Thursday, 25 September 2014

Mummy Time #10: Megan Smith

This week Mummy Time is all about Megan, aka @masmith, whose gorgeous baby boy (with his enviable nursery) was just over ten weeks at the time she wrote this. I hope you enjoy.... (I just had to look up whether to use 'whose' or 'who's'... I'm still not sure I got it right. Feel free to enlighten me! Also, I got to choose photos for this post from Megan's Instagram and there were just too many good ones to choose from!)


Who are you?

I'm Megan, a 26 year old first time mum! I live in Sheffield although my hometown is Grimsby. I've been with my boyfriend, Marc for just under five years. We bought our first house which we moved into in May which has been stressful  as it was four weeks before my due date! We had plenty to do before baby arrived after ripping out the kitchen and stripping our bedroom bare and it's an ongoing project. I have a baby boy, Albert, who was born on 17th June 2014 and two cats, Pippa and Kima.

What do you do for a living?

I'm a Children's Social Worker in Chesterfield where I have been for five years. It can be an upsetting and difficult job but the majority of the time I enjoy working with some awesome kids, trying to make their life a little easier and more enjoyable!

How long do you plan to take for maternity leave?

I plan on having a year off work and go back in April. I'm already worrying about Albie going to nursery as we don't live near either of our families for help with childcare.

How are you?

Generally I feel great and being a mummy to Albie makes me so happy! I usually feel tired even though Albie sleeps amazingly well for a ten week old baby, but I've always loved my sleep. There have been times when I've cried and struggled but usually this is when he's having a growth spurt or I'm having an off day.

What do you do to relax?

I love an uninterrupted bath or pottering about in the garden. I also like having the odd day just snuggling Albie, watching a TV series and not leaving the house.

What do you do when you have time to yourself?

Worry about Albie and think about how much I miss him... Even if he is just asleep in bed. So ridiculous and hoping I won't be this neurotic forever! I have only left him once or twice but imagine when I do it will be to see my friends in the evenings. 

How does a typical day go?

Albie usually wants to get up when Marc's alarm goes off around 7am and we snuggle in bed whilst Marc gets ready for work. Or if I've had a rough night Marc will take Albie downstairs whilst I get an extra hour before he goes to work. Albie is all smiles as soon as he wakes up- it's my favourite time of the day with him. We usually spend the next few hours playing and feeding until he naps allowing me to get ready for the day. We usually go for a walk, run errands or see friends during the day! We are due to start Sing and Sign and Water Babies swimming lessons, as well as baby groups now the summer holidays are over, which I'm excited about. I've also started a postnatal exercise class twice a week which Albie comes along to! When Marc gets home from work around 5.30pm we usually have time playing with Albie in between his evening cluster feeding or go for a walk. Then bedtime routine starts at 7.30pm. 


How was your pregnancy?

I had a really good pregnancy, I had sickness in my first trimester but it was manageable. I loved my bump although by 40 weeks I was definitely ready for him to arrive.

Did you have any cravings?

Aldi ice pops… still crave them now! I had crumpets for breakfast pretty much my whole pregnancy too although I always denied they were a craving.

Did you find out what you were having?

Yes, far too impatient to wait and felt I could bond even more with him knowing his gender! I loved buying clothes for him too.

How did you decide on your names and you already have the names ready before they arrived?

Albert is named after Marc's grandfather, who is an amazing man and is very significant to Marc. I loved the name Albie and we were 99% sure we would call him that before he arrived. His middle name is Luca, this was a name we both really liked and was a contender for first name but it was agreed Luca Layfield sounded ridiculous.

How did your prepare for your baby’s arrival?

I read up on natal hypnotherapy and listened to the music regularly as I was keen to use hypnobirthing after a close friend found it really helpful for labour. I also attended a Lazy Daisy course which also included a couple session in preparation for the birth. I really enjoyed the weekly session after work where I could relax and meet other mums to be. It taught a lot of the breathing exercises which I used in labour as well as positions to get into to help dilate and get baby in the "optimal position" which unfortunately didn't help me!

How was your labour?

