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May 22, 2018 at 11:35 am by Angela

A very good friend of mine told me recently that’s she’s expecting a baby later this year. I am, of course, incredibly happy for her and her other half. However, as she told me all the details I realised something – I was a little bit jealous! To be clear up front, I’m not jealous because I actually want to be pregnant again. Not only is my body just weeks into its recovery from growing Little Z, but I have the two children I had always hoped for. No the reason I’ve got a bit of the old green-eye is because there is something unique and special about pregnancy and birth which I will miss not experiencing again.

39wkspregrnant  

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May 9, 2018 at 9:00 am by Angela

• • The ‘frenzied’ look they get when hungry, especially at night. One evening, I came back from a very quick loo trip to find Little Z trying to eat her own blanket as her eyes bulged.

• • The compete and utter focus they have when feeding.

• • Then the absolute submission to the milk drunks!

MilkDrunks

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April 18, 2018 at 2:35 pm by Angela

A few weeks ago, we were blessed with the arrival of the youngest member of our family – Little Z. After my birth with Little H didn’t go as I’d hoped, I spent more time mentally preparing for the birth of our second child. The outcome: an experience worlds apart from my first labour. An experience I am keen to document before it fades from my memory. Unlike Little H’s birth where for a long time I felt like I’d failed both myself and Little H, this time everything went as well as I could have hoped.

daddycuddles

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March 28, 2018 at 11:40 am by Angela

Dear Little H,

This has been a big month for you because it’s seen the arrival of your baby sister, Little Z. I was anxious about how you would react when a new person was suddenly introduced into your life, demanding the attention of Daddy and I. However, as with everything, you’ve been a superstar! You’ve had a few moments of jealousy but for the most part you have been so patient and accommodating. You also love kissing and cuddling Little Z.

I’ve found it a rather strange month both knowing you’d soon not be my only child and then having both you and Little Z to care for. I was so scared that you would feel I’d abandoned you and distance yourself from me. But I am so relieved that hasn’t happened. At times I know you find it strange Mummy can’t do everything she used to. But you still regularly tell me I’m your best friend and come to me when you’re sad and need cuddles. Even though Little Z is here, you’ll still always be my little baby!

ReadingInBed

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March 6, 2018 at 10:02 am by Angela

So I’ve reached that point. That point in pregnancy where I’m ready for the baby to come. I’m big, I’m tired, I can’t move around as easily and I’m ready to meet the new addition to our family. But, exactly as last time (and for almost every other woman in the world) I’m just having to wait. I like to think I’m coping better than last time. For starters I do have some memory of what it feels like once ‘it’ starts – although I’ve definitely repressed some of it – so my anxiety about what lies ahead physically isn’t so acute. I also have my awesome little person keeping me occupied 4 days a week. But nonetheless, I still have to cope with not knowing when labour will start as I over analyse every ache and twinge!

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November 23, 2016 at 6:26 am by Angela

The first time I ever heard the term ‘Pelvic Floor’ was when I was about 15 years old. During my teens I made some rather feeble attempts to get fit and one of those was doing a Lorraine Kelly exercise video my mum had. Part way through was an abs section and the trainer, Jenni, started by getting us to do some pelvic floor exercises. Her instructions were to contract the muscles you’d use to stop weeing mid-flow. I just tried to do as I was told and from that point onwards I would always do a set of pelvic floor contractions before doing any abdominal exercises. Over all the years since that first lesson in pelvic floor care, I confess I never really did any research into what my pelvic floor actually was. I knew it was a muscle. I knew it had something to do with my bladder. But that was it. Until I got pregnant…

lorraine

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December 31, 2015 at 9:46 am by Angela

2015 has been another challenging year, but more for happy reasons that sad, especially when compared against last year. Whilst the losses of 2014 are still very much felt, the arrival of H at the start of the year brought a bit of sunshine back in to life again. It’s pushed me to many extremes but it’s ultimately been a wonderful year so here is the summary!

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March 20, 2015 at 1:11 am by Angela

In the past my fitness levels were really quite high, especially compared to Jo Average. Even when I stepped back from rowing and started training less, I was still doing an above average amount. During my pregnancy I remained as active as I could; I was able to do quite a bit of cardio in the early days and as it progressed I made sure to walk as much as I was able.

It was quite common when rowing that I would have peaks and troughs in my fitness. It was always both tough and a good challenge when I had to try and build my fitness back up, such as after I hurt my arm. However, those recoveries were nothing like the challenge I feel I am facing now post pregnancy. My core has literally no strength.

