A New Mummykind Baby!

My baby arrived a couple of weeks ago so I thought it would only be right to introduce her to our followers with a bit of a “life update” after so many pregancy posts (and more to come from my drafts folder that need a bit of polishing up!)

As you may have noticed I don’t share the name of my son online and the same goes for my daughter, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have some gorgeous pictures of the new baby Martin.

She arrived when I was 41+3, weighing in at an eye watering 9lb8oz which might not have been so bad if she didn’t pop an arm out at the same time as her head. Not cool little lady, not cool.

We have been spending the days breastfeeding pretty much non stop, as she rather unsurprisingly has a tongue tie and tires easily when feeding. Getting used to life as a family of four has seen a handful of fairly small challenges so far, we’ll see how it is when the oldest starts school next month!

Keep an eye out for my labour and birth story and a backlog of pregnancy posts including: packing my hospital bag, why I decided against a home birth and how I handled my late term pregnancy.

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Sarah's birth story

Preparing toddlers for a sibling. Is it really possible?

I’ve asked a couple mum friends who have toddlers a similar age to my daughter and who are expecting their second baby if they think their kids are excited about being older siblings. They’ve told me they don’t think their toddlers really know what is going on but I would completely disagree! I think that you can prepare a toddler by making the new baby part of the new norm. However, as the baby is not here yet, I am fully prepared to eat my words!

Myself and my partner have included Imogen in almost everything baby related from relatively early on. In hindsight this was risky in case something didn’t go right with this pregnancy, so I think we should have introduced her to the idea of a baby a bit later on just in case. My daughter came to the first scan of her brother, she’s come with me to some of my midwife appointments and heard her brother’s heartbeat. We talk to her about her brother all the time and let her know he is looking forward to meeting her. We tell her what a great and important responsibility being a big sister is and she seems so excited. She often comes over to me to put her hand on my tummy to see if she can feel him kick or sings nursery rhymes to him.

When I was younger I wasn’t really ready for my sister to come along. It felt like a bolt out of the blue and when I should have been excited, I was completely confused! My younger sister and I laugh about this now, but I really didn’t take the news well as a youngster, I was very jealous. So I think this is why I’ve tried to make sure my daughter is prepared, if that is possible with a toddler! I’m fully prepared that she will still be filled with jealousy and worry when the baby arrives, but I just want to do what I can to make it easier for her and if I’m wrong then it was worth trying!

Books

There are great lists online of books to read to a toddler/pre-schooler to help prepare them for a sibling. I picked two books: ‘You Were the First’ and ‘Big Sis, Little Miss’. What attracted me to ‘You Were the First’ was that the story talks about how the eldest child is special because he/she was the first child that the parents saw do all of these amazing things. The book tries to reassure an elder child that they are not valued less just because another child is coming along, it doesn’t change how much they mean to their parents. It’s so important to me that she feels as celebrated as the baby when he arrives.   

‘Big Sis, Little Miss’ is a book all about the important job of becoming a big sister and how much the younger sibling will look up to them for guidance and will want to play with them.

Toys

I was browsing online and found dolls that have a removable tummy and a baby inside. Yes they are a bit creepy, but I thought this would be a great big sister gift for my little girl from her brother. The set I got had a Dad and young girl in as well, which I thought reflected the size of our family, but obviously every family is different and there are dolls sold on their own which have the removable tummy. We have also been playing with baby dolls, pretending to feed them, wash them etc. and I have been dropping in the odd “you can help mummy and daddy do this with your brother.”

Shopping

I’ve been taking my daughter to shops that sell baby items and have been talking her through what the different items are, which is a great opportunity for her to ask questions, like “what is this and what does this do?” She picked out a cot, a pushchair and a drinks beaker, (all of which we didn’t get), but I told her how thoughtful she was. It was nice to see that she was considering what her little brother would like. She has ‘bought’ him a couple toys and helped me to pick out some clothes too.

