Trusting your instincts

If I ever had a piece of advice for new mums (not that you’d need any more as I’m sure everyone and  their dogs have had their two penneth by now!) it would be to always follow your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right to you, it probably isn’t.

This week Isla has been really off since Sunday, refusing her food and just not being herself. Then on Monday morning she started being sick and pretty much didn’t stop for two days. She couldn’t even keep water down and by Tuesday lunchtime, she was so weak and lethargic she wasn’t showing any interest in playing, reading, dancing, anything.  She just wanted to cuddle, which isn’t like her at all, she’s normally too busy, even when she’s poorly she still wants to play but this time, nothing.

We took her to the doctor who just said it was a viral bug and to keep an eye on her. But by Tuesday her temperature had gone up and I was worried sick, and when she threw up again, she brought up bile and what looked like coffee granules. I rang NHS 111, who just told us to take her back to the doctor, but I just knew that she needed more help. She was getting weaker, wasn’t interested in anything and wasn’t saying a word (we normally can’t shut her up!) – this wasn’t our daughter at all. I rang the GP back, but there were no doctors available for two hours so I took her straight to A&E instead. This photo was taken in that evening and look how poorly she looks.

The doctors there were brilliant and gave her a good check over, and it turned out her blood sugar was low and she was dehydrated, so we were taken by ambulance to another hospital 20 miles away where there was a paediatric ward. She was diagnosed with gastroenteritis and put on an IV drip with anti sickness drugs, and we stayed in over night while the fluids did their work.

The difference in her when she woke up was remarkable. She woke up and started singing to her favourite cuddly toy Piggy Wiggy as she normally does, and soon after she was demanding her drink and breakfast. Once she had scoffed down some cornflakes and toast, she was back to her old self, playing with her toys and colouring, chattering non stop!

We were discharged that afternoon and now we’re back home, slowly building her back up with plenty of water and bland food.

I’m so glad I listened to my guts, the doctors at the hospital and the ambulance crew said we’d done exactly the right thing as we know our daughter best, and if we’re worried, it’s normally for a good reason.

Morale of the story? If you’re worried in any way, if your little one isn’t themselves, or if something is amiss, definitely get them checked out. One of the lovely doctors said they’d much rather see a poorly child and be able to sort them out with Calpol or fluids than parents leave it too late and things to have deteriorated too much.


The Dreaded Pox

I haven’t been blogging for a while as it’s been so busy with one thing and another, the first of which I’m about to fill you in on…

We’d always hoped that Isla would catch chicken pox young as children cope with it better the younger they are apparently. So when the ladies at her nursery told me one Friday afternoon when I went to collect her that one of her little friends had been sent home that day with chicken pox, we fully anticipated that the time was near. She had been a bit off for about a week prior to this, being clingy when I dropped her off at nursery (normally she’s straight off playing with her friends and doesn’t give me a backward glance!) and had had a runny nose, which I’d put down to a combination of teething and a cold that Hubs and I had both had. And within two hours, it arrived.

When we were putting her to bed that night, I spotted some of the tell-tale spots on her back (see above). The next morning she was covered from head to toe, the worst was on her back and face (below).

So began a flurry of trips to the supermarket to buy calamine lotion and extra Calpol (Hubs) and phone calls to various relatives to find someone to look after Isla at home for the next five working days (me), as the ladies at nursery said she’d be contagious until all the spots had scabbed over, which usually took around six days.

Thankfully, both our bosses were very supportive and we made a plan that Hubs and I would each take two half-days off that week to look after her, while my mother-in-law would have her on the Tuesday and Wednesday and my dad the Friday, the final day of her containment.

So began the task of keeping our active, wriggly, always-going-at-100mph toddler cooped up at home. That weekend wasn’t so bad as we were able to at least let her loose in the garden as we had nice weather and we bought her a new counting toy to keep her interested for a while.

By Thursday she was getting restless, but luckily we were able to take her out for a short walk around the quieter streets in our village just in case she was still contagious, and needless to say she was getting bored being stuck at home with just mummy and/or daddy to play with!

We bathed her spots with calamine lotion morning and night and gave her calpol before bed if she was grizzly and in all, Isla coped so well with the pox. Aside from a runny nose and a slightly decreased appetite, she was fine in herself. She didn’t scratch once, she slept fine as usual and was still full of beans. Thankfully she was also very well behaved with my MIL and Dad, who hadn’t looked after a child alone since I was a baby! 

