Showing posts with label baby girl. Show all posts
Showing posts with label baby girl. Show all posts

Monday, 26 June 2017

The night before One.

Baby girl, tonight you fell asleep in my arms, the same way you have every night, for 364 nights.  Your eyes closed slowly and your face looked calm and content as you lay snuggled up on me drinking your milk.  It is these moments when you seem most like that new baby still, so small, so dependent on me.

Tomorrow is your first birthday, at 12:31pm, just as we will probably be eating our lunch, you will be turning one.  It doesn't seem possible that a whole year has passed, I still remember parts of your birth so vivdly - walking up and down the stairs, bouncing on the ball, chatting to the midwife as I paced up and down the living room.  I remember the fear, the strength and the love that came immediately.  I remember snuggling up on the sofa as the midwives packed away, studying your tiny features and wondering how I was going to cope as a girl-mum after 4 years of raising boys.

And now we are here, on the night before you turn one and you are asleep right in the middle of my bed.  It turns out parenting a girl, or parenting this girl is a bit different.  You know where you want to be, and that is right next to me.  You want to be carried in my arms or in the sling, you want to sit on my lap as you play, hold my hands as you walk and sleep curled up in my arms where you feel safe.  You are the only baby of mine to still be in my bed at a year and whilst I miss the space and the sleep, I love falling asleep with your head on my arm and waking up to your smile.  

You are determined in a way that your brothers weren't and you are the first one to take steps before your first birthday.  You have eight teeth (far more than the others did at this young age) and you still rely heavily on breastmilk, although you are definitely getting the hang of food a little more now.  You have the cheekiest smile and you adore your brothers.  You are so loved.

We don't have much planned for your actual birthday, but we have already thrown a big party for you yesterday and I think you enjoyed being surrounded by your family and friends.  Tomorrow is just us, you have a couple of gifts to open and I am sure we will have some more cake (as it is all but compulsory on birthdays).  I can't believe that we are here already, so close to one, but we are.  

This first year has been perfect.  I have loved getting to know you, learning how to parent you, watching you interact with your brothers and discover the world.  I know the next year will be full of new milestones, that you will change so much again, so I just want to pause time, just for a little bit.  I just want to remember you now, as you are, spread out like a starfish in the middle of the bed, your chunky thighs on show as the evening is warm.  I want to stop just now, whilst you are still the perfect size to fall asleep in my arms, whilst you still need my hand to walk more than a couple of steps, whilst you still hold your arms up to me for a cuddle.  Let us stop, just to make sure this moment is etched as a memory forever, for you will never be this small again.

And now we must start the time again, for your brothers are impatient to help you with the present opening, because you can't stay small forever, there are too many mountains to climb and milestones to conquer.  

Baby girl, you are more loved than you will ever know.  

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Friday, 14 April 2017

What Cora Wore // Question Everything

In between the clouds and April showers there are glimpses of summer and I just can't wait.  Six weeks off of school, long days at the beach, plenty of ice cream and all my washing drying line dryed.  I am quite used to dressing boys for the warm weather, but dressing a little girl for summer is new and exciting.  I am slowly putting together a summer wardrobe for Cora and I just adore this pretty dress set from Question Everything.

Question Everything, baby girl butterfly dress, kids fashion blogger

I am planning on getting her a mixture of practical playsuits and pretty dresses as I think it will be around this summer that she starts walking.  I am hopeful that we get lots of nice weather so this lovely light dress will be perfect and I love the little matching pants too.  

kids fashion blogger, Question Everything London

Until the weather warms up properly we have been teaming it with white tights and a little cardigan.  I love how easily dresses adapt for different seasons and I know we will get a lot of wear out of this dress! Question Everything do beautiful dresses and lovely playsuits for little boys and girls.  

Question Everything believe in making clothes well and ethically and each dress is made by a family run business in Manila (where Angie the founder grew up) and hand smocked by ladies of the Batangas village community.  A percentage of their profits goes to Childhope Asia

The dresses are quite true to size, Cora is a petite 9 month old wearing 9-12 months here and it has plenty of growing space.  The buttons up the back make it easy to take on and off and it looks so lovely in real life.  I think this is a lovely addition to her summer wardrobe -now we just need the sunshine to come back!

