Finally crawling!

This week Beatrice has started crawling! It has been a long time coming in our household as she's been getting frustrated more and more recently. She started to be able to drag herself around a room a few weeks ago but still couldn't understand how to move forward. Little did I know all it took was a crawling lesson with our friends. One of the other mums showed me how she 'taught' her little one to crawl. Whether or not this was the key, or it was just coincidental timing it really doesn't matter because IT WORKED! She showed me how to move her arms and legs in the movement of crawling, getting down next to her and doing it alongside her. Call me crazy but it was genius! Babies learn from watching us do things, they learn words from us speaking, they learn to walk from watching us also. However crawling is something we don't tend to do (unless drunk and crawling up the stairs after a heavy one – obviously pre-baby). A few days after our 'lesson' she decided to do it all by herself. I was a super proud mama and was screaming with excitement and all I could see was Beatrice lighting up with the knowledge of being able to access the whole world. One small step for us, one massive step for Beatrice.
C.

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Honest parenting

When you’re currently sitting by the patio door praying for your daughter to not be the devil today. She has been going through some kind of bloody leap/phase/teeth malarkey. MY GOD ITS BEEN TOUGH. I’m currently on day 2/6 with her on my own and as she shouts at me every time I leave her sight you can imagine I’m not getting a lot done. I’ve unpacked and packed what feels like thousands of toys over the last few days. None of which are good enough for more than 2 minutes worth of playing. She has now decided that it’s hilarious to fight her morning nap, with using her first tooth to bite down whilst feeding. WOW IT HURTS! I think she was telling me she didn’t want food and to stop trying to get her to nap. Well she won, hence why I’m currently sat by her side writing this. I’ve had the Jumperoo in full swing this morning, with even the bloody bubble machine going just to try and distract her. One sticky mess later, and a bored baby I soon realise it was a fail. I think she’s slowly getting bored of the Jumperoo, as every time we put her in it she acts like she’s just been put into isolation in a prison (Talk about dramatic). She really is the best thing ever, but I can’t fucking wait for that second tooth to come through. Can you tell? 
C. 

Breastfeeding battles

To say breastfeeding is hard would be an understatement. It is tough from the get go, and with no prior experience or knowledge many of us mums are bombarded with information and advice from every family member, health visitor, doctor and midwife. Half of which we don’t even remember because we’re still trying to figure out what day it is after giving birth, which lets be honest knocks it right out of you. We are told about the incredible bond you gain, and the ease and convenience of breastfeeding (all of which I agree with) however we are not told about the sore nipples, the struggle to latch, the engorgement, the hormones, the leaking and finally and most recently the nursing strikes. I’m hoping I’m not alone in this but recently myself and Bea have found ourselves refusing to nurse. She is currently 7 months old and decided that after a week of being poorly (which means no sleep for mumma or bubba) she didn’t want to nurse. When I say she refused, I mean she screamed and screamed until people the other side of the world could hear. We were out in Bath for the day when she decided to do this, 4 hours had passed and she didn’t want to feed. My boobs were currently feeling like boulders and I was worried about her dehydration. So off we pop to boots to buy a sippy cup, to which I sit in the changing rooms expressing into for her to then drink. I felt mortified that she didn’t want me, there was no reason either which made me feel more upset. However that evening we got home (to which I was fretting bedtime WITHOUT the boob) and all of a sudden she was fine with it. She went straight back to feeding, after all the stress and tears I had been through thinking that our journey was coming to an end. Still to this day I don’t know why it happened, and I hope it never does again. Maybe I’m not alone in this and someone can explain, but my goodness breastfeeding isn’t easy. 7 months in and I’m still worried about engorgement and mastitis. However it does create the most incredible bond and we’re still going strong! 

Juggling family life

Currently in our household we have jobs, university and parenthood. All of which is hard work! When I fell pregnant with Bea I was in my final year of University (morning sickness was a bitch) it was so tough! Thankfully when I came home I could crash on the sofa and only needed to work part-time. Bea’s incredible daddy, my wonderful partner unfortunately is still in his final year as well as working FULL TIME (It sucks). Juggling life can be hard sometimes and babies specifically can be challenging. You can’t tell them to wait a minute whilst you finish writing your sentence or tell them to stop crying when you’re rushing to get ready for work. You move to their every command, and don’t they know it! Our household is busy, and can be stressful at times but I’m so proud of how much we have all achieved in both personal life and professional life. Although tough University is flexible and has allowed Alex to have many mornings and afternoons off with me and Bea. This has helped him have an incredible bond with her, she adores him, something every mother wants for their child. This is definitely Daddy and Bea. He is her world, as she waits for him to return to greet him with the cheesiest smile! I’m so proud of the juggling household we are and have learnt that although there is negatives there has also been so many positives and allowed our little family to experience so many milestones all together. 

