Follow your babies lead…

Follow your babies lead🖤 

I was given advice yesterday from a health ‘professional’ WITHOUT asking, to let Harry cry it out in his cot. 

This is a sensitive topic for most, but I cannot hide the fact that I believe it’s completely wrong. Now I’m not talking about your child having a little whinge for a minute because you’re in the middle of something and you can’t pick them up straight away. I’m talking about people who are instructing you to leave your baby in their cot to cry for 45 minutes before you even go in to check they’re “ok”..so they “learn to go to sleep on their own”. I don’t doubt this works – of course it does! The baby eventually gets the message that no one is coming to comfort them. The child isn’t falling asleep because they’ve learnt to go to sleep on their own, what they’ve actually learnt is that no one is coming to them. If you’d like to read more about this do some research on Learned Helplessness. 
There is one baby “expert” who says if a baby is so upset that they vomit, it’s just for attention and not to give in – simply go in the room, do not make eye contact or speak, change the sheets and leave the room.. the “training” should only take a few nights. I will admit I seriously struggle with how someone could possibly think there is anything positive that comes out of letting a baby become so distressed? Actually, I suppose the positive for some parents is that they get a full night’s sleep. But are they aware at what cost? I can’t imagine anyone who researches the developing brain and a child’s attachment to their care-giver, how they could possibly do it. I don’t understand how a need for a full night’s sleep could be anymore important than your baby’s emotional well-being. Babies don’t cry for no reason. Attending to your babies needs is NOT spoiling them! Babies cry for other reasons than just hunger – just maybe they want comfort.
It is such a short time of your life.. of your babies life and yes it can be tiring but show them your love, that you will always come back for them…don’t you want your child to know that you will always, no matter their age, come to them if they need you? 

~Check out this link from the Australian Association for Infant Mental Health. 
“AAIMHI is concerned that the widely practiced technique of controlled crying is not consistent with infants’ and toddlers’ needs for optimal emotional and psychological health and may have unintended negative consequences.”
~I’d also like to mention I understand that sleep deprivation can become seriously debilitating and you might feel you need support..if so, there are people who can support you. Check out accounts like @pinkymckay1, she has a website with loads of information and very gentle advice on sleep, feeding and all things baby.

🖤

Our story for Breast Feeders in Australia 

Our little boy Harry was diagnosed with Gastroschisis when he was in the womb at only 12 weeks. Gastroschisis is when the bowel is protruding out of a hole on the stomach that is meant to close over around 10 weeks. In some cases more than just the bowel can be growing on the outside depending on the size of the hole. 

As you can imagine this was a huge and heart breaking shock for my partner and I, learning that our baby boy would be taken into surgery as soon as he was born. 
Before I even conceived breastfeeding has been extremely important to me. I believe it is a true blessing we get to nourish our children in such a natural, beautiful way. But I knew it wasn’t necessarily going to be easy to begin with and having learnt of Harry’s condition I knew it would be challenging, especially learning that he would not feed for possibly the first 2 weeks.

Harry was born by emergency Cesarean at 34 weeks and 5 days weighing 2kgs. Although we were nervous, we had the whole pregnancy to somewhat ‘prepare’ ourselves. Harry was taken from us straight away, all I was able to do before he left was touch him with my finger. There were doctors surrounding him helping him breathe. At this point I was sad, not having that skin to skin and being able to breastfeed him straight away. 

For the first 3 weeks of Harry’s life, he was not able to have any milk. When I say not have any, he did not have one single drop of milk for the first few weeks of his life, because his bowel was not working properly yet. Yes, your right, he would have been starving. And for me as a mother this was heart breaking. I had my alarm set 24 hours a day and pumped every 3 hours. It was hard, I was confused and when I couldn’t be with him over night every part of me was yearning for him. 

I would take my breast milk into hospital each morning and by the time he could actually have any, there was bucket loads.
I couldn’t breastfeed him straight away though, he was fed through a tube in his nose. The doctors had to monitor exactly how much was going in to determine that his bowel was working properly. He started with a tiny 2ml every 3 hours until his bowel “woke up” and was able to tolerate more. 

It got to about 3 and a half weeks and they said I could try and breast feed. Although I had to drain my boobs first they explained he still would get a small amount! I was so excited the moment finally came. He fed wonderfully.