The nursery

We have yet to decorate and sort out the baby’s nursery, but I have asked Imogen if she can help mummy and daddy to make the room look nice and welcoming for her brother and I told her we will also be getting some nice things for her room too and rearrange the furniture a bit.

The birth

Family members have asked if we want them to take Imogen out when the baby is born, which is a lovely idea and of course we will need to ask someone to help us to look after her at that time, but I don’t want her to feel she isn’t included. I would like to make her feel special, so if anyone has any ideas from their own experiences please share them!  

How to save your child’s life

Before I begin, if your child is in an emergency situation, call 999/911 immediately.

I don’t know about you, but my worst nightmare is to realise that my daughter is choking. Thankfully so far we haven’t experienced it, but I’m definitely on my guard. All. The. Time. In the last 16 months, I’ve spoken to our GP, paediatrician, Health Visitor and several nurses about what I should do if she starts to choke.

Here’s the lo-down on choking, and how to resuscitate a child.

What to do if your child is choking

  1. If you can see the object in the child’s mouth and you can safely remove it without pushing it back into the airway, you should remove it with your fingertips.
  2. If your child is coughing loudly, encourage them to continue to do so and do not leave them alone.
  3. If the coughing makes no sound or they cannot breathe in properly, shout for help
  4. If your child is not coughing or coughing ineffectively, use back blows.

If, during the following procedure your child becomes unconscious, place them on a hard surface, shout for help, call 999/911, and start CPR.

Children over 1 year

  1. Give up to 5 back blows between the shoulder blades to try and dislodge the object. The force depends on the size of the child, and you should take your own strength into consideration, but the blows do need to be forceful enough to dislodge the blockage.
  2. If this has not worked, deliver up to 5 abdominal thrusts. Place your arms around your child from behind, with your arms under their arms. place one clenched fist above the navel and below the ribs. Grip this hand with your other hand. Pull towards you and upwards sharply. Be careful not to put pressure on the ribs.
  3. Call 999 if the blockage has not dislodged. Continue with the cycle of back blows and abdominal thrusts until the blockage is cleared, or help arrives.
  4. Even if the blockage is cleared, your child should still be evaluated by a medical professional, as it could have caused unseen damage.

Children under 1 year

  1. Give up to 5 back blows. Hold baby face down on your thigh, with their head lower than their bottom. Hit firmly between the shoulder blades up to 5 times.
  2. Deliver up to 5 chest thrusts. Using two fingers, push downwards in the middle of the chest just below the nipples.
  3. Call 999 if the blockage has not dislodged.

How to perform CPR on a child

  1. Check for normal breathing. Place your fingers under the chin and tilt the head back. Place your ear close above their mouth, and look down at their chest. If they are breathing, you will feel the breath on your ear or see the chest rise. Gasps do not count as normal breathing.
  2. If you haven’t already called for emergency services, do so now.
  3. If your child is breathing, put them in the recovery position and monitor closely.
  4. If your child is not breathing and is unresponsive, it’s time to deliver 5 rescue breaths. If your baby is under 1 year, cover their nose and mouth with your mouth. If you are unable to cover both, cover the mouth and close the nose with your fingers. If your child is over 1 year old, cover the mouth with yours, and seal their nose with your fingers.
  5. Blow steadily into the mouth and/or nose over one second. You should see the chest rise. While the head is tilted back, remove your mouth and watch as the chest falls. Repeat this four more times.
  6. In this case of choking, the airway is most likely obstructed. You should try 5 times to make the chest visibly rise. If you’re unable to, start chest compressions and return to rescue breaths.
  7. Give 30 chest compressions. This keeps the heart beating blood around the body, which keeps the brain and vital organs alive.
  8. Give two rescue breaths.
  9. Continue this cycle until help arrives, there are signs of life, or you can no longer physically continue.

Chest compression information

  • Fingers/hands should be placed one fingers width above where the bottom ribs join. This is the breastbone.
  • The chest should be compressed at a rate of 100-120 beats per minute. You might find it easier to remember by singing ‘Stayin’ Alive’ by the BeeGees – just make sure that your compressions are deep enough.

