Parenting As Beginners (Two Week Update)

It’s been two weeks since T arrived into the world, and what a two weeks it’s been. I’m currently in the middle of writing several other posts including my birth story as I want to document it properly, but I thought I’d get back into the swing of things with an update as to where we are right now and what we’ve been up to.

Since arriving home from the hospital (I was home less than 12 hours after delivery) I’ve pretty much been a milking machine. T currently feeds every 2-3 hours during the day and would probably sleep through for 4-6 hours at night if we left him but as we want to make sure he’s getting enough food we wake him gently for a feed (dream feeding I think it’s called) every 3 hours after the last feed and then put him back in his Moses basket for another 3 hours.

This nighttime schedule comes after a little scare we had on day two after I woke on my own accord at 5am wondering why T hadn’t woken me for a feed as his last feed had been 11pm. After frantically waking S, she checked him and noticed he was a little cold, however after quickly picking him up he was just fast asleep. After swallowing my heart and calming down after hysterical crying we decided to in future wake him for a feed every 3 hours. This is working well at the moment, and apart from one night of cluster feeds where he stirred every 30-40 minutes non-stop from 11pm, we have a pretty sweet routine. Breastfeeding has certainly had it’s challenges. Challenges I’ve had to overcome personally and challenges that both T and I have had to deal with together, but I feel this is a whole different post.

I’m surprisingly energetic (by this I mean I’m not yawning my head off constantly) considering I get roughly 2 hours solid sleep between feeds and checking he’s alright (I’m sure the latter will stop eventually). I know I should be napping when he naps but I always seem to find stuff to do whether it’s catching up on TV shows or a spot of housework. Besides, I’m very conscious of the fact that S has limited time off and will be returning to work at the end of the month, so I want to make sure we make the most of the time together, not to mention me making the most out of still having two people in the house to look after T!

Over the past two weeks we’ve managed to go out quite regularly – even if it’s just a walk around the block with the dog – as well as have actual home-cooked meals at the dinner table! We got emergency “easy” meals such as gammon steaks, chips, fresh pasta and sauces, etc. in freezer a few weeks before I was due but we’ve actually been able to cook meals (and eat them without interruption!). Our first outing was day two (albeit a long walk to the local shops) and we went out in the car to town on day eight (which apparently is a BIG thing according to mums I spoke to in the feeding room of Mothercare). Although a big task at times, getting out as a family has done me the world of good. Very quickly I was in between going stir crazy and becoming a recluse. I wanted to go out and get some air but I knew that preparing a baby (and us) can take a while so I didn’t want to bother, however I’m glad I did, mainly because S looks so proud pushing our son around the shops.

Half of what’s happened over the past two weeks, if not more, probably wouldn’t have been possible without my wife. S has been truly truly amazing. She’s kept an eye on the little things like making sure I’ve eaten and showered, and that the occasional wash is put on, as well as the big things like keeping me mentally strong. I’m not going to lie, it’s been hard. I’ve had to learn so much as well as make a lot of changes/adaptations, but S has made me quickly ignore the little things and remind me that she’s here for me as well as T, something I am so thankful for.

Our lounge as changed somewhat to cater for T, and our washing up regularly gets left until the next morning, and you know what; I actually couldn’t care less. HONESTLY! T is the most important thing right now, and if changing our lounge to cater the way we look after him is what we need to do, then I’ll do it, and if leaving the washing up until the next morning means we can get to bed before 10pm, then great! I said before he arrived that I would try not to change the way I do things, but you really don’t get a choice – it just happens – and I’m totally cool with it.

On a day-to-day basis we tend to wake between 5am and 7am depending on how the night-feeds went and then make a plan for the day, if we don’t already have any plans. Whether it’s a walk with the dog or a sofa day we do try and have something planned so I can say I’ve done something valuable with our time (again, this is something I need to do in my head). Our busier days (which wouldn’t have been classed as “busy” at all a month ago) are usually the days when we have visitors as we have to make sure we’ve timed feeds and got ourselves ready – who knew it could take 5 hours to get all 3 of us ready and representable!

And finally… the reason you probably all visited… T.


He is amazing. I mean, truly amazing. It sounds corny but he lights up our whole world, even when he’s asleep, and really is our everything – I’ve almost forgotten what life was like before he arrived (although maybe my subconscious feels it may be better that I don’t remember what life was like before sleepless nights and dirty nappies).
At the moment I can’t think too deeply about him too much without welling up (although I think this is still something to do with hormones). We are so in love with him and being his mummies is nothing like we imagined. Sure, we expected the nappies, the crying, and the sleepless nights. We knew we’d love him more than anything, but we never expected the physical ache in our hearts, or the fact that his smell is intoxicating. I didn’t think I could miss him when he slept or not give a hoot when a flying accident happened to spray onto my favorite t-shirt. We are so in love.

