I’m writing this as the Moo Boy is sitting in his chair playing with an oven glove. Things are so much easier now. He will entertain himself for ooh, minutes. When he naps I know I have at least an hour to join him or to do something on my own, without tiny fingers ‘helping’. He has slept through the night once or twice as well. The downside to this growing up stuff is his temper. He screams with rage at himself for not being able to fit a big thing inside a little thing, at me for removing him from the dirty nappy bucket, at the cat for being a cat and not complying with his desire to grab her fur. And worst of all, he does naughty things just to get a reaction. Grabbing cables is a favorites and radio reception has not been the same since the last incident. Luckily the nicer side of his character is dominant, at least for the moment. He has been having a go at standing up, and will sometimes walk with me holding him up. He’s keen on Ring a Ring a Roses. He’s not keen on shoes.
It’s been an amazing year. I have discovered depths of patience I didn’t know I had. Realised I can actually function on a couple of hours sleep – though I’d rather not. And become obsessed with cleaning, probably because I seem to do so much of it.
I thought after 11 months of breastfeeding I wouldn’t get mastitis, however a combination of a long car journey with the seatbelt digging in to me, cutting down on feeds during the day and carrying a heavy bag did the job. I felt fluey and dizzy and had huge lumps in one boob. Luckily I caught it early because it can result in scarring from abcesses and chunks of your breasts being eaten away from the inside. Nice. So all the effort I had put in to start to wean went to waste. I fed him pretty much every hour for a couple of days to unplug themilk ducts and we are back to feeding at 2, 4 and 6 am. I just haven’t got the energy to fight it right now.
Moo Boy has been ill too, he reacted to a wheat cracker and had a week of diareah, fever, grouchyness, vomiting, not eating…..he lost half a kilo. I took him to see a homeopath and that turned out to be a very nice experience. Usually I spend hours waiting in a too hot room with loads of ill people and their horrible, uncontrollable children only to have an argument with the doctor about why I won’t use antibiotics unless it’s a deaths door situation. Instead we spent an hour and a half with the homeopath who asked loads of questions and posted us 2 pills the next day. He perked up the next day. I don’t know if the homeopathy worked or if he was going to get better anyway but I thought it was worth a try.
A week later he is back on form and already I have the knack of pretending I can’t see him when he grabs other kids toys away from them at playgroups. He has only just got to the stage when he doesn’t always land on his head when he falls off something so I am learning not to follow him around all the time. Tricky, and I hold my breath a lot, waiting for screams that miraculously don’t happen. I blink and he is climbing up a slide, or getting his fingers very near wheels, or playing with toys that bigger kids are already playing with or putting crayons in his mouth. It’s time for me to let go of my little baby a bit and welcome in the toddler. Tantrum buds are forming now. He yells and thrashes if he can’t have something he wants, usually the cat food or a computer cable or something equally unsuitable and he has a lovely time playing the ‘out of your mouth’ game with the gravel in the garden. This is the one where I repeat ‘take the pebble out of your mouth’ while he giggles and puts the pebble in. I hate the out of your mouth game.
We must have hundereds of pounds worth of toys now. Toys specially chosen for their interesting colours, textures and sounds. Toys specially designed for small children, with doors for tiny figers to open and noises for tiny ears to enjoy. What my son really wants to play with are cardboard boxes, phone cables and the bath plug. I could have saved a fortune.
I am losing weight rapidy chasing him as he is moving into trouble zones faster every day. The cat is the main danger area. She won’t budge from her comfy spot on the sofa for the last 3 years, and he won’t leave her alone. He advances, squealing and waving his hands at her before he grabs her. As a result he has 3 long scratches on her face and I have admitted defeat and am trying to rehome her.
He is an expert crawler now, and has started ‘cruising’; standing up and moving sideways while holding onto the furniture. He cruises onto his face a lot with this method and has pushed one of his teeth back into the gum. I called everyone ( NHS Direct, dentists, my mum….) and apparantly this is very common and the teeth usually grow back into position after 6 weeks but there is a slight risk he may lose it.
