mums helping mums

#Mumshelpingmums

mums helping mums
This morning, tears flowed out on the thin film over my eyeballs and then dripped onto my cheeks. I wanted JJ to sleep so he could be his bubbly self throughout the day.  Obviously the selfish part was I wanted a snooze, or a small break.  I’ve been up since 440am rocking his heavy body to go back to sleep with my arms aching.  Then came nap time, and JJ was screaming to go to sleep but he kept arching himself going crazy, throwing his arms and legs everywhere.  So I continued with the gentle rocking and finally, the little monster turned into an angel sleeping.

All mums (and dads), go through a whirl wind of emotions such as above, extreme fatigue, unbelievable multi-tasking, and nonstop organising.  A never ending unpaid job! We all get hell days or even minutes which can seem everlasting. So a little help from other mums is a welcome! From a mum to another, every small gesture goes a long way, so maybe some items that can be borrowed, a playdate arranged, advice given or a smile from afar.

From other mums; my mum, cousin, friends, NCT group and Babycentre group have all lent me a handful of items.  From sleepyhead, Moses basket, sterilisers, clothes, toys, seats and books; all these items add up.  I’ve also received used clothes but in great condition! Absolutely amazing!  For little babies, clothing and items can be so ridiculously priced! Items for Sale in the local area on Facebook groups is money saving! I’ve bought loads from there.

The time has come, and I get to pass items on.  Maybe they will return once I have another child but that will be quite some time!  Ahahaha! This was a huge box and I don’t think the receiver was expecting this much goodies!  I think it came to around £400 worth of mummy and baby stuff! WOW!

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Share the love and help where you can.

#Mumshelpingmums

 

 

snowman onesie

Christmas Baby Fashion – Snowman Onesie

Snowman Onesie

Christmas is a few starry nights away, and with this is the need for some baby Christmas gear at the ready!

snowman onesie

 

This very cute spotted bow tie with red braces long sleeve bodysuit is designed by Agg Crafts from London.  From £22.00 with leg warmers (not pictured). Agg Crafts is passionate about special handcrafting items, treating each item with love and care.  I cannot wait for when JJ turns 1, so I can dress him up in one of their cake smash outfits!

snowman onesie

JJ is rocking a Christmas themed harem pants with large snowflakes.  Small stars are scattered around to create a more fun filled look.  Each square comprises of a shade of green.  The waistband can be foldable to cater to your baby’s height. The pants closes in with a white elasticated ankle . JJ is totally relaxed in these pants!  Priced at £18.00. Schnuki, meaning sweetheart, nicknamed after their daughter is a modern and unique brand of handmade baby items.  You really need to check out their ponchos too!

snowman onesie

My little snowman JJ – he just melts my heart.  Ahaha! Keep your baby warm with this baby snowman onesie from John Lewis , retailing from £19.00.  Crafted from a faux fur finish, the typical snowmans scarf, buttons and carrot nose has adorable embroidery detail.

snowman onesie

A reflection on being mummy these last 5 months.

How has the first few months of motherhood been for you?

My idealistic and nurturing ways of being a mummy to JJ whilst also maintaining me were set whilst growing him in my belly.  Nearly all of them had gone to pot!  I’ve had to adapt and be super flexible.

