6 Month Baby Update

Oh my gosh…. can you believe Gabriel has been here for half a year already!!!??? I was actually a bit emotional yesterday because time is just going too quickly and I just want time to stop so that I can enjoy my baby at this age for a little longer, it’s safe to say I am loving motherhood more than I ever thought was possible, so I thought I’d update you all on what we are going through at the minute and how everything is going..

Breastfeeding:

We are still exclusively breastfeeding which I love but it does mean we haven’t had a break from each other in the last 6 months… I have expressed only a couple of times so know he will take a bottle if I plan ahead… Ainslee’s been asking if we could go on a date night (or just a date in the day time) soon and have my mum and dad look after him for a few hours if I pump a couple of bottles… I’m not sure if I’m quite ready to be without Gabriel yet… when did you guys go on your first date post baby?

Sleeping:

So sleeping we are just going with what Gabriel wants… some nights he sleeps in his Next2Me all night and some nights he ends up sleeping in our bed waking every couple of hours, I truly believe that in time he will want his own space and will sleep through on his own. When breastfeeding it is much more demanding because they want you for comfort in the night rather than a dummy.. and they also wake for food because they aren’t getting knocked out by a big bottle of milk like a formula fed baby. I’m happy to go by Gabriel’s lead with our night routine (I’m lucky I get to work from home) but I just think people should do what works for them and don’t feel pressured that you aren’t doing what all your friends are doing. I’ll be putting him in his own room once he starts sleeping through for longer periods.. hopefully once he starts eating more now we are weaning.

Weaning:

Weaning is going really well, I started giving him bits of blended veggies when he hit 5 months old and since last week I started to give him some porridge in the mornings as well to fill him up a little more, when we have our evening meal I will also give him some finger food that he just chews on to get some flavours (chopped veggies) and it also keeps him quiet whilst we have our tea. He loves food and seems to have enjoyed everything we’ve given him so far… everything I give him is natural and homemade or I have some of the Piccolo pouches that you can buy in Waitrose if we are out and about.

Activities:

So Gabriel now goes swimming every week, we do lots of playing and baby sensory at home, lots of long walks in the pram and we meet up with other babies a few times a week so that he gets lots of interaction with other children which is great for speech and confidence. He loves being around other babies (generally I find him chatting away to his baby friends!! So cute!) We tried a few classes out and I just found the mums were too ‘old’… it sounds awful but I want us both to gain something from the classes and I find we have lots of sensory type things to do at home and we love singing and dancing to music (I think I prefer it more haha) and I’d rather meet up with my friends that I have something in common with.

What we are looking forward to over the next few months:

We can’t wait for summer so that we can do lots of outdoor playing and water play which I know he will LOVE! It’s my brothers wedding in July so we will have lots going on over the next few months and will be going on a few trips down to London which I am so excited for!

Please let me know if you’d like to know anything else and let me know how you and your baby are getting on if you’re at a similar again!

Lots of love,

Maria & Gabriel

Breastfeeding Friendly Fashion

Hi lovelies… You’re probably reading this post if you’re breastfeeding yourself so I just wanted to give you a few tips on what I lookout for when shopping so that I can breastfeed easily and not worry too much about being too exposed.

Here’s what I look out for:

  1. If I’m buying a dress it must be a wrap dress or a button down shirt dress.
  2. My favourite tops are the nursing ones from ASOS for everyday comfort.
  3. High wasted jeans/leggings are a must if you’re having to lift your top up so you aren’t flashing too much flesh.
  4. Looser fitting tops are comfier to feed with if you’re having to lift your top up.
  5. If I wear a dress and have to button down dresses/tops in public I always cover up with a muslin so that I don’t have my entire boob out.

Some of my favourite styles:

(Click on the photos to link you to their website)

Victors Restaurants in Hale

So we were invited to try out the NEW menu at Victors in Hale Village and we couldn’t wait… if you have seen their Instagram page lately you can see they have made a lot of changes and the launch of an exciting new restaurant in Oxford is about to make way!!! So if you’re one of my southern followers and live near Oxford make sure you pay them a visit, so that you aren’t missing out.

Not only is their restaurant so instagramable with its because interiors, flowered ceilings and stunning lighting but it’s the perfect place to hang out for any occasion… fancy a light bite? Grab some sushi and a stunning cocktail. Fancy a date night or night out with the family? They’ve got it covered with their wide choices of pizzas, pastas, sharing dishes and even small dishes so you can do a tapas style dinner and not to mention their beautiful desserts.

