Thursday, 22 October 2015

Mummy Time: Alice H

If you missed Mummy Time during my kind of impromptu leave of absence then Alice is who you should thank for forcing encouraging me to start it back up again! I got to know Alice though Instagram when Joseph was around the age that Delores is now; she is a ray of sunshine, an inspiration, and remains positive despite circumstances that would render me a mess on the floor. Alice has taken to motherhood like a duck to water and it is heart warming to see this dream team in action. Thank you for sharing, Alice!
Mummy:

Who are you?
Hi! I'm Alice. I'm 22 (though my tired eyes would suggest otherwise), I'm from Leeds in beautiful Yorkshire, and I have a 4 month old baby girl called Delores, born on the 5th June 2015. We are a team of two!

What do you do for a living?
Pre-baby I was amidst a quarter life crisis on the job and relationship front - I left my job as a sales assistant when I was around 4 months pregnant. I had moved 200 miles away from home, did not have a strong support network, and was caught in a tough relationship. I moved back to Leeds at short notice & so leaving my job was the most sensible option. It was hard and I questioned whether it was the best thing to do but, ultimately, my baby & I needed to be happy and safe. I haven't a single regret over that decision and I'm so proud of myself for taking that step away.

How do you get things done?
The moment Delores' eyes close for a nap, the Benny Hill theme cues, the kettle boils, and the washing machine goes into overdrive.

How are you?
I am beyond good and great, there's literally not even a word for it. I'm tired, but that's a given. Having Delores has made me feel like I'm going to live forever. She's wonderful, calm, and she's the most pleasant little soul. Her happiness feeds into me, and mine into her. I've doubted myself of course, any new Mum (and especially a lone Mum) does. But being sad and boiling over things fixes nothing, having a positive attitude and mindset has gotten me so far, and I'm 100% sure she senses that too.

How does a typical day go? 
We wake up around 8am, I dress Delores & feed her and she drops back off to sleep around 10am. I have a cup of coffee and some food, get showered & dressed. She wakes again around 12pm, I feed her, & if we have plans we will head out. If we don't have anything planned we will just potter around at home, maybe walk over to my Nannys or my sisters for a cuppa. Delores feeds on demand, and has a religious bath time of 6pm. By 7pm we are snuggling & feeding, and she falls asleep around 8:30pm.
Pregnancy:

How was your pregnancy?
It was lovely. I didn't feel pregnant until maybe the last 2/3 weeks when I was quite uncomfortable. I had morning sickness for about two months but it wasn't debilitating and once it had passed I was fine. My bump was teeny tiny so I had growth scans and was told she would be small, she was pretty average in size on arrival, which seemed to shock everyone!

Did you have any cravings?
So. Many! They haven't gone! Ready salted crisps, cheese sandwiches, fruit pastilles, rice pudding, peas, Sprite (in a can!), those R Whites lemonade ice lollies, and Fab ice lollies. I still eat all of these!

Did you find out what you were having?
I did! I was adamant she was a girl anyway.

How did you decide on your names and did you already have the names ready before they arrived?
I was pretty set on a really wild name, with Delores for a middle name. She is too dainty for a fierce name though and I went with Delores as her first name, it's my Nanny’s middle name! ("You've named that baby, after me!")

How did your prepare for Delores' arrival?
I didn't attend any classes or read too much into anything, and I was really calm about the impending ‘pushing a human out your hooha’ situation. I was careful about buying necessary items and things I needed for her & didn't want to fall victim to buying things I would probably never use. Managing to get everything for her by myself was hard to face of course - but my friends and family all helped me.

How was your labour?
I always asked "but just how will I know it's labour?" And people always replied "you just know" - lies. My due date came and no signs of her coming! I woke around 4am feeling crampy, so I took two paracetamol and went back to sleep! I woke up again around 8am, got dressed and had breakfast. I felt crampy still but nothing major, I called my sister who headed to my house around 9:30am, then it all happened very suddenly! I sat on the toilet and could not have got off it if you'd have paid me to. My waters broke and her head near enough came out too, we called an ambulance and they rushed me to the hospital at 10:40, she was born at 10:55am and weighed 7lbs 8oz with no pain relief but my two poxy paracetamols! It was euphoric in a way, I would do it again in a heartbeat, and it was so much more (not the right word to use but..) pleasant than I expected. I think people like to preach a birth horror story far too often, mine was fast and so I was probably very lucky that the intense pain was only for a short while. My body just instinctively did what it was meant to do and I didn't really think about it! Having a dinner with no heartburn afterwards was amazing.
Baby:

How did you get on with breastfeeding?
It was so very painful for me to begin with! I think my nips and boobs as a whole were collectively rescued by the wonderful mums of IG & their words of wisdom. I recall toe curling pain for about 3 weeks but it subsided as I became more comfortable.

Does Delores have a feeding routine?
She feeds around 8am, then again at lunchtime, around 3/4pm she has a purree, and then a feed again around 7pm, and 8/9pm. I started to give her baby rice when she hit four months as her weight gain slowed. After around a week of that I moved onto pureed fruit/veg/rice/porridge and she literally breathes it in. It might be too soon by the book, but I didn't want to give her formula milk, and she took to the pureed food like she'd been waiting for it!

