The last twelve months have been some crazy months, with many ups and a few downs but mainly featuring the arrival of our little man. As a result my blogging has sadly taken a backseat. My New Year's Resolution is to try and find some more time to dedicate to my blog, with my recent commitment to attending Britmums Live being the start of that.

2012 also saw the discovery of my favourite app - Instagram, which has allowed me to document every moment of our lives, be it the exciting or the mundane. So with that in mind, here is 2012, in photos:

Happy New Year everyone, from the Hollybobbs' House!

The Perfect Elf

I have only visited Center Parcs once and had a fantastic time, and now I have the kids have been thinking of returning. So when I heard they were offering four lucky people the chance to visit I thought it was a great opportunity. Kelly Trzupek, Head of the Elves at Center Parcs Sherwood Forest helps Santa to teach the children how to be the perfect Elf at the Elf Academy. It looks like such a magical place for the kids to go and I've already added it to my Christmas list for next year!

Luxury Pamper Kit Giveaway

The very kind people at Sainsburys are offering one lucky Hollybobb's reader a chance to win one of their luxury Nip + Fab pamper kits. The kit contains all of your pampering must haves including body wash, body lotion, facial wash, hand cream, day cream, eye cream, relaxation mask, hydrating mask and facial scrub, and is presented in a fabulous blue tote bag.

Our Special Sensory Box

At this time of year when it is freezing outside or raining its hard to keep your toddler occupied. I recently put together a daily routine to try and make sure that we are doing different things and learning new things every day, rather than just sitting as watch TV. So on a morning when H is usually at her most awake (she is definitely a morning person, unlike mummy) we do active things or sensory activities.

Baby J is Six Months Old!

I can't believe how the time has gone by! Six months ago and I had just given birth to my beautiful baby boy and then the fun began! There has been many a challenge to face and having two under two has definitely been interesting, but our family is now complete and we are gradually starting to settle in.

Moving House

Last Friday we moved into our beautiful new house. After moving seven times in the last six years (three of those moves being around 5000 miles!) we are determined this one will be the house that lasts!

Bobux Baby Shoes

Recently I was sent a pair of Bobux baby shoes for Baby J to try out. I'm not really one for putting shoes on babies as I don't really see the point but these were too cute to resist.

When I first opened them they were very cute and the breathable leather is lovely and soft, however it was only when I tried them on Baby J I realised what a good concept the elasticated ankle is. They slipped on so easily instead of the usual shoe battle, and I can see they will last him a while as his little feet grow, as well as staying snugly on his feet when he is on the move.

Bobux was the first company to pioneer these soft-soled, elasticated leather baby shoes and they provide superior foot freedom at the same time as the gorgeous designs, which faces the baby, stimulating little minds. There are more than 80 different stunning and colourful styles to choose from.

Bobux Soft Soles range rrp £20.00 and can be found at http://www.bobux.co.uk/.


*I have been sent this product for free to review, however all opinions are my own.

Mummy Tummy Memoirs: Week Ten

As we are due to move house next Friday things have been a little crazy in the H household, which explains me missing a week! I have only lost 1lb in those two weeks (although I swear when I stepped on the scales a couple of days ago I was a lb less than today!), but after losing 2lb in a week last time I expected it to be a bit slower. I just have to think that things are going the right way, even if its a bit slow at times.

A Lovely Evening

I usually find evenings a difficult time - Little H is often cranky as she gets wound up for bed time and we often end up sat watching Mickey Mouse for a couple of hours, waiting for bed time to arrive.

However tonight has been quite a nice evening. H had her tea and then snuggled with me on the sofa for a bit (getting her to sit still for five minutes
Is a rarity) whilst Mr H fed Baby J. She then sat with her daddy and they played together whilst Baby J bounced along in his Jumperoo.

It wasn't anything special, but those are the best moments. The quiet, happy moments that make you feel completely content.

Mummy Tummy Memoirs - Week Eight

This week has been a bit of a strange one. As Mr H has been on some crazy crash diet for a month now it has been easier to maintain my own healthy eating as there has been no temptations around me. However after a trip to A&E in the early hours of Wednesday morning after Mr H collapsed at work (he is fine now, however it served as a much-needed wake-up call for his extreme weight-loss), his diet is out the window. Time to discover a bit more willpower as he scoffs Creme Eggs and McDonald's next to me. However we have all also had some sort of stomach flu and I haven't really eaten properly for a couple of days, which I think contributes to my 2lb weight loss this week. I just hope it doesn't affect next week's weigh-in!

