pregnant norfolk

New guest blogger - 12 weeks pregnant 

New guest blogger – 12 weeks pregnant

 

Please welcome my new guest blogger Danielle who will be blogging her pregnancy journey 🙂

It’s been an absolute dream come true for us to find out we were expecting after such an awful year. Sadly, we lost a baby in Jan, and it was very hard for us all. I struggled physically and mentally for some time.

But on the 4th July just a few weeks before our baby would have been due I found out I was pregnant.

Around a week before I even did the pregnancy test – I had a feeling that just maybe, I was like I could feel it. I couldn’t wait any longer and did a test the day before I was due and couldn’t believe it, I was convinced my body was playing tricks on me. I can’t even begin to explain the love and happiness we felt. We are over the moon. I left the test out for my husband to find; it took him all day. He couldn’t believe it either.

We’ve been so looked after by the early pregnancy unit. The staff at the NNUH have genuinely been excellent very reassuring, kind and they have supported me so much. I can’t thank them enough.

They kindly booked me a scan for at seven-week and everything was looking good I had another scan and ten weeks just to give me pieces of mind.

Then I also had the 12-week scan, and everything was perfect. It was such a relief I felt like it was really real now.

I’ve been feeling well and only had a couple of days as I struggled and felt like I couldn’t move. A few awful headaches but other than that all has been great.

I’ve not been able to stop eating eggs; it’s all craved oh and milk, I was the same when I was pregnant with my daughter.

We can’t wait for our next scan now to find out the sex.

 

Please keep an eye out for Danillies next blog soon, and to read my past guest blogs click here.

pregnant

family photographer Norfolk

Mothering FOUR boys - guest blogger

Mothering FOUR boys – guest blogger

 

About us -Mothering FOUR boys.

Hi, I’m Kirsten, a make up artist and a mother to four (yes four) terrific, energetic and boisterous boys.

Let me tell you a little bit about them;

Cameron my eldest is eleven years old and will be starting high school in September. He loves dinosaurs and Fortnite. He is very soft natured, kind and caring.

Taylor is nine years old and is going into year 5 at Middle School. He is mischievous and always up to no good. He loves to draw and get creative.

Clarke is four years old and will be starting reception in September. He is obsessed with anything Marvel, which consists of dressing up, playing games and watching the movies on repeat. He’s started to enjoy learning and has recently mastered how to spell his name. He’s cheeky, cute and always manages to seem to get his own way.

Then last but not least, there is Tucker, he’s nearly 7 months old. This boy is constantly on the go, so full of energy.

mother

Having a baby in lockdown

The boys Dad and I don’t live together, so when lockdown initially happened I was on my own with four boys for six weeks.

Tucker was nine weeks old when the UK went into lockdown, luckily most of our immediate family had already met him.

Tucker is exclusively breastfed. I found there were pros and cons to breastfeeding during lockdown. The pros obviously were that I didn’t need to prep anything, I didn’t have to wash or sterilise bottles. I didn’t have to worry about trying to get out and buy formula when everybody was panic buying.

The cons however I found that with cluster feeding and terrible feeding in the night, I was so physically exhausted, that my older boys didn’t get a lot of attention from me. I couldn’t go and sleep when Tucker did because I had the other boys to entertain/homeschool, so I was constantly running on empty.

mother

Another con that I came to realise was that without his dad being around I stopped pumping and stopped giving him bottles, so when we did try and give him a bottle he was not having any of it. We tried several different bottles. In the end we ended trying Minbie,  which was recommended by a few other breastfeeding mums and although he didn’t take to it straight away with a bottle a day for a week he finally got the hang of it.

I was also worried that with little contact with other members of the family that Tucker would become very attached to me. I was worried that the possibility of returning to work would be very difficult if one he didn’t take a bottle and two he didn’t want to be with anyone other then me. But thankfully he’s such a happy contented baby that as long as he’s given the attention he really doesn’t mind he’s left with.

At around 5 1/2 months, Tucker started getting on his hands and knees rocking backwards and forwards. He is so eager to be joining in with his brothers. In the last week, he has mastered the army camo crawl, and my god is he fast.  I literally need eyes in the back of my head now because as soon as I’ve turned around he is after wires, plugs, shoes and they’re straight his mouth.

We started weaning a month ago, and I’m trying the BLW method. This is very new to me, With my other boys I did the traditional purée weaning. So with Tucker, I thought I’d try baby-led weaning, as it would be good for us all to be able to eat round the table together and potentially make Clarke a better eater, if he saw Tucker eating things that he has refused in the past to try.

