5 ways to know you cracked Motherhood!

As many mother’s know having kids is never easy. It might seem like this amazing idea while your pregnant and you will dream and this beautiful baby that you swear will never know what a McDonald’s tastes like, they will never throw tantrums and every day will be amazing because will have managed to always make yours presentable and have your make up done before leaving the house in a morning.

Yes I was one of those mothers too and my motherhood dreams came tumbling down around me within a matter of days of my first son T being born. I left the hospital hobbling like a lady needing a zimo frame after my emergency c section. Every time I moved too quickly or took too big a step my stomach would hurt and it would feel like my inside might fall out. It’s safe to say I didn’t look presentable and it didn’t help that the only clothes I could fit in and felt comfortable were my old unflattering maternity clothes due to swelling after surgery. Basically I was a mess!

By the time I became a mum a second time round all my previous preconceptions of motherhood were out of the windows and I was a single mother. That was until I met my hubby and we started a family together and got married.

So now 4 kids down the line I believe all of these bits of my life have made me realise how much it takes to be a great mum and that sometimes you just need a pat on the back for managing to make it through the day in one piece.

so here my list of 5 ways to know you cracked motherhood:

  1. When your able to some how go to the loo, while holding a clingy teething baby that will start screaming if you so much as hint at putting her down and are able to hug a stroppy toddler, who is sulky because of a reason only they know and understand.  ←  This is a win, because hey at least you were able to go to the loo.
  2. You manage to open and enjoy a bar of chocolate with out your little angels seeing, hearing or even smelling the hidden treat.  ←  As parents we all know how good are little ones are at zoning in on chocolate, so if you managed to eat 1 bar without getting caught, well done.
  3. When you able to make it out of the door in a morning with a smudge of mascara on, your hair brushed and your have matching shoes.  ←  Win!
  4. When your able to feed your baby, while talking on the phone to organise a play date for your eldest and help your toddler put their shoes on with your free hand.  ←  This is unleashing the awesome mummy powers that turn you into SuperMum!
  5. When one of your offspring grabs you and hugs you close for no reason other then to show you how much they love and missed you.  ← This is one of the best and most amazing moments in motherhood. It’s that moment when you realise you are this little persons everything and they love you just as much as you love them.

There are millions of other motherhood wins that we win every day. They don’t even need to be the big things to be a mummy win it can be the simple things like getting to drink a brew while its hot or getting to actually have a relaxing soak in the bath. A mummy win can be anything that makes you feel Proud and Happy to be a mum!mother win

What are your mummy wins that let you know you cracked motherhood?

Nikki x

 

 

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KangaWrap Review

This post is a review of the baby wrap from KangaWrap.

I was extremely thrilled when I received my email about reviewing this item.
I have always loved the idea of slings and wraps for carrying my children.
Although it wasn’t until Baby was born that I really looked into it an gave it a go. I was instantly hooked!

So after joining a sling library near me I was able to try out and get a feel for what slings and wraps worked for me.

I have always been more drawn to wraps instead of other slings because they are simple and don’t have loads of straps or buckles that you have to fiddle and work out before you put your baby in.

That’s one of reasons why I was over the moon when it arrived days later.

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I opened the package to find a soft black bag that contained my wrap and is information leaflet.
I was impressed by how soft the material felt and how small and compact the bag was. I knew it would be easy to store and would fit nicely in my nappy bag for when I was out and about.
After I opened the bag I rolled out my wrap and was impressed at the size of it.
Being a bigger woman I was worried that the one size fits all wouldn’t apply to me and that the wrap would be too small. I was wrong and it fit really well 🙂 and was comfortable too.

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Even with a wriggly little baby trying to get out or pushing you away.

The wrap it’s self is made from 100% organic cotton which makes it’s super soft and breathable. Which is good when it holds such previous bundles in it.
It is stretchy and is able to be used from birth the the aged of 3 or 15kg.
I tested this out by also wrapping my nearly 3 year old E to me.
Best of all it is machine washable at 30 degrees and can be tumble dried on a low setting.

