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Surviving Life with a Newborn

Friday, 23 June 2017

The first few days and weeks are already blurring into one, and with some of our first days spent in hospital (all explained in labour & delivery part 2, when I feel I can write about it) I'm trying to savour every moment. But there is no doubt about it, having a baby is a huge life change so here's a few tips that have helped keep my sanity over the past week and a half.

So new mamas and mums to be listen up...

1. Get dressed Everyday
With your baby crying in your ear or constantly attached to your boob getting dressed becomes a luxury. It is so important to not just slum it in your pjs, otherwise your life will just blur into one. I'm not talking about throwing on a scruffy pair of trackies, pull out the maternity jeans and treat yourself to a few new feeding tops or tops if bottle feeding. Online shopping is a god send!

2.Eat Well
Becoming obsessed with someone else's feeding routine means often forgetting about yourself. However, it's more important than ever to be fuelled up especially when running on little sleep. Preparing a three course meal is near on impossible, but investing in some wholesome ready meals is the way through the first few days. We particularly liked the Charlie Bingham range! Order them online & get them delivered to your door! 

3. Salt Baths
Having just pushed out your beautiful baby into the world your downstairs region may not be looking just so beautiful, and feeling rather sore. I found that once little one is settled in the evening (pass them over to dad) running a hot bath full of salt really helped to soothe and repair down there. It's also a great time out period in the day even if it's just for 5 mins. 

4. Get Dad or Family to change your bedsheets.
Nothing beats clean bed linen and when your eyes are stinging at 3am trying to get the baby to latch or finish a bottle at least do it in the most comfort. I also think that fresh sheets make you sleep better, so at least the hours in between your getting a good sound sleep.

5. Leave the House
Even just to post a letter! A bit of fresh air and a good waddle is good for not just you but for your little one too. There are some studies that suggest fresh air helps babies to sleep longer, and no new parent will pass on that! It may feel like a military operation to get out the door but persist it will make you feel so much better.

Let me know your tips for adapting to newborn life in the comments.

Introducing Archie George - Week One

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Archie George



Well, I could never of imagined how the first week of becoming a new mum would be. You think you have an idea but nothing will prepare you for the reality. It's the most amazing thing in the world and you are all consumed by your tiny being. Don't let me give you the impression it has all been plain sailing, there has been a hell of a lot of tears, cross words, stinging tired eyes and sore nipples. But that all goes out the window when you look into their teeny eyes.
This week Archie, you have been discharged from hospital at 4 days old, met nanny and grandad as well as a whole host of family and friends. We have experienced your first poo explosion, you weed all over daddy in bed and we have started to establish breast feeding.
The nights are hard work but it is all worth it.

I hope you enjoy following our journey.

Labour and Delivery Story

Having read what feels like every labour and delivery story post out there it is finally my turn to share my experience. Grab a cuppa (& a tissue in my case, damn those post pregnancy hormones) and here goes.

We had had dinner with family in North Norfolk and the ride home was full of bumpy country lanes. As we drove home I joked that it was enough to put we into labour... little did I know.

