Thursday, 19 July 2012

Our little absence

Hello loyal followers!
I'm so sorry that we havent been around, lifes a bit buisier since J turned 1 and has started to get about, so i though i'd bob on for a little update.

the biggy..J is now walking! and talking!

well, almost walking and almost talking. shes got some everso sweet words coming out out and she's very nearly got that cute toddler waddling gait going.
Anyway, shes a whole lot more work now, but shes worth every minute of it.
we've seen and tried to eat the olympic torch, been out and about, been a little visit to see J's Auntie, found some baby friendly and not so friendly cafes and shops, and lots of other fun things. But they are whole new posts.

so hopefully i'll get on to do some more blog posts soon, until then,


Friday, 3 February 2012

Using a baby sling

Jessica has been a little clingy of late, I think its a combination of teething, her age and the fact that she is just a real mummy's girl. I don't practise CC (controlled crying) and i don't believe in letting a baby 'cry it out'. And while Jessica and i were quite happy to sit and cuddle all day long, the housework just started to mount up...as it does.

The only solution i could think of was to try baby wearing. Jessica could have all the cuddles she wanted and i was free to get my washing done.It was also recommended to baby wear if practising EC (see earlier post)
I decided to delve into the dreaded world of the Internet again (this thing just keeps coming to haunt me!!!!!) and again was faced with another whole new world of confuddlement. As if learning about cloth nappies wasn't confusing enough, the world of baby wearing (or using slings and wraps) was even more so. With terms and makes such as 'Mei Tai, Moby, S.P.O.C, Ringslings etc, I had no idea what i was doing. and a lot of the makes seemed very expensive for what (to me) comes across as a bit of cloth, and the different types just seemed very confusing.

After a bit of research and trawling the Internet and facebook, I found a company called Snugiwraps, Run by Stephanie Dack. 

Stephanie is a work at home mum, who set up her company Snugiwraps when she saw a place in the market for low priced high quality wraps. She sells a type of wrap that is known as a S.P.O.C - simple piece of cloth. Its essentially a large piece of cotton fabric that's 5 metres long and 20 inches wide, with tapered ends that tie easily. They come in a variety of colours and patterns and are dyed using safe reactive dyes which are considered to be child friendly and colourfast.

I ordered a stage 2 wrap in jet black. Which is suitable from a newborn baby until approximately 18 months old, and costs £17 including delivery from http://www.snugiwraps.co.uk/. The package came through very quickly with excellent customer service from Stephanie.

The Package itself seemed quite small, and came with full printed instructions, which were quite easy to follow. After practising a few times with a teddy (as suggested), and looking at the video Stephanie provides on her selling pages, I started to use it with Jessica using the classic hug hold detailed in the instructions. It was a little tricky to get her in, but this became a lot easier after doing it a few times.

The Wrap itself is very easy to use, the material feels very nice and it washes nicely as well.  
The weight of Jessica (about 18lbs) was distributed nicely and she didn't feel heavy at all.

We used the wrap both indoors and out, and found it easy to tie, and to get Jessica in and out of it after a bit of practise. Jessica seemed very content and happy, even falling asleep at one point, and i felt very safe and secure using it, and i wore it very comfortably for a few hours on end.

Jessica having a little snooze while taking a quick trip to the shops


pros: 
versatile - its suitable for breastfeeding, comfortable for baby to sleep in and it can be used in several different holds
Price - one of the cheapest on the market
Fabric - lovely soft fabric in a variety of colours and patterns
Baby feels snug and secure
No buckles or straps to dig in
Is suitable to fit wearers size up to a 22 (aprox)

cons: 
can take a while to get used to it
can be a little tricky to tie, but Stephanie provides clear instructions
Can be a bit tricky to get baby in and out, but this gets easier with practice

Edit 06.06.13
I feel It nessisary to add, that while I recommend snugiwraps stretch wrap. I cannot endorse other products in this range. I strongly advice to research and look at other reviews etc before buying. 