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So that’s where we are right now. I didn’t think my brief update would be so long but I guess a lot more goes on than you realise; and that’s just with one baby – I really do feel for those with Twins!

If I’ve left anything out – please shout!

K

10 Things I Will Miss About Pregnancy

When I first started writing this post I giggled to myself and thought that with all my pregnancy complaints I wouldn’t actually be able to find things I’d actually miss. That, however, soon became a lie when I started thinking back over these past 9 months…

Not seeing Aunt Flo – For all the niggles that come with pregnancy, this one has got to be my favourite. I must have saved a fortune on tampons! I know it’ll make up for itself once Fidget arrives but it’s been nice not having a visit from AF every month.

Back Rubs – S hates giving massages and I’ll give her her dues, she does suffer from RSI – so a massage is probably the worst thing she can do apart from play on our xbox, but over the past few months she has been amazing at rubbing my back even without me asking. I’m going to miss being able to pull the pregnancy card on this one.

Getting out of certain jobs around the house – Lets face it, who likes changing the bin? I don’t, but I got on with. Being pregnant, however, has now meant I got out of it pretty early on as the smell of it turned my stomach. As I got larger, things that then required bending over such as the bottle recycling bank, weeding the garden, and vacuuming the car were not for me. Score! I do, however, make up for it in making sure all the washing and cleaning is done (incase you’re reading this, S).

My Belly – I know on my last post I mentioned the attention my belly and said pregnancy got me, and some people have said some stupid curious things about my belly whilst I’ve been pregnant, but this aside I’ve still enjoyed having it around. It’s comforting and something really unique, and I’m sure when you see a fellow preggo you get a secret little wink that says “Yeah… I know”.

Nice skin, hair, and nails! For the first time in a year I haven’t had the urge to bite my finger nails and in return, I’ve got nails… nice nails. My hair also doesn’t need as much washing, and my skin seems soft for a change as it usually dries up over the colder months!

Not caring what I looked like when going out – This feeling was a first for me as I usually made sure my hair was at least done, but this went out the window when I fell pregnant and will probably remain when Fidget arrives. The amount of times I went out with old trainers on with the first pair of maternity jeans I could find, and bed hair – classy!

Indulging – Let me start by saying that I have been so good during this pregnancy, I’ve continued my healthy eating and always made sure I’ve had more than 5 pieces of fruit and veg a day…. HOWEVER, if I’ve fancied something naughty like a cake or a chocolate bar, I’ve bloody well done it and not felt guilty about it either! I haven’t over done it but I’ve made the most of it at the same time. I know as soon as Fidget arrives I’ll be back on my bike and back on my usual diet… or I’ll at least forget to eat, so it’s all good!

Napping – I could never nap before as it would wake me up for the evening and I would have trouble sleeping later, but being pregnant found me a new love – napping. It really was amazing.

Being alone with S – I’ve had 8 years of this, and now that I’m pregnant the realisation has kicked in that we will never be alone again… ever. Sure, we may sneak in the occasional hour after bedtime, or a date night, but I mean properly alone where all we needed to worry about was us. It’s a bit odd, seeing as we spent so long trying to change that, but I guess you never realise what you had until it’s going soon – not that I regret anything! But, you know what I mean…

Knowing my baby is relatively safe – Inside me they get everything on tap; blood, oxygen, food, you name it. When they leave their little room of requirement however, it’s up to us to make sure they’re safe, fed, and well. It’s a huge responsibility.

Of course no post like this won’t come without it’s sentimental side, and of course the things I’ll probably miss the most about being pregnant is seeing my baby grow by the size of my belly and feeling my baby move and kick. I can’t wait to see them move and kick in front of my eyes, and be able to physically touch them, but having them do all this inside me has been a special moment just between us and I’ll definitely miss it.

What did you miss about being Pregnant?

K

10 Things I Won’t Miss About Pregnancy

Overall, I’ve enjoyed the Pregnancy. It’s an experience like no other and it really does challenge you mentally and physically. However, it goes without saying that regardless of this, there have still been some experiences I won’t miss…

SPD & Back Pain – This, by far, is my biggest pregnancy gripe. My back and later on, SPD, has exhausted me. It’s stopped me dead in my tracks and wiped days from underneath me. I haven’t been able to walk the dog as much – something I am sure the dog is holding against me – or been able to just walk around town like I used to. It frustrates me even more on days I have tons of energy and should be putting it to good use. I thought going to gym before pregnancy would have strengthened my back, but I guess nothing can prepare your body for this.

