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Becoming a NICU mum

Becoming a NICU mum

This isn’t how it was supposed to pan-out.

We all anticipate how our babies will arrive and try to envisage that spectacular moment our little creation enters the world.

Then fate cruelly interjects and suddenly the dream bubble that’s been floating above your head for the past few months is torn in two and is replaced with the sound of beeping machines, the hustle and bustle of a busy ward and the reality of this tiny fragile human-being with wires and tubes protruding ever limb on their helpless little bodies.

It’s a massive shock to the system and you’re expected to just take it in your stride. As if becoming a mum for the first time or adding to your brood isn’t enough to take on board, now there’s the fear that this little part of you, won’t make it.

When they are born, that’s the helpless moment you lose the ability to protect your little one safely inside your body, the moment they leave your body, the responsibility then leaves you and is passed on to the nurses and doctors, which although we are grateful for, is heartbreaking, because all we want to do is cuddle our little bundles of joy and keep them safe in mummy’s arms.

With a “normal delivery” mum’s are so excited to finally meet their new addition, but during premature birth we have the fear of the unknown, knowing your baby may not breathe or be born with long-term health complications.

You would be judged for saying this isn’t what you wanted to happen, but I can’t quite understand why someone would pass judgement on the feelings of something they have no understanding of.

We don’t feel disappointment and sadness because this premature baby has become an inconvenience to our lives, quite the opposite.

It’s sadness for our baby and disappointment that this person we love more than anything else on the planet it having to struggle through the early days, weeks, months and sometimes even years of their life.

We call them fighters, because they are.

We call them miracles, because they are.

We wouldn’t change them because we love them in a specially particular way after being astounded by their strength….

But would we, if we had the choice wish they had never had to go through this?

Of course we would!

I look at Jack now, my waters went with him at 25+5 weeks and he was born at 29+5 weeks, spending 40 days in NICU and I’m still astounded by what he went through as a 3.5lb preemie. But the heartbreak of seeing my tiny baby squeal in pain with needle after needle, knowing his body couldn’t provide what he needed to keep him alive breaks my heart and I’d of taken it all for him if I could.

Nobody hopes to become a NICU mum, but once you are one, all you do is hope.

Hope that your little one makes it through the fight for their life.

I’m just one of the lucky ones my fighter made it through unscathed.

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Tips for the pregnant bride

Most women dream about looking a million dollars on their big day, getting in great shape to fit in their perfect dress, well I’m not most  women, I was 28 weeks pregnant at my wedding!

So now I’ve been there and done it, I’m sharing some tips to make sure you enjoy your day and look after yourself at the same time.

Tip #1 – Flat shoes

I know, I know…heels elongate your legs, look much prettier and let’s face it they just make you feel better about yourself when you’re wearing them…unless you’re pregnant, then they are blister breeding, ankle swelling shackles of death. Plus if you’re anything like me, your balance is off in pregnancy so it’s best to be in flats. If you have your heart set on heels, just wear them down the aisle, trust me get some comfy shoes for the evening…you’ll thank me later!

Here’s the DIY Converse I did for my wedding:

 

Tip #2 Rest & take the help

Leading up to my wedding I planned everything down to a T, I made sure everyone knew their jobs and delegated, so all I had to do was sit back and enjoy, trust me no-one is gonna say no to a pregnant lady! I stressed up until the night before, then I got as much sleep as possible and just let the day flow, there’s no point stressing on the day, because you won’t enjoy it as much, plus stress & hormones don’t mix! So put aside your pride and take all the help offered!

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Tip #3 Eat

This is important for all brides, but if you’re pregnant it is especially important to keep yourself hydrated and fed, you are making another human being after all. Plus you don’t want to lose part of the day needing to lie down or going dizzy and needing to go hospital. If you want to eat you eat, even if you have to nick a slice of wedding cake, no-one’s going to argue with a pregnant lady!

