The Mummy Tag – Meme

I was tagged by Jaime at The Oliver’s Madhouse to answer some mummy questions.

Here are my answers:

1. Are you a Stay at Home Mum, or a Working Mum?

A bit of both. I was made redundant whilst on maternity leave with Jake, although I wasn’t planning on going back there anyway, I hated it. I started an access to higher education course when Jake was a few months old, but unfortunately I had to pull out as I got my cancer diagnosis, so all my energy needed to go on fighting it.

Then we had Zack. When he was one, I started temping, and then got a part time job at a dental practice, which I have been at for 6 months now. It works well for us. I work mornings with Wednesdays off, so I am always around for the school pickup.

2. Would you have it any other way?
No, I don’t think so. When the kiddies are at school full time, I would probably consider full time work again, or 4 days a week or something.

3. Do you co-sleep?
No, is the short answer. When Jake was younger, he used to love snuggles in bed, in fact he still does now. On a weekend he often comes into bed with us for morning cuddles. Zack, on the other hand, hates it!

4. What is your one must-have item for your baby?
An isofix carseat! Makes life so much easier than having to strap them in with a seatbelt.

5. How many kids do you plan on having?
Well. I planned on having two, but life had other ideas and I am now 15 weeks pregnant with number 3.

6. Date night? How many nights per month?
What’s that?

We don’t really have “Date Nights” as such. Although my inlaws have babysat for us a couple of times recently whilst we’ve been out for friends birthdays, and our friend is babysitting for us on Saturday night so we can go out for a belated Valentine’s meal. We keep saying we should see if once a month we could arrange a babysitter for date night, just haven’t got round to it.

7. Your child’s favourite show?
Currently, both boys love Octonauts.

8. Name one thing you bought before you had your baby and never ended up using?
The only thing we can think of is the pram attachment of the travel system. We’d generally clip the car seat into it.

9. Your child’s favourite food?
This is where the boys differ most. Jake is very fussy, and refuses to let a fruit or vegetable past his lips unless it’s in smoothie mode! His favourite dinner is “special pasta” (pasta & red pesto). Zack loves fruit, would quite happily sit munching grapes or strawberries.

10. How many cars does your family have?
Two. We have a VW Passat estate that hubby uses (although it used to be mine when we owned the Land Rover), and I have a Ford Fiesta. For a while we downsized to one car, when I was commuting to work on the train every day, we couldn’t justify having two. In hindsight, we wish we kept both cars as my insurance is now through the roof as we didn’t realise I would lose all my no claims bonus, so have had to start from scratch.

11. Weight gain before pregnancy, during and after and now?
My weight is something I have struggled with since Jake was born. I was lovely and slim before I fell pregnant with him, then I put on baby weight, then  before I had chance to lose it I got ill, so gained my cancer weight, and I’ve struggled ever since.

12. Dream holiday with your kids?
I think it would have to be Disneyland. Isn’t that where everyone would take their kids?

13. Dream holiday without your kids?
Well, this is difficult. I love hot sunny holidays, lying with a cocktail by the pool, reading my chick lit. Neil, not so much. I would love to go to New Zealand. I think that’s somewhere we’d both be happy going.

14. How has your life changed since your baby has been born?
Life is very different. I keep thinking about the Michael McIntyre sketch where it’s so much more difficult to leave the house when you have kids. It’s so true. We can’t do the things we used to do, go out to dinner just because we fancy it, go out to visit people on a school night, or go on a nice holiday.

But would we change it if we could? No.

15. Finish the sentence: ‘It makes my heart melt to see … ‘
Jake and Zack holding hands, or hugging each other.

16. Where do you shop for your kids?
Tesco, Asda, Primark, Marks and Spencer, Mothercare. Anywhere that has what I need for the right price really.

17. Favourite makeup and skincare products?
Boots no. 7 for make up, Body Shop for skincare

18. Huggies or Pampers?
Hated Huggies with Jake, they would always leak. With Zack I loved the Huggies newborn nappies. But generally we are Pampers or Tesco people.

19. Have you always wanted kids?
Yes. We always knew we’d have kids, just wanted a few years of just us first. Married in 2006, baby in 2009, so I think that worked quite well.

20. Best part about being a mum?
Seeing them develop their own personalities and sense of humour, squidgy cuddles.

 

Proud

I am a proud mum. I think my boys are brilliant and I am always proud of them.

Today, Jake made me even more proud than usual.

