Birth Story

When you’re pregnant you naturally think about giving birth, how painful it will be, how maybe it will be embarrassing etc, but you don’t really think about what would happen if you were to have a ceserean.

I had such a good pregnancy with Elliott, like I can’t emphasise enough how amazing it was. Every midwife appointment, scan, blood test etc were absolutely perfect and it was a dream to be pregnant with him. My skin, hair and nails had never been better either!

At 31 weeks pregnant I went to my usual midwife appointment for her to say that he’s measuring quite small and that she’d like me to have a growth scan. So I went for one but he was measuring absolutely fine BUT he was breech.

They said if he doesn’t turn naturally by 37-38 weeks they would attempt to turn him… NO BLOODY THANK YOU. Not after watching the horrific videos of it, nah, no, nope. But thankfully, he turned himself within a couple of weeks.

Naturally as you get to the end of your pregnancy you’re going to be tired, fed up and achey and that’s how I felt by the end. The heartburn was endless and the last week or two felt like years. But I still felt amazing, and so ready to meet my baby.

I went to my midwife appointment on my due date and she gave me a sweep, then nothing happened. I tried the usual, long walks, bouncing on the ball, hot bath, hot curry, raspberry tea, you name it, I probably tried it. And still nothing, not even any niggles.

So at 40+6 I went to see my midwife for another sweep and she could see how much pain I was in with my pelvic pains and she suggested another sweep and for me to go in the next day to be induced. I remember my mum being with me and being so excited saying how I could have my baby in the next 24 hours. Once I got home I cried, cried and cried some more. I didn’t want to be induced, I didn’t want to go to hospital (I’ve always had an issue with hospitals) and I didn’t feel right. Jake came home from work and I cried again. I was in hysterics (looking back, I was actually like a child having a massive tantrum!) saying how I don’t want to go because something doesn’t seem right and it’s not going to work and I don’t want to be stuck there by myself with no baby! But the next morning I went, I felt a bit better but still so anxious. I got there for around 10am and I was induced by 11am. I think I looked at the clock every 2-3minutes and they felt like hours.

Nothing happened. Nothing.

They said if there’s still no signs in 24 hours they’d do it again, and that’s what they did. I had 3 propess inductions, one with a pessary and countless sweeps. NONE of which worked.

By this time, I was uncomfortable (but not contractions), fed up, tired and Elliott was getting irritated too.

My cervix hadn’t even started to dilate, not even 1cm! So after a load of discussions with midwives, doctors, nurses, specialists, you name it. They finally listened and agreed (after trying to change my mind) that a ceserean was the best option.

So on Monday the 3rd of October 2016, at 41+4 I headed into theatre to have my cesarean.

Walking into that cold, busy theatre room was one of the most frightening experiences ever, especially doing it by myself. The catheter going into my back was the worst part of the whole experience, I don’t know quite how many times I swore at the poor guy doing it, but I did apologise after 😂 as soon as that was done, Jake was allowed in and the surgery started. I felt so sick, worried, tired, cold. But at 3:08pm my baby was born weighing 8lb8oz. Healthy with a good set of lungs on him! They took him off to get him cleaned up whilst I got stitched up. I can’t remember much but all I kept asking was if he was ok. After they finished stitching me up I was finally allowed to hold my baby. “He’s perfect” is all I kept saying. And he really was perfect.

We were in hospital for 4 days after the ceserean, I had endless blood tests and 2 blood transfusions. I was so weak after my c section from losing so much blood in theatre.

The worst thing for me was not being able to get up and pick my baby up for a cuddle. I’d been seeing all these new mummies walking around with their babies looking great, I couldn’t even move to get comfy in my bed without being in pain let alone carry my baby, so one night I decided to put him in bed with me so we could have a cuddle, only for a midwife to come and take him off me and tell me I should get some sleep, safe to say I could wait to get home.

Laughing, coughing, sneezing, getting up and down from the sofa and bed was absolute agony for the first week or two but I was so lucky to heal as fast as I did, but some aren’t so lucky.

April is ceserean awareness month so I hope this blog posts help some people understand that a ceserean definitely isn’t an easy way out!

