Saturday, 3 September 2011

I'm back... 6 month update!

Hello there! I have finally emerged from the fog that has been the last 6 months so I thought it was about time I revisited my much neglected blog.

So much has happened since I last posted that I don't know where to begin.

Sleep - Olivia has never really liked sleeping much but she is getting better at it! She will now nap for around 90mins if I time it right - sometimes even twice a day!! She still doesn't sleep through but I don't really see that as anything unusual for a baby of her age. She has improved quite a bit from the 2 hourly wakings and now often goes from 6pm-6am with only two wakings which isn't so bad. Grant is also doing the night feeds which obviously helps me enormously.

Milk - I have stopped breast feeding. It was a tough decision to make but in the end we went for it. I was so determined not to give formula but I was getting so exhausted that I could hardly function. I was teary, achey, moody and generally not doing very well so we decided that switching would be the best thing.
I am proud that I pretty much exclusively breast fed for 5 months and I do wish at times that I had carried on for longer. We stopped a bit more suddenly than I had planned as once Olivia had had a bottle during the day she no longer had the patience to wait for let down! Then we stopped night feeds so she's sleep a bit longer - we've gone from me getting up 3-5 times in the night to Grant feeding her before he comes to bed then once more during the night which is a much better situation (for me anyway!).

Food - We started weaning about a month ago when Olivia was about 5.5 months old. She was showing all the signs of being ready - great hand to mouth coordination, sitting up well in the high chair and wanting to join in when I was eating. She seems to love her food which is great.

I decided that we would use the baby led weaning approach (loosely) as it seemed a much more natural and instinctual way of feeding. I also didn't like the idea of spending ages concocting purees for her when she could just eat what ever I was having (mostly). I do spoon feed her some foods - ready break and yoghurt for example but she also takes the spoon and feeds herself too.

So far she has eaten most things I have given her, except egg which she doesn't seem to care for. She'll eat sandwiches which amazes parents of babies who were/are puree weaned, however she does dismantle them first! Roast beef has probably been her favourite thing so far, closely followed bu courgette fritters which I made for lunch today and were gobbled up with hardly any dropped - I enjoyed them too and they were so easy to make, I'll put the recipe below.

Crawling - Olivia is crawling! I think 6 months is quite early for this but as she has always been a big baby I think she has a bit more strength than she would have had if she was smaller. It's great to see her zooming across the floor but scary how suddenly everything is hazardous and I have to watch her so closely - I might get a plan pen but not sure how she'd react to it after having the run of the sitting room.

House - we are still in a one bed roomed flat at the moment which means Olivia is still in our room - not ideal! However we are moving at the end of the month into a 3 bed roomed semi-detached house!!! I won't know what to do with all the extra space but I'm sure we'll fill it in no time at all. It is extra exciting because we are buying not renting for the first time ever.

Courgette Fritter Recipe:

It's a bit rough as I couldn't remember the recipe I found!

makes approx 8 fritters:

Grate a courgette and squeeze out all the moisture, mix in 1 egg and about a table spoon of plain flour and a dash of milk - add more or less milk and flour to get a thick pancake batter.

Heat a frying pan up with a small amount of oil, dollop in a large spoon of the mix and squash down to make roundish patties. Fry until coloured on both sides - careful with the thickness otherwise they won't cook all the way through.

We had ours with a fried egg as it was brunch but they would go well with lots of things - you could also add herbs to give a bit more flavouring.

Saturday, 16 April 2011

8 weeks

Well it's been a while since I blogged (again!) but time to do it is hard to come by, any spare moments I get I just want to sleep!

Sleep... ah that would be nice! I am breast feeding on demand, which I love, but I would love it even more if Olivia would sleep a bit longer in the early mornings! Lately she's been waking up around 2-3am then again at 4 or 5 then 6. All these wakings are taking its toll on me and to some extent Grant.
I got really excited about a week ago as she slept 6 hours in a row which meant I was only up once in the night. Unfortunately we haven't had a repeat of this.

