Monday, 27 April 2015

Two Weeks Postpartum

I can't believe James is 17 days old today...I know every new mummy says this, but time goes really fast!

I've not taken any belly shots this week because it looks pretty much the same and as for weight loss this week, I lost 2lbs so I'm now down to 9st8 and have 11lbs more to lose. I've not really eaten healthy or done any exercise yet (midwife told me to wait till 6 week GP checkup), and I don't feel too worried as I know it will gradually come off, particularly as I get out and about and do more.

I think I forgot to mention in my last post, but the week before I gave birth my blood pressure shot up quite a bit and I've been on medication to bring it down for the past two weeks. They did blood tests and it wasn't pre-eclampsia, but pregnancy induced hypertension. I also have a subconjunctival haemorrhage in my right eye, which is a large area of redness in your eye. It could have been caused by the high blood pressure or from pushing during labour, but I'm very happy to say it's starting to fade because it looks quite scary!

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As for James...

Height/Weight: I'm a bit confused what his actual weight is because the Health Visitor and my Midwife gave me different figures. He's definitely still under 8lbs though, but is starting to look a lot chunkier. 

Routine: He's still feeding approximately every 2.5-3 hours, but most days he also cluster feeds for a few hours somewhere throughout the day which is quite draining. 

Sleeping: He sleeps a lot still and if he's not sleeping he wants to eat. At night he'll usually do 2 hour stretches of sleep which means most nights I get about 5 hours of broken sleep. The most frustrating thing about when he sleeps is the noises he makes - he grunts and squeals all night while passing wind or pooping. Apparently this is quite normal for newborns but it's quite hard to sleep through.

Eating/Feeding: As I said above for our routine, he feeds every 2-3 hours. I've also started expressing and tried him with a bottle of it on the weekend - which he loved! He seems to sometimes be a bit uncomfortable after breastfeeding and I think it may be something to do with me having a fast let down because after the bottle he was completely fine. I've struggled with breastfeeding quite  a bit, but not for the reasons most women seem to talk about. I've not necessarily found it that painful, that passed after the first week, but I have found it quite depressing and lonely. I often feel like I have to hide away when I feed him or draw the curtains. It makes me feel quite trapped because I'm the only person who can feed James and when he cluster feeds for hours at a time it only makes it worse. When I expressed and gave him a bottle, I felt a wave of pure happiness and I wondered whether that was the feeling I should have when feeding him all the time. If anyone has experienced this with breastfeeding I'd love to hear how you coped with it.

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Sizes: He still fits into Newborn and Up to 1 month clothing. Most of the time I have him in a plain white sleepsuit because I didn't want to spend lots on Newborn clothes when he probably won't be in them too long.

Milestones: He does little smiles and seems to be quite strong already during tummy time.

Thanks for reading

Katey
x


Monday, 20 April 2015

One Week Postpartum

On Friday 10th April at 3.54 James was born weighing 7lb3. I was 39+4 weeks pregnant and although I always thought this little guy would arrive early, it was a total shock when it happened! I am going to write up a post all about my labour and delivery in the next few weeks, so I won't talk too much about that today.

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Height/Weight: I'm not sure what length he was when he was born or what he is now, but his weight was 7lb3 and when my midwife came round to check on us he had put on 2oz. Most babies lose a bit of weight after birth but he didn't, so that's really reassuring, especially since I am breastfeeding.

Routine: He's got himself into a little feeding routine for the most part, and will wake up every 2 and a half to 3 hours to feed. Having said that I have had a few days where he's fed every hour for a few hours, which is really hard going seen as I'm breastfeeding and the only one who can feed him at the moment. I do want to do a full post on breastfeeding because it's been very up and down for me.

Sleeping: He sleeps pretty well at nighttime and wakes usually at about 11pm, 2am, 5am and then 7-8am. I've got used to having 6 hours of broken sleep a night and actually function pretty well with this, but I think breastfeeding makes this easier because I don't really have to get up unless he needs a nappy change.

Eating/Feeding: As I mentioned above, he feeds every 2 and a half to 3 hours. The only problem we have with eating at the moment is that he spits up a lot and seems to get a bit of wind discomfort - he can get quite grizzly and fussy, but never really cries about it. In the first five days or so he pooped all the time and they were very liquidy (as breastfed babies poo can be) but he's not doing as many now and I think this may be related to his gassiness.

Sizes: He fits newborn and up to 1 month if the sleeves are rolled up. 

Milestones: It's hard to say what has changed as the week has gone on as we've just been getting used to each other.

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Recovery: I had an uncomplicated delivery without epidural and no stitches, so my recovery has been pretty quick. I had one day where it did hurt to pee, but that was on about day 5 or 6 and I think it had to do with everything sort of tightening up again. I was very sore and tired for a couple of days and also swollen down there (which by the way was the most horrifying part for me after birth as I hadn't realised how much swelling would occur) but that's completely gone down now. Bleeding has slowed down loads, which I think is helped along by breastfeeding, and I had one day with intense cramps as my uterus was contracting back.

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Body: I've lost 20lbs and am down to 9st10, so I have 13lbs more to lose. I can't believe how quick it's come off, but I don't think I've been eating a huge amount and what with breastfeeding I guess I'm burning more than I'm consuming. I also think I have definitely had the baby blues this week and when I'm feeling depressed I don't really eat!

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I'm having to finish this post one handed as someone is a little grouchy now. Hopefully I have included everything I wanted to.

Thanks for reading...and if you have any advice or tips for a gassy baby, I'd love to know.