As you know  we have recently moved house. Jake was settled into a nursery about 30 minutes from where we are now, and we really didn’t want to move him. He loved it there, and even had a little romance going on with a little girl.  We tried it for a few weeks, but with the rush hour traffic, it was taking 45 minutes to get him there, and so we decided to start looking for another nursery.

We decided on one next door to the school we are hoping he will get into. Before Christmas, he spent an hour there on two separate occasions and seemed to get on well enough.

I’m been telling him that he will be going to a new school, so I think it had sunk in. Today is his first day. I woke him up this morning and said “Do you know what day it is today?” He said “Is it school time?” I told him it was and he was really excited. I have to admit, I was worried for him. I thought I would take him there and he would flip out because it wasn’t the place he was used to.

I was wrong. He waltzed in, found a peg (albeit the wrong one) and put his bag on it. Turned to me and said “Bye Mommy, see you later” as if he’d been there a hundred times before.

That boy makes me proud to be his Mum  🙂

Our Hospital Stay

Zack and I had a stay in hospital last week. It’s only now, almost a week later that I can talk/write about it without crying.

I took him for his 12 week immunisations on the Tuesday and went to the baby clinic while I was there to get him weighed. He’s been gaining weight slowly. I know that. Jake was the same. I just assumed he’d catch up in his own time. At 8 weeks, he was 9lb exactly. I expected him to be at least 10lbs at 12 weeks, especially considering how often he feeds.

He was 9lb 6oz. He’s dropped two lines on the centile chart (and below the 0.4th), so we had to see the GP. As soon as they said he had only put on 6oz, I knew the discussion of formula would be on the agenda. It’s not that I’m against formula. It’s that I wanted to breastfeed. I had no concerns previous to him being weighed. He’s smiley, he is alert, he sleeps through the night. There was nothing to make me worry.

The doctor sent us up to Birmingham Children’s Hospital. We ended up in A&E as that’s where the RMO’s were (Registered Medical Officer). We were taken to cubicle and Zack was asleep in his pushchair, so the RMO was talking to me, asking me questions about Zack, about me, about Jake, about my pregnancy. Then he woke up and needed a feed, so she left me to it for half an hour or so. Then a different doctor came round to see us and examined him. Said that she didn’t think there was anything wrong with his tummy or anything and that we should top him up with formula. I said that I didn’t really want to and that I wanted to fix breastfeeding first. So she admitted us and arranged to Zack to have a blood test, in which I cried more than he did and was reduced to a snotty mess. So much so that even the nurse took pity on me and wiped my nose as I had no hands free.

I’m a bit angry, because I feel like if I’d agreed to the formula, she would have just sent us home, but because I refused, we had to endure a horrible 24 hours in hospital. He looked so small in the huge cot in his room, and I had the delight of sleeping on a faux leather recliner for the night.

The doctors came round in the morning and again, had a poke and a prod. Then a dietician came in and spoke to me.

I have had to compromise. We have agreed that he has two 3oz feeds a day of a high calorie formula that promotes catch up growth, and that I breastfeed as well. I have been prescribed Domperidone to try and increase my milk supply. Zack has to be weighed every week and I am to call the dietician with his weights so we can plan the next course of action, which will hopefully at some point be to drop the formula altogether and go back to exclusive breastfeeding.

It’s taken me a long time to be OK with this. Not because I don’t want him to gain weight, not because I don’t want him to have formula, but because I feel like I’ve failed him.

One of the most natural things in the world is to breastfeed your baby, to nurture them, and I couldn’t do it alone. Whether it’s because of everything my body has been through over the last two and a half years, I don’t know, but I wanted to be able to do this so much and the fact that I couldn’t upsets me more than I can put into words.

I know he’s put weight on. I can see his cheeks are chubbier, and he feels heavier. I’ll know for sure tomorrow when I take him to be weighed. I hope it’s positive. I certainly don’t want another night in hospital with him any time soon.

Breastfeeding Beyond…#keepbritainbf

Breastfeeding beyond what? The first month? The first six months? The first year?

With Jake, I managed exclusive breastfeeding for 4 months, then I went into have a knee operation and it seemed that after the anaesthetic and not being able to feed to 24 hours and not ever being able to express much, my supply dwindled, so I combined fed. Then when Jake was 7 months old i had to go in for more surgery, and in turn had to have chemotherapy so had no choice but to stop.

