One thing I love about working with wonderful brands is getting the opportunity to preview new products and designs before everyone else! And believe me when I tell you that sitting (literally, in Elsie’s case!) on the latest designs for the Tots Bots swim nappy range, Swim Tots has been hard! I’ve really wanted to share them with you all because they are so fab! And now, at last, I can. There are two fab new designs in the Swim Tots range, and we have been lucky enough to get our hands one on of them for a spot of rigorous water slide testing. Allow me to reveal all…
Under The Sea
Just how fabulous is this design? The colours really pop and the fun characters are perfect. Elsie was particularly enamoured with the little turtles and jelly fish and since she has a real passion for swimming she literally couldn’t wait to get this nappy on! (more…)
Dear Motherhood… I love you. I really do. I love hearing my name being called when the house is silent and a little person has woken, thinking of me- ME!- before anything or anyone else. I love that I can hold their little bodies against mine and literally feel their heart begin to slow, to drop into rhythm with my own. I love that their heads fit perfectly into that little nook between my shoulder and my chin, so that they can nestle there for cuddles no matter how old or how big they are getting. I love that. I love you. But I need to tell you that sometimes I hate you too.
Sometimes you make me lonely. Back when my tummy was huge and my circle of friends was tiny, you took advantage of me. You swamped me with hormones, made me believe I was invincible. Made me think that I didn’t need anybody. Fooled me into thinking that all I needed in the world was my baby, and that was it. And for a long time, I took you at your word. I was that ‘super mum’ I’d dreamt of being, and you made it so easy for me first time around. It seemed so natural to put a baby to my breast and to hold her forever in a haze of warmth and love and utter contentment. It seemed so natural to think only of my baby and never of myself. It seemed so natural to want to do it again. You were so good for me. (more…)
On Saturday I attended the Maternal Mental Health event at the Cumbria Infirmary, hosted by the Happy Mums Foundation and the World Health Innovation Summit (WHIS). I was invited to speak about my experiences so that I might be able to help the professionals understand what a traumatic pregnancy and birth can be like for women. So that they might better understand the things that they can do to help. So that other women like me might not fall through the cracks for so long.
It is always hard to speak about what happened with my son’s birth. And last week was a big week for me because I finally had my debrief, and I also had my second CBT counselling session. And then there was the PTSD diagnosis.
I’d like to say that seeing those four letters on the page came as no shock (hadn’t I always known that I wasn’t depressed? Hadn’t I aways known that there was something more, likely to be PTSD?) but actually I’ve really struggled with knowing that someone else agrees with me at last. Someone else, who is professionally qualified to do so, is taking control of my care now. It feels strange. To hear her tell me she will never ask me to fill in a PND questionnaire. To hear her tell me I have been traumatised. To hear her tell me she believes me, she is sorry for what has happened, and she intends to help. It’s all so new for me, and the effects of it are still coursing their way through my life right now.
I was in two minds about Saturday. I was scared. Not of speaking, but of getting there. Making my way to the train station, sitting on a train, finding the venue. Even knowing that Jenny would be there at the station in Carlisle was very little comfort, and this is a perfect example of just how far reaching my birth trauma has been. The thought of travelling alone to Carlisle was terrifying and had it not been for Jenny I would not have gone at all. (more…)
Elsie Rose was born at 37 weeks and 5 days weighing just 5lb 5. She’d been growth restricted in the womb and had an undiagnosed posterior tongue tie. For one reason or another we were discharged from hospital just over 24 hours after her early delivery, and before she had had her first breastfeed. In the hospital she had refused to feed, and what little she did take had come back up again amidst coughs and splutters. Having a low birth weight baby who could not feed was highly stressful; she was syringe fed for a week and we were literally hours away from allowing her to be re-admitted for tube feeding. Fast forward two years, and I’d like to say that things have improved drastically since then. And while they have in the respect that she is now gaining weight well, healthy and thriving, there are still feeding issues that we have to contend with on a daily basis.
Lots of IUGR babies have feeding issues, and for Elsie our issues revolve around allergies and reflux. She still suffers badly with both, and is unable to eat dairy and soya. We cannot be sure, but we think there are other foods that react badly with her too. At the moment her eczema is particularly bad, and if she inadvertently eats something containing any kind of milk protein her skin literally erupts. She will also suffer with breathing difficulties, streaming nose and congestion. So, obviously, we are really careful with what she eats. We have to be. And it doesn’t help that she is now two years old! With a ferocious mind and a temper to match, some days she will just refuse to eat what we make for her. And other days we will struggle to fill her up as she constantly demands ‘Eat! Eat!’ (more…)