Katey
x

Monday, 6 April 2015

39 Weeks Pregnant!

I'm disappointed I didn't blog more the last week, but this last little bit of pregnancy has really taken it out of me...I'm just so tired all the time and basically can't be assed to do much! I'm hoping this will be my last or second to last update :)

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How far along? 39 weeks today!
Total weight gain: 33lbs...as far as I'm aware it's supposed to slow down at this point, but I have had so much less energy and slept a lot, so I shouldn't be surprised! The weight gain does scare me a bit though, especially seen as I've read other people's updates and I compare myself to how they've gained - silly really because everybody is different, as is every pregnancy!
Maternity clothes? Oh yes!! I feel huge!!
Stretch marks? Still only above my belly button ever so slightly and very faint white ones under my boobs!
Sleep: Crap!! I've got a bit of pregnancy insomnia and I also wake up aching multiple times throughout the night. I've been needing to sleep in the daytime because I don't think I'm fully rested when I get up in the morning.
Best moment this week: Really, there isn't any! I'm uncomfortable all the time and I'm starting to understand other pregnant ladies who just want their baby to arrive.
Miss anything? Having my body to myself and being able to do simple things like housework and walking.
Food cravings: None at all...although I've been eating a lot, I never really crave anything in particular, I just eat to fill a hole.
Anything making you queasy or sick? Occassionally I've felt a bit sick, but it's the stage I'm at rather than something in particular.
Gender: Boy
Labour signs: I've had loads of cramping, backache and braxton hicks this week - lots of ooh is it starting moments, but nothings come of it!
Symptoms: Heartburn, indigestion, swollen fingers, numb fingers on my right hand (carpal tunnel), braxton hicks, backache, very tired, difficulty walking and cramps. Oh and something I have forgotten to mention the past few weeks...my tummy is a bit unsettled. Sorry if this is a bit TMI, but on Mumsnet I've seen other pregnant ladies call it 'clear outs' in the lead up to labour - lovely!!
Belly button in or out? Still popping in and out.
Wedding rings on or off: On, but I want them off - just hoping my fingers don't swell any more! If I have one bit of advice for any pregnant ladies reading this, take your rings off once a day and when it gets difficult leave them off.
Happy or moody most of the time: Rarely happy right now, but not really moody, just a bit miserable I guess.
Looking forward to: Meeting my baby boy...I'm still a bit scared of how I'll cope when he arrives, but I want my body back and my baby out!

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All my pregnancy updates seem to have been really moany... 

But I have loved most of my pregnancy - I promise it's not all bad!

My hormones and moods have been great throughout. I've loved sharing my body with my baby and feeling him kick. It's just this last stage that is getting to me, as it does with most women I think.

I hope you've all had a fantastic weekend!

Katey
x

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Preparing for a Baby: Book Recommendations

Since finding out I was pregnant, I went a bit crazy trying to find out as much as I could about pregnancy and motherhood. I'm a bit of a nerd about learning (I wish that had been the case at school!).

When it comes to baby books, I've purchased well over ten but would only recommend three of them.

The first two are from the What to Expect series - 'when you're expecting' and 'the first year'. These books are brilliant for dipping in and out of because of how they're laid out - great when you want to find out something fast. They are also absolutely massive and contain so much information on almost all the topics you could want to know about. They've answered most of the pregnancy and baby related questions I've had, and have stopped my resorting to Google - which can be dangerous for any of us with anxious minds!

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The other book I would recommend is The Blissful Baby Expert by Lisa Clegg. This book is more about how to raise and guide your baby than What To Expect in the First Year, which is more fact based. I find that Lisa's book is slightly more middle ground in terms of routines than some of the other books I have read (such as Gina Ford's Contented Little Baby). But having said that, I still probably won't be trying to put in place as strict a routine as she advises. I think it's a great, easy to read book to help prepare you that gives you a bit of guidance and ideas about what you could do when your little one arrives. 

I bought The Blissful Baby Expert on my kindle, which I wish I hadn't because I would much prefer to be able to highlight and bookmark sections. I know you can do this on the kindle but I find it much easier with paperback. So if you are thinking about buying it, keep that in mind.

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One thing I would note...

When it comes to reading up and preparing for your baby's arrival I honestly think books and classes can only help to a certain extent, because at the end of it all, every baby is different and every family is different. I find a lot of what I've read has slipped from my mind somewhat and I'm still bloody scared about the arrival of my baby even though I've done loads of 'research'.

Have you got any book recommendations? I'd love to hear how you prepared for your baby's arrival!

Katey
x

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Pine Nut and Parmesan Salad

Trying to eat healthy doesn't really work for me if I have to eat boring, plain meals. So I was never a fan of salads because to me that meant, a few dry lettuce leaves with a chopped up tomato.

But then I started playing around with ingredients, dressings and jazzing things up a bit. And I have a new found love for them now. They're so refreshing, light and can be full of flavour and texture!

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about one of my favourites (click here to have a look), and today I want to show you another.

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Ingredients
A couple of handfuls of spinach, watercress and rocket (Approx 30-40g)
2 salad tomatoes
10 olives
2 slices of toast
1 tablespoon of olive oil mixed with 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
Handful of pine nuts
2 teaspoons or Parmesan cheese

Mix the spinach, watercress and rocket with chopped tomatoes, torn up toast and olives. 

Then drizzle with balsamic and olive oil dressing and sprinkle with Parmesan and pine nuts.

Do you have any salad combinations you love?

Katey
x
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