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My Body Issues: Before and After PregnancyĀ 

I have always been in dispute with my body.  I have always been a big girl and it bothered me so much.  

When I started at secondary school, I discovered all these different body shapes and sizes.  Most of the girls were skinny or had lovely curves, then there was me.  

I had already started to develop breasts which made me look bigger than I actually was, I had a massive bum and tree trunks for thighs.  I was often called “fat” or “big tits” and even though I used to laugh it off, I was crying inside. Most evenings I would stand in front of the mirror trying to find something I liked about myself, but I couldn’t. 

As I got older I started to worry more and more about how I looked.  All my friends were skinny and could wear little shorts, short skirts and tight dresses.  I envied them so much.  I used to dread going shopping and having to look up the other end of the rails in the bigger sizes. 

When I started working as a domiciliary carer, the weight started to drop off, especially when I was cycling every day.  I was starting to feel good about myself.  I was able to start looking through the clothes at the other end of the rack!  

Then I met Jonathan.  Again I started to worry about how I looked.  I became paranoid that he wouldn’t find me attractive and it took me a long time to feel comfortable but he always told me that I was beautiful and I shouldn’t hide my body away.  After a few months, I began to feel confident again. 

5 years later, I found out I was pregnant.  I was so excited and couldn’t wait to get my baby bump.  All my insecurities went out of the window and now I was eating for two, nothing mattered.  It never occurred to me about after the birth! Poppy was born in November 2012 and I had gained 4 stone! 

At first it didn’t bother me, until I found it a struggle getting up and down off of the floor.  My knees would give way and I would become so out of breath.  So I decided to do something about it.  I joined a local slimming world group. 

It was hard to get my head around at first but once I had it figured and with support from friends and family, I reached a 1.5 stone loss.  I starting to feel better and was seeing results.  Jonathan and I got married, the weight continued to drop and I reached 2 stone.  I was more energetic and able to run around and play with Poppy and not get out of breath.   

When I found out I was pregnant with Douglas, I wasn’t worried as I knew I could still stick to my sw diet but with a few tweaks.  Unfortunately I suffered with Hyperemesis Gravidarum (severe morning sickness) and had to be hospitalised.  I dropped right down to 15st 7lbs.  This was the smallest I had ever been, but not for the right reasons.  The sickness came and went throughout the pregnancy so I wasn’t able to attend slimming world anymore. 

After he was born in December 2015 I didn’t feel as big as I did after Poppy.  I still felt huge though.  I didn’t have time to do anything about it as… I found out I was pregnant again!  Douglas was 3months old.  All body insecurities and worries went out the window.  I had 2 children to concentrate on and another baby to grow so I didn’t have time to worry or diet. 

In November 2016, Amber came into the world.   My weight didn’t even enter my head. 

“who cares anymore?!” 

When I did get on the scales, I was back to where I was after Poppy.  I didn’t cry though.  

My body is amazing.  It was my babies home for 9 months.  Who cares if I have a flabby belly.  Who cares if I have a bum that could block out the sun? Who cares if I have thunder thighs? My children certainly do not.  My husband does not. 

They love me for who I am, not what I look like.  Poppy tells me everyday that I look nice or a I am beautiful.  

I am loosing weight without trying.  My dispute with my body is now over.  I am happy with how I look.  There is enough of me for everyone to have a bit to snuggle up to….. Because nobody wants to cuddle a stick šŸ¤£

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parenting

Mummy’s Still LearningĀ 

Becoming a parent the first time around can be pretty scary, especially if you aren’t used to children.  Nothing prepares you for what is about to come.  

When Poppy was first placed in my arms I felt a mix of emotions.  Awe, love, and fear.  

“I don’t know how to look after a baby! I didn’t think this through.” 

But over the next few days, I really surprised myself. Through the broken sleep, I was learning to change nappies, breastfeed, bathing and dressing.  She was like a little China doll, so precious and delicate.  

In the following months, I knew what cry means what and I was just getting on with it.  She learned to roll over, sit up, feed herself, stand up and take her first step.  With every new milestone, i learned something new too.  Don’t leave things on the floor,  roll up a blanket behind her when she is sat to give her support and that when feeding, she will gag! Its all part of it. 