We got home about 9pm and I had a few Braxton Hicks which I was getting most nights so didn't think anything of it and had an early night.
I woke up at 3am and was still having Braxton Hicks (or so I thought) so I got Tom to grab my birthing ball and just bounced on it over the side of the bed. I was still pretty comfortable, although the pains were coming in intervals. From then we started to time them but they were pretty inconsistent. I then for some mad reason remembered I had left the kitchen in a bit of a mess so I started frantically cleaning. By this time I was starting to feel pretty uncomfortable but not painful. All I can remember is cleaning a bit then hunching over the worktop, breathing through the cobtractions. My waters were leaking but I never had the Hollywood gush and quite frankly with all the pressure down there I just thought I was leaking urine (lovely). I then called the Midwife Led Birthing Unit who said to stay at home and call back later on. So I ran a bath and put on the hypnobirthing music. Tom fed we two pieces of toast, banana and an ice lolly in between contractions and I was constantly drinking water. I then rotated from bouncing on the ball to being in the bath (our bathroom was a state by the end of it). The contractions were coming quick and strong so I got Tom to call the unit again as they were lasting 57seconds 1-2mins apart. The lady on the phone said it was time to go in. Tom grabbed all our stuff and I put my maxi dress on and got in the car. I kept my headphones in the whole time listening to my hypnobirthing, with all the windows wound down. It was fine driving along, just any traffic lights made the contractions more uncomfortable.
We got to the hospital at 7:30am and parked up. We walked to the reception and I remember struggling and thought I'm going to have to crawl there any moment but kept going. We had no idea where we were going but luckily a nurse found us and took us to the unit as I was hunched over the reception desk. All I can remember is telling her if forgot to put my bra on (most random, labour is a funny thing).
When we arrived outside the unit I was having very intense contractions, and a lovely midwife came and took me in from the corridor. She took me in and showed us to our room which was all set out with candles, music and a pool just what I had wanted.
I then met my amazing midwife Zoe (I get so emotional thinking just how kind she was to me, especially in the aftermath of the birth). She had to examine me and see how far I had dialated as well as check my blood pressure, temperature and baby's heart rate. She did her examination and to both our amazement I was 10cm and ready to push. I really do think that the hypnobirthing techniques keep you so calm that others around you may think you are less dialated than you are.
The student Ellie put the hot tap on and warmed the pool whilst Zoe and Tom got me ready. The warm water instantly look the edge off the contractions. I didn't really feel this overwhelming urgency to push but with Zoe's help I started and could feel my baby start to come out and down. It's the most amazing and weird feeling in the world, to me it really did feel like having a huge poo, it all seemed to be in my bum (side note - I did not actually poo in my labour). Waiting for the contractions to come so I could push seemed an eternity a complete contrast to them feeling like they were coming all the time. I was pushing for 40 mins with encouragement from Zoe and Tom. Tom held a flannel on my head as I was hot and had my hand. I remember looking at the clock at 08:20 and Zoe telling me I'll have this baby by 9am! 
Then out he came! At 08:49 he floated in the pool and then Zoe passed him up to me! He was very grey and didn't cry for ages, however they say waterbirth babies are calmer. He did eventually cry and it was amazing, Tom was crying but I think I was in shock especially as he was so big at 10 pounds having measured small in my pregnancy! 
Zoe clamped and cut his cord in the pool and then gave me the injection for the placenta. I passed the baby to Tom whilst I lay on the bed and out came the placenta which was swiftly taken away. Tom then passed the baby back to me where we had skin to skin, we just lay there for a couple of hours but it went by so quickly. It was the most amazing experience.

It was then time to be stitched up which I have to say is pretty sore. Any pregnant ladies out there the wee afterwards is the worst bit! Ouch! 

Once I was stitched up, we were left for hours as a family enjoying skin to skin and taking photos. I can't even talk about it without welling up! 

Then it was time for the babies tests and this is where things started to turn a little pear shaped for us. Due to his size (he's over the 90th percentile) so his blood sugar levels had to be monitored. He then started to fail other tests such as the oxygen in his body so it was a case of wheeling him sharpish up to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). I want to write a whole other post on having a special care baby so I think I will leave it there for this one.

I want to say that I loved giving birth it was an amazing experience and wish I could relive it over and over. Everyone is so quick to share a horror story, but I found it empowering and loved every second.

For any ladies expecting or trying for a baby soon, I highly recommend the Hypnobirthing course offered on the NHS it really was the key to my calm birth.

Lastly a huge thank you to Zoe,Ali and Ellie who delivered our baby boy, Archie. The best day of my life.

Any spelling,grammer or mistakes .. cut me some slack I've had little sleep and I'm a new mama!

Pink Vanilla Cupcakes

Saturday, 17 June 2017

I am a sucker for a good looking cupcake, but sometimes they do look better than they taste so I set myself the task of producing 'blog worthy' cupcakes that not only look all of the pretty but taste just as good and here is the finished result.
I am by no means an expert baker and with a baby on the way my baking days will be even more less frequent than what they are now. But I find it so relaxing and satisfying not to mention spoon lickingly good to sit down for an hour and bake. So I decided to come up with a summer friendly, BBQ taking tasty treat of my Pink Vanilla Cupcakes.

