Saturday, 21 May 2016

Looking Back - Pregnancy and Birth

As I guessed I would, I have already really slacked with this blog, I'm a terribly unorganized human, who even let me become a parent! Joking aside apologies for the delay on this post, I'm probably the biggest procrastinator ever and I'm terrible at getting round to things, to make up for it I'm going to make this a longer post so sit tight. I thought I'd take the opportunity to look back and talk about my experience with pregnancy and birth as I know it can be quite daunting to anyone just discovering their wonderful news, so hopefully this can answer some questions for any new expecting mums or even be a nice comparison for existing mummies.

My first inkling that I was pregnant was actually a really strange one, I had a dream that I had taken a pregnancy test that was positive, I woke that morning and just instantly knew that it was true and I took a test that morning and there it was, a big fat positive (maybe I'm psychic?). The fact that I felt like I just knew before really finding out kind of softened the blow and I really didn't feel all that shocked or surprised, I always knew that I wanted a family in my 20's so right away I was thrilled at the news. Although I was happy with my news there are always factors to consider I think for most couples who find out they are expecting, especially with me and my partner as we found out a few months before completing our third and final year of our degree courses, even though we would be finished by the time the baby came along we both realized that it meant putting things on hold. For a start I wouldn't be able to work, for a while at least and it put pressure on my partner to work harder to provide for us which was hard to take as I hate feeling as if I'm relying on someone as well as missing out on earning my own money. It also made it harder to consider home options so we moved in with my partners parents where there was plenty of space and we were very welcome, it's been amazing having the chance to live in such a family based environment but it's also hard not to feel sad about not having your space to make your own. As hard as it can be the main thing is that we are happy and stable, the careers an the home can be worked on for now we focus on family.

The first trimester of my pregnancy to me felt like an eternity, I spent most of my time fretting about whether my baby was ok in there and wishing the days away to my scans so I could finally see and feel that it was actually real. Even after having had my first and second scan it still didn't quite feel real to me and I sort of plodded along with the motions, I was very lucky and only had some nausea for a few weeks until it disappeared and I never really suffered too bad with any issues. I think the first time it starts to dawn on you is when you feel your baby move, the first few times are like little pops, like popcorn cooking in your belly until you start to get stronger more certain movements and it's the most wonderful and surreal feeling you can have, I used to love to sit and watch my belly move with little wave like motions or little jumps, it's one of the things I miss most about being pregnant along with my big round bump.

Considering I had a pretty smooth pregnancy my birthing experience was definitely the most challenging. I can imagine that, like me, a lot of women will have specific ideas and plans on how they want their birth to go, my advice to any expectant mother is to never get attached to any of these plans because you will be disappointed. I'm not saying that it will 100% not go your way, I just mean to not get too caught up in what you want and don't want, before I went into labour I was absolutely adamant that I would not have an epidural and that I wanted as natural a birth as I could manage. As you can imagine this did not do to plan, my waters broke the night after my due date and due to an infection present in my early pregnancy I was taken to be induced on my arrival at the hospital and had to have an antibiotic drip fitted, about 4 hours into being induced I was in absolute agony and completely desperate to have an epidural, I accepted any pain relief I was offered and after about 9 hours of contractions and exhaustion like I had never experienced I was given my epidural and it was such a relief to be able to manage to drift in and out of (very light) sleep. Another 6 hours and Willow as ready to make her entrance into the world, although I couldn't feel much pain the relief of pressure I felt after she made her great escape was amazing, it was like an out of body experience I was so out of it from being so knackered I felt like I could of floated off. It's true what every parent says when all of the thoughts of pain go away when you see your baby and hold them for the first time, all you can think is how amazing it is that the two of you managed to create such a prefect tiny little person and that's pretty much all you can think about for a long time after.

Another big moment for me was when I made the decision to formula feed instead of breastfeed like I had been so desperate to do, I still feel ridden with guilt to this day and I so wish I had the strength to persevere with it but having said that I'm happy with how it worked out and I feel if I had forced myself to do it I wouldn't have been as happy as I am now. We struggled with latching on from the start Willow wasn't getting the hang of it so after several attempts and being man handled and pulled and squeezed my midwives, I hand expressed and fed with a tiny syringe for her first night, it was the next day with my partner that we decided to bottle feed as I had been worried she wasn't getting enough milk and as guilty as I feel I am glad I made that decision, it made it easier to share the load and it freed me up in that I didn't feel I was cooped up breastfeeding constantly as I wouldn't have had the confidence to feed publicly much. I fully congratulate any breastfeeding mums who worked through it and also those who made the tough decision like me, either way it's not easy but you have to decide what is best for you, happy mummy = happy baby!

I had always believed that I was destine to be a mum that I would take to it like a duck to water and I did to a certain extent but I wasn't prepared for the negative emotions I would experience. For a start I found myself really mourning the loss of the life me and my partner had before, we were no longer free to do as we pleased, there was always Willow to consider first and I really struggled with that, I also expected that I would be the type of parent who hated to leave her baby with anyone but when it came to it I was glad of the free time away from it all for a short while and enjoyed spending time just me and my partner. That all said I would never change being a mum for the world, I've never been so in love and seeing a man become a father is the most wonderful experience it made me fall in love all over again, I wanted to share my experience so that other mums know that it is perfectly ok to have these feelings, it's all part of the process but overall it's a magical life changing one that you just can not prepare for.

If anyone has any questions feel free to post a comment and I will reply.

Dani xx

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

My Birthday!

Yesterday I turned 25 (yay?) so I thought why not share it as my first post here as it ties in with telling you about a few plans I have in store. I spent the first part of the day just relaxing at home with Willow and my partner Connor as the weather decided to revert back to typically British, we went for a lovely meal at Frankie and Benny's followed by a few drinks and pool with a few friends, it was a lovely chilled out evening and we were back by 10.30 like perfectly well behaved parents. I also got some lovely gifts including an exercise bike, which I did ask for! I'm hoping to lose a few pounds for July as I'm a bridesmaid for my best friend as well as reaalllllyyy needing to get a bit fitter (I'm unbelievably unhealthy since pregnancy) and a sewing machine which I'm really excited about because I can start some projects I will be posting about on this blog.

After seeing so many lovely handmade baby clothes on Instagram and Pinterest I've been inspired to try and create some of my own for Willow, it's been a while since I've touched a sewing machine so fingers crossed it doesn't go horribly wrong but I'm excited to give it a go, I will be getting in some  shopping soon to pick out some pretty fabrics and patterns. I'm also going to start decorating the spare room ready for Willow to go into her own room which I'm really looking forward too as I love decorating.

I'm really excited to finally start getting all the things I wanted to do going and to share them here with you but for now I am off to re-teach myself how to use a sewing machine, wish me luck!

Dani xx

Sunday, 8 May 2016


Hello all, the fact that I have been meaning to write this first post for about a week now and only just getting round to it is maybe a sign of how the continuation of this blog may go but I'm hopeful that now I've finally got the ball rolling I will go with it! First off a little about myself, my name is Danielle or Dani to most, I'm 25 (as of tomorrow) and a new mum to my 5 month old girl Willow Rose. I currently live in Plymouth with my partner of 4 years but I'm originally from London and I just last year completed my degree in illustration, a skill which has since been mostly replaced with nappy changing, feeding, winding etc. (You get the jist). This blog is intended to be a bit of an outlet for me mostly featuring my parenting journey and experiences as well as any creative projects and general bits and pieces. Hopefully it will be interesting enough that a few of you might stick around and stay tuned, my first proper post will hopefully be up soon but for now welcome to Willows Wonderful World.

Dani x