As a mother, I cant help but feel guilt those weeks when I wasn’t able to respond to my baby when he was hungry, or scared or be there next to him 24/7. But I gave him as much comfort as I could in the situation that faced us. The nurses fell in love with Harry, they always said he was so good and never complained, even when he was hungry those first few weeks. 

Our breastfeeding journey was a little up and down when Harry got home from hospital, but we have stuck at it and are still going. Harry is now nearly 10 months old, and is as healthy as any other ‘normal’ 10 month old. At this stage there will be no further issues with Harry’s tummy.
Renée x

PASSENGER 


So, I stumbled across a brand on Insta and I basically fell in love before I even received my dress in the post. So iv decided I need to share it with you! 

Passenger was founded by 3 mama’s who had a passion to design effortless threads for expecting mums and beyond, although this was their initial plan, it now meets the needs of the every day woman. 

The dress I am pictured in (OLIVE | NUDE) is made with 100% cotton, and what caught my eye being a breast feeding mum was the beautiful rose gold buttons down the front for easy boob access. Who doesn’t love easy boob access? 🙈

This peice is timeless, such an amazing investment into my wardobe. 
I LOVE that this brand is founded by 3 mama’s. It makes it even more special and with their knowledge and hard work they have truly created an amazing collection that you will love.  
Iv added some of my fav pics from their Instagram & the lovely ladies themselves.
Receive 20% off your order by clicking the link below or add HELLOHARRY20 at check out.

https://www.passengerwear.com/discount/HELLOHARRY20
Happy shopping my loves!! ❤️
Renée x

Challenges

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE being a mum. I am blessed to have baby Harry in my life and I’m fortunate to even have these complaints because some people never actually get the chance to. Some of these ‘complaints’ may seem petty but these are the some of the things I have struggled with, becoming a mum.

Washing: Before falling pregnant and still living with my mum & dad washing was not part of my daily life (I’m already feeling the spoilt little brat eye rolls) yes my mum did my washing til I was 25 and it was not something that even entered my mind. Of course I was grateful but I never appreciated the time and energy that goes into it. I actually cannot believe how it piles up. Not only did I start doing my own washing but Harry and Toms too. Like honestly how much washing can one baby have? And the bibs. The stains on the bibs… still working on how to get them looking like they have actually been washed. Who actually has the time to hang out the washing? Yes Harry had naps but god forbid wanting 5 minutes to sit there in the peace and quiet. Washing is a complete and utter debacle. There is nothing nice about it. Sorry mum.

Mess: If you saw my bedroom I am not the tidiest of people, my clean washing will happily sit on a chair for a few days and I’m not one to care if I leave a draw open. But since Harry has started solids Iv felt a different kind of OCD kick in. I absolutely cannot stand the mess the food makes, around his mouth, on the high chair, even on the bib. Can not deal. I’m trying to get better and I know I need to get the eff over it but while he is eating I am constantly mopping things up with baby wipes even before he has finished. It just makes me cringe. Also I’m a bit obsessed about washing my hands, my sister says I have issues. 

ODD socks: To be honest I don’t really care wearing odd socks but I would seriously like to know WHERE do socks actually go? Similar to the bobby pin and hair tie situation. I remember as a kid I always had odd socks on and mum had a huge huge basket in the spare room of hundreds of spare, unpaired socks. Still to this day I get a bit of a kick out of wearing a pair of socks it is a true rarity. Sorry Harry your under the spell. Why are pairs even a thing? 

Being a mind reader: Trying to figure out what a miniature human is wanting even though mini human doesn’t usually know what it wants. 

Feeling on more than one occasion that I simply don’t have my shit together: Becoming a mum has been my greatest challenge yet. No one can actually say or do anything to prepare you for what motherhood has to offer. Iv accepted the fact that I will always be tired, that 99% of the time my hair will be in a bun and my eyes will constantly look as black as Pandas. 

Iv finally made a Snapchat for Harry, so I can stop spamming Instagram stories! I’d love to watch other mums snaps too. Watch our daily challenges and high fives, Add us on snapchat: hello.harry1

Gastroschisis Awareness Day

GASTROSCHISIS AWARENESS DAY.July 30th is Gastroschisis awareness day.   

