The Titchy Princess and the Blog

Doing the simplest of daily tasks with a little one is difficult. Amelia is five months old now and if she is in a particularly clingy mood then I can’t even go to the bathroom without carrying the little pickle with me.

And I can forget showering or bathing alone. Amelia’s bouncy chair now lives in the bathroom so that she can sit and talk to me whilst I’m in the shower. For some reason turning on the water is really entertaining and she will giggle until I turn the taps off.

Aside from being Amelia’s mummy, I am also back at uni full time, I return to my part time job in February and I am currently doing my best to maintain my blog. As I write this Amelia is bouncing in her jumperoo, mesmerised by the birds that are dangling from it. To keep up with my coursework and to post regularly I just make the most of the time that Amelia is occupied. Nap time is housework time and then if she’s still asleep I get my laptop out.

How do any of you make time to write?

Looking After Amelia is Enough

Yesterday me and Amelia were both feeling poorly so we cuddled up on the sofa with a blanket, a cup of tea for me and Netflix.

Little lady is really liking music at the moment so we spent the afternoon watching all the guilty pleasure, girly, sing a long type films. She had her eyes glued to the screen for Mamma Mia and bless her heart she tried so hard to stay awake through Pitch Perfect 2 but she just couldn’t keep her eyes open.

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When rob got home I felt like I had to apologise. I hadn’t washed up, dinner wasn’t ready, the wet washing was still on the side and Amelia’s toys were all over the floor. Only, instead of going ‘it’s okay don’t worry’ like I expected him to, he asked ‘what for?’. I told him, I haven’t done anything all day. He started doing the washing up and gave me the perfect answer, ‘you’ve looked after Amelia all day. That’s more than enough’.

I think sometimes us mums need reminding that if all we did all day was look after the little ones then that is more than enough. Yes the housework needs doing, the dishes need cleaning, the clothes need drying and the kitchen floor needs mopping but that can all wait. As long as Amelia is happy and looked after then I’ve done more than enough. If Rob is happy with that then I should be too.

Immunisations

Before I begin, please be aware that I am not writing this post to scare anyone! This post is purely to inform other mums and dads to be extra vigilant.

I think I can speak for all new parents when I say there is an event in the baby calendar that everyone dreads; the vaccinations.

In the first year babies have them routinely at around two months, three months and four months of age. Nurses and doctors always advise a dose of calpol at the time of the injections and at four hour intervals afterwards.

But what I was never told is that babies can actually have severe allergic reactions to them. Now to some this may come as a surprise. Immunisations are meant to prevent serious illness, not cause it.

Amelia had her first round of vaccinations and aside from screaming bloody murder when they were done, handled them without much trouble.

Fast forward to six hours after her second round of vaccinations and we found ourselves in pembury hospital with her being admitted with an allergic reaction.

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Her poor little leg swelled up from hip to ankle and went tomato red and her tiny foot started to turn purple. Her heart rate reached over two hundred and she had a temperature. After observations and ibuprofen – which is not supposed to be given under three months so please do not give your baby this unless told to by a doctor – she finally stopped crying and began to breath normally again.

It was only after this that the doctors told us that, although very rare, babies can actually get anaphylactic shock from their vaccinations.

Yesterday she had her third round of immunisations and unfortunately the same thing happened again. After a trip to Maidstone hospital and very little sleep she is now doing a lot better.

This has left me wondering about future vaccinations. Of course I understand why they are done routinely. Some of the illnesses that they are protected against are fatal. But anaphylactic shock can have an equally terrifying outcome if not treated quick enough. Even now they are unable to tell us what component it is she is allergic to as there are so many.

The nurse that carried out her vaccinations was very impressed that we had brought her for more injections given her previous reaction. However I now wonder why we aren’t told to look out for the warning signs? Only after the reaction, was I told that next time I should listen to her breathing and continually monitor her chest and legs for the rash spreading. I fully understand that it is rare to react so badly and that they do not want to scare all parents but on this I think it is better to be informed.

Please do not take this as a reason not to have your little ones vaccinated. Rather take it as a reason to be vigilant and to keep your little ones legs uncovered for the hours afterwards so that you can check for any localised reaction.

Amelia’s Wardrobe

IMG_2717Amelia’s clothes are more practical than princess. Thanks to her reflux she is sick at least ten times a day resulting in 3 or more outfit changes, 4 or more bibs and at least 3 muslin cloths. If she’s laying down at the time of projectile vommitting she usually gives herself a horrible hair wash. It is not unusual for her to need three or four baths a day.

