Happy Father's Day to my husband – and all the other amazing dad’s out there. A poem for you. (A little something I wrote and shared last year).
I won’t always want to build sandcastles, or make angels in the snow,
I won’t always want to hold your hand, but please don’t let go,
I may not want to follow in your footsteps, but please stay by my side,
I may get lost along the way, but I know you’ll always be my guide.
I won’t always want a bedtime story, or adventures in the park,
It won’t always feel like I need you, but keep being my eyes in the dark,
I may not always want to listen or hear what you have to say,
But don’t stop trying dad, always find a way.
I won’t always want a cuddle, but please keep wiping my tears, even when I'm tall,
I won’t always need my shoe laces tied, but keep picking me up when I fall,
I may not always want to play make-believe on a Sunday afternoon,
Slow down, let me play, don’t let me grow up too soon.
But I'll always love you dad, I won’t ever let go of your hand,
Keep me safe, show me the world, let me make my own footprints in the sand.
No lengthy blog post this week. Just a little update! I had my baby shower yesterday. ❤ Wasn't going to have one but just had close friends and imediate family and laughed so much I almost went into labour! If you don't talk about shitting yourself during labour or your husband scooping poo out of the birthing pool - is it even a baby shower?! Made me feel very lucky to have such amazing people in my life.
I had to go for a growth scan this week as midwife thought baby was breech and bump hadn't really grown in 2 weeks. Had the scan...not breech 🙌 but measuring big! Though I know these scans aren't an exact science, they said baby was 8Ib 3oz already. And baby's tummy was measuring big which could be a sign of gestational diabetes. Was quite shocked to be honest. I have to measure my glucose levels for a week and see a consultant on Wednesday. And keep in touch with specialist midwives. Had a wobbly/hormonal moment where I started to worry, was it something I had done but I know from other people that even if I do have it - it isn't something to panic about. And these scans can be way off. I will be monitored which is not a bad thing, it doesn't necessarily mean longterm diabetes at all and baby probably won't be 15Ib! Just feel like it's one thing after another with this pregnancy sometimes. And I still need to deep clean the house....But feeling positive, despite Rafe having a full on dirty protest on his high chair this morning. Will spare details. 🙈 Till next week x
Naps, remember naps!
Nursery sorted by now
Hospital bag almost done
Everything bought in preparation…
Erm, what day is it?
Feeling pretty exhausted right now. Can’t believe I am almost 36 weeks pregnant! Where has the time gone? Two weeks left of work, although could easily have packed my laptop away now. I’m also in full on nesting mode and desperate to deep-clean the house! I’m pretty OCD about cleaning so it ramps up a notch when pregnant. Anyone else the same? Last time I had my husband pulling everything out the kitchen cupboards to clean...Just feeling quite unprepared in every sense of the word really. I held my nephew the other day who is 8-weeks old and thought – how do I look after a baby again?! A baby and a toddler?! The Braxton Hicks contractions are ramping up now, pretty much 24-7 but just trying to think of them as good practice/fucking annoying...As well as the slight panic, nesting taking over, exhaustion – I am feeling more excited every day. Just not quite sure what day it is….
As I mentioned last week – Rafe has had hand foot and mouth. Which for anyone whose child has had – will understand how awful it is. Even more awful when for days, although I knew he was a bit off and had been sick one night – I thought he just had a stomach bug/was teething. I noticed what I thought was a midge bite on his hand, he had been chirpy and seemed better, took him to nursery – only for them to ring a few hours later and say they thought he had hand foot and mouth. He had spots on his bum and they noticed them on his feet – and when I got him home I noticed he had ulcers on his tongue. Just felt so bad for not realising how poorly he was and that he had hand foot and mouth. He wouldn’t eat much – apart from ice lollies and yogurts and was really clingy for days. The ‘nee sleep routine' went out the window – he just wanted to be cuddled and to hold my face. Was a pretty exhausting week, husband was away and I needed a few wines to be honest – but he is so much better now. And running around like a tornado! He is obsessed with lions and runs around or points at his lion teddy saying ‘rara, rara!’ Which just brightens up any one’s day. Even after 2 hours sleep with a him holding on to your face...
Getting Rafe to sleep has obviously been a difficult task so the week before of trying to get him down without cuddling has gone out the window. So starting again now he is better. Some nights he will go down after 10-15 minutes – but wake-up and need settling within the hour. And screams and screams - which is a laugh a minute. But then the other night, he went down within 10 minutes and slept through. PRAISE THE LORD! So a Russian Roulette at bedtime but isn’t it always?!
Now he is on the move, he needs entertained even more. Try and get him out and about as much as I can but when we are in the house, he gets bored so quickly. We have mountains of toys – and loves books – but just want some ideas to keep a 19-month entertained in the house, both fun and educational?! Any good Instagram accounts to follow for ideas? Any good games? Good books/toys? Want to try and get him to say more words too. He understands so much but is still limited with words. He can give you all the noises of any farm animal, lion (his fave), car and motorbikes noises etc – he can master those. But actually saying dog – rather than 'woof woof' he does not do. Only 'real' words he says are mama, dada, hiya, yeah yeah (when he is singing to The Beatles!) and randomly bear. The rest are all sounds of what things make - or his own babbling. It's hard not to compare (and I really make an effoet not to) but there's a boy at swimming, a few months older than Rafe who is saying so much – and basically copies what his mum says - it’s amazing! But he is not Rafe so just need to remember that. And all kids develop in different ways. He understands a lot of what you are saying and asking him to do – and is vocal, just not quite putting a huge amount of words together yet. I mentioned this a few months' back and was reassured - think once again, I just need to stop worrying about everything!