Panty-liners – Probably a little TMI, but I’m sure I’m not the only pregnant person that suffered with leakage of every kind during pregnancy.

Sleepless nights – I know, I know, I know. Those won’t go away once Fidget arrives, but my logic is that the sleepless nights will soon be because someone needs me and not because I need to pee for the fourth time or because my hips can’t take the weight anymore. I’ll have something to get up in the middle of the night for! You really do need to make the most out of sleep before pregnancy!

Being afraid to say something – I’m quite an outspoken person and if someone ever said something negative to me or S I would have no qualms about giving them an earful. Falling pregnant, however, seemed to not only put invisible tape on my mouth but I sometimes became very very anxious when I was out on my own. I don’t know why this happened, but I guess Pregnancy makes you feel more vulnerable.

The constant hunger – As someone who worked hard to lose weight, it really irked me when all the healthy things I continued to eat didn’t fill me up, and all I wanted was Peanut Butter on Toast. Pretty much until 7-8 months, I was always hungry even though I know I had eaten enough that morning.

The stupid questions – Pregnancy seems to open you up for all sorts of questions, quite personal ones sometimes – so this is certainly something I won’t miss.

Peeing! All. The. Time. And even the feeling of needing to pee and nothing coming out – thanks Fidget.
P.s. Peeing Normally!! – At 9 months now, I have to sometimes physically lift my belly to free my bladder that although is bursting to release, it can’t because someone is kindly using it as a pillow.

Hormones – Not something we talk about at home as I hate thinking (and being treated like) I’m being irrational and unreasonable purely because of hormones, but lets face it. I have been effected by hormones. Sometimes I’ve just wanted a cry for no reason. I’ve probably cried more in the past 9 months than I have in the past 8 years with S. So that’s hormones for you.

My favourite clothes not fitting me – I enjoyed getting new clothes, but I miss my old ones. The new ones are nice but they don’t suit me. I miss my chinos, my t-shirts, shirts, and jumpers. Maternity clothes have done me well, but I’m looking forward to getting back into my own style.

Being able to reach below my belly. Tying shoe laces, shaving, stroking our cats (Yes! The cats! We have two cats! Don’t be rude!), and even being able to see below my belly so I don’t trip over the dog when coming down stairs went out the window at 7 months.

Don’t get me wrong, if someone had told me or shown me how my pregnancy would be before even falling pregnant, I’d still do it. Nothing even compares to the journey of Pregnancy and if I could choose to do it all over again, I totally would – I guess I’m a sucker for pain.

K

40w4d

It’s no shock that I’m overdue, most first babies are. But when you’re told that you could possibly have your baby from 37w (full gestation), you kinda start to prepare yourself for the arrival at any moment. It’s been 3 weeks since 37w and I feel no closer to seeing this baby than I did several weeks ago.

Over the past 3 weeks, I’ve felt the occasional tightening, where it feels like a balloon is being pumped up inside my bump, and I’ve had cramping on and off, but nothing that would indicate that baby is on their way. Maybe all the tightenings and cramping is baby on their way but I assumed I would feel a lot more “going on”. Not that I’m complaining, as I’ve heard it smarts, but it’s all pretty relaxed at the moment.

Overdue Meme

I had my Midwife appointment last Friday (27th – 40w1d) and I’ve been booked in for a sweep for Friday 3rd (41w1d) and if that doesn’t work I’m being induced on Tuesday 7th (41w5d). It would be nice to have beansprout before this weekend as it’ll mean S will sneak a few extra days on top of her paternity leave for free, but I’m not so sure it’ll happen.

My midwife is awesome and probably would have booked me in a lot sooner for my sweep and then induction but because of the Easter bank holidays they now have limited availability this week (although the clinic I’m going into on the Friday is apparently for special appointments anyway as it’s technically a bank holiday) so the next available date for me is the Tuesday.

Fingers and toes crossed I have our baby a lot sooner, as I’m not really looking forward to the sweep, but knowing my luck I’ll go all the way to induction.

K

Maternity Leave

I’ve been on maternity leave for two weeks now and still have a week and a half until fidget’s due date. I thought I would go stir crazy, but it so far it’s not been too bad.

Maternity leave is still such an alien thing to me as well as not going back to work. I’m used to having 3-4 days off from work in a row so it’s not the time off I’m not used to, it’s the fact I’m not going back at all for at least a year!
I’m also so used to cramming jobs in on my rest days that I’m finding it difficult to now spread the load so that I don’t a) over do it early on and b) have nothing to do by week 4!

