Monday, 13 January 2014


Hello and Happy New Year! Better late than never. 
I thought I would write a general update as it's been quite a while since my last post.
One of my New Years resolutions is to write more, including this blog, I am pretty awful at finding or MAKING time to post! I make various excuses to myself but truth be told I am just a procrastinator. 
So what's happened, there are many things I could have written about, I went back to work (I've now left) Daisy started at nursery (she's now left) Daisy turned 1 (she is now 14 months) you get the picture! 
Going back to work was fine, I was only doing 2 night shifts a week which was great, being paid for doing unsocial hours meant I was still earning a decent amount and Daisy was going to nursery 1 day a week while I slept/did housework/went shopping!

My job was a support and recovery worker in a rehabilitation unit for people coming out of hospital with psychosis, I really loved it, nights were so quiet, it was actually nice having some time to myself and being able to read uninterrupted! I did find the tiredness/staying awake hard, but at least I was used to the lack of sleep from the newborn phase! I decided to leave when my 3 months of flexible working was up, I would have had to go full time or at least do day shifts so paying for Daisy to be at nursery more would not have added up. So I am now officially a stay at home mum. I am looking for another part time job ideally 2 days a week. It's important for me to spend time with Daisy while she is this age, she will only be young once, and we may struggle a little but I'm lucky that we can survive without me working. 

Ready for her first day at nursery

Birthday blueberry muffins

Daisy had her 1st birthday, on her actual birthday we took her to the Sealife Centre in Brighton, then had fish and chips, the day was a bit of a disaster for various reasons, but we did manage to have a good memorable time. 

Sealife centre

She had a little party on the Saturday after her birthday for her 'friends' to come to, I think she was mostly overwhelmed but it was lovely seeing everyone playing and everyone was very kind with the presents they gave her. She is one lucky girl! 

Daisy and her cake just before grabbing the flame, then bursting into tears! 
In other news we are in the process of buying a house, for those who are unaware we have been stuck in a one bedroom flat since Daisy was born, I hate it and it's been very stressful the 3 of us living in such a small space, Daisy still sleeps in our room which is hard at times like when you can't sniff or cough for fear of waking her! But it has it's good points like when she wakes up in the morning chatting away and her head appears at the end of the cot followed by her giraffe usually flung at my head :) 

So I am counting down the days to when we move and she can finally have her own room, I am so excited to decorate it! I won't say too much about the house as it's not exchanged yet and we already set our hearts on another which fell through so safe to say we are wary this time. I hope to have more positive news soon. 

Thursday, 12 September 2013

A Solar A Fayre - Daisy's first festival

A few years back I used to go to a lot of festivals, I was very lucky to do Glastonbury on my birthday once, and have done smaller ones, Sunrise (my favourite) Off the Tracks, Waveform and Glade which one year had 24 hours solid of pouring rain, that was an experience I wont forget!
The good friends of mine I used to go with are in a band called 'zubzub' and whenever they have a local gig which isn't very often I try and go, well I used to, the last time I saw them play was at another festival called Out of the Ordinary when I was around 35 weeks pregnant! So it's not really Daisy's first one.

They told me about this little family friendly solarpowered festival called Solarafayre, (previously Kaplick) in a place called Boughton Monchelsea in Kent, not too far from us, I really wanted Daisy to experience different things, and knowing how much I loved going to festivals hoped she would too, we decided to go along just for the day, I didn't feel confident camping with her just yet!
Luckily the sun was shining when we got there, and the sky was blue with only a few fluffy clouds, we went off exploring which didnt take very long as this is a small but perfectly formed festival, I just love these intimate festivals, there is a real spirit of community and an amazing energy, everyone you meet is friendly and smiley. I dont think I saw anyone not having a good time.

We found a real coffee van, I love my espresso! We sat and drank our coffee and did some people watching.

There were three music areas, one called woodland space, playing dance and chill out which was away from the main area, the tipi stage, eclectic and poetry, and the main kaplick solar stage where my friends were playing. There was a kids area, and a healing area offering massage, sound therapy and yoga. There were food stalls and stalls selling wonderful things, there was also a tattoo van! I have to mention the toilets, if anyone has been to a festival you know they can be pretty unpleasant, but these were the best toilets at a festival I have ever used! They were clean, they had air fresheners in, a real toilet seat, plenty of loo roll being replaced constantly throughout the day, they were lit at night, and outside an actual kitchen sink on branches with running water and antibacterial handwash!

