LIFE // Pregnancy: 29 Weeks

As-Salaamu Alaikum
Peace Be Upon You

&& there we have it. Another cheeky, simple but awkward pregnancy selfie.

Current status: 29 weeks pregnant and super tired.

Biscuit queen.
Throughout my entire pregnancy all I have wanted and was ever satisfied by was biscuits and not just any kind mind you, it’s those Bengali biscuits – rusks and sugared toasts. They’re so satisfying and yummy especially dunked in masala chai. Every bite is savoured! You get that initial crunch and the rest just melts away *drool*. I go through them so quickly that when I run out, I’m semi-satisfied with a creamy, shortbread.

Cravings aside, this week, the LO has been ACTIVE especially at 1am. Throughout the whole day there’s minimal movement but as it gets close to midnight, my stomach is bulging in all sorts of areas. I wish I was more poetic with my words, but sadly, I’m not. However, that does not mean I don’t cherish every beautiful movement, experience and feeling that pregnancy has to offer.

With that said, pregnancy insomnia is very real right about now. The other night once Isa went down to bed I was up cooking, cleaning, mopping, laundry, and sorting out my makeup. YES! Sorting out my makeup. I sat there at 3 am going, WTH am I doing and what did I just start, but it was a job that needed doing so my crazy ass just went for it. Bare in mind, I had work at 9am so needed to be up by 7am. My body was exhausted and tired but my mind was telling me Nooooo! Lol – for some reason I just had to find silly things to clean. It’s my fourth day running now where I’m just sat up at crazy o’clock despite the fact that I’ve been up since 7am! I’m getting concerned as to how I’m getting through the day haha. Is this a sign of nesting? Surely it’s too early.

Heartburns are still an issue and I haven’t given delivery much thought this week. But I have been thinking about Isa and the amount of attention he will receive once baby arrives  – wondering what his reaction to the new arrival will be. Alhamdulilah, he’s a good kid in general, so I really shouldn’t be concerned over this non-issue, but I can’t help but think about it. I feel a little guilty that it’s not going to be me and him for long and that a plus one will soon be joining us soon. As I said, he’s an amazing child and he loves other kids and babies so I’m confident he will adjust well, he has a very caring and nurturing aurora about him.

Throughout this pregnancy my teeth have been super sensitive, so this week I have booked in a dentist appointment for two weeks time from now, as that’s the earliest I’m available to go. I know pregnancy affects your teeth and nutrients but boy are my teeth super sensitive atm.

Anyways I’ll keep you updated on my journey as I go along, so feel free to check back here every now and again!

Oh and Ramadan Mubarak Everyone! I pray Allah grants all your dua’s and provides you with his mercy, love and forgiveness.

Until my next post xoxo

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Ten things they don’t tell you about motherhood…

As-Salaamu Alaikum
Peace Be Upon You

I feel like there’s always something to add to this post, hence why it’s taken me some time to post it out. There’s always something new to share or something crazy you learn. Motherhood is one of the wildest adjustment you’ll make to your life so here are 10 things I was never told about motherhood…

When looking for a picture to set the tone of this post I realised I don’t take enough candid photos of me and my boy together – it’s usually pics of him and his dad, with others, or just of himself. I’m too busy looking like a bum to even think about getting involved, so that’s why you’ve got a photo of little ol’ me. Moral of the story: GET INVOLVED, get taking those photos and capture those memories coz I know I damn well I would want to reminisce about them later on.

In no particular order let’s get started on the ten things they don’t honestly tell you about motherhood…

1) DRY HANDS.

// You wash your hands after every nappy change, before every feed and then for your own needs – it’s constant wash wash wash, dry dry dry. Don’t even get me started on the chore that is sterilising bottles 😒 but it’s safe to say I’ve developed the most aged hands around town and it looks sad. I’m at a point where I’m like is there really any point to moisturising if it’s going to get washed off in five minutes? The answer is no. BUT if I don’t moisturise it my hand gets super cracked and bleeds and that’s not pretty to look at either.

2) 10 NEEDLES.

// When you have a cesarean everyone forgets to tell you the part where you have to self-inflict yourself for ten days with jabs. Yes, it’s there to prevent blood clots but boy did that hurt! I personally felt a burning sensation every time I got injected and it was a time of day that I dreaded so much.

