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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10 reasons I love being a Mum! 

Being a mum is one of the most time-consuming, never-ending and amazing jobs in the world. It is an honour, a privilege and a gift to be given these tiny people to look after. Sometime we are even the ones lucky enough to create these adorable wonders and sometime they not made up of our DNA but they have still the centre of our universe and unbelievable love we feel for our child is indescribable.

Even if some days they make us want to pull our hair out or we bribe them with biscuits and their favourite TV because we want 5 minutes peace, so we can go to the loo without a trail of children following and watching as we pee or even better we get to drink a hot cup of coffee before we accidentally close our eyes and wake up to realise we have drifted off and the kids decided to redecorate the living room walls or better our faces. (Or does this just happen to me?)

Now before this becomes a list of all the downfall to being a mum, I will get to my point. That even though our kids can annoy us to the point of distraction, they are still the most precious treasures we will ever be given and because of this here is my list of the reasons I love being a mum.

  1. Watching their faces light up with joy!Nothing is better than seeing my children smile. For me knowing that they are happy and seeing it on their face lets me know that even though I’m not prefect I must be doing something right.
  2. When I watch them exploring, learning and trying new thing.While doing this my children tend to make more mess then I thought possible for people so small. But as long as they are having fun I don’t really care about the mess (sometimes).
  3. Their unexpected kisses.This happens to me regularly. I will be sat playing or stood making tea and out of no where a little person will run up and plant one on me. It is the best feeling in the world to know you are that loved that they had to stop what ever they were doing just to show you they care.
  4. Their little hands.I don’t know about you but I love my children’s hands. I love holding them, tickling them and kissing them. I could stare in wonder at those tiny digits all day. I love how small they are and how perfectly they fit around my finger or in my hand.
  5. Reading them a bedtime stories.I love reading to my kids and I use to read to T and P every night without fail. But as I had more children and the kids got older, the reading started to dwindle (Mainly due to my exhaustion). It’s was something that would plague me with guilt because I knew my girls would be missing out. So at start of this year I made a vow that I would try my best to read a story or sing a lullaby to all my kids before bed on a night. (It has been broken a few times but I make up for it the next night)
  6. Watching them sleep.They look so peaceful, sweet and cute. I just get lost in their faces and before I know it, a moment has turned into and hour and I realise their asleep.
  7. I love watching them play and getting involved!Who’s says just because you have kids you can’t spend your time pulling funny face and being silly together. That just because you’re a mum now you can’t act like a loon in the street or pretend the ground shoots laser if you stand on the cracks. One of my favourite things about motherhood is watching my kids play and use their imaginations. I love taking part and playing along as they describe the adventure they are taking me on. Who says just because you get older you have to grow up!
  8. Cuddles!I don’t even think I need to give a reason for why I love this one. It’s enough said.
  9. When they want to learn from you.When your try to cook or bake or clean and you have this little person who is interested and wants to watch and help you do it. When you know in that omens that you are teaching the a life skill by baking buns or filling up the washing machine or cleaning up for themselves. It fills you with hope that they will know how to look after themselves when they inevitably grow up and leave home.
  10. The pride you feel when you realise that this amazing family is yours! And you wouldn’t trade them for the world!

 

Why do you love being a mum? 

Oh and by the way

Happy Mother’s Day 

Nikki x

Emotional

This is the first post I have started/done in nearly 2 weeks!
I could tell you the reasons for this is because I have been busy with all the birthdays and life etc but honestly that would be a lie.

Because even though the last few weeks all I have been thinking about is that baby’s 1st birthday is coming up. (It’s actually on Saturday! Yikes!) that isn’t the reason I haven’t been blogging.

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See to most this is a happy, exciting time and don’t get me wrong I am thrilled my little girl is going to be 1.
But I find the closer her birthday comes the more I am thinking about the day she was born and how it was the most terrifying day of my life.
(You can read about it here)

For most people remembering the day their baby enter the world is a joyous occasion. Where they reminisce about those first moments when they are embracing them tightly, as they study all their features, about giving their baby it’s first feed or cuddle and stare into their face imprinting the image into their heart and memory forever.

