My poorly baby

We nearly made it a year without Charlie having any sort of sickness. That was until we were on our mini break!

Charlie had been fine throughout the day, we took him to a local play centre which he absolutely loved. We made sure we wiped down his hands often as you do, and everything was great.

We headed back to our log cabin, Charlie played for a while whist Matt got his food ready. We decided to try him with an Ellas kitchen sachet of chicken curry, which he absolutely wolfed down! We’d also bought a cooked chicken from Tesco so we added in some bits for him to eat by himself.

After dinner Charlie had a quick bath and into his pjs to settle down. He has hit bottle of milk and a cuddle before we put him to bed. He’s an excellent sleeper so when Matt put him down we never thought our night would take a turn.

Around 9pm I decided to pop my head in to check on him when I smelt the most awful smell I knew straight away something was wrong. When I peered over the top of the travel cot I could see a mass of sick – everywhere! I called to Matt quick as I picked Charlie up half asleep and started to strip him off. It was everywhere, and I mean EVERYWHERE. I’d never seen anything like it. His sleeping bag was covered, it was all in his hair, down his pjs, all across the mattress of his cot, all down the sides.

We’d had the monitor on it’s loudest setting and we hadn’t heard him stir so I don’t know whether this all happened whilst he was asleep which worried me even more! He didn’t cry or even murmur he was just really quiet, I held him and rubbed his back when I could feel him start to wretch. Oh no matt! As I rushed to the bathroom Charlie had been vomiting all over me.

I put him In the bath and pulled him pj bottoms off and nappy. I pulled my T-shirt off and chucked everything at the top of the bath. Matt was sorting out his cot whilst I washed him down and got all of the sick out of his hair. He was so good amongst all of the chaos he just sat quietly and played with his toy.

We dried him off and put him in clean pjs. We sat on the sofa watching I’m a celebrity. He seemed to be much better. Within 20 minutes he started heaving again and before I could even get up with him he’d been sick all down his fresh pjs! It was like someone was pumping it out of him!

We stripped him to his nappy and decided to leave him for a while and it was lucky we did because within minutes he was throwing up again. It was the worst thing I’ve ever seen, but throughout it all he didn’t cry or fuss, he was just quiet.

We’d left it around half an hour without any signs of more sickness, so we decided to put another pair of clean pjs on and put him to bed. I put him down came back into the living room and within 5 minutes heard him gagging on the camera, ran it picked him up and held him over the toilet as he was bringing up what was left in his stomach.

Luckily his pjs were still clean, after another long cuddle on the sofa I put him back down and thank god he went to sleep. Not that I slept all night I was constantly checking in on him to make sure he was ok. We don’t know what caused it but thank god hes so much better today! Nothing worse than seeing your baby poorly! X

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Charlie @ 11 months

Wowza!? How quickly have these last 11 months gone. I know I keep saying it but I can’t get my head around the fact Charlie will be 1 in just a few short weeks.

He has come on leaps and bounds, it seems like he’s growing up so quickly. He is the most beautiful, funny, happy little boy. He is actually a little boy now, but he will always be my baby.

He makes us laugh every single day, he is so curious, fearless he’s into everything. Loves his toys, loves playing games, loves his food, loves his bed! We are extremely lucky. He’s no trouble for us, he’s a fantastic eater he will eat anything I put in front of him.

He sleeps like a dream, from the moment we put him down we don’t hear him until he gets up in the morning. He loves his bath before bed too. The only thing he doesn’t like is having his nappy changed or getting dressed but apart from that nothing!

He does grind his teeth a lot which goes through me! He still has 8 teeth, 4 at bottom & top. I thought I could see the white of his molars the other day but I wasn’t 100%. He’s crawling everywhere and he’s really fast, he stands up and sits down all day long. He does sometimes shuffle around the sofa, and I’ve seen him let go a few times and fall on his bum. He’s definitely getting more confident.