Her reflux means she needs a lot of clothes. Forget the quantities of vests that mother care and cow and gate recommend on their websites. 12 vests would never be enough unless I want to be doing a few loads of washing a day.

Most of her clothes come from h and m, primark, Tesco or mothercare. She’s also got a lot of clothes passed on from friends and family.

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As much as I see the appeal to the gorgeous designer clothes and intricately made Spanish dresses, for us they just aren’t practical. They aren’t designed to be sicked all over and the few pretty dresses she does have end up being taken off after her first bottle. Princess dresses just don’t look the same with a bib.

If she has a particularly cute outfit on I try and get a picture before I put her bib on, hoping I manage it before she sicks – and no this doesn’t always work.

The photo below is more accurate – bib and muslin and a blanket just incase the muslin doesn’t catch everything.

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(The shirt and baby jeggings are Primark, the love floral tracksuit is from Morrisons and the Gap outfit is a set I found on facebay.)

 

Baby’s First Christmas

Amelia will be 7 months old at Christmas. What on Earth do you get a seven month old? I know so many first time mums that have gone crazy and spent hundreds of pounds on gifts for their little ones only to find that on Christmas day their babies are more interested in the boxes and the wrapping paper than the presents inside.

So what have we decided to do for Amelia?

For us it’s not only Amelia’s first Christmas, but our first Christmas in our own home so it’s exciting. However we have decided that we are only going to buy her a few things and put aside the rest of the money we would have spent so that next Christmas when she is walking and more interested she can have more gifts.

Of course we could go into a toy shop and spend hundreds of pounds and we could just as easily spend a fortune on pretty dresses. But for one they don’t mean anything to her yet and for two she has reflux. That pretty £55 Spanish dress would be vommitted on in less than ten minutes and most likely stained beyond help.

Amelia has the following gifts so far:

1) three story books

2) a Minnie Mouse blanket

3) a Winnie the Pooh bib, sock and hair bow set

She will also have an outfit or two, a teddy and a few small toys i.e ones for in the bath and a shape sorter.

The quantity of parcels under the tree is by no means an indicator of how much our princess means to us. We don’t love her any less because we are not going to buy her expensive dresses and toys beyond her understanding. We just want to wait to buy her all those things until she’s a bit older. She is spoilt rotten by her nannies and already has a walker and a jumperoo. We want to wait and see what Titch is interested in, whether there is a colour she prefers or a character on the TV that she loves.

 

 

 

Baby Weight

These days it’s nearly impossible to be secure in your own body when everywhere you look there’s a tiny model in a swimsuit with a perfect tan, hair and makeup done by a professional every morning and their own personal trainer.

I think this is particularly true for new mums. Instagram gives you access to a never ending stream of gorgeous bikini bodies. Most girls my age will have heard of Tammy Hembrow. She documented both her pregnancies through regular full body pictures and was very critical of her body a few weeks after each pregnancy. She was very vocal about how she kept up her weight training until very close to her due date.

It’s deceiving. Most new mums won’t have the time to hit the gym in the early days and theres no shame in that! And as for working out during pregnancy? Great if you can but if not that’s not a bad thing. Take time to enjoy your pregnancy and watch your bump grow. The stronger your abs are the longer it usually takes for your bump to appear and I don’t know about you, but for me that was one of the things I enjoyed most about being pregnant!

Tammy Hembrow may have been lucky enough to be able to work out whilst pregnant but I certainly wasn’t. For a start I had a job and a degree to study for which isn’t exactly conducive with several hours a day in the gym and secondly my health didn’t call for it either. I had morning sickness so severe that I lost 7lbs in the first 20 weeks and had an ambulance sent out to me and for the latter half of my pregnancy I was on crutches.

I’m the first to admit that I was quite lucky in that I slimmed down very quickly. Thanks to breast feeding and an early baby that got readmitted to hospital my tummy pulled in very quickly and the first couple of weeks I hardly got the chance to eat more than the three meals a day the hospital provided. 6 days after having Amelia I was back in my prepregnancy jeans and by six weeks I weighed the same as I did before pregnancy too.

I’m proud of the fact I have maintained the weight loss and am still eating healthily as I did before having Amelia – aside from an odd glass of wine which I think us mammas deserve. I’ve always been a reasonably healthy person and didn’t use my pregnancy as an excuse to over indulge – I strongly believe in eating in moderation. Have the chips or the pizza but make sure you have the salad too.

But if six months down the line you’re still a few pounds off your prebaby weight that is fine too. What’s more important is that you are happy and healthy and crash dieting whilst caring for a newborn is far from healthy. If you’re breast feeding you naturally burn around 500 extra calories so deciding to stick to a 1200 calorie diet would leave you feeling really run down and could hinder your milk supply.

