October 2016 | Rosy Cheeks & Muddy Feet

Henry's Birth Story.

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If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram then you'll already know the reason for my absence here over the past week or so. Baby Boy decided to wait until his induction date to make his appearance but thankfully he didn't hang around after that and just 1 hour and 43 minutes after the doctors decided it was time to start, Henry Alexander came into the world :)

My induction was set for last Thursday, the 13th of October. Hoping to start things off naturally the week before I tried literally all the old wives tales that are meant to start labour, including 3 stretch and sweeps. None of them worked. I spent most of my days bouncing on a gym ball and drinking more raspberry leaf tea than anyone should ever have to stomach. I had a few contractions on and off but nothing to write home about. I did know that I was already 4cms dilated so I was hopeful that something would happen before the Thursday but alas it did not. 

Thursday arrived and I was a nervous wreck. We had to be at the hospital for 10am so I got to drop James off at school and Emilie at nursery. It was awful saying goodbye to them. I didn't want them to see me get upset & I did manage to wait until they had both been dropped off but after that I lost it and sat outside Emilie's nursery and cried. I think it was a mixture of anxiety, stress and not knowing how long I would be away from them for. 

We arrived at the hospital at 9.50am. I knew that it would probably be quite a wait but I didn't expect it to take as long as it did. I was examined by a midwife who confirmed that I was still 4cms and they would only need to break my waters, rather than use any other interventions. She explained that there was one person on the list before me and to basically wait it out and they would let me know when I was to be taken down to the delivery ward. 

We waited.. & waited.. & waited. I was having a few contractions so we took a walk around the hospital grounds. My sister brought Anthony some food, my anxiety levels rose and we walked some more. 

By 7pm I was almost beside myself. Anthony had to pop home because he had forgotten his bank card & wallet so I laid on the bed and tried to watch some TV on my phone but every time I heard footsteps I thought it would be a midwife telling me it was time to go. I spoke to my Mum on the phone, messaged my sister and generally tried to take my mind off what was happening. 

Anthony got back about 8pm and he spoke to a midwife and asked if she had any idea what time it would be. He asked if it wasn't going to happen that night could he take me home and we'd come back in the morning. He could tell that the anxiety was starting to get to me and he knows that once I start panicking it's hard to get me back. The midwife said that she would ring down to labour ward and see what she could find out. 

Fifteen minutes later she was back and told us that a lady was about to be brought up from labour ward after having her baby and then I was being taken down. We weren't going home. We were going to have a baby! I was part excited and part petrified. We had to wait another 30 minutes and during this time I spoke to my Mum again and just kept repeating how scared I was. With natural labour I've found that because you don't know when it's going to happen by the time you realise you're in labour, your body takes over and you're swept away with it. With induction I had sat there for 11 hours, waiting and anticipating the whole experience. The pain, the worry, the what-if's. I didn't know how to process it all. 

I arrived on the labour ward and was taken to my room. Walking into the room and knowing that was where I was going to meet my son, overwhelmed me and I started having a panic attack there and then. My sister was on her way in and I think knowing she was coming definitely helped but I didn't know how to calm myself down. Anthony tried to take my mind off it and he was fantastic. The midwife that was assigned to me was trying to get to the bottom of what was making me so anxious and I couldn't put it into words. She hooked me up to the monitor so they could get a 20 minute trace on the baby, before they could break my waters. She then asked me to test my blood sugars. It was 3.9 which is too low, especially when you're about to put your body through major stress and trauma. She made me eat some toast but eating for me is hard enough, let alone when I'm about to go through labour! 

My sister arrived and before I knew it the doctor was in my room. He explained that he was going to examine me and break my waters. He said if contractions didn't start within 3 hours then they would administer medication to start them. I knew though that once my waters had gone, labour wouldn't hang around. He told me that they were going to give me an anti sickness injection because of my emetophobia and as soon as he said that, my anxiety went. It was lovely to feel like they really cared and understood my fears. The doctor had a really calming way about him and instantly put me at ease. He examined me, informed me I was 5cms and broke my waters. This was it.. Go time :) The midwife left us to it. I think she thought it would be a while before anything happened.  

The contractions started about ten minutes after they broke my waters. None of us were surprised. I breathed through them and within probably twenty minutes they were every 3 minutes and then quickly went to every two minutes. I was kept on the monitor the whole time so we could see exactly how far apart they were and when the next one was coming. Watching the screen actually helped me. 

My sister - The selfie comedian 

A while later the midwife came back in and was surprised to find me in full labour, hanging onto the back of the bed. She quickly left and came back with my injection. The timings are all a bit hazy here but within an hour of them breaking my waters I was in transition. I could tell without the midwife having to tell me. Just the way the contractions felt and how my body responded told me. About 11.45pm I moaned "I've still got hours to go"

The midwife informed me that I definitely didn't have hours. Anthony predicted just after midnight and the midwife agreed that it wouldn't be long after that. 

