Wednesday, 10 August 2016

The Baby Led Weaning Journey Begins....

As a parent you are always learning, even if it's not your 1st time. With my daughter's arrival there were some things I was keen to do that I hadn't done last time and one of them was to use the Baby Led Weaning technique.

Why Baby Led?
As I already have a 5 year old son, admittedly I was driven by the advice of parents and health professionals when it came to weaning him and of course retailers so I naturally went down the Traditional Led Weaning path offering him different stages of feeding by offering him pureed products and introducing lumps and texture slowly. Now at almost 6 years old he refuses to try most foods and struggles with anything that has too much texture, this was my trigger to try Baby Led Weaning this time around.

What is Baby Led Weaning?
Basically, offering your baby food that you are eating and allowing them to explore it for themselves. Cutting foods into manageable pieces to allow your child to feed themselves.
Since having my son 5 years ago, I have witnessed both of my Sister In Laws wean their children in the Baby Led manner and have always been in awe at how well my nieces took the food. So for me this was the way forward.

How did I get Started?
I had a good understanding of what to try with my daughter but I got prepared, I joined a group on Facebook and started reading through the posts and recipes and advice that they offered to see how to get started and then I did a shop for the first few meals.
I also hired a great book all about Baby Led Weaning by Gill Rapley which gave some great ideas on getting started.
I decided to make a start at Breakfast time, this also coincided with the Summer Holidays so I was hoping that seeing his little sister trying and enjoying all these foods may encourage him to try a few more things watch this space..........

How is it going?
It's now been 2.5weeks since I first introduced solids to my daughter and I have to say it is going brilliantly.
The very first thing she tried was a toasted crumpet with some unsalted butter and some banana. This is actually one of my favourite breakfasts, I enjoy a toasted crumpet with some sliced banana so as mealtimes would be enjoyed together I wanted to try her with foods that are popular with us as BLW is intended.
It has been lovely to see the progress made so far with the tiniest amounts being consumed to watching her devour a huge chunk of watermelon or cucumber.

I am 100% glad I made the decision to go with BLW this time, I am amazed to see the changes and how quickly she has adapted from not taking any solids to confidently trying each item of food that is placed in front of her.

Long may this journey continue!

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Moving Out!

Here I am writing this today and my little girl is now just over 19 weeks old! The time is absolutely flying. We are really settled now however and getting ready to move her into her own bedroom, which makes me slightly sad as I will not have her next to me still but she seems pretty settled at the moment, sleeping through the nights (I know!) but she just seems to need more space.
For me, I have been taking this journey alongside a great group of friends and we help each other through each difficult stage. "Moving Out" is one of those steps that, as a mum you never want to take. The 1st step to your little baby growing up. Realistically however, there are only so many times you can deal with the baby getting woken up by your husbands snoring!

So with a monitor set up and a sensor pad in the cot it was time to make the move. It's so funny as a first time parent I wanted to hit every milestone bang on and was constantly looking for the next thing, this time I hang on to every single moment, delaying the next as long as possible, why? Simply because the next children to enter our family will be likely to be our Grandchildren as hubby is adamant that we are not having anymore and well, although we have a spare room we want it to remain just that and I do have ideas of it becoming a play room although I think I would have to win my husband around on that one!

Anyway wish me luck, I bet she will get more sleep than me!

Thursday, 18 February 2016

The Section

So the date arrives....

Like Christmas when you are a child I woke up naturally a lot earlier than usual nervous and excited that today was the day our family would become one more.

As advised I hadn't eaten anything since midnight and at 7am I took my antacid tablet. I then gathered the last few items to take in with me such as my phone and charger and added them to my bag.

Our son had gone to stay at Nana's the night before as he had school so it was just hubby and me to get ready. Needless to say we arrived just before 8am at the hospital and anxiously began our wait to see when we would be going in.

We had been advised that there were two planned sections a day and that they generally took place at 9am and 11am. We were directed to the lounge area to wait for us to be seen by the midwife, they arrived and informed us that they were just changing shifts so would be approximately 20 minutes before we would be taken to the labour ward.
The 2nd couple arrived just after us and we all sat there nervously in silence.

After what seemed like an eternity I was taken to the labour ward and introduced to my midwife and settled into a room.
As expected the checks took place, I was assigned a wristband and admitted to the ward and asked to check all of my details.
I confirmed I was 39 weeks and my observations were taken and noted down.

The procedure was talked through and still I seemed to be holding it all together, as I was bombarded with members of the team that would be assisting with my baby's delivery it all still seemed a little unreal.

Hubby was provided with a gown to get ready but once it was on he had to stay on the ward, he stripped off and into his new outfit and was ready to go.
As 9am came and went I started to feel anxious, the longer that I was waiting the more time I had to think of what was about to happen.
I was advised that the team would soon be coming in to introduce themselves to me and then when ready I would be off to theatre.

As the anesthetist arrived he inserted the canular into my right hand, I had informed him about how I was worried about this after my son's delivery this procedure had caused me a great deal of discomfort so he ensured that this was done as quickly and as gently as possible.

The rest of the team then came in one by one to introduce themselves and they completed a check list to ensure that all systems were in place. Then it was time......the tears came......I broke down.

