Eight!

I cannot believe that Miss B is 8 today!

So much has happened in the last year and she has grown in so many ways.

A week after her 7th birthday she started Primary 3, a very important year as it’s the last of the infant department. She loves school and was really fortunate to have another fantastic teacher last year. He was doing his probationary year and had the most amazing way with the kids. Miss B is a little book worm and loves learning and school in general. The teacher they had really sparked her imagination and engaged all the kids in her class. They did a project on Pirates which she loved and they got to visit The Tall Ship in Glasgow and met real pirates and went on a treasure hunt. She got two brilliant school reports and her end of year report made me cry. I’m so proud of her and what she has accomplished in school so far. Long may that continue!

Two weeks after her 7th birthday she became a big sister. I always knew she was going to make a good big sister but I underestimated just how great she would be. She absolutely adores her little sister and is mostly very patient with her. When she was tiny all she wanted to do was cuddle and hold her. Now that she is more mobile she wants to play with her and will spend ages playing toys with her and keeping her amused. She is a great help to me and usually keeps an eye on her while I am preparing meals or getting ready. She loves going in to be the first to wake her sister up in the morning and is always over the moon if she gets her first smile of the day.

She has also come on leaps and bounds in her gymnastics class and with her swimming lessons. She is now in the advanced class at swimming and I’ve been taking her every week during the school holidays. It is amazing watching her, she is like a little mermaid 🙂

She is strong willed, independent, fiesty and determined. She is also really mature for her age and a natural born worrier. I’m trying to help with the worrying because she can get herself into an awful state at times when she starts to over think things and gets in a panic.

Since I’ve been off work we have spent a LOT of time together and I’ve started to realise just how alike we are. We’ve giggled, had fun times, cried, argued and clashed but I keep reminding myself that she is growing up and needs patience, love and understanding.

She is manic about computers and loves going on her computer to play Minecraft on our server with her friends and spends hours building things and setting up new worlds. She is also a big movie fan and loves nothing more than going to the cinema to see a film or to cuddle up on the couch and watch an old favourite. This week I introduced her to Hocus Pocus which she loved so much she watched three times in a row. She loves music and dancing and watched and re-watches The Next Step every other day and copies the routines. Taylor Swift is a big favourite at the moment along with Katy Perry and Little Mix. She is also superhero daft and LOVES The Avengers with Iron Man and Black Widow being particular favourites.

All in all 7 has been pretty great for her and I can’t wait to see what 8 brings her 🙂

As always, here are some pictures of her growing up 🙂

8 Hours

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8 Weeks

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8 Months

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8 Years

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Happy 8th birthday beautiful girl, hope you have a great day!

Lots of Love

Mum

You know what they say about buses…

When Mr B and I talked about having children we decided that we would want to have our babies close together. When Miss B was born we always planned to have a small age gap. Unfortunately I was made redundant when she was 21 months old and we simply couldn’t afford to expand our family then. Fast forward six years and we decided to have another baby and we were fortunate enough to have Miss C with no issues. Now, with her first birthday approaching I am happy to announce that we are going to be a family of five in the new year.

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Cx

Allergies, A Beginners Guide

Once we had a diagnosis for Miss Cs cows milk protein allergy I didn’t really think much more of it. She was only a few weeks old and I didn’t need to think about food and weaning because at that point all she needed was milk and we had that covered.

When she was admitted back in to the Paediatric ward, the Dietitian told us that we would be seen when she was around 5 months old to talk to us about weaning. Sure to her word I got a letter a few months later to go to our local hospital to see her. The Dietitian was really helpful and gave me loads of helpful tips and advice but mostly (the bit I was worrying about) what to look out for on food packaging. She sent me on my way with a head full of information, a booklet about weaning, a few notes on websites etc to look over and her contact details with a promise that I would contact her if there were any problems.

After the appointment I went to Morrisons and had a look around for substitutes for milk, cheese and butter. I easily must have spent about half an hour just staring at packets and referring to my booklet to make sure I wasn’t missing anything. I found dairy free butter and picked up some soya milk as that’s what the Dietitian had recommended we go with.

