Happy 10 Months Eden

Happy 10 Months Eden

10 month old, the baby, dontcallmestepmummy, milestones
Happy 10 months Eden

So, 9 days ago in the midst of madness our ‘Thumbelina’ became 10 months old.  Only when at a wedding the day after being asked how old she was and giving my ‘9 months’ answer, did I realise… the day before had changed this fact.  Oops, we had missed her milestone in the midst of the chaos.  I have been wanting to post about our teeny tiny princess all week but life has just been too hectic.  Sitting here in the aftermath of Shayla’s birthday party am I finally free to write this post.

Eden has come on leaps and bounds this month, after just finally mastering crawling last month, she is now pulling herself up to stand against the sofa, cruising around the furniture, rapidly getting around our open plan downstairs (dining room/kitchen/living area) and it scares me.  All of a sudden, I realise that I am not going to have one toddler but two on my hands.  I certainly will be kept busy making sure that inappropriate things are out of reach, that they play together without potentially harming each other, and continually chasing the pair of them around the home.  As daunted as I am though, I am also really excited.  It’s really scary watching your last baby grow up, knowing that it marks the end of an era but it’s also lovely knowing that there will be an end to nappies and sleepless nights (until they become adolescents and start going out in the evenings)… eventually.

pulling up to stand, milestones, 10 months old, baby, standing
so happy and proud of herself, propped against one of many birthday deliveries

I am currently trying to work out how people go about weaning babies out of breastfeeding.  Eden will take a bottle but I still want her to have my milk until she’s 1 year old.  I am trying to prepare myself emotionally for this change, also the practicality of it.  I will be sad when this phase is over but also it will be a bit more freeing for her to be able to go and stay at Nana’s occasionally when Judah goes.  With Judah, because I was so unwell pregnant with Eden he just stopped feeding from me at around this age.  At 10 months old he realised it was easier to get milk from the bottle and used me as a chew toy.  Well, whilst suffering with hyperemesis gravidarum and being mostly bed bound, I wasn’t up for this much, but then cried like… well, a hormonal pregnant person when he stopped feeding from me because I felt rejected.  So, you could say that I’ve not experienced successful weaning before.

If anyone could send me some links to some tips, I want to do this not because I’m OCD and that’s when I said I would finish, I honestly think because she is so small and still has no teeth I would just carry on forever if I didn’t plan it though, but I am unwell and in need of medication that I just can’t take whilst I’m feeding my princess.  I made a choice that I would bare with the dreaded ‘monthlies’ until she was one and then make sure I was fighting fit all month around, especially as by then, they’ll both be able to run rings around me if I need a couple of days bed rest.  It just won’t be practical at all.

With Shayla’s birthday party out of the way and Eden’s 1st birthday looming, I am aware I need to start planning.  We are thinking of combining her Dedication (similar to a Christening but more about her making a choice when she’s older) with her first birthday so it will be more than just a few people at home.  I was too daunted back in May when this was supposed to have originally taken place, anxiety’s were extremely high, but there was also a death in our church family the eve before what would have been her dedication and we knew it was right that we had moved it.  It would’ve been a truly sombre day if we had gone ahead (God knows everything).

Wish me luck with all the planning *smiles*.

Happy 10 months Eden xx we love you and we’re proud of you
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9 months old – Eden

9 months old – Eden

Eden 2

It has taken our pint-sized princess a long time to be able to do things such as going on the swings as she is just so dainty.  She could sit up, she just wasn’t steady enough, or big enough to even be wedged into the swing with a blanket or anything.  Trust me, I tried.  I am so happy that she can now start to join in with everyone.

Don’t get me wrong, knowing that Eden is my last baby has made me even more aware that they grow up too soon and I don’t want to rush her past her milestones.  Saying that, because she has been so tiny (even at 9 months she is still in 0-3 months clothes) I have wanted to make sure that she is developing properly, whilst not encouraging it too much as I don’t want her to be pushed into anything before she’s ready.

She seems to be becoming a toddler before our very eyes, she is crawling albeit not very fast yet, but she can get wherever she wants to go with bum shuffles, commando crawls and of course rolling.  She can chatter away with the best of them, phrases include ‘hiya, nana, dada, mummy, yeah, bye bye, I want bread (no joke) followed by the confiming word ‘bread’ when we asked what she had said.  Trying to pull herself up to stand, and although she can weight bear she can’t quite manage this one yet.

I just know that very soon she’ll be one and walking and I’ll be wondering where my baby went?  The one thing I can’t wait for is for her hair to grow.  I cannot wait to be able to put it in teeny tiny pigtails and then when she’s older all the cute girls hairstyles that her big sisters love so much.