So from one exhausted and worried mum to another – till next time!
No blog post this week as this little champ has had hand foot and mouth 🖕 and we are both well and truly pooped. He is on the mend though. 🤞🙌❤ See photos below! Me on the other hand. CAN'T WAIT FOR WINE!!
Note to self: Do not try a new ‘getting toddler to sleep’ routine when it is 100 degrees, still light at 10pm, when you are 8-months pregnant and beyond hormonal and emotional….
Also, this week: PREGNANCY RAGE is back with a vengeance. I thought I may have bypassed the angry letter to McDonald’s stage – or that time I almost killed my husband for walking so slow round Asda with the trolley. But oh no – it’s back….
So yes, as I mentioned last week, I was at my wits end trying to get Rafe to sleep. Thank you so much for all your advice – massively helped. I think I really just needed to bite the bullet and try something different but on the most part – I just felt like I didn’t have the energy to do it on my own. But equally, don’t have a choice! So I wanted to try a mix of what I have done before – and also follow other people’s advice and cater to what I thought would suit Rafe. So on Monday night, we followed our normal routine of bath, milk in my room, a couple of pages of a story – then I popped him in his sleeping bag and instead of staying to read more of the story – and then rocking to sleep in his room, we went into his room, I sat him on my knee and we read more of the story. We then went and said goodnight to his teddies and then I gave him a kiss, said goodnight and put him down. Then all hell broke loose. He was hysterical – which made me get really upset. But I left the room and timed for 5-minutes, went back in, picked him up and cuddled him and tried to calm him down. He literally forced my hands around him and every time I went to move my arms, he wrapped them back round him, which was bloody heart-breaking. So once he calmed down, back in cot and back out for 5. Basically repeated this for an hour – until he went down – sobbing. Which was just fucking awful and hard work. The next night – the same thing, but took half an hour, still sobbing as he fell to sleep. The following night – before I had even put him down he was hysterical. And again took half an hour. That night, I noticed when I went in, he was holding on to Ewan the sheep for dear life. He has never been bothered about a cuddly toy but thought I’d get one of his smaller teddies for him to cuddle – which did seem to settle him a bit. (But then I got paranoid about him having a teddy in his cot…!) Those first three nights were really tough - I think me going back in to settle him by picking him up was actually making him worse - he was getting a cuddle, but not as long as he wanted so was getting even more distressed I was leaving again. It’s just awful to see your child cry like that and all he wanted was a cuddle. And then to hear him basically sobbing while falling asleep is just emotional as fuck – and even more so when pregnant. Then the mum guilt came in as I just kept thinking about the years to come when I wish I could cuddle him to sleep. But also kept trying to remind myself – that when baby number 2 comes, it’s just little old me doing bedtime – apart from when husband is home. Which could be every weekend for a while – or he could be away for months and months. I physically won’t be able to sit for an hour or more to cuddle him to sleep – and it will be good for him to be able to settle on his own. And once he is down – he is on the most part – sleeping through. So it is working in that sense. Just broke my heart to be honest. The following nights I have tried the same routine – but not picking him up, just patting his back, reassuring him and saying ‘night, night Rafe’. Maybe cuddling him once if he really isn't happy. I took the teddy out on Friday night as the night before, he was unusually hyper and just talking to it for an hour. But at least he wasn't crying! Friday night took 20 minutes to go down. But when I went to check on him, he was cuddling Ewan the Sheep so I introduced teddy again last night (fucking epic I know!! My head is boggled writing this!!) - but snuck in and took it off him when he settled. Am I being too paranoid here? Just read so much about safe sleep but thought now he is 19-months, a small teddy would be fine??? So back to last night - I had to go in once to calm him down and took 15 minutes!!! So we will see how it goes. Just been harder than I thought, especially 8-months preggers and doing it on my own. (Get the violins out!) But it has got better and can see progress and light at the end of the tunnel! Hopefully by next week I can put him down and he goes straight to sleep - no tears. Fingers crossed....Who would have thought you could write an epic novel on getting your child to fucking sleep...
It’s just been one of those weeks to be honest! I had to go in and be checked over to make sure I wasn’t in early labour as I have been having Braxton hick’s contractions for a while (never had them with Rafe) but last Sunday, I had them for basically seven hours in the end. They weren’t stopping, whatever I did – and contrary to what I had read and thought – they were actually really uncomfortable and had a regulatory to them. I didn’t think I was in labour but equally just needed reassurance. I was monitored and midwife could see tightening’s but they weren’t regular and said not enough for her to check me out internally and was just BH. I felt silly for going in but as she said – it is better to be on the safe side. And now at least I know they can go on for a while – and be uncomfortable. They have been really persistent most days now. And although I’ve had back pain these past few weeks, I have had days when if I sit down for longer than say 15-minutes, I find it hard to actually walk and am in quite a bit of pain. And feel really heavy down below. I don’t know whether it’s pelvic girdle pain or just stiffening up but seeing midwife on Wednesday so will check. Second pregnancy – whole different ball game, everything is so much more intense! Anyone else have strong BH contractions?
