exhausted, family, Happy momma happy baby!, look back, mum, sleepless nights, So happy, This too shall pass, Toddler, What will make me happy, where has the time gone!

5 things that surprised me about becoming a mum

1) I called my baby the wrong name for a good few weeks

Naming your baby is so much pressure. We spent weeks ruling out names due to sound, or negative associations, or because you are pregnant and you just don’t like it. ūüôā We narrowed it down to a short list of 3 names and we waited to see our little boy, to make sure the name suited him. When he arrived, that was it, the name matched, we were happy and announced his name to the families. We proceeded to call him by his cousin’s name (born 6 months earlier) for a few weeks….. oops!

2) Baby’s have an ability to poo at the worst time

It is incredible how babies have this built in awareness of the worst timing to do a poo. You are running late and rushing to leave the house and then you smell it……poo! You are just nipping to the shops quickly, no need to bring the nappy bag. You arrive and then you smell it…….poo! You just change his nappy, which is a battle at the best of times and next thing you smell it…… poo!

All you can do is laugh at his cutie face and get out the changing mat again.

3) Mums are meant to have all the answers

I had this realisation the first time our little one was sick. His temperature had spiked and wouldn’t come down. My husband looked at me with concern, what will we do, and I thought I have no idea. Let me ring mum and there it was. My first instinct, ring MY mum. And now I am the mum, I am somehow meant to magically know the answers. Luckily I have great support from two amazing mums in my life, which is great, as I have a lot to learn! I feel like I should have mummy L-plates on half the time so at least people will know not to expect all the answers, I might just have to ring my mum!

4) The nights are long but the years are short

I heard this phrase recently and I think it’s so appropriate. When you are up in the middle of the night trying to settle a hysterical baby, the nights are long. When you are up feeding for the third time that night while you hear your other half fast asleep beside you, the nights are long. When your little one decides they want to wake every 45 minutes throughout the night, the nights are long.

But you have to remember that this too shall pass. Many people told me things only get harder, which I don’t really believe. They are different, but not harder. Instead of exhausted from lack of sleep you are exhausted from running around after your little one. Nothing is harder than being terribly sleep deprived. But remember, it will pass.

When I look back on the last year, it really does fly by and I have a feeling the years will just get quicker. We gotta make the most of it while we can.

5) It takes a village to raise a baby

I have no idea how people live far away from their families or move to new places with newborns. Whether its friends or family, we all need support. Especially in those early years. Having someone around to watch your little one while you nip out to the shops, grab a shower or just have a night out to unwind is so important. Having those sanity breaks is so important for our own mental health and wellbeing. So it really does take a village to raise a baby. Remember happy parents mean happy babies!

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Baby, Christmas, exhausted, family, Happy momma happy baby!, mum, So happy, Walking

The magic of Christmas with kids

I can’t believe Christmas has come and gone. It was such a busy period. But it really was one of our best Christmases yet.

While this Christmas was our little ones second official Christmas, it felt like his first as last year he was admitted to hospital on Christmas eve due to low blood sugar. So that really disrupted our plans last year.

This year we felt like we were starting all our family traditions, and it was so much fun.

We got ourselves matching pj’s, had a lovely relaxing Christmas eve walk, made sure a mince pie and coke was left out for Santa and read a Christmas book before bed time.

Over Christmas we managed to fit in a visit to both families, which was very special!

There was so much excitement for both our families having babies around at Christmas.

While I know our little one won’t remember this Christmas, it was still important to us to do things right. Start as we mean to go on. It was so strange being “santa” and setting up the toys as We know our parents did for us for years! So I felt super grown up doing all the mummy jobs. Well not quite all of them, we were extremely lucky to be given two wonderful Christmas dinners over the holidays with each of our families, so no cooking for me thank god. I fear the day I have to cook a full Christmas dinner!

I hope everyone enjoyed their Christmas!

Baby, creche, exhausted, mum, Sickness, This too shall pass, Winter vomiting bug

Creche and all its associated diseases!

