Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Jabs Jabs Jabs

Two down, one to go! 

Being a parent really does have it's ups and downs. It's hard at times, incredible emotional and wonderful all at once. Another milestone I wasn't warned about, was jabs. I remember when Harry was just an ickle bubba he had his heal prick test which I found highly traumatic. It of course is nothing and Harry forgot about it in a matter of seconds. Jabs are in our case, quite a different story. 

Jabs come in three batches (there is one more when they are one year old)

2 months

5-in-1 (DTaP/IPV/Hib) vaccine – this single jab contains vaccines to protect against five separate diseases: diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough (pertussis), polio and Haemophilus influenzae type b (known as Hib  a bacterial infection that can cause severe pneumonia or meningitis in young children)

3 months

Rotavirus vaccine, second dose

4 months

In my case, I was ill prepared for the first set, very prepared for the second and am dreading the third! First time round, I didn't really know what to expect. Harry let off a giant scream when the needle went in and then seemed fine. I listened to the nurse who said to only give him Calpol if he had a fever/seemed out of sorts.The drive home was calm and I even felt that he was normal enough for me to meet a friend for a coffee. Well, this was a horrific mistake. Within mere seconds of me entering the coffee shop, Harry had transformed into a different baby. Screaming, red faced and clearly in pain. I quickly packed up my bits (whilst doing my best to avoid the highly judgemental looks from other patrons of this particular Starbucks) and headed home.
As soon as I arrived home I gave him some Calpol which helped a great deal. He slept a few hours and woke ravenous. However for the next three days things were shakey. He didn't want to be put down (apart from at night), had diarrhoea and a little fever. I knew from the nurse that these symptoms were normal so wasn't panicking at all, I was just desperate for him to feel better. It's such an awful thing, not being able to explain to your little bubba why they feel rubbish. After three days my boy was back and it was as if the whole painful episode had never taken place.
Taking on board the advice from my mum, rather than the nurse round two was different. As I arrived at the doctors surgery I gave Harry some Calpol. As soon as the jabs were done (I swear the scream was louder this time round) I headed home, dimmed the lights, put on some soothing music and lulled him to sleep. He woke a few hours later, again ravenous and uncomfortable. I fed him and gave him some baby Nurofen. After which I took him for a long walk. This really helped and whilst he didn't seem 100% himself, this avoided the fever and pained cries. Whilst we was "out of sorts" for a few days (outbreaks of crying, very unlike him) he was much better this time, in part I am sure because I was much calmer and much better prepared.
Round three is in two weeks (delayed due to a holiday) and I know I will even calmer and even better prepared this time. I am not saying you should do as I did as every baby is different and every parent is different, but I will say that there is little information out there on how to prep for the jabs. This blog post has been written merely to show that you live and learn. Don't panic, don't stress, just try and prepare as much as possible and try to listen to your baby.
Jabs are horrible, but they do more good than harm and whilst it might not seem like it at the time, your babies will thank you for putting them through it in the long run!
Man, I am dreading the third round!!

A year on...

Yesterday, the hubs and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary.

It's pretty insane really. This time last year, I was about to board a plane to LA to begin the best holiday of my life. I was thin, careless and ready for a pretty special adventure. Not only that but I was absolutely buzzing after the wedding. I put so much work into it and was overwhelming pleased with the results. Life was good. 

I remember saying to my mum some time before that my dream was to get pregnant on my honeymoon. Whilst it obviously had entered my mind all those months before, it wasn't something I thought twice about whilst on the trip. I can't speak for anywhere else, but honeymooning in the States is a pretty amazing experience. Americans love us Brits and they love a romantic tale, which meant that when it came to us, they went out of their way to make us feel incredibly special the entire trip.

I remember arriving home from the trip. walking into our then flat and being hit in the face with balloons and the sweet perfume of a mixture of beautiful flowers. My lovely mum had really laid on the welcome wagon knowing full well that we'd be on a massive comedown following the best month of our lives.

The weeks that followed were hard. We were on a house hunting mission that was not going well and were finding it incredibly hard to adjust back to normal life. Getting the wedding album/video helped lift our spirits but only temporarily. It was settled, we were well and truly depressed.

This is when I noticed my delayed period and made the initial appointment with my gynaecologist. If you read my early blog post, "discovering the news" this story will be familiar. The morning before the appointment, I wave the hubs off to work (I used to leave about 30 mins after him) and decide randomly to do a pregnancy test, not for one minute thinking I was pregnant. A few short minutes later, those words were flashing before my eyes "pregnant". That was the moment life changed. A few more tests and emotional breakdowns later and it was official, in a few months we were to be parents. Well, that certainly lifted our spirits.