Your body took nine months to grow that tiny human and its hard work. It deserves at least six weeks to heal before obsessing over getting into those size eight skinny jeans.

(and incase you were wondering the picture is of my favourite meal in the last few weeks of my pregnancy – Halloumi salad with seafood sauce and non-alcoholic moijitos)

Life With a Little One

I’ve never hidden the fact that Amelia wasn’t planned. I was told when I was 14 I would need IVF to conceive or at the very least hormone tablets.
So when I found out I was pregnant I didn’t believe it.
Fast forward a year and Amelia is laying on my lap as I type, 16 weeks and 4 days old.
I had a lot of people tell me I wouldn’t be able to afford my car, I’d never have any money and I wouldn’t be able to continue my course at uni.
Well they were all wrong. My car is parked outside our flat and I finished my first year of uni and am anxiously waiting to receive my results on Monday.

How anyone could see Amelia as anything less than a blessing I don’t know. I still get to drive my little car, it just has a car seat in the back. I still get to go shopping, I just end up buying things for my titchy princess.

4 Months and Counting

Amelia was 16 weeks old yesterday – I know I can’t believe it either. She arrived three weeks early. I’m not sure if that’s made the time go quicker or slower. She’s just started rolling over and can nearly sit up on her own.
She’s actually quite shy and will chat away all day to me and her dad but goes very quiet if we have visitors. She seems to have inherited my voice as she is really high pitched, although her nanny is convinced she is just imitating the guinea pigs!
She changes everyday now; yesterday her hair seemed to have got darker over night and this morning she seems to have grown half an inch in length.
As big as she has gotten she’s still on the smaller end of the growth chart in her red book but then that’s no surprise – I’m only 5 foot 1 and 3/4 of an inch!

Water Baby

You hear about so many babies that hate bath time and won’t go near the water unless they have to.

Amelia loves having a bath. Every evening when we say ‘Amelia it’s time for a bath’ she smiles and kicks, laying happily on her changing table whilst we take her clothes off. She wriggles and splashes about in the water, grabbing at the bubbles with both hands.

So naturally we took her swimming. She went for the first time when she was eight weeks old and still very small. Obviously she couldn’t hold her head up and we could only keep her in the water for the recommended twenty minutes in case she got cold.

This time, age four months, was completely different. She spent the whole time looking around at the lights and the people. Now that she can hold her head up she’s able to sit in her baby inflatable ring and was quite happy having a float around.

So comfortable and rocked by the motion of the pool that she started to fall asleep in the ring!

 

A Day in the Life of the Titchy Princess

4:30 am

Amelia wakes up for milks – during the night she is breast fed. Even though it’s really early in the morning she is full of energy and will kick her little legs and giggle at me. Rob is at work by now so she goes back to sleep on our bed.

8am ish

Amelia is awake. Now is when she has her first bottle, watching TV with me and having a cuddle whilst we wait for daddy to get home from work.

8:30 am

Rob is home and takes over titch duties whilst I do the washing and put away the things on the dish drainer from the night before. Usually for Amelia this starts with a cuddle on daddy’s lap and a change of clothes. Her reflux means her first bottle comes straight back up so her daddy takes her into her room to change her nappy and swap her sleepsuit for leggings, a vest and a bib.

10:30 am

By now after a couple of hours of giggling, wriggling and watching TV Amelia is ready for a nap. She doesn’t like sleeping in her crib during the day so she normally ends up napping on the sofa next to her dad or laying on my chest.

12:30 am

Lunch time for me and rob and another bottle for Amelia. She’s just started having a bit of baby porridge as it’s meant to help with her reflux. Her favourite is banana flavour. We make it up with breast milk. After her lunch has settled in her tummy, Amelia has a play on her mat under her baby gym. By now we are usually on outfit number two. On a bad day we are on outfit number three or four. Most baby websites say 10-12 nappies in 24 hours is average. If we go through less than 20 I would be really surprised. Titch doesn’t like having a wet bum at all!

2:30 pm

Amelia has her second nap. Her daddy goes to see his friends so we have a tidy up and watch NCIS reruns on the TV.

6:30 pm

Daddy comes home. Amelia has a cuddle while I get dinner ready. Whilst its cooking Amelia has her bath – she’s a real water baby and would stay in there all day if she could – and snuggles in her sleep suit and her blanket.

7:30 pm

Amelia has her bedtime milks whilst Rob and I eat dinner. By 8 pm she is usually asleep on the sofa and we pick her up and lay her in her crib. She sleeps for about eight or nine hours.

4:30 am

We do it all over again!