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Our baby boy is half a year old?! Where has the time gone??

Here’s some snaps of the last 6 months 🤗

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Our baby boy wasn’t planned and he wasn’t an accident, he was a surprise!

When our baby was conceived; we didn’t plan it but we were just going with the flow. We had conversations prior to the moment that we found out I was expecting and we both agreed that it wasn’t the perfect timing but that we knew how we felt about each other and that we were mature enough. We agreed that we would just make it work and I personally think that we have?

Our beautiful son was born with many birthmarks but the one which has stood out the most is the heart shaped Mongolian blue spot on his back.

He is so loved by everyone and mostly, by us, his parents.

I am lucky enough to have 1 valentine but having 2 this year is just overwhelming 💕





My beautiful valentine Leonardo Michael George Williams,
We love you
💙

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My baby boy has started nursery!
Ugh, he’s such a happy chappy..

Leo started nursery this early as I’m genuinely struggling to do any work related to uni, but he absolutely loves it! Such a shame that it’s so expensive - especially for babies!

He’s going 3/4 fridays a month due to limited availability for 5 hours in the mornings - meaning I get to go to a little coffee shop and do some work.
I slyly watch him there too with this nursery cam that’s available to parents, which helps me to feel more comfortable.

He’s learning and growing so much! How is he almost 6 months?!
🤭

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So yesterday I was meant to write a post about how tired I was but I fell asleep instead 🤔

I’ve become so tired all of a sudden!

Leo’s becoming more demanding and playful. He’s just so curious although other people say he’s nosey like his mother 💁🏻‍♀️

Yesterday, he spent most of the day with his godfather & close friends so that I could get away to a coffee shop and try to do my essay for university. I’ve been struggling with getting my work done as he’s more awake and wanting to explore.
Leo’s trying so hard to wiggle around and he’s learning to crawl at the moment (he manages to crawl backwards & has such strong legs)

Luckily I managed to alter 1 essay that I failed from last term and write some more on my dissertation before collecting him. We then went home for him to have his dinner and play a bit more before having his bath, book bottle & bed. Taishan cleaned his bottles as me and Leo both fell asleep at 8pm 😳





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It’s recommended that you start weaning a baby from 6 months onwards but this was impossible with Leo.

He use to be so hungry and drunk bottle after bottle. We ended up changing his usual aptamil from birth milk to the aptamil hungrier formula - but this was too much and upset his tummy.

So when he turned 4 1/2 months old we decided to give him some aptamil baby rice in the morning. Bearing in mind he was sitting up with support & was interested in food when we were eating.
Leo took to the baby rice well and he wanted more, so we started to give him single steamed or boiled veg that I blended with the tommee tippee blender (this is great for portioning & knowing how much to do).

Leo was eating everything & anything, no hesitating or spitting it out (huge bonus).

Leo is now coming up to 6 months and he has enjoyed: aptamil baby rice
Aptamil baby rice with banana
Bananas
Peach
Mango
Mixed berries
Butternut squash
Sweet potato
Carrots
Swede
Peas
Broccoli
Cauliflower

A great variety already!

Leo also loves Ella’s kitchen and hipp organic but cow&gate jars seem to upset his tummy (probably because they contain stuff that his body isn’t mature enough yet) for when we’re on the go.

I’ve now started to purée food myself for Leo as it’s more cost efficient and truly fresh.
I’ve made him peach purée, butternut squash purée, banana purée, sweet potato purée and carrot mixed with swede purée as seen in the photos.
I boiled these in hot water and then mashed them with the tommee tippee blender before placing them into 2 0z ice cube pots to be frozen.
Once frozen I poor hot water over the cubes until they’re release into the freezer bags. This lasts 3 months from when they have been cooked & blended.

When using them, I’ll either take 1-2 cubes out overnight to thaw in the fridge or I’ll heat them on the hob from frozen

Leo’s food routine is now:
Early morning when Leo wakes up - aptamil milk.
Mid morning - portion of baby rice
Lunch time: aptamil milk & fruit purée
Late afternoon: aptamil milk
Early evening: aptamil milk & vegetable purée
Bed time: aptamil milk

The amount he has is completely dependant on how hungry he is.

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After a ridiculous amount of time trying every method possible to get Leo to sleep; I can finally say I give up.

I’ve tried schedules, cry it out method (slightly) & giving him all his feeds during the day but nothing works!

Maybe at the moment he is just too young for sleep training 🤔

Comfort is his go to.. he has various fluffy blankets for nap and bed time. Leo also loves cuddles with his mama (a little too much at times). At the moment he’s sleeping on me at night due to the dreaded teething stage. Bad and not recommended I know, but when you’re desperate for sleep and at your wits end, you’ll allow anything.

