Monday, 30 April 2012

You Know You've Just Had A Baby When... permanently walk around with a boob out of your nursing top forget to put said boob away when you answer the door to the postman walk around with a milky sick stain on your shoulder all the time

...your hairbrush has a battle to de-tangle your hair because of the dried sick in it

...dry shampoo is your new best friend

...when you hear the dreaded 'sick' noise over your shoulder you hope it's fresh milk and not curdled smelly milk make new friends from America, Canada and Australia on Twitter because of tweeting at 4am GMT hear the birds wake up get annoyed at how happy the birds are first thing in the morning wonder why there's a wet patch on your lap/groin, then realise you forgot to put your boob away. Again

...if you have to spend more than 48 hours in the house you get severe cabin fever eat constantly but still lose weight (yaye for breastfeeding!)

...your washing machine is constantly on never seem to reach the bottom of the washing pile despite the washing machine being on all the time

...there are clothes drying EVERYWHERE around the house (sod off rain!) decide to wear the same item of clothing 3 days in a row because 'it will only get sicked on anyway' hear your husband snoring peacefully at 4am and deliberately cough/sneeze/yawn loudly/fart to wake him up don't so much as flinch when you get baby poop on your hand are obsessed with the colour/consistency of said poop never want to eat a chicken korma again

...4am is the new time to draft blog posts

"Ok, I hold my hands up - it's all MY fault"

This is a follow-on post from my You Know You're Pregnant When... post

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Sir Poops-A-Lot

Tiny Ched is 4 weeks old tomorrow.

I honestly don't know where those 4 weeks have gone. 4 weeks since I lived my amazing birth story. 4 whole weeks of adoring our new baby boy.

In my last full post (my birth story) I said he was a dream.

He is.

But he does have one slight downfall.

He poops.

A lot.

Now I know breastfed babies crap a lot. Mini Cheddar did, but not to this extent. He literally poops for Britain. If there was a Baby Olympic event for crapping, he'd win gold every time.

This constant pooping came at a price. The poor little man has suffered with severe nappy rash. As soon as it started we rushed out to buy Metanium as we used that with massive success on MC but no, his poor little bottom got worse and he ended up looking like a baby baboon. We didn't use wipes on his bum, just water and cotton wool but with the amount he poops it's a battle to keep him clean and the constant wiping will not help. We even had him at the doctor's a week last Friday as it was getting worse.

Thankfully, a change of nappies and a massive amount of nappy off time have helped and it's almost back to normal.

With all this excessive pooping, can you imagine my surprise last week when he was weighed and had put on 1lb 2oz in a week! My milk must be great stuff because I honestly didn't think anyone so small who shat that much could put on that amount.

We are all well. Mini Cheddar loves Tiny Ched very much and is ever so gentle with him. She's always checking he's okay and giving him the gentlest of kisses. I'm loving having two children snuggled up on the sofa beside me. My heart just bursts with love, pride and happiness.

Anyway, before I make you all puke I'd best be off.  Oh and I was really ill last week so my blogging fell by the wayside. I'm back doing my freelance work a little too although that's been a struggle between my illness and the nappy rash.

Rest assured though, I'll be catching up on your blogs this week between poopy nappies!

Isn't that a nice thought to leave on.

He was probably squeezing one out as I took this

Monday, 16 April 2012

Bring Me A Dream (My 2nd Birth Story)

Most of my regular readers will already know from Mini Cheddar's Birth Story and other posts that I had a her by caesarean section. You will also know from my more recent post that I took the decision to have a repeat caesarean to bring my baby boy into the world recently.

My boy.

I'll never tire of saying that. I'm completely in love with him and he's an adorable addition to our family.

His 'blog' name will be Tiny Ched (a play on Tiny Ted) from now on thanks to my Mum and also the lovely Annwen from Ramblings Of A Suburban Mummy.

This is his birth story...

I'd had well over a month to prepare myself for my c-section date. Having had a previous caesarean section you would think I would have taken it all in my stride. I didn't. I was unbelievably nervous and anxious - moreso than last time.

Matt and I arrived at the hospital before 8am on Wednesday 28th March (my parents were looking after MC) and were shown to the waiting room. We were still there 40 minutes later (not good for my nerves) when Matt decided to go find someone to ask what was happening. Just then we were called down to our room.

