Our Day at CBeebies Land

 
The week before last, my husband and I decided it was time to treat our eldest boy. We’d been given free tickets to visit Alton Towers by friends who’d recently been and we thought it would be nice to treat our big boy to a baby-free day. In terms of value for money, I feel I can’t really comment. I understand the issue of policing people only being allowed in a certain area, but to pay a full price Alton Towers tickets just to visit CBeebies Land feels a little extortionate. 

Now, I have to state that we have been thoroughly spoilt when it comes to theme parks, having been to Walt Disney World in Florida, so there were a couple of times when my husband and I exchanged glances and muttered “that wouldn’t happen in Florida!”

BUT on the whole we had a great day! We chose one of the hottest days of the year which didn’t help but it didn’t hinder too much either. There’s plenty of shade and we never felt like we were forced to be in the sun. 

We began our day with a visit to Mr Tumble’s sensory garden which was followed by a trip on the Treetop Adventure ride (formerly the Squirrel Nutty ride, if you’re an old schoolAlton  Towers fan!) both of these were fun and entertaining for our two year old. We skipped the Octonauts roller coaster as we felt he wasn’t quite ready for something like that. Maybe in a year or so. 

We also rode the Numtums Roundabout, visited Charlie and Lola’s House and travelled on the In the Night Garden Boat Ride. All enjoyable, although I’m sure the Boat Ride could do with a bit of Disney-esque magic – the Ninky Nonk would be better if it moved, Upsy Daisy would be better if she waved, little things like that which would make a massive difference to the feel of the ride. 

 

Lastly we went to eat our lunch and wait for the live ZingZillas show. Our two year old adores the ZingZillas and his second birthday had a whole ZingZillas theme so, naturally, this was to be the highlight of the day. And I have got to say, it didn’t disappoint. Despite being the the hottest day of the year and those poor guys having to wear what must have been sweaty and hot monkey costumes, they danced with full force and all the kids loved it! I think our little guy was in awe. 

They had a quick 10 minute break and then came back out for a meet and greet (we were first in line!) An awesome end to our day out.   

 Ultimately, I would say we explored around two thirds of the area, so there’ll be plenty to do in a year or two’s time when the other baby is big enough to want to visit as well. We went for free, so for us it was totally worth it. I wouldn’t pay full price, and I would struggle to believe that half price tickets are worth the small amount of attractions that you actually get to do with a two year old in tow. BUT, we had a a really fun day, got to spend some quality time with our biggest boy, taking him on new adventures including meeting his favourite TV characters. So maybe I would pay half price to take both boys in a couple of years. There may be more or newer attractions then too. To have something like this so close to home is really great and I’m thrilled we got to visit and enjoy it as a family!

If you’ve been to CBeebies Land, I’d love to hear what you thought of it, and if you can tell me about Thomas Land or the Peppa Pig theme park, even better! I’m always up for hearing about great family days out. Leave a comment and let me know!

Thanks for reading! I hope you’ve enjoyed what you’ve read – take a look around to find posts on other parenting issues like the “Mummy Tummy” or being a family of four. You can also find me on Facebook at facebook.com/mumwriting or on Twitter at @mumwriting. All of your likes, shares, comments and retweets are appreciated – you’re awesome!

Mummy Wants to Exercise

 
My baby is over three months old now. I can’t get over how fast it’s flown by so far. But as the dust settles and the haze of sleepless nights and constant feeding retreats, I’m left to look more clearly at what’s going on around me. And what I find are a few things I want to change. 

One of my Bucket List goals for 2015 was to be back to my pre-baby weight by the end of the year. Immediately after baby I thought that would be an easy goal to tick off. I seemed to weigh less than I had before I got pregnant. However, a lack of discipline, bad food habits and holidays have led to a sudden gain that I don’t like. 

So Mummys, what to do with a “Mum Tum”? At home exercise DVDs, running in the park, Cave Training… The options are endless, and confusing. 

I’ll be trying a few different things and you can be sure I’ll let you know how it goes. It’s likely to be an intriguing and hilarious pursuit as I am the most unfit and inactive person on the planet. Let me know how your experiences of losing weight have gone as I endeavour to shed those pounds and that unsightly muffin top!!

Thanks for reading! I’m also around on Facebook at Facebook.com/mumwriting and Twitter at @mumwriting. Come find me! Thanks for journeying along with me on this crazy ride of motherhood. Every like, share, retweet and comment means a lot!