I had pregnancy rage throughout my last pregnancy – towards anyone and everyone but mainly my poor husband. I’ve had some irrational, very hormonal moments but not a huge amount of rage. But this week, my poor dog and a random dog walker got the rage in full force. I took Yankee out over my lunch break, it was roasting outside and obviously I decided to wear all black so I was sweating like a MF and generally couldn’t walk faster than a snail. I was also having quite strong BH contractions. Yankee stole another dog’s ball and decided he wouldn’t give it back. So I was screaming like a banshee – which he obviously thought was a game. Eventually when I caught up to him, he refused to give the ball back, despite me sticking my hand in his mouth. “I AM NOT IN THE FUCKING MOOD!” I shouted. Only to realise the dear old dog walker was behind me. I said sorry – and finally got the ball back. And Yankee ran off – loving life – (no animals were harmed during this rage incident) and tried to steal the ball again. Cue banshee scream and old man leaping to get the ball from Yankee in fear of his life from the hormonal pregnant lady. I think I may need to avoid that field for a while….Please tell me I am not the only one with pregnancy rage witnessed by total strangers!
So yes, quite a week. Hoping for an easy peasy week next week – full of blissful bedtimes, a calm and well-behaved golden retriever – and baby number 2 behaves him/herself too…..
Till next time.
The stages of sleep....
Newborn – Doesn’t sleep, though surprisingly more than you think.
1-3 months – Yup, still not sleeping.
4 months – THE FOUR-MONTH SLEEP REGRESSION WILL END YOU.
5-8 months – You may get the odd glimmer of a good stretch of sleep. Hold on.
9-10 months – Yup, ANOTHER sleep regression.
12 months – Kind of turning a corner some nights...
18 months – All hope is lost. Yes. That’s right. Another sleep regression. And teething. Oh teething. Getting a toddler to sleep is like being in the Battle of Winterfell.
I naively thought that sleep regressions would be a thing of the past but oh no, seems like Rafe’s inability to actually get to sleep, could be because of a regression. Apparently a toddler’s new found independence – and also separation anxiety – and teething (has to come in threes) could cause coffee in eyelids moments. I mean nothing is as bad as the four-month sleep regression (shiver) and although some nights when I finally get Rafe down, he does sleep through (Amen), getting him to sleep is like, as I said – a fucking battle. It’s difficult as since I have stopped breastfeeding, the go-to method of getting Rafe down is to cuddle him to sleep. Which honestly, of course I don’t mind doing. However, the past few weeks this is taking longer and longer – a good one to two hours to get him down. He’s tired and pretty much falls asleep in my arms quite quickly but as soon as I move to put him down he is wide-awake and kicking off. Or if I do get him down, within 15-minutes he is up again (normally just as I am about to eat my tea). Then I need to repeat the whole process again. It might not be a sleep regression as he is teething and has had a snotty nose and cough but the separation anxiety makes sense as he just does not want me to leave him. And I’m not saying I don’t want to cuddle him to sleep but I’m pretty huge now and finding it difficult to get comfortable and maneuver him into his cot without needing a crane to get me up. And in a few weeks-time, I won’t be able to sit for two hours to get Rafe to sleep – there will be a newborn on my boob. It’s just so hard as I feel guilty that I won’t be able to have those night-time cuddles, but the reality is, with husband away during the week, or sometimes months on end, I can’t split myself in two. And I just need to think of a way of getting Rafe to sleep without leaving him to cry for hours and will make us both happy. Leaving him to cry for 10/15 minutes does work sometimes and I don't mind leaving him for a short while but I just feel so bad leaving him to cry out any longer, especially when he is saying “mama, mama”, so I don’t know whether to try the put down, pick up method that seemed to work months and months ago. Or try something even more gentle? I can’t read another book though. Or google anymore! At the moment he has a bottle of milk in our room after his bath. I then read a story and he gets sleepy and then I go into his room and try and rock him to sleep. I don’t know whether to give him his bottle in our room – then move to his room to read story and then just cuddle for a little bit – put down and stay with him till he goes to sleep and then hopefully the time will get shorter and shorter??? Or maybe that’s just wishful thinking. HELP. PLEASE. What are your routines that work?
Rafe is walking with confidence now and it’s so good to see – and a relief! Like I said last week, he is still walking with his feet turned inwards – but is getting better. Does anyone else’s little one do this? Anything you can do to help? He’s getting quite the temper on him too. Don’t know where he gets that from….He’s always had a tendency to bite when he gets excited but he is doing that more now (mostly just to me) and he is also pulling my hair. Literally holding on and not letting go. And he does this excited/angry face while he is doing it. And it bloody hurts! I know he doesn’t really understand that he is hurting me but want to put a stop to it before he does it to someone else/I lose my hair. It does seem to be when he gets excited, or he hasn’t seen me all day, so it is almost an affection thing. Just not sure how to get him to stop!