Gastroschisis is a birth defect that causes the intestines to protrude from a hole in the abdomen, typically to the right of the umbilical cord. Occasionally, other organs are involved as well. In Harry’s case his stomach was also on the outside. 

While approximately 90% of affected babies survive with proper medical care, there is still a 10% mortality rate even with the best medical care. In nations without access to proper medical care, the mortality rate is often 100%. 

The medical community still does not know what causes gastroschisis. The team at the Women’s and Children’s hospital told us Gastroschisis affects 1 in every 5,000 babies. Studies are demonstrating a familial link to gastroschisis, with one study showing that 23% of families studied had more than one relative with gastroschisis (which scares the hell out of us). However, the single largest risk factor for having a child with gastroschisis continues to be young maternal age. 

Today we remember the angels that weren’t able to win the fight and the warriors who fought and made it out of hospital, including our dearest Harry 💚

Go Harry

For those who don’t know, Harry was born with Gastroschisis (bowel growing outside of the abdomen) which we found out at our 12 week scan. 

Today on his 6 month milestone he saw his pediatrician who I saw throughout my pregnancy and all through Harry’s journey in the hospital. He passed all his test with flying colours with nothing but a huge gummy smile on his face 🌈 

We were told he no longer needs to see the pediatrician routinely, instead now we can just see our regular GP if we need to! In his short life he has come so incredibly far. We feel like that chapter of his life is finally over! ❤️ Go Harry!

Milk & Love

So pre baby. I was fit, ran my butt off 5 mornings a week before work and 5 out of 7 days was on a strict diet (weekends, especially Sunday I ate what I wanted). In previous posts I have mentioned I ran to help my mental health as I was going through a tough time. I really did think it was helping as it took my mind of things but looking back at that time I now see I was obsessed and I became far too skinny.
This all changed when I met Tom. He told me how beautiful I was every day and it didn’t take me long to stack on the much needed kilos😂. 

Then I fell pregnant. I felt sick fairly quickly so the amount of exercise reduced significantly. It was hard, all the changes that my body went through, all the things I had obsessed and had control over suddenly went out the window. A lot of the time I would need heavy meals to stop sugar lows to just make me feel ok. It took me awhile to comes to terms with it all. But my body knew what it was doing and I had to learn to trust it. It knew what needed to happen in order for our baby to grow healthily. 
Even though my exercise reduced I still tried really hard to walk every now and then. It was advised to do 30 minutes of exercise and keep active during pregnancy. Some days it felt impossible especially with my low iron which I didn’t realise I had until late in the pregnancy. I always felt better though, once I started walking whether it be at the gym or along the beach. It is so important to keep moving even when you don’t feel like it especially late in pregnancy and it’s a good way to help you sleep. Through my own research Iv learnt when you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. Endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain. Endorphins trigger a positive feeling in the body. It helps reduce stress, anxiety and depression. 

Then Harry came along. I’m not going to lie it has been a struggle coming to terms with the changes my body went through, as it is for any mum. My eating habits changed and that has been hard to shift, I got addicted to sugar as it helped when I felt sick so that has been one of my biggest challenges. I still crave sugar in the morning and at night after dinner. I love food and need a good nutritious diet while breast feeding Harry. 

After recovering from my C section my mum offered to have Harry a couple of times a week while I went to the gym. Yeah I know what you’re thinking, that’s what we all feel like after waking up to a hungry baby 7 times a night but I can honestly say it helped me get through the day. My best days are when I start the day with exercise no matter how little sleep I’ve had. Recently I started Barre classes at 6am before Tom goes to work just a couple of times a week. I really encourage any new mum just to start something. I am no expert I just know exercise has helped me in so many ways. I know the feeling of thinking “what’s the point, I’m too far gone” but you need to start somewhere and I can’t explain how much better you will feel once you start. I’m comfortable now with not obsessing over my weight and what I eat but rather enjoying food and looking after my body through a balanced diet and a healthy amount of exercise. 

