Baby Essentials

So I thought it would be helpful to write about our things which we just couldn’t live without! If you’d had asked me about what you need when Charlie was born I wouldn’t have had a clue! But I’ve got together some of my must haves! Some of them will be a bit obvious…this was mostly UK branding and prices as of May 2019. ( I won’t put prices on everything!)

Asda Little Angels Range:

Vapour Bath £0.87p

Bubble Bath Wash £0.83p

Conditioning Shampoo £0.84p

Bedtime Baby Powder £0.87p

Little Sponge £0.50p

Baby Lotion £0.82p

Bedtime Shampoo £0.87p

Wipes 12 packs of 64 wipes £5.70

Nappies size 1 jumbo pack70pk £2.50

Nappies size 2 jumbo pack 60pk £2.50

Nappies size 3 jumbo pack 98pk £4.75

Nappies size 4 jumbo pack 84pk £4.75

We love this range it’s so cheap and they have lasted us ages! 

Tesco have a brilliant range these are some of our essentials from them.

Fred & Flo Range:

Nappies size 1 50pk £1.80

Nappies size 2 58pk £2.40

Nappies size 3 56pk £2.99

Nappies size 4 48pk £2.99

Nappy Cream £1.25

Bedtime Powder £1.25

Other essentials:

✦Johnsons Cottontouch Extra Sensitive Wipes 12 x56 – £6 (when on offer normally £10)

✦ Dove Baby Lotion – £1.00

✦ Dentinox infant gum gel (teething) £2.65

✦ Infacol Pain Relief £5.50 – you will need this!

✦ Gripe Water £3.50

✦ Changing Matt – we have 2.

✦ Dummies & Dummy Clip

✦ Baby Bath 

✦ Calpol

✦ Bodysuits short & long sleeved 

✦ Sleepsuits

✦ Muslin Cloths

✦ Hats/Mittens 

✦ Socks & Bibs 

✦ Blankets 

✦ Changing Bag – bought mine off eBay for £16 and it’s the best! 

✦ Little first aid kit (just encase)

✦ Bottles – we went for the Tomme Tippee anti

Colic bottles but everyone has their own preference.

✦ Bottle Steriliser Tommee Tippee Microwave – we got ours for £10 on Facebook market.

✦Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Healthcare Kit – Amazon £11.99 includes –

  • 1 x Digital Oral Thermometer
  • 1 x Baby Brush
  • 1 x Baby Comb
  • 1 x Baby Scissors
  • 1 x Baby Nail Clippers
  • 2 x Emery Boards
  • 1 x Toothbrush
  • 1 x Nasal Aspirator
  • 1 x Instruction leaflet

✦Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep Machine – this was an absolute god send and a definite MUST HAVE! I only wish we’d bought it straight away. They are expensive so we bought ours second hand off eBay for £30.

I think that’s everything I don’t think I’ve missed anything, but that was like our essential list of what we use probably every day/ every other day! 

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After Birth & Recovery

The night I had Charlie I remember my phone buzzing and a picture message from my mum of her, my stepdad my brother & his girlfriend with a class of champagne, It’s one of my favourite photos to this day I just sat in bed looked over at Charlie and smiled, I text her back to say I loved it and to have a glass for me!

I stayed in hospital for the next 5 days, it was only on day 3 that I started to question the things going on around me. I was having my blood pressure taken every 4 hours religiously & I was on a drip, and Charlie was being wheeled off in the middle of the night for around an hour. I had wondered why until now, when one night at 1am one of the midwives came to take Charlie again. “Where are you taking him?” I asked. “To get his antibiotics” she replied. Then everything stopped, “What? why is he on antibiotics I asked?” I pulled myself up in bed, I suddenly felt very panic stricken and very protective. “We think he has an infection; well we think you both do” she replied placing a hand on my shoulder. “I don’t understand” I started to cry. “Let me go and get the baby doctor to see you, he’s okay” she said. As she wheeled him off, I sat there in the darkness and sobbed, how could I have not realised that there was something wrong? I defiantly hadn’t been feeling well the last 3 days, but I thought it was just because the ward was warm, turns out it was because of this infection. I picked up my phone and text Matt, he called me straight away and I cried down the phone – I was panicking big time!

The baby doctor poked her head round the curtain in the darkness and came and sat on the edge of my bed, she explained that whilst in theatre both our temperatures had spiked, and I had told the nurse I wasn’t feeling well. She told me that Charlie had what they called “sticky blood” to they were keeping a close eye on him. They also thought that I may have passed the infection onto him, so we were both on an IV drip, and that’s why he was being taken away every 4 hours to have his antibiotics. I was so overwhelmed, I cried hysterically couldn’t breathe. The doctor calmed me down and assured me we were both going to be fine, but they needed to keep us in until we were well enough to go home. I rang Matt and told him what the doctor had told me, and we felt better, but he & my mum both felt awful for not realising there was a problem. But to be fair, none of us did. Apparently, I was told all of this in theatre about the infections, but I can’t remember I must have been out of it.

