When family came to stay

Having my family come to stay and meet Wilf has been lovely, I think they are all pretty taken with him! It was nice for my mum to see how much he has changed already since the day he was born and great for me to have her support again, I really do wish they lived nearer. I think my dad is very proud to be a grandparent, I love the fourth picture down where they are looking at each other. It was great to see them interacting and nice to have someone else walk him up & down when he got a little grizzy!
My little sister Serin did a great job singing to Wilf, he really loved it. I have already told her I'm going to be skyping her at 3am for some lullabies and it was so cute to see my baby brother Madog with him, Wilf looks huge in his arms!
Although we are not religious we have asked my older brother Keir and sister in law Jocelyn to be godparents (or the non religious alternative) it was actually Tom that suggested them and as soon as he said it it made perfect sense. They have always been the greatest support for me throughout various stages in my life and I know they will do the same for Wilfie. They haven't been able to visit yet as they are in the process of moving house and working abroad but I cant wait for them to! 
Wilf is now two and a half weeks old, I am very thankful that Tom doesn't have to go back to work for another two weeks. He has been such a great support and I'm sure there will be a few tears when he does go back but I think we are starting to getting into the swing of things a little more now. That being said our house is a tip and we are still getting zero sleep but that is to be expected right? 
The past few days have been a little stressful health wise, I have had a little problem with heavy bleeding and had to spend yesterday afternoon waiting for a scan at the hospital. 
Funny story, just before the scan I popped to the toilet and accidentally pulled the emergency cord instead of the flush, cue two nurses coming to my rescue and me apologising profusely, did someone say 'sleep deprived'?
All is well and I am now on antibiotics which will hopefully help with my breast engorgement too as they have been making me a little feverish! 
The whole time I was pregnant all I thought about was the birth being the big thing and had just imagined myself serenely breastfeeding without any problem. It is getting a little easier and I do love the closeness of it and the bond it gives us but I think its good to be honest about these things and admit I am finding it a challenge. 
Well I have a baby calling! Speak soon xoxo


Wilf's first Christmas

I think its safe to say that Wilf was pretty unaware of Christmas this year, being only a week & a half weeks old and all that. I think its safe to say I was also pretty unaware of it too, hours seem to blur into days and now weeks and its just all back to basics in regards to priorities. That being said it was lovely to have our first Christmas as a family. Tom's family came over in the morning for canapés and present opening.  Tom dressed up as an Elf and we dressed Wilf as a reindeer (because I am going to be that mum) unbeknown to us Tom's brother in law and nephew had also dressed up which was pretty funny and cute to get the cousins pictured together in their outfits. I put the second picture in for comedy value, (disaster was averted) although the boys are only ten months apart in age the gap is rather significant at the moment, although will seem like nothing a year or so down the line. 
After the in-laws had left Tom looked after Wilf whilst I grabbed a few hours sleep and made a lovely Christmas meal, it was actually one of the best I've ever had (we had Quorn Turkey which we call roast beast in my family and has kinda stuck). I find myself excited for Christmas next year when Wilf will be one! xoxo


Two Weeks In...

Sorry for the lack of posts, as you can imagine things have been a little crazy around here! On day eight and nine I came down with a fever, not what you need with a baby just over a week old who wont sleep and wants to feed ALL the time! The midwives came round on day nine to see if I had an infection and told me my breasts were enflamed and engorged which is why I have been finding breastfeeding so hard and had a temperature. The trouble is Wilf wants to feed pretty much all the time and a lot of it I think is a comfort thing (as he seriously cannot be that hungry) the MW's said as he was such a good weight (and putting on lots, he was 9,12 on Monday) I can leave him for a least two hours to give them a rest and not produce so much but its hard when he gets so upset.
I think the first week I was still running on adrenaline, the first few days I didn't even feel tired, when he slept I would just watch and watch him and long for him to wake up (ha!). But a week in and one full night of no sleep it really hit me, I was finding feeding so painful and the following night when fever hit me I just cried and cried. Wilf was feeding and the tears were just falling onto his face, I was sobbing uncontrollably and felt guilty on top of everything for feeling sad! I know all of this is normal and that it will get better but I just had no comprehension of how hard and how tired and how emotional it can make you.
That being said two weeks in, this has been the most difficult yet most amazing two weeks of my life. I cant imagine life without Wilfie now, every time I feel like its too hard he does something that makes me feel like the luckiest person in the world just to be near him. 
Yesterday we bought a breastfeeding pillow (for £45!! they sure know how to pray on the desperate and sleep deprived) which has made feeding easier today, and Wilf let me sleep for about six hours last night (not in a row but still!). I am taking these things one day at a time and just trying to go with Wilf and enjoy these moments. xoxo
(Hat by Kimberlee) 


