to add – you will love this baby as much as your first , you may even feel sad about it not just being you and your first born.  But that soon went when Lila arrived, the emotions we feel as parents are so mixed and varied. Every journey is different but im pretty sure whatever you feel , someone else is feeling/ felt  the same. The fact that  we worry,  if we are doing a good job means we are!

 

If you are having your 3rd , 4th, 5th etc baby i’d love you hear from you and have you guest blog !

 

Jess

Newborn baby photographer Norwich


PARENT

A Happy Family Christmas: the realistic way - guest blog

A Happy Family Christmas: the realistic way – guest blog by Sam James 

 

 

Christmas time with babies and young children can be a magical time. It can also be a stressful time. Parenthood is an ongoing wrestle between ideal expectations versus the reality, and Christmas can be a stark reminder of this. That’s why I am going to share my 3 top tips to help you to create a realistically happy Christmas for you and your family.

 

I remember our son’s first Christmas and I had put so much pressure on myself to have the ‘perfect’ Christmas, fuelled by my perception of what all my new mummy friends were preparing and what the world of adverts, films and social media were telling me Christmas should be like.

 

The reality was nothing like it. The stress built like a pressure cooker, and it felt like everything that could go wrong did go wrong:

  • Our trip home from South Wales to Norfolk, was delayed by several days due to heavy snowfall (I normally love snow, but not in 2010!)
  • My husband and I ended up with food poisoning
  • My grandmothers water pipe burst in her garage
  • My parents washing machine broke
  • We argued with our families. I remember hiding in my room, messaging friends, wishing I was in my own home.
  • Our son was poorly on Christmas Day and I spent a considerable amount of my day on the phone to 111.
  • I lost my voice on Boxing day and woke up with conjunctivitis.

 

I vividly remember feeling so disappointed, upset and exhausted. At the time this was all I could focus on. That Christmas was a failure.

 

Yet, if I were to share photos of our son’s first Christmas it won’t show any of that. It will show him with his stocking, opening presents with his cousins, having his first Christmas lunch, families laughing and playing together.

 

In reality, 8 years on, I am able to recognise that despite all of the drama that surrounded Christmas 2010, there were many moments to treasure. With hindsight I wish I had taken the pressure off myself and my family to have a ‘perfect’ time, that I had lowered my expectations and embraced the time together warts and all.

 

It is so easy to get swept along with what we think everyone else is doing, and feeling like we should be keeping up with everyone else. So, how can you try and make Christmas work for you without the stress?

Create a Realsitic Happy Christmas.

  • Create your own family traditions

Don’t force yourself to do things that ‘everyone else’ always seems to be doing, if it doesn’t fit for you. Everyone’s situations are totally different – what works for your friend or your sibling’s family might lead to huge financial strain for you, or a really uncomfortable family situation.

 

  • Focus on the time together.

What do you want Christmas to feel like for you and your family? People remember the feelings they are left with far longer than the things that they are left with. As humans we are wired to seek out connections with each other, and being with other people and sharing positive experiences far out ways material objects, in terms of long-term happiness. There is a post on social media, written by a teacher for parents as a reminder of just this – that when they go back to school when asked about Christmas, the children share stories of staying in their pj’s for the day, playing games, watching films, going for walks. If they mention presents it tends to be the last thing they talk about.

 

  • Soften your expectations.

It is going to sound pessimistic, but I now accept that there are going to be moments when I want to scream at everyone, that someone will may end up ill, that there will be some very random present choices and some things won’t go to plan. By accepting these things in advance, I won’t feel like Christmas is ruined if it happens. So, be honest with yourself, and where can you lower the bar of expectation this Christmas?

 

 

If you’d love more tips for reducing the Christmas stress you can find my 8 top tips here https://samjamescoaching.co.uk/tinsel-tantrums/

 

Enjoy your Christmas in whatever way you choose. I can’t wait for snuggles on the sofa in pj’s with my tribe!

Save my top tips below to your phone !

 

www.samjamescoaching.co.uk

hello@samjamescoaching.co.uk

07736325189

www.facebook.com/SamJamesCoaching

www.twitter.com/SamJamesCoach

 


co-sleeping baby

The Honest Confessions of a NICU Mum on… Co- sleeping

The Honest Confessions of a NICU Mum on… Co- sleeping

 

Don’t let baby sleep in your bed.

Put them down awake.

Get rid of the dummy.

Put socks on him.

Dream feed them.

Have you tried a banana before bed?

Order a white noise machine, Gro clock and black out blinds.

Type in ‘how to get a baby to sleep through the night’,  and you will be met with so much conflicting and sometimes very odd advice.