We tried a selection of each part of the menu… it was safe to say we did order a little too much but that wasn’t a problem for Ainslee with the appetite of an elephant haha.. we wanted to try lots of things so we could give an honest review, I think our favourite dishes were the mini burgers and lobster rolls, so make sure you order those when you go, unfortunately the sushi wasn’t available when we went as it’s made fresh and wasn’t ready yet but as we’ve been before we can tell you that the sushi is outstanding if you haven’t already tried it!

For dessert we had the cheesecake and selection of ice creams and they were both delicious… a little tip would be to order a few things from the menu at a time so that you don’t order too much.. because even though a lot of the dishes are small they are really filling… even though I’m sure you’d still manage to eat it all because it’s sooo good haha!!

We can’t wait to go back to try even more of their dishes… leave a comment below if you have been and love a certain dish… or comment on Instagram or Twitter x

Toni & Guy Knutsford

So I LOVE my new hair cut… I’ve always loved having long hair and because it is also quite thick when it’s all blow dried I think it looks lovely but when I have to do it day to day now that I’m a mum it’s just so not practical!!

Before having Gabriel I had been thinking about having a good cut but everyone said not to because I will need to put it up all the time with lil baba and I won’t want to feel ‘mumsie’ well I’ll tell you what… I wish I had cut it sooner!! I can still put it up but it’s just WAY shorter… it’s so much lighter and soooo much quicker to dry and style in the evenings after my shower when I need to be super fast!

So I went to Toni & Guy in Knutsford and they very kindly treated me to a luxury treatment and cut & blow dry, their salon is right in the centre of Knutsford, on the cobbles opposite Jojo Mama Bebe and as soon as you enter the salon you are welcomed by lovely friendly staff. I think my fav part was the head massage after my hair treatment and you can also have a glass of fizz whilst you watch the world go by. My hair felt the softest it has ever felt, with their tailor made hair treatments for your hair type and my blow dry was gorgeous and lasted me days!

They very kindly gave me a 25% off your first treatment to all my followers when you quote ‘Cheshire Gossip Girl’ which is amazing and I hope you all make the most of it ❤️

My Postpartum Workout Regime

Working out when you have a newborn is completely different to what a workout was like pre pregnancy, I used to spend hours in a gym each evening and would enjoy back-to-back classes and hours doing cardio on a treadmill or stair master… but whilst I was pregnant I ended up not going to the gym as my pelvis was so uncomfortable that I even struggled to walk, so the gym was a no go!

After giving birth to my still born Sebastian and then getting pregnant right away with Gabriel, post pregnancy I was now looking at a 15 stone me instead of a 10 stone me… I couldn’t believe I was now 15 stone…. as the weeks went by with my gorgeous newborn and with breastfeeding and once the fluid had gone I soon came down to 13 1/12 stone, by then I was 6 weeks postpartum and was starting to feel like I wanted to be more active after my c section… so I started by walking for half an hour each day with Gabriel in the pram and after a few weeks I built this up to an hour and now I currently go for a brisk walk every morning with Gabriel for an hour and a half.

Working out with a clingy baby is super hard work but I have now managed to get into a bit of a routine… because sometimes going for a run then needing a shower when I get home doesn’t always work out when Gabriel is crying for me so much when he’s left with his Daddy.

So my walking I use as my cardio when I’m not able to go for a run… then I use Ainslee’s 10kg kettle bell to do:

25 weighted squats X 5

25 weighted lunges X 5

25 Kettlebell swings X 5

Doing these basic exercises every night when Gabriel is either in bed or relaxing with his Daddy has really helped tone up my legs and core area…

Then for my separated abdominals I get down one a mat and lie on my back:

⁃ Knees bent and suck my stomach in and hold it for 25 seconds then release X 5

⁃ Then I go from knees bent positions up into the ‘bridge’ very slowly, one vertebrae at a time 5 times X 5

⁃ Then I lie flat again and lift my legs up and down together 25 times X 5

⁃ And then finally I hold the plank 30 seconds and side plank for 30 seconds on each side then rest and have a big drink of water.

If you are going to do these exercises please only do them once you are fully recovered and work up to this slowly and then you can always add more weight as you get stronger… also please avoid doing crunches if you suffer from separated abdominals as this will only make it worse and if you are wanting to slim down make sure you’re doing high reps with lighter weights rather than heavy weights doing low reps.

Now that I am 20 weeks in I am now 11stone 12 so still have almost 2 stone to loose… but I may never get to what I was pre baby and that’s fine! As long as I feel good I’m happy with that!

Hope you enjoyed reading and enjoy the workout 💋

Being a Mum and a Girl Boss

Okay so I know I’ve only been a mum for almost 5 months.. but I guess these are probably the toughest 5 months when it comes to being a new mum and also running your own business!