Merry Xmas! 2011

Merry Christmas from Fritha, Tom and Wilfryd xoxo


Day Six (or the one where we get dressed and leave the house)

Today we got dressed and left the house!
I would be lying if I said it wasn't daunting and there may or may not have been a few tears in the park but I think we did OK. Afterwards I had an awful craving for a certain King of the Burgers (don't judge me, last time I ate one was a year and a half ago). I did of course feel disgusting afterwards but sometimes like every few years when you are that hungover or y'know just had a baby and your body says 'nasty junk food please' you just have to accept. 
I'm writing this at 23:00 Tuesday night and it just occurred to me that this time last week I was lying in bed thinking..'god I feel sick' only to start being sick an hour later and send me on the course that started my contractions and sent me into labour. This wasn't the greatest of starts (being sick so much your tummy tightens and confuses itself into going into labour) but after a few hours of sickness and actually going into labour it was great, I really will get round to telling you all about it properly sometime soon!
So Wilf is almost a whole week old! Things I have learnt over the past seven days are:
The feeling of nursing your baby is unique and amazing, even when your milk comes in and your boobs hurt like Billy O (..who is Billy O by the way?)
On that note mamas really do know best and thanks to my mum for the cabbage leaf tip, yep I smells like milky cabbage but at least my boobs are no longer hotter than the sun (I am just realising how much I have said the word 'boobs' in the last couple of sentences but it cant be helped, they are a big (no pun intended) part of life at the moment).
Smart phones are amazing, checking Twitter or blogs at 3am is a boredom life saver as are the Iplayer and 4OD apps (I wear headphones) 
I need to sleep when he does, its hard to when you need to get things done and I am not a sleep in the day person naturally but even just getting an hour in the afternoon makes all the difference if I've only had three hours the night before! 
Even when he is asleep and I should be also I can't help but stare at him to make sure he is OK
and lastly
I had no idea it was possible to love someone as much as this and its terrifying and wonderful at the same time xoxo

Third picture down, yep that is a man dressed as an old lady hula hooping in the background


Day Four

Thanks so much for all your messages on here/twitter/facebook. I announced Wilf's birth on Wednesday evening before collapsing into bed and woke up to over 100 twitter messages! We feel very loved, I wish I could reply to you all.
I am hoping to get round to writing Wilfryd's birth story at some point (before it becomes a vague memory) but I don't want to rush it as it was truly amazing and I need to do it the justice it deserves.
It seems quite normal already now to be a mum and have this little gloworm depend on me. Life has been pretty much back to basics and mine and Wilf's priorities are pretty much tantamount, eating and sleeping (and a lot of pooing from Wilfie). Day three was certainly our hardest day, my mum had left and the night before Tom had got the tummy bug (that I had on Tuesday that actually sent me into labour) and had been sick all night. Wilf hadn't slept for more than 15/20 mins at a time and wanted to feed constantly so I hadn't slept a wink either. Also my milk came in yesterday and I found feeding extremely painful. Luckily today is another day and its amazing how refreshed you can feel on four hours sleep (not four hours in a row I have to add but still four hours at all is a great improvement on zero). I find it easier if you just think of time as sleep time and awake time and not necessarily day or night, that way when you can sleep you sleep and when you cant you don't feel cheated out of anything. That being said at the moment I haven't yet left the house or needed to do anything in the day so night and day don't really have much significance at the moment anyway. 
Wilf is so amazing, my favourite times are just after he has fed and he looks up at me and it feels like we are sharing this amazing connection. His daddy sings him Britney songs and changes the words to make up silly versions about Wilfryd, its the cutest thing and he seems to really love them! You can tell that straight away he recognises our voices and knows we are his family.
Well thats it for now, kisses from Wilfryd Cadno xoxo