I finally got used to being a mummy.  Although I was still learning every day.  When I found out I was pregnant again, I was excited but also nervous.  What if I couldn’t do it.  Poppy was used to my undivided attention and I was worried that I wouldn’t have time for her anymore, but she was soo excited! 

When little man arrived,  again came the rush of mixed emotions, accept stronger.  I now have to children to look after.  It was strange having a new born again, especially as he was 2lbs smaller.  Again I had my fragile little doll.  Finally settled in to having two children, luckily Poppy is very helpful and loved getting involved with nappy changes, feeding and bathing.  

Poppy was still learning something new every day at pre school and I was learning what Douglas needed.  He was a completely different ball game to Poppy.  

Then when he was just 3 months old, I found that I was pregnant again.  I cried and cried.  I was just learning to juggle 2 babies! Me and my husband sat and talked all night. After much thought, we decided to go for it! It was the hardest decision we have ever had to make.  

Whilst my bump grew, the older 2 children were exploring and learning each day and so was I. We were in a good routine, which I had learnt is very very important in a child’s life.  

Amber then arrived and I jumped straight into it.  The midwives left me to it, knowing that this is my third child.  We settled back into a routine very quickly.  Amber, again, was a completely different ball game to the other two.  Very demanding and wanted lots of attention. 

To this day I am still learning about being a parent.  What cry means what, new fads and that the park is the best place in the world! The biggest thing I have learnt so far is that children don’t want the latest toys or clothes (well they do for about 5 minutes) they just want your time, attention and love. 

But all the other things…… Mummy is still learning 

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My First Experience Of A Pre-school Mum

My  first experience as a Pre-school mum is now over, and what fun it has been! 

I was very nervous about Poppy starting and leaving her with complete strangers, but as soon as  we stepped in the building on our first visit, I knew we had made the right choice. 

The first term flew by and I could see a big change in Poppy.  Her confidence was growing, she was learning something new every day and she was making friends.  I had driven passed a few times just to see if I could see her playing outside and she had been playing alone or just wondering around by herself and was growing concerned but when they told me she was mixing well, I was so happy.  I suppose being an only child at this point, she was used to playing alone. 

Every session she was bringing home a picture she had done or something she had made.  She was also singing new songs she had learnt and taught them to me.  

Christmas soon came and after a lovely play they put on at the local church , we were invited back to the school for a party.  She showed us all her friends and we got chatting to the other parents and I soon found I was making friends too! 

 Spring time arrived and it was time for the Carnival! Because it was the pre-schools 90th birthday, there was a theme, David Attenborough in the jungle.  Everyone looked fantastic! It poured down with rain but the children didn’t complain once.  We were right behind the band so we just danced along in the rain! 

The second year flew by just as quickly as the first.  Every day she was learning more and more.  

I can’t believe my baby starts Infants in September.  We can’t Wait for the next adventure 

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Our Day At Manor FarmĀ 

It was a little while ago we went to Manor Farm in hedge end but I want to share it with you.  

As I am without transport and the kids were driving me absolutely crazy being stuck indoors, my mum offered to take us out for the day.  I have never been to Manor Farm ( according to mum I had been with my primary school, I don’t remember what happened last week let alone 20 years ago ;-)) and it is a lovely place to go!  

Before we went into the farm we stopped and had a cup of tea and milkshakes in the nice little picnic area.  The drinks were reasonably priced but I don’t mind paying a bit extra if it goes to a good cause like the upkeep of the place.  

When we went in, I was amazed at how big it is!  The first thing we saw was a cute little bunny rabbit.  He was out of his cage and Douglas made a bee line for him!  Luckily he was so gentle and didn’t bash the crap out of it like he normally would(phew!).  A member of staff was stood with the bunny and was telling all the children that the bunnies are all named after King’s and Queens of the past!  Poppy was taking it all in. 

Next we went to see the pigs, we didn’t stay long as the kids didn’t like the smell! 

After the kids stopped holding their noses,  we had a look in the house which is set in the war time.  It was used in the filming of  ‘War Time Farm’ and on a Sunday in the kitchen they have cooking sessions with the children and they can make jam tarts, treacle pudding and all the old fashioned treats!

