Why I Breastfeed…

As part of national breastfeeding week; a campaign dedicated to raising awareness, increasing acceptance, and promoting support, the lovely Vivienne from Another Bun invited me to join in on her #whyibreastfeed campaign as part of the week long campaign by UNICEF.

Although I already actively write about my breastfeeding journey, I couldn’t not get involved. Breastfeeding is such a huge part of my life, and something I take very seriously. Here’s why I do it:-

Free food. I’d be surprised if this doesn’t go through your mind when you’re having a bad day, have you seen price of formula? It certainly drives me to continue.

It’s convenient. Although definately not easy at first, once you get the hang of it; whether at home or out – it’s easy just to whip your boob out to comfort or feed your baby.

No washing up. A more comical reason, and not necessarily something that drives me – but it’s true!

It’s full of the good stuff. Probably the most important reason. Antibodies, nutrients, fat. There’s a reason T is now 14Ib9oz at only 10 weeks old.

Bonding. It’s something you can’t replicate elsewhere. Whether it’s the way T grabs my thumb as he feeds, or the way he doesn’t stop looking at me – it’s our special time. Just us.

Because I want to.

Why do you breastfeed? Join in with the hashtag #whyibreastfeed.

K

Days Out – Our First Lesson with Puddle Ducks

Me and S have always been water lovers. We love swimming, we love our showers. We swim in pools and sometimes in the sea (if we can be bothered to walk over the cobbles of Brighton Beach). So naturally, we wanted to get T used to swimming early on in his life so that by the time we go on our holidays, he’ll have no issues jumping into a pool or having fun in the sea.

Apart from going to the local pool and just having a splash around, we didn’t know the first thing about introducing babies to swimming. We certainly didn’t want to do anything wrong so that he’s then traumatised later, so we decided that we’d do it properly and get T into some classes early on.

Of course these classes are more for the parents, so they can learn how to be confident in the water with their babies,but it got T into the water as well – so we were happy.

We decided to go with a company called Puddle Ducks as we met the guys at a baby show we recently attended and they were lovely. Other companies also seemed to have larger classes, where as Puddle Ducks had smaller, more personal classes. Finally, to be quite honest, other companies were way more expensive, some a lot more expensive. Puddle ducks seemed more reasonable and value for money. 

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I arrived at the Brighton Hilton Metropole early on Wednesday. Before arriving, I was excited at the thought of having the class in the hotel pool – it was going to be quiet with, hopefully, lots of space to change but that got quickly thrown out the water when I realised the hotel car park was £4 an hour!! So I had to park at an alternative car park last minute – thankfully I was ahead of time.

Arriving in the leisure club’s lobby I was greeted by the owner of Puddle Ducks. He ran through the procedures and where everything was and then showed me to the changing rooms. It was really well organised, even more so when I found out there was a buggy room assigned to puddle ducks.

In regards to the hotel facilities, I wasn’t overly impressed with the changing rooms. Not only was there limited baby changing facilities, but there were only about 20 lockers within the changing room, unless you didn’t mind leaving the changing rooms in your costume to find the other lockers in the hotel corridor. By the time I got us both changed my back was in agony. With this in mind, every effort has clearly been made to make the time in the changing rooms comfy. There were several changing mats, a travel cot for older babies; so adults can change, and a nappy bin provided by the guys at Puddle Ducks. 


I think the thought of having these classes in a hotel is lovely, but it’s certainly not practical. I wouldn’t be impressed if I was a guest at the hotel, hoping to have a leisurely swim, and found a dozen crying babies in the changing rooms taking up all the locker and bench space, stinking the place out with nappies. Maybe they’re warned beforehand, but the fiesty Italian lady next to me certainly wasn’t impressed (maybe it’s because I accidentally put T’s nappy in her open locker rather than mine).

Puddle Ducks are clearly a very popular company. When I arrived, there was already a class in the water and another class waiting on the side. Despite all this, they’re very organised; which is reassuring. From the military operation of getting changed to getting in the water, everything is meticulously planned so that is all goes smoothly and safely. 