When I was in labour with Gabriel on the way to the hospital I was doing work for my clients in the car, because he was early I was panicking and thought I might not get chance to do all of this once baby is here. Well I was so wrong, whilst in hospital and as soon as I got home I was back on my laptop making sure everything was ticking over whilst I was just getting used to motherhood.

I guess for me in the early days it was just making sure I was maintaining everything and also figuring out how I would adjust my work patterns to fit in with baby… this meant making sure my laptop and phone were always on hand for when I was feeding Gabriel… because let’s face it I worked out at the very beginning I was breastfeeding for 50 hours a week, which is a full time job for most so it was all about being time efficient.

How to expand your business with a baby:

For me I want my business to grow organically and I haven’t forced anything… and to be honest I think that is key, in regards to blogging I have been asked by so many girls ‘How can I make my blog successful?’ And I know I’m no Lydia Elise Millen but I believe that I have created an amazing platform for like minded girls and you are all incredible, but it has literally only happened because I am passionate about what I do and I a consistent. Passion and Consistency are all you need in my opinion, without those it just wont come naturally.

So currently I have adjusted my brand Cheshire Gossip Girl just like my life has adjusted, so now you’ll see lots more baby things along with lifestyle, beauty and fashion and I have been taking Gabriel to meeting with me as I have a few exciting new plans in the pipe line which I am excited to tell you all about but again it’s things that I am passionate about. I only do projects that I love and I believe doing what you love is the key to success!!

My Breastfeeding Journey

I know breastfeeding can be a touchy/ controversial for some subject but I wanted to write my story to either help others or give people the extra confidence that it’s okay to breastfeed and not to feel embarrassed or ashamed to feed in public!

I was always brought up thinking that breastfeeding was ‘The thing to do’ when feeding your baby. I was always surrounded by mums and also my Mum who breast fed me… so when I went to the hospital to have Gabriel I was all set for this amazing breastfeeding journey and thought it would come really naturally to me but had heard about how sore your nipples get in the early day.

After having Gabriel by emergency c section 4 weeks early I was told by the midwives at the hospital that I should start by squeezing my boobs and using the syringes to feed him so that my boobs start to produce more ready for the milk to come in…. I remember sitting with the curtains closed in our ward me squeezing my boobs whilst Ainslee squeezed it up in the syringe… I was thinking ‘God Ainslee’s seen it all now’. As we were in hospital for 4 days due to Gabriel having Jaundice the midwives told me that I needed to give him a bottle of formula as it would flush out the jaundice quicker… I have to say I was gutted about this and truly felt like the midwives just wanted me out of the hospital so that I could free up my bed (looking back now) for someone else, but I thought that they were right at the time so gave him a couple of bottles and carried on giving him my colostrum too!

Whilst in the hospital I was so shocked that all the other girls were choosing to formula feed from the get-go.. it didn’t make sense to me, it’s the best thing for baby, great for weight loss and it’s free!!! This is what we have boobs for right?… it didn’t make sense to me… I know women have trouble with feeding and can end up having to formula feed but the fact so many people choose to formula feed from the get-go didn’t make sense to me. Is it because people don’t want to get their boobs out in public? Is it because you want to share the feeding with others? I was so excited about having this amazing bond with my baby so when I left the hospital that evening I couldn’t help but feel gutted about having to give my baby formula milk.

That night before bed I gave Gabriel his final bottle of formula and told myself I WAS GOING TO DO THIS, throughout the night I kept getting him to latch in the hope we could change this around… but it was too late, Gabriel had got used to the bottle teet already and would no long latch… so I carried on squeezing the colostrum out and syringing it into his mouth until the morning when the ‘feeding team’ came round to our house to check on us. By this point I was using the breast pump and giving him my milk from the bottle which I was finding so hard and tiring.

The feeding team midwives told me that he had a bad tongue tie and that could be why he’s struggling to feed, so they gave me a pack of nipple shield that mimicked the bottle teet and he latched straight away! I was so happy! I couldn’t go through with him having his tongue cut so we persevered with the nipple shields for a good few months, I bought every style and even found some shorter nipple shields which he would have to work harder to feed from as he got older. I’ve slowly weaned him off them now so he’s now feeding straight from my nipple as he’s got older and stronger, he’s now 4 months old and we are feeding really well. This just goes to show that if your baby does have a bad tongue tie there’s no reason not to carry on and persevere with breastfeeding… if you really want to do it I truly believe its possible. After talking to a midwife I also found out myself and Ainslee both have tongue ties and both of our mums breast fed us… I think only recently people have been making it an issue and Im sure babies have had tongue ties for generations but they have only recently started cutting them… So because of our journey I’ve had no problems with sore or cracked nipples like most breastfeeding mums.. but I’ve also heard that so many mums have had to give up breastfeeding due to a tongue tie but I truly believe that with the right support (my breast feeding team were amazing) and your own dedication you will be able to breastfeed even with a tongue tied baby! DON’T GIVE UP!