I found the recipe book ‘by what mummy makes’ absolutely amazing, every recipe that I’ve cooked has been easy, delicious and has been a big hit with all the kids as well as Tucker.

Homeschooling

Let’s start this paragraph by saying I have a new found respect for teachers. Their job is hard, really hard.

Also trying to teach two different year groups, keep them both entertained and to stop them distracting one another exceptionally hard.

The teachers at their school had set up study-ladder and other online resources for the boys to do online, but I honestly found that if I let them do their school work on their iPads they would literally spend all day on electronics, instead I preferred buying workbooks and printing resources from the website twinkl. This way I could mark their work, see where they’re making their mistakes, help them correct their work and then find worksheets to help them strengthen their weaknesses.

The rule was, do some school work in the morning then you have the afternoon to do what you want. First two weeks, Cameron would moan and complain the work the school set was too hard and Taylor would just point blank refuse to do any work and would just sit on the sofa in his pants all day. I soon realised that this method wasn’t working for us.

My next attempt was planning their days with work and fun activities/experiments, this lasted for around a week before they decided they weren’t doing that either.

Then we tried every piece of work they did earn them 30mins on electronics, the more work they did the more time earned. This resulted in Cameron flying through worksheets, and with my hands full with Clarke and Tucker I could never mark it straight away, which Cameron took full advantage of.

The best method we have found for us is now quality over quantity. One work sheet which is above 70% correct, and they earn £1 day into their ‘gohenry’ account.

Cameron managed To save £55 and bought himself a Lego set and Taylor managed to save £30 and bought himself a new Jelly Cat teddy.

The boys also enjoyed that the school did weekly zoom assemblies/meetings to check  in with them and do assemblies.It also gave them the chance to see their friends.

In June both boys were offered to return back to school, which they both wanted to do. Cameron did Mondays and Tuesdays and Taylor did Thursdays and Fridays. It was good for them to get a little bit of normality back in their life and to see some of their teachers & friends.

It’s also been a hard time for Cameron as it was his last year in middle school. His last day of school should’ve been a memory for him to treasure forever but unfortunately that didn’t get to happen. He’s also not been to look round his new high school, he’s not met his new teacher, he has no idea who is in his form. Which is making the whole experience even more daunting for him.

Since the start of the six week holiday, I’ve scrapped all school work at home and we’re just enjoying the time as we would’ve done had a lockdown not happened.

mother

-What I’ve learnt

That it is that is okay not to have a clean house or that one meal of the week was a freezer cooked dinner of chicken nuggets and chips, as long as everyone is happy that’s all that matters.

It’s okay if you need to cry, having a baby is an emotional rollercoaster as it is, let alone being in lockdown on your own, with very little physical support.

There will also be a day where I get to sleep through the night again. Probably won’t be for awhile, Tucker still wakes up twice in the night for a feed, and you know what I’m okay with that. He is my last baby and you never know when that dreamy bedtime cuddle will be the last so I’m going to make the most of them.

norfolk

Things that seem hard now will become easier, just give it time. Being responsible for keeping one human being alive let alone FOUR can sometimes be overwhelming. It’s okay to want to spend a little bit of time to yourself. I don’t get a lot of time as Tucker is still breastfeeding but when I do get the chance to nip to my friends for a cup of coffee or even the food shop on my own, I feel I come back refreshed.

Kirsten

 

You can read my other blogs here.


the birth

Final Pregnancy Guest Blog- The Birth

Final Pregnancy Guest Blog- The Birth

Final Pregnancy Guest Blog- The Birth. My due date came and went, I had two unsuccessful sweeps and was booked in to be induced 11 days overdue. I managed to fit one last sweep in, two days before my induction date, and the following day my labour began!

 

At 1.00pm I arrived at the delivery suite, I went straight into a room for examination and for the baby’s heart rate to be monitored, luckily Sam was allowed in from the start due to the possible complications we may face. The midwife examined me, I was 3cm dilated, she explained that the baby had done a poo inside me and that I will need to stay in this room on this ward for constant monitoring. This was not my plan, but I really didn’t mind, I was more concerned about the wellbeing of our baby.  A midwife brought a couple of twinkly lights which she plugged in to make the room more relaxing, like the rooms on the MLBU. This was lovely of her to do for me, but in all honesty, after an hour or two when the pain got worse, I had my eyes closed for the majority of the time in there.