I would have probably carried on until he was one had I been able to, but I am a firm believer that some, is better than none, no matter how long the “some” is. Am I disappointed that I had to stop? Yes. Do I feel guilty about it? No.

Yesterday, I was asked how long I intend to breastfeed for. I said at least six months, then I might combine formula and breast along with solids, or I might just stick with breast. I don’t know, I’ll decide when the time arrives.

What I do know is that I will carry on for as long as it feels right,as long as he is happy and healthy, that is what is the most important thing. I have had some wonderful advice from other mums about feeding and I think that these days it’s not the automatic response to just switch straight to formula if baby isn’t gaining as quickly as you might like.

Jake was a small baby for a long time and then all of a sudden, he caught up, and now he’s taller than most of his friends the same age. I think Zack is going the same way. When I raised my concerns with the GP at his 8 week check, she said I had nothing to worry about, and actually wrote in his red book that she had told me to carry on feeding.

He’s happy, I’m happy. He’s healthy, that also makes me happy. For now, that’s more than enough.

Thank you for reading.  Please complete the following to enter the competition for the Keep Britain Breastfeeding Grand Prize:

Leave a comment on this blog telling me how long you fed/are intending to feed for.

For extra entries:

Go to the Life, Love and Lollipops Facebook page and “like” and  ”share” the hunt with your Facebook friends.

Tweet the following: I’m taking part in the Keep Britain Breastfeeding Scavenger hunt via @rozzibee http://wp.me/p1Fanz-5Y #keepbritainbf

Leave a separate comment for each thing you have done.

Happy Hunting!

If you have enjoyed reading, you can find other bloggers taking part in the scavenger hunt here:

Where Roots Flourish

Breast4babies

Ponderings of a Doula

Twinkle Mummy

Fi Peacock’s Blog

Breastfeeding in Public #keepbritainbf

The first time I breast fed in public was at the register office when we went to register Jake at 12 days old. I was a bit nervous, but I got over it very quickly.

I’ve always been a bit nervous about someone coming up to me and asking me to stop feeding, or telling me it’s inappropriate, but luckily it has never happened. And if it did, I’m pretty sure I would tear strips off them, and if I didn’t, my hubby would. In fact, the only time someone has ever commented on my breastfeeding was when Jake was tiny and I was sat on a bench outside a shopping centre feeding him and a lady came up to me and said “Well done!” and carried on her way.

It can be quite daunting feeding in public for the first time, but don’t let it put you off. It does get easier.

  • If you feel nervous, make sure you have someone with you for the first time.
  • Choose clothing appropriately. I tend to prefer loose tops that I can lift up, then I pull it down to his face so that no breast is exposed but I can still see him and he can see me. On the odd occasion that I have a top that I need to pull down, I have a muslin or scarf handy to make me feel less exposed. Some women like to wear a vest top under a loose fitting top.
  • Don’t feel like you need to hide away in a toilet. You wouldn’t want to eat in a public loo, so neither would your baby.
  • Don’t be made to feel uncomfortable feeding in public. The Equality Act 2010 has made it illegal for anyone to ask a breastfeeding woman to leave a public place such as a cafe, shop or public transport.
  • Remember, breastfeeding is completely natural and there is nothing inappropriate about it. If someone has a problem with it, that is exactly what it is – their problem. Smile, nod and carry on.

Congratulations. You have found the scavenger hunt logo. This week, I also have an extra competetion to win a £15 voucher to use at BoobieMilk.

Thank you for reading.  Please complete the following to enter the competition for the Keep Britain Breastfeeding Grand Prize:

Leave a comment on this blog telling me what your top tip for feeding in public is.

For extra entries:

Go to the Life, Love and Lollipops Facebook page and “like” and  ”share” the hunt with your Facebook friends.

Tweet the following: I’m taking part in the Keep Britain Breastfeeding Scavenger hunt via @rozzibee http://wp.me/p1Fanz-5Y #keepbritainbf

Leave a separate comment for each thing you have done.

Happy Hunting!

If you have enjoyed reading, you can find other bloggers taking part in the scavenger hunt here:

A New Addition
Edspire
Mummy Constant
Radical Ramblings
Life Happens so Smile

Test, Try and Buy at The Baby Show

The Baby Show is back offering a shopping haven for new parents and parents-to-be at the NEC Birmingham from 18th-20th May 2012. Forget the hassle of the high street, The Baby Show takes out the stress and confusion of shopping for your baby by housing the UK’s biggest baby brands all under one roof, so you can compare and try products before you buy! With over 250 must-have brands including Fisher-Price, Mamas & Papas, Mothercare, Marks & Spencer, Britax, tommee tippee and new companies Mammae, Poco Nido, Kinderroom and Curaprox, there will be brilliant buys for all! The UK’s leading parenting experts will also be on hand to offer advice on sleep, breastfeeding and first aid.

