17.06.18

Thirty six weeks today.
Thirty six weeks since this little madam arrived.
Thirty six weeks of love.

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‘They see me rollinnnnn, they haaatinnnnn…..’
Liv has FINALLY cracked it! Like the absolute boss she is, at the grand old age of eight months, she decided to just casually roll over one morning and look around as if to say ‘for goodness sake mum, is this all you’ve been waiting for me to do?!’
I was actually beginning to think that she’d just be the type of baby that never rolls. I know from speaking to other mums that not every baby does it but it seemed strange to me. How on earth would they get themselves out of bed when they’re older for a start?!?
Low and behold, she was just taking her sweet time. She’s obviously going to be very ‘chill’ with the whole milestone thing – at least one of us will be anyway. Excepting sitting up (which she nailed very early) she’s not in a hurry to do anything else it seems – no rolling, no crawling, walking….. still as gummy as a bear. She’s just doing things her way.
And although it’d be lovely to see her do all these things (although god forbid all at once) I was trying to take advantage of the fact that I can pop her down in the same spot on the carpet and nip downstairs for a wee, fully comfortable in the thought I’ll find her in the exact same spot, at worst, toppled over onto he back….
Now that she’s rolling though, it’s given me a tiny glimpse of what having a baby on the move is truly going to be like. And that shit ain’t relaxing…..

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To add to the whole ‘non-relaxing’ theme of the week… Liv is going through some sort of sleep regression it seems. Whether it’s to do with teething (Although I’m convinced she’s not gonna have a tooth until she’s 42) a little cold she seems to have developed, a leap (hellooooo leap 6) or a growth spurt, it’s anyones guess really. She’s up once or twice a night, giving Alan Carr a run for his money. Never seems to be crying or upset, just fancying a chat. Because why wouldn’t you at 3am?!
That coupled with the fact that she will just Never. Lie. Still. She’s such a wriggler and will slowly move herself up to the top of the cot so that by the early hours of the morning, she is inevitably stuck, squashed into the top corner, crying. Does every other baby do this?! Or just mine?? If they do, how do you stop it? I’m beyond worried that she’ll hurt herself or god forbid, suffocate somehow!
Either way, i hope her sleep issues resolve soon as I’ve clearly got FAR too used to sleep. This week has seen me fueled by umpteen coffees and bedded for 8pm most nights…..

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Weaning-wise, we seem to have been making a LOT of progress recently. Liv is now eating three meals a day, along with snacks. Although initially a sweet tooth, she’s now massively loving the savoury meals too. And the snacks. And texture doesn’t seem to matter to her either. As long as it’s food, she’s good. A girl after my own heart, so she is. We’ve been doing a little mixture of purees and BLW which has so far been successful. She loves being in charge of what goes in her mouth and the messier stuff, she seems to have SO much more fun with. Although not too much has ended up on the floor (yet) our dog Hugo has clicked on to the fact that if he sits below her, he’ll get quite the feast. Not so good for his diet…..
With the introduction of more food, Liv has become a lot fussier with her bottles, to the point where we’ve now managed to drop one entirely. I was beginning to worry (Pah! ‘Beginning….’) that she was taking too much and that I was going to have to cut out a bottle before she was ready, purely to avoid her turning into the female version of the Michelin man. But I should ALWAYS trust that these clever little babies know what they’re doing and they will absolutely let us know when they’re ready. She was only taking an ounce or two at lunch time, so I decided it was getting cut out, cold turkey. Which, in hindsight, was a risky little move. Fortunately, it worked in our favour – she adapted fairly well. Had a week worth of disrupted nap times but she never once cried with hunger which goes to show she definitely didn’t need it.
I feel a LOT calmer now in regards to her dropping bottles as shes more than capable of letting me know so I’m just gonna continue to let her lead and enjoy the weaning journey – especially the part where you give them sour foods to try…..

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Speaking of bottles, this week saw the Royal College of Midwives update their stance in regards to infant feeding – supporting mothers who CHOOSE not to breastfeed. Now, while I welcome the news regarding feeding choice support as much as the next woman, what I CANNOT get my head around is why it hasn’t been there in the first place.
As a healthcare professional myself, patient CHOICE is fundamental in my role – so why is it any different for new mums?! Why should you be made to feel as if youre sacrificing something by opting to bottle feed? Surely it’s our right as a patient, and as a mother, to CHOOSE what we think is best for our baby, whether it’s breast or bottle. As long as they are being fed, gaining weight and thriving, then I can’t see the big deal here. Part of my job role is to educate patients into making what they feel is the best choice, which is absolutely vital. So by all means, continue to educate us on the benefits of breastfeeding, but in the same respect, educate us on how to formula feed and what the benefits are of doing that.
I can confidently say that breastfeeding was the part of new motherhood that I struggled with the most. I battled through latch issues, poor weight gain, thrush and mastitis, which, all in all, made me so much more stressed and worried than I needed to be at that stage in our journey. I was advised to ‘push through’ the initial struggles and pain by various health professionals and support groups. I was told, instead of prioritising my physical and mental health, put my baby first by continuing to breastfeed. I had a fair bit of pressure from people, but at the start, i WANTED to persevere. And don’t get me wrong, although I felt a LOT of pressure from others (and also myself) to continue breastfeeding, I’ve lost count of the number of times well-meaning family members and friends advised me to switch to formula and sold it as some kind of ‘magic cure’ to end my sleepless nights/make my baby gain weight/give me a break. That’s not what a new mother needs to hear either. What she does need, in my opinion, is support for the CHOICE she has made, regardless of what that is.
Unfortunately, our journey didn’t last as long as I’d have liked it to be but I felt proud for how long I lasted and how many things i tried to make it work. What I feel prouder of though? The fact I made the switch and my baby THRIVED. I put her first over some social stigma and it was 573876% the right choice. I just wish that I’d been advised at the start of my journey that actually, it MIGHT. NOT. WORK. And that it’ll be ok to make the switch. What I also wished for was some education on how to actually do the whole formula feeding thing.
That way it could’ve avoided the sleepless night spent googling ‘how to safely bottle feed your baby’ and frantically reading the back of the formula box, terrified to put a foot wrong incase you poison your baby with unsterilised milk!
Thankfully, this will hopefully be a thing of the past, and I can only welcome this news with wide arms.

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Last but not least, Happy Fathers day to all the most amazing dads out there. Happy Fathers day to the most important man in Livs life. It’s an absolute cliche, but my love for my husband increased to a whole new level since he become a dad. He adapted to the role in such a natural way, showing us unconditional love and support from the start. Olivia is always going to be the luckiest girl in the world, because she’s always going to have him in her life, teaching her, guiding her, and loving her.

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