One Month Down 


My son is now 5 weeks old. Firstly, where the hell has the time gone? Secondly, I still find it very strange to say out loud that I have a son, but I do, and right now he’s having a nap so I’m taking my blogging opportunities where I can get them.

I’ve learnt a great deal about myself over the past 5 weeks, I’ve learnt more about my husband, more about us, and I’ve learnt that you very quickly realise that life in clean clothes is a distant memory.

I’ve also learnt that being a Mum is a lonely business. I am besotted with my son and would walk through fire for him, but he’s quite dull when it comes to making conversation. Mainly I talk at him, and he responds by looking away, looking confused, or by giving me a windy smile which is a sure fire clue that a massive poo is on its way.

To put it bluntly, a lot of the time I’m bored. How could I not be? Even when I do have things to do its stuff like making up a feed, changing nappies, and managing to eat/drink something no matter how unhealthy. I actually believe I’m powered predominantly by sugar right now. A dear friend of mine lent me her box set of “Sex And The City” which has helped to break up the day. Although it’s just finished so I need something else to give me a viewing fix.

Day to day I try and think of things to do. I’m fortunate that several of my good friends are in the same position as me, but I can’t spend all of my time with them. I also have new NCT friends, but Ed was born a few weeks before any of them had their babies so they are where I was a while back – namely in a state of sleep deprivation and unfathomable emotions, and therefore are not yet ready for meeting up.

Most days I walk into town (oh the excitement) and look longingly at clothes I can no longer fit into – turns out a lot of my pregnancy weight was down to me being a complete fat knacker in the food department and not the baby. Or I’ll find something I need to buy, last week I actually wandered in to buy a jar of Nutella (there’s that sugar again). Town is never relaxing though, I have to know where the best changing facilities are, I also have to time the trips right to avoid feed times, or have to have food with me. Seeing as my boobs don’t work that means trying to find the brain capacity to do the formula making math. Honestly I forgot it was Easter yesterday so that’s a pretty big ask. Usually I’ll end up having a drink and a slice of cake somewhere, because that’s the best way to spend my poxy SMP, and the best way to reduce my waistline of course.

Let’s not forget that when I do leave the house I do it looking a complete state. Yes I take it as a win that I manage to shower and wash my hair every morning, and put some mascara on, but by the time it comes to actually going anywhere I will either have poo or sick on me, sometimes both, and the worst thing is…..I don’t even have the energy to care. Yep, I’ve lost the will to give a shit and to wash it off.

I’ve been thinking about all of this a lot, and I think the boredom and loneliness are definitely my maternal Achilles heel. I don’t mind my current Groundhog Day lifestyle. Nightfeeds are no problem, and I love all the cuddles I get with my little man. I just miss having adults to talk to. That’s why I perk up massively during evenings and weekends when Daddy is home. It’s also why I’m looking forward to starting going to a couple of Mum & baby groups, just to get some interaction. Although I am fully aware that all chat will be about lack of sleep, sore nipples and stool colour….chicken korma is the standard response in case you are wondering.

I wouldn’t change my life for the world, but man alive this first bit is tough. So many huge changes that no baby book can prepare you for. It’s hit the ground running and hope for the best time. Life has been flipped upside down by our little bundle and the adjustment from who I was to who I am now is huge. It’s a beautiful relentless privilege to be a parent. One I am so grateful to have, but I am going to reserve my right to have a bloody good moan about it whenever I like…seriously, it helps me stay sane!

X

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Three Is Family


I have been wanting to write this for weeks now, funny how you can never find the time with a newborn. So I am taking advantage of Daddy daycare courtesy of the Easter weekend and finally getting round to posting my birth story.

Tuesday 14th March, I didn’t wake up feeling different like a lot of women say they did. However, I did wake up pissed off with the amount of pain in my hips and the mahoosive size of my feet. Seriously, they were ridiculous, even the giant grandma style shoes I had bought could barely contain them. I also knew I HAD to get to Sainsburys and stock up on essentials – just in case.

I had a couple of obligatory ‘any sign of baby’ messages during the morning. At this point I am going to state that these texts do not help at all, so please, please stop it. The last thing a heavily pregnant lady needs is to have to reply to messages like that. Anyway, I digress….

