SELF LOVE

Self love after babies – sounds easy right? Who would have thought this would be a struggle for most of us. As women, there is a lot of pressure on our body image before babies and I feel like it only gets worse after babies. It may sound like something so minor to some but for me it has been a struggle learning to love my new body.

I never even had any thoughts about this while I was pregnant. You sort of live in this predicament where you expect everything to be the same as before babies. Everywhere we look online seems to be gorgeous girls who manage to bounce straight back after babies with no effort what so ever and I think maybe I was slightly ignorant and thought I would be the same too.

Your newly acquired mum bod is not something people warn you about like they do with everything relating pregnancy, labour and parenting. No one told me that I would get stretch marks in more places than my tummy. The shock I got when I found stretch marks on the backs of my legs behind my knees was scary – how could this be? I thought I had barely put weight on in my legs. No one tells you that its not just your tummy that gets bigger – your whole body can put on weight too.

So like most, I thought I was fat before babies, truth is I was not and I would do anything to have that body again! Then I remember that body had not made two gorgeous babies in under two years! Here is a couple of photos of then –

Even looking at those photo’s as I am writing this makes me really wish I could just bounce back to that. The next photo is a photo of me around 34 weeks pregnant with Kellan, my second pregnancy in under two years. Not only is it hard for my body to do that, my body never got a chance to get back to my ‘normal’ size after Harlee-Jae because I was pregnant again when she wasn’t even 3 months old.

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I felt massive and ugly in these photos, I couldn’t look past my big thighs, my flabby arms and my double/triple/quadruple (haha) chins. It really took a lot for me to look past all my flaws and realise the real beauty lays within the fact that my body was doing something amazing for the second time and that is pure beauty in its self.

The next photo is my body now. I took this photo around six after my second child and I will be honest, its not the easiest photo for me to post. It is no where near perfect. I have stretch marks on my tummy, on my hips, on my bum, on my boobs and even on my legs. I have cellulite everywhere your body can have cellulite. My hips are huge in my eyes. My arms are double the size they used to be and I have a little mum pouch that I will probably never lose. However, I have decided it is important for me to have some self-love. I do not want to feel sad anymore about my body imagine. I do not want to feel pressure that I should bounce back ASAP! However, how do you love yourself when it is not classed as the norm to love your post baby, mum bod? We all support each other as mums, that is how.

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You see that mum on your Instagram feed or Facebook posting about how she is working so hard to lose the post baby weight – let her know she’s doing good! Lift each other up because the truth is, most of us are all in the same boat wishing we had that old body we never appreciated.

Have realistic body goals. It took you a long nine months to put the weight on. It is only fair you give yourself nine months to lose it! It is not realistic at all to bounce back two months after baby! It is bloody great if you do, I am totally jealous if that is you but remember this isn’t the case for most of us!

My weight and size has always been something that I focus on probably too much. However, I am in no way #fitspo and I feel like I have to have some sort of fitspiration to make some positive changes on my new mum bod!

If there are two things I hate it is – Exercise and diets. Exercise, well maybe I can have a bit of love for it but only to a certain extent, hah! Diets on the other hand are not for me at all! If you do not know me, you will not know that I am one of the fussiest people you will ever meet hence why I hate diets – I am just too fussy, haha! Despite all this I am making some small lifestyle changes just to try help me get to a me I can love and be happy with.

For me, I know I will never stick to a strict fitness regime and diet forever, so I feel as though if I do it and put the hard yards in, it will all be a waste of time because I will just end up back where I started. Little changes that make a big impact are more of my goal!

My weakness is sugar! I love it, I crave it and I could eat it nonstop but I know this is not good for me so I have cut all types of drinks out of my diet bar water! I have also decided to make chocolate and sweet treats exactly that – a treat. I’m such a ‘Yo Lace, you only live once, go buy yo-self that chocolate and Lewis road creamery chocolate milk and demolish it! You deserve it, treat yo-self!’ buuuuuuuuut this had to change. I am also being more weary of my portion sizes. I am so bad at not eating all day then dinner comes and I eat enough for an army because I am starving! Again bad habit so back to regularly eating smaller sizes for me! Other than that, that is all I am changing in my diet.

Exercise – I do not exercise. I am in no way one of those hot gym girls that look good after an hour of exercise. I do zero exercise and I knew I needed to do something. I have started going for a 4km walk daily. It is still hard and I look like a beetroot, a very sweaty beetroot afterwards but at least I am doing it. We have also started doing little workouts at night, which will grow longer and more intense in time. And I am sure all you mama’s will agree with me that mum life in itself is exercise too! Most days I clock over 14,000 steps a day because I have a new born and one year old to run around after haha.

To all the #fitspo people out there, that probably sounds like nothing but for me it’s a lifestyle change. I am not doing this to become ripped, I am doing this to become a better, healthier version of myself. I do not have any expectations to lose a ton of weight quickly but I believe over time I will slowly lose enough to a point where I am happy again. I do not want abs and muscles, I just want to look in the mirror and feel happy again, I want to fit my clothes like I used too and I just want to feel healthier – which I already do!

It’s time for a change. It’s time for society to be more accepting of girls that don’t bounce back, of girls with stretch marks, of girls with a few lumps and bumps on their body. I do not want my daughter growing up in a world feeling like she has to ‘be’ a certain size, look a certain way or be a certain type of person. I want her to be confident in her own skin and be the person she really is.

The best way for this to happen is for me to be happy in my own skin and the person I am today. Sure I’m not the same size as I was 2 years ago, but that doesn’t mean I never will be again. Wise words from my midwife were – ‘It has taken you 9months to grow a baby and take these body changes so it’s going to take 9months for you to be back where you were before’. This is something I really need to remember, to remember that there is no quick fix and in the meantime I am going to love myself just the way I am. I am going to make some lifestyle changes to help the process but only because I want to better myself and be a healthy, happy me.

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Don’t let these insecurities rule your life mama’s. Your body has done great things. Don’t be so hard on yourself, learn to embrace your new body and instead of aiming to be your old body size, find a new body goal that fits with your post baby body! If I can learn to love myself, even with a bit of a way to go – you can too! Catch you next time mates or catch up with us on snapchat (lace1313) to see what we do on the daily!

