Wednesday, 23 September 2020

Breastfeeding (The first two weeks)

Last time the boys couldn’t suck, so I had to express and it was all a big pain. After 8 weeks, I gave up!


This time around I was adamant I was going to give breastfeeding a go again. As soon as I got out the operating theatre and reunited with Gavin and baby, they asked my feeding preferences. I said breast. They lifted up my gown and popped her on my chest. She literally latched on like a dream. The midwife spent the first 30 mins with me doing obs, and then left us to it. We had some breakfast and lunch, and honestly she just kept latching on no problem.


Then Gav went home at 10pm, and it’s suddenly got much more difficult. Between 1-3am I just couldn’t get her to relax. She wouldn’t latch on. She just screamed. I was tired and could feel myself getting overwhelmed. I pushed the buzzer. A midwife came in and gave me some amazing tips. She really took the time to care. 


By day 4 my nipples were a mess, and my boobs felt incredibly engorged. Every time she feed, I got pains in my stomach and tops of my legs.  The stomach is the uterus contracting, but no one seemed to know what the leg pain was. I was on the brink of giving it all up! I took a warm shower to relieve my breasts, and then pumped which helped the pain. 


She slept really well that night, and I woke up with the mindset of 14 days. To give it 14 days and that way I’d given it my all.  The community midwife recommended using the Haaka instead.


Well by day 9 my nipples were so much better, and the initial 10 seconds of extreme pain disappeared. 


One big thing I’ve learnt is, do what’s right for you. Then pretty much every health professional since has contradicted the last person who givens next advice. Express/ Don’t express. Manual pump/ Electric pump. Add top up formula feeds/ offer her the breast more often even if you have to wake her....


I’m certainly not waking her for a feed! I’d prefer to feed her more during the day, and get bigger gaps at night, so we can both get some sleep. 

- — - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

I never thought about nursing clothes beforehand, so I spent a lot of time in my bra. I popped a question on my Instagram for recommendations for clothes, and lots of you asked me to share the responses. I’ve listed the shop and who recommended them below;

💖 Gap - @mummymannbakes @aisha106

💖 TheBShirt - @justanormalmum

💖 Juno Jacks - @Traceylm85 @beautifulchaos.x @katielouiseryan @cuddles4breakfast

💖 H&M - @living.the.harris.life @lifewiththehazelwoods @3boysand2littleladies @mommabeatrice @littlesweetie10 @josie_jjl @vikkipott21 @laura_mccabe_

💖 ASOS - @jessica.and.jack @ashleighpaigeexo

💖 Lovedgarms - @ourlife_in_colour

💖 Milky tee - @mummataralouise @dream1ncolour

💖 Amazon - @newmummyunleashed

💖 Jojo Manan Bebe - @riosavannah @loving_ethan_and_alice

💖 Altered Apparel - @my.robbins.nest

💖 Latched - @aprilandenid @lifeat.no18

💖 Stylish_mum1 - @Benniebloomw

💖 And then LOADS of you said to buy cami vests from primark and wear underneath your usual clothes. Then one can go up and one can go down. 



Thursday, 10 September 2020

Our 2nd Birth Story

For all my worries, it was much worse than I could’ve ever imagined. Gav dropped me off at 7.30am. I had cried solidly the whole journey there. I went to a ward of 3 beds, and asked to gown up, along with three other ladies. I was lucky to be first of the list, due to my anxiety issues, which became very apparent when the surgeon couldn’t even understand me through my sobbing. They all then did my obs; took my temperature and blood pressure. My blood pressure was so low the machine wasn’t picking me up, which they then did manually and it caused some concerns. They then said my temperature was high. Having a temperature right now, is like carrying a weapon. After some long discussions with the entire team, they decided to go ahead, thank goodness!! At 8.45 I called Gav to come in and meet us at theatre. He got into his scrubs. 