I’m 33-weeks on Tuesday. Can’t believe it. Honestly this pregnancy has flown by. Though now I’ve said that, it’s probably going to drag now. I have 4-weeks left of work as of next week – which is crazy. Much tougher this time round, I feel like the way I feel and am now – is how I was right at the end of my pregnancy with Rafe. I also have a heaviness feeling down below which I’m sure I only got right at the end. Some days I wake up and it feels like I have been kicked down below. Sorry if TMI but if you know – you know. And I’m walking like John Wayne. Oh the glamour of being pregnant! It’s an absolute blessing but geez, it can knock you sideways somedays. I just generally look pretty rough too. I won’t be looking like Meghan a couple of days after the birth I tell you that! She looked amazing and did piss me off to read some comments about how she looked. One twat wrote: “I’m surprised she wore something so fitting when she still has quite a big tummy.” ERM. Excuse me? She could be wearing a bin bag mate – she’s just pushed a baby out of her vagina, she can wear what the fuck she wants. You just can’t win. Oh and love the name! We had Harrison on our list for boy’s names – though wasn’t top 3 so will let them off!
Finally….I posted this same post around this time when I was pregnant with Rafe. Basically the old wives’ tale test to see whether I am having a boy or a girl – just for a bit of fun! Boy ‘won’ last time – and was right. What about this time round? What do you all reckon?
Old Wives Tale #1: Heart Rate
If the baby’s heart rate is above 140 bpm, it is said that the baby will be a girl. If it is under 140 bpm, then it will be a boy. Prediction outcome: Baby’s heartrate has either been 140, or above: GIRL.
Old Wives Tale #2: Shape of Belly
If you are carrying high with a big, round belly, you are having a girl. If you are carrying low with a smaller belly that sticks straight out, it’s a boy. Prediction outcome: I think my bump, although bigger than last time, is low so: BOY.
Old Wives Tale #3: Ring Test
Using a string, hang your wedding ring over your pregnant belly. You are having a girl if the ring swings back and forth and it’s a boy if it swings in a circle. Prediction outcome: BOY.
Old Wives Tale #4: Acne
If you have acne while pregnant, it’s a girl. It’s thought that acne during pregnancy is caused by the extra hormones. Prediction outcome: No acne: BOY.
Old Wives Tale #5: Cravings
People believe that if you are craving salty foods while pregnant, you can count on having a boy. If you crave sweets, fruit, and orange juice, you are having a little girl. Prediction outcome: Have been craving oranges quite a lot (as well as mountains of chocolate): GIRL.
Old Wives Tale #6: Skin under Left Eye
The eye test is when a “V” or “branches” appear when you pull down the skin under your left eye. If you see a “V” or “branches” in the white part, you’re having a girl. Prediction outcome: This is weird but I do see branches: GIRL.
Old Wives Tale #7: Time of Conception
The person that is most aggressive in bed at the time of conception is the opposite of what the baby will be. (I feel like nobody needs to know the answer to this one!) Prediction outcome: INCONCLUSIVE.
Old Wives Tale #8: Legs
If your legs get really big, you’re having a boy. If your legs stay in shape and lean, it’s a girl. Prediction outcome: Half and half really, bigger – but not massive – but not lean either! INCONCLUSIVE.
Old Wives Tale #9: Moodiness
If you are really moody, you are having a girl since you have extra girl hormones in you. Prediction outcome: Forever moody: GIRL.
Old Wives Tale #10: Chinese Gender Chart
The Chinese Gender Chart claims to have an accuracy rate of over 90%. It is based on how old the mother is at conception and the month that she conceived. Find out your prediction/or whether the Chinese Chart was right about your baby's gender here: https://www.thebump.com/chinese-gender-chart Prediction outcome: BOY
Old Wives Tale #11: Mum's Beauty
You are having a girl if your beauty disappears during pregnancy. It is said that the girl “steals” the mother’s beauty. If you think that pregnancy has never made you look more beautiful, a little boy it is. Prediction outcome: Ain’t looking my best. GIRL.
Old Wives Tale #12: Dream of Sex of Baby
If you have dreams that you are having a boy, you will have a girl. If you dream about having a girl, it will be a boy. Dreams show the opposite of what you are having. Prediction outcome: Mix of both, sometimes dream we are having a girl, sometimes a boy. The other day I dreamt I gave birth to girl triplets!! Prediction outcome: INCONCLUSIVE.
Old Wives Tale #13: Clumsy vs. Graceful
If the pregnant woman is graceful throughout her pregnancy, she’s having a girl. If she becomes clumsy, she’s having a boy. Prediction outcome: I will always be clumsy, without being pregnant! BOY.
Old Wives Tale #14: Side You Most Rest On
If a pregnant woman prefers to lay on her left side, she’s having a boy. If she prefers resting on her right side, she’s having a girl. Prediction outcome: BOY.
Old Wives Tale #15: Dad’s Weight Gain
If the dad-to-be gains weight while you are pregnant, it’s a girl. If he doesn’t gain weight, you’re having a boy. Prediction outcome: BOY.
Old Wives Tale #16: Breast Test
If a pregnant woman’s left breast is larger than the right breast, she’s having a girl. If the right breast is larger, it’s a boy. Prediction outcome: GIRL.
Old Wives Tale #17: What Do You Think?
71% of the time, the mom-to-be knows what she is having. Prediction outcome: BOY – though am wavering more than I did last time! Was strangely 100% certain Rafe was a boy – not as certain this time round.
Old Wives Tale #18: Morning Sickness
If you had a smooth pregnancy with no morning sickness, it’s a boy. If you were sick or felt really nauseous during your pregnancy, count on a girl. Prediction outcome: Much worse this time round: GIRL.