A little while after my examination I asked for gas & air which helped for a few hours however when the pain got worse, I asked the midwife for my second choice of pain relief- Remifentanil. I had read about this drug and I liked that it does not affect the baby unlike some of the more common types of pain relief.  The midwife examined me before calling the anaesthetist, I was 7cm dilated. I was so happy that I had made it that far with just gas & air, however, I knew the worst was yet to come. The anaesthetist fitted the cannula and explained, every time I feel a contraction about to start, press the button to release the drug. He explained that I must press it as soon as possible otherwise the drug will take effect after the contraction.

I had got the hang of pressing the button and the pain relief was helping, however, it did make me very drowsy and I could no longer watch the monitor of the baby’s heartrate beside me. Luckily Sam had been keeping an eye on it and noticed the baby’s heart rate had dropped, but it had also stayed low for a few minutes. He told the midwife who checked the printout and immediately pulled the emergency alarm. Within seconds there were several people in the room with us. They were all incredibly calm and explained to Sam and I that because the baby’s heart rate had stayed low for so long, they would need to take me straight into the theatre for a C Section under general anaesthetic. This was because they wouldn’t have time to administer an epidural and it also meant that Sam wasn’t allowed into the theatre with me. My earrings were removed, and my ring taped up, Sam was given scrubs just in case there was a chance he could come with me and I was ready for theatre. Just as they were about to take me away, the baby’s heart rate had stabilised long enough for the midwife to examine me. I was 9cm dilated and the surgeon really didn’t want to operate on me at such a late stage. They decided to call the c-section off for now and monitor the baby even more closely. Luckily within an hour, I had the urgency of needing to push. The feeling was so strong that I could hardly hold back despite the midwife telling me not to push yet because she hadn’t examined me. I was soon told that I could push on my next contraction, I felt so relieved yet scared because, after 41 weeks of waiting, the time had come to give birth naturally to our baby.

I started to push with each contraction but weirdly my contractions didn’t seem as strong as before.  I had a few pushes and Sam said he could see the head, however, the midwife explained that they needed the baby to be born quickly to reduce the stress to the baby. The best option would be an episiotomy. I agreed, and between contractions, the cut was made, I then pushed again, and Sam told me that the head was out. It was liberating to hear Sam say that because I felt that I was pushing as hard as I could, but she wasn’t coming out. A couple more pushes and our perfect little bundle was born!

the birth

Almost instantly after she was born, I went into shock, my whole body was trembling, and my teeth were chattering so hard it was difficult to talk. Our baby was placed on my chest where I started to panic because it wasn’t crying, the midwife was extremely calm and said she’s just gathering her breath, it felt like minutes had passed but it was just a few seconds later she started to cry. Sam announced that she was a girl and later cut her cord. I held her skin to skin for at least an hour where she pooed on me again, covering my tummy in thick black tar- but I didn’t mind one bit and stayed like it for several hours! I asked the midwife when I should feed her, which she replied whenever I want to try I can, within minutes she was latched on and feeding perfectly, this was extremely emotional for me, because I had been worrying that I may not be able to breastfeed as I know some mothers struggle with it for various reasons.

Sam, Baby and I spent the next 7 hours in the room together, hardly talking, just looking at her in our arms in complete awe. I will never forget the feeling of holding our tiny baby for the first time, it was everything I could ever wish for. Seeing Sam hold her was elating and filled me full of joy. Sam has been ready for a baby long before me, and to see how happy he was, was magical. A few hours later we called some family members on FaceTime to announce the news, this was a shock to everyone because we hadn’t told anyone that I had gone into labour- I had even been on the phone to my grandma that morning during my contractions and managed to keep it a secret!

And so parenting began…

I can’t thank Eloise enough for all her blogs you can read more blogs here

 

Jess

 

and if you wish to book a newborn shoot I am open and have spaces for late September onwards contact me here. 


nursery hospital bag

Guest blog 30-36 weeks pregnant - nursery and packing the hospital bag 

Guest blog 30-36 weeks pregnant – nursery and packing the hospital bag

Nursery and packing the hospital bag 

Since finding out I was pregnant one of the first things I thought about was how I would like the nursery to look.  Having grown up on a farm and been lucky enough to visit some amazing countries with wild animals I have decided to go for a neutral colour and safari theme.  I know baby will be in our room for a while, but the nursey has been ready for a few months now!

