Guest Post: Harry Dale.

Hi Everyone.

I'm Harry. New addition to the Real Household.

Can you believe I'm 8 weeks old today? Gone quick hasn't it?!

To be honest, I've basically slept for 8 weeks. 
Sleeping is my favourite thing to do. My second favourite is drinking mummy milk. Drinking mummy milk has been a bit difficult for me the last couple of weeks because I had Oral Thrush. Mummy thinks its almost gone now but we're going to double check on Thursday when we go for our post-natal check and I get to meet my doctor.
Mummy wants to get me weighed again soon, I was last weighed on the 11th of August, that was almost 3 weeks ago, and I was half an ounce off being 12lb.
Something else is going on on Thursday afternoon at the doctors surgery apparently. We'll be seeing a nurse. Mummy says we are going just so we can have special cuddles but I am suspicious.
Although I'm only 8 weeks old I've been to quite a few places so far.
  • Speedboat Racing
  • Car Rally
  • Africa Alive
  • Dinosaur Adventure Park
  • Framlingham Castle
  • Bressingham Steam Museum
  • A two day Air Show
  • Shopping a few times
I was asleep through most of that though.

I have the coolest big brother. He used to hit me a few times, not hard, but it was just to wake me up because he wants me to play. He didn't realise that I am too little to play.
Sometimes mummy helps me out by making it look like I'm playing cars to keep him happy. He loves it and laughs so I'd never let him know that its not me moving the cars around and that its actually mummy.

He likes giving me kisses and cuddles. He sometimes kisses me too much and he loves to hold my hand.
He tells me all the time that he loves me which is why he kisses me so much. He looks after me if I cry and says "hey, hey, hey, hey, hey" and "alright, alright, alright" "its alright Harry, its alright". He's the best and I love him too.

Sometimes at night when he is in bed and I am still downstairs with mummy and daddy I look for him because I miss him. There is a photo on the wall of him and I look at that a lot. I think we could be best friends.

I love having a bath. I really relax and could stay in there for a long time. I've had two baths with Charles so far. They were fun except mummy and daddy had to take him out in the end because he gets a bit over-excited and starts splashing me.

I didn't ever fit into newborn or first size clothes. Which mummy says is a shame because there were loads of brand new clothes we were given by other people that I didn't get to wear. I'm almost out of most of my 0-3 month clothes now too. Mummy says that Charles was in newborn clothes for a long time. He was always so tiny and has only just caught up with clothes sizes that match his age.

I love cuddles with mummy. I'd much rather be cuddled by her than sit in my swing, bouncer or lay on my playmat, in my playnest or in my moses basket.

She kisses me a lot but I'm not complaining. She constantly tells me she loves me. To some she probably says it too much but I love hearing it.

I always smile whenever she says "where's my smile?" I'm a clever boy already.
Whenever I smile I make a noise which sounds like a little laugh. It makes mummy cry sometimes.

Anyway, I'm hungry now so will be off. 
Will write again soon.
Please think of me on Thursday afternoon xxx



It's all about the Confidence........

Since having Harry I've noticed how much certain friends and friends of friends watch me to see how I'm coping. Am I struggling? Am I leaving one child out and concentrating on the other?


A Day Out With Thomas.

After a solo trip out with the boys to a 2nd birthday party on Saturday I asked my husband if, in return for me not dragging him out and forcing him to go, he would take us all out for the day on the Sunday. He agreed.
We ummed and ahhed at what to do.
There is a lot to do in this area, we have our particular favourite places to go. Recently we had visited these places and it was too soon to return [according to my husband] so we left it that we would see how we felt in the morning.
Sunday morning, whilst laying in bed waiting for Harry to wake up and getting my energy ready to be attacked by Charles when he saw me, I caught up on everyones Facebook updates. There I saw some photos a friend had posted following her visit to Bressingham Steam Museum the day before.
There I saw a familiar face. Thomas The Tank Engine.
Well I ran downstairs and mentioned to my husband about going there, he agreed.
We visited last year and found it to be a short day out for what seemed a lot of money but in this case we agreed to pay the £14 each just to see Charles' face when he met Thomas. Charles was still free as he's under three.

