Monthly Archives: October 2013

6 week low

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Baby will be 7 weeks old tomorrow and we have reached the hardest bit of parenting so far. After most feeds he is ridiculously windy, grumpy and uncomfortable. In particular the night feeds, combined with cluster feeding for between 4 and thirteen hours in the afternoon and evening, it had been very trying!

Not entirety sure what is causing this but Google and friends’ experiences tell me that it’s likely to be an unholy combination of Reflux and a six week growth spurt. We need a diagnosis and prescription for baby gaviscon of that is the case, so I’ll have to cask the doctors tomorrow and see if I can get an appointment.

Upshot of all that is that today I had to cancel plans with a friend after a shocking nights sleep (lack thereof) and that read really rubbish. I hope not to have to do that again.

This week is half term so we have lots of plans with friends. Let’s hope I get enough sleep and an able to do stuff.

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Gender stereotyping

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Someone linked me to this http://www.lettoysbetoys.org.uk/cbeebies-sid-to-present-let-toys-be-toys-toymark/. This is something I feel very strongly about-gender stereotyping from a young age. We had so interest in finding out if baby D was to be a boy or girl because we were just so excited about having a baby. The gender made no major difference to us-we had no plans to prepare specifically for either gender.

The only difference we had in mind was to be the name of the baby.

I was surprised how many friends offered us second hand clothes-but only when they knew whether our baby was to be a boy or a girl. I was also surprised by gender specific cards, wrapping paper and presents. This is not to suggest we were ungrateful for any  presents or hand me downs!

Our baby may be a boy. He is to grow up in a household where his mother likely works part time and does much of the childcare and his father works full time and is the main bread winner. This is just how it is in our house hold and I’m not proud of it. If they’re was a financially viable way of this not being the case then we would seriously consider it.

However, he will not grow up wearing only Blue clothes with cars and trucks on. He will not grow up being given only cars and guns and ‘boys’ toys to play with. He will not be encouraged to only get involved with ‘boys’ activities like football.  If he wants to do ballet  and play with dolls, so be it!

We hope he may share some interests with us-cycling, walking. We hope he might be artistic or sporty but we will not limit him to gender specific expectations.

This week he wore a dress and tights!

And quite a few second hand and present Halloween outfits!

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100

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I was hoping my 100 th post was going to be ground breaking, exciting and positive, but no such luck other than the general positivity I can find generally in life.

Last night was bad. To give you a picture how bad-today is the first day since we left hospital almost 6 weeks ago that I didn’t get dressed. (I got up, showered and our on clean clothes but bottom half was pajamas). I had to cheer myself up with blue cheese and port after lunch and a g&t and chocolate buttons in the bath this evening. Baby has slept almost all day as he wore himself out last night by his incessant rage-filled crying.

We have the in laws staying, and yesterday we all met up with my parents for lunch. After lunch we went for a Lovey Autumnal walk in Virginia Water. About half way around, baby started crying. After that, he didn’t really stop  until about midnight. He has never cried so inconsolably for so long, with so much apparent blind rage (though it is unfair to attribute adult emotions to his little baby brain). It was very scary and hideously stressful.

Husband coped admirably by getting dressed and taking baby for a late night walk and then later taking baby downstairs for a cuddle to settle him so I could recover my composure and hey a little rest. Post 1 am he was quite settled and fed every 2 hours but went down ok after a feed.

Our worst night yet-almost 7 hours of screaming that not even putting him to the breast could fix (the usual cure-all) and me finally being tipped over and getting upset too.

Today it’s like nothing happened!

He is also learning to smile… which is much better news.

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The exact expected rollercoaster ride

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This is so what I was expecting!
Sleeping and eating
These babies are amazing, they really know (instinctively) how to push your buttons and what your absolute limit of exhaustion and being able to cope is. Then they show you how wonderful they are and you forgive them…. until the next time!

We have had some really shocking nights. We’ll do a feed around 10 or 11pm, then put the baby down. On these bad nights, he tends to settle quite well initially. Then around 1am he wakes up and that is it until half past five in the morning. He will feed, burp, posset, cry, wriggle, feed….. etc etc for 4 1/2 hours. Sometimes he sounds frustrated and really does have tantrums, other times he just grizzles and moans. A couple of nights like that in a row are very hard to cope with, and he tends to seem to push right to the limit, then have a sudden good night to surprise us!

Last night was his best night ever (after a rocky start). He “cluster fed” (as above) on and off from about 7pm until 11:30pm, then he finally fell asleep. The next thing we knew, it was 4am! That is officially his longest ever night time sleep since we started feeding on demand. Once he went down, he then didn’t awake again until just before nine. What a hero! He even was chilled out enough to let me go off and express some milk this morning.

It also seems the cluster feeding is working. I believe the idea of it (isn’t apparently to make me tired!!) is to help increase my supply- and it really seems to have done that. I expressed 120ml (which is a whole feed) in about 15 minutes this morning! Very efficient! And had enough left to feed him straight after and he’s still settled 2 hours later. Amazing.

I know this is unlikely to last and just as we get complacent, he’ll revet back. However, it’s so welcome to get just that little bit more sleep. I feel so so human. I even went into deep sleep and dreamt last night- for the first time in 5 weeks!