By Monday she was absolutely fine and ready to go back to nursery, like she’d never been away! I’m glad she had the chicken pox early and we all came through unscathed, so that’s one less thing to worry about for now!


A nod to my child-free friends

In a previous post, I paid tribute to my wonderful mummy friends who have been so amazing since I became a mummy and who I wouldn’t be without now. Well this blog post is for those amazing, understanding, supportive, non-mummy friends, the still-footloose-and-fancyfree ones who are effortlessly cool and don’t judge me for being a boring mum. 

They say you find out who your true friends are when the going gets tough, and since having Isla, our lives have turned upside down and we’ve truly seen who our real friends are. So for those who are still here, I just want to say thank you:

  • For not rolling your eyes when I waffle on and on about Isla for the seventh time in half an hour.
  • For understanding when I have to be selective about what plans we do together, either for monetary, childcare or sheer exhaustion reasons.
  • For being flexible and making the effort to come and see us to keep our friendships alive, as you know it’s hard to just “pop over” these days, and get togethers involve much planning and revolve around Isla’s routine….
  • And also for understanding when I’m so tired I call it a night early when we do get together.
  • For not kicking my arse to kingdom come for not replying to texts/Facebook messages/Whatsapps for hours/days/weeks because my memory is just plain terrible these days
  • For offering to babysit to give Hubs and I a bit of a breather
  • For still sticking by my side even though my life has changed beyond belief since my daughter was born. You are my true friends, and I’m thankful every day to have you in my life. 

Little things to make me feel less mumsy 

Sometimes it can feel like I’ve lost touch with my pre-Isla self, something I didn’t want to do before I had her. Don’t get me wrong, I love my baby girl with everything I have and I love being a mummy, but sometimes I miss the woman I was and while I swore I’d never become one of those mums who can only talk about their babies, I admit I’ve already committed some mumsy sins. Having a baby changes your entire life and sometimes I feel like I’ve lost my identity.

So it’s the little things that make me feel like my old self again that I really appreciate and I need to feel normal again. Here’s just a few of them:

  • Wearing nice, matching lingerie – I’ve never been a “throw on whatever bra and knickers I can find” person, I’ve always tried to make sure my underwear is a) matching and b) decent looking. My stint working in lingerie for M&S has made me very OCD about throwing out bras that are ill fitting and/or old and as soon as I stopped breastfeeding, I treated myself to some really nice bras and knickers from Rosie for Autograph lingerie. Now just something as simple as popping my silk Rosie underwear on makes me feel like a million dollars
  • Putting on make up – as I’ve touched on before, I don’t tend to wear much make up but when I do, I feel much less of a slummy mummy. I’m not one of those effortlessly polished mummies who leaves the house with a face full of perfect make up, most days just a quick swipe of tinted moisturiser and mascara is considered making an effort! But when I do get all dolled up, it makes me feel like a prebaby version of me again and I love doing my nails. These Maybelline ColourShow ones are my current favourite
  • Enjoying me time with historical porn – relax, I’m not admitting to a fetish to a blue movie entitled ‘The Dick-torians’, I mean the tv show The Tudors! Hubs works away 2 days and nights a week so I make the most of these evenings as ‘me time’. Once Isla is in bed at 7pm, I eat tea and then have a nice relaxing bath with bubbles and everything, then curl up in bed with one of my favourite box sets. The Tudors is my favourite, so I can drool over Henry Cavill without judgment!
  • Going out with my child-free friends – I adore my mummy friends, they’re amazing and supportive and I’d be lost without them. I’m also lucky enough to have some wonderful friends who don’t have children and who have not only stayed in touch with us (it’s shocking how many friends stop calling when you have a baby) but who have been incredibly supportive and helpful. I’m aware that constant baby talk is terribly dull for non parents, so going out with my friends who haven’t had a baby gives me time to switch my baby brain off and give my mummy self a break.

Bless me Mumzillas, for I have sinned 🙏

It’s been 11 hours and 52 minutes since my last confession, yet my acts as a mother seem to be so heinous that I need to atone once again for committing sins that no perfect mum would ever even consider. Here are the sins I have committed against the rules of being a perfect mother:

