Monday, 12 November 2018

The Journey to Mr and Mrs ... Our Story so far...

It seems like a lifetime ago since Mr K and I first met, we've crammed quite a lot into the 9 years that we've been together. In fact since we met we have: moved house 3 times, been on some lovely holidays abroad, got married, grown our family to include 2 goldfish (who sadly didn't survive the second house move) and of course our 2 beautiful daughters - who have survived all the house moves!

So where did it all begin, well we met in a pub on a Friday night (4th December 2009!) we started chatting, we had the same sense of humour and before long the banter was flying backwards and forwards.  I couldn't remember the last time I'd met a guy that made me laugh as much as Mr K did. At the end of the night we swapped numbers and there might have been a small kissing episode (something we both still argue over now as to who kissed who first).

Over the next few weeks we talked and text every day, went on a few typical dates - meals out, nights at the cinema, and a trip up to London where we spent the day as tourists even though we only live a 40 minute train ride from the city!

A throwback to our trip to London 
in the early days! How young do we look?

In June 2010 we moved in together - was it pretty quick? probably - 6 months after we met we were living together. Did it change our relationship? definitely - its hard to keep the romantic spark alive when you're both working full time and there's exciting stuff like food shopping and washing up to do! After a while 'date nights' became a thing of the past and we were both quite happy to stay in with a movie and a pizza.

Fast forward to 2011 and we decided we wanted to start a family and in October 2011 we found out we were expecting our first addition.  I can still remember the conversations we used to have in the middle of the night - what would we do if the baby was ill? what would we do if one of us was ill? What would it be like to be a family of 3? Back then neither of us knew the answer to most of our worries was to wing it!

My smiley girl - Sophi back in 2012
she taught us how to be parents
With the addition of Sophi to our lives in 2012 we soon realised we needed to move - who knew mini-humans came with so much stuff.  So this brought on house move number 2 - just a bigger property not far from our first house. After a busy few years with a new baby and new house it was time for us to stop the madness and enjoy being a family of 3.

In early 2015 we decided to get married - we booked the date of 25th September in April that year and within a few weeks, with a bit of help from Ebay and inspiration from Pinterest our wedding was organised. Neither of us wanted a big fancy day, just important family and friends. As long as Sophi had a part in the ceremony that was all that mattered.

Our Wedding flowers 

The day before our wedding we made a booking to view a new house (who even does that??), we fell in love with the house and put in an offer - which was accepted.  I guess our life together has always been pretty chaotic and to be honest I wouldn't have it any other way.  So 5 months after getting married in February 2016 we moved house again! After a few months of relatively calm, normal life we decided it was time to expand our family and in July this year we welcomed Harper* into the madness.

So as you can see its been a bit of a rollercoaster ride - lots of house moves, babies, and mad decisions at even madder times but we've come through it all. 
10 years together next year Mr K - who'd have thought it?

*There's a separate blog post which tells all about Harpers super quick arrival if you fancy giving it a look - its a bit of a shocker!

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Good Days and Bad.....

These last few months I feel like I've been bouncing from good days - where I feel like wonder woman and could take on the world to bad days - where I just want to curl up under my duvet and cry all day!  I know sometimes it's good to have a cry and that often afterwards you feel better and back in control, but I've been beginning to worry that there might be a bit more to it than just mood swings and new mum tiredness.

Although I had a quick birth with Sophi - I genuinely did bounce back to feeling like my old self afterwards. I kind of fell into the role of 'mum' relatively easily (like many of us do) and adapted to taking each day as it came.  This time round has been so much more of a struggle.

Maybe I underestimated the pressures that come with being a mum of two and the effect it would have on my own well being.  To be honest I've never been very good at the whole 'self care' thing, even before the girls I would never do things for myself.  I've always been my hairdressers nightmare - every time I turned up she would have a mission to sort my mop out. I would spend more time doing the food shop making sure everyone had what they needed than wandering round clothes shopping - I guess I've always put myself at the bottom of the list.

Lately, I've found myself looking at other mums on the school run -  you know the ones you see every morning that have their sh*t together and look stunning into the bargain. I wonder how it is they manage it? how do they have a smile on their faces and a glint in their eye? How do I become one of them?

So in an attempt to change the 'up and down' mood trap that I have fallen into I've decided to put my positive pants on and make some changes:

*No more looking at other mums on the school run - focus on my own sh*t and maybe it will come together

*Make an effort to make time for myself each week - a walk on my own, a bath and an early night, spend some time growing my 'blogbaby, anything that is purely for me.

*Accept the bad days for what they are - something we all have, they're not a sign of failing.

If you have any tips to share on dealing with good and bad days when you're a mum please comment below or find me on Instagram - @kinslowmrs2016.

Monday, 15 October 2018

Baby H's Birth Story ....A tale of the unexpected...

Harper Faye, born at 3.33pm on Monday 2nd July 2018 
weighing 7lb 12ozs.

I've thought long and hard about whether or not I should write this.   For the last 15 weeks I've struggled to come to terms with what happened the day Harper was born and I'm still waiting now to speak to professionals about how I process it and move on with it.  I hope it will help other mums  that have experienced birth trauma, and also help raise awareness of the support that is needed after a traumatic birth.