As we arrived we were greeted with a huge archway welcoming us to a Day Out With Thomas.
As we walked along the pathway I even felt a touch of butterflies in your tummy type excitement at seeing Thomas.

We decided to go and grab some lunch and sort the boys bums out before we went to find Thomas and any other exciting things at the museum.
Lunch was surprisingly nice. My husband bought us a jacket potato each but we didn't expect it to taste particularly nice but was pleasantly surprised. Charles was somewhat distracted from eating his basic lunch of chicken nuggets and baked beans by the big carousel which we were sat by.

In the time of eating lunch we had briefly seen Thomas take several trips along the short track. Each time he went down I had to tell Charles he was going for his dinner, and each time he went up the track I had to say he was going to the toilet, this way the "I want to go see Thomas now" demands stopped.
Charles decided he wanted to go on the carousel before seeing Thomas so I handed over one of the five complimentary tokens all guests are given and we sat on Poppy going round and round and up and down. Charles loved it.

We then walked to see Thomas.  The Fat Controller was walking through the queue of mums, dads, nannies, grandads and children, greeting them. Charles didn't want to talk to him but had he of been older and a bigger Thomas fan then I'm sure this would've been exciting for him.
He then took his turn, along with daddy, to sit in the carriage and ride on the short ride, pushed and pulled by Thomas himself. Except this exciting moment wasn't as exciting as we hoped. Getting on the train you don't see Thomas as he's facing the other way [you go backwards first] so as far as Charles was concerned he was just on any normal train.
Once he got off we took him to see the engine, except we couldn't get too close because of the other people wanting to get their photos taken next to him on the platform. Instead he had to make do with looking through the fence.

My husband then decided he wanted to go and see the Dads Army display so we headed over to the museum. Walking in there was a huge old postal train, which was magnificent to see, and Charles decided it was the Story Train. Charles decided he would lead the way and walked into an old style shop they have set up with cabinets full of toy cars. This was one of Charles' highlights of the day. He ran over and stared for ages, every now and then shouting "LOOK MUMMY LOOK".
My husband walked on ahead to the Dads Army display whilst I looked at the big wheel on the back of the fire engine and held Charles up so he could ring the Fire Engines bell.

After this we walked to the Dodgems so my husband could use a couple of his tokens and after driving around for 5 minutes we were lost as to what to do. Harry was asleep so a trip on another train was awkward and the queues were rather long. So we went for an ice cream and went on the small fairground again to use some more of our tokens.

Here he went on the childrens carousel twice which he loved.
After this we had nothing else to do so it was time to go home. We felt a bit disappointed as we'd paid over £10 and certainly hadn't got our moneys worth [in my mind]. As my husband puts it, there are a few gems-these being the Dads Army Collection and the Dodgems and a few of the other trains in the 'garages'.

There are some beautiful gardens here though, which I will talk about in another blog post, but these were totally not suitable for a toddler.
I guess I was disappointed because I felt it lacked the "magic" and spark from a childrens event. I felt the fact it was Thomas was enough in the museums eyes but it needed a little bit more. This was proven when I heard a very upset 3 year old boy asking him mum where the other trains were as he'd expected to see them there given the fact their pictures were on the banners.
Gordons voices played over the system with their catchphrases.