When Miss B was a baby I used my Annabel Karmel cookbook like a bible! I had never weaned a baby before and didn’t really know what I was doing so used this as a guide. It was always my plan to do the same with Miss C but I wasn’t sure how that would work with her allergy but I decided to just go for it and use substitutes for the dairy parts. I followed the guide again and started with fruit and vegetable purees. I waited the full six months to start as she didn’t seem overly fussed about it, where as her sister used to sit like a hungry puppy every meal time staring at every bit going in your mouth!

I started with baby rice mixed with her formula milk at her lunch time feed and the smell was awful! Like I’ve said before, the formula milk smells and tastes like nothing I’ve ever come across and I felt terrible giving it to her. She didn’t seem to mind at all and hoovered it! I stuck with baby rice for the first week and added in a little vanilla essence to flavour it a little. In week two I started giving her another solid at dinner time gaving her fruit or vegetable purees and just built it up from there. She took everything I gave her and was always looking for more! This girl has a fantastic appetite and can’t seem to get enough grub 🙂

Around week 3 I tried her with some banana which she loved but about an hour after she ate it she started passing really loud wind. This is always a tell tale sign that she is having a reaction. She starts off with loud wind then terrible nappies and depending on how bad the reaction is, there can be blood in her stool. The problem is that since she had tried lots of new foods that week, I wasn’t entirely sure what had caused the reaction. As expected she had awful nappies for about a week afterwards but her tummy settled pretty well after that. I think in my naivety I just assumed she would only be allergic to cows milk protein, it never occurred to me at all that she would be allergic to anything else and oh how wrong I would be!

Over the next few weeks I followed my meal planner and picked up some dairy free cheese and some soya yoghurt to try. I pureed some mango and put that in with the yoghurt. She scoffed it, but then, like before she started to get a rhumbly tummy. I had tried her with mango before so was pretty sure it wasn’t that so waited until the next day and gave her some more yoghurt on its own this time and straight away she reacted. I couldn’t believe it! The Dietitian told me that most cows milk could be replaced easily by soya products so the fact that she then reacted to it was a bit of a blow.

The weaning process continued and we have discovered that she is allergic to Cows Milk Protein, Soya, Strawberries, Bananas and Tomatoes. I think she also had a reaction to peppers so I need to expose her to them again to see if she definitely is. I was also advised to avoid beef which I couldn’t see why but thinking about it makes total sense. It’s cow and contains the protein in the milk. Thankfully I’ve replaced all my recipes with lamb which is tasty and Miss C loves it!

When I was looking for more information, I had a Google and found three FaceBook support groups which I joined and they have been a great. Lots of parents in similar situations who have or are going through the same as me. It’s also nice to know you aren’t going through it alone. It might sound silly but allergies are a strange thing to deal with and sometimes it can be quite difficult. These pages have given lots of help and support and have been invaluable.

Despite all the allergies, Miss C is thriving and LOVES food. She will happily sit with a bowl munching away and most days there seems like there is no filling her up! I decided that I would blog about it because initially when I was looking for information and wanted a parents perspective and couldn’t really find anything. I want to try to help other parents who may be in the same situation so my plan is to blog recipes and food ideas that be useful.

I think the main thing I would advise anyone in the same situation is to listen to your instincts, ask for advice when you need it and listen to your baby. Be aware of what their types of reactions and be vigilant.

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Told you she loves her grub 🙂

Adventures in Breastfeeding – Part 2

When Miss C was born I was adamant I wanted to breastfeed. I didn’t have a very good experience with Miss B but I know that it is best so wanted to try. I spoke to the midwife when I was in labour and was insistent that I wanted to let her try to latch on as soon as possible to establish feeding. About 6 minutes after Miss C was born she was snuggled into my side and latched on. I was elated!!! I have a naturally large chest and really struggled with latching with her sister and was worried I would have the same problems again. A few hours later I tried to feed her again and latching was an issue. I was given fantastic help from the Breastfeeding Support Workers on the ward but unfortunately then all the drama started!

She was in the incubator but I was allowed to take her out to feed her, and I tried for three days with no success. I had a long, tearful chat with a Midwife and a BF Support Worker and they suggested I express my milk and feed her that way. It was the best of both worlds, I could pump my milk, she was getting the best and I wasn’t stressed out every time she was due a feed!