Thank you to QE for sending us this beautiful dress.
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Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Cora's Style

When I was pregnant with our fourth baby, I couldn't imagine ever having a little girl.  Whilst a big part of me was convinced that is what I was having, I doubted my instinct constantly as I was a Mama to boys and happy to stay that way.  At every scan they confirmed that I was carrying a baby girl, but I still felt unsure and not entirely comfortable with the idea.

I went shopping for baby girls clothes, but anything pink, frilly or with bows on was a little scary and I stuck to more unisex designs.  I didn't know why she would need dresses and there was no reason that this baby of mine couldn't wear the same bright colours and prints that her brothers did.  When she arrived, she looked much like them, the same squished nose and chubby cheeks with a little bit of dark black hair.  Dressed all in white she looked like a baby, not a girl or boy - just a baby.

As the weeks went by, my fear of girly clothes started to subside, and when Cora was a few weeks old I tried her in something pink.  I wasn't expecting to like it, but it really suited her.  Over the months we have added more pink into her wardrobe, however all the while I am in charge of choosing her clothes she will have a range of colours.  Pink is lovely, but so is yellow and blue and she can look incredibly 'girly' without a single touch of pink or flower on her.

I feel like I am constantly experimenting with her style, trying out new things, different colours or prints on her and I am having so much fun dressing my little girl.  There are so many dresses for girls  that are full of colour or challenge the stereotypes and she has lots of practical dungarees and leggings too.  

As we enjoy the final weeks (maybe days) of having a mostly non-mobile baby, I know that things will change all over again, some of her baby girl dresses will no longer be practical and we will be moving back to rompers and leggings until she is up on her feet.  I am really enjoying the different choices for little girls though as whilst Finn wears a lot of unisex clothing, dresses and skirts were a bit too far for me so it is a whole new section of the shops to explore.

Collaborative Post

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Sunday, 29 January 2017

7 Months Baby Girl

Why is it that the more desperate you are for them to stay the little, the more determined they seem to be to grow up?  We have not only passed that half way mark, but my little lady is now 7 months old.  Cora still needs me in many ways like a newborn, but she is learning new skills and becoming more independent every day too.

We started weaning as she turned 6 months and after a slow start, she is starting to enjoy her food more.  Toast and broccoli are firm favourites, carrots are not.  We are following the baby led weaning principles but I did try offering her something on a spoon out of curiosity - she was highly unimpressed!  Cora eats one meal a day, sometimes two and I hope to encourage some kind of regularity in the coming month.  

At 7 months I would love to say that sleep is improving but it would be a lie, we seem to be stuck in a pattern of hourly or two hourly feeds through the night still and Cora will only settle in my bed.  We still have the co-sleeper crib up against it, but it is currently being used more for storage than anything else.  In all honesty, I am not really encouraging her to sleep on her own, I find it comforting to have her so close at night and I barely wake in the night when she needs milk.

Since Cora leaned to sit, she has been reluctant to spend any time on her tummy.  She loves to sit on her playmat surrounded by toys and she goes in her jumperoo for short periods too.  She is happiest when one of her brothers sits to play with her and she is always amused by them, especially Finn, despite the fact he plays quite rough with her.

This past month saw two little teeth emerge from her gums which was quite a shock! Her brothers were all around 11 months when they got their first teeth so I thought we had a few more months of that gummy smile!  I have a feeling that this baby girl of mine is going to do everything her own way!  She has been snotty and full of cold all week and I don't know whether it is connected to the teeth or just typical January germs.

I have definitely come around to the girly thing now and I am finding it easier to dress Cora in pink.  She is wearing lots of soft little dresses at the moment as I imagine when she starts crawling they will all be packed away for a few months.  We are coming to the top end of her 3-6 wardrobe and starting to break into the 6-9 bits now which is quite exciting.  At 7 months Cora weighs 16lb 10oz and is following the fiftieth centile exactly.  

Cora is cuddly, happy, healthy and loved by us all.  I feel like I am writing these updates too often as the months are flying by, and we are trying so hard to stop and appreciate how small she is now, amidst the chaos of our busy house.
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Sunday, 18 December 2016

A Fourth First Christmas

This is my fourth time celebrating a first Christmas and the novelty has worn off a little.  I was so excited when we approached December 2011, Dylan had all the beautiful dress up onesies, I took him to playgroup parties and to see Santa and I lovingly wrapped a few gifts to put in his stocking.  Since then I have realised that Christmas just gets better the older they are, so instead of planning ways on remembering Cora's milestone, I am focusing on her big brothers, and making Christmas special for them.

