Don’t you just hate when you go away and don’t take nearly as many pictures as you planned or hoped to? Normally, I’m crazy snap happy but this time, having an eight week old needing lots of attention and living my life in somewhat restricted four-hour cycles, I didn’t really manage it. I’m a little gutted that I don’t have more memories to look back on but we had a fantastic time together!
So right now, we always go on holiday to Butlins in Skegness. It’s not too far away from home so the kids can handle the journey, it’s by the beach and there are an insane amount of things to do there so Soph is always entertained and has a blast. As Butlins has turned into a sort of family tradition for us, so has me taking a picture on the beach of Soph and her daddy walking down towards the sea. I try to remember to take this picture every time we hit a beach as I find it a cute way to document how she grows. This year Finn is in the mix, not that you can see him, as he’s strapped to his daddies chest in a Baby Bjorn (which he now thinks is the best thing ever by the way!) so now I get to continue on and snap both of my kiddies grow up in this way, which I adore!
We had a fab time this year, we went swimming and took Finn in for his first ever dip too which he seemed to love, watched their Cinderella Rocks panto (which was really well done!), spent a ton of cash in the arcades winning very few prizes on the 2p machines, drank a ton of slushies, had a boogie, hit the beach and ate some lovely food. The time just seemed to melt away though and the week was over before we knew it but we have already booked to head back next year which I’m already counting down for!
After a few days of chilling at home, Soph, Finn and I took a trip to Matlock Bath with my mum. We love it at Matlock, there are arcades (we emptied the 2p machines of keyrings!), loads of yummy treats in the various sweet shops, a couple of parks to play on, yummy food to munch, loads of motorbikes to look at as it’s a biker haven and some lovely little places to walk around – it’s not for everyone but I’ve been coming here since I was a kid and think I’ll always have a soft spot for it.
Stopping for some lunch
Bubblegum ice cream please!
A bubblegum goatee
Slidin’ at the park
We are hoping to get to a couple more places over the school holidays but we will see if we manage it, even if we don’t we’ve had a fab time so far – I’m just really looking forward to Finn being a bit older so that he can join in and so that Soph isn’t so limited to what she can do!
Do you have a favourite place to holiday each year?
Diets have always felt like hard work to me, I’ve always had to be so careful with calories, counting every single thing that I eat and craving everything that the diet doesn’t allow. This time I’ve eaten pretty much anything that I’ve wanted for five days out of the week – and some of those days contained “bad” food as we’ve had day trips out and family visits due to it being the school summer holidays – and I fasted for the other two.
The first fasting day wasn’t super great for me, I found it quite hard to feel so hungry and I did go a little over the 500 calories that were allowed as I ended up feeling sick towards the end of the day. That being said, the fact that I didn’t just stuff my face with everything that I could find (which is something that I normally do if I let myself feel that hungry) was quite a big win for me and I was pleased with how the day turned out.
The second fasting day wasn’t nearly as bad as the first which surprised me as I expected it to be just as bad, if not worse. I managed to stay on target and whilst I did feel hungry, I didn’t have that same sicky feeling which made things easier.
As it was only two days that I was restricting my calorie intake, and as I’ve not actually felt like I’ve been dieting, I wasn’t expecting a loss – especially as I’ve not introduced exercise to the mix yet – so I was pleasantly surprised to find that I’d lost 2lbs this morning! I really don’t feel like I’ve done much of anything to earn those 2lbs so I’m really happy with how this weight loss journey has started and I’m looking forward to seeing what the results can be when I do manage my calories better on the non-fasting days and when I begin exercising too.
So this past weekend, my hubby and I decided that we were going to start trying to lose weight again now that I am feeling (pretty much) back to normal after my pregnancy. We have discussed some of the different options that are out there for weight loss and he pointed out that the most success that he has had previously was on the 5:2 diet. This is a method that has never really appealed to me as I hate feeling hungry – if I feel like I’m hungry whilst dieting, I tend to sulk and then order the biggest pizza deal that Dominos has to offer or I just eat whatever crap I can get my hands on. That being said, Baz did have success last time, so I figured that it’s time to give it a good crack to see if it can be the method for me.