Tickets are available in advance for £12.00 or two for £20.00, to book tickets visit www.thebabyshow.co.uk.

The Baby Show in association with Prima Baby and sponsored by Fisher-Price is an exciting event filled with the latest and greatest products in food & feeding, pushchairs, nappies & wipes, toys, clothing, furniture, car seats and carriers, from major brands.

Parents who come to The Baby Show will also find substantial offers and savings that cannot be found elsewhere.

Melanie Hall, Show Manager states: “The Baby Show is the destination for expectant and new parents. It is a fantastic day out; offering first class information, a chance to talk to like-minded mums and see the UK’s best baby brands all in one place. Our aim is for each parent to come away feeling happy, informed and confident in what they have chosen.

Fisher-Price
Fisher-Price will have the best available toys on display, ensuring that parents and parents-to-be will find something that’s ideal for little ones at every age.

Prima Baby
Prima Baby at stand N15 are giving visitors a free goody bag when two issues of Prima Baby magazines are purchased for just £2 (RRP £2.80 per magazine).

Face of the Show
The show sees the welcome return of the hugely popular Face of The Baby Show which offers parents the chance to enter their baby in the competition to find the face of The Baby Show and have the chance to be part of the 2013 marketing campaign. Hosted by Bumpkins (formally Sonam studios) each child will be photographed, capturing the very best images to be entered into the competition. What’s more, all parents will be given a free copy of the photograph of their child to take home from the photo experts at Bumpkins.

Me Time
For those looking for a relaxing and tranquil day out knowing your little one is cared for, the Fisher-Price crèche provides the perfect place and the safest hands in which to leave your children, where they can enjoy the latest toys for free and be supervised by fully trained and professional carers. The show is geared to making visitors lives easier and offers a home delivery service as well as the Emma’s Diary FREE shopping drop-off and collect by car service. There’s also the Emma’s Diary Mums meeting point, a fabulous arena to meet other new and expectant mums for a well-earned cuppa! The Pregnacare Juice bar will be serving fresh juices and smoothies across all three days to quench those shopping thirsts and give visitors a chance for a refreshing break. Superdrug are also at The Baby Show, be sure to stop by the Beauty Booth and take advantage of some great show discounts.

Free at the café!
Plum Baby’s under 1’s Cafe, will be serving little ones a sample of free baby food from 9.30am -5.00pm every day, as well as offering exclusive show offers on the Plum range.

The main stage
Not only a shopper’s dream, but The Baby Show is an event filled with expert advice from information including talks on breastfeeding by Clare Byam-Cook, sleep with Jo Tantum and first aid talks from The British Red Cross.

New Brands
New brands showcasing at the event this time include:-

Partners Labour of Love – A brand new app to assist pregnant women in the build up to birth

My Beauty Bundle – Perfect gift for pregnant women or new mums

BabyDam – Has changed bath time for good

SnuggleBundl – Innovative approach to lifting your baby

Laboraide by Opro – A product to assist in pain-free birth

Baby Mum-Mum – Food snack for babies, big American brand – new to the UK this year

Waterbaby – New bottled water containing Folic Acid for a healthy pregnancy – new to the market this year

The Baby Show at Birmingham NEC takes place between 18th–20th May 2012. Tickets are available in advance for just £12 each from www.thebabyshow.co.uk

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I love going to The Baby Show. I really enjoy wondering around and seeing all the different gadgets. Last year we bought Jake a swim jacket, and this year I am on the hunt for a new swaddle blanket for Zack.

I  have one pair of tickets to giveaway to a lucky reader.

All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning is to leave me a comment telling me what you would like to buy from The Baby Show.

For extra entries, you can do the following (one extra entry for each done):

For one extra entry, tweet the following: I want to win a pair of tickets to The Baby Show with @rozzibee http://bit.ly/KPRdWV 

For one more extra entry, go over to my facebook page and “like” it.

Leave me a comment if you have done either or both of these.

All entries must be received before 10pm on Sunday 13th May. Winner will be selected at random and contacted by me. UK entries only.