Lace xxx

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THIRD TRIMESTER UPDATE- WEEK 35!

 

Just like that, we are at week 35! Five bloody weeks to go. In just over a month, we will have not one, but two tiny humans to care for! Super exciting but yet super scary! I have an app on my phone, which happily reminded me I have 33 days to go. When it is said like that, it really does not feel like that long! So, since I am nearing the end, I thought I better give an update on pregnancy and life in general!

I find it so crazy how fast; this pregnancy is going/has gone. I think I almost feel bad for this little babe because I cared so much with Harlee and was super organised but I guess it is not that I don’t care about this pregnancy it’s just that I have got a nearly one year old keeping me on my toes constantly. With your first, you kind of spend your days in the last weeks waiting and waiting, this is definitely not the case this time. I still have plenty to do! Here’s just a few things on my list off the top of my head-

  • Little mates nursery is still not finished! I do have most of the necessities but the room itself is nowhere near done but hey, as long as he’s got clothes and a bed we will be right – hah. I do plan to get most of his room sorted over the next couple of weeks so fingers crossed I stick to it and once it’s done I’ll do a little blog post on it! Well hopefully!
  • I haven’t even thought about my hospital bag yet! In my head I’m definitely going to make the 40 week mark so I haven’t been stressing about this too much. However, we all know things don’t necessarily work out the way we think, especially when it comes to babies – hah. So, I’ll get onto packing that bag in the next couple of weeks too, just in case! Again, I do plan to do a blog post on this too, to try take away the hassles and the ‘have I got everything’ questions when packing your hospital bag!
  • NAME! We still have no idea whatsoever what this little guy is going to be called! We get ideas of what we think we like then a few days later one of us goes off the idea. I always knew I liked Harlee for a girl so always had my heart set on it. Her name was so easy, I expected it to be just as easy this time but I could not be more wrong!
  • House renovations. For those of you, who know us; know we have been renovating our house! We have ripped out two walls, put in a completely new kitchen, put in new bi-folding doors in our lounge, repainted all the bedrooms and had a supporting beam put in where one of the walls was taken out. We have accomplished a lot but we still have a lot to do! We still need to build a ‘fake’ wall around our pantry just to give it a nicer look, gib over the new beam and a tiny bit of the wall, rip the rest of the wallpaper off, and repaint ceilings and wallpaper. In the perfect world, this would all be finished before the baby arrives however, this may not be the case! We will try get as much done as we can but between Ben being a shift worker and my dad being a shift worker (who has been helping us) and just life in general, we are running out of time!
  • Harlee-Jae’s first birthday is just around the corner! In fact only 10 days before her brothers due date! So, on top of all of the above, I’m also planning a first birthday! We are keeping it pretty chilled for her first birthday. It’s more of just a gathering of family and a few close friends but even this requires preparation! I think I’m doing pretty well so far though, most things are organised for the party side of things and I have most of her birthday presents sorted! Lets just hope baby brain hasn’t let me forget anything major!

That is just a little run down of a few of the big things that are left to do. On top of that there is still all the little things like birthdays – august is an extremely big month for us with birthdays! Getting the house sorted and ready for baby life again and just life in general! It feels like one day I had six months to go, now I have practically one month to go!

If you read my labour uncut blog post, you will probably remember me talking about haemorrhaging with Harlee. If not I will just give you a little bit of a run down. My mum is a known bleeder and my midwife was also her midwife so she was pretty on to it with my labour and wasn’t willing to take any chances! I had an IV line put in my arm about an hour before Harlee was born and lucky I did because as my midwife thought, I did haemorrhage. From what my midwife tells me, it was pretty bad, although I never realised this because she remained so calm and got it under control pretty quickly. I did know something wasn’t right when every doctor at our little hospital came running in but didn’t think too much of it!

However, I recovered well and everything was good! Until I got pregnant again and I found out it is likely for this to happen again and generally the second time is worse than the first. As you can imagine this has made me pretty dam nervous for labour. Labour is nerve wrecking enough on its own, minus complications! My mum bleed extremely bad with her third – my brother and this makes me pretty nervous. I have a tendency to follow my mums footsteps, problems and all. I have to give birth at Taranaki Base Hospital this time just in case they cannot stop the bleeding. So, if worse does come to worse I can be taken into theatre to stop the bleeding. Our little hospital in Hawera does not have these sort of facilities but I am hoping everything will go smoothly enough for me to come back to Hawera Maternity because I do not really fancy being an hour away from home!

I even contemplated asking to have a caesarean but my midwife was quick to tell me I can still bleed in a caesarean, and quite badly too! The worse thing about it with a caesarean is if they can’t get the bleeding under control then they will give you a hysterectomy and that’s not really a decision I want made for me! So the plan is to go in with no plan – Hah. If I have him naturally, cool. If I have a caesarean, that’s cool too. All I want is the best option for a healthy baby and a healthy me! I’ve decided to stick to that plan because I’ll be honest, its freaking me out a lot! I could be freaking out over nothing because I may not hemorrage but then again it is likely I will. I just have to keep positive!

My pregnancy symptoms this trimester, have consisted of low iron = meaning no energy, excruciating back pain, nausea and indigestion! My iron levels are extremely low! So low that my midwife was contemplating me getting an iron transfusion, mostly because low iron levels mean more likely to haemorrhage and more likely to haemorrhage worse. So as you can imagine getting on top of this is very important! Iron tablets are not my friend though. They make me extremely constipated which make me get the worse sore tummies which don’t make pregnant life any better. I have found an alternative called Spatone, which is great! The only downfall is that it is about $38 for 28 sachets which works out a hell of a lot more expensive than iron tablets that are subsidised!

That awesome excruciating back pain I talked about in my second trimester blog post has been back in full force! Ben has even had to take days off work to stay home and help me out because I was not able to lift Harlee! I don’t even know how to explain the pain but it is my lower back and it sends shooting pain down my legs and through my whole body. It really is not much fun at all! The only things that I find that help are my back belt and a hot water bottle. Even these two things aren’t great but they are better than nothing.