Over the last few weeks I have been preparing my hospital bag.  I have read many articles online for what I need to pack and have also spoken to friends about their experiences and what they recommend.  I actually made a spreadsheet of what I needed for me, baby and a joint list. I then ticked the items off as I packed them.

nursery hospital bag

I was due to have a scan at 36 weeks however, 2 weeks before, baby’s movements had been quiet and not half as active as normal.  I know that baby is normally active morning, night and a couple of times throughout the day but, I hadn’t felt baby move much for a day and a half.  I called my midwife and she suggested drinking some cold water, eating something sugary, laying on my left side and having a ‘poke and prod’ to see if any of these things would get baby moving.  Baby did move a couple of times, but nothing like it normally does.  An hour later I called the hospital which is what the midwife told me to do.  I was told to come to the hospital where they would take a closer look.

During the current Covid situation I had to attend the appointment alone, I had to follow the signs in the hospital and stick to the left side of the corridor.  There were nurses and hospital staff walking round with mask’s on, but nothing too scary or out of the ordinary.  At the reception I was greeted as normal and asked to wait in the waiting room.  The chairs were spaced out around the room and there were only a few of us in there so we could stick to the social distancing rules.

When I was seen by the midwife, she could not have been nicer or more friendly, she made me feel totally at ease, you would never have known that there was a pandemic going on.  She was extremely reassuring and treated me like she would have done any other time.  She scanned my tummy with a hand-held screen, we listened to the heartbeat and saw baby. We also saw that baby had turned around and was no longer breech!  This was a huge relief, meaning that I can plan for a vaginal birth again.

I was then connected to a monitor which detected the heartbeat, oxygen levels and baby’s other vitals.  While on the monitor I had to click a button every time baby moved.  Luckily in the car on the way to the hospital baby had moved a couple times, again while I was waiting to be seen and then during the time being monitored baby was pretty much back to normal!  The monitor turned green which indicated that it was happy with all the checks and I was happy with baby’s movements again.  The midwife signed me off and told me that I did the right thing to get checked out, and if the same thing happens again to come straight back, even if it is tomorrow.  I have been told so many times that if baby’s movements change, I should not hesitate to call the midwife.  One thing I will do before calling the midwife next time is go for a drive, I have realised that baby either really likes being in the car, or really hates it.  Either way it is normally very active in the car!

Since my last blog I have had 2 phone appointments and one face to face with the midwife during lockdown.  On the phone the midwife and I discussed my birth plan, which is now written and in my folder ready for the big day.  I understand that this is an ideal plan, and anything could change, but it is definitely worth discussing with your birth partner to make sure you are both on the same page.  We also discussed the changes the hospital has put in place during lockdown such as Sam will not be able to come into the hospital on arrival with me, instead I will be examined and if I am in active labour he will be allowed to join me.  If for any reason I have to stay in overnight, Sam wouldn’t be allowed to stay with me.  I think the temporary procedures are very fair and I am looking forward to the birth just as much as I was before lockdown.

Since about 35 weeks pregnant I have started to feel a lot less mobile.  If I sit down for too long I cease up and take a few seconds to be able to move freely again, likewise if I stand for too long my back aches and I need to sit down!  I am now struggling to put my socks and shoes on and it feels like I am wearing a tyre around my waist which is really restricting my movement.  I am told that baby should move lower down into my cervix soon which will relieve the pressure and as I write this I can feel baby pushing up under my ribs, which is quite uncomfortable! Today I felt baby had hiccups for the first time (that I’ve noticed).

During the current Covid pandemic, using Instagram has been an excellent way to keep up to date with any changes that are being made.  I receive notifications from the Midwifery Led Birthing Unit at Norfolk and Norwich Hospital; which is where I hope to give birth.  They have been excellent at posting relevant information and putting expectant mothers’ minds at ease.  I also follow different baby pages and often watch the live videos.  So far, I have watched a couple about breastfeeding, hypnobirthing, going through labour and once baby is here. I have found many of the videos very helpful and definitely learnt a few things too – this is one of a few positives to come from lockdown!

This will be my last blog before baby arrives, I am extremely excited about finally meeting our baby and finding out if it’s a boy or girl!  My next blog will be all about my birth experience, so fingers crossed it will all go smoothly!

Eloise xx

You can read Eloise other blogs here and I can’t wait to hear her baby news I have loved her real yet positive blogs especially with all that’s going on.


giving birth in COVID19

Guest blog: Giving Birth during the COVID19 Pandemic

Giving Birth during the COVID19 Pandemic

Sam has kindly blogged her experience of giving birth recently during the COVID19 situation.