Recovery was painful, some days I felt ok if I had been topped up on tramadol, but if I’d forgotten to take it then it felt like I’d been hit by a bus. I could hardly walk! The midwives were amazing, I found It hard to breastfeed Charlie, I didn’t know what I was doing, and I felt like a complete failure. One of the midwives told me I needed to hand express, I sat there and thought how the f* am I supposed to do that?! It was all completely alien to me. I asked her to explain and she did, but I still didn’t quite understand – in the end I was getting so flustered and confused she milked me like a bloody cow. I’ve never felt so uncomfortable in my life! I was getting next to nothing from hand expressing maybe 0.5ml it looked ridiculous to me. Every time I would feed Charlie it was a huge struggle; I didn’t know how to get him in the right position and how to be comfortable myself. My boobs were so swollen when my milk did eventually come in after a few days, my mum had told me how painful it was, but I never really understood until it happened, it was agony.

After the first day or so my nipples were red raw and so painful so I had to stop breastfeeding I honestly couldn’t bare it, I think it was because I couldn’t get Charlie to latch on properly every time. I was bottle feeding Charlie for the next 2 days until it was bearable to try again. The midwife showed me how to feed him with a cup so he wouldn’t get confused with the nipple & the teat of a bottle. Matt was coming in every day; he didn’t stay with me in hospital there was no point. My mum came in most days, and on the second day my stepdad & brother came in. My brother came over and hugged me and burst into tears, I couldn’t remember seeing him so emotional, and it instantly set me off.  I sat in bed and watched them all beaming from ear to ear it was the best feeling ever. Matt brought his mum into see him the day after and she brought me loads of cards from his family which was lovely. God he was so tiny, I look at him now 5 & ½ months and wonder where my baby has gone! It really does go so quickly.

My mum was bringing in things every day, I honestly thought I’d packed everything and more, but I was so wrong! I remember she brought me two more nighties in, I was passing her washing. Knickers galore, I thought id packed a 100 but I was still texting her asking her to bring in more of my Bridget jones’s. By the way they are hands down the most comfortable knickers on the planet!! I still wear them now ha-ha mostly because they tuck my kangaroo pouch in which I’ll talk about more. Matt brought my laptop in which was a life saver because I could watch Netflix when I was on my own, I had loads of magazines too. It could get quite lonely in the evening after everyone had gone.

I don’t think it was until day 4 when I had my first shower, this was complete and utter bliss. I had practically been bed bound; I did have a few sponge baths mind! Trust me your dignity goes out the window completely after having a baby, I hate to think of how many people have seen my “nunny” (vaj,vajayjay,flower) whatever you want to call it. I remember the day I got told we were going home it was funny because I was so used to being in hospital, I’d forgot that id eventually have to go home! A few different midwives came and spoke to me about the usual things, breastfeeding, safe sleeping, the general do’s and don’ts. Charlie had a hearing test which was all fine. Then I had a run through of all my medication I had to take home, I had to inject myself with antibiotics for another week, so was shown what to do and had to show I was able to do it. Then finally I was told everything had been signed off and we were both well enough to go home! I called Matt and gave him the good news, I think he was relieved to be having us both home.

Me & mum got all of my things together I had accumulated loads over 5 days. Matt arrived, and they started to go load it all in the car and I got Charlie ready to go home. I don’t think it really sank in at that moment that we were going home. I remember we said thankyou & goodbye to the midwives who had looked after us over the past week, Matt had to lead me out because I didn’t have a clue where we were. We walked out through reception and it was filled of people, loads of pregnant women, a week before that had been me in that reception. Now I was walking out with my beautiful baby boy. We stepped outside and it was absolutely freezing, I had a shock I couldn’t remember feeling that cold! We struggled to get Charlie into the car seat, and as the cold set it it caused a heated dispute between us both. I ended up sitting in the back with Charlie whilst we googled what to do. We really should have been more prepared! We finally worked it out and off we went, I sat in the back and suddenly felt really scared.

Driving home I sat there thinking oh my god what do I do, I didn’t have a button I could press and have 5 midwives around me telling me what to do anymore. I could feel my eyes welling up, my stomach was turning into knots. What would I do if I couldn’t get him to stop crying? How would I know when to feed him? What if I still couldn’t breastfeed him? All of these questions whizzed through my mind. We got home and Matt took all of my things in and carried Charlie in his car seat. We put him on the sofa and our two fur babies came over to have a nose, we sat and watched as they tried to work out what this alien was! I gave them lots of cuddles Id missed them so much, they’d been my only babies before Charlie came along, now it was all going to change.

When I said you think you don’t know what you’re doing it’s a bit crazy because I couldn’t tell it what it was or how, but when it came down to it, I just knew what to do. Yes of course everything is a learning curve, but you do get that mothers instinct!

Mum, stepdad Terry , brother Sean & his girlfriend Alex
Mum & Charlie
Terry & Charlie
Sean & Charlie
Going home!
Charlie’s first car ride

My Birth Story

I’m warning everyone now this is probably the longest blog I’ve done so far! I suggest you grab yourself an extra bar of chocolate to make sure you get through it!

