Tag Archives: New baby

Babies cry but…

Is it harder to love a baby that cries a lot?

Isn’t that just one big mother of a question right there?!  It’s huge!  I love this question!  I‘ve been asked this question and would like to share with you why, why I’ve been asked and why I love it.  Now if you read my blog but don’t follow me on Twitter then the last time I really blogged about my life as a new mum to Baby G was her birth story post however if you were following me on Twitter back in November & December you would have definitely been aware of some dark times here at Lancaster Towers, you may even have heard some crying and if passing seen floods of tears flowing from the door!  We are now in a good place and Baby G is a delight but for a while there things were seriously, seriously tough.  I mean like proper “considering-going-back-to-work-full-time-and-getting-a-nanny” tough!

Baby G is 15 weeks old now, so here’s a quick rundown of how those first few months with two have been. 

The first three weeks with two

Weeks 1, 2 & 3  At the beginning all was good with Baby G, breast feeding well, waking once or occasionally twice in the night to feed, sleeping most of the time.  Lil’ H adoring of his new sister but he was struggling with the change to his family unit.  His night time sleep went out the window.  My poor little guy desperately trying to make up his mummy time at night I think.  He went from sleeping through the night from being just a few months old to waking multiple times a night.  As a result of his poor sleeping his tiredness saw his behaviour spiral downhill.  Desperate to not be telling him off but everyone’s shattered, patience and best intentions have left the building and he’s being, well frankly naughty, so guess what?  He was being told off and frequently and that just made me so sad.  I kept thinking I did this to him, I knew this was all his emotional reaction to the change,  I now know and can see how hormonal a time it was too.  So positive mummy time dropped to an all time low and we spent the best part of a month in one very hideous viscous circle!

Farewell sleep, hello colic

Weeks 3-8           I had a moment of clarity amongst the fug of breastfeeding tiredness and could see the number one way to make some improvements was to tackle H’s sleep.  Bottom line was we wouldn’t be tolerating this if G hadn’t arrived so it was time.  There were two issues firstly he wouldn’t go to sleep by himself, insisting mummy/daddy stayed or he’d be out of bed and out the door.  Then there was the night waking multiple times a night.  I prioritised the night waking on the grounds it would have the biggest positive impact on his tiredness and therefore his behaviour.  We got the stair gate out and put on his bedroom for the first time ever and used aromatherapy and Indigo child essences (both which I still use).  During the day I introduced “The Sleep Fairy” and her chocolate coin incentive programme!  The premise was simple, Mummy had called the sleep fairy, she would watch over Lil’ H and if he slept in his bed all night she would leave a chocolate coin.  Lil’ H and I made a reward chart by drawing and cutting out and sticking on pictures and photographs a reward chart.  It has been invaluable to have a photo of Hugo asleep in his bed, he so clearly understood what we were asking him to do.  He loves going on the little steam train at Brookside so a straight week of sleeping in his own bed and a ticket to ride he would have! 

First night – when it came to bedtime I stayed with him whilst he went to sleep, 2am he woke, crying “Mummy” and rattling the gate, joy!  I went to him hugged him over the gate told him he was safe and told him to go back to bed.  He didn’t, I did.  I then simply spoke to him through the monitor and said Mummy would scare the sleep fairy away if she came into his room.  This was met by silence!  Quickly followed by the pitter patter of feet back into bed!  The sleep fairy came and left a coin and a very proud and not so tired boy awoke the following day.  Night 2 similar but I never went to him just spoke to him.  Night 3, the wheels fell off and I had to go into him and but of course there was no coin from the fairy in the morning L That was that though, the fairy came for three weeks and then had to be “dismissed”.  Which we did by her leaving a chocolate coin, a special present and a magic fairy wand, this is important because if we need to call the fairy back which we have had to a few times we use the wand when we are going to bed and ask her to help H sleep in his own bed.  To date it has been very effective – the Sleep Fairy and her chocolate coin incentive programme rocks! 

