Thursday, 27 June 2013


Okay, it's been two weeks (I KNOW! Already!!), and I'm feeling great - tired, of course, but otherwise fine. I have to keep reminding myself that I did have major surgery only 16 days ago, and am still very much "in recovery".
It's very tempting to try to be superwoman, but eventually, the adrenaline will wear off and I need to be gentle on myself. Good to stay active, and increase your activity every day, but listening to your body after childbirth is so important. Babies are entirely dependent on us, so we need to be as healthy as possible. Here are the top tips for childbirth recovery I've learned in the past two weeks...

1) REST! - this is number one for a very good reason, rest is so important. It's virtually impossible when you have other kids, but resting when you can will make all the difference.
I was very lucky in the first ten days because I had both Steve and my mum to help with making dinner, doing bedtime stories for Daisy, fetching things for me when I was feeding and doing the tidying and laundry. I was also able to get back to bed for an hour or so each morning and that really helped.
If you don't have help, try to make life easier in the early days by getting ready meals or easy dinners, and keep housework to a minimum. Obviously you can't ignore it completely, but dropping your standards for a couple of weeks will make life much easier. As long as your family has clean clothes to wear and clean dishes to eat from, it's all good! Hell, if you need to, buy plastic disposable plates and chuck them away, whatever helps!

2) WATER - I've never drunk so much water in my entire life as I have in the past couple of weeks! Breastfeeding makes you incredibly thirsty, and childbirth makes you lose a lot of water, so drink loads of the stuff.  I had a pack of 6 sports bottles of water, and whenever they're empty, I refill them and keep them in the fridge so there is always water on hand for when I'm feeding.
I used to think tea, coffee and fizzy drinks made me feel better when I was tired, but nothing refreshes you quite like ice cold water, and it's free!!!

3) PAINKILLERS - take them. Seriously, even when you feel okay, just take regular painkillers for at least a week after birth, because the pain sneaks up on you, and usually hits a sudden peak just when you're feeling really tired. I'm on day 16 and only stopped the pain relief yesterday!

4) CRY - you will feel tearful at points, even if you're perfectly happy. It's a combination of hormones, tiredness, overwhelming emotion and adjusting to the massive change in your life, so let it out! I warned my family well in advance that if they saw me crying, not to worry, that it was perfectly normal. I have had a couple of teary days, and all I really needed was a cuddle. With my older two, I repressed the tearfulness, because I didn't want people to think I wasn't happy or wasn't coping. It really doesn't mean that at all, it's just a normal process, so let those tears flow, you'll feel better for it.

5) SUPPLEMENTS - I've been taking Arnica, a homeopathic remedy which is really good for recovering from trauma and reducing swelling and bruising.
I've also been taking Fenugreek, for increasing milk flow. My milk is flowing like an ocean, so I highly recommend it!
Placenta capsules - I read about the benefits of consuming your placenta before I gave birth, so I took mine home and encapsulated it myself. I'll write a separate post on that another time! I've been taking 2-4 capsules a day, and I feel awesome! You can pay someone to do it for you, but it's easy enough to do yourself, and it makes you feel like a super clever surgeon/pharmacist ;)

6) TALK!!! - Talking is so important. Talk to your partner, no matter how happy you both are, there will be times when one or both of you is feeling frazzled and stressed. As long as you both communicate and assure each other that everything is fine, it will make life so much eaiser. When you're full of hormones and tiredness, it's so easy to take little comments or sighs personally. All it takes is "Sorry, I'm just tired. I love you", to make everything better again. Don't fall into that trap of niggling about who has had more sleep or who has changed more nappies. Building resentments is pointless, just talk about it!
I do all the waking up in the night, I'm breastfeeding so there's no point in Steve waking up. He did offer to change nappies, etc, but I really don't see the point in us both being awake! I'd rather he got a good nights sleep so he could let me back to bed in the morning. Coming to arrangements like this before your baby comes can avoid resentments and arguments afterwards.
Also, building a support network of other parents is brilliant, you can share stories, swap top tips and discoveries and if you really need to, have a good old moan to someone who has been there and understands.
As the old BT adverts said, it's good to talk.

7) FRESH AIR - so, so important. No matter how exhausted you might feel, a bit of fresh air always makes you feel better. In the first couple of days, I would just take Amelie out to the garden and sit while Steve hung out the washing, and as soon as I felt able, I'd take her in her pram around the block. Now, I'm building up to longer walks, but still trying to get outside every single day. You will have times when you feel like the walls are closing in, and just five minutes of reminding yourself that there's a world outside really, really helps.

8) PATIENCE - finally, be patient. Especially if you've had stitches or surgery, recovery requires patience. Don't do too much too soon, the time will pass regardless, and paradoxically, if you rush yourself, you might actually find your recovery takes longer. Take this time to enjoy your baby, and slow down. This is your moment, accept the help and take it easy!

Sunday, 23 June 2013

.....and then there were five!