So let's start at the very beginning,  Mr K and I decided in May 2017 that it was time to try for baby number 2 - our eldest was 6 now and with us both being 37 it dawned on us that we weren't getting any younger if we wanted to give Sophi a brother or sister.  I'm not denying the thought of going back to sleepless nights, bottles and nappies wasn't daunting - it seemed like so long since we had to think about any of that.

After a few weeks of feeling 'out of sorts' on 31st October (Halloween of all days!) just before leaving the house for a late shift at work I took a pregnancy test - I really didn't expect to see the positive result that came up on the test so quickly. In a blur of shock and a bit of disbelief I face-timed Mr K and showed him the test. I was strangely relieved to see that he was as shocked as I was at the news that we were pregnant.

After having a complicated and consultant led pregnancy with Sophi (due to me having pre-existing hypertension) I prepared myself for the same again.  I couldn't have been more wrong - other than a little bit of heartburn and some anti-bodies showing up at my gestational diabetes blood test (which thankfully turned out to be nothing serious) this time round it was smooth sailing.

I remember the day my community midwife told me I met the criteria to deliver at the 'birth place' - a midwife led unit at my local hospital. I never thought that would be an option for me due to my labour with Sophi.  It was pretty quick, my waters broke at home at 5am, I was assessed at the hospital between 9am and 11am and sent home to return the next day if nothing happened. I had some minor back aches between 12 and 2pm (for which I took 2 paracetomol!!) god knows what I thought they were going to do. Then all of a sudden everything ramped up - we arrived at the hospital at 2.40pm and Sophi was born 29 minutes later at 3.09pm with a little bit of gas and air.

So fast forward to Harpers due date - 29th June - the day after Sophi's school sports day - an event which both me and the baby were under strict instructions not to miss.  We made it to sports day - during what was the warmest summer we had for years.  By this time I was aching and swelling in areas I didn't know was possible and my pregnant waddle was in the running to become the new dance move to take over from the 'floss'.

I was already booked in with my midwife for 3 sweeps if I went passed my due date - little did I know what events were lying ahead of me.   We entered the weekend after my due date with the constant flurry of 'any news?' and 'Isn't it about time you had that baby' texts.  The weekend came and went and by this time I was fed up and convinced baby was staying put and I would end up being induced.

Monday 2nd July - I took Sophi to school on the school run as normal, popped into the local Tescos on the way home and had yet another day at home waiting for signs of baby's arrival.  In the afternoon I text Mr K to tell him I was going to do the school run.  Understandably concerned as I was now 3 days late he told me to text him when I got to the school, when we got back to the car and when we got home - so he knew we were ok.

I drove to the school and asked at the office to pick Sophi up from there - the waddle round to her classroom was just too much in the heat. At about 3.10pm Sophi and I walked back to the car and I sent a text to Mr K telling him we were on our way home.  Shortly after this everything changed..

I was driving home - the usual way - stopped at a road junction and all of a sudden, out of nowhere I had the worst, gripping, contraction pain I've ever experienced.  It was so strong that in that instant my waters broke with an enormous gush!  In a complete state of panic I drove across the junction and not knowing what else to do I pulled up on the pavement got out of the car and rang the door bell of the nearest bungalow.  My contractions were immediately coming thick and fast - the pain was so intense and I was desperate for someone to help me. A man answered the door - I'll never forget the shock on his face as I explained I was in labour, I needed an ambulance and for him to get Sophi out of the car for me.

At 3.18pm (I only know this from my mobile phone call log) I rang 999 for an ambulance - I tried my best to explain to the operator between my contractions what was happening - she assured me an ambulance was on its way but that I really should go inside the house.  By this time I was frantic as I could feel the baby's head and there was no sign of the ambulance I so desperately needed. I went inside the house, the gentleman was looking after Sophi and I was doing my best to breathe through my contractions.  It was at this point the man's wife returned from shopping, she quickly realised what was happening and took my mobile from me as I could no longer speak to the operator. 

The next thing I remember is being in a bedroom, a paramedic came through the door - my longed for ambulance had finally arrived! The paramedic told me she had the gas and air and to tell her when I needed it - by this time it was too late for that - I had to push! 2 pushes and my baby was born at 3.33pm - the paramedic literally was there in time to catch her.  After unravelling the cord which was round her neck twice (something I only found out later) I heard my baby cry for the first time.  I have honestly never felt so relieved and shocked in my life. 

23 minutes after collecting my daughter from school and 18 minutes after my waters broke I had delivered my 7lb 12ozs beautiful baby girl.

At 3.37pm Mr K rang my mobile - I hadn't text him to say we were home - the paramedic answered it and told him his daughter had just been born and the address details of where we were.  Just before 4pm he arrived at the house and met Harper for the first time.

Shortly after this we were transferred to the local hospital - I sustained a 2nd degree tear which needed to be treated and Harper needed to be monitored due to her rapid arrival.  With everything being well we were both discharged at lunchtime the following day.

We have been back to visit the couple who helped us on that day - I will be forever grateful for the help they gave me.  Harper didn't just enter our lives that day she entered theirs as well.

