Get yourself down to Pamphill Farm shop and visit the milk vending machine. It’s tastes amazing AND you will feel good by reducing your plastic waste! WIN WIN
Today Freddie and I took a drive to Pamphill, Wimborne after a friend of mine mentioned yesterday that there is a milk vending machine there, and not just any old milk….cold, fresh and free range milk. I was intrigued. A milk drive through… Perfect! The little man is moving onto cows’ milk and what better possible introduction than with milk from local cows (that we can actually see in the field) and from a traditional family farm in the heart of Dorset.
The milk is produced in the Allen Valley surrounding Wimborne and Pamphill and the farm is based on the National Trust’s Kingston Lacy estate. The free ranging Friesian herd graze on lush pastures surrounding the farm for as many months of the year as possible and all calves are reared by the family themselves as well as feed for the cattle being grown on the farm too.
What made today even better, not just the fact that the milk tasted AMAZING but the fact that when we arrived the farmer himself was there too! So we had a first hand demonstration on how to use the machine and it was easy peasy!
Make sure you have at least two pound coins with you as the machine only takes pound coins.
Put the first £1 into the slot on the left. Press the button above and the bottle will be dispensed with lid attached. Do not despair though,there are extra lids available in a tub on the top of the machine.
Open the door and place the bottle at a slight angle underneath the dispenser
Put in your pound coin on the right and then press the start button and watch the creamiest milk ever flow into your bottle.
The machine will automatically stop when bottle is full.
And that is it!
The vending machine is open 24 hours a day so there is no excuse to ever run out of milk plus with reusable glass bottles available from the vending machine as well, you will always be able to take your milk home.
This is a great way to avoid using plastic and to really help the environment plus great to know we are helping the community too.
Allen Valley Milk is certainly a hit in our household and I am sure I am not the only one!
A positive birth story full of truth, drama and magic.
It was my first pregnancy and I was too scared to plan a home birth for my first one. I didn’t know what to expect and it being my first time I was frightened. I’m not a lover of hospitals and so we opted for a middle ground and booked us into the midwife led birthing Centre. I felt happy I could use the birthing pool as I had always envisaged a water birth and having looked around it felt like a home away from home.
2017, it was a hot August and I felt huge, could barely see my toes and I had been working right up until 38 weeks as a primary school teacher and I was tired, slow and ready for baby. Despite the uncomfortableness I felt awash with love and excitement about meeting this little babe that I had grown inside me for 9 months and I like to think I was “glowing”. I had the most amazing class of children and I felt so lucky that I could share my pregnancy with them as they watched me grow; to see how my body changed, stretched and nurtured this precious being inside me. It was such a treat for them to witness nature and new life first hand.
On the morning of 11th August I thought my waters had broken. I couldn’t be sure as it was not a huge amount of fluid, so we went to the birthing centre, just incase, to be checked over. Nothing was conclusive but I was told, if I didn’t go into labour that night then I would need to contact the hospital to check my waters and to ensure the baby was ok. Change of plan number 1. I was not allowed to go to the irthing centre anymore as if my waters had broken there could have been risk of infection. This was the first metal test to now being to visualise myself in hospital. The next morning we went for a walk to see if that would get things moving. Broadwater Warren was laced with purple heather and it was beautiful, Tom and I discussed baby names, took in the views and enjoyed our few hours of being ‘just us’, before I got far too sweaty and could barely walk another few steps without waddling!
We went to the hospital that afternoon and baby was monitored, my waters had definitely broken and so we were given until the following morning to go into labour. Change of plan number 2. I would not be allowed a water birth now, as my waters had broken. All fine with baby and the midwives said that if baby didn’t come that night then we were going to be booked in for an induction the next day. Change of plan number 3. If I’m totally honest I didn’t want to go for an induction. I had had a near perfect pregnancy, very organic and natural and I just didn’t want to be in hospital. Next test I faced was to really begin to imagine me being in hospital and getting my head around that with the used of labour inducing hormones.