Elijah our first child was always a pretty good sleeper, from around six weeks he slept 7-7 and after about a year he did so in his own room. Other than the odd early wake up, or a bout of illness and even getting rid of the dummy we have always had it pretty good with him.

We co slept for a while, it just happened naturally, if he woke up early he would come in with us and we would sleep until a reasonable hour.

I remember being told that this was the worst possibly thing to do, we would ‘create a rod for our own backs’, he wouldn’t never sleep in his own room and wouldn’t be able to settle himself etc.

I liked him being close to me, it meant I could keep an eye on him, and as he got bigger I liked when he snuck in our bed.

co-sleeping baby

Bed hopping

I do vaguely remember there was a time where the three of us would bed hop, between his room, our room and the sofa but do you know what, we still slept.

I got told by someone that if it isn’t a problem for you, then there is no problem and I hand on my heart believe this. We all slept and no it wasn’t the most convenient thing in the world but it kind of worked.

Then came his brother who didn’t quite follow in his brothers footsteps, so much so even now at sixteen months still doesn’t sleep very well.

We thought we had learnt a lot from having Elijah, and we were quite open to co sleeping again if it meant that we all slept but we were not prepared when it came to our little sleep thief.

I even in a sleep deprived  state ordered a Ewan the Sheep in hope it would work, it did not.

Take last night, he went to bed in his room, woke up but settled again around five times but as we were approaching the wee hours he came in with us and slept until 7am, and allowed his brother a lay in until 7.30am!

The need for sleep

Some may have an issue about co sleeping and it obviously can be very dangerous in certain situations and I am not necessarily an advocate for it, I am however very much for getting sleep.

I don’t have any worries that by co sleeping that I will have one of them in the bed until they are teenagers.

I think in the first couple of years you are in survival mode and you do what you can to get the illustrious bout of sleep that you think about  all day long.

There will be a time where they wont be waking up. Clambering into your bed, kicking you for hours through the night or my personal favourite using your head as a pillow.

It is and when your child doesn’t sleep, and you really do get quite desperate trying everything and anything.

It can be even harder when you know others their age who do sleep, and it can feel as though you are the one doing something wrong.

Once you have had a baby you are in such a rush for them to sleep through the night as we believe that this is an indication of their ability in a way.

Truth be told, I don’t think much helps, they will sleep when and where they want to. A little further down the road something will click and you will be waking up with a toddler heavy breathing in your face demanding that it is time for breakfast and C Beebies.

Baby photographer Norfolk

Three or four in a bed

Strangely, you will begin to miss those times where you woke up with no duvet and neck ache, snuggled up with someone whose nappy is feeling and smelling way too full.

Or when you, your partner, your child and every single one of their teddies has to come in and you find yourself balanced on the edge of the bed not daring to move in case you fall out!

Let go of the pressure, the guilt if you are reading this after a semi successful night where your baby/toddler/ pre-schooler/ cat and you did share a bed then don’t sweat it.

Once again, if it isn’t a problem for you, it isn’t a problem, try not to compare yourselves.

Different things work for different people, and that’s okay, however if one of them does still sleep with us when he is in his twenties then I may come back to revisit this!

Vicki Cockerill is a Freelance Content Writer and NICU/CHD Mum to two boys, she authors The Honest Confessions Of A NICU Mum Blog, founded and runs The NICU Parent Partnership Organisation and co-hosts @KnackeredandNorwich Social Club.. You can contact her via her blog or social media;

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bottle feeding


Guest blog - cake smash with Jess Wilkins Photography, Norfolk Photographer

Guest blog – cake smash with Jess Wilkins Photography, Norfolk Photographer

By Muffin and Puffin & Mollie! 

 

cake smash Norfolk

When Jess asked about collaborating for a photoshoot cake-smash I was delighted.  It was the perfect timing to mark a milestone birthday, Mollie turning 2 and also gave me an opportunity to bring some local businesses together to celebrate one another, support one another and share some hopefully wonderful content.

Knowing Jess as I do, I wasn’t worried or nervous in the slightest, she has a very calming nature and I knew that Mollie, while I couldn’t guarantee pose perfection, wouldn’t feel anything other than calm and happy in her studio.

We pulled up with cake and outfits and went straight into her perfect little studio. White, calm, beautiful, natural props and a tiny delicate rail of beautiful baby clothes (how I wish we had come to Jess when Mollie was a few days old!) A little slice of studio heaven.

Mollie was instantly drawn to the props, in particular the wooden birthday cake (how apt!) and from there it was a breeze. She happily got into her matching Christmas Pjs with me (a small request for an image from myself) and before we had a chance to give any sort of direction she had pulled the chair into the middle of the set and started posing. She does not take after me at all(!)

Baby Photographer Norfolk

A quick outfit change later into a piece made specially by the very talented Little Dottie Designs and she was back into pose mode… gleefully knocking over the TWO props and delicately eating all the sprinkles from the cake.