During all this Baby G had been a dream, breastfeeding well, sleeping well, napping well.  Toddler sleep issues resolved, make way for Baby crying issues.  It came from nowhere when G was about 3 weeks old this crying started late afternoon say about 4:30pm ish and I would get her to sleep, like to totally floppy arm asleep, put her down and seconds later eyes wide open hysterical screaming.  It was colic.  That was my worst nightmare a baby with colic and it just got worse.  It was for a few hours in the early evening which go longer ‘til it was pretty much 6 hours straight ‘til 10:30pm when she’d be fed and go to sleep and then be put down exhausted.  Then it started to start earlier and earlier and earlier and eventually it was ALL DAY.  I timed it to go to the doctors one day she cried for 5 hours between 9:30am and 4:30pm and solidly without sleeping from 4:30pm until 10:30pm.  Baby G cried for just over 11 hours that day and that was a “regular” day.  She didn’t feed well, she cried, got wind, her tummy hurt, she cried more – yet another vicious circle.  I had the infacol, the Colief, the gripe water, the Gaviscon, the massage pad, a pal on Twitter was sending reiki, the white noise of the hairdryer was rescued with a white noise CD (which is great and we still use).  I’d cut out wheat, dairy, caffeine and alcohol, I’d seen breast feeding consultants and tried most bottles (Baby Born Free have all the latest on BPA Free, were hugely supportive and deserve a thank you!)  But Baby G was still crying it was getting worse if anything, if something did work it almost never worked again there was no consistency, no pattern, preferences or routine were emerging.  My hair was going greyer I swear visibly by the day, the stress lines were deepening and arriving at a pace.  I didn’t want to go out, it was so exhausting and difficult to visit other people, I was frightened she would just scream the place down, family or good friend or not I didn’t want to be observed struggling with my Baby.  I was in yet another very hideous spiral, this time one of very real and total panic.  Life felt like a tent with no pegs in a hurricane.  I don’t believe any child is “easy” they all have their moments and challenges and it just might not be whilst they are babies but it was only now that I understood what all the conversations I heard amongst my ante & post natal groups with H were about.  Only now did I “get it”, this was the nightmare they were all going on about!

Week 8                 By the time Baby G was eight weeks old she had the six week check, all was well, I’d been prescribed the gaviscon and I had returned twice because “my baby cries all the time”.  I wasn’t dismissed to say I was would be unfair, Baby G was checked out and I was told she was fine, it would pass but to come back if I continued to be worried.  I was worried, worried it might never stop, even my mum started to say “do you think there is something wrong with her?” Family and friends would visit – arriving with their knacks, tricks, secrets, songs and rhymes and declare “oh give her to me I’ll settle her.”  Part of me is proud of G that without exception she saw everyone off and didn’t settle for a single one of their secret-special-fail-safe baby–charms!  I had seen an osteopath when I was pregnant and I had taken Baby G along when she arrived.  I was back there on an emergency appointment to see if anything had changed or could be helped or preferably fixed.  I was running out of routes to explore, next step was going to have to be… I was all out I didn’t have an next step – wait until she was 12 weeks old and allegedly all this colicky screaming would stop that 12 week milestone was a lifetime away.  The osteopath was just lovely and listened and examined Baby G, placed her hands on her head and said, almost immediately, “this baby has an ear infection”.  In my heart of hearts I didn’t really think I’d get an answer from going to the osteopath, I was just dealing with such an alien situation it made me feel better to be doing something, doing anything, I just wanted her to stop crying.  “This baby has an ear infection” I was blown away there was a possible answer, now I feel guilty that wasn’t on my radar as an option, could I have know?  Should I have know?  Oh my God I could have an answer and one that is treatable – I was excited, inappropriately pleased my baby might have an ear infection because if she does we can treat it and she won’t be in pain and she won’t be crying for unknown reasons anymore.  Baby G had her a full osteopathic “MOT” and treatment and then we headed straight back to the doctors.  I called en route as it was gone 5pm telling them I wanted someone to look in my baby’s ears tonight.  The doctor looked in her ears and confirmed.  Calpol and antibiotics were prescribed.  Calpol and 20 minutes later I had a different baby.  We had seen her smile before but we didn’t see it very often, we didn’t know that she is a smiley girl and she is.  Just look!