We had Daisy in the ergo carrier, she is very happy in there, and it lets her observe from our level which is different from viewing the world from a buggy.

She was taking it all in, we walked around, I took A LOT of photos! Then found a little spot near the main stage to put the picnic blanket down on, and we stayed there for a few hours, Daisy really enjoyed being free(ish) to roam around, eat some grass, and meet lots of new people, and listen to some music, it didnt seem to phase her at all.

We gave her her dinner there and as it got a bit chilly in the evening took her back to the car to change her and wrap her up warm in a woolly jacket and put her in her buggy so she could go to sleep at her usual time. I brought some ear defenders for her as the music got quite loud as the night went on. She went to sleep with no problems. My friends band came on, and I even had a little dance, my how much I had missed that, although I get out of breath a lot quicker these days! I thought we might get tired fairly early as we really dont go out much anymore, but we were having such a good time, and the energy in the place was incredible I could have stayed for longer but Daisy woke up and I was aware of her realising she wasnt in bed and being a bit unhappy, the worst part was moving her from the buggy into the car seat, it was chilly and the lights in the car were bright, but as soon as we moved off she went back to sleep, when we got home around 11pm she stayed asleep while I changed her nappy and I fed her and she went back to sleep again and slept through till morning, unfortunately she didnt let us have a lie in!

I didnt really know what to expect, but it was miles better than I could have imagined, and maybe not as stressful as I thought it might be, though priorities have changed, and we went hungry for a while to make sure Daisy was fed, changed warm and happy. The friends I see at these events I sometimes dont see for months, years at a time, but when we do its like I saw them yesterday, I love them to bits.
I am so glad we went, and Daisy could experience it and enjoy it, already cant wait to go again next year, she will be almost 2! And maybe this time we will camp.

Monday, 5 August 2013

9 months old...still breastfeeding!

So it's World Breastfeeding Week, I thought I would write about what breastfeeding means to me, and our experiences so far, Daisy will be 9 months old on the 6th August, and I am so proud to say that I am still breastfeeding, I really couldnt imagine still doing it now as I found it so bloody hard to start with, the first 3 months were really tough and quite stressful.  I used to count down the months I had left, as I only initially planned to breastfeed for 6 months.

We didnt get off to the best start with me having a traumatic birth and Daisy being in neo natal special care for a week. 
She was not instantly a good latcher, she was nil by mouth for the first day or so, and no-one in the hospital showed me how to express, I had to keep pestering the staff, I was terrified my milk would dry up before it had even come in! It was incredibly painful for the first few days and weeks, nipple cream was my friend! I went to numerous breastfeeding support groups, which were a sanity saver, things gradually became easier and around 4 months when she was so much stronger, she suddenly started latching properly first time. I can now say I love breastfeeding, it's probably one of the only things I've been so determind to stick at in life, and I have succeeded in doing so! Not only is it so convenient, (I couldn't imagine all the faff with formula feeding, if I go out I have her milk with me at the right temperature!) it's the absolute best thing I can give Daisy, I like the thought of the fact that I grew her in my belly, and I sustained her with my milk, I made her healthy and strong, it's makes me very proud when I have her weighed and get told how well she is doing, I think I did that with my super mummy milk! The bond we have developed through it, it's a beautiful, wonderful thing. 

One of my favourite things is the bedtime feed, when we are in the bedroom, the lights are dim, and we have lullaby music on, Daisy is sleepy and she nods off while feeding in my arms, it's such a special and precious time and sometimes I feel like its the first time I have really relaxed all day! 
I struggled with feeding in public for a while, that is finally easier, I always found it quite stressful, especially as she is so nosy, and would never stay on my boob, always wanting to look around, leaving me rather exposed, I am more comfortable with a cover, that's personal choice, although she doesn't like a cover and always pulls it off!! 

