FESTIVE MINI SHOOTS

Festive Mini shoots - Christmas Mini shoots are back for 2019

Festive Mini shoots – Christmas Mini shoots are back for 2019

I am ready to book you in for my festive Mini shoots , I cant wait my Christmas Mini shoots are back for 2019 , last year they sold in record time! Taking place at my home studio in Norfolk.

 

 

This year is the theme is snowy sparkle – white and silver stars !

You don’t want to miss out on these – spots will go fast and are available on a first come first serve basis.

These sessions are designed to provide you with super adorable images,  to design Christmas cards and gifts. The Christmas set up can fit a max of 3 children only or 3 and a baby. Family images will be taken on my light grey plain backdrop.

FESTIVE MINI SHOOTS

I’ll be keeping it super simple.

simplicity = super cute images of your child/children!

I have sweet reindeer ears – feel free to bring your own bits.

I recommend Christmas jumpers or Christmas PJ’s as outfit choices for your children!

This year I am donating £5 from every booking to East Anglian Air Ambulance !

The time slot is very strict and we will only have time for one Christmas outfit and one non-Christmas outfit change.

Mini sessions are perfect for single children or 3 siblings. Please note these mini are only suitable for babies at the sitting up stage from 6 months old unless coming with a sibling who can hold them upright to give you some variety.

(Mini’s not suitable for babies under 6 months especially newborns due to the strict time slots )

Cost?

2019 Christmas  Mini Session Package:

20 minutes in the studio

5 digital images via download to print as you wish, max of 10 to select from

kids & siblings only (no cousins or friends)

£75

(extra images can be purchased after at £5 each)

When?

Friday 8th November

Saturday 9th November

Friday 29th November

Sunday 1st  December – almost sold out

To book in follow the

 

 select the date, choose the time and then pay for the package in full £75.

you will then receive confirmation and my information sheet!

 *If you have a shy child  or want longer time in the studio with no time restraints ,  more outfit changes ,  different set ups and props , and more images in your gallery then you can book a full length package off my main pricelist these start at £200. 

Christmas Mini Sessions 2019 T&c

The number of images is dependent on the little/s one on the day but you can expect 5-10 images in your online gallery as a rough guide. Images will lightly edited but nothing excessive. As these are mini sessions extra editing can be requested but will be charged for. This includes removal of nail varnish, tattoos etc. as this is more time intensive than a simple scratch on a cheek or spot.

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.

Your gallery will be ready to view approx 1 week later

The images will be sent via a download link / dropbox

If your baby becomes unwell or upset, we may reschedule at the photographer’s discretion.

My studio is small and with 3 setups, its gonna be a squeeze so only parents can attend, a max of 2 adults per time slot.

 

I can’t wait!  Book in here by clicking this link https://jesswilkinsphotography.as.me/schedule.php?appointmentType=category%3AChristmas+Mini+Specials

FESTIVE MII SHOOTS NORWICH
FESTIVE MINI SHOOTS BOY DRESSED UP FOR CHRISTMAS


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 newborn 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 did not only go through this with his child too, but he watched his partner fall down somewhere that he was unsure if 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 whatever ‘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 that 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 these 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 it may be blown 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 can’t just nip out for 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, dads 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 antenatal 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 underprepared. I felt for the 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 relying only on the antenatal 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 hemorrhage 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 learned 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 antenatal 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 the 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 around. 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 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;

Facebook Instagram Twitter LinkedIn Blog


baby cafe

The Honest Confessions of a NICU Mum on…. Baby Classes Norfolk

The Honest Confessions of a NICU Mum on…. Baby Classes Norfolk

 

So, it seems that once you’ve got the baby out of you then you have to then suddenly fill your calendar with sensory classes, baby massage and bounce and rhyme classes.

During my pregnancy with my eldest, I can’t really remember finding local baby classes or planning to attend them. It was more than likely the fact others were doing it and me feeling like I should too!

I was quite fortunate to live a few minutes from a local children’s centre where they held most of the baby classes in my town.

Even looking back now I remember baby classes with conflicting emotions.

Elijah had colic so someone had suggested baby massage and I did put our names down to see if it would help.

By this point, we had endured a NICU stay, and were waiting for a surgery date. I began to decline mentally and certainly remember feeling panicky about attending the class.

Luckily my friend also attended with me, but I still feeling some afraid that people would pick out me as the NICU Mum, and I didn’t want their pity. I was going through a really bad time of accepting what we had been through, and also what we would have to go through and meeting other mums with their healthy babies was hard.