I was due to be induced on Monday 23rd (10 days overdue) but was called to go in on Sunday 22nd evening as they had a space for me, at this point the lockdown hadn’t started and everything seemed normal going into NNUH. I had a sweep on the Friday 20th and the midwife was relaxed about the COVID19 situation and was taking each day as it came . Following any new guidelines as they were released,  I wasn’t worried about how it would affect my birth experience. The only concern I did have was I wanted a water birth but was told as long as I didn’t have symptoms and my labour progressed naturally this was fine to go ahead.

I had my waters broken on the Monday morning as I was 2cm dilated and was told to keep active to help get things going. We were free to walk about the hospital but were mindful of keeping distance from people and hand cleaning when re-entering the delivery suite.  I had been out 3 times but when we returned from our last walk a midwife said that they didn’t want us leaving the ward anymore due to the what was going on.

I hadn’t progressed enough so I was given Oxytocin and couldn’t have my water birth. With just Gas & Air, Oscar was finally born at 2.11am 24th March weighing 9lbs 1oz.

We were moved to Blakney ward mid-morning and was told they would only keep me in for as short time possible. This was when we found out the country was in lockdown as we hadn’t seen the news. We were lucky as there wasn’t any restrictions in place yet for partners being on the ward.

When being discharged we were told that we shouldn’t have any visitors and my husband should isolate with us also due to spending time at the hospital. Unfortunately due to his job he wasn’t allowed to take extra leave and returned back to work the following Monday.

giving birth in COVID19

Before having Oscar I hadn’t taken much notice of what was put on social media regarding COVID19 as I know there’s so much fake news posted online. I tried to only watch the news and check the MLBU/NNUH Facebook and Instagram pages for updates. This is what I would advise expectant mums to do, as since being home I have seen on local mum group pages so many different stories/opinions that aren’t always up to date or helpful.

I managed to have 2 follow up midwife visits at home but only me and Oscar could be in the room, so my husband had to take our daughter into another room. They also phoned prior to arrival to ensure no-one in the house had a temperature or new cough. My discharge appointment however was different, this was a phone call to ensure things were going well. If this had been my first baby I’m not sure I would have felt comfortable with this so I feel for any first time mums at this time not having the follow up appointments as usual to give support. I then had to drop off my notes to the midwife unit in Hoveton.

Health Visitor appointment was also a phone call as they aren’t coming to homes either and they have booked another phone appointment for our 6 week review.

Being in lock-down with a newborn is without doubt tough, especially as I have a 2 year old to entertain also who is used to going to nursery 2 days a week and spending another 2 days with her Nanny’s.

The advice I would give to new/ expectant mums in lock down is this isn’t going to last forever, it’s tough and not ideal but there’s nothing we can do so try not to dwell on it. If you can prior to having baby, batch cook meals to have in the freezer. It’s one less thing to worry about! Make the most of the time at home with little ones, they’re really not little for long!

Take each day at a time, it’s ok to be emotional, overwhelmed or be in your pj’s all day (kids included) Who’s going to see you anyway. Go out for a walk when you’re ready/can, the fresh air does help and it breaks up the day. Also don’t compare yourself to what you see other mums doing on social media, everyone has a different situation, do whatever makes you happy. Use technology! Facetime, Zoom, Whatsapp video to keep in contact with family and friends. Get group chats going so you can have a good catch up! Finally make plans for what you want to do when this is all over!

giving birth in COVID19

If you have given birh during the COVID19 Panedmic and wish to share any tips please pop a comment below – I have lots of other blogs you can read here.

 

I also have a FREE guide to photographing your baby at home you can read and download.


pregnancy and coronavirus

Guest Blogger 24-30 weeks pregnancy and coronavirus

Guest Blogger 24-30 weeks pregnancy and coronavirus

Eloise is back with her next blog its a bit crazy to think last time she blogged coronavirus wasnt big news.

24-30 weeks-Time flies

After a slightly concerning chat with my midwife at 28 weeks, and her wondering why I hadn’t had my scan to see if my placenta has moved, she found me an appointment a few days later.  She made sure I knew which numbers to call if I experienced any bleeding and what to do if this happened.  This was a little disconcerting because I wasn’t aware that it was such a complication.  Before the scan I told the sonographer that we didn’t know the sex of the baby just in case we saw something we shouldn’t.  She gave the baby a full examination and then showed me my placenta, it had moved, way up out of the way!  For the two days before the scan I was extremely down in myself, worrying that I would have to have a C-Section.  I wasn’t worried about the actual operation or the recovery, my main concern was that I want to experience everything about birth.  The not knowing when the baby is coming, the wondering if those are labour pains, going to hospital and wondering how long until your little pride and joy will make an appearance, but most of all I want to make Sam proud of me and for him to think that I did a ‘really good job’.  I know that this all sounds like sunshine and roses and in reality, I will be in a lot of pain – but you can only hope!