Out The Other Side

It has been a long and hard few months. I always knew having two children under two was going to be hard, but for various reasons it has been much more difficult than I anticipated.

Now, however, I finally feel like I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Instead of dragging myself downstairs on a morning, sitting the kids in front of the TV and trying to pull myself together; for the first time in a long time I feel more alert and ready to spend some time with the children. For the past few months I've almost been wishing time away as it has been so hard and now I feel I can appreciate my children again and look forward to spending some quality time with them.

Thank goodness!


Today I had my first 'proud' moment. Of course, I'm proud of my kids every day, but it was a type of proud brought on by someone else. My first tears to my eyes kind of proud.

Little H has been attending nursery since July. At first she was unsure every time I left her and it has taken her a long time to settle in. Because of this they told me she was very quiet whilst she was there, which came as a surprise as she is such a chatterbox at home!

So today her key worker came out to tell me she had spoken loads today, named all the animals and their noises, shown them what a plane does and joined in with the songs and actions. They then commented on how well she picks things up and said she seems very bright.

Now I know brains aren't everything and it will be far more important to me that my children are happy than them having some high-flying job, but it is lovely to have someone else clarify that they are being successful in their development.

I just feel so proud of the little person we get the privilege of calling daughter. Those few words brought a little lump to my throat.

Little Dish Bite Size Pasta Review

Too Much Technology?

Not so long ago it used to be the television I worried was taking centre stage in our lives. I would make Mr H turn it off regularly so we could have some time together without the idiot-box blaring into our minds and taking over any human contact we had with each other. But of recent years that has become the least of my worries. In fact if we just have the television on I consider it a nice break from everything else. Since we invested in an iPad and then iPhones the temptation to sit online surfing the web, chatting on Facebook or checking out eBay sales rather than actually interacting with the people around us is starting to concern me. Some nights if we say a few words to each other it's an achievement and I often find myself and Mr H sat on our Apple products leaving the children to entertain themselves.

It's a difficult time. Little H, although a good girl, can be a handful and Baby J is yet to sleep through and wakes at 6.30 every morning. With all that in mind it's hard to muster the energy to drink air out of an empty teacup several hundred times or play peekaboo, hiding behind a fluffy teddy bear.

I know this may sound lazy and probably selfish on my part. Some days I just want to scream 'just give me a minute' at my two innocent and beautiful children. I can't help it. So instead I hide behind my iPad for a few minutes just to try and google my sanity.

But now we are passing our addictions onto the children. Not just the fascination for Mickey Mouse but Little H now demands my iPad or iPhone so she can play 'Toca Boca' (note: I'm not suggesting she always gets her way though). And then there's the inevitable tantrums when I ban her from them. If I dare to put one of my shows on the TV she demands we return to the Disney Channel. When once she loved her books she seems to have lost interest.

It really makes me doubt my parenting. Has exhaustion, stress and a need for a bit of 'me' time turned me into a lazy, unimaginative and a generally bad parent?

I think both Mr H and I need to take a long hard look at ourselves and decide if we really want our children to be led so much by modern technologies. Sure, they can teach them a lot but surely books, role playing and fresh air teaches them far important lessons? Sometimes being a parent is so damn hard, failure seems inevitable.

Mummy Tummy Memoirs: Week Seven

Ok so I missed another week and this is another two-week catch up. Unfortunately in that two weeks I only lost 1lb. Slightly disappointing and I really do need to step up the exercise (and by step up I mean start!). However I am still pleased with where I am up to, my stomach looks much better than it did and the pair of jeans I have on in the photo have just been dug out of the too-skinny suitcase of clothes. The first of many, I hope!

Mummy Tummy Memoirs: Month One

Big Questions From Little People Book Review

I heard about the book Big Questions From Little People a while ago and thought the concept was a really good idea. Children ask so many questions and us adults are supposed to have the answers. So what do you do when your little one asks you why is the sea salty? Or what makes me me? Well be stumped no more. Many well-known and knowledgeable experts, including David Attenborough and Bear Grylls, have come together to provide the answers to these and many other questions asked by children aged five to twelve.