Happy smiley girl

Best friends are allowed

So that is why my best friend asked me “is it harder to love a baby that cries a lot?” I love that question because I knew the answer without thinking, I love the fact that I knew without stopping for a nano second, I love the fact that the question made me really think about the first few months with Baby G.  I love that question because it says so much about the strength and openness of both our friendship and the people my best friend and I are.  It’s a friendship I am incredibly proud of .

So what is the answer to the original question “is it harder to love a baby that cries a lot?”  The answer is simple “No” but there are far fewer moments to recognise, reflect and feel that love because all of the attention that is demanded and exhaustion created by the crying.  It is harder to have those moments of calm and quiet and it is those moments when you gaze at your sleeping baby and get to experience rush of love for your child flood over you.



Filed under Personal & Family, Uncategorized

Immunisation tips

Baby G is 8 weeks old now and has been called up tomorrow for her first lot of jabs, not a nice Mummy moment.  I found it pretty distressing first time around with Lil’ H and I remember I wrote an email for friends would had also become first time mums just a few months behind me to help them along.  I’ve dug out that email to remind myself and have prescribed myself a dose of my own advice … thought I’d post it as it may help others and I’d welcome other tips about managing babes during and after immunisations….

Dear Mummy Friends,
I hope this finds you well, I thought the information below might be helpful for you and your babes as you approach their vaccinations. 
Having Hugo vaccinated was a big deal for me and I really debated whether to or not, I mention this because I was pretty agitated this morning having spent a good few weeks making the decision (and by the way it is yet another no win catch 22 one!) and Lil’ H definitely picked up on it so my top tip number would be for you to stay very calm. 
OK so here is what Lil’ H had, how the vaccinations were given and how I managed him with them …
At 2 months they have two jabs – one in each thigh, the first contains Diptheria, Tetanus, Pertussis (Whooping Cough), Hib, Polio and Meningitis C and the second contains the Pneumococcal vaccine.  About 1/2 an hour before I gave him a dose ( 2.5ml) of Calpol, no idea how much he got as he spat loads out but I think it helped.  The first jab he didn’t seem to notice (he was already crying though so it was hard to tell) the second one does hurt them, it stings apparently and he definitely felt it as he gave the hideous “silent scream”!  I held him on my knee, they gave the first jab, I turned him round and they gave the second.  Top tip would be to dress him in something that isn’t too fiddly to get the legs out of – if its warm just a vest or sunsuit would be perfect.  Lots of cuddles and kisses straight after and I went to another room immediately to feed him at the health centre before going home – I think this is quite important as it is a shock for them.  I fed him again when we got home to get him off to sleep, my friend came over and gave him a Bowen treatment for shock.  He has definitely been more touchy today, wanting to be held and he was crying more than normal today and it was difficult to settle him up to about 5pm.  After that the evening and bedtime was normal. 
So tips are…
1.  Stay calm, it helped me to have Mr L there too.
2.  Dress babe in something easy to get his legs in and out of.
3.  Calpol 20-30 mins before the jab
4.  Feed babe immediately afterwards
5.  Lots of cuddles – skin to skin is also recommended so you could plan to return home and both go to bed for the rest of the day.
Hope it helps. 
Claire xxx


Filed under Uncategorized

Footprints on a plate

This week I took Baby G to make a plate for my mum, her Grandma, for Christmas.  I did this with my lil’ H and wanted to create the same in pink so Grandma would have the “full set” – please note there won’t be anymore to collect! 

Violet Posy is hosting a “Thrifty Christmas” carnival and although this is a late addition to the carnival there is still time for anyone inspired into create their own baby plates to get them painted, fired and collected in time for the big day!

I’ll be collecting Baby G’s next week … ok whilst that’s one gift sorted there are still many more that aren’t so I’m back off to Google … ciao for now! Cx


Filed under Personal & Family, Recommendations

Grace’s birth story

This week my husband returned to work, I have been “signed off” by the midwife and I am solo with a 2.5yr old and a 2.5 wk old – I am pretty sure I’m not qualified but here we are and I am the responsible adult in charge – eek!  As part of being “signed off” all my maternity notes get handed back to reside in the deepest, darkest archives somewhere at the District Hospital.  The only time they will resurface will be if I have another baby – so that would be never!  I have copied a few pages related to my labour, delivery and first day – primarily as I was either on my own or unconscious for the majority! 

