It’s a sobering reminder your body has gone south (quite literally) since having a baby when you catch yourself in a car window and it’s not a stretch of the imagination to think you could do knees up with your own saggy ass boobs. Just as I’ve written about mourning your old life – I most definitely mourn my pre-baby body. Some days I don’t care that my hips are still so wide I can’t get my skinny jeans over them - or my boobs look like spaniel ears. I know I am incredibly lucky. I never forget that. But other times I catch a glimpse of myself in a car window and I get a bit upset. And I look at photos of my body before Rafe and I think I’ll never look like that again. I know I'm not overweight but its just things aren't quite in the right place anymore. I know some women snap back into shape after giving birth, some without needing to do much, some have to try a lot harder, some never lose a lot of the weight. And some look better after baby. I guess I naively thought that I would bounce back - but my hips don't lie. It’s undeniable it’s incredible to be pregnant and have a baby. But at the same time - wouldn’t mind my boobs back. Or for my tummy to not look like a bag of sand.
So after the window reflection incident and mini meltdown, I went for my first run in a long time with my friend and was close to needing an ambulance. But it’s a start. I just go through stages of really wanting to get back into running and doing more exercise. To then not caring and eating a full pack of custard creams. I just do miss being fit and being able to run without passing out. I think what I need is a goal. So I’m going on my first proper girls' night at the end of June to Bongo Bingos in Newcastle (I am so excited!) and I'd rather not wear a nursing top or need to worry about giving myself a black eye with my spaniel ears while dancing. So I’m thinking of aiming to get comfortably into one of my favourite dresses. To be able to catch my reflection in the mirror and not cry. (Slightly dramatic I know.) So I’m going to try and start running more – maybe download a fitness app that I’ve been threatening to do for months and not empty the biscuit tin everyday. I've already started on the biscuit tin this morning so I’ll let you know how I get on...Has anyone got a recommendation for a good fitness app?
Rafe has been poorly this week and we actually had to take him to hospital just to get checked over. He’s just got a cold and a cough which was the GP’s main concern. I think with his heart, he was just being extra cautious sending him to get checked out by a paediatrician, but he’s just got a vital infection. He’s fine within himself really, just sounds horrendous when he coughs and was a little worrying having to be at hospital again but he's a little champ and feeling better!
He’s been a bit off his food (not milk) so when I tried doing more baby-led weaning the other day (porridge fingers) he wasn’t a fan. And basically the dog had porridge for breakfast as it all ended up on the floor. Think I’ll just stick with the purée for now and when he’s better start him on more finger foods. It’s difficult as I feel like I know how much he’s getting when he’s having what I make purée wise for him and I don’t feel like he’d actually eat much if he was feeding himself, but know they say milk is still the most important food for now. Who knows? It's a minefield. Will just do a bit of trial and error for now and my dog will continue to hoover up any food going spare.
Nap update: Still a 30 minute King and now he can take up to half and hour to fall asleep in the pushchair so I am basically walking 500 miles a day to get him to sleep. So winning on the nap front as always!
Best go. My husband is really hungover so I need him to feel the rage.
P.s Sorry if I haven't replied to any messages - will do so ASAP!
Back in the early weeks it really was a conveyor belt of feeding, changing, feeding, changing. But now we've introduced solids, I genuinely don't know how I'm supposed to fit everything into one day. So I'm still to breastfeed the same number of feeds. As well as fitting in solids - breakfast, lunch, tea and naps (shudder). Don't forget about tummy time, playtime, a bit of MrTumble (why can't I get theJustin's House song out of my flipping head?) and take Rafe out in the pushchair. Fit in a baby class some days. Prepare Rafe's meals for the week. I need to spend hours making my own chicken stock apparently. Love, I don't have time to pluck my moustache - never-mind simmer down chicken bones for a child who sticks a lot of food up his nose. I'm sure I've missed something....Can you tell I'm in routine, stress hell again? And I said I was going to take up baking once baby was born. HAHA! Jog on pet.