She has always been such a well-behaved baby, and it’s very easy to almost forget that she’s around as she’s just so content, but now that she’s crawling and chunnering away, I think I’m going to become astutely more aware as the possibilities and potential dangers are now a lot broader for our little baby.

munching breakfast
munching breakfast

Happy 9 months Eden xxx we love you very much
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The Baby Diaries – Judah – week twenty-one (our holiday in Paphos)

Baby Diaries

The Baby Diaries – Judah – week twenty-one (our holiday in Paphos)

week 21

Most people like to use the excuse of ‘eating for two’ when they’re pregnant, although scientifically this is inaccurate.  Your body is actually more efficient when you’re pregnant, your metabolism increases causing you to need about an extra 500 calories a day.  Sorry.

My pregnancy journal as seen notes that your appetite will increase at around this stage.  For me this wan’t the case, Due to my hypermesis gravidarum I could barely keep anything down and as a result had become very fussy, just wanting bland stodgy food like toast, potatoes etc.  I pretty much took my only bump photo on this holiday, I stuck my tummy out as I liked looking pregnant (especially as I’m overweight to begin with, it was nice for a season to look like I had a genuine reason to be fat haha).

Bump_1.JPG

How beautiful is Paphos? and to think this was early February, being in the warm was definitely a welcome break.  I enjoyed being on holiday a lot, we seemed to go at a season and to a resort were most of the people were aged 50+.  Obviously we weren’t going to be out drinking and partying, we had gone all inclusive so that we didn’t need to worry about cost, so I had a lot of virgin cocktails whilst James enjoyed the watered down limitless spirits and cocktails.  James and I decided to embrace the fun and join in most of the activities, I won the darts championship one day, shuffleboard (haha, now I sound old), sucked at the archery and rifle shooting, but obviously as an ex entertainer won their version of X factor singing Leona Lewis’ version of ‘Run’ in the talent show.  We thought it was funny collecting the certificates and there wasn’t much else I could do as on the odd days we did do trips round the ‘Tombs of the Kings’ and to some beaches, and shopping, I was just too exhausted as it was hot and I hadn’t been able to keep down much food.

I have to say the only thing that upset me on this holiday was not having the girls with us.  We kept seeing things that they would enjoy, activities they would be good at, sights we wished we could share.  We vowed not to go away without children again apart from overnight or long weekends at a push.  It was important for us to have that couple time before the babies came along and it continues to be important for us to have dates.  Something we struggle to schedule in but are trying to get better at.

holiday selfie
holiday selfie

We would go swimming every day in the afternoon, so my hair spent most of it’s time plaited to not become a hassle.  I hated dealing with my hair when I was pregnant.  It just irritated me, funny what hormones do to you, I think if I could carry it off a pixie cut would have been adopted quick smart.

Here are the notes I made in my pregnancy journal this week :

How am I feeling this week?

Energy : Good, joined in most of the games, went swimming every day, early nights were still needed though.

Mood : great, had a fantastic holiday in the sun with my hubby to be.  Took lots of photos in and around cyprus with bump.

tomb of the kings
a much needed sit down in one of the tombs

Appetite : very little I can eat on this all inclusive, and I have a very little appetite.

Cravings : mainly salted potatoes ie. chips, hash browns etc. and ice-cream as it’s been hot but my body doesn’t want dairy.

Sickness : not really subsided but travel and heat won’t have helped.

The best thing was I got to spend Valentines Day with my amazing fiance, who was crazy enough to go into the freezing swimming pool, that NO other guests were using.  Daniel Craig eat your heart out lol.
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Daniel Craig eat your heart out
Daniel Craig eat your heart out

The Baby Diaries – Judah – week twenty (the anomaly scan)

Baby Diaries

The Baby Diaries – Judah – week twenty (the anomaly scan)

week 20

There are a lot of questions you may forget to ask when you attend your anomaly scan, it is so easily done.  There you are seeing your baby looking more like a real human as opposed to the more skeletal version you would’ve seen at the dating scan.  This is when if the scan is clear you can make out whose nose baby has, or even if they have big feet.  It is so mesmerising seeing your child there wriggling around and just that awareness that ‘hey, there’s a little person alive inside of me.’

Again, I was quite numb and unexpectant when I made my list as you can probably tell from above.  I had the ‘Your Pregnancy Bible‘ book and had read it a lot.  So, the questions I had written down where the ones I deemed important to me to check.

I found everything about going for the anomaly scan both exciting and nerve wracking.  I was so nervous that there may be something up with our ‘rainbow baby’ but also was excited by the little tasks such as drinking the correct amount of water (approximately half a litre) to make sure that the sonographer could get the best picture that was possible.