  • Breastfeeding cover. I thought I’d save my dignity and hide those buns away from the public eye by using a cover.  I’ve given up now using them.  I’m either hiding myself under them trying to assist JJ .  Or it’s a distraction or just annoying and in the way.  If I need to, then a muslin tucked under the bra strap is the trick which aids in cleaning up any messiness.  It’s eating at the end of the day.  Would you or I like to be covered whilst eating?  Not really!
  • Expressing milk. This was amazing the first 3 months.  Had perfected when to express and to give JJ the expressed milk.  But then it belly’s up.  JJ’s feeding pattern had changed to such regular close intervals that there was no time to express.  Unfortunately, it’s not as quick as press a button and a minute later the milk flows into a bottle easily and quickly.  This then led to JJ being apart from the bottle.  He became unfamiliar with the bottle that he just wasn’t interested in taking it anymore.  No getaways for me then…
  • Breastfeeding There have been so many times I wanted to give up. I never realised actually how hard it would be.  There has been forever sofa or chair time feeding, any time of the day.  Comfort feeding, clamping, pulling, twisting.  Feeding in the dark, feeding whilst walking in carrier, in the car – well almost anywhere! There’s no real routine to feeding.  If you can imagine, we all have a nibble, a snack, a feast, a drink.  Sometimes we are hungry and sometimes we are not.  That is what breastfeeding is, any hungriness and thirstiness that JJ requires, day and all through the night.  I’ve kept going and very proud!  .
  • Frequent pram walking. It’s great for babies to take in that fresh air, but does shopping with JJ in trolley count towards it? Does walking to a class count as well? Seeing those eyes turn sleepy is beautiful when he was younger.  Now those eyes are so intrigued in what the environment has to offer.  He’s so keen to see what everything is. As much as I adore taking JJ for a stroll, it’s not every day.  I will strive to do more.
  • Healthy eating. I laugh at this as I thought I would have further nutrients and be all health-ier! To be honest, I did extremely well in pregnancy but now I want that cookie, chocolate, cake another cookie! I will eat anything! At least JJ will get a taste of all sorts of food.
  • Still go to restaurants. Instead of going to any restaurants on the whim, now I have to consider is it pram friendly? No more are the days going to Michelin restaurants or packed pubs.  But I’m happy I eat out! I’m happy JJ is great at restaurants. I have mastered the skill of feeding him and feeding myself at the same time.    Never thought I would see that kind of multi-tasking along with talking to company.
  • Social life. Social life is JJ plus I. I am totally lucky that my close friends haven’t stopped wanting to hang out.  They have been truly amazing.  I can’t obviously ding crazy night outs which I do miss loads, but I’m sure I wouldn’t be able to handle them.  It also helps saving on money. I do have to think if the atmosphere is baby friendly when meeting friends but it all works out.  I know cinema isn’t really social but I MISS watching the latest movies on the big screen, with sweet popcorn! I do miss being readily available to go out anywhere and anytime.

 

  • Toys I said to myself I wouldn’t buy much toys until it is right for him.  Surprise surprise, I have kept to this!  Only the necessities.  But instead of saving the money, it has gone to clothes.  JJ has a better wardrobe selection than me. He’s only going to grow out of them quickly. Grrrr.
  • Becoming a family I really try to ensure we have family time. That’s us three, JJ, Martin and I going out or just playing together.   Spending quality time not in front of the TV.  These are just precious moments I truly love!  When there’s no chores and just pure enjoyment.  Martins help is truly undeniable a load off my shoulder  – and seeing him when he does the poo nappies – a cracker!
  • Meeting other mummies. Without NCT group, and Babycentre group that I truly rely on, the days can be so lonely.  JJ can’t talk yet, and having adult conversations and knowing others are going through similar events is so reassuring.  I cannot comprehend what it would be without them.  You keep me sane!
  • Becoming my mummy. Garden trips, and further sightseeing. I am definitely becoming my mummy. I’m trying to recall how mum would treat me, and what she would do in certain scenarios.  I now ask a lot of advice.  Obviously some are outdated, and she is learning from me!    Love mum!