He loves to walk holding your hands but still hasn’t got his balance properly yet. We are going on a mini break at the end of the month to a lodge in Narberth for 3 days so that will be a nice mini holiday. We’re also getting this prepped for Charlie’s birthday party!

Exciting times! I’m not ready for him to turn 1, I don’t think I ever will be!

Hx

Charlie @ 10 months

I can’t believe I forgot to do a 10 month update! *bad mum alert!* Charlie is currently 10 months 3 weeks old! Wow where is the time going?

He’s as lush as ever! I cannot enough of him, he’s so funny me & the family are always giggling over things he comes out with. He’s making lots of weird and wonderful sounds, his new favourite is blowing his lips together which is pretty difficult for me to do! Nanny has been teaching him so he’s picked it up from her!

Charlie has 8 teeth now, 4 at bottom & 4 up top. He’s done really well when it’s come to the last couple of teeth coming through. We only actually knew he had the teeth when he opened his mouth and we noticed, we didn’t hear a grizzle from him. He is super super fast crawling now, and he is EVERYWHERE! I mean everywhere. We definitely need eyes dotted around our heads.

He constantly makes a break for it to get to the stairs! He half attempts to start to climb but gets too scared and comes back down. He is up and down standing constantly, it’s like he can’t sit still unless he’s winding down for bed or he’s captivated by his baby tv! We had a walker for him from matts mum as an early birthday present, so I’ve been helping him practise to walk with it a couple of times a day and he’s getting it slowly.

He eats really really well, anything I put in front of him he demolishes. He’s on two 7 ounce bottles a day, one first thing and a bedtime bottle. He absolutely loves his fruit, I think he would eat it all day if he could. I’m still trying to cook as much as possible rather than relying on the cow & gate jars. I try to now only use them if we are out and about or if he’s really over tired and he needs to get to bed. Other than that I try make him something, if I can I’ll make him whatever we are having for tea before hand.

He’s such a lovely happy baby, he’s really sociable. He just loves people and loves showing off he’s always making everyone laugh. He’s super chatty every single day he just babbles to himself all day. I can’t quite believe he will be 1 in 6 weeks time it’s really flown by. We’ve been lucky in the sense he’s been really healthy apart from a few weeks ago when he had tonsillitis & a chest infection which lasted around a week, then to top it off me & Matt caught the flu!

He’s still an excellent sleeper, we honestly don’t know how lucky we are. He goes down anytime from 6:30pm-7:15pm and sleeps through till around 7am. We don’t hear him all night, I never usually tell other mothers because I feel awful if their little ones are bad sleepers.

Loving every minute of watching him learn and grow – it’s the best!

What Motherhood Has Taught Me

Going from child free to expecting can cause a whirlwind of excitement, apprehension, and wishing Google had an answer to questions like “how to keep my baby alive”. But as a new mum you have to learn as you go – or more commonly known as “just wing it”. I put together some of my personal things which motherhood has taught me.

1. Don’t forget your hobbies, I love reading books!

I don’t mean baby books, I mean proper books the ones you can’t put down. The ones you go to bed early for just to sit for an hour and be totally engrossed. I love reading, and I miss it. My mum is also a keen reader and Is always sharing her favourite books with me and now I hardly get time to sit alone for 5 minutes let alone read a book, and when I do I’m normally too tired. – note “must make more time to read”. So in short, do what you love and make time for it when you have a baby.

2. Your physical & mental health is everything

When I got pregnant with Charlie I was over weight and unhappy, totally unfit. So in a nutshell the worst possible condition to have a baby (in my opinion). You have enough massive changes that will happen to your body over 9 months, without already not being in good health. I wish I’d lost weight and been fitter, not super fit but just fitter & stronger. I know for sure I would have had an easier pregnancy. It’s something I will 100% be taking forward before any future pregnancies. I feel like I missed out because I did suffer so much physically & mentally, Not forgetting post birth, your body takes a battering whatever way you give birth. So take the time to look after yourself and let your body heal.

