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 🙂

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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 🙂

Friday Five 06/02/2015 – Five Things That Scare Me about Being a Mum of Two

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I can’t wait to have two kids. I really, honestly, can’t. I’m so looking forward to seeing them interact and learn about each other and, eventually, play together. But I can’t say the prospect is totally fear-free. In fact, there are a few things that I’m scared of…

1) Mealtimes

This is probably my biggest fear. I remember not long after having my first, being proud of myself for managing to get the tea on the table and the baby asleep at the same time so that my husband and I could eat an evening meal together. How am I going to do that whilst entertaining a toddler as well? Yes, he’s getting better at playing by himself and the likes of Peppa Pig are often a blessing – especially when I’m trying to make dinner! But with a baby too? A baby who, in the first few months, is going to be totally unpredictable in terms of feeding, sleeping and pooing.

Mealtimes are something we’re working on with my little one at the moment. He loves finger food and hates actual meals like Stir Fry or Pasta Bolognese. So we’re working on a schedule with him at the moment where one day we eat a meal that I know has at least two preferred foods of his in, and then the next day we have a regular family meal. He’s just having to deal with it and it’s hard. (Strategies welcomed!) But doing all of that AND feeding a baby? Aargh!

2) Bedtimes

We have a great routine at the moment, but that will all change as we hope to get the first one into a bed before baby comes! So it’ll be all change there. But it’s so handy having two adults and one child to deal with. We tag team and it works well. But what do bigger families do?

Do two-child families have a kid each? Do you take it in turns so that each parent gets a night off? Or is it just all hands on deck, whatever goes? Again, strategies for this kind of thing would be great! Can we bath a baby at the same time as bathing a two year old? (The eldest only has oil in the bath because he has dry skin patches). Or will we have to do two bath times, two bedtimes and two routines entirely?

3) TV Judgement

Can we be honest here for a minute? Yes, our child watches TV. He also uses the iPad. Now, out of the two of them, we actually prefer iPad time because of the interaction, but he does have a couple of favourite programmes and (as I mentioned) Peppa is a genius at getting dinner ready!

Of course, we won’t just plonk the baby down in front of the TV. And there’ll be the new added element of sibling interaction to take some attention away from TV time. But when our two year old needs that quiet moment with Mr Tumble after an upset or an episode (or two) of Peppa so that tea can be ready on time… that’ll be when the health visitor turns up and sees a baby in the same room as a toddler and a TV. My second child’s first word will be Tumble. I can see it now. I’m not looking forward to the judgement (as there always is) about screen time.

We will be as adept as we can be at providing other activities for the two of them. But I think there may well always be time for Tumble…

4) Getting ready to leave the house

It’s already hard enough to get “coat, shoes, hat…” sorted for the boy whilst finding my boots, coat, scarf, keys, phone, purse and whatever else. I swear we carry the world around in that changing bag! I downsized at Christmas and got an absolutely beautiful, patterned bag in readiness for the new baby. I chucked out everything unnecessary that had found its way into that blasted thing and restocked and reorganised my beautiful new one. It works lovely at the weekends. Not so much on Grandparent Days (currently my working days) during which they might want his wellies, or posher clothes, or clothes for getting dirty in, or a waterproof coat, or extra nappies or… anything! I never know, so I try to stuff it all in there. We’re still using the old bag for that!

Will my beautiful new bag stay beautiful and not get completely ruined by the addition of extra nappies, muslins, spare clothes and bottles? I’m sure our old changing bag used to be lovely once… How is it going to be possible to get both of them ready, not sick or pooey or muddy, but dressed and clean AND myself on days when my husband isn’t in?

5) This may well be us.

Number four. This could be it. The last one. There are no plans for another. There were always plans for another after the first, despite how badly pregnancy and birth treated me! Now there are no plans other than to keep the four of us healthy and happy.

I’m not sad about that. If I was sad there would have been serious discussions and we would have come to some form of agreement, even if it was an agreement that for now we wouldn’t talk about it but maybe one day… There is no “one day…” discussion waiting to happen. So if I’m not sad about it, why does it scare me that maybe this is it? Can other mums shed some light?

Is it just that I need other friends to continually have children so that I can always enjoy new-born cuddles? Or is waiting for grandchildren my next round of nappies and muslins? I hope not, I’m only 25!!