We decided to fast on Tuesdays and Thursdays so today I have limited myself to around 500 calories. I had a pack of Special K biscuits for brunch that came in at 96 calories and then a veggie stir fry for dinner – I’m thinking that this is pretty much going to be the standard fasting day plan for now but I need to do some research into other low-calorie options so that I don’t get bored and dread eating the same thing every fasting day.
Now comes the dreaded bit … the weight.
I weighed in at 241lbs which isn’t ideal but is pretty much what I had expected. I then used the NHS BMI calculator to see where I should be for my age and height. The NHS has stated that for a healthy weight, that I need to aim for a weight between 118lbs and 160lbs. I decided I’d go right for the middle of the two, so I’m aiming for a final weight of 139lbs, which gives me a total weight loss goal of 102lbs! That’s a daunting number to look at but I’m going to give it my best in order to get there.
So my life has been insanely different these past weeks and whilst at times it has felt a little overwhelming, I’m loving every second! This will probably be a long post as it’s been just over nine weeks since I last posted and we’ve had quite a lot going on. So lets start at the start…
On the 10th of June I was 3 days overdue and starting to feel more regular, but mild, contractions. I thought nothing much of it until I had just cooked us all our evening meal and my waters broke just as I’d sat down to eat. In my pregnancy with Soph, I didn’t know my waters had broken as they went as I was projectile vomiting in hospital after trying the gas and air (I’m a classy bird!) but this time I felt the most strange bulging sensation and I swear I even heard the pop of them going. I shouted to my hubby that I thought they’d gone and waddled my way to the loo, jeans soaked, not knowing if I should laugh or cry, to check what was going on. Soph had previously done a doo in me so I checked my waters and I found that her brother had took a crap too, so I rang the delivery unit at hospital who wanted me to come in so that they could check me over.
We dropped Soph over to my mums who was able to look after her for us (the woman is a legend!) and made our way up to hospital where I was checked over at around 7pm and admitted to the delivery suite at 7:15pm as there was definitely meconium in my waters. This was it, this baby was coming at some point soon!
When I was put into a room I was given a check to see how dilated I was and at that point I was only 2cm. I was told that they wanted to start my labour off but wanted to check with a doctor on how to proceed so I was hooked up to the monitor to check baby over and left alone for a little while.
It was at this point that the contractions started to come more regularly and with a bit more force but I found watching them on the readout took my mind off of things a bit. Annoyingly, I was soon taken off of the monitor and told that I would be re-examined at midnight and depending on my progress, put on to an IV drip to speed up my labour.
The pain began to increase quite rapidly a little while later and when the midwife came back to see me at around 10pm I asked what my options were for pain relief. I was told that I’d probably be in labour for quite some time to come and to go without pain relief (diamorphine) for as long as possible as they can only give it me every so often. I spoke with Baz at this point who had pointed out that I’d already managed to make it half way to my next check at midnight, and together we decided that I’d just keep going as long as I could. I could see that he was worried about me though, as with every contraction he was now reminding me to breathe and I was shaking my legs so hard the entire bed was rattling.
I managed another hour but then I had what I thought was the need to push but thought that couldn’t be right as I was expected (and expecting) to be going a lot longer at this point. The feeling didn’t subside so I relented and used the call button. When a different midwife came in (mine was on dinner break) I explained that I felt ready to push and she gave me a quick look over and decided that I was only 8cm so not quite there yet. Within the space of a single contraction she watched me dilate further and at that point it was go time.
When it came time to push I was like a woman possessed, I wasn’t given anything to hold on to so I used the back of the bed and ended up yanking the thing so hard that my arms were screaming for the next few days! I was also really concerned for Baz as I could just hear him breathing really heavily over my left side whilst he was helping brace my leg. I don’t know what the difference was for him this time compared to our last pregnancy, but he really seemed to take this one quite a bit harder and was much more worried about me. Anyways, at 11:13pm our son’s head had crowned and Finnick William was welcomed into the world at 11:14pm with no pain medication and no medical intervention. I ended up with a small tear to my labia which needed stitching and a “moderate” amount of blood loss and Hulk arms but other than that, all was well.