Wilfryd Cadno Quinn

Wilfryd Cadno Quinn was born at home on Wednesday the 14th of December at 7.05pm, weighing 9lb,2
We are in love xoxo


Feature - What I have learnt since becoming a mum

The final 'What I have learnt' comes from my friend Gemma. After graduation in 2007 I went back to my hometown of Aberystwyth for a year and rather than move back into my family home chose to live in a shared house. The house consisted of Gemma, her partner Rob and daughter Lauren, also another family and their sweet little boy and myself and then partner. The second family only lived with us for a few months but I lived with Gemma and her family for the entire year. It was lovely to see Lauren grow over that year and to spend time with her, I actually really miss her (and her parents of course but Lauren is so dam cute). Thank you to Gemma for this lovely piece and all the help and advise over the course of my pregnancy! xoxo

If only I had a DeLorean….

Seven and a half years ago I met the most amazing person in the world. From the get go she completely took my breath away and over the time we’ve been getting to know each other she has taught me so much, about myself and about other people. Of course I am talking about my daughter…The only trouble is that she keeps growing up and ever since she was about two she has always been one step ahead of me…

At first it seemed as if I knew her every wish, the meaning behind each core-shaking stare and each stomach-churning cry. And as much as she was teaching me she was learning, thinking and forming her own ideas and opinions.

I like to think that at that time the inner workings of her mind were an open book and that I knew everything that was going on in that brilliant little head of hers. Now I know that with each passing day she saves more of her thoughts, more of her notions and inventions and observations purely for herself. She squirrels them away in her delicious little mind and spends some time with them before sharing with friends or family.

As she grows she makes more of her own decisions, and she does more things by and for herself. She deals with the consequences of these decisions and actions in her own way and now that I have to share her with school I miss the majority of her little victories, discoveries and failures. I cherish every little nugget of information I am lucky enough to find offered up but have long since learned that it does me no good to try and pry. I must wait patiently until needed.

We have come so far the two of us. I could talk about so many things that we have done, so many battles fought and won. But I think that the most important lesson that I can pass on to other mums is to cherish every single tiny moment.

I often look back at photos of my darling little girl. Running on stout little squeezable legs through Castle Park all wispy hair and banana streaked cheeks. I often think…If only I had a DeLorean I could go back and steal her up into my arms again (without having to think about my back or about bumping her head on the doorframe) and re-live each moment of baby babble and funny talk.

But even if I did have a DeLorean the reality of the situation is that it would stay parked outside the house until we both decided to go off on an adventure together.

The beauty of Lauren growing up is that every day we get closer in other ways. We dress up together and she is the best stylist I will ever have. We spur each other on to be braver and kinder than each day that went before. We learn the art of patience and test it to the very limits.

She may be more able to keep her own little secrets but she is also better at understanding the needs and the feelings of other people. And we learn together how to keep each other strong and how to find an open and honest dialogue that is appropriate to our relationship.
Each passing day she becomes more fully formed, more of the person she will grow up to be. I cannot pretend that this doesn’t terrify me. I cannot pretend that this process of having to let go a little each day is not excruciating. But it is also sublime.

In those first few hours when there was nothing but Rob and I and our girl I thought my heart would burst with joy and that it would be impossible to love more than I did in those moments. But the truth is that love only grows. It deepens and many things that you would never expect and that I could never hope to explain get tangled up in the warp and weft of it.