3) WEIGHT.

// I don’t know what magical human out there exists but nooooo it doesn’t drop off anytime soon and nooo there is no time to go to the gym. I’m loosing out on £15.99 per month on a subscription which I never use. 😭😭 (DW, I’ve cancelled this now 6 months later).

4) LONELINESS.

// Motherhood brings out a sense of loneliness which I never really expected. Even though there are people around you it’s not the same. The nights are the worst because there really is no one else you can call upon. I mean realistically how many times a night are you gonna bother someone? (Please note this feeling does get suppressed over time when bubba starts sleeping longer) 😅. On a side note I think it’s important to note that Isa’s daddy works nights hence maybe why that feeling felt stronger? But either way it’s there, I’ve spoken to other new moms who have experienced the same helpless lonely feeling.

5) DEPENDANT COMFORTERS.

// I know as a parent you are responsible for the upbringing of your child. Which is great it’s the literal definition of a parent – to love and care for your little one. I never realised just how dependent the little critters are. Soooo clingy. From a cute morning hug to a temper tantrum cuddle who wants to be rocked and patted to sleep… but oh no, wait for it.. you can’t sit whilst you do it… you need to stand up!!! Can someone explain this logic and crazy science to me, please????! Why and how do babies realise we are standing as opposed to sitting? Like I’m doing the same motion. I would be able to get loads more done if only he was content with what he’s doing without me sitting there holding him or staring at him. 😴 < that’s me exhausted and no this feeling will never pass for the next 18 years (or so I’ve been told 🤪).

6) FIGHTING SLEEP.

// If you’re tired, sleeeeep!! They fight sleep and I don’t know why. I thought if they’re tired you rock them one, two, three boom 💥 they’re down and gone. I’ve spent countless of hours rocking Isa to bed and before you know it it’s time for a new feed and nappy change – and guess what the boy never slept. Yet he’s literally moaning and crying to sleep. Those initial first months were hard, but don’t worry now that he’s 8 months old I’ve got him figured out to a T.

7) NECESSITIES.

// Don’t buy shit – from clothes to useless shit and gimmicky things. Don’t get sucked into it – don’t forget this is a consumerist society everything is made with the intent to sell sell sell! Save your pennies. Wait for your baby shower, wait for people to come by with gifts when the bubba is born because you don’t know what’s coming. In our family we all chip in for the various bits and bobs a baby needs because they do come at an expense. For example, one member will buy the cot, another the pram, another the bouncer etcetera… basically a registry? Of course don’t rely on anyone but in all honesty, you don’t need anything in the first three months except 0-3 months clothes, nappies, bottles, sterilisers, food and YOU. All they need is lots of warmth, love and cuddles from you.

Oh please note; the baby season rotates every 3 months or so. Take your time when making a big purchase. No doubt it’ll go on sale at some point. When one store has a baby sale they ALL go on sale – it’s what makes a competitive market. Having said that – make every opportunity of First Time Shop vouchers and mailing lists because when you sign up no doubt you’ll be emailed with a discount code too.

8) RELATIONSHIPS.

// The dynamics change – what I didn’t expect is all the disagreement that follows. You don’t realise as an individual how selfish you are as a person and in relationships. See that changes when you have a baby because it’s no longer about the two of you, your sole purpose for those initial couple of months is to focus solely on the baby. The early stages of parenthood are tough because you are the sole carers for this fragile beautiful being that you need to nurture and strengthen. Just be 1000% confident in your relationship with your partner before having a child – just make sure you’re both on the right page that way you’ll be able to overcome any hurdles that come your way.

9) HIPS AND HEELS.

// Nobody mentioned to me that after a baby wearing heels like I was 18 is no longer possible. I remember the days where I would wear heels at 6:30am and trot into London to uni and be back home by 7:30pm in heels no problem. What I realised at my cousin’s wedding is that I can’t last bloody one hour in them 😩😭😭 no joke my hip joints felt like they got stuck.

10) LATCHING.

// Prior to having Isa I never gave breastfeeding much thought, it was a natural action and bond between mother and child – yet it was one that I didn’t realise was quite difficult to master. I presumed babies automatically attached to the boob and knew what to do and the milk would just flow. Oh no my fellow readers that’s not the case, well not for me anyways. I had such a difficult time getting Isa to latch on it just ruined the whole breastfeeding experience for me and I ultimately failed. What’s supposed to be a really natural and seemingly easy experience – just wasn’t the case. It definitely made me more “depressed-like” post-pregnancy as the stress and importance of it weighed heavy on me.