This continued for two weeks after I got home. I would pump my milk when she was due a feed and her Daddy would feed her and it was working well. The only real downside was lack of skin to skin which then had an effect on my milk production. I tried to snuggle her as much as possible when I wasn’t expressing but it was really hard because she needed her space and peace too. A week after Dad went back to work I made the decision to stop expressing. It was a difficult decision but ultimately it was the best for us. She had three weeks of my milk and all the colostrum but the guilt still killed me.

I bought a tub of formula milk from the shops and started using it. Within a few days she was a different baby. She was unsettled, in pain, windy and had bad diarrhoea. After three days I noticed she had blood in her poo and took her straight to the local Out of Hours centre. The Doctor didn’t seem worried and didn’t look at her bottom at all. I had taken a nappy with me that had blood in it but he didn’t look and told me she had an anal fisher. I wasn’t wholly convinced but took her home. The Health Visitor was due to come out a few days later so I kept an eye on Miss C and showed the Health Visitor my concern. As soon as I took her nappy off she immediately put on a show and was able to let the Health Visitor see first hand what the problem was! She was concerned and sent me straight to the GP surgery to have her seen. As before, as soon as I took her nappy off she gave him a very up close and personal show of the issue. He was horrified and sent us straight to the local maternity hospital because it had a Paediatric Ward. She was admitted and they asked loads of questions, tested her and were really thorough. After a few hours the Consultant came back in and told me he thought she was allergic to Cows Milk Protein. I had never heard of it before but she was really patient and explained everything to me and then got a Dietician in to talk me through what I needed to know. She was fantastic and explained what cows milk protein was and how it was different to someone who was Lactose Intolerant. She talked me through the symptoms and that the blood in her stool was most likely the lining of her stomach being striped away. I left the hospital with a tin of prescription milk, a few booklets on CMPA and a head full of information.

When she was due her next feed we gave her the prescription milk. The first thing that hit me was the smell. It was vile. The Dietician had told me that it was a blessing that Miss C had been diagnosed so early because older children usually refuse to drink the prescription milk due to the taste and smell. I could immediately see what she meant, it was just awful. The second thing was the texture. Normal baby formula is really light and falls straight down into the water and dissolves but this stuff is thick like flour and just sat on top of the water in the bottle. She took the milk with no issue and within a few hours was much more settled. After a week or so she was a totally different baby. She was settled and happy and didn’t pump every few minutes but most of all, the bleeding had stopped. The Dietician told me that they would see me when she was around 5 months old to talk about weaning but if we had any problems just to contact them straight away.

I can tell you that all of this did NOTHING to help with the guilt I was still feeling around giving up breastfeeding, but I was reassured that she would still be allergic to Cows Milk Protein but since my diet doesn’t contain a lot of dairy it would just show itself at a later date.

So there we are, the start of an interesting journey into the world of being dairy free. Let’s see how this turns out!

Cx

Neo Natal Intensive Care

During my last two pregnancies I never worried or even thought about the need for Neo Natal Intensive Care.  I think it’s fair to say I have a very positive outlook on life and don’t like to dwell on the negative or worry about what may or may not happen.

I mentioned in my post about Miss Cs birth that there was some drama 11 hours after she was born, this might be putting it a bit mildly. As soon as Miss C was born I was really keen to breastfeed her and start to establish it as soon as possible, thankfully she went on minutes after she was born and I managed to feed her no bother so after we were moved to a general ward and I managed to get a little bit of sleep, I tried to feed her again.  The midwife came in to check up on her and the Paediatrician came in to do their initial checks and as all was well so they left me to it.  This time it was a lot more difficult and I was really grateful for the help of the Breastfeeding Support Workers in the maternity unit.  A lovely lady called Alison came along to help me with latching and showed me how to hand express while Miss C had some lovely skin to skin with her Dad.  When Alison went to put her back in her clothes she noticed what looked like purple bruising all up the back of her right leg.  She grabbed a midwife (it just so happened to be the one who had taken a look her earlier) and before I knew what was happening, there were about 6 people round her cot.

There was a lady called Lynne who explained that they were really worried about her and wanted to take her to NNU to do some checks. She asked me if I had been in contact with anyone with an infectious disease or if there was a history of blood disorders in either of our families. The answer to both of these was no and within seconds Miss C was being wheeled away from me.  I’ll be totally honest and say that the next bit is somewhat blurry.