3. Look after yourself & your relationship

I wish I had known that the first six months after having a baby would be hardest on my relationship, whether people want to admit it or not, it’s rough. If I had known the impact it would have, then I would have made an extra effort. It’s not all doom & gloom, having a baby has made us stronger and brought us closer together. It’s formed a new found love between us, but it also highlighted our weaknesses. Sleep deprivation, the stress of learning how to care for a newborn, and the changes to your body will have an impact on you, I personally found it all difficult to deal with. I wish I had known it was okay to communicate the things I was experiencing, instead of him wondering if it was his fault or if the baby was coming between us! So my advice would be to talk to each other keep that communication line strong if nothing else.

4. Give yourself a break

As a new mum you want to get everything right, and truth is you’ll never get everything right. You’ll make mistakes along the way, but that’s how you learn. Every time I didn’t know why Charlie was crying I’d be questioning myself and doubting my abilities of being a mother. I was really hard on myself specially in the early days id even say for the first few months no one gave me a harder time than myself if I felt like “I wasn’t quite getting it”. Now, I can read him like a book as can matt – we could sit and predict Charlie’s next move or emotion before it happens. That just comes with time & experience. You’ll be OK! Hang in there MUMMA your doing great.

5. You will realise your stronger than you think

You will see your inner strength which you never knew you had until now. At 3am in the morning when your newborn has been crying consistently for the last 4 hours and your about to loose your mind, that something which pulls you through ready to fight another day, that’s the strong stuff. You’ll cope, and most of the time you’ll wonder how! Then you’ll look back and realise that it was that inner strength which never showed itself until you really needed it. It will be a comfort to you, because you’ll know no matter what life throws at you along the way you will get through it.

6. You will feel judged by others, and you will judge too.

Charlie’s having a bloody melt down again, he’s screaming at the top of his lungs like I’ve just hurt him. Your eyes are darting around the room as you try and figure out how the bloody hell your going to calm him down. That voice in your head pops in “Oh everyone’s staring at you, I bet they think your a bad mum, god you can’t even control your child, what’s wrong with you?” You’ll be convinced every single person in that room was staring at you thinking the most awful things. Like wise, if you see parents doing something or saying something you don’t agree with, you’ll raise eyebrows & give the odd side eye. It will happen, you’ll feel vulnerable and out of your depth. But, it’s not the end of the world, you’ll see.

7. You will experience the most powerful form of love.

You or I could never put it into words the love which explodes from inside out once you have a child. You will get it, when you hold your baby for the first time you will understand what I’m talking about. You’ll never be able to describe it to anyone who doesn’t have children, you know they just have to experience it themselves. It is the most beautifully terrifying love I have ever felt. It is completely endless.

8. Mothers instinct – there is such a thing!

Yes it’s true, it exists. Like I said earlier you will learn about your baby, as they grow into an infant. You will understand them a bit more with every day that comes. And sometimes only you can make things better, there have been times where my mum has had Charlie and she hasn’t been able to settle him and she will give him back to me because she knew in that moment no one else could help but me. Just by the sound of their cry you just know what to do, where as in the beginning you go round in circles, feeding, changing, burping, comforting. Likewise when something’s wrong you will just know, I don’t know how to put it more simple than that. You’ll just know.

9. You’ll look at your partner in a way you never did before.

You love each other of course you do that’s one of the reasons you chose to have a family together. But, once you have a baby and you watch you partner & your baby together it’s a whole new type of love, an intensified love. I’ve just sat and watched Matt with Charlie many of times, and I could all day. My heart bursts with pride, love & respect. I am lucky that Matt is the most amazing dad, which I knew he would be. There is a real magical moment watching someone else portray the love you feel for your baby. Charlie will have the most unbreakable bond with Matt as he grows up.

10. You’ll love & respect your own mum more than you thought was possible.

I’m very fortunate that my mum is my best friend, my advisor, my comforter, my role model & the most incredible Nanny to Charlie. Since having Charlie, she has guided and supported me every step of the way and shaped me to be the mother I am today. If I can give Charlie what she has given me then I know I would have done something 100% right. I truly understand how much she loves me & my brother, I completely understand all hopes & fears she has for us. She once told me, “I never thought it was possible to love again like I loved you & Sean. That was until, you had Charlie and it’s all come flooding back”. She is my angel, don’t know what I’d do without her!