I live in active wear especially during the week. I find it most comfortable while I’m still trying to shift some of my baby weight. I stumbled across Milk & Love when I was searching for lactation cookies. Like seriously …..what more could you ask for?? Eating cookies while boosting your milk supply. They had the most amazing white choc chip macadamia cookies which didn’t last long at all – seriously delicious!! I then found their breastfeeding active wear range. I had to try it! I was not disappointed. Milk & Love Breastfeeding Activewear is supportive and comfortable no matter what I’m doing so perfect for every day wear or when I’m doing my barre classes. Pictured is their sports bra with a racerback design, adjustable hook and eye closure (3 rows) Easy drop-down cup to allow for breastfeeding. Check out their full range of maternity and breastfeeding active wear here – www.milkandlove.com.au get moving even a 20 minute walk to start. Look and feel amazing while you do it 😊 

Ps. Be sure to try their lactation cookies!!!😍

Golden Jojoba Butter By SOOTHE Organics

This is my new favourite night moisturiser! From the first time I tried it I woke up with silky smooth hydrated skin. I didn’t feel the need to wear my BB cream. Not only does it feel amazing on my skin but it’s filled with antioxidants that protect skin cells from signs of ageing – WIN!
 It has the most amazing subtle smell of lavender as it’s infused throughout the butter to encourage cell regrowth and to detoxify the skin. 
Best of all this butter is made with certified organic oils, including macadamia, avocado, almond and golden jojoba oil with 100% organic ingredients! 

3 REASONS TO LOVE GOLDEN JOJOBA OIL:

1. The oil is non-toxic, non-allergenic and not an irritant so it won’t clog pores or cause allergic reactions on sensitive skin

2. It is an antioxidant that protects your body from the damaging effects of free radicals

3. Packed with vitamin E, this oil is known for promoting healthy and clear skin


100% CERTIFIED ORGANIC INGREDIENTS:

Organic Shea Butter

Organic Macadamia Oil

Organic Avocado Oil

Organic Golden Jojoba Oil

Organic Almond Oil

Organic Lavender Essential Oil
To get yours head to www.sootheorganics.com.au to their beautiful shiny new website your skin will thankyou. 

Surprise

It was 6 weeks after I first hung out with Tom. I’d been obsessed with him for awhile and known him for a few years but still, it was only 6 weeks. I had an urge to go to the pharmacy and get a pregnancy test. I wasn’t on the pill and well I thought I wouldn’t be able to fall pregnant on my own because of my endometriosis so you could say we weren’t exactly ‘careful’ I just wanted a pregnancy test to clear my head. I sound so blaze about it and looking back, I was. 

I was already out, picking something up from the post office after work on a Friday. The chemist caught my eye and I thought oh that’s right, I was going to get a pregnancy test. I honestly thought it would come up negative, but every now and then I used to do them just to make sure. I got one along with some other things and headed home. I weed on it and left it in the bathroom. 

I went inside to see my mum and dad and my sister was over at the time with her two boys. Two hours had past and I had completely forgotten about the test. I was going about my business until I needed to use the loo. Sitting there was the pregnancy test “oh yeah I forgot about that “as I picked it up. It was one of those digital ones ‘2-3 weeks pregnant’ my chest caved in and tears started to flow. I don’t think I could’ve breathed in any harder if I tried.
 I ran to my dad and I couldn’t speak handing him the test. He said what what is it !! I said IM pregnant!!!!!! “Oh darling. Congratulations” he said. I was still so confused. I am so lucky to have such supportive and loving parents. My dad still doesn’t let me forget, amongst all the tears and confusion I said “that means I can’t drink this weekend” ha! Ridiculous I know, but that was my life back then. I ran back into my room and took another test. Same result. Ok it was time to go the chemist and get another pack of tests because the ones I had must’ve been faulty or something. 

Tom was at his families house celebrating his brothers birthday. He had been going on about a surprise that he ordered online and he messaged me saying it had arrived and tonight would be the “big reveal” how ironic. 

I got in the car and went to the chemist and got more pregnancy tests. I then raced over to my sisters house. She was giving her littlest one a bath. She was sitting on a stall. I said to her thankgod your sitting I have some news. Shock of course but then excitement. I did 2 more tests. 2-3 weeks pregnant. It was real. 

It felt like I hadn’t seen Tom in 55 years. The night was going forever before he arrived. He was so excited to give me my present. He got me a pair of nikes. I came across completely underwhelmed. Don’t get me wrong, I loved them but I had knots in my stomach thinking about ways I would break the news to him that would change his life for ever. 