My indigestion has come back with vengeance in this pregnancy also! I think it may be a little bit of acid reflux as well, it’s not great but luckily my old mate gaviscon is up in the cupboard ready to come to my rescue everyday – Hah! The old wives tale is that indigestion means a baby with lots of hair which was very true for miss Harlee so hopefully that’s what it means for this one too!

The one thing I didn’t experience with Harlee’s pregnancy that I have in this one is getting morning sickness again in the third trimester! It hasn’t been extreme morning sickness like some people get but, it has been enough to put me out make me feel pretty blah! The only thing I have found to help is to take it easy! Put all the house chores to the side and save all my energy for Harlee and rest when I get the chance. Oh and a bit of ginger beer always seems to settle my tummy too!

And like every pregnant women in the last few weeks, sleep becomes a distant memory! I am a tummy sleeper so getting comfortable is extremely hard! I also feel the need to pee 10,000 times a night and seem to have really bad insomnia. So any sleep is good sleep at this point – hah! I also feel massive this pregnancy! I constantly find myself feeling uncomfortable and in some sort of pain – especially at bedtime! I don’t remember being this uncomfortable with Harlee until I hit the last couple of weeks. So, five weeks is actually still sounding like a long time to feel this way! Even the most simplest tasks, like getting off the couch are so bloody hard – hah.

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Photo on the left is 36 weeks with Harlee-Jae. Photo on the right is 34 weeks with little man.

So despite all the unenjoyable things, the end is near! I complain a lot and say how much I dislike pregnancy but one day I will probably miss it! I hope that was a good little update for you all and I hope to do another one closer to my due date! If you have any questions about anything, do not hesitate to ask me! I am an open book! Catch you all next week or head over to Instagram and give us a follow and keep up to date with our days on Insta Stories!

Lace xxx

EXPECTATIONS VS REALITY

YAY! We are now classed as mums – who would have known this comes with a whole lot of unrealistic standards. Not only from friends, family and other mums but also from our biggest critics, ourselves. It is amazing being a mum, I know all my fellow mama’s will agree but man, it has its challenges.

I did not realise how much of a controversial topic motherhood is until I became a mother. Many things come into this when you become a mum, even more so when you are a new mum. Some of them being-

  • Breastfeeding or bottle-feeding (Read my breastfeeding journey here.)
  • Co-sleeping or not co-sleeping
  • Cry it out method or cuddling method
  • Routines or no routines (Read about routines here.)
  • Solids early or solids at recommended age
  • Swaddle or not to swaddle

That is just a list of a few things, we all know there is plenty more though! The main thing to remember is – it is your baby, you know best. Don’t let people come in and give their 10 cents of what you should or shouldn’t be doing. Yes, its okay to give advice but no it is not okay to make someone feel like they should be mothering there baby a certain way! Society is a bitch, don’t fall for the tricks. You just do you.

So your biggest critic – yourself, will often have you questioning yourself. I think that a lot of this comes with the hormones and lack of sleep when you first become a mother but man, the things I would question if I was doing right when I first became a mum was unreal. Especially as a first time mum, because of the pressure from society, friends, family and social media. Do not beat yourself up, just take every day as it comes and live in the moment. Enjoy it all and take it all in while you can because before you know it, your newborn baby will be a toddler and you will enter a whole new ball game – one I am only just about to enter and learn about!

A big difference to parenting now to parenting 10 years ago is social media. We all love to keep up to date with our fav mum bloggers through snapchat and Instagram. While we also love joining all the helpful mum groups on facebook to ask all the questions we have. All of these definitely have some awesome benefits, being-

  • Support

The amount of support I see given on mum pages on Facebook is awesome! It is nice to know there is a place to go and ask your questions and get some advice for what you are going through.

  • Internet friends

I don’t know about you guys but, for me, I almost feel like mum bloggers allow us into their daily lives enough to feel as though we get to know them well enough to call them our ‘friends’. I know it is not a normal type of friendship but when you are busy with #mumlife, it may be your only escape. A day with just babies and no adult conversation can drive you a bit crazy until you find yourself on snapchat or Instagram, feeling like you are in a conversation with your fav mum bloggers!

  • Relatable

Some days you just need to feel like you can relate to someone and you find that in your Instagram followers from a post they have shared!

Now there is the ups but there is also the downs. Yes, like I said above it can be so relatable sometimes but at the same time, it can be very non-relatable. Some days, you will find yourself scrolling through your feed looking at everyone’s, what seem to be perfect lives in little squares. It can really get you down feeling so far away of what you have built in your head as the ‘perfect’ life.

I know if you are a fellow Instagram mama, you will be sitting saying to yourself ‘OMG I have definitely felt this feeling’. It may have only been once but we have all been there. It is hard to remember that everyone has bad days and not all of us chose to share our bad days. So, what we may think is such a perfect life, it may most definitely not be. However, I know that is easier said than done.

You can sit there scrolling and looking at all these perfect pictures of smiling happy babies when your truth is only that your baby has screamed all day long. You may see mums looking fabulous only a short few weeks after birth in amazing clothes while you haven’t managed to get out of trackies and hoodies for the last week. You may watch snapchats and Instagram stories of fortunate mums whose baby is sleeping 12 hour nights while your nearly one year old is still waking 5 times. You may watch as they prepare amazing dinners after spring cleaning their house while you can barely find the energy to whip something half decent up in your messy house.

It is super easy to fall into this trap of feeling not good enough, but please do not! I know that is easy enough said because the truth is, I find myself in this trap more than often! I am forever comparing myself to these awesome mama’s and forgetting about my own life. How do we try to stop this I hear you ask? We need to remember that what they are sharing is what they are choosing to share. They have bad days too; things are not always perfect, as it may seem in the little perfect Instagram squares. There is probably someone out there looking at your profile and feeling bad too – your life is likely to be better than someone is out there, we just do not realise it. Most of all though, take a step back and remember you are doing great! This mum gig is bloody hard but it is bloody rewarding too – It is one of the hardest things I have ever done, some days I find myself questioning my sanity. But, then that little girl with her big brown eyes looks up at me and gives me a massive smile and I remember why it is all worth it.

Try let social media be a benefit in your life. Don’t let it be a negative. Don’t let it give yourself unrealistic expectations of yourself. Just keep doing you and remember that it all comes down to perception! If your baby is dressed, fed, healthy and loved – you are doing something right and giving your child all they could possibly need!