Now Daisy is older and much quicker at feeding I miss the early lovely lazy days of settling down to watch a programme while she was feeding and would then fall asleep on me.
I cannot see us stopping any time soon, hopefully she won't self wean, she does lose interest during the day, I at least plan to do morning and evening feeds for a while yet. 
As with most things there are negative points...I've never been a fan of expressing and feeding by bottle, we did it once when she was 9 weeks, and it felt very unnatural and strange giving her a bottle, so she has not had one since! We don't have any family who live near so we don't have the option of anyone looking after her, maybe if we did things would have been different, but doing ALL the feeding myself, sometimes, just sometimes I wish I could have a break, a lie in, a night off! Night feeds have been hard work, and now at 9 months we have it down to just one, actually the last two nights Daisy has 'slept through' a breastfeeding mothers dream?! I find a lot of parents are in such a rush for their babies to sleep through, but in the early days, and for quite some time after babies really do NEED those night feeds, as breast milk is digested so much quicker than formula. Yes I've been tired, exhausted at night but I tried to tell myself she needs me hungry little pickle! I feel I am waffling now...
Breastfeeding is beautiful. If I have another baby I will be breastfeeding, no hesitation. I love it so much and want to encourage others to do so, not enough mothers continue breastfeeding for all sorts of reasons, lack of support and knowledge being one. I hope to have some peer support training in September, and become a volunteer locally. It is something I am passionate about and hope to be doing for a few more months yet, I know I will miss it terribly when it ends! 

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

The very first adventure...Daisy's birth story.

So Daisy is almost 9 months, thought I should get round to writing this.
Its quite a story, and a long one at that! Be warned some parts are graphic! Please bear in mind I had a traumatic birth, if you don't want to hear about it, stop reading now!

Daisy was due on the 9th November 2012.

This is the last photo of me and my bump at 39 weeks

I started having 'twinges' during the night on Sunday 4th November, and couldn't sleep, I convinced myself they must be braxton hicks, maybe I was in denial. They continued throughout Monday morning, and were irregular and gradually slowed so thought nothing of it, I did have some show, and called the birth centre at St Helier Hospital were I hoped to have my 'perfect birth' according to the plan I had made...they said it sounded like the early stages of labour, and things would probably pick up again come night time, I did some ball bouncing hoping to help things along. Adrian came home from work and was putting some dinner on, I had the most almighty contraction, which took my breath away, I went to the loo and there was a fair bit of blood, which worried me I said we need to go in now...

So off we went to St Helier birth centre, contractions still irregular, the midwife said that she was quite sure I was still in the early stages and that 'there was not much point in examining me unless I wanted her to' as it was my first and I was not having regular contractions, (I am sure around now they started becoming so!) I would love to know how dilated I was then... She gave me some paracetamol and told me to go home, try and get some rest, have a bath, relax etc, so around 9pm we went home intending to do just that, once home I got in the bath, the contractions were now becoming much stronger, all my plans for no pain relief were fading fast, I told Adrian I couldnt cope with the pain and to call the hospital and tell them I wanted an epidural, which he did, around now I felt a huge urge to push, and was pretty terrified I was going to have this baby right here in the bath, Im not sure how I managed to get out the bath and get dressed but I did, and back in the car we got, I had my eyes shut and was gripping the seat and door all the way (about a 15/20 minute drive at this time of night) back at the birth centre around 11pm the same midwife examined me...'OH well you are in so much pain because you are 10cm already!' I couldn't believe it, and felt rather smug I had managed this far on no pain relief, they said they weren't sure there was time to fill the pool for the water birth I dreamed of, I got in and thought wow, im going to get the perfect birth I had planned, quite confident baby would come out in a few short pushes....
how wrong could I be...

Quite a few puffs of gas and air and an hour later, I was still pushing, my contractions had slowed, so they convinced me to get out the pool and walk around, not much fun, walked up and down the corridor, hung off Adrian, did some undignified squatting!!! Still nothing. They told me much longer and they would have to 'intervene' Around 2am I then had to go a short walk to the labour ward, what I really didn't want, I had to have a drip to kick start contractions again which was quite unpleasant, and a catheter to see if a full bladder was stopping baby coming, a doctor came to see me and looked at the clock and literally said you have until 2.20am to push this baby out, if nothing happens by then we need to use a ventouse, which will mean an episotomy I was really scared of this happening but so exhausted I was now in quite a state of upset! I was determined not to have any intervention, I pushed so hard I literally used my last energy resources, finally they said they could see the head, what happened next is quite a blur, some point they realised Daisy was stuck, with the cord around her neck, called a shoulder dystocia, where the shoulder is stuck behind your pelvis, the emergency alarm was pressed, what seemed like loads of people rushed into the room, here is when I shut my eyes and basically shut myself off from what was happening to me...some people grabbed my legs, some pushed on my tummy, and I felt some yanking going on, I felt so out of control, the doctor explained later they had to reach in, find her arm and pull her out by it...when I opened my eyes I saw a floppy looking baby, which for some reason I thought looked like a boy!! I can only describe how I felt now as completely and utterly exhausted beyond belief, relief that the baby was out, and for a few seconds I didn't care about anything. Stunned. In shock...physically and mentally...Daisy was taken straight away, and given oxygen, Adrian said he saw her head come out blue. I realised with all the commotion no one said the usual, its a boy/its a girl! Adrian went to find out, he was pretty stunned from seeing it all happening too! A girl he said! I couldn't believe it, I hadn't told too many people I desperately wanted a girl, and was being told thought out the pregnancy my bump looked like a boy! When they handed me Daisy I had to actually check she was a girl as I didn't believe it! I looked at her and said Daisy straight away, she is Daisy isn't she!? I said to Adrian. :) I couldn't even cry I was so exhausted.

