Choosing baby names…

Having a name that NOBODY can pronounce was a nuisance growing up. Especially when your name can be mispronounced as ‘Salmon’, which is what I was unfortunately called for the first 16 years of my life.  This went on until I got to sixth form and decided I was fed up of being known by such an ugly name and made it my mission to correct everyone. But I know how annoying it is to have to correct people or spell your name out. For those of you who don’t know, my name is Saman, pronounced ‘summon’, as in a court summons…

I was therefore adamant about giving my children names that were easy to say and recognise. With baby number one, I spent hours reading baby name books and searching the internet to come up with lists of names I liked. But my husband thought it was ‘too early’ to discuss names until after the baby was born. So in the end I gave him my top 3 and he picked ‘Sami’ from my list, after our son was born. Simple πŸ˜„

So this time around we didn’t even discuss baby names. We knew the gender and I find boys names so much harder.  Being a multi racial family, it’s important for us both to pick names that ‘fit in’ with both cultures, as we don’t want our children to have confused identities. I had gone off the other two boys names I had picked last time (thank god my husband didn’t pick them) so we were back to square one and I knew if I started looking into it or making a list, he would be unwilling to discuss it. I did have one boy’s name that I liked in the past and had made a mental note off (it was saved in my iPhone notes.. my idea of a mental note).

One evening when I was around 34 weeks pregnant my husband asked me if I had picked any names yet. This was a funny question coming from him as if I had been spending my time looking at names he would have humoured me, telling me it was ‘too early’. This is exactly what I told him, and then mentioned that there was one name I did like… Laith. He thought about it for a few seconds then agreed that he liked it, and just like that we had our second boy’s name.

Laith is an Arabic name meaning ‘lion’ ‘strong’ or ‘brave’, but is easy enough for everyone to pronounce (I think anyway, time will tell). I love the name and think it is beautiful, just like my little boy. I also think Sami & Laith go together really nicely which is also something I considered.

So that’s how simple it was for us to come up with our babies’ names, thankfully we both agreed with each other and have picked names we both love…I’m all out of boys names though, so if we have another boy we would be stuck!

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The end is near.. 35 week bumpdate

I’ve been pretty quiet updating my blog as we’ve spent the last few weeks sick with coughs, colds and generally feeling ill. We get better for a day or so, before catching another bug. The worse part is, your limited in medication when your pregnant. So yes, I’ve been feeling very sorry for myself lately, and my little monkey who despite being ill too is still in good spirits and full of energy. I’m lucky enough to have my family around to help, as there was one week I literally couldn’t get out of bed, and typically that was the week I had annual leave from work.. talk about timing. 

So anyway, we made it to 35 weeks! I’m starting to feel like the baby could make an appearance at any time, so am frantically trying to get my house in order while I can. In other words, nesting has well and truly kicked in! 

Those of you who have read my blog for a while will know we moved into our home the day I went into labour with Sami, therefore I never got to unpack and organise our things properly. I was very lucky to have my sister unpack everything for me, but with Sami never spending more than a few hours apart from me until he was 14 months old in September (exclusively breastfed and a bottle refuser), I never had the time to organise the house. When he finally gained independence and started nursery, I went back to work three days a week, and did not want to spend my days off doing chores..

I have spent the last week frantically getting all these jobs done. My kitchen cupboards are now super organised, my (many wardrobes) are organised and decluttered, Sami’s wardrobes have been reorganised to make space for the babies clothes and I’ve tackled the walk in wardrobe. I’m feeling a lot less stressed about the house situation but still really need to start preparing for this little baby that will be with us imminently! I still have to pack a hospital bag, and need to get some clothes ready and washed! 

We haven’t brought a single thing for this baby as we’re hoping to use most of the things we already have. However, I do need to get a few things, so that’s next on the to do list once my hospital bag is packed. Whenever I get a little stressed at the situation, I just think back to last time and the fact my husband was assembling our bed, the crib and all other essentials as I was in Labour, whilst our carpets where being laid and our possessions were being unloaded from the removal van. It can’t possibly be any worse this time! We have a crib, we have Nappies and clothes, and breast milk on tap! That’s all the essentials covered! 

