Six months on ….

Well its six months since I left maternity leave and how I wish I could be back there, it is a time for most new mums to find their feet, understand themselves, their strengths and overcome any weaknesses with caring for their baby and partner.

Where your anxieties are in overdrive, with every new illness or symptom turning you and your partner into a quivering wreck, you have the GP number on speed dial and you know how to get to A & E in the dark.

Although work is work, and it was hard at first leaving George, I find it’s the best of both worlds for my sanity. My colleague friends at work treat me as Ruth the nurse and the new mum, the conversations change to daily life other than conversations about poo.

My days off with George are usually pre-arranged with other mums and babes or long-awaited catch up’s with old friends. Gone are the days of baby cinema, George will never sit still in my arms and I can’t even bribe him with boob milk.

It’s all about big noisy toys, walkers and ride-ons and anything George can find that makes a loud bang. The tantrums he has are interesting, can’t believe such a beautiful little boy can turn into a little angry man, literally throwing all his toys out of his cotbed and yelling, bottom lip out demanding I or Daddy come back and do as we are told.

Despite, the whirlwind of nursery, and juggling work with George, I have nearly completed my second year at uni and was considering my Masters this September. Unfortunately, the powers of be at work won’t allow it. And it might be pushing it, juggling two babies, my hubby and uni? !

 

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Motherhood

Well, I have just completed my first week at work, they call it part-time even if you just drop seven and half hours. It was a hard four days, work have already messed up on my days off so I had to work four days in a row which meant I have missed spending quality time with George.

During that week, I was full of cold, everyone in the back office kept their distance due to my coughing, spluttering and constant blowing of my nose, when I left work, I felt rough and looked like Rudolf. Since having George, I’ve been sick so many times, still can’t shift it and have lost count on the times I’ve contacted the GP.

Had to take a carer’s leave day off, the week before as Georgie was sick and nursery couldn’t take him, at first I felt guilty when I had to call work, but now I don’t George comes first before work and I’m sure every parent would understand.

Out of all my friends, I only know one mum who gets to stay at home with their child, I thought first of all, how lucky to be able to afford that and be sane!

I spent most of my life working towards a career in nursing and now I need something more therapeutic where i feel valued, less knackered and I can see my children grow up.

We are so lucky in this day and age, after women sacrificed themselves, and some lost their families in the Suffragette movement, to give women of the future a Vote, Rights, and Choices to improve their lives. I think people have forgotten this as well as what life was like before a Free health service.

All these changes have which occured before I was born but have made a difference!

New year, new bra

Well, have shared ten months so far with my little pickle and experienced so many changes in my body, emotions, and relationships with all those close.

One of my acheivements was the success of breastfeeding.  Now I am weaning him slowly off and luckily not getting any of the awful infections which some of my friends have unfortunately experienced – mastitis or thrush.

My boobs have gone from a DD cup down four sizes, but it feels bloody good, trying on, and buying new attractive bras which are made for me and don’t have an alternative function.

It’s a new year, so of course a new me, back to work in two weeks, mixed feelings about this, thats when the real juggling begins. Although some days with George are exhausting and I wish I was at work, when I am with George, he amazes with his curiosity to all the little things we grown-ups take for granted.

 

December

My maternity leave has flown by, George has changed from a tiny baby into a bum shuffling adrenaline little monkey! He has developed so quickly from his first smile to a beautiful babbling and waving little boy. All his characteristics and personality are emerging, he knows what he shouldn’t play with i.e nappy bags, when I find him not amid his toys but at the most dangerous part of the living room – the fireplace.

All the thoughts of danger pass through my mind, when I can’t see him, we did have a near miss, when he rolled off the bed but luckily he was in a thick sleeping bag which must have softened his fall, but makes you feel like such a bad mum for leaving the room.

When I speak to other mums, they reassure me that it happens to them all, and from being overcautious initially with every new rash or bump, I can safely say I think Lee too, that we have overcome the worst.

My new life as a mum is an amazing adventure, the lifestyle of baby classes, cinema, and even the experience of soft play are fantastic. Developing my culinary skills by making Annabel’s dishes,  Taking the steak away from Daddy to make a delicious dish for G was amusing. Most of all, meeting other mums and listening to their stories on how they cope with their little ones, learning new things to try and feeling listened to about my worries and concerns.

The changes which occur in your relationship are massive, and such a learning curse for new parents. The difference of how fathers are with their babiescompared to their other halves, are a world apart. Dressing, activity, level of engagement, play, chatting all aids their development, but you can see how your little ones react differently to each parent.

George’s no fear policy is alittle discerning, he frequently dives out of his snug, head first into the carpet and then tells me in a loud scream that he has carpet burn on his nose. I noticed he was rocking on the wooden highchair in a restaurant the other day, by resting one foot on the leg of the table and pushing himself away. Thertefore my eyes are constantly on him, as my mind.

You can understand why  i am having problems letting him go into his own room now.