You can get snugiwraps from the following places

Facebook: Stephanies very informative and friendly facebook Snugiwraps selling page
Ebay: Stephanie also has an official Ebay page
Online: visit Stephanies official page here


I received no payment or free product for this review and all all opinions are my own

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Weaning and Baby lead weaning

Want to see a baby covered in food?

you do? ok.

Breadsticks and hummous



 OK so Baby Lead Weaning (BLW) was again, something I never set out to do, i ended up doing a combination of both BLW and Traditional weaning. Jessica showed signs of wanting food just after 4 months old, so I started to introduce purees.
A lot of people will not agree with this, but it was the best desicion for us, and we were supported by our health visitor.

Beef in tomato sauce

After 2 months of cooking, puréeing, and freezing down foods, struggling to think of new combo's of food, and persuading Jessica that no, she really didn't want mamma's and daddy's meal. I gave in and started her on proper solid food and she LOVED it.

Enjoying a cake at a christmas party
sharing mama and daddys fish and chips


we started of slowly, just a rusk to start with, then we moved on to toast, sticks of vegetable and so on, and very soon Jessica was having the same food Matthew and i were having. She even had a full Christmas dinner complete with Yorkshire puds (her favourite) roast potatoes, roast meat and all the trimmings.

I cant honestly say if one way of weaning is better than the other as Jessica naturally progressed from one to the other seamlessly. But i will say that weaning is LOTS of fun, and the BLW is very easy to do, even if it is a bit messy at times. Be Prepared for more food on the floor, on your babies face and hands, and most likely in places that your never though food could get to.



Organix carrot sticks
christmas dinner with all the trimmings

Monday, 23 January 2012

The cost of nappies

I've had a few people asking me if cloth nappies really are cheaper than disposables. What about the cost of running a washing machine? what about the cost of water? the cost of extra washing powder?


I found lots of information on green fluffy bottoms - facebook group about all aspects of cloth nappies, and i found an absolute gem of a document detailing the actual cost of both cloth and disposable so here it is:



ok, you need to bear with me on this one...theres a lot of detailed information on here and I have tried to make it a little clearer than the original document, if you want to skip it (and i dont blame you if you do) skip down to the bottom of this post for the end totals...you'll be a little shocked at the costs. I know I was

I'm basing all the information on the following

An Average child potty trains about 2.5 years old = 912 days in nappies
with 7 nappy changes a day x 912 days.. That equals to 6384 disposable nappies (thats a lot of nappies)



The cost of cheap disposable nappies:
Store own brand nappy = between 10.7p and 19.9p each so thats an average 15.3p per nappy x 6384 = £976.75 over 2.5 years
own brand wipes = 1 pack per week £1 each x 130 weeks = £130
TOTAL cheap Disposable version = £1106.75

The cost of cheap cloth nappies
20 cheap eBay pocket birth to potty nappies = aprox £2.50 each so £50 in total
Fleece reusable wipes pack of 15 = £5
TOTAL cheap cloth £55

thats quite a price difference.

But what about those expensive custom nappies, and what about branded disposables?

ok

Branded nappies are between 15.4p and 22.4p each with an average of 18.9p per nappy x 6384 = £1206.57
Branded Wipes are aprox £1.50 pack per week  x 130 weeks = £195
TOTAL branded disposable version = £1402.57

20x branded custom made pocket nappy with embroidery.
At about £25 per nappy with inserts = £500
Branded cloth wipes kit = £35
TOTAL branded cloth £535




ahhh,  hear you cry, what about the cost of water and electricity to power the extra washing?

here you go..this is based on 1 extra wash load, every other day for 2.5 years and without boring you with the specifics (i can add them on request)

water : £56.22
electricity: £51.51

Branded cloth nappy detergent costs approx £14 for 90 washes. You will do 456 washes washing every other day x 15p per wash = £68.40 detergent cost..bear in mind, that there are also cheaper washing powders available that are also suitable for cloth



so in simple terms

Cheap nappies:
Disposables  £1106.75 
Cloth £231.13 
 a saving of £875.62

branded nappies:
Disposables  £1402.57
Cloth £711.13
 a saving of £699.44


And if you swapped from expensive branded nappies, to unbranded cloth you could save a MASSIVE £1171.44!!!!!

