Appeal to nursing fashion folk.

Standard

My breastfeeding occasion dresses nighmare…

I thought buying regular daytime summer nursing dresses was a chore (and still do) but that’s nothing compared to finding partywear.

One of my best friends is getting married at the end of August. I’ll be going with Martha and the giant and as I’ll still be breastfeeding  I’ve spent the last couple of weeks losing sleep about what to wear and losing hour upon hour googling “nursing dresses for weddings”.

Things I’d like to tell the designers:
1. Jersey is not a party fabric
2. Hidden slits would be way more welcome around a wedding table than pulling open a v neck and whopping my entire boob out in front of whoever’s unlucky enough to be sat with us.
3. Just because I’m breastfeeding doesn’t mean the only colours I want to wear are black, navy and claret

I’ve looked at the most expensive to Etsy etc and there’s nothing. Either it’s too casual or its too office over wedding or just generally horrific.

I’ve bought something from Asos and have a friend who’s a costume designer who’s going to help me to get it customised.

The militant “you must breastfeed” midwives need to have a word with the fashion police.
Nursing clothes in general seem pretty ropey and/or wildly expensive when compared to similar “normal” clothes without the slits in them.

Roll on weaning! 🎊🎉🎈

Come back sleep

Standard

According to Wonder Weeks and everything else I have read I should be enjoying a good spell right about now but at 3 and a half months old Martha’s gone from waking at 5am to 2 or 3. To make matters worse I can’t sleep when I put her back down – Argh.
She’s just learnt to roll on to her side (which comes with its own sleep worries – today I plucked her out of her crib after retrieving her entire leg from the gap in the bars).
Is anyone facing the same or has come out the other side? Sleep regression? Growth spurt?
Any tips for a zombie?

Traveling with a baby

Standard

My parents live in Spain so Martha and I decided to take a little trip back with them when they came to visit.

The biggest challenge of the trip was being caught up in the Big passport debacle of 2014. Couldn’t get the passport without a birth certificate and couldn’t register her for AGES but  as soon as we did we got out the white pillowcase and snapped Martha’s 8 week old photo that will be used as her official likeness until 5 years old.

image

With 5 and a half weeks we sent it in via Check & Send and we’re told it’d be back within 3 weeks.  At 3 weeks exactly with no sign the news broke about the backlog. They let us fast track her though and the shiny new passport was ready to go just in time.

For her first flight Martha was an angel baby in the extreme.  We got to the airport stupidly early due to first time with a baby nerves only to de delayed due to the French air traffic controller’s strike. Undeterred we hit Jamie’s Italian in Gatwick for a slap up meal to pass the time and then boarded the flight where the staff were fab. We took the buggy to the gate and picked it up in baggage.

Martha wooed the passport guys on arrival and we were greeted by friends with chilled cava for the journey home.  Fab. Going home will be the real test as it’ll be just me and Martha along with two ‘why me’ strangers.

image

Guess which side was more fun to pack...

Things we brought:
1. Passport
2. Nappies – enough to get us through until we could get to a supermarket here.
3. Breast pump and one bottle.
4. Buggy with parasol.
5. As many muslins as could pack and my new favourite Super Muslin!
6. Swimming stuff – floating seat, wetsuit, swimming double nappies and spa factor 50 swimsuit.
7. Boots non contact thermometer
8. Calpol
9. Monitors.
10. Ewan the Dream Sheep and my phone armed with pink noise.

Things my Mam and Dad bought or borrowed:
1. A car seat. The airlines let you bring one as well as the buggy but as we’ll be here lots they bought her one that will last until she’s 4.
2. A travel cot and matress.
3. A paddling pool.  So far, so loved.
4. A playmat with toys.
6. A steriliser.

Things we forgot: Her Dad.
The giant’s at work so we’re Skype fiends. He’ll be coming here with us in September though.

UPDATE
We’re home again and the journey with just the two of us was fab. After realising I’d been assigned a middle row seat I paid £3.99 to change to a window seat so I could feed more discreetly. When we boarded you can’t imagine my glee when the seats next to me remained empty. Martha fed for take off and landing (helps their ears pop) and mostly slept in between – phew.

On arrival at Gatwick we joined the world’s longest I migration queue – and at this point Martha was in a post nappy change wailing fit – only to be plucked out by a travel angel and flown through the special assistance lane. As I have a different surname to Martha I was glad I’d remembered to include her birth certificate with her passport and could prove I was her Mam as they did check.