But… that night on the way home we stopped off for pizza. On the way back home I did feel a couple of twinges but nothing serious. It felt a little like a period pain but nothing to rave about but we did get a little excited. We ate, I bounced on the ball, we played cards and called my mom to let her know what the plan was for the morning. I would call first thing when I knew the time I was given for an induction so she had enough time to get over from France on the shuttle. I reread my affirmations and focussed on my breathing and we decided to download an app to monitor contractions. According to the app, things were ramping up fast and we were instructed to pack the hospital bag and get the car seat ready. We laughed it off. I went to have a bath with a couple of drops of clary sage and Tom made me a cup of tea. We carried on playing cards but I felt the contractions getting stronger and so went upstairs again but can’t remember what for.
From that point on it gets pretty hazy. I threw myself onto the pillows on the bed (I think because it meant I was in the dark) and breathed through the contractions whilst simultaneously trying to use the app! Tom rang the midwives who told me to take paracetamol… I told Tom very clearly and probably quite aggressively that I did not want paracetamol…. I may have even screamed it! I took the paracetamol.
I faintly remember Tom telling me he was packing up the car and it between the next contraction I was to make my way downstairs. I did as I was told but as I made it to the bottom step I knew the baby was coming as I could feel him between my legs….at that point I was wrestling with fear and trying to remember all the skills and techniques I had been through on my hypnobirthing course.
Tom tells me he had 2 phones on the go, one to the midvives and the other on the line to 999. He was washing his hands and getting the towels. My hero.
Change of plan number 4 – a home delivery.
I remember being scared because I didn’t know “how to be”, which pose to be in, on my all fours or standing up. This was for me the hardest thing. I tried to listen to my body but we were on our own and the baby was coming so it felt frightening but as soon as someone arrived I remember feeling better; someone to take control of the situation. I was debating having gas and air at one stage until Tom said yes I should definitely use it. Crazy I know, but I didn’t feel like I was in pain. To me, the sensation felt like the biggest ball of energy circling in my pelvis. I carried on breathing and needed total silence to focus on each surge. so much for the calming music and fairy lights I had prepared!
It is hard to recall the timings of that evening but I do remember how it felt. The room was filled with 7 strangers ( 2 ambulance crews and a midwife, who arrived 10 minutes before our boy was born) and in our living room, a shooting star – my beautiful baby boy was born safely and with control under a Perseid meteor shower at 00:31 on 13th August 2017.
So despite not going to plan, I wouldn’t want to change a thing.
We both went to hospital to be checked over and to have a little TLC down below (with proper lighting!) and my mom was there waiting at home to welcome us and basically look after us for the next week! (see ‘The Day I became a mother…” blog post)
I hope by sharing this honest account of my labour, it will give you the confidence and strength to know that you can do it and that your body knows exactly what to do, as does your baby in this amazing miracle we call child birth. It is sheer magic and Mother Nature’s greatest work so don’t fear it – we were made for this!
MY BIRTHING TOP TIPS
AFFIRMATIONS– tell yourself daily in the mirror how much you respect your body, how much you trust it and visualise how this baby is going to come into the world.
REST – listen to your body and take the time you need to save up all your energy.
DRINK – lots of water – it is the best medicine there is!
READ -I found reading really gave me lots of knowledge and in turn power. Obviously not everything will match your beliefs or your philosophy but it really gave me confidence knowing that others had been through the same and had experience.
My best reads were:
How to Grow a Baby and Push it Out by Clemmie Hooper
Why love matters: How Affection Shapes a Baby’s Brain by Sue Gerhardt
What to expect when you are expecting by Heidi Murkoff (more of a dip in and out)
BREATHE – practice practice practice. If you already practise yoga then you will know just how important the breath is to your bodies movement and your mind’s clarity. It served me so well and I would encourage all pregnant ladies to try and master their own breath and see the benefits and how it can empower you when you need it most.
Food – we are spoilt for choice but do we make the right choices?