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  • Feeding my baby something not cooked with my own fair hands: I’ve touched on this subject before (you can read it here if you don’t fancy trawling back through the archives) that I’ve been given some snooty looks for feeding Isla a pouch of food when we’ve been out and about instead of giving her an organic, freshly cooked, three course meal I’ve spent hours slaving over to make. Clearly a pouch of organic Ella’s Kitchen food is like feeding my baby sewerage and choosing something convenient is a vile sin. Forgive me.
  • Letting her watch TV: Oh dear. I’m the worst mother in the world aren’t I? As letting children watch television is the benchmark of lazy parenting. I prostate myself at your mercy, O Mumzillas, and plead for forgiveness. Isla only pays the slightest bit of attention to Fireman Sam and Tom & Jerry because she recognises the theme tunes. She will watch them for about 4-5 minutes after she’s eaten a meal before she gets bored and moves on to playing with her toys, and at her age (she’s only 13 months old!) she hasn’t got a blind clue what’s actually happening, she just likes the bright colours, movement and music. No? Still not allowed? I’m sorry. Forgive me.
  • Taking Isla out without shoes on: I know this sounds bad O Holy Mumzillas, but again I plead for clemency. On this occasion it was 24degrees in the middle of summer and she had already stealthily removed one of her little white sandals during the day and dropped it, prompting a Facebook appeal to find it again. It was a nice warm day, so I stupidly assumed that letting her go barefoot while we popped for a walk to the supermarket would be alright, but I now realise thanks to one of your senior goddesses who asked where her shoes were, that allowing this was utterly wrong.
  • Dressing Isla in “denim”: Now this particular misdemeanour was very firmly scolded by one of the highest level of Mumzilla. Denim is for adults, and dressing children up like adults is wrong. Despite the fact that the outfit in question, as you can see, was an adorable pinafore made from very soft denim lookalike material and not a pair of Levi 501s, I realise that this was incredibly naughty of me.  I need to be flogged in the street.
  • Sometimes just surrounding her with toys and letting her play by herself for 5 minutes:  so every now and then, I NEED a cup of tea when I am simply worn out so I will sit Isla down in her ball pit and give her some toys to play with, while I sit two feet away on the sofa and try to drink a hot brew. *gasp* I know I need to be giving her my full attention 24 hours a day, and that one cup of tea while I sit down for a few minutes is time wasted. I have failed my daughter.
  • Not dressing Isla in enough layers/too many layers: I realise that you know my child better than I do, so obviously, you know if she is too hot or too cold. I know I shouldn’t feel annoyed when you ask me if she is warm enough when we go out, but I stupidly feel that I know if she is comfortable. I know now that is not the case. 
  • Taking my daughter swimming: To the two women in the swimming pool changing room: I’m most terribly sorry if Islas presence ruined your swim, and your comments of “well enjoy your swim, if you can,” “hmm yes, I’ll try” to each other while giving us the bitch eye were the perfect way to make it clear we had no right to be there. Despite the fact that Isla made no loud noise, didn’t splash you and made no impact on your plodding up and down the pool, I’m aware we ruined your morning with our enjoyment so please accept my apologies.

I could go on and on, but obviously my parenting fails will take forever to dissect and I know no matter what I do, I’ll never be able to please all of the Mumzillas out there. So for now, I will simply ask for forgiveness for these select few sins. I hope you can find it in your hearts to forgive me and understand that I am not as perfect as thou art.

* I’m thrilled to announce that this post has been published on The Motherload! You can view the published article here.


Solving the country’s budget problems

The emergency services need more funding, that’s obvious, and it’s been obvious for years. But Hubs and I think we’ve solved the problem, just by watching Fireman Sam!

As Isla loves watching Fireman Sam, we spend a good hour a day with this programme on in the background, even when Isla has lost interest in it, and we can now clearly see where the problem lies.

Have you seen the amount of expensive, high-tech equipment Pontypandy fire station owns?! Sam has a fire engine, a 4×4, a helicopter, a specialised fire railway car, speedboat, dingy, diving equipment and god knows what else at his disposal – all in a tiny town in Wales! Why is Pontypandy so special that it gets all this high-tech machinery?! If this kind of expensive equipment was shared with other, highly populated towns in the UK, the problem of a shortage of equipment would be solved! 

Pontypandy is also becoming the Midsomer Murders of children’s TV! The amount of fires and disasters they have is getting ridiculous! But most of these problems seem to be caused by the little swine that is Norman Price. Seriously, that kid is a menace! How has he not been sent to a young offenders institution or at least got an ASBO by now? If I was his mother I’d’ve sent him off to juvie long ago!

These are clearly the sad minds of two tired parents who’s brains have been turned to mush, but what do you think? Should we suggest to the Department for Public Services that they need to prioritise the budget to benefit the bigger towns, and tell the Mayor of Pontypandy that if they get rid of Master Price, their disaster numbers would decrease massively so they won’t need the chopper anymore? Just a thought…