Alessia's 10 & 11 Month Update

Our baby girl is 11 months! Where does the time go?! I can't believe she's going to be ONE at the end of this month. I am honestly not prepared for this at all! I think what always makes me second guess this is the fact that she's still so small in comparison to my other two (not that they were huge either!). Although when Alessia was first born and for the first four months after that she was always measuring in the 0.4th centile for weight, whereas now she's moved up to the 25th! This is probably due to the amount of solids she eats (way more than the other two ever did!) but she has always been tiny even when she was inside my tummy! So I think this coupled with the fact that she is currently the baby of the family makes me think that she is younger than she actually is. But I love it, I think the more babies you have the slower you want time to go because you realise just how quickly they grow up! 

Routine: At the moment Alessia's routine looks like this: 

7am - Wake up & breastfeed 
8am - Breakfast
9:40am - Nap
10am - Wake up
11:30/11:45am - Lunch
12:30pm - Nap
2:30pm - Snack 
5pm - Dinner
6pm - Bathtime
6:30pm - Breastfeed & bed

Sleeping: Alessia sleeps for about 15-20 mins in the morning...she had been sleeping for half an hour up until recently when I noticed she wasn't going down for her lunchtime nap as well anymore so I've started to cut down. She then sleeps for about 2 hours in the afternoon and is normally fast asleep by 7pm until 7am. She is currently sleeping through the night the vast majority of the time, although we do have the odd waking when she's teething or if she wakes up for some reason but thankfully it is very rare!

Eating: Alessia still loves her food but has calmed down a bit on the portion size of her breakfast (remember how she used to eat a whole small child's portion of Ready Brek?!). She loves porridge, Weetabix or eggs & toast in the morning, she normally has some sort of leftovers from dinner for lunch followed by fruit and has a small snack in the afternoon. Her absolute favourite snack food is those carrot cake bars by Organix. For dinner she has whatever we are eating, just mashed up a little bit more and to drink she only has water other than when she breastfeeds. She has got much better at drinking water ever since we switched to the Munchkin 360 cup! This was a real life-saver because before that she refused to take a sippy cup or beaker. After dinner she usually gets something sweet like fruit & a baby biscuit (or two...she loves these especially the Ella's Kitchen vanilla & banana ones!). Fortunately she is not a picky eater at all at the moment but I do struggle to get her to feed herself certain things like fruit and raw veggies. She will feed herself dry foods but she's not a big fan of getting her hands wet or messy so she does prefer to be spoonfed! She is basically the complete opposite to how Emilia was as a baby! 


Alessia has seven teeth and it looks like she's teething again. I think she might be getting another one but I'm not sure.
- She finally said "mama" at 10 months! She said "dada" first, I think this was around 9 months and that slowly led to "baba", "wawa" and finally after lots of prompting and coaxing "mama". I love it! Especially now as she recognises that this means me whereas "dada" means her dad. She can also say brother which sounds like "bruvva" and has said "uh-oh" though I've never been able to catch it on camera! She attempts to say bye-bye, night night and make animal sounds but they all sort of sound like the same thing at the moment! 
- She bum shuffles, backwards crawls and has taken one or two forward crawls before getting fed up, hahaha! She definitely still loves to be held & on my hip all the time and I'm totally fine with that as I want to prolong the baby stage for as long as possible! 
- She's pulled herself up to sitting from lying down on her tummy, which is proving quite difficult at bedtime as she is a tummy sleeper so she has started to sit up in bed and play with her toys which is a bit...distracting. 
- This isn't a milestone really but I've noticed her doing something for comfort when she goes to sleep which I think is SO sweet! She has a little mouse musical toy which attaches to a pink star and hangs off her cot (all three of my kids had one with a different animal on). When I put her down I always pull the mouse so that the music plays and I've recently realised that she has been pulling the little mouse close to her face and sucking on its tail! (It's a soft toy by the way.) None of my other children did this but I just think it's the cutest thing ever! 

My Eating Disorder Story

This week is National Eating Disorders Awareness Week and as someone who struggled with bulimia for 9 years, this is a campaign which is very close to my heart and one I feel deeply passionate about. I genuinely wish that I could stop each & every person who is on the verge of developing an eating disorder from taking that step down a dark path I never want to return to but I realise that is probably impossible. However if my story can help even one person to choose self-love over a stupid diet, or recover from an eating disorder that they are already suffering with then I will have done my job. 

I have spoken about this topic quite a few times on my channel before but for those of you who maybe don't know, here is a bit of background on my story. My disordered eating started around age 16 but I had already been uncomfortable and unhappy with my body image from age 12. Now as a mum (especially of two girls, though I know boys can be affected too) this terrifies me. The older I get, the smaller these numbers seem and I realise just how young I was when I first experienced that awful feeling of self-loathing, inadequacy and negativity towards my body. During my mid teens was when I started dieting to lose weight. By my late teens these unsuccessful diets had developed into full-blown bulimia. I had no idea the first time I stuck my fingers down my throat to make myself sick that this "one time occurrence" was going to take over my life for the next 9 years. 

