Naps, wherefore art thou?

So apparently my daughter no longer seems to want to nap during the day. I feel this is a decision that she is not actually ready for and one that I am certainly not ready for!

Napping has never been her strong foot. From the beginning she fought sleep like a pro and I have had a battle on my hands. Some days even as a small infant, she would not sleep all day. Family would remark in amazement and let me assure you, it was not for lack of trying to get her down. Fast forward a little bit and we finally managed to get into a routine where there would be a morning nap and an afternoon nap. Neither for very long, we’re talking around about half an hour but it would get us through the day.

Around about her first birthday she dropped a nap. It switched between a morning or an afternoon nap for a while, until it eventually settled down to mornings. It was a longer nap, around about an hour sometimes an hour and a half. This was working very well! It gave her enough energy to make it through the afternoon but meant that she was still tired enough for bed in the evening.

Well that all changed just over a week ago! Suddenly she will just not sleep. We can spent an hour or so (at nap time), lying in a dim room with stories and mummies milk…and nothing! Bright as a button at the end of it! I have spent a couple of days continually trying throughout the day to put her down and yet still no sleep. A problem we’re facing is that the two days she has managed a nap, it has been at around about four pm. Not good. That’s far too late for a nap because then she doesn’t sleep until around about eight in the evening.

So to be honest, I have no clue what’s happening anymore. I wish I could get her to sleep at a good time as I can see she is tired! I wish I knew why she fights sleep so much. I worry that she is too young (just over one) to be going all day without a nap but I’m not sure what else to try!

Truly hoping that in a week from now I can say this was a blip and that she is napping well and is a happier bunny but I guess we will just have to wait and see. The bags under my eyes are definitely darker now too!

Wife and mother, x

Mind in overload!

Life has been pretty crazy as of late which has been magnified by the fact that both my daughter and I have had a cold that has well and truly outstayed its welcome! Our to do list is longer than the length of me and while I may be short…that’s still pretty long! It just feels like we are just managing to keep our heads above water with daily chores. I’m sure things will calm down once we are feeling better and although the list will still be rediculously long, we will be at least working on it. 

My husband and I bought our house a few years ago and while there was nothing  needing done to it; there were a few things we would have liked to have renewed or made our own. I was thinking about the jobs that we intended on doing earlier today and then looked at what we had accomplished… not a lot! Not that we are lazy but there is just always something more important to be doing or a better way for us to spend our money. It has left me feeling a little blue tonight though, as I just don’t know where to find the time. I have paint cans sitting waiting to be used but by the time our day is in full swing, I just don’t know where I would slot it painting a wall, let alone a room. 

Anyway I don’t want to throw myself a pitty party, so I’ll stop! 

It has been such a wonderful time with our daughter. She is growing so fast and I can hardly take my eyes off her for a second. For two reasons, one – she is such a monkey and two – she is just too cute! Her understanding is just incredible and I spend the day saying, “how amazing is she?!” to my husband, who of course can’t help but agree.

She is so steady on her feet now which has resulted in a desire to walk everywhere. I don’t mind too much but it can be tiring if we get so far and she decides that she wants to be carried but equally our buggy is hard to push while trying to keep hold of her so often I risk it. I am looking forward to when I can use the reins properly as I think that would definitely help!

Animal obsession doesn’t even cover it for this girl! We love to play, what does the (insert animal here) say? Her knowledge of animals grows constantly and I love listening to her make all the different noises and signs. 

Signing is coming along steadily too. She doesn’t know many yet but she is using a few everyday now. Things like, animals, milk and bed are among the most used. I think that now she is getting older it will probably get easier to teach her.

In other news, I still have babies on the brain! After that whole, was I pregnant thing, I must admit that I can’t stop thinking about it. I don’t feel as sad now. I was so weepy for a couple of weeks but now I feel more level headed about it and while I am still disappointed, I know that everything happens for a reason. My husband and I were planning on trying again next year but I just don’t know if I can wait that long. It has definitely become a huge topic of conversation in our household. I still worry about having too small an age gap between children though and I worry about breastfeeding…would I have to “cut her off” so to speak?

Have you experienced breastfeeding during pregnancy? How did you manage? Also did you continue to do feeds for your older child while nursing your newborn? My mind is in overload trying to consider everything!

Wife and mother, x

Stressed out!

So as I mentioned in a previous post, I have been feeling really stressed lately. There are quite a few different things going on to make me feel this way and I guess what they all truly boil down to is the unknown and uncontrollable.

