This pregnancy

What a challenge it has been this time and I’m pretty convinced it’s because I was nowhere near as fit and healthy this time.

Morning sickness and severe fatigue for the first 16 weeks, a good couple of weeks where I got some nesting done then now. Now I have what I keep being told is SPD, but I’m convinced it’s more related to my digestive system. I got woken with it last night, granted the pain is the same as that described as SPD but it definitely feels more digestive. Bearing in mind, the hospital have consistently refused to see me and just said what I am describing is SPD.

There is noticeably less movement from her when it occurs, which could be if she is lower down I guess and I don’t feel it the same as when she is higher. I have managed to turn up at hospital once and they had to check me out, her heartbeat was fine. I guess everything is in the same place so could be either, I’ve just suffered with pelvic pain for many years and it doesn’t feel like that. I also struggle periodically with digestive pains and it feels like that, but on steroids!

Who knows, the doctors don’t seem arsed and I can cope if I just knew that she was OK each time. I don’t want to miss something, whilst thinking it’s nothing. She’s merrily mooching about whilst I write this now though!

The joys of parenthood hey!

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The joys

I forgot the never ending torment of ‘has my baby kicked recently’ that haunts my every second of pregnancy. Even when it has moved, I then convince myself the movement is weaker.

I went in once with Leo for reduced movement and he was fine. This time, you battle the worry that you’re dismissing something because the first time was fine.

I’m pretty sure most mums have the same thoughts, potentially not as frequently as me and my catastrophic thought process.. It’s really quite draining!

Lost my way

Whilst dying with crappy morning sickness, I seem to have got out of the habit of practicing positive discipline as well as I could have done. Leo brought it to my attention when I realised his change of temperament needed a different approach. He’s been a little more tempestuous than he has before, all standard developmental stuff but the handling of it still needed thinking about.

I’ve been listening to my positive discipline parenting tools book again and it has just reminded me of the simple things. He’s definitely incredibly responsive to the approach, and who can blame him!

I need to get myself back in track, improve our connection and get it right before his little sister joins us!

Nesting overdrive

My morning sickness passed, I had about two weeks of ‘normal’ me and then boom.. The nesting instinct went INSANE!

I never really had the opportunity to do much nesting with my first pregnancy as we were still living with mum and dad. This time, wow. I wish I could be this motivated all the time! Since moving in over a year ago, we have done very little as far as decorating, and suddenly I find that incredibly annoying.

I’ve painted the big bathroom, recovered its blind and refurbed the horrible wall art that came with the house.

I’ve started sanding the outside bench, I’ve rearranged the house plants, I’ve made reusable bin liners, I’ve blitzed the garage, recovered the hall table and two of the bedside tables because they were both really dull, sorted out storage for the downstairs toilet, got back into making my lunches from scratch and buying wonderful, plastic free vegetables and I’ve written a massive lists of tasks for Tom and myself. Lots to do in the next 5 months.

It’s just annoying that work is stopping me from doing it all constantly!

Such a dummy

Leo has only ever uses a dummy in bed and in the car. We only resorted to it for bed when he was really poorly and just wanted to comfort suck on me, I couldn’t sustain the demand through sheer fatigue so we relented. The car, desperation won out here because he was horrific in the car. Sometimes I couldn’t drive 10 mins up the road without having to stop because of a full on meltdown.

Anyway, that’s my justification out of the way! Now onto the progression. I know the reasons for stopping using it because of teeth, I also know that we have always followed our instincts on everything with Leo, and we weren’t about to change that.

We started out not using it in the car, there were a few minor complaints but nothing major. We then went away to Norfolk for a week and his sleep just went awry. Off the back of that I decided we could ride out a dummy withdrawal at the same time. He’s a pretty understanding toddler with most things when you take the time to discuss it with him and choose when is right for you all, rather than bending to criticism.. Not that I have ever actually received any regarding this, other than of myself!

As we have always shied away from making up pointless stories to bend him to our will, as we totally disagree with the dishonesty and bribery aspects of parenting: we simply explained that we wouldn’t be using a dummy anymore as it can be bad for his teeth and we feel that he does such a good job of sleeping now that it’s time to give it up.

He had said twice that he misses his dummy, and that is it. I’m so impressed with him and once again, I firmly believe if you trust your instincts and your child then you will be in for a pleasant surprise. Who knows if temperament is involved in the process, but I believe whole heartedly in our approach, regardless of temperament.

Plastic free – the beginning

I’ve always had a level of environmental awareness as my mum has always been big on it. We have always made a point to further recycling any materials we could and did attempt to use reusable bags (when we remembered to take them!) I opted for reusable nappies for Leo too for environmental reasons.

I have also been interested in reducing our chemical uses and make my own moisturiser to avoid the crap filled mainstream ones. We opted for Faith in Nature bathroom products to reduce chemicals there too.

However, one of my close friends reignited my interest in reducing my plastic waste and the knock on effect of this has been to further reduce my chemical exposures too.

So far we have gone for the easy targets in the kitchen, of supermarket fruit and veg: we now shop at the local grocery and nothing is pre wrapped.