The health visitor came yesterday and weighed Olivia. She was 9lbs 12oz at birth and is now 12lbs 5oz! We're very happy with this steady growth and the health visitor was pleased with her development generally. I think I've been lucky with my health visitor as she's lovely - I've heard horror stories from other people about their health visitors.

We had a bit of a worry a couple of weeks ago when Olivia caught a cold. Around 10pm on a Friday evening I was convinced she had a fever so we rang NHS direct and were advised by the GP on call to go to hospital to get it checked out. We didn't have a thermometer so had no idea if her temperature was high but she felt hot to touch and I think I panicked a bit! They checked her at hospital and she was absolutely fine which was a huge relief and although I felt a bit silly for overreacting, I'm glad we went.

I'm starting a mums and babies yoga course on Monday. I'm really looking forward to doing some gentle and social exercise. I'll be back in my prepregnancy jeans in no time! Ha ha!

Thursday, 10 March 2011

3 weeks

I've been meaning to post for ages but never seem to get round to it but today is the 3 week mark so I thought it would be a good day to get back into the swing of my blog!

Thank you for all the messages of congratulations and sorry for not responding to them individually. I read them a while ago but as I've said above, I just haven't got round to writing anything since the birth.

Things have been relatively good so far...
...ok so she doesn't like evenings - between 8pm and 1am we are constantly winding her and she won't settle any where other than on a shoulder whilst being walked around (apparently I was the same at this age!) which make me think she might be suffering from colic?
Once she's had a feed at around 1am she sleeps until 5/5.30ish and then again until 7.30/8ish so things could be a lot worse!

I think I've been really lucky with breast feeding. I had sore nipples to start with but everything seems to be going smoothly now and she seems to be settling into a sort of routine. The health visitor weighed her on Friday and she had put on 2oz since birth - she lost 6 oz in the first week so she put on 8oz in the second week - which is great as it must be every breast feeding mother's worry that baby isn't getting enough milk as there is no way of measuring the amount they're getting at each feed.

We've had quite a busy week so far - I ventured out for the first time without Grant on Monday. We met up with some other mummies for coffee which really helped me feel a bit more normal! On Tuesday we went to stay with my mum for the night. Olivia met her great grand parents, great aunty and uncle and one of her uncles as well as a few other friends of the family. My mum loved having us to stay and was a real help looking after Olivia - she took over the shoulder walking whilst I got a few hours sleep!

Today we're having a quiet day at home which has been lovely. Grant has been back at work so we've had the house to ourselves. I really miss him during the day but it is also nice to get into to a bit of a routine - we seem to slip into weekend veg mode when we are both here during the day!

Monday, 21 February 2011

My Baby Girl - Birth Story

I'm pleased to announce the birth of my beautiful (I am biased!) baby girl who came into this world at 9.14am on Thursday morning.

The birth was completely different to what I had planned. I was hoping for a home birth but unfortunately as I went over due I was booked in for an induction at term plus 12.

On arrival in hospital on Wednesday morning I was found to be 4cm dilated so they planned to break my waters and see how I progressed. Unfortunately the antenatal ward were unable to perform ARM (artificial rupture of membranes) until labour ward had a delivery room available.

The day dragged! We were given hardly any information or any updates on when they might be able to get things started. I was extremely anxious and nervous and felt as though we'd been forgotten. I ended up getting really upset and kept bursting into tears. The final straw came when I asked for some paracetamol for the pain I was starting to feel and two hours later we had to ask again as nothing had materialised. At this point we had been there 10 hours and were very fed up so asked if we could go home as it seemed pointless being there.

Strangely, having threatened to go home, labour ward were suddenly able to fit us in! So my waters were broken and I was taken through to a delivery room. From this point on things started to get better.

