Friday, 26 August 2016

Big Baby Birth

Happy Friday:)

I'm writing a guest blog for Accidental Hipster Mum this week about big baby births so possibly a little random but as everyone loves a good old birth story grab a wine, get comfy and have a read at how my youngest made his appearance. (Promise there's no gory bits. Sorry for those of you who like a bit of yukiness)

Bit of background. My first baby chilled for 9 months in a very large bump with no rush to join the outside world, arriving 10 days late. His birth was a little unusual. Fully dilated, ready to go the nurse looked shocked and announced there was a bottom where the head was supposed to be, yikes. Following an epidural and consultant led contractions I painlessly delivered a baby boy crown jewels first weighing 7lb 3oz.

Fast forward four years with a very very large bump. I was anticipating around the same weight, maybe slighty more but this time head first. I'd had additional growth scans as my first baby was classed as under weight for my height and weight. The scans showed normal growth, only the final one gave an indication the baby may be larger than my first. However, I was sceptical as with the assistance of google I had found numerous cases of growth scans indicating huge babies and that not being the case. That said my bump was massive and ridiculously heavy but I comforted myself with the fact it was probably lots of water surrounding a lovely petit 7lb baby.

22 days before baby Ellis' arrival. Giant boob or tummy?
Three days overdue at 7am we had just got up ready to start my son's 4th Birthday celebrations. Fifteen minutes later, first present half opened my first contraction arrived. Immediately followed by another then continuously three minutes apart. On arriving at the hospital I explained that I felt this maybe a quick affair. In my mind I was aiming to get back to join in with the Birthday tea. The midwife examined me and agreed. We were taken through to a delivery suite and told to call her when the pains got stonger. The aspect of child birth that scares me is the unknown, not being in control. As my first experience meant I hadn't actually felt the pushing stage I was extremely nervous about this. I'd researched (googled) which part of labour was the most painful. I found most women reported it was getting to 10cm which gave me a little comfort as I'd previously done this part. I wanted the midwife to understand my nervousness so launched into a brief summary of my previous birth, current worries and concerns. She was really lovely and reassured me that everything would be ok. I did notice a little twinkle in her eye and twitch of a smile. I'm guessing she possibly thought I was an absolute control freak lunatic.

As the pain progressed I upgraded to gas and air which I actually enjoyed. To start with I felt like I'd got a 4 can buzz on and happily inhaled, steadily and calmly controlling my pain. Towards the end I was sucking that hard I looked like a malfunctioning Dyson. During this I'd had more time to contemplate the final result so in between contractions I fired questions like a mad woman at the lovely midwife who looking back must have thought I was a complete maniac;
Me: Is it more efficient to give birth standing up? Midwife: Errrrr
Me: How will I know if I need more pain relief? I'm coping with the pain at the moment but what if it gets worse and then I can't. Should I have it now just in case? Midwife: You're doing fine

So standing up was my preferred position (surely gravity helps?!) As the midwife arranged sheets on the floor she nervously laughed that she'd never delivered this way before, but it was fine. I immediately had a vision appear of her laid underneath me waiting to catch the baby. I enquired if I should get on the bed and kneel up. At least the baby could then slip out on to the bed was my reckoning. Even though she said it was my choice I could see the look of relief on the her face. So I adopted the kneeling position but alas my contractions began to fade. No no no, I'm not going back to the bloody start. She suggested that I sit down and pull my knees up. Come on pain, lets be having ya. Brilliant they're back. At this point the midwife suggested that on my next contraction I push rather than use the gas and air. This panicked me. I liked the gas and air. I didn't like the thought of what a baby would feel like passing through my falula.
Me: How do I push? Midwife: Don't worry your body will know what to do.
The contraction came and I did a crappy little push that wasn't really a push. "Did you decide not to push on that one?" the midwife asked kindly but with a hint of sarcasm. I explained I was a little scared but rightly so the midwife explained that baby Beardsley was ready to make an appearance and if I didn't grow a pair there would be 'intervention'. On the next contraction I pushed, properly, which I'm not sure the midwife expected and Baby Ellis' head was free. Now the midwife wanted me to not push (make your mind up) but unfortunately this is when I experienced 'my body knowing what to do' and I had no say in the matter. Baby Ellis arrived with gusto in two pushes which impressively took less than 60 seconds at 1.27pm.

Where the hell am I?
On first sight both myself and my husband were slightly shocked. Ellis was definitely heftier than his older brother with a mop of dark hair and lovely skin tone that didn't match my pale and freakily one. If we'd not seen him arrive so obviously I may have questioned if there'd been a mix up. The midwife announced he was 9lb 2oz. As I'd lost quite a bit of blood I didn't make it home that evening for cake but my eldest ended up having the best birthday present ever, a new baby brother.