WOW! thats quite a difference eh?

and look how pretty cloth is


Sunday, 22 January 2012

Date night

Now i firmly believe that every so often, a couple must take time to be just that...a couple. Its hard work being a parent, and sometimes, you neglect each other because all your time and energy is going on the baby. So every so often, Matthew and I have 'Date night'

You dont have to go out for Date night, you dont even have to be child free, but just spend a bit of time, when the children are in bed, to spend time with each other.

our simple rule for date night however is: BABY IS NOT TALKED ABOUT!

Dont get me wrong, i love my gorgeous daughter, and i would physically talk the back legs of a sprightly donkey talking about her, but sometimes, you really need to talk about something else...anything else, talk about the weather (windy out aint it), what the neighbours are doing (so-and-so 6 doors down was doing such and such with so-and-so), the price of things (stupid expensive) ANYTHING AT ALL.

Its harder than it sounds

So anyway, back to 'date night'.

Jessica went to 'Grammies' for the evening and Myself and Matthew decided to go to our favourite restaurant Little Tokyo in Leeds city centre.

Little Tokyo looks a bit grungy from the outside. You could easily walk past it and not give it a second thought.



Inside is a totally different kettle of fish (pardon the pun)
Upstairs has a little Japanese bridge going over a pond full of HUGE koi, chairs and tables that are made of big slabs of polished wood,  (didnt get a photo of them though...sorry)


And downstairs is like you have walked into a different world. Subdued lighting, seats that make you feel like your sat at a proper Japanese table, huge tanks of fish. Its great.


So anyway, after a short wait for a table and after getting a nice pint of Japanese lager, We ordered our food. Crystal prawn dumplings followed by Sashimi set bento box for me and Dim sum sui mai followed by special Ramen with a side order of yakitori for Matthew.

The speed that you receive your food at little Tokyo is astounding. The food is always cooked fresh to order, yet arrives very quickly.

The starters arrived and were just so tasty that i forgot to take a picture for you.


then we had our rather delicious mains


My Sahimi set bento box was divine. Yes its raw fish, but dont knock it till ya try it! its very fresh and has a great flavour. The bento box has sections of tempura vegetables, rice, fruit, salad and the main dish

Matthews Ramen ( a very filling noodle soup) also went down a treat, and he thoroughly enjoyed the yakitori, which is Chicken skewers with a teriaki sauce.


and as you can see, we also tried sake.

The only way i can describe Sake, is that its like Vodka without the burn...and its warm.


After the meal we decided to partake in some of little Tokyos rather special deserts. Crispy parcels (deep fried marshmallow) and Japanese style profiteroles (deep fried ice cream)


Feeling rather full and happy, we then toddled of home to our local to join some friends for a drink. another rarity. All in all we had a lovely date night followed by a lovely unbroken nights sleep...

Having date night is a great way of recharging your batteries, relearn how to talk about grown up stuff (yep, there really is another world beyond Waybaloo and Mr Bloom) and spend a bit of time being a couple again.

As i said before, you don't even need to go out. Just relax, put a film on, cook a nice dinner, have an early night. And if your a single parent, spend some time with good friends, have a long relaxing soak in the bath,

The whole idea of date night, is to have some quality, child free time, even just a few hours...it doesn't need to be a full night

You wont regret it.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

A quick update

Sorry sorry sorry!! I know i said on my Facebook page, that I would update on Friday...and i didn't...baaaad Anna.
I've been trying to think of some witty, lighthearted subjects to chat to you about and i've had a slight case of bloggers block...eeep :/

But anyway, i'm here now and that's the main thing eh? and I've got a lovely update on the little munchkin.