We the went through to the school and Poppy was fascinated.  They had the top opening desks and inside was a chalkboard and chalk.  Poppy asked what it was for and we told her that they didn’t really use pen and paper in those days.  She was taking it all in and asking lots of questions.  I love it! 

We then came across a park! So far Douglas had walked the entire time and I was surprised he wasn’t tired by now and climbing in the pushchair but no he was still going!  The park had tractors and diggers that they could climb on, an astro turfed track with trucks, tractors and trikes they could pedal around on and an under cover sandpit.  We spent over an hour at the park and was hard work getting them to leave as they were having so much fun! 

There were a few little animals the rest of the way around like ducks, chickens and goats.  We also came across a mock cow that you can ‘milk’ but water came out.  Poppy having done this to a real cow whilst on holiday, got stuck straight in and even Douglas had a go! 

We then went back to the picnic area and ate our picnic. 

I definitely recommend Manor Farm in hedge end, Southampton!  It’s educational and fun.  They are holding a fairy and pirate event in a few weeks and I cannot wait! 

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School TransitionĀ 

I wake up before the children for once, so I get up and get dressed.  I remember it’s Tuesday today and Poppy has a full day of preschool.  Eventually everyone else wakes up and I’m feeling pretty chuffed I am up and organised! I say to hubby “I’ll walk Poppy to preschool this morning, need to start practicing!” meaning getting Poppy and the babies into a proper school routine.  How little did I know I was going to get the full experience!.

Poppy is in one of her ‘moods’ this morning and will not hurry up! She is eating her coco pops pop at a time! ” come on Poppy eat it properly!” then when it comes to getting dressed she keeps getting distracted by cbeebies and taking her sweet ass time!  *

Woohoo we are finally all dressed, except,  because Poppy faffed about deciding about what cuddly toy she wants to take, I have had no time to make myself presentable.  So I go out the door sporting yesterday’s mum bun, a jumpsuit that is too big on me and is now covered in nappy cream (which now looks rude because I gave an attempt to wipe it off with baby wipes) and a pair of trainers.  

We get to preschool a few minutes late… Only to be told she is supposed to be at her new infant school!! Argh of course it’s 4th July! So we run up the very steep hill leading to the school and get her there on time.  I now have to hang around for a couple of hours in the hall.  I walk in (now along with the messy hair, overly big creamed stained clothes, I now have a bright red face and violent heavy breathing) and my heart sinks.  All the other (organised) mums look amazing! Hair all neat and tidy, nice clothes that fit properly and not looking like a crazy woman. How embarrassing! 

 When waiting to collect Poppy, after waiting whilst sat by myself, all the other mums come out.  Douglas is now screaming and throwing a massive tantrum because I have had to put him back in the pushchair.  Everyone is looking at me and talking amongst themselves.  Anxiety is now through the roof. Ooohh please hurry up and open the gates! 

I rush in and grab Poppy. She had a great time and is very excited to be going to big girl school.  Just seeing her face and how happy she is makes these moments all worth while.. 

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The Week From Hell

Last Friday, we welcomed our 2 eldest children home from a weeks holiday with my parents.  Whilst they had been away we thought we would suprise them with changing bedrooms around and giving them the biggest room.  

“It won’t take long,  we can have a good old clear out ” I said to my husband.  He just raised his eyebrows at me.  So we get stuck in and things are going pretty well until I realised how much shit we have accumulated over the past 2 years!  Let’s put it this way,  we were nowhere near finished when the kids arrived home.  Parents saw how much stuff we had so my dad offered to pay for a skip.  “Excellent!” I thought I can have a really good clear out then if we do ever move there won’t be as much to do!  

Saturday night we went to bed as normal then early hours of Sunday morning I hear a little voice through the baby monitor ” mummy i been sick” šŸ˜©.  I get up and go into the kids room to sort out Poppy, 4, and it wasn’t a little bit of sick,  it was everywhere! 

