.: Lego mum diary – 10 things no one tells you about being a new mum :. 

AH! I could write a whole book by now around what society says about being a new mum,  but will try to focus on only a few. 

1 – Sleep when baby sleeps rubbish 

Every one was telling me, sleep when baby sleeps! I couldn’t take it anymore and was starting to have rage attacks. Even if baby is having a nap during the day, probably mum needs to eat, go to the loo, have a quick shower. Meeting basic needs is a challenge! And some mums still need to cook and do basic shores. Also, it might be that you actually try to sleep and you can’t. For instance in the first week I’ve suffered from insomnia. I went to bed, closed my eyes and couldn’t fall asleep. At some stage baby would wake up anyway. 

2 Breastfeeding is hard

You get lectured as soon as baby is born on how to breastfeed: head back, nose to nipple and then push baby’s head to breast. If they don’t latch is because you’re an idiot! I’ve attended classea before she was born and it was really hard! I didn’t care about the latch, I just wanted to feed her. Ended up with lots of bruises because she had lip tie. So rather than making us look like failures, midwifes should be more supportive. It’s really hard to breastfeed at the beginning! No wonder so many mums give up because there’s no support. 

3 – sleep torture 

At war they use to torture people by sleep deprivation. Guess what a new mum faces? Waking up every hour or more often is a killer, seriously! And it can last months or even years. Some lucky mums have babies sleeping a lot in a row since 7 weeks. At 12 weeks my little one was still behaving like a newborn. So it’s ok to ask for help, either a friend or family so you can have rest. Mum is the most important person for baby, so if you collapse your not doing anyone a favour. 

4 – you will look rubbish 

Yap. No time to pumper myself. Even a quick shower feels a luxury. You might see lots of mums that look gorgeous and seem to have everything under control whereas you don’t even remember last time you’ve brushed your hair! 

5 – leaving the house will take forever 

You know the moment you believe you’re finally ready to leave, baby decides to do a massive poo and needs changing. Or vomits everywhere or both combined. Forget it, you can’t control time anymore, just be ready to be late all time and start preparing before you think you should. 

6 – eau du vomit

That’s my new perfume. Most people used to say babies smell amazing. Well my one smells vomit and so do I. I’ve given up on being clean. 
7 – you’ll miss your old life

Oh you will, loads and it’s ok. It doesn’t mean you don’t love your baby (there’s loads of positive stuff like baby giggles) but you’ll wander all the time about this person that used to be you. Learning to leave the house with baby ia hard. Yes you need to learn it and feel confident. You’ll love the fresh air on your face and if you close your eyes you can almost taste your old life with a smiley or sleepy baby. 
8 – you will despair when baby cries non stop

It’s so heartbreaking to see our little ones in pain, you will feel like running to the hospital all the time. Trust your gut! As I’ve learnt the hard way, gps and health visitors only care about weight. If your baby is putting on weight everything is fine and it’s normal for babies to cry. While that is true it’s not always the case. Colic is just one of the things that might impact your baby. There’s stuff like reflux / silent reflux where baby will arch in pain day and night and you’ll feel ignored by the health professionals. Follow your gut! You know baby better than anyone, if you believe baby is not ok don’t give up until you get help. You might have to fight… Literally! 

9 – you might have to give up on your favourite foods.. 

I thought I was only restricted while pregnant but no… Because of the reflux I’ve cut out dairy, soya, tomatoes, chocolate also avoiding red meat and I’m hungry all the time. It’s really hard! There’s lots of stuff with hidden milk. Eczema is another reason why you might have to restrict your diet. I miss my Mediterranean diet
10 – everyone believes they know better 

Either its your own mum, your mother in law, the neighbours… Everyone will come with advice on how you should treat your baby. Again follow your gut and just ignore them. Some of the stuff I’ve heard even from strangers in the street

  • Your milk might not be strong enough, you should give formula (my mum’s generation was told this by doctors!) 
  • You shouldn’t carry your baby all the time she will get spoiled (reflux hello????) 
  • Swaddle your baby.. My little one hated it since day 1

There are lots of positive things but I feel expectations are not set correctly and mum’s feel like a failure because they are tired all the time or baby is not growing according to the lines… For any mums out there, you’re doing great! Scream if you need to, we’re only human! 

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.: Lego Mum diaries – Planning :.