Chest compressions for a child under 1

  • Compressions should be performed with the heel of 1 hand, to a depth of 5cm. Do not apply pressure across the ribs – lift your fingers and solely use the heel of the hand.
  • Keep your arms straight. You may find it easier to use two hands with fingers interlocked.

Chest compressions for a child over 1

  • Compressions should be performed with two fingers to a depth of 4cm.

With any luck, you’ll never have to perform CPR on your child, or to help them when they’re choking, but unfortunately it happens all the time. In our household, we believe it’s better to be prepared than stunned when it happens. In the spirit of that sentiment, here’s a nifty trick I learnt recently.

If your little one is struggling to breathe because they’ve put lego/something else thats tiny up their nose, here’s what you should do. Pinch the other nostril shut, and blow really hard and sharply into their mouth. The lego should fly right out!

And that’s it! Did you know how to give CPR? Do you have experience giving CPR or are you a total CPR novice? Let us know!

I didn’t fall in love with my baby right away

Everyone knows the scenario. A woman is in labour (and absolutely exhausted), the midwife is shouting ‘one more push’, and finally, a baby is born. The cord is cut and the baby is handed to mum, who feels this overwhelming rush of love they’ve never felt for anything in their life, right?

Well, that didn’t happen for me.

While I was only in active labour for four hours, I’d had what some may call a nightmare of a pregnancy. Due to my EDS I had spent a good portion of it in a wheelchair, I was having hydrotherapy for the SPD and PGP that I developed (if you’re not sure on those, click here for more info), and I’d broken my foot because my EDS couldn’t keep up with the constantly increasing weight that comes with being pregnant. In the early weeks of pregnancy I contracted a viral infection which increased my risk of miscarriage, and baby developing foetal hydrops. And those were just my issues. Add in having scans for little one three times a week because she refused to be active, growth scans because my doctor thought that at full term she would weigh less than 5lb, steroid injections as I’m high risk for preterm labour, and a short inpatient stay towards the end of my pregnancy because my hips wouldn’t stop dislocating, we were essentially living in our hospital 5-6 days a week.
So it’s safe to say I was relieved when she was born, and she started breathing around 30 seconds afterwards.
I was so excited to be passed my new baby, and to feel this huge rush that every woman I know had been telling me about since I announced that I was pregnant that I pushed through two second degree tears, a dislocated hip, failed pain relief, a small haemorrhage and an incompetent midwife just to hold her. The midwife handed her over to me, and I was so amazed that this tiny (yet huge?) person had been with me for the last nine months.
But I didn’t feel that huge rush of love that everyone was talking about.
To be honest, I panicked a little bit, and I thought something was wrong with me. She felt more like a really cute stranger that I had a really strong urge to protect (and cry all over). I tried to breastfeed her twice, but as I’d been given diamorphine too close to delivery, my new bundle of joy was a little dopey, and kept crawling past the breast to suckle on my neck. Cute.
I continued to feel this way for the next few days. I had panic attacks whenever I was left alone with her because I was terrified I was going to break her, I couldn’t sleep if I was alone with her because I was terrified something was going to happen to her, and in the end, including the time I was awake and in labour, I didn’t sleep for three days. I got so worked up about that initial meeting with my daughter that I couldn’t think about anything else. I was convinced I was broken, and that it meant I was going to be a bad mother and this was all a very bad idea. Don’t get me wrong, I thought she was adorable; I was so proud that I had made her, and I wanted to take care of her, but I was just so disappointed that I didn’t get that first meeting that people claim to be the best moment of their lives.
Looking back on it now, I realise it’s totally normal. The birth and pregnancy I had with my daughter was far from normal, my body had been through a whole ordeal, and I was exhausted. I was hormonal, sleep deprived, very drugged from labour, and did I mention they handed me my baby for the first time while stitching me up with no pain relief?
Ouch.
How did you feel when you first met your baby?