After a battle of wills we cut out a night feed and I usually get 6 hours a night now. Unfortunatly he has decided that he wants to sleep on my head, and tried to achieve this by rearing up and smacking his head down onto mine. Not a nice way to wake up, repeatedly, throughout the night. This morning, after headbut number 5, I gave up and put my pillow at the foot of the bed. Time for a cot maybe, if not for him then for me, a nice safe cot where the cat can’t get me.
How can it possibly take the whole day to organise food for a baby? All the time I had left between breastfeeding, changing nappies and washing clothes is now taken up squishing banana, cooking soup with little chunks in, freezing or defrosting the stuff and removing tiny particles of food from the carpet, walls, me or the cat. I have decided the path of least resistance is to feed him on the floor as he cannot get such a good throwing angle from low down and I stand a chance of finding the minuscule chunks of rice cake he so happily discards.
The eating thing has an obvious knock on effect – poo. When he is not teething his nappies are really easy to deal with, just a couple of lumps to flush away. When he is teething, and that seems to be 99% of the time now he can poo up to 6 times a day and it is always a messy business that neither of us really want to do. It’s tricky to change the nappy of a little boy who really wants to try to crawl away from you as fast as possible whilst keeping up a continuous loud scream designed to make you really frantic. I have developed a system of holding him face down and changing his nappy with him on all fours. Sounds cruel but it’s much more humane than the arguments we have if he lies on his back. Another couple of months of holding the wriggly boy and I will be ready for the World Wrestling Federation. I could be ‘the Mother’. catchphrase ‘don’t mess with this Mother’, with a costume made of tiny particles of rice cake.
Wriggly fat boy is just about to crawl and I am nowhere near ready for that. Every square inch of the house is a potential danger zone. There are cables, bicycles, boxes, muddy wellys and a multitude of other things I would rather he didn’t taste and chew. There is a travel cot up in the kitchen now so I have a safe place to put him when I am cooking or if the phone rings.
Solid food has only just become acceptable to the Moo Boy. After a few days of breastmilk only ‘cos he had a tummy bug he decided that a bit of banana would be a good idea. There I was, loaded spoon poised behind the squeaky duck, ready to grab the moment when he smiled to slip it into his mouth, fully expecting a ‘bleaugh’ and lips sealed shut. My ‘this will not become an issue’ smile was pasted onto my face but it wasn’t needed as he surprised me by grabbing the spoon and shoving it into his mouth himself. He’s now on 2 inches of banana a day but is still resolutly ‘bleaugh’ about anything else, unless its a rice cake and can be chewed and spat out in soggy lumps that stick to every available surface including the cat. We now have a timetable with something to do every day if we want to. Water Babies has got even more nervewracking, what with the teacher thowing the babies into the water to be caught, but Moo Boy really loves the water. He is not too convinced that being underneath it is a good idea but gets excited to almost exploding point with the splashing and kicking bits. I think the expense is justified if I have a child that is comfortable and confident in water. Sing and Sign is good fun too. I have been signing ‘milk’ and ‘more’ with him for a couple of months now and he has just started to sign ‘more’. It took me some time to work out that ‘more’ doesn’t mean the same thing to an 8 month old. It can mean ‘more less of something’, such as ‘more stopping wiping my nose’ or ‘more not trying to sneak sweet potato into my mouth again’. I think generally he means ‘I liked what happened last’, so it’s more of an applause than an encore but it’s a start. It did dawn on me that this is the start of two sided conversations with him. I am so used to doing both sides of the chatter now, and in town without the baby I have caught myself saying ‘look at the nice dog’, or ‘there’s a big lorry’. The rest of the week is taken up with various playgroups where I am now in a breastfeeing minority. I simper quietly as formula mums tell me that I should stop boobing him but I have no intention of giving him formula. I wouldn’t drink it, why would I give it to him? But I don’t want to hurt their feelings. Funny I feel this way because they tend to be free with their opinions. Because of this I went to a La Leche League breastfeeding support group meeting where people were boobing 3 year olds and I didn’t feel like an alien anymore.