I am still exercising regularly although my running has turned into a slow jog with walk breaks at regular intervals.  I am purposely not pushing myself as I have noticed that my pelvis is beginning to ache.  I feel particularly fragile in the mornings the day after a run and I now must be careful getting in and out of the car.

I have read many articles about how in your 3rd trimester you shouldn’t sleep on your back.  I never knew I slept on my back until a few months ago! I always thought that I slept on myside, but since waking up several times in the night on my back I thought I need to do something about it.  So… I now sleep with a bra top on and a little pot of Vaseline in the back of it (other brands/tubs or pots are available). This way, when I roll over the pot digs into my back causing me to turn onto my side!  I am sure other women have come up with much more commutable ways of stopping themselves laying on their back, but this is working for me.

pregnancy and coronavirus

Kicks are coming strong and fast.  The baby is beginning to have a routine morning and night when it’s most active. Especially when Sam is home and we are having a conversation, the baby loves to interrupt. I can now feel bulges and hard lumps which I think is a foot and watch my tummy move around.  During our scan the sonographer found it quite funny how baby was laying, he/she was fooled in two with its feet over its head; we are not sure when baby is getting its flexibility from because it certainly isn’t us!  The lady also explained that baby is in Frank Breech position with its bum down and feet up, because of this I will have another scan at 36 weeks to see if baby has turned.

Dare I mention the C word (coronavirus) . I am currently working from home and self-distancing myself from everyone other than Sam.  I haven’t been watching the news, only checking the NHS website infrequently for updates for pregnant women.  So far, the virus hasn’t affected me in a big way at all, we had planned to have a little holiday before baby arrives (the last time for peace and quiet – for a while anyway) which is obviously now on hold.  I did also have a baby shower planned which is now going to be a ‘Welcome to the World party’, hopefully! In the grand scheme of things, these are very minor ways that the virus has affected us, and I know things could be much worse, which they are for so many other people.  To help me cope with the whole situation and rather daunting times, I have found myself doing various DIY tasks around the house to keep me busy and help keep my mind astray from reality. I have also been going for walks regularly to get fresh air and keep a clear mind. I have found staying busy and active is a real key success to my mental wellbeing during these difficult times whilst being pregnant.

Until Eloise’s next blog stay snug and cosy – read other blogs here 


The juggle is real - motherhood guest blog

The juggle is real – motherhood guest blog

The juggle is real

So I often get asked how do I manage with 3 under 3. My reply, I just do… It’s amazing how quickly we adapt. I remember being pregnant with Maverick and honestly being overwhelmed with responsibility and sleep deprivation. I remember thinking how the hell do women have more than one child?! It’s exhausting and all consuming

Yet a mere 6 months later I found myself pregnant again. Fast forward 2 and half years AND here we are 3 children in, eye bags down to my knees and my heart so full of love!

1) Leave your guilt behind. There’s no time for it and quite frankly you can only do what you can do. Acknowledge your feelings and then move on. The world is still turning and your children won’t love you any less because you prepared beans on toast for dinner AGAIN.
2) Preparation is key. 9 months is a loooong time so plenty of time to talk about the new sibling joining the family, time to read books about new babies and get the other small people in your lives involved. Could they help choose and outfit or pack the hospital bag?
3) Stay calm, easier said than done right, we’re mothers after all. But everything will be okay in the long run, your children will adapt, normality will resume. I often hear expentant mums worry about how their first born will cope with sharing them, but honestly they just do, it’s a massive transition in their little lives but they take everything in their stride.
4) Quality time, don’t worry about the state of the house or keeping up with everyone. Spend your spare moments spending quality one on one time with your older babies. This massively helps them with the transition as they know they still get attention from you, so it may not be the same as before but you haven’t forgotten about them.
5)Look after yourself, yes be “selfish” have a social life, go up to bed an hour early, have some me time. Do what ever it takes to fill up your cup mama, as a happy mum is a happy baby!

Motherhood is such a journey, make sure your surrounded by a tribe of supportive people and you will flourish!

All the love, Kels x

MOTHERHOOD

You can read Kels other blog here and check out my newborn work in my gallery.