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I was surprised at how easy it was to wrap her in. I was sure that carrying her even for a little while would do my back in.
Again I was wrong because it was really comfortable and easy. We even managed a trip to shops. (she did end up walking back home cause she wanted to eat her sweets and was scared mummy might steal them)

IMG_1171.JPG She actually did enjoy being wrapped to me though and would happily me do it again.

The instructions that where sent were easy to follow and even had pictures showing how to wrap the baby too you correctly .

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It also came with loads of information and why and how the KangaWrap was created.
It is a fair trade product that was developed in parentnership with the midwives of Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS trust and Trade4Life to help parents of sick and premature babies practise kangaroo care.

Kangaroo care is where you carry or hold the baby too you with skin to skin. This has a beneficial effect on the babies by helping improve weight gain, breastfeeding, better temperature control as while as helping parents bond with their babies.

I remember being told all about kangaroo care when Baby was first born and ended up having a 2 week stay in neonatal.

We had loads of fun using this product and I will defiantly be using it again in the future. Because the wrap is super useful and give me chance to have my hand free most of time.

IMG_3618.JPGThe only real problems I had were anything to do with the wrap it’s self just that Baby had decided she doesn’t want to bed carried and would wriggle about, push off me or try to throw herself backwards.

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The wrap prevented her from falling or getting lose and my hands always instinctively went up to secure her back when I felt her wriggling about like this but it was a very unsettling when we were out walking around sometime because she just wouldn’t settle at first.
She eventually settled down and learned to love the wrap and even fell asleep a few times.

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Which was really nice because I loved the feeling of holding her close to me while she slept but I was still able to get on with my day and what I needed to do.

We used the wrap to go shopping, while I did some cleaning and even to playgroup. All the other mums sat watching as I got the wrap ready to put Baby inside on way home and asked me loads of questions. It is a great conversation starter.

So over all we did really enjoy the product and will defiantly use it again with both my girls. I just might have to wait until Baby grows out of the throwing herself back stage but E was happy to be carried in it. So it will take pride of place in my nappy bag from now on. That way it’s there when I need it.

Nikki ❤

Disclaimer…

I was not paid for this review, however I was given the product to keep in exchange for my honest opinion of the item and it’s features.

My special memory

I am linking up with Emma at outnumbered as part of the #BEDAoutnumbered challenge.

Day 5: A special memory

Again this challenge is difficult for me because I have so many special memories that choosing just one doesn’t seem right.

So I thought I would tell you a couple of my special memories. (Yes they are going to be the typical one you’re would expect from a wife and mother)

Firstly It would have to be when each of my children where born.

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I will say the experiences and births were a lot nicer with my middle children, then my with my first and last.
Mainly because after 10 and half hours of labour with T I was rushed off to theatre for and emergency c section because his heart rate was dipping and I had failure to progress past 4cm.
I remember the uncontrollable trembling that spread through my body. It was caused by a mixture of the epidural side effects and my fear, as they wheeled me down the corridor to the theatre.
The intense smell of the surgical disinfectant as I laid on the operating table and the a green surgical cloth they put in front of me to prevent me seeing what the surgeons where doing.
Which I was glad about, until I looked up at the ceiling where there was a massive bright surgical light with silver reflective rings, so I could see it all. Not wanting to see I looked to my right where my mum (I was 17 and petrified. I didn’t want T’s dad, I wanted my mum) was sat and I noticed the wall behind her were again massive silver reflective doors and I could see what they were doing to me.
So I turned to my left and stared at the only wall I could look at before I closed my eyes because I didn’t want to be there and just wanted it to be over.
10 minutes passes (it seemed like a life time) and that was when I hear the best sound ever, T’s almighty scream he had been born. Weighing 7lb 10.5oz he was prefect. My mum held him with I was sewn up and take to recovery.
It took 3 weeks for me to fully recover as my stitches hadn’t been done right and I had to go back into hospital to have it removed. It was horrible.