Pregnancy was amazing. I have never (until he arrived) felt so happy and fulfilled. BumpMoirs launched around this time too, initially a space for me to document my pregnancy for my own means. Now, so much more.  At 6 months pregnant, we completed on our house. Our gorgeous country home where our babies will be raised and where happy memories will be made. I thought I'd struggle leaving the hustle & bustle of City life... nope, another easy and enjoyable transition. Another month passed and the family car was purchased. It was official, we were well and truly ready.

A month and a half months later, Harry was born. And here we are.  

What a year. 

The best ever. 

So much had happened, so much has changed. 

I am the happiest, luckiest girl in the world to have all that I do. Of course, the house & car are meaningless without the two most important men in my life. 

My phenomenal, patient and kind husband and my beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful boy.

P.S. this was the song Harry was born to. For that reason, this will always be my absolute favourite song.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

The holiday packing list

For those of you familiar with BumpMoirs, you may already be aware of the fact that I love a good list. Nothing makes me happier (Harry excluded) than making a good list.

You may remember my thoroughly over the top and extremely well thought out hospital bag list. It's quite ironic in a way that I ended up needing a C Section so 90% of the items in my bag become utterly useless!

In a few weeks my little family embark on our first family holiday. Whilst the prospect of my first holiday in a way excites me tremendously... A little part of me is a little terrified at the thought of taking a 4 month old baby abroad.

How to I combat this fear? Make a good list and obsess over it in the weeks leading up to the trip.

I'm sure most of you seasoned mummy's out there will tell me that I don't need all of this for a week long holiday... Well I beg to differ. In my eyes every item on this list is 100% necessary! Of course I'll have an entirely different view once I return home!

First things to point out.. Harry is 4 months old, no where near close to teething (mothers with baby's who are will need even more stuff!) and we are staying in a hotel which provides a travel cot.

Right onto the list, you'll see it's split carefully between Harry's suitcase & hand luggage (which is a little suitcase on wheels). To abide by baggage restrictions/limitations, the hubs and I will be sharing a suitcase... No idea how this will work but we have no choice in the matter (he doesn't need much anyway!)

Here we go... 
(Note this list is in no particular order)

Harry suitcase:-
- Calpol (always necessary)
- Nose drops (I'm worried he will catch a cold on the plane)
- Baby Bjorn bouncer (flattens so ideal to fit in the case, plus the material won't get too hot in the sun)
- Weleda oil (for after bath time)
- Suntan lotion (I'm trying Nivea)
- Oilatum (bath time)
- Nurofen (again, always necessary)
- Sudocrem (no explanation needed)
- Coconut oil (I use it every other day on his head and body)
- Hairbrush (most unnecessary item on the list)
- Gro bag (I've got a thin one for hot weather)
- Bath sponge (enough said)
- Milk (pre ordered & collecting from Luton, thus the need for the wheelie)
- Bottle brush (of course)
- Bottles x 3 (rest are in hand luggage)
- Fairy (for cleaning bottles)
- Stereliser (I've opted for tommee tippee travel stereliser, Milton tablets would work just as well)
- Nappy bags (one pack)
- 70x nappies - a combo of normal & waterproof (enough for 10 a day... We usually use around 4!)
- 3x packs of wipes (huggies with aloe)
- Cot sheets (x2)
- Insect repellant bug (it's from jojo mamen babe and is meant to fight off bugs)
- Insect repellant spray (back up!
- Tent (baby tent for Harry to hang in, sleep in, be changed in by the pool)
- 2x bath towel (probably unnecessary as the hotel have but he's familiar with ours)
- Beach towels (x2 again not really unnecessary but I found cute Mickey Mouse ones)
- Blow up swim chair (just for fun)
- Baby warmer (it's like a wetsuit for swimming as water will be cold)

Standard items that require no explanation:-
- Vests x 5
- Shorts x 5
- Swim shorts x 2
- T-shirts x 5
- Gripe water
- Longs sleeve tops x 4
- Long sleeve trousers x 4
- Baby grows x 4
- Bibs x 7 (we use Funky Giraffe as they're so cute for holiday)
- Muslins x 10
- Changing mat
- Lamaze toys
- Cotton Wool
- Spare dummy
- Room thermometer & baby thermometer
- Blanket
- Sunhat x3
- Socks x 7 pairs
- Sunglasses (ridiculous but too cute)

