3 months postpartum update

Baby G

I can’t believe she’s 3 months old! I mean, already! It feels just like yesterday I was at the hospital giving birth to her. You can read about her birth story here. She has more than doubled in weight since then – her birth weight was 2.8kg and now she’s over 6! She’s also grown out of her tiny baby, newborn and 0-3 month clothing and is now wearing pampers size 3. She can’t yet hold her head steady on her own but she’s getting there – I’m hoping that as she becomes more and more interested in her surrounding, she’d start to move her head around more often and work those neck muscles of hers. Other than that, I think she’s doing very well both physically and temperamentally. She loves to play. She smiles, coos and chuckles a lot, which is always a delight to watch. She’s also quite happy to be left alone in her rocker or gym mat – she could entertain herself for a good hour or two before she cries for attention. Yes, lucky me! She’s exclusively formula-fed; she feeds 5 times a day: 5 ounces at 9am and 5 to 6 ounces at 12.30pm, 3.30pm, 7pm and 10.30pm, after which she’d go to sleep until about 9am the next day. Again, lucky me! Apart from her feeding time, she doesn’t really have a fixed routine to go by – she naps and plays throughout the day as she wishes; although I’ve noticed that she’s developed a habit of her own, that is, she’d stay awake for the first hour after each feed, and then she’d take a nap for about 45 minutes to an hour before waking up again for the next hour or so until her next feed. It works very well for both of us, so I’m really happy. In the evening, again, apart from her feeding time, anything goes – I don’t bathe her every day, but on days that I don’t, I ‘rinse’ her with Mustela PhysiObébé no rinse cleansing water (something I can’t live without!) before changing her into her pyjama and feeding her; I do try to always give her last feed in the bedroom with dim lighting and soft music playing in the background – I think she knows that when that happens, it’s time to sleep for longer! So… so far so good. Now I can’t wait for her to reach her next milestone.

angeliquelee-3monthspostpartumupdate01

Baby G – Week 0 to Week 6

angeliquelee-3monthspostpartumupdate02

Baby G – Week 7 to Week 12

Mummy (yes, dear old me)

My recovery from childbirth has been amazing. I was really lucky to have a straightforward and quick labour and so didn’t really have much to recover from. In fact, I felt completely normal and was able to move around just hours after giving birth to Baby G. I’ve also managed to get out of my pregnancy without any stretch marks, which is great – perhaps because my bump was really small; I only gained 5kg when I was pregnant and I shed them all within a week post-baby. The only thing that’s still there is my linea negra, but I suppose it will fade over time. I haven’t gone back to exercising though. I know, I really should! I’ve been meaning to join a ‘mum and baby’ yoga class but I just keep putting it off! Maybe when she’s 4 months old? Haha… Taking care of Baby G wasn’t hard – I’m not going to lie; of course it’s tiring and it was pretty overwhelming in the beginning, but it wasn’t hard, and what everyone says is true: it does get better and easier with time. At 3 months, my day usually goes like this: I’d wake up around 9am when Baby G wakes up, I’d feed her, play with her for a while and then do some house chores or go online and eat a heavy brunch; at around noon, I’d feed Baby G again and we’d go out right after – we’d go shopping or meet my friends for lunch (in which case, I’d skip my brunch of course) or coffee, etc, etc… ;at 3.30pm, if we’re still out, I’d feed her outside, otherwise, I’d feed her at home, and after that, I’d do my own thing whilst she plays by herself or sleeps; at night, I’d hand her over to my husband – if she’s happy to be held then he’d hold her in his arms whilst we watch something on the TV or Netflix, otherwise, we’d both play with her on the bed until it’s time for her last feed. Not too bad, right? Oh, and I’m no longer breastfeeding – I stopped before she reached 2 months old; it was entirely my decision to stop and it’s the best decision I’ve ever made since I had her. I’ve been happier since and that rubs off on Baby G!