Moving house with a little one? Here’s 5 top tips to keep your sanity

It’s all go here in the Piper household as we’re just about to move house. Given that this is our third house move in 2 years, you’d think we’d be seasoned veterans by now, but moving with our little one is SO much harder. She needs constant attention, which makes getting the packing done much more time consuming, and I constantly feel like there’s something huge I’m forgetting! With that in mind, I’ve come up with 5 top tips to stop you pulling your hair out on move in day.

1 – Get some help

By this I mean childcare, whether that is letting Grandma look after Little One for the day, or having an extra family member/friend/extra pair of hands around to look after them in your new home. The first is preferable, as it can be dangerous for little ones to be underfoot with big boxes being moved about. If you have to have your little one in your new place while you’re moving, try and keep them away from all the action – it’s safer for everyone, and you’ll be so busy getting boxes and furniture in to your new place and directing people as to where you want them to put things down, it will be so much harder if your baby is on you like a limpet all day.

2 – Make a box of necessities

Pack a box of all the things you are likely to need for your baby in the next day or two. Things to remember include:
  • Nappies, wipes and wash things
  • Clean clothes
  • Toys
  • Bottles (if formula fed) and food if baby is old enough
  • Any security items, like a dummy or favourite teddy
Mark this box as important and make sure it is one of the first things delivered to your new home. You’ll be grateful later down the line that everything you need for baby is in one easy to find place.

3 – Unpack baby’s room first

Make unpacking your child’s bedroom a priority to give them a better sense of security in a new place. Having your little one’s room ready first gives you a safe place to let them play while your’e unpacking, a comfortable and familiar place for them to nap and sleep, and peace of mind for you that at least one room is done – you can keep unpacking while baby has gone to bed!

4 – Stick to baby’s schedule as much as you can

Move in day isn’t just stressful for you, it’s stressful for your little one too. The difference is that you know exactly what is happening, but your little one doesn’t. Moving house can be especially stressful for toddlers who often feel the loss of a safe environment. You can read more about helping your little one through this transition here. Try your best to keep meal times and nap times to your usual schedule. This will be easier if you’ve followed tip 3 and have baby’s bed ready!

5 – Take a breath

Moving is stressful. Psychologically, it is only outranked by loss of family members, and is rated more stressful than divorce and loss of employment. Moving house can be a huge upheaval, which is all the more reason why it’s so important to just take a breather. Make everyone stop working so you can all eat together, or ask a friend to put the kettle on.
You’ve got this mama.

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What to expect when you’re NOT expecting!

At least 3 of the Mummykind mummies were NOT expecting that they would soon be expecting (have I used the word “expecting” too many times yet?) and all for different reasons.

Harriet didn’t think she could have children naturally. Neither did Amy due to the fact that she was taking Zoladex to undergo a chemical menopause – she ended up being the 1 in 100,000 that fall pregnant on that medication.

As for me, I didn’t think I could, after being told by a really harsh sonographer that if I had PCOS it was very likely that I’d be infertile. As it turns out, I don’t have PCOS and never did, but being on hormonal contraception caused me to have small pockets in my Fallopian tubes that appeared to be cysts. The exact nature of what they were is still unknown to me, but needless to say I stopped using hormonal contraception because of the effect it had on me.

Even though I stopped using the pill, I still wasn’t expecting to fall pregnant. In fact, I’d convinced myself that I never would be able to! However, when I did fall pregnant and when we let the cat out of the bag to our family and friends that we were having a baby, there are a few things that I wish I’d been prepared for…

1. “So was it planned?”

Unless you’ve announced to Bob and his uncle that you’re actively trying to start a family, expect EVERYONE to stick their noses in and ask you if the pregnancy was planned. If you’ve ever done this, please be reminded that IT IS NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS. I never knew what to say when I was asked that, because, no, she wasn’t planned, but she also wasn’t unplanned – we could easily have been more careful. Our situation wasn’t some rare exception like Amy’s! And planned or not, what bearing does that have on how much we will love our baby, or how we will be as parents? Newsflash: it doesn’t.