Introducing food is not always a magic spell for more sleep and longer time between breast feeds. On the day my son was 6 months old, I prepared a lovingly dug up carrot with meticulous care and tearfully tried to spoon it into his mouth. He said his first word; ‘bleaugh’ and clamped his jaws shut. This has been a daily occurrence for the past 4 weeks now. Bananas are less ‘bleaugh’ than potatoes, but on the whole he is really not interested. I have tried giving him a spoon, which he is happy to chew as long as it has no food on it, I have tried finger food, but he can’t do lumps and he vomits them back up which is pretty disturbing. So, solids have made no difference to sleep, poos, naps or his weight. He is a fat boy and getting fatter by the day. Oddly, I am not breastfeeding him any more than before so I guess I am producing more calories in the milk.
Moo Boy now has a toothy grin; 2 tiny white squares in his bottom gum, cute looking but razor sharp. Before he cut these teeth I had a dream that he had a mouth full of them and I was cowering in a corner, clutching my breasts and refusing to feed him. In reality, breastfeeding has been fine so far, his tongue covers the teeth and he has only bitten me once when he didn’t want to be latched off, fair enough really. So far, so good.
The other big thing for us has been a crèche once a week. The first time we went he tried to bounce out of my arms to get to the toys as soon as we arrived. I left him screaming his head off in delight and busy stuffing a rubber giraffe into his mouth. I looked back in after I went to the loo, and I kept forgetting things (possibly on purpose, I admit) and each time I checked he was squealing with happiness. Something tells me he had a good time, must be mothers intuition. He was in the crèche so I could go to a yoga class, an extremely painful yoga class for me as the closest I have come to exercise for months is stretching to get the biccys from the sofa. After the session I felt pretty good but couldn’t wait to get back to the baby, I missed him.
I don’t want to go back to the playgroup. I got the day wrong for the mother and baby group so I went to the toddler group instead. As soon as I started to play with Moo Boy, other, larger children flocked to me as if I was a play worker and as I edged away they followed me. How do you explain to a small child that you actually don’t like children and you just want to play with your baby, as babies are great and small children are noisy and alarming? Especially in front of their wiser parents who sit around to watch. I thought fighting for the toys would be going down to their level a bit childish, so I just kept moving. The other reason I don’t want to go back is the well off mums. Now I have chosen not to work. In fact I really don’t want to go back to work, I want to spend time with the Moo and I don’t really mind having to watch what I spend. It’s just the idea of luxuries I like. New shoes, regular haircuts, gyms and baby clothes from Mothercare instead of the car boot. Most of this I don’t really want, I’m just jealous of those that have it! If I had money to burn I know I couldn’t in reality spend £10 on a babygro that would last 2 months at most. I really couldn’t, I tried to buy new cot sheets a few months ago but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it when I could cut down one of our old sheets for nothing. And I hate exercise, why would I want to go to a gym? Anyway, I’ll go back when I have conquered the chip on my shoulder and fear of small children that can move and talk.
Moo Boy started to sit up this month. I just plonked him on the bed while I was talking to my bloke and realised some time later that he had been sitting all by himself for ages. As I type he is sat on the sofa with strategic pillows to stop him falling off, trying to stuff a giraffe into his mouth. He is not fussy about what goes in there; he can get through quite a lot of junk mail and enjoys sucking the Maplins catalogue. He does get frustrated when he can’t get the whole thing into his mouth. I have been blaming teeth so have started on the least powerful things to try to make him more comfortable. I don’t want to rush in with the paracetamol until things get really bad, and we are worried about the additives in things. This is what we are using least aggressive first.
Carrots are supposed to contain something to soothe gums so I cut a slice of a nice organic one for the Moo to suck on but he wasn’t interested at all.
The homeopathic remedy Chamomila is for teething, colic and ear infections. The tablets or granules are usually made with lactose (milk) and as both his dad and I are allergic to milk I use the lower dose 3c in sucrose and I can’t find any side effects for that. Also it has been used as a painkiller in premature babies.
Bongela teething gel’s main active ingredient is a dental anaesthetic, but there are no really nasty additives although ‘banana flavour’ could be anything, it’s probably not banana.
The bongela and chamomila combination work pretty well, enough to get him to sleep usually. Sleep has been much improved by a few things, mostly thanks to the No Cry Sleep Solution. Longer naps during the day work wonders and I go to sleep too! We have really slowed down the hour before bedtime and he goes to bed earlier. Also, I have given up on the cot as I can’t place it anywhere there is not a draft so he is in bed with us all night. I get about 4 hours sleep in a row on a good night and I am a human again.
