Bonding & Motherhood with Huggies Newborn Wipes

When you are expecting a baby there is so much advice out there, it’s hard to know who to trust.  Everyone has an opinion and it’s a total minefield! I’ve found so far, the best people to turn to are my friends who already have children. They’ve been there and done it, so are the perfect people to go to when I need to ask a question (and there is a LOT to learn as a new Mum). After all, I’ve seen my friends in action  – rocking motherhood and bringing up gorgeous babies, so they must be doing something right! So, when I was recently contacted by Huggies Newborn Wipes to sit down and have a frank discussion about parenting with a friend who is already a Mum, I thought that sounded like a mighty fine idea. So, I brought in the tea, cakes and arranged a good old catch up with with fellow Brighton blogger and Mum of two Lauren.

At the time I was still heavily pregnant with Little V and our chat was a sudden realisation that I’d been so fixated on being pregnant, the birth and getting the nursery ready – I hadn’t had the time to think that my squiggling, growing bump at the time was about to be a very real baby. I know that sounds really silly, but there is so much to think about when you are pregnant, the actual realisation of ‘I’m going to be a Mum and take care of a tiny human‘ is really easy to forget!

So, the main part of our discussion was around bonding with a new baby. As Lauren has had two babies she is practically an expert and had lots of tips! I’ll share the video with the whole conversation below –  we cover everything from baby wearing to baby massage (plus an interesting conversation about Marmite!) plus she gave me some pro tips on making nappy changing time a lovely bonding experience – as let’s face it, I’m going to be changing a LOT of nappies!

Some of the main tips she had for bonding during change times were:

  • Set up a special changing area with everything you need to hand quickly (wipes, nappies, change of clothes, nappy cream) – little babies don’t like being whipped out into the cold for too long so this helps change the baby as quickly as possible.
  • Keep eye contact with your baby to calm and reassure them and keep talking to them throughout the change.
  • In the early stages, forget top-and-tail bowls and cotton wool – you can now use certain wipes from the moment your baby is born. Huggies Newborn Wipes are soft and gentle enough to use from Day 1 (and also perfect to pop in your hospital bag) – wipes make things so much simpler!
  • After change-time, wrap your baby up warm and give them a cuddle, so they know they are safe and close to you again.

Here is the rest of our chat….

So, that was a few weeks ago now as finally, Violet is here and I’ve been able to put all of Lauren’s expert advice to the test……

Firstly, I’ve been using all of Lauren’s advice for bonding and trying to make change times a relaxing experience for Little V. I soon learned that newborns hate being cold, so Lauren’s tips on having everything close to hand and making it a smooth calm experience really helped, especially as she hates being put into her clothes and will often scream at this point. I think if we hadn’t have had this conversation I’d have found change times quite stressful at the beginning as it’s horrible to see your baby getting so upset with you, but we’ve managed to get into some soothing habits to keep things lovely and calm for her.

The Huggies Newborn wipes have been a godsend to us – they are so soft and gentle, which is perfect for a newborns delicate skin so we’ve been able to use them from day one. This was so handy as it was much easier than getting out a top and tail bowl every time we have to change her nappy, especially when we were kept in the hospital for so long – I had a couple of packs in my hospital bag and I’m so pleased we weren’t scurrying around looking for water and a bowl with a crying baby with a dirty nappy at this time. I think what sets them apart from other wipes is that they are made with natural, absorbent fibres which gently cleans and protects their super soft newborn delicate skin. You can really feel the difference as they are lovely and soft to touch and I’ve noticed they are thicker than many of the other wipes I’ve tried.  The reason they are suitable from day one is that they are made with 99% pure water with no fragrance, plus they’re completely free from alcohol, perfume, phenoxyethanol and parabens. I’d highly recommend them to any new mum.

I’d love to know your top tips and tricks for bonding with your newborn? So, feel free to help a new Mum out and leave a comment with what you did in the comments below 🙂

Post & Video created in collaboration with Huggies Wipes

Introducing Violet

You may have noticed things have been rather quiet around here…. That is because Violet Sandra arrived on 24th February 2017 and has turned our lives upside down! After a traumatic birth, she arrived into the world at 02:54am and life has not been the same since. I cannot imagine life without her now, our connection and bond was instant and I haven’t looked back since. Since her birth we were in hospital for quite a while, she needed some extra treatment for jaundice so it’s been a long and bumpy journey so far, but I’m pleased to say we are all well now and settling in at home, finally. I want to share our story but bear with me – we are quietly muddling through a sleep hazed adventure of learning to care for our new bundle. She worries us, surprises us and makes us laugh and smile in different ways every day. I don’t think I’ve felt love like this before, it’s something you cannot put into words. We are just taking each day as it comes and adjusting to our new pace of life. It really is a rollercoaster ride I couldn’t ever have predicted!

