Our Co-Sleeping Journey

When I first fell pregnant with Casia, I was adamant that co-sleeping is something that I would never do. However, as time has gone on it has become part of our day to day life and it’s something that I really enjoy. Although it’s come with its cons it’s also come with an awful lot of pros too. My bond with Casia is so strong. Although it always has been, sleeping in bed with her every night has made us so close and pretty much inseparable!

At the beginning I would have to hold and cuddle Casia all night long and as the time has gone along I don’t have to hold her in my arms as much. We’ve been sleeping in the same bed for eight and a half months now and as the months have gone by the cuddles become less and less. Usually now in the night she’ll wake and reach out for me or just look to make sure I’m still there. Sometimes I’ll even feel her snuggle into me and it’s such a wonderful feeling.

Co-sleeping has also brought its challenges, I haven’t shared a bed with my boyfriend for a very long time. Of course it’s hard that he now is sleeping in the living room on his own little bed while me and Casia are in our bed together but it is something that somehow works for us. I’d love for Malik to be back in bed, however right now it’s just not something we are not able to do. The way we sleep now, all of the family gets enough sleep to function and when you have a baby that’s a pretty important thing.

Co-sleeping isn’t something that I want to last forever. (Although I’d love it) One day Casia will sleep in her own bed and there will be a time that she will be ready to do that. I was eight years old before I slept all night in my own room and if that’s how long it takes then that’s what we’ll do. Lots of people like to have their own opinion and say things on the matter. “Ooh she should be in her own bed”.

“You need to get her in her bed before your new baby comes”.

“That’s so bad that she’s not in her own bed”.

But really when you come to think about it her whole life she’s know me. My womb, my arms, just me in general. I clearly make her feel safe and that is why she is able to sleep through the night when she is with me. So opinions and comments from other people really aren’t taken into any consideration. I am my babies safe place and I will continue to be there for her for as long as she needs me to. I will not put pressure on myself anymore for the “she must sleep on her own before her sister is here.” What will be, will be and it will be wonderful.

I love co-sleeping and it’s a very special bond that me and my daughter share

Expecting Another Baby

To many peoples surprise (including myself and Malik) in March of this year we discovered that we had been blessed with another gorgeous little baby. Unlike the beginning of my pregnancy with Casia, this time I had absolutely no signs of early pregnancy at all. Not even a little thought that “oh maybe I am”.

However on Monday 18th March 2019 I took a test and discovered that we were having another baby! I had such a mixture of emotions and honestly fear was one of them. Can I do this? Will I manage? Two babies under the age of two am I “crazy”? But the first things that came to me was Casia. She’s still so little. So dependent and honestly I felt a huge amount of guilt towards her that she wouldn’t get the “attention” that she’d need. As the time has gone by I have realised how incredible it is, that she will get all the attention and she will have a best friend to grow with and to experience all of life’s many adventures with and even more amazing she will have a sibling to tell all about it to. Almost all of my best memories from childhood involve my brothers and sisters and Casia will be so lucky to share hers with her sibling.

My family weren’t overly surprised that we were expecting another. Some members of the family even had a bet to see how many months I could go before we told them we were having another baby. I guess it was pretty obvious to them as well as to myself how much motherhood is my purpose in life. And that’s it. Motherhood is my purpose. Before having children to be quite frankly honest I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do with my life. Everyday was the same not really knowing what I was working towards as I put on my “quick money making stop of a job” uniform on. Finding out I was pregnant changed everything, I woke up everyday determined and motivated with my life. After giving birth I realised that this, this is the thing I had been getting up everyday waiting to happen. Motherhood that is my job and that is my purpose.

I know that when our second baby is here everything will change again. The nights will get a little longer, the bags under my eyes will get a little darker and the love in my heart will get a whole lot bigger. But I couldn’t be more excited for this next chapter!

I don’t know who you’ll be or how you’ll act but I know with every single little piece of me that you will be loved endlessly, not only from me, your mother but also your daddy and your older sister.

My Hopes For My Daughter

Casia amazes me every single day, learning and discovering new things makes my heart burst with joy. She is such a happy and wonderful little girl with her whole life ahead of her and I have so many hopes and dreams for her!

I am so aware of how cruel this world is, even more so since becoming a mother, I am also so aware that her life won’t be perfect and she’ll face struggles and hurdles and have to get through these tough times but I will be there at every hurdle to help her, be there and navigate her the best that I can.

