Β ο»ΏSurviving with a newborn and a toddler… one month on

I still can’t get my head around the fact that I’m a mum to two little humans, and I can’t believe we have survived a month already. Suprisingly I am coping pretty well with a 20 month old and a newborn and here is how…

  1. Going to bed early! As a first time mum everyone tells you to ‘sleep when your baby sleeps’ which is simply not possible when you have an active toddler who only naps for an hour a day! So the only way I’m coping with the 2-3 hourly night feeds is by going to bed super early. My toddler sleeps by 7/7.30pm, I then do a few chores and take my baby upstairs and we’re both asleep by 9pm! This helps with the 5/6am starts. Such a glamorous life I lead πŸ˜‚
  2. A good routine. This goes with the above but basically having set nap times and a bedtime for my biggest monkey means I can semi plan the day and I know when to grab some lunch or start with dinner. I’m hoping to eventually have both boys in bed at the same time so I can get a couple of hours to myself. Maybe wishful thinking right now though.
  3. Doing grocery shopping online. I’m pre planning all my meals and ordering food online and getting it delivered as I just don’t have the time to go and do a food shop. I try and cook and prep dinner when my toddler is napping at lunch. I’m very fortunate to have my mum and sister nearby so one of them is usually here in the afternoon so as long as the baby is asleep they can entertain my toddler while I cook.
  4. Organising everything the night before. Once we come downstairs in the morning, it’s hard to just pop back upstairs to grab something as I don’t want to leave my monkey around the baby as anything could happen. Every evening I make sure we have enough nappy change essentials and spare clothes downstairs for the next day.
  5. Getting out of the house.Β This one is easier said than done. Firstly it’s winter so taking a newborn out requires more effort. And secondly getting out of the house with two takes longer than you would expect. But now we have all car seats and pushchairs set up, it should get easier. I’m finding it a lot easier to entertain my biggest boy out of the house, as he was getting very bored of being cooped up inside. And my littlest mainly sleeps while out and only feeds every 2-3 hours so this gives me time to focus on my oldest when out and about.. (Sami used to feed up to three times an hour which made going out when he was a newborn somewhat more challenging). Now the weather is nicer I plan to go out at least once a day, even if it’s just a walk around the block. We will also be taking advantage of our lovely garden.
  6. Strong support network. As I just mentioned my mum and sister live round the corner and help me daily. I am very lucky! As I’m breastfeeding there’s not much they can do to help with the baby but they help to entertain my toddler, by taking him out, feeding him, and helping with bath and bedtimes! I also have a very tight knit extended family who are nearby so have had lots of meals sent from aunties and cousins… I am very lucky I know and not everybody has their family nearby.
  7. Lowering my standards (and expectations).Β This one is an important one… I’m slowly accepting that my house will not be as immaculate as I would like. Things may be untidy and out of place, the laundry may pile up for a few days longer than I’d like, some days my toddler (and me) will stay in pjs all day and some days my toddler may watch nursery rhymes on TV for longer than he should. We may eat take out more then we should, some days my toddler will have weetabix for dinner… but it’s okay! Sometimes we put too much pressure on ourselves and there’s no need. Don’t get me wrong, whenever I get a chance I am doing housework, or cooking, or trying to do worthwhile activities with my toddler, but some days nothing gets done and the world is not going to end!

39 week bumpdate..

Okay, so by now I really really thought baby would have made an appearance! Don’t listen to people who tell you second babies come earlier, it’s nonsense! 

I’m so eager to meet my baby and have them here with us now.. I’m anxious about the labour and want it out of the way, plus it’s getting increasingly hard to look after an active toddler being SO pregnant! I think I’m kidding myself thinking it’s going to get any easier once baby arrives though.. I’ll have to let you know.. 

Having been on maternity leave for two weeks now, I think I have finally completed my ‘to do’ list of everything I wanted to before baby arrives, so I am all prepared! Although it’s really surreal as mentally I don’t think I’ve actually prepared myself for actually having another baby here with us, sounds strange I know but I can’t explain it. I can’t imagine another baby that isn’t Sami, that doesn’t look like Sami, or act like Sami. Also I don’t want to devastate him when he realises the ‘baba’ that he kisses and cuddles daily, is going to share mummy’s attention with him.. he is still very much a mummy’s boy. I just keep thinking he will thank me in the long term. 

I literally feel like I’m just waiting for baby CONSTANTLY which is so different to last time as I was wanting baby to stay put until our house was ready and we were all moved in. The waiting is horrible! And I’m too tired to really make the most of this time, plus I’m so exhausted from looking after my little monkey and keeping everything in the house ticking along. Anyway enough of me rambling on, here’s my 39 week bumpdate: 

Total weight gain: 1 stone 2 pounds.. still barely put on anything this pregnancy, I’m still mainly all bump. By 39 weeks last time I was a swollen mess πŸ˜‚

How big is the baby
: I’m not sure exactly (not that they really know anyway) but my midwife tells me the baby has had a growth spurt in the last fortnight and has grown loads. Maybe we won’t have a teeny tiny 5 pounder this time! 

Sleep
: Since baby dropped about 2 weeks ago, I’m finding it much easier to sleep, finally πŸ™‚ but I still wake regularly for the loo.. every pregnant women’s nightmare I think! 