Back from shopping I had lunch and settled down to yet another exciting afternoon of general knowledge starting with Fifteen to One. However, about 2:30pm I rapidly developed horrendous back pain. “Oh how wonderful, yet another delightful symptom of being 9 months gone” I moaned to nobody but myself. I didn’t for a second think that anything was starting. I decided to listen to my hypnobirthing CD but couldn’t concentrate on it. Then just after 3 pm there was a twinge, and 5 minutes later there was another one. I started to wonder if things could be kicking off, but decided to leave it a bit before calling the hospital. When the twinges continued I decided to make the call. Only to be told that it was probably false labour, and would stop soon. Silly lady on the phone…….

Chris arrived home about 5:15 and said that I was very red in the face as I bounced up and down on the birthing ball. That conversation went as follows….

C: Are you okay babe, you look very red?

Me: Yep I’m okay, I’m having contractions

*Cue husband turning into an excited puppy and leaping about the front room*

C: Really? Okay cool, how far apart are they?

Me: Every 3 minutes

*Cue husbands colour completely drain from his face, and no more leaping*

We were on our way to the hospital at 6:30, its about 50 minutes away and we did it a tad quicker oddly enough. When we arrived we went straight up to the birth centre, I had wanted a water birth and the pool was available. I was examined and was 5cm dilated by that point. The midwife said my waters were bulging and babies head was right behind them. In my birth plan I had stated that I wanted gas and air, but decided not to in the end. I didn’t want to miss anything, or be groggy and not be able to follow instructions should they be needed.

I got in the pool at 7:30pm and was immediately soothed by the water. We had our wedding playlist on, and Sheryl our lovely midwife just left us to it. Between contractions  I was able to carry on conversations and wasn’t feeling any discomfort in those moments. The contractions got stronger, and I began mimicking a cow by moo’ing my way through them. Just after 8pm my waters went – thank fudge I was in the pool already, I’d had increased fluid around the baby and it would have made a hell of a mess if they had gone on dry land. The force of those waters going were pretty violent, they could have propelled me from one side of the pool to the other if there was room.

I sent Chris to get Sheryl as I immediately felt the urge to push. From that point time went by very quickly, I was still managing the pain myself, and baby’s heart rate was stable throughout, but I knew I didn’t have long to go. The moo’ing got louder and the respite between contractions was down to about 45 seconds. I’m not sure when exactly I started pushing, but it didn’t feel like long at all, and at 9:45pm our little Edward entered the world.

Now at this point I am going to big myself up for doing this without any pain relief, and I know thats probably not popular, but its my story so I don’t care. I am a woman that had a baby without drugs to help, and I am so proud of myself for doing it that way. Thats not a slur against anyone that does take advantage of whats on offer at all, perhaps if I had a longer labour I would have been screaming for the entire contents of the pharmacy to be brought to me immediately. I don’t necessarily think I have a higher pain threshold than anyone else either, I just believed that my body could do what it needed to do, and I just had to have faith and go with it. I also wanted to offer hope and positivity to other ladies out there waiting to go through this process who might be scared. You have so got this, and even when its hurting like hell, keep in mind what you get at the end of it. The pain literally does stop straight away. My boy was 8lb 5oz, so a decent size. I suffered a second degree tear, which I did not feel happen either.

Back to the story, Ed didn’t come into this world loudly, in fact he was very chilled out. He had a cuddle with his very proud Dad whilst I was stitched up (again, not painful). What did hurt was the injection in my thigh to get the placenta out. Chris decided to FaceTime his Mum at this point, not great whilst I’m in stirrups with everything on display, thats not something that anyone needed to see, especially my mother in law.

Just after midnight we went down to the ward, I was lucky enough to give birth at a hospital that allowed Dads to stay too. For anyone thats interested it was St Richards Hospital in Chichester and I would recommend it to anyone. That first night was surreal, we were both knackered, but couldn’t sleep as it was too exciting that we were now a three. We stayed in until late afternoon the day after he was born, and then we were released out into the world, ready to come home and start family life.

As any new parent can imagine, life since that moment has changed dramatically and I have so much more writing to do about my/our experiences already. I’m still working out how to find the time, as first and foremost I want to be there for my son, and everything else is taking a back seat. A month has passed us by already, those early days are all a bit of a blur, I have struggled a lot with my hormones and being very emotional, but that fog is starting to lift and I am feeling more confident as ‘Mum’ all the time.

