Post Pregnancy

The Mummy Diaries

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Over the past couple of weeks it has slowly become quite obvious that there are very few photos of myself with Baby Ored. Part of this is down to Ored, because where I haven’t stopped taking photographs, he has barely started. In fact when we first got together Ored found it both amusing and somewhat infuriating that I take photos of everything (especially food). He’s much more of a live-in-the-moment kinda guy whereas I’m a capture-the-moment kinda girl.

But that aside, and as embarrassed as I am to admit, the other reason is that I’ve simply shied away from the camera. Why? Because quite frankly, I’m still not used to seeing this new, much changed, version of myself.  Despite a sneaky feeling that I would become that unfortunate soul who forgoes the pregnancy glow in favour of swollen ankles, chubby cheeks and a generally more round appearance (all of which came true),  pregnancy went on to change my body in ways I could never have fully anticipated.

Sure I knew that I was destined to suffer from stretch marks, but did I think they’d snake their way from my bikini line to my belly button, akin to tiger markings? Or that they’d place themselves sparsely, in small, reddish indents, on my hips? Or that they’d reach as far as my now considerably larger breasts, as if to say “there’s no such thing as a free lunch!”

Did I picture that my legs would succumb to both varicose and thread veins? Or- going back to the boobs- that my once small and perky chest would now be bigger and as a result, an unwilling slave to gravity?

Before having a child of my own I naively assumed that post-pregnancy body woes were too trivial to be given the time of day. But having walked in those shoes flats (because right now, I can’t ever imagine wearing heels again) I now know that it runs deeper than that. It is the moment where we as women realise “This is me now.”

It goes without saying that I, like other new Mamas, am beyond grateful to have been able to carry and give birth to a healthy, happy baby. Throughout my pregnancy I was left astounded at my body’s ability to adapt, grow and nurture life with an unwavering strength. But there is still a sadness in knowing that the body that accompanied me on my journey from teenager to woman, is now gone forever.

As the days roll by and I look at this beautiful, beyond perfect boy that we have created, I am- slowly, but surely- learning how to say goodbye to my old self whilst warmly welcoming the new me. It may take a little while but in the meantime I’m determined to take as many photos with Little Ored as possible, because I’d hate to miss out on capturing those moments just because there’s a little more handle to love!

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Milestones- One Month

The Baby Diaries

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They say that time flies when you’re having fun and boy-oh-boy has that been the case over the past four weeks. I’m still in total disbelief that Little Ored is one month old already, it seems like it was only yesterday I was impatiently waiting for him to arrive!

One of Ored’s friends- a Father of two- suggested that for the first six months babies do little other than poop, puke, feed and cry, but I don’t think this could be any further from the truth! (Well, at the very least it’s not all they do) Little Ored’s personality- sweet natured, relaxed and inquisitive- becomes more and more apparent and we find ourselves discovering new expressions, movements and sounds with every day.

At one month Little Ored…

  • Spends considerably more time awake during the day. This time isn’t spent grizzling either, as he’s more than happy to just lay back (literally) and look at his surroundings.
  • Responds to music and in particular, being sung too. His favourites are David Bowie, Zayn and Lana Del Rey.
  • Has completely grown out of his newborn clothes, but annoyingly isn’t quite ready for 0-3 months, so we’re temporarily in limbo!
  •  Is virtually rash and flakey-skin free (part in parcel for newborns whose skin is acclimatising to life outside of the womb)

Who knows what the next month will bring, but we can’t wait to find out!

 

Milestone cards from Paper & Wool

 

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Breastfeeding- The Reality

Parenting, The Baby Diaries

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I came across a video from Grunge and Glitter on my Facebook feed yesterday about breastfeeding which made me howl with laughter whilst reflecting upon my own breast feeding experience.

As I’ve said before, breastfeeding was the one thing about motherhood which was making me anxious, more than the thought of labour, sleepless nights, and a messy house. Having failed to come across one woman who could give me a positive story about breastfeeding, I let the doubts settle in.

The reality- it turns out- couldn’t have been more different.

Armed with the knowledge gained from my NCT classes in the last stages of my pregnancy, I approached breastfeeding with a considerably more relaxed approach . I had renewed faith in my body’s ability to provide my baby with what he/she needed but also in my baby’s ability to latch and feed successfully.

I was determined, optimistic but above all, level headed. Resigned to the fact that whilst I wouldn’t give up at the first or even twentieth hurdle,  if for whatever reason I couldn’t feed, then I’d turn to formula without doubts, reservations and feelings of failure. My unborn baby and I needed time to bond, so quite frankly there was no time or place for piling the pressure on.

But from the moment Little Ored was born, our breastfeeding journey-luckily- was sheer delight. Sure there were moments when he was first born, where both of us, not knowing what the heck we were doing, were reliant on the midwives to help hone our techniques. And then there were moments (and still are) where, in a tiz, Little Ored headbutted my breasts, held onto my nipple without latching (which made the midwives cry  “It’s there, what more do you want?” ) and then when he finally did latch, he embarked upon such a frenzied feed that I wondered if my calm and chilled little babe had been temporarily possessed by the devil!

Thankfully, the moments where he is being a bit of a pickle are few and far between. The rest of the time he effortlessly latches and calmly feeds with no chapped, cracked or sore nipples in sight. Admittedly when my milk first came in, I had a night of having swollen, tender breasts- which my midwife put down to blocked ducts- but thanks to regular, round the clock feeding, I haven’t had to experience that pain since.

Whilst it’s still early days, breastfeeding Little Ored has been a dream and I’m fortunate enough to have encountered virtually no obstacles. I’m not here to tell you how incredible breastfeeding is, how it builds bonds and creates moments you’ll treasure forever, because whilst all of this is true I don’t believe it’s exclusive to just breastfeeding mums. Heck, Ored courts the same level of intense eye gazing, when he sways and sings to Little Ored!

What I do want to tell you, especially those of you who are Mums-to-be, is that it isn’t all tears, pain and heartache. If I had listened to all of the ‘advice’ I was given, I’d have had formula on stand by and a fridge full of cabbages (to cool down hot breasts) and I wouldn’t have needed either of them! It’s important not to get weighed down with all the negative, cautionary tales and to know that sometimes a positive, open and focused mindset can make the world of difference!

Mamas, how have you found breastfeeding? I’d love for you to share your thoughts in the comments below.

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P.S I am by no means an expert, but I will be writing a future post about the tips and tricks I’ve learnt/used to make breastfeeding easy and breezy. If there’s anything you want to know/ask or if there’s something in particular you’d like me to cover, than make sure to comment below!