So, before she wakes for her next feed (which could be any second, she’s just started wiggling next to me!) I’ll leave you with the some gorgeous snaps of her first days. I’ve been sharing more daily over on Instagram too (@fizzypeaches). When she gives me a moment, I’m looking forward to sharing our birth story and her first update!

 

Violet Sandra – Born 24th February 2017 at 02:54am

Weighing 6lbs 2oz

6 Things They Don’t Tell You About Labour

Carrying on with my Mama Stories Blogger Takeover – today’s post was written by Kirsty of Life With Boys blog. She lives in Scotland with her two boys – Jordan, her partner and gorgeous baby boy Harrison who was born in October 2016. She blogs all things baby and parenting. We first got chatting via Twitter when we were both pregnant – it’s been lovely as I’m a few months behind, I’ve learned so much by following her journey. I really enjoyed this post as labour can be so unknown, daunting and scary to most, but Kirsty’s birth story was positive and an inspiration. Here are 6 things they don’t tell you about labour…. 
The prospect of labour for a first time mum is terrifying – heck, the prospect of labour for an anytime mum is terrifying. It’s unpredictable, it’s painful, it’s messy, but it’s necessary and the outcome more often than not is life changing. I hated being pregnant and couldn’t wait to be ‘normal’ again, but even in the run up to labour I would have gladly extended my pregnancy for that little bit longer just to silence my anxiety at the prospect of giving birth. I spent weeks, months even researching birth plans, watching labour videos, reading the stories of others, and I can hand on heart say none of them prepared me for giving birth to my son. I had an amazing labour, my pain was sustainable throughout and I was in and out in hours – but there are still a few thing’s I wish I’d known before I went in…

1. Labour Doesn’t Have To Be Like A Scene From Carrie

I had this extreme expectation of what child birth would look like – all based on unrealistic television, not that I was aware. I had this expectation of stirrups, scalpels, a good few medical professionals in the room, but I had none that. There was absolutely nothing clinical about my labour room – other than the monitor for the babies heart rate, my birthing room could have been mistaken for a budget premier inn with an odd choice of bed. There were no doctors, no nurses, just myself, my birthing partners and my midwife who sat comfortably in an armchair to my side the entire time. This all contributed to how positive an experience I had, but it doesn’t mean it was any less of a surprise. Any expectation I had of childbirth ending in blood, guts and the remnants of mummy’s insides, for want of a better term was squashed when I delivered a completely spotless baby. He barely had so much as a mark on him – never mind my expected massacre scene from Carrie.

2. Gas and Air Doesn’t Always Work For You

I had no proper birth plan; I had simply resided myself to having an epidural, and with that in mind I was content with how my labour would play out. Little did I know that I would arrive at the hospital at 9cm dilated and have my request for the epidural laughed at, instead I was offered Gas and Air.  My initial try using it sent my eyes rolling into the back of my head and I felt like I was on a four day bender, my second left the contents of my stomach on Jordan’s shoes, and with that, I gave up. I never expected pain relief not to be an option, no one ever told me that could happen. Whenever I think of going to hospital, I think of the doctors being able to take pain away instantly – gritting my teeth never quite crossed my mind.

3. Everyone Reacts Differently to Pain

I coped fine – I either just had a really good labour, or a really good pain tolerance, but either way, I got through labour fine. I didn’t get my epidural, and I didn’t need it. I never knew that could actually be the case. I’d always assumed it HAS to be extremely painful and I would be screaming no matter what experience I had – not the case though. It won’t always be the way it appears on One Born Every Minute, every woman is different and your not guaranteed to have to feel like your ripping in half. For some, labour is an extremely difficult experience, everyone’s body reacts differently, I was just lucky, but I wish I’d had it in my head that maybe it would be like that. I near enough gave myself a complex worrying about labour – when I needn’t have bothered. Also, it  has to happen anyway. Whether its a positive or negative experience, the outcome is still the same, your life is changed forever, and in no way could that ever be negative. Pain is temporary.

4. Dignity Doesn’t Exist

I knew this to an extent, I mean, how much dignity can you really have whilst pushing a watermelon out of your vagina in a room full of medical professionals. Even for me, without the room full of professionals, dignity is gone. What I didn’t expect though, was how little you notice, or care. The midwives have seen this all before, hundreds of thousands of times. Every little worry you had before, about shaving your noon, fake tanning your legs, whether your dressing gown matches your nighty… they all go out of the window. The entirety of my hospital experience as spent half starkers, internal exam after internal exam, chances are I probably shat myself without noticing (they don’t tell you whether you do or not – I was somewhat disappointed, my curiosity gets the better of me), and at no point did it even cross my mind to be embarrassed, or self conscious. You have bigger fish to fry at that point.

