Monthly Archives: August 2012

Are we actually… *enjoying*… tummy time???

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A vintage-looking Dexter

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I’m not very good at linking up to other mummy blogs which is part laziness, and part me wanting to keep this blog as an innocent read for my little man. That said, there are some really inspirational linkies that crop up from time to time; things I feel passionately about, and things I feel won’t dilute the blog, rather add to it. There are also some lovely competitions I sooo want to win as the prizes would be fabulous for Dexter (and me!).

I stumbled across such a blog earlier on today and haven’t been able to get it out of my head. Kitsunetsuki is a really visual blog by Laura Fox Gill about food, art, photography and books – it’s a real feast for the eyes as the pictures are out of this world. She is running her first ever competition and its a really exciting one. It’s to win a Polaroid camera.

The truth is, I’ve ALWAYS wanted a Polaroid, ever since I was a little girl. I love the thought of getting instant photos and the not-knowing if your shot is any good or not – It makes the good photos just that little bit more special. I have a beautiful Canon 1100D and I absolutely love it – but in all honesty, even my starter DSLR  Canon makes photography so simple that even the least accomplished photographer can achieve some really stunning pics. A Polaroid is not for the faint hearted, you can waste whole reams of film trying to get something amazing, and the film is not cheap – but oh my God they’re beautiful. They’re kitsch, they’re 80’s retro and I really want one.

As part of the competition, you have use a photo effect application to add a vintage effect to a photo you have taken. I have never experimented with one before so was pleased to see how simple they are to use. I used Pixlr but I’ve heard equally great feedback about Instagram so will be having a play with this over the next few weeks to see how they compare. The effects are so clever and I simply love these enhanced photographs of Dexter. I’m not sure if I’ve achieved vintage but I love these all the same and they’re timeless to me.

If you want to enter this competition for yourself, here’s the link:

 

Pre-holiday build up!

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So we’re off to Portugal in just over two weeks. One of daddy’s closest mates is getting married out there so we’re flying out to be part of their big day. Given the flights are expensive and the year is drawing to a close, we decided to make this our family holiday and rent an apartment for a week. To help us out, nanny and granddad are coming along too to join in the fun.

Daddy took on the project of planning our holiday a few months ago. Now daddy LOVES a good project and is borderline obsessed about research. We started with a brief to find an all-inclusive hotel deal in Vilamoura, and have ended up with something totally different and it looks amazing! The truth is, mummy gave daddy an exhaustive list of requirements and daddy set to work viewing accommodation online.

  • Somewhere quiet
  • Near the beach but not on top of it
  • Near a supermarket for those late milk (and wine) dashes
  • Within walking distance of restaurants and bars so we can nip out when nanny and granddad are kind enough to look after you
  • A proper double bed and not two twins pushed together (in at least one of the rooms)
  • A balcony so we could still make the most of the heat on the long evenings in when you’re asleep
  • A private swimming pool with a separate childs pool
  • All mod con’s; dishwasher, microwave, washing machine
  • Two separate bathrooms so nanny and granddad have their own space – must have a bath for you
  • Air conditioning

(And a few more ridiculous things like carpets in the living areas, patio doors in both bedrooms, a bbq area etc – just to give daddy a headache)

It quickly became apparent that a hotel wouldn’t suit us; I didn’t want a busy pool as I’m still a little self-conscious about my post birth tummy, and we wanted our own outdoor space. With nanny and granddad joining us, I was also conscious that the accommodation needed to suit all of us and we all needed our own space to relax and enjoy it. He must have viewed a thousand apartments on Owner’s Direct and HomeAway.co.uk has come up with this:

Cavalo Preto Beach Apartments – Quarteira

Apartments from the beach

Swimming Pool – there is a separate kids pool. This belongs exclusively to the apartments.

