Tuesday 31 March 2015

Me and Mine March

March has been manic, but it has seen us bringing home the newest member of the family, Finn.  The first half was spent apart as Finn and I were in special care and the bigger boys at home and since we have been reunited, it has been about adjusting to three small boys and life as a family of five.

We weren't going to attempt anything too ambitious this month, and this photo sums up March pretty well.  There have been lots of cuddles, more time than usual spent on the sofa, and I have looked exhausted throughout.  We have been together though, learning about one another and we have done it smiling (especially Archie!)

This month Mummy is loving having all her family together under one roof, managing to get all three boys to nap at the same time, cuddles on the sofa with all three of her babies and eating proper food again after 3 weeks of hospsital cuisine.

Daddy is loving Peppa Pig cake for his birthday, having Mummy back home to share the childcare, building Dinosaurland out of cardboard boxes with Dylan and the warmer weather.

Dylan is loving gardening with Daddy, watching Blaze on Nikolodeon, having cake in the hospital cafe and proudly showing off our new baby.

Archie is loving having Mummy home again, taking his lunchbox to nursery, singing Twinkle Twinkle to Finn and telling people to come here 'RIGHT NOW'.

Finn is loving having mummy's milk again, snoozing on Mummy's chest, the chatter of his brothers and being out of the hospital.
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Saturday 28 March 2015

Shoes for Adventures

Archie is a toddler who needs to move.  He is not content walking along the pavement, he needs to explore, find stones, sticks, alleys and mischief.  His selective hearing means that when you mention he doesn't have his wellies on he still jumps in every puddle and a little bit of mud is not getting in the way of fun!

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Friday 27 March 2015

One Month Old

It has been 4 weeks since we met our baby boy, a whole month since we became a family of five and it has been a busy one.  The first 19 days were spent in the special care baby unit after it was discovered Finn was born with a virus and the next 9 days at home were busy with nursery runs, hospital appointments and adapting to life with three under four.

At 4 weeks old, Finn is still so tiny.  He is much smaller than either of the other two were at birth, and at his last weigh in was only 6lb 15oz.  He is 51 cm long and hasn't started to fill out much yet.  He is starting to fit into newborn sized clothes, but he is still so curled up that he thinks the leg holes are optional.  He doesn't really straighten his legs much (unless he is angry) so he seems even smaller than he really is.
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Wednesday 25 March 2015

A Week at Home

It has now been a week since we brought our little guy home from hospital, a week of adjusting to life as a five, of learning the best way to get everyone up, fed and dressed in the morning, and how to settle everyone at night as practically as possible.  Going from two to three children feels like a much bigger jump than from one to two and I am far from organised, but I know we will get there.

This week I have learnt the true value of Peppa Pig - I am not sure I would be able to leave the house every morning without her occupying the biggest two whilst I feed the baby and get dressed.
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Sunday 22 March 2015

4 Boys and a Dyson

I now share my house with four boys and I am starting to resign myself to the fact out house will never be quiet or tidy again.   Muddy shoes are traipsed through the house, crumbs scattered on the floor and they seem to be creating 'art' everywhere they go (mostly in the style of Tracey Emin's Unmade Bed)

Whilst we settle into life as a five and having Finn at home with us, cleaning isn't top on my list of priorities, but with the mess that Dylan and Archie manage to make on a daily basis, having a hoover that can keep up with them is pretty important.  Hoovering has the added bonus of calming the baby down too (all that nesting in the third trimester has paid off!)
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Thursday 19 March 2015

The First Three Weeks

When our beautiful baby boy was handed to us three weeks ago, we had no idea what was in store for us.  He looked healthy and happy and as we counted his fingers and toes, wondered at how tiny he was and enjoyed those precious first moments, we had no idea it would be days before we could take him home and really start life as a family of five.

Our little Pretzel was born with a rare virus, which meant his first days were punctuated with tests and scans to try and find out more.  Thankfully many things which we find painful didn't seem to trouble the little guy who managed to frequently fall asleep during blood tests.  We were well looked after in the Special Care Baby Unit and once he had a diagnosis we could start all the relevant medicines.

After nearly three weeks, our baby was finally able to come home, and real life could start.  Things are not over and we were sent home with lots of medication and follow up appointments but our family is together, and on Monday night we all slept under the same roof.  We are so thankful to everyone who visited, messaged us, sent gifts, prayed for us and thought of us.  

Whilst there was plenty that wasn't positive about those first few weeks, the things I want to remember are those special moments, some completely ordinary, some more amazing because of the circumstances.

