Cosleep no sleep part 2

Sorry blog I have been seriously neglecting you. I don’t know how all you busy blogging mums do it. How do you find time for parenting, possibly a job and blogging once or twice a week or more!? I really do struggle to fit everything in! I don’t feel too bad though because I am due back to work in a week and any spare time I have I just like to sloth around and enjoy the company of my beautiful son and husband. And I do really need all the slothing and rest I can get as the battle of sleep continues… almost 9 months old and baba is still waking in the night. Now obviously this can be a problem like when I am so tired I cannot funtion properly and feel like a crazy person but I really do try to be positive and keep going. Funnily enough it can actually bother other people more than it bothers us and we are the ones that are sleep deprived!

So many people ask about my son’s sleep which can be exhausting and fustrating!! And why do people have to look at you with such pity and make out like your child is naughty or you are a bad parent “Oh he STILL isn’t sleeping through? He is a pickle!”  “He comes into your bed? You want to stop that before it becomes a habit!” Yes it can become a bit of a habit but I’m sure he won’t be in our bed until he’s 18 and to be honest I actually like cosleeping with my child! Our culture frowns upon it but it’s completely natural. You wouldn’t tell your partner to go sleep in a different bed in a different room on their own so why do we expect this of our children? Especially as they spent their first 9 months if existence being with us every second day and night in the womb. The thing is, I know people mean well and they are probably genuine. I appreciate the concern, I really do, but it still makes me feel like I have somehow failed as a mother because I haven’t helped my child to sleep through the night.

Many other cultures across the world sleep with their children to nurture them, bond with them and feed them throughout the night so that they may thrive. It’s a beautiful thing to be able to hold your child in your arms all night and this phase doesn’t last long as they grow up quick! Why do we wish them to be independent from so young? Don’t get me wrong if your baby has been happy in their own bed in their own room from early on then that is great, it was obviously natural for them but for other babies it is not. The main thing is that the whole family gets the rest they need and everyone is happy. I think we should all respect other peoples parenting decisions and be more supportive of each other.

However, although I do enjoy cosleeping it’s getting to the point where little A is getting rather big and taking up lots of room and there is an awful lot of kicking and fidgeting going on which means my night is not so restful. It also means that it is difficult to leave him with someone else for an evening/ night as he will wake in his cot and freak out that he is not in our bed and we are not there. Plus returning to work means I really do need some decent sleep and as he is 9 months I think it’s healthy to start delveloping some independence.

Ofcourse trying to get him to stay in his bed and asleep is a mission impossible!! You do have to give the kid the benefit of the doubt as before 5 months we were unaware of his cows milk allergy and he was probably waking due to major tummy ache and reflux. Then between 5-7 months 7 pearly whites struck though is gums and then he had to deal with weaning off the breast!! It seems we hadn’t had any good opportunities to try and train him to sleep independently before then! At 7 months we seemed to have a break so between then and present we have tried various strategies to help him sleep better. These have been gentle approaches which include; a positive bedtime routine, lots of cuddles, kisses, back rubbing and shhhushing. For a while it seemed really positive and he was having longer stretches of sleep. There were even about 4 nights where he slept through completely and we were so excited but now I think we realise that these were times he was having growth spurts as the days following this he was bursting out of his clothes and we had to move to the next size up!! Damn, so close….

After speaking to health professionals our next option and perhaps one of the only options left is to try the ‘controlled crying’ approach. But as you may know this method is not for the faint hearted. We have already tried to leave little A to cry for a very short periods but I have rushed in after 2 minutes feeling awful at leaving my baby upset. I am just not sure I have it in me! It’s heartbreaking to hear their cry go from sad to frustrated to really cross. Surely there is another way? I have plenty of people who reassure me it will work and it is not harmful to the baby but it just doesn’t feel right. I don’t know what to do!!

Has anyone else out there tried this method? Anyone got any alternative ideas? I’d love to hear from you.