We managed to stay there for 4 hours but this was mainly including queueing for food, queuing for the ride on Thomas plus feeding Harry and baby/toddler bum changes-which brings me onto my biggest annoyance. The baby change room is in the section with the women's toilets, not mens. Therefore there were a lot of embarrassed men stood outside the female toilets with their heads down. STICK A CHANGE TABLE IN THE MENS TOILETS TOO! THEY ALSO CHANGE NAPPIES!! And in this baby change room there were two, yes TWO bins for dirty nappies. Fab. Except it wasn't fab. BOTH bins were overflowing. I thankfully had nappy bags with me so stuck the dirty nappy in there and threw it in a bin outside, but the man in the queue behind me didn't have a nappy bag so I very kindly offered him one of our bags to save the overflow pile getting any bigger. On a busy day this should have been monitored and not have got to this state.
If Charles was over three years old we'd of had to pay £10 for his entrance fee which for me, is far too high for a child still so young. All in all this could've been so much better and I full expected Charles to be talking about seeing Thomas for days, but sadly he's forgotten already and it was only 3 days ago that we went.

*I wasn't asked to blog about this nor did I receive free entry. I decided to blog about this because I wanted to share our experience.


You Know You're a Grown Up When.....

Following on from "You Know You're a Mummy When...." I bring you....

You Know You're a Grown Up When.....

  • A full fridge excites you more than a full wardroabe.
  • Picking out new wallpaper is more exciting than picking an outfit for a night out.
  • An advert for a new air freshner excites you.
  • The first thing you say when its raining is "The garden needs it"
  • You find yourself saying "In my day....." when referring to the past.
  • You have no idea what Fat Boy [Eastenders] just said. 
  • You prefer to watch the news than Hollyoaks.
  • The most exciting days of the week are bin day and food shop day, rather than Friday and Saturday.[party nights!] 
  • The sound of the grocery van turning up is more exciting than the taxi turning up to take you to a nightclub.
  • Hearing young'uns saying last night was "messy" immediately makes you think they were decorating rather than partying and getting stupidly drunk.
  • When someone says they are "hanging" you reply with "hanging what?  Curtains, a photo or a mirror"
  • You see photos of The Saturdays or Rhianna in the paper and tut at their outfits/lack of outfits!
  • When you hear that so-and-so is "sick" you wish them to get better soon, when actually it just means they are "cool".


You know you're a mummy when.....

  • You have no idea what any of the songs in the charts are but can sing the theme tune to at least ten different Cbeebies programmes!
  • Sky Plus is full of childrens programmes rather than soaps/reality shows etc.
  • TGIF or "Happy Friday" normally results in you singing 
Give it up for Friday,
Clap your hands on Friday.
Let’s dance it’s Friday,
It’s a happy Friday,
The fifth day of the week.
  • 8am is considered a lay in.
  • Words your child/ren has made up become part of your everyday vocabulary.
  • You visit the fruit and veg aisle at the supermarket and sing "Meet the Veggies"
  • Driving in the car you point out buses, boats and trains even though its only you in the car.
  • You forget what a cup of hot tea/coffee tastes like and grow to prefer them cold anyway.
  • You're sat watching Mickey Mouse and realise that your toddler has been in bed napping for over an hour!
  • Conversations over dinner about poo don't phase you.
  • If someone asks you who you favourite band is you reply with "Zingzillas"
  • When writing a baby names list, most of the names on the list are stolen from Cbeebies programmes.
  • Your idea of the best birthday present [for yourself] is just a half an hour soak in the bath....undisturbed!
  • You even start to check that your husband/pet is still breathing.
  • You randomly sit there bobbing your knee up and down even though the baby is sat in his/her bouncer.
  • You cradle the cat and rock her whilst shushing at the same time.
  • You tell your husband that he can't have any dessert because he didn't eat all his dinner.



 I am putting together a list of what to do here in the East and didn't just want to mention and promote local attractions.
One of mine and my husband favourite places on the coast is Wells-Next-The-Sea. We used to visit there a lot before having Charles, due to the fact that we used to camp nearby and then take a 15 minute drive to Wells, grab some chips and an ice cream and watch the fishermen come in.
This is also the place that gave Charles his first experience of sand between your toes!