I received a letter to tell me I was being listed for jury duty, which I responded to explaining I was still breastfeeding my daughter and that I was her full time carer with no nursery/childminder/family to help should I be called. I hadn’t heard anything back for months, until I received a citation for a court date! I was in shear panic for a week until it was resolved. I had no one to leave my daughter with and even if I had, she is not used to being away from me and she still feeds on demand. Thankfully I called them up and it turns out it was a mistake and they fully understood why I would not be able to do it but that time of worry was horrible. I was scared they wouldn’t care and I would have to fight my corner to protect my child’s welfare.

Then the whole next baby dilemma is starting to take a toll on me too. My husband asked when we would start trying for another baby a few weeks ago and I would like more children but after my first experience, I am terrified. Not of pregnancy, even though it wasn’t easy. Amazingly, not of labour itself as although I know I have a decision to make (vbac vs C-section), I feel that is a fairly common decision to face. 

I’m afraid because I had something called a lumber puncture which basically means when I received my epidural, the needle went in too far and poked a hole in my spine. Ouch! I slowly leaked spinal fluid which resulted in me being in hospital for a week after my daughter was born, where I felt completely isolated and didn’t feel like I received decent care. It’s crazy how one week can stick in your mind so strongly.

I turned down a blood patch which could have resolved the leaking with the advice I was given at the time (for the record, I’m not advising either way). It then took me around 6 months of recovery before I was properly mobile again and I had spent almost 3 months of that completely immobile, unable to do a lot of the care for my baby myself. Which in turn was not good for my mental health as I had been so desperate for this child and now I was watching someone else care for her. Being so immobile also isolated me from other mums as I literally could not go out and meet any. 

It’s been an incredibly long road to where I am now and while my doctor tells me the chances of it happening again are no greater than anyone else’s chances…I just think but what if it did? I just can’t go through it again or worse!

I believe we are given what we can handle in life and I have survived this hurdle but truly this past year I have felt pretty broken. I guess I’m scared that it would be harder to pick up the pieces 2nd time around. I hope that my thoughts will settle and I can find some peace so I can feel in a position to try for another baby soon. Until then, I guess I’ll keep stressing!

Wife and mother, x

P.s please don’t read this and be afraid of epidurals, as lumber punctures are very rare, I was just unlucky. Although, I am not advertising having an epidural either. Always make your own decisions based on your own research.

Rookie mistake!

My daughter is not a good sleeper, in fact I don’t know how I function during the day sometimes after such little sleep. It’s probably no wonder that I can often be unable to string a decent sentence together or remember the name of that thing…you know…that thing!

Generally speaking she will not sleep for more that a couple of hours at a time but often it can be less than that. Two hours is a good base point though. It unfortunately doesn’t matter how little sleep she gets during the night, the chances of half an hour plus nap the next day are slim to none!

Anyway, you would think by now (she’s a year old) that I would have learned to respect the sleeping baby. Well…apparently not! 

I finally get her settled after quite the battle and then I made a bad decision. I had been feeling guilty about the pile of laundry in our room, sitting in the basket, waiting to be folded and put away. So feeling like a good little housewife I thought it best to do that before I had a cup of tea. Folding quietly, I thought, this is very nice and peaceful but then I had the crazy idea to put her clothes in her drawer! Madness, absolute complete madness!

She stirred as the drawer pulled out and I probably would have gotten away with it then, had I not panicked and quickly closed it again!! Oh the tears! I was stuck settling her for a good while again and decided it was maybe best to leave the rest until morning.

I really feel there is a lesson to learn in all of this…don’t do laundry! Okay, maybe I do need to do laundry at some point but perhaps next time I won’t do it while she is sleeping!

Wife and mother, x

Mirror mirror on the wall…

I had a great exercise class this morning and I am really feeling the benefit of them now. Between the exercise classes, running and chasing after a child all day, I have noticed a huge difference my stamina and over all fitness. I’m starting to really feel my muscles engaging again which is good as I am working them hard! Suddenly I’m remembering to use my stomach muscles regardless of the task which in turn helps my back.

Yes, I am feeling good. I am feeling much more like myself again. Fitter, healthier and just excited to live each day with energy. As someone who has spent most of my life as (what my siblings would call) an “exercise freak”, I am loving to regain such a big part of my identity. 

The problem with stamina, mind and body is the fact that my stamina is doing great, my mind is feeling energised and healthy, yet… why is my body letting me down?!

