Janet Street-Porter, agree or disagree?

Some of you may have recently read the article written by Janet Street-Porter. Outspoken as always, I’ve seen a great divide in parents views on her argument.

If you haven’t read the article, see here.

In short, her argument is that young children and babies should be banned from restaurants and cafes. Or, that larger restaurants should designate areas specifically for young children, leaving the rest of the venue child free.

When I first read the article, like the title, I wanted to tip spaghetti hoops all over her head. It riled me up.  However, after my trip out yesterday, in some ways, I do actually agree.

Yesterday

Afternoon tea

Yesterday, we played grown up. We had a day out at the races, and enjoyed some afternoon tea as a family. My husband, Dominic and I. We’ve never been to the races before, we’re not really into it, but we wanted afternoon tea (we had a voucher for it), so thought why not! We were lucky enough to get hospitality tickets, so got to sit in the nice swanky part.

Swanky areas come with swanky people. And we came with a grumpy baby. The two don’t really mix. We were sat at a table right by a group of very ‘well-to-do’ folk, all dressed up and ready to place some bets. I was in leggings, a creased jumper (lifted right up by my baby, so the dreaded ‘legging bum’ was showing), and big chunky, muddy boots. I didn’t really fit the part.

But screw it. I wanted cake. I wanted scones. And I really wanted a cup of tea. I was going to relax, and enjoy myself.

Dominic had other ideas.

My beautiful, albeit grumpy child decided he wanted to exercise those little lungs of his. Where better? Neal and I had to take it in turns bouncing him around, singing to him and most importantly, keeping him upright – God knows why, but the child wants nothing more than to be upright and over our shoulders. I could feel people looking at us, trying to be polite, but we were quite obviously ruining the ambience.

This is when I remembered the article I’d read the day before. Janet Street-bloody-Porter. We were those people. The people everyone hates. Should I have left Dominic at home? Probably. But did I? No.

I’ve never had an issue with other people having children at restaurants, or anywhere. And I still don’t. I welcome it. If a baby is crying uncontrollably, that’s fine, that’s what babies do. But suddenly I had an issue with me being there. I felt uneasy and like we should leave.

But then there were the staff. The staff were very accommodating. They took the extra effort to come and talk to us, and to talk to Dominic – who doesn’t love a bit of baby talk? We still sneaked out early, but they did make it much more enjoyable.

Do I agree?

I’m on the fence. I don’t think parents should EVER be asked to leave somewhere due to having children with them. I think children should be disciplined, but at the end of the day, children are children. Even the best behaved kids will act up at times. However I understand that some places are not as well suited for babies/children as others, and having areas better suited for children would be more beneficial for both parties.

What do you think?

 

The Fourth Trimester

The Fourth Trimester

Wait, what? There’s a FOURTH trimester?

No, women aren’t actually pregnant for an additional 12 weeks. That would be horrible – imagine the stitches… distasteful ? Sorry. This comes after the birth.

The idea is that you act like your uterus did for the past 9 months, (I have images of a giant, walking womb rocking my child to sleep…) so that baby can adjust to life outside the womb.

There are a number of ways in which you can help the little one adjust to these changes. It’s not just your world that’s turned upside down after all, so it’s important to make the transition as easy as possible for the both of you.

The baby experts recommend the following:

Swaddling – it helps the baby to feel protected, and (sort of) mimics the womb environment. At least the lack of space, anyway. You can get swaddling blankets that help with this, if you’re anything like me and your baby looks like a messy baby burrito after about 9 attempts.

Movement – you’ll probably find that if you take baby for a walk in the pram, or put them in the car, they will almost always fall asleep (they’re genius inventions!) Babies also like being rocked from side to side. I’m assuming this is because the moment is similar to what they’d have felt when mum was walking around during pregnancy.

Wear your baby – not literally. That would be quite horrendous. But use a sling and wear your baby around the house, or when you’re out. It helps bubba feel close to mum, just like the last 9 months. Careful though, it can get toasty for the both of you!

Sounds – white noise in particular. You can buy all sorts of toys that do this, they play noises that they would hear in the womb, such as their mothers heartbeat. One of the most popular, is good old Ewan the Sheep.

Bath time – not all babies will appreciate it, but the warm water in the bath should feel nice on the babies skin, and help them to relax. You can also incorporate skin to skin here, which if you’re talking to a health visitor, will always earn you some gold stars.

Now YOU.

This is also advice to myself, as I quite often find myself trying to be superwoman, when I could really just do with a nap.

