Monday, 29 June 2015

♥ This Week's Loves ♥

1. Allan's Father's Day gift arrived! It hadn't arrived in time for the big day so we had to buy a substitute but now it's here and he loves it!

2. I love dressing Sorsha in pretty outfits! She wore sleepsuits for the first few weeks but now she's a bit bigger and is starting to wear some of the cute outfits people bought for her.

3. We had a family day out to Banchory and stopped by at The Birdhouse Cafe which was so friendly and the food was delicious (especially the rhubard crumble cake)!

4. Allan made me cookie dough ice cream in a waffle cone. He even put Maltesers on top! Delish!

5. I've had the cold this week but we still managed to make Sorsha's first trip to the library. I had no idea what kind of books to get so picked up a few with nice pictures that I thought she might like.

6. My baby weight is starting to frustrate me so I'm having a wardrobe clearout. I have a whole pile ready for the charity shop and I have put some on Instagram and eBay so hopefully it'll make way for some new clothes I'm comfortable in!

7. It's been a rainy week so when the sun began to shine we headed to Cruden Bay beach to make the most of it!

8. Allan had a gig this weekend so I had a girls' night in with my sister and we watched St Vincent which is a really sweet and funny movie with Bill Murray, Melissa McCarthy, Chris O'Dowd, and Naomi Watts.

9. I finally finished writing Sorsha's birth story! It was harder than I thought and made me quite emotional but I'm glad I finally have it down.

Have a happy week everyone!

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Welcome To The World, Sorsha Rose! - Part 1

I've have tried to write this post numerous times over the last few weeks but always tinkered with it because it's too long/short/graphic/rose-tinted etc! So I'm just putting it out there and hopefully it's just right!

On Thursday 7th May 2015, I gave birth to Sorsha Rose. That fact still amazes me, despite carrying her for almost 42 weeks and all that that entails, it seems a bit surreal that I am now a mother!

Sorsha's birth definitely did not go to plan. We had hopes of a natural birth, with pain relief as and when necessary, skin-to-skin contact immediately after birth and breast feeding from the word go. But we also knew that a birthing plan was a wishlist and to expect the unexpected, and we knew that as long as our baby was happy and healthy we'd be over the moon.

I'd had a few hours of mild contractions on the Tuesday morning which was exciting but they disappeared as quickly as they had appeared. However, on Wednesday morning I woke up with pains which were much stronger and called the hospital for advice. I was told to keep timing them and call again when there were three full contractions within ten minutes. For the next ten hours these contractions slowly built and subsided with a pain that was much more than expected. I lay in bed, in the bath and on the floor, timing everything with an app on my phone and clutching the controls for my TENS machine until I finally hit the target and calling it in around noon.

We headed straight to the Midwife's Unit and I cried tears of joy as we headed in. I was in so much pain and so relieved to be somewhere where they'd take care of me, give me some relief and start our birthing journey!  Until, that is, we were told to go home. My cervix wasn't dilated enough and despite my pain they couldn't give me anything. I know that everything was done by the book and that they might need the bed for someone further on but I was so disappointed and felt let down.

By this point every step I took, every movement I made, was agony. We slowly made our way out, but only reached about 40 feet away in 15 minutes. I was constantly hunched against the wall and started vomiting, then a wonderful lady who worked at the hospital went to get a wheelchair and took me back to the midwife. She explained how she'd found us in the corridor in a bad way so she'd brought me back "ok?!". I never saw her, but she stood up for us and I was so glad for her help. We were seen by a midwife who gave me morphine and I was able to start moving around and adopting some of the recommended positions and exercises to help bring childbirth along. All the movement meant that I soon became 4cms dilated, which was the minimum I had to reach before I would be allowed to stay!

At 7pm the staff shift change happened and the care we received from that point on was amazing! We had a fantastic midwife who did everything in her power to make things comfortable, explaining everything along the way, and she was so genuinely nice that we felt relaxed and safe. I was allowed gas and air and we were both given food. Our bags had been taken in, I was in my own nightie and we were so comfortable in our birthing suite.