To tell this birth story properly I need to rewind to the evening on Sunday 11th October.  I was nearly a week overdue but started having contractions which were notable and regular about 7mins apart, so I had some supper and went to bed.  Having been here before I know I needed rest, energy and stamina and when we need to get going the pain will wake me!  I woke at 7:30am-ish on Monday morning to my lil’ H chiming “morning mummy, can I come upstairs?” through the baby monitor, still niggly tummy pains but less strong and about every 10 mins apart, these got stronger & closer throughout Monday until they were about every 5mins apart by tea time, again I went to bed, thinking “it” will wake me.  “It” didn’t, again my lil’ H did and again contractions had eased and slowed back to 8 mins – grrr is the polite, blogable version of my language.  Now at 8 days overdue my language and personality was at all time unpleasant low, limiting myself to contact with family and only the best of friends minimised the potentially catastrophic impact my mood could have had – think PMS times a million! 

Tuesday was a repeat of the same but I was much more uncomfortable in the evening and was woken a number of times, at 2am I phoned the maternity unit and took myself off on my own to be checked out having not been seen by a midwife for nearly a week.  I was bothered by disrupting my lil’ H and putting other people out I didn’t want to call my parents to come over and it be a “false alarm” but I was experiencing a level of discomfort, not pain though like last time.  So luckily for me our neighbours are in their early 20’s, gaming, partying, living life as you do in your 20’s and I could see they were up – a quick text and I had a lift to the hospital on the proviso I did not have the baby en route which I promised not to!

My maternity notes read “Mrs Lancaster admitted self to maternity unit complaining of abdominal pain: 40wks+9days” the underlining of my pregnancy timeline says it all really!  I think I was so resigned and fed up with being late I just didn’t think labour nor baby would ever come!  Not sure what exactly I did think was happening, abdominal pains?  I mean please Claire, come on!  In hindsight with what then followed I think the truth is that I was so preoccupied about not disrupting lil’ H that I just couldn’t relax enough and give myself up to labour with my toddler around so simply by being in the maternity unit I felt safe, I knew H was safe at home with his Dad and perhaps everything was then how I needed it to be to for me to progress my labour and deliver my baby. 

The usual checks followed – blood pressure, temperature, contraction monitor, baby heartbeat listen in, of course a good old feel up of the bump and the internal poke about!  Contractions were 6 mins and of a decent strength but I was still only 2cm dilated, I had been that for the last 6 weeks since my previous false start trip to the unit, having spent days in latent labour for it not to have done progressed anything was just gutting.  I was so tired, I needed sleep but couldn’t through the tightenings, I had some diamorphine, I texted Mr L to say no action will text if any change, relaxed and zoned out.  The next thing I remember was loads of people coming in to my cubical, the midwife saying “nothing to worry about we just want to do a quick scan to check baby’s position” – looking back there were too many people in there for it to be routine and they had the monitor turned away from me – I think they may have thought something unthinkable had happened because very quickly the midwife said “baby is fine, look here is her heartbeat” she then explained baby’s position was making it difficult to monitor her heartbeat.  I now know that was because she was in a back to back position, wedged on the right hand side of my pelvis – my notes read “BIG BABY Malposition ROP” the capital letters and underlining are yet another sign post to where we were heading! 

I rested & got some sleep too and in the morning I felt much better, brighter and stronger.  I was still contracting though, at 8:15am I called Mr L and said I was going to have some breakfast and get a cab home.  Midwife said she’d like me to stay for a few more hours as the contractions were still about 5 mins apart.  This is when it all seemed to go at warp speed, I got up walked to the midwives station and got a piece of toast.  I walked back to my cubicle, sat down and felt taken over, it felt like contractions were coming thick, fast and strong and they were every 2-3 minutes apart lasting about 90 seconds each.  Focus, breathe, focus, breathe, focus, then I realised someone was holding my hand it was the lovely midwife Cheryl, she took one look and set the wheels in motion to get me off the labour assessment ward (where I was most probably huffing, puffing and mooing the fear of god into a number of first time mums to be!) and into a delivery room – unable to walk I was whizzed round in a wheelchair.  I texted Mr at 8:45am “get here now” he replied “to pick you up with H?” I managed “in delivery” – bearing in mind my chipper telephone conversation with him some 30mins earlier it would be fair to say this came as a shock!  I will write a separate post on the fall out from these texts!