Challenge yourself and don’t be afraid, however always remember that family is most important no time or money can ever replace that.

C. 

Co-sleeping or should I say just sleeping.

There’s so much controversy around sleeping with babies, whether it’s in a crib, cot or in your own bed. Currently we are dealing with co-sleeping, yes some may find it ridiculous or unsafe or whatever. However we are finding it a life saver, we all win. Bea is happy next to us, I’m happy knowing she’s okay, I can feed her all night easily. Daddy isn’t so sure on the lack of space he has but considering we spent a year at uni sleeping in a single bed he should be thrilled! We originally had Bea in a crib next to us which started off okay, we then invested in a sleepy head which promised us to have an amazing night sleep and to soothe any baby! I can agree and disagree on that, yes I think it helped. However it may of hindered us also by allowing her to ‘safely’ cosleep with us whenever we went away/whenever she was ill (or we felt clingy). Now that Bea has outgrown the sleepyhead deluxe (she was only 4 months, it promised 8) we decided to just move her into the bed perminantly. Bed sharing isn’t for everyone I understand that, it’s tough. You loose all sense of freedom, all cuddles from your partner (let alone any ‘adult’ time) however the positives are HUGE. We all get to sleep for more than 2 hours a night, I know Bea is safe and sound. I literally can flip over and bring out the boobs in order to feed her and she gets to lie there like a Greek goddess being fed grapes. Yes it’s not forever (well we hope) but it works for now. That’s good enough. If you’re struggling with sleep, and unsure of what to do. Research co-sleeping, find a safe way to do it to make your lives easier! Parenting is tough enough as it is, choose your battles and make the best decision for your family. 

C.

Four month sleep regression

I’m not even sure where to start here, do I start with the sleepless nights? The huge bags under my eyes? The baby who has stopped sleeping all together? (Okay maybe that’s an exaduration) The four month sleep regression hit us early, I think it was about 3 months and 1 week when Bea decided to wake every two hours in the night. Dont get me wrong she’s never slept through, we would normally have about two/three night feeds (breastfeeding problems). The regression hit our household hard, it’s something that I had heard on the mum grapevine but had never really looked into until it happened! It was a tough few weeks, but let me say to all you mumma’s out there currently going through it. IT ENDS! Although it may feel like it never will, or will only end when you collapse, I promise it does end. I can’t really give any advice as to how to get through it other than lots of coffee, tag teaming (if you’re lucky enough to be able to) and sleep when the baby does (Easier said than done I know). It lasted around 4/5 weeks and slowly  got better, she would last around three hours instead of two and slowly get longer and longer naps. I managed to sleep lots when she took her naps, although not all of them even the afternoon nap with us both safety lying on the bed stopped me from becoming a total nightmare especially for my partner when he returned from work! Bea did amazing, she spent a bit of the time grumpy and upset by the lack of sleep, however spent the other learning and developing new incredible skills. It was like every week the regression was here she learnt something new. It’s tiring, tough and challenges you in every was, sleep deprivation almost makes a reappearance and you feel like you have a newborn in the house again. However as all things to do with parenting you have to take it as it comes and expect the next day to be different than the last. Or so you hoped. Hopefully this post has given a true insight into the regression (sorry) and showed you that whatever you’re doing keep doing. Don’t give up, and be strong! (Plus by a nespresso machine, you’ll need it) 

C. 