You know when I’ve said that I wouldn’t just be doing maternity related posts? Well, it seems I’m struggling as I’ve been doing 24h baby, so don’t have much time for any other random thoughts. Although I’ve managed to write a bit a few weeks ago. Normally if baby sleeps I’ll stop everything and will sleep too (there are not many of those opportunities)

Anyway, one of the things I’ve learned during pregnancy is that there is no point in planning. In this particular case I’m talking about labour. And I have no shame in saying that to me labour was always a frightful thought, just the idea of pain for hours (maybe days) and hospitals….  but I’ve decided not to panic and real all about labour.

I’ve also read about hypno-birthing, did pregnancy yoga and was doing meditation.

Hypnobirthing is a complete birth education programme, that teaches simple but specific self hypnosis, relaxation and breathing techniques for a better birth.

this is not how most women feel at labour!!!!

this is not how most women feel at labour!!!!

Because I’m the type that faints in hospitals, I wanted a birth in the natural birth centre ideally in the birthing pool. You are encouraged to write all the details of your birthing plan, as if that was going to happen. I was already expecting it wouldn’t be going to be as per plan, but you always hope….

What I had was a roller coaster. Even on my due week (40 weeks), I was still going for walks, had a small belly (looking like 6 months) and went out for nice tea in the afternoon. After being measured by the midwifes, they’ve said baby wasn’t growing so better to do an additional scan. Based on the scan it was confirmed, baby had stopped growing. So was booked for a c-section for the next morning (they’ve also said she was breech (head up as opposed to head down), which I found surprising.

So I had less than 24h to get used to the idea, no natural birth, it was going to be a c-section. But it was for the best right? At night I guess I’ve started to feel more relaxed, although I’ve ended up not sleeping. Next morning at 06a.m I was already at the hospital. After speaking with the doctors, who’ve explained all the procedure I was ready to go for it. Then they’ve decided to do another scan, and as she was head down (as I was expecting!), they’ve said it was better for me to be induced so she would be born naturally (I wouldn’t be able to use the pool anyway because of her size). I’ve argued a bit, as I was already prepared for the c-section and it would be easier now. As the doctor said, it would be better for baby induction, I’ve decided to go for it.

While I was being prepared for the induction, her heart beat decreased, so the emergency alarm was triggered and I was being sent to the magic room. I was so scared for the baby. Although the journey was really short, I never felt so scared in my life. I remember seeing loads of people in the operation centre and then waking up and not being able to focus, but I knew there was a baby in my arms. So yap, not at all according to plan and it was so stressful that I’ve started to suffer from insomnia and had panic attacks the next 2 weeks….

Not to mention that the recovery is quite a slow one…. still in recovery mode 2 months later. So the conclusion is, whatever you’re about to plan, plan the opposite!

.: Surrounded… yet alone :.

I wrote a similar post not that long ago here, but this is a topic that is quite close to my heart as this is how I’ve felt most of my life. Yap, while growing up it was hard for me to really connect with people for real, I just couldn’t find easily people that I would relate to, everything seemed so… fake. It was all about pretending, and this was quite before the facebook age. I felt that I could disappear in the middle of the crowd and no one would notice I had vanished – except for my closest family.

It is a powerful feeling that becomes even more real if you live in a big city such as a London. Everyone’s in a hurry, no one cares, no one has time. It’s all about pretending to have a social life, fake conversations that mean nothing, all so fragile. No one cares who you really are except what you are perceived as. If you look someone powerful then people will notice you. As we have more tools to connect we become a lot more selfish, we only care about the me me me.

For a couple of years now I try to care and try to notice with little things such as looking someone in the eye and ask “how are you?” at the supermarket, or wishing a good day at a coffee shop. Normally people smile back to me because they don’t expect to be noticed. In plane english I don’t give a monkey’s if that person is important or not, I practice “the being nice” to everyone – except if they are rude to me. This is why it’s very easy for me to cross the corridor and speak to people and saying hi all the time. Is there something as powerful of being notice and someone honestly caring for your presence?

Here’s a story that happened to me a few years ago (at least twice that I remember). I was feeling very sick in the underground and I was fainting. I managed to get out on one station without even seeing where I was going and throw myself in a seat. I’m sure I was really pale, as I normally get, but do you think anyone noticed? Nop! Not a single person. I woke up on my own with the fresh air on my face and managed to get back into the next underground. More recently I fainted on the train. Yap, I just managed to throw myself on the ground on a crowded train in rush hour. No one asked me if I was ok or if I needed help. Isn’t this a bit sad? Fortunately I was fine and I managed to do everything on my own, but what if this wasn’t the case?