My next memory would be the night I met my hubby. (although I was on a night out so it doesn’t stay vivid :D)

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I was on a much needed night out with friends because I was a single mum of 2 going full time to college to redo my GCSE’s.
Well anyway I got to the club an didn’t realise how expensive a round would be and I had forgot to get more money out of my bank on the way. So my friend an I left to walk to the nearest cash machine.
On the way my friend recognised an old friend of hers (which happened to be my future husband). At the time though I was wanting to get to bank before it got too busy or late. I set off ahead while she followed behind talking to him.
I was still trying to be part of their conversation though not wanting to be impolite and him thinking I was rude or snubbing him (he was cute and all).
This meant I was walking but looking behind so I could hear and chat too. It was at this point that I walked straight into a bench! falling face first onto it, with my backside up in air. (my hubby say that was the moments he decided he was going to try his luck and get to know me)
Neither of them warned me or said “look out for the bench!” No, they laughed at me instead.
Anyway after I managed to stop myself dying there an then out of embarrassment, walking away with dented pride and bruised chins. We made it to cash machine and back to club. Where I went straight to loo’s to sort myself out. When I came out my friend was at the bar but “my hubby” was no where to be seen.
So I carried on having a good time dancing, chatting and having a laugh.
A little while later I was stood at the bar with another of my friends chatting while waiting for my drinks order when “my hubby” came over handed me 6 roses, paid for my drink,then out of no where kissed me and walked off.
I was so shocked I just stood there staring at my friend and the flowers and then at my friend again wondering what the hell had just happened.
A few drinks later (this is where it gets blurry!) “my hubby” and I found each other and managed to actually talk and get to know each other and the rest is shall we say history.

I do have loads of other special memories like when I found out I was pregnant, when my other children where born, when I passed my Alevels and the day I got married.

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But we would be here for ages going through them all. So these will do.
Can’t wait to read yours.
See you tomorrow.

Nikki ❤

blog every day in August

magic moments

Kids grow up far too quickly!

Today I have realised my eldest little boy isn’t so little anymore. This is because T and I have had to have

THE SEX TALK!


I have been seriously been putting it off (but knew it was coming)mainly due to his age. He is only 9 and will be 10 in the next few months. Recently though he has been asking me questions. Like “what is sex?” and asking about when his voice will break etc. I tried to answers his questions as truthful as I can but without giving too much detail as I wanted to keep as much if his innocence in tack as I possible could.

The reason we were having the talk! (well the watered down version he is only 9!) is due to the fact that T’s school called me explaining that T and some boys had been discussing it in the playground!

So I had the discussion with my little boy about sex and trying not to picture him as my little baby boy who is too young to know about any of this sort of stuff and answer his questions as calmly and as informative as I can without making us both embarrassed. (I have to fight the urge wrap him up in cotton wool or try to figure out a way to never never land then he will never have to grow up!)

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I want him to know he can always come to me about anything and if it’s a Boy Thing! that he doesn’t want to talk to me about, then he can always talk to his stepdad, grandads or his dad when he is with him.

So with the help of a human body book and a few tips off parenting sites I took the plunge.

We sat and talked once all the other kids were in bed. I started by first asking him what he thought sex was. I didn’t want to tell him something he didn’t need to know and I also wanted to make sure his friends were giving him false facts.
He was very embarrassed and didn’t really want to say. After some reassurance and me telling him that it will help him learn to talk to me when he is older.

I cover the basic of what sex is, talked about the changes his body will go through and what puberty is, we talked about how at his age he isn’t ready for sex until he is older and that it should be when he ready and with someone he cares about who also has to be ready. I also stressed the point to him that it isn’t something you discuss around younger children or in school and that I didn’t want him talking to his younger brother or sisters about it because they are younger. So when they are older hubby or I will do “the talk” with them like we have him. We went over the underwear rule again and I told him that if he ever has questions to come and ask us.

I do believe the talk went well but I still wish I could of waited a little longer but it’s better him knowing the truth and facts then believing what he hears in the play ground.

Kids seriously grow up way too fast these days.

Nikki ❤

Weaning Ivy the fun and games.

