I am thrilled to have Mummy is a Gadget Geek on #parentingscoop today. I love hearing about these amazing bloggers and their parenting stories so far.
This week we have Lauren at Mummy is a Gadget Geek share her story.
So, let me pass you over, so she can tell you her story…
Bio – Lauren At Mummy is a Gadget Geek
There are five of us, and we live on the border between Essex and London. The Other Half is from New Zealand originally, I am from Hertfordshire, and the kids (Seb who is 7, D aged 5, and Little B who is 2) have all grown up in Londony Essex. There are some strange Kiwi-Essex-Cockney-Shires accents going on. It makes phonics interesting, I can tell you.
Games and tech are something we all enjoy. As well as princesses, baking, and discovering new and interesting things. We also have a cat, who had kittens, and one of those still lives with us. The kids call them VIP’s (very important pets), and have named them Pixel and Pizza.
Tell us about you when you are not in ‘mummy mode’
Often it feels like I am never not in mummy mode. It’s quite rare to have time when I’m just being, with no other influences.
But on the odd (and slightly increasing, yay) occasions where I get to do whatever I want to do, I’ll usually be found having random conversations with some mates in a pub, playing games, singing, or thinking/reading/watching tv about the zombie apocalypse.
Sometimes all four of those things happen at once. Oh, and I like food as well. A big glass of cold classic coke with some ice cubes, and a Five Guys cheeseburger all the way, and I’m happy.
Tell us about your pregnancy / pregnancies
The first was unexpected, the second was mostly enjoyable, and the third was tiring.
My body doesn’t do pregnancy that well in some respects – I have Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (EDS) and so I have to make sure I carefully manage exercise, diet and general wellbeing to avoid putting on too much weight (and therefore stress on my joints) whilst still maintaining good enough muscle tone. Obviously, when pregnancy is unexpected then that has an impact – I was in no way prepared. I also had a craving for KFC fillet tower burgers which doesn’t help with the weight/diet thing.
Fortunately during my second and third pregnancies I craved cherries, which are quite a lot more healthy.
I was also sick for the first 16 weeks or so each time, which gave rise to a new family game once I got to pregnancy number three called ‘being sick in bushes’. That’s where the kids I already had would run into a room, shout ‘there’s a bush’, and then go ‘bleurggghhh’.
Excellent creative play, but it did get us a few weird looks when we were out in public.
Where did you give birth? Did you have any complications?
Each of my babies were born in hospital, the first two in Whipps Cross in East London, and the third in Princess Alexandra in Harlow.
Having EDS means I have a tendency for rapid labour, and even though I’d been told that would likely be the case, I somehow still didn’t expect it.
When Seb was born after only 45 minutes (20 minutes of active labour) I was in shock, and he wasn’t breathing, his head was a funny shape and he was all blue. He’d had the cord around his neck and being born so fast had impacted his airways and moulded his skull into a wonky cone. Luckily within a few minutes he was doing much better.
People always say to me it must be great to have babies so fast but it isn’t as great as it sounds really, my body wasn’t ready for it. I tore quite badly, and all my contractions came at once which was pretty painful, especially since Seb was back to back. Even so, I consider it a pretty straightforward birth and I’m not complaining!
D was born even faster, after only 11 minutes.
I tore again pretty badly and had to have a spinal in theatre to be patched up afterwards. It made me feel very odd. I was sad to have to leave her, but she was happy and healthy and we were totally thrilled to meet her – we hadn’t found out what we were having and the Other Half was so delighted to have a little girl. He gave her some skin to skin cuddles while I couldn’t be with her. We were put in a private room afterwards and that made a big difference, it was brilliant having my own private space to bond with her, and the midwives left us uninterrupted all night to snuggle.
Little B was my longest labour at 1 hour 40 minutes, but I actually preferred it that way. I kind of weirdly enjoyed it, even! It was all very uneventful with no complications whatsoever.
What were the first few weeks like with a newborn?
Honestly, with Seb I don’t remember much. I’m guessing that’s because it was incredibly stressful. My mind has blanked it all out so that I’d actually consider doing it again.
I know I was very sore, finding feeding difficult, and had severe mastitis that required hospital visits and scans and needles. We also moved house when Seb was about 5 days old.
I do remember sitting on a single bed (the only thing in our old house that was provided by the landlord) with my newborn, changing his nappy and his wee soaked clothes and realising I’d forgotten to bring any nappies/spare clothes with me, shivering and crying and generally feeling like the worst mum in the world.
I wrapped him in an old towel and wondered what the hell I was thinking when I decided I could actually take responsibility for a little person.
As it turns out, that was when I had developed mastitis. Which was the main reason I felt like total crap – but I didn’t know that at the time.
I also remember taking Seb outside to watch the Other Half cook us dinner on the gas barbecue when he was about four weeks old – when we moved to the new house we didn’t have an oven for the first month or two!
With D, I felt a lot more relaxed. But, we did end up in hospital for a few days when she was just under a week old as she wasn’t feeding well.
I remember the first time I was left on my own with a newborn and a just-turned-2 year old, and the panic I felt – but actually I soon learned that wearing D in a baby carrier made life much more easy. In fact she was so easy to look after, I wondered why it had felt so difficult the first time round.
When I had Little B, I was even more relaxed and things went pretty smoothly. We had invested in a decent double pushchair, with the ability to attach a buggy board. That made me feel more confident about herding three kids under five when we went out. I really enjoyed snuggling with my tiny baby, and although I was sore and tired it didn’t feel as bad as it had been the first two times.
Do you have any advice for new parents?
Know what to expect, but be open minded. If you have a plan, and it doesn’t go to plan, that can be pretty stressful!
Knowing the options and making informed choices when the need to arises, rather than trying to stick rigidly to a predetermined idea that just isn’t working, can make a big difference to the whole business of pregnancy, birth and babies in a very positive way.
Pick your battles: what things do you really feel strongly about, and what things don’t matter so much? Is it really a problem if your Other Half isn’t changing the nappy the same way you do? Does it matter what clothes your baby/toddler/child wears? Is dusting really important?
I also think it’s really important to try and get out and about, and find a local parent and baby group or childrens’ centre to go to. Making new friends postnatally who were experiencing the same things and worrying about the same stuff as me was a real lifesaver. Having some support makes a big difference.
What is your favourite thing about being a parent?
Rediscovering joy in the little things.
It took me quite a while to change my definition of patience. As a parent sometimes life moves a lot more slowly than you might be used to. But, if you stop and appreciate the world through the eyes of your child, build in a bit of time to kick around the leaves on the way to wherever you are going, or to discuss which beach an aeroplane might be flying to, or to investigate every dog/ladybird/stick/puddle that you see then things become a whole lot more happy and strangely fun.
Related to that, I’m also enjoying revisiting what I learnt at school, without actually having to go to school. History is awesome!
What is your funniest parenting story
Umm… well I guess this one was quite funny, at the time http://mummyisagadgetgeek.co.uk/uncategorized/the-babies-on-the-bus-go-a-tale-of-the-birds-and-the-bees/ 🙂
You can find Lauren from Mummy is a Gadget Geek being social here, pop over and say hi:
- Blog: www.mummyisagadgetgeek.co.uk
- Twitter: www.twitter.com/mummygadgetgeek
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/mummygadgetgeek/
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/MummyIsAGadgetGeek
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