Old Wives Tale #19: Areolae
If your areolae have darkened, it’s a boy. If they haven't, it’s a girl. Prediction outcome: GIRL.
Old Wives Tale #20: Protein
When a pregnant woman craves meat and cheese, count on a boy. Prediction outcome: GIRL.
Old Wives Tale #21: Feet
Are your feet colder now that you are pregnant? If so, you just might be having a boy. If your feet have stayed the same before pregnancy and during, you’re having a little girl. Prediction outcome: GIRL.
Old Wives Tale #22: Headaches
If you are having headaches, you might be carrying a boy. Prediction outcome: BOY.
Old Wives Tale #23: Baby Names
It is said that when you can only think of specific names for a boy or a girl, you will have that particularly baby. Prediction outcome: BOY.
Old Wives Tale #24: Urine
What color is your pee? If it is bright yellow, you will have a little boy. If your urine is a dull yellow, plan on a girl. Prediction outcome: GIRL.
Prediction Outcome: GIRL (by one!)
So who knows?! Time will tell…
Till next time,
The 'old' me....
I’ve seen a lot of posts around this week about maternal mental health, which have been a breath of fresh air to read. I think, although we have come a long way in being able to open up about our mental health, mums in particular still find it difficult to actually admit – you know what, I’m struggling here. For me, the first year of Rafe's life, although an absolute joy, at times was a real struggle, not just because of my PTSD from the birth (will talk more about that later), but I had moments of feeling real loss. And that’s the only way I can describe it. I didn’t lose anyone – but I felt like I lost myself. Yes, the sleepless nights are exhausting and nothing can prepare you for the 2am tears - and nothing can quite prepare you for the overwhelming love you will feel for your baby – or the pure joy their first smile brings. But nothing prepared me for the feeling that I didn’t quite know who I was anymore. This is a photo of a friend and I having the time of our lives at a friend’s wedding pre-baby. Obviously had a few wines and went slightly wild. And looking at that photo, I feel like I don’t recognise myself. Not just because I am a few stone lighter and don’t have a beard....I remember the doctor saying to me at the 6-week check-up, that once the flowers and cards dry up, people will forget about you, they will get on with their lives – but you can’t. Your life has changed forever. People also talked about ‘mourning their old lives' and that stuck with me. I wasn't exactly a party animal every weekend, but I loved to let my hair down, dance like an absolute idiot and drink tequila – and it wasn’t like I wanted to be strolling in at 2am – but in those early months (and even now), I just felt like that fun-loving person had gone. And that person, although much more to her than someone who loves tequila, had been lost for good. Sounds dramatic and I know that women struggle with so much more – I do too – but before Rafe I knew about PND, baby blues, that it was going to be hard. (Though nothing quite prepares you for it.) But nobody told me that I would look in the mirror some days, see my reflection and not know who was staring back at me. That I would be torn between ‘pre-baby me and post-baby’ me and that I felt like those two could never mix. That I was mum and I thought that meant closing part of me off - that I was 'boring' now. Even now I still say things like “that was the old me” or my husband will call me sexy (not that I have ever woke up and thought, wow I am sexy!) and I just cringe as that person to me, I feel sometimes, can’t exist and be a mum. I know realistically at the antenatal class there isn’t going to be a topic on mourning your old life with tequila – but I do think it's important to talk about these feelings, along with all the other feelings that seem to hit you like a hurricane when you become a new mum. Just to know that it’s ok to feel lost and miss your old life – it doesn’t mean you love your baby any less, or don’t feel so lucky to be a mum. I just don’t think you can underestimate how it can knock you sideways to look in the mirror – and not be sure who is staring back. Second baby is weeks away and I know that I’m not exactly going to be partying till 2am for a while – nor do I want to right now! And don’t get me wrong – I feel like I was born to be a mum and love my little family more than I can put into words. But what I really want to try and remember this time round is that I don’t need to put up my dancing shoes for good, pack the tequila away (though hangovers and children do not mix), that there will be a time where I will be getting a piggy back off my friend while going wild. Becoming a mum – doesn’t mean I am lost, or boring, or the ‘old me’ has gone for good, just means I have gained so much more to go with who I was 'before'. And I bet I could still drink you under the table! Ok, maybe not but I’d try…
So yes, with it being maternal mental health week, as I said, it has been a breath of fresh air to read other women’s posts and brought some feelings to the surface. People who read my blog every week, will know that I was diagnosed with PTSD after Rafe’s birth – and although thanks to CBT, I feel almost like a different person from the person I was when I was in the mist of flashbacks and anxiety. Though they never really will leave – the feelings are nowhere near as intense. I will always have my moments I think. And coming up to baby number 2’s arrival, birth is obviously on my mind. I have been practicing hypnobirthing and have my second session with a registered hypnobirthing teacher, who is also a midwife today. I feel quite calm and don’t feel much anxiety at the moment – but deep down, there is a part of me that worries that once labour starts – panic mode will set in and I will instantly think back to some of the traumatic moments of Rafe’s birth. But that’s why I’m doing hypnobirthing, so trying to be as positive as I can. Though I have had moments where I have wobbled and felt panicky and had flashbacks, in particular when I was reading my hypnobirthing book and it was talking about induction. A wave of panic came over me, I dread being induced and at the time, my sister-in-law was about to be induced and I felt an overwhelming fear and panic for her and I just couldn’t get a grip on my emotions for quite a few days. Though didn't want to say anything as knew a lot of it was irrational. I did manage to rationalise my fears and of course, my SIL was fine and has had a beautiful baby boy. I was just caught off guard to have felt such intense emotions about someone else's birth. I haven’t mentioned this before in my blog but I can also get incredibly overwhelmed when I read or hear of any stories to do with children being hurt or are suffering. Of course I have always been affected by this before I had Rafe and it makes sense that now I’m a mum and I know how much I love my boy and that maternal instinct that is so strong, those feelings of 'how can anyone hurt their own child?' hits home so much more. But I have to really avoid these stories now as much as I can. Turn the TV off. Not read the news. Even some moments in films I need to avoid. I spoke to other mums who had experienced birth trauma and they said they ar the same and feel incredible emotions when they see or hear of anything to do with the pain or suffering of a child. It can for me, be all-consuming. Like the other day I read a headline I wish I hadn’t seen and I broke down. Uncontrollable crying, genuine heartache for this child. Like he was my own. And that story haunted my thoughts for days. I don’t know whether I would always feel those emotions so strong because I am now a mum – or are they so intense as connected to the birth trauma and PTSD. I know those feelings won’t ever go away but I hope they will become less intense as they can be hard to get a hold of. Does anyone else feel these types of emotions too?