Mummy Tummy Memoirs: Week Five

Well I'm still hitting my target, which is great. Now it's a matter of toning up. I still have the dreaded c-section 'apron' - which is always attractive. I am still a bit too round, shall we say, so I am hoping this will go down to a level I'm happy with. On the whole though, I'm doing ok, I just need to somehow increase my cardio. I'm supposed to be starting a dance class with a friend on Monday...eek!

Project Bungalow

Last weekend was a busy one to say the least. Between my sister, her boyfriend, Mr H and I we spent several hours gardening, painting and sprucing.

Mummy Tummy Memoirs - Week Four

After a busy week last week (post to follow) I missed my Mummy Tummy Memoirs week three post - lets hope this leads to a bigger drop from week two!

Joke.co.uk Review

With Halloween just around the corner I was more than happy to receive a lovely costume from the very friendly people at joke.co.uk for Little H to try out. Although she is a bit young for trick or treating, I'm sure there will at least be a party at nursery for her to dress up in her little pumpkin costume.

Mummy Tummy Memoirs: Week Two

Well according to last week's figures I have lost a whopping 5lb in one week! However I am more inclined to believe that last week I mis-weighed myself and was actually 2lb lighter. So my actual starting weight should have been 8st 5lb. That still means I lost 3lb in one week which I am pretty impressed with! Especially considering I really didn't do the amount of exercise I planned to and only managed to fit in two proper walks and the odd bit here and there. Still, something must have worked - maybe switching from my holiday eating of very rich and yummy foods to a mainly fish, low carb an weigh watcher's snacks regime lead to such a huge weight loss all at once. Either way, it's fine by me! Comparing the photos my stomach doesn't look to have gone down, in fact it looks more bloated? However I have lost a little around my waist and hips so things are heading the right way. Onward and upwards!

Please do share your own journeys below, I would love to read how things are going for you!

Mummy Tummy Memoirs: Week One

Slim at 18 years old
Growing up I watched by Nana constantly trying this diet and that diet, watching her weight and always miserable about her size. I always swore I would not follow in her footsteps and no matter my size, I would not spend my life miserable. And up until recently I never had to worry about it. At eighteen I was a size 6 and weighed a mere 6 1/2 stone.

Cut to ten (ish) years later, having had two children in eighteen months, with little time to watch what I eat or energy to do anything about it, my figure is definitely not what it was. I find myself looking in the mirror depressed and struggling to find clothes that look good or fit right. I know the stretchmarks, though they may fade, will never go and my two c-section scars are certainly here to stay, but I don't mind that. In fact I wear them with a certain amount of pride - they are my battle scars. However the wobbly bits and the muffin top are not welcome additions.

Definitely more rounded now
So it is with some anxiety and determination I have decided to try my hardest to get my to my old self. By that I don't mean my eighteen year old figure, that is long gone, but I would like to return to a size eight and about 7 1/2 stone. At my slight 4ft10 frame I would be happy with this. By eating right and trying to do some form of exercise every day I hope to gradually drop those unwanted lb's. I aim to do a weekly update of how I am doing along with photos so I can compare each week. And I have decided to share my journey here, to give me some motivation and maybe help someone else along the way. So here I stand, mummy tummy out for the world to see, vulnerable but determined. Wish me luck!

Hollybobbs' Holibobs

Well we are home from our holidays, slightly browner, a little rested and met by rain! Here are a few snapshots from our lovely two weeks in Spain, just for you!

Adios mis amigos!

Baby J & Friends

Whilst I was pregnant with Baby J, I become friends with quite a few mummies-to-be who were due at a very similar time to me. I found it great to compare pregnancies, birth stories and now watch our little ones as they develop. As they are all turning, or have turned, three months I thought I would share a little update on all our bubbas.

Music For Kids Jingle Puzzle Review

Little H was quite excited when we received this latest package in the post. As mummy has been doing a lot online shopping for herself lately, finally something arrived that was child-appropriate!

Time Off

I have been back and forth for a while now about whether or not to take a break from Hollybobbs for a short while. I'm feeling very overwhelmed by everything that is going on at the moment and struggle to find the time to write anything of any real value. So, it is with some sadness I have decided to take a small break. I will continue with my weekly update as its important to me to record these small things and I do have a few reviews to post so Hollybobbs won't be completely silent, however there won't be much else from me. I hope people understand and don't forget about me. I plan on returning at the end of the summer so keep your eyes open.