This post will never do justice to the experience that we had, the day that a couple became a family, the day that our tiny human started his own story, the day that our beautiful Son was born.

x

As One Door Closes


I’m not quite sure where my heads at with all of this at the moment. I’m hoping that by getting it out of my noggin and onto a page it will start to make sense to me. By ‘this’ I mean the fact that on 9th February I finish work for a year to go on MAT leave.

Now, on the face of it, that’s a big all round thumbs up, and I’d say 99% of me agrees, but I cant ignore that quiet voice that’s a bit scared of all of this.

I’ve worked for 19 years now, very nearly half my life. Its what I have filled most of my time with in that period, and its about to end.

Those that know me, know how I feel about my working life…..my views on it are not that favourable to say the least.

I don’t really have any passion or drive for what I do, I’ve done it for so long that there are no challenges in it, and the gone off slightly dodgy looking icing on that cake is my hideous commute.

All I need to say is, I travel on Southern. You can then massively sympathise with me and all will be well.

So with all that negativity, what’s with the 1% whisper that’s unsure about all of this? Its the unknown, pure and simple. It happens to all of us. In 2009 a relationship of mine ended, we’d been together 7 years and quite frankly I don’t think we should have made it to 7 months if we were really honest with ourselves. I knew for a long time that the end was coming, it had to, I’d have gone out of my mind otherwise. However, from the day that I realised “you know you are with the wrong person and you cant ignore it anymore” it took another 9 months for the relationship to end. Why? Because so much of my identity was wrapped up in that couple. I’d lost myself in it, and the thought of being out there alone was fucking scary.

I don’t think that there is anything wrong in admitting that at all. I stayed because I was afraid, and that wasn’t the only time that had happened in my life, but that’s a path I’m not going down.

What the hell would I do without being in that relationship? Where would I go? How would I spend my time? Even things like how to do the food shopping as a singleton had me holding off the inevitable.  Needless to say within a few weeks of the spilt, I found my feet, and it was an awesome experience. Yes I had the unnerving feeling of ‘starting all over again’ but whats wrong with that? Everything in my life had stagnated, and this was a push that I greatly needed.

So, back to the present, I guess my feelings about MAT leave are similar to my past experience. Obviously I know this is a ‘no choice’ situation, but in terms of getting my head around it, the process I am going through is the same. All that time spent at a desk, reconciling, analysing, formatting etc….and moaning. Yes, a lot of my time has been spent moaning. You see for all its faults, my current situation serves me, it gives me an income, and something to be pissed off about.

Same with that old relationship, it wasn’t right for me at all, but it gave me a place in the world, one where I could hide away from actually ‘living’ instead of existing.

As I came into London this morning and saw the city skyline, I felt a twinge of sadness. The realisation that the door on this particular chapter is coming to a close hit me hard, because its not just this role, its all the roles I have had since I decided not to go to University and instead get a job as an office junior all those years ago.

So now I have to detangle myself from this ‘identity’ of Finance bod, for its not who I am anymore, its not who I am going to be ever again. There is a new role coming, one that I am hopelessly unprepared for, that throws me straight in at the deep end without guidance, and one that I am hugely excited about. I’ll be the ultimate newbie. With a complete new skills set to develop. My proficiency in Excel isn’t going to help me when I am up to my ears in baby poo.

I’ve come a long way since I was 19, both professionally and personally, I don’t think the younger me would ever have seen herself at this point in her future. She couldn’t see any further than  the next payday. Funny how we all change over time.

12 working days, that’s all that stands between me as Finance Professional and me as ‘Mum’, 12 days until the corporate wardrobe is discarded and the maternity jeans step in to take their place – for the next few weeks anyway. 12 days until I no longer have to deal with (unnamed) people in the office and their last minute demands, 12 days until my soul destroying commute becomes a thing of the past and I get back to the point of finding a train journey enjoyable (maybe).

Almost two decades, and we’re down to the last 12 days………..bring it the fuck on

x

To The One Who Kicks Me


It’s a totally bizarre feeling to completely and utterly love someone you’ve never met, but that’s the current situation.

