Milestones: Two Year Update

It goes without saying that the past year has absolutely flown by and I’m now going to be completely predictable and say the old saying of; ‘it feels like yesterday’ that T was a baby and just turning one. But it really does. I can’t believe he’s now two years old.

With T starting nursery and me returning to work full time I’m not surprised that the weeks have flown by. We’re set in such a busy routine of work, swimming, weekends that there’s often zero time to just stop and observe. As soon as T turned one it felt like all the milestones were suddenly being reached. Walking and talking to name but a few.

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Nursery

There’s no easy way to start talking about this, nor is there a snazzy or funny title suitable, so I guess I’ll just start. We’re getting ready to put T into nursery. There. I said it.

As a mini foreword, I know I’ve been incredibly lucky to have this amount of time off as maternity leave, however no amount of time, however long, will be long enough. I don’t want to do this. 

It’s not until April next year that he’ll be starting nursery, as that’s when I have to return to work, but it’s good practise to get viewings done and places booked early. Getting it done early will iron out any creases such as his/my schedule, as well as allowing for taster days where T can get introduced to the place slowly.
I feel incredibly sad at the thought of returning to work – in fact it makes me feel sick. It’s then not made any easier when I think that I’m not going to be leaving T with someone he knows when I go off to work. I have this horrible image of dropping him off and him sobbing his eyes out until I return.

I’m sure this won’t be the case and my general thought of it will become easier once T is moving and eating regularly, but my natural instinct at the moment is telling me he is too vulnerable to be left, but then I see others doing it all the time and with babies much MUCH younger so I tell myself I’m being a wuss. It’s so hard.

Every day I’m urging the universe for a lottery win so I don’t have to to back to work, so I can become a stay at home mum, but it’s not working. Wanting to be a SAHM isn’t the “easier” option – far from it. It’s a day AND night job in itself, which is why I’ve heard plenty of mums chomping at bits ready to return to work, but for me, it would be ideal.

In my eyes, if I was able to stay at home, I wouldn’t miss the milestones, the new foods, my baby growing up. I’d see it all. But, unfortunately, I don’t have a choice.

Over the next few weeks I’m planning on viewing several nurseries, however I hope to find “the one” sooner than that. I’m hoping to get that “feeling” that I’ve heard so much about early on so I can get T’s place booked and have one less stress about returning  to work on my shoulders.

Exactly how we go about looking for our perfect nursery is for another post!

7 Month Update. 

T is now 7 months old!

 

This month emphasises why I should have started our milestones photos on our bed rather than the moses basket!


This month really has flown by, which I think is down to weaning as it’s made my days even busier than they were before! In addition to the usual jobs around the house, days when I’m out, boobing or playing with him, I’m now having to think about meals. Once one meal is done and cleaned up, I’m off to the next one once he’s boobed and (sometimes) napped in between.

I’m also having to prepare bits for the freezer every few days. Not because he’s eating it all, but because I just want some stable bits stored so I don’t have to make it fresh; whether it’s mashed potato or banana pancakes.

I’ve tried doing large batch cooking but it’s not often long before he needs another feed, or just some company, so I can’t get involved in too much, and I try and avoid “mum stuff” (if that makes sense) at weekends as I want to do family stuff!

Milestones wise, T quite happily sits unaided now. He rarely topples, but when he does it’s because he’s overreaching for something or the dog has barged past and knocked him over.

T still has no interest in rolling or moving at all which, I know, is a godsend as he stays where I put him, but at the same time this means he gets frustrated easily when he wants something. I’m not overly worried (yet) as he’s sitting up and his legs are incredibly strong when I stand him up on my legs. Knowing my luck he’ll just get up and walk one day.

Things are going suprisingly well sleep-wise. As mentioned last month, we introduced him to the cot in his room. The first night he woke 3 times every 3 hours, the next; twice every 5, and the next he slept through! We still every now and again get hiccups where he’ll wake shortly after being put down or really early like 4am, but after a quick plug of the dummy or a boob he’s then back off until 7am. I’m really impressed and genuinely didn’t think he would settle but, so far, it’s been alright!