In the first few hours of the morning when I am still sometimes lucky enough to have her cuddled up to me I often think ‘this will never last, this could be the last time we spend like this’ And I am right. But what comes next is so laden with excitement and possibility. I wouldn’t miss it for the world. And I cannot wait to see what she will teach me tomorrow.

Thank you Gemma for this beautiful piece, a lovely way to finish the feature! (P.S you should check out her pretty boutique also) I hope you have all enjoyed reading them as much as I have xoxo


39 Weeks

OK so this picture is FAR from flattering, I thought about not posting it but then decided against being so vain. It's a true reflection of how I look at the moment (even if those thighs make me sink inside a little...). Through this entire pregnancy I think the thing that has confused me the most is why oh why my thighs had to change so much..your lucky the pic is in black and white, those stretch marks in Technicolor look like I have been mauled by a bear *le sigh*. Anyway, this is what 9 months pregnant is looking like, yep i'm three stone heavier and my legs and boobs will never be the same again but in the grand scheme of things that is a very silly thing to be concerned about :)
39 Weeks (last Thursday) we blew up the pool to test for leaks and to see how long it takes to heat/how long the heat stays in for (a surprisingly long time) and any other things we could think of so we wouldn't have to panic on the day. We actually tried to do this on Tuesday and then again on Wednesday but Tuesday we were unable to as the 'universal' hose attachment it came with didn't work on our IKEA taps. Tom then went to buy another one on Wednesday to find the same problem so he spent most of the night fashioning a homemade hose attachment. This is why its good to do practise runs I guess! 
We went for a La Bassine pool in the end, although there was very little between that one and the Birth Pool in a Box in terms of price and reviews, the La Bassine ran a tiny bit cheaper which was the only thing that swayed us. Its really comfy and comes with two handles which from reviews has been a redeeming feature. It was nice to have the bump fully submerged and took a lot of weight off my back which I guess is the idea. My mum and I had been to the swimming pool earlier in the day and I find that swimming creates the same weightlessness, when you climb out you feel as if someone has handed you a few breeze blocks to hold! 
I haven't really been feeling any discomfort up until this point but for the past couple of days my (still constantly moving baby) has been playing a fun game of pressing against my sciatic nerve every so often and rendering my left leg helpless. Its such a surprise kind of pain it really takes my breath away, it also started to make me nervous about how I will deal with very strong contractions. Speaking of which I have had dull period pain type pain for the past five days now, increasing in strength, I am also experiencing Braxton Hicks fairly regularly and last night a constant back pain. I did wonder yesterday if this could be the start of something but no it was just where acrobatics baby had decided to go 'back to back' giving me a pretty tiring back ache. He has moved back round again now but thats not to say he will stay the right way, as he's not fully engaged and seems to be the most energetic baby I have come across, he still enjoys to do full flips and turns which vary from being bearable to actually kinda uncomfortable. I do wonder if he may have got himself all twisted in his cord and is trying to detangle himself, but he's probably just looking for a comfy place to settle. 
I always wondered why people get fed up and try all these tricks to induce labour, up until a few days ago I was quite happy to wait a few more weeks, but I am really feeling like I would like him to come along now. I feel ready and far too excited to wait any longer (of course I'm sure this means he will stay in there until after Xmas to be stubborn). 
My mum arrived last Saturday to stay until the baby is born, she lives about 5/6 hours away so there was no chance of just being able to call her when I went into labour and I really want her here. She had my elder brother (her first) a week early and me (her second) a few days early so we wanted to make sure she was here in plenty of time just incase I followed the same pattern.
She has been a great help so far helping me organise/clean the house, Mothercare trips and advise on anything I can think of. Before she arrived I was getting into a serious 'Greys Anatomy' addiction, I was watching about four episodes a day and not really leaving the house, I was feeling really exhausted and just felt like there wasn't any way I could do anything than lie in bed. Since she has been up however we have been doing my Pregnancy Yoga DVD together, organising house things, going for lunch and even swimming and I feel like I have got a new burst of energy, I think this is also why I am feeling much more ready for the birth. 
I know statistically most first babies are late but I really hope he turns up soon, I'm a little tired of this pregnancy thing now and want to start the mama thing :) xoxo


A Collection

1 to 10, Photos around Wilfryd's room/spare room as I try to sort it!
11, A few years ago I went away for a long weekend with a group of girls when I got home Tom was still at work but had left me a lovely letter and gifts he had made me such as the pictured. The weekend had ended up being a bit of a strain to be honest and it was so lovely to come home and feel so loved.
12, Progress on the tree I am painting in Wilfryd's room 
13, The typewriter Tom got me for my birthday
14, My Birthpool all blown up and ready to go...