The midwife explained that there was an emergency section taking place and so the 2 planned sections would be delayed. I hoped I would be the first one called through but my chances were slim as the other planned one was a lady who had been admitted overnight.

I was starving! Fasting from midnight when pregnant is not good and I was ravenous. It hadn't been helped by a quick stop at McDonalds for Matt enroute to the hospital (it was my idea so he had something to keep him going).

The midwife returned and told me I was going to be the second elective so I wouldn't be having my section until at least lunchtime.

I was crushed.

A moment later the anaesthetist came into the room to introduce himself. I told him I was ravenous and he said that they would put a fluid drip into my arm to help get something into me. He disappeared and then returned later with a cannula which he inserted into my arm. Then said "Well, you're up - they've moved you forward".

I had no time to think before the room was filled with medical staff introducing themselves. They were all lovely and friendly and were cracking jokes to try and put me at ease. Then I walked across the hallway and into theatre.

Seeing them write my name on the board brought all the memories of MC's birth flooding back to me.

I started to cry.

Our family was about to become 4.

I was about to meet my baby boy.

Two female surgeons had delivered MC and my little boy was to be delivered by two men. One of which was the top consultant who was absolutely fantastic.

I'd been apprehensive that, after the amazing experience of MC's birth, this birth wouldn't be the birth I'd hoped for.

I was wrong.
Fresh out the womb -
the first time I held hands with my baby boy

It was better.

The medical team were just amazing.

I actually felt Tiny Ched being born. I felt him being pulled out of me - something which I hadn't felt with MC's birth. It was incredible.

When he entered the world he certainly made his presence known. He screamed and screamed. Something that MC didn't do (she just poo'ed!).

He was born at 10.44am at 39+1 weeks and weighed a good 8lb 2oz.

His birth song? This was playing on the radio in the theatre the moment he was brought into the world. So I now have two amazing songs that I will always hold dear to my heart for the birth of my beautiful children.

Matt was incredible throughout the birth. He was constantly supporting me and I couldn't have gotten through it without him.

Tiny Ched was passed to me as soon as the cord was cut and we were able to have skin to skin to establish breastfeeding whilst I was stitched up.

MC and TC get to meet (I'm a bit emotional)
That afternoon my parents and parents-in-law brought Mini Cheddar to meet her new baby brother. They all waited in the cafe so Matt and I could introduce the two on our own. It was incredible. I knew straight away I was going to adore being a mummy to two children.

My recovery went well and the next day I was up, out of bed, showered and changed - all before 8am. I knew I wanted to go home that day but I wasn't sure they would let me as normally a c-section involves at least a 2 night stay but they were happy with my progress. I left the hospital just after 4pm that next day and they rest is history. I have arnica to thank for my speedy healing! I swear by it and I'm already driving again.

Tiny Ched will be 3 weeks old this coming Wednesday and it's like he's always been here. He's the world's most contented baby - he sleeps all day and all night. If only MC had been this easy!

He certainly lives up to his birth song.

He's a dream.

My boy

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Caesarean Section - My Choice

Towards the end of February I noticed quite a lot of talk on Twitter following an episode of One Born Every Minute (a program I don't actually watch)*. I think there was a lot of talk about elective caesarean sections and some people perhaps having an opinion that those having them were 'too posh to push'.

Easily done, I guess, considering the use of words and what society and the media puts across. Also, if you haven't been put in an elective section position then you aren't going to be fully aware of what it means.

The problem is the term 'elective'. It almost brandishes the woman with the 'too posh to push' - a term I detest so much. This was a phrase that was said to me when I was pregnant with Mini Cheddar in 2009 and due to give birth by elective section. This person was a total stranger! I left the shop feeling really angry with myself for just giving a fake laugh and walking out the shop upset when what I should have done was put this woman right.

You see, Mini Cheddar was a breech baby. She had been breech right from 28 weeks and we tried everything to get her to turn. I played music to my private parts (yes, really!) in an effort to get her to move her head towards the sound. I lay on the sofa with my bottom raised and all sorts of other positions to try and move her. My husband even lit special candles and held them against my little toes every day. If you've not heard that one before, it's called moxibustion. It's supposed to have a great success rate but sadly it didn't work for us.