 

 

j

Seven months and one day

Nothing prepares a parent for when your child is sick, we have been luckier than others that G has not been ill until now. What a night, he didn’t sleep from 10pm until 1am and we had to resort in him sleeping on Daddy’s chest. I was fall of cold, G congested and finding it hard to breathe out of his nose. Tried Olbas oil on a tissue to no avail, constant screamimg whenever we tried to put our sleeping babe in the cot.

After giving him a feed, I thought I’d cracked it as he looked really sleepy, he sat up and then vomited milk all over me, the duvet and himself and started screaming again. It was impossible for Daddy and I to communicate to each other due to the heightened decibels, which later followed by cross words and raised tempers. I was too knackered and sick to argue, I just wanted sleep. G went to sleep on Daddy’s chest again after Mummy changed the entire bedding, G’s bedding and found an alternative to her Pjs, which was a destiny t-shirt, just been told its Gears of war, whatever and a pair of knickers.

The room stunk of sick so everything was thrown in the wash, this was around 3am probably. He slept for an hour and half until bad mummy carefully peeled him off Daddys wet chest and held him for abit as he motioned for milk. Gave him another feed, alittle winding and then placed him in the cot.

Screams like he’d been hit went through me, think Daddy might’ve woken up but then he erupted and began to vomit over himself uncontrollably on his back, reminding me of  the scene from Alien with the android Bishop bleeding ( this is from sleep deprivation).

Scary moment of my life I think, but together we stopped G from choking on his own vomit and saw an emergency GP this morning who reduced our anxieties saying this is just one of those bugs kids get! Really do not want another night like that, does experience make you stronger?

Feeling accomplished…

After a week of what I call hell, where I couldn’t breastfeed George, due to me being prescribed antibiotics which has limited evidence on the side effects for baby.

I had experienced sheer pain from engorgement and having to express every two hours which meant I was housebound. Then we had to start formula feeding, which is a procedure in itself, sterilising bottles and teats, having the correct teat. We thought a fast teat would be fine for George, however, the milk just ran down his face, so had to use a slow teat which is all what we had at hand.

We were in limbo, between the world of breastfeeding well, expressing and formula and George wasn’t feeding every 3 hours, he was between 4-6 hours. If anyone does formula feed, instruction says to boil kettle 30 mins before feed, well this is difficult when you’re not sure on feeding time. Had to wake my partner for night feeds as my boobs were too painful to hold George and feed him on the bottle.

I used cabbage leaves to reduce the swelling and pain from the engorgement, but maybe I went over the top with this as I slept with them in bra and thus milk supply reduced. Only being able to express 3oz in total from both boobs. I felt our close relationship was coming to an end, so weighing up the pros and cons and stopped the antibiotics after 5 days.

Leaving the house yesterday with just George and I was fantastic, having your independance back  and freedom from a breastpump and the house is the best. We spent the afternoon at a sensory class and mixing with other mums. I also managed to make a few meals for George before bedtime and a batch of scones for my other half and I to enjoy.

Today, I felt accomplished, I was dreading this but I managed this own my own, taking Georgie for his second term of swimming lessons. He loved kicking his feet and chasing ducks. I didn’t drop him, I was able to get in and out of the pool with George in one arm and holding the bannister with the other. Even the changing procedure was ok, baby talc is a lifesaver and  the support and kindness of the other mums who were all in the same boat.

A wriggling six and half month baby is slightly harder than a younger baby, I was advised not to use the lift down changing table as it sloped downwards which isn’t what you need.

Going to try fenugreek capsules which I hear you can make a tea, and this increases your milk production, as it will take awhile for it to go up. In the meantime, George is eating for England, it took several bowls of weetabix, yoghurt, puree last night to get him to bed.

 

 

The other side of the coin …

From conversations with other new mums and a certain topic continues to pop up. The fathers who are at work full time are under the impression their better halves are having a best time of their lives.

They think we are enjoying lunches with friends, coffee mornings, cinema trips, shopping, the list is endless. It’s funny I had the same conversation with my partner who thought my new role was easy and that I am swanning around town etc.

Ha, I think and believe most of you mums would agree with me, maybe we do tell our partners about our day and talk about the fun parts with more excitement. But the everyday tasks which we have to do for our little one, given their particular needs is just part and parcel of our day. With having broken sleep from feeding through the night, teething, exploding nappies and changes, the happy days are what I look forward to.

Each week, I try to arrange different outings for George and I, preferably meeting friends, to keep my sanity as too many days with just George and I can send me potty. Also becoming creative with your time and for your little one to gain the most of it is a daily task.

These baby classes, swimming, massage, raves all add up and when your maternity pay gets smaller each month, you soon learn to save every coupon, use your points card for free coffees and arrange meet-ups in the park.

So boys if you can handle multi-tasking daily and feel you can be a stay at home pa, have a trial run, I’m sure your other half would love a break.