Feature - What I have learnt since becoming a mum

This weeks post comes from my friend Jo, I first came across Jo's blog when she was pregnant with Mersina and was instantly drawn in by her honest and interesting writing style. Reading her blog throughout her pregnancy was an compelling read, navigating pregnancy (and now motherhood) as a single woman I only have the upmost respect for. Since Mersina was born Jo and I have become friends in the 'real world' and it is wonderful to see what an amazing job she is doing raising her daughter. Thanks for sharing Jo! xoxo
I was standing in front of the fridge with the baby in my arms, the
other day. She loves it in there. There is stuff everywhere and it's
colourful and strange and textured. I hadn't slept properly in days
and I couldn't find the tomato sauce. I usually put it in the fridge
door but housemate has no sense of order of anything so he moves stuff
around. I got annoyed that it wasn't in the door and then I got angry
and snapped at him - yelling at the other room about putting the
tomato sauce in the wrong place. Mersina looked on unperturbed. She
didn't even flinch. Why would she? For her that was just the way
people communicated, when they couldn't find something they yelled. It
was just a moment but I felt like the most horrible person ever.

What kind of role model was I? I wait for the green man at traffic
lights. I don't swear. I do my best to avoid judgements and try to
behave the way I want her to behave. Lots of love and acceptance and
all the wonderful things that make people feel good. I love the idea
of Buddhism's teachings of loving kindness, equanimity, compassion and
sympathetic joy

and what I have found out since having a baby is that it's not as easy
as I thought it would be.

I still get annoyed at silly things. Her father and I still have
trouble communicating. My housemate and I have pretty much the same
issues as we used to have.
I don't think people change as much as they think they will. Nothing
gets magically better. I thought it would, for a while. I thought that
my little love story, born on Valentine's Day, would make everything
ok, would make everything better. I was wrong. She didn't change
anything that already existed. Instead, she brought us a lot of new
love, happiness and joy.

My housemate, (her godfather) and I have started a bit of a tradition
where at the end of the day we talk about all the amazing things she
does. How she points with both fingers and goes AAAAAAAH! How she
hooks a finger into your lip and pulls. How she slaps both hands over
and over on your face while screaming with joy. She loves the
recycling, the dvds and her toy box. She picks out each item
individually, looks at it, places it down next to her and then picks
out the next item. She plows through her toy box taking everything
out. For a while she became enraged with the yellow Frasier DVD box
set for season six and I would have to take it away from her as soon
as she started crying. She has started hiding behind jumpers and
jackets and gets excited when we find her as soon as she lowers the
clothes again.

She loves bouncing, she likes exploring and crawls everywhere trying
to find new things. She has woken with a smile on her face since she
was able to smile. She giggles and laughs and loves computers. She
loves people and especially other babies. When she wants something she
tries to grab it and when she doesn't get it she lets us know. She is
happy and bright and wonderful and cuddly and so full of joy that she
is one huge motivation for living the way I want to live and said I
would live.

It's not easy because people don't stop being how they've always been.
It feels strange saying that it's difficult to choose happiness over
anger and annoyance but it's true. Sometimes the toughest thing is to
not sweat the small stuff. I am watching Children in Need as I write
this and it puts things into perspective as do all the stories in the
newspapers about children being hurt in any way. She makes me very
grateful and very determined. Those are my biggest lessons since
becoming a mother, I always have something about which I can be
grateful and I have a lot more determination.

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