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From one mum to another - Amber Goddard

 

From Amber Goddard.
 
I have absolutely loved reading Amber’s blog feature, I can truly relate to her diagnose. Her heartfelt honestly of becoming a mother had me in tears. You’re educated to believe conceiving a child is one of the most natural and easy things to do however, even the conception can prove to be a challenge. You will thoroughly enjoy reading Amber’s blog, her pure honestly and advice is spot on.
The gorgeous Bea is our brand rep. Every time I see a picture of her facial expressions my heart melts, Bea is 4 ½ months old.
 
I love hearing about birth experiences and how they are all different, did you have a ‘normal’ birth as far as normal goes?
Motherhood was not easy for me. It was a status that I had to fight to attain. I had been diagnosed with PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) and the GP broke my heart into a million pieces when they told me that my chances of conceiving was pretty much impossible. It was such a gut wrenching moment and a blow that could shatter the identity of the woman I wanted to be.
 
However, just three months after commencing fertility treatment in the form of Metformin we found out that we had conceived our first child and I was utterly giddy with excitement, planning our idyllic story. Imagining what our family could be. It was a textbook pregnancy and I watched my belly grow and I felt such pride that I was growing this tiny human being inside.
 
We saw our little Jelly Bean on the screen twice and couldn’t believe how in love we were. On 03.06.17 things took a dark turn. I had no idea what was happening inside and the fact that my dream was about to become at nightmare. At 21 weeks plus 3 days I delivered our little boy at home due to what we later found out was a placenta abruption. It was a very traumatic time and a part of me was also lost that day.
 
Bea was our Rainbow child (a child following a loss). When we found out that I was pregnant again in October 2017 I was a little apprehensive. The pregnancy was tumultuous and I was in and out of hospital with reduced movements and even faux contractions at 27 weeks into the pregnancy!!! It was the week that the whole of the UK seemed to be on shutdown because of the snow!!
 
On 15th April I spent the whole day hooked up on to a monitor for reduced movements and was told to come back the following day for a follow up. I was discharged and back to work for the afternoon. I came home and thought I had a really bad back ache and went to lay down thinking I could sleep it off but all of a sudden I felt something much stronger than the Braxton Hicks I had been experiencing for the previous few weeks.
 
We rushed into the Triage Unit where I was popped into the day room, as I don’t think they believed I was in labour. I was really controlled then the other women around me ‘sounded’ it was like they were more in labour than me. They thought I had a UTI and so sent me to be monitored. I was 33 weeks plus 3. I had to have a speculum and low and behold I was 5cm dilated and in active labour!!
 
So, I was rushed into the Labour Ward and given a set of steroid injections (I actually missed out on the second set I should have had for the baby!!) as they seemed to believe they could slow down my labour, so I was made to lay on the bed despite wanting to deliver in a squat position initially. Due to my gestational diabetes I was told that I would not be allowed the water Birth I would have loved to have.
 
The gas and air was going strong and I was ready to push and in just seven pushes Bea came into the world. A tiny 4.85lbs but she was a little warrior. She let out a huge cry from her tiny lungs and I fell in love. Luckily, as she was such a strong little lady I was able to have delayed cord clamping which was part of my birth plan and she was put on my chest. I just remember thinking that she was so perfect and asked if she was okay as I couldn’t quite believe she was in the world.
 
I would say the labour process was very normal as it was a natural birth, no forceps, no intervention, no C-Section, no complications. It was just the circumstances that surrounded it that were irregular. It was so much earlier than expected that we were not at all prepared. Following the birth, Bea was put into NICU Care then Special Care. She is such a strong girl/Premmie Warrior that she was on the ward with me in 4 days and we were both out of hospital without her feeding tube in 18 days.
 
 
 
What’s the most amazing part of being a mum?
Before becoming a Mum I never realised that I had so much determination and had no idea that I could love a person so much. The most amazing thing is that my body carried and grew a little person who will now have the opportunity to make her mark in the world and become her own person. The journey will mean 18 summers of fun, unconditional love, lessons, tears and being able to pass on knowledge and watch from baby to adult. I will get to feel proud every day. I feel like motherhood will allow me to be the best version of myself that I can be.
 

Everybody has their highs and lows, what would you say have been you lows since being a mum?The lowest point came with the extended stay in hospital- particularly the first 3 days that Bea was connected with wires to all sorts of machines, being treated for jaundice with phototherapy and her having to be put on antibiotics for a mysterious viral infection that was never solved. It was so hard not to be able to hold her because she was so delicate and susceptible to infection and illness from the outside world. We had to watch her in her incubator in the NICU and there were times the machine bleeped because her breathing was not regular. She had such a terrible time attempting to regulate her cardiovascular system, organs and body temperature and her observations were often so frustratingly problematic.

The hardest thing was having to feed her through her nose tube. It is horrible seeing your child unable to eat in a regular fashion. I was determined to breastfeed but she was so early that she was unable to feed for herself. I had to spend my days expressing my milk and I didn’t realise that milk would come in slower than I expected (especially with a premature baby!) so I would take a pathetic looking 2ml of golden colostrum to our baby as often as I could just so she could grow and become as healthy as possible.

