Wow, It’s Been A While..

5 months have passed since my last post. We have been on a crazy journey these past 5 months, with Isla’s first birthday, Christmas, the new year, walking, talking, eating, pooping, crying, laughing…

So Isla turned 1 on Halloween 2018, we had a party on the weekend for her, fancy dress theme (of course!)

We went as Moana and Mowi, we played and danced. Opened gifts, ate party food. I even baked a (dairy free) rainbow cake! Which I unfortunately didn’t get a photo of – it looked pretty amazing though.

We went to see Santa Claus at Souter light house one Saturday in December. It was £12 and would have been amazing if Isla was older, but not really aimed at her age group. Santa Claus gave Isla a selection box and we built a Christmas decoration.

Christmas for our family was a strange day, the first without my step-mum. It was so busy, I had to get Isla round all the family, while trying to squeeze in naps and snacks. During my childhood, we usually stayed at home on Christmas Day, one set of grandparents would come on Christmas Day and we would travel to see the others on Boxing Day. That isn’t possible with Isla as she was at her dads on Boxing Day this year.

Isla is now walking pretty confidentially, she says a few words, “hiya”, “dog”, “cup”, “quack”. She pretends to be a fish, she waves goodbye and hello, she also says “no, no, no” while waving her finger, she thinks she is so clever when she does something cheeky, she laughs and she loves.

I will try and keep on top of my blogging, but we have been struggling at bed time and I usually have chores to do once she is sleeping.

How did you spend your Christmas?

First Shoes!

Isla has recently started “cruising”, one of my Mummy friends had gotten her son a paid of shoes, which got me thinking about getting Isla’s feet measured.

Luckily, my house has carpets, which means she isn’t slipping around with her socks on, however, when we go to Nanna’s house or to child friendly cafes, she is sliding about like an first time ice skater!

I decided to take her to Clark’s to get her feet measured, they are probably the most well known shoe shop in the U.K. and are also thought very highly of when it comes to measuring children’s feet. I took her down to our local Clark’s on Saturday after going to the park (oh, I wish we had her shoes while we were at the park, her socks got scruffy!). The staff member was so good with Isla, I asked if I could get a photo as it was the first time getting her feet measured. She had no problem with it, and said people ask all the time!

Child first shoes

I didn’t actually plan on buying a pair of shoes while I was in the store, my plan was to buy a pair off the clearance website.

I fell in love with a pair of burgundy pre-walker shoes, which I decided to buy for Isla. They were £26, which I think it a rip off for such a tiny pair of shoes. I will probably not be buying shoes from Clark’s again, but for her first pair, I didn’t mind paying so much.

Baby first shoes pre-walker Clark’s

She doesn’t wear her shoes in our house as I am a firm believer that the best way to learn to walk is without shoes as it is natural. She wears them when we go out or to visit family.

Baby first shoes pre-walker Clark’s

The Dentist… What To Expect.

Isla has two teeth now, and a third is on its way. It’s so strange seeing little teeth when she laughs, I’m starting to get used to them now, she’s not my little gummy bear anymore.

I wasn’t actually even registered at the dentist here, I told myself I would register once Isla got her first tooth, or in time for her 9-12 month health check, whichever came first. The tooth came first, and then a second popped through a couple of days later. So, I registered at the dentist and had my appointment, I made an appointment for Isla and took away the registration form for her.

Yesterday was her first appointment. I wasn’t really sure what to expect. How long would we be in there? Surely only a matter of minutes… She only has 2 teeth! Will Isla open her mouth for the dentist? I have been trying to teach her what to do but she just laughs at me. Will she bite the dentist? Probably.

I have heard recently that some dentists have told mothers to stop breastfeeding during the night once little has teeth… What a load of rubbish! I can see why someone would say that, breastmilk is very sugary. But to stop feeding during the night? I feed Isla to sleep, she will not go to sleep any other way for me (she will for other people). I was prepared to stand my ground with the dentist and say that I would not be stopping breastfeeding during the night.

The appointment was very quick, the dentist had a feel inside her mouth, which Isla wasn’t too keen on, she asked me how many teeth Isla had, made some notes on the computer and said everything looked great. She asked if I was breastfeeding and recommended that I rinse Isla’s mouth out after every feed (haha, no thanks, some days Isla can feed every hour!). She was very pro breastfeeding, which was amazing, telling me to keep going as long as I can.

Baby first tooth

She advised us to come back in 6 months time.

