Tough as first timers

The last few weeks have been very up and down now we have Peanut in our lives. We knew when we decided to have a baby it was going to be life changing and difficult but we have both admitted we underestimated how difficult. (At this point i would advise anyone who wants a baby to really think about it first especially if you dont live near family it can be tough)

Being an Expat my family are all in the UK and so aren’t around to help out even though i know they would love to. My Mum and Sister are even coming to visit for 5-6 days mid October to see the baby which is nice and i can’t wait to see them. At this point i really miss my Mum and wished they lived closer as i know she would help out alot and be full of advice etc.


We dont have any family in Roma on Alex’s side either but have had some friends helping us out here and there which is a great help and we have really needed it.

So really its just down to me and Alex to look after and raise Peanut as she grows and all i can say is the last 2 weeks and half have been very tough.

Seriously i know people say to you when your pregnant ‘ooh get all the sleep you can now’ etc etc but they do actually mean it! Also no one tells you how tough it can be as a first time parent to have a newborn baby!!

We are both finding it overwhelming and wondering why no one told us it was going to be this hard! They warn you about everything else lack of sleep, baby vomit etc but not what a strain it can be on you and as a couple.

You really need to think seriously before deciding to have a baby because your life will change completely and it can be hard if you have no family around to help out. Im lucky to have a very hands on husband like Alex who wants to get involved looking after Peanut as im really not sure i would have been able to cope alone.

Your life suddenly revolves around a small pink wrinkly demanding creature which will want regular feeding, keep you awake, need nappy/dipers also changed regularly with lots of cuddles thrown in.

There’s barely any you or us time and if there is you have to get it in quick and cherish that moment or those small moments of freedom when the baby is sleeping.


And all new borns do is sleep (alot if your lucky), eat, poo and sometimes fuss and cry which can be frustrating if you dont know what they want!

Like i said if you have lack of family around you as well you dont really have anyone to ask if something comes up your not sure about! For example Peanut is over 2 and a half weeks old and she already had a cold!

It doesnt help that me and Alex have both had a bad cold/flu the last few days and of course she was sneezing away! So of course we panic and worry Is this normal? should she be ill already? but after some googling and asking the nurse at the pharmacy we find out yes its normal and quite common!

As long as she doesnt have fever and we keep an eye on her everything would be fine. We even had a solution to rinse her nose out with which helped her breath when she was all blocked.

It took her 36 hours to get over the worst of the cold and seems much better today much to the relief of both of us!

Then there’s the post partum depression you can get which you have to battle with as well. I don’t think i have this yes im very emotionally up and down right now but i think thats more to do with being exhausted and lack of sleep. One minute im fine the next im crying my eyes out for no reason and feeling really depressed and then after a while im happy again.

Lack of sleep also isnt helping as im up doing night feeds every 3 hours and then of course wake up every so often anyway just to make sure Peanut is all ok.

Even Alex has been suffering from on and off depression and we both keeping thinking about how it was before Peanut came along. How we could lay in bed, sleep in and do what we wanted etc.

We have found it important to talk to eachother about how we are feeling and what we are thinking so we dont feel alone or overwhelmed and generally we are thinking feeling the same things.

But we have both admitted we wouldnt give her up for the world, we love her simple as that and we know in our hearts its going to get easier at some point. And those little moments keep us going like when she tries to smile at us or just wants a contented cuddle.

So yes i can survive the poo filled nappies, barely any sleep, no time for myself anymore to do anything and generally feel like im going nuts! All for those little moments like a sleepy hug or smile or when she tolds my finger these make it Worth it:)

Everyone i have spoken to have said the first 3 months are tough and then things get easier and i do believe them when they say this after all the survived having kids didnt they!?!


Working off post baby fat before exercising again!

Now Peanut is out, growing and happy i realised i would really like to start fitting back into my jeans! lol (they wont fit over my thighs and butt!!)

This is my main goal now as im drinking lots of water and back to all the healthy stuff i couldnt eat while pregnant. This all should help flush out the excess water, blood and pregnancy hormones you body has to deal with after labor.