Master bedroom – doors to balcony and gardens (we’re on the ground floor)

All mod cons – further patio doors to outside

Second bedroom – more doors to outside

Just one of the bathrooms – the other is equally bright with a shower

Birds eye view to the sandy beach

So how excited am I???! I can’t wait to go and show you some more of the world on your first ever holiday.

My only hesitation has been about my body since having you. I’m very nervous about the pool as I know it’ll be hot and ordinarily I’d be in my skimpiest outfits. You’ve left me as a rather flabby size 14-16 and its going to take forever to get beach-body ready. I’ve had some serious tantrums over this and poor old daddy has been dragged around every clothes shop in Reading looking at maxi dresses and tankinis.

The truth is, I’m not supposed to look amazing – I’ve safely carried a little person in my tummy for 9 months and you’ve left your mark! I don’t have the luxury of celebrity personal trainers so was never going to get off unscathed. This body has to carry another 2 children yet if mummy and daddy are going to achieve our vision of the perfect family! I suppose there’s always some nifty air brushing of photos post-holiday… sigh.

So that’s it! You’re going to Portugal (Quarterio)!

100 days old today!!!

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So you’re now 100 days old!!!

You’re already so much bigger than you were when you were born. I remember your tiny fingernails were no bigger than a ladybird, and your feet were the same length as my baby finger – and now they’re growing so fast! From a teeney 5lb 14, you’re now knocking on for 12lbs 5 and you’re showing signs of being very tall. You’re already in some 6-9 month outfits!

Yours and mummy’s foot

Yours and mummy's hand

Yours and mummy’s hand

It will come as no surprise but you continue to be demanding. Getting you to sleep is like a military exercise; bath-time, bottle, then carry you at arm’s length and very gently pop you into your cot. This pre-bed bottle HAS to be in the living room, on your feeding pillow with the tv on – any other combination just won’t do. Daddy is amazing at this.

You still wake up in the morning at either 3am or 5am sucking your fingers extra loud to let us know you’re hungry. Gone are the cries as you’ve worked out that mummy is a light sleeper and will always get up for you. A quick nightfeed then you’re back into a coma. In the morning you’re a little angel; You never cry, just lay there in your cot playing with your hands and staring at your mobile until mummy discovers you.

In fact, we’ve really got the routine nailed and I’m very proud of you. The big boy cot isn’t so scary anymore and mummy and daddy are getting much more sleep now you’ve gifted us our bed back. Having said that, you are still partial to the odd day nap there…

Caught you!

You also FINALLY giggled!!! A handful of times we’ve got one out of you. Mummy and daddy nearly cried when we heard it two days ago. There doesn’t seem to be any magic formula; sometimes we’ll tickle your tummy, sometimes we’ll make telephone noises at you, and just a second ago you laughed at mummy singing Carly Rae Jepson. Despite our best efforts we can’t seem to get this on video but we’ll keep trying. We have so much failed footage which I’ll get around to uploading soon.

You’ve also managed a roll-over. You might hate tummy time, FACT. But unfortunately all the doctors we’ve met have encouraged us to stick with it to try to re-correct your neck problem. The other day you screamed and cried and mummy started burst into tears as she felt sorry for you. So desperate were you to get on your back you kicked your little leg-ins and made the big roll. You looked so pleased with yourself on the floor it seemed to make up for the torture of the 30 seconds on your tum.

Yep you’re still the cutest baby ever and I have a number of presents in the post to celebrate your very first Day Century – more on these later… Proud of you baby!

Love from Mummy xxx

Dexter and the Extended Breech Saga – time to take on the NHS

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For those who know me, they’ll know my pregnancy had its complications. As with all babies, Dex began his little life up high in the safety of my uterus. Unlike most other babies, throughout the duration of my later pregnancy he got quite comfy in there and didn’t fancy the traditional nose dive required for a safe birth. As we’re all aware, we duly have our scans at 12 and 20 weeks and put our trust in our midwives to inform us when our babies have taken this fateful plunge. So what if they get it wrong?