We started our little one in Creche about 4 weeks ago now. The first two weeks were his settling in period where we built up the time he was in Creche slowly by an hour a day. Before he started in Creche I heard about all the bugs he will pick up. We made it through the first 2 weeks and he didn’t even have a cold. I thought maybe his immune system is slightly stronger. Maybe he won’t get anything…..oh was I wrong! On Saturday his temperature started to spike a bit during the day and he woke up with the sniffles. I just thought here we go, a bad head cold. That’s to be expected! We watched his temperature all Saturday and Sunday, giving him calpol when it went up. On Sunday he was very grumpy. He didn’t really eat much of his food. Eating very little dinner, which is not like him at all. I stress about dinner the most as I am always afraid he will wake up in the middle of the night hungry. So it was bed early for our grumpy boy. He was very unsettled that evening so the hubby went up to check on him. And all of a sudden he vomited everywhere. Not baby vom, but proper vom. He had picked up the winter vomiting bug! ūü§Ę I was called up to do the clean up while my hubby cuddled a very happy little boy, he looked so relieved. Over the next few days we battled the runs, temperatures and an increasingly worse cold. He also managed to pass the bug on around the family. When I got it I realised how awful my little one felt, no wonder he was so grumpy! Thankfully he is so much better this week and we are pretty much over his cold too. I have a feeling that with all the bugs in Creche.. .. this is definitely not the last bug he will pick up. But better to build up his immunity now…. and ours along the way!

10 months, Baby, can't wait for a cuddle, creche, miss him already, mum, settling in, This too shall pass

Heartbreak at leaving my crying baby at creche

Ok so my little one was officially 10 months yesterday, so not really a baby anymore. But as every mother says, he is still my baby!

Last week we started our creche settling in period for our little man. The first day he spent an hour there with daddy. He had a great time playing with all the new toys.

The second day he spent an hour there by himself. I dropped him off. He was busy playing with toys when I left and seemed happy out. Only upon collecting him did we find out about 15 mins after leaving he cried on and off for the rest of his time there. The good thing is that he wasn’t crying by the time he was picked up by nana.

The third day mummy and daddy dropped him off. Today he spent 2 hours at creche. Again, he was happy out when we left as he was busy playing with toys. But the same thing happened 15 mins after we left. He cried on an off until he was picked up by daddy and nana, he was delighted to see them both.

The fourth day, Friday, he went there for 3 hours. He got upset as daddy was leaving. The good thing is that he did sleep. And overall cried less while he was there. So that’s positive. But the minute he saw Daddy he burst into tears until he got a big cuddle.

Today it is my turn to drop him off. I didn’t think much about it as I was running around getting things ready for creche. He was so good going in. I put him down on the floor to play and he was fine. And then all of a sudden he just burst into tears. The kind of wail that means I just want my mummy. I picked him up and he stopped immediately. I handed him over to one of the girls and the wailing started again with his arms outstretched for me to take him back.

My heart absolutely broke. I had to leave my crying baby with people I didn’t know! My eyes start to well with tears of my own. And I start to take big breaths to keep back the tears. I am one of those people who wears my emotions on my sleeve. It was heart breaking walking out of the place. I drove straight to the local shopping centre for a haircut. I feel I deserve a bit of pampering!

I sit here with dye in my hair counting down the hours until I get a big cuddle! This is so much worse than being in work!

I know he will start to enjoy creche, but this settling in phase is so much worse than I ever imagined!Finally home with mummy!

30 day shred, 4 months, Baby, Body weight training, Exercise, Fitness, mum, new-born, newborn

Getting back my pre-baby body – the 30 day shred review

As part of the second phase of getting my pre-baby body back, I decided to do the Jillian Michaels 30 day shred.¬†In my previous post¬†at the start of the¬†30 day shred, I¬†explained where I was in my¬†fitness journey and charted my progress with some “before” photos. (Getting back my pre-baby body ‚Äď the journey so far).