Dylan and Archie are a wonderful age for it, they understand  more, they remember the excitement, they are learning the songs, watching the Christmas films and Dylan has been learning about the Christmas story at school.  They write lists to Santa, they discuss where they will hang their stockings and they want to send Christmas cards to everyone we know.

Cora meanwhile is pretty oblivious.  I am still her world, she wants milk and cuddles and she doesn't care much for toys or books just yet.  She will wake up on Christmas morning to gifts under the tree but I will be unwrapping the same presents I wrapped the night before, getting excited on her behalf and with three big brothers and all their toys, she will mostly be receiving clothes ready for her in the next size up.

Cora's first Christmas is still special though, it is still a first, it is still full of magic and joy and so I decided to dress her up and take some photos, because this is probably the only year she will sit still and I was a little excited about buying her a tutu (I bought it a size big so that she can actually wear it next year).  These photos are a 'just because' and I love them.

I bought her skirt from Florrie and Max, her vest from Le Petit Chiffon and her headband from Harper Jade
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Monday, 10 October 2016

What Cora Wore - Question Everything

When I was pregnant with Cora I was convinced that I would dress this baby girl of mine in the bright unisex style that Finn wears.  I couldn't see why I would want fiddly dresses or those silly headbands and I saved all Finn's clothes for her to grow into.  

And then she arrived.

And she was a girl, undeniably a girl and the voice in the back of my head questioned whether some little dresses may not look quite cute, and how harmful a little bit of pink may be.  And then suddenly her wardrobe started to look rather girly.  You still won't find her in a pink floral tutu, but Cora looks pretty adorable in her girly clothes!  

Question Everything makes beautiful traditional girl's dresses and their style is classic and classy.  What is even better is that one of their dresses is called Cora - of course Cora had to have it!  The Cora dress is a navy blue with a delicate flower pattern all over.  I adore the style, Cora looks ever so girly and it reminds me so much of the dresses I used to wear as a little girl.  

It is a very different style to what I am used to, and the first item Cora has worn that isn't stretchy so I didn't find it as easy to put on (There are buttons all the way up the back of the dress).  Once it was on though it looked comfy and it comes with a little matching nappy cover too.  We popped some plain tights underneath as the weather is getting a little chillier!

I love the little details, the collar, the smocking on the front, the heart shaped buttons up the back and the delicate little cuffs.  It was a perfect little outfit to wear to a birthday party and I can only imagine it would look even cuter on a walking toddler!   Cora is wearing the size 3-6 months here and she is an average sized 3 month old.  There is plenty of growing space so I imagine it will last her a couple of months more. 

 Thank you to Question Everything for sending Cora this beautiful Cora dress - despite the fact that she hates smiling at a camera, she does like it and I think it is just adorable!

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Wednesday, 21 September 2016

What the Baby Wore - Bambini and Me

When I was pregnant with Cora I refused to buy anything pink.  I was determined that she would wear bright unisex colours, that we wouldn't succumb to the pastel pinks that little girls everywhere are wearing.  Since she has arrived I have found myself more and more tempted by the 'girly' stuff though, and when Bambini and Me asked me which of their prints I preferred, I went for blossom.

As soon as I put it on Cora I fell in love.  The colour looks so beautiful on her that I think I may have to allow a little more pink in her wardrobe.  What I really love is that this vest is made from super soft bamboo - the kind that can grow anywhere, that doesn't use any pesticides to grow, that is biodegradable and ethically sourced.  

Bamboo is so breathable that it keeps us cool in summer and warm in winter, isn't irritable to people suffering from eczema and feels like silk on their skin.  Cora looked so happy in her vest (and totally adorable too).

As well as vests and rompers, Bambini and Me sell huge muslin swaddle blankets and although we don't swaddle I find them great as light weight blankets, and to put down on the floor or bed for play time.  Being bamboo the swaddles are breathable too so the perfect summer blanket for a baby.
I am already a lover of bamboo clothing, but I think I may be a bit of a pink convert now too!  This vest is currently £15 and the muslin swaddle is also £15.  They both come in a variety of prints and are available from the Bambini and Me website 

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Sunday, 4 September 2016

2 Months Baby Girl

At two months old I am already starting to see that Cora doesn't want to stay a baby for long.  Everyone warned me when she arrived that girls are often quicker to meet their milestones, that they don't stay babies as long and she is proving them right.  Cora's head control is quite impressive and she loves to be sat up with me just holding her waist.  She always looks so curious and inquisitive and I can see her taking everything in.  