The Bednest – One Month In (A Review)

 2am. The little one stirs. I lean over to pop his dummy in, which will soothe him long enough for me to get ready to feed him. Once I’m up in a comfortable and safe position, I reach over to pick him up and begin to feed, praying this night waking will be quick and quiet.

I don’t have to reach far for him, I don’t need to lean over too much. He sleeps in a Bednest which we have rented from the Bednest company for six months. It’s attached to our bed and means he sleeps within 30cm of me at all times, give or take a bit of wriggling. 

Tragically, it came to light a couple of days ago that a seven week old baby has died in a Bednest. I can’t begin to understand what that family are going through and my sincerest condolences go out to them. I hugged my little one a bit tighter the night I first read the story. However, after the news broke, what followed was a period of confusion, worry and, sadly, backlash as the company was bombarded with questions from customers about the safety of the product which had been thought of as so trustworthy until now. Despite reassurances from the company about safe usage of the Bednest and their efforts to answer all questions, doubts are still being raised. Amidst the crowd, I sat quietly and watched as it all unfolded on social media and was then compelled by my own experiences to write this review. Bednest are not paying me to write this and all these words and thoughts are my own.

When we found out we were having a second child I immediately started to look around at what options were out there for issues that we had faced and (perhaps naively) just “put up with” when we had our first child. One of those issues was where the baby slept when he was in our room. Our bedroom isn’t big enough for a cot and we had used a Moses basket with our first. However, he was a big baby and ultimately ended up being moved to his own room and cot at just a few months old. 

Determined not to have to move a three month old baby in with his two year old brother (who sleeps amazingly well and has no issues at night, despite us transitioning to a “big boy bed” just weeks before baby number 2’s arrival) I began researching other options that would allow the baby to sleep in our room for longer, should he follow suit and be another big baby.

It was through an ad on Facebook that I came across the Bednest company. I read reviews, googled and googled until I could approach my husband with what I knew was a viable option. 

The Pro’s:

  • It’s bigger than a Moses basket, without being too big for our bedroom. 
  • It attaches to our bed, making night wakings easier to deal with especially if I’d needed to have an emergency caesarean. 
  • We could rent one for the duration we needed it and they would take it away again after – no storage needed or worry about trying to sell it on. 
  • It had a side which could be used fully up, fully down or halfway. This swung it for me. It seemed such a good idea and so ingenious when I thought of how often a baby needs tending to. Now I even had the option of looking after my baby while still lying down! Think of all those precious zzzzz’s!!

I showed YouTube videos to my husband which explained the Bednest’s features and he too was won over. We ordered one.

I was so excited about the arrival of our hired Bednest. When I was scheduled for an early induction I got in touch with the company to change the delivery date (something they did happily and free of charge) and when it arrived I was able to set it up myself, even at nearly 39 weeks pregnant. It was so simple to put together that once I’d read the instructions I was too excited to wait for my husband to get home. I wanted to see what it looked like in our room and imagine a baby sleeping in it!

Our baby boy is now nearly four weeks old and so, whilst we haven’t yet used the Bednest to it’s full extent, it is already earning it’s money back in usefulness and flexibility. 

Though our boy is yet to sleep three hours in a row, we’ve used every feature of the Bednest whilst we figure out how our baby best likes to sleep. We’ve explored tilting the bed, to see if it helped with the wind he often gets at night. I’ve enjoyed being able to nurse while lying down and then almost seamlessly move him to his own safe sleep space. I’ve loved being able to sleep so close to him, to reach over to put his dummy in when he stirs without really needing to move, and to gaze at him at my own eye level while he sleeps.

Despite the recent news stories, I wouldn’t hesitate to order another Bednest should we need one (though there is no intention that we will!!) I’m sure that as the next few months pass, the Bednest will continue to prove invaluable to us as a family. I fully intend to write another review at the end of our rental period but for now we have only positive things to report. 

Thank you, Bednest, for making the first month of our newborn’s life that little bit easier. The sleepless nights are made better ever so slightly by your product and I look forward to the sleepFULL nights that are to come, knowing that my child sleeps safely in your beautiful, practical product.

As ever, thanks for reading! All shares, likes, comments and retweets are very much appreciated. Come find me on Facebook at Facebook.com/mumwriting or on Twitter at @mumwriting. With any product, I can’t stress enough how important it is to do your own research before purchasing. My opinion is only one of many. Do take the time to go and read others. Again, these are my opinions and I am in no way affiliated with Bednest, I am just a happy customer. My thoughts and prayers are with the family of the baby who passed away in this tragic accident. 