Everyone hopes they are going to have a perfect birth; you spend your final few weeks planning, making lists, checking & double checking you have everything as it should be. My hospital bag was packed from around 26 weeks, I was worried Charlie would come early. My mother had me at 28 weeks and I just got it into my head that it would happen to me too! You know I packed, unpacked, and packed that bag over and over again. Did I have enough, or too much? I thought of every possible scenario, but it’s funny because after it all my mum still ended up bringing things in which I didn’t have! 

I’d written my birth plan 3 times. There was so much more to think about than I thought, pain relief, birthing positions, cord clamping! The one thing I was absolutely certain on though was that I didn’t want visitors straight after giving birth, I wanted time with Matt & my baby just the three of us. I couldn’t think of anything worse than having lots of people around me. Me & Matt had agreed that we wouldn’t tell anyone apart from my mum that I’d gone into labour, again we didn’t want our phones going off constantly asking for updates. After a difficult pregnancy I wanted things to be as calm and chilled out as they could be.

My due date was the 29th November 2018. I had a midwife appointment on Wednesday 28th and after a failed stretch & sweep and no signs of baby coming, I left feeling uncomfortable and deflated. I’d arranged to stay at my mums that night, as we were hoping that it would have got things moving & the hospital was only a 10-minute drive away. But nothing, not even a twinge. I’d be texting my friend Danielle back and forth she was around 10 days overdue and we were both helping each other through these final weeks. Friday morning came around and still nothing I’d officially hit 1 day overdue. I don’t think you should have a “due date” but a “due period” because I think when you set your heart on that date, and it comes and goes it’s so disheartening. Whereas if you had a period of time as in your “overdue” period then you’d have a much better outlook on it. 

It was around 9am, I’d just text Danielle to see if she’d had any signs & told her I’d still felt nothing when all over a sudden I felt WOOOOSH! I jumped out of bed, and just felt this gushing of warm water down my pyjama bottoms. I looked down at the mattress to see a huge wet patch and it still gushed down my legs I was soaking! I was so shocked I couldn’t work out if I was wetting myself! 😂 but no my waters had broken! I opened the door and shouted “mummmmm I think somethings happening!” She rushed up the stairs took one look at me and said “Yep! Definitely happening” I must have looked so shocked because she put her arm around me and just said, “I think we better ring the hospital love, ooh I hope you have him today it would have been bamp’s Birthday” 

Next thing my brother is stood in the doorway of his bedroom, I’m stood there with my bottoms round my ankles (still like Niagara Falls😂) “uhhh what’s going on you ok?” He asked panicking. “Yes, waters gone” I muttered. Lol I think everyone was just in shock, I remember him just putting his head in his room to his girlfriend and saying “my sisters having the baby woohoo” 😂🎉 I was still stood in the doorway half undressed in this puddle, my brain didn’t seem to function. “I think I better get in the shower” I said to my mum. “Sorry about the carpet, and the bed!” She just laughed and said don’t be silly! I got into the shower and washed myself down, my waters were still going it was like someone had turned on a tap. I noticed that it looked like I was weeing, that didn’t seem right to me as I was always told your waters would be clear. I got out, sat on the toilet and rang the midwife. She told me to ring the labour ward, they asked me to come in straight away after I explained about the colour of my waters.

I got dressed, grabbed my phone & called Matt. “Babe, my waters have gone can you make your way down”, I explained to him what had happened when I woke up and I could just hear the excitement in his voice. I hadn’t noticed that I wasn’t experiencing any pain until my mum asked me. My mum dropped me at the women’s unit around 10:30am and I went on in whilst she parked the car. The nurse asked to see the sanitary pad I was wearing, and then it was confirmed- meconium. (The baby had poo’d inside the womb) the nurse sat down and confirmed that I would now transfer from midwifery lead to consultant lead and would need to be Induced – today. 

I sat there shocked and disappointed; I knew I wouldn’t have the birth I wanted being consultant lead. But I was also nervous and excited my baby was on his way! And it all really started to sink in. I had a nervous cry whilst waiting for my mum to come back, and I think she was more shocked than me when I told her what was happening. Matt arrived soon after, I remember he came in the room with the biggest cheesy grin on his face! I instantly felt more relaxed when I saw him.

We were taken up to the induction ward and given a bed, we all settled down. There were a few women there, the lady to the right of me sounded like she was in agony! And the lady across from me was sat on her bed chatting with her partner. A nurse came over and introduced herself, she flicked through my notes and explained what was going to happen. First, they were going to hook me up to monitor baby and see if we would progress naturally over the next 4 hours or so. If things were slow, they would then insert a gel onto my cervix to try start contractions, failure of that would mean I’d have to go onto a hormone drip which would bring on labour. I was praying things would be happening naturally, but as the 4 hours passed not much had happened, I was having very mild contractions and dealing with them well. My mum decided to go home and come back later on for visiting 6-8pm but told us to ring her straight away if anything happened. The nurse came back and explained she would be checking my cervix and inserting the gel. This was hands down one of the most excruciating experiences I’ve ever had. I cannot even explain the pain, I nearly broke Matts hand (that’s not even an exaggeration) ask him yourself. I burst into tears just as she was done, she was sympathetic & apologised. I was in so much pain, and it really ramped up my contractions. I breathed through each one remembering what I’d learnt studying hypnobirthing, I was focused.

