How pregnant am I?

As many of you will know, we are expecting squidge 2.0, due sometime in February (apparently on squidge 1.0’s birthday…but he was late, so who knows). 

Today, I am 24 weeks pregnant. 24 weeks, in my head, equates to roughly 6 months. But I still have 4 months to go, so that can’t be right. Pregnancy only lasts 9. I’m 24 weeks through the 40 allocated for pregnancy (give or take)…but for the first 2 (at least), I wasn’t even pregnant. Thanks to the medical world for that one. So I’m actually 22 weeks through 38 weeks, which sounds more like 5 months. This makes sense because pregnancy lasts 9, right? 5 down, 4 to go. But then add on those other 2 weeks and I’m suddenly nearer 6 again, and I STILL have 4 to go. It’s no wonder parents count in weeks during pregnancy and the first 4-6 months! 

So, I can only ascertain that I am a bit pregnant and while I’m unlikely to get any more or less so, I am likely to keep on being pregnant until, at some point, another baby is born. After either 9 or 10 months. Which will feel like approximately 25 years. 

Disclaimer: This is tongue in cheek…I actually stole the idea for this from Dave Gorman, I think. Maybe it was another comedian. It was a while ago. And I was probably asleep. I might be asleep now. The last 2 nights have been hard work with a poorly toddler. 

Biscuits 

Today I had a very strong sign that Sam is going to do well in the world. 

I’ve had a hard day; exhausted, feeling a bit sick, aching…the not so fun side of pregnancy. It’s hard work with an active (and demanding!) toddler but fortunately today Sam decided that he would happily entertain himself or bring me books to read him while I lay on the sofa being fairly useless. He even semi-watched “Cars” (although I have a feeling that I watched more of it than he did!), despite generally losing interest in anything that isn’t “Ben” [& Holly’s Little Kingdom]. 

Fast forward through the day, past where I forced us both out of the door to get some fresh air – him in tears, me holding it together…us both in wellies and winter hats (so that he would wear his), past our lovely park visit…to when Carl arrived home. 

Carl brought us a pack of Rich Tea biscuits and handed out one each before heading upstairs to change. Sam had his and wandered around taking an occasional bite. Then he looked at me and my empty hand. “Gone?”, he enquired. “Yes”, I informed him, “I’ve finished mine”. He took one more look at me and charged out of the room – fairly standard, so I paid little attention to it. 30 seconds later, he reappeared with the whole pack of biscuits and handed it to me. 

I’ve learned 2 things from this:

1. He will do well in future life – he sensed I needed looking after and that a pack of biscuits was a good start. 

2. He can reach a lot further than either of us had realised! 

Breakfast

You know it’s been a successful breakfast when Carl ends up with a Cheerio stuck to one foot, weetabix on the other and Sam has weetabix in his hair and – more impressively – down his back. 

I’ll take the energetic breakfasts as a sign that he’s finally feeling better after weeks of colds, respiratory tract infections and antibiotics! 

I realise that it has been weeks since my last post. Sam turned 1 a couple of weeks ago, which I still can’t quite get my head round. My little baby is officially a walking toddler. Some days he doesn’t even look like a baby any more.  

Deeply suspicious of his cake

 

The day after his party, we had an NCT party and, for the first time, had all 8 babies in the same room! We even managed a photo although it was of course at a time when Sam had just started crying.  

Proud parents

 

Since then, in between colds and antibiotics, we’ve been continuing as usual with a few more added outings. We went to Bocketts Farm weekend before last and Sam loved seeing all of the animals. I’ve waited until now to take him and I’m pleased I did. He was able to walk around (on reins!!) and stroked the animals fairly gently…apart from the bunny, which he refused to touch.   

So, here we are. On to Sam’s second year and all of the adventures that lie ahead!! 

“Mid-morning? What is that?”

This is what Sam would say if he could talk. 

He seems to have settled into have a long (2-2.5 hour) nap each morning and neatly misses most of the day between breakfast and lunch. This, I think, is the definition of winning. Sleep, wake, eat, play for an hour, sleep, wake, eat. It’s not a bad life! 

I’m glad of it today because I’m not feeling 100% and it’s given me time to relax…after doing a wash, sorting all the clothes – 20% ours, 80% Sam’s – showering and sorting his change bag for the day that is! 

We’re off out to visit my cousin Thea today and I can’t wait to see her. Sam will have a field day trying to touch all of her and her boyfriend’s amazing work (they are very talented blacksmiths – check out their website), as well being incredibly excited at seeing their cats. I might be wrong, but I foresee quite a lot of hands-on work keeping him away from it all! I’m therefore grateful that I’ve had a chance to rest up this morning. 

When awake, he loves nothing more than helping with the hoovering!

A little look back

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…) 

Gender guesses and why parents to be should be spared them 

Blame it on the boogie 

On Friday night I went out with a three of my girl friends. We popped into the local wine bar and I had a lovely glass of bubbles. Much deserved and savoured! Over tapas and more wine (for them) we laughed and talked and laughed and gradually got louder and louder, as only a group of women can do. Luckily the bar held the sound pretty well so we weren’t echoing off the walls…too much! 