I will let you know how my next session of hypnobirthing goes and try as much as I can, to open up about anything to do with maternal mental health – as I just would hate for anyone else to be struggling – and feel like they are alone.
So Rafe! A little update before I go...He's a tinker! He is walking so well now – though still inwardly on his feet – is there any way of helping with this? Or will he just hopefully naturally, start walking flatter when he gets more confident? This week, he is still full of cold and has a cough – so sleep has been horrendous. He takes a long time to settle and through the night, up at least an hour trying to settle him as he is coughing so much. Along with my nasal congestion and general pregnancy insomnia I am pretty wrecked. And so emotional and hormonal. But just got to keep on swimming!
Well that's me for the week. As always, thank you for listening. And remember, you're not alone. You're doing an amazing job - us mums are superheroes.
Till next time,
Highlights of the week:
Being able to eat as many Easter eggs as I possibly can. (A lot).
Rafe’s nursery teacher telling me that he makes the best duck sound she has ever heard. (I almost cried with pride).
Teething = crying in the bath, crying getting ready for bed, crying during bedtime story.... (And that’s just me).
Rafe projectile vomiting all over my hair, my face - pretty much all over me.
Over-hearing my dad say: “Look at the size of her!” Thanks Dad. Haha. I’ll take that as a compliment...
How’s your week been?
So yes, apart from feeling like a whale – apparently I also look like one! It doesn’t help that there are about 40 Easter eggs in the house, husband was away during the week so he couldn't hide them from me (though this never works, I have ALWAYS found any chocolate he has hidden away – it’s a talent) and all I want to do is eat. I am just constantly hungry. And starting to really feel pregnant now. I’m such a snail when I walk, rolling out of bed is an effort and I also have nasal congestion this time round, so basically can’t breathe – so my attractiveness level is on an all-time peak. (Anyone else get nasal congestion during pregnancy? One of the weird and wonderful pregnancy symptoms). I’m sure first-time round I only really started to struggle in the really late weeks – but this time round, I’m kind of hanging out already. People say “try and rest” but it just seems impossible to do with a toddler, who is not sleeping great, a dog who loves getting dirty, work – and a tendency to always want to clean. I’ll sleep when the baby sleeps right?
Rafe’s been teething pretty bad this week so we’ve had some rough-ass nights. One night he just cried pretty much from bath-time, till I got him down. And then through numerous wake-ups. I just wish these last teeth would just appear over-night. Trying Calpol, Ibuprofen, those white sachet thingy’s and Bonjela – and good old-fashioned, “please go to sleep” begging...And after one day back at nursery after Easter break, he has ANOTHER snotty nose and the poor champ had a bit of a temperature last night and was really tired but had still been full of beans all day so just thought he was a bit off. But as I was about to put him down, he literally was sick everywhere. Not on him, all over my hair, face - in my mouth (no words) - pretty much covered from head to toe. Thank fuck my husband was there to tell me he thought I best jump in the shower. But actually so glad he was here as think there would have been a few minutes of me standing there thinking WHAT THE FUCK DO I DO? Hopefully it's just a 24 hour bug. Just feel sorry for the wee man – it's never-ending - but hopefully he catches a break soon. Also feel like my child is the only child who picks up any bug going around - please tell me I'm not alone!
I was worried Rafe might be unsettled at nursery after two weeks off but he loved it. Although he did a huge explosive nappy (anyone else’s kid have explosive nappies when teething?) which he started to put his hands in apparently. (One of those moments I was so glad he was at nursery). When I walked in to pick him up, he was just sat on the floor playing with a dinosaur, looking so happy and I just wanted to burst into tears (hormones) and then when the teacher said she was so impressed with his duck impression, that almost tipped me over the edge. I am obviously very emotional at the moment but I just really wish I could keep Rafe this innocent and happy forever – and safe. I just want time to go that bit slower so I can take in these moments for longer (maybe not the exhaustion or vomit in mouth) because when he laughs, or learns a new word, or gives me a kiss without asking, or the mornings he just wants a cuddle, it's pure joy - and moments I will never forget. And yup, I’m crying AGAIN.