I managed to eat some lunch of fish and chips to keep my energy levels up, but after a few more hours I was examined and told I was 1cm dilated. How was this even possible – I’d been there a good 6 hours by now. My mum arrived back and could see things had changed significantly, they both held one hand every time a contraction came around. I had a timer on my phone and it actually helped massively, they could both see when I was hitting the peak of the contraction and when I was coming back down to normal and could coach me through each one. “Nearly done Hel, you’ve done ten worst bit” they’d say, and it really did keep me sane. I hadn’t been examined in a while now and there weren’t many nurses around, the woman next to me had been taken up to delivery suite after screaming the ward down in pain and things seemed calm. 

Me & Matt decided to go for a walk to the concourse to pick up some snacks, and I nearly didn’t make it back. I had to stop as the contractions were hitting me hard, I held onto the side of the wall for dear life and sobbed. Matt held me and we managed to make it back to the ward. I was struggling by now, my contractions were around every 3-4 minutes, it was funny because in-between I was fine having conversations and as soon as one came back, I held my eyes shut breathing heavily to get through each one. We’d been told I’d be going up to delivery suit at 10pm as still nothing was happening. Well 10pm came and went, it was now midnight. Matt decided to find someone to ask what was happening. We were told there had been emergencies come In, but we were next to go up. The nurse examined me and told me I was still 1cm – I burst into tears. Why was nothing happening! I’d been in labour since 11am Friday morning, 13 hours later I was no nearer to meeting our baby. She offered me gas & air which I bit her hand off for, up until then I’d coped on nothing but my focus & paracetamol.

As soon as I got the gas and air, I felt so much better, I was flying high as a kite! My mum & Matt had a good laugh because I was so out of it, I remember hearing the nurse talking to me but had no idea what she was saying. I could hear my heartbeat in my ears, and it sounded like the inside of a club, like a rave. Everyone found that very funny! The gas & air helped me massively through each contraction it took the edge off, I even managed to get 2 hours sleep. Mum had gone in a little tv room to have a sleep on the sofa as no one had told her to leave, and Matt slept on the chair next to me. I sat on my bouncy ball for what seemed like hours, finally a nurse came down and told us it was our turn to go to the delivery suit. 

It was 5am Saturday morning when we arrived on delivery suite. Mum & Matt looked like death warmed up, so I can’t imagine what I looked like. We were told that I’d be going on the hormone drip which would bring on labour, I was warned that the contractions would not build up like a normal labour but would hit me like a tonne of bricks full throttle so was offered an epidural. I accepted straight away. It’s a true saying when people tell you that hospital tea & toast are the best! They are! We were all offered some before I went onto the drip as I couldn’t eat or drink when I went on. I of course gobbled mine down in 10 seconds which resulted in me throwing it all back up! Well done Hel! I was examined again and told that my waters hadn’t broken. HUH? How! But it was then explained to me that my “hind” waters had broken Friday morning, but my front waters were still intact. (Who knew there were two types of waters!?) not me! I had my waters broken – again this wasn’t a pleasant experience but luckily this time I had the gas & air on hand to help me through.  I got hooked up to the hormone drip and was back bouncing on my ball. Mum & Matt had fallen asleep, so I quietly sat and bounced away, I wasn’t even aware of the time at this point. The midwife came in and told me they would have to take me off the drip as baby’s heartbeat kept dropping, I came off got examined and was 2cm. After an hour they hooked me back up to the drip, but in no time, I was being taken back off again. Charlie was NOT happy on this drip!

The anaesthesiologist came in to talk me through the epidural, I had to sign a few consent forms then things began. I can’t really tell you too much about it, but I remember looking at his assistant and holding onto him and him saying “stay really still” then this feeling of Ice-cold liquid running down my back. I couldn’t feel a thing after having the epidural which was great for me because I was exhausted, and I managed to get another hour of sleep. 

I spoke with the midwife about my worries of tearing whilst giving birth and could see my mum going white out of the corner of my eye. If you know my mum, you’ll know she’s rubbish when it comes to blood or anything squeamish. Yeah, I know why you’re wondering why I had her as a birthing partner 😂 next thing we know she’s getting onto all fours on the floor with her bum in the air, I know what this means I’ve seen it many times before. It’s a quick get down on the floor before you faint pose 🙈 is she ok?? The midwife asked as she rushed over, “yeah, she’s fine” I said, “this is a normal thing.” My mum giggled – “yes it was the talk about tearing which set me off I’ll be fine I just feel a bit sick Helen knows what I’m like” she said as she plants her face on the floor. The midwife rushed off to get her some water & sugar sweets as Matt paced back and forth between the two of us. “I’m fine look after mum I said!” 😂. After 20 minuets she felt well enough to get up again, but it was short lived as within no time she was slumping off the chair back down to the floor. She kept saying how ridiculous she felt, but honesty it was the only thing making me laugh and getting me through. She had decided she’d go to the toilet to splash her face, I warned matt to keep an eye on her as I know there have been times where she’s fainted. It had been about 40 min and id asked the midwife to go find her as I had a horrible feeling something had happened, luckily mum strolled back in and didn’t even realise that she’d been gone so long, to this day were not sure if she did pass out In the toilets but she was ok!