Oh my god I’m a mother, do you want some cake? I made it myself, its organic, very good for you, you liked it last time you had it, oh go on, have some for later, are you wearing a vest? You treat this place like a hotel…
I can see why people give up breastfeeding. It’s only my sheer stubbornness and reluctance to be beaten by someone who can’t even sit up that has kept me going. The teething and growth spurt thing lasted 2 weeks and left me so tired I was slurring my words. The exhaustion lowered my immune system and I was a prime candidate for the most recent flu that hit this city. There I was bouncing around my sofa prone boyfriend, boasting about how mothers are resilient to infection because they haven’t got time to be ill. The next day it hit me, fever and all and I’m only relieved that we did the flu in shifts because looking after Moo Boy was really difficult. Parenting was reduced to listless waving of toys in front of his face and feeding him so much he slept lots. After his growth spurt, Moo turned into a heavy wetter. Oh the joy of changing nappies 4 times a night. It’s a vicious circle now because it’s the path of least resistance to feed him back to sleep, which makes him wee more. I am doubling up on cloth nappies and have invested in a Popolini that is supposed to hold a pint of wee. I am almost ready to use disposables at night, I don’t care if his willy falls off, I just want some sleep.
I am still exclusively breastfeeding him because although he is interested in watching us eat, he still can’t sit up and he has a tongue thrust reflex that would make spooning food in a waste of time and energy. He is a chubby boy, exactly on the growth curve and my milk doing a really good job on him. Ten pounds of him is entirely grown on my milk, its amazing stuff. Apparently as I fight illness my breastmilk passes on that immunity and that’s why he didn’t get the flu.
A list of cloth nappies and their absorbency.
Disposable nappies and the impact on the environment and babies health.
Reasons to wait until 6 months to get onto solids.
I have two part time jobs, the first is selling veg at the market where the Moo Boy comes along for a ride in his sling and charms the customers. The second is slightly more complicated and requires me to have a brain and stop thinking about the baby for one afternoon a week. It’s the second one that has got me worried and tearful. I know I have a brain somewhere, it’s just that it is taken up with information about breastfeeding or the merits of real nappies and anything that isn’t baby related has a very small space in my head. I am worried that people will notice immediately that I am faking it, and that I really do not know what I am talking about. However, I need the money and it will probably be good for me to not be a mum for a few hours a week. I could get childcare with the job but we have had loads of trouble getting the Moo interested in a bottle of expressed milk. Getting the milk out of me is no problem, getting it into the baby is almost impossible. The most success has been with his dad pouring it into his mouth from a sippy cup but we can’t expect a crèche worker to do that so his dad is looking after him while I work.
It’s been a month of small traumas. The first was at the St Johns Ambulances excellent first aid course for babies and children. All was fine until, with no warning whatsoever, the instructor ripped the face off the child torso model thing and passed us all our own rubber faces so we could have a go. I was jittery anyway with all the talk about accidents that could happen to my baby, and the sight of the faceless torso just about had me gibbering under the table. Second neurotic trauma was what I dramatically refer to as ‘the drowning of the baby’. We have been going to Water Babies a course of swimming sessions designed especially for small babies. There is lots of singing and splashing and you have to dunk your baby under the water. Typically, mine is the only one that holds his breath for so long he goes red. Apparently this is fine but I was the only mother shrieking at the instructor ‘is he ok? look at his colour!’ He is perfectly ok, he loves the water and bath times are really active now with him splashing and kicking very happily. I really am far too neurotic for this mothering lark. I think I may be less of a nervous wreck if I actually could get some sleep. Moo dropped his 2 am feed for a few weeks so we got 6 hours sleep in a row, but now he is having a combination teeth and growth spurt thing that means feeding him every 2 hours during the night. I am knackered.
Trauma 3 is my hair falling out, supposedly it’s the hair that I didn’t shed when I was pregnant but I’d rather it stayed on my head.
Pregnant friends ask me about this sort of stuff so I thought it may be for other people as well. This is only based on my experiences just ‘cos I haven’t written about it doesn’t mean its no good! Some of it may be obvious to you but it wasn’t to me!