So here I am in the delivery room just me, the midwife and the consultant – solo wasn’t part of the plan!  Monitoring the baby’s heartbeat again proved concerning as it was intermittent and when it was tracing it was decelerating.  I was re-examined and shocked to be informed I was fully dilated at 10cm!  I give total credit to getting to 10cm whilst honestly “still waiting for things to get going” to hypnobirthing, the book & MP3’s from Tums2Mums and again I will write a separate post specifically about my experience with these techniques, they rock!  My waters still hadn’t broken and to improve monitoring they wanted to put a monitor on baby’s head, they broke my waters and they were black and green with thick muconium, not good.  I remember the glance exchanged between consultant and midwife and a few coded comments.  The midwife put a canular in my hand “just in case we need to move things along a bit”, I remember the consultant was struggling to get the monitor on baby’s head because “baby has lots of hair” and I remember thinking “oh crap I’m way further along than I thought!”  Mr L arrived just before 10am and the room seemed to just fill up with people, signs were increasing that baby was distressed and a fetal blood sample was taken, I now know this measures the acidity of the blood, with 7.5 being neutral a result below 7.3 is the start of acidosis, the process & positions required to get the sample were lets just say challenging but achieved!  Everything was going at 100 miles an hour, there were now, three midwifes including the head of midwifery, the consultant, the head of obstetrics, an anaesthetist and a student midwife who’s first day ever in a hospital it was – oh what a choice of delivery for your first!  I was told we may need to move fast when the result comes back and it may be we need to do a c-section.  The result came back just after 10:25am and it was not good at 7.2.  An alarm/bell was sounded.  “Mrs Lancaster we need to deliver your baby now by c-section, we dont have time for a spinal you need to take this tablet, drink this and understand there are risks associated with any general anaesthetic and surgical procedure … please read this and sign here” I needed to date the consent and I didn’t know the date – the consultant said ” its a very important date 14th October – its your baby’s birthdate, I will do everything to make sure you are all ok”.  Next thing I was off down the corridor on a bed unaware it wasn’t a shopping trolley with wonky wheels, I heard “have the pediatric crash team been called?” “yes there’s one team here and another on the way” which made my blood run cold but thankfully there was just no time to think.  I thought Mr L was behind me & looked back but I just saw doors closing and I was in the theatre and swiftly moved from bed to table.  A face appeared introducing himself as the anaesthetist he explained for speed he would have to press on my throat which may be uncomfortable and asked me to count backwards from 10 – he did press on my throat and I remember counting 10 then thinking holy crap he’s going to strangle me … and then I came round in the recovery room, was told everything was fine, a baby girl weighing 9lb 5oz.  I just remember seeing her all wrapped up in a blanket, exclaiming “NINE POUND FIVE!” and drifting straight back to sleep which was how I stayed for the majority of the next six hours! 

Grace Eloise Lancaster was born by emergency caesarean section under a general anaesthetic on Wednesday 14th October 2009 at 10:36am less than 10 minutes after the test result identified a potentially life threatening problem, she weighed 9lb 5oz and our life story together starts now …


Filed under Personal & Family

Rhodes to Heaven

I’ve mentioned the Mums Like You website before and it is through that community that I received two Rhodes to Heaven products to review from the Natural Baby range – their “Shampoo & Bodywash” and a mini sample of the “Botti Balm”

rhodestoheavenSo I’ve been using the Shampoo & Bodywash with Lil’ H for a few weeks now and want to share my thoughts with those kindly taking time to pass past my blog (thank you by the way!)