I do hope you enjoyed reading this post, if you would like read all my mommy parenting style posts please search “parenthood” in my blog search bar on the right. && if there’s anything you’d like to know or have any suggestions for me don’t be afraid to get in touch and let me know.

I would love to know as a new parent what shocked you the most, or you felt in the lurk about? Feel free to comment below – Until my next post xoxo

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LIFE // 6 MONTH UPDATE, Mommy Edition.

As-Salaamu Alaikum
Peace Be Upon You

Hey beautiful, this is a 6-month update post on me,  just checking in and sharing my up changes and updates that I’ve experienced since birth. If you would like to read the baby 6-month update version, then go right ahead and read [here]. I’ve decided to split the baby and I updates otherwise it would be wayyyy too long to read.
So here goes the updates:

MOMMY aka ME.

Now it’s important I talk about my own updates because as new mothers it’s important to also check in on ourselves during this time. How can we be there for our little ones if we’re feeling our worst.

Don’t just look at yourself from a physical aspect, think about your mental, emotional and spiritual attributes as well as evaluating your relationship levels. Through my own experience I realised it is so important to check in on these other aspects too. If you’re not doing so well, get the help and support you need – whether it’s from friends, family or professional help – just reach out or find a form of therapy that helps whether it’s talking or journaling.

It’s no picnic in the park, you will be tested, your relationships will be tested – heck mine is still being tested, in ways I didn’t expect. Having a baby will put a change your entire existence and outlook to life – giving it a whole new meaning. I’ve realised there’s only so much help your partner can give – before they start exhausting themselves too. Just know that through time it will get easier – you will become stronger together. As long as you both know what is expected from each other, you will continue to fight through it together. Just give each other time, space and understanding to overcome these new changes.

Previously I stressed the difficulties I experienced in the first couple of weeks of motherhood in this post [here] – from having no guidance and finding motherhood completely hard, lonely and unnatural. Fast forward to present day – it’s still hard, the difficulties are different and the struggles have changed. Although the sleepless and broken nights have become easier to manage and the cries are understandable.

Over time I noticed I was more smilier and positive, I started going out more, do my makeup more, look presentable and I’m finally making more time to myself. I’m still trying to squeeze in gym life but cooking and feeding myself is still a chore and last on my list. It’s coming together slowly but surely.

In terms of physical aspects – my hair was a problem, I noticed significant hair loss so I gave my hair the chop (hated doing it because I love my long hair) BUT it’s only hair and I know it’ll grow back very quickly. I had a ceasarean so my scar has healed very well except one little bit which is concerning so I need to book an appointment in for it asap. Although it’s healed, if pressure is applied to the scar it does still hurt. Majority of my bloatedness has reduced but I’ve still got that stubborn baby ceasarean roll there. Through constant bottle washing and washing my hands – my hands have become insanely dry. The Nivea smoothcare hand cream has been working it’s wonders.

I’m starting to have a lot of fun with Isa now, his giggles melt my heart, his gummy laugh is infectious and I fall in love with him more and more as the days go on. I love that he’s becoming his own person, very strong in himself and knows what he wants, likes and dislikes – it’s cute and adorable. I thank Allah that he’s a super chilled baby – easy to take out, no fuss, loves everyone and enjoys the adventures. He could’ve easily been a handful – which would’ve added so much pressure but alhamdulilah I’m thankful for the ease that Allah has provided me.

With that said just note that within the first couple of months you will see the biggest and drastic changes both in your baby and in your life some good and some bad. LITERALLY don’t sweat the small stuff, breathe, relax and enjoy your bubba. Take LOADS of pictures and videos and just say yes to all the fun oppurtinities and don’t be afraid to use the word NO also. It’s been a hectic 6 months but I’m actually looking forward to the next 6 months to come with little man. So I’ll guess I’ll next see you then.

Until my next post xoxo

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LIFE // 6 month Update, baby edition

As-Salaamu Alaikum
Peace Be Upon You

This post is well overdue I know, but I’m posting it because in a few days, months and years time I know it’ll be a joy to reflect back upon.