What do we love about Wells?
Well you know when you visit place and you straight away just fall in love? Its like that. It's the whole look of the place, and the atmosphere. Sometimes it can be incredibly busy and you feel that sense of panic and stress in the air but at the same time theres a sense of happiness too, knowing everyone is enjoying themselves and having a lovely day out.

Parking can be an absolute nightmare. We tend to head to the carpark at the end of the long stretch of road leading down to the beach. On the colder days parking can be easy but in summer months, one tip: Don't.Even.Bother.Trying!
We then opt for parking in one of the carparks either at the top of this long stretch of road or smack bang in the middle. These car parks are normally manned by attendents and cost around £5 for the day.

Near the carpark at the top of this road is a huge park, obviously great for children. There's also the opportunity to do some trampolining and to visit some arcades which are situated near the harbour. You'll also find the toilets here and another block of toilets at the carpark at the very bottom of the road [near the beach]
If caught short though you can always visit the campsite which sits along this stretch of road.

The beach is amazing! Its worth bringing a picnic, finding a great space on the sand and planning on only moving to go into the sea or for toilet trips!
The beach can sometimes become quite muddy and gungey but its easily avoidable [most of the time].
The sand goes on for miles, and when the tide is out it goes on for even longer. When we visited in April 2009 we walked for over an hour and still didn't reach the sea! At 7 months pregnant and suffering bad with sciatica we admitted defeat and gave up our quest to find the shore and headed back.
The beach is well worth the visit just to glance at the beautiful beach huts that line up at the top of the sand. Beautiful pastel colours and some doors decorated with bright patterns and the Union Jack.
Beyond the beach huts is the car park and a wooded area which is lovely to explore.

As I mentioned before if you don't want to visit the beach then just sit at the harbour and watch the fishermen at work. Its changed quite a lot, although gradually, since we used to go but its still a busy harbour with always something going on.

Of course you can grab a delicious tray of fish n chips but be prepared to queue! Theres also a seafood shack, a boat which I believe is a restuarant and a couple of cafes along the way too, as well as ice cream parlours.
If you want to pick up a bucket and spade you'll have no trouble as the quay side is inundated with little shops selling such items.

There is a small train which will transport you from the beach to the harbour. This is quite a distance, hense the trains exisitance, but it can be walked if you are feeling fit or up for a nice walk along the shore.
We do tend to take the train now, mainly due to the fact that the last few times we've gone I've been heavily pregnant or we've had a few bags to carry as well as Charles but be warned, its a tad pricey for what it is.

We last visited Wells 3 months ago and there were more developments underway which we look forward to seeing when we next visit.

TOP TIP: TAKE CASH, and lots of it!



Three weeks to feel twenty-six!

In less than a months time I'll be celebrating my 26th birthday.
Ok I know a lot of my blogger friends are the other side of 30 and 26 is still really young but I'm finding it hard to deal with. Not in a "I'm getting old" kind of way but more of a "I don't FEEL 26" kind of way.

I always thought that I would feel like an adult. When in reality, I still feel like a child, well a teenager.
I am a wife, I have a mortgage, I have 2 children, yet I don't feel like an adult and it scares me.

We went to watch car racing at Yarmouth Stadium on Sunday night. I am a people watcher and was looking around a lot, seeing who else was there, what were they wearing, what was their hair like, who were they with, etc.
I spotted one woman. She had 2 children with her, a husband [partner] and an older boy. She had a very very beautiful maxi dress on which appeared to flow over a tiny baby bump.
She must've been early 30s if not mid 30s. She looked like an adult. The way she behaved and held herself was like an adult. I imagined that she'd be very organised and had a well kept house.
She was exactly how I thought I would be. How I want to be. Yet I'm not.

And as much as I try I just don't feel how I want to feel. And I don't feel that others see me as this adult. As this person who is bringing up to precious human beings, has been married for 6 years, had a good job before choosing to become a housewife, I vote [which a lot of my friends, the same age, don't do] I'm clued up and interested in most common affairs. So very much an adult.
But I just don't feel like one, look like one, or appear to be one.