Later in the evening the baby's heart rate dipped, so we were moved to the Labour Ward to be monitored, where there are also doctors available to provide extra care. I was exhausted by this point and didn't have the energy to move around any longer. The next few hours were a blur of contractions, assessments, and napping until early morning.  I was given an epidural at around 2am as I had reached about 6cms dilated. I barely felt it and it worked so brilliantly, so quickly, I was amazed!

Both the baby's and my heart rate were now fast, so it was decided that my waters should be broken shortly after in a hope that things would naturally progress.

Hours passed and at 7am our fantastic midwife left and was replaced by an equally lovely midwife and a number of specialists. After a few more hours of monitoring us, we had to make a decision. Along with our heart rate issues, I was still only 6cm dilated and the lack of progress was still concerning them, plus we were advised that the baby may have swallowed myconium. We could either have an emergency c-section now, or wait for another couple of hours to see if there was any change, at which point it would really be an emergency. That seemed like an easy choice, so I was prepped for the operating theatre.

The operating team were fantastic. They explained everything that was going to happen, checked I understood and answered any questions I had. I was wheeled through to the theatre and Allan went away to change into scrubs before joining me. My gown was lifted over a screen so they could operate and I wouldn't be able to see, and Allan sat at my head, holding my hand. I was constantly reassured and checked throughout by the anaesthetist but it only took about 10 minutes of a numb, kneading feeling in my stomach before Allan was asked to look around my gown to see our baby being born!

They immediately took baby and Allan to one side whilst they put me back together and a few minutes later a lady came over to tell me that it was a girl! Although we hadn't found out the sex we both really liked the idea of having a girl, and they brought her over to show me and asked us if we had a name before finishing up and moving me to a different room. I was so happy!

To be continued...

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Why I Need A Fresh New Wardrobe

While I was pregnant I reached a point which I'm pretty sure all mothers-to-be do, my clothes were becoming a bit too snug, too short to cover my bump or just plain unflattering. At that point Allan and I took the wardrobe of wonderful clothes that I'd built up and packed it all away into vacuum storage bags.

Recently I opened up all those bags and realised something. The clothes that I'd loved and felt sad about storing away may never fit me again. My shape has changed, and I know it's only been 7 weeks since I gave birth and it'll change some more, but my tastes have also changed.

The first bag I had opened was full of dresses. It was a lovely warm summer's day and I wanted to wear a pretty, floaty dress. I tried on a few before finding one that fit and it felt great to wear it. Then I spent all day pulling at the hem because I felt it was too short now, the belly I currently have was causing it to ride up and I didn't feel comfortable.

So, while I have the motivation, I have pulled out my whole wardrobe, sorted it, and I'm having my first Instagram sale!  I love these sales and I've bought some awesome things from some awesome ladies.

To join in just follow my sale account, tinybirdsells. If you find something(s) you like just comment with your Paypal email address. Items will be sold on a first come first served basis, but a second chance will be given to the next person if the original changes their mind or doesn't pay within 24 hours. There's a flat rate fee of £3 for UK postage and packaging no matter how many items you buy!

I'll be listing items from today and there's a lot to sell so I hope something catches your eye!

Monday, 22 June 2015

♥ This Week's Loves ♥

1. This week was my first week alone with Sorsha. I was worried that I wouldn't manage to get everything done or that I'd be bored but we had a great time! I did miss having Allan around but we kept busy. I built Sorsha's bouncy chair and she loves it!

2. We also went on a buggy walk with other mums and grannys. It starts off at the local community centre and because it was a lovely day we went for an hour walk around the area and then some tea and a chat afterwards whilst playing with the babies in the soft play area. I even got a bit of a tan!

3. To keep me busy I started baking! I made these oat, chocolate and coconut cookies by adapting a recipe from the Great British Bake Off: Big Book Of Baking...

4. ...and this multi grain bread! Both turned out really well!

5. Sorsha has really strong legs so Allan has been encouraging her to stand and she even took a few steps! She looked like a little robot but it was so amazing to watch!

6. The shops have fresh peas in the pod on sale now, that means it's definitely summertime eh?!

7. Allan and I went on our second no-baby date to see Jurassic World at the cinema. I loved it, it felt so much like the first and the music always makes me excited!

8. We recently discovered that we don't have more than two matching wine glasses so I had a bit of a homeware spree. George at Asda has had great stuff these last few years so I got a new teapot, tumblers and wine glasses, all for less than £10!