No, MC was stuck breech and at almost 37 weeks I had to face up to the fact I couldn't have the natural water birth I'd spent months planning. I was completely crushed. I cried for a a week or so.

I had no choice but to have an 'elective' section. There it is again. That word - elective.

To elect is to 'choose' and given the choice I would have chosen natural birth any day. I didn't want to undergo major surgery. I didn't want to risk not being able to have skin-to-skin with my baby and not being able to establish breastfeeding. I didn't want to spend 2 or more nights in hospital. I just wanted my water birth and I spent a good amount of time crying about the fact my dreams were shattered.

There was also that old saying I'd heard 'Once a section - always a section' but the hospital set me straight that if I went on to have another child and everything was okay then I could try for a VBAC.

However, MC's birth turned out to be one of the most amazing experiences of my life and something I hold dear to my heart. I wish I could relive it over again - something that I'm not sure many other people would say. I absolutely loved writing my birth story "My Always Shining Star" and I could talk about the birth forever. It was lovely. We had immediate skin-to-skin and I breastfed her successfully for over 6 months.

So, when I fell pregnant this time around I was faced with a bit of a dilemma. Repeat caesarean or a VBAC.

What to do? What to do?

This baby was in the right position and so the hospital would support me (and encourage me) if I wanted to go for a VBAC.

You know what though. I didn't. Deep down I just didn't want to. Not that I'm 'too posh to push'. Not that I'm scared of the natural birth process. Nothing like that.

I was told that if I wanted a VBAC I would have to be continuously monitored and stay on the bed. I still had hopes of a water birth but I was told that wasn't an option with the VBAC. Also, if I went 10 days over my due date I would probably have to have an 'emergency' caesarean anyway as they wouldn't fully induce me.

Also, I felt pressure to choose a VBAC. Not the hospital but underlying comments from 'well meaning' people and what society would expect me to do. There will always be the 'natural birth brigade' who act holier than thou and consider that you 'aren't a woman until you experience natural birth'.

You know what I say to that?

Utter bollocks**

My beautiful daughter and son -
both born by 'elective' section
Whatever way a child is delivered into this world is 'birth' - be it natural or by caesarean. What women go through carrying a baby for 9 months and whichever way that child is born is amazing. What matters is that mother and baby are happy and healthy. No woman should be condemned for bringing a child into the world.

Also, what about all those women who can't have children? Are they any less of a woman? No.

Knowing someone who underwent a VBAC which went wrong and resulted in a baby with cerebral palsy made my decision a lot easier. I know there were risks to me having a caesarean but I'd rather risk myself than risk my baby. Surely that means I'm not 'too posh to push' but I'm a brave and confident woman who wants to put the health of my baby first?

I don't care what society expects me to do. At the end of the day it's my body, my baby and so should be my choice.

* This post is by no way getting at anyone who may have thought 'elective' always means too posh to push. As I said, it's no surprise as this is what society and the media portrays.

**I very rarely swear on my blog so forgive me but I'm extremely passionate about this subject.

Monday, 9 April 2012

A Change Bag For The Better

I was SO excited when I opened the bag - it's gorgeous!
Let's face women do love a good handbag.

So when we are faced with a newborn baby and the thought of lugging around an unsightly change bag it can send us into a cold sweat.

I was faced with this dilemma quite recently. I needed a new change bag for my little man so I took to Twitter. I wanted something practical but stylish. There were a lot of suggestions that came back but one that stood out completely from the rest.


I have to be totally honest, I'd never heard of Pacapod but one look at their website and I was totally in love.

I had fixed my sights on the gorgeous new Mirano bag but my budget was a little tight so I was going to go for the equally lovely Logan bag. So, can you imagine just how much I squealed when, out of the blue, the lovely people at Pacapod landed in my email inbox offering me a Mirano bag to review. I think my husband thought I'd won the lottery!

The 'pods' - genious
When I received the bag I fell in love even more - it's completely gorgeous. I've never experienced this with a handbag I own, so I never thought I'd experience this with a change bag.

It's made from soft leather and natural fabrics in a stunning design that just oozes the 'Riviera chic' it claims to have. Also, it's very large without being cumbersome - boasting a 32 litre capacity - so plenty of room for all your supplies, as well as baby's. It was the perfect companion in hospital.