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Thursday 12 March 2015

Pretzel's Birth Story

For some reason, despite having had two babies born before their due date, I was convinced that our little pretzel would be late.  At 39 weeks exactly, nothing was ready, the crib sat waiting in the box to be built, a half packed hospital bag had a list of things still to buy and to pack and the car seat to bring our little guy home in was stored away for 'nearer the time'. 

Tuesday 24th February was my first real day of maternity leave, and after dropping the bigger boys at nursery, I went to get my hair done - something I tried to plan as close to the arrival as possible so that in those first pictures I look nice and blonde.  I had a few very mild contractions throughout the morning, but they were completely irregular and not painful - I knew they were different to Braxton Hicks but I could go between 20 minutes and 2 hours between them.  

I came home for a quiet afternoon, a lie down on the sofa and some catch up TV, and collected the boys from nursery.  Nothing seemed to be happening, but I felt like this may be a slow lead up to the big day and once the boys were in bed, I decided we should really start getting organised!  I got the crib out and gave the bloke instructions on how to build it, and I finished up my hospital bag, packing those final tiny sleepsuits and nappies. 

At 10pm, I decided to have a bath, thinking it would either stop anything completely and buy me some more time, or start something real, but after an hour's soak without a single contraction I decided it was the former.

At 11pm as I climbed out I felt something, and suddenly there was a regularity.  I was having contractions every 5 minutes and they were about 30 seconds long.  I found my birth ball and supervised the rest of the crib building, waiting to see if they progressed.  I started practicing the hypnobirthing techniques I had learnt and the wave breathing and I felt in control.

At midnight, I rang my mum, who we were relying on to look after the other two, and told her to keep her phone nearby tonight.  She decided to come straight over as it was late, and arrived about 1pm.

By this point, things were pretty regular and I was struggling to talk through them.  I rang the midwife led unit and they agreed that I should come in to be checked.  We arrived at 1:30am, but during the taxi ride over, things had slowed down and by the time we walked in, I could walk and talk through contractions.  I was shown into a lovely room, similar to the one in which Archie was born, and told they would come back in when things picked back up.

At 2:30, I was examined by both the student midwife and the midwife in charge, and told I was 5cm dilated.  One went to fetch some gas and air in case I wanted it and the other started running the pool as I was hoping for another water birth.  Things suddenly picked up though, and the space between contractions was not long enough for me to climb off of the bed.  My birth had been active and perfect until then, but suddenly I felt like I was losing control.

I felt a lot of pressure and was told it was my waters bulging, I grabbed the gas and air and I pushed to try and pop them, but suddenly the midwife's were back at the bed and as I heard the waters go, I was told to just do another short push.  I had no idea what was going on at this point, but with a little push, my baby was born.

At 2:46 am after a 16 minute established labour, my baby boy was placed on my chest.  His head had been born still in the water, and I had birthed him on the bed as there was no time to get to the pool.  Due to a bleed, I had to have the injection to deliver my placenta, but I didn't care by this point.

A tiny pink baby was screaming, opening his little eyes and kicking his skinny legs.  A baby much smaller than we had envisaged but one who stole our hearts all over again.

Baby Pretzel was born 5 days early after a quick labour with only a couple of minutes gas and air.   He weighed 7lb 1oz and had dark hair and dark eyes.  He looked like both his big brothers, and totally different at the same time.

new baby, newborn, scbu, ng newborn

After a quick shower, we were moved to a different room for skin to skin cuddles, and as there was meconium in his waters, we were told it would be 12 hours before we could go home.

Unfortunately, we didn't make it home that night, and our little Pretzel is still in special care, where he is doing really well.  That is a whole other story though, and one I will write up once we are all home.

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One 4 All for Mother's Day

With Mother's Day falling less than three weeks after the arrival of our third baby, things are all up in the air.  As he is still in hospital being looked after in special care, we are all a bit disorganised, and I doubt the bloke will be out taking the biggest two shopping this week!

One 4 all sent me a gift card to treat myself this mother's day and it is a perfect gift.  My maternity clothes no longer fit now my bump is a baby and my pre-pregnancy clothes are not all that flattering as I lose the remainder of the tummy that carried three babies.  The gift cards can be used in so many ways, from days out, to family meals to treats for you, and mine is being spent on some nice clothes to help me transition between what fits.  Not only do I want nice and baggy in the right places, but things should be easy access as I am breastfeeding a newborn too.

I love that the card can be personalised with any image, and this one is special as it was our last family photo as a family of four!

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