The truth is that we knew Dexter hadn’t turned. I hadn’t had that ‘moment’ that most women have when they feel baby plummet (a.k.a lightening). I’d also had a 3D scan at 32 weeks that clearly showed baby up high in a pike position that Tom Daley would be proud of. This, despite the fact I’d had reassurances from my midwife weeks earlier that baby was head-down. I even remember laying on the table in the Children’s Centre with my top pulled up high, jeans down, and Craigy watching on – I recall at that moment saying I was worried about Dexter’s positioning – but I was laughed at and told baby was fine. He wasn’t.

A routine doctor’s appointment at 34 weeks confirmed this. 34 weeks! The doctor couldn’t be 100% sure that the lump she felt above my pelvis was head or bum so did the right thing and referred me to the hospital for a scan. 1 week later, at 35 weeks, we finally had our fears confirmed and a highly emotional mummy felt bitter. Bitter. Dex was actually in an extended breech position and I believe he had been the entire time.

We were immediately offered a C-section or the opportunity to have a massage to turn baby around (ECV). The nurse at the hospital was a little hurried that day and we felt rushed into making a decision – she seemed to be signing to us to have the massage so we opted for ECV. Craig and I sat in bed that evening looking at the leaflets wondering if we’d made the right decision. We just had never considered a C-section and were looking forward to a water birth – this seemed the only choice. But the leaflets were full of stats and warnings and I remember sleeping fitfully that night wondering if I should put my baby through the trauma of being prodded and pulled so late into the pregnancy. Our appointment was at 37 weeks and I worried Dexter would be too big and the act of tugging at him would result in a C section anyway – turns out I was right.

The ECV was declared as successful by the consultant. I’d sampled the gas and air as baby was manipulated round by his bottom inside of me. I remembered being utterly thrilled and posting on Facebook about how proud of baby I was. The odds had been stacked against us but my baby played ball. The water birth was still on and I’d be able to carry full term and make the best of those precious weeks of pre labour maternity leave. In reality I had just 1 day of mat leave before Dexter was delivered.

Less than a week after the procedure, my placenta abrupted and I went through the horror of bleeding-out in my living room . I wasn’t to know that most mothers will go on to successfully deliver. I thought I’d lost my baby. That ride to the hospital in the ambulance was the worst I’d ever had. I couldn’t understand why the ambulance didn’t have the equipment to check baby’s heartbeat, I was scared to death and Craig was 1 car behind us unable to ride with me. Just 6 hours later, after being initially told I would be discharged, the bleeding was severe enough to order an immediate emergency c section – Dexter arrived the very next morning.

I’m not reliving all this to complain about the NHS, apportion blame with the midwives, doctors or consultants, or feel sorry for myself. The beautiful truth is that Dexter is here and he’s safe and happy. My issue is that there’s now an outstanding problem resulting from him spending 38 weeks with his little feet and legs stretched out in front of him. He grew like this inside of me. His bones fused together in that position. He never got a opportunity to flex and twist and kick and stretch like normal babies. Back then, to our mind, we’d be lucky to escape with no consequences. We haven’t been lucky.

The midwife discharged me from my C-section with a follow-up orthopedic appointment. This was to check his hips and was routine for babies who spent so long in the extended breech position. The happened on his 13 week birthday (yesterday) – again far too late in my opinion but we weren’t worried. Dexter has displayed no problem with his legs, knees or hips so we assumed everything was fine. The specialist was lovely and very gentle when performing her checks – she confirmed that everything was progressing well so we were hugely relieved and ready to put this mess behind us.

Just as we were about to leave, I mentioned casually that Dexter really favours his right hand side and would rather stare at a white wall on this side, than turn to face the opposite direction. It was said almost in jest as we were less than a foot away from her door ready to leave. Surely if that was something serious, and something that could have resulted from Dexter’s pre birth positioning, someone would have forewarned us. To us, Dexter would simply grow out of it, it was just one of those things. But yep – you’ve guessed it, it isn’t.