I will try not leave it as long between now and my next post but  until then goodnight (currently writing this in bed) and I hope you have a peaceful sleep. Someone around here has to!!

peace2

Things I am grateful for #6

So ….. sorry it’s been a while but things have been pretty busy with us. There has been even more birthdays, hen dos and outings, amongst other things. More significantly we have come to a conclusion on the allergies front. As you may have read on this blog before, we have been investigating whether Arlo has an allergy that could be the cause of his discomfort/ reflux/ general tummy troubles!! We have been to see a paediatrician and it seems Arlo has got a moderate milk allergy. It’s useful to know what we can avoid to make him feel better but he is currently going through a epic teething patch so it’s hard to see the improvement!! But this post it supposed to be about being grateful so let’s get back to that…

6 things I am grateful for in the past month…

1. Living out some childhood classics with Arlo such as feeding the ducks! It’s so fun to do proper mummy things with Arlo like going to the duck pond. Its the kind of thing I loved doing as a kid. There are so many other classics such as going to the park, getting excited when you hear the ice-cream van coming into your street and rushing out to buy one, camping in the garden, playing barefoot outside, making mud pies…. I could go on forever. I can’t wait to see Arlo experience all these and more. A lot of the best ones are outdoors too, mother nature has a lot to offer! They are all simple things but they make childhood rather magical….

2. Enjoying some me time. This month I have been rather self indulgent at times and have enjoyed some personal treats. I’ve tried to find time to do my hair and nails, have long baths and I have even been on a road trips and been on nights out in different cities. I think its important to recharge your batteries and do something for you. Happy relaxed mummies are more likely to have happy relaxed babies after all. Although it definitely is not all self indulging and relaxing as the teething & sleepless nights are driving me mad at the moment. That is 7 teeth now! Yes 7 in the space of ten weeks… its mad as it seems he is getting them all at once ….but we weren’t talking about negative things remember!! I suppose I should be grateful we are getting it out the way….

3. FINALLY getting a diagnosis for Arlo. Like I said before- Arlo’s allergy to cows milk has been confirmed. Well sort of… it is so hard to diagnose this kind of allergy! All I know is when we tested him with dairy he became super grumpy and poopy and refluxy and really itchy so I’m in no hurry to give it to him again any time soon. It’s a relief to know what has been bothering him but it’s just a shame it took 7 months to get there! Good news is he will probably grow out of it which is positive. For now I just want him to comfortable.

4. A really (surprisingly) fun hen weekend! At the start of the month I went along to my close friend’s hen weekend for 2 days & nights. It was the first proper time away from the baby overnight. I was so nervous and thought I would be miserable the whole weekend but it was actually a right laugh and it was good to let my hair down!

5. A super daddy! Antony gave me no reason to worry while I was away and he and Arlo got on just fine without me. Even without the boobs! He sent me this picture of the two boys (baby & cat) napping together while I was away – very cute.

6. Mummy friends! It sounds lame but that’s what they are; other mums I have made friends with since having Arlo. It’s good as we have a bit of a moan & get things off our chest that our other friends without kids would get bored of hearing! We also have a laugh and it means Arlo has developed his own group of friends.

Once again lots to be grateful for. I will try and not leave it so long next time. Thanks for reading!

 

peace2

Mums' Days

Things I am grateful for #5

Another fortnight and another load of things to be grateful for! This fortnight I am truly celebrating my son. I am so amazed at how these little beings manage to soak up so much knowledge and develop so many skills in such a short time frame. He just amazes me every day. I really love this age, I feel like the fun is really just beginning! Its been an added bonus that the weather has been so great and we had the Easter holidays with our friends and family. 1. More milestones! It seems that our little boy is developing lots of new skills all at once. This week he mastered sitting up. He seemed very pleased with himself!

2.Becoming more adventurous. As Arlo has become stronger he has been able to enjoy more exciting activities such as jumping in his bouncer!

3. Days out. We have enjoyed great days out to the beach, to the farm and picnicking in the New Forest. as its been the school holidays we have been able to share all the fun with all of my teacher friends. A highlight was definitely our visit to Longdown Activity Farm in Ashurst. We got to hold chicks, feed calves and stroke bunnies. Arlo’s favourite thing was riding on the bumpy tractor. He found it hilarious 😀

4. Springtime. Arlo is so much more aware of his surroundings and has been loving our springtime walks in the sunshine soaking in nature through sight, smells and touch. The blossoms are so beautiful at the moment.