What you will need:

Makes a dozen 

For the Sponge

4oz  Baking Butter/Margarine
4oz Caster Sugar
3 Medium Sized Eggs
4oz Sived Self Raising Flour
2 Tblsp of Vanilla Extract

For the Icing

4oz High Fat content unsalted butter
6oz Icing Sugar
4 Tblsp Whole Milk (Semi will do)
A dot of Pink Food Colouring


Preheat the oven to 180C Fan or 300°F-320°F or Gas mark 2-3

I am a fan of the get all the ingredients in the mixer and switch on, I find that this makes the best consistency for the cake batter (I'm not just a lazy baker, I promise!). So once I have my ingredients measured out I pour them all into my mixer and leave to mix for about 6-7 mins, keeping a close eye on it so it's not too lumpy or to sloppy. I learnt this from my mum who I think learnt it from a Mary Berry book!

Then spoon the mixture evenly into the 12 cupcake cases.

Bake in the oven for 17-22 mins keep checking towards the end but don't open the oven door that's how you create sinkers!

Leave to cool on a wire rack whilst you prepare the icing.

For The Icing

Cream the butter for 5 mins on a medium whisk until it is pale and about doubled in size. Then add half the icing sugar and beat slowly until creamed, then add the rest of the icing sugar and beat untill fluffy and whippy (usually take about 5-6 mins on medium speed). Add in the milk and colouring until it is creamy yet stiff and not going to droop all over your cakes.

Next take a piping bag and desired nozzle, I used just an open hole one. Pipe the icing on and decorate with strawberries,raspberries, white chocolate,sprinkles ... whatever is in the fridge or back of your cupboards to create these tasty little treats!

The Nursery

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Ok, so the nursery is an ongoing project and really it is almost there but I think that the finishing, finishing, finishing touches will have to wait as 1. I am far to exhausted to do anything and 2. I am already on my Maternity Allowance and well there isn't much disposable income.

Although I know we are having a little boy, I'm not the biggest fan of baby blue and think that it can be quite sickly to be frank. So I went for a more gender neutral colour scheme of white,grey,mint, (a hint of) baby blue and cream which can also grow with the baby quite easily.

I painted the nursery when I was about 24-27 weeks pregnant in Ammonite by Farrow and Ball we already had the IKEA furniture but I had Tom secure them to the walls after reading a whole host of horror stories about drawers falling on top of babies and toddlers. The nursery is our box room so there is no room for a wardrobe so we popped up an oak peg rail to hang up special outfits and things that can't get creased, which is a great space saver.
The tall unit in the corner houses a host of wicker baskets (anyone else have an addiction to these?) which contain everything for changing,burping,washing the baby as well as muslin cloths and baby blankets.
The main cot is a cot bed that we got from Mothercare it's white with an oak trim and the sides can be removed and converted into a toddler bed. But for the moment he will be in our bedroom in the Snuzpod.

I am yet to find the perfect cot mobile, stickers or garland for above the cot as well as some cute bedding! I just have white at the moment. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated in the comments.

Second Trimester

Sunday, 4 June 2017

So now I am well within the third trimester I am going to update you with everything second trimester.

The second trimester is the best trimester, the nausea mostly subsides, you have bags of energy, start to feel your baby move and the bump (which at the time you think is huge, just you wait till third trimester) starts to show. It's a time of happening and development and I found it to be the most bonding time so far.


I did start to feel my first little flutters at about 16-17 weeks, it felt like little pops just like that microwave popcorn you can buy. These slowly turned into kick, punches, twists and turns and as the baby has quite a lot of room in there the full on somersaults do start to take you by surprise by your later 20+ weeks.
Feeling the baby move makes it even more real, although I do keep pinching myself. I feel a real bond with the baby and I have started to notice his pattern of awake and sleep times (he is already a night owl).


I have a new found energy, or rather my old energy back which has meant lots of shopping trips and decorating the nursery. Having felt so rubbish for so long it feels amazing to slip back into my old routine and not be either with my head down the toilet or asleep.

Bump Watch

Yes, the bump is now prominent and everyone feels like they now have permission to hold,touch, comment and stare at your ever blossoming tummy. I have to say this doesn't bother me too much, it's nice to see that everyone loves a baby!

Sexing Scan

So, the second trimester pinnacle has to be the sexing scan. Finding out who is growing inside you is amazing and also slightly scary how much they have grown. We found out at a private scan and I did have a vision of a big gender reveal but we couldn't hold it in and just decided to tell people there and then... so we are having a BOY!