Gossip Girl, sleepless nights… Oh, and a baby!

 So… It’s been a while! But for all who we’re waiting and wondering, if you haven’t already heard, we added another little boy to our bundle on the 31st March! A scheduled induction due to medical issues that resulted in a hard and fast labour and a baby boy who shot out like a rocket (though I distinctly remember saying “I don’t think I can push one more time”) resulting in a beautiful miracle who doesn’t sleep. Or at least, doesn’t sleep during the night!

I’m tempted to write my birth story this time, because I didn’t with my first, but I don’t know of people like reading that sort of stuff! And I would never impose that on any still-pregnant lady, although funnily enough they’re often the ones who want to hear those stories the most!!

But in between the marathon sessions of Gossip Girl that cover the marathon middle-of-the-night feeding sessions, I thought I should at least let you all know I’m alive and well! With three amazing boys who I love with all my heart. Outnumbered indeed, in the best possible way. 

So expect posts on how breastfeeding the second time around is completely different to the first, ways to settle a newborn that do (and don’t) work, what it’s like having two under two (for at least a couple of months), and how wonderful my boys are and how life would be so amazing if I could just sleep for more than two hours straight!

Thanks for reading! Come find me on Facebook at Facebook.com/mumwriting or on Twitter at @mumwriting and let me know what else you’d like to hear about! The first few weeks with a new baby at home are full of things people are Googling every day at 2am!! I’d be happy to add my voice to the list of opinions! 

Friday Five 20/03/15 – Five Things I’ll Miss About Being Pregnant

When it gets to this stage in a pregnancy, it’s so easy to start saying “I can’t wait for this to all be over” and “as soon as possible please baby!” I know, because I’ve said them and I’ll probably keep saying them! Because pregnancy can be hard, and by this point, you really want to meet your baby and have your body back, minus the sickness, fatigue, swelling and other symptoms.

So, in this week of spicy food eating, gym ball bouncing and hopeful prayers, I wanted to try and be a little positive and remember the good things about being pregnant. These are the top things I’ll actually miss about this time…

1) Knowing my baby is completely safe at all times.

When he’s inside of me, wriggling away, not only do I know where he is, who’s holding him and that he is safe and sound, I also don’t have to worry about when he was last fed, or last slept. He’s completely taken care of inside me. I don’t have to worry about his big brother driving cars over his face or waking him from an elusive nap. He’s protected in there.

As soon as I had my first baby, I had probably hundreds more things to worry about than I ever did while I was pregnant. That’s only going to double when I have this baby. At least, for now, I can relax knowing he’s safe and sound and completely at peace inside me!

2) The lovely things people say.

In all honesty, I’ve never felt that pregnancy makes me “glow”… but it doesn’t stop people saying it!! Nor does it stop people saying how little weight they think I’ve put on or how lovely my bump looks. People are very forthcoming with compliments when you’re pregnant and even when you don’t feel it, it’s lovely to hear. 

I’ll miss the regular compliments because, let’s face it, once the baby is born it’s time for the dry shampoo, hair in a bun, leggings and vest tops that are so easy to live in post-birth! And that’s ok, you have to feel comfortable for the first few months after baby while you’re settling into this new life. And after that the hard work starts to get back into some kind of shape!!

3) Never being alone. 

I love that being pregnant means I’m never alone. I recently had a nights stay in hospital and, even though I welled up when my husband left and I thought of my little boy going to sleep without a goodnight kiss, it was lovely to feel the baby squirm and know that I was still with my family. You’re never alone when you’re pregnant, you’ve got constant company.

And  it’s company that doesn’t mind watching Gossip Girl with you and going to bed early. It’s company that is happy if you take a nap in the middle of the day or just relax on the sofa for an hour in your pyjamas. And that’s the kind of company I love!

4) Feeling the complete essence of “girl power”. 

No, I don’t mean the Spice Girls version of girl power (although, #vivaforever – I ❤ the Spice Girls). No, I mean that being pregnant, growing a baby inside me and preparing to somehow (!) push it out is what my body is made to do. 