At 6 weeks she started smiling, but it was 7 weeks before I got one my way (Her brothers are far more worthy of smiles it seems) and at 2 months she is still a very serious baby, only giving smiles at certain times of day and making you really work for them.

At 2 months old, Cora seems to be growing so fast.  She is filling out her 0-3 month clothing and she has definitely lost that weightlessness that newborns have.  I imagine she is somewhere between 12 and 13 pounds now but I haven't had her weighed for a couple of weeks.  She no longer curls up in the fetal position and instead prefers to spread out and push her legs out straight.

Cora is still happiest on me, she loves being in the sling, she feeds very regularly (but goes 6-7 hours at night) and she wants to sleep close.  She happily goes down in her crib at night though and can settle her self to sleep if I put her on her tummy.  She will only sleep on her tummy at all times still, although if she is really tired she will fall asleep in the car seat.  Her dislike for being on her back means she can do an hour in the car easily before she succumbs to sleep - My newborns really don't like the car very much! 

Two months in to parenting four and I feel like there are always going to be different challenges.  I was worried about the summer holidays and having all four at home, but it has been wonderful and we have made it work and carried on with our adventures.  Now my fears are around the school runs and being out the house on time.  I am sure we will find our groove and having some time with just the babies is going to be lovely too.  

Two month old Cora is very chilled out as long as she knows that I am close.  She is happy to sleep in her own space and I can put her down for short periods during the day too.  She adores her brothers already and the love is mutual.  She is growing bigger and stronger every day and losing the little things that make her seem like a newborn.  Slow down please baby girl!!

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Wednesday, 24 August 2016

A Little Sister

The school holidays have been an adjustment for us all - six weeks of having four children full time.  A new baby to challenge and develop existing relationships, so much time together, so many opportunities.  The boys have always been close, but they are used to their time apart, to spending time with other children and in different situations.  This summer has been about us.

Dylan and Archie are the best of friends, of course they fight like only brothers can, but they play so well together, they chat and giggle and create and bond.  There are 18 months between them and that age gap shrinks the longer they are together.  Finn has always been the baby, but since Cora arrived he has had to step up, and he is changing so much now, desperate to join in with his brothers, determined in everything he does.

And these three boys of mine, they have a baby sister.  They are learning all over again, finding their place in the new dynamics of our family and having to share me with another (demanding) little person.

They adore her, all three of them and I am so thankful that her entrance has been so smooth.  Dylan regularly declares her to be his best friend and he lays next to her, his hand on hers as he sucks his thumb and stares at her.  He is convinced that he is her favourite as she gives him the most smiles and talks about the things he will do with her.

Archie's caring side comes out around Cora and he starts singing her nursery rhymes as soon as she starts crying.  He is curious about her and asks to have her on his lap the most.  Sometimes he is a little too curious and tries to lift her up, not entirely gently but mostly he strokes her lovingly.

And Finn, the boy who has been our baby for so long, and who loved his role as the youngest has surprised me with his lack of jealousy.  As soon as Cora is low enough for him to reach he crawls or toddles over with the biggest grin on his face to give her kisses.  He is gentle, he pats her, strokes her hair and kisses her on the forehead.  He may try and crawl over her at times, or give her the biggest cuddles when she is just trying to get some sleep, but you can see how desperate he is for her to be bigger and more responsive.  He loves an audience and he is going to be the star of the show once his little sister is able to give him more attention.

When Cora is awake, they are less interested in each other and more interested in her, each one vying for a space in her eye line.  She watches them calmly and with interest, sharing more of her smiles with her brothers than she does with me.  They don't have to work as hard or be there at the right time of the day.  At 8 weeks old she is already used to the chaos that comes with being the youngest of four and she is happy (so far) with her place in this family.

These boys of mine have taken to their baby sister so naturally,  they have made the transition from three to four so much easier and she is a lucky little girl to have three big brothers.  I never imagined a little girl in our future but it feels like she has been around forever already. 