Jessica has started to crawl!!! I'm very excited as she has also started to babble away to us as well.
In typical Jessica fashion, she's put her own spin on crawling. Its more of a spider/commando/traditional mix of things. She'll get her knees (or very occasionally her feet) under her, stick her bum up in the air and push her self forward using one arm to commando crawl. It probably not the easiest way of doing things, But it works for Jess.

Jessica will also wave byebye now as well. She'll wave byebye to everything. People, toys, her reflection, her sippy cup...but not me, i just get a hand in my face when i go to give her a kiss..such is the life of a mum.

Well thats pretty much it for just now.
I PROMISE to be back soon with some more things to chat to you about.

Byebye for now

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

something a little more lighthearted

Ok, after the last post, i felt i needed to put something a little more lighthearted on.
My attention was drawn to this. Ok so its the sun, but i thought it was great

The Potty List aka 36 things kids must try before they are 3

This made me laugh and as a parent, i subconsciously ticked of the things that Jessica has either done or I can really see her doing in the not so distant future. And the best thing, was that TV isn't mentioned once. I'm not against TV, in fact Cbeebies is on a fair amount in our house, not that Jessica is plonked in front of it...far from it, but its nice to have something age appropriate on in the background.

so on to the list, i'm not going to list all 36 things, i'll just pick out my favourites

number 3 - Finger paint: We love messy things in this house (me and Jessica more than my poor Hubby), I'll do a separate post about out painting experiences later. Needless to say it was a lot fun, and a bath was much needed by the end

number 12 - Feed the Ducks: We are very luck where we are to have a couple of lovely parks to visit and feed the ducks and a great bird sanctuary. It makes me a little sad that some kids out there don't have the opportunity to do this Very cheap (if not free) Fun activity.

number 24 - poo in the bath: Very gross, but its already happened...a few times. I'm telling ya, your life is not complete until you've played fish for the poo!

number 26 - Ride on daddys shoulders: Jessica totally loves this. I thinks its her Favourite thing to do at the moment. Her face lights up and the giggles begin. Its priceless.

have a look at the link, its sure to put a smile on your face

What do you think all children should do before they are 3? I'd love to hear from you x

Ok, the nitty gritty

So I've been hearing a lot of debates about breastfeeding vs Formula Feeding, and today there was a bit on the TV programme 'This Morning' about it. Apparently research has shown


Breastfed babies cry more and are more challenging than bottle fed babies, says a new study released today by the Medical Research Council in Cambridge. Bottle feeding was found to be akin to 'comfort eating' - producing quieter and apparently more content babies
(taken from 'this morning' facebook link)

now i didn't watch it myself, but going from this statement, i cant help but think what total and utter rubbish this is!

I'm not saying that Breastfeeding is better than Formula milk or vice versa, i would never even suggest that. Undoubtedly Breast milk is defiantly a more natural choice and it certainly helps to create a close bond between mum and baby, but sometimes Mums just cant breastfeed or physically don't want to. I myself didn't manage all that well with breastfeeding. I managed 2 weeks of exclusive breast feeding and a further week of expressing and combination feeding before i put Jessica on formula completely. I've never struggled to bond with her and it was the best choice for me.

I've seen a lot of exclusively breast fed babies that are so content and happy, and i've seen Formula fed babies that are the same... I really dont think that what you feed your baby on, makes any difference in the slightest.

We are all entitled to our own choice, and it really gets my goat when new mums are forced to feed in a way they don't want to. I've heard so many stories about babies receiving formula against parents wishes in hospital or babies being forced onto the mothers breast by well meaning midwives, and this in my opinion needs to stop!

I personally don't think that there has been the right type of research done. Have these scientists really gone into the situation of each child? ..just because a baby is a particularly unsettled child or you get a child that is very happy and content and is on breast or bottle respectively...sometimes is it not just a co-incidence?

I do however think that there needs to be better education on the subject matter of Breast feeding and formula Feeding. Its all very well saying Breast is Best and in a lot of cases, it is. But it isn't always the case, and personally i think a happy MUMMY makes a happy baby.

the BBC report on this can be found here

I'd love to hear your comments on this matter.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

When I am ready

Now, i dont know who this is by, but i found this poem to be so right for me and Jessica. I was always worrying about when she would do things, and is she was developing properly. Someone showed me this poem and i just thought....Thats so True! 