So anyway I’ve turned this into an essay already, here’s my 35 week bump update…

Total weight gain: 1 stone 1 pound! Hardly put anything on this pregnancy but I was a stone heavier to begin with

How big is the baby: No idea, but bump is measuring as 32 weeks, so we may have a baby that is even tinier than Sami was

Sleep: Still not had a full nights sleep since Sami was born. Baby number two wakes me with kicks, or I can’t get comfy, or I need the loo. On top of this I have been experiencing extreme itchiness, which is worse at night. Lucky me..(itchiness in pregnancy can be a sign of Obstetric Cholestatis so make sure you get it checked out if you experience this). I can’t wait to ditch the pregnancy pillow and sleep on my front again πŸ™‚ 

Belly button: Still in, just about. Last time it stayed well and truly in the whole pregnancy

Stretch marks: Luckily I’ve not noticed any to date, hoping to be stretch mark free like last time 

Maternity clothes: Still wearing my normal clothes coupled with maternity leggings or tights, so have done well not to need a new wardrobe again

Favourite moment this week: Watching my little monkey take his first few steps, hoping to see him walk sometime soon 

Cravings: None, I’m still not convinced these even exist

Labour signs: None.. thankfully it’s too early and too much to do, baby is head down for now and I have major braxton hicks

Most looking forward to: The start of maternity leave, only two weeks (that’s 6 working days for me) to go… 

oh and we have picked a name :):) 


Our breastfeeding journey..Β 

Breastfeeding was something I felt really strongly about. I was adamant it was what I was going to do and if you asked me a year ago I had strong views on why anyone would do anything differently. It’s so easy to have views on parenting choices when your not a parent!  Anyway, back to my reasons for breastfeeding, the facts speak for themselves..( read up on the benefits here).. plus it felt like the most natural thing to do. But, I now know, I was lucky with my breastfeeding journey, very lucky..

My baby latched on straight away after birth (skin to skin deffo helped). Yes the first 4-6 weeks were HARD. It was painful, I had sore, cracked and bleeding nipples. Me and my baby struggled to find the right latch, and I felt uncomfortable even feeding at home with so many people around. We had just moved house and only had one living room set up, if I wanted privacy (which I did), I had to leave the room. Which wasn’t easy initially with my stitches. In the end I gave in and fed in front of everyone, making me more anxious and uncomfortable in the early days. 

But, we had no real issues. Cracked nipples and soreness is completely normal, and because I was adamant I didn’t let this stop me. But I can easily see how this would be hard for some people to deal with. Especially with lack of knowledge and the wrong advice. And as a new mum, the advice keeps flowing, and you start to question whether the baby is getting enough milk, are they hungry, are they jaundice, is your milk sufficient? Like I said I was lucky, we had no major feeding issues so my only challenge was dealing with the pain and getting the hang of it which took around 6 weeks. Had I not been so determined and desperate to make it work, and had not done my research, I could have easily given up. And if I had given up, there would have been nothing wrong with that, a happy baby and mum is more important than anything. 

And this is where my views have changed. Prior to being a mother, and even as a new mum, I couldn’t understand why a women wouldn’t breastfeed or atleast attempt to. I was so naΓ―ve. I’ve since witnessed my cousin and best friend become mums and have totally different experiences to me. Both wanting to breastfeed, but both being separated from their babies after birth, and consequently having to face even more difficulties in their breastfeeding journeys than normal. I’ve also witnessed lack of support from health professionals in the first few days, at the detriment of establishing breastfeeding altogether. I now know, that for some people, no matter how adamant they are, the circumstances take the choice away from them. Again, I was lucky, and am thankful for how things turned out for me. 

As I said before, breastfeeding is hard. It’s the hardest thing I have ever done..I can easily see why so many people do not stick it out. Your baby relies on you 100%, which means everything you do, everything you wear, down to everywhere you go, is centred around feeding your baby. And, if like me, you have a bottle refuser (my monkey had no interest in expressed milk), you literally feel like you never get a break from being ‘mummy’. And the night wake ups and lack of sleep can really catch up on you. When your a breastfeeding mummy, you can’t just have a night off, or even a few hours off. Your always there, on call incase your baby needs you, 24 hours a day. 

As well as being a bottle refuser, what made breastfeeding harder for me, was the fact that he was not interested in food until he was 13 months old. Which meant he was exclusively fed by me until then. Finally at 13 months he started to eat a meal a day, then within days this turned into three meals! I nearly cried the first time he ate a meal as I literally thought the day would never come and it meant so much to me. 

And it couldn’t have come at a better time as I was 4 months pregnant, and was getting kicked in the tummy and breastfeeding was becoming uncomfortable. Being pregnant, my milk supply had dwindled drastically and the soreness and pain from breastfeeding in the early days came flooding back. But I persevered for two more months. I had always hoped to feed until a minimum of 2 years, as recommended by the World Health Organisation, but the realities of feeding when pregnant, the pain, the tiredness, and my monkeys frustration from getting very little milk from me, which in turn added to the soreness, had become too much. 

So at 15 months we called it a day, it took three days for my monkey to stop asking and I offered lots of snacks and lots of cuddles. I felt so sad and so bad for my monkey for refusing him of the one thing he wanted. But if he hadn’t have taken to it so well, I probably would have continued. I really think the fact I was pregnant and my supply had reduced so much, made the whole thing so much easier, for us both. He’s never asked again and the last two months have resulted in a toddler who eats so much, is less clingy and sleeps all night (an added bonus). 