YES, that’s right, my little baby is 6 months already! Born on 08th August 2017. I cannot believe half a year has zoomed by so quickly! Before you know it I’ll be back to work and then it’ll be his first birthday soon! 😪

If you haven’t met Isa Mikaeel before I introduce him [here] and talk about the struggles and hardships I have experienced [here]. Now, this post is a quick follow up from there.

Isa, Alhamdulillah, is great and doing well – except for the nasty virus that’s been going around as we both seem to be getting ill on and off since December! He’s had a constant cough and wheezy chest for a while now but he had a doctors appointment yesterday so all is well. Except his teething journey is just beginning so he’s becoming a lot more irritable lately.

Since his birth – he’s been circumcised at 21 days old, has had two haircuts – ehem shaves, numerous nail clippings and countless nappy changes.

SLEEP/ NAPS.

At the beginning, I was trying to figure out his sleeping schedule so I can work around it… and just when I thought I had figured it out we both end up getting ill on and off all the way from December to early February. These months were super hectic and draining because it totally flipped his sleeping schedule around and it was super hard trying to get it back to a manageable time frame. He literally slept 20-45mins at a time and then would wake up – it was so exhausting it definitely took its toll.

Fast-forward to now, as soon as he passed the 6-month date exactly it was like he fell into the most beautiful routine and now sleeps through the majority of the night ALHAMDULILLAH – well 10pm till 7/9am. He will wake up once (approx 1am) but I tend to pat him back down to bed. It’s been super lovely since this change and I’m in a much more positive and happier mood having slept considerably well. This means I’m able to put that much more of an extra effort towards Isa in the day and fully immerse all my joy into him. Plus it means I have more time to edit and blog for you guys!

Throughout the day he will have 2 naps varying from 30 minutes – 1.5 hours. Depending on what we do in the day it could sometimes be three naps. Don’t worry, I will write up a current detailed routine post that I have going on for Isa in an upcoming post – a routine in which I believe has helped him to sleep comfortably throughout the night.

On a side note, we’ve noticed that when he sleeps on his stomach he sleeps the longest. Oh and when he sleeps on our bed he sleeps the soundest and the longest also – not sure if our smell that is lingering on the duvet is comforting?

BREASTFEEDING

This is possibly the most depressing part of motherhood that probably kickstarted my anxious, frail mental state to fall into a whirlwind. Having had an uncomfortable pregnancy with the addition of gestational diabetes throughout – I was taught the importance of breastfeeding. What sounded like such a beautiful bonding experience was immensely tough for me to get along with. I failed to latch my little one on to me… ultimately I felt like I had failed as a mother before motherhood had even begun. I understood the importance of breastfeeding and all the nutrients and goodness Isa would have received from me… but I just couldn’t do it. Eventually, the pressure along with other factors was too overwhelming for me so I stopped. What should have been a natural experience became the most unnatural thing for me to do.

I did try numerous times to get Isa to latch on but ended up getting into a bad state where I found it difficult to breastfeed him and was super harsh on myself for it. Eventually, I knew for my own mental health and happiness I needed to get over the fact that I lost this battle and just regain my thoughts emotions and wellbeing so I could be there for him in other ways.

Thus the journey into formula feeding began. I used Aptamil 1 First Milk ready to feed milk – which was literally ready made milk, ready to go… purely for convenience sake – all I had to do was warm it and plus it was easy to travel with. However, I noticed that he was regurgitating and throwing up a lot of milk, so I did change his formula up a couple of times across different brands and types. In the end, we kept to Aptamil 1 Anti-Reflux milk powder as there was a significant change since swapping him over – he hardly pukes up with this stuff.

TEETHING.

Oh boy, it’s happening alright. Anytime anyone is eating Isa will stare, walk towards you or will grab your arms/ hands towards him and try to nibble on whatever you’re having. It’s quite cute, to be honest.

He’s been dribbling a lot, likes to bite his fists and onto some of his teething rings. We have good days and some bad days where he will throw a mini tantrum and I know it’ll be from the pain… those days can be quite tough but once soothed he’s not too bad. When I do see him fussing like that I’ll give him a cold cucumber to nibble over.