Babies grow so fast and you need to cherish the time you have with them, instead of wishing thier little lives away, at the end of they day, they will do things...when they are ready....enjoy x


When I am ready, I will smile.


You’ll have to wait a little while.



Its one of the first things I learn to do,



I want it to be just right for you.



When I am ready, I’ll sleep through.



There may be small things you can do,



to help me do it, but you’ll soon see,



that in the end, it’s down to me.



When I am ready, I will crawl.



And then you’ll have no peace at all.



Into everything I’ll be,



No time for your nice cup of tea!



When I am ready I will walk.



And when I’m ready, I will talk.



Then that’s it, big milestones done.



(Though you will still cherish ones to come.)



And when you’re old and up I’ve grown,



And maybe perhaps children of my own,



You’ll look at them and you will sigh -



How fast the time has passed you by!



Was I really as small as that,



Helpless and tiny, in booties and hat?



And much as you tried to enjoy each part,



there was that wish inside your heart.



Will you ever get there? You used to say



as you wished my babyhood away.



The others are doing it, why aren’t you?



Because it’s not my time - if only you knew



that all the worry was a waste of time,



the decision of when, was always mine.



I did it all in the end, nice and steady.



I told you I’d do it when I was ready!



The lovely Bouncy Bounty ladies

Just a very quick shout out to the lovely ladies I met on the bounty web site. 


If you didn't know what Bounty is (and no its not the chocolate bar or the kitchen roll) Its a company that sends sample packs out to all pregnant women. 


Now i don't actually agree with the freebie packs..Yes i know they are free, but they are normally filled with things I just don't use...'Sposies, Pamphlets, lots of other disposable items that, in my honest opinion, are pretty rubbish.


But on to the subject of the lovely ladies...


The bounty website itself is mainly a forum, with different places on it relating to what you want to talk about. 
As i was Due in may...i logically went straight to the 'due in may' forum, where i found some lovely ladies willing to chat and give advice and support etc. These ladies have saved me many a panicked phone call to the midwife, and have always cheered me up when i was feeling a little blue. You may remember me saying i hadn't had the easiest pregnancy, well these ladies always had kind words and made things feel that bit better. I also felt that i wasn't alone in struggling along like i did.


However, after our babies had been born, we had to vacate the premises so to speak, to make way for the next set of parents to be..
We graduated on to then next set of forums on bounty, 0-3 months..but i soon stopped using it....
Then i was added to the facebook group, and after a few minor hic-ups, we have become a very close knit group.


They are always so supportive and happy to chat. We can compare and coo over each others gorgeous babas, and overall its just a very pleasant environment to be in. 


so this is just a very soppy quick post to say thank you ladies..you mean a lot to me

our newest adventure

I thought I'd write this very quickly while my munchkin is asleep on me. 

I'd like to introduce you to the newest phrase in the Deane household 'elimination communication'

'Elimin-eh, communi-what?' your probably asking yourselves. 
OK, let me put it in simple terms

Nappy free baby, nappy off time, pottying from an early age.


I had heard of this a few years back when the childcare company i worked for decided to pull an April Fools joke on us all and told us that we would no longer be using nappies and we would be using this method for all children. Cue complete and utter dismissal of the subject, discarding it as 'hippyish' and 'no one in their right mind would do it'. how wrong could i have been...