After dinner, the cry was to go a couple of doors down for a dance. Carl had text letting me know that Sam was still sleeping (with a photo of the monitor screen to prove it!) and told me to relax and have fun. Although I resisted the girls telling me to get a taxi home rather than drive, I did have pretty shoes on and pretty shoes need a dance floor!! 

Off we went, to find we were the only people in there. Who cares!? 4 girls and 1 dancefloor; we were happy. As we boogied away, I realised that it had been a long time since I last had a night like this. Even though I had a good dance at our Christmas party, I was 7 months pregnant and unable to bust out some of my best (worst) moved. I needed Friday. I didn’t even realise it until I was out and laughing and dancing with the girls.

To go out with people who knew me before I was pregnant, who I used to see all day every day and laugh with all the time…well, it made me feel wonderful. It was up there with Kate’s burlesque birthday party in the summer. 

Sometimes, as much as you adore your children, you need a couple of hours ‘off’ and to be ‘you’. Not so-and-so’s mum (or dad!). 

I wrapped up my night at about 11.30pm and set off home. 

Sam was fast asleep, but Carl’s evening had been tricky. He’d woken 15 minutes after I left and it was 2 hours before he settled again. Luckily, with Carl’s perseverance, patience, rocking, trying to put him down, hugs, offering the bottle, Sam had ‘eventually’ fallen asleep on his own. When he woke an hour later, he cried for a few minutes and fell asleep on his own again. 

This is very new. It happened for the first time on Thursday night when we’d left him for a couple of minutes before Carl went up to settle him…but Sam fell asleep before he opened the door. Maybe he is beginning to learn to fall asleep on his own, without us doing any ‘sleep training’, leaving him to cry or anything else. He’s 8 months old now and maybe he is simply starting to get it. 

Roll on December, when Carl and I have our Christmas party and a night out together…watch out dancefloor!! 

Another walk, another location 

While Carl joined my grandparents playing bowls in Newport, I took Sam off for a walk. He had been happily watching for half an hour, but there’s only so long that would entertain him for – I learned this with the train, when looking out of the window was fun for all of 10 minutes. 

Newport is right on the west coast and I thought it would be nice to wander down to the Parrog. I popped Sam in a gilet and knit hat (he looked amazing – boy’s winter wear is my new favourite) and set off with our trusty stroller. 

  5 minutes later, as I walked down to the gentle hill, I wondered if I would come to regret this decision. The sea beckoned ever closer though as we meandered down the hill. Then Sam started crying, evidently cold. Fortunately, I had prepared for this eventuality and had his warm duffle coat with me. Suitably wrapped up, I nonetheless decided it was time to head back – besides, it was almost tea time at bowls! 

Almost the moment he was warm and cozy, he started drifting off. Easing the seat back into a more reclined position, I pulled the sun shade right down to keep the wind off and back we went. 

Perfect timing really, he fell asleep at 3.15, exactly the time I would have aimed for had I been at home. 

I got a nice cup of tea as my treat for pushing him back up the hill. 

An all round win. 

Life at home

When you have a baby and begin your new life at home (whether long or short term), life changes in more ways than you can possibly imagine. However, what I personally hadn’t anticipated were how my friendships would change. I thought I would regularly see those friends who are around during the day, and hopefully catch up with others in the evenings or weekends. Sam’s lack of evening sleep has scuppered most evening plans, but we are nearly always around at weekends. I may partly be at fault for not contacting more people and inviting them round, but I haven’t really spoken to a large chunk of my friends since Sam’s birth. 

Maybe Facebook and the ability to ‘like’ or or leave one-liner comments on statuses or photos gives us all the false illusion that we’re having a conversation and keeping in touch. It’s far too easy to do! What has surprised me is how little I’ve seen of the friends who are also around during the day either with children or different working hours. The people I see more than anyone are the girls from my NCT group. We still meet weekly and a couple of weeks ago I also ended up seeing two of them on other days during the week. It helps that the weather has been glorious and we’re all keen to get out and have a walk in the sunshine! Maybe it’s because you form a different bond when you’ve all sat round in a village hall practicing birth positions and have discussed births, nappies and all of the other grim subjects that accompany parenthood…

What has been really nice (and was unexpected) is how much I’ve ended up talking to old school friends who have young children. We may not be close any more, but I’ve seen and been chatting to one of my best friends from school for the first time in years. Her little boy is just adorable and I hope he and Sam end up being friends (when the year+ age gap doesn’t matter any more). I’ve spoken to other girls from my school days and we share the 3am chats with our ups and downs, with me often asking for advice, or sometimes validation, since their children are all older than Sam and they’ve been through this stage!

I’m not saying that my friends and I have parted ways, but my priorities have changed so much and – for the moment – I’m unable to pursue my main hobby, Am Dram, which is where most of us met. They’re all busy and I understand that. To be fair, I keep myself and Sam pretty occupied at times! I just hadn’t really taken in that there would be a new distance there when I’m more concerned with watching Sam waiting for any new steps he takes than with heading out.