Im also wearing body forming compressions underwear which was suggested by several friends with kids as this helps get the muscles back into shape as well.

So once you have been through labor and given Birth your probably a bit restless about getting back into shape just like me. But of course you cannot start working out properly until you have the all clear at either 6 week (for natural) or 12 weeks ( c-section) depending on how you give Birth.

1069257_390237907754749_729689488_nBut here are things you can do while waiting the weeks for the all clear from the Doctor!

1) Breastfeeding it saves money on buying milk while you bond with your baby 🙂 but it can also help you burn the post baby fat to! It can help you burn up to an estimated 500 cals a day & also releases a hormone which helps your uterus to shrink back to its normal size.

But breastfeeding requires 800 calories a day so you shouldnt think about going on a diet if you plan to breastfeed as your babies gonna need you eating well!

I am not breastfeeding as it didnt work out for me and was more stressful than helpful but we are happy bottle feeding as both me and Alex can take turns and he gets bonding time with Peanut!

2) Baby wraps/harness are also very useful as carrying your baby can sooth but also for you it can be like carrying round a heavily little rucksack. You are going to be burning calories carrying you little one around and also build lower-body muscle and boost your metabolism! (i think you can use the baby wrap/harness from about 1 month old)

3) Water – Make sure your still drinking plenty of water to help flush out any unwanted toxins also it will help ward of cravings you might be getting. It can be hard getting back to a normal-ish eating routine after Birth especially as you can suddenly eat foods you werent allowed before. But drinking water will make you feel fuller and should help stop over eating.

4) Get outside with the baby and stroller and have some walks! Getting some air and exercise is the best thing for both of you!

5) Playing with your baby is going to burn some calories to and you can also get an abs workout in at the same time! I have read a good way of doing this is by doing push ups over the baby making a game of it like peekaboo! 🙂 Or lifting the baby in a repetitive motion as you sit or lay down. Peanut just wants to eat, sleep & poop at the moment so i dont get long to play with her.

So those are a few things thats have been  recommended to get back in shape!


But to be honest we are already getting a workout with Peanut with all the holding her and rocking her. Both me and Alex had very achey arms the first few days from taking turns carrying her. And we can feel the muscles we are making just from doing that! Plus all the walking up and down in the house to rock/sooth her so we are both getting little workouts. 🙂

I was thinking of looking at the post pregnancy workout video i have in a week or so as its alot of gentle yoga moves to get you slowly back into shape its only 15 minutes a day but would be nice.

I plan to start doing a 30 day weights workout dvd with my friend Jess 🙂 once i get the all clear at 6 weeks and this is a great way to stay motivated and get some stamina back!

I still can’t wait to get running again though! I have missed it these long long long months! And already have a training plan in mind to get me started again but for now i will enjoy my baby bonding time 🙂


Food Review: KeCiVuoi? Panineria

So today we went for Peanut’s 10 day check up and for lunch Alex showed me the place he had been getting what he called Amazing Panini’s for 3 days while i had been in the clinic giving Birth.


Its was a small Panini place along Via Dei Gracchi and their large menu signs outside first caught my eye as we approached and i really liked the bright inside and the floor which had the ingridents of their panini’s written all over it! IMAG2109

Everything looked really good and every panini was different in some way with a different name which i thought was quite clever. They even had a board with new panini’s written on it i guess they were trying out.

Alex told me it was very popular as at lunchtime it became very busy with alot of people buying there lunch there and even some people from the clinic had told us they loved to eat as this place.

Alex had tried several different ones but really liked the ‘Londra’ which was tuna, tomatoes, artichokes, salad and mayo in a baguette.

You could choose from different types of bread like baguette, different rolls or ciabatta and also add or take away the ingredients you didnt want or things you wanted to add.

There was alot of different ones i really wanted to try but the Panini’s were quite big so i settled for a ‘Berlino’ which was hotdog with mustard & sauerkraut. I have never tried sauerkraut before and wanted to give it a go & they also added ketchup for me.

I have to say it was one of the best panini’s i have ever had and really enjoyed it! All the ingredients were freshly prepared and so very tasty and very filling!