I know there are many women out there who can’t give birth and I could never understand their pain, frustration, anger or sadness over that. It is another of life’s mysteries that I will never understand. Only God knows why these things happen and I’m sure those ladies will have deep conversations with God one day about it. All I can do is be thankful that I have been given this opportunity and make the most of it on behalf of all those women who can’t do this. I admire them.

5) … 

I’m actually struggling to think of a fifth thing! As much as all of the above is true, I really do just want my baby to be here and to see him interacting with his big brother. Pregnancy has not been easy for me, but I must must must try to stay positive in these last weeks! 

What are the things you will/do miss about being pregnant? Maybe your ideas will help me to think of something else!!

Thanks for reading! Please comment, like, share and retweet because every single one of those things makes me smile 🙂 come find me and have a chat on Facebook at Facebook.com/mumwriting or Twitter at @mumwriting. Let me know your positives from pregnancy! I can’t wait to hear them…

Mother’s Day – The morning after…

This was my second ever Mother’s Day as a mum. Last year my lie in got invaded by a snuggly, milky baby. This year, I got my lie in (until 8:30am!) but it was only because I had a poorly little boy who needed his sleep!! Unfortunately Mother’s Day didn’t see the best of my little one (too many sniffles and coughs) and being a fingernail away from being classed as “full term” for this pregnancy, I can’t say I was in the best form either!! So we were a pair together really, wallowing in each other’s misery and discomfort. 

Luckily, thanks to my husband and family, we ended up having a really lovely afternoon with a lot of nice food and chat which made all the difference. 

As much as I love the calendar holidays (Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Valentines Day, etc.) they are, after all is said and done, just another day on the calendar. And just another day when my boy doesn’t feel well and we spend more time wiping tears and noses than giving cuddles or dancing. We can’t help what day these things happen on. Sometimes we get I’ll on Christmas Day and there’s nothing you can do about it. It doesn’t matter. There are more days to be grateful or to celebrate. 

I hope your Mother’s Day was good and you got to celebrate. BUT if you didn’t, then don’t worry. There are plenty more days to celebrate with family. 

My little boy has just woken up from his nap and seems much perkier after medicine from the doctor so it looks like we’re on the up at this end! Full term tomorrow for me so panic stations at the ready – baby number two will be here any day… 

Thanks for reading! Come find me for a chat over on Facebook at Facebook.com/mumwriting or on Twitter at @mumwriting and let me know how your Mother’s Day went! 

Big Boy Bed

So… On Saturday we finally found the time to build the bed we’d bought for our Big Boy. It also happened to coincide with the delivery of a new book – Pirate Pete and his Big Boy Bed… Or something along those lines. 

So we made a big fuss over reading the book multiple times and when we did something that was mentioned in the book we pointed out what happened next. And weirdly, Pirate Pete has the same cuddly toys as our boy so that was a nice addition. 

In hindsight, I think it probably would have been better if I’d ordered the book a few weeks ago but I just didn’t get around to it. At least it helped to set the stage. Maybe.

We finished building the bed just before lunch and he went a bit nuts climbing on and off and having a fun time bouncing around. He seemed really excited and we kept reiterating to him that he’d be sleeping in the Big Boy Bed that night. Then we went to have lunch.  After lunch we headed up for “nappy and nap”. We then had to wait as he took a bit longer to settle for his nap (still in his cot) as he really wanted to sleep in his new bed… but the bed sheets were in the tumble dryer! 

Eventually he napped as normal and the rest of Saturday happened. When bathtime and bedtime came around we did everything as normal except for reading his new book instead of any other. Unfortunately this also happened to be nail cutting night. So we had a few tears over that and then he happily climbed into his new bed, settled down and we left. 

Two minutes later the crying began. 

At first he settled down straight away as soon as one of us went in but he got more flustered and upset as time went on. He was getting hotter and clearly couldn’t find somewhere to get comfy. Remember this wasn’t just a change of bed, it was a change from sleeping bag to blankets and from one side of the room to the other so I don’t blame him for being a bit upset! 

When my husband went into him at one point, he actually said “that bed” and pointed at his cot. In an ideal world we would have removed the cot completely from the room but considering we’ll be wanting it again in about five or six months we just didn’t see the point in dismantling it. Anyway, after a few crying bouts he eventually settled off and slept soundly until maybe 6:10. Aside from a lot of shuffling, he did really well and I still now think it could have been a whole lot worse!