Everywhere I’d been then got decontaminated. I was in the theatre for a long time. Much longer than the twins. I don’t want to scare anyone, but it was horrific. I got a spinal and epidural. After 5 mins, the room began spinning. I felt sick and was about to pass out. They hadn’t even started cutting yet and I was already feeling atrocious. Thoughts running through my mind like, Gav was about to become a widowed dad of 3! They gave me another drug which helped; but I had beads of sweat dripping off me. I took off my hair net and face mask, because I felt trapped by panic and heat. I then began violently shaking. Gav held my hand without the cannula tightly above my head. Finally at 10:10 she was born but it took another 40/50 minutes to stitch me up. About 10 minutes after she was out the “tugging” “washing machine” feeling became unbearable. The tears were rolling down my cheeks. The trainee anaesthetist thankfully noticed that I couldn’t even focus on baby, and Gav asking me if I was okay. They then stopped proceedings. They asked if I wanted to be put to sleep, but I was desperate not to. So they agreed to up my spinal again and put local directly in my open tummy. It helped slightly. But I was definitely still let out some grunts of discomfort. It felt like someone was repeatedly hitting me with a baseball bat to my stomach and then using as a rolling pin.

I could hear the crazy amount of staff talking about the next patients being delayed because they’d need to shut down theatre after me.  I ended up in a side room in the consultant led delivery ward (again!) They removed any unnecessary furniture beforehand. Gav stayed post birth up until 10pm. It was comfort for me and worked to their advantage as he was able to keep an eye on me, whilst they stayed clear of the coronavirus girl! 

Of course overnight it was much more difficult. They kept me bed bound. Catheter, Cannula drips..  I’d have to push the help button to help get me a nappy etc. I could tell that it was like “oh gosh!It’s the corona room again!” Thankfully a wonderful midwife came in at 2pm and really helped me. 

Then yesterday morning my results came back again negative. I didn’t think for one second I did have it. Staff were suddenly making an appearance, and they said they’d discharge me. I rang Gav in pure glee to come pick us up. 

Then over the next 4 hours details started coming forward about my amount of blood loss (850 mls), my blood results, the amount of urine I was passing since having my catheter removed (apparently you should only go if you need a wee 200mls or more🤷🏼‍♀️)... the list goes on. They took my bloods again, and then started talking about giving me a blood transfusion. Long story short, my levels dropped again. But with some persuading they agreed to prescribe me with 6 weeks worth of iron, and I must get bloods taken in 2 weeks. If no significant improvement, I’ll have to go back for a blood transfusion. 
At 5pm we finally left! 
❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Wednesday, 18 March 2020

How Our Story Developed

This is very weird.

Right, so the week before Christmas I downloaded an ovulation app. I decided that I wanted to start tracking my very irregular periods, so I could begin to try and work out when I ovulated. I popped in my dates, and it worked out that I had ovulated when Gav was on nights! I did joke with Gav that I may have a baby in my tummy, but I knew it hadn't happened when it really needed to. 

The app pushes notifications (and it emails) you daily to input every intimate detail. Physical, emotional etc. Since having the boys I've *roughly* had a 35 day cycle. I had input sore boobs, bloated etc, and the app said "2 days until you can do a test". I had some very old test strips so I thought what harm will it do, so I tried and it was a negative. The following morning I began spotting. That was it. It was over. I was surprisingly upset. More than I thought I'd be. We hadn't actively tried. It was all a bit silly. 

The spotting continued for the next 3 days. This was pretty normal for me. Of course the app continued popping up, and I was adamant to keep it up for the next month, so continued entering details everyday. The app then said "you should do a test". I was baffled! Why? So I grabbed another one of the cheap/ out of date dip sticks and did another test. It came back negative, and I threw it in the bin. Stupid app! Getting my hopes up again 🙄

That evening I was sorting the boys out in the bathroom, and looked into the bin. There was another line. I called Gav in, and he was shocked. Not for the reading, because I had told him nothing. He told me that it was 14 hours old, and unreliable. I agreed and that was that.

Overnight I went over and over it in my head. Again I knew I had a clear blue in the cupboard, but 18 months out of date. Those things are expensive, so I didn't have the heart to bin them. The next morning I used it before anyone was up. There is was Pregnant 1-2 weeks.
You can tell it was early.
I've had to put the brightest up to see it.
I gave it to Gav and told him to look. I told him I wanted to get to the supermarket and buy some that were in date. I remember reading that the morning is the best time to test, so I planned on leaving it. Gav was on nights, and I couldn't stop thinking about the tests upstairs. I picked up the +/- one and thought I'd give it a go. The + came up really quickly, and I text Gav a photo right away. 
GULP! WE’RE HAVING A BABY!
It was really bugging me that the test before said I was 1-2 weeks, as this didn't match my dates at all. The following day I did the other test, and there it was Pregnant 3+. That made me feel so much better. 