We walked along to the NNU where they were prepping her for tests, Lynne asked if we wanted to stay as they had to take bloods from her and it could be really distressing to see. I decided that I couldn’t sit and watch so she told us to come back in an hour. That was the LONGEST hour of my entire life and even typing about it, I have a huge lump in my throat.  After about 55 minutes I went back along to see what was happening and Lynne sat me down and explained that her temp was so low that she was hypothermic and they were really worried about her.  Apparently when they did the bloods etc she didn’t make a peep which is unusual and worrying as most babies scream the place down.  At this point I genuinely didn’t know whether my baby was going to live or not. It is the most awful thing I’ve ever had to go through. So many mixed emotions and hormones flying everywhere that it all went in a big blur. The whole time in the back of my mind I was panicking because Miss B was on her way to the hospital to visit her baby sister and I didn’t want her coming in to the chaos and her getting upset too.

Miss B arrived at hospital and as it turns out, I managed to stay calm and told her that Miss C just needed a wee bit of extra help to breathe so she was in a special cot which I seemed to have get away with.  She got to go into NNU and see her and although it’s not quite the meeting we had imagined, Miss B was so happy to have a sister and was looking forward to having her out for a cuddle. This meeting broke my heart because I didn’t know if that would ever happen.

So now back to Miss C, she was stripped down to her nappy and in an incubator and was hooked up to a lot of cables, cords and machines that were so scary looking.  The next three days are a bit hazy, they were filled with expressing breast milk, running back and forward to NNU and worrying about EVERYTHING. We had to go through crazy amounts of hand washing and sanitising just to get in the room to see her in the incubator but there’s very obvious and serious ramifications if you don’t.   The Consultants were really concerned about the marks on her because there was no explanation for them.  They were up her leg, some on her back and bottom and her right arm.  The medical staff were all baffled and had no clue what they were which then, in turn meant they couldn’t give us any reassurance.

After two very long days I asked to speak to the Consultant for a proper update.  He was lovely and sat us down and said that she was out of danger and as far as they were concerned the marks were nothing to worry about, just birth marks and thankfully none of them were causing major areas of concern.  She would still need to be observed in case any of the marks caused her any issue in the future for that that moment she was ok.  I cannot describe how I felt. I wanted to hug him and jump up and down but instead I burst into tears and thanked him, a lot.

Later that night Miss C was allowed out of the incubator and into a normal cot but still had to spend the night in NNU being observed.  I think that was the first night that I managed to get some sleep, albeit only 3 hours but I could finally stop worrying and relax a little.  The next night after visiting I was told that once they had taken photographs of all the marks I could take her back to the regular maternity ward. So about 20:30 I got to bring my little girl back with me. I wheeled her cot along the corridor that I had run up and down non stop for three days in a bit of a blind panic, but when I got her back to that room I wept for a good half hour with pure relief.

The next morning, the nurses did their rounds are were happy for us to be discharged so I got to take my girl home and have all my family together.  I am so thankful to the nurses, midwives, breastfeeding staff and all the support staff that helped us through this truly awful time.

Miss C was seen by the Consultant at a month old who compared the marks with the photograph to see if they had changed.  They were still there but on the upside, the marks hadn’t got any worse and looked to be fading.  She was then seen again at three months old and we got the same report and the Consultant was happy to sign her off from her care.

Miss C is an amazing little lady who is now thriving and you would never know the dramatic start to life she had.

Getting my girl back from NNU
Getting my girl back from NNU

2014 Round Up

On the whole 2014 has been a great year for my little family but first let’s get the not so great stuff out of the way. We started off with all of us having to go and live at my Mums house for 3 weeks because our boiler got condemned, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be in fairness, kind of like staying in a nice B&B! Then I went through some really awful work stress but came out the other side stronger and much wiser than when I started! My health has also taken a bit of a kick this year, I had gestational diabetes during pregnancy then had an attack of Gall Stones then my Gall Bladder out in December. Thankfully, the negative things this year have been greatly outdone by the positive and so many awesome things have happened and lots of fun times have been had!

There have been lots of new babies including our best friends having twins and my little niece being born at the start of the year. She and Miss B are inseparable and she’s already started terrorising Miss C, so there will be plenty of fun and games to come I’m sure 🙂 The biggest and best part of my year has by far been welcoming Miss C to our family.