I had my 6 – 8 week check the other day and that was my milestone for post-birth rest. But now I can exercise, I suddenly realised I don’t really know where to start. Many of my portfolio of exercises are going to be too much at this point. So, I hit the internet to see what is recommended.

There seem to be several key considerations from what I have read:

  • Be carefulmost of the relaxin in a woman’s body has usually gone about 6 weeks after birth. However, it can take several months for it to be gone completely, so in the early days extra care is needed to avoid over-stretching and straining muscles;
  • It’s all about the pelvic floorI’ve been advised to work my pelvic floor since having given birth, advice I have listened to. But of all exercises, this is one to absolutely keep doing forever and ever above any other core exercises;
  • Work deep core muscles first don’t jump straight back in to doing former core stability exercises until the underlying core muscles are strong again;
  • Introduce high-impact exercises slowlysome articles I’ve read say to avoid high impact exercises, such as running, for 5 months (mainly because of the relaxin mentioned above). I class cycling and erging as being in the high impact category so whilst I don’t intend to wait 5 months, I need to make sure I don’t do too much too fast.

So my key focus for the next month or so is:

  1. Daily pelvic floor exercises (there is a handy free app from Tena which steps me through 6 ‘workouts’ a day);
  2. Daily walks of at least 30 mins with H in her buggy, unless the occasional walk has to be unavoidably missed;
  3. Daily deep core exercises taking approximately 10 – 15 minutes per day; or
  4. Some Aerobics, Tone and Stretch exercises on my Davina Post-Natal DVD a couple of times a week, H permitting!

I have been doing 1 and 2 for a few weeks. I managed to do some core exercises yesterday (3) and even found time for a Davina workout (4) today. So things are heading in the right direction! It will be interesting to see if, in a months time, I can notice any difference!

March 11, 2015 at 4:32 pm by Angela

Let me be clear, I love being able to spend so much time with my daughter. It is a joy to be able to watch her development, which is happening so fast. However, it’s a difficult transition to make from being a commuting professional to a full time mother; They are both difficult in different ways, but it’s the former that I have been used to for the last decade.

When Sam went back to work after his two weeks of paternity leave, everyone told me to make sure I had help around. But I was never worried about looking after H on my own. Rather I was a little bit jealous of Sam getting to go back to a bit of ‘old normal’; An environment where he could get a hot drink when he wanted, eat lunch with two hands, have a scheduled (albeit busy) day. Of course, on the flip side he gets only a couple of hours with H every weekday evening so there seems to be no happy medium!

The other night, whilst sitting alone feeding H in the middle of the night, I read a blog post about feeling lonely when caring for a young child. It resonated with me because whilst I have people I met with regularly, it’s for lunch, or for a cuppa, or for a walk. Conversation is also often baby-centric. The office I work in is busy and full to the brim with people so I’m used to having people around me all day. There are times now in every day, when my only company is crying or sleeping, that I miss being in that environment and taking about adult things.

What I do instead is talk to H about anything and everything. Now she’s getting older, I occasionally get squeals back. Sometimes I also try singing to her as it seems to calm her down (she doesn’t have a sense of tone yet!). For ease I tend to sing along to the radio, but one afternoon when singing along to Kisstory, it brought to mind a scene from Friends where Ross and Rachel sing ‘inappropriate’ songs to their daughter. Hopefully I have a few more months before I need to be too nervous about H picking up any of the words though..!

March 9, 2015 at 6:03 pm by Angela

I am well aware that before becoming a parent I was naive to many things it would entail. After 5 weeks I still am! However, I was prepared for crying; To an extent I was prepared for more crying than we’ve had to endure so far. What I hadn’t realised is how much babies snuffle and grunt when they are sleeping.

The last few nights, H has been going back to sleep after her 4am-ish feed but then spends the rest of the ‘night’ through until our 7am get-up dramatically flailing her arms, huffing and grunting. So whilst she sleeps away, Sam and I keep getting woken up by sporadic bursts of sound. She’s also got stronger and makes quite a noise when she thumps her arms against the side of her crib or the mattress.

Ultimately I’m just glad that she is getting some sleep. But I really hope I learn to block out these new noises because quite frankly I would like to sleep then too!


 
Hello, I'm Angela. I'm Mum to two small people (3 & 0). I'm a Techie, Gardener, cake lover and tea addict. I also have far too many opinions...hence the blog. You can read more about me here. You can also follow me on Twitter so you never miss a post. Hope you enjoy reading!
   


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