I have made reusable bin liners, granted they are made from ripstop fabric that contains plastic, but I figured that’s better than the single use plastic bags and I only wipe them down rather than wash. This stops the addition of plastic fibers in the water systems.

In hind site, when I make more, I think I will just make them out of cotton and dip them in beeswax. I hadn’t thought of that and I just need to work out the logistics of melting enough beeswax to ‘dip’ the cloth into, without destroying me, my kitchen and most of the surrounding area!

I’ve made beeswax wraps, ridiculously easy. I purchased organic and undyed cotton for Leo’s sandwich pouches so that no dye would leach onto them, but the discolour with the beeswax and look rubbish! So I have organic cotton with a pattern on it too, I’m just trying to find something that uses natural dye rather than something horrible leaching out. This is a work in progress!

The bathroom is another easy target. I have swapped to shampoo bars and absolutely love them! You can find ones that have no plastic in the wrapper and send out in paper. Razors are another easy target. I’ve switched to a metal safety razor with disposable blades. Obviously, the answer would be ipil all over but I can’t have that whilst I’m pregnant so will save up for when I’m not. Or not shave, which I hate!

Interdental brushes are to be replaced with wooden sticks you can get and floss has a non plastic alternative too. We don’t intend to just bin the plastic items we have right now, that silly logic and a waste of money.

Toothpaste is tricky, I can’t bring myself to move us away from fluoride. I know it’s a contentious issue amongst many, but I also know it is incredibly good at preventing cavities. All of the toothpaste that is crap free and plastic free is also fluoride free of course. I just don’t feel confident enough to risk Leo’s young teeth though!

There are tonnes of other things I’m looking to do, it’s all about not over facing us right now and taking one step at a time. Otherwise, you risk putting yourself off entirely.

Motivation

Since going back to working full time, I’ve struggled with getting myself back to the level of fitness and health I held before having Leo. One of the things I got out of the habit of doing was eating really well. I get so much satisfaction from eating and preparing clean, healthy food, so it was a really confusion and frustration for me that I just couldn’t get back to it.

Just recently I have got back to it and for a completely different motivation than I was drawing on from pre baby. It was because I’ve decided to make a concerted effort to go plastic free in as many ways as humanly possible. This rules out pretty much all crap or supermarket purchases and random chocolate bars you can grab in a petrol station.

The mistake I made was searching in my past for the answers, my life and me are completely different now and I need to remember that!

Back on track

I was always pretty environmentally conscious as my mum has always been that way inclined. I use reusable nappies on Leo and I try and be good when it comes to selecting products and making what I can (this was more from a reduction of chemicals onto my skin than environmental however).

One of my friends recently mentioned that they were trying to cut down on plastic in their daily life, so I decided to review and was horrified with my findings. We are slaves to the plastic.

I’ve made some beeswax wrap for fridge items and we have purchased some reusable baking tray liners to eliminate cling film and tin foil use. I’ve made Leo a reusable sandwich bag too for when he has lunches at forest school.

I have ordered materials to make reusable bin liners and reusable toilet and kitchen paper too. My latest quest is on the shampoo bar market. Can I find one that doesn’t have either palm oil or castor oil in it? Yes, but it is packaged in plastic and they don’t give you an option for it not to be. My issue with castor oil is that I am pregnant and I don’t know if it is safe even just as a shampoo. I know it absolutely isn’t as massage oil or orally.

It really isn’t easy finding options to suit the planet, the animals and you! Arrgghhhhh

Defer or don’t

Leo is a July baby and we were happy that we were going to defer his starting school until his 5th year instead of 4th.

I stupidly made the mistake of looking into it again the other day and it made me wobble. Claims that their high speed learning brains would stagnate and its the worst thing to do.

As with everything you decide to research, you spend a million hours going around in circles and confusing and doubting yourself more than ever. Especially when it’s your most precious little persons future you’re basically taking a gamble on!

This was driving me mad whilst driving to work this morning and it dawned on me that, should he have been born 6 weeks later, it wouldn’t be a thing. He wouldn’t be going to school until he was 5 and that would be that. However, he would have to have been born just over 11 months earlier to fit into the 5 year old group he would be going into.

On this, we have decided to leave him until he is 5. He can play until his heart is content until then and that be that. Pretty sure it I will continue to question my logic that I have done an oh so bad job of explaining on here!

Follow the leader

We’ve always taken the stance that we will follow Leo’s lead when it comes to changes/phases. Be it sleeping, eating, socialising and joining in with activities: we have always been guided by him rather than social pressures.

It has done us well throughout. He was always cautious about new situations, so we chose them carefully and never forced anything on him. If he just wanted to sit on the sidelines and observe, that’s what we did whilst one of us would go off and partake so he could see what it was all about. In the last few months he’s completely come out of his shell where that is concerned and it was all on his own terms with no associated anxiety.

He has decided to potty train himself now too. I had no intention of doing anything until summer because of the faff of layers yet he has decided that he will start using the potty at nursery and forest school and eventually, at home. I am resisting the urge to push it and he’s doing well.

It definitely pays to fight the frowns when it comes to your babies