The winner, as chosen by random.org is Katrina Langley

My Distraction

Sorry I’ve been a bit quiet on the blog front recently. You could say I’ve had a bit of a distraction.

Zack was born on Sunday 1st April 2012 at 10.10am weighing 3.3kg (7lb 4oz according to the weight converter in his red book, 7lb 5oz according to the midwife who delivered him).

It turns out that my fear was completely unwarranted as my birth experience was completely different to when I had Jake and it was all over very quickly.

On the Friday, I posted a Facebook status that went like this: “Dear Baby Boy, I hereby give you your eviction notice. I would like you out by the end of this weekend. Pretty please? Love Mummy

My waters started going around noon at home on the Saturday, after I had been for a swim in the morning. At least I hoped they were my waters, at one point, I was worried I might have just become incontinent. I wasn’t contracting, and we had plans for the afternoon (we were seeing a financial advisor and then viewing a house), so we just carried on with our day as normal. The lady showing us around the house looked a bit panicked when she realised I was 39 weeks pregnant, so I thought it best not to tell her just how imminent the arrival was.

Once we’d viewed the house and were on the way home, I called the hospital to tell them that my waters had gone but I wasn’t contracting, half expecting them to tell me not to bother going in until the contractions started. I was wrong. They told me to go in to be checked over. So I called my mother in law, and arranged for her to come and collect Jake, as things would definitely be happening one way or another that weekend.

I got to the hospital and was hooked up to a CTG machine for an hour before the midwife examined me. I had to stand up and take my “bottom things” off. At which point more water gushed out all over the triage room floor. I. Was. MORTIFIED. I know that kind of thing happens every day for them, but it doesn’t for me and I was so embarrassed.

The midwife confirmed that it was in fact, my waters, and that I was to go home and see if contractions started overnight, but if not, I was booked for induction at noon the next day. We went home and hoped we could at least get some sleep before things started happening.

I woke up about 4am to go to the loo, and was disappointed that I still wasn’t contracting. I went back to bed and fell asleep. About 5.15am I woke again with period type pains. I got the contraction timer on my phone out and saw that they were about every 3 minutes but only lasting around 30 seconds. I called the hospital about an hour later  and they told me to potter at home for some hours as my contractions were only lasting 30 seconds, chances are that labour would possibly peter out. I was to call back when the pain became unbearable or the contractions were lasting a minute.

Neil attached my TENS machine to me at about 830am and brought me a glass of milk and a buttered hot cross bun. By 9am, my contractions were every 90 seconds to 2 minutes but still only lasting 45 seconds, however the pain was getting worse so I called the hospital again. They told me to go in to be checked over. We weren’t in any particular hurry, Neil finished his cup of tea, we made sure we had everything we needed, we wrote a note to the next door neighbour and left her my keys so she could let the dogs out for us, and eventually went on our way.

We parked in the multi-storey car park and walked to the hospital. I was stopping every few minutes to let the contractions finish. When we got to the main entrance, a security guard came over while I was in the middle of a contraction to ask if I wanted a wheelchair. Neil replied with “No, she’s fine, thank you” and made me walk to triage. When we got there, they made me go and do a urine sample. I had at least 2 contractions while I was in the bathroom, I had Neil knocking on the door asking if I was OK as he had visions of me giving birth on the loo. The midwife took me into the same room I was in the night before and spent a minute or two putting details on the computer and was about to hook me up to the CTG machine when I said “I feel like I need to poo”. She then examined me and told me I was already 9cm dilated and went off to call delivery suite to find out which room they wanted me in.

She came back and I was wheeled to delivery suite. As I got off the one bed and was about to climb on to the other, I felt the urge to push and was swiftly told by the midwife I was not to push until I was on the other bed. I got on, and asked for some gas and air. One of the midwives told me to push if I needed to, so I did. I felt like he was crowning, but they didn’t notice, so they told me to push again. I did. I felt it, but I also heard them say “Oooh the head’s out” (they hadn’t even finished getting their gloves on at this point), one more push and he was out. No cuts, no tears, no stitches.

We were so prepared. We were ready for the long haul, we had snacks, books, iPods, a portable iPod dock, a birth plan, and we needed none of it.

I arrived in traige at 9.45am, Zack was born at 10.10am. I couldn’t have planned it better than this.

Well done if you got to the end of this post. I realise it’s long and a bit rambly. However, as a reward for those of you that did, here’s a photo I love of my two gorgeous boys.