At times I look at photos of me with my boys and can't accept that I am old enough to have two, let alone one that IS two, and not be judged for it and for it to be ok. I constantly think people look at me and assume that I am too young to have children, that they wouldn't even consider the fact that I may be married, that I may have been married for 6 years etc.

I try and think of ways I could dress to look more like an adult, to just be taken seriously and not seen as a young'un. How I could have my hair to look older. [to be fair, the grey hairs that are currently taking over do help!] How could I act to be seen as being older.

I've always been the type to be really offended if asked for ID when buying a bottle of wine, which others have said is silly and that I should take it as a compliment but I can't.

I'm not ready to be 26 yet. I have no problem with being 26, I love the thought of being 26, I just want to FEEL 26, I want to LOOK 26, I want to be seen as a 26 year old.

Can I achieve that in 3 and a half weeks?

This doesn't help, does it??



Something which is sure to give me goosebumps and put a smile on my face is seeing my children playing or cuddling with my nannies.
Growing up I always said I didn't mind exactly when I had children, but I just wanted my nannies to be around to meet them.

On my paternal side things are a bit confusing. My nan had my dad when she was in her 40's, at the same time his two older sisters were settling down and soon after had their own children. So as a consequence I have 4 cousins who are now in their 40's whilst I am only 25.
I have three second cousins who are around mine and my brothers age. So these are my nannies GREAT grandchildren, all in their early 20's, yet here I am, in my mid 20's, giving her 2 more great grandchildren. See, confusing isn't it.

I think its sometimes forgotten that me and my brother are grandchildren rather than great grandchildren due to the age thing.

Today my nan celebrated her 92nd birthday. [I said she was 93 on Twitter, my mistake] I invited her round tonight so we could give her the present we'd bought her and her cards.
It was also my opportunity to get photos of her and Harry together as I hadn't done this when she first met him.

Two weeks ago my maternal nanny, who lives in Somerset, was over this way on holiday for a week. It was her chance to catch up on Charles' development but also to meet Harry. She is 10 years younger than my other nanny. We don't celebrate birthdays as she is a Jehovah's Witness.

Here are some photos, which I will always treasure, of when both nannies met Charles and Harry.


Through My Eyes

As some of you may know my brother doesn't live in the same town as us anymore. Last year he moved away to Bristol. It broke my heart, especially as he wasn't just leaving me and my mum behind, but because he was leaving Charles behind. 
In 2008 he went to Ayia Napa and worked as a barman out there for a few months. He ended up coming home early, and surprising me, because he was so home sick and had become a bit poorly due to the amount of drinking he was doing, plus the heat, plus the long hours he was working.
Although there were particular reasons for him moving to Bristol, which I totally understand, part of me still wants him home, or at least closer to home.
So I can check he's happy, check he's safe. [**over protective sister alert**]

I guess that because I don't know who he's friends with there, or if he has any real solid friendships (you can't ask him many questions because he'll get stroppy) I constantly worry that he's lonely.

I was going through some photos from earlier on this year when he came home for a week and wanted to share them on here, mostly because I am so proud of them, but also they represent how I see him.
Lost and lonely.

I just want my brother back home.
One day, maybe.



Ten Things You Didn't Know About Me

After having a slight hissy fit on Twitter I was tagged by two lovely bloggers. The Crazy Kitchen and mum2babyinsomniac. Thanks ladies, much appreciated.