If Leo sleeps in his bed, he’ll wake and fidget every couple of hours. However if he sleeps on me, his daddy or even in the bed between us, he’ll sleep from about 8:30pm - 5:30\7 am.

Maybe it’s just a phase right now and he’s not ready.... At least he has a stable routine of bath, book, bottle and bed so that he knows this means bed time.

I guess I’ll also miss it when he’s at the age where he doesn’t wanna cuddle or kiss his mummy. I love to have bed time cuddles and bonding time with him💙


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My body had changed so much during pregnancy that I felt so insecure and uncomfortable.

My skin had stretched to accommodate a squishy baby & I just didn’t give my stomach enough oil or moisturiser to help out with the process. I used bio oil mostly and coco-butter but it just wasn’t enough!

Four days after Leo was born, my stomach had shrunk and I could fit into my size 10 jeans again! My skin had felt so loose and saggy but it was relieving to have my body back to just being mine.

I found out from a postnatal check up that during my pregnancy I tore my abdominal wall muscle (Diastasis Recti), it’s precisely 2 fingers away from each other. This wasn’t great news to hear but I figured it was from using my partner to pull myself up from bed rather than roll on to the side of the bed and push myself up when I was heavily pregnant. I also think it was from working on placement, carrying 1L fluids within a renal unit (even though I shouldn’t have, I did. I didn’t want people to stop me from doing what I was able to do, just because I was pregnant). I’ve also suffered majorly from quite shit pelvic floor muscles but that’s a topic to discuss another day.

I’ve got my tiger stripes of going through such an incredible process on my lower abdomen and saggy skin from my belly button (where it used to be pierced). I’m still not comfortable wearing certain clothes like crop tops as much as I use to but that’s okay! It’s only been 5 months since I gave birth and I’m taking it slowly. Mainly because I have a degree to finish and let’s be honest, snacking is necessary to get through this dissertation.

I’m hoping to get both my abdominal wall and my pelvic floor muscles stronger before considering and trying for another baby. I’m also going to try and eat more healthily as I’ve let go a bit since Leo’s been born.


Love
Geena x


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Having a newborn on your bare chest enjoying skin-skin contact after giving birth is one of the most incredible feelings ever. However, for me, this was awkward due to the clothes that I was wearing and the need for stitches down below.

Soon after Leo, was placed on to my chest, I was supported by the Midwife to commence breast-feeding. This felt like the amazing mummy thing to do but I knew that my milk wasn’t available to him yet and I was so exhausted, drifting in and out of desperately needed sleep, that it was a risk to keep him on me - especially as the Midwife’s were preparing to stitch me up. This aspect was very painful for me and so I clung on to the entonox (gas & air) even though local anaesthetic was injected to the site too.

I gave Leo to his daddy and instantly thought that Leo would need some milk so Taishan prepared the first bottle of aptamil (formula) milk. (We arrived to hospital prepared with 12 small newborn bottles of aptamil as they do not provide this anymore). From the moment Leo was born to the day we got home, we were using these little bottles. Leo was so content and happy with this, being an easy resource to him. He never cried, just slept peacefully and we were guided by these little bottles as to when to feed him. (The bottles have guidelines for newborns as to how many feeds in 12-24hours).
A few days later my milk came through! Hoorah! I literally felt like I had this massive boob lift! It was crazy 😂 so, I tried to breast feed Leo and he just wasn’t having any of it. He cried whenever I tried to.
When we seeked support about this, the health visitors and Midwives didn’t have any concerns. They just said that as long as he’s happy and feeding well then it doesn’t matter as much whether you breast feed or formula feed.

This was quite disappointing and I wish that I persevered with this matter more, however it was also a blessing in disguise. This was because I was preparing to go back to my BSc Adult nursing course full time in a few months after Leo’s birth. The formula feeding was quick, easy and meant that Leo wasn’t waking up every hour or so to feed. I could get more sleep than a mother who breast-fed her child and my child would sleep longer too, but it was such a nuisance to go downstairs to the kitchen every time Leo needed a bottle. I also feel this affected our bonding time as we didn’t get to enjoy more skin-skin contact. So when we are ready to give Leo a sibling and I have my career in full swing, I will try to go down the route of breast-feeding and steering clear of formula milk.

Love

Geena x



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So here it is, my first blog of being a mummy and a student nurse.