For me most of those first moments aren’t filled with happiness but instead they were filled with fear, worry and terror.

this picture was taken just before the doctors came in to see me)

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Because while I cradled my new bundle I was gripped in fear for her future as the doctors explained to me that they believed she had Down syndrome.
In that moment everything changed.
I worried about how I would cope or look after a child with a disability. I had never done it before and I didn’t think I would be able to handle it.
The questions “Why me?”, “Why us?”, “Did I do wrong?” Whizzing round my head as I tried to take it all in.

I was still in shock from her fast arrival and then with the added shock of her diagnosis. I was completely lost! To me the future was bleak and I didn’t know where to start to process everything.

Once the doctors left the midwife give us time as a family to figure out our emotions before they explained what would happen next.

I was still cradling my precious little girl looking at her but instead of studying her face to my memory. I was looking for the characteristics that the doctor had seen. Telling myself they must of made a mistake but knowing as I stared into her face that they were right.

Time didn’t seem relevant as minute felt like hours that passed in seconds.
Because with all this happened within an hour of me giving birth.

When the midwife came back she encouraged me to try feeding and explained that it may take time or baby might be sleepy due to low muscle tone and weak suck.
Baby soon showed her though by latching on and having a good go at feeding.
But I couldn’t fully enjoy that first moment because my head was still I total mess as I had 2001 questions running through my head. Thinking about the future, my plans, my family and my kids. How was everyone going to handle the news.

A few minutes later I noticed baby was getting sleepy and was no longer suckling as much. I changed her position and that when I was thrown into one of the most terrifying moments of my life.

As I moved baby I notice she was stirring and her breathing started to shallow. I turned to my mum and asked her if something was wrong and we notice baby’s skin turning a grey colour and her lips were going blue. She couldn’t breath.

My hubby and mum went to get the help, as I held my little girl in my arms. Feeling completely helpless and not know what to do.

Luckily the staff responded quickly. The room filled professionals that whisked her out of my arms into a cot in corner of the room and put her on oxygen to bring her round.

I couldn’t watch what was going on I just held on to my husband and stared at the door in front of me. I thought she was going to die and I didn’t want that memory I didn’t want to see my child take her last breathes.

She responded to to oxygen but not enough and she was taken round to neonatal to be give support there.

My heartbroken as I watched them wheel my baby away. I as if I could go with her and broke down sobbing as they explain I couldn’t straight away.

I was lost, I was scared and was numb.

Once I was cleaned up and changed I was able to walk round and see her to say good night before I went to my room on ward.

they took this photo for me to take to my room

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I kissed her good night, as I silently prayed to myself that it wasn’t our last. I wanted her to fight, I wanted to be able to hold her and I didn’t want her to be apart from me.

My husband an mum got me settled in my room and left to go get some rest hoping I would do the same.
I tried to get myself settled but I just couldn’t relaxed.

Then the doctor came to visit me again and explained Baby was needing more oxygen support and she was put on a ventilator.

I rang my husband and explained everything to him. My voice breaking as I tried to fight back another round of tears.
After I hung up the phone I stared at the wall across from my bed trying to take in everything that had happened. Still asking myself “Why me?”
Why had this day that had started with so much excitement. That I had waited 42 long weeks (I went over due) for, turned into my worst nightmare.

I wasn’t meant to be sat scared, frightened and alone in a room. I was meant to be getting to know my child, kissing her little fingers as she grasped onto mine. Watching her yawn and wriggle as she realised she had more room to grow. I was meant to be holding her and protecting her. Not leaving her when she needed me most.

I felt like a failure!

Because of this I have been unable/avoiding my blog, because every time I think about the day Baby was born. The day my amazing, strong and beautiful little girl entered this world. I find myself holding back the tears as all those emotions I felt come flooding back and I’m helpless again.

Luckily I just need a smile from her or she shows me something new she has learned and they quickly disappear.

But the guilt I feel doesn’t go as quick. My guilt for being scared, for being terrified and for not being able to help. That lingers a little longer.