It took me from the 10th April 2017 to the 31st May 2017 to do the shred, almost double the allocated time of thirty days. However I did all 30 of the workouts, just taking a few more days off than recommended. But with a 4 month old baby, you can’t put too much pressure on yourself to complete the shred every day as sometimes your days or nights¬†just do not go to plan.

The levels work up in intensity, with some moves being made more complex in later levels. Each level has an active warm up which changes for each level (which I like, as doing the same warm up for 30 workouts in a row is a bit monotonous). The workouts are broken up into 3 minutes strength, 2 minutes cardio and 1 minute of abs with 3 rounds. I found that each level had a few moves that I found very hard to do, but I just kept at them and found that by the time the 10th workout came along I was able to do them a lot better.

As I progressed through the levels, I found the abs workouts getting progressively harder for me, so I had to skip them for the last 10 workouts, as my abs were not ready for the intensity of these workouts. But the main thing is that I was able to get through the program so I was proud of myself.

I have taken some before and after photos below, while¬†I am¬†by no means “shredded” I found that despite no dramatic visible changes, I felt so much stronger and fitter¬†by the end of the program.¬†By challenging myself to do¬†the program¬†I felt my old¬†fitter¬†self re-ignite and my confidence grow.

If you followed a healthy eating buzz in addition to doing the 30 day shred, I think you could get some great results as the program is a great all body workout. I will definitely be going back and doing the program again once I stop breastfeeding, as I need to hold onto the extra weight for feeding purposes right now.

20170810_170300

If you want to give the program a go you can get it for ‚ā¨8 at HMV or alternatively you can just stream each level at the following links:¬†Level 1, Level 2, Level 3.

 

30 day shred, Baby, Exercise, Fitness, mum, newborn

Getting back my pre-baby body – the journey so far

My first blog post, which I posted about a month ago, on getting back my pre-baby body explained what I was doing at the time to get back to fitness. This covered the workouts I was doing from 6 weeks post labour until now. I did not do any workouts before my 6 week check with the GP to ensure she was happy with my progress and my abs had come back together. It is important not to start any crunches at all until your abs have come back together (to within 1 finger width) as otherwise you could force your abs further out and apart, which will result in many physio visits to fix. You can get your GP to check your abs at your 6 week check or ask the physio in the local health centre. Most GPs do not do this check automatically, so make sure you have it on the list of things to ask them.

I have been very careful with the workouts I have chosen over the last 10 weeks. So now its time to stop and take stock of where I am and what the next steps in my journey will be. I enjoy documenting any fitness journey as it really reminds me of how far I have come.

My pregnancy journey at 15 weeks post labour
From top left to bottom right: 38 weeks pregnant – 2 days post labour – 8 weeks post labour – 15 weeks post labour

At this point I am feeling fitter, stronger and ready to start kicking things up a notch. Along with a few mums in my local area that I met through the local health centre, we are all doing Jillian Michaels 30 day shred. This is a workout program lasting 25 minutes every day for a period of 30 days, which is ideal for anyone with a young baby to tend to, as they won’t go much longer than 25 minutes entertaining themselves.

The program has 3 levels, 10 days at each level. The only equipment required are dumbbells (you can improvise using small bottles or tin cans) and an exercise mat. I do the workout at home but you could easily do it outside as long as you have access to youtube (see the link to level 1). It is also great to get a group to commit to the challenge together, as a way to keep yourself motivated.

I¬†have not paid much attention to my actual weight, as weight loss right now is not something I am concerned with. I am still breastfeeding and your body naturally carries more weight to ensure you have sufficient stores to¬†meet your baby’s requirements, plus losing weight can mess with your milk supply too. However I am tracking how I look. So the¬†bottom right photo¬†is my current before photo as my¬†journey continues.

I have workout one complete, only 29 more workouts to go. I found the workout a challenge, which is good. I also know I will be sore in the morning, but as they do say Рno pain no gain.

IMG-20170410-WA0001
My first workout with baby trying to join in too!