*orignally written 17/01/2020*

Tuesday, 21 January 2020

Instagram Hashtags


It might seem really uncool to hashtag your posts, but it’s so important if you want to be seen. 
  • If your account is private, hashtags simply won’t work. 
  • You can use up to 30 hashtags per post, and I'd recommend using as many as possible
  • You can put hashtags either in your caption, or enter as a comment.
  • If you over use hashtags you won’t show up under them anymore, so keeping them rotating is so important.
  • Keep the hashtags very strict to the image, eg. If it’s a kitchen, don’t use bathroom hashtags.
  • Try to stay away from hashtags that have been used 1 million times or more. I aim to use ones that are between 10k-500k.
I keep my hashtags in my notes section on my phone, and that way I can track what I’ve used. Remember overusing can lead to becoming shadow banned, so maybe use half one time and half the next.

This is how I organise my list in my notes;

Pregnancy
#bump #bumpstyle #bumpie #pregnancyjourney #mumtobe #pregnancyblog #pregnancyannouncement #xxweeks #dueinx-month-x #mumtobe 

Newborns/Babies 
#newbornphotography #newbornphotoshoot #newbaby #newbornbaby #babyfever #lifewithanewborn #borninx-month-x #x-month-xbaby 

Toddler
#toddlerlife #toddlerfashion #toddlermomlife #ootdtoddler #lifewithlittles #illuminatechildhood #followtheirchildhood #magicofchildhood #candidchildhood #littlestoriesofmine 

Children
#toys #kidsgames #educationalfun #activitiesfortoddlers #activitiesforkids #learningmadefun #learnthroughplay #playoutside #playinside #toyreview #thingstodowithkids #sensoryplay #thingstodowithtoddlers #activitiesforkids #messyplay #childrensbooks #storytime 

Parenting
#documentingmotherhood #dailymamamoment #ig_motherhood #motherhoodthroughinstagram #bloggingmama #bloggingmum #parenthood #dailyparenting #realmotherhood #mummybloggeruk #momtruths #honestparenting #parentinghacks #ukmumsquad #mummyblogger  #mumblogger #mummy4mummy #mummyinfluencer #emmasdiaryparentpowerpanel #motherhoodunplugged #coolmumclub #motherhoodrising #mumsnetparents #thismamaloves #mumsofinstagram #ig_motherhood #mumshustlehard #mummyblogger #mbloggersuk #mumbloggeruk #cameramama #mblogger #mybeautifulmess #mumsnetparents #channelmumvillage #netmumsloves #parentsquad

Home
#interior123 #myhomestyle #hincharmy #hinching #mrshinch #myhomemystyle #houseremodel #familyhouse #housetransformation #interior444 #beforeandafter #interior125 #houserenovation #renovationproject #newbuild #transformationtuesday #exteriordesign #interiordesign #exteriors #storagegoals #storagesolutions #organisedhome #organisationgoals #homedecor #ourluxuryhome #passion4interior #livingthedream #myhousebeautiful #pocketofmyhome #roommakeover #teamhomecommunity #inspire_me_home_decor #homedecorblogger #homerenos #houserenovations #bedroommakeover #lifestyleblogger #homeblogger #greybedroom #bedroommakeover #bedroomdecor #greyhome #interior4u1#passion4interiors #interiors4all #teamhomecommunity #bedroomideas 

Women’s Fashion
#mumstyle #over30fashion #ootd #wiwt #whatmamawore #womensfashion #mummyfashion #wearablefashion #fashionblog #fashiongram #lifestyleblogger #ootd #whatmummywears #myoutfittoday #myoutfitcollection #outfitinspo #lookoftheday #styleinsta #independentmum #mummymodel #iwish #fashionmum #mumwear 

Small Shops/ Kids Fashion
#supportsmall #cutekidzz #kidsfashionfeatures #totsphoto #cameramum #pixel_kids #childrenofig #littlefierceones #letsgolittles #worldoflittles #funseekingkids #curiouslittleexplorers #explorerkids #worldoflittles #happylittlebuttons #childhoodunplugged #myhappycapture #perfectandproud #lifecloseup 