Night two was even better. We had a little bit of dramatic fake crying while putting on pyjamas – “this bed Daddy” while standing with his arms through the cot bars dressed in just a nappy and vest (quite funny actually) – but after that he settled off easily and slept straight through until 7:30. Wonderful! 

Both mornings, he’s just waited in his bed until I’ve gone in to him so now I’m trying to teach him that it’s ok for him to get out and play if he wants to. It might give me an extra 5 minutes!!

I know it’s early days and I fully expect a regression of some sort after baby is born but it’s one thing I’m glad we did now. For starters, I was really starting to struggle with reaching over his cot! I know the bump was the main issue but I just couldn’t reach. Besides, it’s really helped us to kick the habit of holding him to sing his bedtime song, Twinkle Twinkle, and getting him to settle in bed first before we sing. 

All in all, I’m glad we’ve done it now. I know it’s still early for a lot of kids at his age and most would still be in a cot until after two but it was definitely the right move for us. 

When did your little one move into a Big Bed? And how did it go? 

Thanks for reading! If love it if you could comment and let me know your transition tips, especially as baby number two is imminent! Any and all help is appreciated. Please like, share, retweet and comment. I love it when you do!! 

Come find me on Facebook at Facebook.com/mumwriting or on Twitter at @mumwriting and let’s chat 🙂 

Friday Five 06/03/15 – Five Things I’ll be Packing in my Hospital Bag



I wanted to let you all know that I am trying to get more organised as due date looms up ahead. I’ve finally started to pack a bag for the hospital and start a little pile of baby clothes ready for hospital as well. 

I know I’ve found it helpful reading other people’s posts about what they’ve packed so I thought about doing the same. However, I also thought that might probably be a little boring too. So instead, I’ve decided to just list my top 5 items to take and why, based on my experiences from having my first baby boy.

1) A button down night shirt. 

Last time I seem to remember them wanting to get me cleaned up pretty sharpish after the birth, once all the doctors had left and we’d had a bit of bonding time. I couldn’t shower because I was losing blood and they were monitoring it, so instead I was given a bed bath by a lovely midwife and was able to change into the nightie I’d taken. 

The bed bath didn’t really bother me as you do pretty much forget all about your dignity when you’re in that position, but what was a pain was later on when I was trying to get feeding established and family came to visit because all w was doing was pulling down the top of my nightie for access, which left quite a lot of me exposed.

I think this time I’ll want to be covered up more but still allow easy access, so a night shirt is a good idea I’m hoping!

2) Disposable pants!

I know the idea sounds gross to those who haven’t given birth but seriously, you’re going to bleed and (if you’re anything like I was last time) bleed a lot. So why bother messing up your own underwear? Disposable pants work well and are fab for just chucking away and not worrying about. 

But remember not to get your old size, go up at least one! I know you’ll have pushed the baby out but you still won’t be your old shape again just yet! The best pants are the ones that hold everything in!

3) Maxi maternity pads.

I mean the ones that are basically like an adult nappy. You’ll need them. Function over fashion. That’s all.

4) Cheap slippers.

A few years ago, my husband and I went to Turkey and part of the hotel freebies we brought back were some of those cheap slippers like you get in spas. I’ve kept the two pairs for ages, but never been sure why. 

Now I know. This is what they’re for! Walking around a hospital to either keep labour going or to get up and use the bathroom, you’re going to need something on your feet. I’ll probably head up toy the hospital in my boots, so I’ll need something easy to slip on and off for those circumstances. And remember that they’ll probably get stained, wet in the shower rooms and generally hospital dirty. You’ll be glad to chuck the things away on your way out!

Plus, they’ll bring back happy memories when it’s the middle of the night and I’m struggling through the early hours with a little one!

5) A book.

This is something I didn’t take last time, and there were stretches of hours (after birth) where I could have done with something to zone out with. 

I haven’t actually packed this yet though as I don’t know what book I’ll be reading, but it’ll be on my list of last minute items. I’m so looking forward to a few hours uninterrupted (apart from the baby) reading, especially if I’m put on a ward where I don’t want to disturb other mums and babies. 

So they are my top 5 items to remember. What are yours? Maybe I’ve forgotten something and I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Thanks for reading! Come find me on Facebook at Facebook.com/mumwriting or on Twitter at @mumwriting for a natter. Please like, share, retweet and most of all… comment!! I love hearing your thoughts! Happy Friday 🙂

How to Dress Post-Baby

dress
Aside from the “Great Dress Debate” of the past week or so (don’t ask me what colour it is – I’ve seen it both ways!) fashion is always something people are talking about. Whether it’s what someone wore down the red carpet or the tracksuit a celebrity was spotted in when they popped out to get milk, you can pretty much tell that someone is always watching.