At 5pm I had another examination – and guess what I was 3cm. I was so disappointed. The consultant came in and wanted to talk to me about my options. As it had been 32 hours by this point since I’d come In and I hadn’t progressed something needed to happen. I was offered a caesarean section (C-Section) or we could wait another 4 hours to see if I progressed and then we’d be looking at another 2 hours pushing. I looked at my mum straight away with tears in my eyes. The consultant let me have 5 minutes to talk about it with my family, as soon as the door shut, I looked at mum & Matt and said C SECTION I want a C SECTION. I burst into tears, I was absolutely exhausted, nothing was happening, I couldn’t go on the drip to progress things because the baby’s heart wasn’t coping, and the thought of waiting and then having to push for 2 hours! No way, I’d already been doing this for 32 hours. They both told me it was completely my decision and they supported me 100% either way but they both knew I had run out of energy.

The consultant came back in and I told her I’d made my decision and that I wanted a C Section. Straight away she tried to talk me out of it, how it was major surgery, that if I had a section then I’d probably have to have another one if I wanted more children. But I didn’t care I knew what I wanted, and this was it. She gave up and left the room to make arrangements only for her to re-enter looking anxious 10 minutes later. “I have spoken to the senior consultant and he has said that we are not able to offer you a c section”.  That was it, I exploded, I was hysterical balling my eyes out. What do you mean? You just offered it to me now your saying no? “He thinks you will progress naturally and that you’re not in real need of it” I’ll be honest I was absolutely raging. I pleaded with her and the midwife but there was no budging, my mum stepped in and spoke with them. “She’s exhausted, look at her she can’t wait another 4 hours then possibly another 2 she hasn’t got the energy” she said.

But no, there was no changing anyone’s mind. I would have to carry on and wait another 4 hours, and if I didn’t get to 7cm the consultant said I would definitely have a C Section. I already knew that I wouldn’t get to 7cm specially now I wasn’t the hormone drip, so had nothing to help me progress. I dismissed the consultant and screamed at everyone to leave me alone with my family, I was distraught. I whaled as I threw my arms around matts neck, “I can’t do it, I can’t do it anymore” I sobbed. Mum & Matt were both as seething as I was, how could you offer someone that then take it away – it was almost cruel.  So, we waited another 4 hours, it’s now 9pm Saturday evening – 34 hours in. And guess what!!!!

I’m 5cm dilated. 

SHOCKER. So, we had wasted 4 hours for absolutely F* all. As I knew we would. But no one listened to me! So now the situation changed to – WE NEED TO GET THIS BABY OUT ASAP! an emergency c section Is now needed. Fan-fucking-tastic! I am literally like the walking dead right now I’ve had next to no sleep, I think we worked out I had 4 hours in the whole time so I think from admission to Charlie being born it was 37.5 hours, I only had 4 hours of rest in that period. So, you can imagine the state of me. Matt puts his scrubs on, and they do the ice cube check to make sure that I can’t feel anything. It’s basically when they run ice cubes down your legs and across your belly to make sure the epidural is still working. Next thing I know my mum is giving me a hug & kiss and I’m being wheeled down to theatre. 

As we get into theatre it’s super bright and the room is filled with people. There are Christmas songs playing and I remember going “oh great bloody Christmas songs” 😂 (I’m such a Scrooge) and they asked if I wanted if turned off, but I said no because I knew Matt loved it. I suddenly feel really scared, I’m introduced to another anaesthesiologist, who does another ice cube test to make sure I’m still super numb and I feel that cold sensation again running down my back from a second top up of the epidural. There is the big sheet in front of me so I can’t see anything, and my blood pressure is being monitored. I turn to Matt and start to get really emotional; the midwife Ellie asks if I’m ok and I just remember blubbering that I was really scared. It’s still a bit of a blur, I remember everyone in the room shouting their names & their jobs. The doctor shouted to me that they were going to start, and I started to feel lots of pressure and tugging it was a very weird sensation. Then the next thing I know I’m being shown Charlie over the screen and I’m balling my eyes out. Matt kisses me on the head as we hear him crying. Ellie shows him to me as she takes him aside and Matt goes over to cut the cord. He was born to “fairytale of New York ” (matts favourite song & now mine) Saturday 1st December @ 10.09pm weighing 7lb 9 ounces.