I had prepared myself for worse case scenarios but still felt slightly traumatised initially by Albie's birth. I went into labour on Saturday afternoon and continued in early labour until Monday. My hind waters broke on the Sunday night but I was only 2cm. I was having regular contractions the whole time so sleep was impossible but the pain was manageable. My contractions stopped on the Monday morning after only getting to 3cm so by 3pm they started planning for an induction due to risk of infection with my waters breaking. At 5pm they broke my main waters which kicked everything off and I quickly got to 5cm with breathing, birth music and then gas & air (total fan of the stuff). I then went in the birth pool which was amazing and by midnight I was 7cm but the pain in my back was getting unbearable. At this point my body began pushing and they realised he was back to back. I had to get out the water for them to check and then I lost control of the pain turning into a mad woman. After pleading for an epidural the midwife gave me Pethidine which made me feel sick and completely out of it. Once I had reached 10cm I was pushing for an hour and a half, thankfully the doctor came along with her forceps and a few minutes later he arrived at 3.38am on the Tuesday with a mental shaped head! Both me and Albie we're drowsy and tired, Marc was exhausted too. I couldn't lift him or keep my eyes open to hold him until later in the day which really upset me and I think was the traumatising part.


How did you get on with breastfeeding?

Albie wouldn't wake to feed on his first day so we stayed overnight to establish feeding. He latched on one side but we struggled with the other.. After two days of feeding off one side and expressing off the other to get milk supply up (and prevent one Pamela Anderson boob) I decided to try nipple shields. He feed really well with them and was gaining loads of weight but I struggled to wean him off as he still wouldn't latch on one side. We've made it to 11 weeks with them but the last few days I've felt he hasn't been as settled after a feed and just doesn't seem full. I got him weighed and his growth has also slowed down so I've made the decision to introduce formula feeds and hope to carry one with one or two breast feeds a day if he is happy and healthy enough! I need to stop putting pressure on myself and feel happy I've got to eleven weeks but currently finding it hard as I wanted breastfeeding to work so bad.

Does you baby have a feeding routine?

During the day he tends to feed on demand with no particular pattern which is another reason I think bottle feeding will be better as I struggle with the lack of routine. He currently had 7oz formula feed just before bed.

Does your baby have a nap/ sleep routine?

His bedtime routine is bath, massage, bottle, story and bed by 8.30pm with Ewan the Dream Sheep! Daytime naps are in no routine really but usually he's ready about 9.30am and has a big nap around 3pm but this is a work in progress!

How do you keep your baby entertained?

He loves his Baby Einstein "Rhythm of the Reef" play gym so he spends time on their either entertaining himself or with us playing too. He cries when the turtles music stops. We sing a lot and I pull ridiculous faces trying to get him to smile and babble which he likes.

When you're baby's freaking out what do you find helps to calm them down?

A cuddle and his dummy!

Have you taken your baby on any holidays?

We've stayed at both our parents for a few days at a time from him being two weeks old. He usually sleeps in the car once it's going but we stop for a break when visiting Durham as it's a long time for him in his car seat. One of us sits in the back with him too for peace of mind. He sleeps really well in his travel cot and we used his pram carry cot when he was smaller so never had a problem with his sleep times. 


Does your baby have a favourite toy?

Definitely his play gym! 

What was your most recent baby or baby-related purchase and why did you buy it?

More clothes for him, which he doesn't need! Also got him a thicker Grobag now the weather is cooler and a Splash About Happy Nappy for his swimming class. I'm currently looking at bigger play mats for him for once he's more mobile too.

What has been the most useful thing you've bought or been given?

There's lots, but most useful are the Isofix base for the car seat, play gym and plastic bath seat.

What is your baby’s mode of transport?

Quinny buzz pram with carry cot, which I'm really happy with. I also have a Solly Baby Wrap which I really like but Albie has to be in the right mood for it. He is too nosey when he is awake so gets frustrated being restrained in a sling, but he sleeps really well in it when we're out and about. I'm thinking of getting an Ergobaby Sling for Christmas for when he's six months.

What are your baby essentials when you go out?

Nappies, wipes, dummies, nipple shields, change of clothes for Albie, muslins and one or two toys.


If you could give your pregnant self some advice what would it be?

Have some time as a family for a few days when you get home from hospital before having the visitors start. And try not to be so hard in myself if things don't work out as I envisaged.

What's the best advice or most useful tip that anyone's given you about parenting?

Get a bedtime routine introduced early on!

Thank you for sharing, Megan!

P.S. Here's the nursery! Well, part of it...

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Thank you so much for reading and taking the time to leave a comment. It really means a lot! Nicki x