5. Beautiful weather. To continue with the theme above the sunshine has inspired us to spend more time in the garden. We bought a paddling pool and garden toys and Arlo has been loving it! We hope to get a sandpit too at some point.

6. Lots to celebrate. April brings lots of birthdays & wedding anniveraries in our family. Which means lots of parties and cake! This is Arlo enjoying his cousins pirate party. Ooo Arr!

Have you been grateful of the weather? What fun have you been having in the sun?

peace2

Linking up with #mummymonday

We made it!

I can’t believe it but he’s 6 months old this week! Where has half a year gone? It seems it has gone in a flash but at the same time I feel like I’ve known him forever. It’s been a bit of a roller coaster and a massive learning curve but also the most amazing adventure of my life. I have had down days when it has been so hard I’ve sobbed ( I mean proper crying, like a child) and there have been days where I have thought I might combust with happiness. I’m not often proud of myself but during the past 6 months… actually during the past 15 months (including preganancy) I have indulged in a little self respect and pride. I have been amazed at what the human body can achieve and how much we can endure. Here is a list of reasons why I am proud and why other mothers should be too:

1. I grew a human! And it was really difficult at times. Nausea, exhaustion, pain. Pregnancy throws a lot of challenges at you but we overcome them knowing that our babies are growing happily inside. In the third trimester I also suffered from symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD), swelling and high blood pressure but everything was always forgotten when I felt him wriggle and kick.

2. I went through labour and surgery. I surprised myself during labour. I handled the pain better than I expected. Although it was tough…really tough…. the strongest thing I felt was excitement. I was finally going to meet my baby! I was doing OK and managing the pain with gas and air but was really disappointed that everything came to a standstill at 9cm dilated and my (rather large) baby was back to back. By this point it was going so slow I needed some extra pain relief and I went on a drip to help me fully dilate but after another wait there was no progress. When I was told I needed a caesarian I felt like I’d failed. All that hard work, so close to the finish line and I couldn’t quite make it… not on my own anyway. I’ve got nothing against having a c-section. I think whatever is the safest way for mother and baby is best but going all the way is something I really wanted to achieve and after all that contracting I felt it was my right as a woman to birth my child. It wasn’t to be. Turns out having a spinal block when your contracting is pretty tough ‘keep still’ they said ‘lean forward’ they said. I can’t! I’m in pain and have a massive bump in the way!! Recovering from surgery with a newborn is pretty tricky too. So I just want to say ‘well done body, you tried and we got our baby here in the end!’

3. I’ve fed my child myself. Breastfeeding is exhausting, its frustrating and its awkward but somehow, amazingly I’ve managed to do it for 6 months. I know not everyone is able to breastfeed so I am truly grateful that I can. I wouldn’t have managed without the support of midwives and my husband but mostly I was just really determined. Arlo’s tongue tie resulting in poor latch, oversupply, fast letdown, too much fore-milk, reflux/allergy- whatever breastfeeding threw at us we did what we could to overcome it. There have been a lot of tears but we have really tried. It turns out that Arlo’s reflux could possibly be an allergy (most likely to cows protein). It explains a lot. It explains why feeding has been even more of a challenge than it should have been for us both but we have made it this far and I hope some goodness has got into him even if it has upset his system too! I want to continue for as long as I can before returning to work and I am in the process of cutting foods out of my diet in order to find the allergen. I had already tried eliminating things but chose lactose free products or soya which apparently are not good enough so sticking to oat/ rice/ oil based products instead. I hope I can find out whats causing the problem. I really want my baby to be comfortable and I’m not ready to give up breastfeeding just yet, although even if I did there’s the issue of him not taking bottles- read my ‘Battle of the bottle’ post, but we will cross that bridge when we come to it!

4. I am alive! My baby is alive and we are happy :). I am ssoooooooo tired but I have survived 6 months of motherhood and although there have been a few issues with feeding/ sleep/ illness along the way for the most part Arlo is happy and thriving. Don’t get me wrong there are times when you miss the freedom and  feel like you are going crazy but I wouldn’t change it for the world. Becoming a mother is all I’ve ever wanted. This is just the beginning, there is so much more to come. I can’t wait for all the next milestones and all the exciting things we will be able to do as a family. It’s going to be so fun!