About 5 minutes after that conversation I was pushing. 

Pushing is the worst part of labour in my opinion. You start off and it feels like it's doing nothing. You push and push and everyone is telling you that you're pushing your baby down and all you feel like it's doing is ripping your stomach apart. I pushed for 40 minutes with James and 50 minutes with Emilie so I figured it would be another hour. I was so wrong. 19 minutes after the first push, Henry arrived at 12.13am on the 14th of October. My first immediate thought was "He's so tiny" After having Gestational Diabetes and being told by everyone that meant I would have a massive baby and me informing them that would happen only if I didn't control my sugars I was surprised he looked so small. After skin to skin and me announcing that, "I've really done it!" Phoning my Mum who I think was on tenterhooks in her own home, he was weighed. 6 pounds and 6 ounces of pure perfection. 

He latched on straight away and I'm so happy that after two failed attempts at breastfeeding before, this time around it is going so well! He was weighed today and he's still 6lb 6oz so the midwives are happy that he has regained his birth weight so quickly :) 

We were released from hospital on Friday afternoon after he passed his 3 blood sugars first time. I was so thrilled to only have to spend one night away from home and that I got to be back with all my babies under one roof. Five days in and having three children is definitely interesting (& loud) but so far so good. Anthony goes back to work on Monday so I may change my mind then! 

Henry is amazing though. I cannot stop staring at him. He is worth the ten weeks of finger pricks, insulin injections, missed birthday cakes and chocolate bars. He is worth all the worrying, extra monitoring and the three times a week hospital appointments. I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. 

Welcome to the world Henry Alexander! 


37 Weeks - Full Term!

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Well, I made it to 37 weeks! Full term baby! There were a few points during this pregnancy where I wasn't sure if I'd actually make it this far but thankfully I have. I'm due to be induced next Thursday and I'm trying everything I can to try and get this little man to come naturally on his own before the induction. I was checked yesterday and I'm already between 3-4cm's dilated so that's a big bonus. 

My gestational diabetes is still being controlled through mostly diet with just 4 units of insulin in the morning. The insulin is the reason for induction at 38 weeks as it can cause the placenta to deteriorate  quicker. I've been on this GD diet for ten weeks now and I'm so ready to eat a cookie! I have several naughty things already packed in my hospital bag for after the birth and a nice list for Anthony of things for him to get me! I'm going to have a couple of weeks of guilt free eating before I modify my diet again. Due to have diabetes in this pregnancy I am now at a bigger risk for developing type 2 diabetes in the next 5 years so I want to try and ward that off.

Sleeping... Oh.. Sleep. It evades me. If I'm not waking up every hour to use the toilet then it's James waking me up! Who knew that it would actually be my 7 year old to cause me more sleepless nights than my 3 year old. Haha! He has never been a great sleeper and because of his sensory processing disorder it's not getting any better. I was hoping it would get a little better before the baby came along but honestly now, I don't see that happening.

I'm all packed and ready to go. The kids bags are all done. Now it's literally just a waiting game. I have another appointment this Sunday so we'll see if I've made anymore progress. Fingers crossed. If I can avoid the induction process then I'll be even happier.

5 Things I Plan To Do Differently With My Newborn

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We live and learn right? Within the next two weeks I'm going to have a newborn again! I've been thinking a lot this past weekend about what I want to do differently this time around. It is said that hindsight is a wonderful thing! 

1// James took to breastfeeding like a duck to water. The problem was his reflux. He would still be latched on to me and vomiting at the same time. At 3 weeks old he was diagnosed with reflux and given medication by the hospital. They informed me that he would have to be bottle fed and being a first time Mum I didn't even think to question it. About 5 weeks later I found out that he could have stayed breastfed and taken his medication. I was gutted, but by that time James was well established on the bottles and my milk had dried up. With Emilie she was so tiny and so sleepy that she never took to breastfeeding but I feel now in hindsight that I was so worried about her weight that I gave up too quickly. This time around I purposely haven't purchased any bottles. I don't want to be awake at 2am with a screaming baby and turn to a bottle just because I'm tired, stressed and freaking out. I want to try everything to get breastfeeding to work this time. 

2// Emilie was 4 months old before I purchased a sling. It was probably one of the best baby buys I made. This time around I know that I am going to need my hands free even more than ever before so I'm prepared this time around. I already have a Moby wrap and a sling wrap ready to go! The baby will be close to me for comfort and I'll have two hands free to wrangle James and Emilie.