“He’s perfect he’s perfect Hel” he says to me with tears in his eyes. We both just cried and cried, it’s was the best moment ever. I remember being handed Charlie on my chest and I couldn’t stop looking at him, but I had turned to matt within a few minutes and said, “You’ll have to have him I don’t feel very well”. Next thing I know the dr is telling me everything’s done, I remember thanking everyone in theatre and I’m being taken to recovery. They put Charlie in the crook of my arm and wheel me in. My mum runs over crying her eyes out asking if I’m ok and she doesn’t even noticed Charlie wedged next to me! 😂 “where is he?” She says and I just point next to me and she’s like “omg OMG look at him” I don’t think we’ve all every cried so much! Again, this is all a bit blurry, but I can’t even remember mum leaving, Ellie the midwife comes over to do his first nappy with Matt then wheels him away. Matt tried to sleep in the chair next to me, but I could see how uncomfortable he was, so come 4am I tell him to go home and come back tomorrow. I remember lying in bed staring at him like thinking wow your mine!

Please don’t let my story worry you if you are pregnant – I think my case was very very rare and a lot of people I know have had the most amazing births! My birth was amazing – but it wasn’t how I pictured it would be and it was gruelling. But it was amazing because I had a happy healthy baby boy at the end of it! I definitely could not have done it without Matt he was absolutely amazing! And my mum was fab when she wasn’t on the floor😂

He was perfect, absolutely beautiful – and still is.

Great company these two!
Charlie
First Nappy!

My Pregnancy Experiance

My Pregnancy Experience 

Now, let me start this one off by saying this will be a very honest blog about my pregnancy. Maybe too honest for some, but I started this whole thing wanting to be as open and honest about my experience as I could so here it goes. You might want to read the “finding out we were pregnant” blog first to understand a few things which I’ll talk about – you know the drill!😉☕️🍫

The day I found out I was pregnant was the most euphoric & heart wrenching day. I’ve never felt such a rollercoaster of emotions. I’d gone from being the happiest girl on the planet to the saddest in 8 hours. So, my pregnancy didn’t really get off to a great start, I felt what was supposed to be the happiest time for us I now couldn’t celebrate. My head was a complete mess, I will talk more about my dad, but I feel like it’s for another separate blog which I will get around to. I had been a long term smoker right up till we found out I was pregnant, and although It did take me a further 2 weeks to kick the habit I’m happy to say I did and I haven’t smoked a cigarette since which to this day is 1 year 1 month & 12 days! That was the best thing I ever managed to do!

I was (and still am) overweight when I fell pregnant, something which I didn’t want to be. Ideally, I would have been at a normal weight for my height (4’11), but we were blessed that I was able to conceive naturally so for a bit I didn’t think about it. It’s always been something which made me feel really self-conscious, I also knew I was going to struggle throughout the pregnancy as I got bigger – which I did. My sickness wasn’t too bad to be honest; I think I only properly had it from week 10-13. I’ve got friends who had it really bad and throughout their whole pregnancies, so I counted myself lucky.

Me & Matt got an early scan done at 7 weeks which confirmed the pregnancy, then told the world after my 12-week scan. One of the things which I wasn’t prepared for was bloating. I bloated so badly right from the early days, anything I ate made my tummy go huge even if it was only something little. This wasn’t good for me, especially with my feelings towards my weight already. People would comment saying “oh your massive” if they happened to catch me after id eaten and looked ALOT bigger. It really hurt my feelings, I didn’t in the slightest find it uplifting. I really struggled with the bloating, id try and wear baggy clothes to make sure I had the room after I’d eaten without it showing too much. I remember the one day, me & my best friend actually got into an argument. She’d kept on and on about how big I looked, and although I’d told her it was because I was bloated she still continued to comment on it, to the point where I snapped and asked her “how would  you feel if someone told you every day how fat you looked”. Ah – probably not the greatest choices of words but I didn’t mean in it the way it was taken and how it sounded, I was just trying to point out how much it offended me.

12 weeks in and I was completely sick of my pregnancy – but obviously I never told anyone this. I’d sit in my car & cry wondering if we’d made the right decision. I was still grieving for the loss of my dad, that still didn’t make sense to me. I’d had to sort out his funeral, that’s something you don’t think you’ll be doing at the age of 27. My mum was amazing, I was so lucky she was on hand to help. I used to look on social media and see everyone posting photos of their bumps and at the beginning I couldn’t think of anything worse.  We got a private gender scan at 16 weeks, and found out we were having a boy, we were both over the moon! We didn’t mind either way, there was never any preference just along as the baby was happy & healthy that was the main thing. We did a gender reveal with our parents & friends and that for me was probably one of my highlights of my pregnancy, it really brought a buzz of excitement.

As we hit week 20 that’s when I really started to struggle, I was by this point getting big, bigger by the day it seemed. And the comments kept rolling in, every single day like “oh look how massive you are!” Seriously, there is a way you can say these things without causing offence. Maybe I was just super super sensitive, but I hated when people said that to me, especially people I didn’t know.