This scan takes a lot longer than the dating scan as they have lots to check, that all the internal organs are growing and at the right size,  Here is a list from babycentre

What will the sonographer look at on my scan?

The sonographer will examine all your baby’s organs and take measurements. She will look at:

  • The shape and structure of your baby’s head. At this stage severe brain problems, which happen very rarely, are visible.
  • Your baby’s face, to check for a cleft lip. Cleft palates inside a baby’s mouth are hard to see and are not often picked up.
  • Your baby’s spine, both along its length, and in cross section, to make sure that all the bones align, and that the skin covers the spine at the back.
  • Your baby’s abdominal wall, to make sure it covers all the internal organs at the front, as well as check the placenta, umbilical cord and the amniotic fluid
  • Your baby’s heart. The top two chambers (atria) and the bottom two chambers (ventricles) should be equal in size. The valves should open and close with each heartbeat. Your sonographer will also examine the major veins and arteries which carry blood to and from your baby’s heart
  • Your baby’s stomach. Your baby swallows some of the amniotic fluid that he lies in, which is seen in his stomach as a black bubble.
  • Your baby’s kidneys. The sonographer will check that your baby has two kidneys, and that urine flows freely into his bladder. If your baby’s bladder is empty, it should fill up during the scan and be easy to see. Your baby has been doing a wee every half an hour or so for some months now!
  • Your baby’s arms, legs, hands and feet. The sonographer will look at your baby’s fingers and toes, but not count them.

The other main thing they will check is where your placenta is lying.  I had placenta praevia which meant that my placenta was lying low under the baby.  They arrange for another scan in your third trimester if this is the case (usually at around 36 weeks) just to make sure that it has moved out of the way of the birth canal.  If this isn’t the case they will usually recommend a caesarean section.

20 week scan
20 week scan

Don’t forget that it’s at this stage that you can find out if it’s a boy or a girl if you want to.  My friends had a student sonographer who took a lot longer and then they forgot to ask even though they had previously intended to. They went the rest of the pregnancy expectant for the surprise and made the most out of it, don’t think they were disappointed with not knowing for long.  I on the other hand would not have been able to cope with that.  I’d have been paying for an extra scan.

You can arrange an earlier sex determining scan from as early as 17 weeks if you wanted to book one privately if you just can’t wait to find out.  I debated this *coughs* control freak.  I looked into the 4d scans, baby scan have places all over the country.  I decided that I would still have to wait for the baby to arrive and it would be good practice for me to get used to waiting.  Pregnancy definitely makes you patient, or teaches you patience in preparation for the baby that will require a lot.

We of course found out we were having a little boy and James was beside himself.  He had decided in his head that he could only produce girls and was very pleasantly surprised.  It was a special thing for me to able to provide him with his first son.  It is hard being an expectant mum in a blended family and this was a special first for us as a couple.
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The Baby Diaries – Judah – week five to twenty (am I really pregnant?)

Baby Diaries

The Baby Diaries – Judah – week five to twenty (am I really pregnant?)

After you’ve had a miscarriage it’s really difficult to accept that you are pregnant. They call a pregnancy after a miscarriage a ‘rainbow baby.’

The urban dictionary defines this as :

A “rainbow baby” is a baby that is born following a miscarriage or still birth.

In the real world, a beautiful and bright rainbow follows a storm and gives hope of things getting better. The rainbow is more appreciated having just experienced the storm in comparison.

The storm (pregnancy loss) has already happened and nothing can change that experience. Storm-clouds might still be overhead as the family continue to cope with the loss, but something colourful and bright has emerged from the darkness and misery.

“We lost our last pregnancy, but now we have a rainbow baby.”

Judah's 1st scan
Judah’s 1st scan

Even though we had a successful 1st scan which showed that I had conceived only 10 days after I had miscarried I couldn’t accept that I was pregnant with Judah until we got to 20 weeks.  This was so bizarre as I had horrendous hyperemis  gravidarum all throughout this stage.  I would say that baby was reminding me by my extreme morning sickness that they were in there, but a part of me still couldn’t believe they would make it to the outside world.  I didn’t buy him anything, I stopped writing in the pregnancy journal. I was so fearful of losing him. My husband (then fiancé) and I attended a church in London (Hillsong) whilst we were down visiting family (we’d been to see ‘Les Miserables’ the night before). As we were singing along with one of the songs in the worship time the lyrics were ‘death has been defeated by love, You overcome’ I felt God speak to my heart. This baby would stick, this baby was not going to be allowed to die. This baby’s life was mapped out before them ready for them to step into. I began to have hope again for this child.