3// James was born in hospital so I had three days before I was home with him. However, Emilie was born at home, from the first day we were inundated with visitors. I hate saying no to people and I know that they're just excited to meet the new little one. Emilie was 9 hours old and my house was full though. It was just too much. This time around I plan on spreading people out over the course of a couple of weeks and saying no if I'm too tired.  

4// I'm all for listening to other people when they offer advice but in the past I've been too quick to take it as gospel and not listen to my own intuition. This time around I feel stronger. This is my 3rd baby and I feel like I haven't done too badly with my older two. I will still listen to advice and ask for it but I won't necessarily take it! 

5// With both James and Emilie I was up and about within a day. Not saying that's a bad thing but vacuuming the house when Emilie was just 2 days old probably wasn't the wisest decision I made postpartum. I just hate sitting still and if I see that something needs doing it bugs me until its done. I want to try really hard this time to take the time to recover. Anthony has two weeks off after the birth and I want to take advantage of that! After those two weeks I'm going to have to be back to doing school & nursery runs, shopping, cooking etc so for those two weeks you'll find me on the sofa or in bed :) 

What things would you do differently next time around? I'd love to hear it! 


Corioliss C3 Review.

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I am not being compensated for this review. I just really like to share the love when I find a fantastic product! 

For the past eight-ish years I have been a die hard GHD fan. Nothing could sway me from them. Last year I upgraded my straighteners that I had brought from them a few years before and splashed out on the GHD platinums for my 30th birthday. One month later they broke. GHD sent me a new pair and it was all good until this August when they broke again. I wasn't a happy camper. Why was I paying all this money for a product just for them to break on me? I came to the realisation that I was simply paying for a name. 

I started to do some research. I asked around and I spoke to my hairdresser. With my curly hair I needed hair straighteners that would work at not only straightening my hair but taking the frizz out of it too. I also didn't want to fry my hair and in my early twenties when I would buy really cheap straighteners that's exactly what they did. Fried my hair. 

I had a few recommendations to try Corioliss straighteners. My hairdresser swears by them. I googled them, read some reviews, watched some YouTube videos and decided to take the plunge. I'm so wary about trying new things on my hair but I am not disappointed. 

The first thing I loved was there were so many prints to choose from. I decided to go with their latest range, the C3's and it took me a while to pick the design I wanted. In the past week they've actually just released a few new designs and I love them too! I want to buy several pairs! 

The plates are titanium and they literally glide through your hair. There is no pulling or tugging. Occasionally with my old GHD's my hair would feel a little dry afterwards but so far with the Corioliss I haven't had that. 

My favourite thing about these straighteners is the temperature control, something which GHD's do not come with. My hairdresser informed me that she only ever uses 180 degrees on my hair and nothing higher. I always thought that as my hair was so thick and curly that I needed a higher temperature but I tried these on my hair at 180 and I got the perfect finish. Not a kink in sight :) 

For such a great product I was pleasantly surprised at the price. I've found them from just £85.90 here

If you've tried this brand I would love to hear your thoughts! 

September Goals - Recap.

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How in the world is it October already! I feel like each year goes quicker and quicker. I keep seeing Facebook and Twitter posts about how many sleeps/days/weeks it is until Christmas and that freaks me out! It's so close. 

Let's recap on my September goals and see how much I got accomplished, shall we? 

1// Finish prepping for baby boys arrival! Pack hospital bags for both of us. Pack James & Emilie's bags too. Basically get everyone ready for D-Day!
All done! Every bag is packed and ready to go :) 

2// James and Emilie go back to school/nursery on Monday so I want to spend this weekend with them just having fun! I'm going to ask them what they want to do and providing it's not too elaborate (no disney trips I'm afraid!), work it into our plans.  

I can't actually remember what we did now! How bad is that? I know it did involve leaving the house so that's a win in my book. 

3// Read one new book. The past few months my priorities have been elsewhere but I miss reading a few chapters of a book before bed. - 

Big fail on this one. I've read bits of a book that I've previously read but not a new one. Just not enough hours in my days right now. 

4// Take some time to relax. I'm at that stage now where I can't get off the sofa with making some sort of noise or bend over without grunting. I'm not the easiest person to get to slow down though but I think if there was any time to try, it would be now. Maybe a bath once the kids are in bed with a face mask? Or a nap when Emilie is at nursery? Nothing too crazy :) Another success. I didn't do anything major but just little things like relaxing once the kids went to bed, going to bed early when I had the flu last week. Taking some time out to blog. It all makes a difference in the state of my mental health! 

I'm not going to make goals for this month seen as in less than 2 weeks I'll have a newborn and I foresee life being a little hectic. This month is just going to be about survival :) 

Do you make monthly goals? How did you do during September? 
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