5. The Midwives Don’t Always Know Best

I phoned the hospital three times before I turned up. The first time I was told to phone back when foetal movement was reduced or the pain was unbearable. The second time, I was told if I was talking during contractions then I wasn’t in established labour and to phone back later. Again I was completely dismissed as she couldn’t fathom me having two contractions whilst talking away to her. The third time, I didn’t give them a choice to reply, I simply said I was heading up. When I arrived, my midwife gave me a paracetamol and left me in a room for 35 minutes before finally giving me an internal examination – at which point she found I was almost 9cm dilated. After I gave birth, the midwife joked that in the elusive 35 minutes where she had left me initially she was at the front desk telling them she’d give me a quick once over and get me sent home – I didn’t look like I was in pain, fine, but it doesn’t mean I wasn’t in labour. It’s better to trust your own body than your midwives opinion, you know best.

6. You Can’t Induce Labour

Oh the irony of this point. I spent 3 and a half weeks bouncing on a birthing ball, stuffing pineapple down my face, eating curries until my eyes watered and drowning my insides in raspberry leaf tea. It doesn’t work. Everyone told me this. I should have just accepted it. Labour happens when it happens, as annoying as that is, I wish I’d accepted it and I would have saved myself £150 worth of Indian curries and a hell of a lot of time spent on the toilet.
I had a fair few unrealistic expectations, and I got proved wrong on most of them. I wish I’d realised going in that every labour is completely different, and there is absolutely no way to prepare yourself for it. No matter how many blogs you read, vlogs you watch or people you talk to, nothing will ever prepare you for the whirlwind that is childbirth. Regardless of the labour you have, it’s worth it anyway, no matter how it happens, we’d do it all in a heartbeat again for the sake of our children.

 

Thanks Kirsty for the fab guest post! 

Oscar’s Premature Birth Story

As Baby Peaches arrival is imminent I’m now taking a little break from blogging. I’ll be about on social media and sharing the odd post, but to keep you all busy I have some wonderful bloggers lined up to step into my shoes and tell their Mama Stories of birth, fertility treatment and parenthood  (plus a few non-parenting posts too!) whilst I potter away in the background, hopefully with a baby in my arms very soon! So, to kick off with my Mama Stories Blogger Takeover – today’s post was written by Rebecca of Wellies and Wishes  blog.  We got chatting after we found out we shared a very special date in common – our due date was exactly the same! Only our stories completely different as Rebecca’s baby Oscar has made an early appearance at 32 weeks! It’s crazy to think our babies are the same age (technically) but Oscar has had over 4 weeks in the world already (or more by the time this goes out!) Here is their story…. 

Pregnancy is a wonderful and exciting time, many women find it the most special and blissful time of their lives, whilst for others it’s the most strenuous and unenjoyable time. No matter how you’re feeling throughout your pregnancy, good or bad, nothing in the world can prepare you for a premature delivery.
I’m Rebecca, I currently live in Cyprus with my husband and 2 children, Emelia 2 1/2 years and Oscar 4 weeks. I started my blog after Oscar was born, initially as a way to document his progress, although life happened and my planned weekly updates are yet to be written! After chatting to Lyndsay I realised we had more in common than just blogging and motherhood – our due date, 22nd February 2017. I am writing this post to help fill in some space on her blog while she eagerly waits and prepares for the day her baby arrives – something that I too should have been doing. But here I am, writing this post, with baby Oscar already next to me and 4 weeks old.
Reflecting on my pregnancy I can’t say it’s full of fond memories, I am not one of the lucky women who thrive and glow throughout. I was plagued with sickness from the start and due to findings at my 12 week scan, in fear that something was wrong with the baby. Chromosomal tests confirmed he wouldn’t be born with Downs Syndrome, Edwards Syndrome or Patau Syndrome, but we were still at risk of him having a heart condition.
At 28 weeks pregnant I was admitted to hospital, contracting every couple of minutes and my cervix had shortened to 6mm (the average length at this stage of gestation is 3.5cm). There I stayed for a week while they pumped my body with various drugs to try and stop it – unsuccessfully initially but eventually it settled and I was allowed to go home, on strict bed rest. I was simply grateful to be home for Christmas, and adamant that after all of the drama I would have no further problems and walk into my planned c-section in February.