Best run/walk like snail – got another Easter egg to eat.
Till next time,
P.s How grown up does Rafe look with his haircut?!
How am I actually in my third trimester already? How am I waddling already? Why can’t I stop eating? Why did the midwife make me go back on the scales again as couldn’t believe I’d put on that much weight? Why do I feel so emotional thinking Rafe will feel left out when baby comes? How will I do bath time with me, baby and toddler? How will I breastfeed and get a toddler to sleep at the same time? How does two under two actually work? Is there a manual? Thought so – you just wing it right? And I guess wine helps?
So yes, a few questions swilling around in my little head right now. But it’s pretty exciting right? 10 weeks to go…
So I feel like I have a novel to write after two weeks off. We did a lot as a family, had work done on the house (not stressful at all) and also had some well-deserved husband and wife time. I’ve said it many times before but having a baby can really affect your relationship – and put strain on you both. We take on this parent role – and sometimes we forget we are also husband and wife. We spent two nights away from Rafe, visiting a friend and her gorgeous newborn in London. It was the longest I had been away from Rafe and I was quite apprehensive and did miss him. But was just what my husband and I needed. It sounds cheesy but it was like we reconnected again – we laughed, didn’t bicker, talked about past adventures, chatted shit and just enjoyed each other’s company – with no distractions. It’s good to remember why you fell in love with someone – and also to be reminded why you enjoy each other’s company. I know it’s going to be difficult to get away when baby number 2 comes, but I know we must try and have our alone time as it’s so important. Or I will end up divorcing him for leaving old reciepts round the house.
Oh Rafe. What has the dude been up too? Well he is still teething and still has a bit of a cough that seems to be never ending. He went to the dentist the other day and she said, rather surprised, that he basically nearly had all his teeth, about 5 to go. So no wonder he has been so upset – they must all have come in at once. She said it’s the canines to come in next which can be mother fuckers. (Not quite her use of words). So he’s not a happy chappy some nights, but hopefully they will be in ASAP. It’s affecting his sleep, but he’s not been too bad. He is just going through a stage where I will cuddle him to sleep – and then within an hour, he is up screaming and I need to cuddle him back down. I don’t know whether it is teething, or him waking up and me not being there – yet after that, he sometimes has been sleeping through. Who knows? I do worry about how I’m going to deal with cuddling Rafe to sleep – and with a newborn on my boob. Do I need to try and do some type of sleep training I mentioned a few weeks ago? (But then feel bad as I don't want to not cuddle him.) I won’t have my husband around to help so I’m kind of shitting it a bit. And how will I do bath-time? Have baby and toddler in bath together? Single parent’s/military spouses/partners work away – how do you do two?! I’m thinking I just need to stop stressing before baby has arrived but as you all know, I like to be organised and have a plan – even if it doesn’t go to plan, it helps to feel prepared! Even though I don’t know what the fuck I’m doing half the time...
I'm feeling quite emotional about how baby number 2’s arrival will affect Rafe. He is so used to having everyone’s attention – especially mine, just focused on him. I don’t know how he will be when he sees me holding, nursing or cuddling his baby brother and sister. I also feel, I don’t want say sad, but I’m just trying to enjoy our alone time as much as I can as I know that we won’t get this time back and just Rafe and mum time will be few and far between. I know children are more adaptable than adults and I’m sure he will be an amazing big brother, I guess it’s all hormonal too but any reassurance would be appreciated!
Both Rafe and I have put on weight. Yey, to Rafe! They aren’t concerned about his weight now as moved up on to 25th centile, health visitor just wants to see him again in a couple of months. I knew it was because he had been poorly on and off for months but you obviously still worry. Me on the other hand – I feel like a whale. I had my 28-week midwife appointment last week and this is how the conversation went:
Midwife: “Just need to weigh you to make sure you haven’t put on a lot of weight but you look fine.”
Hop on scales.
Midwife: “That can’t be right. It says you have put on 13kg. Jump back on again.”
Midwife: “Nope, that’s right…”
So basically have put on two stone. She wasn’t concerned as still in normal BMI range and I don’t necessarily think I look really heavy – it’s all just boobs and bump. I think…I never was weighed again with Rafe after my booking appointment and I never weighed myself so I have no idea how much I put on. I do feel much bigger this time round and so much more pregnant than I did at this stage last time. I know some women put on hardly any weight, some women put on a few stone – it is what it is. I’m still doing yoga and walking and eating healthy (ish)/the world’s allocation of chocolate every night and as long as I don’t put on 10 stone and putting baby and my health in danger, I’m not going to stress about it. But will try not to eat all the Easter eggs in one day...
Rafe is getting so much more confident walking now. He still falls over and is wobbly, but he is shooting off on his own and wanting to be up on his feet. I knew he wouldn’t just start walking and be a pro, so I’m guessing he will be confident in a month or so? It’s just good to see him on his feet and one less thing for me to have a nervous breakdown/google stress about!
So yeah, a lot going on. Mostly in my head! But as much as I am slightly nervous about baby number 2’s arrival. I am flipping excited. And feel very lucky.
