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Dear Daisy, It is your first day at school...

The many faces of Miss Daisy (2 months)

This blog was started as a journal of my pregnancy and of my life with Daisy.

I will be sharing some of my favourite photos every now and again, why not!

This last few weeks Daisy's expressions have become more and more obvious and funny! She's always known how to pull a good face, especially when she was so wrinkly and new but now it's as if she knows she is doing it!

Post coming up on surviving the 8 weeks jabs and the dreaded newborn cold :( 

Lots of love, 
Hayley xxx

2 months update, what we have been up to...

Can you believe Daisy is 2 months old already?? I can't! 

She's still a tiddler and very much my tiny girl! She got weighed a week ago and was 8lb 8oz , moving in the right direction and even jumped up a line in her little red record book so she's no longer on the very bottom line. I'm sure you've noticed in her photos how much fuller she is, people often comment on her chubby cheeks and double chin! I'm sure she's thinking "look at your own fatso"! Cheeky girl.

I've now packed away all the tiny baby clothes and she's comfortably in her newborn wardrobe! I have dressed her in a few 0-3 month frocks though as they're too cute not to. I want to make the most of them even if she's some growing to do to fill them!! How cute is that little Matalan dress from one of her aunties? 

Sleeping is still going well at night and I'm enjoying the routine we put in place, it gives us quiet time before bed and I do love her bath time! In the day she often has full days awake, I do wonder how she does it!!! I struggle must days!

 These past two days she has a nasty cold :( it really upset me to see her so poorly and droopy looking. Thank god for our ear thermometer (Braun) as I've become slightly obsessive over ensuring she's cool enough. Also thankfully she's old enough for Calpol infant suspension now so yesterday when it peaked it helped and also gave her a bit of respite from nasty cold symptoms. 

She's spent lots of time with family including her cousin Mollie who is just 7 months old, a lovely gap! Daisy talks to her and Mols is certainly intrigued with Daisy, although her mum thinks she may think she is a dolly!! 

She smiles beautifully and really interacts with you now. Her latest trick is to imitate things such as sticking her tongue out, it's her favourite game to play with her daddy! She is cooing and gurgling now and really focusing on your face and voice. 

She now has the ability to grab things such as toys, muslins and my hair!!!! I'm on the hunt for suitable toys for her they she can hold while she's tiny and are safe to go near her mouth as that's where they end up near by! 

We've done our first messy play session when we made Bens Father's Day pressie. It was ummmm interesting and uhh messy! 

Hopefully this cold will clear up as Ben is off work this week and it would be nice to get out and about together, perhaps to one of the National Trust places on our to go to list or just some nice walks with Bob the dog in the sunshine. I've ordered a baby wrap, shame I didn't order it earlier for this week as I'm sure it would be useful. 

Any tips for a cold in such a little baby??

She is planned to have her jabs tomorrow, will they do them if she's unwell??

Lots of love,
Hayley xxx

Bedtime military operation

I've been hearing about and reading a lot about routines this past week or so around bedtimes.The lovely Jenna from Tiny Footsteps has been posting about a trial she has been doing of making the environment quiet and serene and then implementing bath, little massage, bottle and bed and it seems to be going quite well. Her little girl is only a week or so older than Daisy so I thought maybe I should give it a try. 

Daisy has always been a good little sleeper, going from 10 until 1 and then until 7 ish but this past week or so it's been more like 10 (If she will go- sometimes I fight her until like midnight!) until 1 and then 4 and then 6.30 and then she will doze until around 8 if I'm lucky. Although you could say this is good for a relatively young baby I know she can go with just one wake up like she was doing for the first 5 weeks of her tiny life! But saying that I also know they have growth spurts and she definitely seems to be growing so if it doesn't work then so be it :) it's very early days for a routine, but on the other hand if it works then brilliant! And its perhaps a good start to make..

Day 1: Tuesday 
9.30-4.30 (7hrs) only managed two ounce of milk before bed as had fed her an hour or so before bath but the bottle knocked her out flat so no need for Frankie Frog. Woke at 4am feeling full full full waiting for her to wake- she woke up trumping at 4.30. One positive with being so full is she is so content during and after her feed! She gulps away like she has never been fed!
5.00-9.10!! Good going! 

All in all a pretty good first night I think. I just hope it wasn't just because she awake a lot today! 