If you find yourself running round the house like a mad woman when your little bundle is snoozing, stop. Lay down and take a nap, relax. Remember, you’ve just had a baby.

When you’re feeling stressed, tired, or an emotional wreck, don’t worry, it’s normal. Remember, you’ve just had a baby.

Everyone gets things wrong, most are probably winging it (I know I am!).  Lower your expectations of yourself, use this time to help you to adjust too.

If you’re going to treat the first 12 weeks as another trimester, why not treat yourself like you (hopefully) did while you were pregnant? Make the most of it while you’re still in those early stages, and help is still offered on a silver platter.

Some of this is probably stating the obvious, but you never know. Some of us need reminding sometimes (i.e. me).

Just enjoy the early weeks of slobbing it in your jammies, not leaving the house, and endless cuddles!

Am I boring, now that I have a baby?

Am I boring, now that I have a baby?

Something I’d always worried about pre-baby. Before baby D, I interacted with adults on a daily basis, whether it be at work, going out, or whatever. We had common ground. Now I find myself in my own little bubble of baby, that no matter how hard I try, I cannot get out of. By this, I certainly don’t mean I’m trying to escape my baby. Far from it. Simply that my mind struggles to stretch any further than it’s giggling, dribbling, sleep deprived limits.

My day currently consists of my baby, and nothing else. I might venture to the shops if I’m feeling brave, but even that’s rare. When it comes to it, it’s far far easier to stay inside, where I don’t need to get my baby and I ready. Getting ready myself takes longer than it used to, despite making about 50% of the effort I did before. Because let’s face it, who has the time anymore? My baby couldn’t give a crap what I look like. However, I now have to contend with spit up and dribble all over my clothes, poop over my hands, and a little boy who likes to stay within the boundaries of my arms, rendering me fairly useless.

Nowadays, nothing joys me more than a night in with a movie, a bowl of popcorn (this is imperative) and a hot chocolate. So when I see my friends, apart from talking about who left X-Factor last week, I have little to bring to the table other than my baby. I’ll search my mind frantically, trying to think of something else, something interesting to say.

I used to find it aggravating when I’d see mums gravitating towards other mums, when I knew it was solely because they were both parents. Now, I totally get it. If all you have to talk about is dirty nappies, night feeds, and getting your baby to stop crying, who better to befriend? They can relate to the fact you haven’t washed your hair in days. They understand why you can barely muster a sentence together. They don’t judge you for the spit up stain, you haven’t quite gotten round to removing. They get you.

I’m not saying for one second that other people don’t. But I am saying that you feel boring when speaking to them. Those nagging thoughts infiltrate my mind, “am I speaking about my baby too much?”, “are they just feigning interest when I talk about the new cuddly toy I bought?”.

Not long ago, I got excited about a new kitchen spray. S’all I’m saying.

I actually went to a comedy club last weekend. A good night out, I thought? Then I realised it was inside a nightclub. The acts finished just before 10pm (at which point I was shattered. It was bedtime, after all), and then turns into a nightclub. My 10 o’clock (going home, and going to bed), and other peoples 10 o’clock (getting into town to start/continue drinking, and eventually hitting the clubs) were worlds apart. The realisation hit me. I’m getting old. Old and boring.

But then when I got home, and I saw that gorgeous, dribbling little face, I realised that I don’t care. Not anymore. I love my boring life, poop en’ all.

Reflexology and getting pregnant

Reflexology

Reflexology helped me in a big way. While some may dispute this, I genuinely believe that there are a lot of benefits to reflexology. It can help with a great deal of things; it can reduce stress, alleviate pain, eliminate toxins, and the most important one for this post, it can help with fertility.

Early last year, I was diagnosed with an overactive thyroid. Amongst other things, this put my cycles out of whack. It meant I’d go months without a period, and therefore, I wouldn’t ovulate. If you’re trying to get pregnant, you’ll probably know that you can’t get pregnant unless you ovulate. No egg, no baby. Simple. I tried all sorts to help. I drank special tea’s, I took vitamins and I changed my diet. But nothing worked. Nada. I just wasn’t ovulating.

After many, many, many searches with Dr Google, I eventually came across Reflexology. At the time, I’d never heard of it. I’d never really believed in holistic therapies – as far as I was concerned they would provide relaxation, and that’s about it. Being curious however, I did do a little searching on ‘reflexology and fertility’. After an entire day of searching (I got a little Google happy), I’d found that there were a lot of women claiming to get pregnant after reflexology sessions.