Does Delores have a nap/ sleep routine and how did you put it in place, or did it fall into place?
Delores sleeps 8/9pm - 1am, a quick feed and is back off until around 8am. She naps around 10am-12pm roughly and is awake the rest of the day! It definitely just fell into place.

How do you keep Delores entertained and what are her favourite things to do?
She likes to sit up and look around, she has a playmat with a high side so she likes to sit up and nosy out from there. Usually a big walk keeps her entertained, or rolling around on my bed in the nuddy.

What are your go-to resources for information?
My sister has three children, with the youngest being just 4 weeks older than Delores so anything I'm usually beginning to face she has just gotten over/already knows how to help! There are a lot of babies in my family so I tend to just ask my family members. But I would be lying if I didn't credit all the wonderful IG mamas who have thrown amazing advice our way, or even my friends who have frantically googled or know odds and sods of advice that are of use!
Paraphernalia:

Does Delores have a favourite toy?
A Nuby teething ring from Boots! Immediately calms her if she's crying. She likes to fall asleep with a comforter by her cheeks too.

What was your most recent baby-related purchase?
I bought some weaning spoons today... and a green cardigan, because everybody needs a green cardigan.

What has been the most useful thing you've bought/ been given/ discovered (such as an app)?
A Bumbo! I rescued it as my sister was going to bin it. Also my best pal Jade bought me a bunch of 1oz storage tubs which are perfect for storing milk (and impossible to find anywhere!?)

What is Delores' mode of transport?
When Delores was teeny I wrapped her up in a cheap black cotton wrap I bought on Amazon, I didn't want to get anything fancy as I wasn't sure if she or I would like it, but when she was tiny and so new it was wonderful to hold her close! And it made so many trips out of the house bearable as she had total pram-phobia. Now she's a little bigger she doesn't mind the pram at all, it's a Mothercare Orb in grey, I am ever searching for a cup holder to attach to it though.

What are your absolute essentials when you go out?
I just stuff a couple nappies, wipes, a muslin & a spare set of clothes in my handbag. Milky boobs are seriously a prized possession.

Where are your favourite places to shop for baby clothes?
H&M, Zara, Next... And I like Gap, but only when there's a sale!

Body and Mind:

Has your view on, or relationship, with your body changed since you've become a mother?
I feel better now than I ever have done. I feel healthy, my body did the most amazing thing and I literally still can't believe it. I weigh less now than I did before I was pregnant, and I feel confident and strong too, which is just lovely.

How do you relax?
I feel like I'm relaxed 99% of the time anyway. Time ticks by but I just like to go at my own pace. I don't rush myself or get stressed because what's the point? I'm an all-round calm and patient person, so I don't tend to ever even get to the point where I need to step back and relax.

What do you do when you have time to yourself?
Have a nice bath or do some crochet/watch Sopranos/wish Tony Soprano was 20 years younger, alive, and my husband.

When things are tough (physically and emotionally exhausted/ stressed), what gets you through?
A nice cup of coffee, a chat with my girl friends, a snuggle from the cat and to just breathe.

Advice:

If you could give your pregnant self a heads up, what would it be?
I'd tell myself - you're going to be just fine, so much more fine than you think! Facing becoming a parent in a couple is hard and becoming a parent by yourself is double the pressure, but don't panic because you've got this. Your baby will bring you so much more joy, strength, and love than you could even begin to imagine. She will fill up every hole in your life with laughter and erase every single doubt with a poopy nappy. You'll love it, you'll absolutely nail it, and you will never doubt your ability to do anything challenging again.

What's the best advice or most useful tip that anyone's given you about parenting?
"Pushing a baby out is like heaving when you're sick, it just happens" @oneeyedraven said this to me after giving birth to her beautiful daughter Brontë just 3 days before Delores arrived. It is so spot on and after realising D was on her way I kept repeating it to myself!

Do you have any tips you’d like to share with other mums or expectant mums?
Just be calm. I'm a firm believer that being good and calm means life won't throw you any hurdles. I might be jinxing myself here after a string of seriously bad luck over the past four years - but Delores' arrival instilled into me that having a positive mind is the best thing I can do for us both. Try not to stress about what happened to your friend's cousin's wife's friend during labour either, every person is different and horror story sharers are meanies.

Thank you for reading! If you'd like to take part in Mummy Time, or know someone that would - get in touch onthechangingmat@gmail.com!
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2 comments

  1. I think I love this chick! So unbelievably admirable and a hero in my mind.. Well done for persevering, for being a great role model to your daughter and seeing the light in the darkness! High five girl... What a grand old job you're doing xxx

    ReplyDelete
  2. Such a positive and bright woman. Well done for setting an amazing example to your gorgeous daughter. A great post to read first thing in the morning - it's put me in a more positive mood :) x

    ReplyDelete

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

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