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Monday, 1 August 2016

1 Month Baby Girl

A month of cuddles, breastfeeding, co-sleeping, siblings, teeny fingers and toes and that newborn smell.  A month of noise, sleepless nights and adapting to our new normal.  A month of our baby girl.  
How on earth has a month passed? It seems like only yesterday I was sat cuddling this perfect, tiny little thing on our sofa waiting for her brothers to get home and meet her.  Surely it was only last week that I was laying in bed awake, too busy watching this brand new life to be able to sleep.  In other ways it feels like Cora has always been a part of our life, that there has always been 6 of us.

This first month has been wonderful and it feels even more perfect after the nervous and stressful first weeks of Finn's life.  I have spent every moment with my baby girl and 95% of those we have spent cuddling.  For the first two weeks she wouldn't be put down, and in all honesty I didn't really try.  I fed her and held her in the day and we fell asleep each night, her on my chest.  After a couple of weeks she started to sleep for small periods in her crib or in a pram and now at a month she can sleep in the day when put down and she does her first long stretch at night in her Snuzpod crib before joining me.

The nights are pretty unpredictable, as life with a newborn usually is.  There are nights (well night) where she only wakes once for a super feed and there are nights that we see every hour and sometimes every half hour.  There is no routine yet with anything and Cora stays downstairs with me until I go to bed.

The boys have taken to having a baby sister so well.  Dylan is a pretty experienced big brother and he has taken it all in his stride.  Archie is that bit older than when Finn was born and he is full of questions whilst being incredibly protective.  Finn is curious and excited, wanting to stroke her and cover her in kisses.  This little girl of mine is so lucky to have these three big brothers and I am hoping they continue to stay close as they grow.

At her last weigh Cora was 8lb 13oz so I can presume she is now over 9lb.  Her 'up to 1 month' (or size 56 in Scandinavian brands) clothing is fitting perfectly and her newborn (up to 7.5lb) vests are  just about fitting still too (what she is wearing in these photos).  I am not ready to start a pile of things that don't fit, I am not ready for my newborn to be growing out of things but I have a feeling in the next week or so these vests will be sent off to a new home.  We are preparing to start on the 0-3 month clothing soon as these babies of mine don't stay small for long.

Cora is happiest on my chest still, she loves to be cuddled, carried in a sling and to sleep curled up against me.  She is happier on her tummy than on her back and she loves to poke her tongue out.  Her little face has changed so much in these past four weeks as the swelling has subsided and her delicate features are more visible.   Every day her eyes seem a little larger and she becomes a little more alert.

This first month has cemented Cora's place in the family.  She is the 'new baby', our baby girl, the final member of our team and one that we wouldn't be without.  Our days are busier, noisier and I am learning to do a lot of things one handed.
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Friday, 8 July 2016

The First 10 Days

10 days ago I gave birth, we welcomed a daughter, we became a six.  It was a wonderful homebirth,  It was calm, quiet and everything I hoped for.  Her first hours were spent on me, feeding, cuddling and having skin to skin.  Her first night she spent on my chest, something that felt natural to us both and I woke in disbelief that this perfect tiny girl was really mine.

These first ten days have gone fast, we have spent every moment together, every day attached and every night cuddled up together in my bed,  I have had the opportunity to do this my way, something that wasn't possible with Finn.  I spent his early days in fear, not knowing what was wrong, worrying for his future, watching him through his fish bowl, only allowed to hold him at certain times, not able to feed him myself.  With this new little baby of ours I have been able to hold her and feed her and enjoy these precious first days and I feel so thankful for that. 

After a few days we finally decided on her name - Cora Jayne.  She is the first of our babies to get her 'bump name' - the name I envisaged her having throughout the pregnancy and it feels just perfect for our little girl.  On day 9 we made it official and registered her birth.  The boys mostly still call her 'the new baby' but they also proudly tell people her name.

We have welcomed so many visitors and tried to find time to just be on our own too.  We have eaten cake every day and I have drunk more cups of tea in these 10 days than in the last 10 months.  We have cuddled up on the sofa together, had nap time together, gone out together and shared these early days.  I have hardly picked up my big camera, but I have taken so many phone snaps in these 10 days.  Every night I feel emotional that another day has passed, that she is that little bit older and bigger.