When it was our turn, we went through some health and safety bits and then got going. The instructor had a lovely system set up when it came to getting in and out. You placed baby down on a soft wet mat, she then took them into the pool and then handed them to you after you got in. This was great as I had this awful fear of having to step in one handed down the ladder, or slipping on a sloped entrance.

The class itself was great. It was really relaxed and went at a nice, steady pace. Crying babies were welcome and the classes were adapted for babies with reflux. We learnt different holds and techniques to water enjoyment, as well as how to make us more confident in the water with our baby so that they’re relaxed. Of course there was singing – but that didn’t sound too bad thanks to the echoey pool! Considering it was only 30 minutes, we managed to fit a ton of positions in. T absolutely loved it and only cried when we got out! I also felt more confident in regards to handling him in the pool.

I can’t wait for next week as well as future swimming sessions locally. Next week we learn how to dunk!

K

We weren’t given anything for the purpose of this post. 

We Are The Mums Who…

This week, we were kindly nominated by Lauren to join in on a feature called “I am the mum who…” which depicts what kind of mums we are. Seeing as there are two of us, we both wanted to get involved!

We don’t usually do these sorts of things, but this one stuck out as it gave us the opportunity to do something different and think outside the box.

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Looking after the “Us”. 

Me and S have been just “us” for a long time. We’ve always had the freedom to accept invites to parties and stay out late. We wouldn’t have an issue going out for dinner or having a lay in at weekends.

On top of this we were often able to be quite romantic and spontaneous.

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So when T arrived, everything we once had went out the window. Of course we didn’t mind, it’s what we always wanted, but we had to make sure that it wasn’t lost forever and that we as a couple weren’t lost.

On top of this, it’s very easy, especially when you’re tired, to turn on each other and snap, and there have been occasions where S and I have done this. So to make sure we weren’t on a downward path, adaptations have already been made to make sure we’re still Sharon and Kate…

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Work as a team. We’ve always done this, but it’s more important now that T is around. During the night feeds, for example, I’ve recently agreed to S going to get T from his Moses basket and changing him whilst I slowly wake up and get myself ready. By the time S has finished and brought him back in, I’m awake and ready. S then goes back to sleep whilst I feed him. Other things include S doing dinners at weekends, and walking the dog before work. This team work makes everyone feel involved and it means we’re sharing the workload.

Avoid talking about T (all the time).  We love T dearly, but dinner times, especially now, are dedicated to non-baby stuff and more “us” stuff.

Going to bed early. We don’t want to wipe our evenings out, but going to bed early sometimes gives us a chance to just snuggle and chat. We still sometimes have evenings on the sofa catching up on shows we’ve missed, but going to bed instead some evenings mean we get time to ourselves without the distraction of technology.

Seeing the romance in things. It may just be being given an extra sausage at breakfast (ooo err), or saving your last rolo, but little romantic gestures like this make all the difference.

Over time, and once I have a regular expressing pattern, we hope to leave T with his nan and go on a proper “date” with each other. This may, at first, start off as just having an afternoon to ourselves at home or a cinema date, but we aim to one day have a whole evening (and night) to ourselves!

Don’t get me wrong, I already feel guilty about planning on handing T over or talking about how we want to be alone, but I really value the alone time with my wife as well. We’ve worked hard to make us what we are so I certainly don’t want to lose it.

K

The A-Z of Us


I’ve seen quite a few of these posts flying around recently and always thought it was a nice idea – having your life shown in front of you. It encourages you to think outside of the box and of the little things you often forget about.

I thought it would be pretty easy but after a few hours, I was still stuck on certain letters. Nevertheless, I’ve done it. Feel free to join in!

A is for S’s pride and joy, her tropical fish tank (or Aquarium). We’ve had it for a few years now after treating ourselves and to this day I still look at it to calm me down. 