Meet the parent – Emma

Hey I’m Emma I’m 28 and from Scotland! I’m a first time mummy to Grayson who is 4 months old (almost 5)!! At the moment I’m still on maternity leave but before I had Grayson i was a Personal Assistant to the Managing Director. We live with Graysons dad, John and our 4 month old pup Joey! Yes I’m the crazy lady who got a puppy while having a small baby! But fuck it YOLO and all that!! ✌

1. How old were you when you had your first child? I feel pregnant when I was 26 and had Grayson when I was 27.
2. How did you feel when you first found out you were going to be a parent? I wont lie I was so scared and nervous. As we had lost a baby the previous year I just had a whole bunch of mixed emotions running through my head. Once I got to the 12 week stage I was fine and relaxed a bit and it sunk in at that point that i was having a baby and I couldn’t of been happier.
3. Did you imagine that you’d be a parent at the age that you became a parent? I always said I wanted to be a “young mum” so I had a bench mark of 25 by my first child and if I was to have any more then I didnt want to be older than 35. I wanted to live my life a little first before having a baby and find who I was and who I was ment to be with and I think I’ve done that with John.
4. What were the pros and cons of your pregnancy?
Pros – feeling him kick and move and the fact that after a miscarriage I was able to have a beautiful rainbow baby.
Cons – theres loads!! The sickness the tiredness the constant need to pee. The worrying of the unknown! Like are they ok in there? Pregnancy would be so much easier if there was a wee window we could look in to and check on them!!
5. If you could do childbirth again, would you change anything or were you happy with the way it went?

I think I would change the fact I tried to do everything with just gas and air…I wish I had listened to my mum….when they offer you the drugs TAKE THEM! So I think 2nd time round I’ll be accepting all drugs!

6. What would be your advice for someone who is about to have a baby? You know your baby best! Dont listen to anyone else! Mums instinct is the best! Be that on your baby being unwell or weaning them before 6 months or putting them in their own room ext…dont listen to the mum police and the people who have the mum text book stapled to their arse! You know your tiny human and you will always do what is best for them even if it isnt “right” according to a text book!
7. What has been the hardest thing about being a mum? Everything! The broken sleep when he throws his dummy and starts stirring in the night. When he is crying and you dont know why even through you have done everything you can think of to try settle him! Even just getting out the door is hard! Remembering 1000 and 1 things before going away for like 1 hour! But it’s not forever so I’ll cherish these hard moments and know at the end of the storm it’s all quiet and calm again!
8. What has been the most rewarding thing about being a mum? Everything! Every smile. Every milestone. Every giggle. Every moment spent together. Every cuddle. Every sloppy kiss…just everything!
9. Which milestone did you find most exciting? Well because Grayson is still so young he still has alot to hit! But so far my favourite has been hearing and making him laugh! Like proper laugh! That was such an amazing moment and it made it even more special that his dad was there when he did it for the first time!
10. What’s the worst thing your child has done? (Break something / embarassed you / poonami etc) Again hes still super young….so he hasn’t done anything to embarrass me YET!!
11. What’s your favourite memory that you’ve got together so far? Our first Christmas together as a family! I love the Christmas period so the fact I got to have a Christmas in my new house with my own family doing our own traditions….it was just super magical!
12. What is something that having a child has taught you?
You find out who your real friends are! And dont try and hold on to them..if there were real friends and they were interested then they would of stuck around! Dont chase people.
13. Describe your child in a sentence?
A handsome wee character!
14. How have you changed as a person since becoming a mum? I feel I’m alot more level headed and patient…I used to get annoyed really quickly and react to things but now I’m just like pfft it’s not worth my time or effort!
15. Have you ever left your child/children over night?
Yes!! I actually wrote a blog about it! I left Grayson for the first time with my mum and dad! Me & John went out for my birthday and had a lovely meal and drinks and Grayson was having a great time sleeping over with his Granny & Pupa! Dont get me wrong i was super nervous and woke about 3 times during the night bit I knew he was being well looked after and spoiled and would be fine! We did go and pick him up at 10am though cause we missed his little face so much!! Lol!
16. Do you still spend time with your partner alone?
Well when we were 2 weekends ago we said we needed to make something like this a regular thing! It didnt need to be a night out. Just maybe a nice meal or even a trip to the cinema but time together is a must! We do love our family time but I deffo think just us time is needed every once in a while!
17. What made you choose the name / names that you did?
Well Grayson was a fairly easy name to pick for us I think. It has meaning behind it..so it wasnt just “oh that’s nice let’s see if he looks like that” we wanted something meaningful! My surname is Gray and Grayson means son of Gray…and really having his first name as my surname was a way of Grayson having both his parents names. Grayson Scott. He also has 2 middle names, after my pupa and dad. My 2 favourite men in my life! So its seemed only fair that Grayson had them too!
18. Do you have any regrets / anything you’d do differently if you got to start over again?
I’m a big believer in things happen for a reason. So the mistakes and shit you have went through and dealt with in the past have lead you on to this future. I sometimes do wonder if I did XYZ differently would I still be with John? Would I of had Grayson? Would I be where I was today? Probably not….so nah I dont have any regrets because they have gave me my family and future!
19. What would be your perfect day? A day spent at my favourite place (South Queensferry) with a cocktail, sun shining and my 2 boys with me!
20. How has being a parent changed you?