On 2nd January 2017, after a terrible night of pacing and feeling a little unwell, my waters broke. 32 weeks pregnant I was rushed to hospital in Nicosia (an hour and a half away from our home) where they have a specialist Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Due to a variety of reasons I was swiftly taken for a cesarean section for which I was put to sleep.

Having a baby in intensive care and a toddler at home brings on a whole new level of mum guilt that I never imagined I’d be feeling. I spent the whole time feeling completely torn, whichever one I was with I felt guilty the other was left behind. The visiting hours for the NICU were so strict, we could visit Oscar between 12-1pm and 5-6pm and Emelia was not allowed to visit, it was only parents. Both visiting times typically coincided with her lunch and tea time, just to make things that little bit more stressful. In a time when I felt completely helpless and quite frankly useless as a mother as far as Oscar was concerned, the one thing I felt I could to do for him was provide milk, the most natural thing in the world, aside from pregnancy itself. What people don’t tell you, and what never dawned on me is having a premature baby means that you might not produce as much breast milk as someone who has gone to term, and after researching I found other reasons your body may not produce it as you’d have hope, here are some examples:

  • your body didn’t have as much time to start making milk
  • a traumatic birth
  • the placenta may not have come away unaided
  • being separated from your baby shortly after delivery

The midwives and nurses in the hospital were putting pressure on me to express, which I was doing every 2 hours round the clock but getting no where, I knew it was my job to provide it and I was getting so upset that my body was just not cooperating. I have battled with it everyday since the day Oscar was born, and although I’m more accepting of the fact I was and am still unable to breastfeed/express, I still feel guilty that the one thing I should have been able to do, I couldn’t.


The last 4 weeks have been extremely hard on Brett and I, but let’s not forget poor Emelia. She has spent it being dumped on anyone that was able to look after her, being pulled left right and centre and not knowing whether she’s coming or going. As the hospital was 1.5 hours from our home we were staying in a welfare house provided by the RAF to be close to Oscar, which we were so grateful of, but it meant Emelia was away from her normal surroundings and her whole routine has been thrown out the window and she’s missed out on day to day things like nursery, ballet, trips to the park etc. that she loves. We’ve tried to do things with her in between visiting but it’s been so hard. I’ve been seriously unwell and was readmitted to hospital where I was in isolation for a week, whilst Oscar was still in intensive care. From the moment I found out I was pregnant I started planning how I would prepare Emelia for a new sibling and fantasied about what it would be like when we introduced them and brought the baby home – always aware it wouldn’t necessarily be a smooth ride, but not quite prepared for how rocky it would be. Life certainly throws you some curve balls at times, and January 2017 has definitely been a rollercoaster for our family, but Oscar is now home and making good progress, Emelia is happy and absolutely loving being a big sister. So finally it feels like we can move forward with our life as a family of 4 and start to do all of the things I had imagined we’d be doing with a new addition. I’m trying to take every moment for granted as I feel like we missed out on our first days and weeks as a family. I’m really trying to enjoy every moment of our new life – even the sleepless nights and ‘terrible two’ tantrums!

Here’s to a quiet and drama free rest of 2017!

 

Thanks Rebecca for the fab guest post! 🙂 

Baby Peaches… We are ready for you!

It’s been a crazy couple of weeks. I thought maternity leave was meant to be restful, but it certainly hasn’t been so far! Clearly, I don’t know how to stop as it’s just been go, go, go since the day I stopped working. We even had a harebrained idea to put our house on the market and book building work the week before the baby is due. Talk about madness, the house has been full with people from morning till night, with building dust, mess and then estate agents traipsing through with confused looking people, asking why we are moving when baby is coming so soon. I know – I think we are mad and I think when it comes down to it, I don’t think we will move, we just had a pre-baby freak out about the space, but we will make it work.

Anyway, I digress – the rest of the time, tantrums, dust and estate agents aside – I’ve been busy seeing people, blogging and mostly I’ve been NESTING! How amazingly cute does our bedroom look with the Snuzpod all set up? I can’t wait to see her in it, I fall asleep every night looking into that empty crib, thinking only in a few days, there might be a new little face in there. What will she look like? Will she be pleased I’m her Mummy? So many things to think about. It feels surreal.

This is a really strange point in time, it feels like life is standing still, but it’s also moving so fast too. I’m 39+3 and if baby comes on her due date, she’ll be here by next week. I’m feeling so big, uncomfortable and so ready to meet her now. I also want to get the birth over and done with so I can stop worrying about it and doing my hypnobirthing practice. I want to start being a mother!

So, this was a rambly, almost pointless post, but the bottom line is COME ON BABY PEACHES – We are so ready for you and want to meet you now! 💕