The subject then reared its not so ugly head only a month or so again, when someone took it upon themselves to tell me that i should be putting my little girl on the potty at every opportunity and praising everytime she does something. Now i originally hit the roof! 'how dare someone tell me i should start potty training at such a young age. I'm a nursery nurse dont'cha know...surely i know enough about toilet training right?


wrong!


now although i still feel that this person was a little misinformed, and a little too forward in their approach, i do however have to apologise. In principle, its not a bad idea.


anyway, it got the wheels turning...what exactly was elimination communication.


this is from nappyfreebaby.co.uk
What is Elimination Communication?
Nappy Free, or elimination communication (often referred to as EC) is a respectful, natural way to care for a baby. It can be done with or without nappies. Millions of mothers around the world deal with their babies’ toileting needs in this way. It is a skill that has been forgotten in the West since the advent of disposable nappies. Parents who EC respond to a baby’s needs as and when they occur, rather than ignoring them until nappy change time.


ok, sounds good. 


looking into it a bit deeper, its actually really simple...and very much common sense. The trick is to key in to your childs signals. This is much easier to do from birth as you are more aware of and are learning more about your childs needs/signals and personality traits..very much like working out when your baby needs to feed or be comforted. 
BUT: you can certainly do it with a babe of any age. I've heard success stories from babies of nearly 2 years old, and i myself am starting it with 8mth old Jessica
I really felt like this was something i wanted to try. After all, it cant be nice for my little one to be sat in wee wee, and its certainly not so nice to have to clean a poopy bum.


So, i gave it ago..(i know..how brave am i!!) 
And i have to admit, i am amazed! Even after i decided to give it a go, part of me was still sceptical


I've started small, so i'm putting her on the potty when she wakes up from a nap, and at each nappy change, until i can tune into her signals


Jessica sat more than happily on the potty and straight away did a big ol' poop!, later on when it came to the next nappy change..to my surprise, she did a wee, During the afternoon i popped her on when i though she might need it, so after a nap, 10 mins after a feed etc...i felt a bit embarrassed doing the 'cue noises' 'tss tss tss' for a wee..apparently i sound like a stuttering snake...(thanks Matthew), but i'm sure i'll get used to it.


This is only day one mind you, our success could be down to beginners luck..or it really could be Jessica telling us 'i dont want to sit in wee mama' who knows? 


Its not for everyone, and i certainly didnt think it was for us...but at the moment i think i may well be swayed. so just watch this space.


And for those of you out there thinking..



  • but what about the psychological effects..is it not damaging to coerce a baby into doing their business in a pot early? 
  • Baby's don't get control of their bladders and bowel until they are at least 18 mths
  • i'll get covered in pooooooooooo
  • its more work and i dont have time
  • etc etc etc
have a look at these sites
Diaper free baby - this one is american but it has some great tips and advice

they are great for having a look at, whether you want to have a look and try it yourself, just to see what i'm waffling on about, or just to prove that i really am a complete fruitloop, you'll be surprised at what you'll find out

and one more thing..does Jessica look distressed or damaged? 



thought not 




My adventures as a cloth bum mum




So, i never set out to use cloth nappies. I thought about it, but it seemed soooo  expensive....and very confusing.


I'd mentioned to my family that it might be nice to use them, but i was quite happy using sposies (disposable nappies) and they didn't seem 'that' expensive after all.


How wrong could I have been! As soon as Jessica was out of the newborn nappies, the real cost hit me. At £6 or more for a pack that would only last a week at the most..the cost was mounting up and I was constantly searching for special deals and bargains. Then my lovely mother in law Jan picked me up my first pack of reusable nappies. It was a pack of small sized bambino mio's in a set that contained some strange looking cloth sheets, some waterproof panties and paper liners. I looked at them in despair 'what do i do with these?' i wailed at my equally perplexed husband.


Project Google! i looked, i saw, and i gave it ago. after a bit of trial and error, and a bit of working out how to store/wash them, we were on our way and we've not looked back.


Jessica looked so cute in her patterned nappies and they certainly made a talking point with whoever saw her nappy.
But then i ran into a spot of bother...no shop apart for Tesco sold cloth nappies! i searched across Leeds, trying to find SOMEone who would stock any size larger than a small and someone who sold the precious Bambino mio nappies that i had grown to love. So i tried a Tots Bots easy fit from Tesco, and while it looked everso neverso pretty..all covered in little cherries..I could not get on with it. Jessica was still so small and she looked swamped in it. And it took sooooooo long to dry. I was used to my funny looking sheets of cloth that i folded up and washed and that dried so quickly.


sadly i put it away in the drawer and had a think...