They gave Finn a check over and he was perfect, weighing in at 7lbs 4oz like his sister! They popped a red hat on him as he was classed as high risk due to my thyroid and then came time to try to feed him. I really wanted to try and breastfeed again as I didn’t manage it with Soph but frustratingly, it was not meant to be. I couldn’t get him to latch after a good while of trying and neither could the lactation consultant. Due to both of our upset, I began to express into a cup and used a syringe to feed him … just like his sister, with the promise to keep trying to get him on the breast. Sadly, this didn’t happen – it turns out that Finnick has a tongue tie which causes his tongue to not be able to roll correctly in order to feed from the nipple so I decided to express and fed him from a bottle.
We were expecting to be held in hospital for a good couple of days due to monitoring like last time but they turfed me out the next afternoon, just after Soph had arrived for a visit with me and her new little brother. She said that she loved him straight away but she wouldn’t hold him as he was too small and she was scared.
I was later seen back at home by a community midwife who decided to send us to see a lactation specialist as she believed that Finn would need to have his tie cut due to potential speech problems later on. We met with the specialist who explained that he could have his tongue tie cut so that he could feed from the nipple but that there was no proof that the tie would cause him trouble with his speech. I myself have a tongue tie and I’ve never had any problems with speech and as I was expressing well, and he was content with feeding from the bottle, we decided against it especially as the specialist pointed out that getting him back to the nipple could be incredibly hard work and my confidence was already shot from not being able to get him or his sister to latch naturally.
Fast forwards to now and he is totally off of my breast milk which I am somewhat gutted about. The reason for this is that he has been suffering with some awful colic and we have hated seeing him writhing around in so much pain. We were using Infacol which wasn’t seeming to be helping so the community midwife told us to try Dentinox instead. She also explained that he may have a “lactose immaturity” and to try Colief which helps to reduce the amount of lactose in milk. We started using both of these products and after a week or so, things had improved but he was still suffering really badly and all I could think was that it was because of my milk. We then decided to pop him onto comfort formula milk and the change in him was crazy! He still suffers with colic but it is nowhere near what it was like, however, we have found that being on formula milk seemed to back him up, so after reading around tons of forums I decided to add 1/2 an ounce of prune juice to one bottle a day and so far it has helped him pass his poops much easier and he isn’t getting distressed having them build up for a few days at a time.
So yeah, we are currently enjoying lazy days due to it being the summer holidays and trying to get to grips with having two little people who need and want our attention at all times. It has been a challenge at times getting schedules in place for the school run and getting things done around the house but we are slowly but surely getting there. It might be a little chaotic at times, but I wouldn’t change it for the world!
I’m hot and muggy, sore from SPD, tired from awful sleep at night but still so insanely happy to be pregnant. That being said, yesterday was my EDD and I have been informed by pretty much anyone that I’ve spoken to, that this baby should have been here by now as “second children always come early.” Sadly (only sadly as I’m desperate to meet this little man!) he has decided that he is far too comfy where he is right now and doesn’t seem to be wanting to make an appearance just yet … in fairness, he’s just like the rest of the people in his family – likes to stay tucked up and cozy in bed!
So as I hit the 40 week mark yesterday I had to go to a midwife appointment where she offered me a stretch and sweep. So many women have talked to me about how they’d never want a sweep because of the pain but I really don’t get that as it doesn’t hurt – is it the most comfortable thing in the world? Of course not as you are having a woman ram her fingers up you to try and fiddle with your cervix, but is it painful? No … it’s no worse than having a smear in my opinion and I don’t get why women hate on those either as again, it’s not painful and it’s all done and dusted in 5 minutes. With that in mind, LADIES, IF YOU ARE DUE A SMEAR GO AND GET IT DONE!!! There is no shame in having a smear and it could save your life!
Anyways, when I was having the sweep, I was told that my cervix was locked up tight. The midwife seems to think that he isn’t planning on leaving his temporary home any time soon but has said that this can change at the drop of a hat, so you never know. She did also tell me that he is in the best possible position for delivery and is very well engaged so things are moving along and looking good.
After I’d been fiddled with, we got to talking about how some people like to try certain things to try to help their baby along and she gave me a mixture of aromatherapy oils to pop in my bath or rub on my bump. I hate baths with a passion and am much more a fan of a lovely shower so rubbing on the bump it is! It’s a strange smell when combined but it’s not going to hurt to give it a go.