New mum friends

For many new mums the thought of meeting new friends with babies of similar age can seem really daunting. I know that when we first found out that we were pregnant I was instantly worried that I would have no-one to share my stories with, or no-one to ask advice as I was/am the first out of my friends to have a baby. With the news of becoming pregnant and moving to an entirely new area on the cards I was very anxious of becoming lonely and it affecting how I would be as a mum. Through the advice of others I signed Alex and I up to attend the NCT antenatal groups. This was one of the best decisions I could have made, and I would HIGHLY recommend it to any pregnant families. Through NCT I met 8 other wonderful ladies, all first time mums with all the same fears and worries that I had. Of course I didn’t expect to become best friends with everyone, however amazingly we have all become very close. We have a WhatsApp group of which we started when we were awaiting our little bundle of joys to arrive (this was great although when you become 9 days overdue and everyone is having babies its tough!) We share our thoughts and advice with each other and try to reassure when someones worried. The group really started to bond when the babies arrived and we were all up in the middle of the night feeding, having someone to chat to was so important. I think our partners appreciated the fact we stopped waking them up to chat as we knew we had the group to chat on with other people in the same boat. We have seen each other most days since the babies have arrived, its incredible watching so many babies grow up and share their ‘firsts’ with your own child. These friendships may not last forever (although I am hoping they do) but for now atleast these ladies have helped me through many tough days, and allowed me to share so many great memories with them. So if you are a first time mum, or even a second or third do join different groups, its amazing how much support you can give each other and how much we all need it. Parenting can become very lonely, something that I think many people don’t realise, especially if you don’t have family near you (like myself). Making mum friends may seem scary and impossible but next time you’re sat across from another mum in a coffee shop, do start talking, do reach out because you never know how they are feeling and how they would probably love a new friend also.
C.

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Failing as a mum

Today has been one of those days were I feel like I’ve failed as a mum. Not because I’ve done anything in particular, just because I feel like I haven’t done enough. I’ve woken up after being up 5 times through the night feeding (welcome to our lives four month sleep regression). I’m totally physically and mentally exhausted, alex has left for work and it’s just me and bea. I’m praying and hoping that at 8am I can trick her into thinking it’s still night time and going back to sleep for another hour. No. Instead she whinges and talks for England just enough to make me pick her up and get out of bed. I’m struggling, like really struggling to even keep my eyes open let alone entertain a baby. Unfortunately I think the teething process has started up again, and what can only be described as a cat howling are the sounds that Bea is making. I feel for her I really do, I mean when my wisdom teeth came through I felt like the world was ending. That was only four teeth! This poor gal has a whole mouth about to erupt. Parenting requires one thing, patience. Anyone who knows me will realise this is something I lack, whether it’s sitting in traffic or queuing to pay. Unfortunately you don’t have a choice as a parent, patience has to be there because you’re not waiting for a stranger, you are waiting for someone you love with every bone in your body. Today I lacked patience. I tried so hard not to break down every time Bea whinged and cried. I felt awful for putting her in her swing whilst I sat on the sofa in tears, I know it’s just a phase. I know it’s the lack of sleep over the last 2 weeks but somewhere in you’re mind you always think about the big PD word. I mean you sit and wonder “maybe I shouldn’t feel like this?” “Am I not coping?” “How do other people feel so happy all the time?”. The truth being is I am normally happy, but days like today test you as not only a person, a mother, a carer and a partner. Thankfully I managed to get Bea down for a nap at 11, for 2 WHOLE HOURS. (Even if she was attached to the boob, in my bed) it was glorious and just what we both needed. Once waking we spent the rest of our day waiting for daddy to come home. I spent hours trying to entertain her whilst attempting to eat and sit down. All I wanted was a bloody cup of tea! Today I felt like I failed, I felt like I achieved nothing, I felt like I couldn’t help Bea when she was in pain, I couldn’t tidy the house and do the washing up. I felt like I didn’t get to take Bea out anywhere and let her see the world. I felt like I allowed my patience and composure to slip which made me feel like a terrible mum. It’s something you can never understand before becoming a parent, and something that even as a parent you never really do. I just hope I’m not the only one out there who has “these” days. I’m hoping that I’m not the only one who feels like they failed at parenting today. C.

#failedparenting #mumlife

My journey so far..

I’ve decided to start a blog to show what life as a mother, post graduate and girlfriend is like. I wanted write about the journey I am taking in life, and all the smiles, tears and laughter that goes alongside it. I have just graduated from university with a degree in Business management and marketing (the most broad degree ever!). During my final term of my final year I found out I was pregnant. It’s safe to say I was a great student and stopped going out drinking, instead my days consisted of lying in bed, feeling like I was going to throw up at the smell, sight or thought of any food. Amazingly I managed to graduate, although it was not with the grades I would have liked, I was damn proud that I even made it that far. In the September following little bea made her arrival, it was the most incredible day of our lives. It definitely made university feel like a walk in the park! She is now 4 months old and has grown into a beautiful (of course I’m bias, what mum isn’t) little girl. So thats our story so far, 2016 was the craziest year of my life so I thought I ought to capture 2017 and see what this year throws at me. I’m going to take you all along with me and share my trials and tribulations as I go.