Is this just the motherly instinct? Will that always be there? For now, let’s just deal with getting this one out safe and the eldest used to all the changes. Because there are a lot to come…

Thanks for reading! If you share some of the same worries, or have ways of dealing with them, PLEASE share your expertise. You can find me on Facebook at facebook.com/mumwriting or on Twitter at @mumwriting. You guys are brilliant, and your likes, shares, retweets and comments make me happy! Happy Friday!

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Friday Five 16/01/15 (Friday Eleven!)

I was nominated for the Liebster Award by BattleMum (http://battlemum.com), whom I follow on Twitter @Battle_Mum. Thank you for the nomination. Why not visit her blog via the link and give her a follow on Twitter too!

Before the notification popped up on my Twitter feed I’d never heard of the Liebster Award, possibly as I’m quite new to this here blogging thing! However, I’m willing and able to complete my nomination, and pass it on.

The rules of Liebster Award are:

Thank the person who nominated you, and post a link to their blog on your blog.

    1. Display the Liebster Award badge on your blog – the best way to do this is to save the image to your computer and upload to your post
    2. Answer 11 questions about yourself which will be provided to you by the person who nominated you (see below for my answers)
    3. Provide 11 random facts about yourself
    4. Nominate 5 to 11 blogs that you feel deserve the award and who have less than 200 followers
    5. Create a new list of questions for the blogger to answer

List these rules in your post and once you have written and published it, you must inform the people/blogs that you nominate that they have been nominated for the Liebster Award and provide a link to your post so that they can learn all about it. The easiest way seems to be through Twitter. Like me, they may not have heard of it before their nomination, so make sure these instructions are followed through!

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Below are my answers to those asked of BattleMum and my questions too. Hope you enjoy!

  1. When did you start blogging and why?

I have blogged on and off for the past few years about different subjects and topics, but I started my current blog Mum, Writing. just before Christmas 2014. It was a stupid time to start blogging as I quickly fell behind schedule on posting so I resumed blogging with purpose and passion in January of this year after the holidays. I guess the long term answer to ‘Why?’ is because I have a dream to write a novel and blogging helps to keep my writing fresh, give me new ideas and thoughts, and build something of an audience while I do it.

2. What is your earliest childhood memory?

I’m not sure it’s my earliest, but I very distinctly remember my first day school and being allowed to just play with Playmobil. I think I cried on the way in but I’m not sure. I know there were many days after that where I gave my parents grief by crying before school!

3. What is your favourite tv programme of all time and why?

Of all time? Friends. More recently, me and the husband have getting into more serious stuff like Homeland and The Blacklist, but I love sitcoms and of all the sitcoms in the world, Friends beats every single one for me.

4. If you could be an animal, what would you be?

I have to admit I’m not a big animal lover. But if I had to choose, I’d probably choose a cat, just because they’re pretty lazy.

5. What are your interests/hobbies?

Writing, obviously. I love reading too and was recently bought a Kindle, although I do love a real book! And probably spending time with friends and family, having a cup of tea and chatting. I’m pretty boring really!

6. How much time do you/can you dedicate to your blog?

I try to stick to a schedule of posting three times a week. This may change when N#2 makes his appearance in April! Either that, or I’ll have to be super organised to schedule posts in advance so that I don’t miss one whilst giving birth!!

7. What is your favourite food dish (pick only one dish) and say why?

Pasta. I grew up eating it and my kids will too. Any type will do!

8. Who do you look up to in life?

My parents. Happily married for over 30 years even though they have completely separate interests, and still making each other happy every day. They’re my inspiration!

9. Are you organised or disorganised?

Disorganised. I’ve posted about this on my blog, but I have a few things I try to do every day in order to keep my house somewhat tidy because if I didn’t do those we might end up living in squalor!

10. What is your favourite blog piece you have written (provide a link to it)?

My writing on how I “sleep trained” (or whatever you want to call it!) N#1. Not because of the subject, I just think it’s good writing of mine! You can find Part One here: https://mumwriting.wordpress.com/2015/01/05/attachment-parent-child-ferber-mum/

11. Name three things on your bucket list!

My lifetime bucket list? To own a different house (slightly bigger, slightly better!) To write a novel and have it published. And to take my kids to Orlando.