I’ve learnt to say no and be less of a door Matt! I am doing best for me and G….dont like it tough!

21. Before you became a parent, what did you do with your spare time? Hobbies, going out etc?
Me and John would always be out and about. Walking loads of different places. Eating out in new places. Sometimes just going for a random drive lol!
22. Tell us 3 facts about you?
I have a lamb who I called Beef. I have 2 metal pins in my arm holding 2 bones together. I uses to play semi pro football
23. Do you have a ‘5 year plan’?
I suppose I do yeah. Have another baby, get a bigger forever home, get married! LOL not wanting much eh!
24. Do you have an instagram / YouTube / blog? If so what made you start?
I had an Instagram anyway…and all my posts ended up being about Grayson…so I turned it in to his page…well our page! And then because of the response I was getting from his pictures I thought about blogging and started one up! I think it’s a nice way to let off some steam…but also to connect with others and let other people know that what you are going through cause they will be too! So its nice to let people know they aren’t alone in this crazy parenting world!

If you’d like to follow Emma and little Graysons journey, you can find them on instagram under @graysonandmummy where you’ll also find their blog too.

5 places to take the kids in North Wales.

If you’ve followed us on instagram for the past year or so you’ll have seen our trips to different places. There’s nothing we love more than a good day out, so I’ve decided to write a quick blog post about 5 places we’ve loved as a day out right here on our doorstep in North Wales.

1. Pili Palas

Pili palas is a lovely day out for kids of all ages, where you can see butterflies, birds, reptiles and many more animals including alpacas! Then once you’ve seen all of the animals, there’s an indoor and outdoor play area where the children can burn some energy and also a little cafe and shop too. It’s a lovely day out and very reasonably priced.

2. Foel Farm

We took Elliott to Foel Farm last Summer and he absolutely loved it. Again it’s very reasonably priced and it’s such a good day out. There’s so many animals to see, you get the opportunity to get up close and personal with them, where you get to feed them and pet them. Elliott decided that he wanted to pet one of the rabbits then fell face first off the bench, oops.

There’s also a little tractor that takes you around the farm to see the horses and sheep, and also a big bouncy cushion for the children to play.

3. Gypsy Wood

Gypsy wood is an enchanted family park where there’s plenty to do from finding fairies to again, seeing the animals.

There are so many things to do here, from train rides, playground, ground trampolines, fairy finding and so much more. It really is fun for all of the family.

4. Bodafon Farm

Again, another farm. This one is located at the very top of Llandudno. It’s free to enter and it’s so much fun. There’s pony rides, animals to see and plenty of activities to do. On a sunny day, this could be the perfect day out.

5. Greenwood

So I’ve not yet taken Elliott to greenwood as he’s been to young, but it’s at the top of our list for this summer as I’ve always loved it here and it’s one of the best places in North Wales to take children. There’s so much to do, from rides, activities, the magic chair, barefoot trials and so much more.

If you ever visit North Wales and want somewhere to take the kids, be sure to have a look at greenwood’s website!

So there are 5 places that we love here in North Wales. There are plenty more places that we’ve loved too, if anyone wants to know about anywhere else, don’t hesitate to ask us.

Foel farm

Gypsy Wood

Bodafon Farm

Pili Palas

Thank you for reading x

Surviving the ‘terrible twos’

You will most definitely hear about the terrible twos, probably before even becoming a parent, but until you experience it with your own child, you don’t quite believe it. Well, I didn’t anyway.

I’m not too keen on the phase ‘terrible twos’ because, well, they’re not exactly terrible. They’re still so little, they’re still getting used to their surroundings, they don’t want to be sitting down or listening to instructions all the time (even I hate that!) they want to explore, push boundaries, have fun!

I’d say Elliott’s ‘terrible twos’ started quite a few months before he turned two. He started to HATE being in his pram and kicked off if he had to go in the car because he knew he had to go in his car seat. (He still hates the carseat!!) He used to cry in most shops because he found it boring, yet if I took him to the park, soft play or on a day out, he’d love it and we’d have no melt downs.

These type of things don’t bother me, it’s natural. A toddler doesn’t want to be going around tesco in a trolley or a pram, they want to be getting dirty in the park or getting muddy in the forest. But what does bother me, is when you’re in said shops, and you get the dirtiest looks off people who’ve seen your child kick off. I hate it.

I’ve always had children in my life, from having young siblings to then working with toddlers, so I kind of knew what they’re like, but I can’t emphasise enough how different it is having your own!!!