Total Greek Yoghurt Review

When I was contacted by Alison at Total Greek about reviewing some of their new raspberry and pomegranate split pots I thought it would be a great idea. Their yoghurts are fat free so perfect timing for my post-baby, pre-holiday diet I had planned! When the van pulled up with my delivery I couldn't believe it. Not only had they sent me several split pots, in four different flavours, but they had also thrown in two large tubs of plain Greek yoghurt!

My Week That Was - Passport Saga & Blogging Crisis

Here we are on Monday again and I am definitely counting down to our holidays in just over two weeks! After the events of the last few months I think we all need a break. Here is how last week went.

My Week That Was - Birthday-Versary

Once again I am late with my weekly update, this is becoming a habit! I'll try and gather my baby brain and remember what we did last week! As always, I am linking up with Katie at Mummy, Daddy & Me.

Whitestep Flexible Baby Bath Review

A few weeks ago the lovely (and very patient!) Jo from Whitestep sent their Flexible Baby Bath for us to try out.

Pretty.Little.Things - Beautiful Bags

Last week seemed to be a popular week at Pretty.Little.Things - you were all fighting to show off your water babies! Thanks to all of you who joined in! Vikki and I couldn't choose just one favourite so we were naughty and decided on joint winners! Congratulations to Bex at The Mummy Adventure and Jess at Catch A Single Thought! We loved your water baby pictures and would love you to proudly display the Pretty.Little.Things badge to celebrate!

Pedigree Play Again Challenge

For the next few weeks we (and whne we say 'we' I mean our Jack Russell Terrier, Jasper) are trialling Joint Care+ treats. These are tasty treats given daily, that are proven to target the cause of joint stiffness.

My Week That Was - The Games Begin!

Yes, it's that time of the week again, time for our weekly update! I'm late again due to my laptop spending the week with my dad being fixed, hopefully I'll get back on track next week!

Pedigree Chum Joint Care+ Trial

Back in June I was asked my the lovely Hannah over at Pedigree Chum if I would like to join in their Joint Care+ Trial for our jack Russell, Jasper. As he is now ten he is classed as senior, although don't tell him that, he prefers to bound about yapping like a puppy!

Joint Care+ claims to help keep your faithful friend at their playful best with a tasty treat given daily that’s proven to target the cause of joint stiffness. So over the next six weeks Jasper will be enjoying a chew a day to keep the aches away. I'll keep you posted on how he does. For now here is the amazing backpack he received! Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

Farmyard Antics

A couple of weeks ago Mr H took a long weekend and we decided to take advantage of the rare good weather and have a family day out. We visited the zoo with H for the first time in March and since then I have been wanting to go to the farm. After putting a shout out for recommendations to friends on Facebook, we settled on Stockley Farm in Warrington. So after roping in some friends to join us, we packed up the car, bundled in the kids and set off on our trip.

It's All About Poop

We are having some serious poop-related issues in our household at the moment - baby boy can't go, I can't go, and Little H goes for too much at the moment. Although maybe that's just jealousy on my part. You know things are bad when you greet your husband home from work with a rundown of the day's toileting activities, rather than a welcome home kiss.

And add to it H, who seems to getting ready for a potty, is now getting to the point where she occasionally lets me know that she has pooped - there's no need to brag girl, I'm getting into weeks let alone days here!

A visit to the doctor resulted in some tablets for me, medicine for the boy and a pat on the back for H. Queue 24 hours later and the porcelain throne became my new best friend/worst enemy. A five minute trip to nursery to collect H became a battle of wills - me vs my bowels (and I'm glad to say there were no accidents, or I may have been shamed into resorting to adult nappies, besides how can you look your daughter in eye during potty training knowing I've clearly not mastered the art myself?).

So it is with some anxiety I gulp down another three of 'those' tablets (the packet says take one to two my problem is clearly that bad the doc resorted to prescribing three!) and not-so-eagerly anticipate another day back and forth to the bathroom - does that count as my daily exercise?!

My Week That Was - A Paddling Pool

It only seems like two minutes since I last posted my week that was due to being so late last week! Anyways, here is this weeks update!

Pretty.Little.Things - Coming Home Outfit

First of all Vikki and I would like to thank those of you who entered last week and announce our winner, Misty from It's Misty...Seriously. Not only did she post some gorgeous pictures of her little girl in her brilliant Brights, but it was also her first week joining in! Congratulations to you and do wear the Pretty.Little.Things badge to celebrate!

