Before I had Oscar I was clueless about the placenta… as I was with EVERYTHING surrounding birth… and babies… and parenthood (and the list goes on). But no one talks about the placenta, do they? And I suppose it’s not that important is it? It’s only the organ that provides your growing baby with everything it needs to thrive – from oxygen to nutrients… but we don’t mention it. It’s just a kind of yucky word, a thing no one really talks about. A bit of an afterthought!
I watched a documentary when I was pregnant with Oscar all about “alternative births”. One woman who was having no medical observations during her pregnancy, including scans and would give birth at home on a boat if I remember right and another was going to birth in a lake like a mermaid I think. Another woman was having a Lotus Birth which is the practice of leaving the umbilical cord uncut after birth so that the baby is left attached to the placenta – she was carrying it around in a wee bag and sprinkling it with rose petals – “this shit is a bit hippy” I thought “but each to their own”. Then there was a girl that was choosing to “ingest her placenta” in the form of a smoothie which didn’t sound that ‘out there’ she spoke about what she believed would be the benefits and how it was only one little drink so why not… It got me thinking, and the more I thought about it, the more I came round to the idea. This was followed by some Googling and reading some personal accounts of women that had done it and research that surrounded the practice. Some people had cooked it, some had drank it, some had had it encapsulated and some buried it in their garden with a tree or plant – it was interesting!Continue reading →
“Just when you think you know love, something little comes along to remind you just how big it really is”
A few weeks ago I wrote a post centred around my positive birth experience with Oscar. When I tried to put it all together, I realised just how much of the detail I’d forgotten. Caught up in a haze of nerves & excitement on the day the details we remember are sketchy, and over time have been forgotten. So I decided to make note of Scout’s birth story early on, and not wait nearly two and a half years…!
In my last post, I shared my hopes for our second little ones elective c-section and well, on 11th January 2018, exactly 29 months to the day on from Oscar’s Birthday our second baby entered the world in the most lovely, calm and magical way – and our hearts instantly doubled in size. Continue reading →
Well here’s a crazy thought – this time next month it’s *very* possible that we’ll have a new wee baby in our lives. A brand new (hopefully cute) sleep thief…
In preparation for seeing our Consultant this week to discuss our birth choices, I’ve been thinking a lot about my previous positive birth experience of having had a elective c-section with Oscar (along with the inevitable off hand comments that often follow such a birth *eye roll*) and I’m looking ahead to doing it all over again…
Bum Down Baby
For my entire pregnancy Oscar was always head up, bum down, the wrong way, breech. We were always assured he’d “probably correct himself” but as the weeks drew in towards his due date it was become less and less likely, especially as he started to run out of room. Regardless, we followed the advice and I spent a lot of my spare time at home in the downward dog position craning my head up to see the telly – very dignified, and it didn’t work.
Having been consultant led throughout my pregnancy, we were sat down once more at around 36ish weeks to discuss our options. We were offered an External Cephalic Version (ECV), this is when pressure is applied on your abdomen in an attempt to assist the baby in a somersault in the womb to lie head down. We declined this procedure based on a number of factors, including it’s rather low success rate.
Timehop: the daily struggle of the phone app that tries to kill you off by reminding you of either how gloriously pregnant you looked (Note: you looked so fresh because you could sit and watch box-sets all day on the weekend and sleep whenever you fancied, remember?) or it’s reminding you of how teeny tiny your little baby was a year ago and you end up having the daily conversations with your partner that go something along the lines of “can you even remember him being so small? He looks so different!”
Anyway, the dangers of Timehop aside, today it flashed up with some funny photos from Oscar’s first try of solid food – this February marks a year since our weaning journey began. I remember the excitement of that day and all the (hundreds) of photos I took, and how excited I was to see him putting a bit of chicken in his mouth, trying some egg for the first time or spitting some broccoli out onto his tray. When I took those photos I was probably rather naive and assumed it would be the fun journey I had read about and not the minefield of worry that it became!
Confession: I hated weaning. The early daysweeks months anyway. Looking back, realistically, a couple of months isn’t that long, but at the time it felt never ending.
I put off looking into anything weaning related until the last minute. Up until this point, Oscar had been exclusively breastfed and this was now an “easy option”, it worked for us and was hassle free. Anyway, it came to the time to bite the bullet and think about weaning and a friend told me about the theory behind Baby Led Weaning. I read all the wonderful stuff online about it, talked about it with Robin, bought the book on Amazon and started to get excited. I was hell bent (as I so often am with ideas) to follow it to the letter. This was going to be brilliant, a total breeze…
Reality was different. I stand by BLW completely, however, the reality of fitting food into an already busy schedule was a struggle and no matter how much I prepared for the gagging and equipped myself with knowledge & know-how to help in the event of him choking, I still found the whole process stressful. I’m fairly laid back in most aspects of my life, and that includes parenting, but weaning was my first big hurdle –
I hated him gagging
I hated putting him in a high chair if we were out and giving him food in case he choked and I didn’t know what to do. Or even just gagged and worried people. So I just didn’t.
I honestly didn’t know how to fit in three meals a day, and then people were telling me that he should be having snacks too! But where are the hours in the day when your kid is taking over an hour to play with a few pieces of veg to probably only ingest one leaf!
Then people tell you that their baby is eating 200ml of food 3 times a day and I’m sat over here saying “Oh that sounds good… Oscar’s eight months and ate a pea 3 days ago”
Family member: “I hope you know CPR, because you’re going to need it when he chokes to death” – need I say more?
In my heart I knew that he was just experimenting and exploring and that it was positive. But sometimes you can’t help but have a little panic regardless. It was around this time I met group of local mums, many of which had older babies and toddlers and they had all the reassurance I needed –
He’s just exploring.
Food before one is just for fun!
Just relax and allow the mess to happen.
Don’t get hung up on how much he eats.
It will fall into place…
And sure enough, it did. Probably at around 9 or 10 months we finally saw him eat full meals at the table with us, and eat when we were out and about, and that was when it became fun. The kind of fun it should have been at the start. He now enjoys a Nandos… what more could I really hope for?
So I suppose this post isn’t really advice. It’s just full of the stuff I needed to hear at a time when I was struggling. It’s not groundbreaking, it’s common sense, but sometimes you just need to hear it from other people that have also experienced it. If you’re the first-time parent that lived by this approach from day one and enjoyed it, I applaud you, and I hope I can be that parent if there’s ever a second time.
In a lot of ways, this post is coming at an important time for me as we are entering a new territory of “The Fussy Eater”, the baby that once ate pretty much anything put in front of him is now a toddler that throws meals cooked with love on the kitchen floor and has a passion for beige food. Maybe I needed a little reminder to relax, and remember that everything is a phase, and it will pass. I will relax and (hopefully) laugh at the raspberry overnight oats that are catapulted at my newly painted white walls because I want my kid to enjoy their food as much as I enjoy mine (and that’s a lot).