2. Every lifestyle choice you make will be scrutinised.

I don’t just mean by the midwife, though, of course, being told to change your vegetarian diet to a meat one so that you don’t have an iron deficiency and having to stand on the scales to be told that you’ve put on too much weight (even though you STILL have a healthy BMI despite being 6 months’ pregnant) is utterly ridiculous.

As much as I’d like to pretend that this was an isolated experience with my midwife, I’ve unfortunately heard similar tales a few too many times.

But, the scrutiny isn’t just going to be from your midwife or other health professionals. It’s going to be from wider society, your friends, family. Apparently, everyone you’ve ever shook hands with or had a drink with now has an interest in what you do. I was very good when I was pregnant; I wouldn’t touch a drop of alcohol, ate relatively healthily and wasn’t irresponsible, but that didn’t stop a friend questioning me over whether or not I could eat some god damn mayonnaise.

3. The awkward food baby phase

There’ll come a time at around 4 or 5 months’ pregnant where “you just look like you’ve had a big lunch”, as my dear, lovely friend said to me one fine morning as I sat down to a lecture on our dissertation module. Don’t worry, it doesn’t last very long and you’ll begin to look properly pregnant soon enough (you poor, poor thing).

4. Money, money, money

Oh. My. God.

BABY THINGS COST SO MUCH MONEY.

This really shocked me when we found out we were having a baby. We didn’t go crazy, but a pram, a crib, a carseat, clothes, nappies, sterilisers, bottles, breast pumps, etc. can easily add up to a grand or more. We are quite money savvy anyway and don’t tend to overspend on things – we got our pram and carseat in the mothercare January sale for £475 altogether instead of £775 (we weren’t due until May but the forward planning saved us a lot!). It can be overwhelming when this is sprung on you a bit unexpectedly, but do your research and you will find some good deals.

5. “Is it a boy or a girl?”

Ummm…. WHY DO YOU WANT TO KNOW IF MY BABY HAS A PENIS OR A VAGINA?

Taken out of context, this is a very weird question. In what other setting would you ask somebody whether they had male or female genitals? YOU WOULDN’T! However, what’s worse than this is people asking if you wanted a boy, instead of a girl. No, I want a healthy baby, and that’s what I’ve got, thank you very much. Also, I’m not big on gender stereotyping anyway. Yes, Olivia likes dolls and prams and has a newfound obsession with unicorns, but I didn’t make those her only options. She chose to play with those things, and I will never stop her from choosing who she wants to be (unless she decides she doesn’t want to be a lawyer, because that’s just unacceptable).

Have you encountered anything else that you weren’t expecting when you were expecting?

If you liked this you may enjoy reading…

Confession: I didn’t enjoy pregnancy

Endometri… What?

Stop Asking When I’m Having Baby Number 2

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

ENDED:#RNW2018 – Reusable Nappy Giveaway!

***WINNER ANNOUNCED IN THE COMPETITION WIDGET***


Reusable Nappy Week happens every year and is a great time to get into cloth – not just because the warmer weather means quicker drying times. The popularity of reusable nappies is soaring (yay!) and during RNW each year there are special discounts with so many retailers and competitions for prizes of all sizes. If you’ve been thinking about trying cloth now is the time to give it a go!

We have teamed up with Ashford Cloth Nappy Library this Reusable Nappy Week to bring you the opportunity to win a large (9-12kg) Bambino Miosoft cloth nappy cover and two prefold nappies to use inside it. Please note, this competition is for UK entrants only.

 
#RNW2018 Prize - White hook and loop fastening Nappy Cover

If you want to try cloth and don’t know where to start, find your nearest nappy library here.

 
We would love for you to share but it is not a requirement to enter the competition. 

ENTRIES FROM OUTSIDE THE UK WILL NOT BE COUNTED.
Winner to be announced on Tuesday 1st May 2018.