I would have to face my fear and go on line shopping...


I'm not sure where this fear of on line shopping came from..but i was dreading it....with sweating palms and a heavy heart, i opened the browser and had a look.


OH MY WORD! there was a world of nappies out there that i had no idea about....i panicked and hastily closed the computer down.
what was i going to do? it all looked so confusing.


Fortunately Facebook came to the rescue. with trepidation and fear, i had a nosey round to see what i could find, and LO and BEHOLD!!!!! Cloth bum mums!


This facebook group opened up and made clear a world that had been so confusing to me. All of a sudden, i had access to a wealth of information and support.


* How to care for your nappies....you have to care for them? eh? turns out that i had been doing it alllll wrong. no wonder my once lovely nappies had gone a bit stiff and discoloured...no wonder they were leaking...but help was at hand.


* different types of cloth nappies...there were types? i had heard of terry towelling, and i know about Bambino mios, (i would soon learn that these are a type called prefolds), but that was it...the baffling world of cloth nappies was becoming much clearer now. I'll go in to more detail about whats available later.


* pre loved nappies...now this was dangerous territory. now i was armed with the knowledge...nappies that would normally be on the pricey side became available. OK, so they had been used by another baby or two, but that does not bother me...reduce, reuse, recycle! in no time at all, i had purchased a pocket nappy and a rather nice wrap, that would go nicely over my much loved prefolds.






So, that was that. Anna and Jessica were officially a cloth bum team, Jessica modelling the gorgeous fluff and mama Anna getting to choose and buy some fabulous nappies. I cant say that it's all plain sailing, and we've certainly had our fair share of bafflement, puzzlement and poop-sposions.




Night time nappies were slightly more tricky, and it took us a while get it right.


 But i will say, that it's saved me a lot of money, Jessica rarely gets nappy rash, and they are just so gosh darn pretty!


      Just a selection of my 'stash'

Saturday, 7 January 2012

The star of the show

So on to the star of the show. Miss Jessica Joan Elizabeth.

Named after some special ladies in my life. Joan for a very special Auntie who was an inspiration to me and a shining light in my life. She very sadly lost her fight to cancer a few years ago, so i decided that my 1st daughter should be named after her and each of my children would be told just how very special she was.
And Elizabeth? well, after my mum. Mum is still very much in the land of the living and helps me out a lot with my munchkin. We have always been close, but since the arrival of J.Jed (affectionately nicknamed by her uncle) we have become just that bit closer, and at times i don't think i could have done it without her.

i will introduce you to the other people in Jessica's life later.

so DUMDUMDUUUUUUM the birth story


(warning, this is probably a little boring, its quite long and men may want to skip it....its a birth story after all)






after a not so easy pregnancy i went into the early stages of labour on Thursday morning(12th may 2011). Just a few niggles here and there and nothing i couldn't cope with. By midnight the pain was terrible! Labour HURTS people! off we went thinking that baby was imminent, only to be checked and told i was only 1 cm dilated and it would be quite a while before anything happens....i wasn't in labour. 


Hmm, 'well what could it be?' we ask the midwife


'oh, just tightenings.'


Tightenings??! surely they shouldn't hurt?. Anyway, like the good little soon to be parents were are, we toddled of home to wait it out.


Friday morning: I woke up after a not so great sleep to realise...'my nails!!!'
i regularly have my acrylic nails done and it so happened that my appointment was that morning. The 'tightenings' had eased of to be replaced by a dull pain, that was coming every half hour. I bleary eyed waddled to the full length mirror to brush my hair, and realised that i had roots down to my ears! my normally lovely red hair looked horrible and marred by the natural mousy brown roots that had sneakily crept in without me realising. NOT a good thing to face a mildly vain heavily pregnant woman with. 