At 10 days old our baby girl is still a little limpet, happiest on her mama.  She is breastfeeding well after a few problems with her latch and she is sleeping most of the day with a few periods of being very alert.  She hasn't quite got the message that the crib is her bed and she much prefers being with me at night.  She wants to sleep on her tummy - turns out she can't read the books yet that tell us babies must sleep on their backs, and she loves being snug in the sling.  She is squishy and warm and just perfect and we are still in that wonderful newborn bubble.  Next Monday is the end of paternity leave and the start of our new normal and I am nervous and excited about the challenges that involves.  For now, I don't want to imagine her being any older than she is now, I don't want to wish away any time, I want to enjoy these precious and amazing early days where she is so new and we are learning so much about each other.

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Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Full Term - Feeling heavy and crazy hormones

I have reached week 37 which means that I am full term.  It feels like a period of limbo, this five weeks that are considered the 'right' time to have a baby - knowing that very soon everything will change, but for now we are just waiting.  Nobody knows when this little girl is going to arrive, it could be tomorrow, it could be that I have another month of carrying her safely inside, but she is coming.

I feel completely torn, physically I don't feel ready for another baby but emotionally this pregnancy is taking its toll.  We don't have everything ready for her yet and whilst this pregnancy has been tougher than the others, I don't feel ready to give up my bump, to share my baby with the world and to never be pregnant again.  I know that even when I am struggling physically I have it easier than most women, at 37 weeks I can still scramble around soft play, still power walk a double school run when I leave it too late to do comfortably (again) and still care easily for three young boys.  I have plenty of aches though, I was told with fourth babies they can engage and pop out several times a day and I am pretty sure that Britney bump is playing that game.  Sometimes I waddle, sometimes I am taken aback by the power of her kicks and sometimes I just really want to find a comfortable position to sleep in.

Emotionally however, I am finding this time a lot more difficult.  I seem to go from full of energy, ready to run a marathon to needing to sleep for a week and barely able to get off the sofa - and I do this about 5 times a day.  I can be incredibly excited and happy one minute and really grumpy the next without any real cause and I get periods of feeling really anxious too.

My biggest craving right now is space, which of course isn't something I get a lot of with three young boys.  I can't go to the toilet without an audience and I think knowing how attached I will be to this baby once she arrives, how impossible it will be to leave her, makes me crave a bit of 'me time' now whilst I still can (in principal).  I can often tell what will help bring me out of a grumpy mood, but unfortunately the timing is always terrible.  I fancy a long walk just as dinner needs to be cooked, or I am desperate for a hot shower just as I have to go on the school run.  The bloke has understood that it is best to always have chocolate buttons in the house for these moments - if in doubt, sugar always helps.

I am not doing anything to try and bring on labour, I really believe that babies come when they are ready and I am feeling so torn between wanting her here so that I feel a little more hormonally balanced (well as much as you do with a newborn of course) and wanting her to stay put until I feel a bit more ready.  Having such a small age gap this time and the fact Finn is still just a baby, not yet walking, means that I probably won't ever feel really ready for her arrival and I know that whenever she comes we will be fine.  

These final weeks are such a strange time, I feel unsure making too many plans, but I know the best thing is to stay busy.  I want to treasure every moment as we are but I can't wait to meet this baby I have been growing for so long.  I am looking forward to the birth but wondering how I will cope with four under fives.  I want to enjoy my bump a little longer but I want to meet the final member of our family.  It really feels like we are in limbo now and I have a feeling there are a few more weeks to go.

and yes I am sitting on my birth ball in a Care Bear onesie

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Thursday, 9 June 2016

A Girl

I always knew that Dylan was a boy.  From that terrifying moment that I saw those two blue lines that changed everything, I knew I was going to be a mama to a boy.  The twenty week scan only confirmed my intuition and I never really thought about things being any different.  We settled into life, our little family of three and I loved being mama to my boy.  When we found out we were pregnant with our second little bundle, I was convinced that he too would be a boy.  I saw my future as a boy mum - whatever that may entail.

Finn was a huge surprise, but it only made sense to me that he would be a little boy as well. I considered myself to be so lucky to have a trio of boys.  Finn was our last and whilst I thought about the fact I would never get to experience things from the other side, never have a daughter, I was happy and content with my tribe of boys.  I felt certain that it was my role.