So this is why I could only have a smile on my face when reading this article

The world we live in needs more people like you Jamie!

Any story you would like to share?

.: Petite dressing :.

How many of you have heard something in the lines of: “You already know that type of skirt doesn’t suit you, you’re too small for it!”

Yap
Every single time. I’m part of the petite club. I’m a 5”2 (1.58cm) and I struggle to buy clothing, mostly bottoms that don’t need to be amended. Some clever people will learn how to fix their own clothing like a few amazing bloggers I follow, but that’s not my case….
Also, sometimes fashion might be in your favour and it will be easier to find clothing that suits your body, other times that’s not the case. Also, by petite doesn’t mean your really thin and small, it just means you’re smaller than the average.

 

Seriously, I think big chains like Mango, Zara and so on must use models like 5”8 (1.80m) or something.

I’m trying to buy a dress for a wedding, and as 99% of them are made for 5”8 – just above the knee, it means it almost ends in my feet and I look terrible. Something like this:

I wish I could do these amendments myself without ruining the dress!

Inspiring petite bloggers

Some tips

  • Little Black dress – Does magic all the time for any size to be honest, but if you are a curvy petite type like I am, even better! The best fit would be just like the one below because it pushes your waist up, essentially gives an effect of extending your legs.

I went like this to the office today, felt really chic! (from Laredoute.co.uk)

  • High waist – Go high waist, again it extends your legs! This is valid both in trousers, shorts or skirts. You can even wear midi-skirts

Brands for Petites:

  • Jeetly – exclusively for petites
  • Next – Although I don’t find they have such a big collection, but that’s where I end up buying trousers, which mostly are available in black… we like other colours too!
  • Banana Republic – Again not a very big selection, although it’s very good on dresses

Are you a petite size as well? Any tips you would like to share?

.: Little boxes… the story of a move :.

You don’t realise how much you have until you have to put it all in boxes! We had quite a lot indeed. It took us 2 mini-vans plus a few extra trips in our car to move everything out. It also took us a few visits to IKEA to turn this place a bit more homey. We haven’t stopped the whole weekend (Friday to now) just moving boxes around trough the million doors of the new flat.

I also never thought it would be so emotionally hard to move out. We also felt like crying when we closed the door for the last time in the old flat due to all the good memories in that place. I was holding myself pretty well until I had to leave the keys with the concierge. Oh well, here’s to a new life.

We’ve finally settled in and we had a little BBQ today to celebrate. Thanks for the english weather that managed to hold the rain for later today.

Still 3 bags full of clothing to go and we’ve managed to give a some items away

That moment when body and mind align and they become equally exhausted!

Living room

Not ready for another stressful week!!! Can I have a whole weekend now, please? 🙂

.: Powerless :.

Lady in the rain

If only I could hold you in my arms and tell you it will all be ok,
If only I could be there with you right now, hold your hand and cross the road together with you!
I know you feel powerless, that there’s nothing for you to show, nothing left for you to hold
I know that you feel that everyone is so much better than you and all you’re good at is… making mistakes and never learning
Oh if you would only see what I see, if only I could show it to you
You’re like a diamond in the sky, waiting to be polished
You’re energy that never stops and makes me smile
You never give up when you know you’re protecting someone so why give up on yourself?
You’re actually an inspiration to me because you always dare to do things I would never do
Because you’re fearless and you don’t hold back
So don’t stop now! It’s not the time for that
Everyone falls, the magic is learning how to get up and carry forward
You need to be strong, we all have to, it’s part of growing up
Even if you feel powerless, even if you feel there’s nothing left for you to hold
But I’m here for you, every single day along your journey
But it’s also time for you to dare again, to be radical and risk it all
It’s time for you to pick up all your pieces, glue them together and face the journey ahead
After all, even in powerless, there is power and that power has never left you
It’s there for you to grab it and hold it

Hakuna Matata 🙂

.: Things that only happen to me :.

What a week!!! I don’t even know where to start.

Monday I woke up at 05h30 to catch the train the Bristol and ended up working until 00h00 (oh well! fortunately it’s the exception and not the rule any more). Tuesday it was a crazy day at work but finished up with a nice dinner with our Bristol Portuguese network, and it was quite a lovely Bristol.