I briefly mentioned it to the teacher in case there was any sort of medical restriction and I saw the pity in her eyes.

I did what I do best, and deflected it, providing some distraction was also Elijah who had projectile vomited all over one of those brightly coloured mats.

As much as baby classes are great for getting you out of the house, for meeting other mums I think there is also a slightly darker side to them, well that’s my experience anyway.

I found I was always comparing myself to others, and my baby too, who was bigger, was sleeping better, who was doing what.

There is also a fear of judgement when I whipped my Tommee Tippee out of the changing bag, I felt like I was failing.

This is likely just a representation of my mental state at the time, and I am even now, very socially awkward.

I did find it quite hard to go into a room full of parents I didn’t know and to me felt as though I was being put on trial.

I tended to feel comfortable with certain mum friends and would prefer just a house playdate rather than sitting in a circle singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.

Over the first 18 months with Elijah, we attended them sporadically, but I just don’t think we found the right fit for us. We also had a lot going on with NICU surgery, recovery etc they were just not on my top list of priorities.

I think there is a stigma surrounding baby classes too, I know of some wonderful ladies whom I have met who run their own classes and I am sure they would have certainly been better suited to us.

There are some great baby classes now on offer that are now offering something different from the norm that also helps the parents out too (links below).

Greg always felt the odd one out as he tended to be the only dad and I just didn’t feel comfortable enough to keep going back.

I haven’t actually taken Harlow to a baby class and I do beat myself up he is missing out but the truth is with two kids, and a trillion schedules to manage we just don’t have time. He is quite happy to play with Elijah and friends.

It has saddened me that many Children’s Centres are closing and this is where many baby classes are held, and despite me not using them much I know how important they are to others and having the access of them.

It is funny how we as parents put so much pressure on ourselves to sensor the hell out of our little ones believing it is what we should be doing at a detriment to ourselves.

I worry about this unnecessary pressure on vulnerable new mums and wish I could go back and tell that panicked mum it was all okay and it doesn’t matter because you are just doing your best.

Happy mum/dad, happy baby whether you go to baby class or not.

Yoga Babies

Baby Fit

Waterbabies

Beebops

Get Me Out the Four Walls

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;

Facebook Instagram Twitter LinkedIn Blog

 

If you love Vicki honest blog please read her other blogs here.

 

 


motherhood

5 things I have learnt as a parent business - guest blog

5 things I have learnt as a parent business in Norfolk

I went on maternity, I got made redundant, I found a wonderful part-time job but then my little one got poorly, and I found myself chucking it all in to give myself some breathing space because it got far too overwhelming … and @muffinandpuffinmarketing just sort of ‘happened’

It’s wonderful being able to flex my time and it’s awful trying to keep my spirits afloat as projects and clients chop and change and I’m never entirely sure what the following month will bring.

It has been a fruitful and eye-opening nine months and I thought I would share some of the things I have learnt

motherhood

  1. Money makes the world go around, but kinship makes it kinder. Don’t always consider money as payment, sometimes collaboration with fellow businesses can get you just as far. Organising a photoshoot with a group of you who can all bring something to the table and then share that content. If you have a friend who is good at writing – ask them for content and bake them a cake. It doesn’t ever hurt to ask and more often than not you’ll lift one another up. Not drag each other

 

  1. Look at what you are doing, the energy you can waste in comparison can stop you going forward. We all know that social media shows only a certain truth, the best part of ourselves so celebrate it and know that there is always a #bts (behind the scenes)

 

 

  1. Always be inspired – remember who you are and create your own CPD – when I worked ‘before’ (as I like to call it) I had regular training and development goal settings with my team and directors. As a freelancer or mum worker, it’s easy to get tied up in the cogs of admin, work, child, repeat … take time to be who you were and who you are and always improve. Go to a gallery if you are creative, go for a walk if you are of the outdoors, see an exhibition, travel if you can, subscribe to a journal, be part of a Facebook group – there are endless opportunities. Don’t stop developing who you are because your business will only bloom as you continue too.

 

  1. It can be lonely working from home, don’t mistake me – I love working in PJs on the sofa, but I was someone who thrived in an office of like-minded and similar aged people. While I like my own headspace more than ever before, it’s important I touch base with people…. In Norwich we have an amazing mama movement on Instagram and I regularly have laughs and chats over DMs…it’s the closest thing and when we meet in ‘real’ life more often than not we become friends.

