how

How it began..

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I’d been on the pill since I was 14, more for regulation than pregnancy prevention, and had always been ”regular’. However, in 2008 my periods stopped for 6 months and every month I would do a pregnancy test just in case! I carried on taking the pill as usual but I eventually went to question why it was happening. My local Well Woman Clinic nurse told me that it sometimes happens, not to worry and that they would just start again of their own accord – even though there was no obvious reason for it.

So, when I missed a period in September 2013 and had a negative pregnancy test, I didn’t think anything of it. The same happened again each month; I did my last pregnancy test on 22nd December 2013, another negative response and assumed it was 2008 all over again, until I found a lump in my right breast. I immediately panicked, thought the worst and even put that down as the reason for me not getting my periods. The earliest I could get in to see the doctor was 8th January, even after explaining on the phone the nature of the appointment.

The day of the appointment comes round and I’m called in. I explain everything as above and the first thing he asks me to do is to take a pregnancy test, and in between doing it and getting the result we’d wait for the female chaperone. At this point, he was just wanting to rule things out, so I complied and thought absolutely nothing of it. I remember he set a timer on his iPhone so he would know when the test was ready to give us the results, and I was 1000% sure I knew what the result would be – negative of course. Wrong.

pregnancy_test_positive

He turned to me slowly and said ”Um.. yeah.. well.. this is positive. That’ll explain the lump”. The chaperone knocked on the door, popped her head in and he promptly sent her away saying that we’d gotten to the root of the issue. I was in complete and utter shock. Everything had been against us even if we were trying for a baby! I wasn’t getting my periods AND I was still taking the pill. Now I had the task of telling my other half not really knowing how he would react. First, I had to get through a whole day of work!

When I got to work I sat at my desk as normal, but would find myself snapping back to reality after I’d obviously been day dreaming. I wasn’t alright, I just kept wondering how it happened, what we were going to do and how or if we would cope. We had only been together just shy of a year. I got home that day and took a leftover pregnancy test thinking the doctor was definitely wrong. In fact, it was me who was wrong. I got straight into bed, clothes and all thinking that if I went to sleep, I’d wake up and people would be laughing and telling me it was all a big joke. Just as I was about to drift off, my other half walked through the door. Shit. I really was going to have to tell him.

He asked how the doctors appointment had gone as I hadn’t texted him all day. I told him it was ”erm.. interesting”. I just couldn’t tell him, so I buried my face in the pillow and hid under the duvet. Eventually, after him asking me repeatedly to tell him what was going on, I reluctantly peeked up from behind the duvet and just came out with it.

I’m pregnant.

Keep your eyes out for my next post, ‘How it ended..’!

J

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The long car journey.. with a baby!

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It’s sometimes bad enough going down the road with a baby in the car, so how would you fancy a nice long 15 hour drive with one? No? Thought you might say that.

Let me tell you, it’s easier than you think. After recently getting back from the annual skiing holiday, I can honestly say I was relieved that the car journey was over, because I was the one who was most uncomfortable. With a sleepy eyed partner for a passenger, and a sleeping baby in the back, I think I was the only one bothered about getting home quickly; those two couldn’t have been more.. asleep.

Toby suffered a little going up the mountain
Toby suffered a little going up the mountain

We didn’t really have a choice when it came to our choice of travelling. It was either “pay £600+ per person for a 1 hour 10 minute flight” or ”get in the car and drive it” – bloody half term prices.

The best thing you can do is try and stick with your baby’s routine. We left quite late in the afternoon so that we’d only have to stop for one last bottle before “bed time”; that way we hoped he might sleep for the biggest part of the journey, which he did after only waking up a couple of times. Luckily, with only an hour difference in France, it was easy to get him on French time, then back to English time.

Keep a stock of bottles to hand. We prepped all of ours in advance as we normally would and just dispensed the formula into the water as and when he was normally due a feed. Keep a handful of dummies in the front with you. You don’t want to be unplugging your seatbelt for half of the journey to go on a hunt for a dummy in baby Narnia (aka – the carseat). I mean, how many places can one dummy go?

Make sure your baby is comfortable. Don’t smother them with blankets, because your car will get warm quickly. We dressed Toby in a vest and baby grow for the journey, I certainly wouldn’t bother with cute chinos and a top. But if like us, you’re going somewhere cold, make sure you keep a coat (or something equally as warm) unpacked in the car with a hat so, when you eventually get out, they’re not freezing! We also put the wedge back in our car seat so that Toby was in a more horizontal position, rather than being crunched in two, which genuinely helped massively when it was time for sleeping!