Messy play tips from This Mama Plays

Messy play tips from This Mama Plays

 

Messy play has always been high up on the agenda, a staple in the childcare industry. It engages children and teaches them no end of new skills. Including communication and building up muscles in their little hands.

But as I entered the world of motherhood, I realised so many parents squirm at the thought of cornflour gloop or even playdough. I mean I do get it, we have enough to do, life is busy and with the whole “hinching” trend it’s gardly cool to grab a cold tin of beans and let your baby explore.

Here’s why I love it so much…

1) HOT cuppa at least twice a day
2) Endless new words and phrases being used.
3) Encourages problem solving
4) Encourages responsibility – setting up and tidying away.
5) The SMILES on my little humans faces!
6) Doesn’t cost the earth!
7) No plastic tat, clogging up the toy shelves and making annoying repetitive noises.

Kelsey aka This Mama Plays and her babies

messy play mama

How to minimise the mess…

If your children are old enough to understand, set clear boundaries before play begins.

Use a table cloth as a way to protect your floor. (ours was £2.99 from B&m)

If possible use trays to contain the mess, tuff spots are great but take up a lot of room, we love Gardeners trays which are much smaller! If you don’t have either of those and you don’t want to buy one then a cat litter tray is a good size and can be bought cheaply from pretty much any supermarket!

Take it to the bath, yup strip your little one off and bung the mess in the bath, contains the mess and you’re all ready to clean down afterwards.

Our go to Messy play set ups…
Cornflour gloop, simply mix cornflour and water together, add some food colouring and watch your child explore this fascinating texture! A great sensory base to clear away, leave to dry and the gloop will flake off or add extra water and it will wash away! Add pots, pans and spoons to extend play!

Cereal, offers a great sensory experience and if your children are anything like mine then it will double up as snack, saving you the tidy up too. Rice crispies make for a great moon surface, wheat biscuits are great for hay bales in farm small world! The possibilities are endless..

Water, always a winner here. Water has such a calming effect on my too. Adding natural found objects such a leaves and petals make for interesting play, will your child make potions or soup?

Give some sensory play a go today! You may just enjoy a few minutes peace. All the love, Kels x

https://www.facebook.com/Thismamaplays/

You cna rea dmore guets blogs here.

messy play Norfolk

Pregnancy Guest Blog - flutters turned to kicks

Flutters turned to kicks

New Year’s Day seems so far away now.  It is already a very memorable day for me as it was the day that Sam asked me to marry him.  New year’s is now even more memorable as it was the day that I felt the first kick whilst lying on my side trying to fall asleep.  I wondered if the flutter I felt in my tummy was the baby moving, until I felt it again and again, that’s when I knew it was definitely the baby!  For the first few weeks I could only feel the movements when I was concentrating and laying still in bed.  Now I am 24 weeks, the kicks are much more regular and noticeable, I feel them all the time; at work, whilst driving and even in the bath.  I called Sam to come and watch the baby moving in my tummy, luckily the baby perked up and moved right on cue.  He’s felt the baby lots of times now and we can’t wait for them to get even stronger so that we can work out if it’s an arm or a leg!

flutters to kicks

At 21 weeks, Sam and I went to the hospital for my second scan, it was amazing to see how much the baby had grown and the level of detail that could be seen.  Before the scan we were asked if we wanted to know the sex of the baby, we had already decided that we do not want to know and for it to remain a surprise.  When it came to that area, we were asked to look away.  This was easy for me laying on the bed, I just closed my eyes, whereas Sam was sat right in front of the screen.  I asked him after the appointment if he had a sneaky look, he told me he didn’t.  I do believe him as I know there’s no way he could keep it a secret!

The scan went well, and the baby is growing nicely. Their only concern was that my placenta is covering my cervix thus blocking the baby’s exit.  I will need another scan at 32 weeks to see if it has moved.  We were told that 90% of the time it will have moved before the scan, so fingers crossed!

flutters to kicks

A few weeks ago, I was ill, just suffering from a cold but it caused a bad headache which had kept me off work and made me rest for a few days.  I realised that I hadn’t felt the baby move much over the last couple of days, so I made an appointment to see my midwife where she put the doppler on my tummy and we heard the heart beating away perfectly.  I have read in so many places that you should get the baby checked if you are concerned about lack of movement, and not to wait.  My midwife said that she sees around 4-5 ladies a week with concerns about movement.  I was so glad I didn’t hesitate to contact her!