Like all “smellies” the first thing I did when I received these is open and sniff and my honest reaction was an audible “Ooooo”.  The Shampoo & Bodywash has a fresh delicate almost citrus aroma.  I choose the word aroma carefully because it’s not a domineering scent or fragrance like other products.  It also excludes the known to irritate nasties such as Sodium Laureth Sulphate, which with other products mean almost no bubbles which means you can end up using lots of product but a foam pumper dispenser solves this.  My Lil’ H loves the almost creamy, shaving foam like, bubbles its produces and they stay on his hand compared to the liquid wash pump dispensed washes which run/slip off making it easier for him to have a go at washing himself.  I would say it is easier to use as a bodywash than a shampoo as my Lil’ H has lots of very thick hair so I need a good few pumps to get his lathered and clean but it does rinse quickly, easily and really well.

My Lil’ H very much knows his own mind and my Johnson & Johnson top to toe wash, J&J Bedtime Wash and Daniel Gavin Organic Baby Wash (I am a self-confessed cosmetic & skin care product addict!) have remained lined up in the bathroom but have been unused since our Rhodes to Heaven top to toe wash arrived.  I ask H to choose which product he wants to be washed with and as yet none of the predecessors haven’t be requested as every night he points at the Natural Baby wash by Rhodes to Heaven declaring “Bubbles” his preferred choice! 

Also set to me was a mini sample of the “Botti Balm”, I am lucky in that as a general rule Lil H doesn’t need any extra botti care!  In the note though it mentioned its great for dribbly chins and chaffing which H’s best female friend, AJ, has recently developed so I passed this on to AJ for use, feedback and review and it is also getting a thumbs up.  Whilst vaseline-esque in texture its petroleum free, made completely from vegetable, clear and perfect for around AJ’s mouth.  Whilst a toddler chin is only ever going to fully heal when they stop putting their fingers in their mouths and dribbling through sniffles and colds it has done a great job of taking the red, dry soreness away and continues to be a staple item in AJ’s mums handbag!

So in summary …
Did I like? Yep, I would be comfortable to use on both toddler and newborn baby
Did my toddler like? Yes he did, the foamer pump is a bit hit!
Would I buy in future? Yes I would, whilst pricer than alternatives it lasts longer
Would I buy as a gift? Again yes I would, it would be a lovely gift for a new baby


Filed under Recommendations, Reviews

Baby weight sweep stake!

Inspired by the sweepstake OMG We’re Pregnant is running for guessing the arrival date & time of their first baby who is due later in October I thought a guess the baby weight sweepstake would be fun! 

So here you go, here is the bump, note head excluded due to lack of care or inclination to do hair or make up – I’m sparing you that for your own good people I assure you!


With a week to go, due this time next week Monday 5th October, so I am potentially looking at a further three weeks (please god no!) already one false start behind me, a reflexology appointment booked for tomorrow morning and a membrane sweep booked on Friday I feel arrival is imminent.  But what will she weigh?! 

OK, the facts – its a girl, she’s my second baby, my bump measures about 40 weeks, my first baby was a boy and arrived weighing 6lb 15oz (3.14kg)

Winner wins max smug points!  Sorry no prize but if anyone has anything they’d like to donate as a prize, please do drop me an email and we can change that – claire@dandelionlounge.co.uk

Baby weights in pounds and ounces, conversions will be done with the google calculator, all entries need to be in the comments for this post please!

Good luck!  Happy Guessing!


Filed under Personal & Family

Boy or Girl – to know or not to know?

boy_girl_symbolsOver at A Mothers Secrets, a place where mothers swear to tell the whole truth and only the truth, a suggestion from OMG We’re Pregnant for posts about finding out the sex of your baby while pregnant has inspired me to put my fingers to the keyboard and share my thoughts and experiences on the subject. 

My experience is with two pregnancies.  The first we didn’t find out the sex until I delivered my baby and my second (current and last!) pregnancy we have found out is a girl, so I have experienced one pregnancy not knowing and one pregnancy knowing. 

