Shifting the dreaded baby weight…

Before I fell pregnant I swore I would be one of those women that ate well, exercised sensibly and looked really trendy whilst sporting an exquisite bump. Well none of those things happened, except for the fact I loved my bump despite it resembling the size of a small whale, which by the way are rather large.

I was plagued by hyperemesis gravidarum for almost six months, and to be perfectly honest this robbed me of the ability to love being pregnant, as well as actually doing ANYTHING. I did however become an expert at vomiting into a carrier bag on a packed train, one to add to my life skills list then.

It was quite possibly the worst time of my life because I was so ill, yet the best because I was carrying my unborn child. I was bed bound, admitted to hospital for two days, vomiting all day, unable to eat and feeling utterly dreadful, however by the end of my pregnancy I had still managed to put on a mighty four stone! I could sit here and claim that “I just don’t know how it happened!” But the fact of the matter is, I do. When I was able to, and felt like eating, I gorged on chips, ice lollies, chocolate, sweets, crisps and bread. They truly were the few things that I could keep down, and after suffering with so much sickness, I was beyond caring about excessive weight gain.

9 months later, I had the glory of a baby in my arms, and the horror 4 stone to lose. How on earth was I going to do this? Before going into labour, my mother assured me that I would lose at least a stone as soon as I’d given birth. Fantastic I thought, that only leaves me with three stone, I can do that. Needless to say as soon as I was able to get my overweight hands on a pair of weighing scales I was stripping off my clothes, jewellery and even my hair grips. (Every little bit counts right?) I gently got on the scales, closed my eyes and said a little prayer to God that I would do anything to be a stone lighter there and then. I peeked down and I had only lost a measly 7lb, basically what Virrae weighed (he was 7lb 1.5oz) I had not even lost 1lb more!!! Where was the other 7lb that was meant to have banished in the labour room? Come to think of it….where was that 1.5oz?

I was feeling really disheartened as I made my way back to my hospital bed, but I looked at my boy and I knew he was worth every additional ounce of fat within me. I also took a moment to remind myself he was merely a few hours old and that I should probably be a little more patient.

In the six weeks that followed Virráe’s birth, I spent the first two in hospital after he contracted Jaudice, so as well as eating all the hospital food, most of which was disgusting, but since I can never say no, I ate it all anyway. I was also eating all the food that my mum and mother in law were bringing in for me. Everything was green and covered in ghee (purified butter). They urged me that I needed it to help my body recover from the inside and ensure a healthy milk supply, and so I ate, ate and ate. Needless to say I did not lose too much weight in those first 6 weeks, but I did have a good milk supply. Every cloud and all that..

One month on I manage to lose around another stone, and as if that wasn’t hard enough, Christmas decided to pop along. Great. Whilst I couldn’t drink because I was breastfeeding, I could certainly eat, and with the need to consume an extra 500 calories to keep my energy up for feeding, I didn’t hold back. I was at my parents home in Gloucestershire over the festive period, where there is never a shortage of naughty food. To top it off, I forgot my exercise DVD and decided that this was a good excuse to start dieting again in the new year. I also told myself that as Virráe was still not even three months old, it was okay not to have lost all the weight yet. Talk about dedication…

So Christmas comes and goes and now the new year is upon us, as well as 3 months till my 30th birthday and my sisters wedding. I tell myself I now have one and a half stones to lose, I can absolutely do this by then, it’s only half a stone a month. I am feeling super motivated, I’m exercising, eating well (sometimes) and over the course of the next three months I only manage to lose another 10lb. Why oh why is it so bloody hard.

By the time my 30th birthday comes, I’m still carrying an extra 10lb or so of baby weight. Great. Whoever said that breastfeeding would cause the weight to ‘drop off’ lied!! It doesn’t drop off, it doesn’t even budge unless I practically starve myself, and lets face it, you either eat to live or live to eat…

At this point Virráe is 6 months old and I now have absolutely no excuse for still carrying the baby weight. I’m really angry at myself as I know I could have lost it, and deep down I know I got comfortable and lazy, much like when you start a new relationship. Then again, I suppose this is a new relationship and we are still in our honeymoon period after all…

To top it off I see photos on instagram of a mummy friend posing with her baby in sexy french knickers which cling to her pert bottom and sit perfectly on her washboard abs. I now feel so low about my own body that I want to run to the nearest cake shop and eat an entire Victoria sponge.

A further 3 months pass and still I just amble along not losing any more weight, but with my target weight in sight. How torturous, and I have no one to blame but myself. What is wrong with me?? In his 9th month I decide enough is enough and knuckle down…I start walking again,  I drink lots of water and I eat well. Low and behold a fabulous 5lb drops off, I’m feeling fantastic and back in my skinny jeans without feeling like they are going to burst at the seams.

Suddenly the light at the end of the tunnel doesn’t seem so dim…

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Two pairs of hands are better than one…really?

It’s Virràe’s 9 month review this morning, and by some small mercy my husband is home. Surely I should feel totally relaxed, because rather than running round the house like a lunatic to get out on time, I’m going to have help right? WRONG!