Well, here we are! Two weeks after my last post, we are now a happy family of five. On Tuesday 11th June, 2013, at 2.59pm, we welcomed our beautiful baby daughter Amelie Matilda Widden into the world.
My c-section went perfectly, albeit much later than planned due to a couple of emergency cases being taken before me, but she was more than worth the wait!
The last 12 days have been a blur of visitors, nappies, breastfeeding, baby cuddles, tiredness, euphoria and general manic family life. We had the added craziness of Charlie having a cub camp and Daisy having a cheerleading competition just a day after I came out of hospital. Thank goodness for my mum and Steve, who kept the whole ship afloat with a minimum of stress!
Recovery has been easy, I spent just under 24 hours in bed, and then it was business as usual. As long as I've kept taking regular painkillers, I've really had no issues at all. We were discharged from hospital less than 48 hours after Amelie was born, and so far, it's all been fairly plain sailing.
Amelie has slotted right into the family, she is adored by her brother and sister...

I'm so proud of how well they've adapted to stepping aside and letting Amelie's needs be a priority. I try wherever possible to carry on as normal and spend as much time with them as before, just with an added small person attatched to my boob!
Of course, it makes me extremely happy to see Steve being a daddy. He's been amazing, cooking for us all, tidying up, having more patience with the kids than me, and of course, giving me heart melting moments like this...
OMG. That is all.

He goes back to work tomorrow, and these two weeks have gone far too fast for my liking. I will miss him ridiculous amounts, but I guess we have to get back into a normal routine eventually. Only 5 weeks until he is off again though, so we have to just start looking forward to the summer holidays!

Anyhoo, lots of blogging to catch up on, but even more sleep, so I'll leave it there for now. Back soon with more stories of what we've been up to! I'll leave you with another peek at my newest little princess...

Isn't she perfect? This amazing little bundle of hope and possibility, I can't believe we made her! She is the link that bonds us all, a part of me, Steve, Charlie, Daisy and our parents and siblings, and that makes her even more special. I couldn't be more grateful for her.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

The Final Countdown - T-2 days and counting...

Gestation: 39 weeks

I'm feeling: Nervous! My c-section is in two days time and I can't wait, but obviously I'm a bit apprehensive. It's major surgery and I'll be wide awake and completely aware of what's going on, so I think it's pretty natural to have a teeny bit of fear.
I'll be fine though, as soon as I'm fully numb, and baby is out and crying, it's all going to be amazing! I can't wait to see our baby's little face for real, and give him/her a cuddle.
So, so looking forward to seeing Steve's face when he sees his son or daughter for the first time, it's going to be a very emotional day. 
Anyhoo, quick blog today, my brain has no words! Next time you hear from me, I'll be a mum of three, see you all when I'm out of hospital :)

Saturday, 1 June 2013

The Final Countdown - a week to go!!!

Gestation: 38 weeks

I'm feeling: Right now, I'm feeling pretty good! Definitely taking it one day at a time, I've had one or two days this weeks when I've felt really ill or had a lot of pains, but I had my whooping cough vaccination on Tuesday, so a lot of that could have been side effects.
I'm tired, of course, but it's been a very busy week! Just to give an example, here's a day in the life from yesterday;

6.10am Wake up with alarm
6.40am Get up and make tea for myself and Steve
7am Drive Steve to work, head straight from there to MOT test Centre
8.50am Book car in for MOT, wait for mum to pick me up
9.30am Get picked up, head straight to supermarket for picnic food
10.30am Go straight to school for kids' sports day, stand and watch them do their sports events
12.30pm Head over to another field for family picnic
1.30pm Kids back at school, head home and take dog out
2pm Have shower and tidy up
3pm Leave to pick up kids from school (including dragging Charlie's bike into car)
4pm Head back out to pick up Steve from work
5pm Pick up Steve, head back to MOT test centre
6pm Pick up car, head to asda for quick and easy dinner
6.30pm Frantically feed Daisy some soup, get her ready for cheerleading (including very reluctant hair and make up, complete with tantrums)
6.45pm Steve takes Daisy to cheerleading, I feed Charlie his dinner and tidy up
7.30pm Steve and I eat dinner
8.30pm Leave for Daisy's cheerleading dress rehearsal, wipe away tears of pride
10pm Rehearsal finished, head home and make a cup of tea. Daisy full of adrenaline and very hyper!
11pm Daisy finally asleep, we head to bed.

Phew! Thank goodness my days aren't always this full! Amazingly, we managed to get through the whole day with no major stress of grumpiness, even though I was understandably knackered and Steve had had a horrible day at work. We all work pretty well together, we just know what needs doing and get it done, which is exactly how it should be! My mantra on days like these is "Don't panic - prioritise"
If the important stuff gets done, the rest can be caught up on later. I think this attitude will help once baby is here!
Today, I'm kinda tired because I was woken up at 2.30am by my phone ringing, I still have no idea who was phoning me at that time, possibly a wrong number! Of course, when your phone rings at that time, it worries you and you struggle to get back to sleep!
Then, Daisy decided to get up at 7am, and once she's awake, there's no getting her back to bed quietly. The dog wakes up and starts barking, and if I'm not quick to get downstairs and settle things down, the whole household is awake, so I have to get up!
Ach well, I'm getting plenty of practice at dealing patiently with lack of sleep and being very busy, and I think it's important to just get on with things. No point in being grumpy once you're up and about! I'm off now to get caught up with housework I fell behind on yesterday, then take the dog out.
Tomorrow, my poor little girl has to get up at 4am for her Cheerleading competition in Inverness, the bus leaves at 5am! Thankfully, my mum is taking her, I'm far too pregnant to be three hours from home right now!
Daisy is hoping we will have the baby while she is away so she can come home to a surprise - you never know!

C-section is ten days from today, so the final countdown is now in days rather than weeks. Can't wait!!!