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Wednesday, 15 May 2013

My First 6 Months with Baby Carly

I have been meaning to write an update on baby Carly for awhile now and what better time than on the eve of her turning 6 months old (so scary how fast time is flying by these days!).

Brother and Sister

I can't quite believe that six months ago I was calmly ignoring the fact that I was in labour whilst picking Cameron up from nursery, cooking dinner for everyone and watching the new series of The Big Bang Theory. I was three days overdue and, due to awful migraines and high fluid levels, booked in for an induction in four days. Tim had bought me a session of reflexology after I had told him it was meant to help bring on labour and it had actually worked, my contractions began during the treatment and slowly intensified throughout the evening. I refused to believe I was actually in labour until 10pm due to a lot of annoying false starts over the past couple of weeks. It was only, after going for a walk around the block and barely being able to stand up straight for the pain, that I admitted defeat and called the maternity ward who told me to make my way in. When we arrived I was examined and told I was 3cm but that I could stay in and try out the pool etc to get things going a bit more. Everything went quite quickly after that and soon I was 4cm and in established labour. Once my waters were broken (and I subsequentally flooded the room), things went extremely fast and I was pushing just 45 minutes later.

Just after birth

At 4:34am on Friday 16th November 2012 my beautiful baby daughter was born and placed into my arms. Carly weighed just half an ounce under 8 pounds and I immediately felt such an overwhelming love for her. Due to Carly's birth being straightforward I was able to go home just 4 hours later and Cameron loved having his little sister in front of him rather than stuck in mummy's tummy.

Cameron helping bath a newborn Carly

I won't lie, it has not been smooth sailing going from one to two children and anyone who says it is must be either really lucky or be lying... but I am thankful everyday for my two amazing children and I can't wait for them to be a bit older so that they can play properly together (as opposed to Cameron trying to play with Carly by pulling her by her legs....).

Cuddles with mummy after a bath

I struggled a fair bit after Carly was born with breastfeeding, which didn't work properly to begin with as we weren't latching right and my nipples bled and were so sore I felt like ripping my boobs off (yes, it was THAT bad). I also had after pains that felt like I was back in established labour. I even vividly remember asking Tim for gas and air in the middle of the night a couple of days after Carly was born. I felt exhausted most of the time as I couldn't sleep when the baby slept as everyone kept telling me to as I still had a lively toddler running circles around me.

I was diagnosed with PND a few months after having Carly, something which didn't surprise me as I had PND with Cameron as well as having prenatal depression during his pregnancy and depression throughout my teeens. I have still yet to see a counsellor. I was given tablets straight away despite telling the doctor I did not feel comfortable taking antidepressants (which is why they are sat unopened in my drawer). I will beat this depression, as I have beat it in the past, and working has helped me a lot.

Her first photoshoot at 5 days old

I learnt with my first child to trust my own instincts and so when Carly reached four months, despite the governmnet guidelines now saying six months for solids (they change their mind all the time!!) I started her on pureed food which she loved. She is a very hungry baby and I knew she was ready for more. I am excited now that she is at the six month stage to try out baby led weaning, she tries to grab everything I eat so I think she will love the independence of it.

At her happiest, with food all round her mouth!

Enjoying a rusk

As for breastfeeding, I have managed to hang on in there until this week when I gave in and bought Carly her first tub of formula. When Carly was around four months, we started giving her a bottle of formula before bed and she slept through from 8pm to 7am every day which was amazing, but I have been buying the ready made cartons for the past two months so as not to stop breastfeeding her completely. I said to myself I wanted to reach six months and I am proud to have got here as it hasn't always been easy!


Carly has started to really show her personality now and I think I am in for a tough time as she is quite the little madam! She has big tantrums when I finish feeding her (even when she has had more than she technically should have) and if I don't give her milk on time she will scream the house down. Most of the time she is such a lovely baby though and she puts up with so much from Cameron who is so over the top with her always hugging her and kissing her and pulling her hands or feet. She just sits and watches him most of the time and I know she will love it when she can move around more and play with him.