My little niece arrived

In February we welcome Emily to the family, the girl is bonkers but I love you wee Stinky Face 🙂

Miss C

This girl just brings me so much joy and had made our little family complete. She makes everyday even more amazing and is such a happy little lady always full of smiles and giggles especially for her big sister who equally adores her. I am one lucky girl.

Fun Times

We have been so lucky this year and had a lot of good fun times together as a family.

2014 was a pretty good year for us and we are ending it on a high.  I know that’s not been the case for a lot of people I love and care about so I hope that 2015 brings good luck, love and happiness to each and every one of you because you deserve it.

Cx

Then There Were Four

Well we are now a family of 4 after our recent new arrival.  I’ve been asked loads about the birth etc so thought I would blog about it now I have some time on my hands (more on that later)

Baby B was due on the 28th August and due to my Gestational Diabetes we discussed me being induced early to make sure the baby wasn’t massive and neither of us was at any risk due to his/her size.  So when I went along to one of my routine appointments the consultant who was looking after me gave me a date of Friday 22nd August to go in.  The plan was that I would go in on the Friday night about 8pm, be induced on Saturday morning and see what happened from there.  We didn’t tell anyone other than my Mum because she was looking after Miss B and so I got planning. I arranged for the three of us to go out for dinner on our own to one of our favourite places and Miss B thought we were going to the cinema and she was having a sleep over at Gugs.  Aunty Eileen came and collected her from the restaurant and Mr B and I made our way to the hospital.

When I got there I was taken to a bed and met with a lovely midwife who sat and had a chat with us about what was going to happen. She had a look at my notes from the clinic and decided to take a look and see if there had been any movement and if that was the case she was going to get things moving. Before I knew what was happening, I was in a labour room having my waters broken! It was the strangest sensation lying there in the bed with my waters flooding out! The first time round they went naturally so it was really odd.  I was told she would give me an hour to see what I could do on my own and then get me on the drip. So Mr B and I were on our own again.  At this point I put my playlist on, I had been working hard for weeks making up my labour playlist and making sure that it was full of my favourite songs and songs that meant something to me.  The midwife came back in about half an hour later and was laughing at me dancing round the room in my jammies trying to keep my mind off things 🙂

After just over an hour she came back in and started me on the drip, it was really strange again because last time I was walking around and Mr B and I were pretty much left to our own devices but this time I was attached to a drip and stuck to the bed.  I managed on my own for about an hour or so and then asked for some gas and air. My contractions were all over the place and we were trying to get them under control and in some kind of regular pattern (I don’t think my dancing and singing was helping at this point, I blame Stevie Wonder). Finally my contractions got into a decent pattern and I was in full blown labour.  The whole experience flew past in a blur and the labour was just over 3 hours from start to finish. I remember asking for something stronger and I was given a shot of diamorphine and some anti-sickness drugs, then it was go time.

The midwife took the gas and air pipe from me and told me it was time to start pushing, and I did and less than 3 minutes later our gorgeous new bundle entered the world.  My labour was great but there was some drama 11 hours later which I will blog about later as it’s still quite emotional to talk about and I’ve been pretty poorly since too, but that’s also a post for another night.

Here are some pictures leading up to the introduction of Miss C:

Our last picture as a family of three

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My last bump picture

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Our first picture just after she was born (sorry for the tear stained face, I was really emotional)

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Having a wee cuddle with Daddy

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Meet Miss C 🙂

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With her big sister.

It’s fair to say that I always knew what a great big sister Miss B would make, but I think I genuinely underestimated just how amazing she would be. She is so loving and caring and can’t do enough for her little sister. Even when she is crying or making lots of noise, Miss B just gets on with it and loves cuddling into her as much as she can. She is relishing in her role as big sister and loves her wee sis to bits 🙂 Long may that continue!!

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Miss C is a very placid baby and if she isn’t sleeping she’s smiling. It’s amazing how much joy a new baby can bring to a  family, but she just fills me with happiness every day and I am so thankful that I have two happy and healthy little girls in my life. It was my worry before she was born about how she would fit into our family routine as what we has in place worked so well, but she has fallen into a fantastic pattern and thankfully it has all fallen into place.

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I am really looking forward to our first Christmas as a family of four and can’t wait for all the other amazing things that are coming up soon.

In the meantime, thanks for reading and taking the time to comment and I leave you with the song that Miss C was born to 🙂

Cx