I am continuing to stay active by doing whatever type of exercise I feel like doing.  This is usually running, swimming or strength training in the gym, except last week was slightly different.  We are adding a conservatory to the house which Sam wants to do most of the work himself.  He spent a solid eight hours in the garden last week digging out the footings which I helped with most of the time.  I set my fitness watch to ‘mixed cardio’ and included it as my exercise for that day!  My job was the fun part, to jump up and down on a fork and dig out the top of the footings ahead of Sam, who then came around and did the heavy lifting part of moving the soil – team work makes the dream work!

 

Keep your eyes peeled for another blog soon!


When did you tell people about your pregnancy ? 12- 16 weeks guest blog

When did you tell people about your pregnancy ? 12- 16 weeks guest blog

 

When did you tell people about your pregnancy ? Since finding out that we’re expecting, it has been incredibly difficult to keep a secret.  I was so excited and wanted to tell everyone straight away…and start shopping!

Sam and I agreed that we would wait until we were out of the “danger zone” and tell everyone after 12 weeks, however, this didn’t happen.  I found it extremely stressful not telling anyone; after just 3 weeks I persuaded Sam to let me tell our best friends.  They were already suspicious and telling me that I must be pregnant due to not drinking!  So, I jumped straight at the opportunity to use this as an excuse to tell them.

It felt so good to finally tell someone, and to be able to discuss the pregnancy and get excited about it all over again.  This was short lived, as I was desperate to tell more people.  After another few weeks I decided it was time to tell my mum and her partner.  I was so excited and nervous before telling them, I was shaking and full of butterflies!

I gave my mum a replica scratch card we had ordered from eBay and a 2p to prompt her to scratch it straight away.  The suspense of her scratching the card so slowly and immaculately was killing me, and I ended up crying before she had scratched the revealing panel.

Again, the relief I felt after telling them was huge, and I felt like a massive weight had been lifted.  I’m not sure if anyone else has had this feeling of desperation to tell someone something, but I have never experienced anything like it before.  After another couple of weeks, I told the rest of my family and work colleagues and the secret was finally out.

The following week we had our 12 weeks scan which went very well.  I had drunk gallons of water prior to the scan in hope of a clear picture, except, the baby had other ideas.  The baby was moving around so much and wasn’t “posing” for a picture, so I had to lay on either side, lift my bum up off the bed and wriggle around until it was in a position for that perfect scan photo.  All of this was exceptionally difficult because every time I moved it made me need the loo more and more!

Leading up to the scan I found it very strange knowing I was pregnant with no official confirmation, only the two home pregnancy tests I had taken.  To finally see a real-life baby inside me was amazing and clarified the morning sickness and lack of appetite.

exercising when pregnant

I have been extraordinarily lucky so far in my pregnancy and have only suffered from mild morning sickness.  Actually, my sickness hits me at around 4pm and lasts until I go to bed.  I would feel nauseous and have sudden hunger pangs but wouldn’t fancy anything to eat, especially the usual healthy vegetable, lean meat and fish.  Instead, I opted for pot noodles, pasta and mash potato! Luckily, this only lasted until around week 16.

Sam and I are both quite active and like to take part in most kinds of sports activities.  So far, the pregnancy hasn’t stopped me doing anything I wouldn’t normally do.  We have been mountain biking around challenging routes and have been invited out with friends go karting and paintballing, where I just made sure I had plenty of padding around the middle.

 

I think, as long as you know your fitness and limits, you should be able to carry on with your usually activities and face no problems.  I am early on in my pregnancy and I think as I get bigger, I may have to change a few things!

tell people pregnancy

They say that moving to a new house is one of the most stressful things you can do, not only did I find it stressful but exceptionally hard work.  Sam and I had only hired a van for 24hrs and were both working away leading up to the move meaning that we had to pack the van and unload at the new house in one day!  I didn’t find it too bad until we were still unloading the van during a dark cold night and our new house is over 3 floors, where we were storing most things on the top floor for the time being.  At one point I sat on the top stair and had a little cry.  I was so exhausted from the constant back and forth carrying boxes all day that I felt so guilty for putting the baby through this pressure. On the other hand, I also felt guilty for Sam who was obviously lifting the heavier things and working at twice my pace.  I didn’t have my mini melt down until we were almost done, so I gave myself a few minutes rest before getting the job finished.  Since this experience, I now make a conscious effort to remember I am pregnant and to make sure that I don’t push myself that far again.

I am looking forward to feeling those little flutters everyone keeps telling me about…

When did you tell people about your pregnancy ? You can read Eloise’s other blog here