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Motherhood

Yummy Mummies: Exercise and fitness during pregnancy & beyond

Welcome to a new guest series! Exercise and a certain level of fitness helps to make pregnancy easier. As a lifelong dancer (hobby, not profession), I was always reasonably fit; but I danced for joy, not fitness, and fitness didn’t really preoccupy me much. During my pregnancy, walking helped to keep me mobile, and stretches helped me maintain the majority of my pre-pregnancy flexibility. But, once the SPD (symphysis pubis dysfunction) set in, even walking became a struggle.

Guest series: My positive birth story #17 – Jo (Pickle & Poppet)

This week, we have a story from Jo, over at Pickle & Poppet. She experienced a lovely water birth with her second child, and couldn’t have been happier with how it went. Over to you, Jo!

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I remember when I fell pregnant the first time, I didn’t really think too much about the labour. Who would? I was so excited about being pregnant, I didn’t want to think about the end until I absolutely had to. This was not the case when I fell pregnant with my second – I started planning straight away. I had to.

Firstly, she was due on the bank holiday weekend. We live about a twenty-five minute drive from the hospital, but with bank holiday, traffic it can be A LOT longer, as it is the main route to the coast. Secondly, my first had been three days of contractions and back to back, and the only thing to help was water. Unfortunately, being overweight with him, I was not allowed to be in the pool.

At the first midwife appointment for our daughter, we were told that all was fine and I was allowed to have midwife-led care. The midwife explained to me that this meant that I was able to birth in the midwife unit rather than the delivery suit, and suggested that we go for a tour to have a look around.

It was amazing! There were birthing pools and low lights with fairy lights around. It couldn’t have been more different from the delivery suite if it tried.

My plans have always been “deliver the baby safely”, but you have a picture in your head of what you would like. I had decided that I would love to be able to use the pool for pain relief. I wasn’t sure how I felt about delivering in the water and said I would go with the flow.

First day back at work

Yesterday – Tuesday, 2 January 2018 – was my first day back at work. After thirteen months away. It was both difficult and easy; sad and happy; challenging and liberating. To say I had mixed emotions is an understatement.

As the day drew nearer, I began to get very nervous about an array of things. Mostly, the thought of leaving my little man for entire days at a time (even though he’s being minded by his grandparents, rather than going to daycare); but, also, returning to a much-changed work environment, as well as wondering how I’d manage to fit everything I have to do into even less time. The list goes on, and you can read the rest in my post 10 reasons why I’m nervous about returning to work.

That morning, I woke a few minutes before my 5:45am alarm. I’d gone to bed as early as humanly possible (11pm, after getting as much ready as I could, to avoid rushing around in the morning), and we’d both fallen asleep again after J’s 1am comfort (boob) feed (for teething). I snoozed the alarm a couple of times, then breastfed him properly. He soon fell asleep again; I put him back in his cot, and started to get ready. I’d washed my hair the night before, so I showered and styled it with my “drying and straightening brush”, and put on a new dress.

Guest series: My positive birth story #16 – Kelly (and Jacob makes three)

This week, we meet Kelly, from and Jacob makes three. Kelly’s birth experience wasn’t anything like what she’d planned, but she maintains it was a positive experience nonetheless. I’m so glad she decided to share her story here.

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I’m going to start this story with a disclaimer: There may be times when this birth story sounds anything but positive. I promise you, though, it was a good experience overall.

I was desperate to have a natural, non-medicated, as natural-as-possible birth. There were several reasons for that. Firstly, and most importantly, I am terrified of doctors, needles, surgery, hospitals … the list goes on. I was petrified of getting a serious birth injury if I needed an instrumental birth. I’d heard some horror stories and I didn’t know how I’d cope with recovering from surgery for a C-section or a severe cut/tear if an instrument was used. I’d read that epidurals made needing an assisted birth more likely, and my fear of that was greater than my fear of pain in labour. I don’t know how true that is, but it stuck in my head.

Guest series: My positive birth story #15 – Erin (Merin and Co.)

This week, we have Erin’s story. Erin blogs over at Merin and Co. – she and her husband, Michael, make up the Merin couple! The “Co.” includes their son, Heath, and their dog, Nala. This birth story is a bit of a saga, but I promise you, it’s an entertaining read! Thank you, Erin, for sharing your story here.