I am so proud of our breastfeeding journey, and proud of us both for making it to 15 months, especially since recent research suggests that only 0.5% of people are still breastfeeding at 12 months in the U.K. (BBC article, 2016). A statistic that shocks me, but also fills me with pride. I’m proud that I could feed my baby, and give him the best start I could, and I’m also grateful as I know, it’s not so simple for everyone, and mothers do the best they can in the choices they make. I’m not going to lie, it’s been nice to have a break from feeding this last two months, but I am looking forward to hopefully doing it again..only 9 weeks to go 😍

I think I have insomnia..Β 

Every parent waits for the day that their baby finally ‘sleeps’. Of course all babies sleep, what I mean by this is you put them down at bedtime and don’t hear a peep out of them until morning.. bliss! Well I did my time and waited a whole 15 months for this day. At first I thought it was a fluke, but it’s been almost two months and my monkey has ‘slept’ ever since. 

And boy is it nice! So much so, that you forget all the sleepless nights, the every two hour wake ups, the 5am starts, the evenings where your forever putting your baby back to sleep and overall the relentlessness and sleep deprivation! Okay, well maybe I haven’t forgotten it totally, but somehow you forget just how hard it really was.

So now that my baby sleeps, I have a new problem.. I CANT sleep! Typical. Well I fall asleep just fine, but I wake multiple times at night, for a glass of water, to use the loo, because the baby is kicking, or because I can’t get comfy (despite the pregnancy pillow that is taking over my bed). And atleast once a night, usually around 3-4am I cannot go back to sleep for 1, sometimes 2 hours. Not even my trusty rain and thunder sleep music works, which has been a godsend these last 17 months. If your having issues going back to sleep after the relentless night feeds, try it! It used to work wonders for me! 

So anyway, I lie awake for AGES, thinking and overthinking, replaying my day, or thinking about alllllll the things I need to do, and the most annoying one, thinking about work and my ever growing todo list. Apart from pregnancy, I blame work for my inability to sleep. Thank god I only have two short months left of work, before another little monkey arrives and I actually have no sleep for the forseeeable future again πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚. 

Last night I woke at 4am and did not sleep again until gone 5.30am, only to be woken at 6.30am! And typically, my little monkey didn’t wake until 8am so we were late for nursery. Luckily it’s my morning off and I am not budging from the sofa until it’s time to collect him again. 

Happy Tuesday everyone! 

Maybe I need an adult version of one of these.. 

Pregnancy and Sugary drinks!Β 

So I’m sat in the hospital waiting room having just had my blood test and a sugary drink. I now have to sit and wait for a minimum of TWO hours with a room full of pregnant women (eyeing up each other’s bumps), Jeremy Kyle and a rowdy child πŸ˜‚.. oh and I can’t eat or drink.. I’m pretty sure I’d rather be at work. 

I came prepared with my iPad, my work blackberry, a book and some nail varnish hoping to catch up on some blog posts and finally paint my nails. But I think I’ll save that for an hours time when I’m super bored. 

I was nearly that lady with the rowdy toddler..We got to nursery as normal this morning but when I took my monkey out of the car he was covered in sick. Uh oh, he caught the bug. I had it last week, then passed it on to my mum, who passed it on to my sister. So already late for my glucose test, with all of my babysitters out of action I was preparing myself for three hours of mayhem, trying to look after a sick toddler in a small confined and uncomfy setting. Thank god for daddy, he dropped me to the hospital just in time and took my sick monkey home. 

So back to plan A with my iPad, my book, nail varnish and phones, just wishing I could have a cup of tea and a chocolate too, and a comfy chair! It’s bizarre how things change from hospital to hospital and antenatal care. For my last pregnancy I was living in London until I was 36 weeks pregnant, and my antenatal care was at Chelsea & Westminster. Appointments were super super quick, we were in an out within an hour. It takes Birmingham Women’s 5 hours + to fit in exactly the same checks, scans and tests. It’s so frustrating I come home hating the world after every appointment. 

And the glucose test is no different, today I’ve had to come in first thing, have a blood test and a sugary drink, and then I have to sit here for potentially over two hours before having another blood test. In London I was given a drink prior to my appointment which I had to drink an hour before, followed by a blood test. And that was it! 

Although it wasn’t that simple.. I puked up the lucozade on the way to the hospital (bear in mind I hadn’t eaten since the night before), so I arrived at the hospital stinking of sick and was made to drink another bottle (which I  also nearly puked) and wait another hour before having my blood test. Just as I got home, I got a call from the hospital saying they hadn’t taken my blood properly and could I come back, to say I was unimpressed was an understatement πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚.. 

I just don’t think I have much luck with glucose tests, and the sugary drinks are so yucky when your already nauseous and haven’t eaten since the night before..it’s like a pregnant women’s worse nightmare.. wish me luck that today goes better..