I hope that she will always be happy

I hope that Casia will always have happiness around her and in her life. It’s truly what she deserves. I want to continue to see her beautiful smile everyday and know that she is okay.

I hope she will always be healthy

I more than anymore know that there isn’t just physical heath to be concerned about. I hope that Casia will be physically and mentally healthy to get through her life and never be afraid to seek for help when she needs it

I hope she will always be herself

I hope that Casia will never have to feel like she has to pretend to be someone she is not to fit in with the people around her. To be her and only her and people will love and accept her for that.

I hope that she will always chase her dreams and it will come true

No matter how big or small they may be I hope that Casia will always chase after what she believes in and follow every little dream she may have deep down in her heart.

I hope she will find someone who loves her

… As much as me and her daddy do

I hope she knows how much I love her

My love for her grows every single day! It’s an incredible love that I had never felt before I had become a mother! I will guide her through everything that life has to offer her way. I will be there for her through the ups and the downs and I will love her endlessly through it all.

I want you to know Casia that you will always be my best friend, you pull me through my darkest days and make me a better person. And that is why I hope that you will always know that you saved me!

How I’ve Changed Since Becoming A Mother

Being a mother is my most biggest and proudest achievement. Before having Casia I had a life that I didn’t really know what I wanted to do with it. Now, I wake everyday with a purpose. A reason to do better in life as it’s not just for me anymore for the rest of my life I’ll have a beautiful little girl looking up to me for advice and inspiration.

It’s not easy to go from looking after myself and thinking of just me to suddenly over night a little person needs my attention twenty four hours a day.

I’ve matured massively since being a mummy and even falling pregnant. I’ve made decisions that to some may have been hard to hear but I did it for a better life for myself and my daughter. Sometimes you have to be harsh and blunt as a mother because your child can’t talk or tell you what they want so you have to make decisions which you think benefit their life. This comes in every situation in life. Even when Casia is older I will still be there to support the decisions she makes as an adult and be by her side through everything in life.

So this is only a short one but it’s something that’s important. You will never know love until you meet your baby and realise that for the rest of your life you are their soul protector.

Day In The Life

Hi everyone, it’s been a while since I’ve been able to sit down and properly write a blog but finally been able to get round to it. So as you all know I had my beautiful little girl three months ago now and things in life really have changed. So I’m going to just write my day to day life and I hope it’s an interesting read for some of you!

7:30AM-

Casia tends to wake up most day at around this time for her first bottle of the day. She’s now on 7oz and the majority of the time finishes the whole bottle. She’s gotten to the stage where she doesn’t wake me up crying anymore she’s just sort of “talking” to herself. My gosh it’s adorable! Feeds usually take between twenty minutes to half an hour. I then wind her and she usually falls back asleep. At this time I could get up and get myself ready but I tend to go back to sleep too

9:30AM-

Usually around nine Casia wakes back up and we get up for the day. She doesn’t tend to be hungry at this time so we just go downstairs and play for a while. This is when I’ll have my breakfast and try and have a cup of tea (that usually goes cold as I’m just playing with her instead.) I usually am able to leave Casia playing on the floor while I sterilise her bottles and fill up her pots of milk while she’s distracted. After that I get her dressed for the day and usually read her a book.

10:30AM-

Around this time is when Casia will start to get a little hungry again so I’ll make up a bottle and feed her on the sofa. After that she usually falls asleep for a while but her naps in the day are getting shorter and shorter! I love to let her sleep on my chest for a while so I do and then I’ll move her over to her swing chair while I go and get myself ready. In this time depending on how long I think she’ll nap, I’ll have a shower and get dressed etc. If I’m lucky I may even get to do my makeup but that’s pretty rare.

11:30AM

I’m usually ready for the day by this time and Casia will be wide awake. This is the usual time I either go out for a walk or I go and meet friends and family. I make sure I go out everyday. I think it’s so important to go out even if it’s just a walk to the park. As I haven’t passed my driving test yet I tend to get the bus to a lot of places. Mainly to town. I love to just have a look around and grab a hot chocolate. (Costa have their Christmas Orange Hot Chocolate again and I’m obsessed) I love to take Casia to the library at least once a week to get her some new books to read so we do that around this time too.

1:30PM

I’m usually still with family or just about to come home if I’ve been out. If I get home this is when I’ll make myself lunch and Casia a bottle as she’ll be hungry by now. She doesn’t always finish this bottle she usually has between 5-6oz at this time. After that we have more floor time and she has a little kick about and is in her element. I then try and have a little clean up around the house but instead sometime I just want to stare at her so the housework just gets left for later.