I’m now 34 wks pregnant…time flies right? I’m in this very weird place of wanting to meet you so badly, but not wanting this bit to end. You see, you might be the only time I do this, the only time my body works actual miracles, let’s face it ladies that’s exactly what we’re doing here.

Every little move you make pulls on my heart strings, you make me feel superhuman, I know that whatever lies ahead, you will always be the thing that I am most proud of. I never thought I’d get here you see. For a long time I convinced myself that you were not part of the picture, and that I was okay with that. That’s a big fat lie your Mums just admitted to.

You were always in the picture, in the background or on the edges, it’s just meeting the right person to help get you here was the hardest part, and letting myself believe that as a result of that you could actually go from a picture in my head to an actual little person was no easy thing either, I’ll explain all that to you someday.

There was the tick tock of time too, we don’t get an endless amount of it to do as we want, but fortune favoured us and now you are on your way. In no time at all you’ll be out in the world and not warm in my tummy.

I do wonder what you are doing in there. You feel like a little Octopus sometimes with kicks being felt in all directions, like there’s a rave going on…now I’ve been to a few of them and I know what goes on – just saying!


What do I know about you so far? Well you’re very contrary, you’ll kick the bejesus out of me but the minute your Dad touches my stomach you’ll play musical statues. That’s something else I know, you like your music. You seem to favour Mumford & Sons, Offspring and the Foo Fighters in particular. This pleases me – these are good choices, although there was that one day you went wild to Whitney Houston…there will be none of that under my roof. Your Dad thinks/hopes/prays that you’re a budding drummer, he’ll show you the drum room soon enough. He’s getting pretty good. If ever I can’t find the pair of you, that’s where I’ll look first.

You like to keep me awake, and do you know what?  That’s absolutely fine. In those wee small hours when your Dad is snoring his head off next to me, I lay in the dark and think about how lucky I am, what a phenomenal, wondrous and huge privilege it is already to be your mum, so you kick away my little one. Right now, I am solely responsible for you, Dad looks after me and therefore you, but making sure you get here safely is down to me, and I want to do what’s right by you.

Oh, you should also know that Dad and I have nicknamed you Norm, and I’m afraid that no matter what goes on your birth certificate, that’ll probably be what you are called the most. Look you might not like it, but there are far worse things to be called, you can trust me on that….

It’s impossible not to imagine what you’ll look like, we both have our theories on this, will the ginger gene win through and you’ll be a redhead like me? Here’s hoping! You are likely to be tall though Norm, it runs in both families. You could be a long baby as well, both of your parents were.

We love laughter and silliness in our house, and we both have everything crossed that you’ll inherit my sense of humour, as I am blatantly the funnier parent. Your Dad is the brains of the operation, full of so much knowledge and an unnerving number of random facts. If you ever play against him at trivial pursuits…well, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

In all seriousness though, we don’t want to push hopes and dreams on to you, because they are ours and not yours. I don’t want to steer you in a certain direction, or to tell you which path to follow. I will never make you a promise I can’t keep. All I want you to know is that your Dad and I will be by your side in whatever you do, we’ll teach you and arm you as best we can. When life hurts you, and it will my darling, we’ll be the arms that will make you feel at home. Now, whilst I am always available, may I suggest that you go to your Dad for the greatest hugs – top tip there. Above all else, we will love you, without condition, for all of our days.

It’s not going to be plain sailing, we’ve never done this before, and neither have you. Plus, we really like our sleep, so if you could keep that in mind it would be appreciated. However, we are already a family, and you are the best addition we could have ever asked for.

So, you keep on doing what you’re doing, I’ll keep doing what I’m doing and soon enough we’ll get to meet. Soon enough two will become three and life as we know it will change forever. May you stay safe in there for a little longer Norm, I don’t want to see you for at least 3 weeks okay?! You do as your Mum tells you, for the time being anyway.

Before I sign off I just wanted to say thank you, I can’t put the reasons why I’m thanking you into any logical order, or even into words, but one day perhaps I’ll be able to, right now all I know is that you are bringing me, well us, to the start of something that we are beyond excited about.

With untold amounts of love to you my baby

Mum xx

PS when you arrive it’ll be bright and loud and scary, but we’ll both be there with open arms for you. There could be a few people around, I’ll be the one looking like an exhausted mess, and your Dad will be sobbing in a corner. X