At this point, I was willing to try anything. I came across Alex, from Amethyst Reflexology. I promptly contacted her and arrived for my first session not long after. I was very sceptical, I mean, how on earth could  foot rub help me get pregnant?! The session was wonderful though, I felt relaxed and optimistic, and was keen for another visit – whether it helped or not (the only downside was my feet would slip all around in my shoes on the drive home)! Low and behold, 2 days later I got a positive ovulation test. It worked! Sure, you may be thinking this is a fluke. However, it happened each time I went. About 2-3 days after, I’d get the positive test again.

(if you do use ovulation tests and are spending a bomb in store, try these. Much cheaper, and you can buy in bulk)

Now I totally get that some people won’t believe this, and that’s fine. But, I do genuinely believe that it helps your body get back into sync with itself, reduce stress, and by stimulating parts of your foot (linked with your reproductive organs), reflexology can help both boost your fertility, and encourage ovulation.

After my third session, I fell pregnant. Unfortunately this wasn’t meant to be, and if you’ve read my previous post (click here if you’re interested) you’ll know that this pregnancy didn’t last. However, the very next month I fell pregnant again. And now I’m sat here with baby to the left of me.

Reflexology may not be for everyone, and not everyone will have the same positive experience I did. But if you are struggling to get pregnant, I couldn’t recommend this enough. Surely it’s worth a shot? It is kinda expensive, but that’s why I only went once a month (mid cycle), and the results are more than worth it.

Alex can be contacted on this link, if you’re interested in trying reflexology with her. There are plenty of places to try it if you don’t live in the Southampton/Portsmouth area though.

I’m really hopeful that reflexology will help others the same way it did us, so please share this with your friends :)

2 month old baby

Yesterday Dominic was 2 months old. 2 months?! How the hell did that happen. I remember when he was just 5 weeks and thinking, “Jesus, he’s getting old!!”. This month has been an exciting one, he is changing so fast.

Baby:

This month he’s become much more smiley. He’ll still smile when he has gas, but the majority of his smiles are real now. He’s definitely a morning baby, as he tends to wake up smiling and cooing now. Sometimes in the middle of the night too – the temptation to start playing with him is unreal, but I stay strong and stay quiet. It’s bed time after all, and if I need anything, it’s sleep! With the shrieks and coos that accompany these smiles, I’m convinced his first laugh is just around the corner.

He’s also started getting much stronger neck muscles – something I’d been very worried about previously. His head is quite big, so I thought he’d really struggle, but the little mite is getting ever so good at it. He can be a bit of a bobble head at times though, and overcompensates for his ‘back heavy’ head, and DONK! (that’s the sound I imagine in my head when it flops down).

Each Peach Pear Plum

Each Peach Pear Plum

Books are popular this month too. Namely, Each Peach Pear Plum. I’m not sure what it is, but he gets himself in a right little frenzy over it. I love that the books I read as a child are still around. I’ve also tried a picture book, which is made of cloth filled with fuzzy things that make sounds when you touch it. The only problem I have, is it has no words in it, so it’s up to me to make up the story. The main three pages feature a cow, pig and sheep. Last time I read it to him I got lost on what to say, and ended telling Dominic how Mummy and Daddy like to eat the bacon… Whoops!

I’m also considering purchasing the Snuzpod. We currently have a standard moses basket, which is all well and good, but he’s starting to outgrow it. Despite what my husband says, I am adamant he will be staying in our room until he’s 6 months old. I’ve heard that the Snuzpod is a little bigger, which means he could potentially stay in it until 6 months. I also like that you can take down the side, and co-sleep (sort of) with your baby. I’m not brave enough to do it properly, but this is a good compromise. I had the chance to sleep that way in the birth centre, and it was lovely. I also love the design of the Snuzpod! The only catch is it’s about £200. So, if anyone reading this has used it, or knows anyone who has, please do let me know what you think.

Me:

Still sporting the jelly belly, although (ever so slightly) smaller than last month. I’ll take every inch (or more realistically, a mm) as a win. I’ve started on daily green smoothies in effort to get healthier – which I’m awful at, by the way. Not in that I won’t drink it, but that I’m awful at pairing fruit together to make it taste nice. They all taste disgusting. I tend to go by colours. If the colours look similar, surely they taste good together? Nope. They do not.

I’m also contemplating starting running. My logic to this is to eventually give me more energy, and to feel a little better in myself. But the likeliness of this happening is fairly remote. Especially when it’s such fight to walk to the shops (which is just 5 minutes down the road). I’ll get there… eventually.

Other than that, I feel pretty good in myself. Life is pretty good.