Babies At Weddings

A few weeks ago we were invited to the first wedding we’d attended since having two children. In fact, the last wedding we’d been to before that was our own way back in September. In terms of kids, that one was a breeze because my parents were in charge of Alexandra pretty much all day and of course everyone wanted to cuddle her and spend time with her. In fact, I remember a few people commenting in the following weeks how quickly she’d got up on her feet when they saw her toddling round – she’d actually been walking by the time we got married but hadn’t had the chance to show off cause she was being cuddled so much!

Fast forward to this June and we had a toddler and a newborn to contend with. At the church, we decided to take one child each and I’d packed a big bag full of toys and snacks to keep Alex occupied. While we waited for the bride she was golden and I thought we’d done really well until the second after the bridal party had arrived when Alexandra suddenly decided she didn’t want to be in there anymore. That meant I missed the entire ceremony while walking around the grounds with her. Dylan reported Max had also been a little unsettled inside.

Later at the hotel we missed some of the drinks reception as I was expressing and we needed to feed Max and change nappies etc. At the meal, I watched as my starter was taken away uneaten as I’d been feeding the baby while everyone else ate. Alex had become restless at times but luckily the bride’s uni friends were on our table and were fab with her, she played games with them all and watched Peppa Pig on one of their phones.

So altogether while we’d had a lovely day, it was pretty full on! We were wondering what the evening would bring but luckily Max slept in between feeds and Alexandra LOVED it. She danced until 11.15pm bless her. We then had to contend with both of them in the same room which had never happened before so baby woke toddler who ended up in our bed for the first time ever. I expressed late in the evening and decided not to overnight due to the possibility of waking everyone up but ended up sat on the bathroom floor early morning as I was about to explode!

The next day was much easier, Alex seemed fairly well rested considering she’d had nowhere near enough sleep and enjoyed a big breakfast and a swim. As I recall there was a bit of crying as we got into the car but both babies soon zonked out as soon as we started the journey home.

I think my summary is that toddlers don’t like behaving themselves by sitting in churches or waiting for meals – but they do love running around like a lunatic chasing lights on the dance floor at the evening reception!

Congratulations Jordan and Tom and thanks for having all of us at your special day!

Harriet, Alexandra and Max x

The Wedding: Baby Logistics

Flower girls Alexandra and my goddaughter Izzy.

Flower girls Alexandra and my goddaughter Izzy.

You might have noticed things have been a little slack around here of late. A huge reason for that is myself and Dylan got married at the weekend! Finally husband and wife after an epic journey to get to that point. I’d like to do a post or two about the wedding and one of the things I’d like to concentrate on, considering this is a baby blog, is the logistics of having a small child when you’re planning a wedding.

The first time round (quick summary: booked our wedding in November 2014 for the following September, found out planned pregnancy had happened quicker than expected in January 2015, brought the honeymoon forward to May 2015, decided to leave the wedding up to fate so could either have a huge bump or tiny baby there, ended up cancelling two days before due to me being poorly, re-booked for September 24, 2016), we were fairly positive I’d just have a big bump so there would be nothing to worry about apart from potentially my waters breaking. Had we had Alexandra early but still been able to go ahead with the wedding, I have no idea how it would have gone but I guess we would have got through somehow!

This time, we knew we would have a one-year-old with us during the day and that of course presented extra logistical difficulties. It also made it even more special too! In the end it all went amazingly and although we’ve had a very tired baby to deal with for the rest of the weekend, she coped excellently with the day. She was up two hours earlier than normal and only napped once, meaning she was awake from 6.30am to 11am then 12pm to around 9.30pm before finally going to sleep and waking up for the last half an hour.

Having been there and done it, I’d say the most successful things we did were:
– Taking her booster seat with us so she could sit in between my parents during the meal. We asked them in advance to help feed her so we didn’t have to worry about it!
– Also taking one of those long sleeved bibs with us so none of her dinner got on her dress.
– Taking a spare dress with us. I was really surprised that she lasted until about 8.30ish in her original dress. I hadn’t actually held her all day cause she was with all our family and friends but about 20 seconds after I picked her up for the first time, she was sick all down her dress. Luckily we’d taken a spare and equally luckily, she wasn’t sick on my dress (I hadn’t got a spare!).
– Having the pram with us. She dropped off to sleep in it in the corner of the marquee and my dad very kindly kept an eye on her while she was napping. It also worked well cause it meant when she was getting a little grumpy pre-nap, people could push her round in it to soothe her.
– Toys! We had an activity case full of different toys and a games area outside so not only was Alex kept occupied, all the other little ones there were too.
– We’d originally planned to keep her in with us at the hotel on the night but she ended up sleeping in my mom’s room which was great as it meant we could chat all about the day when we got back rather than worrying about waking her up talking. Then in the morning we had the chance to pack up the room which was full of various people’s make up, toiletries etc from getting ready the day before – without small hands grabbing stuff left, right and centre!