 

 

  1. I do not have a head for numbers, so it was important for me to be organised, have a great online bookkeeping system and engage with a local accountant. She has put my mind at ease and allowed me to make sure I am completely transparent as my little business grows its legs! I can’t imagine having to do a tax return after a year of ignoring your admin, so take a few hours every month. It will be worth it when HMRC letters pop through your door!

Sophie Lynn

Owner @ Muffin&Puffin

‘A mini marketing company’

07738533889

www.muffinandpuffin.com -> please note website not currently live

Instagram – @muffinandpuffinmarketing

Facebook – Muffin&Puffin


baby cafe

The Honest Confessions of a NICU Mum on… Bottle Feeding - Guest Blog

The Honest Confessions of a NICU Mum on… Bottle Feeding advice Norfolk.

 

Okay, here goes.

I bottle fed both of my children.

Now, I am likely to come under fire for saying this, which to me is simply a fact.

Many will say that I didn’t give them the best start to life, that I am advocating bottle feeding or a trillion other arguments I didn’t even know existed before I became a parent.

.

Many will say that I didn’t give them the best start to life, that I am advocating bottle feeding or a trillion other arguments I didn’t even know existed before I became a parent.

Isn’t it funny before you have children you just are not aware that how you decide to feed your children is an invitation for you to come under fire, you are put on display and have your parenting ability judged and dissected on this one choice which seems so minor in the great scheme of things.

When I was pregnant with Elijah, I just couldn’t shake of the feeling that I didn’t want to breast feed. I did what I did best, I researched. Strangely, to me it felt un natural.

I spoke to so many of my friends, my Nan who had bottle fed two children and read as many articles as I could.

The feeling was still there when I was nearing my due date and we went in with some ready made bottles in my hospital bag and we would see how I feel after I gave birth.

It seems though the decision was perhaps already made for us.

I was very ill, and Elijah was rushed away into the Neo Natal Intensive Care Unit and wasn’t allowed to feed for three days.

When he was finally given the all clear to feed, it seemed so natural to us for Greg to take the lead with bottles while I was still physically recovering.

In NICU there was no pressure, no judgement and the nurses went with our lead. I asked if breastfeeding would help Elijah and they said that no matter how we fed our child, his heart wouldn’t suddenly be okay, it didn’t make a difference to us in that situation.

Midwives and Health Visitors continuously spoke to me about breastfeeding, or made comments when I said we were bottle feeding.

You are made to feel as though you have failed your child, and that is a personal failure as after all you are the one with the boobs which you aren’t using to feed your child with even more so when you have an ill child.

But, I look back and why? I fed my child, I got him as strong as he could be for open heart surgery.

I have fed two children, who have thrived, put weight on and are happy and healthy.

Still though we are put under this immense pressure that how we feed our child is a direct correlation to how good or bad we are as a parent.

Which is why I perhaps got a bee in my bonnet when I was pregnant with Harlow.

I knew this was likely our last pregnancy so planned to give breastfeeding ago promising myself if it began to affect me, our family I would swap to bottles and I would not feel guilty (or would at least try not too).

I breastfed Harlow for eight days before we changed to bottles. The dynamic just wasn’t working. Elijah was pushed out, Greg felt redundant and I was in a lot of pain.

I know women who have breastfeed for years, some who breastfed three children at a time and I am in awe of them but for us it just didn’t work and I am okay with that so why isn’t society?

baby cafe

How you choose to feed your baby is a personal choice, as long as you have all the information you need, have access to advice and know what you are doing and you are your baby are happy and healthy then it really doesn’t matter.

I have seen women torn apart online for their choice, bombarded with the stats, facts and pushy campaigns.

But why?

Aren’t we all just trying our best?

No one is better than anyone because of the way they feed their child.

We are all equal.

Chances are the baby still wont sleep, throw a tantrum in Morrison’s but at least we can start to try and drop the stigma around bottle feeding, give parents support and advice on all choices and don’t regard one as superior over the other.

We must be careful and mindful of the language we use, especially for vulnerable pregnant and new mums, some may feel isolated and the feelings of failure can become destructive.

There are some great websites that provide all round information on feeding choices and personal experiences with no judgement which can be found here;

http://www.frankaboutfeeding.com/

https://norwich.mumbler.co.uk/parents/support-services/feeding/

https://norwich.mumbler.co.uk/breastfeeding-and-feeding-support-norwich-and-norfolk/

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;

Facebook Instagram Twitter LinkedIn Blog

 

Read more of Vicki’s blog and let me know what other guest blog topics you’d like to see.


PARENT

3 questions to help you confidently parent on your terms - guest blog

3 questions to help you confidently parent on your terms.