I really wished i had had space for another one but i was pretty much full after eating my panini and so said next time i would try something else 🙂 And Alex agreed we would be going there again at some point.


The panini’s werent that expensive either the most expensive being 5 euro’s and the cheapest 3.50 Euro’s and i would say Worth every penny! 🙂

They even have a little business card which on the back they can stamp everytime you have a panini there and when you reach 10 stamps you get your next panini free!

So if your in the area of Via Dei Gracchi near via cola di Rienzo its Worth a pop in to try one of these Amazing panini’s!

IMAG2111                 IMAG2112

KeCiVuoi? Panineria

Via Dei Gracchi, 262/a

(angolo via ezio)


Bump pics 34 weeks to Born

So these are the last of the bump pics right up from 34 weeks to when Peanut was born! 🙂 Im happy to finally have my body back even though im still recovering from the Birth so it might take a while to get back into the swing of stuff & my fitness levels back.

So here’s 34 weeks along & i think we are a little more pointy? Getting very tired again & i waddle everywhere very slowly!

34 weeks     34 wks

Next is 35 weeks along im not doing to well in the heat now its getting really hot! I can’t sleep very well at all and happy when i get more than 4 hours sleep! Napping in the day seems to be impossible now im just wide awake. So this makes me more grumpy & hormonal.

35 wks35 weeks

Week 36 and the last couple of weeks i havent been feeling well not 100% almost like i was coming down with something. But apparently this can be a sigh your ready to go into D Day at anytime as your body prepares! Really didnt know about this but its very common! I have been having Braxton hicks as well which are just uncomfortable as my belly will tighten and feel hard for a while as it contracts.

wk 36  week 36

Week 37 im ready to POP!! Had vivid nightmares lately which havent been nice and more normal monitoring and all is fine with little Peanut 🙂 Counting the days now until her due date which is 10th september!

wk 37

week 37

week 38 seriously are we done yet???! Getting very tired lately and getting what feels like groin strain which i have read can be the pelvis seperating ready to make room for the baby coming out. It justs feels like you have pulled something! Hopefully i wont have to much of it.

38 wks             38 weeks

week 39 and counting the days!! come on Peanut dont make Mommy wait much longer we want to meet you 😀 Have you noticed over the weeks how my belly seems to be high or suddenly low? strange!

39 wks                        39 weeks

Well Peanut decided to arrive 1 day earlier than her due date which was 10th september and arrived on 9th Sept 🙂


Peanut has arrived! :D

I want to start with giving a big THANKYOU!! to all the friends, expats ,FB & Twitter friends and my blog readers who have been following me through this pregnancy.      Thank-you-post-it

I have and do really appreciate all your comments and suggestions that you have been giving me throughout! Seriously its been like a support system that frankly i have sometimes needed!

Especially as we have no Nonni/grandparents or family members here in Roma for support. Its been a long journey with some stressful last weeks but finally Peanut is here! wooohoooo!!!!!

Thankyou so much for putting up with my hormones, rants, tears, happy moments and mini drama’s! 😀

So Peanut decided to come 1 day earlier than her due date and not be late 🙂

Monday morning at 4.10am i was asleep on the sofa bed and went to roll over and as i did i felt what i can only describe as what felt like a water balloon get squished and i knew my waters were about to break!

I managed to jump out of bed as this happened (yay me) so only the floor got wet. I found my water had only semi broke as there wasnt the tons of liquid i had expected more like 3 cups full.

Then it was a trip to the bathroom and a very calm calling out to Alex to tell him what had happened. He was instantly awake and i must say how proud i am that we worked togeather like a well oiled machine getting my bag, getting dressed, cleaning up and feeding the cat before heading to Santa Famiglia.

We were at the clinic by 5am and i was check and confirmed my water had partly broken. Then it was time to be monitored and hooked up to the machine to make sure Peanut was ok. Her heart beat was nice and strong and i could already feel mild contractions happening 🙂

I was put in a shared room (2 beds for the ladies) with Alex and told to get into my nightie and then into bed. The contraction’s werent to bad if i focused on the deep breathing they had shown me to do. Even when they became quite strong i could feel them building and breathed through them.