Daddy

Daddy is fully hands-on when it comes to parenting! He’s truly an amazing husband and an outstanding father. I’m not saying that because he ‘helps me out’ with Baby G and housework – that just makes it sound like it’s my job to take care of Baby G, etc, and it isn’t!; I believe that parenting is a shared responsibility and it’s important for dads to embrace their role – so I’m saying that because I think my husband is doing a great job at it. He’s mainly responsible for Baby G at night and on weekends – he’d feed her, change her, play with her, and he also does things around the house. We make a great team, truly… we help each other out and I couldn’t be prouder of us (and him of course)! *beaming with pride*

38 weeks and welcoming Baby G to the world!

Yes, I know… I haven’t been blogging for almost a month now. February just flew by! I was house-hunting (to no avail), preparing for Baby G’s arrival (that is, setting up the nursery in my tiny little apartment, shopping for last minute essentials, learning how to use the pram, car seat, etc, etc…). I thought I’d write something before the end of February or by the first week of March at the latest – after all, Baby G wasn’t due until 17 March! Little did I know the little angel decided to come early! It’s a good thing of course – I couldn’t wait to meet her, and I was already pretty bored with being pregnant. In fact, I made many attempts to induce labour naturally at home – I increased my raspberry tea leaf intake, I stayed active and did a lot of things around the house (hey, I heard gravity helps), I ate a lot of spicy food, and of course, I had sex. The day before my waters broke, I actually did all of those (including taking a nice long walk in the neighbourhood)… I guess, something must have kicked start the whole process.

Anyway, I was 37+1 when my waters broke in the early morning of 2 March 2015. There was no sign of labour, but I was advised by the Birth Centre to come in and get my pregnancy and baby’s health assessed. Everything was well and I was told that I should go into labour spontaneously within the next 24 to 48 hours. If I didn’t, I had the option to get an induction to ‘jump start’ labour. Obviously, I didn’t want to have to do that… I wanted everything to happen naturally and I wanted to give birth at the Birth Centre and not the Labour Ward! So I did everything I could that day to get my contractions starting – I walked around, I vacuumed, I bounced on my gym ball, etc, etc… and it worked (or maybe it was just a coincidence… but who cares)… I felt my first contraction at around 10pm (nearly 16 hours after my waters broke). It felt like cramps but more painful than your usual cramps – I remember telling my husband “this is bad” (although, looking back, it was actually very mild in comparison to the contractions I was getting at the ‘active labour‘ stage (that’s when your cervix begins to dilate more rapidly and contractions are longer, stronger and closer together)). My husband was a dear; he’s got this ‘contractions app’ on his phone, which I personally think helped us a lot in keeping track on how my labour was progressing. We called the Birth Centre at around midnight when I was having a 1 in 5/6 (that is, 1 contraction in 5 or 6 minutes) and was told to come in when I had a 1 in 2/3. That happened around 2am and by 2.30am, we were booked into our room.

My labour progressed very quickly. I’m guessing within an hour of being booked into our room, I went into ‘active labour‘. The pain was excruciating! It’s nothing like I’ve ever felt before! And the contractions were so close together I didn’t have time to catch my breath! I asked for painkillers and was put on Gas and Air (a mixture of oxygen and nitrous oxide gas)… it helped regulate my breathing but no, it didn’t take the pain away! So I asked for my birthing pool to be filled up – the warm water helped for a while, but it didn’t last. Towards the end (that is, during the ‘transition and second stage of labour‘) nothing helped! That was when I screamed for Epidural. I had to be transferred to the Labour Ward if I really wanted one, but I remember screaming “I don’t care, I want an Epidural!” But, I was actually already in the ‘pushing’ stage, so really, there was no point of getting an Epidural… I couldn’t at that stage have gotten out of the pool anyway. So I just got on with it… throughout the entire process, I somehow was able to remember everything I learnt from my antenatal classes with the NHS (not with the NCT!) and as a result, I was able to give birth to Baby G at exactly 6.49am without any assistance, interventions and drugs to help with the pain. I had a straightforward tear which required minor stitches, but again, I didn’t need any drugs to help with the pain and was able to move about the same day.