Warning contains pooh talk

Even though I have weaned my 3 older kids with Ivy from the start I was nervous about the change and how it would affect her. I had read many parents on facebook Down syndrome support sites asking about what to do because their kids didn’t eat well due to their tongues sticking out or getting in the way. The other main problem I had read about was constipation.

I was reluctant to start weaning because I was honestly scared incase problems started to arise. We had been so lucky so far Ivy had no major health problems (apart from her brief stay in neonatal at the start). Her heart had been scanned and all the holes had closed on there own, her lungs had cleared and her breathing was good, her weight gain was good and she was poohing on a regular basis. She was a happy thriving baby.

I knew that while she was breastfeeding that constipation wouldn’t be a problem due to breast milk having a laxative affect on babies.

Eventually she turned 6 months old and I could put it off no longer I had to put my worries to one side and start weaning her!

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The face says it all!

We started off with the usual baby rice and then moved on the yogurts. We also tried baby porridge. I came up against the usual problems with the tongue but found long, thin ended spoons helped get around that one.

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And then it was trying to get fluids in to her other then breastmilk. Every time I gave her fluids out of a sippy cup she would spit it out all down herself or her bib.

After the first week of 1 meal a day I thought we had managed to get through without any problem but then what I feared most and had worried about started to happen.

constipation!

She started not going. Some days it would be every 2 days others she would go 5 days and I started to stress! She wasn’t in pain, at first. But I knew the signs because of the rabbit like pellets in her nappies when she finally did go or the redness an pushing she had to do to get the tiny pellets out.

I had a choice to make.

– Did I go to the doctors and see if they could prescribe something to help her go.

Or

– Do I try some natural methods and old wives tails etc.

I decided to go the au natural route first because I wanted to know we tried every option and we would find one that worked best with Ivy. I was also worried that if I started her on medical laxatives so young that she may be on them for life.

So I reach out to the amazing group on Facebook which is full of other parents with children that have Down syndrome and that have gone through the same problems I was going through. I was given loads of helpful hints and tips such as:

– blended prunes in yogurt or cooled boiled water.

– mixing pure orange juice with cooled boiled water.

– cooled boiled water.

– just breastfeed more often.

– massage the belly in circular motion and peddle the legs slowly.

– lots of fresh vegetables and fruit.

I decided it would be best to try removing all stuff like porridge and rice until we had this problem under control.

I will say it all worked and over last few weeks I have managed to have her eating 2 meals a day (breakfast and tea) and going rather regularly (every 2-3 days). I mainly started out giving her just blended fruit or mixing in boiled water if I believe it was too thick for her. Now she is having vegetables on a tea time followed by yogurts or yogurt and blended prunes (which she loves) and has fruit for breakfast.

I have missed a her tea once when she hadn’t gone in 3days and i just breast fed her more often. The next morning she had a lovely surprise in her nappy for me.

I have never been so happy to see pooh or as excited when she goes 2 days in a row!

I was starting to wonder was I normal but today I was talking to a fellow DS mummy and she explained to me she use to be the same with her daughter and it filled me with hope that I wasn’t becoming obsessed.

I still know we have a way to go and I am hoping to have her on 3 meals a day really soon but for now this is working and I want it to stay that way.

We still have to work on the sippy cup problem but one thing at a time and I know now that if things get worse I can always go to the doctors and have medicine prescribe and be happy in the knowledge I tried everything I could first.

nikki ❤

Breastfeeding and why it was for me.

When I found out I was first ever pregnant I knew straight away I wanted to breastfeed it just seemed so natural and I wanted the gets for my baby/babies.
At that point though I never realised how different it would be breastfeeding different children, I always believed it was straight forward and simple (I was wrong!).
I have always tried to breastfeed with all my children.
Here are our stories:

T was my first and I so wanted to breastfeed him but at 3 days old I was still in the hospital recovering from my emergency c section and he wouldn’t stop crying. He was constantly hungry. It was then that a really lovely midwife explained that my milk hadn’t come in yet and asked if I wanted him topped up with formula. Being completely exhausted I agreed.
When my mum found out she took the information that because he needed a formula feed while my milk came in, that he would need one all the time. (I know now that’s not the case)
So when I went her house to recover (I was 17 just had a csection and had only just moved into my own house 2 weeks before and I wasn’t fully unpacked) she wanted to give him a bottle for at least 1 feed and he ended up taking to bottle better. I can’t really blame her he was her first grandchild and she was desperate to be involved. I managed to mixed feed T for 2 months before I gave up.