Hx

A Stranger Touched My Baby

It is as weird as it sounds. I’m still sat here wishing I’d said something but I was in so much shock and it was quick that I just didn’t.

Yesterday me & Matt decided we would head to Caerphilly as they had the annual “Big Cheese” event and we both had never been. It was heaving & hot but we wanted to get out for the day. As we entered there was a fair ground and food & craft stalls all around.

We set of towards the food & craft stalls as we didn’t fancy going around the fair ground. The tents were boiling and crammed with people, I navigated the pram through the crowds as we tried to pop our heads by the stalls to grab a few freebies! Brownies and chocolates were on offer so we were never going to turn them down!

I spotted my favourite stall Cusan Cream Liquor. I first found these back at Cardiff’s food & drink festival with my mum, their liquors are to die for! I’ve still got two big bottles at home but promised my mum I’d grab her another one if we saw them. I darted over and rang her quick to check which flavour she wanted as I knew they would be close to selling out by now on the final day, but I managed to bag her a salted caramel our fav! 😋

After browsing a few more stalls we decided to have a walk around, we stood trying to pick out which food queue was the shortest as we were both starving but they were all equally as long. In the end we decided on a BBQ stand it smelt amazing, so walked to the end and joined. We chatted as we waited, there was a young girl and her mum & dad in front of us and we smiled as we watched her giggling playing with her dad.

There were so many people and they were cutting through the queue where we were stood to get to the another side, quite annoying! This happened even as we moved closer to the stall. A middle aged woman started to walk past us cutting through, when she briefly stopped and leant into the pram where Charlie was gave him a squeeze are carried on. I stood there dumbfounded at what had actually just happened. I looked at Matt then to the pram and back again.

“Yeah no problem just touch my baby that’s fine” I said sarcastically, she had already been out of earshot by then and I wished I’d said it sooner. “Can you actually believe she just did that?” I said to Matt and he looked at me just as confused as I was. The women in front of us turned around and said “I thought it was really weird too who does that?” She said. We stood and discussed it with them as I tried to figure out why an earth anyone would think that was OK to do.

Maybe it’s just me, but I would never dream of leaning in a strangers pram to touch their child, especially then just walking off and not saying a word!? I’m kicking myself I didn’t say anything I was just in shock with what she did. I don’t think she meant any harm, but equally it was NOT OK!!

I really wanted to share it on my blog as it was the most bizarre thing I’ve ever had happen. Apart from that we had a lovely day! Some very strange people out there!

H x

Maternity Leave – How long is too long?

I knew from the moment I found out that I was pregnant that I would be taking 12 months off work. There was no disputing it, I wanted to take it and I would. I’m currently 7 months in and the thought of having to go back to work makes me want to cry! I can’t imagine being away from Charlie.

Most people I know aren’t able to take a year off work, and I completely understand why. Had I not been in a fortunate financial situation then I would probably be going back to work in September. Statutory Maternity Pay commonly known as (SMP) is what I’ve been surviving off from around 6 weeks into my maternity leave. But I can tell you, had I not had extra cash I wouldn’t still be on leave.

We are very lucky that our mortgage and bills and very low compared to most people. Even with manageable outgoings the £147 a week doesn’t cover my outgoings, so every month I’ve had to use money from my savings account. From September onwards I won’t receive any SMP at all as it’s classed as unpaid additional leave. But, I’m ok with that because I’m just not ready to go back to work just yet.

Would I take 12 months off again if we have another baby? Absolutely. Why? Because I can honestly say I have had the most amazing time with Charlie, and I’d rather struggle a bit than not have these moments and watch him grow. What I do know, is that I will 100% plan more carefully, I’ll make sure I put more money aside into my savings account.