Also when it comes to feeding in public, I’ve been for meals out with friends, shopping on my own in Manchester and even at the hairdressers and I’ve felt comfortable enough to feed Gabriel… with all the nursing friendly clothes out there these days or even just wear some high waisted pants and pulling your jumper/tshirt up you’ll find you’re not showing anything off. So far I haven’t had anyone stare or make me feel uncomfortable, let’s face it you’re doing the most natural thing in the world!

I absolutely love breastfeeding and find it comes super naturally to me.. but I guess sometimes it’s not you who can have the problems with feeding and it can be the baby that struggles, which I was never really made aware of pre baby! I’d love to hear all about your breastfeeding journeys, Im planning on breastfeeding for as long as possible with Gabriel but no older than 2 as this is what I feel is the best thing for my baby! Please comment on my picture on Instagram and share your journey! ❤

Kiehls Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate Review

As you all probably know by know, I am a huge fan of Kiehls skincare… for myself, boyfriend and baby! As a household we adore their products and also how natural and gentle on the skin they are..

It’s literally all I use so when I went to the Bloggers Brunch for the relaunch of the Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate at Kiehls on King Street, Manchester I was so excited to hear about this product as I had never come across the old one… When I heard the words Hyaluronic Acid I couldn’t wait to try this product, Ive heard lots of other beauty bloggers talking about products with hyaluronic acid in but had always been too scared to invest and try them as I have super sensitive skin so had always been worried about reacting or my skin going really red. So when I heard about this relaunch I knew that this would be the product for me as I have never had any problems with Kiehls products and always get amazing results from every product.

Whats different to the old Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate?

Kiehl’s original anti-ageing Vitamin C serum, Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate, now with 12.5% Vitamin C and Hyaluronic Acid.

Now formulated with even more Vitamin C, Dermatologist Solutions™ Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate incorporates 10.5% L-Ascorbic Acid and 2% Ascorbyl Glucoside. In addition to Vitamin C, this anti-ageing serum now includes Hyaluronic Acid. The formula helps reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles while helping to improve the feel of skins texture. Skin looks radiant and feels smoother. This Vitamin C serum is carefully-formulated to provide clinically-proven results in a concentration gentle enough for sensitive skin.

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Also as I new mum this serum couldn’t have come out at a better time! I have been using this product now for a couple of weeks and my skin feels incredible.. It feels so smoother, even and hydrated. It’s been my go-to product to give my skin so much more life now that I’m sleep deprived with a newborn. My skin looks much more glowy before I even have to put my make-up on and Ive even caught my boyfriend using it a couple of times….

 

 

My Birth Story

Well lets just start by saying I never even thought I’d be writing this post.. throughout my whole pregnancy I couldn’t image actually having a successful birth after last time… Gabriel was booked in for a c section at 39 weeks (on the 17th November) right between mine and Ainslee’s birthdays. We thought that would be perfect so that we could all celebrate together each year. We were having to have a c section because Sebastian had brain damage so we were ruling out anything like that happening to Gabriel, but as he was breech we ended up having to have a c section anyway.

But at 36 weeks Gabriel had a different plan…

It was 9am in the morning on the 30th October and I had just been FaceTiming my mum and dad (as they were in Australia and not back until 12th November) telling them how relaxed I felt and that I had had such a good sleep and ‘knew’ he wasn’t going to come early as I had felt so relaxed. The previous night I had a really relaxing bath and the last time I had a bath was the night before Sebastian arrived…. I had been scared to have a bath up until now and to this day I still believe that this is what brought both of my labours on.

After FaceTiming my family I got up and started doing some chores, I went into the spare bedroom and started putting the laundry into piles and as I was doing this I heard Ainslee come home after his morning of clients.. by this point it was around 10:30am. I went into my bedroom to grab my laptop because I wanted to show Ainslee something and as I walked back onto the landing my waters broke.. It was like an uncontrollable wee, I knew exactly what it was and let out a huge scream!!! Ainslee shouted at me and said ‘WHAT?’ He thought I had seen a spider and was being over dramatic or something haha! So I told him my waters had broken…. so I went into the bathroom whilst Ainslee called the hospital and explained what had happened, they said to come straight in so I quickly had a shower whilst Ainslee stumbled around packing me a bag (I still hadn’t got everything ready) Whilst I was in the shower my contractions started to come on quite strong from nowhere, around every 10 minutes and I started getting anxious and told Ainslee we needed to rush to the hospital.