Another thing which I found hard to deal with, was every bugger touching my belly…. without asking. Like just randomly rubbing my belly! Again, this just might be me, but it totally made me feel uncomfortable. I was absolutely fine with my friend’s & family doing it, but anyone else it just used to make me anxious and awkward. Most people you’ll talk to have the most amazing time whilst pregnant, I wish I could tell you I was one of those people, but I simply wasn’t. I’ve had problems with my back for the last 5 years, it defiantly triggered when I put on weight, then it went away when I started to lose it. But it came back with a vengeance as my pregnant belly grew. I was in AGONY.  I’d managed to find a really good chiropractor who I’d see once a week/2 weeks throughout my pregnancy, she’d given me lots of exercising and stretching to do which eased it a bit. I couldn’t sleep at night, I’ve always been a stomach sleeper, so having to adjust to your side is difficult. I would scream in pain every night trying to turn in bed, I’d have these excruciating pains shooting up my back even if I moved an inch. I would have taken Charlie not sleeping over being in pain every night any day of the week.

I didn’t have the usual baby shower, like I said I’m really self-conscious and the thought of having all eyes on me made me feel sick. I had pre-warned all of my friends & family it wasn’t something I wanted to do, just encase any of them thought about throwing me a surprise party. I knew If they had I would have had a complete meltdown! But my mum did secretly arrange for us to go for afternoon tea with my auntie and cousins, for a mini baby shower I did let her off even though my anxiety went through the roof! It’s funny because there was only a few of us and all my family but I couldn’t shake it off. Either way it was lovely but as much as I could manage.

I put on a really brave face throughout my pregnancy, not many people will know how difficult I found it, until now obviously. I was finding it so hard to sit at my desk in work, my back was really stiff and id have to get up all the time to have a walk around the office. Even with my ‘special chair’ and desk adjustments, sitting for 8 hours a day was doing me no good physically and mentally. The last 12 weeks of my pregnancy were probably the worst, my hips hurt, my back hurt & my head hurt constantly. Id put in a request to work if I could work from home a few days a week, but after weeks of chasing it had been declined. By this point my mental state was deteriorating quickly, my mood was extremely low, I couldn’t look at myself in the mirror, and I generally was miserable as sin. I kept thinking how amazing I should be feeling, and how lucky I was, id think about how some couples may never be able to have children and here I am with a face like a slapped ass, wishing this pregnancy would just be over. I even wished that Charlie would make his entrance earlier rather than later. I was crying every day, 9 out of 10 times it would be when no one was around. I was ashamed of myself, I felt like the worst person in the world. I’d think about how I didn’t deserve to be having a baby because I wasn’t embracing it, and how I was going to be a rubbish mum when he did arrive.

It was at this point I spoke to my mum & decided I needed to speak to my GP. After a tearful chat with a lovely doctor, who I told absolutely everything I was feeling to, she diagnosed me with antenatal depression & prescribed me anti-depressants. In a way, it made me feel better knowing that it wasn’t just me, that there was actually a “thing” out there which expectant mum’s experience. I wasn’t alone anymore. I was signed off work and this took me right up until I was due to go on maternity leave. I instantly felt better knowing I didn’t have to be in work, I wouldn’t have to fake it every time someone asked me how excited I was & how I was loving being pregnant. (Because that’s what everyone expects you to say).

It’s not all doom and gloom, I did start to feel better, as the kicks got stronger, I started to feel that mother & baby bond grow. Matt was great at building my confidence when it came to my belly growing, that helped me a lot specially towards the end because I really did balloon! I started to embrace it; I was growing a baby for god’s sake! I was doing something amazing!! And my body is incredible! My outlook changed, I started to take photos of my growing belly and feeling excited as the time drew closer to meet our son. Yes, I was still in pain but there wasn’t long left, and I couldn’t wait to meet our baby.

So, if you are struggling with your pregnancy – IT’S OKAY! – you don’t have to feel amazing every second of every day! But – TALK to someone, anyone! Your partner, parents, friends, family. I promise you they won’t think that you are a monster! Not everyone enjoys pregnancy but that’s ok because its hard going! I learnt you 100% have to look after yourself physically and mentally, 9 months is a long time to be feeling so awful,.

Would I do it again though? ABSOLOUTLEY – I now know that if we have another baby that I am strong, I have an amazing network around me, and I could do it again. I would defiantly embrace the whole pregnancy more next time around. I hope you enjoyed this blog, and found it useful 😊

H xxx

Finding out we were pregnant!

It’s a long one…again! Grab your cuppa teas & biscuits!

I can still remember the day like it was yesterday. I had cried the day before, Sunday evening as I’d done a pregnancy test which had come back negative (or so we thought) I threw myself into Matt’s arms and sobbed.

I could tell he was disappointed, “it’s okay babe it will happen” he said. 

We had decided that I would come off my contraceptive pill the end of December 2017/ start of Jan 2018. I’d been trying to track my ovulation but didn’t really have a clue whether it was accurate or not. So we just winged it.

Fast forward to Monday 19th March 2018, I was feeling awful still after the negative pregnancy test the day before, and me & Matt had been wracking our brains all night questioning whether the test was definitely negative. I was starting back in the gym determined to shift some weight. It was an early one, I was meeting my friend Natalie for a 6am body pump class before work.