The midwife happened to be the same community midwife I'd seen for the last five of my antenatal checks which immediately put me at my ease. She left me for an hour to see how I was progressing but unfortunately, although the contractions were getting very strong and painful, I hadn't dilated any more than I had that morning. At this point the decision was made to put me on the syntocinon drip and I decided I'd have an epidural as I had heard that contractions can get extremely strong very quickly when syntocinon is given.

The epidural was great! I still felt the pressure of each contraction and I wasn't completely pain free but it did enable me to get some rest - much needed after days of sleepless nights worrying about being induced!

After about 8 hours of labour, I was fully dilated and ready to start pushing. We let the epidural wear off so that I was able to feel the contractions, get onto my knees and push effectively.
40 mins later, Olivia was born - head and hand first in a superman pose.

The whole experience was amazing and nothing can describe the joy I felt holding her in my arms for the first time, watching her crawl to my breast for her first feed.

After one night on the postnatal ward we were discharged and were able to go home. We've had a few days of visiting grandparents but today, finally the three of us are having a lovely chilled out day together. Grant is being a fantastic Daddy, changing the majority of nappies and generally looking after us, what ever time day or night.

Monday, 14 February 2011

Induction looking likely!

My induction has been booked for Wednesday. Hopefully all they will do is break my waters as I was already 2-3cm dilated on Friday when the Midwife did my sweep, but if that doesn't start the contractions off I will have to have the drip.

With a bit of luck I won't need the drip and I'll still be able to have a fairly natural birth in the birthing centre with the pool... knowing my luck though, I'll end up on the drip and having an epidural. At least I'll finally meet my baby!

The worst thing about being over due is the not knowing. I'm waiting for something to happen, but I don't really know what is going to happen. Every tightening, cramp, ache and pain gets my hopes up. I'm trying not to get excited but each time I can't help but think 'maybe something is happening...'

For the past few evenings I've gone to bed with tightenings but woken up with nothing. This morning has been different - I'm definitely getting some different pains and stronger tightenings but am trying really hard to ignore them for now so I don't get feel so disappointed when nothing comes of it! Not so easy to do...

I'm going to have a hot bath, go for a walk and try and enjoy the sunshine outside to take my mind off things!

Thursday, 10 February 2011

41 weeks

I'd really like to be able to write that I've had my baby, unfortunately I'm a week over due instead!

I've got another sweep booked for this morning so with a bit of luck my wait may finally be over soon... I'm really anxious that I'll still be pregnant in the middle of next week and will have to be induced, something I am really hoping to avoid.

My late Grandad's birthday was the 12th February so it would be really lovely if the baby shared this date, or maybe she'll be a valentine's baby. Who knows!

I've been trying pretty much every trick in the book to help things along; hot curry, hot baths, sex, long walks, bouncing on a gym ball, evening primrose oil... every little ache and pain I get I cross my fingers but to no avail. Looks like I'll just have to be patient.

It's not all doom and gloom - although I am getting more and more impatient to meet my baby, I'm also loving this time of freedom - no work, no baby, just time for me! I've been able to enjoy just pottering about the house, watching films and reading my book, as well as having my hair cut and I've even got round to sorting out the 'junk' cupboard in the kitchen. I'm feeling really rested and ready for the arrival of our new family member.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

40 weeks and counting!

This should be my last bump photo... fingers crossed anyway!

I reached my due date yesterday which was exciting. I know only 5% of first time babies are born on their due date but I couldn't help but think maybe something will happen! It didn't...

I saw my midwife who performed a stretch and sweep, and I was 2cm dilated!!! Which got me very excited but she was quick to tell me that it could still be a while before anything happens. I was given instructions to stay active so have been blitzing the house in between dragging Grant out for walks and bouncing on my gym ball!

I think I was pretty anxious about yesterday as I hardly slept on Thursday night. Last night I managed to sleep all the way through from 1.30am to 7.30am which I think is the best night's sleep I've had for weeks. Let's hope that this continues until after the baby is born so that I'm as rested as possible in preparation for the sleep deprivation I'm sure is to come!