Once we got to the hospital it was around 12pm by this point we were told to wait in the waiting room. Everyone in the waiting room seemed really calm.. I WAS NOT! I would cry when each contraction arrived, I couldn’t get comfortable and kept having to get up and sit down again. I felt awful! I ended up shouting at Ainslee and saying ‘GET SOMEONE TO SEE ME NOW!’ I never shout at Ainslee so my hormones by this point must have been telling me that he was coming. We were finally seen at 1:30pm and I was given some paracetamol.. I told the lady I needed to push and she didn’t believe me but said she would get someone to come and examine me…

The lady did the examination and said the words ‘oh my gosh she’s 9 1/2 cm’s dilated!’ after that moment everything went very quickly… they got me ready for theatre and I went down to have an emergency c section. I think if he wasn’t breech by this point I would have said I wanted to push him out.

By 3pm exactly my little rainbow baby was born at a healthy 6lb 13oz…

Life as a new Mum with my Rainbow baby.

 

I feel like I should have posted this a while ago now… but I guess motherhood has just taken over and I’ve just been enjoyed every moment with Gabriel… so here goes..

Well it feels like it took a lifetime to finally hold my baby is my arms and take him home.. but I feel like this was my journey and without this journey we would have never got this beautiful gift.. my baby Gabriel.

From going through the worst thing I have ever gone through and having the worst year of my life (after baby Sebastian being stillborn)… being so down and probably depressed (even though I try not to use that word) to 3 months later finding out I was pregnant again, being filled with worry and not being able to relax until this new baby had arrived.

Gabriel came 4 weeks early and I’m sure it was because our little angel Sebastian didn’t want me to worry any more so he gave him to us as soon as he was fully developed and ready for the big wide world at 36 weeks.

I can’t even begin to explain what it is like having a baby after a stillbirth… but all I can say is it is WONDERFUL! I know for sure this little baby is going to be so so spoilt by everyone around us… especially me and Ainslee, we already fuss over him so so much – Way more than we should and I think we appreciate him that little bit more than families who don’t have any complications. I guess it’s just the way the world goes round but we are so thankful to finally have him here.

I feel like motherhood has come really naturally to me and I am enjoying each and every moment, every milestone that he makes I also get a bit sad because he may have outgrown his tiny coat or he is going up to that next toy and no longer is he wanting to be clung to me 24/7 but each milestone amazes me but I just wish time would slow down. Its safe to say I have a super clingy baby, and I think if it was anyone else they would be wishing he wouldn’t be so clingy, or would settle on their own by now… but I think because we went through what we went through I love that he needs me for absolutely everything and I’m so lucky that I can spend all of my time with him ❤

We are currently breastfeeding and I am planning on doing this for as long as possible as I truly believe it is the best thing for my baby… I was a little shocked if I’m honest at how few people I have met that actually breastfeed… and I don’t mean if they have given breastfeeding a try and it hasn’t worked for them, I mean the people who choose from day 1 to formula feed. Is it because they’re embarrassed to feed in public or because they want to be able to share the feeding experience with friends and family? I want to also create some kind of awareness to how its okay to feed in public and not to be embarrassed because it is the most natural thing for you and your baby and also the best thing.

The classes we have tried so far are baby sensory and baby massage, we also love to get outdoors everyday and try as many new experiences as possible.. whether that be listening to music at home, having bath times together or trying a new class, I want Gabriel to try as many things as possible. We have him signed up for Rhythm Time to start at the end of February and we’ve been invited to try Tumble Tots once he’s 6 months old.

In terms of my weight loss postpartum I have lost almost 3 stone now since giving birth as I had put on a total of 5 stone through my 2 pregnancies… Walking every day, doing my core exercises each evening when Ainslee can hold him and eating a healthy balanced diet has worked really well for me so far… I have only recently started to up my exercise and go for a few runs each week so I’m hoping that by Summer time I will be back to my pre pregnancy weight… fingers crossed, from being super fit pre pregnancy to how I am has taken a lot of getting used to and I would really like to be much fitter as I want Gabriel to have someone to look up to and when he’s bigger we’ll be able to do lots of fitness type things as a family… so my goal this year is to try and make as much time for my fitness as possible and make it the next priority after Gabriel of course.

I hope this has given you an insight into how motherhood is going for me so far… Id love to hear your experiences or if anyone has any advice or just needs a fellow mum to chat to! I’ll be writing blog post each week from now and hope you enjoy following my journey!

 

 

Lots of love

 

Maria and Gabriel x