 

Parenthood is a rollercoaster of emotions and can be a time in your life when everyone has an opinion on what you “should” be doing, here I’ve suggested 3 questions to help you confidently parent on your terms. I often hear parents doubting their choices and decisions.

Sam James Life Coach Norfolk

From the moment you announce your pregnancy onwards, it can feel like some of the social etiquettes seem to have been forgotten – your great auntie Dot’s next door neighbour seems to feel like they have a right to know the intimate details of any medical appointment you have, people in the supermarket queues feel it is OK to touch your stomach,  strangers want to tell you their horror stories of birth and everyone you meet has an opinion on how you should be parenting (whether they have children or not!).

 

When you are tired, hormonal and learning this new role as a parent, it can become so confusing about which way to turn, what piece of advice to follow. The best antidote to this is to get really clear on the important things for you and your family unit.

  • Get clear on how you want to be living life on your terms. What are your values and principles, that you want to be living your life by?
  • Think about in years to come when your little people have grown up, how do you want them to describe you as a parent? How do you want them to describe your family?
  • What are your key priorities for you and your family?

You can use these as your blueprint to guide your decisions and choices. When someone offers some well-meaning advice, or something causes you to question yourself, pause and ask yourself, “Am I acting in line with my values and priorities and how I want to parent?”.

Everyone’s parenting journey is unique – each child you have is unique. One thing I confidently will say is there is not one size fits all solution. My parenting journey is unique to me and not a carbon copy of any of my friends. Each of theirs is unique to them. Yours is unique to you. By recognising and accepting that everyone will make different choices, and no-one is right or wrong, will allow you to enjoy being a parent on your terms in a way that feels natural and comfortable for you.

 

www.samjamescoaching.co.uk

hello@samjamescoaching.co.uk

07736325189

www.facebook.com/SamJamesCoaching

www.twitter.com/SamJamesCoach

Check out my other guest blogs here.


bump shoot

32 weeks and a bump shoot - guest blog

32 weeks and a bump shoot – guest blog

Bridget Jones pants… maternity pads… Waterproof mattress protector… All very sexy things to buy when walking around the city with your other half! With 8 weeks to go, I thought I best start packing my hospital bag. There is an unbelievable amount of ‘equipment’ you need to bring for yourself and your little bundle. Luckily I’ve got a great friend who has been amazing at helping me with this, knowing she had been through it before with her daughter she could give me useful advice on what she wishes she had packed for herself and her little Mollie.

 

Learning you have to look after yourself is a lot more important than I realized, before birth and after, you should be congratulating yourself, after all you’ve just grown a Human! And then given birth to your beautiful baby! Well done you!

 

Jess kindly booked a bump photo shoot for me, I didn’t know what to wear so picked out a few favorites to show off the bump. I even fake tanned the night before to mask my snowman skin. We all have our reservations about ourselves on how we look and I have the ‘good side’ and ‘bad side’. Luckily Jess understood my weird request and i felt so comfortable changing outfits and poses and even stripped to pretty undies for a different look and I didn’t even mind strutting about as I’m falling in love with my pregnancy body.

bump shoot

My bestie had her baby shower at a surprise location, there were banners, bright balloons, homemade sausage rolls, scones and cupcakes, all delicious. I overindulged of course… i am pregnant after all, that was my excuse. She loved it and it was fab to get everyone together to celebrate the occasion. It made me think about how quick time has come around! I’m going to have a baby soon! Wow! I can’t wait! I’m getting tired quickly so i’m no longer at night owl but an early morning bird who likes to wake my husband up early too, i get bored, if i can’t sleep neither should he right?…

Single digit countdown…

bump shoot


guest blogger Norfolk

Raising children to be body positive - The Honest Confessions Of A NICU Mum

Raising children to be body positive

I have never been body positive, or confident in my own skin. Perhaps, that comes from my mum constantly criticizing me. I was always jealous of others and deemed myself not good enough. It has had a devastating impact on my confidence, one that I carried through childhood to now.

Self-confidence

I didn’t have the self-confidence of others, and I suffered from eating disorders as a teenager. It wasn’t until after I fell pregnant with Elijah and then again with Harlow, that I realised how much pressure and unrealistic expectation is really out there. There is pressure on is on a new mother to suddenly regain the body she did before she feel pregnant, despite growing and accommodating a human (or two, or three!) and giving birth.