Seems promising so far doesn’t it? So now let the mess start. I originally booked the trip to return on Thursday, but as a workshop had been booked for Thursday morning in London I’ve cancelled my room and changed train tickets. But then the workshop got postponed and on Tuesday evening a workshop was booked instead for Bristol on Thursday. Nether less to say I couldn’t get the Marriott any more, not even the Ibis! The only place available was the Travelodge. I know it’s not great, but at least the bed is comfortable, so I’ll be able to have a good night sleep anyway (or so I thought!).

Wednesday we had some work drinks, so only managed to get some food at 22h10. This time went for pizzas and they were really tasty. Then the party begun. I couldn’t even get into the hotel. I could see the reception and there was someone at the reception (I believe I was ignored) but couldn’t get in as the door was locked. There was no sign on how to get in. Finally saw a reflection of another door on the back of the building. Eventually managed to reach it and check in.

After 3 pints of Guinness (which I had before dinner – for those of you that know me, I normally barely drink 1 pint, as I’m a slow drinker!) I was having headache, so couldn’t fall asleep immediately. Eventually I did.

Then a loud bang on the door (was that my door?, no clue!). Because I woke up scared my heart started to beat really fast, and it didn’t help that I was hearing an angry (and drunk?) man outside and trying to smash the door. I was thinking if I should call the police, but I was hoping that eventually it would stop. Also as there was no phone next to the bed, couldn’t call reception. So I waited, but the shouting kept on going.

“Mate I’ve paid the room let me in!”
“No! Go away! Last time I’ve let you in you’ve smashed the room!”
“But I have my stuff inside, let me in”
“Go away!”

Then he left for a bit, and the moment I was falling asleep again, he was back. And more shouting from the corridor and from inside the room. No one from reception came (I didn’t notice it!). This kept for the whole night. It felt like the guy was going out for a bit, having some drinks and then getting back more aggressive. By a certain stage I’m sure my head was going in circles and it wasn’t the Guinness!

At what I believe were like 05a.m someone from the hotel finally reached the room and told the guys to shut up or else they would have to be removed. They didn’t stop so someone came back and eventually it all stopped. I fell asleep for something like 1h and then it was time to wake up and get back to work. Oh gosh, my head! Managed to have a shower and get ready to leave. I was refunded £50 and they gave me a nice breakfast but I was feeling exhausted.

Thursday was also the day I was going to have a 5h non stop workshop. After a few coffees I managed to go through it quite ok, except that just before I had to go to the station my stomach started to ache. Seriously!

Today I was supposed to have gone to the office, but totally gave up on it and decided to work from home. And now I wonder, why all of this things happen to me? Some people seem to have quite a quiet life 😦

.: About dating websites :.

I was just watching this documentary on telly (yap watching TV in the hotel) about people that for physical or medical conditions struggle to find someone.
We’ll I used to think that dating websites were for desperate people that had not a strong personally and just wanted to find someone for a night out, but after living in London I actually get it.

Isn’t it impressive that in one of the biggest and most cosmopolitan cities in the world you can feel so disconnected and alone?

image

I feel that in little things. Yes while you have a lot to do people seem to be very superficial, politically correct rather than genuine. Every time I take notice of people and I smile, I thank them and wish them a good day they seem so surprised and they seem eager to tell their story.

So back to the dating websites I guess I understand why people may need help to meet new people. It doesn’t even mean from a romantic perspective but just meet people you can call friends and connect so you have a sense of belonging. It’s hard to achieve that if you go to the pub with your colleagues and go clubbing.

Who didn’t felt alone in London can through the first stone. We did! Even though we had a few friends from back home we felt alone many times. It’s not easy to cross the city for more than 1h every weekend so you will only see them occasionally. I miss the times where I could pick my phone and within 1h would be with some friends either in a local bar or in someone’s house. Yes we do invite people over! (I’ll write a different post on this topic later)

The best way to meet people is through your existing friends or at work. If that’s not working you can join meetups of topics you like. For example I’ve join a few for photography or the jazz evenings in Richmond because that’s where I live. It’s worth having a look. Also you can join some classes like cooking, sports, whatever you like.

So yes lesson for me, don’t be so judgemental!

Any thoughts you would like to share on the topic? Did you ever felt alone when moving to a different place?

Wish you a lovely week

.: Cats :.

Sorry for my absence so far, but in between travels and having friends at my place, I actually managed to get pretty sick. Still in recovery mode.