Weightloss
#slimmingworld #slimmingworlduk #swukinstagram #slimmingworldjourney #slimmingworldmafia #slimmingworldsupport #slimmingworldfollowers #slimmingworldfamily #swuk #slimmingworldmeals #slimmingworldmotivation #progressnotperfection #beforeandafterweightloss #beforeandduringweightloss #progresspic #slimmingworldmember #slimmingworldfolloweruk #vegetarianrecipes #swrecipes #slimmingworld #healthyrecipes #healthyfood #slimmingworldrecipes #swfollowers#weightwatchersuk #slimmingworld #slimmingworldfamily #slimmingworldfriends #weightlossprogress #weightlossjourney #swfollowersuk

Days Out
#daysoutwithkids #daysoutinherts #hertsbedsbucks #hertfordshiremum #mumtribe #stalbansmum #septemberdaysout #summerholidays #schoolholidays #funseekingkids #worldoflittles #londontrip #londonfamily #familyblogger #familyactivities #londonwithtoddlers #familyday #ukexplore #capturingtheday #travelfamilyblogger #familydaysout #londondaysout #oureverydaymoments #familyfestival

Giveaway 
#giveaway #win #competition #freebie #inittowinit #5kgiveaway #10kgiveaway #15kgiveaway #20kgiveaway #freebiefriday #instagramgiveaway #entertowin #prize #comp #competition #winning

Can't see what you're looking for? Head to a page thats doing well, posting a similar image and copy some of their hashtags! 

Thanks for reading, and make sure you follow us on Instagram www.instagram.com/craigfamilyblog ⭐️

Thursday, 16 January 2020

How To Deep Clean Your Pushchair (Using No Harsh Chemicals)

To give you a little background. When the building work finished early December, we had lots of stuff still hanging about, so we were using the car to take the stuff to the dump. We popped our double pram in a nearby garage to we could use the boot. Then we had all the hospital trips etc, and we were taking the singles. 

Today we popped there to pick some of our bits to bring back here, and we saw it. It was so mouldy. I could've cried! I thought I'd share what I did in case any one else is ever caught in the same situation.
To be honest, it possibly went away damp (when is it not raining!). It always had food caught in the seats. There was sand, suncream... you name it!

I pushed it back to ours, and got straight in the car and headed to B&M Bargains. I picked up a bottle of Stardrops white vinegar spray (79p), a bottle of elbow grease (89p) and a pack bicarbonate of soda (99p). 
When I got home, I initially brushed the whole thing down with a dry scrubbing brush. Most the the mould same off instantly, so that showed me the mould was more on the surface.
Then I sprayed every inch of it in the vinegar. The vinegar will kill any bacteria growing. I made it pretty wet, and then used another hard brush to really give it a good scrub. I did remove the sun canopy for ease of getting into all the areas.
I then sprinkled bicarbonate of soda all over. It's a natural deodoriser, so takes the nasty vinegar smells away. I then left it outside to dry on for a while. After a while I then vacuumed the whole thing, sucking up all the bicarb, sand, food still suck in the nooks etc. At this point it looked pretty good to be honest. It hadn't got the greasy suncream marks off though, and I wanted to know it was 100% okay.

I brought it inside, and focused my attention to the marks that had been on it a while. I sprayed a little elbow grease on the suncream marks, and used a clean cloth to wipe. 

Finally I used my steam cleaner, with the upholstery tool (which I hadn't used before) and popped a little Zoflora into the water canister. I put it on the hottest setting, and I went over and over,spending a lot of time on the straps etc. I filled the canister twice. Once the fabric was done, I did all the metal, handles, foot rests, wheels...
The newer version is currently on Amazon for £36.99 #aff
Tap the photo to view!
Honestly I can't believe how good it looks. It honestly looks brand new! We have a company where I live that charges almost what I paid for this buggy to give it a similar treatment. I'm going to give the single buggies a similar treatment next!
#mould #mouldy #pushchair #pram #buggy #stroller #clean #deepclean #wash #noharshchemicals #steamclean #cleaning #hinching #mrshinch