Basically, what this blog post is about is learning the magic of not giving a fu*k! Do not fall into the dark traps of self-doubt and comparison with others. Everyone does this mum gig differently – you just have to find what the best is for you! Focus on the positives in life and what you are doing right! Block out the unwanted advice from friends and family. Give yourself a break and believe in yourself. Find yourself some real and raw mum bloggers to follow on social media and I guarantee they will help you remember that life is not all daisy’s and rainbows on those crappy days. There is always a light at the end of the tunnel mates! I hope this has given you all a little bit of perspective on all things unrealistic about motherhood. Come over and follow us on Instagram stories to see what we get up too during the week! Hope you are all back for next Sunday’s post!

Lace xxx

IS BREAST BEST?

What better week then World Breastfeeding Week to do a post on breastfeeding or bottle-feeding. This topic, as we all know, that it is a very controversial one. Sometimes it really does bring the worst out of people and I dislike that. We should all be joining and supporting each other no matter what our feeding journey may be.

I am not really sure where to start this post so how about with – Breast is best. There is no doubt about the fact that yes, breast is best. However, this does not mean it is the best for you. Breast milk contains so much goodness that we just cannot put into formula. This specific term does not mean that this is the best option for you – just like it wasn’t the best option for me.

Formula feeding is such a great alternative. We as mothers should not have to feel guilty buying it from the supermarket or giving our babies a bottle in public. It is pretty dam amazing what people can do these days, we are only going forward in life! Formula is only going to be made better and better. Truthfully, I believe they would not sell formula if it were not any good for our babies! You know, people are doing far worse things like smoking drugs while breastfeeding or abusing their children constantly but here we are still stressing and bullying mothers who are doing far less worse – formula feeding. Why do we focus on something so minor when there are definitely bigger issues going on in the world?

I will openly tell anyone who asks, I did not breastfeed. I tried, not for long but I tried. Harlee was born and she was latching perfectly. I thought I was going to have the perfect breastfeeding journey and I was stoked! However, 24 hours later that all changed. We were still latching fine but my little baby was not happy. She started getting really distressed and just shaking her head back and forth while she was trying to feed. I would have her sometimes up to an hour on each boob sucking away until she would again, start destressing herself. I was so confused as a first time mum. She latched and was supposedly, feeding but she would come off the boob and cry and cry and cry.

It turned out that I had no milk. We had one hungry baby and I could not even produce 10mls. However, the midwives ensured me it would come through really soon, I just had to keep putting her on and letting her suck to encourage my milk to come through. So, I was breastfeeding a baby while not giving her any milk at all. We were topping her up with formula at this stage because we could not let our little girl go hungry. I will point out the cool technique they used for this in maternity though – well I will try my best to explain it! I am not sure if it has a name but it is like a thin IV line tube – tiny tube so not much goes through it. I would latch Harlee on and then sneak this handy little tube into her mouth so she still thought she was exclusively on my breast. The tube ended in a tiny little pottle of formula and as Harlee would suck it would travel through the little tube and into her mouth. It tricked her into thinking she was getting breastmilk while also let us keep on going with that precious bond. I honestly thought this was such a cool idea for those first few days to try build our bond but obviously as they drink more it would become harder.

It had been two days of using the handy little tip above, while also trying to pump several times a day. I pumped and pumped and pumped and got absolutely nothing. I was lucky to get 5mls out of each boob. I also tried breastfeeding tea’s and all the other natural things to hurry it all up but nothing was working! It was getting to a point of feeling embarrassed asking for top ups of formula from certain midwives because they were so pro breastfeeding while also starting to lose my sanity being stuck in maternity. They were not willing to let me go home until feeding was sorted. My baby was not happy and I was not happy.

After a long few days and an unhappy baby I finally cracked early hours of one morning. Luckily, my amazing midwife was on and was happy to come in and talk to me. I was and am so lucky to have her. I said to her that I did not think breastfeeding was for me, I was starting to lose my sanity and I hated seeing my new baby so upset and hungry. I remember her exact words being ‘Let’s give bottle feeding a go and if it works we will toss the tits!’ Just from speaking to one person and finally speaking up about how I felt, a massive weight was lifted off my shoulders.

Ben and my family were all supportive no matter what decision I chose. Let me tell you, it was not a decision I made lightly. The pressure and guilt of having to explain to every other person why I was not breastfeeding was daunting. We all know that’s one of the first 500 questions people think is okay to ask and judge you on once you’ve had a baby. Here is the issue with this though – notice how my initial thought and worry was about the judgement I would get for not breastfeeding, not what was actually best for my baby and myself. This is the problem with society – we should not have to worry about this stuff. Becoming a new mum is hard enough as it is without stressing what everyone is thinking about your every decision.

After having a chat with everyone who mattered and having a good day bottle-feeding we decided to turn to formula also known as ‘the dark side which only mothers who don’t care about their babies choose’. I laughed as I wrote that but sadly; this is what many people think of formula feeding. I honestly question if and when my milk would come through. I had no problem when I dried up with leakage or sore boobs because I literally had no milk!

The problem is, many women think they can bad-mouth mums for not breastfeeding but then some formula feeding mums think it’s okay to bad-mouth breastfeeding mums. WHY? Why can we not all lift each other up? Yes, we are all entitled to opinions but there is no need to bully each other about it. Myself as a formula feeding mum, felt like I was constantly judged. Do not get me wrong I had many supportive people around me but the negative always seems to out-weigh the positives. We all know how hard this mum gig can get. Do you really want to be the reason of pushing a mum over the edge because you could not keep your opinion, just an opinion – you made it into a bullying tactic and you absolutely crushed that mother. Unfortunately, majority of mothers that are left crushed, are us formula feeding mums. I am not picking sides here, I am just pointing out the obvious. Formula feeding mums will always be classed in a different category to breastfeeding mums. Formula feeding mums cop so much crap from doctors, nurses, midwives, friends, family and even strangers – it is mentally really hard. Breastfeeding mums cop backlash from formula feeding mums and that is it – everyone else praises them for doing the right thing. I am not saying that it is okay to give breastfeeding mums any slack because they do not deserve it either but I believe that it is society’s fault for putting so much pressure on formula feeding mums.