I just saw this video which I couldn’t resist sharing. Even though I consider myself a dog person, because I always had dogs as a child, this video reminds of my cat (Putxu) ohhh I miss him dearly. They can be so adorable too

Ok just another one

wish you all a great week

.: 30 days later :.

Well, not yet, but I won’t have any more chances of posting in my blog before my birthday. Tomorrow I’m travelling for my weekend away in Brussels (Can hardly wait!!!) so here’s the time to do a balance of my list:

* Read a book – I’ve read the Productivity Ninja which I’ve really enjoyed. Maybe I’ll finish the book I’ve just started reading as well
* Write something about what I’ve learnt so far and what I expect still to learn – I kinda did on this post
* Drink a nice wine and remember the name of it (normally I don’t) – Fail! But I’m sure I’ll drink some nice wine in Brussels before my birthday, so maybe I’ll complete this one
* Drink a nice cocktail – Yes I did! Black n’ Rye – you can see the full post here
* Bake something… could even be Pasteis de Nata again – Fail!!!
* Photograph Autumn (I haven’t taken any autumnal photos this year) – Yes! Chiswick & Richmond
* Go for a run (bare minimum!!!) – Fail!!!
* Say hi o a friend to whom I haven’t been much in contact recently – Fail! I haven’t really been much social have I? Or wait, I’ve actually agreed a coffee with an old friend of mine in Brussels! So it’s a yes!
* Buy something new – Yap I did, some kindle books and a shirt
* Get rid of old stuff (at least 5 items) – Yes, I’ve stored in a bag some items which can’t fit me any more, but are still in good condition to go to my sister. so check 🙂

* Book a trip – Not really, although I have some next trips in mind
* Tell someone important to me how important they are – Fail
* Look back to all the things I wanted to do before I was 30 – Fail
* And recognize how many I haven’t done and will probably never do – Fail
* Write a post about the most remarkable travel I’ve done and why – Yap. You can check it here
* Write a post about my most embarrassing moment ever – Yes, here
* Make a list of my 30 favourite songsHere
* And books too! – and here
* Finish my 3 months late accounting (I used to be way more organized even when I was stressed out) – I’m soooo late on this one!!!
* Plan something nice to celebrate the 10 years since we’ve started dating – I had forgotten about this one, ups! But to be honest we are going to the Christimas markets more or less at this time.

* Plan how to celebrate my birthday in Brussels – High level plan and some drinks organised.
* Get rid of my cold in the next 30 days (it would be nice!) – Yes I did! Although I’m afraid I may be getting another one!
* Listen to all my favourite songs – those I hope I have listed already – Yes I think I did
* Define the 5 most important things I want to accomplish in the next 5 years – Yap, check below
* Define how I see myself (SWOT analysis on me hahahahh) – Yes check below

* Schedule a lunch in my flat with my closest friends – can be after my birthday – done! Lunch in my flat on 15th of November 🙂
* List my favourite 30 photos (taken my me)Here
* And by others – It’s such a beautiful list
* Finish my list of all the places I want to visit and add achievable deadlines – No, but I have a close enough list
* Revisit this post after my birthday and realize I haven’t done half of what I’ve added in this list hahahahah – I guess it wasn’t that bad in the end?

 

What I’ve learnt with this list

Well it did help me to revisit a lot of things I’ve enjoyed over the years, like books, music, photos, moments and that’s quite important. Also recently I’ve been putting together 30 photos for 30 years with the help of my parents who went to check all our old albums! A big thank you for your patience!
Sometimes looking back can be quite a journey and an important one to do.

I used to be really shy, with no confidence whatsoever in me. Over the years I’ve grown quite a lot and started to appreciate the things which I find really strong about me. My characters. Beauty will fade away one day, but all I am will stay with me. It’s my personality that captivates people. Over the years I’ve discovered the power of being nice to others, you get something back in the end (unless someone decides to be an ass!!!) And I’ve kept the child in me alive, I still play, I still make jokes, I take each opportunity I can to smile and look at the bright side of things. After all I’m Lilly the silly (in a good way…. I think) I still lack of confidence and ambition, but do I really want to change that much? There’s always room for improvement, such has make an effort to be more lady-like! hahahahaha

For the next 5 years

I want to work less and have a bit of a more stable life. I want to enjoy more time at home with him. I want to make long trip holidays which I never did in my life! I want to live healthier live more and get some social life back. Really just to want the time to enjoy all I’ve managed to achieve, which I never thought I would!

Thank you for following me on this 30 days journey 🙂