If you are a mother or a father there is a lot you should be proud of too. You are raising a little person and that it amazing. Go you!

peace2

Linking up with #HappyDays Linky and #TheList

What Katy Said
The List

Our Adventure at Centre Parcs 

This past week we have been enjoying our first family holiday at Center Parcs.  It was so lovely to spend time just the three of us and get away from it all.

If you are thinking of taking your brood along on a Center Parcs break I would definitely recommend it for young families. The facilities are really great and its so much fun no matter what your age. I would know as Ive been there as a kid, as a teen, just after I got engaged, when I was pregnant and with a baby so it really is suitable for everyone! All the accomodation is nice and spacious (which is handy with the amount of stuff you have with a baby :S) and they have a cot and high chair available in every lodge. Outside of the accomodation there’s also baby change facilities dotted around the site but what I really like is that they have feeding rooms available which are decorated with pretty images on the walls and are kitted out with comfy rocking chairs and story books (incase you have other little ones in tow).

IMG_0982

As I said before I have visited Center Parcs a few times and each time I remember the joy I get from riding a bike. It is really catered for cycling so you can casually cruise around the beautiful site and soak in the peaceful woodland setting. You can hire bikes and bike trailers once you are there but we took our own bikes and bought a trailer before we went. We purchased a Infantastic bike trailer/jogger through Amazon. At £79.99 is was a bargain as trailers can be very pricey, especially brands such as Burley which are the trailers available for hire at Center Parcs. However, I must say we were very impressed with our trailer and can hardly fault it. It was simple to put together and can be folded down fairly easily for storage and was very spacious with room for 2 toddlers and lots of storage space in the back for bags etc. We also love that it can be transformed into a jogger/stroller which will come in handy when we attend festivals in the Summer and we can easily trudge through the fields and grassy/muddy terrains! As Arlo is still little and not quite sitting up independently we inserted his car seat into the trailer which we secured with the harness and a ratchet strap. He loved being pulled along behind Antony’s bike and looked very cosy in there. The only downside with this trailer is that the zips on the mesh cover are rather taut and you have to slowly and gently zip it up each time to avoid a tear. Put for that price this is a problem we can deal with! If your not keen on cycling you can walk or they have a land train which runs fairly regularly and I noticed lots of buggy parks in different locations including by the swimming pool so you can leave your buggy/pram as you get on with different activites.

Another highlight of the holiday was definitely the swimming pool. The temperature is perfect for Arlo- nice and warm as he can get grumpy if it’s too chilly. There is a baby/toddler pool and ofcourse the slides, rapids, wave machine & jacuzzi are so much fun for adults and older children. We made use of the on site crèche so that we could enjoy the rapids and slides together (rather than just going one at a time while the other holds the baby). I was a bit nervous leaving Arlo with people he didn’t know at the crèche (I’ve only left him twice with Nana so far) and it did take him a while to settle (ok, ok it took us both a while) but he did eventually and the nursery nurses were very sweet with him and kept him happy with painting, playing and cuddles. I only left him for 2 hours but the session was for 3 hours at £22 which is not too badly priced. You can even get the staff at the pool to ring up and check how your little one is getting on which was reassuring for me!

There are lots of places to eat on site including the amazing Pancake House which offers sweet and savoury pancakes and waffles. We went for a sweet and savoury pancake…..each (obviously)! All the restaurants are spacious so lots of room for prams/buggies and they all have have bottle/food warming facilities and offer free baby food!

There are so many activities you can do book but we have done most of them before (pre-baby) and we were just happy to enjoy all the freebies such as cycling, swimming & playing in the play park.

The main thing we did splurge on was the food and a day out at Longleat Safari Park which was cheaper to book through Center Parcs (we got our tickets for the same price as a childs ticket). There is so much to do there it is definitely worth a visit if you haven’t been. Arlo had a stimulation overload as there was so much for him to look at. He was amazed by the meerkats but his favourite animals were the Penguins! It is a good time of year to go actually as although some of the animals were not out it was really quiet and we could leisurely make our way around without having to queue or feel crowded.