I was also told to eat lots of fresh pineapple (I had one for lunch yesterday as I love the stuff but felt sick as a dog after … turns out there really is too much of a good thing!) and I’ve also been told by others to eat hot curry, have lots of sex and do plenty of walking, which annoyingly, is not the easiest thing to do when suffering with SPD!
I’ve read that people eat dates and sunflower seeds, drink raspberry leaf tea, walk upstairs sideways and do plenty of squats so my question to you lovely people is do you have a method of starting labour off that you’d swear by or do you think a baby comes when it’s good and ready?
Normally I’m in the “he will come when he comes” camp but at the midwife appointment I was told that I have another appointment on Wednesday to check progress and have another sweep if I want it, and then that if nothing helps and he’s still not here that I will be induced on the 19th. I’m fine going back for the sweep next week but I reallllllly don’t fancy being induced so if I could somehow manage to get him out before that date I’d be a happy camper!
So any tips or tricks would be appreciated 🙂
That’s pretty much it for now but hopefully the next post will be to say that things are moving along.
I can’t believe how long it has been since I last posted! It has felt like very little has happened since I was last here, but when I sit and think about it, more has happened than I realised.
The most important thing is that Soph lost her first tooth! It was quite dramatic waiting for this little thing to drop from her mouth as it took aaaaaaages but she was much better about it than I imagined that she would be. She actually woke me up in the middle of the night to say that it had come out when she took a drink from her bottle, but as I was half asleep, we decided that the tooth would have to wait for the next night as the tooth fairy had already done her rounds!
Soph is probably the 5th or so kid to lose a tooth from her class now and the pressure to match up with what others have been doing is real – did you know that the going rate for a front tooth now is £5, and apparently, when a back tooth comes out it’s £10?!?!?! TEN POUNDS?!?!?!?! I used to get 50p if I remember correctly.
Well like a sap, I caved to the peer pressure and Soph now has a lovely, crisp £5 note in her purse and she’s happy as can be.
In baby related news, I have just under 5 weeks until my due date and the days are passing by quickly.
I have been measured and this little man is currently sitting on the 95th percentile so that could be fun! He’s also head down, but not yet engaged. I’ve been weighed and have put on a stone and a half … eeeek! Add that to me already working on losing weight before the pregnancy and that’s now plenty for me to work off after! (I’ll worry about that after he’s here and settled) I’ve had my Thyroid monitored and it has managed very well throughout the pregnancy according to my consultant, my dose hasn’t needed to be raised and all seems well enough that I no longer need to go to hospital for any further appointments. I had my GTT (don’t remember if I previously posted about that) and all was well there too – which the consultant was not expecting as she told me she’d expect to see me in diabetic clinic.
Sleep has been a nightmare, I’ve been regularly getting cramp in my legs and feet which wake me up and I’ve been sleeping in a funny position or tensing in some way so that I have headaches most mornings. I have SPD so turning over in bed and getting dressed/undressed has been an absolute horror at times and last night I woke up at 3am with awful period like cramps and a sore lower back – I never had any of this with Soph so I was scared shitless but then I fell back to sleep after an hour and a half and haven’t had any more pain up until this point where my lower back has started to get sore again – I’ll keep an eye on that!
A positive thing that has happened is that now that he’s running out of room, I can feel him moving around so much better which is a massive relief to me as I had many days of worrying that I’d not felt him enough, or at all, due to the placement of my placenta.
Other than that, it’s been pretty plain sailing and there’s not much to report. We have pretty much everything we can think of that we may need for him and my bags are packed and waiting. I have the midwife coming around next week to discuss my birthing plan (give me handles on the bed for when I need to push and whatever drugs I need that won’t make me throw up like last time please!) and then I think the next time I’ll see her is pretty much when I’m due to give birth. The countdown is definitely on!
In other random news, we lost our cat Wookiee for a couple of days – he planned an elaborate escape, well elaborate for him anyways as he’s a lazy sod of a house cat … he nipped out the back door when I was cooking and not watching, I shut and locked him out and he had two days of exploration in the rain before we found him under some trees in the next garden over just meowing pathetically waiting for someone to come and get him. The little bugger had me crawling under a fence to fetch him and he’s not left my side since!
