Wednesday, 28 August 2019

Our Breastfeeding Journey

Following World Breastfeeding Week (OK, it was at the beginning of August but let's be real, it takes me a while to cobble a post together with a 3 month old) the concept has been on my mind and it made me want to share the experience Eden and I have had learning to breastfeed together. This might sound a strange and slightly TMI subject, but actually breastfeeding can be a very difficult and emotional journey - at least it was for me and many others I have since spoken to. I can't explain how many internet searches I made in the first few weeks, "is this normal?", how many sites and forums I visited and all the different stories I read - so if sharing this makes one struggling person feel normal, then that's honestly my job done.

Personally, I'd always dismissed breastfeeding as being a given as it is very much assumed to be a very natural and therefore very easy thing. I'd been told by some well-meaning mamas that it was hard, and while I took this on board I still unintentionally dismissed this - sure it might be sore at first, it might take the baby and I a while to get used to it, but I'm stubborn so whatever, I'd carry on and get there in the end.

I mean, I was right about the last bit, we did get there in the end, but we nearly didn't. Unless you've experienced this specifically, it's very difficult to describe exactly how hard a feeling it is when you are having to make serious decisions as to whether you carry on trying to feed. For me it was honestly heart-wrenching: I felt completely torn between what I wanted for Eden and what I felt I could do. It was gutting to say the least, made worse due to the sheer shock of being a brand new parent on a few hours sleep and a whirlwind of hormones. But we did get there, and here's what happened:


Wednesday, 10 July 2019

Cloth Nappies: Newborn - 8 weeks

When we were preparing for Eden's arrival, I knew that I wanted to use reusable nappies but was unsure where to start or how soon we could begin to use them. Things have come a long way since the days of terry cloth (though of course this is still a viable option!) - there are all kinds of reusable nappies on the market now - and for a beginner it's a complete minefield knowing where to start. When Eden is older, she might wonder why I felt inclined to talk about her nappies on the internet, but the answer is simply because I think cloth nappies are great and I'd like to encourage to anybody wondering whether to try it themselves. Prior to giving birth, when I was researching other people's experiences I found that many people started cloth nappying when their baby is a little older and there were fewer resources about starting from newborn so this post is an overview about how it's worked out for us and why I'm glad we've chosen this method.


Monday, 24 June 2019

Introducing Eden Ruth

You outshined the best there was, rewrote who I could be.
When I heard your cry ring out it showed me what real strength could be.
When I held you for the first time I knew I had to survive.
A Single Tear - Converge

At long last I am thrilled to introduce you to our baby girl, Eden Ruth, born on May 10th 2019. Becoming a mama has been the most amazing and intense thing I've ever done - needless to say, it's turned my world upside down. I'm loving every minute (yes, even the nappy changes and middle of the night feeds - I can't help being in constant awe of this perfect, tiny human we created) and I can't wait to share more of our adventures here. We're all doing well and Jamie and I are enjoying embracing the shift in dynamic, parents to our beautiful baby, a family of three.

Every story has a beginning and Eden's was a little different than we had expected. So I wanted to share some of her birth story here as I found reading others' stories very helpful during my pregnancy. I hope this might help anybody who may face a similar situation to know that a birth which doesn't follow your original preferences can still be magical.


Tuesday, 7 May 2019

The Third Trimester: What I've Learnt

I am rapidly approaching the end of my third trimester of pregnancy and it's crazy to think that this month I'll become a mama. I've been so lucky to be able to enjoy pregnancy and overall feel really good throughout my journey that now I can hardly believe that chapter of my life is nearly over. As incredibly excited as I am to meet Shroomie I know part of me will really miss having my little pal growing inside me, communicating with us through kicks and movements, and that primal sense of keeping them nourished and protected. It's almost bittersweet to think all of that will be finished soon, so today I thought I'd write up a few things that the third trimester (and pregnancy overall) have taught me...


Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Self Care for the Second Trimester

Despite what I'd expected, it seems that the second trimester of my pregnancy has whizzed past and suddenly I'm approaching the third. It's a whirlwind of a time - it feels like there's so much preparation to do, so many changes going on in my body as Shroomie grows, and combining these aspects with a full time job can mean everything starts to feel a little overwhelming. I've written about self care before but it has never felt so important as it does now, as if I'm not looking after myself then I'm not looking after Shroomie - meaning suddenly it doesn't seem so much of an indulgence as it does a priority. For this reason I'd like to share a few favourite things that have really allowed me to indulge in self care, and the best part is many of them are fantastic whether you're pregnant or not!


Thursday, 13 December 2018

Green People Skincare Review

Having always had skin that is very reactive to the subtlest changes in hormones, it was always unforeseen territory as to how my skin would react to pregnancy. For the first couple of months, as I expected, my skin was quite unpredictable - from clear one day to a hormonal breakout the next, from oily to dry. Since I'm now into my second trimester, my skin is (touch wood!) calming down a little bit but I have had to mix up my skincare regime to continue to look after my skin as it changes.

Over the years I've become increasingly conscious that the products I use on my skin are as natural and gentle as possible as I hate the thought of my skin absorbing unwelcome ingredients or toxins. This feeling has become even stronger for me during pregnancy due to a natural inclination to nourish the baby as much as possible rather than exposing them to any chemicals that may be even potentially dangerous. That's why I'm really keen on Green People - their products never contain SLS, parabens, lanolin, phthalates, alcohol, harsh foaming agents, synthetic fragrances, colourants or petrochemicals to name even some of the long list. Their ingredients are mostly organic, and of course they are cruelty free. I was fortunate enough to receive a few items to try from their anti-blemish range for all skin types, recommended to me as they all contain willow bark which helps to balance sebum production but is anti-inflammatory: perfect for my sensitive skin. But of course the big question for a lot of people is: does natural skincare actually work?


Monday, 26 November 2018

The First Trimester

When Jamie and I told friends, family and colleagues that I was pregnant, we were greeted with congratulations and excitement, and when I told other mothers that I was pregnant this was quickly followed with "you'll feel better after the first three months!" Pregnancy seems to be widely acknowledged as a rotten experience during the very beginning - and very end - and though I haven't had the worst time it definitely has been a ride so far.

Honestly, I'm a complete novice when it comes to all things baby - I've never spent much time around young children, with little experience of their needs, what to expect at each age, or how to talk and act around them, so as a result everything about this journey is fascinating to me. I've suddenly become glued to pregnancy books and journals just to try and gauge what to expect and what is normal (A few blogger favourites are Sian and Alice) and I've googled more random pregnancy queries than I'd care to count. But I've found that everyone's very different experiences have made me realise my own experiences aren't weird or unusual, they're just mine - there's no standard on how pregnancy is going to be for any one person, so if sharing this helps any one person accept their new version of normal then that is all I can hope for! Here are my experiences of pregnancy with Shroomie, weeks 1-13:

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