It was a really intense schedule of change baby, feed baby, eat daily meals and I felt like I was going crazy!! I was sleep deprived and so close to the edge but that only thing that kept me going was my little lady who needed me to look after her and help her grow. I found that the advice was very conflicting between each member of staff so there was no continuity and there was also very little breastfeeding support on the ward as the staff were so busy with much iller babies. There was an influx of premature and ill babies whilst I was staying in hospital that the staff had not seen for a long time.

The lowest point came with the extended stay in hospital- particularly the first 3 days that Bea was connected with wires to all sorts of machines, being treated for jaundice with phototherapy and her having to be put on antibiotics for a mysterious viral infection that was never solved. It was so hard not to be able to hold her because she was so delicate and susceptible to infection and illness from the outside world. We had to watch her in her incubator in the NICU and there were times the machine bleeped because her breathing was not regular. She had such a terrible time attempting to regulate her cardiovascular system, organs and body temperature and her observations were often so frustratingly problematic.

The hardest thing was having to feed her through her nose tube. It is horrible seeing your child unable to eat in a regular fashion. I was determined to breastfeed but she was so early that she was unable to feed for herself. I had to spend my days expressing my milk and I didn’t realise that milk would come in slower than I expected (especially with a premature baby!) so I would take a pathetic looking 2ml of golden colostrum to our baby as often as I could just so she could grow and become as healthy as possible.

 

Let’s get to know Beatrice, what’s her favourite toy, what does she enjoying doing most?
Beatrice is a very tactile little lady. She loves all things colourful and textured and is already enjoying books. Her favourite is a high contrast and fun baby book about a bee. She has always been fascinated by faces, so enjoys all the animal eyes. She is a proper little poser and particularly enjoys the mirror element at the end of the book.
 
She is a little live wire and loves kicking, rolling and reaching out on her Unicorn themed play mat. She loves the realisation that her body has causation in a space. She has realised that her own body is the best toy of all. Bea loves being out and about and loves nothing more than the sea air. She is very happy to be outdoors and when she was just ten weeks old we took her on her first Staycation to a caravan at Challaborough Bay. She loved the adventure and in particular the sea breeze. We are very lucky to live in beautiful Devon, where we are close to the coast and countryside for day trips and Baby Wearing adventures.
 
At home Bea enjoys listening to music, time on her playmat, brand repping for Rhubarb the Bird and most of all cuddles with Mummy and Daddy!!
 

 

What’s your favourite thing to do with Beatrice?
I could spend all day just watching Bea learn and become the funny little character she is. I am constantly talking to her and also love to make up songs that I sing to her. I love to tickle her until she belly laughs and I have also really loved being able to breastfeed her for bonding (sleepy feeds are the best!)
 
What does your average day look like?
An average day is a sleepy morning feed (5am/6am) then I bring her into our bed for cuddles. Daddy will often spend time with her whilst I shower and get breakfast. We go downstairs to change nappy and get dressed. We have a morning kick on the play mat listening to music ranging from Enya, to Fleetwood Mac, to Ed Sheehan then she is usually ready to have another morning nap up to about 11am so I will potter around and do some chores and read a book. We will then often have a walk to the shop. On Mondays we go to our local youth centre to have her weighed. On Tuesdays we plan to start going to a baby group called Rhyme and Sing. We try to host a Mummy Meet at ours every month as it is lovely to see the other ladies who were in hospital with Bea and I.
 
Over the summer we have had lots of day trips with Nannie. On Daddies day’s off we will go for a walk to one of the National Trust Sites around the area.
 
I demand feed throughout the day so feeds and naps are always different. When Daddy comes home I make the big people’s dinner and Daddy feeds Bea one previously prepared bottle and spends some quality time with her.
 
We don’t have much of a routine but we are really trying to get into a bath-book-sleep night time routine. We usually put Bea to bed between 10.30 - 11pm. At the moment we seem to be going through the delightful 4 month sleep regression stage so I am woken up almost every hour between 12pm and 5am. It is exhausting but so worth it. Previously we had gotten Bea into a sleep routine of down at 11pm then up at 6am. Hopefully this will return soon!
 
There are so many products available for babies now, what’s one product you would say would could not live without?
As great as all these new products on the baby market are, the biggest baby essential will always be wet wipes!!! Multi purpose and you seem to go through thousands.
 
We do also really love Ewan the Dream Sheep and the Joie Sansa 2-in-1 allows me to put Bea down in the day otherwise she would always be in my arms if she had her way.
  
Lastly, what’s the best piece of advice you could give someone who is about to have their first child?
My advice for a first time parent would be to go with your gut instinct in decision making. Babies don’t come with a manual and they will give you all the cues you will ever need to look after them and keep them happy. It is okay to feel fed up, it is okay feel overwhelmed and it’s okay to cry. No one knows what they are doing 100% of the time, so just love your baby and the rest will fall into place!
 
You can follow Amber and Bea on Instagram

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