The truth about babies…what I’ve learnt so far!

I thought I would share some of the things I have learnt in my first six months (almost) of mummyhood. In no particular order…

1. Your baby will always fall asleep on a walk just before you get home/back to the car, just in time for you to have to wake them moving them into their car seat/bed.

2. Just when you think you have a schedule happening your baby will change things up just to keep you on your toes.

3. Your baby will always wait until your other half has gone to work before doing the biggest, smelliest poo possible (Monday mornings are a particularly popular time for him/her to do this)

4. Whenever you think it is safe to get a hot drink/some food your baby will prove you wrong.

5. Just when you think your baby can not scream any more they will find their second wind.

6. Your baby will save his/her cutest smile for the time he/she knows you are most annoyed/frustrated with them (I’m sure this is a built in survival mechanism!)

7. Your baby will behave impeccably around other people, making you out to be exaggerating everything you say about them. The second those people have left your baby will revert to normal behaviour.

8. Your baby will save their loudest burp/fart for when you are in company (but it’s ok to laugh at baby burps and farts!).

9. You will try all those things you were told not to do, anything to get some sleep (a cuddle or a snuggle can solve many things)

10. Despite and because of all these things it is an amazing first six months (even if it is at times difficult to see this)

Please let me know any pearls of wisdom you might have learnt about mummyhood (or daddyhood) as it is always good to get warning about what might be ahead!

Grizzle Monster

I’m not quite sure what is wrong with the boy, all possibilities have been eliminated…he’s fed, clean and cuddled…but he is a right grizzle monster. He was like it yesterday afternoon as well but obviously whatever was bothering him thankfully disappeared at night and he was fine. The grizzles have returned today though and I am home alone so it could be a long day.

I don't think my cake will look this good!

I don’t think my cake will look this good!

Today, however, I have made the decision to just get things done through the grizzles as otherwise I end up feeling frazzled and frustrated. Nothing makes time drag more than being stuck on the sofa with a crying baby. With this in mind we made a trip to the supermarket (which he kindly slept through only to return to grizzling when we got home!) and I have made a cake (when I say made, I added a couple of ingredients to a packet mix but it’s a start!). I intend to have a shower later as well, something that I totally failed to do yesterday. I am also making full use of my arsenal of distractions, he is currently lying on his musical play mat and is momentarily quiet!

Through all of this I will do my best not to watch the clock and count the hours down until Hubby gets home. Thankfully he is off for the next two days as tomorrow we are giving the little one a reason to grizzle…his first jabs!

Night shifts

We’ve managed a day home alone but tonight we are entering the realm of the night shift. Hubby works in the ICU department of the local hospital and does shift work. He has successfully got away without having a night for quite some time but we can avoid it no longer. So far we are going ok (30 minutes in!) as the boy is asleep and obviously I am getting to write this.

Fingers crossed for lots of this.

Fingers crossed for lots of this.

I shouldn’t be daunted really as I normally deal with the night feeds and nappy changes by myself to let Hubby sleep for work but somehow it feels a little different knowing that I have no support should things go wrong. I guess there is no reason to believe that things will be any different tonight to how they are most nights and I’m sure a positive attitude will go a long way after all the little one is well behaved at night more often than he isn’t.

I know it is hard on Hubby as well, he desperately wants to be at home with the boy too, he doesn’t want to miss out on a thing. I’m sure he will be rushing home from his shift to grab some cuddles and maybe a smile before he has to head to bed for a daytime sleep. I’m sure that the little one will be totally unaware for the most part that Daddy isn’t here either and as long as I stay calm then we’ll be sweet.

I’ll report again from the other side…wish us luck!

The feeding saga

People tell you that breast feeding is the most natural thing in the world, what they don’t tell you is how hard it is to get started. Feeding the little one has been the most stressful thing about having a baby. There has been lots of crying (and not just the boy), tearing out of hair, stress and Mummy feeling like she is a failure.

Nothing about breast feeding has felt natural to me, it has been a struggle from day one. I have found it painful despite being told it shouldn’t be, I’ve had my latch checked and am told it is fine but yet it is still painful. Several midwives have told me that despite what the literature says in their experience people with red hair and fair skin often find it more painful than others…great! I have ended up with one cracked nipple (exceedingly painful) so have had to use a shield on one side. The shield might help the pain and allow it to heal but it has made the latching harder and I’m sure the little one gets less on that side. I’m totally paranoid about damaging the other side now as well.

To top it all off the little one is not gaining weight, he lost some in the first week which is normal, put some back on and now he has lost some of it again. He has spent the last few days very unsettled so has probably used up all his energy grizzling instead of putting on weight. So despite my best efforts we are now having to top him up with some formula in the short term to make sure he starts gaining. All this has not really helped my mental state one little bit.

Now I am pragmatic about it, at the end of the day I will do what’s best for the little one and at the moment that means some formula on top of breast feeding. We are not giving up on the feeding just giving him a little extra. My midwife has given me a recipe for something called tiger milk (a strange concoction containing yeast, yoghurt and milk) to help increase my flow and I am also taking a herbal supplement that is supposed to help with this, the aim being to get him back onto just breast feeding as soon as possible. I’m also seeing a lactation consultant to keep working on my latch and try and stop any more damage or pain. I guess what I find hard is all the literature that makes breast feeding seem like the easiest thing in the world yet my experience (and the experience of quite a lot of people I have talked to) has been that it is incredibly hard. It is no wonder that people feel so bad when it doesn’t go as expected. I am hopeful we will get there in the end and if we don’t I know we will have tried.