My Week That Was - Sneezes and Sniffles

A very late post this week! Yet another week has gone by and it's time for my update. I hope people aren't too bored of reading about our weeks, but I'm finding it a great record of the year and am really glad I joined in Katie's linky at Mummy Daddy & Me! So here is our Week That Was...

Heart Bypass: A Daughters Story (Part II)

Two weeks following my first post, Heart Bypass: A Daughter's Story (Part I), here is the continuation.

Saturday Contd
I was hoping that this post would be a more positive one and at least dad might have been on the ward. It wasn't to be. My mum and sisters told me when I arrived this afternoon he was still in ICU and extremely angry and frustrated, and to top it off they were deep cleaning the ward and had literally taped him into a separate room with only his nurse for company.

We went to see him that evening and it was so uncomfortable. He did not really want to talk so we had the TV on a lot and any time we tried to interact with him he was quite short. He was even worse with the staff and seemed to feel they were all imbeciles. We were told he was refusing paracetamol so they were giving it him intravenously and he was pushing himself up in his bed, which he shouldn't be doing as it can damage his incision. His oxygen levels are still low but apart from that he is doing well and if there was a bed available he would be on the ward.

It just seems each day there is something else to worry about, first his surgery, then his lungs, now his mental well-being. Every day we leave that hospital with such heavy hearts, not knowing what to do but not wanting to leave him there either.


What a difference a day makes! Mum rang this morning and spoke to a lovely male nurse who told her he had a decent night, his lines are all out of his neck and he had even walked down the ward! They were hoping to let him have a shower at some point and he said dad's mood was vastly improved.

When we arrived on ICU the ward manager stopped us as we were walking down the corridor to give us an update. Mid-conversation at the other end of the corridor my dad appeared. It was the happiest sight. After last seeing him hooked up to various machines, laid in a bed, an oxygen mask over his face and so miserable, it was like seeing a different man. I cannot express the joy we all felt. We rushed down to see him and were able to give him a little hug and kiss without working our way through a jungle of medical equipment to get to him. After he had sat himself down on his chair we all gathered around him eager to hear how the last few hours had gone. He was quite emotional when he told us how different he felt and how grateful he was for his nurse, Andy, who he really felt had brought him out the other side. He also told us for the first time some of the things he had experienced during the hallucinations caused by the Morphine he had been on, which included watching three patients die in the room across from him - the very room he had been shut in during the ward cleaning. I can only imagine how terrifying that must have been to witness that then be trapped in that room himself. He told us it was the hardest thing he had ever gone through and one he never wanted to go through again.

As we were getting ready to leave the nurse told him he could come downstairs and to the doors to see us off and his eyes seemed to light up. She accompanied him down, just in case, but he was fine and I'm sure after being cooped up for six days it was lovely to see the outside world and breathe in the fresh air.

That evening we returned once more, I was too eager to see him to return home so decided to remain in Yorkshire for a few more days. My older sister was gobsmacked at the difference in him.

They had told my dad that morning that he would remain on ICU another day as there were still no beds but he would definitely get down to the ward tomorrow. I think he was just glad to get out of that room and be able to move around, though. The nurses told us they never have patients walking around ICU as they usually head down to the ward the day after surgery, so it was freaking them out seeing him wandering around, chatting to patients and staff.

The two hours of visiting seemed to fly by and once more he came with us to the doors and then waved to us from his window as we drove out of the car park. It is still hard leaving him there, but I feel so much better knowing he is in such a better state of mind.


Today arrived with a phone call when we'd barely been out of bed. It was my dad and he told me to get my mum 'now!' The sense of urgency in his voice panicked me a bit but as I left my mum on the phone I heard her exclaiming 'you can come home today?!' I ran back in to her jumping up and down! After all our trauma he was coming only a day after he would have had everything gone to plan! They told him he was the first patient to go straight home from ICU, as everyone else would go home from the normal ward. I just could not stop grinning all morning and when my mum left to collect him at 1pm, the time seemed to drag so much.

After a text to tell me it would be teatime by the time they returned from the hospital I tried to get on with the day, handling two babies and the dog! Eventually I saw the car pull up outside the door and I grabbed H and rushed outside to greet dad. He was so pleased to be home and when I gave him a little get well soon card his emotions overwhelmed him. That evening my sister, her boyfriend and I all gathered around him to hear a little more detail of how he'd found the whole experience - traumatic isn't the word.