And looking forward to wine.
Till next time,
P.s enjoy the sunshine! Just what sleeping bag should Rafe go in now??! It never ends haha.....
Questions and life lessons pondered this week:
1. Why aren’t babies born with all their teeth? (Would look slightly strange I know...)
2. Why do the ‘big teeth’ all come in at the same time?
3. Why is teething a mother trucking nightmare for baby and mum?
4. Don't presume the butternut squash soup your son is eating, which is now dripping on the floor and your dog is eating, is soup...
5. Trying to shave any part of your body with a bump in the way is pretty impossible – so I currently look like a patch-work quilt.
And finally...HAPPY HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY! What can I say, not all heroes wear capes.
So where do we start? Teething. My old friend. Poor Rafe. It seems like everything comes at once - including teeth. Still has a cold so it’s like snot city all over his face, clothes, my clothes, sheets, in my hair – everywhere. And plus, as you've probably gathered, he’s been teething so bad this week. To be honest, I think he’s been teething for a couple of weeks as has been quite fussy food wise and really upset at night – and constantly rubbing his ear and putting his hands in his mouth. I had a little peer in his mouth and was so surprised at how many teeth he actually had! They all seem to have/or be coming in at once. Those big fucking molars coming in are not fun. And I feel like for the past couple of weeks I have pretty much given Rafe Calpol every night – cue slight panic/worry. And it’s like risking getting bit by an angry shark when you try and put Bonjela in his mouth. Sleep has been a bit hit or miss and to be honest baby number 2 is keeping me up a bit already – so once again, looking like the bird lady from Home Alone 2. My husband is back after a few weeks away and I tried desperately to look half presentable but trying to shave any part of your body with a bump in the way is pretty impossible – so I look like a patch-work quilt. He's a lucky man...But back to teething, I know we just need to ride the storm. Unless anyone has any miracle cures?!
We have a walker!!! Well kind of…well actually, yes he is walking. He’s walking unaided, a few steps here and there and he has started trying to zoom off on his own – with success! He only walks on his own if he knows he has me – or something (the ball pool normally) to fall into if he wobbles. So although he’s not running around yet – he is on his feet walking – just going to take some confidence and time to be properly mobile. It’s such a relief to see him taking those first steps on his own as I know those who have followed me for a while know I’ve been slightly worried (damn you google and comparing to other babies) but as everyone said – he will walk in his own time. Might be another few weeks before he is properly going – but he obviously just wanted to get going when he was ready to. So anyone else worried – I hear ya! But honestly, 9 times out of 10, it is nothing to worry about – obviously if you’re concerned speak to a doctor but from all the messages of reassurance I’ve had – everyone has said, they all do it when they're ready – whether that be at 11 months – or 18 months. And by the time they’re all in the school yard – nobody is going to be able to tell who walked when – they’ll all be running around like tornados!
Rafe’s also started being more vocal. Although he hasn’t mastered any new words – he seems to just be picking up on the noises things make. So a car is brum, a dog is woof, a duck makes a very cute quacking sound – and a lion is rara. I guess it must be easier for him to make the sounds – rather than put the words together? Mum is still a firm favourite – and hiya. He’s also signing too – thanks to Justin on CBeebies, he’s been copying without me prompting which is cute. So I guess all these interactions – verbal and non-verbal are good signs, I think?!
Had a midwife appointment this week. Totally forgot I had one last week so got a note through the door saying how important appointments were and felt bad I had forgotten. Just had so much on my mind – and like I’ve said before, second pregnancy is so different. Not that I’m any less grateful or excited, especially now baby is moving more – you just kind of forget that you’re pregnant sometimes, you don’t take the bump photo, you don’t read about what size vegetable your baby is at the moment – then you feel guilty! But most important thing is midwife was happy, baby is moving well and heartbeat was strong. And baby is size of butternut squash head apparently. Only other thing midwife mentioned that although my urine sample came back with no trace of Strep B, because it is transient and it showed up a few weeks ago – they will still administer the antibiotics in labour, just to be safe. Which is good - better to be safe. I'm feeling so big! And literally can't stop eating. This baby is going to come out loving chocolate as much as I do...
On hols now for a couple of weeks and husband is on leave too, which could not come quick enough. Although getting some house renovating done, looking forward to (trying to) chill out and having some family time. It will be the last holiday/good stint of time off we have together before baby number 2 arrives – which is kind of scary! Once I get back, only 8 weeks left of work which is just madness. Still can’t quite believe we are doing it all again so soon – and feel like I have a million questions but think that’s best for another post...
Might take a little break from blog while on hols, not sure. Will see how the two weeks go! Will still share some photos – and mini updates – on Facebook and Instagram. But in the meantime, to those whose kiddos are also going through teething – I salute you. Sending straight vodka your way…
Oh and to end on a good note...Rafe was having butternut squash soup for lunch the other day, noticed some drip on the floor and Yankee started eating it. Few minutes later realised it wasn't soup but Rafe had done an explosive nappy and shit everywhere. Was one of those moments where for a few seconds, I didn't know how to deal with it. Just run?! We made it though, with shit everywhere, but we made it....
Till next time.
P.s And HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY! What can I say, not all heroes wear capes. Hope you all get to put your feet up and have a hot cuppa!