This continued all day long,  she couldn’t keep water down or anything.  “Its just a bug, right?”  I said to my mum.  “Yeah should only be a 24-48 hour thing,  just have to ride it out” 

Poppy continued to be sick throughout the night and the following day.  By this time,  mummy instinct is telling me something is wrong.  “She’s going to get dehydrated”. I thought,  knowing how she felt after having suffered hyperemesis with all 3 pregnancies.  It was now past the 48 hours mark so now I decided it was time to get some advice.  Phoned our GP,  she was seen and was told she’s fine it’s just a stomach bug.  Upon getting her back home I wasn’t happy with this decision,  something was telling me in the back of my mind over the past 24 hours to get her to hospital.  Worried about being an over protective mum,  I took her just for peace of mind.  And it was a good job i did! We had one very poorly little girl! 

Her blood sugars had dropped too 2!  We tried glucose drinks,  sugary juices,  even tried her with biscuits and she responded quite well……until it came back up again! The doctor looked at me and I knew what was coming and it was the exact thing I was trying to avoid.  My baby was to be put on a drip to get fluids, glucose and antibiotics in her.  The diagnosis was Gastroenteritis.  

4 times I had to restrain my baby whilst they tried to put a cannula in and I never want to experience that again.  What made it worse was I could totally sympathise with how she was feeling.  When they finally got a line in I broke down.  “Was this my fault?” “Should I have gotten her here sooner?”  The doctors were fantastic and told me I did everything I should of done and that Poppy was lucky to have me as a mum.  

My mum offered to stay with her overnight as I was covered in sick, blood and had barely slept.  I was adamant I wasn’t going to leave her but Poppy rolled over said to me “Im going to be fine mummy,  you go do a big sleep for me and I will see you in the morning.  I’ll just pretend I’m on holiday with nanny again.”  

As guilty as i felt,  I came home but I still barely slept as everytime I did nod off I woke myself up again worrying she was ok.  I phoned the ward first thing that morning and they gave me the wonderful news!  Everything was back to normal and she was allowed home!  

This week has been the scariest week of my life.  My heart goes out to all the mums and dads who have been in the same boat or worse. 

Children are precious and fragile,  but they can also be stronger than us ā¤ļø

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Birth StoriesĀ 

06/11/2012, my due date, arrived and I anxiously waited for something to happen. This being my first baby I had no idea what was going to happen.  I had watched it on One Born Every Minute so I sort of knew what to look out for.  For 4 days I bounced on my ball, ate hot currys, drank raspberry leaf tea and baby would not budge.

Day 5 my mum comes into my room at 8:30am (back then this was the crack of dawn for me) and tells me we are going to, The Range. We go look around there, which took a good few hours as I had to waddle because I felt like the baby was going to fall out whilst I walked.  Then mum dragged me food shopping ļ˜‘ another few hours on my feet. 

We arrived home about 2:30pm and once I managed to get my boots off my very huge, swollen legs and feet I put myself to bed as I was tired.  After get into a box set I felt some funny twinges so I called to my mum and we monitored it.  The contractions got stronger and closer. By the 7:30pm I couldn’t take anymore so off to the hospital we went. On arrival they examined me and I was 4cms and well on my way so they moved me round to the Labour ward.

To cut a long story short, after 14.5 hours, lots of drugs and some forceps, our baby was here.  A beautiful little girl at 8lbs 4oz.  I had to be taken to theatre with a 4th degree tear. 

We named our little girl Poppy Georgina Kathleen Hill.  She was such a traumatic labour but totally, totally worth it. 

Douglas’s labour wasn’t so traumatic but lonnngg.  6days we went uo and down the hospital until he was officially evicted.  One of those days I was walking around “leaking” as my waters had gone but only slowly.  After 24 hours he had not shown any signs of making his appearance so they decided to induce me.  8 hours later, our baby boy was born weighing 6lbs 5oz.  This time I only had gas and air! Result! No tears or scratches either! Was feeling pretty smug! Felt so much more in control and enjoyed every moment of it.

Amber was definitely the best labour ever.  If every labour was like her’s I would go on to have more! 4 hours start to finish. She shot out like a little rocket! I thought to myself “good job the bottom of the bed is on!”.  Again I only had gas and air and the smugness came back ļ˜‰

Back then, I wish I knew about birthing photographers! Even though I remember every last second of each labour, I wish I had some photos to look back on.  
I have recently followed this amazing lady, who is a birth photographer and I think what she does is amazing.  Imagine sharing those moments with a family and being able to give them something to remember forever.  
https://theultimatebirthphotographyresource.mykajabi.com/