I often get comments like “you should know what to do seeing as you’ve worked with them” or “oh well at least you’re used to being around toddlers / their behaviour” truth is, yes I am used to it and yes I know what options I have but it’s completely different with your own. When you work with children, you get to go home at the end of the day and they go home to their parents / guardians. There’s no ‘going home at the end of the day’ with your own and there’s definitely no break. With your own, you’re stuck.

And sometimes, that’s exactly how it feels, like you’re stuck. Trapped, alone with the weight of the world on your shoulders. You start doubting yourself, whether they’d still be acting like this if you’d done things differently. Truth is, you could be the best parent in the world and they would still, at some point, have a meltdown for one thing or another.

So if you’re not a parent / a parent of a child who’s well-behaved 24/7, please don’t judge other parents if you see their child having a strop.

These times are hard, but they pass. I’m not sure when, but they do. Eventually. Even if it’s when they’re 18, 25, maybe even 50😂, just hang on in there mama!

Get to know @notyour_averagefamily

Hello everyone!

So I’ve been thinking of something a bit different to post on my blog and I came up with the idea of ‘interviewing’ / getting to know some other parents / special guardians accounts. So I put up a poll on my instagram stories and 87 of you said you’d be interested in this. I then had a few recommendations of who they’d like to see interviewed and a load of dms saying they’d love to be involved.

When @notyour_averagefamily messaged me saying they’re up for it I just couldn’t say no. When writing the post for my stories, I’m not going to lie I was secretly hoping they’d be up for it. They’re an account that I’ve followed for a while now and speak to quite a bit and I honestly think they’re all round amazing and I’d love for other people to check them out and/or get to know them a bit more. So here goes.

Can you tell us a bit about you / your family / background?

Just over two years ago Uncle’s sister passed away suddenly, leaving two children without a Mummy. After a very in-depth discussion we decided that we would like to be responsible for our Niece and Nephew. The following year, we legally became their Special Guardians (which is basically a step below adoption).

How old were you both when you became special guardians? And how old were your niece and nephew?

Uncle was 27, Aunt was 25, our Niece was 5 and Nephew was 4.

How did you find the transition from being child free to having 2 young children to care for?

Very different to say the least! We were living with Aunts family at the time, so had to rearrange the house so our Niece and Nephew could have a bedroom. Living at home still really helped us though as we were able to have support 24/7 and were able to maintain regular date nights (something we felt was very important). We have a lot of support from both sides of the family which really helps.

What do you find the hardest about being special guardians?

Aunt: For me, the most difficult thing is feeling under pressure. It’s not that anyone makes me feel that way, I just feel all I want to do is make their Mummy proud and I wonder if I’m doing that. I also feel pressure for our relationship to be perfect which is just ridiculous considering what we have been through!

Uncle: I don’t find anything hard about being a special guardian, but the hardest thing for me mentally is worrying about how our Niece and Nephew are going to deal with everything they have been through when they get older. I also find working full time really difficult but I think that’s more of a parenting thing than a special guardian thing!

Do you often talk about niece and nephews mum? How is this conversation handled?

We talk to them about their Mummy all the time. We do this generally in conversation, things like “mummy liked this didn’t she” and also more in depth. The in depth conversations usually come after something specific, like reading a book or watching something on the tv. We are always very open to all conversations and talk with our Niece and Nephew as honestly and openly as we can. We’ve always let them know that the emotions they are feeling are okay and that we have those same emotions too.

How do you / the children cope with grief?

Dealing with our grief is something that changes from a day to day basis. But in general, open communication really helps us all. Knowing that it is okay to express our emotions is really important and also ensure that their Mummy’s death isn’t ignored or shied away from. It’s part of our journey and talking about it helps us to process our grief.

Do the children see / know their dad?

Their “Dad” has never chosen to be a part of their lives, before or after their Mummy died. He didn’t attend any of our court proceedings. They have asked question about him and we have answered these honestly.

Do you still get date nights / time for yourselves / each other?

We try to. It’s hard to prioritise it sometimes. But we make a conscious effort to go on one city break a year just the two of us. When we lived with aunts family it was much easier as we could pop out whenever our hearts desire. We don’t really have many date nights and instead tend to use babysitting for doing things with our friends.

Did your friendship with your friends change? Did you lose any friends?

Not at all. If anything, our close friends became closer. Everyone is so understanding of our situation and loves our Niece and Nephew. If anything, it was our Niece and Nephew’s mums “friends” that fizzled away. Her close friends obviously didn’t. But there were a lot of people who, after she died, were apparently very close to her… we hear absolutely nothing off them now.

