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Cigarettes and Calpol

Attempting to make sense of parenthood, life, love, and my own mind.

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new baby

Our 2017

Remember when we were sure 2017 would be a better year than 2016? Idiots. For the world it’s been another bastard of a year! But personally, it’s been pretty fucking awesome! There’s been shit bits too, of course there has, is there such a thing as a perfect year? No. No there is not.

I’m not one for New Year New Me, resolutions, or the expectation of the first of January bringing an answer to all of life’s woes. Any crap you had in your life on December 31st has a habit of following you through to January, it takes more than a new diary to fix your life (but while we’re here can we talk about how satisfying filling out a new diary is?!). I do however love a New Year as a time of reflection, a time to think back at what you’ve achieved over 12 months, to focus on what you did right and what you did wrong. Give thanks to the people who made your year what it was, reflect on the people that left.

For me, that’s done best with photos.

Another 12 months, another lifetime of memories. I’ve collected a few of my highlights, slightly show off, slightly to give myself the warm and fuzzies!

Come with us now on a journey through time and space…

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The Question Not to Ask

There’s one question that will always rile me up regarding babies. It’s one that is thrown at you constantly, especially by women of a certain age. It seems to be the go-to question when people don’t know what to ask.

‘Is he a good baby?’

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Equal Siblings

Some people say that once you have one child adding another isn’t all that different. Those people are liars.

Having your family grow from three to four is a massive change and affects all of you, physically and emotionally, in endless ways. It’s a steep learning curve for everyone and any rhythm or routine that you had previously perfected gets rather dramatically flung out of the window.

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Breastfeeding – a second try

When I was pregnant I wrote about my previous experience of breastfeeding and how it had left me terrified to try again. I had a huge response to that post with so many women telling me they felt the exact same way, which was in equal parts comforting (to know I’m not alone) and depressing (to realise so many of us had had such similar, difficult experiences).

I was always going to try again, yet I was determined to put less pressure on myself this time. Turns out that lack of pressure was exactly what we both needed to find our feet with this feeding malarky.

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Water Birth, Danny Devito, and still no stitches: My Second Birth Story

If you follow me on any form of social media you might have figured out I was more than a little bit done with being pregnant by the end…I had tried everything. And nothing was working. I had accepted that I was just going to be pregnant forever and welcomed the cankles as just a part of who I was now.

We’d had weeks of false starts, days of contractions leading to nothing.

Turns out watching the Foos destroy Glastonbury was the key.

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A Fox Cub!

Not just because it means I’m not pregnant anymore…we are thrilled to announce the arrival of our tiny little addition to the family!

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Third Trimester

The final countdown to D-Day. When suddenly everybody wants to know how your nipples are feeling and to give you their tip on how to get labour started (I hate pineapple, and I hate you for suggesting it).

The third trimester is the longest three (possibly longer) months you’ll ever face and everything hurts and who knew you could sweat from there and oh GOD get it out of me!!

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Hospital Bag

Packing a hospital bag is something that websites, baby books, midwives, and friends start mentioning as soon as you hit the 30 week mark. That obviously doesn’t mean you start packing it then. Not if you’re me. Instead you leave it another 6 weeks and realise when the midwife informs you that you are nearly term and considering the constant braxton hicks it might be worth throwing some things in a bag.

But what do you actually need to take with you? There are lists and guidelines everywhere online, but a lot of them seem a bit excessive to me. So here’s what’s in my hospital bag, not that I ever advise following in my footsteps…

(I’m planning on breastfeeding, if you are planning to bottle feed you’ll obviously need to pack all the equipment that goes with that.)

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New Baby Gift Ideas

Buying gifts for a new baby can be a minefield. There is so much out there advertising itself as essential and perfect for newborns, in actual fact a lot of it is crap that nobody needs (or really wants to be honest). I think this is especially difficult if you don’t have children yourself – I know when I had TI I was inundated by soft toys, completely impractical outfits, and even a few pairs of baby sunglasses…

So I’ve put together a collection of items we would actually like to receive, things that are useful, beautiful, and helpful for new parents and their babies. (And if it also serves as a slight hint…ideal!)

(None of these products are ads, they are all things I have either bought or intend to buy and love! Unless anyone wants to send me some freebies of course, I am now unemployed after all…)

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