The core of this will always come back to breast is best and yes factually breast is best. It is what our bodies are supposed to do. However, it is not always that simple. That is why there is this amazing alternative – formula! So yes for the facts side of things breast is best but for a happy, healthy, fed baby and a happy and sane mother – FED IS BEST! At the end of the day when our children are all five and at school, I can guarantee you won’t be able to tell what child was breastfed and what child was bottle-fed. They will both grow up healthy and live their lives.

Basically, what I am trying to get across here is no matter your situation – you are a good mum. We all need to learn how to share our opinions nicely. We all need to support each other whether we breastfeed or bottle-feed. Everyone’s journey is completely different! As I’ve heard a few people say this week on social media – we need to use world breastfeeding week as a time to share our stories to let mothers know they aren’t alone, to share our advice when things were not happening how it should, to educate one another with tips and tricks. We all need to hear the real stories of breastfeeding – not how beautiful and amazing it will be and how easily and naturally it will come because truth is, it may not be like that.

So please ladies, can we join together and support each other. No one should be made to feel like a bad mum because of her choices. At the end of the day, the one thing we are all trying to accomplish is to bring up our children to lead an amazing healthy life. No matter how we get there, we will. Let’s use world breastfeeding week for what it is intended to be – a week to share our stories, educate each other and support each other.

I really hope no one has taken this the wrong way. I am on both teams and understand both sides! However at the end of the day a healthy you, a healthy baby and a fed baby is best! No matter what anyone says that is truly all that matters. Hope you all enjoyed this post and come back next Sunday to hear some more yarns about something mum!

Lace xxx

SH*T PEOPLE SAY WHEN YOU ARE PREGNANT…

If there were one thing I have learnt from being pregnant and a new mum, it would be that people love to tell you a whole lot of shit. This shit generally consists of unwanted parenting advice, subtle blows at what you are so called ‘doing’ wrong and what you have to expect through pregnancy and mum life. Some people love it and some people dislike it. I do not hate hearing other people’s experiences or advice because yes, sometimes what people say is totally helpful and nice to hear. However, do not expect me to take on board what you are saying and I dislike it when someone preaches their advice on me.

Let us start at the beginning. All those awesome phrases people love to tell you while you are pregnant. I can guarantee you have been told at least two of the things on the list-

  • WOW! You are huge!

Such a common one people love to spring on you! Well no shit Sherlock, I am pregnant and growing a baby over here, no need to be reminded!

  • Are you sure you are even pregnant? It doesn’t look like it yet.

I got this a lot at the start of both pregnancies, I don’t actually find this offensive, I more see it as just a really dumb question. Obviously I am pregnant, I’m not going around telling everyone that for shits and giggles.

  • You are not having twins are you?

You know what is funny about this one, I had someone tell me how little I was one day and then the next asked if I was having twins – Hah! But really, do I have to explain this one?

  • Your way bigger than the last time I saw you.

Really? I thought I would be smaller since the last time we caught up.

  • You are much bigger then you were last pregnancy.

Maybe because I got pregnant three months after having Harlee so my body had no chance to go back to itself. And just imagine if we replied with something like this -Oh and you are much bigger than when you were last year, what’s your excuse?

  • Live up your free time now.

What? Are you telling me I actually will have to give all my time to my baby and not put them in a corner by themselves? Dam how did I not know this…

  • You have no idea what you are in for.

Funny how people tend to say this no matter what pregnancy you are up to. First time around it was the first time mum card, second time round it’s the, two is way harder than one card. Seriously we can never win!

  • You must be due any day now.

Reality is you are only 32 weeks but thanks for reminding me how far away my due date is…

  • Must definitely be a girl/boy the way you are carrying.

Oh awesome, I didn’t know there was so many baby gender gurus out there!

  • Oh you are having a girl, well remember the sonographer could have it wrong!

Yes this is true, but when did you get your special gift of knowing better than a sonographer?

  • You are far too young to be having a baby!

Oh thanks Nancy, even though I’m still with the father, we own our own home, we have our own car, we a financially stable, mentally stable and the only difference between me and that pregnant lady is I’m 22 and she’s 30. Never mind the fact that we are actually probably in a better position than some 35 year olds having babies… but hey that’s okay – keep reminding me I’m too young to be a mum!

That is just a list of the things that came off the top of my head. Do not get me wrong some of these are not really offensive, they are just dumb questions people feel the need to ask every time they see you. There is a couple on this list that get to me but, a lot of them just make me think ‘seriously’ and I have a little giggle to myself. We all know how quickly those good old pregnancy hormones like to change and throw us off though so maybe add these to the ‘things not to say to pregnant women’.

So, pregnancy is over and you have a new bundle of joy! You would think since pregnancy has left, the dumb comments would have too. I hate to break it to you but they do not! I am 10 months into mum life and 7 months into my second pregnancy and still cop the dumb comments/questions/advice for both!

So what is some of those dumb comments you get once you have your baby? Here is my list-

  • You look extremely tired.

Really? I guess I should be looking like I am full of energy after having 3 hours sleep every night for the last week!

  • You are not breastfeeding.

No, I am not and I do not need a lecture on why I should be nor do I have to explain to you why I am not!

  • Did you have a natural birth?

Actually yes I did but if I needed pain relief or a c-section I would have done that too because my only concern was getting my baby here safely!

  • She should be sleeping through the night.

Every baby is different and we all have different ways of doing things so this does not concern you!

  • She does not look anything like you!

So what are you implying? Was I meant to have a clone of myself? Or, are you questioning if she’s mine? Pretty sure I just pushed her out of my vag so she is definitely mine!  

  • When are you going back to work?

When I’m ready, that’s when. My job now is being a mum!

  • You should do this, this way…

Oh yes, you know my baby far better than me. I’ll change what she’s use to just for you!

  • I had no problems losing my baby weight.

Cool story bro. Are you calling me fat?

  • How do you handle being stuck at home?

Maybe if you had a baby who did not believe in sleep, you would understand being home is amazing.

  • You are so lucky you just get to stay home with a baby all day instead of working.