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For all the fear and worry I felt in the early days. I have been given an amazing little miss and I can’t believe she is going to be 1 in a few days.

Here is to many more to come 🙂

Nikki ❤

5 ways to know your ready for the kids to go back to school.

If your a mum to many school aged kids, like me. You will be slightly gutted that August is nearly over and summer is coming to an end but completely elated that it means the school days begin again 🙂

Don’t get me wrong I love my kids completely. But after 6 weeks of almost constant arguments, hissy fits and endless “but why mum?” I am totally ready for their school to open it’s gates and for normality to return to my home.

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So here is my list of 5 ways to know your ready for your kids to go back to school:

1. Exhaustion has set in.
At the beginning of the holidays I remember dreaming of my morning lie in with giddiness that was school to my kids. All because I didn’t need to set an alarm and would wake up when the kids did.
But like many parents, by day 2 and my second 6am start. I realised that it was a foolish day dream that was never going to happen and all those mornings my kids complained and moaning about being woken up at 7am were just a torment. Because now they have chance to sleep in and their up earlier. WTF !

2. Your back account is no longer has pounds but pence!
After school shopping, food bills and days out filled with kids wanting more! Your bank account has seen better days and is nearly, completely void of funds and is in serious need of reviving.

3. Your laundry pile never ends.
It doesn’t matter how many loads you put on or clothes you wash and put away. During the night it’s multiplies and this endless pile of washing has somehow turned into a mountain that even the most experienced and bravest of climber wouldn’t tackle. And it’s all for you 🙂

4. You begin to channel your parents.
After weeks of bickering, nattering, fighting and “he did”, “she did”. You have done something you swore you would never do and become your parents. You will find yourself uttering a phrases you swore you would never say, when you were a stroppy teenager. But it will come out before you have chance to stop yourself and then you will realise you have become your mum!

5. The countdown!
If your anything like me you will have been counting down the weeks/days recently. I more then most this time because we had our holiday early and I got the school shop over with as quickly as I could. I didn’t want to have to face the crowds or wrestle a mum for the last pair of pumps that were size 11. So the last few weeks have had us mainly stuck indoors due to crap weather and low funds (refer to no.2). So I have been counting the days down until normality returns and my day consist of cleaning, play groups and coffee mornings with friends 🙂
And your ready to do the back to school dance 🙂

So don’t worry if your a tired, frazzled mum like me. Who is counting down the days until her little angels are at school because then she can finally clean her house, resort order to her life and tackle her mountains of washing that have built up over the holidays.
I am with you and I understand. I will be doing the MUM DANCE on Tuesday 🙂

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What about you?

Nikki ❤

Just one of those days.

Being a mother is hard, it’s long hours, hardly any sleep, you have to be mum, nurse, cleaner and teacher. It is a 24/7 job and you don’t get paid. The only bonuses are the dazzling smiles on your kids faces, the warmness of their embraces has they hold tight to your leg and that brief moment in time where you can bask in their love before you turn into an embarrassment.

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But some days those bonuses just aren’t enough and your left with the weight of the world resting on you and the feeling of pure exhaustion while you fight to get everything done before the next day begin.

Don’t get me wrong I love my kids with every fibre of myself but sometime a woman just needs a break and today has just been one of those days.

It started with my alarm not going off an both my husband and I waking up at 7.40am thinking it was Sunday.

We Wish!

Nope sadly it’s Monday morning and the kids haven’t woken us up and neither did our alarm. So we were running 40 minutes late. Luckily the clean school uniforms where put on the radiator the night before. Unfortunately they were still wet.

CRAP!

After a quick stint in dryer the clothes are done and the kids go off to school but not before I have had to break up 1 argument, changed 2 nappies and breastfeed my daughter. Who is too busy smiling up at me to eat and keeps getting put off by the noise her sibling are making.

Most of my morning was pretty enjoyable. Had friends round for coffee, made plans for the rest of week for play groups and areas. Then in the afternoon we went to a great down syndrome play group with sunshine & smiles in Leeds.