Our obstetrician Alex had already phoned that morning and she had told him her shifted started at 2pm but if anything happened she would come in straight away. As soon as she arrived she took charge having me taken up stairs so she could examine me.


I hadn’t dilated and she said they would give me something to help this happen and so i was hooked up to a drip with a bag of sugarwater (i think thats what its called) to keep me hydrated. She told us she would have Peanut out before dinner time she was certain of that! 🙂

Our friend Angela turned up at the hospital to give moral support to Alex who was tense and worried and who didnt like seeing me in pain. She was a big help to both of us sitting with me when Alex went to get a coffee etc and then with him when i was being looked at.

It didnt take more than 5 minutes for me to start dilating a little OMG it hurt! Constant pain which i couldnt breath through and i was trying hard not to cry it hurt so much.

Alex was all worried and the obstetrician told me i would be having an epidurale at which by that point i would try anything! A Doctor came in got me to raise my nightie at my back so he could give me something to numb it and then i felt a little pressure as the epidurale was attached. Within minutes everything went numb it was soooo much better!

They told me the epidurale would make me feel itchy which it did and that was just a normal side effect but i didnt care as i was happy the pain was gone.

Alex and Anglea in the mean time nipped outside for a smoke as they wanted to examine me again and i had said fine knowing getting some air would do them both good.

The obstetrician was soon back to check me and said i had only dilated only a little bit and they would give me some more of the drug to get it going and within minutes i was!

Then it was time for the first push to get the head in place and that felt really weird doing that! Suddenly i was ready and they were moving me to the birthing room! Alex was no where to be seen and i felt a bit panicked that he might miss the Birth.

But my  obstetrician smiled grabbed her phone and told him it was time and to come back inside the building. Then i was wheeled into the room and Alex appeared a bit flustered that it had happened all so fast.

It only took 3 – 4 pushes and she was out! Getting cut down there to help actually hurt more than her coming out and of course being so tall Alex saw EVERYTHING! I am so proud of him for being in there holding my head and not passing out! 🙂

They had told me that when she was born they would lay her on my belly and Alex would get to cut the umbilical cord but this didnt happen. I saw her being held up by her feet when she came out and then the  obstetrician cut the cord and a doctor and 2 nurses rushed with her into the other room.

Alex went to see if everything was ok as we didnt hear anything but then we heard one loud cry and then some more! 🙂 The doctor told Alex that the umbilical cord had been wrapped around her neck twice so they had needed to move fast to make sure she was ok.                                   keep-calm-and-give-birth-28

Meanwhile i was being seen to and stitched! OMG this hurt more than giving Birth but luckily i only needed two done, one long one and a little one and i was very happy when that was over! (by the end of pregnancy you arent shy with many male and female Doctors/nurses etc looking at your lady parts!)

Alex got to hold Peanut in the meantime and he couldnt stop smiling and crying! He bought her over to show me but i didnt get a chance to hold her as they whisked her away to be fully checked on etc.

Then i was taken back to my room with Alex and told the baby would be bought down in 2 hours time 😀 I wasnt allowed to eat for 3 hours afterwards while the epidurale wore off and so we chatted and waited for her to be bought in.

I cant describe the moment when i finally got to see her properly and hold her for the first time it was so overwhelming! It had felt so unreal up to that point not being able to hold her in the birthing room but suddenly here she was!

This tiny Amazing little pink wrinkly creature with her button nose and soft kissable skin and who is so adorable!

I had to stay in the clinic 3 nights in the end and i didnt sleep much maybe 2-3hours a night as i spent most of it staring at Peanut watching to make sure she was ok as the babies were allowed to sleep in the rooms with you.

I had a few scares like when she vomited alot of water which was apparently amniotic fluid she had swallowed when being born or when she made strange little noises i wasnt used to.

I havent had success with breastfeeding so far as she wont latch properly as we found she had a weak suckling reflex and she also curls her tongue back into her mouth. She didnt feed properly the first 2 days in the hospital as they were trying to get her to take my breast and in the end she was bottled fed.