In her bumbo watching tv

Carly loves television (though I try and limit how much she watches) and could quite happily sit and watch it in her bumbo for ages if I let her. I have taken Carly to swimming classes for the past six weeks and she has loved being in the water. I probably won't be able to carry on the classes due to time and cost restraints but I will definitely keep taking her in the pool as she enjoys the water, even with bath time she beams at me and kicks her legs around. I am so proud of her already being able to swim underwater at six months! I am looking into classes for when Carly is a little older and will be taking her to baby ballet as I wish I had had more hobbies as a child.

Going swimming!

Carly can roll over from front to back and back to front, she still isn't sitting up unaided but she can sit for around thirty seconds before slowly falling forward- I am putting it down to laziness from her daddy's side... She has been trying to crawl for ages now but hasn't the strength to get herself going properly, I think it won't be too much longer though before she becomes unstoppable!

trying to crawl!

Carly loves toys but prefers her brother's toy cars to her pink and fluffy stuff (I am thinking she might be a tom boy, nooooo!). I take the kids for walks around the area we live in and Carly loves to look around and always wants to know what is going on. Carly has been making noises that sound like hi for a few weeks, I looked it up and she could be saying it but obviously doesn't know what she is saying yet!

Eating jelly!

I am so excited to see what the next six months has in store for us and how Carly will have developed in that time. It is crazy to think how fast the past six months have gone by and that in just nine months time she will be celebrating our wedding day with us, most likely walking and talking!

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Banishing the Baby Belly with Work it Baby: A Review

Ok, so if you used to read my blog reguarly you will know that after I had my son Cameron I managed to lose the baby weight using my tried and trusted 'cheat day' method. Within 6 months I had managed to lose the baby weight and more but I still had the dreaded 'mum tum' familiar with mummies the world over. I finally found what I was looking for in an exercise class aimed at mums- Work it Baby.

I have already posted before about how great the classes were first time round so it will come as no surprise that after having Carly in November I was itching to get back! Luckily for me I had a straight forward labour and birth and by January I was able to return. Kirsty who runs the classes had kept in contact with me throughout my pregnancy and I really felt like I hadn't been away when I returned (apart from the fact that my fitness levels had definitely suffered from 12 months without exercise!).

Left: November, ready to pop
Right: In April, 5 months later and on the way to a flat tummy!

Carly is now about to turn 6 months and I have lost all my baby weight plus a stone more, I feel so much fitter and healthier and better in myself for attending the classes. My mum tum is starting to tighten up (I have bought a slendertone for a final push) and on a social scale, the classes are the best thing I have ever done. After having Cameron I was feeling low and lonely and this feeling definitely returned during my second pregnancy. I have had postnatal depression with both kids and I was advised to do exercise to help lift my mood. These classes aren't just a (brilliant) way to get you back into shape post baby but also a great way to meet other mums in the local area and get some much needed time away from being 'mummy' and back to being you for the night.

Through attending Work it Baby I have made some great friends, one of which is the class leader Kirsty. You couldn't meet a nicer, more passionate and motivated exercise teacher. Kirsty co-hosted my very first event back in March and we will be running a second event this Autumn. 

I am also running race for life with team work it baby, led by Kirsty this June! Running is a totally different form of fitness and is pushing me harder than before but Kirsty is a great motivator. I am now aiming towards a goal time of 25 minutes for the 5k and to run it wearing a cropped top (eek!) 

I cannot recommend Kirsty's classes more highly and would love for you to check out her website here and join her on Facebook where I guarantee you will see for yourself just how lovely she is!

Please Note: This post is 100% my own personal views. I was not given any products or services in return for this review and everything written is the truth (it really is amazing)!

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Turtle Tots Baby Swim Lessons Review

Carly is fast asleep for once having a rare daytime nap so I thought I would write a short review on the baby swimming lessons we have been doing together.

I knew I wanted to do swimming lessons for my second baby before she was even born as I never got round to taking Cameron and he ended up getting scared of going in water at all, even the bath (absolute nightmare, but luckily he is over his fear now!). I had gone to a few taster sessions with Cameron as a toddler whilst I was pregnant and one of these, Turtle Tots, I found to be the most relaxed, friendly and worthwhile classes so I enrolled on their aqua natal classes, only to be too unwell at the end of my pregnancy to be able to attend more than one lesson. The teacher, Caroline, was really friendly and understanding and wished me luck on the birth.