#RNW2018 GIVEAWAY!https://js.gleam.io/e.js

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

Mummies Waiting

Thinking about you…

Harriet’s thoughts on motherhood…

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THINKING ABOUT YOU

The following words are a cliché, but I promise they’re all true…

I never really knew who I was, or what I wanted to be until the day I held you.

At first, just your existence made me feel complete as you thrived from within my tummy.

But since you’ve been born, I love you more every day. Nothing beats being your Mummy.

I don’t think that I’d ever be able to fully describe the adoration that I have for you.

But my sweet girl, I hope I’ll be able to prove it, in all of the things I do.

Knowing that I managed to make something, so unbelievably perfect fills me with pride.

I know that being a mummy can be daunting, almost scary at times- but I’m loving my little tour guide.

Showing you off to the world makes me so proud, you’re so beautiful, so intricate, so clever and so chatty.
I don’t know what I did to deserve such an incredible princess, but I’ve never been so happy.
Your toothy grin and your little laugh- everything you do, I completely adore, no matter how strange.

Everything I do, I do for you. Baby girl, that’ll never change.

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Confession: I didn’t enjoy pregnancy

This is a topic that many mums shy away from, but I’m here to tell you all that it is perfectly okay to say that, for whatever reason, you didn’t enjoy being pregnant.

Whenever I make this controversial admission, I’m always met by the question of “did you have a rough pregnancy, then?”, or, from people who know me and saw me most days of the pregnancy, the concession “yeah but you did have a lot of sickness”.

First of all, my pregnancy really wasn’t that difficult. It was emotionally hard, as I was battling depression and anxiety, a number of personal issues, and leading a highly stressful life with little to no support network. But physically, it was quite an easy pregnancy. I had some morning sickness at odd points throughout the pregnancy, but really not a lot. Possibly the worst complaint I have of my pregnancy was that I had reflux for the entirety of the last trimester, which had me downing Gaviscon by the bottle, but even that isn’t such a severe reason to have hated being pregnant.

Secondly, regardless of whether I did or didn’t face any kinds of problems while I was pregnant, what has that got to do with my personal feelings on being pregnant? Why is it that my dislike of pregnancy has to somehow be justified by my (usually childless) friends’ perceptions of whether or not my pregnancy was a difficult one?

As much as society is making progress towards equality, I believe that the root of this need to justify anything I say about not liking pregnancy is that there is a stigma that this is what women are supposed to do, and that it’s a magical time, the bad parts of which we should take in our stride because of how we are biologically designed to cope with any childbirth related phenomenon.

Um, no.

Amazing as it is that my body grew a tiny (well, actually a rather porky) baby, that doesn’t mean that I can’t have legitimate complaints about the process.

Even worse than this is the response I get to stating that I never want to be pregnant again – for some reason, my age becomes a factor here. Sorry, I don’t care how old I am, but I won’t change my mind on this. Once was enough for me. Don’t get me wrong, I still get broody for babies, but I never plan on being pregnant again. I have plans to adopt/foster in the future and again those plans are met with the question of why? I’m able to have children, but that doesn’t mean I have to have children.

Just in case anyone reading this is thinking how ungrateful I am when there are plenty of women who can’t have a child themselves… I’m not. I appreciate that I probably don’t have a reason to complain when I have a perfectly healthy child, but again, the mere fact of my womanhood and my fertility doesn’t impose an obligation on me to have children or to enjoy pregnancy.

If you’re reading this and wondering why I felt the way I did, well…

1. My sickness wasn’t really sickness, it was a constant and painful process of dry-retching over a toilet until I could breathe enough to swallow water and spew it back up

2. It’s not nice having to bare all to a large number of healthcare professionals – whether it’s the stretch-mark covered belly or your vagina, I didn’t quite get used to having it all out there until I was in labour and quite frankly couldn’t give a crap either way at that point

3. I put on 3st and hated my body. I couldn’t look in the mirror without crying. I didn’t see a pregnant belly, I saw a fat lump of a woman who would never look the same again. That may be vain but sadly enough it was actually the only time I felt any kind of pride in my pre-baby body. It took my pre-baby body to have a baby and be essentially ruined for me to realise that I actually liked myself deep down.