3:30PM

Casia will usually have a little power nap around this time and tends to sleep for about 15 minutes, this is when I’ll make myself a drink and have a snack of some sort. At this time i also like to FaceTime my family, especially my sister as she lives quite far away and I don’t get to see her very often.

5:30/6:00PM

Around this time everyday I give Casia a bath. This is mine and her favourite time of the day. I put some nursery rhymes on in the background, get her pyjamas ready. Body lotion etc. I then make her a bottle and pick two or three books out to read after. Once she’s in the bath she’ll have a huge splash around! She gets so excited. I’ll start by cleaning her face, neck and any chubby rolls with just water and cotton wool. I then wash her hair (she doesn’t have very much) and body and then I leave her to have a little splash until she gets a bit bored (I’m just there laughing and telling her how amazing her splashes are) Once I take her out I’ll warm her up, I like to sing to her then too. Give her a little massage with her baby lotion and get her dressed ready for bed. Once she’s in her pyjamas, I’ll take her over to the sofa give her a bottle and then read her a couple of books. She will be very relaxed after this so I’ll just pop her in her swing and put some baby tv on for her (CBeebies is our favourite at the moment) While I get ready to cook dinner.

7:30PM-

I’ve by this time made, eaten and cleared away dinner. If I haven’t been able to have a shower in the morning then I’ll go and have one around this time. Casia is still pretty chilled out from her bath and talking away to herself. I then will put her on her play mat to play while I shower so she’s not just stuck in the same chair for ages.

8:30PM-

The rest of the evening is family time. We don’t really do an awful lot. Just catch up with one another and just spend some quality time together.

10:30-11PM-

Casia will now be pretty hungry and will drink a whole bottle. This will be her last bottle of the day. I’ll feed her and rock her to sleep. I then let her sleep on my chest for around half an hour and then I’ll take her upstairs to her Moses Basket where she’ll sleep until 7:30am the next morning. She’s got so much better at sleeping and I actually get a full nights sleep! I’ll then get myself ready for bed and that’s the end of the day for us.

That’s pretty much our day to day life. Nothing exciting but just what we get up to. I’m absolutely loving being a mummy! Until my next blog, take care everyone x

Getting Used To Life With A Baby

IMG_3805Casia is now eight weeks old and completely alert and smiling more than anything. The last two months have had more changes than I ever thought possible. Adjusting to life with a new born is hard and no one can ever prepare you for the sleepless nights and tears for no reason. But there is something so special about it just being the two of us in the middle of the night, lights dim and just her beautiful eyes looking up at me while I feed her.

The sleepless nights at times have been torturous, people always say that you’ll be tired when she’s here but I never really got how tired you’d be until now.  Sometimes I just want to curl up into a ball and sleep all day but that isn’t something that I can do anymore. Instead I get up three times a night, change nappies, make bottles, do feeds and constantly clean up sick but you know what, I’m completely okay with that! Her little smile and the way she looks at me makes it all better. IMG_4434Relationships change when your baby is here and I can defiantly agree with that. You have so much less time for just you and your partner, to even just talk on the sofa or cuddle up and watch a film. You can start to do it and hear a little cry or a nappy needs changing. But the time that you do get to spend as just the two of you, I think you treasure it so much more than you used to. Even if it’s getting to eat your dinner without a baby on your lap and having a conversation with an adult in “adult voice” rather than talking all day in “baby talk”.

There are so many new things that you get to experience on a day to day basis and its beautiful. Every little smile and every little walk just the two of you is lovely. It’s hard when your partner goes back to work and you single handily have to do everything. I think it’s so important to get out of the house everyday because I for one know it can get lonely just sitting inside all day with a sleeping baby. I love to go for a walk around the park and grab a hot chocolate. I try and see my friends and family as much as possible. But then again I absolutely love a lazy snuggly day on the sofa in our pj’s and day time TV.IMG_4059Life with Casia is amazing and so is motherhood and I can’t wait to watch you learn and grow even more!

 

Labour and Delivery Story

2I’m so overly excited to finally be able to write this! On Monday 13th August at 01:42am me and Malik welcomed our gorgeous little girl into the world two weeks early. The last nine months of pregnancy have been a mixture of emotions. It’s been hard at times but it’s also been the most amazing journey and growing our little girl has been the greatest gift of all!