When P came along I was a single mum and I had no one I had to share him with. I loved it! I got to spend all my time with my boys and he took to breastfeeding straight away. So much so that when they weighed him after birth he didn’t lose the usual 10% of birth weight babies normally lose, he gained going from 9lb to 9lb 1oz in 2 days.
The bond I had with him was great and breastfeeding just made life so much easier because in middle of night I didn’t have to run downstairs and make a bottle, I never had the sterilise anything and it was completely free.
Feeding P was easy and I feed him until he was 4 and half months. It would of been longer but I signed up to college to redo my GCSE’s which was full time and I didn’t want to spend all my free time expressing milk because I had to study and raise a family.

I knew from start with E that I was going to breastfeed and I honestly thought it would be as easy as it was with P.
I was very wrong. the problems started with the fact that she wouldn’t feed for longer then 10 minutes and she would go for hours between feeds.
Then over night she changed an just fed constantly an I never got a break. She didn’t put weight on properly and at 5 weeks old I was fed up, exhausted and completely drained (in more ways then 1) with a baby that just cried and cried and cried. I told my husband I was ready to stop because she clearly wasn’t getting enough milk.
Fortunately my health visitor got a lactation specialist to come to my house. She explained that E wasn’t latching properly because she was bringing her top lip in when she sucked and it meant she wasn’t getting the full fat hind milk. That why her weight wasn’t going up an she never seemed full. She showed me what to do to help her latch properly and finally at 6 weeks we got it down.
She was fed the longest at 10 an half months (so far). I only stopped with her because it was my husbands birthday and we were having a party. I had gone so long without alcohol and I really just needed to blow off some steam. I use to enjoy the odd glass or so of wine even if I was feeding but with E having kidney problems I refused to have any once we found out because I didn’t want to risk her having another water infection.

Just like with E I knew I wanted to breastfeed with Baby. I was sure that I knew all I needed to know about feeding and it would be easy.
Again how wrong was I! Baby came along with all her surprises and was then whisked off to neonatal. She was NG tube fed my expressed breast milk until 16 days old and that when I started attempting to breastfeed her.
I had been told and read that her Down syndrome could cause problems breastfeeding but I was determined I would and that was all that mattered. In the hospital I didn’t really seem to get much support with feeding.
Yes the nurses an midwife would try to help but it they always seemed to remind me that

“she might not be able to breastfeed”

and

“for some babies they just can’t do it”

I know they were just trying to let me know it would be ok if she didn’t but the negativity was off putting.
There were a few nurses that were great an so upbeat. Telling me that they knew she would eventually an signing me up for lactation groups but by that point I just wanted to get my baby home. So we tried bottles filled with expressed milk which worked and within day she was discharged.
Once I was at home I started trying her at my breast before any bottle and would top her up if she didn’t latch or I didn’t feel she had enough. It was hard at first because she would barely latch on.
Again I told my husband I was thinking of quitting and it was as if a switch was flipped because the next morning Baby latched on an fed, it felt so amazing I almost cried.
I carried on trying her before feeds and she started latching more and more until I decided 1 day to not give her any bottles and she fed completely from me, she was 5 weeks old. She is now 5 and half months and we are still going strong with breastfeeding even if I have recently started to wean her.

I am so glad I never gave up and kept trying.
I don’t know how long Baby and I will breastfeed for but I’m going to enjoy it while I can. Specially as she is my last baby.

Another really good thing about breastfeeding is the fact that I had been able to express and go on to donate my milk for other babies that are ill or mothers that can’t produce enough themselves or have issues like Baby with latching. It makes me feel so proud to know I’m making a difference in the world and helping others.

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Nikki ❤.