NCT Bumps & Babies

NCT or National Childbirth Trust is a UK based charity which aims to support parents. give impartial advice and introduce people to their local parenting network, in turn giving practical and emotional support.

“Our vision is of a world where no parent is isolated and all parents are supported to build a stronger society.”

They run both antenatal and postnatal courses, the course content depends on which course you choose to attend. There are 3 different antenatal classes, I chose to go to the “signature” classes, which covered everything from birthing options to breastfeeding, we spoke a lot about having a positive labour and birth, taking control and being informed.

You can buy preloved items at the regular “Nearly New Sales”, I have not been to one of these events yet, but have heard they are really great.

There is an abundance of amazing and honest information on their website and facebook pages, you can join your local NCT facebook group to find out about events and opportunities in your area.

One of the events run by volunteers at NCT is “Bumps & Babies”, these meetups are a great place for Mums to meet other Mums, to talk about the highs and lows of parenthood. In my surrounding area, there is a different meetup on pretty much every day of the week! The meets are spread across the county and are often at local cafes, free of charge. You literally just pay for your food/drink!

Baby groups do not need to be expensive, although it is not a baby class, it is a great place to meet other Mums and babies, ask for advice, share and enjoy some cake.

bumps. babies and beyond NCT

Today, I am going to my local Bumps & Babies meet at The Cafe at the Corner.

Camping With Cloth Diapers

Cloth diapering on a camping trip… I know what you’re thinking. Madness! Well no, actually, it’s not. The idea might seem a bit scary, but it is 100% possible with a bit of preparation. If you’re wanting to take reusable diapers camping there are two questions you need to ask yourself.

How long are you going to be away for? And what facilities will there be?

How long your trip is will determine if you need to wash your diapers, reusable diapers shouldn’t really sit around waiting to be washed for more than 3 days – I’ve heard some horror stories about mould and mildew growing on dirty diapers. If you are only going for a couple of nights, you can get away with just dry pailing and then just washing once you’re home.

Camping seems to create a lot of laundry anyway, so what’s another load? If you will be camping for longer than 3 days, you will need to do a wash. Which brings us to the second question.

Some campsites will have laundering facilities if this is the case you just need to remember to bring your washing powder and some change and you can wash and dry as you would at home. Others will not have washing and drying facilities, but might still have clean running water, all this means is you need to handwash your diapers. For this, you will need your washing powder, a large bucket, a plunger and rubber gloves. You’ll need to scrape the poo off your diaper/liner into the toilet, then presoak them for 30 minutes (laminated items only for 10 minutes) in warm water with a pinch of detergent. You then need to remove diapers and refill bucket with cold water, detergent and diapers, now you will need to plunge at least 50 times, let the diapers sit in the water for around 30 minutes and then plunge again another 20 times. Empty and refill the bucket with cold water, plunge until the soapy water is gone. Now just hang your diapers to dry. If you do not have access to warm water extend your presoak time.

How many diapers should you take and what kind? You probably already have an idea of how many diapers your child goes through in a day, multiply by 3 and add your night diapers. This way you have enough for 3 days or to wash every other day. I personally would pack an extra one or two, (I don’t know about you but when I go on vacation I always pack extra pants) you know just in case… As for what kind of diapers to take, take what you are confident work for you and your child, don’t take a bunch of brand new diapers that you’ve never used before. Prefolds and wraps will take up the least space when packing, but it is easy enough to stuff 20 pocket diapers into a wet/dry hanging bag or if you only have one really big wet/dry bag, do what I did and just take a big laundry sack!

If you plan to dry pail you will need somewhere to store your soiled diapers, a large wet bag, a bucket with a lid or even a bin liner will work for that. You will also want a smaller wetbag for when you’re not at the campsite.

It’s really not so different from cloth diapering when you’re at home, it will just take a bit of planning.

Death is a scary thought. I hadn’t really thought much about what would happen when I die, I probably should have thought about it as soon as I had Isla, but what are the odds that something would happen to me any time soon…

Over the past few weeks I have lost two special people in my life. One of the greatest friends I have ever had, and my wonderful and caring stepmum.

My best friend was only 23, she was happy and healthy. I struggled to accept that my friend had passed away, she lived almost 300 miles away. Three weeks on and I still don’t really believe it. I will be attending her funeral today (Friday 20th), her Mum has requested that everyone wear bright colours. My stepmum was 53 and had been very poorly. We will be celebrating her life on Tuesday.