So, everything was over in 8-9 hours… not bad for a first timer, huh? And by the way, I didn’t have a Birth Plan written out – I personally think it’s overrated. The things that really helped me out throughout the entire process are: the NHS antenatal classes (especially the session on what to do and how to push during labour), hydrotherapy (seriously, water birth is amazing and I highly recommended it), the environment at the Birth Centre, the brilliant midwives at Lewisham Hospital, and of course, my dearest husband who’s been nothing but great the entire time.

Baby G was 38 weeks when she was born and she weighed 2.8kg. She’s my little angel who completes my life.

Happy Valentine’s Day 2015

angeliquelee-feature-valentine2015 | justaa/123RF

This year’s Valentine is really special to my husband and I…

Our story begins in March 2008 – that’s when we first met. We hit it off right from the start, but we only got together officially in June 2008. In August 2008, we moved in together, and in October of the same year, he popped the question. We moved at lightning speed, I know, but hey, when you’re with the right person, why wait? The proposal itself was spontaneous – we were just lying on the bed, watching a movie when he turned to me and asked me to marry him. It wasn’t planned, but for me, it was the most romantic thing ever precisely because it wasn’t planned. Less than a year later, in June 2009, we tied the knot in a small private civil ceremony, and in March 2012, we renewed our vow with a lavish reception in the presence of friends and family.

2 continents, 3 countries and 4 cities later, here we are in 2015, finally settling down in London – we both now have good careers (something we’ve worked so hard over the years for), and in a month (more or less), we’ll meet our lovely baby girl.  Oh, and of course, we’re also looking to buy our own place – our first family home. So yes, this year’s Valentine is really special to us – in a way, it marks the end of our journey as a couple and the beginning of our journey as a family.

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! xx

One week in Tenerife, Spain

Happy New Year, everyone! I can’t believe it’s almost mid-January and this is my first post of 2015! My husband and I kicked start our New Year with a one week trip to Tenerife and we just came back on Tuesday. We had an amazing holiday – it was beautiful, the food was delicious, and the weather was great (we had sunshine all week; temperature was in the region of 21 degrees celcius all day… not bad, huh?). I think Tenerife (south Tenerife, in particular) is a great destination if you’re looking for a bit of sun, sea and sand in the winter. It’s only 4-hour flight away from London and it’s a place that won’t break your bank account.

We flew British Airways and was treated to this view as we approached the island – it was a promising start to our holiday:

angeliquelee-oneweekintenerife-2015-01

We stayed in the south west of the island, around Costa Adeje, Playa de Las Americas and Los Cristianos – one of the most popular resorts on the Canary Islands and definitely the place to be for sun worshippers. I don’t recommend staying in the north if your purpose of going to the island is to escape the winter chill – we did a day trip there and it was freezing!

So, in the south, we love…

The beaches (of course), feeling the warmth of the sand under our feet, soaking in the sun, swimming in the sea, and just lazing around all day.

angeliquelee-oneweekintenerife-2015-06

The food… particularly tapas and fresh seafood! I love seafood! Two restaurants that we really like and highly recommend is Cafe Epoca in Los Cristianos and El Mago in Costa Adeje. Both are highly rated on Trip Advisor and rightly so. They serve great and tasty food minus the hefty price tag. El Mago is more expensive, but it’s not overpriced… we paid around 45 euros for 3 tapas, 2 mix paellas, and 3 drinks (the beer was 1 euro for a pint). And it’s a beach front restaurant, so the view was amazing. But if you’re after cheap eats, then go to Cafe Epoca – you probably won’t pay more than 15 euros for 2 persons for a decent lunch.

angeliquelee-oneweekintenerife-2015-11

angeliquelee-oneweekintenerife-2015-12x

I know I said that we went to Tenerife for the sun, and of course, we got plenty of that, but we also spent a couple of days exploring the north of the island and the mountain. We had to wear our winter coats most of the time, but these places were worth it. Rent a car – you’ll be glad you did, it’s the best way of getting around the island (we pre-arranged with British Airways when we bought our tickets and picked up our car at the airport).