IMG_1004

All in all it was a brilliant first family holiday. We never tire of the place and will definitely be back again I’m sure. Where did you go on your first family holiday with your little ones? Or perhaps you have a trip planned?

I hope you all had a great week and if you are a mother I hope you were spoilt rotten yesterday! I had a great day. I got pressies and went out for lunch it was the perfect end to a lovely week.

peace2

I’m sharing the joy of our first holiday with #sharethejoylinky

Share the Joy linky at bodfortea.co.uk

Also linking up with #mummymonday

Feeling the love

Sorry that this is belated but I hope you all had a lovely Valentine’s Day with your special people. We had a wonderful weekend. On Saturday we enjoyed a lazy morning with a surprise breakfast cooked by my gorgeous husband. It was accompanied by a freshly made smoothie, Areopress coffee and a homemade card <3. I was even treated to a magazine and a bubble bath!

IMG_0889

Arlo and I made a Valentines gift for Antony too. We made a personalised print on canvas which was simple to achieve but quite effective actually. We used Arlo’s footprints to form the ‘v’ in the word love. Valentines has been and gone but this could make a good Mother’s Day present too!

Our Saturday continued with a walk along Mudeford quay followed by hot chocolate and Dorset Apple cake at the cafe. We took our digital SLR camera along to capture some family shots. We often forget to take the camera when we are out but it was a treat to take some proper pictures rather than just using our phones!

 

I really got into the spirit of Valentines and dressed myself and Arlo in shades of red. I also used my UV lamp to set some red gel polish and red glitter on my nails. I use Bluesky gel polish as its more affordable than other shellac brands. The UV lamp is affordable too I received it as a gift but you can get them for as little as £25. It is brilliant as shellac treatments can cost £20+ each time which is not realistic on maternity pay!

Arlo seemed pretty content this weekend. Perhaps he was feeling the love too!

Can’t help but cover him in kisses!

Hope your weekend was full of love and laughter too!

peace2

A little more about us…

So my first post was about sleep as that’s pretty much my obsession at the moment! I mean I’m actually embarrassed for my pre-mama self. Eight or more hours I used to have most nights and I even had the cheek the say I was tired when waking at 6.30am for work. Ha! I didn’t know the true meaning of tired then! Honestly I feel I should’ve have been a more productive person with a whole nights rest behind me and no baba to care for 24/7! Seems a waste really… Anyway I thought I’d take the opportunity to give a bit more background about our family before I dive into more posts about life with our babe.

Antony and I met at school and have been together since. We got married two years ago in a beautiful chapel followed by a reception in some awesome tepees overlooking a lake. Pure magic. We enjoyed a year of married life but we always knew our dream was to start a family. We wanted to be young parents with the energy to keep up with our child. We basically weren’t trying to fall pregnant but we weren’t preventing it either! And so, after just a few short days off the pill – BOOM there was a baby. My husband thought there would be a lot more fun with trying but of course we were so happy and excited (and a bit nervous).


To summarise my pregnancy; beginning – BLEURGH! Middle – aah how lovely, end – WOAH! Arlo was on his own schedule and came 10 days before his due date. It was a relief as I was absolutely huge and I knew he was going to be a big boy. My 5″3 frame could no longer take the weight. I developed SPD and had major swelling. It was definitely time.


At 4.47pm on 30th September 2014, Arlo came kicking and screaming into the world weighing 9lb7. It was the most wonderful moment of my life to date. I wish I could bottle up that feeling so I could experience it again and again. Pride. Joy. Love.

Since then we have been bumbling our way through parenthood. I swear we could give Sherlock Holmes a run for his money as most of our time we act like detectives trying to figure out why he’s crying, what do these symptoms mean, how can we make that better, why did no one warn us about this???? We have battled severe nappy rash, tongue tie, colds, reflux, teething and more, all in four short months. But I can’t imagine it any other way. We feel so lucky to have this little person in our lives, I sometimes think I might just burst I love him so much. Like I said before; I didn’t know the true meaning of tired but I didn’t know the true meaning of life either-until I met Arlo. He can be very tricky and so frustrating, but he is also absolutely perfect.

IMG_0495
Please feel free to share your pregnancy or birth stories. I’d love to hear from any readers.

peace2