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  • Spare time. Why on earth did I think I would have loads of spare time?  Maternity leave is not a holiday! I am not in an office or out in meetings, nor getting great pay with lunch.  Being mummy is 24/7.  I don’t get a spare time to have a break or have me time.  My time is playing, feeding, calming, soothing, changing nappies, teaching, and encouraging JJ.  Then if there is spare time, stuff something in my mouth to eat, clean the clothes, clean the flat. Can I fit in a shower? Wash my hair? Do I have 10 minutes to take a nap? I don’t have a clue what’s going on in the world unless someone sends me a quick whatsapp message.  TV? Its just on in the background as white noise.   Yet somehow I manage to get things done.  Maybe not in the time I want, but eventually things do get done.
  • Pacifer . . Its meant to help with SIDs but I said I would not give one – only because I can’t be assed to ween JJ off it.  Guess what?  I tried to hoping JJ could use it to sooth himself to sleep easily, so I could capture some zzzzzzzz.  It didn’t work !
  • Sleep for me. Who the hell said sleep when baby sleeps? That is the time to do the chores, fit in 5 minute shower, sort the baby bag, arrange paperwork, skim through advice on being a new mummy, searching for tips and tricks.  Oh and on the subject of sleep – my gosh! During pregnancy I didn’t sleep well.  Now this is a new world! Waking up every hour to feed or be a soother. I am a zombie. Those long shut eye exist no more.  They have faded far away, leaving heavy eye bags. I’ve only had very few naps with JJ during the day past these 5 months…if only they could be more!
  • Beauty – Beauty regime dissipated. There’s muff, lack of nail varnish, bun hair, hardly any make up.  Ahahahahahahahahaha!  That’s all I got to say.  Poor Martin!  It’s an effort to make an effort but I do try sometimes!

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  • Travel I can’t just park anywhere anymore.  I have to make sure the back side door opens so I can get JJ out.  And the same for the boot.  I need to get the pram out.  Long gone are those days fitting in the last tight space.  Going to London on public transport? Blimey! Word of advice: Plan your route.  Make sure there are lifts at stations.  Try not to go on peak times.  Some people will help you get on a train, bus, escalator but others will disregard you.  If I could slap them across the cheek I would! 7 hour drive to the Lake District? That consists of frequent stops, and feeds and packing the car with everything.  It doesn’t take 7 hours now.  It’s much longer!  Ahahahaha!
  • Carriers Whoever stole the idea of carriers/slings from material being wrapped fround the body from the third world, well boy are you making money!  These are just amazing!  JJ seems to be content being next to me.  Don’t have to lug around the pram all the time
  • Night routine. I’m not sure why the emphasis is so high that lil bubbas must sleep through the night.  They are babies!  They still have a lot to learn.  I’ve given up on focusing on a real night routine and trying to keep JJ sleep peacefully throughout the night.  He will wake normally because he is generally hungry.  He will wake because he wants to be next to me.  All I can do is encourage sleep but not be fixated on a routine.  When he is ready he will sleep longer than hour or 2.  He has done so before and he will do again.  For now, co-sleeping is a beautiful and easy way of sleeping.  He loves it. I love it.

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  • HobbiesI can only try to do them, cycle, read comics, keep up with blog and so forth. Rarely occurs.  One day I’ll get back into it all and travel the world.  Hopefully some of these will be shared with JJ.

 

The good, the bad and the ugly.  No matter how hard things can be. I soldier on. Through the hardships of losing my dad, JJ is my saviour. Seeing that smile, hearing that innocent laughter and witnessing his milestones, gives such a heartfelt delight.  Every struggle is totally worth it.  I’ve learnt in these short months that I need to be flexible and open to anything.  I’ve learnt I can be a mummy my own way, and still somehow incorporate my values and still be me, Laila.  I wouldn’t change anything.  

The Second Month

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Attending a christening.  Note to oneself that hours preparation on everything is required. Makeup and hair is not 5mins anymore.

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It’s mummy and son time finally! In between the feedings, crying, nappy changing, and cleaning I manage to fit our time. Love it when he looks at me. Next mission: Just need to start learning nursery rhymes o singing lessons. I’m so rubbish and hate hearing my own voice attempting to sing.

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The bonding of Cousin Elvis and JJ begins. Oh gosh, they will both be troublesome together when they grow up. Looking forward to it.

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The “Really, do I have to go?” look. Really, that starts already???

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I’m trying to encourage tummy time but instead JJ wants to feed on the pillow.

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“Mummy, you are going to dress me with this top and pants? I am shocked!” Those days when the child doesn’t like what you pick to wear will be here soon I’m sure.

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Batman and leg warmers. I just love it!