My Stepmum And Isla

Me And My Good Friend

They both just as sad, I am sad to have lost them, I am sad for their families, I am sad for Isla, that she will never really know my stepmum or my best friend, she will only know them through my stories.

It just goes to show, that you never know what is around the corner! I have decided to take out life insurance and I will write a will. I need to make sure that if anything did happen to me, that Isla would be cared for correctly.

Do you have life insurance? Which company did you take out a policy with?

My Birth Story

Our estimated due date was the 21st of November 2017. My sister had planned a baby shower for me on the 26th of October, good job she didn’t plan it a week later as Isla decided to make an appearance way before she was due.

I hadn’t had braxton hicks, I hadn’t had my show, and my waters definitely hadn’t gone. One thing I did have was excruciating back pain, I hadn’t been able to sit comfortably for over a week.

I woke up at 5:00AM on the 30th of October, my back was in agony, it was a constant pain and I couldn’t get back to sleep, I took some paracetamol and got up for the day. I made a coffee and got on the sofa with a blanket. The pain stayed and four hours past, I decided to take some co-codamol. I was moving between living room and bedroom, drinking water, I couldn’t lie down, I couldn’t stand up, I would walk around for 5 minutes, the daylight wasn’t helping, I had the curtains shut, I could’ve cried, in fact, I did cry.

I called my Mum, who said to ring the hospital if the co-codamol hadn’t helped, I did just that, the midwife on the line asked me how far along I was, “36 weeks and 6 days” I replied. They asked me to go to the maternity ward to be checked over, so we rang a taxi. I took my notes, my phone and my purse. I wasn’t even full term, there was no way I would need my hospital bag…

I was shown to a room and the midwife asked if she could examine me to see if I actually was in labour. My Mum was already on her way, she was one of my birthing partners. As it turns out, I was 2cm dilated, and strangely hadn’t felt a single contraction, just a continuous pain. Since I was not 37 weeks (yes only by a day!), I had to stay in the hospital and have babies heart rate monitored for two hours, as well as the contractions. I had these funny round things on a belt strapped round my big belly, which meant I couldn’t move very much, as every time I moved, they slipped a bit and we lost the babies heart rate. I am kind of a little bit glad that I got to stay on the ward when only 2cm dilated, as it meant I got to use the gas and air!

Two hours flew by, and the midwife came back to examine me again. She told me and my birthing partners that I was now 5cm (which is the size of a Babybell, did you know??) I thought to myself, “wow this is going pretty fast, I am actually going to have a baby really soon…” And then I got all soppy and told my Mum how I have never loved anyone so much as I loved this baby, and I didn’t even know her yet, I had never seen her or held her, but she was the most important person to me in the world.

Some more hours past, we listened to Ed Sheeran and Adele on Youtube, I tried to eat a chicken and bacon sandwich. The midwife let me take the funny belts off my bump and get in the shower for 5 minutes. I drank a ton of water and went for a wee several times in a bedpan. We watched the sheet coming out of the monitor I was strapped up to, wondering what all the scribbley lines meant.

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I was now at 6cm, things had slowed down. But we kept our spirits high, we laughed and talked and sang songs. More hours went by, and I was still only 6 hours dilated, a doctor came in and I was asked how I felt about an oxytocin drip as we seemed to be at a standstill, I was really terrified about having the drip in my hand, it was actually the thing that scared me most about labour. The drip was put in my hand, and oxytocin slowly trickled into my bloodstream. A doctor spoke to me about stronger pain relief, I felt a little bit pressured by him actually, which is when I remembered what I had learnt in my NCT antenatal classes, about a positive birth, taking control and making it your own. My birthing plan had been to have a lovely relaxing water birth, with just gas and air. So, when this doctor started telling me to “have an epidural” I firmly but politely told him that was the last thing I wanted. I asked for him to tell me a bit more about the Diamorphine, how it worked, how long it lasted, the pros and cons. Let me tell you right now, I wish I had never had the Diamorphine.

I was told by the doctor I could be in labour for another 12 hours at this rate. Oh, how wrong he was. The Diamorphine is supposed to take about 30 minutes to enter your blood and take effect.

I couldn’t lie in that hospital bed any longer, I was up and down, sitting on the birthing ball, but nothing was helping. And then all of a sudden, I really felt as though I needed to poo. I was saying to the midwifes “I’m going to poo myself”, obviously they knew that the baby was coming… I didn’t!

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I got back on the bed, I think I only pushed 4 times, and there she was… At 1.25AM on the 31st of October.