My dutiful husband resignedly drove a sobbing me to the salon where the team got to work. A mop and bucket stood near me on standby as the salon team passed worried looks between them every time i breathed through an increasingly painful contraction. An hour later and a much refreshed and groomed me emerged from the salon, and climbed in the car next to a much less worried hubby. 


Later that afternoon: OK, so now I KNEW I was in labour. i had a bath, had some dinner and then Off we toddled (or waddled in my case) back to the hospital and this time i was 2 cm.....'only 2?' i groaned. 


'only 2' replied the very patent midwife
'but your stretching a bit more than that and i've done a sweep'


ahh, the dreaded sweep...i didn't actually feel anything thankfully. just a bit uncomfortable...well so would you be with someones fist up your downstairs department!


'so am i in labour?' i asked in trepidation


the midwife cast a knowing glance at the other midwife on duty in the maternity assessment unit
'well, i cant say for sure. it could be hours, it could be days'


Again of we toddled/waddled home, to a comforting bath and my very handy birthing ball.


not even 2 hours later, there was no end to the pain! trying my hardest to be brave and breath through the pain, i phone my mum...'mummy, it hurts!'


godbless my mum! shes so down to earth and calmly tells me to phone the hospital once again.
this time there was no break in my contractions, as soon as one ended, the next one began. The hospital tells me once again to come in (they must have been sick and tired of me phoning them at this point) and this time i'm met at the delivery suite by my wonderful midwife Yvette who delivered my baby just over 4 hours later. 


so yet again i'm checked (fist up the downstairs department) and this time....4 cms!!! hooray!! 
'right my love, your having a baby! lets get you to a birthing room'


oh Yvette, lovely Yvette! there really are some treasures in this world and she really is one of them. the first thing she did was to run the birthing pool. 
Now i'm a firm believer in the pain relieving qualities of water, and despite being a high risk pregnancy (i might go into that later) i was allowed to use one of the leeds general infirmaries(thats right the OBEM hospital) home from home birthing rooms, complete with the glorious pool. Now i had to give birth on 'dry land' but i could spend the whole labour if i wanted in the pool. 
As soon as i got in, the relief was amazing. The contractions slowed down just enough to give me a breather in between, and i had the use of the Entenox (gas and air).


so, Entenox.....what a joy!...not. For me, it was horrible. NOT my cup of tea. so i barely used it.


at midnight, i decided i wanted to get out. I had been in nearly 4 hours and i felt like a prune. As soon as i got out though...HELLO PAIN! I reluctantly got on to the bed to be examined and in my fragile state of mind, i begged for Diamorphine 'Please' i begged Yvette


'nope. You dont seem like the kind of person who needs it. and it'll slow the labour down, i'll break your waters though, that might help a bit'


Anyway, straight after having them broken, i had the urge to push. The lovely Yvette calmly told me that nothing would happen just yet (after all, it normally takes a good hour or more to push a baby out first time round), so i should take the opportunity to go the the loo.


off i jolly well waddled, sat down and POP! (well not quite pop) there was my baby deciding to crown. 


My Hubby and Yvette dragged me over to the bed where i knelt, and within 2 pushes, gave birth to my beautiful baby girl. She came out screaming, so i picked her up and cuddled her into me. 


Baby Jessica Joan Elizabeth was born at 12.44 on the 14th may 2011. No pain relief and after a shaky start, a perfect birth......afterwards is another story. 

A little bit about me

Hello there and thank you for taking the time to look at my little blog.

I'm Anna, 26, a thoroughly inexperienced mummy of 8 month old Jessica, Despite 6 years of nursery nursing! I'm married to a pretty top bloke called Matthew,32, and slave to 12 year old Missy....the cat.

I never set out to be the mum that i am. I firmly believe that you do what is right for your child, and sometimes that means doing thing a little...well...different.
so thats me, i'm not 'alternative', i'm not 'eco', i'm not an 'attached parent'. I'm just a mummy doing what she feels is best, and sharing it with you lovely people.
feel free to comment, send advice, or just say hello. This is a wonderful journey, so come and join me.