Harry hand luggage:-
- Baby Bjorn carrier (I'll wear him at the airport, which is one my favourite things and check in my SilverCross pram)
- Calpol sachets (I've been advised to give him calpol before the flight to avoid catching anything)
- 7x nappies (standard)
- 4x sterelised bottles (too many but hey)
- 5x 200ml bottles (too much but you never know)
- Changing mat (standard)
- Wipes (standard)
- Change of clothes (in case of accidents and to layer to avoid getting too hot/cold)
- Muslin x2 (standard)
- Bibs x2 (standard)
- Dummy + spare (standard)
- Dummy clip (standard)
- Nappy bags (standard)
- Lamaze toys (for entertainment purposes)
- Change of clothes for me (in case on sick or poo explosion)
- Thin blanket (to keep him warm)
- Sunhat (to use upon arrival)

So there you have it... A bit much? Perhaps. At least I'm prepped!!! Now I just need to worry about getting into a bikini 4 months after having a baby!!

Friday, 16 May 2014

The low days

Being a mum is everything I thought it would be and more. It's terrifying, wonderful and fulfilling all at once and I wouldn't change an ounce (yes everything is now measured in ounces!) of it for the world. Harry is particularly happy first thing in the morning and the overwhelming love I feel when I walk into his nursery each morning and see his little smiling face looking up at me is my absolute favourite thing in the world.

Having said all of that, I'd be lying if I said there weren't some "low days". Before I'm criticised for being a bad mother, this had nothing to do with Harry. He is perfect and when I think of him I feel ridiculous for even feeling a little low on the odd day.

The biggest change that has come with motherhood in terms of 'me' is that these days I spend a lot of time alone, obviously Harry is with me but he's still young and sleeps a lot so often I feel quite alone. In my former life, I was a busy PR girl with a hectic social life who was out at least 3 nights a week and also the centre of any party. I've never been someone who enjoys my own company, I love being surrounded by people so I've really noticed the change. These days things are rather different, I spend 
my days with my little boy, feeding, changing and cuddling him and my evening's with my husband eating dinner, watching a little TV and getting to bed as early as possible to feel refreshed for the next day. Every day I do try and do one social thing, I meet with my antenatal friends, or other mummy friends or spend time with my mum & dad who thankfully live very close, but the alone time is weird. In some ways I utterly love it, so much bonding time with my wee man, time to think, time to sit and read a magazine and chat to other mummy's across coffee shops... but there are moments when I can't get over how different my life is now. It's quite an insular life, my lovely mummy friends love to hear news about Harry's development, issues, poos, wees, feeds, sleeps and so on but my other friends certainly aren't as interested and let's be honest, who can blame them? Sometimes I am every bored listening to myself go on!

Another change that at times gets me down is worry. I don't know about other mummy's but I find myself obsessing like mad about how much my son eats, sleeps and poos. This weeks example... since moving onto formula, we've been giving Harry one particular brand of pre-made form. For many reasons we decided to try and get him onto powder last week over one unsuccessful attempt a few weeks back. After 10 days of trial, several sleepless nights and some of the most painstaking feeds of all time (we are talking hours) we've switched back to pre-made and my boy is once again loving his food. Everyone told me to persevere, once again I should have trusted my instincts and I'm a little disappointed with myself that I didn't. This is just one example of many. I am a very confident mum and am blessed with a very easy son but there are times when I worry so much that it gets me a little down and the funny thing is, I know all the answers. I don't need to look on websites, or ask friends or experts for advice, I have strong instincts and know my boy so well, but a society of Goggle'rs has led us to question every little decision we make and worry about every little cough our babies have!

The final culprit for the low days. SLEEP DEPRIVATION. I am not someone who needs a lot of sleep and actually since having Harry I've realised that I don't need as much sleep as I thought I did. Having said that, there have been days, for example when moving Harry into his crib, or trying to get him to sleep through the night, when I've had to function on practically no sleep. These days are very hard and lead to a very moody mummy. 

Mums, I salute you. Looking after little babies is hard. Maternity leave is tough, not a year to put your feet up and relax. These little ones take a lot of time and attention, of course it is the most rewarding and magical time of my life but I want to acknowledge the tough times, the hard times, when we feel a little down as no one talks about it as it might make us look ungrateful or feel like failures or bad mummy's. It's mostly fun and games this parenting lark, but not all ;-)

Here's a little snap of me and my boy (the first snap of me I've shared on here), on a particularly good day.

Night all x