Oh, yes it is such a holiday being home with a baby and maintaining other mum duties! I have so much free time on my hands… NOT!

  • Enjoy it now because they will be grown up before you know it.

Thanks for being the tenth person this week to remind me that.

  • Don’t you think they need a bottle before you leave?

You are probably right. We have not been on a strict feeding routine for the last 5 months or anything…

  • Back in my day, we would have never done that…

Wow, crazy how times change isn’t it!

  • Doesn’t your mum always have your baby?

No actually, my mum may be around a lot but shes there strictly as a Nanny! Mum duties are my job. Thanks for the interest in who is around and who isn’t though!

These might seem like nothing to some but I am sure most mums agree they get these a lot. It is more the fact of hearing them all a thousand times over. Yes, I am a new mum but I am not dumb. I do have common sense and I will figure mum life out on my own.

It is not just these types of comments that I find annoying. It is also the ones when other people feel the need to burst your bubble of happiness about something. Like one of the following- (Me them)

  • YAY – First night sleeping through the night!

Do not get to excited, it will all change again soon.

  • She is crawling!

You will never be able to leave her alone, she will be into everything and it will only get worse once she is walking.

  • She said her first word!

It may be cute now, wait until she will not shut up though.

  • She had solids for the first time.

Wait until she refuses everything you feed her.

All of these comments leave me thinking – okay shut up and let me enjoy my happy moment and her milestones! Do people not have anything nice to say anymore? On the other hand, have we forgotten the number one rule of if you do not have anything nice to say, then do not say it at all. Everyone is entitled to opinions but you don’t have to be rude. Spread some love and kindness guys! It is not hard!

So the real point behind this post was to make all you mummas out there not feel alone when thinking, did she just really say that to me? Like I said earlier, sometimes those hormones over rule everything else and you cannot help but take what someone has said to heart. Try to laugh it off and remember people are just uneducated. There is always going to be someone who cannot help themselves and has to make that one dumb comment. There will always be dumb shit people say when you are pregnant, so the best thing to do is take it on the chin and be a little bit of a smart ass back. I can guarantee they will get a bit of a fright and be lost for words if you come back with something funny. Chances are it will give yourself a little giggle too and we all love to have a giggle!

So if you are or have been a fellow pregnant mumma, I hope this has been something you can relate to and if you are not pregnant or know someone who is maybe this has been a little bit funny and maybe a bit of insight of what not to say. I would love to have a laugh with you about dumb shit people have said to you while pregnant – go on and flick me a facebook message or Instagram DM! Catch you all next week team!

Lace xxx

MATERNITY LIFE TO HOME LIFE

You have done it! You have made it through the long nine months of pregnancy. You have got through labour, which you can read about here. You have got through the first 24 hours of mum life which you can also read about here and now it might be finally sinking in that your life has officially changed forever!

14th Sep 2016 (2)

Some people love staying in maternity wards – others hate it. I wasn’t really either, I didn’t mind the first couple of days but I was definitely ready to go home by the end. I still class myself as lucky because I am not sure all maternity’s are like what we had. Our town is small so sometimes you are the only one in the ward, which means the midwives are more than helpful! They do not make you feel like you are a pain and always happy to come and assist you.

I was in the maternity ward for four nights, five days. This came down to the fact that breastfeeding was not happening for me and it was better I stayed until I had got feeding locked down because they did not want me to go home and struggle. However, we did turn to bottle feeding by the end but I will talk more about my experience in the future on the blog!

For me the second night was more of a realisation of what I was in for because my midwife took her for the first night to let me get some rest. This was the first night of the four hourly wake ups but I think I handled it okay. I learnt what the drill was going to be and made a plan of what I would do, so when we got home we had a better idea. I was super lucky that my midwife was on the night shift while I was in the ward! She would happily come and help me, stay, and just have a chat while Harlee would wake up. I think it definitely made me feel not so alone in there. I personally think that your partner has just as much right as you to stay with you. You are both new parents and it is a daunting feeling winging the whole mum gig by yourself for the first time. I think it would just be nice to have them there for support and reassurance but unfortunately, they are not allowed to stay.

If you do not personally like staying in the maternity ward I highly recommend allowing as many people as you like to visit! Visitors make you feel less lonely and make the days fly by a lot faster. Although, I was pretty cautious and overwhelmed as a new mum so I actually limited my visitors. Not to annoy anyone but because I was learning about the new person I had become as a mum and also learning about my new little baby. I had only family and my best friends visit – I was just more comfortable with this but everyone is different! Even though I limited who came to visit until we got home, I still felt like I always had people around.

Food, food, food. Pack yourself some snacks! I think a lot of us forget about ourselves and what to pack, I highly recommend that food is on your list. For one I hated the hospital food and I am sure that most people do. I don’t think I ate one dinner… Never fear though, it was not wasted because Ben will eat anything and always polished it off for me! I lived on takeaways and some home cooked meals on wheels from good old Mumsy! Snacks were

super helpful though, I’m not sure if I was just bored or actually hungry – hah, but it was good to have some back up snacks there!

Third day blues – it may hit you or it may not. I am not even sure it is a real thing, Hah! However, I have talked to a few people including my mum who have experienced this! Your hormones have taken a real hit over the whole being pregnant gig so I think it’s completely normal to have these days. On the third day, I got the so called blues. I think a lot of it came down to the fact that I couldn’t produce enough of my milk which was distressing my little baby and I was starting to feel like I was never going to be able to go home! This particular morning felt like forever before the visitors started to roll in and Harlee would not settle – most probably because she was still hungry! Finally Ben arrived and we decided to top her up with some formula and boom! Sleeping baby! Crazy how fed seems best right? I didn’t spend the day alone which meant I didn’t feel too bad. However, night time rolled around and the thought of Ben leaving was making me feel upset and uneasy so I pushed it out as long as possible. Obviously the time had to come eventually where he would have to go home. I remember getting pretty upset but not even having a real reason apart from me wanting to go with him. He left, I had a little cry but I got over it and fell asleep! Don’t feel like you have to hide your feelings once bubs is here. Have your go to person and talk to them. It will make you feel a lot better knowing you have someone to turn too.

