This was originally the blog of a first-time Mum to remember the ups and downs of my pregnancy - and chart the first year of my daughter's life. But I've kept it going, and am now a mother of two! More than anything, it helps me to get to sleep once I've emptied my brain of issues and concerns and emotions onto the laptop.
If you're reading this and also a mum- or dad-to-be, first time parent, or just someone who's thinking about it - I hope it gives a little insight into one person's experiences - good and bad....

Friday, 30 March 2012


It's felt like quite a tough week.

Charlotte has been very 'shouty' and extra noisy, and not always in a nice, happy way - but yet not quite screaming and crying. To be honest it's been quite waring, and it's been an effort to keep her happy and content most days.

I've felt bad about how difficult I've found it this week - with continued frustrations over feeding too. It's exactly two years since we lost the first of our 'little Prawns' and I still have our friends' terrible news at the front of my mind, so I should be so so grateful for our little girl because I do appreciate how lucky we are to have her, but it's impossible to enjoy and savour every moment of every day.

My OH thinks I'm putting too much pressure on myself to be the best Mum ever - but I just get angry with myself when I feel I'm not being the best Mum I can be. Because of how brilliant Charlotte is most of the time, it's often hard to remember she's still just a 9-month old baby, and not a 3-year old toddler, and I need to cut her (and me!) some slack.

Saturday, 24 March 2012


Bleeuurrrghh - her mornings are getting earlier and earlier. 0530 this morning. No longer the more bearable 0710 that she was doing for so long. Over the past couple of weeks Charlotte's literally been up with the birds - no matter how dark her room is. Really hoping it's just a phase. Although I am very lucky that my OH works from home and most days is very happy to get up with Charlotte at first light and give me an extra hour or two in bed, so I really can't complain.

While some days and weeks can still drag, if I'm honest, I can't believe we've made it to nine months already. Over the past month or so, I can really see the little girl Charlotte is turning into - and she's definitely edging more towards toddler and much less of a baby.

We had a visit from a Health Visitor this week as we've only recently moved to the area, and while she was here she did Charlotte's 8-12 month development check. No concerns whatsoever - Charlotte 'performed' brilliantly with plenty of babbling (which at times can sound like full on conversations!), following some of our commands (clap, clap; kiss dog) and playing with her musical toys. She's getting so good at imitating some of our sounds - to the point where she's almost getting there with actual words (balloon, and definitely Daddy).

Not really any nearer crawling, but she's stretching further and further forward with her bum off the ground, and always gets to what she wants by rolling. She's also started pointing at things quite a lot. To be honest, I'm relishing being able to put her down in one place for a while and know she'll pretty much still be in the same place, and not yet needing the eyes in the back of my head!

Her eating's a bit more back on track after her illness. Still favouring the easier jars of food to my home-cooked, slightly lumpier stuff. And as she's still a small baby her portions are still pretty small. She's slowly getting a little better with finger food - no problem at all with her favourites: bread, cheese and some fruits - strawberries and melon particularly), but we're persevering with others like broccoli and carrot that mostly just end up on the floor.

Bizarre one today when we took her to the pub - she happily munched away on a pickled onion for ages. 

Perhaps some of my food is just too bland!

Monday, 19 March 2012


Not how we'd planned to celebrate my first Mother's Day. Charlotte's had yet another nasty cough and cold for the past couple of days, but Saturday night and Sunday morning were pretty horrendous with her really not being herself at all, and her chest was getting more and more rattly and wheezy.

So we took her to the out-of-hours doctor who told us she has Bronchiolitis and that he wanted her to go to hospital for observation. But when he rang them - based on the fact she was still eating just over half of what she'd usually eat -  they didn't want her admitted until she got worse.

Part of me was relieved not to have to see my little girl in hospital, but part of me thought that if the GP thought it was serious enough for her to be checked out there then maybe it was the best place for her. However, after a nice sleep in the car, she perked up enough in the afternoon for me to have a long relaxing bath while her Dad looked after her AND cooked us dinner, so I got my Mother's Day treats in the end :)

with her newly trimmed fringe which makes her look a bit like a boy!