Day 2: Wednesday 

9.10pm- 3.10am (6hrs) Giving her a bottle tonight was a bit of a fight, she wanted to mess about even though her eyes were so heavy and she wanted to drift off. Her new favourite thing to do is to fight the urge to sleep! She is not really used to a bottle as she is just breastfed usually, rather than expressed milk, She has slept a lot today so I did wonder how she would get on! So less of a lengthy stint as yesterday but when she woke for her feed it was as if she had never been fed so obviously needed to wake, I don't mind that :) 
3.30- 8.00 am

Day 3: Thursday 

9.00- 4.30am (7.5 hours) 

Well tonight the few hours leading up to bedtime was a struggle, so much so I has to leave the room, count to ten and go back in! She screamed and screamed for hours, really pained. Turns out she must have had some wind trapped as I found out when she burped in my face and then covered me in milky sick!!! Nice.  After that outburst though she fed again and dozed off. It had to be the most unsettled she has ever been so I didn't hold much hope for the night. But hey who would have known we would have the longest stint of the week so far, just shows what they're capable of!

I didn't manage a bedtime photo tonight as it really didn't cross my mind whilst wrestling wind but this was the afternoon when my little Joey wouldn't be put down!! 

4.45- 9.20am!!! 

All in all I think routine works for us! I'm sure we will have off days but they are tiny, helpless people after all and we all have days like that! 

My sister is a stickler for routine and it appears to work well with my niece and she is such a content little baby. If anything trying this out has given me some structure to an evening, although it feels a bit military preparing for it after tea at least I have the quality time with Daisy when bathing etc and I know she is going to bed clean, smelling beautiful, full and feeling safe and happy! I will keep going trying to implement it nad maybe the night feed will stretch out further with time. 

Lots of love,
Hayley xxx

The good, the bad and the ugly

I wasn't set on feeding my baby and was always open to formula and bottle if I didnt feel comfortable or couldn't breastfeed. 

I was lucky that Daisy latched on without any encouragement and so that really helped with my motivation. I always knew feeding wouldn't be easy which is why I wasn't allowing myself to be pressured into it, who needs extra stress and frustration when you have a tiny baby who needs you too? It's all very overwhelming. 

So feeding started and yes I found it excruciating those first two weeks, cracked skin, the feeling of bad bruises and then there is the sensation of having knives in your bra! Ouch! This passed though and soon I enjoyed doing it. 

Until my milk REALLY came in!! I thought I was already full, my god was I wrong! I had engorgement like I couldn't even have imagined! I felt like I was going to explode yet at the same time so solid, painful and raw to touch the skin. Getting Daisy to latch on was so difficult because I was so full!!  It was like having two big balls in my bra that hurt with every breath I took! Massaging in the bath with hot flannels helped and expressing also relieved the pressure- but it was short lived as they'd just full back up again an hour later! When it was at it's worse I was contacted by the natural birthing company about a pack they had to aid  breastfeeding calling Bosom Buddies

For starters how nice is the packaging?? 

It comes with two super soft flannels and a little box (again how cute??) containing three little bottles of oils. All called Ooh, Aah and Ouch! Below is what they're to be used for: 

You simply add a few drops to warm water and then use the soft flannels to create compresses to sooth the breast area. The idea is to do this in a quiet, relaxing atmosphere. Ideally away from bright light, so you can switch off. 

I must admit I was a little sceptical when I saw this, how can oils diluted in water on a flannel unblock my overly full breasts? I knew the relaxation would help but the oils?! And do you know I really did notice a difference, now wether that is down to massaging, expressing, constant feeding or this pack 100% I'm not sure, perhaps a combination. But I was doing all of those things before I tried the oils and it was only when I used the oils did it relieve all the pressure fully. 

They smell beautiful too which is always a winner for me! Since getting over nasty engorgement it's been the Ouch! oil that I've used most. And I love it! 

They do lots of other products for pre and post labour and for feeding. All products are natural with no petrochemicals or parabens and other nasties! 

I'm going to keep plodding on with my feeding journey whilst I'm able to! 

Lots of love,
Hayley xxx

When things aren't as you would expect...

I've not really spoken about this before on my blog or much in day to day conversation either. I'm not entirely sure why but I do think it's because we needed time to come to terms with things and get our heads around it privately. But now Daisy is here it's something Ben and I feel should be spoken about even if to help just one person in the future, make you more aware, or just to record our journey. 

I mentioned at our 16 week gender scan it was discovered there was a complication with baby but I said no more. I couldn't find the words and I didn't feel it necessary actually to tell anyone except those closest to us. But the truth is they couldn't see a right hand. As you can imagine our worlds crashed down and the next few minutes, hours and days were impossible. I felt sick, couldn't sleep and just cried wondering why us? Thinking of all the reasons why it could happen to our baby. I had no answers though. 

If I'm honest I still wonder this sometimes but I've learnt if these things are going to happen they do and that's just how life is. We just have to learn to adapt and deal with these things. 