“Ok. I don’t even know how to say this. I’m pregnant” His mouth dropped open and there were no words. I still remember him putting his hand over his mouth with huge bright wide eyes. No way. He said. We didn’t say a word for a couple of minutes. And then joy, and nervousness and just so many other emotions started to flow. We just held each other for hours.

I knew I was going to be with Tom for the rest of my life after the first week I had spent with him, so I wasn’t worried about that. We confessed our love for each other fairly quickly. But a baby. After 6 weeks!! Wow!

It was so early on in the pregnancy so it was obviously top secret. My friends know I like to have a drink but that had slowed down a little since I had been seeing Tom so it made it a little easier. But the next day I had one of my girlfriends going away drinks, she was moving to London. What could I do? Go and not drink? No, people would pick it straight away. When do I ever go somewhere social and not drink. I had to lie and say I had gastro, of course they all bought it. That meant only 10 more weekends I had to make excuses for. The journey had begun. 

Breast feeding journey 

Breastfeeding. Well this has been one interesting journey and I can’t say I have loved much of it but from when I found out I was pregnant it was so important to me to breastfeed and it still is. 
When Harry was in hospital for the first 5 weeks of his life I pumped. I pumped and pumped and pumped. I wanted to breast feed. That was my plan. The benefits and importance of breast milk for a baby is a must and literally in my mind it was not a choice for me. He needed it.
The first time he latched was in hospital, around 2 weeks old. I had to empty my breast first because of them monitoring how much milk he was getting, so he wasn’t getting a lot but from what the nurses saw they said his technique was great. When he got home I fed him on demand, when ever he was hungry or needed comfort I would put him on the boob. 
As time went on it seemed we may have had a problem, Harry wasn’t gaining weight. When it first became clear that Harry wasn’t gaining weight, I was onto it straight away and reached out to a friend, who is a lactation consultant. She helped me through this hard time and gave me great advice. I learnt a lot. I tried everything to increase my milk supply, I was pumping after each feed and importantly I continued to feed Harry on demand. Despite all my efforts, Harry was still not gaining weight which devastated me. To be honest during my whole pregnancy I thought breast feeding would be a piece of cake… how hard would could it be? They latch on and they drink. That’s it. Just like the movies. WRONG! 
I’d like to point out that my case is extremely rare – the term “I didn’t have enough milk” is actually thrown around quite loosely and very few (I believe it’s only 3%) of women actually physically can’t produce enough milk for their baby. Majority of women have the exact amount of milk their baby needs.
At around 3 months old I decided it was best we ‘top him up’ as weight gain in this time is crucial and we were becoming concerned about the lack of weight gain. As well as expressing after feeds, I also expressed in between feeds to get a little stash so I could top him up with breast milk when I could. Unfortunately I couldn’t always keep up so we had to supplement with formula as well. 
Harry fell in love with the bottle. It was easier for him, he didn’t have to work for it. He would start on the boob and when the “let down” (for those who don’t know, that is the initial fast flow of milk) finished he would scream. Scream and scream with frustration. This was heart breaking for me. Couldn’t he just be happy with what I could provide for him? That’s all I ever wanted was to be able to be a successful breastfeeder and give Harry all the nutrients he needed. 
I want Harry to be having breastmilk as his primary source of milk and I feel blessed and lucky that I can produce milk at all. I thought the pumping was far behind me when Harry left the hospital. I am now expressing every 3 hours and feeding Harry breast milk through a bottle. I am hoping this is a phase and he will come back to breastfeeding. But right now this is where we are at. I ALWAYS try breast first and I will continue to do this but I always have a bottle of breast milk ready because, usually within 30 seconds he has a full blown meltdown and that is so stressful for him and me and well who ever else is around. I still get a few minutes over night with him feeding directly on the breast, I think maybe because he’s a bit sleepier. But other than that, it’s not longer than 30 seconds at the moment. So expressed breast milk it is. Yes it is hard work, but no I don’t want to give up. I will express my breast milk and give it to him in a bottle until he’s at least one but we could go on for longer..and I’ll keep hoping that one day he will go back to full time breastfeeding. Because for me breastfeeding is not just about the wonderful liquid that breast milk is – it’s the skin to skin and the closeness between mother and baby. And hey let’s face it, it’s a hell of a lot easier than having to make a bottle 🙂