We got engaged in this season, this was pre-planned as we were waiting for James’ divorce papers (read my post on Our Complicated History to better understand), James was designing and having my engagement ring made. We were planning our wedding even though we weren’t engaged officially, as we had set the date, and wanted to go full steam ahead with plans as soon as we got engaged. I was still teaching at a Performing Arts Academy (that the girls go to now), basically, I had a lot to distract my mind in this season.

Only at the 20 week scan (which was on my 29th birthday) did I fully accept this pregnancy and begin to plan accordingly. I had scheduled our apartment with the registry office to apply for our marriage license for later in the day just incase of any problems, and we had a holiday booked for the next day. We had a week in Paphos, Greece which we then treated as our babymoon as we knew all was ok.

20 week scan
20 week scan

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The Baby Diaries – Judah – Week One to Four (conception)

Baby Diaries

The things that I wrote in the beginning of my pregnancy journal for Judah aren’t actually about Judah.  This seems bizarre looking back, I had forgotten this had happened, and was too sad to throw it away and buy a new one, seemed wrong.

So, I have the record of the baby we conceived before Judah in his pregnancy journal. I wasn’t sure whether to document it here, but all of my thoughts still applied to Judah, I just didn’t really go through the same emotions when I found out I was pregnant with Judah as I was so scared of losing him, I didn’t fully embrace the pregnancy until 20 weeks and my brain allowed me to acknowledge there was a little life growing inside of me. I have taken the information out of my pregnancy journal so that Judah can see and decide how he feels about it all when he’s older. One thing he will know is he was so desperately wanted. He lit up the world when he arrived.

Below in italics is everything recorded in my handwritten journal

week one

Week One

I didn’t realise that this could be the month that I would get pregnant. My last period started on the 4th August 2011 (3 days late). I did a pregnancy test this week as I started spotting and though it was implantation bleeding. Test was negative (makes me wonder if I am indeed a month further along). James and I love each other very much. We were excited and planning a beautiful baby, we were disappointed when the test result came back negative. I had my routine smear and swabs at this point, all came back clear. Good start for baby.

Week Two

This was an interesting week, I drank a bit this week (unlike me), went out with friends and had a drink, not knowing that I would conceive at the end of this week. Went out to a club and got thrown across the floor by the owner (don’t ask). Luckily this incident didn’t happen a week later or it could have caused an early miscarriage and I would never have known I was carrying a beautiful baby. I received a 2 hour full body massage this week, Bess massaged my tummy and I felt something healing. Little did I know I would conceive around the next day. I felt like something good must be around the corner as everything keeps going wrong.

Week Three

How I felt when I found out I was pregnant

I didn’t find out at this stage, I was on holiday with my love at the end of this week. Had my last drink and gave up alcohol from the beginning of September. When I did a test a couple of weeks later I cried with happiness, I couldn’t believe it, I was overjoyed. I called James and then my mum straight away.

How my partner felt

In his words ‘I was elated and excited, very proud to make a baby with my beautiful lady. Impatient to see what baby looks like, if it’s going to look like it’s mummy. Very, very, very happy. Excited to tell people, Nanny and Grandad (of future baby) were very happy. Thinking little baby will be the cutest baby in the world…oh yeah! Yatta!!’

Week Four

How am I feeling this week?

Energy – low, weak, needed sugar, fainted after coming out of a cave.

Mood – happy, was on holiday, felt a bit low at points, insecure for some reason.

Appetite – Ravenous all the time, felt like a pig this week, ate a lot of crisps and chocolate.

Cravings – anything bad that week. Ate all the goodies James’ parents had taken to the cottage.

Sickness – threw up in the cottage, mainly bile, headaches were awful that week.

Notes

Had a glass and a half of wine this week as I didn’t know I was pregnant, ate like a pig (at least now I know why).

Although with Judah’s conception it was different as it was 10 days after I had miscarried this baby. Had I not miscarried, the hope that was around at the beginning of this babies pregnancy would’ve been the same for Judah’s. I was so excited to have bought the pregnancy journal and started filling it in straight away. We went straight off to the supermarket to buy fruit and vegetables so that I could eat right. I hadn’t gotten as far as filling in the next few weeks before I started miscarrying. Read about my ‘Saying Goodbye’ here.

The day we lit a Chinese lantern and released it in the park to say goodbye to this angel baby was the day I told my Mum and my sister that I was pregnant again. I had no idea what would happen from then on, or that it would result in my beautiful baby boy, but I felt I needed to at least tell them. We all knew that evening we had hope.
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