It’s funny reading my early blog posts when they pop up in my Facebook ‘memories’. I was quite opinionated and ragey in some of them!! As in ‘normal’ life, small things irritated me during pregnancy and it seems that I wasn’t afraid to show this.
The post that’s tickled my fancy for Throwback Tuesday (it’s a thing… Ok, I’ll make it a thing) is my post on gender guesses before baby is born. It makes me smile today but I know that if we have another, I’ll feel exactly the same!! (Consider yourself warned…)
I don’t think I’m a completely relaxed and able to with ‘go with the flow’ type parent, but this article really made me laugh…and realise that I’m far more laid back than I thought!
When I held my baby in my arms for the very first time I knew that I would do everything within my power to keep this tiny little human safe.
From that day forward, I would do anything to protect every hair on the perfect head of my Precious Firstborn.
And my husband and I literally did just that.
If they had invented a baby grow made of cotton wool; we would have bought it. If we had found a safety helmet small enough, we would have got one to protect her delicate little fontanel. We took overprotective to a whole new level.
Here a few things we did that only a first time parent will understand:
1. I would wake her if she’d slept too long, too quietly or, somehow, looked too asleep, to check she was still conscious. I would lean over the cot to try and hear her breathing, put my hand next to her mouth to see if I could feel her breathing. Then I would stick a mirror under her nose to attempt to see her breathing. In the end, the only way I felt I could be 100 percent sure was to wake her up.
2. I washed my hair with baby shampoo and deliberately got it into my eyes to check that it really was ‘no tears’.
3. I got in the cot to check that it was comfortable enough for my Precious Firstborn.
4. When I began weaning her I used to squirt breast milk in her baby porridge. It used to take half an hour to make her breakfast.
5. I would make everyone who came to visit my Precious Firstborn wash their hands with anti-bacterial soap before they held her.
6. When my parents babysat our Precious Firstborn for the first time, we left them a detailed, four sides of A4 instruction manual with exact times for everything.
7. I wouldn’t watch any film rated above PG when the baby was ASLEEP on me.
8. I would wipe my nipples with baby wipes before they touched the lips of my Precious First Born.
9. I would re-sterilise everything my husband sterilised in case he had done it wrong.
10. Protectors of the Precious Firstborn Bottom step 1. To clean the baby’s bum I would use only cotton wool balls and warm water in a sterilised bowl, then pat dry with a sterile soft cloth before applying the cream. For the first SIX months.
11. Protectors of the Precious Firstborn Bottom step 2. We would change her nappy every time she woke up (which was a lot) – even when it was a tiny bit damp. We went through 200 nappies in the first two weeks.
12. Help my child! I once called the 24 hour emergency midwife out at 2am because my Precious Firstborn had sleep in her eye.
13. Bacteriaphobia. I developed an ability to see germs. They were everywhere, trying to get my Precious Newborn. I would scrub our remote controls, mobile phones, door handles and light switches with anti-bacterial cleaner twice a day because I had read these were riddled with germs.
14. Emergency! We took our Precious Firstborn to A & E because she would not stop crying.
15. Room temperature anxiety.
ME: (To husband) Do you think it is warm tonight? Do you think it is too warm for the baby? I think I’ll just go and take her blanket off (go remove blanket).
HUSBAND: Do you think she is too cold now? She hasn’t got a vest on.
ME: Why did you not tell me about the vest? How could you forget to mention it? I bet she is freezing now (get up and put blanket back on).
HUSBAND: But that baby grow is pretty thick so she could be too hot (goes and removes blanket).
This would continue for hours. Every. Single. Night.
16. I sprayed my husband’s clothes with breast milk so when he went to settle her she would still smell Mummy.
17. I would only carry her up or down the stairs sitting on my bottom in case I tripped and dropped her.
18. When crossing the road with Precious Firstborn in the pram I would always stand at least two metres away from the kerb. Just in case a car veered off the road.
19. I was so terrified of falling asleep with the baby on me I would set my phone alarm to go off every half an hour.
20. If our Precious Firstborn went longer than two hours at night without a feed we would wake her up, just in case she was starving to death in her sleep.
This may not happen again for a while. But the fact it’s happened once means that it might again…
Sam slept for just over 4 hours straight last night.
Whenever he wakes up for feeding, I check the time so I can see how long he has slept. I couldn’t believe it when I saw it was 2.52am…surely not right? He went to sleep sometime between 10.30 and 10.45pm! But my eyes did not deceive me, we really had just reached our first 4 hour stretch since the early jaundiced days.
What makes me even happier is that we had a full on family day yesterday, with 9 people to see and hold Sam, and he really held his own. Smiled, stuck his tongue out (his new favourite pastime) and was generally a delight for the duration of our 5 hour visit. Sure, he got a little grizzly when hungry or tired, but he fed well and then slept happily in the room of people, peacefully curled up on Carl.
In my previous pre-baby life, I would check I was clean and ready before leaving the house. If I had food or a rogue bit of toothpaste on me, I would nip upstairs to change before setting foot out of the door. (This didn’t happen that often…I’m not that incapable of finding my mouth!)
Today, just before heading out on our second walk of the day, Sam was sick all down the side of my navy top. Without second thought, I grabbed a muslin to wipe the worst off and then found a short cardigan to mostly cover the obvious sick patches.
To be honest, if you can’t fully get it off, just leave it. If someone points it out to you, look horrified and ‘search’ for the offending stain before declaring that you hadn’t even noticed.
Attempt to look suitably ashamed, while simultaneously wondering how many times you can pull this act off in one day.
6 weeks. Where has the time gone? It seems like an age since we were struggling with how best to feed Sam and feeding a combination of expressed milk and formula. After succeeding a week in, Sam is still breastfeeding, but we are both still struggling with the left breast. I’m not so comfortable holding him that way and he has just never really ‘got it’ on that side. He will feed off it but 8 times out of 10 it’s a struggle getting him to latch well and generally involves him getting worked up trying.
Expressing isn’t as effective as breastfeeding. I know this. However, what it is more effective than is a baby who gets stressed out trying to feed properly. I have decided to start expressing off the left for some feeds and then bottle feed the milk to him. The right produces far more milk and he has no issues with feeding, so business as usual. I will keep breastfeeding him off the left as well, but mixed with expressed feeds to give us both a break.
I have started this tonight and already feel more relaxed. One feed is bottled up in the fridge ready for when it’s needed, he’s currently feeding from a previously expressed batch and the right breast is full and ready for his next feed. I’m sure the boob brigade will be quick to point out that this isn’t as effective as full breastfeeding and that I should work this out. However, I say back that I will be doing a bit of both (not that I need to justify my decisions), this allows Carl to assist with some feeds and – most importantly – it removes stress for both Sam and I.
Do what works for you. This is the best course of action for us, otherwise I will simply end up jacking in breastfeeding altogether because I’m getting bored of the battle. Some days I’m sure I’ll forget to express at all, some days I may end up expressing all the ‘left feeds’…but at the end of the day, as long as Sam is feeding well and we’re both happy, that’s all that matters.
I write my blog honestly and don’t try to sugar coat my posts. I do however realise that my posts aren’t generally funny; but perhaps they don’t need to be. I simply aim to update you on how my life is going and hopefully other parents can relate to what we’re going through. I only hope that I’m not putting anyone off parenthood!
If you want to read a funny blog – and I advise you to – then The Unmumsy Mum is ‘the one’. Well written, at times hilarious and always frighteningly honest, this is the only blog I read religiously. Read one post and you’ll be hooked. Follow her Facebook page and join us in trying to convince this wonderful mum to write a book!!