The bags were waiting for me when I got through but my fellow passengers were stuck in immigration so with Martha over my should i managed to grab the suitcase and then grab and unfold the pram. She stopped crying just in time to be picked up by the giant just afterwards.
Success.

June’s most wanted…

Standard

Cosatto Zoomi in Birdies. 6 months and Martha will be swagging sitting on this. Tick tock tick tock. We won’t the mistake of buying it on line and fitting ourselves this time either – Halfords see you soon.

image

Back to Cosatto for our 3 months to go ‘most coveted’ prize. The 3sixti highchair in Orange Squash or the one covered in lemons. Bring on the weaning. Love the 60s vibe, the gas lift and the spinning ability – if we get it right we can have equal amounts of goo splatters on every wall*

image

*currently planning on baby led weaning so might need to swap goo for chewed broccoli stalks.

A house. Our flat is becoming tinier by the day. Now dream of lofts, basements and gardens. Garages tip me over the edge.

In your face Which Magazine. Our newborn baby must haves…

Standard

The Which Magazine List of most useful and biggest wastes of money in the world of baby shopping really irritated me.  Loads of our ‘couldn’t live withouts’ ended up on the least useful list and know it’s exactly the sort of thing I’d have read and been swayed by when preggars.

Here, according to Which magazine, are their lists of what to and what not to buy:

Least useful
1 Door baby bouncer
2 Baby washing bowls
3 Manual breast pump
4 Baby hammock
5 Fabric sling
6 Nappy stacker
7 Bumbo seat
8 Cot mobile
9 Swaddling blanket
10 Nappy disposal bin

Most useful
1 Stair gate
2 Baby change bag
3 Audio baby monitor
4 Electric steam steriliser kit
5 Microwave steam steriliser kit
6 Video baby monitor
7 Baby sleeping bag
8 Digital ear thermometer
9 Baby bouncer or rocker
10 Travel cot

…and here are mine – you’ll see a lot feature on either of the above lists!

Couldn’t live without:
1.
Pink noise – it’s catnip for Martha. No idea why pink noise works where white doesn’t but it can’t just be Martha as someone’s gone to the trouble of uploading 9 hours of it to YouTube

2.
The nappy bin – might be one of Which’s least useful but nearly tops my list of best baby innovations.  It needs to be emptied every couple of days but doesn’t smell and refills last ages – even with a power pooer as I can attest.

3.
Pacapod changing bag: Fab.
Once left the house without it: not fab and not a mistake to be repeated.

4.
The rocker – lets me nip to the loo and fill the dishwasher on the odd occasion..  Martha loves it – the vibrate function does nothing fpr her but she has a mad crush on the lion.

5.
‘Baby Faces’ book from Amazon.  Mirror on the front and all black white and yellow.  Cloth book with 4 pages. First thing Martha could obviously see as would stare and focus on it from being tiny.

6.
Groswaddles.  Another one to be frowned upon by Which while rocking our world. Easy swaddling blankets that have had her sleeping at least 6 hours a night from 4 weeks. Now trying to wean her in to the gro bags but only because of the heat of our flat not being ideal for swaddling – our room with the balcony door wide open was 25 degrees at 11 PM last night.

7.
Boots non contact thermometer.  Uber. Just point at their head from 5 cm and it gives you an accurate temperature. Even relaxes a panicky granny and no struggles with tongues or armpits required.

8.
Nipple shields were my life saver when first breast feeding. Binned them at 2 weeks when she could latch without them but I’d have given up by day 3 if I wasn’t armed with the little heroes of silicone. While we’re on nipples – the Johnson breast pads have been ace for me and way better than Lanisoh or the sodden disasters that were Sainsburys’ own. Lanisoh nipple cream is epic – have only needed it on the boobs for about 4 days I think, but it’s a lush lip balm and wonder cream so you get your money’s worth.

9.
My baby week by week is probably our best book. If you don’t have a baby with colic you also get to feel blessed each week when looking at the ‘hours a day your baby could cry’.  Other info includes weekly development and also info on how much they should be sleeping and eating.