B is for Blogging! Initially started just to document our TTC process so we could read back on our journey, we had no idea what it would become. We’ve shared new experiences and made new friends. We’re so glad we started blogging.

C is for Coffee and Chocolate. ‘Nuff said.

D is for dog Oscar, our beautiful dog and first boy. He’s recently had his nose put out of joint what with T taking up our time but he’s adapted well and he’s generally happy as long as I can throw the occasional ball.  

E represents S’s surname and how I’ve proudly changed my surname to hers recently.

F is for Family. We love our families dearly and couldn’t live without them.

G is for Gaydar, where S and I met many moons ago.

H is for home. It really is where the heart is. It’s my favourite place on earth.

I is for the Internet. I’d like to say I could live without it, but I couldn’t. Over the years I’ve made friends and found love because of the Internet, not to mention settle plenty of arguments by being able to quickly google it.

J is for July, the month we found out we were pregnant. Apart from getting married, it was the happiest moment of my life.

K is for Kinesiology. Our Kinesiologist fixed me after two years of TTC. We cannot thank her enough.

L is for Lie-ins, something of a distant memory. Even when T sleeps a bit longer I still end up waking at 6am.

M is for our nephew. Now two years old, he’s growing into a very funny little boy with tons of character.

N is for the NHS. I received an amazing service during pregnancy, birth, and after birth and I am very lucky to have access to such amazing people.

O is for OCD. It’s a huge, unwelcome part of my life and has been a wall I’ve been slowly demolishing over the years. Having a newborn hasn’t made it any easier to deal with but it’s certainly removed a few bricks at once.

P is for photography. We must take at least a dozen photos a day, if not more at weekends. With both S and I having our own cameras, as well as our phones, we’re always generally armed with a camera to capture our moments.

Q is for Queer… And proud of it.

R is for reading, something I rarely have time for. I can’t wait to start reading bedtime stories to T.

S is for Sussex. Our hometown is Brighton but we love visiting other towns within Sussex including; Lewes, Arundel, and Rye.


T is somewhat predictable. But Yes. But T is simply dedicated to our son.


U is for Uniform. I wear one for work and enjoy not having to choose something to wear every day.

V is for my VW Golf. It’s taken us on all our holidays and has been a very hardworking car. It’s part of the family.

W is for the West Country. Cornwall being our favourite, we absolutely love the West Country.

X is for Xenophobia and other acts of hate. It’s not welcome or necessary in this world.

Y is for yawning – something we all do a lot of lately!

Z is for the Zoo, probably one of my favourite places to go as a child.

What does your life in A-Z look like?

K & S

Learning New Skills

I’ll be honest. When I thought about what it would be like with a newborn I thought it would be slightly easier than when you have a toddler, for example. Not easy by any means. Easier. I thought my day would consist of three main things; changing, feeding, sleeping. Everything in between would be a bonus. I thought I’d be able to whip up a gourmet meal whilst he slept and have it ready for when S came home AND eat it. Newborn babies sleep loads, especially after eating, right? Wrong.

Over the past 5 weeks, because of T’s love of being awake for longer, I’ve learnt tons of new skills, a very special set of new skills…

• I’ve learnt when projectile urine is imminent.

• I’ve learnt how to cook a Thai Curry/Chilli Con Carne/Lasange/Stir-Fry in under 20 minutes.

• I’ve learnt what mess T has made by the smell of his crotch.

• I’ve learnt how to make a cup of tea with one hand.

• I’ve learnt what type of day it’s going to be going on how T has woken up.

• I’ve learnt how to pull a pram up stairs.

• I’ve learnt what T wants going on his cry.

• I’ve learnt to play fetch with the dog whilst feeding.

• I’ve learnt T prefers setting 4 on his play mat.

• I’ve learnt how precious and valuable time is looking at how quickly T is changing already.

These skills will no doubt be regular life savers over the next few weeks, if not months, and on top of this I’ll hopefully acquire a few more.

What skills did you/have you learnt?