Even now when we got home we had trouble feeding her at first because we didnt realise she was curling her tongue back against the bottle nipple but now shes Learning to flatten her tongue when its feeding time and shes demanding more milk each feed.

We are finding parenthood a bit overwhelming at the moment with trying to work out what she wants, the lack of sleep when she wont settle down and sleep, getting grumpy at eachother over things because we both feel stressed. But this is all normal and part of the process of finding our feet now shes in our lives.

Both Alex and i have realised even though we might snap at eachother now when stressed out that its not the real us we are both just scared, overwhelmed and excited and dealing with it in different ways.

I know one thing i wouldnt have been able to do this without him, he’s been my rock running around buying all the stuff we need, making sure im eating, feeding her, changing her, rocking her. Im one very lucky woman to be married to such an Amazing man!

And very happy that Peanut who’s real name is Giulia is now in our lives and our little Sunshine who’s already very spoilt! 😀

IMAG2079  IMAG2091

8th Monitoring – Progress!

So today (sunday) was another monitoring for me and Peanut as we are so close to D Day infact its only 3 days! keep-calm-only-3-days-to-go-26

We had to be at the clinic for 10am as that is when our obstetrician would be there for her shift. She tends to have shifts sometimes in the mornings and others at night hence all the different times in the days we have been visiting with her.

It also makes it alot easier for us as we can go in on weekends or evenings and Alex doesnt have to miss any days of work very often for all of this.

Anyway it was quite silent and not busy at all and soon i was hooked up to the monitoring machine with just me and Alex in the room. Peanut was awake, wiggling and kicking against the sensor as usual.

I was having some more braxton hick contractions and a few even spiked up to 70 on the machine which is the highest i have seen them go so far. Another obstetrician came in from time to time to check on us as we sat and chatted and watched the machine.

Alex got a little restless and started pacing the room and then checking the machine as he is getting more tense and restless as D Day grows near. (He also wanted a coffee lol)

Anyway they left us for 2 hours which was the longest monitoring we have had so far and they had me move into different positions during that time. So laying propped up, then sitting up and then on my side, all so they could watch Peanut’s heartbeat and the mini contractions that were happening.

The Braxton hicks seemed to stop and start alot and as i said were going up to 70 on the machine which to me was a bit of progress. (anything small and different is progress to me at this stage lol)

Once we were done and my blood pressure was taken it was time for a visit with our obstetrician 🙂

She told me everything was still closed but i was softer than 3 days ago (PROGRESS!!!) She could also feel Peanut’s head!! woohoo!! I was so happy that we had some changes even if they were small! She seemed very happy about it to and hugged me.


She was also happy these small contractions were doing something even if it was really slowly but there was still no sign of any proper contractions! grrr

Apparently as i have so much liquid inside when/if my waterbreaks i can create my own man made lake! heehee! She said it would be hard to miss and keep going for a while so i would need to go to the bathroom as soon as it happened. (without slipping over and with calm)

Also Peanut could happily stay inside my tummy even if it breaks for 2 days and be ok but she still said to come in if/when it happened straight away and we would have time to get to the clinic.

I got a bit worried then about electrical plugs/sockets and the contact of so much water i really dont want to electrocute myself or Peanut! :S I joked i could stay laying in the bath the next few days just incase and Alex looked tempted at the idea! LOL

There was also mention of me using the mop afterwards to clean the floor up! LMAO!

The obstetrician said she doubted anything would happen today or Tomorrow but our next monitoring would be tuesday night the day im actually due and hopefully Peanut would decide to come out.

We all rubbed my belly at this point giving words of encouragement to Peanut who was hopefully listening to us!

Im really happy we have had some progress and that maybe this means little Peanut does want to come out and finally meet us 🙂 I have read i dont need to be dilated to have contractions or my waterbreak as either of these can start quite quickly. Then the opening and dilation can progress from there but i guess we will just have to wait and see what happens!


7th Monitoring – someone doesnt want out!