Just before I left I decided I’d do another test just encase, this time I swore I could see a second line. Was I going mad was it there, was it not? I paced the bathroom holding the test right up close squinting waiting for the results, then there it was the faintest second line we’d been waiting for! I remember this wave of euphoria coming over me, it’s funny now because I didn’t run in screaming to Matt. I simply grabbed my gym back and left because I didn’t want to wake him, but left the test on the side in the bathroom.

After class I decided to pop into Asda and get a clear blue digital test (just to make super sure it was positive) I got to work had a shower and locked myself in the cubicle with the test.

It seemed like I’d waited ages, I mean AGES! My heart was beating fast, I could feel it in my ears then after some time it happened….the screen showed “pregnant 1-2 weeks” I jumped up and down with a huge smile on my face, I couldn’t wait for Matt to wake up so I’d text himto check the bathroom HA!

I floated into the office, I was in this bubble that no one was popping. I sat at my desk daydreaming waiting for Matt to reply then ping my phone buzzed. I think he said something along the lines of “oh wow! Congrats mummy!” We were just both buzzing! 

I called my manager for a chit chat, we are super close and he’s been a great support to me. The first thing he said when we sat down we’re “your not handing in your resignation are you?? Please don’t H” 😂😂 No I laughed I’m pregnant! I’ll never forget that look on his face, he threw his arms around me and gave me a big hug he was so happy, so was I. It was the best! 

But little did I know, my whole world was about to turn upside down In just a few hours….

I was looking at the clock at my screen willing it to be 4pm, 3:55pm I couldn’t wait to get home to see Matt I was on top of the world! And then it happened…my phone buzzed in my pocket “Mum” calling. I ran over to the side of the office and answered, “Hel” this weary voice said – my heart instantly sank I knew something was wrong. Then the phone cut off…

Text message “Hel come home – urgent xxx”

I rang her back, “Mum, what’s wrong?” In my head I thought something had happened to our cat she was 16 and hadn’t been well.

“Just come home Hel” she sobbed 

“What is it mum tell me” I pleaded my heart was pounding I could feel my eyes tearing up. 

Then just two words and my whole world crashed down.

“It’s Dad”

Boom just like that I could feel my head spinning I felt sick, I slid down the wall to the floor head dropped between my knee’s.

“He’s dead isn’t he” I whispered through my sobs

“Yes babe, come home” she sobbed back

I hung up the phone and could hardly pick myself up I was like a dead weight, my mind was going 100mph, how could I go from being on top of the world a few hours ago to rock bottom. Next thing I know I’ve bolted over to my desk trying to log off my computer and pick up my bag, completely frantic uttering nonsense. Then my friend called me, she looked at me confused, and I just blurted “my dad’s dead I have to go” and I swear the whole office stopped. Talking back about it she told me I screamed it out loud, makes sense why everyone just stared at me. She got her things grabbed me and said “come on love we’re going” I ran over to my manager with tears streaming down my face “ I have to go I have to go my dad’s dead” I remember he just grabbed me, gave me the biggest cuddle, a kiss on the top of my head and said “go”.

I couldn’t breathe as we bolted through the office I was only my phone trying to text Matt, then my friend stood in front of me with her hands on my shoulders. “BREATHE” she said. And I took in what felt like my first breath. Matt called me as I was driving to my mums, panicky from my short blunt text for him to ring me ASAP. I told him what had happened and he just went silent on the phone, I think he was more shocked than me. “I’m so so sorry babe, call me later when you can I’ll see you at home. I love you” he said.

When I arrived at my mums house I flew through the door to see her & my brother in floods of tears, I fell into her arms “ I’m pregnant” I whaled. They both stopped looked at me, what? She said still sobbing, “I’m pregnant mum” she gave me the biggest squeeze, “I’m sorry it’s not the reaction you wanted” she smiled through her tears, my brother then leant over and grabbed me “congratulations” he whispered. 

I don’t know why I blurted it out, it was like word vomit I didn’t even realise what I’d said until after I’d said it. 

That day was and will forever be the most surreal day of my entire life. I found out I was pregnant at 7:30am (for sure), my dad passed away at 1:30pm & I had the news at 3:58pm I’ll never forget that day. I feel like I should talk more about my experience of loosing a parent at a young age, so for the rest of that day I’ll leave for another blog. But trying to leave it on a light hearted note that’s how it all came about us finding out we were going to be parents!

They say when one light goes out another lights up – and that couldn’t be more true for that day. Charlie truly was our biggest blessing.

We were extremely lucky on how quickly I did actually fall pregnant. If you are out there and trying to conceive, then all I would say is don’t put to much pressure on yourself. I had been on the contraceptive pill religiously for over 10 years so stopping that, your body has to adjust. I think we did just have sheer luck – I was using the app called “Ovia fertility”, you basically put all of your details in, when you have your periods etc, and it works out your most fertile days. Maybe it did work? Maybe I was super fertile I don’t know, but it wasn’t like a military operation lol! We just had sex more regularly, and on the days it told us we had the best chance and here we are!

I hope you’ve enjoyed my blog! If you did then please feel free to follow me for notifications of new posts and I’ll also link my Instagram below!

H xxx

Instagram

This was the first test which I’d edited to see that second line! 😂
The next morning! 🎉