Monday, 8 October 2018

Mother and Baby Group .... update

Just a little update on the Mother and Baby Group that Baby H and I went to last week - I can honestly say now I don't know what I was so worried about.  There were 8 or 9 new mums there with their adorable babies and it was all very relaxed and friendly. 

We all shared our birth stories and it was reassuring to realise that not one of our births went how we expected but that they all had resulted in healthy babies.  We talked about how we'd all dealt with recovery and the parts of new mum life that no one tells you about.  All the glamorous bits like, dealing with stitches, recovering from a C-section, surviving on broken sleep, that scary first toilet trip after birth and how we have all become experts at multi-tasking and operating one handed!!

It was fascinating to watch the babies start to interact with each other, for some of them (Baby H included) it was the first time they'd really seen another mini person. It was nice to be in a place where I didn't have to panic if baby H started crying or fidgeting, and that I could do whatever I needed to, to settle her without being judged.

Our baby group is a 5 week course, each session has a different topic and I can truly say I can't wait for this weeks session.  So if like me,  you are unsure or anxious about whether you should go to a baby group my advice would be to take a deep breath and go for it - you will share experiences with  and learn a lot from the other mums and the babies love it too!

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

Mother and Baby group ...Not sure where I fit......

So tomorrow baby H and I have our very first 'You and Your Baby' class and to be honest I really don't know how I feel about it.  I know that its good to mix with other mums and their gorgeous babies but it's something that I really struggled with the first time around. I just find the whole mingling thing really nerve racking and my 'mumxiety' goes into overdrive.

'Will I be holding baby H properly?', 'Will she cry the whole way through?', 'Will there be a poonami?', 'Will I be the oldest mum there?', 'What if I just don't fit in?' these are just some of the many 'mum worries' that have been spiralling inside my head the last few days.  Deep down I know its completely irrational and that these courses are to help support mums and babies, but I can't seem to stop these thoughts - its like my first day at school all over again.

I'm not really used to feeling so nervous - after baby S I returned to my full-time job when she was 26 weeks old.  My career meant I spent most of my days working long hours, making decisions (without a second thought), organising other people's workloads, attending meetings and generally being under pressure and being accountable. That to be honest has always been the environment where I felt I fitted and where I (strangely enough) have felt most comfortable.

Since the speedy arrival of Baby H in July this year (a story I might just share with you all soon - leave a comment if you'd like me to) my priorities and mind-set have changed somewhat. I am enjoying my maternity leave this time around, I'm in no real rush to return to work and after talking it through with Mr K we have decided (we are lucky enough) that I don't have to go back to the full time job I had before. So I'm hoping if I can get myself out of this 'mumxiety' hole that I'm in at the moment that Baby H and I can join some other baby groups and really make the most of this time we have together.

Did you do lots of Baby Groups when you were on Maternity Leave? Did you feel nervous about it?  What tips would you give to mums that find the whole thing totally nerve racking?

Leave any advice or tips in the comments below.  

Friday, 28 September 2018

Everbody's got to start somewhere right?.....

So this is my first ever blog post,  I've always enjoyed writing and hoped that one day I'd find the courage to put my little ramblings and thoughts out there for others to read.

A little bit about me.... I'm a married mother of 2 girls - a 6 year old (with the sass of a 16year old!) and a 12 week old that thinks sleep is only for the weak.

Something I've been asked a lot since the birth of my second daughter is do I think the age gap is too big?? Well at the moment its working fine for us - probably due to the fact that only one of them can speak so there's been no squabbles so far. Although I'm sure it will be a different story when the eldest is 12 and the youngest is 6 and there are fights over who gets the bigger bedroom and who gets to stay up latest, but we will cross that bridge when we get to it.

So why did it take us so long to have number 2.... well I guess like most people the time just wasn't right.  I've been with
Mr K for 9 years now and in that time we've both changed jobs, got married and moved house 3 times so life's been pretty busy.  Deep down I always knew we'd have another baby at some point (providing we were lucky enough) so in my head it was always a case of when not if.

Is it harder with two?
I wouldn't say it's harder it's just different - on a good day its twice the fun and twice the laughter on a bad day I go to bed feeling like I've been tag teamed in a wrestling ring and wonder how I will drag myself out of bed for yet another school run in the morning. But I'm a mum and that's what we do, right, we dig deep and carry on, we remember that no matter how hard it is its only a phase and we cherish every moment because before long the little one isn't so little anymore....

Has my relationship with Mr K changed since having number 2? Of course it has.  There's twice as much 'stuff' to do now.  Between making sure the washing pile isn't as big as the moon and that the eldest has learnt her spellings (something that's an ongoing battle!) there just isn't much time (or energy) left to invest in 'us' lately.  We both know that it's just a period of adjusting to our 'new normal' as a family of four and that one day it will all fall back into place.

Until then we are winging it as parents ....and as a couple ..... and we couldn't be happier in the chaos that is our life.

The Journey to Mr and Mrs ... Our Story so far...

It seems like a lifetime ago since Mr K and I first met, we've crammed quite a lot into the 9 years that we've been together. In fa...