4. As soon as you’re pregnant, other people feel like they can dictate to you what to do. Mainly your midwife. I was a veggie and my midwife did not respect that, and asked me to start eating meat, saying that the baby would be iron deficient if I didn’t. Eating meat changed nothing except to make me put on more weight, and I still had to take iron tablets.

5. In the last few months when the baby is running out of room: at night, if you lie on your back, the baby’s movements look like something out of Alien. You can visibly see their backs turning or their feet protruding and as well as being uncomfortable, it freaked me the hell out.

6. Drawing on the uncomfortable point – I went a week overdue, in a heatwave in May. Enough said.

7. For someone who already had a lot of emotional issues, the heightened emotions of pregnancy made things even harder to cope with. It’s actually pretty shit crying over silly things, or for no reason. And even if you feel like you’re crying for a legitimate reason, other people don’t take you seriously because you’re pregnant, and they blame it on the hormones. Even if it is due to those nasty things, that doesn’t make your feelings any less legitimate. Even if I was crying because the vacuum broke…

8. That god awful reflux – and yes, I did have a hairy baby.

So there you have it. One woman’s reasons for not enjoying pregnancy and for never wanting to do it again.

It doesn’t make me a bad mother, a bad female or a bad person. I am allowed to have an opinion, and my position as a mother and a woman doesn’t negate my opinion or mean that I should grin and bear it. So to any fellow women feeling the same way, don’t be ashamed. It’s not something you have to keep to yourself when asked the oh so annoying question “so when is baby number 2 on the way?” It’s nobody else’s business, anyway.

Mummies Waiting

A Reflection and Hopes for the Future

s my daughter’s 2nd birthday approaches, I’ve found myself reflecting on the last 2 years as a mother. Things I could have done better, times when my daughter made me so proud and times when I felt like giving up.

As my daughter’s 2nd birthday approaches, I’ve found myself reflecting on the last 2 years as a mother. Things I could have done better, times when my daughter made me so proud and times when I felt like giving up.
In the 2 years Evie has been here, she has grown so much and made me the proudest I have ever been. Sure, she has her days but I wouldn’t change her for the world.

Things I wish I had done better:
• I wish I had taken more pictures with her. I have thousands of pictures of Evie but very few with me and her, and the ones I do have are unexpected selfies with her looking very bewildered.
• I wish I had done more with her. We spent a lot of time at home or at grandparents houses, so going out and doing more things with her would have been lovely!
• I wish I had more patience with her. I found myself getting frustrated if she wouldn’t feed, if she was misbehaving or just generally having a bad day. She was probably not even that bad but at times, it felt like a disaster if she wouldn’t do something.

Proud moments:
• When Evie started crawling, I cried my eyes out. My little girl was gaining independence and growing up that little bit more. But I also cried because I was immensely proud of how much determination she had to get it done.
• Knowing that, at 2 years old, she knows around 200 words, can form some sentences and use them appropriately makes me feel so proud. She’s learning new words everyday and it’s always exciting to see what she will say next.
• Watching her with her cousins , especially her baby cousin. She will ‘look after’ her and knows when she is sad and tries to help make her happy again (usually involves screaming ‘MILK!’ at her auntie.

Hopes for the next 2 years:
• That Evie grows up to be independent and follows what she believes in, not what everybody else believes in.
• To take more pictures and urge Daddy to take more as well!
• Take Evie to experience more things. Only so much can be experienced at home and being outdoors is one of Evie’s favourite things to do.

I can’t wait to see what the next 2 years will bring and I cant believe I’m about to be a mother of a 2 year old.  I know that Evie will continue to make me as proud as she has done her whole life and I cant wait to see her learn and grow!

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