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“Mummy as I have jaundice I am going to soak up this sun. Leave me in peace whilst I relax and top up my tan.”

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Meeting girlfriend to be Phoebe and future mummy in law Claire. Coffee, mummies and more babies time is much needed.

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Auntie Jey and Uncle Jel meet JJ for the first time.

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JJ hanging out with Daddy, Alex and Bradley

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Quality time with Mummy and Daddy in Hampton Court. We need more and more. Love these moments!

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“I just want to sleep. I’m fed up of meeting people.”. Rachael meeting JJ.

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“Just gazing at the ceiling”

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“Please mummy. No more tummy time!

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After tummy time, JJ is knocked out and cosy with Daddy.

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“I’m so tired of being kissed by people” Claire meeting JJ.

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Daddy and son time. Yay!

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Meeting Auntie Chona

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“Seriously, meeting more people? Too many people!” Meeting Auntie Janez

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JJ met alot of ladies, Baby Centre Group and their adorable little daughters earlier today and now is overwhelmed and exhausted!

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Just about to go into milk coma!

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JJ pee/fart/poo face! I use to think this was feed me face but was so wrong!

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“Love Yoda. Just not the hat”

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Meeting my God brother Nico. Whoop Whoop.

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Meeting Ninang Bernedette and Ninong Paul

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“I’m Superman!”

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Brushing my teeth with JJ in carrier. Enough said

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Meeting Auntie Louizza at night time

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Missing Daddy.

 

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Practicing head up and sitting down. Just toooooo cute!

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Theo meeting JJ. He said he’s not good with babies but look at them!

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Kate is a natural looking after kids

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Letting a fart rip!

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Milk coma again. Lol ust sleeping over me.

 

For the Mummy To Be

For the Mummy to Be and all Mummies;

Who have yearned for her own family,

Repeatedly tried for a baby,

Bared a lost through pregnancy

Stands alone during the 9 months

Tasted the morning sickness

Cashed out on expandable clothes

Struggled with their wrists

Unmoveable and stiff pelvis

Aching backs

Big and sensitive breasts

Momentarily loses her sense

Uses panty liners consistently

Or even has bladder incontinence

Big feet syndrome

Bruised internally due to being a punching bag

Moves at a snail’s pace

Wobbling down the road

Emotionally retarded

Not oneself

Gulping for air

Night slowly disappearing as the day becomes one

Branches of veins growing

Or skin being pulled in all directions

Scheduled doctor’s appointments

Needles penetrating the skin

Routine vitamins

Crazy healthy eating

Squeezing into spaces that just doesn’t work

Instructing people to move out the way

Dreaded panicky incidents

Uncomfortable hospital beds

Magnitude of contractions

Waters breaking

Fears accumulating

Giving birth to new life

 

There may be hardship to get to the next stage of mummyhood but trying the upmost is all that matters. No need to follow others, just do what you feel is right. What waits down the line is a new world but a unique and amazing one. For those experiencing the magical moments with their little ones, I have so much respect for you!

All of above is worth it whether you experience a few or all. Here’ the first month of my little man.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Next 8 Days In Hospital

I head to the bathtub just to clean myself.  My vagina feels like it’s been ripped to shreds.  My tummy feels wobbly, loose and weak.  I wonder how Joshua feels – he’s been squeezed out, where he had a bit of a cone head! As I soak, I take a breather, realising that I gave birth to my little human, my little boy.  I am amazed and in utter shock!  Me, a mummy?!! I have my own family, Joshua, Martin and I?  Very strange.  The bath is soothing me, but the water starts turning red.  Disappointed I couldn’t be there longer I get out.  It’s time to wear the maternity pads of which I forgot that they’d be a lot of bleeding afterwards for weeks.

Returning back to the maternity ward as a family, it’s late in the night.  We try and get some sleep and Joshua is actually a gem during the night.  We’ve awaken him for feeds and checks only.  Through the night, my eyes are drawn to him as I just can’t stop looking at him.   As he’s not latching well on my breast, I worry that I can’t produce enough milk which actually really hurts, especially as I am told to hand express as I opted for breastfeeding.  The hand expressing needed patience from me to get it going (and possibly the right technique) of which I found so difficult but got there in the end and was able to express up to 45ml.