Get a rear seat mirror and kill two birds with one stone. Babies are fascinated with faces, and what better way to keep them entertained than looking at their own. Secondly, it offers you the chance to keep an eye on your baby while you’re driving. Just attach it to the headrest in the back where their car seat is and adjust your rear view.

You don’t need to take a million and one toys like other websites say you do. We attached some flexi rings to the car seat, a colourful crinkly book, Sophie the giraffe and his taggy blanket. We did however, pack some other toys for when we were in the apartment for him to play with, as well as his Jumperoo.

You can always take a sledge!
You can always take a sledge!

A change of scenery does wonders for your baby as well as you. A long drive can be boring, and after looking at tarmac for 15 hours, you just need to look at something else. We made a few stops on the way there at some service stations. A stretch of the legs and hot chocolate for you, and a bum change, bottle and stretch for your baby.

I’m pretty sure if we do it again next year, it won’t be so easy with an almost 18 month old!

What are your best tips for a long car journey?

J

Wonderful Weaning

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Every first time mum will have gone through the same questions about weaning; why?, when?, what?, how?, where?, WTF?!!!!

I have read so many guides, leaflets and books on weaning it’s actually ridiculous. Personally, they’re only good for one thing; recipes and coupons! Here’s my quick and concise view on weaning, answering all the above questions.

Why would you start weaning your baby?
Well, it’s obvious isn’t it? No. It’s not. There are so many different reasons mums start weaning their babies. Some do it only because ”that book says so”, others ”because my friend’s baby is”. The truth is, you wean your baby because they’re ready to move on to the next stage of their food. It could be that milk just isn’t filling them up any more, or it could get to the stage where, in a health professional’s opinion, they should be started on solids.

When should you start doing it?
4 months, 5 months, 6 months? Quite honestly, it’s when YOU feel your baby is ready. Not when a guide says so, or your mum-in-law says you should. Look for the obvious signs of not feeling full up, chewing at their hands (although this could mean they’re teething too) and staring at your food. Other people suggest that your baby should be able to sit up unaided – in my opinion, that’s rubbish. My little boy can sit up in his highchair on his own, but not the floor, and he’s quite happy and able to sit there and eat his food! I’d also suggest doing it when they’re not grumpy, I started doing it about 20 minutes before he would have his bottle.

What the hell do you feed babies?
Food, of course. I started with baby rice, others start with baby porridge. There’s no right or wrong. I agree that it should be mixed with your baby’s usual milk though, just so there’s something familiar going in their mouth. Weaning guides are good for getting the “first taste” ideas. It’s also best to introduce new things one at at time.; one of the best reasons for doing this is to identify any allergies they may have to the food! Just mix some of their milk in, feed them what you think they want (start with small quantities) and then once they’re finished, feed them the rest of their bottle.

Toby tries bananas
Toby tries bananas

How do you feed your babies?
With a spoon, a huge cheesy grin on your face and lots of enthusiasm. Another method may be from a pouch, eliminating any need for cutlery really. I haven’t tried my baby with a pouch yet, although I’m a big believer of home-made food, as you know exactly what’s gone in there. You can get a kit from Fill ‘n’ Squeeze for all your home made meals to be mashed and squished into a pouch for you to either freeze, or take out and about with you or feed to your baby straight away. Don’t get me wrong, I still use jars, but home made is always best!

Where should you feed your baby?
I started with doing it at home, and in a highchair (see previous review post). The last thing you want is to try it for the first time round the in-laws where they’ll tell you to “do it this way” or “try that” (mine didn’t, thankfully) or out in public somewhere. Make sure the surroundings are familiar. As my little one isn’t too messy at the moment, I do feed him in our living room. However, as he gets older I’ll move it to the dining room. That way he knows it’s time for eating, and if it does get messy (it really will) I don’t have to scrub spaghetti hoops out of the carpet.

WTF?!!!!
Exactly. WTF?, indeed. Nobody knows what it’s really all about (maybe the Hokey Cokey). Just go with what you feel is comfortable for you both and wing it!

Final Tips

  • As baby gets older, give them a starter cup with a drink in it so they get used to having one with their meal.
  • Once they want to try feeding themselves, give them a spoon as well so they can help you do it.
  • If they want to play with their food, let them. It makes it fun, they get to explore food and get messy! Who really cares if it adds to the washing?

What are you top weaning tips?

J