Do you want children of your own?

Yes, definitely. But that isn’t something we want to rush. There’s a lot we need to consider. Even though it will be our first child, it will actually be like having our third! So the timing need to be right. We would also like to a buy a house first before we think about having a child of our own.

I’ve loved doing this blog post with @notyour_averagefamily and we hope you’ve enjoyed reading it.

If you don’t already follow them their instagram account is @notyour_averagefamily where you will find their personal blog in their bio, and mine is @_erinhaf .

Thank you for reading

The 12 Questions Of Christmas Tag.

I was tagged by the lovely Ellen (https://cariad.blog) to answer the 12 Questions Of Christmas.

When does your Christmas tree go up? Who will decorate it?
Our tree goes up on the 1st of December! Although I’d love to put it up earlier my partner isn’t so keen on the idea!
Christmas Eve or Christmas Day?
Oooh this is a tough one! I LOVE Christmas Eve because it’s so exciting! I love seeing Elliott’s face when he gets his christmas eve box and leaves the milk & snacks out for Santa & Rudolph but waking up on christmas morning has to be my fave!

What is your favourite Christmas advert this year?
Sainsburys, no doubt about it!! I just love that little plug!
Is there anywhere you would love to visit at Christmas?
It’s my dream to visit lapland over Christmas!
What traditions are you looking forward to most this year?

We visited santa the weekend just been which I was really excited for, now I’m looking forward for my partner to finish work in 2 weeks time and spend 2 weeks with me and Elliott having the best Christmas! We are also taking Elliott to watch a christmas show!

What are some foods and treats you can count on having every Christmas?

Has to be pigs in blankets for me. If there’s no pigs in blankets is it even christmas?

When did you stop believing in Santa?
I was 9/10 years old.
As a kid, did a sibling or friend ever receive a present that you wished was for you?
No, I was a very lucky girl.
Do you like giving gifts or receiving gifts better?
Giving, I absolutely LOVE buying for others (I aicctuslly think it’s a bit of a problem!) I get so excited for them to open their presents I often end up giving them early and having to buy something different!
Are you guilty of peeking at your presents or do you like the surprise?
I like a surprise but I ALWAYS ruin it for myself by peeking or pestering until I find out what I’ve got!
If you could be in any Christmas movie what would it be?
Elf! It’s just the best.

Or home alone so I could be at New York for Christmas..

What would you like to find under your tree this year?
A rich persons credit card would be fab! I’d love some new fluffy pjs!

Feel free to copy the questions and answer them yourself.

I’m tagging @notyour_averagefamily to answer these questions!

A letter to my boy – 18.11.2018

To my darling baby boy.

I don’t know where to start on this one, there’s so much I want to say to you but there are no words that would show you how special you are to me. You are the best thing I’ve ever laid eyes on and to have you as my child makes me the luckiest person ever.

The past 2 years have been the best. We’ve laughed, cried, had the worst days and by far the best days and for each day I get to spend with you I am greatful. You made my dreams of becoming a mummy come true (a bit earlier than planned, but none of that matters now!) and it’s even more amazing than I imagined it would be. We really are the best of friends and have been since day dot.

You’re the cheekiest, happiest, most loving, clever and funny little boy ever. You keep on surprising us with what you can do / say and continue to make everyone proud each day. Watching how loving you are with your family, friends and Maui melt me.

If someone had told me 3 or 4 years ago that I was to have a 2 year old now I would have laughed in their faces and said no way! But there’s nothing I would change.

People often say that no matter how old a person is, they will always need their mummy, but you see, I will always need you too, you’ve helped me. You’ve kept me going and made me stronger than I even knew was possible. You’ve made me get up on days I just wanted to stay in bed and hide from the world, you’ve made me smile when I’ve spent hours on end crying, and you’ve also made me cry some happy tears in the middle of my sad tears. You’ve made me push myself to be the best mummy you could possibly want and I promise you I will keep trying my very best to be the perfect mummy for you. I will fail at many things but I hope I never ever fail to be a good mummy for you. We have each other and we always will.

You’re two now and you’re very challenging some days, but although your tantrums and meltdowns often make me wonder my parenting, I know I’m doing a good job when you’re happy, polite and being your usual funny self. I always feel guilty when I have to tell you off but I also know that’s the only way you’ll listen (sometimes) and know right from wrong, but when you’re asleep I give you a lot of extra cuddles and kisses to make up for my guilt.

I hope that one day you see just how special you are to me, that day will probably be when you have children of your own, but for now, just know that I’m doing everything I can for you and when you’re older, know that you’re everything I ever needed and a whole lot more.

I love you my perfect boy.