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It was upon leaving the fun of the afternoon that things started to go wrong.
First being my husband sleeping in from his nap before work tonight and us having to completely rearrange our plans to cover the 2 school runs to pick up my boys and stepdaughter. So after the stress and a last minute dash all is right again.

or so I thought!

We only forgot P’s optician appointment which was at 3.30pm and we didn’t remember until 3.50. Another mad dash and more rearranging.

I come home to yet more surprises, arguments and again me having to sort though an rearrange my plans to accommodate everyone else.

Then it was tea time, we finally sat and ate but E had other ideas an thought her toy box was more fun. The battle to get her to sit and eat again had begun.
Next Ivy decided that she wanted to join in the fun spitting out every spoonful I feed her.
E never actually did finish her tea before it was time for her to go to bed.

So once she was in bed, as if on cue the older kids start nagging about their TV or Xbox or DS time. We come to an agreement an they slowly start filing off to bed at their usual bed times but as I try to put T and my stepdaughter down I find P and E still awake.

sometime I hate daylight savings

What is is about the clocks changing that always messes with the kids sleeping patterns.

After a shuffle around and T sleeping in my bed I finally get chance to chill but I am left feeling emotional beaten, physically drained and alone as my husband left for work after E was in bed.

I just keep reminding myself tomorrow is a new day and after some decent sleep I will be my happy go lucky mum again but today has beaten me.

Nikki ❤;

A recap of my day

My husbands off out, to finally have the long waited night out “to wet the baby’s head”, (she is nearly 6 months old) my little mischief makers are all bathed and tucked up in bed for the night.

So I sit here in my candle lit living room and I let my bottle of red wine breath before I pour myself a much deserved glass. I think back over my day and what I have done to deserve it.

My morning started like any other normal day! My body ached and my groggy mind tried to think over the days events. As I drag my protesting body upright and out of bed to be greeted by a massive smile, beaming at me from the crib and a “mummy” from the room next door.
I stretch my semi awake body as I plod to the bathroom and the door to the third bedroom opens and there is T reading on his bed while P stands at the door asking “what’s for breakfast?” (because the most important thing to my boy is food)

After explaining to the boys they need to get their uniforms on as grandma is coming to take them to breakfast club. I bring my girls down stairs and click the kettle on. It groans to life and E is round my feet attempting to help me make our breakfast. (if you call swinging my on my legs and pulling out cereal boxes helping!)

After the boys have gone to school and I have the girls fed an dressed. We get ready for play group at 9.30. I look at the clock and it’s 9.15 and I’m not dressed, my jeans are still wet and my hair looks like something a bird would nest in. Luckily my amazing mum walks through door.

Grandma to the rescue!

I rush round getting dress and doing my hair and some how manage to make myself look something slightly past reasonable. By 9.25 my mum has the girls in the car and I grab my key, switch on the alarm, lock my door and away we go.

Play group was an amazing and we finished the girls Mother’s Day presents for me.

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The flower pots decorated by E with daffodil blubs planted

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and the paper flowers made by me and a sure start worker, scrunched by E and Ivy.

After all the fun of arts an crafts plus free play, snack time was a welcome distraction. That was when I beamed with pride as E said “more”, “thank you” and “biscuit” with makaton signing, showing everyone how clever she is.

One of the mums asked me where she had learnt it and why? I explained we had done a course at our local sure start centre (where play group was being held) because I had read and heard that children with Down syndrome learn language better with sign language/makaton.

Once play group is over my mum and I bundle the girls into the car and headed towards Morrisons, so we could do the food shopping. My mum pushed an asleep Ivy round in her car seat inside a little trolly while I took E.

All the way round I interacted with E as she again attempted to help (yet hindered) me shop. After 15 minutes of this I finally gave in and agreed to buy her a in the night garden activity book as a bribe for her good behaviour. She started to behave! We started playing peekaboo as she hid behind the book and called out “boo” when she lowered it. I had many people turning and staring as we noisily walked past, playing our game. Not really caring because at least my child was happy and having fun.

