Let me first off welcome you to my new blog! Once a week I will be sitting down and checking in and bringing you a new blog, filled with my thoughts about sleep, parenting, society, babies and so much more! And I’m looking forward to taking this journey with you. If at any point you have a question that has plagued you and you would like to know a bit more about a particular baby/child/my personal life related topic, then please get in touch and I will do my best to answer it!
For now, let me introduce myself; I’m Julia. I’m 34, I’m a trained adult nurse and after working as a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Nurse, I then did the course to train as a midwife, qualifying in 2012. After qualifying, I had my daughter Kyra in 2013, followed by my son Cassius in 2014, then my second daughter Lorelai in 2016 and then finally my second son Tavian in 2018! We decided to have them as close as we could so we could reap the rewards once they were older. Although we told ourselves it would be super difficult for a few years, I don’t think either of us were totally prepared for how all consuming it would be! I for one, was not prepared for the daily 7am wake in order to get ready for school that I would have to do! Genuinely, never even occurred to me! The realisation hit me like a school bus! Relaxed peaceful mornings of lounging and getting slowly ready for the day were replaced with shouts of “where’s my sock?” to, “I didn’t want porridge” to a few loud chorus lines of “GET YOUR BOOKBAG AND GET INTO THE CAR!!” Who would have thought it?
Fortunately though, Chris and me have started seeing the light at the end of the tunnel! We no longer have to take the pram for every short outing, as of last week, we are officially out of nappies and the kids will actually go off and play together for 20-30 minutes whilst we enjoy an actually hot cup of tea/coffee.
My husband and I who are black belts in Karate, started a Martial Arts/Karate club 10 years ago and we also run classes 5 days a week after school. As you can see, I’m a busy lady. And when I used to go to work as a Midwife, my colleagues would stare shocked at me and constantly ask “How do you do it?”. My answer was always very simple (albeit possibly a bit smug), that I sleep.
I have ALWAYS needed my sleep. Having kids was not going to change that and I was fortunate enough that being the youngest of 4 children who all started their parenting journeys before me, I was able to get a lot of advice. It was my second sister who told me when Kyra was about 3 weeks old and she was screaming her head off, that newborns should only be awake for 45mins-1 hour maximum otherwise they get overtired. You had to actively help them to sleep. That changed all of my opinions/belief and understanding on sleep as up until then, even though I was a qualified midwife, I genuinely thought that ‘babies would sleep when they were tired!’ Not. The. Case.
That was the first push into researching and learning about sleep so I could do the best thing for my babies. Of course there was a lot of learning on the job. When Kyra was 10 weeks old, she would always wake at 4am for a feed (all my babies were exclusively breast fed from 6months-1 year) and one night, she woke as normal, but she was just smiling away at me and didn’t look remotely hungry. I gave her her dummy to see what would happen on the premise that if she was just awake because her body clock had woken her, then a dummy would resettle her, but if she was genuinely hungry, she would soon realise the dummy was not giving her anything, and she’d wake again. She fell asleep until 6am.
Everything since that has happened with the babies has mostly been supported/initiated by literature/science and articles I’ve found. (I love a good critical appraisal)
After my colleagues kept telling me I should write a book on babies, by the time Tavian was born, I thought, ‘Why not?’. So I did! It was off the back of the book that I set myself up as a baby #consultant and offered advice on #sleep and it’s been going stronger and stronger ever since!
I was recently interviewed for an article in #Motherandbaby magazine which comes out in March (look out for it) and I’m doing sleep sessions at my local #childrensCentre which I am very excited about!
I even had to stop working as a midwife as I just no longer had the time and felt that I was reaching and #supporting so many more #mums by doing this. Although I hope to be able to go back once in a while to keep my registration up to date if my schedule allows it!!
Well that’s it guys! My first blog having a look at me and my background. Next week will be more sleep focussed I promise!
Thanks for reading and if you enjoyed it or have any comments or questions then feel free to let me know!! x