When we discovered there was a fourth baby on the way, it wasn't just a shock because we thought we were done, but also because things felt a bit different.  The idea that it may because this was in fact a girl was still hard to accept, but in my heart, I was convinced that it would be a little lady joining 'my boys'

Despite knowing from quite early on that we were growing a girl, it hasn't been an easy thing to get my head around.  I pictured myself surrounded by boys and a baby girl had never been part of that picture.  I was excited from the beginning, of course I was, but it was such a strange concept, that it has taken a while to really get my head around it.

Even this week, I asked the sonographer at my growth scan to check the sex - just incase they had missed something, and for the fifth time they told me that this is a baby girl.  In only a few weeks we will be parents to a daughter, my boys will have a sister and I will get to experience everything that comes with having a little girl (the nappy changing is scaring me already!)

I haven't gone crazy with the pink, in fact there is very little of it in her wardobe, and you won't find frills or bows either.  I can't work out if it just isn't my 'thing' or whether three boys has made me nervous of it.  This little lady has some beautiful clothes waiting for her though, lots of unisex styles and plenty of girly things in blues, purples and yellows.  Finn's clothes have always been bright and plenty come from the girl's section so she has plenty of hand me downs to grow into still.  

I know that really a baby is a baby and unless you are changing their nappy, there isn't much difference, but there are things that come with raising a girl that I know will be different to raising boys.  I am hoping it all falls into place, that by the time these differences take shape, I will feel more natural in my role as mama to boys and a girl.  I keep wondering whether she will be 'one of the boys', or will she assert her femininity from an early age?  She will be given the same opportunities, the same rules, the same toys and the same love as her brothers of course, but how will things be different with a girl?

For now I am enjoying the final weeks with my boys - these boys who couldn't be more different if they tried.  I always considered that I had 'one of each' because Dylan and Archie were such opposites and I can only imagine that very soon there will be four completely seperate and opposing personalities living together in this house as siblings.  This little girl is going to have three big brothers to protect her,  to love her, to wrestle with her and to teach her and I think she is going to be a pretty lucky little girl because of that.
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Sunday, 13 March 2016

Planning a Homebirth

I know that you can't plan your birth.  I know that my body will go into labour spontaneously whenever it is ready and this labour may last 20 minutes or 20 hours.  I have come up with my ideal situation though and I am choosing to be positive,  but with a back up plan. 

One of my babies was born in the hospital, two in the midwife led unit and at the moment I am planning a homebirth for baby number four.  If you had asked me in any of my other pregnancies I would have told you that I would absolutely not have a baby at home.  I really didn't want a homebirth, I didn't think it was right for me or for us and it was never an option.  With this baby though, I can't help feeling that it is the right place.

My three labours so far all started just before midnight with the active stage getting shorter with each subsequent birth.  I am hoping that this baby follows the pattern and that everything happens at night whilst the boys are asleep.  My best case scenario plan means the boys go to bed with a calm mama and wake up to find a little baby asleep in the bed beside me, the midwives gone, the house cleaned up.  I know that should this not happen I have family and friends who can help out with the childcare though, just as they would if we were in a hospital.

I love the idea of sitting in my own bed after the ordeal of birth, with a cup of tea.  Curling up in my own bed with my brand new little person.  My shower is hands down better than any hospital one, my snacks are right there. I don't have to worry about moving again a few hours later when we get sent home, about getting dressed when I have only just given birth and about not remembering enough vests/nappies/muslins.

With all the time we have spent in hospital over the past year, I think part of my decision is the fact I have had enough of the place! I no longer feel as relaxed there as I used to as my memories have changed from wonderful births to weeks in scbu, uncertainty and fear.  I have so much trust in my body after it has birthed three babies already and I am confident and hopeful that it will know what to do a fourth time without needing to be in the hospital.

My labours have been quite quick and I know that at home I can just let it progress without having to go to the car, talk through any notes or see anybody.  I will have midwives here that will stay with me, dedicated care - something that isn't possible in a busy ward or midwife unit.  I would love to use a birthing pool at home, to have another water birth like I did with Archie.