When it came to Carly being ready for swimming lessons I knew I wanted to take her to Caroline's class right away and signed us up for the first term with high hopes. Luckily, despite Carly's inital response to the classes being to scream constantly for the first couple of weeks, after I realised she was simply getting too tired and hungry having woken up at 7am and not being in the pool until 10.30, she stopped crying long enough to realise she actually loves swimming.

Carly has always loved bathtime so I knew she would get on well in the pool and I can happily say that now she floats around quite happily in class and, along with the other babies, has now gone underwater several times without any tears (although the first time she did it I almost cried!).

Caroline is a great teacher and really helps put the parents at ease during classes with a clear knowledge and passion for what she is teaching. With two young children herself, I have always felt confident when Caroline has demonstrated something in a lesson with Carly, and I have felt reassured of Carly's safety throughout lessons as Caroline explains her methods and what will happen before introducing anything new to the class.

Unfortunately, due to a couple of incidents in my personal life over the last couple of weeks, Carly and I have had to miss a couple of lessons but Caroline has been very understanding and has provided some ideas on how to keep Carly interested in the water until we return to class.

I cannot fault Turtle Tots on anything and would recommend the class to anyone with a young baby wishing to give them their first start in the world of swimming. By the end of the term I think Carly will be better in the water than me (not hard considering I almost had a panic attack last week when going underwater for the first time myself)!

For further information on the Turtle Tots swimming lessons in the Bournemouth area visit the website here or check out Caroline's Facebook page.

Please Note: This review was totally honest and I was not paid or given free products or services in exchange for my praise, it is 100% the truth!

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Hello again...

Yes.... I have finally decided to put pen to paper (well, fingers to keyboard) and write in my badly neglected blog once more. I stopped before because I'd lost the blogging spark and nothing I wrote made me proud. It became a chore to post blogs for me and that is not the idea with blogging. So, although I am back for now, I am making no promises to be back for good. We'll see how it goes...

So, in the world of Emma-Louise, a lot has changed since I last blogged! Carly is almost 6 months (scary how fast time passes!) and Cameron is now fast approaching his 3rd birthday (also scary, but I'll be pleased to leave the terrible twos!). Tim and I are just weeks away from completion on our very first home together- a 2 bedroom flat nearby- I can't wait! And last but not least, in April I finally bit the proverbial bullet and started up my own business- Emma Louise Events. I am really proud of myself and grateful for all the support I've had from family, friends and local businesses since the launch.

I couldn't be happier with how things are going in life at the moment and am looking forward to a lot right now! 

With the wedding plans, not much more can be done at the moment as there's just things to sort nearer the time now. Tim has been left in charge of the suits and is apparently on his way there having found one he loves last weekend. It is now only 9 months until the big day and I know that the time will fly past now with so much else going on in our lives. 

I turned 24 last week and feel incredibly old now (though I know it isn't that old and I have achieved a lot in that time anyway with two kids, a business, a flat and a fiancé!). In my usual style I managed to drag it out over the week and celebrated with not one, not two, but three birthday meals which has meant I am back on the wedding dress body plan as of today (one of my birthday presents to myself was a slendertone- I'm serious about getting rid of my mum tum this time round)! 

Talking of exercise, I am also running race for life this year. I did my first practise run last week and did it in 35 minutes, not too bad for someone who hasn't run since primary school! I am going again tonight and aiming for 30 minutes. If you are able to sponsor me, I am part of the Work it Baby team and would be hugely grateful- I lost my grandad to cancer as a child so it is a cause close to my heart. 

I have been taking Carly to swimming lessons with Turtle Tots, which she has really enjoyed, watch out for a blog post on it soon. I want to take her to baby ballet in the next few months as I think it's important to do activities with the kids. I will be encouraging Tim to take Cameron to football too as he loves being outside and playing with other children, something he fortunately gets through nursery. 

Carly's Christening was a couple of weeks ago and went really well, it was a lovely afternoon spent with close friends and family celebrating our gorgeous baby girl. We went to the Hallmark Hotel after the church for a small reception with cupcakes and canapés which was great. 

Well I think that's about all for now but I have some posts brewing in my head so lookout for another post soon. 

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