Overall I think the prospect of having a one-year-old at your wedding was a lot more daunting than the reality and she had a whale of a time with all our friends and family!

Harriet and Alexandra x

Hen do!

hendo

For some people, the phrase ‘hen do’ is synonymous with going out, getting absolutely ratted and having a ‘last night of freedom’ – luckily I’m not one of those people otherwise the idea of a hen do at nearly 35 weeks pregnant wouldn’t have been that appealing! As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I didn’t really drink for a year before becoming pregnant and so I was more than happy to be completely sober during my celebrations!

I was a very lucky bride-to-be as my best friend (and chief bridesmaid) Manda organised it all with some help from some of the other hens. The day saw us all head to Birmingham for a matinee performance of The Bodyguard which was absolutely brilliant – I’ve never really rated Alexandra Burke who took the lead role but she really was excellent, in fact the whole cast were great. Also I’ve never actually seen the film so it was lovely to go and see something at the theatre when you don’t know how it’s going to end!

We then headed to Gas Street Social in the Mailbox, sadly a couple of the ten who’d been there in the day couldn’t make it in the evening but we were joined by four more hens so that was ace. We had a lovely meal and there were also plenty of games organised by Mand and fellow bridesmaid Beccy – including a Mr and Mrs game where they’d asked Dylan for his answers earlier in the week and one where people had to write down clues as to how they knew me and I had to guess who was who.

I found that wearing a ‘bride to be’ sash and being SO pregnant meant I attracted a lot of stares in the theatre – it would have been an attention seekers’ dream come true! And I got very tired when it got a little later in the evening, especially as it was the week I’d got an ear infection so I was feeling a little poorly, plus it was so warm which wasn’t helping! But overall I really wouldn’t have changed it for the world. I feel like a random night out getting drunk wouldn’t have really stood out from any number of other similar nights in the past, whereas this was really memorable – not least because of all the little ‘added extras’ like a book Manda had put together including advice from the hens and lots of pictures of me and my friends. So not only did I come away with a crystal-clear memory of the day but also with some mementos too!

Harriet and bump x

Bride Giving Birth

Picture from www.dreamstime.com

Picture from www.dreamstime.com

There’s one thing which has raised eyebrows more than anything else in my pregnancy – and that’s the fact (barring an early arrival) I’ll be walking up the aisle just eight days before my due date. We booked our wedding in November 2014, at the time I’d only been sans-contraception for a month and didn’t think there was anyway we’d be falling pregnant any time soon. At the most I thought I’d be in the early stages of pregnancy if we were lucky to catch quickly. We knew we wanted a child as soon as possible so didn’t really want to put those plans on hold but at the same time we really wanted to get married in 2015 and both thought a September wedding would be perfect.

We hadn’t even got officially engaged (no proposal, no ring) when we went to see our wedding venue but we both fell in love with it instantly. Cue a discussion – we knew we wanted 2015 not 2016, we knew we wanted that venue, they only had two dates free in September. We booked it that day.

Fast forward two months to early January this year, we’d got the caterers, photographer, DJ, cake, invites etc sorted. People had booked hotels, some had booked flights as a few of Dylan’s friends live abroad, all of the wheels were in motion. We sat down on a Friday night to book our dream honeymoon – two weeks out in Thailand. Less than 48 hours later on Sunday, January 11, we took a pregnancy test and found out our little one was on her way!

If I’m honest I didn’t instantly think of the practicalities of having a wedding and due date so close together. My first thought was of the honeymoon, we knew there was no way I’d be able to fly and our estimated due date was halfway through the holiday. Luckily the company were happy to swap the dates and we only had to pay a small charge for the flight alterations. Sorted.

It wasn’t really until people started reacting so shocked when we told them how close the two dates were (originally baby was due 12 days after but at our first scan we were moved forward four days) that I started to think about the ‘ifs’ of the situation. Never have we thought about cancelling or moving the date – we have our hearts set on marrying there and we knew we wouldn’t get a date earlier in the year as they were so busy. Plus even if we could rearrange caterers, DJ etc, we could be heavily impacting those guests who’d already made their travel arrangements.

It was only a week or so again that Dylan pointed out we’d never even talked about what we’d do if the worst happened and the birth coincided with the wedding date. My view, and this will shock anyone who knows me and knows I like to have everything organised at the earliest opportunity, is what will be will be. We don’t know when she’ll arrive, we don’t know how easy the birth will be, we don’t know whether she’ll be a good sleeper, whether I’ll take to motherhood, whether I’ll be up and about really quickly or not. There are so many unknowns. Of course the ideal situation is she stays put until at least 39 weeks but since we can’t determine that until the time I say we just go with the flow!

If nothing else, my waters breaking as I walk down the aisle will provide an amusing anecdote for all our guests for years to come. And I reckon we can legitimately refuse to pay for her wedding if she ruins ours!

Harriet and bump x

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