Charlotte slept much better last night, thanks in part to a humidifier, and there doesn't seem much wrong with her appetite either. So she certainly looks to be on the mend, and is in very happy spirits today - albeit still with a rattly chest and cough, but hopefully that will clear soon enough.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012


I had been warned, and was expecting, Charlotte's weaning to take a few backwards steps every now and again, especially when she's teething. And she's certainly done that.

A couple of weeks ago, when she had a bad cough and cold, she went right back to easy stage one purees and a bit more milk, but she's back on stage 2 stuff now - except when it comes to my home cooking. A few weeks ago, she'd happily eat my fish kedgeree, lamb stew etc, which have a few more 'bits' in than the occaisional shop-bought jar I give her.

But now she'll barely touch my lovingly created meals which are filling our freezer, yet will wolf down half a jar of the Cow & Gate/Organix/Heinz/Ella's Kitchen equivalent. I think perhaps she's just lazy - as was evident at four and a half months when she realised it was easier to get her milk out of a bottle than out of Mummy. The jars are a bit smoother than my mashed meals; it's just frustrating because I know she can do it if she wants to.

She's the same with finger food. Most of it still ends up on the floor after she's played with it for a bit - but if it's something she really likes (namely bread and cheese) she'll make much more of a fist of it.


Be warned - this post may well come across as a bit "isn't my daughter just the most wonderful, clever, bright little thing"...!

But Charlotte has been amazing me this week with quite how much an eight and a half month old can understand. If I put out a selection of half a dozen of her soft toys and ask her "Where's dog?" or "Where's Pennguin" or whichever random stuffed animal, nine times out of ten she'll pick the right one up.

And if I then say "Kiss dog/penguin/lion/Daddy/Mummy" she'll give the aforementioned a special Charlotte kiss - mouth wide open and placed over its face til it's all wet. I know she's been able to follow simple commands for a while because we do "kick, kick, kick", "splash" and "hold on" etc at her swimming lessons, but it's astounded me how much she's also picked up at home.

Her babbling contiunes to delight me, even if most of it is still 'dadada', 'bababa' and what sounds like 'baden-baden-baden'. And when I took her to a free Rhythm Time session this afternoon, the teachers were a bit taken back by how well she was joining in, playing with the instruments and reacting to what was going on.

So it seems any fears I had over her lack of daytime sleep affecting her development have been pretty much allayed.

Monday, 5 March 2012


Still reeeling from the horribly sad news of my pervious post, but just a few minutes with my incredible daughter guarantees to put a smile on my face.

Her grandparents came up to visit this weekend and hadn't seen her for five weeks, and it's then that we realise quite how much Charlotte is developing and coming along. Since they last saw her she will clap her hands when we say "clap, clap, clap"; she has a tooth (although it doesn't seem to have got any bigger in the past two weeks); and she's more interested in standing than sitting these days:

It suddenly occurred to us how strong her legs were when we were holding her up on our laps, so my OH decided to see how she got on holding onto furniture and things. Turns out she's really good at standing upright with very little support.

This makes us think that the chances are she'll be one of those babies that goes straight to walking and skips the crawling part - she hasn't shown any interest in crawling for about 2 months now and is happy just to roll and stretch to whatever toy (or remote control!) she's trying to get.

As one of my friends put it - where's Baby Charlotte gone? She's virtually a toddler now, albeit without the actual toddling... yet.

Saturday, 3 March 2012


Some very close friends of ours lost their baby son today. The horrendous news has left me feeling so numb, helpless and so so sad for them.

They had been trying a very long time to get pregnant and their little one had got to full term - in fact a week overdue. Don't know the details yet, but there's just the overwhelming question of 'why them?'. All we can do is give them time and space at the moment to grieve, and wait until they're ready to talk to or see us.

But I can't help thinking they might resent those friends that have happy, healthy babies and after they had tried so hard and got so far to have one of their own. I hope that's not the case, and we can do something to help them through the long, hard road ahead.

We are grieving for them too - and it puts all our trials and tribulations with Charlotte totally into perspective. We are so lucky to have such an amazing little girl.I really hope our friends eventually get the chance to have the family they want and deserve too. RIP baby boy. x