Come in sizes according to weight and don’t last very long at all in the beginning. You will need a slightly larger size if you use real nappies. Some babygros have integral gloves that fold back – very useful for babies that want to scratch their faces off. Things that fasten at the front are easier than things that go over heads. Car boot sales are great for baby clothes. All socks are sacrificial; they don’t stay on feet for long so I prefer things with feet for colder weather.
I am a big fan of the my real nappy service. They come to your house to show you how the nappies work and you get everything you need, including a bin to put the dirty nappies in until collection day. Even if I was going to wash my own I would start with a nappy service until the baby is big enough to fit medium sized nappy wraps. You can hire the small sizes, I don’t think they are worth buying in a small size. We experimented with different wipes and in the end I have found cotton wool and water the best and cheapest option. I keep a small wide necked bottle for water in his changing bag. I like the smell of the Weleda nappy cream, Vaseline works just as well though and is much cheaper.
My child likes noisy things, mirrors and things he can hold with his tiny fingers. Brightly coloured board books are good too. Maisy Mouse is a big hit and available in children’s sections of libraries. He likes the Mam teething ring best as it is tough and nobbly. He has a cot mobile that keeps him in rapturous beams and a baby gym with things to hit. The Early Learning Centre gym is good value as all the toys can be taken off and used in his car seat. The music is terrible though, if you buy anything musical remember that you will have to listen to it too.
I use an Avent Isis pump to express milk ‘cos everyone else seems to. I pump in the morning while feeding after the small has triggered off the let down reflex. There is a bewildering choice of teats. I have just worked out that the Avent ones are numbered with more holes for older babies. I have had no luck with teats so am trying a soft spout with a valve, supposedly designed to get babies from breast or bottle to cup. I boil stuff to sterilise it, it’s not a hassle and I don’t think the sterilising equipment is really necessary, though it may make life a bit easier. I have read that the sterilising solution can increase the risk of thrush.
I had a Moses basket for small but didn’t like it ‘cos I had to peer in to check his breathing. If a cot is sturdy enough you can take one side off and have it right by your bed. This makes night feeds much easier. Grobags are brilliant and my small sleeps much longer since we got one. You can buy fleece by the metre for blankets that need no sewing.
I think a bath thermometer is vital, what’s warm to me is boiling for the small. We share the bath and he loves it. You also need a soft sponge and ducks! I don’t use soap or shampoo on him, he smells fine with just a rinse.
Moo Boy still has an erratic feeding and sleeping pattern so I am usually pretty tired. I can’t arrange to meet friends ‘cos I can’t guarantee I will have the energy when the time comes. When I do see people I have no conversation anyway because I haven’t done anything, and forming a sentence that doesn’t contain the word ‘goo’ or ‘gaa’ is hard work, goo. Also, as childbirth is a very private thing made very public my sense of boundaries has been disturbed. I don’t know whether it is socially acceptable to discuss breast engorgement with complete strangers at the bus stop. I feel as though I am getting more and more eccentric. Is it ok to wander through town singing ‘you have got a pooey bum, do da do day’ to the tune of Camptown Races? Probably not.
All this has left me feeling extremely isolated. I don’t think I’m depressed, just bored, lonely and under-stimulated. I am too knackered to commit to doing anything or meeting anyone and have to live spur of the moment between feeds and naps.
So, after a couple of weeks of moaning about it all I have decided to do something and am in the process of writing a calendar of things to do at anytime. The idea is that if I have a morning or afternoon where I am not completely exhausted I can go out and do something, instead of moping round town trying not to buy anything. This includes Mother and Baby groups, where I will have to speak to those poor people who are deluded enough to believe that their children are the best, cleverest, most handsome in the world, when it is clearly obvious that my baby is better.
Moo Boy has been foaming at the mouth and sucking his fingers. I think his teeth are starting to move down in his gums. He has just discovered his toes, and I get a big beam of delight when I tickle his feet. I can wedge him into a sitting position and he will clutch a toy for a while, and he loves going out in his pushchair, splashing around in the bath, gurning under his mobile and punching and kicking animals in his baby gym. Actually the cat now owns the baby gym, have you ever noticed the similarity between cat and baby toys? I wonder if Catnip works on babies. He is getting easier in lots of ways as he is happier to amuse himself.