We saw the obstetrician a day or so later after the 4d scan for a detailed ultrasound investigation and consultation. He confirmed there was abnormality to the hand, she possibly had something there but to what extent was unclear. We had scans fairly often after that, more to observe the development of everything else than to review her hand, so we knew it was isolated and there appeared nothing else wrong. Her growth was good and on track and her movement was what they would hope, lively! 

Adjusting to the thought was difficult, especially as even though we had scans we still didn't know exactly what to expect when she arrived. If I'm honest I was terrified of meeting her, excited obviously as I knew she would be my little girl but none the less I was frightened of how I would find it when she arrived. I needn't have worried, the minute she was put on my chest it was all irrelevant. She was absolutely perfect!! And the most gorgeous girl I had ever seen! 

It turns out she has a wrist which appears to have movement in and the start of what I can only describe as a tiny palm with what could be a thumb one day. We hope it's enough for her to be able to learn to grip things with but we will only see how she can use it as she develops.

We are now under the care of the team at Birmingham children's hospital and had our first appointment yesterday there with a hand surgeon. It was a positive meeting where we were told there won't be much if anything that daisy won't be able to do. We will have help in her development with teaching her how to use both hands and be given any adaptations we may need, for example if she was to need an adapted grip for her bike when she's at that stage. They also mentioned prosthetics and surgery but for the future and not something we would want to look at now anyway. 

It's amazing when you start to look these things up such as congenital deformities or transverse arrest (which is what they have said Daisy has) how many people are so inspirational out there, athletes that spring to mind such as Sarah Storey really help you to look at these situations positively! I mean check out what Sarah has done with her supposed disibility! Gold medal winner not only in swimming but also cycling! And also in able bodied championships as well as Paralympic! Incredible!

When pregnant you have the usual worries of the more common concerns such as Down's syndrome because you are tested for them and they are more publicly talked about, you never in a million years would think about something like your babies hand not developing as it normally would. And there being no explanation for why. Learning anything is not as expected with your child is heartbreaking, it's only natural to want everything to be perfect! But then on the other side she has her health and is a bouncy baby girl! And nothing is more important than that and the love she will receive, which is more than a lot of babies have around the world. 

Lots of love,
Hayley xxx

Muma essentials #1

With being a new mum I don't have much time to pamper myself at the moment, or not as much as I used to anyway. It's a trick of waiting for baby to nap and then sprinting as fast as I can without falling down the stairs to the shower for a quick whistle stop wash, if I'm lucky I even get to wash my hair! Fancy that! Okay so things aren't quite as awful as I'm making out but time really is a rarity now and I do need to be as efficient as I can when I do get some! 

So some of my essentials at the moment:

#1 Batiste Pixie Lott dry shampoo

I have always used Batiste dry shampoo and find it a life saver and I recently mentioned the lovely cherry edition I was using (see here) but I was then sent some of the new Pixie edition. I'm not sure why I hadn't picked it up from the shelf last week, probably because pixie doesn't do much for me in the way of endorsement- being a marketing graduate I don't tend to fall for celebrity endorsement! But I do feel it would probably jump out to a younger audience. Anyway I've gone off on one again- this edition smells florally beautiful! It's light and refreshing and is very summery. Does exactly the same as the other varieties- makes greasy lank hair brighter and smell clean on those days I don't have the privilege of washing my hair! I also find it gives my hair a volume boost- perfect! I will be buying this edition again for sure- available on a 3 for 2 in Boots at the moment! 

#2 Tropic HD brow kit

I don't have either the time or the money to go and get myself some HD brows or any kind of brow pampering at the moment, it's really not top of my priority list right now. With that in mind this product has jumped right back to the front of my make up bag! It's so so easy to use! See a link here to my last review of it and a bit of a how to! 

Okay so this is more of a luxury item for me and sadly it is running low, and I'm not sure if I can justify buying another on my poor maternity wage! Anyway, the reason it's an essential or has been is I apply it after I've moisturised and it brightens my skin and evens it out. It's great as a primer under make up but without it's great too! 

#4 Vaseline

My poor lips are so dry! I wake in the night to feed and they're so chapped and tight. Surely it's an essential to any woman!!! 

#5 Hand cream- Nivea 

With the amount of times I'm washing my hands my hands are more chapped than my lips! I could do with a new hand cream to try- any recommendations?? 

#6 St Tropez original

Now I usually would use the gradual St Tropez tan but sadly I have run out this last week. So trying to use what I have before buying it again I have been mixing this with cocoa butter body lotion (palmers) and using this as a gradual tan. It works as a treat! At least I can get up in the morning and know I at least won't look ghostly pale! A tan always makes you feel better doesn't it?

Lots of love, 
Hayley xxx

*Nair shower cream with Argan oil

I am always honest about products and like to say what I really think, and when I first saw this product I thought no thanks!