During that time period, things were very dark but it wasn't all bad. I met and married my best friend Jonathan who somehow managed to see past my "shameful secret" and loved me anyway. To this day I still don't understand how he stayed with me because believe me when I say it got really hard and bulimia ruined almost everything else in my life aside from us. Then when I was 24 I found out I was pregnant with our first baby and this was when everything changed. From a relatively young age up until this point in my life with the help of my eating disorder I had convinced myself that I was worthless, useless, disgusting, ugly & good for nothing. My self-esteem was so low and I hated myself so much but when I got that positive pregnancy test, for the first time in the whole of my adult life I actually loved something about myself. It wasn't really me who I loved, it was my baby I was carrying (who turned out to be my gorgeous Emilia) but at that point she was part of me and that was enough to send my bulimia into a dormant state until after the pregnancy was over. 

Unfortunately though, my love for my baby wasn't enough to "cure" my eating disorder because as we all know, a pregnancy only lasts 9 months and once I popped Emilia out bulimia reared its ugly head once again. Luckily for me, I found out I was pregnant again at 10 months postpartum and history repeated itself. Once again I loved my baby too much to harm my body the way I normally did and I tried my best to make it the safest home for him during those next 9 months (this time it was Eduardo!). I have to say I absolutely loved being pregnant because I felt like it was the one thing after years of failures and feeling rubbish about myself that I was actually good at. It gave me a sense of purpose and I felt beautiful because I was giving life to my babies. I loved that my eating disorder seemed to leave me in peace for a while and in a way I feel like my babies saved my life. 

After having Eduardo I slipped back into my old disordered habits when pressure to lose the baby weight mounted and I no longer felt like there was any part of me to love. I tried to recover on my own but failed every time, mostly because I was still clinging to the idea that I needed to be thin to be liked & accepted. Since I was 12 I had been called fat, chubby and picked apart for what I look like so without bulimia I didn't know how to exist without the crutch which I believed was the only thing keeping me thin. Yes, it did make me thinner because I was starving myself and throwing up when I over-ate. But it was also ruining my life and making me hate myself more than ever. I finally made the decision to get professional help from a psychologist and we worked for about a year and a half towards my full recovery. 

During that time I did gain weight, and yes some people were cruel about it. I got called obese and I was torn apart from head to toe in any picture I posted of myself online. Whether it was fat legs, huge gut, chubby arms, you name it...I got hurled a ton of abuse when no-one even knew what I was going through. Recovery was not easy and I went through many ups & downs during my journey. There were times when it got so hard I wanted to quit. But I kept going because I knew in the back of my mind that I would rather be called fat than go back to the horrible existence of life with bulimia. So I continued with the daily struggle and slogged through it until I finally got out in one piece. To my surprise recovery didn't make me overweight, despite the stupid comments I received. My weight stabilised after I broke the starve/binge/purge cycle and I basically went back to what I was before I embarked on my first ever effort to lose weight as a teenager which taught me what a huge waste of time diets are. 

I got pregnant again (with my third baby, Alessia) and experienced my first ever pregnancy without an eating disorder lurking in the background. It was a wonderful freeing feeling especially to go through postpartum without worrying about losing weight or struggling to fit back into my pre-pregnancy jeans. For the first time I left it all up to my own body to do what it naturally wanted to do and it took about 8 months for it go back to normal with no dieting or exercise. Now I'm pregnant again with my fourth baby and I'm in such a completely different place to where I was six years ago. Having three babies has changed my body, some might say for the worst but I think the opposite. I have stretch marks around my bellybutton, cellulite on the backs of my thighs and people still call me fat on the daily but I could care less anymore. I'm a UK size 10, I'll never be a size 8 again and I'm okay with that because that's not how my body is supposed to look. I actually love my body a lot whether it's got a gorgeous baby inside it or not, and that is something I had to work really hard on. I do think that birthing and breastfeeding three children has given me a huge amount of confidence and respect for what my body is capable of and when I look at myself I see all of what it's been through and I'm proud. 

In some ways I wish I could go back and reclaim that time in my life that I feel like I lost to an eating disorder. But then I remember that as horrible as the whole experience was, it has shaped me into who I am today and I have learned so much from my journey. Coming out the other side of recovery has made me even more passionate about helping other people who are struggling and it has also opened my eyes to how big of an epidemic this is. Before speaking about it out loud, I had no idea how many people are affected by some sort of disordered eating. Whether you are a mum like me or not, anybody can be affected by an eating disorder. If you are struggling, please know that you are not alone and if I can recover then anyone can. I hope my story has inspired at least one person if not some of you reading it.

If you'd like to know a bit more about my story (not like this post wasn't long enough!) here's a video I filmed with Cat Meffan at Glamour UK for #NEDAwarenessWeek where we both talk about our personal struggles with an eating disorder and throughout our recovery. Below are some links which helped me when I was going through my recovery journey and which I wish I had found sooner! 

Helpful Links: 

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