This is one of the first photos of Daisy shortly after she was born, I am not looking or feeling my best!

I don't really remember the placenta being delivered, I do remember being stitched up very painfully afterwards, they had to cut me on top of everything else! Daisy was born at 2.31am, weighing 9lb. I was lying in that bed until 5am! Sweaty, in pain, uncomfortable :(
Finally I could get up and move to the suite in the birth centre, the midwife helped me have a shower, I could barely stand up, then it was like I almost forgot there was a baby, I saw this thing by the bed in one of those see through plastic cribs, all wrapped up with a hat on, so just a little face fast asleep, the room had this weird mood lighting which kept changing colour, a little surreal without being almost deliriously exhausted, I remember thinking Daisy looked like a little doll, or an alien (green lighting)! A cute one at that. I was so physically tired, but my brain was wired, and I just couldn't stop looking at her, she was completly perfect, and there was no way I was sleeping!

Daisy all cleaned up and snug as a bug

You think my ordeal is over,! 
Every time I stood up I felt short of breath and had chest pains, I think now this was dehydration but they had a doctor look at me who thought I may have a collapsed lung!! Then I thought I was going to die! I said to Adrian oh but this would be a really bad time to die!! :( 
So they sent me for a X-ray, this is while Adrian was moving the car, the porter was wheeling me down the corridor, at 7am, so luckily was pretty quiet, I burst into tears as felt so overwhelmed and traumatised by the birth.
I felt like I had been run over by a bus, every muscle in my body ached. The X-ray came back clear, and I was left alone to rest, all was well during the day, Daisy slept a lot, I tried breastfeeding a bit, it seemed to be going ok, evening came, I sent Adrian home to get some rest, I was looking forward to going home in the morning, I went to look at Daisy sleeping and noticed she had been sick, it looked green, I called the midwife and asked if this was normal, she called the doctor who examined her, explained the green stuff was bile, which she shouldnt be bringing up, and said they needed to do some further tests, they would need to take her down to the Neo Natal unit, but not to worry, it could be anything, the most serious things mentioned were a twisted bowel, a blockage in her tummy, even meningitus, they had to investigate, of course I immediately feared the worst and was fraught with worry, but worst of all I would be separated from my baby who I had only just met. They wheeled her down and explained they would take some blood, do a lumbar puncture, and put her on an antibiotic drip, they advised me to leave as seeing her stuck with needles would be upsetting, too right! I was a wreck, couldn't stop crying and thinking the worst, would she survive, would she need surgery. I had to spend the night on my own without her, I managed to get some sleep somehow, and woke up in the morning, desperate to know how she was doing. The doctor came first thing and said I could go and see her, when I did she had a tube coming out her nose from her stomach, and a cannula in her tiny hand, it was heartbreaking. To cut a (getting longer!) story short, they did so many tests, but nothing came back, they said it was an infection of some sort, in total she was in neo natal for 3 days, and with me for another 2, it felt so much longer! I was so desperate to go home, although being in hospital has its advantages, the food not being one of them. I do have to say the midwives and most of the staff were fantastic, very supportive and caring and all the staff in neo natal do such an amazing job. I was so lucky to be in St Helier, I can't believe they want to close that maternity unit. 
After a little embarrassing issue with the car seat straps at last we took our Daisy home on the evening of Saturday 10th November.
I still feel sad about what happened with the birth, I would definitely say I've been traumatised, it was in no way what I wanted or imagined, I feel I was cheated of the beautiful experience birth should be. I know I was lucky Daisy was ok and healthy at the end of it but it has made me scared of having another, I would really like to, hopefully things will be better second time around...