Time to do anything is snatched between breastfeeds, changes and entertaining the Moo boy. It is extremely difficult to concentrate on anything other than him, even when he is asleep, as I have to keep checking he is alive. When I am out with him in his pushchair I stop every now and then to peer in if he is quiet. If there was a baby line up I could probably identify him by his chest movements alone. As I haven’t slept more than 3 hrs in a row for the past month I am now two people:
Nice Mum gets to nap when he naps and can spend happy hours answering her own questions ‘Do you want your nappy changed? Yes you do, you do don’t you? Yes you do’. Nice Mum will play bounce the baby for hours and happily feed every five minutes if that is what is requested. Nice Mum will tolerate being kicked and punched in the night when Small won’t sleep in his cot and will still be more than happy to do Incy Wincy Spider in the morning.
Evil Mum is sleep deprived and has sore nipples. Evil Mum can’t wait to hand the baby over to it’s dad and all Evil Mum wants is sleep and quiet.
Evil Mum is around about one morning a week, and usually is banished by a big beaming smile from the Moo. He has got me where he wants me.
The Moo Boy
Beaming, kicking, screaming chubster has just started to babble. It is inoculation time for him next week but after much research we have decided not to do it. This is a hideous decision to make and I feel that whatever we do it will be wrong. We have done lots of research and believe that the risk of reacting to the vaccines is higher than the risk of the diseases. If there is an outbreak of anything we will reconsider.
Breastfeeding is much easier now and I could enter us for stunt feeding events at an Extreme Breastfeeding convention. Well, I could if the stunts included dangerous and death defying positions such as ‘feeding whilst lying on your back’ or ‘feeding in your sleep’. When I nurse him at night I often wake up without him lying beside me and I think I am still pregnant and haven’t had him, or that I have squashed him or that he has been kidnapped. It takes a while for me to realise he is on the other side of me and I have actually fed him whilst asleep.
On my birthday we had a party and we ate the placenta. It had been in the freezer for 6 weeks so we had to do something with it. I was a bit put off by some photos on the web when I looked for recipes but when it came down to
it, it was an amazing thing to look at. The umbilical cord was there, cut off where my boyfreind cut it at the birth and we found the cawl, amazing plasticy stuff. It looked like really fresh, very good quality meat. My boyfriend cut off all the membrane and fried it gently with onions and garlic, he then whizzed it up to make a pate. Not too many people were keen on trying it, I gagged myself! The people who liked it were all women, the only bloke to try it was my boyfreind who ate the most of it.
We felt a bit giggly drunk afterwards, dunno if that was the affect of the placenta or just the adrenalin from doing something so close to canibalism. When you get over the idea of it it tastes great, I can only really describe it as tasting healthy, and that’s a weird way to think about meat.
As predicted all the white babygrows are now a fetching shade of blue/grey, ahh well.
I am writing this hunched over the computer, shoulders raised in tension with a baby on my lap feeding. I was going to write about how much I hate breastfeeding. I hate it because I get no ‘me’ time whatsoever, time to do anything is snatched between feeds, usually when I should be asleep because he is. I hate it ‘cos it hurts like hell when he latches on and I hate it ‘cos I feel guilty for hating it. However, I have decided that it is easier for everyone if I just pretend that there is nothing I would rather do than sit for hours with a baby gnawing at my nipples. It is my pleasure to breastfeed, not a chore (repeat mantra hourly). This is the path of least resistance and it does mean that I get to read a lot of books and do a lot of pelvic floor exercises, though I am not convinced that they are working.
The Small Thing
Louder and stronger by the minute, Small is rapidly outgrowing his clothes. Luckily he has a huge hand me down collection so this is not a problem, and I enjoy dressing him up. He is still dinky enough to get a lot of attention when we are out though, and I have to drag myself out of adoration for him to politely respond with pleasantries about other peoples children. Not easy, as he is so obviously the best baby in the world. He’s had some nappy rash that Weleda cream sorted out in a day and has now got a cot beside the bed (with the drop side taken off) so he can’t kick me in the head all night. He seems quite happy there most of the time and it is possible that he didn’t enjoy sleeping with us, ungrateful sod!