Round up of the week and the latest monitoring:

Really uncomfortable over the last weekend with back and hips ache! I have noticed my hips make a clicking sound when i get up sometimes as well now. I have read this can be where there softening and getting ready for D Day. I couldnt sit in a chair for very long without everything aching alot or getting pressure very low down.

Back & hip ache eased off eventually and i have had it on and off during the week along with the low down pressure where i just have to go lay down.1234970_540134886041830_15365559_n

My tummy has been making lots of gurgling sounds last 2 weeks where apparently i have air trapped as everything is squished from where Peanut is laying. So my tummy makes funny noises sometimes also because i have alot of liquid in there to! lol

Alex has started to nest lol!! Im pretty sure im the only one who’s supposed to do that but now we dont have much longer to go its like a red alert has sounded in his head. So he’s been cleaning and scrubbing and trying to make sure things are in order before Peanut comes.

Monday we had to do the salmonella test which i thought would be another blood test oh boy how wrong was i!! Nope its a poop test!! heehee! Yup you heard me right! And of course it has to be done for anyone going to be in the delivery room so both me and Alex!

I wont go into the gory details of the test but you can guess Alex was less than impressed about it! But i did remind him its for a good cause and he would only have to do it once 🙂 They both came back negative so we can both be part of Peanut’s Birth! woohoo! 😀

Monday night i had a terrible headache it was really bad and in the end i had to take a Paracetamol which is the only medication im allowed to take while pregnant. (not including the BP bills the Dr gave me) It was the first time i have taken anything the whole almost 10 months apart from the BP pills.

The obstetrician has been asking last few visits weather im experiencing headaches at all so thats interesting i finally got one. Not sure if thats linked to the BP tablets im taking or weather you just get them as your D Day draws near.


Our obstetrician also scheduled a scan for us on tuesday which was my last blog post and went really well 🙂

The next monitoring was arranged for thursday evening (which was Yesterday)  at 9pm so we had to take the scan & salmonella results with us to show her.

The place was again empty as the night shift seems to just tend to patients already staying there who are going into labor etc so we didnt have to wait long to see the obstetrician. She asked how it was going and wanted to see the results which she was all happy with.

Then i was hooked up to the machine and we settled down to listen to Peanut’s heartbeat as she kicked away happily for a while before as usual falling asleep. It was so quiet in the place you could easily fall asleep yourself just listening to the little heartbeat beating away.

I had been hoping all day for a sign that Peanut was getting ready to come in the next 5 days as shes supposed to be due on the 10th September but it wasnt going to happen.

The obstetrician came in to wiggle my belly and get her awake again so she could see the readouts quickly then it was into the other room for a visit.

She said i have even more water which is good for Peanut to move around in especially as shes small at 2.7kgs!

Then a quick look and she told us Peanut really didnt want to come out at all as i am not dilated at all and have had no real contractions either!! This was annoying as i thought something would have happened by now so close to D Day!

The good news was that Peanut has a small head according to the scan and with all the liquid it would be better when she will be delievered! I then had a sudden image of a baby speeding down on a water slide and wondered if she would come out fast! :O

Looking at Alex he seemed to have the same thought and told me if and when things started to happen he hoped Peanut would give us enough time to get to the clinic!! LOL!

Im not so convinced i am actually starting to think shes really to comfortable in there and doesnt want to come out at all! I mean would you want to come out of a nice warm place you still had plenty of room to move in? Where they fed you and you could sleep all day?

So if this whats happening it means i will have to be induced…le sigh…but we shall see.

The next appointment was sorted for sunday as its so close to D Day the visits need to be closer togeather now incase things suddenly move quickly. But the obstetrician did say like the scan Doctor they would induce me on the 20th sept if Peanut didnt come by herself.

Alex had originally predicted she would be born on the 3rd Sept but thats come and gone! So now he says the 17th Sept so we shall see!

My little Sister has said she thinks it will be friday 13th Sept as she thought it would be funny as in the UK  friday the 13th is supposed to be bad luck. But luckily thats not the same here in Italy thats just a normal day and not unlucky so thats kind of backfired on her 😛


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The life and times of a writer, runner and triathlete