It’s all a bit of waiting game at the moment as we’re just patiently waiting for some teeth to pop through so then I can start feeding him mini meals!

SOLIDS.

No not poo, foooood. (although the poo is another story in itself, smh)

As soon as he was 4 months I started to introduce solid foods to him in the form of Aptamil Baby porridge. It didn’t go down to well and from his facial expressions I imagine it was too bland and he had a funny tummy (poo), so I stopped for a week and then slowly reintroduced it to him in the form of Ella’s pouches which he took to it very well. Since then he’s had a variety of pouch foods, all organic – from either Aldi, Ella’s, Piccolo or Hipp. He’s enjoyed all of them to be honest (I buy what’s on offer). He knows what he likes and has his favourites – banana, mangoes and carrots and definitely has his dislikes from parsnips, to mint and to even peas – bless him, little man was fully gagging on those flavours so I would try to mask the taste/scent by squeezing a bit of banana puree on top (cheeky, I know)!

Now that we’re at the 6-month stage I’ve given him more solid like foods from Farley rusks, to Ella’s puff, cucumbers, lemons and grapes. I mainly give them to encourage baby led weaning (I think that’s what it’s called) and to build his hand-to-mouth coordination.

Moving forward I would like to introduce him to Weetabix as I know the fibre will be beneficial and will be more filling for him. Moreover, it’ll be much more economical. Initially, the pouches were a convenient way for me to test what flavours and textures Isa likes so now that I know I intend to be steaming/ cooking them for him at home, wish me luck! I will however continue to keep a stockpile of pouches as they’re super handy for a day out.

ROLLING, CRAWLING or WALKING.

No crawling – we’ve got hardwood floors and haven’t been putting him on the floors as much as we would’ve liked. We’ve had him lay on the bed a couple of times to encourage his crawling but we understand it’s not the same and he’s not building up the strength in the right places. Having said that he is starting to roll around all over the place, it’s scary to leave him anywhere alone for a couple of seconds. Whereas before he was a bit of vegetable and could be left anywhere. We are currently encouraging crawling by laying out his toys on top of a fur throw for him to wriggle around on. It’s been reported by his dad that so far so good.

Now walking is where Isa aces the test. Stick him in his little walker and he’s thunderbird go, go, go. He zooms all over the place, it’s sooo cute and funny. Everyone’s been commenting how he’ll be a fast learner and walker In sha allah.

WORDS.

Not quite, but I swear I’ve heard him say AMA (mom in bengali). OH and he loves it when I read dua’s (prayers in arabic) over him – he’s very responsive in that sense.

Lately, he’s really been trying to engage in conversations with a few ooooh’s and ahhhh’s here and there. It’s lovely to hear him babble and in response to his babbling conversations I too will babble back, hehe.

SIZE.

At birth Isa fit into newborn clothing and nappies, weighing in at 7lb and .5oz.

I’ve not taken Isa to a weigh in since his 2month weigh in (and you’re supposed to take them every month), lol. It’s quite a tedious process and in my area, it’s only done once a week at the local community hall and the slot is so awkwardly placed in the afternoon. In which Isa is usually having a nap, and since December we’ve both been ill so it’s not gone to plan. Despite that, he fits comfortably in 6-9 month clothing and size 4 nappies – so based off of that I’m not too worried about anything in particular.

TOYS.

Do not buy toys for the at least the first 6 months of a baby’s life. A) they won’t recognise it B) they won’t play with it C) they like the stuff that’s free (i.e. carrier bags – yes it’s supervised) or the stuff around them.
Isa has accumulated quite a few toys, many of which were gifted, however, he only plays with two things. That’s his rattle (which I use before bed to soothe/relax him as it sounds like waterfalls) and this rattle chain thing where I put together a bunch of these jungle gym toys together on a D ring which is great for his current teething state.

But more than anything Isa is so content with his muslin cloth! Give him one of those and he will fiddle it with it, stare at it and lick it for ages!

THAT’S THE OVERALL ROUNDUP CONCLUDED. I think I’ve touched upon the main topic a baby update post contains and I plan to do one for 9 months, so if you have any questions let me know and I’ll do my best to answer them there! Oh, and my next post due to go live, is my 6-month update post because it’s important as new moms we check in on ourselves and other aspects too, so I do hope you’re looking forward to that too!

Until my next post xoxo

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