I'll begin with the birth of Leo as this is when everything became a juggling act as a student nurse and new mumma)

(This post contains graphic content/details of the raw truth of my labour and the birth of our beautiful little boy)

On Wednesday 16th August, 2017 I was admitted to the pre-natal ward where the induction process happens at 8am. I arrived with my maternity bag, midwifery notes and loads of snacks to prepare us ( Myself and my partner Taishan) for the long haul of preparing my body to give birth to our son. This is because once the process has started, you're not allowed to leave the hospital until the baby has been born. we were told that it could take up to four days, yep, four! so here we were, awkwardly, laid in a single bed watching films all day whilst waiting for the first drug (a tampon like medication) to soften and open my cervix. At about 6pm, Whilst walking to the hospital restaurant for food, I felt the 'drop' of Leo literally locking himself into my cervix getting ready to begin his journey through the birth canal. I can officially say that is when the well known 'waddle' commenced. I couldn't sit or stand without feeling like I needed the toilet urgently. Taishan found this hilarious at the time but little did we know, that 4 hours later between 10-11pm, (as soon as Taishan had to go home without me), the mucus plug came out and my waters broke. I was so shocked and excited at the same time that I didn't know If I had wet myself or if it was genuinely my waters. It took a while for me to actually raise awareness to the midwives on shift, but when I did, the smell confirmed it. It smelt so sterile! I didn't know that once your waters break, it is continuous until you give birth. Taishan arrived back, thinking that I lied to get him to comfort me. That night I started to have irregular contractions. It felt like period cramps wrapping around my lower back and hitting the core of my abdomen. I was hot and sweaty all night, feeling incredibly uncomfortable but yet so excited that I couldn't sleep. oh how I wish I did now, looking back.

The next morning at 6am, Our midwife took us down to the labour ward (where the gruesome action begins). I was 1cm dilated from the tampon like drug. I was excited and could deal with the contractions by breathing them through. we had breakfast and I had a shower to freshen up before the next stage of induction begun. The consultant, anaesthetist, student midwife and other professionals arrived to greet us and inform me of their role should anything happen later that day. I made it very clear not to have any form of spinal block or epidural unless I was in excruciating pain. The doctors then inserted a huge cannula into my hand and set up the IV infusion to intensify the contractions and force my cervix into dilating more. I was also set up to a observation monitor to see how Leo was coping with it. until approx mid-day I was bouncing on a yoga ball and breathing through the contractions.

Eventually, I took the gas & air as I was finding it more painful. At one point, I found myself so high that as I was walking to the toilet, leaning on the drip stand I verbally said that I felt like Madeleine (McCann) (Unbelievable I know) but what I actually mean't was the french school girl in the film Madeleine who walks around the hospital with the drip stand. Taishan, My mum and the midwife all looked shocked and in dis-belief that, that name rolled off the tip of my tongue. (Its crazy what induced labour & entonox can make you say)

I was so high that I was then unable to continue bouncing on the yoga ball, leaning on my partner, so I was supported on to the extremely UNCOMFORTABLE birthing bed. Early afternoon I felt the need to push like number 2 style push, the midwife checked me over and said that I was 2CM dilated. Angry and exhausted, I saw red that I had only progressed 2 cms! unbelievable. My partner asked how many cm's before I could start pushing Leo out, and he shouted in shock, 10CMS! my mum holding back the laughter, I just looked at him in such anger.

I begun crying and shouted for them to just cut me open and get the baby out as I couldn't do it and I was far too exhausted. I just couldn't do it. I also shouted how it felt like I was in the exorcist. I was just looking down on my body in pain. The contractions were so intense that I was sliding down the bed and pulling myself back up in-between them.

The midwife and my mum agreed to give me more pain relief - double dosage of pethidine! what a treat that was. I fell asleep almost instantly and couldn't feel the contractions anymore. I was so spaced out. it was divine!

Taishan ran out quickly to get some food for him and my mum but just as he arrived back, I woke up and started pushing. I was shouting that I needed a poo and that I couldn't control it. my body just took over and begun pushing this little boy out. it was an hour since having the pethidine and my midwife was certain that I wasn't ready yet to push.

As my midwife came to check me over, she saw Leo's head crowning! this was it, this was the moment we were all waiting for! A few pushes, well actually a lot and there he was! After delivering our son, the pain of giving birth disappeared but I was still in shock that my cervix dilated from 2cms to 10cms in such little time!

Then came the horrible news, that I needed stitches as I had torn quite badly. 2nd degree almost 3rd degree tear! I stood up after being stitched and just felt so weak, shakey from the entonox and just lost over 300mls of blood.

I had this mindset throughout the process of 'its a few hours of pain' .. A few hours turned out to be 19 hours!

It was such an amazing and painful experience of giving birth and meeting our little boy on Thursday 17th August at 18:06pm. That evening was the moment that we became a family of three and surprisingly the next morning, we went home for both families to meet the new arrival of a healthy 7lbs 6oz boy named Leonardo Michael George Williams. I was still sore of course, but eventually the pain faded out and the healing process begun.


Love,

Geena x





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