On the bottle
One of our aims now is to get baby taking a bottle of expressed milk. This is not only to make my nights a bit more pleasant and to mean that if needs be, I can actually go out when a feed is due, it also is really important to help daddy (and potentially others like grandparents and uncles/aunts) bond with baby too.

Thursday we tried a bit of milk from the bottle and baby was having none of it. We know that he DID know how to take a bottle during weeks 1 and 2 whilst we were trying to get him feeding better but it seems he had forgotten/ prefers the breast. Baby did not play ball- daddy was downstairs trying to feed him and I was upstairs trying to grab a nap… Eventually daddy brought him up, and he then took the milk whilst I was in the room (then I BF him after).

On Friday night, I went out. This was every bit as terrifying as I thought it would be. I was an hour late due to baby needing a feed (a long one) and sicking up a lot of the feed, then after I had been out an hour, poor daddy sent me a text to say he was putting the baby in the sling and coming up to see me to help baby sleep. Baby was refusing the expressed milk and screaming, so the sling was the only option. It worked! Baby slept like a dream in the sling. And I got to walk home with daddy and baby which was nice. 90 mins out was better than nothing!

Last night, we had a bottle of expressed milk ready to do, and then with the evening cluster feed, we never got around to using it. Excepting the baby to wake up about 1am ish, we said that daddy could do the next feed. So at 4am, baby got the expressed milk. He wasn’t super- keen on taking it and grizzled a bit but superdaddy persevered and got it all in him. Baby didn’t fall asleep so I gave him a little breast and after that he slept well.

We will keep persevering with this!

A LOT of text- apologies. Have a picture!

Hurrah
All the ladies from the Mumsnet Sept 2013 due date thread have now had their babies so we had a mass-celebration friday/ sat night (to suit). We all had a glass of champagne (or other favourite tipple) and posted a picture onto our facebook group to celebrate. I, and another lady also put together some fun awards to the gang- I really enjoyed it! What a lovely bunch of ladies!

Celebrate

4 weeks

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I feel very remiss, it’s hard to keep up with blogs! It does’t help that I have a number of blogs- personal, photography, cycling, charity and this one! Keeps me busy.

So baby is 4 weeks old today!

What is there to say?
Weight
He gets weighed on Thursday for the first time since he was 15 days old. Birth weight was 3.7kg (8lb 3oz), he only lost a very small amount and was back up to 3.5kg (8lb), and then by 15 days was up to 4.1kg (9lb). So it should be interesting! I think he is feeding well, he feels heavier each day and looks like he’s getting longer if not fatter!

Feeding
Baby has totally got the hang of breast feeding and is doing brilliantly. He hasn’t had any formula at all since….. week one(?) and he’s had one expressed bottle in the last couple of weeks when I needed to get some sleep and he wasn’t latching on well. I’m really pleased that we persevered through sleepless screaming sessions and got him feeding properly, makes me tear up with excitement to think about it!

Had our first proper public feed in a coffee shop very discreetly in town on Saturday and that felt great. I felt sorry for the poor teenage boy serving our drinks who didn’t know where to look, but I am very much of the opinion (or should I say “safe in the knowledge” that it’s an entirely normal and natural thing to be doing, and I have no embarassment around it.

Sleep
Sleep patterns are not discernable yet (no surprises). We have good and bad nights and good and bad days, which is no surprise at all to me. I have no urge to make him have a routine just let- I’m happy to let him be a baby.

On a good night he feeds about 10pm, 1am, 4am and 7:30am ish for about 15-40 minutes at a time. He doesn’t like to sleep in his moses basket straight away so he needs to be cuddled or lie on the bed next to me for a while before he’s ready to be put down to sleep. This means I get 4-5 hours sleep if I’m lucky in slots of 90 mins or so. This is ok! I can do that!

On a bad night- who knows?! We had a few colic (?) nights where he refused to sleep until about 4am, and then has had at least one other night where he woke at 1am and didn’t go back to sleep until 5:30 am with lots of crying and screaming inbetween.

Me
I’m doing ok. I really am. This surprises me a little but then I’d like to think that:
a) We came into this with realistic expectations about parenthood
and
b) I have a generally quite positive attitude which helps me through

It helps having a wonderful hands-on husband who helps me out, praises my (small) accomplishments and understands when I’m a bit craggy.

Us
I think we’re pretty ok too. The above helps. A lot. We are communicating well, even when tired and grumpy. We are taking our fair share where we can, and doing what we can when we can. We’re trying not to stretch ourselves too thin and to share things where possible.

Typical week
Although there’s little pattern or routine, now Mr Bumpy has gone back to work, there’s certain things I make sure I do. I always:
shower and get dressed (which is funny as I didn’t used to worry about this when I worked from home, had a day off or at weekends)
sort the kitchen out to some presentable standard sometime during the day
leave the house– just for fresh air. Any kind. Trip to the shops or whatever.
meet someone/ have a guest every week day. Anyone!

It’s definitely helping keep me sane!

Weekends are a little free-forming still- we are yet to organise those, but they’ve been ok!

He’s brilliant, even with the lows, the highs are just amazing. People forget to tell you that 🙂

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