The doctor stopped us in our tracks and had another feel of Dexter. She watched us physically manipulate his head and Dexter cry in bewilderment and discomfort. She continued to be chatty and pleasant but has confirmed that this could be a result of the breech. Never-the-less she didn’t seem overly concerned. She’s ordered an x-ray and the appointment will be sent to us in the post. I hope that this letter will arrive tomorrow and the appointment will be within the next week. In truth, I suspect my ever-the-optimist approach is about to be tested once again as it’ll be for a date in the faraway future and we’ll sit here worrying for another few months.

We’re left feeling a little anxious and confused. Surely Dex doesn’t deserve all this. He’s been through so much already and I just want to move on knowing he’s okay. We’re beginning to worry that Dexter might have a permanent crooked neck, maybe even a spinal problem… we’re playing amateur doctors and nurses with our own child and we’re scared.

For now, we’ve been told to manipulate his head regularly and place ‘temptation’ (toys, the tv, and ourselves) to his left. It doesn’t appear to be working as Dexter’s head feels stiff when we move it. He’s a baby, OUR BABY and he’s precious and delicate. We don’t want to do more harm than good so we’re reluctant to force him. But what if we don’t? What then? Will just waiting and hoping, and messing about with rattles and the direction of his bouncer be enough to encourage the problem to work itself out naturally???

Having just walked in and found me upset, Craig and I have agreed to make a follow-up appointment with our GP. We simply can’t afford to ignore what our child is telling us. It’s this blissful ignorance that caused the problem in the first place so it’s time to toughen up.

Thumb-sucking and hand-holding

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This week (#13) has been a busy one with you performing lots of new neat little tricks.

Head holding is continuing to go well. Daddy and mummy can carry you on their hips now with only the occasional head bop. You’ve had one little accident staring at yourself in the mirror where you mistakenly thought mummy had made you a twin brother to play with. Unfortunately when you went to give him a kiss you quickly realised that your playmate wasn’t all he was cracked up to be.

I reported a few weeks back that your little leggies are stronger than your arms and that’s definitely still the case. I don’t know if you’re inspired by the Olympics but you’ve really taken to standing on mummy’s legs – locking your little knees and stretching your back. Standing on the floor with mummy supporting your underarms you’ll take some tentative steps forward (you regularly take 4 of these before collapsing). I’ve heard some babies will walk without crawling and it seems you could be a contender.

Helping mummy with bot bot

You’ve also been fascinated by your hands this week. Favourite things to grab so far are your bottle (during feeds), mummy’s hand, mummy’s necklace, and mummy’s hair. You’re even beginning to grab at your rattles! As an aside, I’ve also caught you sucking your thumb on more than one occasion which daddy thinks is sweet, mummy isn’t so sure.

Thumb sucking (and swearing at mummy…) Sigh

The elusive giggle is still not quite there. Tickling your tummy seems to be the way forward here but we still haven’t quite got a full-blown laughing fit. Having said that – you’re a right chatterbox. On your playmat or sat with daddy you’ll be gurgling and cooing for England telling all about how mean your mummy is for not hurrying up with those bots bots. In fact, you are pretty much a daddy’s boy. You can’t get enough of story-time with daddy and I’ll be the first to admit daddy RULES this and offers up seriously funny voices and ab libs.  Even when daddy is preoccupied with his laptop – you’d rather hang out with him than me.

You’re also not quite there with the roll-over. I’ll regularly find you at a 90 degree angle in your cot, but haven’t seen you flip onto your tummy yet. You can take your time with this if you want as mummy would have a heart attack if she found you face down in your cot.

Finally – mummy had a sort out of your clothes this week. At a whooping 11lbs 12 you’ve now grown out of your teeny clothes and are firmly in 3-6 months outfits. I feel a fashion show is overdue so we’ll get that organised next week xxx

So that’s it – plenty of bottom lip wobbles and smile-ins… perfection in every way xx

Grabbing those toys…

… And smashing yourself in the face with them