Lastly, tomorrow is date night for us grown-up’s and we are off to see Avengers: Infinity War. I’ve been itching to see this since it was released but haven’t been able to get to a showing before now so I’m really looking forward to a night out with the hubby. I think we are also both looking forward to not having to dodge spoilers all over the place too!
But yeah, that’s about it for now I guess.
Do you have anything nice planned for the Bank Holiday weekend?
This weekend we finally made it to my in-laws house. There was no snow to contend with and everything was going as planned however, in the run up to Sunday, Soph got a bit sick. Now when I say a bit sick I mean she projectile vomited all over the kitchen floor after saying her tummy hurt. I then proceeded to rush her to the bathroom when she decided that she was done and put the lid down only to then chuck up all over it, the floor and the wall. This kid has shit aim … unless she was aiming for everything in sight – if she was then she totally nailed it!
Soph still isn’t back to her normal bubbly self so we are keeping an eye on her and booking her on to see a doctor if she doesn’t improve but right now, with the symptoms she’s displaying, we think she has some constipation going on. I feel awful for her, I hate when she’s not her normal happy, chatty self and she’s had one thing after another what with colds, chicken pox and now this. She feels so sorry for herself and I totally get it!
In lighter news, we have had to do a little craft project for Easter at school. The task was to hard boil an egg and decorate it to whatever theme you like. Soph decided to go for a Frozen theme and this is what she ended up with…
As she is only 5 she hasn’t quite got the hang of plaits yet so I did the hair and I cut the plastic bottles to make the body shape but she did pretty much everything else herself so she was quite chuffed with the result.
I do love the craft projects at school but at the same time they, or really some of the other parents, drive me insane when they come about. Sorry, there’s a mum moan coming! I hate when parents say they can’t be bothered to do the craft task with their kids as they aren’t crafty themselves, I hate that when we go in to present these things with the kids that there are always a couple (and usually the same couple) of kids who have no crafty make to show to the class, I hate looking at their upset little faces when they realise that they can’t join in with their friends and show off their own project, I hate that parents can’t take half a fucking hour to make something, even if it is the shittiest something you ever did see, with their kid so that they can at least contribute SOMETHING to the day. I hate parents that don’t try in the slightest …. grrrrrr!
Sorry rant over!
Other than the crafting and visiting family, Soph and I have been writing more letters to our new pen pals and sending more postcards to random people around the globe. I’m waiting until we start to receive things back now before posting on that subject again but I will just say that the little sticky flowers that I bought Soph for keeping track of where our postcards were sent from arrived today and that has just made her all the more excited to get started. Hopefully we will be getting something through soon enough 🙂
Right, well time is a tickin’ and The Walking Dead awaits. Do you watch it? What do you think to this season?
The pen pal thing started out with me wanting to write to somebody … anybody! and now I’m up to 19 somebodies and I’m still craving more! I received two letters this morning and am already itching to write back. I’m starting to feel like I’m developing an addiction!
Then imagine my surprise when my awesome five-year old daughter said that she would like some pen pals too! She has got right into the idea and is so excited so I’ve joined a few Facebook groups and listed her there and she now has four friends of her own to write to. She even received her first letter yesterday and was so happy about it that she finished up her reply straight away and I got it posted out for her this morning.
As she was and is so excited about writing, I nipped into town with my mum for a bit of retail therapy. We ended up at Poundland where I got her some sparkly Washi tape (3 for £1 … bargain!) a hundred My Little Pony stickers to decorate her letters with, her own pack of multicoloured pens, and a little pink notebook which she has decorated with some of the stickers for storing her names and addresses. This bundle of awesome cost me £4 and the smile on her face was just insane so it’s one of the best £4’s I’ve ever spent!
So yeah, if you like a bargain then head on down to Poundland – you never know what you’ll find!
In an earlier post I mentioned how one of the first letters that I received contained a couple of tea bags. This got me thinking about sending things within my letters to people too as a way to add an extra bit of fun or happiness to their day and, wanting to mix it up a bit, I ordered some little magnets and sew on patches. Well they have all arrived! I was quite blown away by this as the patches were sent from China and I was expecting to have quite the wait before they got to me but there they were this morning, just sitting on the floor with the post waiting for me to grab them up and start sending them. Chuffed does not even cover how I felt about them when I got them out and had a peek through. I’ve just popped a picture of a few of them below.