11 Random Facts about Me:

  1. I was born in my parents’ living room.
  2. I love Christmas.
  3. I don’t currently drive.
  4. When I was little, I wanted to be a postwoman.
  5. I have never been a member of a gym.
  6. I’ve never been to Ireland, even though I live in the UK.
  7. I love daytime naps.
  8. Love to cook, hate to bake.
  9. I would love to see the Northern Lights.
  10. I can’t swim.
  11. I always wanted three children. Then I had one and realised what it was like!

I would like to nominate the following people:

1. GlengormleyMum @GlengormleyMum http://glengormleymum.wordpress.com

2. Mummy MD @MummyMD

3. Zoe Dunn @abeautifulabode

4. Carry On Katy @carry_on_katy

5. Go Mama Go @GoMamaGo_co_uk

My apologies if someone has received a double nomination or has more than 200 followers, it was hard to find people who are just starting out like myself 🙂

My questions to you are:

  1. When did you start blogging and why?
  2. What is your favourite smell?
  3. How many hours of sleep do you get per night?
  4. Morning person or night person?
  5. What’s the most inspirational quote you’ve ever heard?
  6. Do you believe in God?
  7. What’s your favourite poem?
  8. Who do you look up to the most in life?
  9. Best film of all time?
  10. One beverage you couldn’t live without?
  11. What do you hope to have achieved in five years time?

I hope you all enjoy answering the questions and nominating other new bloggers. I look forward to reading yours and learning more about you, and also finding some new blogs to read and follow.

Thanks,

@mumwriting

Thanks for reading and finding out a bit more about me! You can find me on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook 🙂 Have a wonderful weekend!

Friday Five 02/01/15

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So, here we are – the start of a New Year and all of that stuff. You know, you’ve already seen I’m not making resolutions this year! Just a Bucket List which probably includes more than I would have made as resolutions anyway! But the quote above is true – whatever happened last year, forget about it, learn from it, move on and move up. This blog had a false start, which you’ll see if you ever fancy a scroll back through the posts. I started, failed to keep up with the demands that I’d put upon myself, so stopped. And now here I am, Bucket List in hand, planner ordered and ready to start again. So this week’s Friday Five (to get you motivated and upbeat)…

My Top Five Motivational Quotes

They need no explanations, just take them in:

1)

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3) d581a2eddf6cea6bd6f43dfc57b008314)f40db9d18967eb70b10d49745965d6eeAnd 5) (my favourite…) f7fabcc886b0c82ba96e97ac986dc7c2Have love like that – light up the whole sky!

Thanks for reading, and I hope you’re feeling somewhat cheered and geared up now. I’d love it if you commented, shared, re-tweeted, liked, and maybe came back another day! All comments and constructive criticism are welcome. Thanks again for stopping by!

 

 

Friday Five 12/12/14

Five Things I’m Most looking forward to about Christmas this year!

Last Christmas N#1 was only 7 months old. He basically rolled around on the floor while my husband opened his presents for him and then he napped while we had breakfast and opened our own presents. It was sweet and quiet and special, being his first Christmas in this big wide world! But this year, at one and a half, he’ll start to get some understanding of the whole amazing time of year – my absolute favourite holiday! So, here are my five things that I’m most looking forward to about Christmas this year…

1) Christmas Morning. Teaching my boy the tradition of waiting on the stairs while Daddy goes to check if Santa’s been (in other words, switch on the lights and make lots of “Oooh”s and “Ahhh”s to build anticipation.)

2) The look on his face when he figures out what presents are. He still didn’t really get the idea of presents on his first birthday, but I have a feeling he’ll get a bit wrapped up in it all this year.

3) Nap time. Yes, I will still look forward to nap time, even on Christmas Day. My little bundle of joy is exhausting at this age, especially for a pregnant Mummy, and it will give me and my husband some quality time together.

4) Family gatherings. With Italian heritage, family gatherings are crazy, unpredictable, full of food and plenty of fun. I adore them, especially at Christmas.

5) The food. Oh my goodness, is there a lot of food at Christmas! And I love all of it, and now my baby boy gets to enjoy it all with me (I hope – food can still be a tricky subject where N#1 is concerned.) But I am looking forward to a full fridge and a full stomach!

That’s my Friday Five folks! What are you looking forward to most about Christmas this year?