Double Medela Symphony Pump

Double Medela Symphony Pump

Expressed milk and or formula top up

Expressed milk and or formula top up

The morning a midwife does her routine checks for all mothers and their babies.  As he is physically checked, his colour is also checked.  I hear “He’s a bit yellow”.  I think, well that’s because I am yellow – drrrrrrrrrrr, forgetting about the jaundice symptom.  I then remember it’s due to bilirubin not being expelled properly from Joshua’s body, which causes the yellow bruising. Good thing I didn’t blurt it out. My heart sinks twice as his foot is pricked to test for Jaundice, along with confirmation of Jaundice at the bilirubin levels of 117. On top of this he is also taking to the neonatal clinic for antibiotics as he was early to help prevent or at least decrease any infections that could occur.  He’s returned to me with a sock on his hand to cover the pain he’s experienced.  Feeling really low about all of this, Joshua is treated with phototherapy.  This is a UV light treatment in his cot to help break down the bilirubin.    This entails that Joshua only wears a nappy and a mask (Makes him look like a superhero), so that all his skin can be exposed to the light.  The downfalls with this is you have to be quick on feeding, changing nappy’s and soothing him, so that he can absorb as much light as possible.   This was a very stressful process for Martin and I as we wanted to be spending quality time with him on the first week, with skin to skin, playing, and holding him. In addition, I had to breast feed, use expressed milk, and top up with formula which was classified as one feeding.  We then had to feed every 3 hours no matter what, to ensure Joshua could flush out the bilirubin with his poo and urine.  (O my gosh the poo! He had expelled and aimed his black poo with a gesture of his fart all over me!).  I have to say there were times I felt like giving up on breastfeeding.  The feeding became a tiresome schedule through each day and was quite a battle.

Phototherapy

Phototherapy

A case of the baby blues showed its face, whilst Martin was away during the course of 1 night.  Amongst the crying of the other babies in the ward, the engorgement of my breasts (Boy, were they so painful), the 3 feedings in 1, changing nappies, consoling him when crying, seeing the UV light, pelvic/back pain, tired, not being able to always hold him and questioning everything I’m doing bought me to utter despair.  I felt useless, crap and a failure. I got through it many hours later, as a midwife was there to advise and assist where needed. I still have little sobbing moments to this day ( 5 weeks )  but what do you expect!?  I’m hormone crazy where my body is trying to get back to normal.

All through this, Joshua stayed quite positive. He was usually quite well behaved.  He did however despise that mask.  If he knew how to use his hands he would have ripped that mask in our faces!  When night time arose, he would fidget a lot but was quiet. His temperature was a tad bit low most days and nights so I did get the chance to have a bit of skin to skin.  Rather than fully enjoying this time, it was rushed so that the time in the UV light couldn’t be compromised.  Eventually he looked better where the yellow decreased.  But each day he would endure a blood test – which he took remarkably well with only flinching and no crying.

Being there was a challenge for 8 days.  As I was getting familiar with everything, I did see some new mummies and daddies really struggle.  One thinking a bit of posseting is baby chocking and about to die. Another not holding the baby at all.  The lady across me was experiencing the same – with her baby having jaundice.  The mother who can’t carry or move as easy.  The mama who didn’t have English as her first language so didn’t understand what the doctors were saying.  What helped was Martin being there, family and friends visiting and the midwives being very helpful constantly.  We learnt so much and felt more confident by the end of the week.  It turns out that that they could not find a fault of why the jaundice is being prolonged after mainly tests.  We are home but Joshua still continues to have jaundice (5 weeks and 6 days later), of which the updated results shows his bilirubin is higher than when he was born and that he has neutropenia which is abnormally low number of blood cells.   Awaiting the next steps from the paediatrician.

Joshua in first week

Joshua in first week