 

Once I am finished the shred, I will do another photo collage to let you all know how I got on and a full review of the three levels involved in the program.

Baby, Harmony Yoga, massage, mum, new-born

The benefits of Baby Massage

“Parents massage their babies? Really?” I thought to myself when I first heard of¬†baby massage. Straight away I assumed I would be useless at it¬†and might just give it a miss…. which lasted all of 1 week after¬†Baby was born.

WIND!¬†Baby is what I like to call a “windy” baby. No matter how long I winded him for, he would still suffer from trapped wind. Like all new-borns, he struggled to understand how to relieve¬†the windy¬†pains and¬†at times¬†would get quite upset. My heart went out to him and I immediately turned to the almighty GOOGLE to see if I could find any way to help relieve the pains. And I was reminded of the amazing art of BABY MASSAGE.

I did a course of 5 baby massage classes with the amazing Gail from Harmony Yoga. It was the first course myself and Baby did and it was the best decision I made. Not just for the amazing tea, biscuits and chats you have at the end of the class, but also for the following benefits we experienced:

  • Relief from colic (or as I like to say: windy pains) – There is a set sequence of movements to help move along trapped wind. This was my number one reason for trying baby massage and I must say it works a treat.
  • Helps babies to sleep – I try to get Baby into a night time sleep routine where we¬†do a massage,¬†put on¬†pjs, have a feed and go to bed. The massage really relaxes him to settle him for the night.
  • Great way for parents to bond with their babies – Everyone thinks that bonding with your baby is the easiest thing in the world, but with all of our second guessing we do, it can be hard to just relax, trust your instincts and let that bond grow. Baby massage is a activity to¬†do together.
  • Helps baby understand how their body is all connected – the last move of every section shows baby how their body is interconnected.
  • Keeps skin soft and moisturised – By using natural oils in the massage, it helps to keep babies skin moisturised, which is great if they¬†have any dry skin.

Baby massage can be started straight from birth, so it is a great first class to sign up to. An added¬†bonus is that you¬†might be able to reclaim a lot of the cost through your health insurance!¬†And you might even meet some nice mums along the way too! ūüôā 20170331_085830

aqua aerobics, Baby, Exercise, Fitness, mum, Post-partum, Swimming, Walking

Getting back my pre-baby body

Ok, I am just going to say it straight, getting back to fitness after having a baby is hard!¬†I always¬†thought that I would be back running¬†in a matter of weeks. Well that certainly didn’t happen. I really underestimated the changes your body goes through during pregnancy.

For at least the first 6 weeks after labour just rest. Everything has changed with the arrival of our little ones and you need to give yourself time to get used to them, and to rest your body. I waited for my 6 week check with the GP before I even considered working out.

The body produces a number of different hormones during pregnancy. Relaxin, one such hormone, is responsible for relaxing the ligaments and pelvis. Your body continues producing this hormone for up to 4 months after you finish breastfeeding your baby. The side effect is that it is really easy to pull or strain a muscle and with all the care a baby needs, us mums can’t afford that at all. When getting back to exercise, it is really important to go with an “easy does it” approach.

  • Walking

Walking is a fantastic form of exercise. Not only is it easy on your muscles and ligaments, its also out in the fresh air and it often sends those grumpy babies to sleep. Try to walk to the local supermarket, coffee shop or baby group rather than drive. You will be walking for hours a day before you know it.

  • Aqua aerobics/aqua fit

Aquafit is a great low impact exercise which works wonders building up both muscle strength and your endurance, while alleviating pressure on your joints. I go to aquafit classes at night which gives my husband some time with baby and me a well earned break/me time.

  • Swimming

Swimming is a great way to start building up your core strength gently. If like me, your stomach muscles have really weakened, it’s one of the best ways to gently start building up your core strength again.

Whatever form of exercise you chose, always listen to your body. If you feel pain doing any type of exercise, my advice is to stop doing it and either ask your public health nurse or a physio. Please also remember to enjoy whatever route back to fitness you take.

Walking
There is nothing like a walk in your local park