  1. I’m convinced I was alive during the war.
  1. When on holiday in Tenerife in 2004 I was woken up in the middle of the night by what’s best described as a “swirly cloud” in the room and heard a voice which gave me the name Horatio. For some reason I said “You can’t come in, I’m not ready to let you in” and it stopped. I went back to sleep. The next day I told my husband what happened and he had a very similar experience although slightly different but was also given the name Horatio!
  1. We had a strange experience at Longleat Centre Parcs last year in a particular villa. The bedroom was constantly cold, even though the heating was on full, Charles was very unsettled and scared constantly and we felt there was someone there with us. My husband saw a shadow on the sofa one night. Odd things happened the whole week we were there and it has, long with the price increases, put us off going back.
  1. I am hardly ever happy with my hair and constantly have it in a pony tail even though it annoys me. If I decide I want it cut then I want it cut NOW.
  1. I am a real sulker. I love a good sulk and would sulk for days if given the chance.
  1. I desperately want to be welsh/have a welsh accent.
  1. I have a “girl crush” on Holly Willoughby and Jennifer Lopez.
  1. I am scared of people dressed in costumes [such as Mickey Mouse etc]
  1. I used to be a promo girl for 2 radio stations.
  1. I LOVE having my blood pressure taken! Doctors, midwives, nurses etc never believe me and think I am lying but I really really love it.
Although most people have been tagged, and apologies if you've been tagged already, I tag:





The Gallery: Birth

I haven't taken part in The Gallery for a few weeks, I've been busy after all.
When I received the email on Friday and I saw this weeks theme there was no way I wasn't going to join in.

Well, this week's/next week's theme is: Birth.

A bit of a toughie right? Interpret it any way you like. It can be the birth of a child, of an idea, of a new you. The birth of change, of a new beginning, a new career.
You may have seen my previous posts about my birth with Harry.
I'd said before that we had planned to have a water birth, which is what I had with Charles, but due to complications I had to leave the pool and ended up delivering on a bed!
I was very particular about what I wanted, if I had a water birth I wanted to stay in the pool as long as possible, wait for the cord to stop pulsating before it was cut, deliver the placenta naturally.
If I ended up not having a water birth I hadn't really thought about positions I'd of wanted to try out, I again wanted to cord to stop pulsating before it was cut, wanted to deliver the placenta naturally but the most important thing for me was to have the baby delivered to my chest as soon as possible and that he was NOT cleaned. I wanted to feel him all mucky and "freshly delivered".

When I think back to my birth I still have very mixed feelings over it. No it didn't go to plan BUT I always said I accept that things will happen which will mean my birth plan may have to be ripped up, which was the case BUT three weeks and once day ago I had my wish of having my healthy, crying baby placed on my chest straight away, all mucky, gooey and sticky. I couldn't stop running my hands over his body, feeling the goop covering his body just felt so natural and although we had a scary time this moment just felt so natural and almost like it was meant to be.
Sat in the birthing pool the previous afternoon/evening/night [Harry was born at 1:43am] felt nice but didn't quite feel right.

Whenever I feel down about the birth now I look at this photo and it picks me up. This was literally straight after Harry was born, less than 5 minutes. [taken on Blackberry so not best quality]

Here is the first photo taken of me and Charles when he was born. My labour and birth with Charles was so positive and I just feel totally relaxed when I see the photos of the day he was born. If anything I feel a bit odd at seeing the breastfeeding photos because at this point I didn't know about the tongue tie and was happily feeding thinking everything was ok and that the pain was normal [now breastfeeding Harry I realise that part of the pain was normal]
Excuse the chins!



My Breastfeeding Journey: Charles.

I've always been so determined to breastfeed. Since I was a young girl it always seemed like it was the right thing for me. I didn't see bottle feeding as negative so to speak, but to me it didn't seem natural. I'm not saying that it isn't natural for everyone, I know that for some people breastfeeding doesn't seem natural. [Isn't it a shame that we constantly have to add disclaimers for things like this so as to not offend each other!] Anyway, for me it was definitely something I wanted to do.