I decided not to do shared parental leave with Matt as Charlie was our first baby, but I would definitely consider it on our second. Shared parental leave means I could give say a month of my maternity leave to Matt if I wanted to. I actually think Matt would love it because he always says how much he would like to be at home with Charlie more often.

So, I don’t think a year is too long, and I don’t think 6 months is short. I think it depends on you, your lifestyle, your financial situation. Whatever works for you then do it! Don’t listen to what you should or shouldn’t do. Weigh up all of the options and decide what fits best for you and your family.

I can honestly say this has been the best time of my life!

H x

Baby number 2!

Wooh hold your horses now let’s not get ahead of ourselves. I am NOT pregnant! But I thought I would write about the potential of baby number 2.

The thought of having another Charlie makes my heart swell. Looking at him now I’m like yes yes yes I want another one now! Me & Matt have already had countless conversations about having another baby. We have always agreed we wanted two children. Matt would have a football team if he could!

I get excited at the thought of having a another baby. 1. Because I know what to expect. 2. We won’t feel like complete idiots not knowing what to do! 3. Having a baby is just the best best thing we ever did. Matt will often say it scares him thinking about having another baby, that’s because the first 12 weeks with Charlie were absolutely horrendous.

It doesn’t scare me though, because I know if we had another tough baby we would be prepared. Yes it would be rough, but we’ve been through it and come out the other end. We are so into the swings of parenting life now that I think we would have a much easier time than first time around. If we had a happy baby from the get go we just wouldn’t know ourselves!

We are by no means in a rush to get pregnant again. I’m really enjoying not being pregnant, and I’m loving my time I have one on one with Charlie. We did say we would rather a smaller age gap than a larger one between Charlie & baby number 2. But there is absolutely no pressure to get things going again. We want to enjoy this year and we have a few things popping up for next year.

I also decided that I would be looking after myself first and foremost. This means I want to be physically & mentally fit for another pregnancy which I’m currently not. I have at least 2 stone to loose before I will be at a comfortable weight. If you read my pregnancy story you’ll understand why I’m so determined on my second pregnancy being a totally different experience.

So in a nut shell, yes there will be baby number 2 but we haven’t decided when! I honestly think I will have another boy too! Just putting it out there! For now, I’m happy curling up with my little monkey 💙

Fighting Naps

As you can tell by the title I’m dedicating this blog to the struggle of babies fighting their nap times!

Charlie is an absolute dream when it comes to going to bed at night, we take him up and put him down is his cot awake. 9/10 he goes off to sleep on his own without us having to go upto him. There may be the odd dummy change but apart from that he’s near enough perfect.

But what I have struggled with recently is his day time naps. Charlie has been an absolute nightmare especially this morning. He decided to wake up at 5am 😣 I brought him into our bed, luckily Matt had fallen asleep downstairs so I had the bed to myself. He wriggled and shouted his little head off, every time I pulled him in for a cuddle he would force himself away from me. I was so tired I didn’t have it in me to try make him go back to sleep so I let him carry on next to me.

After around an hour he finally gave in and slept next to me. I felt like I’d closed my eyes for 10 minutes when I could feel Charlie scratching at my face & pulling my hair it was 7:30am. I definitely had to get up this time! We went downstairs, and did our usual routine play, bottle & nap. But it was not to be this morning! Despite rubbing his eyes relentlessly for an hour he would not give in and go to sleep.

I decided to take him upto his cot to see if he would settle there, but how wrong was I. For the next hour he screamed the house down. I went in a few times to give him his dummy but after the third time decided to stop. He will often manage to settle himself to sleep without a dummy and me & Matt had already decided that we didn’t want him relying on us coming in constantly every time he cried.

I sat at my dressing table drying my hair, and the sound drowned out that of the baby monitor. I could see but the flashing of lights he was still screaming. I hate hearing him cry I find it really difficult so I usually go downstairs and watch him on the monitor. After what seemed like forever he finally gave in and 9:30am and went to sleep. We’re back in the same position for his afternoon nap, as I sit typing this blog with the baby monitor to my side I can see those flashing lights again.