10.
The Nipper Clipper. Don’t write it off as an  over-priced gimmick just because it’s made by the nail file geek who won ‘The Apprentice’. IT’S AMAZING. The giant and I both tried cutting her nails(/death blades) with the Tommy Tippee baby clipper – both had harrowing experiences and left a bleeding finger each. Guilt on a new level. Since getting the Nipper Clipper her hands have remained blood free and less like baby torture tools. The clippers are curved,  have a spy hole so you can see what you’re cutting and most crucially the blades don’t meet. Cuts the nails really short but flatly refuses to get friendly with the skin. Win.

11. Tried to keep this to ten but I couldn’t leave out what probably seems the most ‘new parents will buy literally anything’ item my life would definitely be worse without – the baby wetsuit. We took Martha for her first dip at 6 weeks – it’s safe to say the water temperature wasn’t to her taste and lasted about 30 seconds before thawing her out in the showers. Desperate to keep the water baby dream alive we clutched at an Amazon straw and got the wetsuit. She’s loved every swim since.

Just missing out…
The baby hammock. Another of Which’s no-no items, but one that would have probably made our list above. Looks so comfy and was the first place she’d properly nap during the day while not on me.

Infacol. We swore by it when we started using it. I’ve now stopped completely and see no difference in her whatsoever so the jury’s out on that.

Video monitors. Fab and another one I’m sure would have made the list if she wasn’t glued to my side (or boob so much). Foresee them jumping to #1 when she moves into her own room.

The paddling pool. Brand new so we’ve only had her in it once so far but she LOVES it, so sure we’ll have loads of fun with it this summer.

Martha’s first 10 days…

Standard

10 days in the life of a newborn…

Well, our  little girl is now in double figures. 10 days old today. It’s been a bit of a whirl. We left the hospital with her on March 31st and brought her home to chill out with her little family and all of the visitors that couldn’t resist a peek. Both sets of Grandparents had flown in to meet her and her Auntie, cousins and family friends couldn’t wait either.

First disappointment came when we tried to register  her birth – we can’t get an appointment until May 8th! Mega lame. The giant was particularly grumpy as he’s desperate to hook her up with an Irish passport which he can’t do until he has the birth certificate. It also means Martha is still known (by medical staff etc – not us) by my surname when she should have his (as should I one day).  Still, we’re over that no and haven’t got any trips planned until the end of the summer so no real disasters occurred.

Day 2 we took her for a little visit to the pub. The spirit of wetting the baby’s head was alive and well. Was a lovely pub beer garden though and Martha stayed tucked in and sleeping in her  pram throughout.

Martha's first trip to the pub...

Martha’s first trip to the pub…

Sadly Martha  took a turn for the worse on day 3 (and not due to a hangover). She  wasn’t the contented  little girl we’d already started to get used to and was looking  more and tanned with a yellowy tinge. Suspecting jaundice we took her into A&E when she was just 4 days old. She was indeed jaundiced and wasn’t feeding properly as a consequence – falling asleep within 5 -10 minutes of hitting a boob. Under the advice of the delivery quite we took her to the children’s A&E. Once again the Queen Elizabeth couldn’t have been better and after some great care we were readmitted to the antenatal ward.

The upshot was  that the dream of exclusive breastfeeding was already over as under the advice of the doctors we had to top her up with formula.

2 days later (6 days of Martha)  we were home again and she immediately looked better. Her personality was back too and we were massively relieved.

Since then she’s come on leaps and bounds and is  nearly back to her birth weight  – were hoping she will be by Tuesday when she’ll be weighed again – eek. Here are the first worries about percentiles and potential ‘failure to thrive’ chats I was warned about and they’ve well and truly set in.

So far in firsts we’ve had – trip on a train, car journey, trip to A&E, time on a tall ship, night feed (still feeling the ouch of those) – well, pretty much everything really.

0Y0M10D-20140409-7002

Getting her sailor’s legs on a tall ship

The giant goes back to work soon which is gutting but luckily Martha’s Nana won’t be flying home just yet to keep me company.

We’re still totally besotted with our little girl  which is  the main thing and can’t wait to watch her grow up.

All the grandparents!!

Martha getting to know all her grandparents!!

Introducing….

Image

Introducing....

Martha. Born yesterday on Mother’s Day and her due date at 2:15PM. 7llb12 oz and perfect in every way.
Thanks to all our midwives and doctors at the Queen Elizabeth,  Woolwich – amazing from start to finish and we’ve all been really well cared for.