Food. It can sometimes can be the last thing on your mind post baby and sometimes anything will do for a quick energy boost. I found I went through stages…
Firstly, I remember losing my appetite completely after Baby was born and my mum just handing me egg sandwiches as I fed him, telling me to eat. Let’s just say I was not having a very balanced diet at the beginning of motherhood. I ate what was available and convenient usually toast, chocolate, or cake. I did drink lots of fluids though, but sometimes the water was laced with a lot of Ribena! The sweet syrup that kept me functioning.
Then I got into the rhythm of breastfeeding, a few months in and I drank lots of water. Tick. I had to have a snack every time I sat down with Baby which is surprisingly often….Again I’d have toast and peanut butter or jam and sometimes Nutella (I ate a lot of bread). Other times it was biscuits or chocolate. Mainly biscuits or things I could easily access with one hand!
I wasn’t focusing on my body at all- nor did I care if my tummy was a little squishy and my boobs had increased dramatically. I was a new mama and my brain was (and still is) hard wired to look after the little one and I was clearly burning calories like a long distance runner. I walked daily, regularly breastfed and my mind was constantly working overtime running through a million worries every hour.
Then, when I was more settled and got into my groove of being a mama. I grew in confidence to leave the house. I had a packed diary, scattered with baby classes, mummy meet ups, tea and cake with colleagues and I even went to a BYO baby to a comedy show! Every time I left the house I was always up for tea and cake, coffee, biscuits and regularly stopped off to buy more contraband to ensure we were never out of stock back at the ranch! It was like a compulsion, I just had to have something to snack on in the house. I was still breastfeeding though and I truly didn’t care that I might have been piling on the pounds. My amazing body had, for 9 months, been harbouring a little human and it protected, nurtured and provided for him for all that time and it was still doing all that magic now with the added extra of actually making milk and providing all the nutrients he could need. I was in total awe of it. My body changed so perfectly and I loved it….. except I wasn’t treating it with such kindness from the inside.
Which brings me to now… I’m no longer breastfeeding, and my little man is eating me out of house and home (already a typical boy) which means my focus is about ensuring he is getting the best diet possible. I’m still down the pecking order during the day. Not healthy or smart when you need to be on top form as a mama. I do have a healthy meal for dinner with my husband each night but I guess I’ve just lost sight of looking after me and caring for my body as well as my baby’s.
It’s probably fair to say that at some point in our lives we do care about how we look and feel about our bodies and I’ll always remember what my my mother said to me one day when I made a comment about my body shape. She said “as a woman your body will always been changing. That’s what’s makes women special” and she is so right. I carried this wisdom with me all through my teens, twenties and it’s still true now in my thirties and after growing a baby. I am accepting of my body and much more aware of how it works and have a great respect for it. With the magic of the moon and lunar tides, women’s bodies are continually changing monthly and although I’ve had a baby, I’m still me and I’m proud to have this body. It’s made love, life and birthed a baby and I LOVE it!
So, with all that in mind, I’m choosing to care more and nourish my body from within. Think of it as a form of self- love.
I’m not going crazy, nor is this a strict diet but it’s about being more aware of what I’m consuming and eating the right foods to give me energy and live more healthily. I’ve cut out the unnecessary carbs like bread and cake, thought more about a Paleo diet and ensured I’ve not got the bad stuff actually in the house. I’m tying to go for a jog once a week as well as continuing my yoga practice at home and in class. Plus, I still walk daily with the little one for my well-being.Honestly, time spent outdoors is the greatest therapy.
The biggest diet change I’ve made is to ensure that I have breakfast. One that is full of goodness and gives me energy! All through my pregnancy I ate breakfast daily and somewhere along the line it slipped. I would head out the door to a Baby class clutching a biscuit as I headed out the door barely drinking my tea!
So mama, here is to re addressing our diets and to caring for the incredible vessel that is the female form. What amazing bodies we have – let’s take care of them from the inside out and nourish them with good food, love and endorphins and maybe a biscuit every now and again!?
I already have more energy just from one simple change of habit by having breakfast packed with super foods. This is my chia pudding breakfast with strawberry soy yogurt topped with granola, raspberries and a drizzle of peanut butter – totally delicious!