These past few weeks have, by far, been my favourite time. He engages a lot more with the things you put infront of him; clearly trying to work it out, he communicates a lot better; albeit babbles, but now they’re not just screams. He no longer seems to be this “vulnerable” baby. Sure, you can’t leave him alone for more than 30 seconds but you can play a lot rougher now; not in the chinese burn kind of rough, but the (gently) throw up in the air game rough, or the rolling up and down in your arms game rough.

Although I’ll always miss it, I’m slowly dealing with the fact that our newborn baby is no longer here and, if anything, I’m starting to feel excited about what the next 6 months are going to bring (especially Christmas!). I just don’t want to look back one day and remember how I constantly felt sad about T growing up because he was no longer this or that. I actually want to look back and remember all the new and exciting things we experienced together, and how happy that made us. It really is a once in a lifetime experience, and I should enjoy it!

K

K’s Birth Story

I guess the story begins at 9am on 7th April when I went into the hospital for an induction via a Pessary.


By this time I was just under two weeks late. I had already been seen by a midwife the week before for a sweep, but apparently my cervix was too high and she couldn’t reach to conduct the sweep – this miffed me slightly. I probably wouldn’t have minded if a little more effort to reach my cervix was made but it seemed she went in and promptly came back out, it’s like she didn’t even try!
Anyway, a few days after the non-sweep, I was at the hospital for 9am awaiting to be induced. I was so nervous. This was it – although in reality I still had the drip to come if this didn’t work, but it felt like I was finally in going to meet my baby.

I was briefly placed onto a heart monitor and was monitored for about 30 minutes to check everything was alright with the baby before they started. Once this was done, I was then ready to be induced! I didn’t really know what to expect, I had heard the pessary was like a mini tampon that released chemicals slowly to soften the cervix but when I saw it it was a little strip of paper no bigger than what you spray perfume onto.
The insertion hurt like hell as the midwife really went to town on making sure it wasn’t going anywhere, with this though, the midwife was some how able to advise me that my cervix was already nice and soft, albeit very very closed. Great – more waiting.

After insertion, I was placed back onto the monitor to make sure both me or the baby didn’t have any side-effects to the drug. As beansprout was a little quiet, I was then told to go for a walk round the hospital to get everything going and come back in an hour for further checks.
I hadn’t even left the hospital before a dull ache started. I felt bruised anyway from the insertion, but this was different – it sat right under my muffin top and was very similar to severe period cramps. Very quickly, I had to sit down every few minutes as I felt a huge heaviness down below – it was manageable, but wasn’t pleasant.
After the hour, I went back up to see the midwife, got checked over, and was then sent home to just wait it out. Before leaving though, I was booked in for the following day to have the drip put in meaning that within the next 48hrs I would definitely have our baby.

By the time I got home, the cramping had intensified 100%. I’ll be honest, it scared me a little. Not only was I not expecting such a sudden reaction, as I was told that the pessary was only there to soften everything but I wasn’t expecting the amount of pain! It was now uncomfortable. Throughout the afternoon, the pain was continuing to intensify as well as the duration in which the cramping lasted – I was already getting tired. The pain was so awkward I couldn’t lie down, let alone sleep. By late afternoon, I was finding it difficult to sit, stand, or do anything.

At around 4.30pm S called the triage ward for advice as the pain was getting worse – this must have been it, surely? No. They advised that this was unlikely to be contractions and was just “tightenings”. (TIGHTENINGS! I’ll give you tightenings). With this, they advised that I go have a warm bath, rest, take 2 paracetamol, and to give it a few more hours.

During the afternoon, the pain intensified – still in the same location. I ate some lunch but promptly threw it up due to the pain as well as had several warm baths.

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By 10pm I was in agony. I had pretty much stayed in the bath the whole afternoon pouring water over the bump. I’ll be honest, this was probably the first time in 9 months I hadn’t thought about beansprout. I didn’t think about needing to feed him, I also couldn’t remember wondering whether I may have been lying on him in the bath – all I could think about was this severe cramping. I remember telling S at one stage to just take the pessary out and I’ll just have to be pregnant forever – I was in that much pain. I wouldn’t have minded so much if the pain was spread out a bit more across the bump but it wasn’t – it was all down below. By now the “tightenings” were lasting for 3 minutes with a break of 3 minutes – I was exhausted.