We all know the road to recovery won't be easy, but I think if nothing else it had made our family unit stronger and maybe made my dad realise how much we are all there for him. If I have one message for anyone who is going through this it is take each day it comes. After all it is major surgery and even without complications it is never easy to watch someone so close to you become so ill. If you can get some advice or support, all the better. I have found the Inspire forum a great source of support and information and am hugely grateful to all those who have offered their advice and shared their experiences with me.

So now we try and return back to normality, and celebrate the new lease of life my dad has been given.

*Myself and my family would like to pass on our eternal gratitude to the doctors who performed my dads surgery and the nurses, or 'angels,' on the ICU ward at Sheffield Northern General Hospital.

Pretty.Little.Things - Brilliant Brights

Thanks to everyone who joined in last week's Pretty.Little.Things. Vikki and I decided that photo of the week should go to Louise at A Strong Coffee!

My Week That Was - Things Are On The Up!

After barely being at home for quite a number of days, this week saw us finally returning to Lancashire and spending some quality family time together. This week has definitely been an improvement on the last one!

Pretty.Little.Things - Favourite Bathtime Toy

Thank you to everyone who joined in with Pretty.Little.Things last week. Vikki and I decided the photo of the week should be awarded to CJ from A Mummy's View for her great photo of her little one in some fantabulous Ugg boots! Congratulations to you and please feel free to wear the badge with pride!

This week's theme is 'favourite bathtime toy.' H loves her baths and over time have bought many a bathtime toy from the usual rubber ducky to a swimming frog. However in the end all she really wants is a jug and the bath water! She loves pouring it over herself, drinking it (!) and just generally splashing about until the room, and me, are covered!
What are your little ones' favourite bathtime toys? Use the linky below to share your photos!

Next week's theme is Brilliant Brights! I've always been a fan of bright clothes and love dressing my little ones in them too. Nothing too over-the-top, but just lovely and colourful! Next week Vikki is hosting over at Love From Mummy so get your photos ready for then.

My Week That Was - Hospital Visits

This week has to have been one of the most difficult ones ever. I'll try and keep it as brief as I can, but to safe to say I'm glad it's over and done with!

Heart Bypass: A Daughters Story (Part I)

On Tuesday my dad had his triple heart bypass. After it had been cancelled twice, the second time only an hour before he was due to go into surgery, we were all relieved it was finally happening. Little did we all know what a rollercoaster ride it would be for all of us. Here is my story.

Pretty.Little.Things - Funky Footwear

Apologies for being late with this week's post but my dad is having a hard time following his surgery so I have been travelling back and forward from Manchester to Yorkshire everyday to see him. Anyway, without further ado here it is!

The Essential One

I have only recently discovered the lovely online store that is The Essential One, thanks to my lovely friend Vikki at Love From Mummy. This online store sells a beautiful range of baby clothing that even on first glance I formed a huge crush on! When Vikki very generously sent me a set of vests for Baby J's arrival, I fell in love. Arriving in carefully wrapped tissue paper and enveloped in their exclusive baby fragrance, the vests are lovely and soft to the touch, and in shades of beige and browns they look rich and warm.

My Week That Was - Hearts and Failures

This week has been an emotional one to say the least, if you don't already know the full story check out No Room At The Inn.

No Room At The Inn

Today my dad was due to have a triple heart bypass. A routine surgery as so many have told me but can you imagine how it feels? Picture your dad, there for you whilst you were growing up, giving advice, helping out and being a tower of strength when nobody but your dad will do. Now imagine him being cut open, his ribs being broken, his heart being stopped whilst a machine works for him, various wires running through his body whilst he lays unconscious on a surgeons table. Not so easy is it?

That is how me, my sisters and my mum have all felt ever since we were told in February that the surgery was required. Anxious, worried, upset and waiting for what seemed like an eternity to get it over and done with. Today, three hours before his surgery was due and having spent the night in hospital, my dad was told his surgery has been cancelled due to not enough beds in intensive care.

So now, after getting ourselves geared up and emotionally prepared for him to undergo his surgery and then for us to see him in hospital afterwards, we will have to go through it all again in who-knows how long.

It's a frustrating and maddening situation, yet who do you blame? It's not the staffs' fault there aren't any beds, nor is it the surgeon's, or even the hospital's. But the ever-growing feeling of anger when I think about the situation makes me want an outlet for my frustration, someone to scream at for putting us all through this.