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My birth: The beginning

I read over on Ohh Hey Mama, Terri’s blog, that the internet is filled with far too many horror stories of birth and I totally agree. It’s either a horror story or an ethereal, out-of-body experience, where the lady simply breathes the baby out using the power of positive thought.

Neither of the above were true for me. I did not have a nightmare birth. I did not have the perfect birth. My son arrived healthy, noisily, and in a flash after 40 plus hours. To me, this can only be seen as positive.

‘Twas the night before … my son’s first Christmas!

I was so excited leading up to Christmas this year. My son was born in February, so this was his first Christmas. In my family, we celebrate on Christmas Eve with a turkey dinner that my mum cooks, followed by various activities (depending on who is in attendance that year), until it’s finally present time at midnight.

Present time was always earlier when young kids were there – there’d been three child eras that I’d been a part of, mine and my brothers’s, my younger cousins’, and my cousin’s children’s. Due to a falling out, the latter era didn’t last very long; as such, it’s been quite a while since we had any kids in the house on Christmas. My little man is the first grandchild on both sides, and the first baby in my family in ten years or so. It was bound to be special, and he got spoiled with lots of toys and clothes.

As this would be the first time we didn’t spend Christmas together, J’s daddy and I gave him his own little Christmas on the 23rd. He absolutely loved his baby tricycle, and has ridden it many times every day since.

Guest series: My positive birth story #14 – Sumra (Sweet Dreamer) part 1

This week, we have the first of two stories from Sumra, from Sweet Dreamer. Read her eloquently written story about her incredibly quick labour below!

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Ridha Zaynab

It was just three days before my first baby shower party, and we were all elated with excitement, as well as under a bit of stress for the upcoming celebration. I confidently joined my mother-in-law and sister-in-law to go shopping for groceries. I strolled the aisles, huffing and puffing, obviously underestimating the size of the infamous Costco. My tight belly felt heavy and extremely low, but I knew these were just signs of entering the “full term realm” of this long pregnancy. I just began my 36th week of pregnancy, and had no idea that my journey had come to an unexpected end.

Guest series: My positive birth story #13 – Kate (The Muddled Mum)

Kate suffers from depression and anxiety, as well as having experienced recurrent miscarriage. Despite this, she and her husband continue to have faith that another child will bless them, and join their family alongside their daughter Ivy. I’m so glad and humbled that Kate decided to share the story of Ivy’s birth in this series, despite her most recent struggles.

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Hello, my name is Kate, The Muddled Mum. I suffer from depression and anxiety. My battles with mental illness started during a very difficult pregnancy with my daughter Ivy (a.k.a., Boo). Birth was the one part of pregnancy that I loved, and I feel very grateful that I had a positive experience, especially as I was induced. I am currently trying to conceive again. I hope that you enjoy my birth story!

The birth of my little Ivy

My darling daughter was in as much of a rush to meet me as I was her. After a long, difficult pregnancy, I was booked in for induction at 37 weeks. And, despite my concerns, I loved my birth.

Guest series: My positive birth story #12 – Tammy (Litolmae and Lolly)

This week, Tammy (from Litolmae and Lolly) shares the story of her two births. Tammy is a mother to two girls who are ten years apart in age, due to secondary infertility (read her infertility story here). Read her lovely birth story below.

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I had a very difficult first birth. Fast forward ten years to Baby Number Two, and my story is shorter and much less eventful. I was now 33, and had waited eight long years for this baby; and, thanks to a very good friend for going through her wonderful hypnobirthing course with me (at no charge, I might add – what a legend, thanks Kym!), I was prepared. Even if it meant going through the same shit as the first time. However, apart from a sharp intake of breath every time my blood pressure was taken, my pregnancy was a dream.

10 things that make my baby laugh

There’s nothing so heartwarming as seeing your baby delight in the littlest (and, often, silliest!) of things. Their commitment to laughing at these things – not to mention the true amazement in their faces as, little by little, they begin to comprehend the world around them – is enough to lift anyone up when they’re down in the dumps. Here are ten things that make my baby laugh!

1. ‘Hello, poopy!’!

After I have changed his nappy, I leave J in the playpen in his room, so I can go and dispose of said nappy and wash my hands. When I return, I hover outside the door until he notices me and looks up cheekily from whatever mischief he’s attempting. ‘Hello, poopy!’, I say to my little poop machine. And he giggles (he knows he’s the “poopy”).