Whilst my personality is extrovert and often seemingly spontaneous, my nature is very much that of a planner.  I very much lead with my head and deal with facts rather than thoughts and ideas.  So, rewind the clock a couple of years to 2006 and everyone was amazed that I didn’t find out whether I was expecting a boy or a girl with my first pregnancy.  During this pregnancy I held a senior role in a large Plc, working silly hours with many days and nights spent away on business trips.  The main reasons I didn’t find out what I was having were… see, the planner in me wants an ordered list! :

  1. We wanted the news to be a surprise
  2. It didn’t matter to us, we had no experience of, or stuff for, babies – be they a boy or girl
  3. It limited how much planning, doing and shopping I was able to do (very successfully on the shopping front!)
  4. Both sets of first time Grandparents-to-be also wanted the sex of our baby to be a surprise on arrival

On my side of the family the eldest child is a girl for generations gone by – my Great-Great Grandmother, Great-Grandmother, Grandmother, Mother and me are all the eldest child.  As my pregnancy, my bump and other peoples guesses progressed, I became more and more convinced I was having a girl.  Still I never bought anything pink or blue, I was Mrs Unisex – all about the neutral, white & creams!  We had a nickname for our bump, “Baby Boo” and spent 40 weeks coming up with names for Boo’s arrival – we had agreed a name for a girl and had a short list for a boy.  Then baby arrived and “its a boy!” Mr L told me excitedly … having survived over 36 hours of labour, followed by nearly two hours of an assisted delivery I had completely forgotten that at the end of all this would be the long awaited “surprise”.  The truth is that the “surprise” part completely missed me as I was reeling from post delivery shock and stitches! 

Baby Boo was dressed in his unisex cream baby gro, “Baby Boy Lancaster” was written on his wrist and ankle tags and his cot was labelled “Unknown Lancaster”.  These bracelets and this label are in his first year memory book and I feel so bad about them, it looks like we weren’t bothered.  But post labour and delivery I just couldn’t confidently answer the question “do you have a name for him?” There was no surprise, there was a shock, that Baby Boo was not a girl.  In fact it was such as shock that I think it took me a good three weeks to get used to Lil’ H’s name because I just thought for no reason what so ever he would be a she.  That said I wouldn’t change it for the world.  I adore Lil’ H with all my heart and know he will be a great Big Brother in just a few weeks time.

When it came to second time around, I felt strongly about finding out the sex of our baby and my reasons were not directly related to my experience of Lil’ H’s arrival, certainly not in my mind anyway.  Our reasons for finding out second time around were: 

  1. We wanted the news to be a surprise – at a time that I would be able to appreciate the news
  2. We had four suitcases of grown out of boys baby clothes, if this one wasn’t to be blue they needed new homes.
  3. With a toddler in tow time to prepare, do & shop is limited, knowing focussed the to do list & makes it easier
  4. Both sets of Grandparents in hindsight confessed to be frustrated by not knowing during the first pregnancy!
  5. This will be my last pregnancy and my only opportunity to experience a pregnancy knowing

Interestingly in writing this post the reasons for not finding out and finding out are pretty much the same just from a different perspective.  The perspective of a second time mum-to-be with a toddler, still working, but now for myself on my own terms but still short of time!  I don’t deny finding out is for mostly more practical reasons.  It has afforded me the three months that I have spent selling Lil’ H’s clothes on eBay.  I don’t have a nickname for my bump this time around apart from “baby number two” however I know what her name will be (nope I’m not sharing!) and feel closer to her for it.  I have enjoyed choosing outfits for her, rather than looking through the limited choice of unisex items and have been able to take advantage of discounts and sales.  I definately had and enjoyed my “surprise” moment at finding out – we were told 80% likely a girl at the 12 week nuchal scan which was confirmed at 20 weeks.  It has been great to be able to talk to Lil’ H about being a big brother and having a little sister.  Grandparents-to-be have knitting needles loaded and clicking with pink & lilac wool and sewing machines humming with similar shades of fabric for bunting & playmats. 

Before I sign off it is worth pointing out that “knowing” isn’t definate and my birth plan does state “We have been told that the sex of this baby is a girl, it will be a shock if not!”  I will write a sequel post when she arrives on if knowing influences me during labour, delivery and those first weeks.  But for me I’ve experienced both and they were both right for me and my family at the time of my pregnancies.  Knowing was neither better or worse, just different.  So I guess the killer question is … if I was to have a third child would I find out?  There is no answer to that question because I will not be having a third pregnancy and if I was there would be way bigger questions to answer than is it a boy or a girl … it will be a full on case of “I’M A PREGNANT LADY GET ME OUTTA HERE!”


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