9. Yesterday was Allan's first Father's Day. He was working part of the day, but we made sure he didn't leave without opening his card and presents! Unfortunately his real present hadn't arrived in time so we had to buy a substitute frame for my favourite picture of them. When he came home we had a nice family meal and watched a movie together. I love my little family!

Have a happy week everyone!

Monday, 15 June 2015

♥ This Week's Loves ♥

1. We've had a few great days of sunshine here so I've been getting out and about more with Sorsha. The hospital told me to wait 6 weeks after my c-section before exercising, so I've been taking it slowly and only doing what I can manage.

2. Also sunshine = summer dresses! I bought this brand new George dress in a charity shop this week as I still don't quite fit into any of my previous ones yet!

3. It's not just me that's dressing for summer! I love dressing Sorsha up in proper outfits and not just babygros now that she's a wee bit bigger.

4. I arranged a blogger meetup this week called #abzmeet and it was a success! We went for brunch and chatted and got to know other local bloggers better. I'm looking forward to the next one!

5. Our blogger brunch was at Rye & Soda in the centre of Aberdeen which was the perfect venue because it was quieter and the food was good. I had some delicious fresh pancakes with fruit and cream.

6. I've been catching up with friends a lot this week too. We had lunch at Yo! with one friend, lunch at another friend's house and coffee with a friend I haven't seen for a year! Can't believe it's been that long!

7. We tried out our reusable nappies this week and didn't find them any worse that disposable ones. Yes, you have to wash them and leave them to dry but that's not really a problem if you have enough  to cover a few days. Plus it gives babies super big fluffy butts!

8. Orange Is The New Black season 4 is now on Netflix. Not much more I need to say about that is there?!

9. And finally, just look at this hilarious little funny face laughing and smiling! I thought baby cuddles were the best, but baby smiles and giggles must be equal!

Have a happy week everyone!

Monday, 8 June 2015

♥ This Month's Loves ♥

It turns out that since having Sorsha I may have become a baby bore! Looking back over my photos since her birth a month ago, they are 99% her! But hey, that's what happens when you have a baby, right?! So here are some baby and non-baby related things I've loved this month:

1. The first one is easy - Getting to know Sorsha and watching her change every day. I'm amazed at how much she has changed in a month, not just in size but how much she has learned. It's great to watch her take everything in and her little smile makes me so happy!

2. It's not all sunshine and rainbows though, and feeding is tiring and monotonous at times. That's where Grimm is my saviour! I'm on season 3 at the moment and don't have a lot left before I have to find something new, so suggestions are welcome!

3. Getting my nails done is such a simple pleasure but one I missed during pregnancy so I decided to treat myself to glittery gel nails and toenails. So pretty!

4. Months ago we arranged our first non-baby date, not realising that Sorsha would be almost 2 weeks late and it'd come around quicker than we thought! We went to see Wicked at His Majesty's Theatre and it was just as wonderful as I thought it'd be!

5. Although that date was great, I really love spending time just us three. I'm quite selfish with my new family and have really enjoyed living in a bubble but Allan will have to go back to work soon and I think I'll find that quite tough.

6. A couple of weeks ago we lost one of our furry family and it was horrible. Remembering Panda still makes me sad but it makes me happy to think of all the fun times we had together. We buried him next to another well-loved family pet and I like to think they're playing together and watching out for each other.

7. Although I wasn't as into this season as the previous ones, Rupaul's Drag Race final went exactly how I wanted it to! I was #TeamViolet after what Ginger said about her and Pearl in the previous episode, and they handled it really well. I think Violet represents a modern side of drag and has great style and creativity.

8. I haven't been for years, but to shelter from the rain we had a day out to the Winter Gardens in Aberdeen. It's such a lovely, tranquil place to be with such pretty flowers and cosy heat it's ideal for miserable or good weather!

9. It was my Mum's birthday yesterday so we all headed to Stonehaven for a family day out. The weather was changeable but we enjoyed a picnic (under the shelter of umbrellas in the quick rain showers!) and a walk along the beach and harbour, eating ice cream, feeding ducks and building sandcastles. It was a really lovely day together!

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Maira Gall