Plenty of iPad room!
If you're unaware of how the Pacapod bags work then let me explain. The bags contain 'pods' which can be removed from the main bag. These are 'change bags' and 'feeding bags' and make it easier to store the items you need and access them easily when you need them most.

The bag has straps and clips so it can be easily attached to your pram or buggy and the removable pods can also be attached separately. The main bag has plenty of room for all my bits and pieces and, more importantly, has ample of room for my new iPad.

Having now owned a Pacapod I will never use another change bag again. You wouldn't know it was a change bag and that's what I love about it.

The Mirano bag comes in two colours (chalk - as shown - and navy) and retails at £95. This may seem a little pricey to some, but, in my opinion it's totally worth it for something you will get a lot of use out of for years to come.

This is not a sponsored post.  
Pacapod were kind enough to send me a Mirano bag to review but 
all words, views and opinions are my own.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Jugs Like Jordan

Just incase you're in any doubt...THIS ISN'T ME!
Photo credit
If you've found this blog post via a Google search of the title, then I'm afraid you're going to be bitterly disappointed...and shame on you! *shakes head and tuts loudly*

Yes I'm breast feeding again.

I breast fed Mini Cheddar and was 'large' when my milk came in but jeez...this time...

This time my jugs were epic.

I don't think it helps that Baby E is a lazy little bugger. When my milk came in after I had MC, every time she fed it was like it was the last feed she'd ever have in her life. Baby E just sleeps and sleeps (and no, I'm not really complaining) and so my boobs were just throbbing and huge until my body established the whole 'supply and demand' scenario.

It's wasn't sexy, it was just plain awful. I had backache and I couldn't sleep properly. Why anyone would choose to have norks this humongous I'll never know.

I'm dreading post-breast feeding. After these bad boys go what am I going to be left with?

Spaniels ears?

Fruit Winders?

Bungee boobs?

Rocks in socks?

Whatever it is, it ain't going to be pretty but it will be worth it. Feeding my boy is something to treasure - that closeness, that bond...I love it.

So what if my tits head south and start poking out under my least they will be like that with good reason.

In other, totally random news. I have found out I've been nominated for a couple of MAD Blog Awards. Last year I mad it through as a finalist for the Best New Blog which was amazing. I think this year I've been put forward for Best Baby Blog (not sure how as my baby is only a week old) and Best Pregnancy Blog - Yaye! Thank you SO much to whoever voted for me.

If you want to cast your votes for your favourite blogs then click on the MAD button below and make your favourite bloggers go a bit MAD. Feel free to throw me a nomination to if you enjoy my ramblings. My blog address is:

MAD Blog Awards 2012

Monday, 2 April 2012

Post-Pregnancy Patter...He's Here!

So, our little baby boy arrived into the world at 10.44am on Wednesday 28th March.

I know I'm biased but he's beautiful.


So, that's the first secret out - I was expecting a boy!

The second thing I've kept to myself is that I was booked in for another c-section and I'd had my date scheduled since my last consultant appointment on 21st February. It wasn't a decision I took lightly but I knew it was the right one for me and I don't regret it for a single moment. I never thought it would be as good as the first experience with MC's birth but it was. In fact, it was better. I will report more on that soon.

So Baby E is here.

He needs a 'blog name'.

Mini Cheddar's name was born out of the fact some friends of mine call me 'Cheddar' or 'Ched' for short so it was natural we all had a laugh when I was pregnant with a 'Mini Cheddar'.  I had every intention of nicknaming this little one Babybel or BB for short but I'm not sure if it sounds a little girly? It's either that or Baby Ched. What do you think?

Baby E (as he will be known as for now) is a totally different baby to what MC was.  All he does is sleep. Honestly, you wouldn't even know he was here. Matt and I are getting good solid blocks of sleep each night - we are actually waking him for feeds or he'd sleep through the night. He just sleeps and sleeps and sleeps. I've never known a baby like it.

MC loves him very much as you can see from my Silent Sunday post yesterday. She's totally besotted and so gentle and caring with him.

So, this is a very quick update just to let you know how things are and to officially announce he's here.

I'm unbelievably happy. I have a new man in my life and he's the best.

I'm in love.


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