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Tip #4 Pick a comfy dress

I borrowed my dress from a friend who was pregnant when she got married, it had a lot of give around the tummy and was strapless, it was a lovely dress but I knew it might get heavier by the evening so I bought a £30 back up dress from Amazon, it had one shoulder and was very lightweight and breathable, I was so glad I brought it.

Tip #5 Be prepared for comments

The main comment everyone will ask you is “Was it planned that you would be pregnant at the wedding?” or leading up to the wedding you may get “Don’t you want to postpone until the baby is here?” or the one I unbelievably got more than a few times was “Oooh what if she’s born at the wedding?” I was 28 weeks pregnant at my wedding, considering I had been 29 weeks when my eldest was born, this was more of an insult than just a passing comment, but as hard as it was (especially with hormones) I had to let it go, just realising no-one means any harm, they just don’t think before speaking, it’s not worth letting it ruin your big day. All that matters is you are marrying the person you love…

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Tip#6 Be prepared for an early-ish night

Most people party until the early hours at their wedding, I was ready for the car to pick us up by 9pm. Don’t get me wrong I loved every minute, but I was pregnant and exhausted…I wanted my big comfy bed and spa hotel, which brings me to my last tip…

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Tip#7 Make your honeymoon your babymoon

For those that don’t know a babymoon is a little break for mum and dad-to-be before baby comes, so unless you’re loaded you probably can’t afford one as well as a wedding. So if you were planning a honeymoon make sure it’s actually to rest, not an activity filled adventure. We went to a spa hotel an hour away and had 2 nights of massages, relaxing and lots of food.

Most of all this goes for all brides…enjoy the day! So you are pregnant, so what?! What is more special than walking down the aisle to the person you love with your baby growing inside of you.

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Christmas Gift Guide Request

I’m creating a Christmas Gift Guide of tried and tested toys!

I will try some my self with the kids and also accept reviews from real mum’s & kiddies with pictures!

If you would like to get in contact for my boys aged 1 & 2 to try your product or to send your review in for consideration then please get in contact via Facebook or Twitter!!

Happy Holidays!christmas-presents

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Halloween with kids ideas!

I had so many ideas for Halloween with the boys but unfortunately they got struck down with a sickness bug, they are recovering now, but since they are too young to understand Halloween I saw no need to dress them up when it would benefit them more having a cosy day in their PJs. Plus it’s the one night a month they spend at Nanny’s house, so they’re having a quiet one!

But saying that I do love Halloween and think kids are adorable dressed up for it! I really wanted to do Jack dressed as Chucky and Mikey as the baby from The Adam’s Family. I then saw a friend of mine on Facebook, Harriet, who has a baby the same age as Mikey, dressed her and her son Luca up for a Halloween competition and won 1st and 2nd Place!

Like me, Harriet likes to create a lot of homemade sensory activities for her son, she gets creative and look at the results!

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Harriet was kind enough to let me use her pictures for this post!

So there you go a fun and creative way to dress up with your little on for Halloween.

If any readers have pictures of their cute little ones, comment with them or send them in via Facebook or Twitter!

Happy Halloween!

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The screaming, kicking & punching terrible 2’s are here!

Jack turns two on the 11th November, it’s hard to believe that my tiny premature baby that was born at 29+5 weeks Gestation is almost two!

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Especially since he started not even being able to breathe by himself and now he has got a whole personality of his own, saying words, starting to string sentences together, feeding himself, knowing he does NOT want to use the potty and of course the reason they are called the terrible two’s….the tantrums.

He’s always been very loving and affectionate especially to his little brother, but I will give you a few scenarios in the last week that have shown the sudden change in his behaviour.

Tantrum 1 – Biting

We were playing “tractor” which started with me getting a picture of a tractor on google images for Jack to point at and say “tractor” to on my laptop, we have gradually progressed and now he says around 30-40 words, the other day we were playing a lovely game of tractor when Jack started smacking the laptop, so I looked at him and said “No Jack, that’s naughty”, he looked at me with anger, his body went rigid with rage, he ran over to his Daddy who was laid on the sofa and without any warning, bit him on the leg! There was pure anger, from nowhere! All of a sudden he was fine and accepted being told off, he gave Daddy a kiss and a cuddle with an apology. But it was so shocking! He has never bitten before!