We finished our shopping and went home were I fed Ivy and got on with my usual household chores. I waited for 2pm to hurry up because that’s when I knew Andy finished work and shortly after I would finally be able to have 5 minutes peace to go to loo or just relax and have a brew that was actually warm enough to finish.

As Soon as he walked through door I realise his day had been as tasking as mine. He goes to pick up the boys, who go to grandmas for a pre promised tea. It’s just daddy, E, Ivy an I to cook for and Luckily I had already picked up a pre packed pasta salad while shopping.

A little while later grandma rang to ask if T would be able to sleep at his aunt’s house (yes that’s once less to get to bed tonight).

I know that may sound unmotherly but after weeks of arguing or bickering on a weekend one extra day of calm is very much welcome. Special after the pre 6am wake ups all week due to the sun rise getting earlier. P came home while T went to his aunts. By which point it was 6pm and dinner was over and bath time approached.

I washed E’s hair while daddy undressed Ivy and then we switched over in the bath. He bathed E while I bathed Ivy. (he is still scared because she is too small for him to bath her) P jumped in the bath not bothering it’s the same water as the girls and before we have chance to change it. So we decide to just leave him to get clean. While dried an dressed Ivy, Andy dresses E and reads her a bedtime story. The he starts preparing for his first night out since I was pregnant.

It’s not that I ever stopped him from going out (except at end of pregnancy) it just that after Ivy was born and all the complications that came up and the fact that he was the main carer for all the kids. Meant that wetting the baby’s head became a side note. Then Christmas came along an then our anniversary. So it never seemed the right time or he wouldn’t have the weekend off.

I’m honestly glad he went out tonight though because he needs to blow off steam.

Once the girls were in bed it was clean sailing from there. Andy set me a bath off while P watched his scooby doo on TV and I enjoyed my relaxing soak.
By the time I got out P was in bed and I had nothing to do but chill, light some candles an pour my wine.

I know to some this doesn’t seem like a lot and know I have had harder days. But after a week of serious sleep deprivation, dropping a nap for E from rotation and Ivy being ill. I think today was a Major mummy win. now I’m going to enjoy my wine while my babies sleep an wait for my loving husband to come home x

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 ❤.

Tonight is going to be long…

I’m sat on my sofa with my little miss Baby is asleep next to me. I keep checking her breathing and touch her skin to see how her temperature is doing.

All day she has been fussy and not really seemed herself. She wanted to be held a lot and I noticed she seemed a little warm. I asked my husband to check, thinking maybe my own natural thermometer was off. He had a check and said she was fine.

I wasn’t fully sure but I couldn’t find my under arm thermometer to check it that way.

By tea time I was sure her temperature was rising. I searched high an low for the thermometer, finding it under my bed of all places. It must of been knocked under there the last time one of kids was ill.

I don’t know if it’s just me or all mums but I have a stash of calpol, thermometer and spoon in my bedroom because then your prepared for when you get that 3am knock on the door saying one of them is sick. I do this because the idea of having to stumble down the stairs in dead of night is both a health risk due to the obstacle course of toys in the dark and hassle because I always forget the alarm key until I reach the bottom step. It starts to beep in excitement, taunting me as I clamber back up the stairs. Hoping to reach my keys before it lets out it’s ear splitting screech and wakes the rest of house up.
So I keep the important things to hand to avoid the above happening.

But back to the present. I found the thermometer and have found my little miss has a temperature of 39.0.

So it’s calpol to the rescue

Now it’s 4 hours later an her temperature is slowly raising again. Her little cheeks are flush red and the thermometer reads 38.2. I have had to book her the earliest appointment with out of hours doctor at local hospital for 2.30am. So her dad is coming home early from work and grandma is taking us there 🙂

Tomorrow is going to be brought to you by coffee and power naps!

Nikki ❤

The weeks that followed.

The first few days after Baby was born, while we waited for confirmation that she did have the Down syndrome. Where a blur of tears and a roller coaster of emotions.