When pregnant with Charles I was over the moon that my husband shared my passion for our children to be breastfeed and loved that I had his support.
We bought a breast pump and bottles, mostly for me to use when I returned to work [we didn't know I could be a stay at home mum at the time] and also to gradually build up a frozen supply for when we weaned Charles too, to use in his cereal, mash potato etc.[It turned out that he wouldn't take a bottle at all, and I ended up saving up some ebm in the freezer but getting confused over how long it could be frozen, so the milk went to waste in the end]

When Charles arrived I was so excited when he first latched on. He was born at 12:41 in the afternoon, we wanted a short stay at hospital and was told previously that they don't let you home until feeding is established.
I remember thinking that the pain was a lot worse than expected...although I'm not sure really what I expected since I hadn't breastfed before! I called in a couple of midwives and they said everything was fine, he obviously just had a strong suck. At around 11:30pm we were discharged and came home.
I had originally planned to breastfeed for 6 months, so until Christmas.

We decided pretty early on that we were going to try for a second baby, aware that breastfeeding can act as a contraceptive we played the "if it happens it happens" game and didn't get too upset if nothing happened.

During our first family holiday to Centre Parcs in October my husband gave me the fantastic news that I didn't have to return to work. He said that we could afford for me to stay at home and that he could clearly see that leaving Charles wasn't an option as he needed his mummy so much.
Our plan was for me to return to work part time and for Charles to go into the studio with my husband whilst I was at work, although my husband didn't realise how much of a "handful" a child would be and expected Charles to sit there and play nicely for 4/5 hours whilst he worked.

In the March my monthly cycle returned so we knew that this meant me falling pregnant with number two was more likely. Although still not getting our hopes up and getting upset if nothing happened we carried on life as normal.
Charles was enjoying being breastfed and at just before 12 months he decided to accept a cup/bottle of juice. We'd made progress. up until this point it was breast only, not that we hadn't tried, but it was his choice. He wouldn't accept anything else. Which wasn't a problem for us.

We also tried him on cows milk after he had turned One but he wasn't interested. He would still feed quite a lot and would use it not only as a drink but as part of a meal, as comfort if he hurt himself and to make himself go to sleep.
Breastfeeding was such a big thing in our lives that to just stop wasn't going to be easy as there were so many other factors to consider.

Health Visitors were always so encouraging of me breastfeeding Charles. I was always praised. Then the day after his first birthday I decided to go and get him weighed.
I proudly told the Health Visitor that I was still breastfeeding, and expected the usual huge smile and "well done, you're doing amazing" response.
Instead I was greeted with a reponse I didn't expect. "You can stop now you know".
It was then that I realised that the Health Visitors just praise you up until the point they are told to. I told her that we didn't want to stop. I was happy feeding him and he was obviously loving it and needed it so we would be continuing. His weight was fine, although he'd always been smaller than his friends but this was put down to him being active from early on and just burning it off!
He also still used the boob as a way of napping, constantly using me as a dummy and used me for comfort if he hurt himself or was poorly.

Friends were always supportive of me although I knew a couple thought that it was time for me to stop. If anything this just encouraged me to carry on.
I decided to visit my first Breastfeeding Group to gain some support from other feeding mums. Just to feel a bit more normal. Out of my friends I was the only one still breastfeeding.
Sadly the other mums at the breastfeeding group only made me feel like a freak and like I shouldn't be feeding Charles anymore. Granted the group was full of newborn babies and babies who were only a couple of months old but I still expected a little more support and "go you" attitudes. The staff were supportive though but after a short amount of time, and embarressment of having to sit at a table by myself I made my excuses and left.

In November 2010 after a visit to a Wildlife Park and realising that Aunt Flo hadn't arrived that month we headed home and I took a pregnancy test. Positive.
We'd experienced a Chemical Pregnancy in September so we were nervous but excited at the same time.
Except I knew now that my breastfeeding days were seriously numbered. I felt guilty straight away. I was taking something away from Charles that he needed and loved so much.
Together with my husband we decided that around the 20 week mark we would try and wean him off the breast. We didn't want to give formula at all so we were happy that at least we could give cows milk.