Also…being awake after 9pm? Overrated!

Thank you pregnancy…

…for taking away a food I’ve been looking forward to eating for months. 

Sunday was Carl and my first anniversary. A whole year since our wedding…and what a year it’s been! To celebrate, my Mum, sister and future brother in law came round to look after Sam, allowing us to go out for our first meal as a couple since he was born. 

We chose Little Dudley House in Dorking. It’s a lovely restaurant; beautiful both inside and out, with great food. A long-standing favourite of ours, it was the obvious choice. 

 
A glass of champagne to celebrate and a three course meal, perfect. 

We spent 3 hours out of the house, chatting and laughing over our meal and remembering that as well as being parents, we are still a couple. It was a wonderful day. 

Until early evening. 

I started feeling a bit sick and by 8pm, since Sam had fallen asleep, I decided to go to bed. Carl kept Sam downstairs so I could get some rest, while I shivered in bed and hoped I could sleep it off. By the time Carl and Sam came up at midnight, I was feeling horrendous. Shivers had turned to hot sweats. Feeling sick but not able to be sick, I fed Sam but partway through the feed – typically – my body was ready. Hurriedly passing him to Carl, I ran for the bathroom. A few minutes later, I threw up the entire three course meal. The speed and quantity would almost have been comical if it hadn’t been so horrible. 

What I always forget about sickness is how weak it leaves you feeling. Last night I was still feeling incredibly delicate and not able to eat much, although trying to since I need the calories to feed Sam – never before have I wished so hard that he would take a bottle. 

There’s no way I could have handled a day of full on baby entertaining yesterday. However, fortunately for me, Sam may well have begun his 12 week growth spurt and slept for the majority of the day. For the first time, I was able to sleep when the baby does. 

The offending food? Goats cheese. I love a goats cheese salad from Viva, it’s one of my favourites. I can’t think of anything else I ate that would have had this effect. It may have been a one-off, but do I want to test it? No way. 

I forgot that pregnancy can alter your tastes and leave you with new allergies so, 11 weeks after giving birth, it seems I’m still feeling the after effects of it all. Oh the joys! 

Thank goodness for Carl helping with Sam in the middle of the night and on Monday both before and after work. 

Of course, since he slept all day yesterday, he woke every hour during the night. Fed badly, wriggled during feeds, thrashed around in his cot. All in all, a bad night. 

Go with the flow

We’ve had a difficult couple of nights. This week, we’ve started putting Sam into his cot at the start of the night but, surprisingly, this hasn’t bothered him. He seems quite content in his cot (provided we put him in it when he’s fast asleep…!!) and while he wakes up sooner than he does in our bed, he still sleeps up to 1.5 hours in it. Definitely a start…

What has caused disruption is my lack of ability to sleep well with him in the cot – that surely can’t be the right way round!? In our bed, I seemed to be able to sleep through his little noises and gurgles, only waking when he needed feeding. In the cot, every noise wakes me, just in case he has woken up and needs food. Sam is a noisy, fidgety sleeper (much like his parents!) so this is fairly frequent/constant. Night before last night, I was awake from 3-4.30am when I put him in his cot after a night feed, until he needed feeding again. Not quite what I’d intended! 

Last night. What can I say about last night. It felt like hell. Awake nearly all night feeding Sam until the early hours, then he was crying and seemed to be inconsolable. What was wrong? He was clean, fed, winded…what did we miss? Thinking he might be hungry, I fed him again…he ate…and then threw it all up, all over me. Not that then. 

After 1.5 hours of us alternating trying to settle him, I went to sleep – on the edge of a breakdown – and Carl figured it out. Sam was cold. He wrapped a blanket round him while walking round and he fell asleep straight away. He must have fed just for the comfort and maybe to be warmer in our bed, making himself feel better about being chilly. 

We’ve always kept him wrapped in a blanket, but this week we’ve become a bit remiss. Thinking it’s getting warmer, we haven’t been quite so vigilant and after a window being open for 2 days (although the room door was shut) while we had work done, he must have become pretty chilled. Poor little man. I felt awful when I realised that was the reason for him being so sad. 

Today, he started the morning off by crying again, with my thinking a nervous breakdown was just round the corner. Fortunately, he was just hungry. So, I cancelled my plans and we spent the whole morning in bed with him feeding and us both catching up on sleep. Much needed. 

We became best friends again when he smiled and gurgled through his nappy change; melted my heart. 

I’m pretty dead on my feet, but I count it as an accomplishment that we made it downstairs at all today, both freshly dressed and he has fed and napped as he usually does. 

I’ve noticed he struggles more at night when he doesn’t cluster feed in the evenings – he hasn’t done this for the last 2 nights…coincidence!? – so hopefully we’ll return to this tonight. 

While I look forward to him out growing cluster feeding, it helps him at night so I will embrace it for now! 

Sometimes plans need cancelling, sometimes a morning will be spent in bed. Sometimes you will feel like a terrible mother and like you can’t handle it anymore. You can. You just need someone to remind you of that, like Carl did for me today. Thank goodness for him. 

Here’s to a better night tonight.