Finally the day had come! We were allowed to go home and start our lives as a family and our fur-st(first) born fur baby was about to meet our baby girl! For me it was a mixture of emotions when leaving the maternity ward. I was so happy to be going home but being in the maternity ward with well-trained midwives gives you some sense of security that you don’t have at home.

As soon as Ben arrived, I was super ready to go! We started packing all the gifts and things we had accumulated over the last few days, so many gifts! I sorted myself out and got some make up on to take the token going home photo! My mum also came to help us with anything we had to take and to help us settle in at home. Around lunchtime, we were off. We were starting our new chapter and I was super excited but super nervous at the same time.

My mum had sorted us some lunch so we came home and sat down to eat but I had this weird feeling of what do I do with my baby when I want to do something – like eat? I guess it is just little things you over think because you have only ever had to worry about yourself and now there is a little human who solely relies on you taking care of them. It was definitely different coming home with her but she fit in just perfectly! All that long awaited baby stuff I had ready months was finally in use and it was a matter of just figure out where, what and when we would use it all. My advice for going home would be to not overthink it too much. It is not as bad as you can work yourself up to think it is and you will get through – even if it is hard. Do not hesitate to accept help. If someone’s offering, let them help! I know this is a lot easier said than done as I am not big on accepting help but have people you can trust and allow them in! I was very lucky to have my mum that I would always feel safe to leave Harlee with. It’s definitely easier having that trusted person!

The first night at home may sound scary but it is really not! You have done this for a few nights now and you know what you are doing. Pretty quickly we had a little middle of the night routine sorted. Once I would hear Harlee waking I would get up and flick the jug on, go back and grab her and do a quick bum change, go and quickly make the bottle then sit down and give her a bottle and bring up her wind. As soon as we done this it was straight back to bed and with minimal lighting as possible to try keep her nice and sleepy. Eventually I got faster and better and we could smash out night feeds pretty quickly!

Before you know it, you will learn the ropes of how you and your baby work. There will always be hard nights and hard days but there is always light at the end of the tunnel! I know all of these first days can be a rather daunting thought and it all seems really scary but you’ll be surprised how your body can adjust and will pull through. I hope this has been some helpful information and that it may ease some of those burning questions you have! Again, don’t hesitate to message me either by email, facebook or Instagram! I am always happy to listen and hopefully help with whatever you are wondering! Catch you all next week!!!

Lace xxx

SICK BABIES, HOSPITAL STAYS AND FEELING LIKE A BAD MUM…

Getting sick, it is horrible but it happens. Unfortunately, we cannot prevent it sometimes. What is worse than ourselves getting sick though? Our babies/children getting sick. Especially if they are little babies who are still so helpless. This is my experience with a sick newborn baby!

After having Harlee-Jae, I got the flu and ended up with a chest infection. We put it down too my body being so run down after haemorrhaging and having a pretty fast labour. Harlee was around a week and a half old when she was starting to show signs of getting a cold too – this was my worst fear. My brand new tiny, helpless baby was getting sick and it was my entire fault. She had obviously caught this off me so I was feeling so guilty but how else was I meant to prevent her from getting sick? I did everything I could from washing my hands a thousand times a day, I wouldn’t breath or cough on her, I wouldn’t even kiss her but no matter how hard I tried to keep some sort of ‘distance’, she was a new baby and she needed her mum. As a first time mum, this was my worst nightmare. All I wanted was my baby to be healthy.

As soon as we started noticing signs of the flu we took her to the doctors asap. However, it was not that simple (We have since changed doctors because of this experience). I rang and explained my situation but was told ‘sorry all of our doctors are too busy, the best we can do is to send you to see one of our well trained nurses’ – which we did. While there, she looked and observed Harlee and pretty much told me, I was over exaggerating being a first time mum and that newborns very rarely get sick. Of course being a new mum and knowing no different, you believe what they say because they know best right? Well no, that was not the case. I distinctively remember her testing Harlee’s oxygen levels, which were floating around the 96 out of 100 mark, she told me this was fine and it was not until later on I found out it was not.

The next day I could tell she was getting worse and no better. However, Ben and I thought that this well trained ‘nurse’ knew best so believed her. That night, Harlee was breathing funny and was definitely sick. Being the worried first time parents, Ben and I stayed awake all night, taking shifts, just to make sure she was okay. We got through the night and the next day she seemed slightly better. Things were looking up, so I told Ben to get out of the house and go to the rugby with his mate and I’d go stay at my mum’s with Harlee. Off he went that afternoon and by about 7pm that night, Harlee had gone downhill again. She was worse than the night before so we took her to a&e.

I let Ben know, but still wanted him to enjoy his night out and told him not to worry and I’d keep him in the loop. They were amazing at a&e, we were taken straight in by a nurse to observe us and check Harlee over. She also checked Harlee’s oxygen levels, which were sitting around the 88 out of 100 mark – she immediately let us know it should be at least 98. It wasn’t until now when I told her my experience with our previous ‘doctors’ and the lady that checked Harlee over, when she told me she was no way qualified to be checking over a new baby and should have referred us to a&e if an actual doctor couldn’t see us. My heart dropped because I knew in my gut she wasn’t okay but yet felt as though I couldn’t speak up after being told I was over exaggerating as a new mum. Never will I EVER, do that again. We are their mothers and we do know best. If you ever feel uneasy about something please do not feel the way I did and not speak up! It is your right to keep your baby safe and healthy, do not leave the doctors until you are 100% satisfied with their care!

A&E were super-efficient and we were seen by a doctor within half an hour of being there. I do not know what your A&E in your area are like but ours is usually ridiculous! You usually wait for hours on end! I think Harlee being so new; they were not willing to take any risks. She had no temperatures just a bit of a raspy cough and her oxygen levels were not good. This was enough for the doctor to not be happy with Harlee so he sent us to Taranaki Base Hospital where we would spend the night. Off we went home to quickly pack some bags and head up to New Plymouth – an hour drive away. Luckily the rugby was in New Plymouth so I rang and filled Ben in and he was ready to meet us as soon as we got there.