I know this is very harsh on myself as I’m just getting back to exercise after such a long time out yada yada…but I’m struggling with the fact that I can feel my muscles working. I can feel my fitness gaining. I can see the hours I am spending exercising and the distance I am running…and then I catch myself in a mirror.

I don’t think I look any different yet. It’s so disheartening.

When I set out on this path back to health after recovering from a baby and complications in recovery I said I wasn’t going to focus on scales since there wasn’t much “weight” that I needed to lose (also still breastfeeding) and instead I would focus on how visually my body was changing. I have been very good about the scales and hardly ever step foot on them as I just don’t care about the number. It’s just a number. Quite frankly it’s my stomach that’s the problem. 

I can see some toning around my arms and legs redefining themselves but despite working my stomach, there isn’t any noticeable difference. 

It’s just as well my attitude to fitness is that it is a part of my life as if I was treating it as a quick fix or diet, I’m pretty sure this is where I would feel tempted to throw in the towel! 

While I’m disheartened by my stomach, I’m going to just have to focus on the fact that at some point I will begin to see a difference and for now I’ll just have to enjoy all the differences I can feel. I guess if I had to choose…I’d rather feel fit with a mummy tummy than be skinny and breathless climbing the stairs (or at least I’ll tell myself that)! I’ll get there eventually.

Wife and mother, x

Celebrating my babies 1st birthday and 12 months of breastfeeding!

How is it possible I have an 12 month old baby…child?! Where has my newborn gone? I swear she was here just a minute ago and then I blinked!

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This past year has been the best year of my life because I have gotten to watch my beautiful baby develop and change into a proper little girl. There truly are no words to describe just how much love I have for her. Who knew life could be this tiring, difficult, exciting and wonderful all at the same time. Every second with her is a second to treasure.

Not only does a year mark my daughter’s age but also a milestone for our breastfeeding journey! I am incredibly proud and happy that we have made it to a year, as breastfeeding is something that I was really looking forward to before she arrived. I knew that it wasn’t easy for everyone but hoped it would work for us and it did. I have been very lucky not to experience any cracked nipples etc that people can suffer from and although I get blocked ducts very easily, I have so far managed to resolve them myself.

We decided that since she wouldn’t remember her first birthday, we would keep it low key as there will be plenty of future birthdays to throw huge parties for! We instead took her to a soft play centre where mummy, daddy and baby had great fun! She just loved the whole experience and we enjoyed watching how happy she was exploring.

Afterwards we had a small afternoon tea with a few extended family members who had wanted to pop in with gifts. She was a very lucky girl and got a lot of lovely toys. I made her a (refined) sugar free cake which she absolutely loved! In fact not only did she love eating it but she also loved smearing it all over her face, head and clothes! We actually had to bath her straight away as there are not enough baby wipes in the world to have cleaned her up!

It so happens her birthday coincides with another family member so a larger party went out for dinner to celebrate both birthdays. A formal dinner probably isn’t the way most families finish their child’s first birthday but it truly was a great finish to a super day. The staff were so kind and neighboring tables engaged with our daughter which made the atmosphere completely relaxed.

I couldn’t be happier with how her first birthday went. We had such a wonderful day as a family with so much laughter and love; celebrating the most awesome little one year old around!

Wife and mother, x

Breastfeeding photos 

There have been a lot of articles and adverts for breastfeeding recently with the world breastfeeding week being upon us. I am absolutely loving hearing stories of other people’s breastfeeding journeys and seeing all the benefits being actively advertised and shared. It is wonderful how easy it is to share information, support and encouragement these days.

I always hoped that I would be able to breastfeed my children, so I couldn’t be more thrilled that it has gone so smoothly with my daughter. I 100% love, love, love breastfeeding! I can only hope that it does for any other children we have. 

The pictures that people have shared of feeding their babies have been lovely to see and while I personally don’t want to share mine with the world, I am so thankful for all the precious moments I have captured of such a special thing. There is nothing like breastfeeding and the connection that is made between mother and child.

My mum said how lucky I was to have these pictures to treasure as it just wasn’t something they did before. Probably because taking a picture just wasn’t as easy as it is now. Generally speaking our phones are on hand and with that, the ability to quickly snap that moment in time. I have tried to take a picture of my daughter feeding every month so that we can look back at our feeding journey. I already treasure the pictures and I’m sure I always will. 

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. I have one…love.

Wife and mother, x