When you make the decision to start having kids, you almost have to accept straight away that your wardrobe will change and evolve with your role. To start, there are the short-shorts and the bikinis that you know will have to go away for at least a while (if not forever – as a mum of boys I feel I may have to re-evaluate some of my pre-baby clothes).

Whilst pregnant you will, of course, opt for comfort over fashion, though it is possible to achieve both. However, there will inevitably be times when you can’t be bothered to put together an outfit and instead you just want to pull on pyjamas or leggings and a t-shirt. Fair play, I think, in pregnancy. Just the other night I spent half the evening in actual trousers (comfy ones) but switched to leggings because the waistband was digging in where I think the baby’s head has dropped to. Comfort is the name of the game, especially at this late stage!

But after baby comes a choice – return to fashion, stick with function (especially if breastfeeding) or try to merge the two. Having been through that period once before, here’s how I plan to handle it this time around.

Strappy vests and floaty tops: I’m not shelling out £15 for a specific nursing vest top. Call me frugal but I would rather buy 6 or 7 cheap vest tops from (shock horror) Primark, knowing that they’ll probably get stained with milk or baby sick and I can throw them away afterwards. They pull down easily and, with a range of colours, you’ll always be able to at least match something with them. Over the top of a strappy vest, I would pick a floaty top. That way, if you are nursing, you can pull that top up and the vest down, giving you great cover to be discreet and not draw attention to yourself.

Long cardigans: Again, great for nursing and gives you fantastic cover, but they are also great for your figure. Post-baby there’s always bits that you’d rather hide and long cardigans do a great job of that. Not only do they elongate your figure (especially if they come down past your bum!) but they will make whatever’s inside the cardigan seem smaller, so that post-baby tummy is buried beneath the woollen layers!

Tight bottom halves: whether it’s leggings, jeans or skirts, figure hugging bottoms can do wonders. For a start, wherever you’ve put weight on, you’ll lose it first off those places it wouldn’t normally be, like your face and/or legs. So choosing slim-fitting bottoms evens out the whole image, especially if you’re going for the layered look on top. If you feel stuck between your pre-pregnancy jeans and your maternity pair, think about borrowing or investing in a pair that feel good now, rather than ones that used to fit or ones that you’re aiming to fit into. You’ll always feel good if you have a pair of jeans that fit well.

Flat shoes: Carrying a baby and all their paraphernalia can be tricky, even more so with a toddler in tow as well. Think flat, comfortable but stylish. I will probably continue to live in the flat shoes I’ve been wearing throughout pregnancy – boots, ballerina-style pumps and converse-esque trainers. All flat, comfy and still fashionable.

Jumpers: There will be some days when you’ll feel so down about your body that you will just want to hide away under a jumper. That’s OK, on some days. But these will be the days when your husband needs to step up his game, tell you that you’re beautiful, how proud he is of you and how he can’t believe his luck. It’s good to have a few cosy jumpers on hand, but it helps if they’re ones that you like, rather than ones that make you feel frumpy.

All in all ladies, post-baby, you have to do whatever you can to make yourself feel comfy and good. The two can mix, and when you hit the right combination not only do you feel more like yourself, but you can see that hint of yummy-mummy appearing. And the more you see that, the bigger it’ll get until you can give yourself that title and feel proud of it.

Because you are a yummy mummy – after all, someone found you attractive enough to put you in this position in the first place!!

That’s my fashion-plan for the next few months – what are your tips and tricks for a post-baby wardrobe?

Friday Five 27/02/15 – Five Things I Want My First Child to Know Before My Second Child Arrives

IMG_5474 - CopyIn just a few weeks we’ll be welcoming the arrival of our second little boy. As yet, he remains nameless but healthy and that’s all that matters! He has been a wonder to carry but it will be another nine months of health issues and anxiety that I’ll be happy to put behind me as we start the next chapter of our lives.

But in doing so I recognise that there are a few things I really want my first child to know before baby number two makes his appearance. After all, I doubt he’ll remember anything of these first two years with us before our family of one-two-three became four. 