Much better newborn pic, awwww

Friday, 19 August 2016

Why I can't wait to be 40

Happy Friday :)

Getting older is something you desperately wish for as a child. Mesmerised by the bigger kids you see a world that can only be accessed by ageing. A world that you want to be part of. Later bedtimes, playing out solo, getting the bus, wearing make up. Older is the holy grail, each year can't come soon enough. Older is cooler, older is aspirational, older is better. Isn't it?

Stay cool at all times. I am nearly 6 you know.

After climbing the ladder of life you bid a bitter sweet farewell to your turbulent teens and embark on the magical twentys. Life is fun, exciting, full of new adventures. First jobs, cars, loves, marriages, houses, break ups and make ups. Working hard and partying harder. Holidays soaking up the sun with beach fit bodies. Carefree days and lazy nights. Free to do whatever you desire. If only there was a pause button. Suddenly getting older is not cooler, by no means aspirational and definitely not better. You've seen those thirty somethings with tired eyes, whinging kids and bad dance moves.

We are the twenty girls

Too quickly you arrive at thirty, kicking and screaming with an unpleasant taste in your mouth from losing your twenty status.To add insult to injury the arrival of children delivers an almighty unexpected smack in the face. Expectation versus reality = massive difference. So ensues a period of mourning and adjustment for your pre child life, body, mind and sleep pattern. My 30's have been the most testing but also most valuable period of my life (so far). Learning and realisation have featured heavily. Learning about myself, about others. Learning how to be a parent and at times how not to. Realising what's important in life and what I want. Realising my strengths and weaknesses. True ones, not just 'I'm a team player' CV type ones. Not being afraid to say what I think. Standing up for what I believe in. I realise now why older people can be seen as grumpy. They're not. They just don't feel the need to have to please anymore or take any shit. Believe me I'm slowly getting there and it feels great.

We are the thirty girls

So from around 35 I've been gradually coming to terms with ageing. Feeling comfortable that I no longer rock a tight twenties body, need the help of a bra and would prefer a night in than out. This years holiday destination was full of thirty somethings. People just like me. People who once were hip, groovy twenty somethings. Aged 37, in my tankini it all clicked into place. I am older and it's fine. My body has made, carried and birthed my two amazing sons so I will wear my not so toned tummy with pride. My eyes may look tired but there's a thousand million amazing experiences behind them so I'll take tired any day. My kids might be whinging, at that moment but there are also a zillion fun, sweet, fabulous moments. My dance moves may be bad but who cares I've got my hubbie and I'm pretty sure he can't divorce me for bad dancing. I'm not twenty and I've finally realised nor do I want to be. I don't envy the twenty somethings anymore. I'm happy for the younger generation starting their journey of lifes ups and downs. I don't mind their beach fit bodies, sparkling eyes (through lots of lovely undisturbed sleep, grrrrr) or in the know dance moves. They need to enjoy every second while they can as what they don't realise is thirty is waiting. Quietly, patiently for them to leave the safety of 29.

 During your thirties sunbeds are no longer places of rest and relaxation just somewhere to keep the dingy

In April 2019 I'll be 40 and cannot wait. My youngest will be 4 and my eldest will be 8. There will be no pushchairs, highchairs, nappies, dummies or plastic cutlery. Teething nights followed by tiring days will be in the past. I can say goodbye to my oversized bag with changes of clothes, snacks and toys to entertain. I can welcome back spontaneity, bubble baths, relaxing with a book. Socialising and staying out without worrying about sleeping patterns and bedtimes. I'm sure the forties will hold plenty of other challenges and as the memory of toddler tantrums and disturbed nights fade I'll reflect nostalgically about my thirties. But for now I can't wait to join the 40 gang.

Friday, 12 August 2016

Why you can't camp without Alcohol

Happy Friday :)

Socks over Jeggins with trainers #camping!
Camping is essentially a bit weird. If you're going or thinking of going take three times as much alcohol as you think you'll need. Feeling a bit squiffy is definitely advantageous to help you forget that;

  • You're sleeping in an unlockable Nylon box in a field (usually on a massive slant) which alternates between varying states of wet, damp, boiling and freezing. Every sound and sneeze can be heard so fingers crossed you don't get camped near any snorers, shaggers or sheep which bleat through the night.
Ours was the 'compact' one. Our friends had a lounge area. Tent Envy!!
  • You're sitting in a field with a blanket covering your legs. Eating an exclusive diet of crisps, sausages & toasted marshmallows. This can be avoided if you leave the kids at home as you'll then be in a nearby pub eating real food, drinking out of a glass and feeling warm.
Nursing home here I come