So, away from the sun, we love…

The majestic El Teide – the highest volcano in Spain and the highest point above sea level in the Atlantic. It has a lunar landscape (a must-go if you want to experience how it feels like to be on the moon) and it has been a popular filming location for many sci-fi directors. Do take the cable car to the peak (well, almost… you need a special permit to climb to the actual peak), but a 10-minute ride on the cable car takes you close enough and it costs 26 euros. My husband went, I didn’t – pregnant women are not allowed on the cable car! There’s a cafe at the cable car station though and with a very good wifi connection too… so, it was okay.

angeliquelee-oneweekintenerife-2015-10

angeliquelee-oneweekintenerife-2015-03

angeliquelee-oneweekintenerife-2015-02

Pyramids de Guimar. These pyramid-shaped structures were built from lava stones; they were discovered in 1998 and have been dated to the 19th century AD though their origins remain a mystery. It costs 12 euros to enter and takes about 2 hours to explore. You can ask for an audio guide (or not)… I think it’s worth a visit if only for the views.

angeliquelee-oneweekintenerife-2015-04

The cliff of Los Gigantes. It doesn’t need much explaining. There’s a beautiful port and town at the foot of the cliff – popular with tourists and I think it’s a nice place to stop for lunch. We did; we had a paella at a restaurant called La Paella Rustica – it was really nice, but that was before we tasted the paella at El Mago. Still, it was a good lunch.

angeliquelee-oneweekintenerife-2015-08

The mountain village of Masca… simply stunning… enough said! My only advice is: go when it’s still bright… navigating in the tight twisty mountain road at night is really not fun!

angeliquelee-oneweekintenerife-2015-05

angeliquelee-oneweekintenerife-2015-07

There you go… the highlights of our trip to Tenerife. We wished we could have stayed longer, but hey, London calling!

So, to wrap it up, here’s what we brought back with us…

The recipe for our favourite coffee ‘Barraquito’: coffee with milk, condensed milk, cinnamon powder and a slice of lemon. So yummy! I’ve been making it since we came back – a perfect winter warmer.

angeliquelee-oneweekintenerife-2015-09

And of course, souvenirs. We bought quite a few things (the usual: fridge magnets, arty crafty stuff, etc), but these are my favourites: raw pearls (and I even got the seller to give me the shell which still has pearls in it for free), a bracelet made of volcanic stones, and another bracelet made of Olivine or Peridot (that is, green minerals that grow inside lava stones in Lanzarote). I’m happy!

angeliquelee-oneweekintenerife-2015-13

What I got for Christmas 2014

All over the internet, people have been sharing pictures of the gifts they received for Christmas. I think it’s lovely. They’re obviously happy and I don’t see why they can’t share a little bit of that happiness with the world. So in the spirit of sharing that joyful vibe, I’ve decided to also share what I got for Christmas this year. I’m lucky, I know, and I’m extremely grateful to be surrounded by so many lovely people who obviously thought of me when they planned their Christmas. I’m not going to be able to post everything here (at some point between Christmas and now, I’ve used or eaten some of my gifts!)… but, here are some of the things I got:

angeliquelee-whatigotforchristmas-2014-01

Aren’t they lovely?

I particularly like this perfume and vintage Parisian necklace which I got from my sister in law – they’re just so French and so beautiful:

angeliquelee-whatigotforchristmas-2014-02

angeliquelee-whatigotforchristmas-2014-03

And of course, everything that my husband bought me: a Tiffany’s necklace, a Burberry wallet and a Burberry bag – needless to say, they’re my favourite!

angeliquelee-whatigotforchristmas-2014-04

angeliquelee-whatigotforchristmas-2014-08
angeliquelee-whatigotforchristmas-2014-05

angeliquelee-whatigotforchristmas-2014-06

angeliquelee-whatigotforchristmas-2014-07

I’m purring with happiness!! Can you blame me? xx