Feeding became really sore and I was struggling. I hated the feeling of dreading Charles latching on. I didn't want the end of our breastfeeding journey to be negative and full of memories of me wincing as he latched and my toes curling, almost back to the early days of tongue tie.
My milk supply was also now really low, nothing I had ever had a problem with. Up until this point my milk supply was outrageously high. Charles was now having a little feed and then coming off and needing juice to top himself up and feel totally refreshed.

In December I picked up a horrible flu. It was so bad that one Sunday we phoned my mum to see if she could have Charles for the day as we [my husband also had this flu] just had no energy at all. In 18 months this was the first time we had felt the need to have someone else look after Charles as we couldn't cope. It was the morning of this day that I realised Charles hadn't had a feed for 24 hours.
He went off to my mums with no problems and didn't miss my boobs at all.
That day I discussed with my husband that Charles hadn't had a feed for 24 hours or even attempted to feed. We decided that we would try and encourage him to not latch on if we could and instead offer juice or cows milk instead. As it happened Charles just wasn't interested at all. Infact he probably only tried once to latch on and decided himself that actually, he didn't want it.
He wasn't too keen on cows milk so we tried him on Soya Milk which was a hit. We think this is because it was a sweeter taste and was most similar to my milk.
I noticed some white marks on his toe nails and finger nails and that they were starting to peel slightly. I made a trip to the drop in clinic to consult with the Health Visitor. Not much help. Although I knew the marks and peeling was due to calcium deficiency, she decided that he must've caught his toes and finger nails on a door [totally 100% wasn't the case and didn't make sense]
She wasn't keen on me giving Charles Soya Milk, not that she openly said this, I could tell by her reaction and eventually made her say it.
I gradually got him onto cows milk and gave him more cheese and his nails returned to normal.

In the 18 months we were breastfeeding Charles only needed anti-biotics once. This was due to thrush inside his mouth. He had never had a chest or ear infection unlike other friends of his.
As soon as we stopped breastfeeding he contracted his first chest infection as well as hand, foot and mouth disease.

This made it clear to me that despite others saying breastfeeding past 6/12 months has no benefits to a child I know for a fact that it did and does.

World Breastfeeding Week. August 1st - August 7th 2011.


Birth Debrief: The Preparations.

Tomorrow we are heading back to the hospital where I gave birth to Harry [and Charles] to have our birth debrief.
I can't believe it was 4 weeks ago that Harry made his somewhat dramatic entrance into the world.

As time has gone on the birth isn't as raw as it was. In the first two weeks it was all I thought about. I couldn't get it out of my mind, as much as I tried.
We still have a few questions, which we are really hoping we can have the answers too so we can move on and feel a little bit better about the birth.
I am trying to think positively about it.
Remembering that my body protected me and Harry by stopping him from coming out.
Remembering that the midwife in charge of our care recognised the problem straight away and as a result we were able to get Harry out safely.

I still get the flashbacks, and these are the scariest thing of all. The fact that it all ends badly in the flashbacks. That it doesn't end how  it ended in real life, but the way it could have ended if my body hadn't of protected us and had our midwife not of detected the vessel.

The statistics also haunt me. 95% mortality rate makes me feel ridiculously lucky and so grateful.

Don't get me wrong, none of this is putting a downer on Harry being here. I am so happy, I think all of my hormones left my body along with my waters.
I'm constantly asked, "are you ok? How are you doing?" And people seem shocked when I say that I'm doing really well. Mostly then getting the reaction "really? are you sure?" YES!
I am an open person and if I was struggling or feeling down I would say. But I really am feeling amazing and hopefully once the debrief is over will feel even better.

We sat down last night and wrote our list of questions to ask the lady we are meeting with. Thinking about what happened and talking it through made us feel scared and sad again but we feel the most important thing for us to do is to talk about it with one another. I constantly ask my husband questions about the day, as I wasn't with it after having too much gas and air, and it makes it easier to talk about it. Although getting solid answers will hopefully make it easier for us also.
Just to know if it wasn't as bad as we think or in fact if we are luckier than we know.
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