Pressure

I had two fairly large babies and I found it perplexing that we were being pressurised by what we saw in the media, adverts, and magazines sometimes sadly ones aimed at parents that we were failing if we didn’t fit into our skinny jeans 2 weeks after giving birth. Even family members were telling me towards the end of my pregnancy that the weight will soon come off afterward. Every day I was told I was big, I was small as if my uterus was now up for public discussion.

‘Scummy mummies’

We are made to feel that if we don’t have a full face of makeup and sport a perfect up do we are ‘scummy mummies’. We as a society love to shame others. We are constantly bombarded with images of perfection that do not mirror real life. Even more now we live in the age of social media.

We are told we must change our bodies, our faces, our hair to look like this, to be that and to not accept and be proud of who we are. I am still a very self-conscious person, but I want my two boys to be comfortable on their own skin, to be body positive and to have the self-confidence I never had.

The zipper club

I knew it would be easy for me to pass on my insecurities to my children but I knew I had to be the one to set a good example. Especially with Elijah who has an incision ‘zipper’ scar running down his chest from open heart surgery.

When we took Elijah swimming for the first time I was worried that people would stare, they would look at him and make comments about his chest. A friend of ours at the time was very blunt with me and said, who cares? He should be proud of it. Ever since then I have always promoted body positivity in both of my children.

Brands

Slowly, some big brands have cottoned onto the fact that they are responsible to promote body positivity, but we still have a long way to go. The language we use, for example, phrases like ‘plus size’ I believe are still detrimental when actually they are likely to be of an average size that many of us can resonate with.

Real women

I don’t think it was until after I had children that I realised how important it was as a parent to promote body positivity.  I do not hide my body in front of them, as I want them to know what a real body looks like, one that has had two children and given birth twice! I want them to know a woman doesn’t need to wear make up to look pretty, she doesn’t need an elaborate hairdo to fit in with everyone else. That it is okay to feel comfortable being who you are, looking like what you do.

Acceptance

I want to teach them to be accepting of everyone and to never judge anyone just by looks, or by societies expectations of them. I want them to know the adverts that they see and the images on social media aren’t necessarily the real world and to never compare themselves to them.

Most of all, the gift I want to pass onto my children is one I didn’t receive myself, I want them to be truly comfortable in their own skin and proud of who they are.

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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Vicki regularly blogs for me,  along with other guest bloggers check out some here !

 

Jess x

 

 


studio Norwich

28 Weeks pregnant my guest blogger is back!

28 Weeks pregnant my guest blogger is back!

 

28 Weeks pregnant my guest blogger is back! Over to Chelsea.

The nursery is now pretty much complete! We had our larger second bedroom plastered silky smooth, painted in a soft light grey using Farrow and Ball and I’m very lucky to say my clever husband has hand painted a mural of the ‘original’ Winnie The Pooh.

The mural consists of a waving oak tree bristling in the ‘wind’ with Pooh flying up towards the honey bees nest whilst grasping a blue balloon. I’m in Love!! We haven’t gone completely Pooh crazy, just the odd touches whilst still keeping a neutral feel with grey and white star curtains, a white cloud ceiling light with beaded raindrops and grey and white cloud bedding.

 

The hardest essential we purchased was the baby monitor. We found this extremely difficult as there are so many on the market with mixed reviews, every item had 5* and 1* ratings. Eventually, we decided on the Motorola MBP44 Digital Audio and Video monitor, so good so far, let's see if it lives up to expectations…

 

We went to a wedding recently and I forgot my wedding outfit…..!!! Baby brain to the max! Luckily I had a jumpsuit I was planning to wear the next day with me so I whipped that out and hopefully I rocked it for the day!?! Pregnancy gives you allowances and everyone's nice to you, I had so many offers of drinks for that day, I was a cheap date with my soda water and elderflower cordial, 50p a drink! Bonus for them, bonus for me!

The day and night before I had Braxton Hicks, which became extremely painful so I rang the midwife in a panic who put me through to the labour ward. I was getting cramps every 10 minutes towards the end so I generally thought I could be in labour at 29 weeks. After a while, they finally cooled off and I started to relax, my little cherub is still bouncing around and was ready for the wedding antics to begin so we went to the ball!

 

Pregnancy hormones rattle inside your head, which makes you feel annoyed, irritated, upset and lovable all at the same time, I think my body is going through fight or flight mode protecting my baby’s surrounding area. I have no idea why though, our baby life is filled with joyous and caring family and friends who love them before they even know what love is.

Pregnancy is wonderful and strange all at the same time and I wouldn’t change a thing.

 

Onto the third TRIMESTER...

read Chelsea's other blogs here! she'll be in the studio for her bump photos soon!