  • You're a disgrace. Before making your way to the shower block the following morning you chatted away with sleepy dog breath, unkept hair and panda eyes still dressed in either all your clothes from the day before or a onesie. It's the law that when camping you have to wear one item of clothing continuously. I chose socks on this trip #lesswashing 
Daytime hoodie, nightime Pyjama top

Instead, with the magic of alcohol you believe you're embracing the outdoors, letting go of technology (that is after you've checked in on facebook, instagramed a few pics and snappy chatted) and getting back to basics. To a degree it is all those things but most importantly the kids love it and let's face it when they're happy we're happy!

Ps. We visited Barn Farm Campsite in Matlock and it was a brilliant site for families, definitely recommend it :)


Friday, 5 August 2016

How to have a Successful (non holiday) Holiday with a Toddler- My 6 Top Tips

Happy Friday :)

The Cambridge dictionary defines a holiday as; 'a time when someone does not go to work or school but is free to do what they want, such as travel or relax' So on that basis I'm not sure I've technically been on holiday. For those who have older kids, lucky you. For those currently with under 3's I feel your pain. For those contemplating/expecting kids the word holiday may need to be redefined for you (temporarily).

It's a nerve racking experience being apart from all the home comforts that maintain/control your toddlers life. Not to mention placing yourself in situations that you just would never normally entertain. Just imagine if someone said "Your toddler needs to sit on your knee for two and half hours in a half metre square space. Everything (including the hair of the unfortunate person in front) is in reaching distance of grabbing, kicking and throwing" Yeh, alright I don't think so. Well think again because that's the kick off mission to your holiday.

In a bid to help anyone with a toddler have a successful (non-holiday) holiday below are my 6 top tips:

1/Stock up on Chupa Chups
This unassuming ball of boiled saccharine was win win. The tiny treat helped me out when sitting still was necessary. Frequently bought me five minutes of peace to drink my wine. Whilst my toddler thought I was mum of the year for providing such a sugar rush. Buy Buy Buy

2/Go All Inclusive
I was dubious as usually I'm a self catering kinda gal, but it was a god send. The heat, change of scenery, different tastes and textures of foods meant meals usually eaten were refused. Ordinarily this would have been very stressful (and annoying). However vast amounts of choice ready and waiting meant we could swop foods quickly and easily. Drink spilt, icecream dropped, no worries have another on me. This option really helped everyone be a happy chappy.

3/Keep it simple
Day trips with toddlers are not necessary. My youngests favourite activity was turning the tap on and off on the 'small sink'. Keep the plane journey in your mind. Anything that involves them being still, confined and well behaved can wait till they're at least 3 years old. That includes glass bottom boats. Yes they'll like seeing the fish for a fabulous 30 seconds. That leaves 2 hours and 59 minutes and 30 seconds to fill. Be warned, don't do it.


4/Don't hire a Pedalo
They look like fun. They aren't. One person will ended up pedalling (husband) whilst the other tries to keep the toddler safe (me). Safe on a plastic, rocking platform in the middle of the sea. I can guarantee you someone will hurt themselves (eldest). Someone will feel sick (me). Some twats in a boat will find it hilarious to watch you ride their waves (unknown twats).

5/Be prepared for a non holiday
I barely saw or spoke to my husband during the entire 10 days and nights. Alternating supervising the eldest and entertaining the youngest we were like passing lilos in the pool. Conversation revolved around checking suntan cream was applied, how many icecreams had been consumed and where all the inflatables were. All the E numbers from the green slushes, icecreams and chupa chups kept them going till well into the night. We did finally get half an hour to ourselves, when they fell asleep in the taxi coming home.

6/Book the babysitters in for when you get back
You'll have had 24/7 with your little darlings so you'll be ready for a break. I should have followed this advise but instead went camping just ensure I was sufficiently, completed, entirely knackered to go back to work.

Final thought. Don't stress it whilst you're away. It's only 7/10/14 days that your children will; Eat an exclusive diet of chips, icecreams and chupa chups. Go to bed the same time as you. Fall asleep fully clothed with sweaty faces whilst still trying to dance. Enjoy the moment, embrace the break from your usual routine. Believe me you will have plenty of time to pay for all that slack parenting when you arrive home.

#I'vecreatedapartyanimaltoddler #Where'stheminidisco?buggerIgglePiggle #Busted,lifedoesgoonafter7pm