It’s difficult when they start to fight their naps especially when those little eyes which are red raw gaze up at you. I’m hoping he will in time go off to sleep on his own like this morning. I’ve already been up twice for his dummy so I’m praying he refrains from throwing it out of his cot so I can manage some lunch. I know it’s hard to leave them cry but it does them no harm, the only time I do go in is if I can see he’s really working himself up into a state. But usually it’s just he’s so so tired and wears himself out.

We’re all in this together! ✨🤞🏻

Matt’s First Father’s Day!

Today is Matt’s first ever Father’s Day! So it’s a very special day today! Normally, today is a sad day. Matt lost his dad back in 2016 after a brave battle with cancer, we miss him dearly and Matt struggles every year. So I was determined to make sure he had the best year this year!

Yesterday I nipped out to pick up some goodies from the lovely Diwa @ DLT BAKES. Definitely give her a follow she makes the most delicious cakes! I got a lovely box of 2 cakes & 2 cheesecakes yummy! We already ate the cakes last night in bed as we couldn’t wait till today haha! We are just getting ready to head out for Sunday lunch down “The Pod” in Newport, we haven’t been there before so I’m looking forward to it. I just hope Charlie is ok, as yesterday he had a bit of a meltdown in Miller & Carter for Matt’s mums birthday meal.

I also got Matt a hand drawn portrait of him Charlie & his dad. I searched high and low for an artist and came across JM Designs Wales. What an absolute talent! When I received it last week I was overwhelmed with emotion, she had captured them brilliantly. There were a few tears shed this morning when Matt opened it!

Here’s to many more happy father’s days! Matt truly is a fantastic dad, I couldn’t have wished for anyone better. He absolutely adores Charlie, and vise versa. They haves beautiful bond! Have the best day everyone ❤️

Letting go

I’ve had an unopened, unwritten “Happy Birthday to a wonderful daughter” card sat in my kitchen for over a year now. It was one of the things I found when clearing out my dads house after he passed away, and I found an overwhelming urge to keep it.

Why didn’t he send the card? – I knew that one, because we’d fallen out – again. What would he have written? Would it have been a nice message or a nasty one? I asked myself too many questions about this single card over the months that followed. I haven’t touched that card, it had been sat on the windowsill next to our wine rack. I’d often glance at it as I grabbed a drink but hadn’t picked it up in such a long time until today.

Today as I pottered around the kitchen, I couldn’t tell you why, but today I walked over and picked the card up. A pretty floral card with pinks and purples, I laughed to myself as unwrapped the cellophane and read the verse on the inside. “Wishing my wonderful daughter a very happy birthday” – he must have liked me when he picked out that card, it must have been a good day I thought. I could feel a burning sensation in my eyes as they tear’d up. I glanced over at Charlie playing in his bouncer and said to myself – I will make sure you never are made to feel like I was by my father, never in a million years.

I took the scissors out of the drawer and placed them on the counter. I ripped the card in two, and again, and again. I picked the scissors up and began to cut what was left into smaller pieces as silent tears streamed down my cheeks. Why the bloody hell had I kept a shitty card which he didn’t even write, yet alone give to me for so long? What was the point? Once I’d finished I scooped the little pieces into my hands and launched them into the bin. I walked over picked Charlie up, gave him the biggest cuddles and kiss and we sat and watched tv under our big mustard blanket.

It’s funny how I didn’t realise what hold such a small item had over me until I got rid of it. That’s part of letting go, may it be big or small. It’s been 15 months since my father died. I’ve gone through a mixture of emotions over those months. What I can now say is that I no longer feel guilt. I don’t feel sadness nor anger. I am at peace with what’s happened, it’s taken a long time but I’ve learnt how to deal with the different emotions which pop up now and again. Something as small as a card was still holding that bit of negative emotion, and now it’s gone I feel like it’s one less emotional baggage that I was carrying. I’ve finally let it all go.