As usual it was the hormones that had gotten the better of me, or maybe it was the fact that I was walking down to theatre on my own as hubby had a great fear or needles so I was on my own with the surgical team to have the spinal block administered. The team were fantastic however, they kept me occupied and reassured me with any concerns I had, as soon as it was done, off they went to get hubby and then I lost it again, bursting into tears.

The realisation that everything I had planned for was now all going to become a reality as the new baby was about to be born.

After a few moments I began to get the sensation of pins and needles as my legs firstly started to feel a little numb, I was then helped to lie down onto the table with my arms stretched out either side of me. One armed with a Blood Pressure Cuff and the other with my Cannular and fluids flowing through.

As the feeling began to work its way throughout my body the sensation was strange and difficult to describe, I could feel the sensation of my legs but couldn't move them. I had the urge to wiggle my toes but as I tried to do it nothing happened, yes the block was working.

Once I was stable the team began to prepare for the section and checked if I had any sensation before beginning. The screen went up and I was told the baby would soon be here. This is the bit that felt like an eternity and was where I felt discomfort but definitely no pain at all.
All I felt was a heavy weight pressing down on my chest as the operation took place, I remember thinking back to when I was having my emergency section as this took place in the same room as when I had my son and scarily things were returning to my memory as if they had happened just yesterday. Everyone seemed a lot more relaxed the team were all talking amongst themselves about their plans for the weekend and I just remember trying to focus on what was playing on the radio in the background.

Then I began to feel ill. I felt so nauseous and I felt about to pass out, I called my husband, he notified the anesthetist who topped up my meds and I soon started to feel better, my BP had dropped.
Many people complain of a sensation similar to someone washing up in their stomach, for me I had no sensation of this, I just had this pressure on my chest which was about the worst part of the whole procedure.

After what felt like an eternity, I was told that my daughter's arrival was imminent and she would be here within minutes, the emotions began to flow again, nervous, excited and anxious all rolled into one.

Then I heard it, her cries for the first time. I cried. My emotions just came, this little person I had been carrying for 9 months was finally here to make our family complete and for me the wait continued as I was repaired and hubby was set on his way to get some pictures for me.

Having a planned section vs an emergency section, everything was a lot more relaxed and also seemed to take that little bit longer. Overall the procedure took just over an hour, I had to have a compression dressing on top as my wound was weeping slightly but I did not require a drain.

My little girl, Zara Louise was here. Weighing in at 7lbs 1oz she was 1lb 1oz smaller than her older brother was but looked almost identical. I couldn't wait to get to hold her.

As I returned to the labour room I finally got to give her a cuddle and get that all important skin to skin contact and her first feed, it was amazing. The instant feeling of love and the bond between us it was as if she had always been here and any pain or discomfort that I felt I was immune to.

Tea and Toast was on the menu and as it approached lunchtime it was the best thing I had tasted, I also was served up lunch, mushroom soup and a sandwich, I was famished and it tasted so good and the Egg Custard that followed was out of this world and I think now they will always remind me of the day Zara was born.

After a bed bath and a few hours to recover on the labour ward I was ready to be moved up to the main ward and settle in to being a new mum once more.
Thursday, 21 January 2016

The Pre-Op

As I approach 39 weeks, the appointment arrives for my Pre-Op.

Having opted for an elective section this time due to complications with my son, I have found this experience completely different as you actually have the date that your baby is going to arrive. Mine being tomorrow.

As we arrive at the Hospital to discuss tomorrow's procedure we are taken through to the Day Unit, somewhere I never went to on my previous pregnancy. A lovely setting, freshly decorated and relaxing. I was taken to a small room where I was measured for my stockings and the procedure discussed.

I was provided with some information on the procedure along with what to expect on the day. I was prescribed an antacid to take in the morning before the operation and advised of the time and location of where I was to attend.

My blood pressure was checked along with my pulse and I was required to give a urine sample (standard).

It was when I was at this appointment I felt I needed to try and hold it together. I had the most sympathetic and friendly midwife I had come across so far in this pregnancy and her kindness was almost driving me to tears!
I managed to get through the appointment and after approximately 45 minutes that was it until the day of the operation arrived.

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

37 weeks and still counting.....

It has been a while since I last updated this blog, the last few weeks have been harder as I have got bigger I have found it harder to do things in the house and even the school run is proving to be ridiculously tiring!

My little boy is getting excited at the thought of his sister arriving next week, however as we are booked in for a section at 39 weeks it never entered our minds that I could still go early and this Sunday we found ourselves on our way to the Labour Ward to go and get checked after spotting something unusual and suffering back pain that kept coming and going every 20 minutes.

3 hours later the baby had been as active as anything and all observations were fine so I was discharged to continue my wait.

I really wish I had took everything in when I was pregnant the first time as it is a lot harder to relax with a 5 year old, especially when he is full of cold as he has been this week and my plan to have a relaxing 2 weeks before baby arrived has gone out the window!

We are all ready for the little lady to arrive however, the bags are in the car ready for next week and I went and bought a few final bits today from Boots whilsts they had a good sale on.

Final community midwife appointment today so hopefully that will all be well then it's a waiting game until next Friday and boy is time going really slowly now!