center-parcs-logoI am excited to report that I am off to Center Parcs for a week with my little gang and Nanny! My lovely little Jasper adores Nanny so is literally bouncing off the walls at the prospect of having a whole week with her and Fleur (he tends to forget me) at somewhere he has begun to love.

Growing up as a child, everyone seemed to head to Center Parcs and go for weeks or weekends and I never really understood the ‘pull.’ We always had amazing holidays and spent a lot of time in Spain. Since having children, UK holidays were a good idea for us until we got brave enough to venture abroad and therefore the attraction to places such as Center Parcs began.

A whole week of walking, feeding the ducks, making friends with the squirrels and of course swimming is so appealing at the moment. I need some time to be ‘me’ and remind myself that even with everything that is happening, I can be a good, fun and happy mummy. I also need to spend some time with my mum – who does what any mum does best, looks after her babies. She will look after me and remind me how much she loves me, which is exactly what I need at the moment.

I will of course, report back on all the fantastic activities we got up to and how many times I had to say ‘No Jasper, you cannot take the Duck home,‘ to my little man (he loves ducks). Time for some relaxation in the forest and to be in the air with my little gang. Time for me to spend some time with my mummy and for her to wrap her arms around me with the words we always promise to say ‘It will be alright.’

 

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Some of you may laugh, but I am writing this full of tears that are now dripping down my face. The salty taste leaking into my mouth that makes this so hard to write.

When Fleur became ill and went into Hospital at 13 weeks over night, when she came out, she started to refuse to feed from me. The initial heartbreak I thought would be short lived and she would return to bf, but with the increasing stress in my life (cannot explain that in detail at the moment) and my body going into exhaustion from coping with it, I feared my supply was not as strong as it used to be. That, with Fleur sensing my ‘stress’ she completely refused to feed from me. To say I was gutted wouldn’t even come close. After weeks of battling the pain, the tiredness and finally being strong enough to feed anywhere in public, I strongly believe that my little lady sensed my levels of stress just topple over with her going into hospital. I tried to feed her, hold her, cuddle her and express (she would take expressed milk) but she would not latch onto me for a feed at all. Already on the edge and pushing back the feelings of depression, it came tumbling on top of me like a tonne of bricks. ¬†After consulting a Lactation specialist, Doctor, Friends and Family to try and get back to breast feeding, she will not feed off me at all.

That was now nearly 4 weeks ago. She is thriving on bottles and with the help of the wonderful team at Nuby, we have transitioned easily onto bottles and formula. How do I feel? It has taken me 4 weeks to write this post. I feel like a failure. Like I’ve lost something I wasn’t ready to give up and I believe this has happened due to the stress put on my body by external factors. I feel alone. I feel angry and I feel like I could scream and cry all at the same time. No words have made me feel better and no words will. My journey has ended and I wasn’t ready at all.

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As with every summer holiday, my stepson from America has now arrived for the summer. This means we have a 11.5 year old, a 3.5 year old and a 7 week old baby all together…surviving on no sleep & literally no patience. Perfect!

So, whilst attempting to work ad-hoc throughout the summer, I have also started attending Breast Feeding Group. I am hoping this will help me continue my journey of breast feeding and enable me to start to enjoy it a bit more. Well, I will report back on that soon.

Being a step mum always scared me and I sometimes feel like my summer, every single year, is a bit hijacked. But, families come in all shapes and sizes and with children, step children and siblings in each household being so varied, its a bit of a ‘pick and mix’ but one that needs to be done to keep everything ticking along. How do I feel this year? Worried. Worried as I am currently on the edge, nervous, tired, and feeling a bit let down, and defeated by everything happening at the moment – the perfect time to add another child in the mix I hear you say.

I guess I will be fine, I muddle through every year, but this year, I am much calmer – almost knowing that I am slowly dropping down into a spiral of feeling worthless and defeated. A spiral that I all too remember clearly when having Jasper, although this time, I feel worse. I feel sad, actually sad.

Anyway, do you have step children? Do you have children arrive for summer/winter? How do you cope/adapt?

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