Everything happened pretty quickly, I still hadn’t really had a chance to think about it. On our trip up to New Plymouth, Harlee was getting worse and I was getting scared she wasn’t breathing. I ended up getting my mum in the back of the car with me so we could both monitor her. We finally made it and straight into a&e we went – which was not quite as efficient as Hawera. However, we were put into a room to wait, where we waited for a good four or five hours before going to the children’s ward!

In this time, Harlee was due for a bottle. I went and asked a male nurse for some boiling hot water to heat it up – he took this opportunity to remind me I should breastfeed and this would have probably prevented her getting sick. Well big fat middle finger to you I thought. He did not know my reasoning for not breastfeeding and as if I was not feeling like a shitty enough mum as it was! I will not talk too much of this because bottle vs breast is a blog post to come! Luckily I didn’t have to deal with him ever again after this!

Finally, the doctor came to see us. He informed us that our precious little baby had Bronchiolitis – The condition starts like a common cold. It progresses to coughing, wheezing and sometimes difficulty breathing. Symptoms may last for a week to a month. He also let us know that the worst was yet to come, he believed she was still in the early stages, so would get worse before she would get better. I was so tired and overwhelmed and then was told that only one of us could stay with her. Obviously, I was not leaving my newborn baby but I really wanted Ben there for support.

Off we went, transferred to the children’s ward early hours of the morning on the 24th of September. The day Harlee was also two weeks old – two weeks old and back in hospital! It was not a nice feeling at all. Little did we know we would be spending the next six nights here with Harlee on oxygen for five of those because she was struggling to breathe so much on her own.

26th Sep 2016 (7)

It was some crazy hour of the morning and it was a pretty scary sight watching the nurse hook all of these different tubes to Harlee. She had like a butterfly shaped sticker oxygen mask on her cheeks and little prongs up her nose; this also had another tube connected to it so it would send warm air rather than cold air, as babies hate cold oxygen being blown into their nose. She had an oxygen monitor attached to one of her little toes and a sleep apnea monitor attached to her tummy. This made holding her extremely difficult – although I was a pro after a day! She lived in sleep gowns as it was just a lot easier with all these cords and tubes running off her.

26th Sep 2016 (6)

The first night was not as bad because I was so tired. I went straight to sleep. However, it was only going to get worse. It was so easy to fall into an emotional state, especially being there alone at night! I would make Ben stay as long as he possibly could but the odd nurse would kick him out after a while. I hated that, it is such a vulnerable time and you should be allowed your support person to stay too. I was still a new mum who was still learning the ropes of motherhood. I was now doing it alone, in a hospital, with a sick baby. This was not how I pictured life in the first few weeks of being a new mum!

We were lucky to have many visitors during our time there. It really kept me sane. You start going a bit crazy looking at the same four walls every single day. It was the longest week of my life. I felt like we were in hospital for a month and every day they would try to take her off the oxygen was another day of being let down and told she still needed it. It is scary; you just want your baby to be okay and breathing on her own.

Nights were extremely hard; I was getting a max of four hours sleep most nights. Between Harlee waking and not sleeping, to the amazing nurses coming in and checking Harlee every couple of hours – sleep was unheard of. I am sure all you mums will agree that lack of sleep is no good for your emotional state! Now I think about it, I do not know how I pulled through. Most nights would end with me getting very upset every time Ben would leave but we had to do, what we had to do.

We were not allowed to leave until Harlee had been off oxygen for a full 24 hours. Finally on the 29th of September she was off the oxygen and my baby was getting back to her normal self – well for the normal from what I had gathered from her first two weeks of life! Minus the big red marks on her cheeks from having the oxygen mask sticking to them for a week.

There was a massive light of hope that we were okay to go home the next day, I was starting to feel happy again – not 100% because I knew there would still be a slight chance of staying. On my hoped to be last night I thought a lot about my experience and this is what I’ve learnt-

  • Sometimes babies get sick and it is beyond your control – Despite your efforts of keeping them 100% healthy, sometimes they just get sick. It is life and we just have to deal with it the best we can. It may not be pleasant but you can get through! If I can, anyone can!
  • Trust your gut – You are the mum and you know best. If you feel like something is not right, your motherly instinct is always right! That is one regret of mine, not following my gut the first time round with Harlee. I would never have forgiven myself if something happened. Don’t feel bad, you want the best for your child so push until your happy!
  • You are not a bad mum – I know how guilty I felt and I know I wouldn’t be the only one! Its easy for me to sit here and say don’t blame yourself, don’t feel guilty. The truth is we will always do it, I know if there was a next time, I would too. However, try not to focus on that too much because you are a good mum and you do only want the best for your child and would have never purposefully made them sick! Try not to beat yourself up.
  • Hospitals suck, but it is the best place for you – I know how much I hated it and most people do but the main thing is to remember it is the best place for you and your baby! If anything bad was to happen, it is 100 times better to happen in hospital rather than at home. It feels like a lifetime in there but I promise you will go home soon!

That is just a few of the things I took away from being in hospital for a week. Do not get me wrong a week is nothing compared to some families with very sick children and I truly admire them after watching my parents in starship with my sister for three months. I have a newfound respect for families whose whole lives revolve around hospitals. You guys are your own kind of superheroes! I have written a blog post To the mum’s who are hurting on Mother’s Day… If you you would like to read this.

Finally, on the 30th of September, we were allowed to go home! I was super happy! Finally, we could be back together as our little family. I was also scared because I was told she still had chances to stop breathing while sleeping. The only thing that seemed logical to me was to get an angelcare sound and movement monitor! Best decision ever – I still have it on Harlee’s cot and it has been such great peace of mind every night. I definitely sleep a whole lot easier!

30th Sep 2016

Hospitals suck, being sick sucks and watching your helpless newborn sick is the absolute worst. This was one of the worst weeks of my life but we got through and she got better! She is now a super healthy 10 month old who has only ever had a minor cold since this! Part of me thinks being sick so young has given her such a strong immune system, especially because there was nothing we could do or give her to help, we just had to wait it out and let her little body fight it!

I hope that this has given all of you insight of what can happen and that you will get through if your little baby gets sick but I also hope that it will be a reminder that you are not alone if you are in hospital! Please feel free to message me if you have any questions or just to tell me your story! I would love to hear them. Until next week mates!

Lace xxx