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Mum Life

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As Christmas is fast approaching we are getting in the festive spirit. December is always jam-packed but this year is our first taking Annabelle into consideration and making sure that some of the activities are ones she will enjoy.

So when we received an invite to Santa and Steam at Churnet Valley Railway we were SO EXCITED. It was a last minute invite but we agreed to switch around previously arranged plans so we could make it. The invite explained that we would meet the Santa Express at Kingsley & Froghall station in Staffordshire. What the invite didn’t mention was that the experience would be a wonderful, Hogwarts style journey jam-packed with memorable moments.

If you are looking for a festive, family experience that will start the Christmas period of in the perfect way check out the details for Santa and Steam here.

Seeing your baby sick is horrible. Our hearts go out to anyone with a child with a serious illness – you are heroes!

Our Annabelle came home from nursery on Tuesday and I naturally checked her back. Sometimes she gets eczema there and the previous week I had noticed a small rash. That rash had eased and almost disappeared over the weekend so we didn’t consider it was anything more.

As the evening continued the spots had got worse. And  stretched further down her back. Annabelle then started to itch her head (well paw at it like some cute animal trying to get a fly). It seemed that in the space of a few hours our girl had gone from energetic to lethargic. Something definitely wasn’t right.

13 months and 5 days ago our wonderful Annabelle joined our family and from the moment she arrived she has been breastfeeding. For the entire time I have been her Mum I have been breastfeeding her.

That was until now.

I haven’t completely stopped breastfeeding but it is slowing down. And both Annabelle and I okay with it. I think. It’s time.

Independent lady

A few weeks ago I shared a post entitled ‘Sometimes The Struggle Is Real’. Life had become somewhat overwhelming for a number of reasons and I wrote the post as a way of clearing my head and sharing what was going on with us.

That was a few weeks ago and opening this page to start this post I am in a much better place. Thankfully. Things haven’t slowed down but things have become more manageable.

In fact we have spent the weekend singing, dancing and celebrating at Brighton Pride with my Mum, two Aunts and sister. It was an amazing weekend and wandering down Brighton pier I was able to breathe a sigh of relief. I am surrounded by love and support and when things are tough I know my tribe are there for me.

I am lucky. I am super lucky. And yet despite being super lucky I am struggling right now. The wonderful world of social media allows a snapshot into our life – the highlight reel if you like. It creates a grid filled with smiles and happy moments that we love to look back on. A Twitter feed of life observations and a Facebook timeline of curated content that shares our story.

All of it is true. No picture is ever faked – it may be retaken half a dozen times when the baby and dog are involved- but it is always capturing a moment that happened.

But that is never the whole story.

I didn’t think that I would ever be writing the statement ‘I have breastfed for a year’. In fact I am somewhat shocked that breastfeeding is something I have been able to do for a year. Physically and managing it having being back in a full time job for over 2 months.

I wished I had purchased a battery breast pump, it is amazing how requiring a plug to be able to pump really restricts you. The amount of time I have ended up hand expressing in bathrooms as the office I am in doesn’t have a meeting room that doesn’t have glass windows – great for airiness, terrible for privacy!

Breastfeeding has definitely been a journey for me. A fairly easy journey for the most part but at the start I didn’t expect to be saying that.

Unlike straight couples there was a certain amount of additional planning that went in to us having Annabelle. In fact you can read all about it here. What that planning meant was that we had a good idea on when Annabelle would be making an appearance.

As only 4% of babies arrive on their due date we knew it was never going to be an exact science but I secretly hoped that her arrival would miss our anniversary on the 28th of June and my birthday on the 13th of July. Laura, loudly, hoped for a 4th of July baby.
As the due date drew nearer and it was confirmed that I was to have a C-Section we were given the date of the 7th of July. I could relax and Laura could give up her 4th of July plan. That was until I got a phone call moving the C-Section to the 2nd. Any relaxing went out the window and Laura decided that the 2nd was close enough to the 4th to decree that Annabelle would have a 4th of July themed parties until she told us something different.