Jess gave no direction; the whole experience was led by Mollie with me guiding her for a few of the shots. We stopped when she stopped, and Jess shot when she was happily eating her Little Cake Company cake (topped beautifully by the topper from the talented Vellamaes) and we also took some fun time-lapse videos from #bts.

In under an hour it felt that it came to a natural end as there had been no incidents, meltdowns or tears… Mollie truly enjoyed the experience as did I. I have threatened to come back weekly for Jess’ calming influence over my little whirlwind of a toddler.

I cannot recommend Jess enough, she’s a mama herself and she just ‘gets it’ she was efficient without being bossy, she was calm without being airy and it felt more like a playdate than a studio shoot.

There’s not much point waxing lyrical about the final shots – I think they speak for themselves.

Jess can we come back for every birthday?

Sophie x

baby photographer Norfolk
baby photographer Norfolk
baby photographer Norfolk


The Honest Confessions of a NICU Mum on… Relationships

The Honest Confessions of a NICU Mum on… Relationships

 

 

One thing I do not think you are fully prepared for after having a bay is how much the dynamic of your relationship changes with your partner.

Whilst you are pregnant you often live in a honeymoon bubble, excitedly imagining what your new life as parents is going to be like.

Then after the physical act of labour you are normally engulfed in the new born bubble of bliss.

Give or take a couple of weeks suddenly you are both running on empty, mum smells like cheese and you watch as a slightly too eager dad leaves to return back to work.

Sleep deprivation is indescribable, and nor how you have to find your new balance as a family. Going from two of you, to three, to four and the stress of finding your groove and getting a balance back can take months.

Resentment

The one thing that surprised me most about how our relationship changed were those undercurrents of resentment.

I resented him for getting to leave, for going out and being an adult, and for making me feel guilty if I asked him to help in the night because he had to get up for work and I was ‘just’ looking after the baby.

Knowing what I know now, it is normal to feel like this.

I guess you could say after having a baby in NICU and then open heart surgery we had it tougher than most, we got through it and looking back I never realised how hard it was for him too.

For me I was struggling and I was consumed with depression but he not only went through this with his child too, but he watched his partner fall down somewhere that he was unsure of she was going to get back out of.

Then he watched as post-natal depression overwhelmed me after the birth of our second child, he was more involved than most and I never appreciated that at the time.

Tiredness

We bicker, we argue who is more tired, who does more and who the children like the best but the one thing we try to remember is that what ever ‘phase’ is stressing us out the most another illness, early wake ups, no money, it won’t be forever.

There is of course the physical side chances are after having a baby and not sleeping for eight weeks straight you aren’t going to feel that frisky.

For me the change isn’t the physical aspect never really bothered me, it was when we stopped communicating or being honest with one another that really affected me.

It was holding in what was bothering us causing it to fester under the surface.

For a while how the two pregnancies changed my body I was self-conscious that he no longer ‘fancied’ me as such but I think your relationship after having a baby goes to a new level where it isn’t just about superficiality anymore.

We try and talk to each other, validate one another and acknowledge how the other one is feeling but after ten years together and two children our relationship has changed vastly.

Little things

There are subtle things like when he makes me a coffee when I’m working or when we wait to watch a program until we are together that tend to mean more to us now.

We used to go out multiple nights of the week and would spend whole weekends hungover on the sofa but now, we are normally getting up at the time we used to come home with the kids!

Having two children under five is hard, and it is testing.

You are bone shatteringly tired, you’ve got barely any money and you’ve just put the toys away for the hundredth time that morning.

You snap, you whinge but you know when it comes down to it, sitting down in front of the Great British Bake Off praying that no one wakes up to interrupt you is where you want to be.

I want to remember this times as this is what made us stronger as a couple and a few years down the line you will look back and feel such a sense of pride you did it together.

It can be hard to see it from their point of view and their will be blow outs of spectacular proportion normally caused by no sleep and over something small but getting through these first early years together do change you as a couple.

Dynamic

I think it can be easy to think that when you are pregnant you will both stay the same and the baby slots in, but I think it is really you two adapting around the baby.

You cant just nip out for a date night now, you will think twice about going on an all nighter and guess what C Beebies and a toddler whilst suffering from a hangover doth not make a fun Sunday.

Everything changes, who does what, when, you as people change too and there is one way is a mourning period of the couple you used to be and the lives you used to have before the baby.

I don’t think we have a magic formula, we argue like most, we are tired, but one thing we always remember and what I would say to any new parents is to accept the changes they are inevitable but they don’t define you and just laugh.

Even when you are in those trenches fighting a losing battle of getting up a hundred times in one night, and start arguing about who hasn’t fed the cat again, just laugh it won’t last forever but you two will if you stick together.