The reason being I don't use hair removal creams and nor do I use wax! I've talked before how I have my legs sugared (okay so I haven't actually for a long time, not since I was fairly heavily pregnant and not since having Daisy- but I will be getting back into it soon), it's less of a faff, lasts a long time and importantly is less painful.

When I first started hair removal all those millions of years ago I started with hair removal creams, my hair would have been at it's finest and it was relatively successful. Albeit a faff, messy, smelly and a bit stingy! Then my hairs as I got older got more coarse and sadly after a few hacks with a razor making then toughen up further I was no longer on board with the creams. Why did they have that odd peculiar smell too? Gross! 

So back to this product from Nair anyway. A small part of me when I saw the packaging for this was intrigued, Argan oil is a favourite of mine and has been for some time, I use it a lot on my hair and so was intrigued to find out what difference it would make in hair removal creams! So... I gave it a go. 

It comes in a nice big squeezey tube, I'd say after using it there should be enough for two decent applications, possibly three. It comes with a spatula to apply it and then remove it also, I still found this a bit messy but I'm not the tidiest person around or the most cautious! 

It says to put on and leave for a few minutes and then jump in shower and avoid getting overly wet for around 3-5 minutes (I left it for 5 ish). How can you avoid getting it overly wet in the shower unless you dodge water?? And actually when I came to remove it, most of it had gone anyway :( 

So the end result... Better than I expected!! My right leg was beautifully smooth and importantly to me had it smelt lovely whilst applying. I did my right leg first so the cream was on that leg longest before getting whipped away by our shower (worth saying although I love our shower it's not a super powerful power shower and so if you had one of those I'd expect the results to be less effective) and obviously the left leg for less time. My left leg was 50/50 success rate. I had to really wash it down with a flannel to pick up any hairs and then finish off with a nasty razor- I wouldn't usually but I had a wedding to attend the next day!!

So overall not a bad product, I would suggest staying out of the shower longer with it on and less time in there with it  and then it should be more effective. It doesn't sting (or didn't irritate me anyway), didn't smell gross and did work. So all in all thumbs up for a quick fix!

Available from Boots for £6.99.

Have you tried it?? 

Lots of love,
Hayley xxx

Daisys first month- How? What? Why?

How, What and Why are questions I've asked a lot in Daisy's first month..

 How do I get in her creases? How often should I feed her? Do I really have to wake her to feed her every three hours? What do I do with this? Why is she crying? Why is her poo yellow and look like it has seeds in it? How do I hold her in the bath to stop her feeling like a slippery fish? How do I make feeding her less painful and more glamorous? When will my jeans do up? When will she really smile? How far can she see? And so on... You get the picture! No one told me babies didn't come with instructions!! 

I've asked a lot of questions and there's plenty more to come I'm sure. Being a mum is taking some adjusting to and I'm learning lots along the way! Thank god for good parents (on both sides) and my sister the guru of parenting (who I bother most days) along with friends etc! 

Anyone back to Daisy and not myself.. 

She is now over a month old- how did that happen? (Told you there would be more questions!) It really has gone so fast . She is now chunking up a little and on last weigh in this week at 5 weeks old she was 6 lb 13! Go Daisy! Some of her wrinkles have smoothed out, few more to go and I'm sure at the rate she is filling out they will soon be a cute, little memory. She is still in her tiny baby clothes but I doubt they'll fit her long, sparrow legs for much longer. 

She certainly likes to feed and is still being a piglet after long stints of sleep, you would think she had never been fed! I still enjoy feeding her (myself not bottle!) but it hasn't been easy. I've not found it all that pain free and hassle free, but I've hardened to it and try to look at the good points such as all of the cuddles I have with her, even the night feed isn't so bad when you get a cuddle out of it! I'll do a post on feeding probably, I wish I had read up more on it before I had my baby! 

Sleep is pretty good, at night we often have just the one wake up call which allows us to have some solid sleep, I feel human - almost! The only time I feel myself losing patience and feeling like a zombie is when she has been fed in the night and instead of dozing back off she decides she would rather chat for an hour or so.

I have noticed lots of changes this week in Daisy:
- she can now focus on my face or her hands when she has them in front of her without going cross eyed! 
- she is very strong, pushing off our shoulders with both arms to have a nosey around
- she now has chubby little cheeks and is filling out nicely
- her hair is growing and thickening out, still can't decide though if it's fair or dark or curly or not!
- she is an expert trumpet bum! 
- she likes to growl at me
- she pouts a lot! 
-she dreams a lot, crying in her sleep and what appears to be chuckling!! 
- she can itch her cheeks with her toes (Ben discovered this little talent!) 

And the most exciting one of all...

SHE CAN SMILE!!!!!!! :) 

Lots of love, 
Hayley xxx