Suddenly, things then changed – I got an almighty feeling that I needed to poo. I had no control over the feeling – it was so intense I thought I was going to push my intestines out. It was scary. Once this started, S then promptly called the triage unit and told them that we were coming in, explaining what was happening. Even at this stage, because my waters hadn’t broken, they advised that there was very little they could do and it was likely I would be sent home.

We had already arranged a few weeks ago that my mum would take us to and from the hospital and I’m so glad she did – it would have been so stressful for S to drive us. At this point, I was making quite a bit of noise – not as bad as some of those ladies on One Born Every Minute I must say, but I was vocal to say the least.

My waters finally broke in the car on the way – which was a nice relief not just for me, but for S, it meant I might actually stay at the hospital.

We arrived rather *cough* promptly at the hospital outside the A&E department, and S grabbed a wheelchair (no idea whether she turfed someone out of it, but she had one) and wheeled me to the lifts where the slowest climb to the 12th floor would begin. We were so close. Thank god for the wheelchair as there was no way I would have been able to walk now as I started to feel a burning feeling around a certain hole. It felt like something was coming out.

As I arrived at the triage ward, I was greeted by a lovely midwife who was so chirpy I couldn’t help but be chirpy back despite being in absolute agony and grunting. When S advised her than my waters had gone she simply responded with a “Oh how lovely! Let’s pop you on the bed”. She told me to get undressed (which was easier said than done) so she could examine me, and advised that she would be putting a monitor on me to check baby. I was a mess – there was water everywhere and I probably looked like a tramp.

As I opened my legs, the midwife suddenly shouted for a labour kit. Beansprout was crowing – and fast! Within 20 seconds, and after one giant push, he then plopped out on the bed. He was here and put straight on my chest.


Time of Arrival:- 11:25pm

Weight:-
8Ib 7oz

 
The next few minutes were then a blur to me. What I do remember is this; the midwives really read my notes through thoroughly (something I was dubious about previously), T was placed on my chest for skin-to-skin, the cord was left to continue pulsating as requested on my notes, S then cut the cord and was handed her son whilst I delivered the placenta (have you SEEN how big that bad boy is?! It’s huge!). My job was complete – he was here.
I was told I had a very small tear but it was nothing to worry about, but I would need stitches once I arrived at the labour ward.

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Once I arrived on the labour ward, it was time for my stitches. I must say, in my opinion, this part bloody hurt – and I’m only talking about the injection I had containing the local anaesthetic (that got a giant “fuck” “ow”). Thankfully, once everything kicked in, and I got handed some gas and air, everything was bliss. Finally, after everything was done, I got THE best tea and toast. I don’t know whether the bread they use is made of crack, but it was the best tasting toast I’d had in a long time. On top of this they also served it with a basket of preserves and a pot of tea. It. Was. Heaven.
After tea and toast I then had my first feed with T – it went suprisingly well, I felt so proud. I was feeding our son.


After a few hours on the labour ward where I was able to rest and have a shower, I then got taken down to the post-natal ward to sleep until the morning. At this point, S then left me and I got put to bed – not that I could sleep, I was wide awake. I couldn’t stop checking on T – not that he needed a thing, he slept the whole night.


There was only 3 of us in the ward I was in, and I certainly had the easier ride. One poor lady in the bed next to me not only had a c-section but also had IBS so kept wretching and crying – I just wanted to give her a hug. The lady across from me also had a c-section but was on a drip due to an infection – she was also having a rough ride.

The care at the hospital was exemplary. I was woken at 6am and told there was a small breakfast buffet and shown where the showers were. The midwives, nursery nurses and other staff were constantly keeping an eye on us throughout the night and were so kind. In the morning, a drugs cart came round and pretty much offered drugs like they were sweets, and then the midwives did their rounds; making sure we were comfortable. It was an amazing service.

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At 9am S arrived, and by 11am I was discharged and we were sent home. S looked so proud carrying T out of the hospital in the carrier.


The look in her eyes was unique, something I’d never seen before. She was a mother – and I had given her that. It was so special.  

The next 24hrs after arriving home were then a blur but it was a pretty awesome blur…

K

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