Because she was rushed to neonatal shortly after birth I spent my days in the hospital by Baby’s side listening to the beeps of the machines an willing her to fight and get better. I would sing to her an tell her she had to fight as she had all her brothers an sisters waiting to meet her an shower her in love an kisses.
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If I wasn’t by her side I would be hidden in my room expressing what the midwife called “liquid gold”. So that once Ivy could have milk mine would be waiting for her. Luckily I had a really good supply, so much so that after a week of expressing they asked me to start home freezing because there freezer was full of my milk.

On day 2 I had to go home an leave her at hospital. It was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. I remember the empty numb feeling I felt when I walked into my house to be greeted by all her things I had laid out before I went into hospital. Her crib an Moses basket just waiting for me to place my bundle inside. This was meant to be a happy time but instead I found myself crumpled an crying on my kitchen floor. That night I had my husband move all her stuff an cover it with a large sheet, so it was still waiting for her but it wasn’t a constant reminder.

Baby didn’t make much improvement until day 3. When her blood pressure started to regulate an slowly but surely they started removing wires. By day 5 we had our confirmation that yes Baby had trisomy 21 which meant she had a extra 21 chromosome. Where as we have 46 or 23 pairs she had 47 so she had 22 pairs and 1 triple set.

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I’m not going to lie it wasn’t what I had hoped for and I had told myself they had made a mistake but now the confirmation proved I was wrong and my fears came rushing back.

All I could think was how was I going to explain it to my kids, would people accept her and would they blame me?

Deep down I knew I loved her with all my heart and her having Down syndrome didn’t matter as long as she got better.
But my fear clouded it all my emotions because I still had to come to terms with everything.
I found myself worrying if she would sit up, crawl, walk or talk?
And all I wanted answers to expel my fears and for someone to tell me it was all going to be ok.

My husband was great an never seemed to bat an eye lid. He loved Baby without question and accepted everything really well. He was my rock and helped me to just focused on the good. He also spent most of time looking after kids and didn’t even complain that he hadn’t so much as had his first cuddle with her until she was over a week old.

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On day 5 Baby came off the ventilator and was breathing for herself. Which meant we were finally able to hold her again. She still needed support with oxygen but she was starting to make major improvements. After another week of minimal support she slowly started spending more time in just normal air and didn’t need as much support. Finally when she was 16 days old she was moved out of neonatal and was put on the ward where I could be with her full time to help get her feeding before she could come home.

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I don’t think I have ever been so excited to be having sleepless nights an dirty nappy duty.

I had been expressing like a machine to keep my milk supply up because I wanted to breastfeed. I had read that children with Down syndrome can breastfeed, but there could be issues due to her low muscle tone, such as weak suck and sleepiness but I wanted to try. In neonatal she was fed with a Nasogastric tube or an NG tube which went up her nose an down into her stomach. I tried for the first few days I was with her full time but the hospital weren’t happy as she didn’t wake for feeds during night and was having problems latching.

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After 4 days of trying to breastfeed all the stress an pressure I felt I was under ended up affecting my supply an it drop considerably even though I continued to express. So I decided I would try expressing an bottle feeding just until I got her home an then we would try in the comfort of our home.
She took to the bottle really well. She still didn’t wake for feeds but she would sleep feed and it was another step closer to getting her home.
After getting her feeding from bottles everything just seemed to slot into place. She had her NG tube removed at 22 days old an she was allowed home the next day.

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I was so overjoyed to have my baby home. To finally have my whole family back together again 🙂

The first few days home where full of feeding, expressing, nappies and sleeping when we could. Slowly but surely we all got in to a routine and life became easier and her Down syndrome became easier to accept. Once I got to spend time with her to see how amazing she is and what she was capable of I knew her fighting spirit was still going strong and when ever I have a down moment or things start to look bleak she amazes me again.

She did it on her first week home when she started to latch properly and I started having some success with breastfeeding. By 5 weeks old she was exclusively breastfeeding and gaining weight well.

I have a feeling my little girl is not finished with her surprises yet and going to be one that never gives up just like me.

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Nikki ❤