Belly button: still in just about but verryyy stretched 


Stretch marks:
babies growth spurt has resulted in me finally getting some stretch marks! Kinda sucks but never mind. 

Maternity clothes: apart from maternity leggings I’m still kidding myself that my normal clothes fit so am living in my ‘normal’ clothes’ although haven’t been pregnant/ breastfeeding for the last 28 months I don’t feel I have any ‘normal’ clothes anymore.. a shopping spree is deffo in order post baby πŸ˜„

Favourite moment this week: dropping my little monkey to nursery this morning and he just ran off (did I mention he’s a proper walker now??), didn’t even turn to say bye! We’ve come a longggg way from crying every morning for almost 3 months. Makes such a difference! 

Cravings: still don’t believe in pregnancy cravings although I do always want salty food right now! 

Labour signs: none, absolutely ZERO!

Most looking forward to: the tea and toast post labour in hospital πŸ‘ŒπŸΌπŸ‘ŒπŸΌπŸ‘ŒπŸΌ and my babies meeting for the first time.. 


My birth plan

This time around I am so much more anxious about the labour. First time round your oblivious and you don’t know what to except, plus your also more excited. This time, although I had a smooth labour myself previously, I’ve heard everyone else’s birth stories, and some are terrifying. Once you join the ‘mum club’, fellow mummy’s no longer hold back on giving you the A to Z on their own experiences. I am probably guilty of this too, although my birth story was not so gruesome or terrifying.

So anyway.. my birth plan. I don’t have one as such, and my midwife said we will go through this at my 38 week appointment, which is surely too late loads of women have given birth by then?! I didn’t have a birth plan last time either, I wanted a water birth, no drugs and skin to skin but was fairly relaxed about how I may change my mind and that things may progress differently..

So this time, I am keeping an open mind again, I’m not going to have a strict or detailed birth plan, but there are a few things I would want in an ideal world:

  • Drug free labour. I want to stay at home as long as possible using my tens and bouncy ball. I want to use gas and air if possible (only got an hour last time as I was so far along when I arrived at hospital and my midwife wanted me to use the pain to push!).. does gas and air count as a drug? I don’t know.. but like I said I’ll keep an open mind depending on how the labour turns out. 
  • Water birth. I really wanted one last time, but I got to hospital too late and there were no birthing pools free. Really hoping I can this time πŸ™πŸ½πŸ™πŸ½πŸ™πŸ½
  • Skin to skin immediately after birth. I know this isn’t always possible but I want this to happen as soon as possible even if I am totally out of it and knocked out.
  • Donor milk. If for some reason me and baby are separated for a long period after birth, I only want baby to be given donor breast milk, fed via a tube. My reasons being I don’t want to jeapordise my breastfeeding relationship by using a bottle, and also because of the Virgin gut, (Read more here ).. I know not everyone will agree with me on this, but it is a preference I have if it’s possible, not that there’s anything wrong with doing things differently! 

And that’s it! I’m fully aware that things could go pear shaped and in all honesty I’m trying not to focus on labour itself, and putting it to the back of my mind. Kind of strange when I’m also patiently waiting for my labour to start.. pretty ironic isn’t it? 

    Wish me luck! 

    That’s one small step for man.. one giant leap for our household..

    Something I’ve not really written about (and it’s not been intentional I’ve just been too busy to update and write about everything I’ve wanted to in the last few months) is my little monkeys slow progress when it comes to walking. 

    I’m so fed up of hearing the words.. “is he walking yet”.. people ask in such a way that you feel like you’re failing as a parent, not that something like walking is a reflection of you as parents or even signifies any kind of intelligence or developmental ability of your child. All babies walk eventually! It’s a question that I find so annoying but often respond with, “No, but he makes up for it when it comes to talking”. And that response is me being defensive, like I have something to prove.. stupid I know! 

    Well anyway, I’ve spent my ENTIRE pregnancy carrying a toddler around as my monkey has had no interest in walking whatsoever. So it’s just typical that as I reach 37 weeks pregnant, Sami has decided to walk! And it’s so lovely to see, and he’s so proud of himself! He still needs to gain some confidence and get a better balance but he’s loving walking around the house taking lots and lots of steps, we will have a pro walker in no time! If you ask me I’ve had it easy for 19 months as I can see how life is going to get so much harder with an active toddler and a baby πŸ˜‚. 

    I have had some concerns with his feet as he doesn’t lay them flat and we have waited months and months for an appointment with a specialist, only for an appointment date to finally come.. on my due date! Typical! I guess this is just the first of many situations where we are going to have conflicting priorities with Sami and the new baby, and I’m sure we will find a way to make it all work.. or maybe that’s just the optimist in me. I’ll have to let you know in a few months time πŸ™‚ 

    So anyway, all you mums out there who are feeling rubbish because your baby doesn’t walk, or crawl, or sit, or talk, or eat, or god forbid sleep through the night yet.. they will when they are ready (so cliched I know but also so true). Sometimes we just need to take a step back, put things into perspective and ignore negatively from others… 

    I have no actual photos of him walking yet..

    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 :):)