The last couple weeks of my pregnancy were emotionally and physically challenging. I’d been experiencing intense Braxton Hicks and had so many close false alarms. Throughout my entire pregnancy I was having regular growth scans also as she was measuring smaller than she should have been. At thirty six weeks I had a scan and she was measuring a lot smaller than she should have. I was sent to triage where I was awaiting a doctors opinion on what should happen. As I wasn’t “full term” yet they decided to not induce me at that point but instead book another growth scan for thirty eight weeks to see if she had grown anymore. So I waited patiently until then. (Well I tried)

On Sunday August 12th I woke up with really intense Braxton Hicks, more than I had ever felt before and period pain sort of cramps. I called my midwife for advice and she said it would be good to get things checked over. I’d been to the hospital so many times before that I could do it with my eyes closed so I didn’t rush there. I got ready had something to eat and headed off.

We arrived at the hospital at around 13:00pm. Once we got there, I was taken to a side room where I was put on the monitor and had the usual checks. The midwives said they were going to get the doctor on shift to come and see me, which she did. I was meant to be having my growth scan on the coming Tuesday so the doctor just moved it forward. When I had the scan they saw that she hadn’t grown in the last two weeks so they were going to induce me. Once I was back on the ward the doctor decided to do a stretch and sweep (which isn’t as bad as everyone makes it out to be) Luckily I was already two cm so I only needed the six hour pessary to induce me to hopefully bring my labour on and for my waters to break naturally.

Me and Malik decided to go for a walk and call our families to let them know what was happening. Everyone was so excited and couldn’t quite believe that our little girl would soon be here. We seemed to walk around the hospital for hours until we went back up to the ward.

Once we were back upstairs at around 19:00pm my midwife induced me by putting the pessary in and put me back on the monitor. At this point it was all becoming so real and the nerves that in the space of twenty four hours I was going to become a mum. Malik quickly went home to shower and get a few things for himself as we both weren’t really prepared that we were having a baby today. He left to go home at around 20:30pm and was gone for only an hour. In that space I was getting agonising contractions whilst being on my own in the ward room. I was beginning to cry as it was extremely painful. I was trying everything I had learnt in my yoga and hypnobirthing to get me through the first stages of labour. I went on the birthing ball and was bouncing in between contractions. Luckily at 21:30 Malik came back and was comforting me with the pain.

1Everything moved pretty quickly then and before I knew it I was getting moved up to delivery suite and my mum was on her way. I tried my best to walk to delivery suite but I had to stop a couple of times to breath out my contractions that were getting more intense. Once we got to the room in which I was going to deliver, I set up my speaker and put on my music. Although Mal decided to change it to the greatest showman sound track on after only being in the room for ten minutes.

Once we were there my midwife got me some oils to smell to help relax and calm me, and stuck them onto my top. I sat on the birthing ball and Malik massaged the same oils into the bottom of my back. This part of my labour I can’t remember to be very painful, just relaxing and everyone laughing and joking with each other.

At around 12:30am, my midwife asked if she could examine me to see how many cm I now was, as I was only three cm my midwife said she was going to break my water to speed up my labour. I was pretty nervous about this but knew it had to be done. She offered me gas and air but I said no and just squeezed Malik’s hand instead.

It was the strangest feeling when they broke. I always imagined it to be like the films and huge dramatic gush like they all get in the middle of the shops, but instead I just felt like I’d spilt a hot drink all over my lap.

Things happened so fast after this and most of it became a blur. All I really remember is having my contractions go from the pain scale of a three to a ten in the space of about ten minutes. At around 1:30am I instinctually got up onto all fours and screamed that I needed to push. At this point I began pushing and had no idea how I knew what I was doing it’s like my body was made for it and I knew what I had to do to get my baby here safely. I began pushing and Malik and my mum said that they could see her head.

My midwife was telling my to do little pushes when having contractions. My mum and Malik were holding my hands and another midwife was filming it for me so that I had the memory forever.

Within twelve minutes and 4 pushes we welcomed our little girl into the world at 1:42am on Monday 13th August 2018. 3It was the most incredible thing I have ever done and I have never in my whole entire life felt love like this before! She is perfect in every single way and I couldn’t be more proud to call her my daughter.

This is only the beginning of our journey together, and I couldn’t be more excited to watch you grow and teach you everything that she will ever need in life!

Casia Mary
01:42am
5lbs 15oz

A huge thank you is needed for everyone that helped me throughout my entire pregnancy, labour and birth. Gloucestershire Royal Hospital were absolutely amazing and I couldn’t thank everyone enough!