Tantrum 2 – Raisins

Jack loves eating his dinner, him and Mikey sit side by side in their high chairs and never have any objections, except for Tuesday, on Tuesday this all changed. He screamed and went rigid, he wouldn’t calm down and just stormed about screaming, then all of a sudden walked over to the table and pointed at a box of Raisins, we handed him the box and he was fine, he then got in his high chair and ate all of his dinner. I didn’t see this as giving into him, as I’d happily give him a snack and considering he ate all of his tea, I saw his anger as frustration that he couldn’t communicate what he wanted.

Tantrum 3 – Bath time

Bath time is Jack’s favourite time of day hands-down, so when I get him out of it, there is a 5 second struggle until he remembers he then gets to watch a bit of Peppa Pig and have his night time bottle. Tonight I laid him on the towel and he kicked, punched and scratched, it only lasted for maybe 20 seconds then he was fine, he had his nightly inhaler and calmed down, I was in shock though, shock that my tiny snuggly baby that needed me to survive would try and hurt me! I know he doesn’t know the difference and is learning from his emotions, but still it’s hard to deal with!

They say that a toddler’s hormones are the same as a teenagers, well if Jack’s feeling the hormones I felt as a teenager I’m going to run and hide…this can only get worse!

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The daily battles of being a Mum

There’s always something that “could be done” in my house, whether it’s housework, paperwork, something with the kids etc. There’s never nothing to do! As I’m sure most mother’s can relate to.

Take the dishes for instance, I can clean the entire Kitchen and nothing makes more of a difference to the naked eye than the dishes, they look the messiest and soon pile up, doing them instantly makes the place look better….so why do I leave them until last?! They’re not hard to do, I don’t mind getting my hands dirty, but I will make excuses in my mind! Like “There will be more upstairs, might as well do them all in one go, so wait”, “They’re one of the quickest jobs to do so leave them until last” or my favourite “There isn’t enough there to justify doing them, wait until there is more”. None of which really matters, because that is all they are….excuses. I just don’t know what it is about them dishes I just can’t seem to get the motivation!

Vacuuming, it makes me feel like a good housewife, while doing it and sniffing in the vacuum smell I boast to myself in my head (Sad? Yes I know) about how tidy my house must be that there is enough floor space to vacuum it! If the house isn’t tidy, the vacuum’s collecting dust in a whole different way…by being sat in the broom cupboard, because I’m telling you if there isn’t a spotless house to vacuum, it isn’t getting done. Therefore vacuuming is a triumph.

Matching socks, the peril of my life. I never saw matching socks as that big an issue, until I became a mum, then suddenly if your child has odd socks it instantly puts you in the “bad mum category”. Not that I think you’re not a great mum if your child has matching socks, I take my hat off to you, but it really isn’t that big a deal to me. I am not a greatly religious person, but since having children I do believe in Sock Heaven.

Milestones, sorry to sound brash but I don’t give a shi*t what milestone my child is at. I only have two children, but they are complete and utter opposites. When parents compare at what age their children teethe, hold their head up, crawl, walk etc. It really gets on my nerves! Every child is different and will develop differently, the will do it, just in their own time. For me personally I am in no rush for my baby to take one more step away from being a baby!

The daily battles of being a momma never end, but they will be the battles we miss when our babies are all grown up! Enjoy it while it lasts!

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Turning One

On the 1st October my youngest baby Mikey Moo will be one!

Time has flown so quickly, this time last year I was preparing my self to have a C-section with my Breach baby!

Then at 11:57am weighing 4lb12oz my gorgeous Michael David Woodhouse was born.

6 months to the day after my Dad died, he brought us light in the darkest of times.

Here are some pics from the last 12 months:

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