We had a bit of a scare when he started grunting at 3 am. Because he had breathing difficulties when he was born we are sensitive to things like that, and I called NHS Direct who were fabulous and got a doctor to call me back as a high priority. We went through a list of symptoms and the doctor said he sounded like he had a bit of a blocked nose and to take him into the hospital if it got worse. He didn’t get worse, but he has got noisier and the grunts are interspersed with whistles, chirrups and the words ‘gay’ and ‘leg’, maybe he is trying to tell us something. Along with my chins he has also inherited my snore, that’s my boy!
I have just noticed a bright orange poo stain on my trousers. Me, who used to shop at Jigsaw and have my hair done at Trevor Sorbies, with baby poo on my clothes. Admittedly I only ever bought stuff on sale and it was the £5 model nights at the hairdressers but I do feel my standards have slipped somewhat. It’s a slippery slope to a shell suit lifestyle and I am half way down it.
I am the milk slave. I am also knackered. The two things are connected. We go through this night time ritual of working out what the baby is crying about and it’s usually milk. Spilt milk too as no one ever told me that while you feed with one breast the other leaks. I am sleeping on a bath towel so I don’t have to wash the sheets daily. My bits are healing well, if a bit unevenly so I will have to scrap the idea of making my living as a centerfold, damn. I had a bit of a teary day when I thought I wasn’t coping too well, but my emotions have settled back into postnatal happiness now.
The Small Thing
Small has no concept of reasonable hours. He has been waking up very early, not for a feed or a change, but just to be excited about being alive. This is so endearing it is impossible to be at all angry with him. He joined the library this week (with a little help). His eyes widen and he waves his arms around if you show him high contrast things, and he is sometimes interested in mirrors. I am really looking forward to being able to read him books, what a perfect excuse to read kids books again.
Our surname should be ‘Leaky’ as life now revolves around breast pads, sanitary towels, nappies, cotton wool and hankies (my boyfriend has hayfever). The small one is a delight, and it is so lovely to be able to see what I am worrying about. So far he is only waking up twice in the night and when I get the hang of breastfeeding whilst lying down, without the light on we will be on a roll. As I now have two bodies to worry about I am splitting the diary into 2 sections:
A week after the birth I feel saddle sore. I have a bath twice a day using tea made of lavender flowers in the water. I have also been using a low dose of arnica and putting aloe vera gel on my sanitary towels. I don’t know how much this has helped but my one inch long tear has sealed up by about a third (I am making my boyfriend give me reports as I am too squeamish to look at the damage). Hopefully I can get away without having to have stitches, apparently quite a few clinics don’t stitch any more and one midwife is reported to say ‘if two pieces of perineum are in the same room together they will find each other’. Other than that I feel the fittest I have ever been in my life, in a tired kind of way. My brain is incredibly small indeed though, very very tiny.
Although I hated being pregnant I loved my shape, and I miss my ripe figure but I don’t miss heartburn and carrying all that extra weight around. I have gone from 36d, 46, 43 to 35e, 37, 41 in a week and my tummy looks like unappetising blancmange but I don’t care. I have just had a baby and I am proud of my body for doing it no matter what I look like. Breastfeeding is getting easier. I am finding it really difficult to ‘do nothing’ when I am feeding him though, I keep thinking I should be using the time constructively, but in reality I am.
The Small thing
He is definitely a tit man. Even if he is not hungry he is content to stare at them. I think a range of tit toys and furnishings would be a big hit with him. Bedding with pictures of them, toys with teats. He feeds, poos, feeds, sleeps, sings the ‘leg’ song (leg leg leg leg leg leg…) feeds, poos, stares at stuff and sleeps. All exhausting stuff, for both of us. He has had a bit of jaundice which is getting better with time and daylight and a sticky eye that a wipe with a cool teabag a few times a day helps.
Going out of the house takes time, not because of him, but because of all the people who quite rightly stop to admire him.
This diary is brought to you courtesy of a tri-cotti sling that leaves my hands free to type. £23 for 2 bits of t-shirt material seemed pretty steep but new they are around £40 and it is extremely comfortable for both of us. Small thing is snoring happily as I type.