So far, the last two weeks have consisted of;

Cleaning (Of course it would consist of cleaning – you all must know me well enough by now). Apart from days when I need to hoover; which is sometimes an all day task if I do the whole house as well as the dusting/polishing in between, I’m making myself spread out certain yearly tasks (like clearing out the cupboards and cleaning them, cleaning the extractor fan above the oven, etc.) to throughout the whole week so I give myself just the one thing to do in a day.

Writing
Out of nowhere I’ve found things to write about as well as the time to do it.

Reading
Again, because I now don’t have to cram housework into my rest days, I have time to read. At the moment, I’m reading the second Game of Thrones book and A Casual Vacancy.

Cooking
To keep my brain active, I’ve been regularly raiding our cook books to find new meals to serve the wife for when she gets home from work. So far, I’ve cooked a range of soups, pies, as well as played/improved old recipes.

Packing
I think I’ve probably packed, unpacked, and re-packed my maternity bag a few times and to be honest, I still don’t know if I have everything. I also have a bag for fidget, as well as a third bag that contains snacks, books, iPad, iPod, and stuff for S.

Catchup TV
When I’m not doing the above, I’m simply trying to catch up on boxsets that I’ve never got round to watching and should do. So far, I’ve watched Season 1 of The Wire (the remaining seasons were then deleted when our Sky box got upgraded – ARGH! – and now I can’t get them back because Sky have deleted them from On Demand – ARGH!!), Seasons 1-2 of Sherlock (still waiting for Season 3), Season 9 of How I Met Your Mother, and I’m currently watching Hannibal. Any recommendations would be great. I’m quite keen to start Downton Abbey and Broadchurch.

Over the next few weeks, so I don’t go stir crazy, I also hope to also pop out and see some friends and family.

After all this, I should have then finally passed my due date. With this, I will no doubt want remain inside… just incase. Maybe I’ll re-pack my maternity bag again.

K

Our Maternity Photoshoot

A few weeks ago, we met with Megan from Gold and Glitter Photography, to take pictures of us and bump.

How it was arranged went something like this; Megan got retweeted by graze.com when she tweeted a picture of her beautiful rabbit Athena munching on an empty graze box, I tweeted Megan commenting on said cute Athena, and from there we started chatting!

During the conversation, we got to know that Megan is a photographer and is always looking for new innovative projects for her portfolio. At this point Megan asked whether we would be interested in letting her take some pictures of us as she was really keen to have a same sex-couple in her portfolio – a pregnant couple was a bonus! Straight away, without even considering whether she may have been an axe-murderer*, we said yes. *Megan, of course, isn’t an axe-murderer and is a lovely, bubbly person who clearly enjoys her work. 

Bump/maternity photos were always something we had wanted to do, as we think it’s a nice way of capturing the time (but more professionally) but never thought we’d be able to afford it, so we weren’t going to miss this opportunity – plus I’m all for promoting all things same-sex. One snag was that Megan was based in Manchester (a long long way from Brighton!) so we wondered how this was going to work however that quickly became irrelevant as Megan was more than happy to come down to Brighton! Perfect!

So after a few more email exchanges we met one cold and wet afternoon in Brighton, had a coffee, and then created a good 300 photos around Brighton. Here are a handful of some of our favourites:-

When we sat down and viewed them I was struck speechless. I couldn’t believe how amazing they looked – not because of anything Megan would do but more so because of me. I enjoy photos being taken (more so than S) but unless I take 20 or so pictures around the one I’m happy with, I often up looking like this…

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Or this…

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Plus, the weather in Brighton that day was miserable pretty much all day until about 20 minutes before we were meant to finish, so with this in mind I didn’t know whether gloomy weather would work out, but it really did.
To say we are happy with Megan’s work, is an understatement! You don’t have to agree, but we think they’re absolutely amazing.

Megan does everything from maternity to baby photoshoots, as well as a bump to baby package which is a package made up of 5 photoshoots that captures photos from bump, through to newborn, 3 month, 6 month, 9 month and 12 month (something we will definitely be purchasing one fidget arrives).

Also, one of the most impressive things about Megan as a photographer is that she is one of the only photographers I know to give the customers full rights to the photos, ie. Not having an annoying watermark on the photos you get back from the photographer (of course until you purchase them). This is something I rarely see in the photography world.

If you’re thinking of getting bump photos done, I’d highly recommend having a look at her website – she is generally willing to travel and will definitely make the day special!

K

*We were given the opportunity for a free bump/maternity photoshoot for the purpose of adding to Megan’s portfolio, however regardless of this this review has come from the bottom of our hearts and is an honest one.

Megan also took a long time to create these beautiful pictures, so please do not copy or reproduce these photos without our permission.

Thank you.