It’s lovely that he’ll always think of us as having been a unit of four, a solid square that can withstand anything, but I guess in these first two years we’ve been more of a triangle. My husband and I have poured more love and energy into this boy than we ever did with anything before. No project was ever as big as this, no mountain was ever as tiring, no achievement was ever as rewarding. 

 So, baby boy (I won’t be able to call you that for much longer!), here are five things that I want you to know before your baby brother leaves the safe space of ‘Mummy’s Tummy’ and enters our world. 

 1) You were (and still are) so wanted.

We planned and prepared to change from a one-two into a three. We wanted you so much and were so sad when our first pregnancy ended in loss. But we know now that if that first baby had survived then we wouldn’t have had you. We would have loved that baby with as much ferocity as we love you, but he/she would not have been you

 Our tears shed on that day only served to lead us to the point of wanting you more. The fear when I started bleeding at 7 weeks, and then again at 11 weeks, of my pregnancy with you will never compare to the complete and utter love we felt when we saw your little face on the ultrasound screen – and even more so when we saw it on the day you were born. 

 2) The day you were born was hard.

I won’t lie. I generally don’t tell people about your birth, and will probably never tell you unless you ask. But it wasn’t an easy one. Nor was it easy for your dad who had to watch me go through so much pain. I steer clear of “birth story” sharing with other pregnant ladies because I don’t want to scare them. It was tough and probably (hopefully) the hardest day of my life. I pray every day that your baby brother comes out with more ease than you. 

 You are a fighter and a survivor and I am so thankful for that instinct in you. I hope and pray it grows to make you a resilient and dedicated man. Your wife and children will appreciate those qualities. 

 3) The day you were born was worth it.

Despite my prayers of an easier second birth, I would go through that day every day if it meant keeping you safe and well. It may not have been easy but it was so worth it. We have one photo from not too long after your birth where I am holding you and there are smears of blood on my hand – I love it. It encapsulates everything from that morning. As does the photo of you asleep, cradled in the curve of my arm with the cannula in the background, transfusing blood into me so that we could go home as soon as possible.

They tell the story of you, me and your Daddy – and I would do it all again every day if it meant keeping you safe and well. 

You, and the life ahead of you, were worth every moment. Never forget that. When a kid trips you up or a girl turns you down, when your grades aren’t great or an employer says no – remember that you are worth so much and always will be to me and your Daddy. 

 4) Our family of three was great.

There was absolutely nothing wrong with our little family of three. I know you’re probably too young to understand a lot of what is going on, and maybe we’ll be lucky and skip the sibling jealousy, but we’re not having your baby brother because three wasn’t enough. There were nights we lay in bed and marvelled at the fact that we were a three, and how lucky we were that the third was you.

Your baby brother will enhance our family. He is not coming to fix us, but to improve us. Had we forever been a three we would have been just as happy with our lot. 

God granted us a little number four and we know that the experience of having a sibling was and is something we want for you because we had that experience ourselves. One day we may well find ourselves a one-two-three-four-five, but there are no plans for that. Your baby brother will make your life even better, the way you made our lives so much better. Our one-two-three was amazing – never doubt that. 

 5) There will always be time for you.

Life with a newborn can be hectic and foggy. Sleepless nights, tiring days, visitors who come all at once and then go, leaving the four of us to muddle through the best we can until we find our rhythm. But know this – there will always be time for you. Though there will be feedings and more nappies and maybe a baby who won’t sleep anywhere other than on Mummy or Daddy, there will always be time for you. Whatever you want to tell us will be heard, whatever you want to show us will be seen, whatever you want to do with us will be done (within reason, baby boy – I’m not eating Cheerios off the carpet with you!) 

 We are fortunate enough to be surrounded by family. Your grandparents will always have time for you. Your extended family will always have time for you. Our friends who have become like family will always be there for you. Whether it’s a drum lesson or some cuddles you’re after, a kick around or a place to crash when you’re mad at us… both we and they will provide that space and time for you – for your beautiful little face and your amazing big personality. 

 Our love for you will not split with the arrival of your brother. Rather, our hearts will grow to accommodate extra love, extra time, extra vitality and strength. Your space will not get squashed. Our triangle becomes a square. Our one-two-three becomes a four. You were a fantastic only child but you’ll be an even better big brother. 

Thanks so much for reading! Please like, share, comment and retweet – your encouragement means so much. Come and find me on Facebook at facebook.com/mumwriting or Twitter at @mumwriting. Have a lovely weekend 🙂