First of all, Virràe has decided to cry in his sleep since 4.35am, and obviously as I am the only one with ears in our house, I was the one out of bed soothing him back to sleep whilst my husband lay sleeping like a baby…no pun intended. My tiredness is taking over every inch of my body, and by 6am I have given up all hope that he is going to go back to sleep. His playful gurgles slowly turn into impatient moans, and before he blows like a little pressure cooker, I whip him out and lay him next to me for a feed – I am simply too sleep deprived to have the strength to sit up and cradle him. At this point my dear husband feels it’s okay to reach over for a little cuddle – I think not.

A short while later my dear husband has still not stirred to offer me a helping hand, so after seeing some mighty yawns, I try desperately to put Virràe down for a nap . Surely he is exhausted from not having slept properly since 4.35am? The boy clearly didn’t want to nap, and as you can imagine my husband was ready and waiting to take him off my hands. Queue flying pigs.

I had no choice but to leave him in his cot whilst I had my leisurely 60 second shower and got dressed in all of 3 minutes. I then proceeded to go downstairs, baby on one hip, a million and one things being balanced on the other. In the 45 minutes that followed I did all of the following, by myself. (angry typing)

  • got his baby bag packed
  • hung the clothes out on the rack
  • bathed him
  • got him ready, which is very much like a wrestling match
  • fed him breakfast
  • packed the buggy in the car
  • breastfed him and wrote this blog

Do you think my dear husband managed to make it out of bed, let alone help with any of the above? And they say two pairs of hands are better than one…ha!

A quick and easy pasta spice for mums on the go!

For any mum’s on the go, I’m sure you have all had those days where it suddenly reaches 6pm, you have no idea where the hours have run away to and you haven’t even thought about dinner! I’m going to give you the recipe for a beautiful Italian spice than can be used on absolutely anything. For a super quick and easy meal, it’s perfect sprinkled on some freshly boiled pasta, with a dash of olive oil and a handful of grated cheese. Voila!

Ingredients:

  • 15g dried parsley
  • 15g garlic granules
  • 30g dried chilli flakes
  • 45g sea salt flakes
  • 30g sundried tomatoes (not in oil and very finely chopped) this is an optional ingredient.

Mix everything together very well and store in an air tight jar. If you are adding the sundried tomatoes then store in the fridge.

The peace of post birth…

It was 6.56am and I had just given birth to a beautiful baby boy. The moment he was placed into my arms, my body was overflowing with emotion, pride and my placenta no doubt. I was being stitched to high heaven after an episiotomy, and there between my legs sat a small Asian man working his magic. Not a sentence I ever imagined myself saying. On a serious note, I was on such a high, part natural and part after effects of gas and air, that I did not even realise I was being stitched, I just could not take my eyes off this new life that lay on my chest. If ever there was a good distraction, surely this had to be the very best.

Once the doctor had finished putting me back together, my midwife came in to help me breastfeed my baby for the very first time. A moment I had looked forward to for 9 long months, constant questions in my mind after too much time on Google. Will the baby latch? Will my milk come through? Will I have enough? What if I can’t do it? I wanted it to be special and tranquil, you know, just how it looks on the telly. My midwife was firm, but loving, she was a mum of two boys and you could tell. She took no nonsense but wouldn’t hesitate to give you a kiss and a cuddle. She was exactly what an emotional train wreck like me needed. She came over and positioned the baby in my arms, and suddenly in that glorious moment, he nuzzled in, latched on and I was actually doing it, I was breastfeeding with success. I felt triumph, love and accomplishment, but most of all I felt complete and utter gratitude that I was getting my magical moment.

Whilst in this magical moment, I would like to point out that my mum and husband were in and out the room making calls to tell our family and friends the glorious news, as you can imagine this really added to the tranquillity. A short while later, my husband has gone awol (in the loo no doubt), and my mum informs me that she will swap places with my mother in law who is sat in the waiting room desperate to meet her first grandchild. My father in law dragged her to hospital at 3am as he was too excited to sleep. Poor lady.

In comes my mother in law and she is absolutely thrilled, the smile on her face is simply priceless, and I feel so proud that this new little life is already bringing so much joy. She gives me a cuddle and strokes her grandson and then proceeds to cover me up in a pile of towels she finds on the side, I ask her what is going on and she casually tells me that my father in law will be coming in to see the baby. I can see that her excitement has clearly taken over here…

As you can probably tell by the fact that I am happy to have my mother in law see me naked and covered in the aftermath of birth, we are close as mother in law and daughter in laws go, so I can’t help but laugh and say that my father in law can absolutely not see me in this state. As much as I love him, and as close as we are, this might be a step too far! In her sheer joy she really did not see anything wrong with it and said “yes yes of course he can.” I genuinely think in that moment she only saw her grandchild, and not me, naked, breasts out, baby on boob! Luckily, that moment ended and we both laughed at the prospect of what cold have been. Thankfully it wasn’t long before I was up in the ward, (with some clothes on!), and my father in law got to meet the latest addition to our family.

Post birth wasn’t peaceful or tranquil like I thought it would be, it was chaotic, total madness, but full of love, and I’ll let you in on a little secret, I wouldn’t change any of it for the world.