Vicki Cockerill is a Freelance Content Writer and NICU/CHD Mum to two boys, she authors The Honest Confessions Of A NICU Mum Blog, founded and runs The NICU Parent Partnership Organisation and co-hosts @KnackeredandNorwich Social Club.. You can contact her via her blog or social media;

Facebook Instagram Twitter LinkedIn Blog

 

 


The Honest Confessions of a NICU Mum on…. Birth

The Honest Confessions of a NICU Mum on…. Birth

 

 

I recently met someone who I knew, last time I saw her she was heavily pregnant, and now she was pushing a little bundle around.

I went to congratulate her, and then it was though I couldn’t help myself, I then asked her if the birth was good, turns out she had a rotten time and I felt awful and intrusive for even asking.

Having both of my boys, I have suffered two birth traumas and used to hate when people asked me if it was natural, painful or my favourite ‘good’.

I had found myself using the exact phrase I used to abide, why is it as a nation we are so interested in birth stories, and always want to know exactly how someone gave birth before you’ve even asked the baby’s name?

Wellbeing

It’s odd we are normally so focused on the baby, we tend to forget the wellbeing of the mum, as she is just expected to put everything to one side now she is responsible for the small human she just birthed.

Birth has changed so much over time, dad’s are now active birth partners, there are new practices and methods.

I think I must have just been really oblivious when I was pregnant with my eldest about giving birth, we went to ante natal classes but seeing a doll being pushed through a pelvis doesn’t really have the same effect as actually giving birth does it?

One Born Every Minute terrified me so I had to stop watching it, towards the end of my pregnancy I was felt very under prepared. I felt for a first time mum I was not really educated when it came to giving birth. Yes, all births are different and it might have been my own fault for relaying only on the ante natal classes, but I really didn’t have a clue.

Spoiler alert; it is not like it is in the films.

With both of my births, I was sick and had an awful stomach during contractions which meant for two labours I spent most of my time on the toilet. I actually stayed on the toilet with both of them until I was ready to push!

Hospital vs Home

Elijah was born in hospital after 8 hours and a fairly textbook labour but I suffered a significant haemorrhage and the aftermath of being stitched up traumatised me. I developed and infection and needed a blood transfusion. I didn’t have a clue what was being done or why.

I spent so much of my time re living the birth over and over which when I fell pregnant the second time, it made me fear giving birth again.

There was a turning point and that was attending a hypnobirthing course with Jackie at The Orange Grove Clinic. I learnt so much about my attitude towards birth, my language and for the first time in seven months I felt positive and empowered to give birth the way I wanted.

That’s the thing with giving birth again you are suddenly more aware, you know what could and couldn’t happen and you are more prepared.

Let down

Which makes me think perhaps we are letting down some first time mums if they like me were solely relying on the local ante natal classes, or perhaps as a society it is our view as birth as a whole?

Out attitude, our language, our pressure to live up to an unrealistic image of birth and when we don’t achieve it we feel as though we have failed.

Turns out my second son had other ideas, and after sitting down to watch Die Hard 2, I ended up giving birth less than fifty minutes later in the bath!

My two experiences were polar opposites when I did eventually get to hospital with Harlow, I was met on the Midwife Led Birthing Unit, and they were so mindful of my past experience and supported and understood me.

Empowered

It made me think it really does make a difference when there is someone there to empower you, I wish I had that the first time round. Or perhaps someone had just taken the time to talk to me, to explain what was going on, being done then perhaps I wouldn’t have been so unaware of things.

There is an attitude shift towards birth at the moment, and we are beginning to look at our attitude, our language it is no longer your dirty little secret if you have a ‘bad’ birth or trauma, there is a focus on you, and your wellbeing after birth.

Birth Better

There is a fabulous network called the Birth Better Network who are doing just that, and revolutionising the way birth has affected us, and how we can make significant changes for the future. The Huffington Post which has hundreds of thousands of readers every day is also currently doing a fantastic series called the Birth Diaries to show how diverse birth can be.

I think we still have a long way to go regarding educating ourselves about birth, and we still need to shift our attitude and let the new mum take the lead to talk about her experience is she wants to but the important thing is not to put pressure or high expectations on birth and to give everyone the tools they need to have the birth they want. Or if things don’t go to plan it is explained to them every step of the way.

Make Birth Better Network

Huffington Post Birth Diaries

The Orange Grove Clinic

Vicki Cockerill is a Freelance Content Writer and NICU/CHD Mum to two boys, she authors The Honest Confessions Of A NICU Mum Blog and co-founded the @KnackeredandNorwich Social Club and campaigns for NICU and MMH issues. You can contact her via her blog or social media;

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