I know that things don't always go to plan so I will have a hospital bag packed incase we need it.  I am planning to follow the same hypnobirthing course I used with Finn and I know what I want with this pregnancy and birth so even if we do get transfered to the hospital I will be planning as natural a birth as I can.  I am going to try and use cord ties again and will be asking for delayed cord clamping and a natural third stage as I did with the others as well as immediate skin to skin.

Birth is such a personal thing, no two are the same and we all have a different idea of our perfect scenario.  Despite everything I thought in my last three pregnancies I think this is the right path for me.  I am seeing a consultant this pregnancy (something new), but at the moment everything is still low risk and the birth I want is looking possible.

Have you had a homebirth before or would you consider one in the future?  I love hearing positive stories
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Saturday, 5 March 2016

5 Months Pregnant

22 weeks pregnant, five months pregnant, second trimester, baby girl pregnancy
With 4 months left to go, I am finding that this middle section of pregnancy is going pretty fast.  The third trimester is still quite a way off, I don't feel that heaviness yet but I have enough of a bump that you can't put it down to too much cake anymore.  I feel far from glowing, but I don't feel nearly as bad as I did only a few weeks ago either.

My energy levels are balancing out and when I am sensible, I don't need a nap in the day.  By sensible, I mean not getting addicted to a new series on Netflix and staying up past when is sensible so that I am still tired in the morning.  Finn is really teething at the moment though, so sleep is really not something I am getting enough of and never in a long stretch like I am craving.  He turned one last week which I was hoping may be a magic cure but it is looking more likely that I have two babies up in the night come July.

My bump is growing much slower now, as the bloating decreases and the baby grows.  I had my 20 week scan on Valentines day and our little lady had a rather large tummy, a bit too large really.  I was sent for a GTT (gestational diabetes) test which thankfully came back negative, so I am seeing a consultant to discuss what this means and what happens now.  Other than that she seemed healthy and still no signs of anything between her legs.  I would be very shocked if I was to have a small baby anyway, but hopefully she evens out a bit more as it was just her tummy that was measuring ahead.

23 weeks pregnant, 5 months pregnancy, 4th baby bump, baby girl bump

This month I have noticed that my boobs have grown, something that happened not until the final weeks in my other pregnancies.  I am also always cold which is a bit of a shock after spending the past few winters with no coat as I was always warm.  I can't get enough layers and blankets on me now and I am starting to regret not buying a maternity coat at the beginning of winter.  I am considering investing in a maternity / babywearing one as it is so close to Spring now.

I used the Babycentre app with my last three bumps but I was getting dejavu every morning so now I am loving the Ovia app for its brilliant comparisons ( Britney is currently the size of a water bottle) and the Tesco weekly maternity calender as weekly is enough now really.  I am counting down to the 24 week viability point as that seems like the next milestone, although I don't want her making an appearance until at least the middle of June.

This month I finally started to feel some movement and I seem to have skipped the flutters and gone straight for little kicks.  I only really feel them when I am lying on my left eating chocolate in the evenings, but hopefully it will all become more regular now.  

My belly button has popped out now so that belly ring is tucked away for post-birth.  With every pregnancy it has been a few weeks earlier as my body remembers what to do! I am in nearly all maternity clothes with the exception of a few oversized jumpers and the long vests.  I always stock up on the Primark 'cami dresses' as they stretch so well they can accomodate even a full term bump and the length means even with a bump they can be worn as a top,  I have bought a few new maternity items and am using some from my previous pregnancies.  

It feels strange that I am already over the halfway mark and I am trying to enjoy pregnancy as much as I can, despite not always feeling great.

22 weeks pregnant, baby bump, 5 months pregnant, fourth baby bump, baby girl bump

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Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Our Gender Reveal

When we found out that we were expecting baby number 4, two thoughts went through my head,

'What if it is another boy?'
'What if it is a girl???'

I quite honestly didn't mind, we were either going to have the wonder of a fourth baby boy or a new baby girl.  I know boys, I love raising boys and I could see my house full of them.  A daughter would be the unknown but a new challenge.  Either way I felt far more impatient to find out this time and I ended up booking an early private scan to try and determine the gender. 

At our previous scan, the sonographer thought she knew the sex based on the nub theory, but I wanted a better look to know for certain.  Last Saturday we went down to a local place and saw our little Britney bump on screen and we got confirmation.

We are expecting a . . .

We are so excited to be welcoming our sixth and final member of the team in July this year!

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