So in a no-doubt terrible mood, my dad is currently sat in his hospital bed awaiting my mum to pick him up and bring him home where we will all gather to offer our support, although I'm sure there will be little we can say or do to ease his frustration or the stress all this must be causing him. And in a few days or weeks we will all once more gather ourselves for his surgery again, and hope this time there is a bed waiting for him.

Pretty.Little.Things - Calming Comforters

Baby Boy's Birth Story

On Monday 28th May 2012 at 11.53am, our baby boy arrived in the world. At three days past his due date and weighing 7lb5oz, he was born via elective c-section. A beautiful blond screaming boy, he certainly made his presence known! Here is his birth story.

After a 40 hour labour with H, I had gone backwards and forwards for many a month about which delivery method I would opt for. An elective section would mean I would know what I was to expect and wouldn't end up having another emergency section and the more difficult recovery that came with it. A VBAC would mean a much easier recovery and that I could be there for H almost straight away, however there was the risk that it would be unsuccessful. After speaking to the consultant it was decided they would let me go three days over but if he had not arrived by then I would have a section. In the end he made the decision for us and declined the option of arriving on his own. This turned out to be for the best.

On the Monday we awoke bright and early at 6am in order to get to the hospital for 8am. To say I was nervous would be putting it mildly. I hadn't really let myself think about the coming surgery too much, but now the day had finally arrived it had become a little too real.

We arrived on the ward and were given a bed, and then told there would be an emergency section before us so we were to wait a bit longer. I had been warned of this beforehand so was prepared. Of course, it didn't help with the nerves! Finally at 11am Mr H was told to change into his scrubs and we were taken to theatre.
They sat me on the table and a kindly nurse tried to distract me as they prepared the room around me. I was told to sit perfectly still as they administered the spinal, which is harder than you think, then once it had been done they quickly laid me down ready for the section. To say I was nervous would be a huge understatement and they told me I was incredibly tense - after all they were slicing my tummy open, who wouldn't be tense! At one stage I became short of breath so had to be given some oxygen - after passing out during H's birth and missing it, I thought 'here we go again'. However once I took some deep breaths I was fine and within a few minutes (although it seemed like hours) they announced he was about to be born. They told Mr H to stand up just as he came out and he actually saw baby boy arriving into the world. They then lifted him over the screen for me to see and I was completely in awe. It was so amazing for me to see one of my babies being born, I didn't even cry I was so overwhelmed. He absolutely screamed his head off, which I had to check with Mr H if that was normal - how was I to know?!
After he was cleaned off he was brought back and Mr H held him as I was still laid on the bed, arms out at each side, whilst they stitched me back together. It was then they advised me that my uterus wall had torn downwards, away from my previous scar, as it hadn't healed right from the first section. They told me that if I had tried naturally the chances are I would have ruptured, which would have put both the baby and myself at high risk. They also advised me not to have any more children and if I was to, I would have to have a section. It makes me think there was maybe someone watching out for me, somewhere.

After waiting in recovery, we then returned to the ward with our baby boy. After only a short deliberation we decided on our long-standing favourite name, Jack, along with the previously chosen middle names of Alan and James, after both our dads.
Forty eight hours after Baby J's arrival, we were finally discharged from hospital and arrived home with our beautiful boy, ready to introduce our two babies and make our family complete.

My Week That Was - Settling In

Baby J is now three weeks old and it has been an interesting few weeks, adapting to the new man in our lives. H has done really well, but it has been a struggle at times, especially to keep our patience when we've had little sleep through the night. Anyway, here is my weekly catch up.

Pretty.Little.Things - My First Photo

From This Moment - Always A Mummy

Fomr This Moment by Gemma from Always A Mummy

If you have missed what this series is all about please read From This Moment Blog Project.

Waiting 9 months, 40 weeks, 280 days, 6720 hours is a long time right? Well thats the length of a typical pregnancy. Some will be shorter and some will be longer it all depends on when your bundle of joy wants to make their arrival.

I fell pregnant with my first, a little girl we called Kelsey-Leigh, at the young age of 16. I grew up around little kids and loved children so no question was asked when we made that decision to keep her. My pregnancy went rather smoothly and our due date arrived. All the way back in October 2008 I awaited anxiously for my waters to break.