I’m going to show Sophie-Anne the patches and see if she’d actually like any for herself (because some of them are just stinkin’ adorable!) but if not then she is more than welcome to send some on to her new pals who I hope will become long-term or even life-long friends. She actually used one of the dalmatian magnets in her reply to her first letter as the girl has a dog (along with a snake and a hamster!) so she thought it would be nice to send one on to her. This kid melts my heart!
As a lot of the items I’ve received are leaning towards a more feminine looking direction, I’ve also ordered a huge pack of vinyl stickers from Amazon so that I can include them with any letters to fellas (I only have one at the minute but am looking for more) or to any of the ladies who I think would like something a little different.
Aaaaaaand … I have just this minute received an email from postcrossing.com to let me know that the postcard I sent to Germany has been received! I even got a nice message back from the chap that received it to say thank you which I didn’t expect at all. That’s just made my day even brighter.
So yeah, so far pen palling is going well, and postcrossing is just starting to get off of the ground for us. I just hope it continues 🙂
Today I did something that I have put off for what seems like forever … I contacted my local college about attending a GCSE Maths class!
I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up – other than a mum who is resisting growing up! – but I know that the things that have always interested me (apart from working for myself) all require a minimum of a grade C in Maths. The majority also require A-Levels and some even require a degree but lets start out with the basics first eh?
This is a huge deal for me as I have zero confidence in myself, I find ways to put myself down and always go on about how I’m not smart enough to go back to school, I get insanely nervous in classrooms and I feel judged by everyone – teacher and peers alike, I worry about my age (I’ll be 34 and turning 35 within the term whereas the majority of other students will be much younger) and I panic about letting myself, but more importantly, my husband and family down.
I’ve figured out that our baby boy will be around three months old when the class starts but the bonus is that it will be an evening class and Baz now has a job where he can work from home on certain days or adjust his hours to suit his home needs. This means that he should be able to have the kids whilst I go and try to better myself for a couple of hours one night a week and it shouldn’t interfere too heavily, if at all, with his work day … win!
I also found out that as I got a D grade way back when in school, the course will be FREE!!!!! I just have to sit an entry assessment closer to the course start date to see if I have the basic numeracy requirements to get onto the course – I’m absolutely shitting it already! I could fail at the first hurdle and that would suck donkey balls.
But yeah, my mind is screaming about how I’m a failure and how I won’t get on to the course or I’ll mess up if I do get on it but this is me trying to push some positivity out onto myself for once. I will get on that course, I will work my arse off to understand whatever I’m taught and I will come out with that C grade … hell, I might even get above a C!
If I can do this, I can do whatever I put my mind to … I’m going to rock it!
We have had a bit more snow over the weekend thanks to “The Beast from the East” and today school is closed (us Brits don’t handle snow too well!) so Soph and I are sat on the couch snuggling and watching her favourite YouTube videos of other kids playing with toys – why she likes this I have NO idea as that kid has buckets of toys to play with but there just seems to be something about watching other people play that draws her right in!
Daddy Baz is also working from home today so he’s set himself up in the kitchen out of the way so that we don’t put him off. It is nice having everyone at home even though we aren’t all doing things together, it’s just nice being under the same roof … and these pregnancy hormones are turning me into a sappy fool who see’s pretty love hearts and flowers everywhere she goes … GAG!
Urggggh anyways, not much has been happening around here. We were supposed to be going out yesterday and seeing family but the snow has caused the roads to be iced over to the point where Baz thought it wasn’t really worth the trip so that’s been pushed back a week. We did end up in the garden having a snowball fight though which Soph really enjoyed.
The only problem with the snowball fight was that it was 2vs1 … me being the one and I ended up with snow everywhere! These two are bloody vicious!
Other than that, I’m in that waiting-for-post limbo now so I keep looking through the Facebook groups that I’ve joined for new pen pals as I seem to have developed an addiction for writing once again. I think I have sent seven letters so far and I believe that I have two people writing to me first but I still feel the need to find more.
So I guess my question for today would be … do you write to pen pals and if so, where do you find them? I’d love to have even more places to search!