Little did I know she decided to keep us waiting - a whole week to be exact. The worse thing is waiting. And while your waiting what is upsetting is seeing babies, hearing that your friend has just had theirs although they was due after you. It seems it was not fair. But the wait is so worth it.

I had a rough time in labour with Kelsey. Very long indeed - 44 hours from first contraction til she was in my arms. At the time all the screaming, blaming my very supportive partner, feel like I was dying from the pain didn't feel worth it and as horrible as that sounds when your going through excruiating pain thats what happens. But from the moment they put her in my arms all that didn't matter. She was perfect in everyway and she was mine. All mine.

Me and my partner were no longer just a couple, but we were a couple with a baby. A family of three. The first few hours we spent together getting to know our baby, and being so happy that no one could wipe the beaming smile of our faces. From that moment our adventure began. Our rollercoaster ride of emotions, our happy & our sad days. Milestones, holidays, learning new things. But most importantly from that moment we learnt the true meaning of true love.

My Week That Was - Baby J

For the last two weeks my blog has been very lovingly looked after by some blogging friends as they guest posted for the From This Moment series. The reason for this was last Monday we celebrated the arrival of our baby boy, J. So here is a quick catch up of the last couple of baby-filled weeks!

From This Moment - Ready, Steady...Mummy!

From This Moment by Natalie at Ready, Steady...Mummy!

If you have missed what this series is all about please read From This Moment Blog Project.

I always imagined a huge deal being made of my first cuddle with Isaac; photos, pomp and ceremony. But it wasn't like that whatsoever, and it was perfect.

When I came round (I'd decided to pass out 4 minutes after giving birth) it was 4 hours later and the room was empty, dark and very, very quiet. I felt like I'd been hit by multiple trucks and it took a moment or two to work out a) where the hell I was, b) why I felt like I did and c) what the hell had happened.

Then it dawned on me - I was a mum. I actually said it out loud 'Oh my god, I'm a mummy...' to the empty room. Then I looked over and saw the crib at the end of my bed. I imagine they'd put it there as opposed to by my side to keep an eye on Isaac should he have needed anything while I was out of it, and for a brief second I panicked that they'd taken him away and that I wouldn't see him again. There was a lot of feelings like that in the days and weeks following his birth, but, for the purposes of this post we'll focus on the good bits.

In my panic though, I sort of dived toward the end of the bed which, in hindsight, was the worst thing I could have done. For starters I had a canula in both hands and one of my feet. Secondly I had a catheter- singly the most unpleasant thing following having a baby I assure you. My tummy was weird and pouchy, and fell sort of, well, empty. And saggy- mustn't forget saggy. And my nightdress was wet where my milk had started coming in while I'd slept. It was all very bizzare but was pushed to the back of my mind as I summoned the strength to get out of bed and go to the crib.

Isaac was sound asleep. He looked tiny. He was wearing a tiny backless hospital gown as nobody had bothered to look in my hospital bag for the clothes I'd brought for him. He was parachuting. I bent to pick him up when the midwife came in and told me off for being out of bed. I felt like a naughty school girl and got back into bed.

'I just wanted to see him and maybe hold him, if that's ok?' I asked her. She gave me a look of such sympathy and told me that she was sorry and that of course I could hold him. She handed him to me and I cuddled him for the first time. It didn't matter that he was covered in blood, that his face was severely bruised, that I could barely lift him. It was wonderful regardless. The midwife said she'd leave us alone for a while and I had him all to myself.

We drifted in and out of sleep for an hour or two, me talking to him quietly when I was awake, and looking into those big dark blue eyes. I felt like I was going to burst with the love I felt for him. It was bliss. Everything I'd wanted in my birth plan - the calm, quiet experience - was being made up for with that first few hours.

It was almost a shame when mum and the Mr came back, the lights came on and they were passing him to each other and holding him and talking to me. I didn't want that at that time, I just wanted my baby.
Ever since that day I've tried to recreate those moments as often as possible. When it's just Isaac and I, it's like we could achieve anything - we're such a great little team. We snuggle in bed most mornings and even seven months on I still encourage skin to skin contact, though I stopped breast feeding long ago. There's nothing better than a scrunchy little body snuggling into you and keeping each other warm and drowsy. And there never will be.

From that moment, all those months ago, for now and forever more, until the day I die, I will never tire of cuddling my boy.


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