So this week we've just went up to three meals a day. Originally was just doing breakfast and lunch - then changed to just breakfast and tea (dinner). I guess I've went for the gradual approach with weaning but to be honest, Rafe will pretty much hoover anything (except milk from a bottle) that is put in front of him. His dad is exactly the same. We're still doing a mix of purée and very basic baby-led at the moment. I think I'll venture more into finger foods in the next two weeks but at the moment I'm giving him, say chicken and veg purée (using low-salt stock cubes, sorry Anabelle) with a stick of cucumber, which he loves to have a little munch on. Or Ready Brek/Weetabix and banana and he has a bit of toast too. I don't think I'll be winning any baby weaning book awards though. 🙈 (We are using Anabelle Karmel new complete baby and toddler meal planner at the mo and just bought Gill Rapley 's baby-led weaning book.) So as well as the 'Am I feeding my baby the right foods?, Am I a bad mum for not making my own stock? (Mum guilt)' worries, my head has been boggled with when to feed Rafe. At first, I was feeding him solids around an hour and a half after his breastfeed but then that was cutting into nap time and felt really rushed. So now I've been feeding him not much longer after his booby feed. (So I normally feed 7,10,1,4, but more on demand if he wants, then after bath which is normally 5.30/45 - so he normally has breakfast 8ish. Lunch 1.45ish and tea, 4.45.) So I feel like I am literally tanking the child up to the max - especially at bedtime as it's literally milk, solids, milk. But he doesn't seem to mind. I kind of figure that when I start dropping feeds and replacing with solids - it will work itself out. I haven't a fucking clue to be honest. Anyone that says that maternity leave must be relaxing hasn't spent a morning with me. What does everyone else do schedule wise? Please tell me someone else is as confused as me. 🙈
Also. When did you start dropping feeds? I've read it's normally between 7-9 months and you need to 'let your baby guide you' but to be honest, I don't think Rafe will ever refuse the boob - or food. What feed do you know when to drop? Or at least guide them to drop?
Speaking of breastfeeding. I've kind of given up trying the bottle. I just think that once he starts dropping feeds - I'll get a bit of a break. I think I do need to maybe try again - just so I can really let my hair down one night (it's been a loonngggg time) and not worry about Rafe. But maybe I'll just never have tequila shots again. Which may not be a bad thing. The last time I did tequila shots I was doing air guitar in the middle of a pub in Arbroath while my husband watched on with his friends pretending he didn't know me. Good times.
How lush has the weather been? Although I'll never complain about the sunshine. It has brought up some challenges. Like, what do I dresss Rafe in? Will he be too hot? What about at night? Why do I look like a milk bottle? How hot will I get in my maternity leggings? I've been watching everyone post their photos on Instagram, wearing their lovely summer skimpy wardrobes - and there's me still covered head to toe. Dare not get my pasty white legs out - and plus it would take me about a day to shave head to toe so I'd rather just melt in the sun, than get my saggy postpartum body out to the world. Plus my wardrobe is either - maternity clothes - clothes I can't fit into - and going out clothes I most certainly can't wear at the moment. So I only have one option really. Maternity leggings, nursing top or baggy t-shirt and husband's socks to cover my hairy legs. Perfect summer attire. I'll be featuring in Grazia's fashion column next week.
We started a new class this week - baby yoga and massage. Which I think we will really enjoy. It's more about Rafe doing little yoga poses and the woman who does it is literally the happiest, loving life woman I've ever met so it's nice to meet someone as polar opposite to me. Jokes...
Rafe can sit up on his own! He's been wobbly for weeks and obviously still topples over but is really quite confident now so had a proper proud mum moment. Seriously though - don't you wish you could just pause time sometimes? He's just growing so fast.
Anyway, best go, Rafe will be up from his THIRTY MINUTE nap anytime soon. Until next week....
As I am such a calm, relaxed person, taking a six month old to Iceland for a few days for a family wedding was a breeze. I wasn't constantly on nap patrol. Or shouting at every member of my family to HURRY THE....UP or DO NOT WAKE THE BABY OR I WILL END YOU. I didn't stress once about routine - or naps. Like, not at all. Or getting my boobs out in public (for feeding - not because I was drunk). Or whether Rafe's ears would pop on the plane or if he'd have explosive poo's on the beautiful bride's dress. I didn't want to jump over the airport check-in desk when they said Rafe wasn't booked on to the flight. My husband didn't think about divorce once. Was a breeze...
Honestly though - had an amazing time and Rafe was a legend. Basically - anyone who is about to travel with a baby, best advice I was given. Expect the worst and be pleasantly surprised! (And have a divorce lawyer on speed dial - JOKES....)
So after all the initial worries we had an amazing time. And Rafe really was as good as gold. There was a lot of travelling, plane and car - staying in four different places throughout the trip. Late nights. Disruptive routine (queue panic stations), being passed around different people - and he took it all in his tiny stride. We obviously had mishaps and he was quite unsettled during the evenings (exhaustion and where the fuck am I moments?) some nights but I think I was more rabbit in a headlights than he was. I did have to have a word with myself when we got there. We had landed in Iceland and were on our way to our first destination and it had been a long day and still had a three hour drive. Rafe was knackered and it was way passed his bedtime and I was having a slight nervous breakdown in the car while he had a bit of a cry. Then I looked out the window at the mountains covered in snow and realised where I was. And how beautiful it was. And how I was on our first family holiday. And all I was doing was stressing the fuck out about sleep, naps and routine. Rafe was okay. A few late nights aren't the end of the world. And I was missing out on enjoying the holiday. And was close to sending my whole family over the edge. And we'd just arrived! So anyone who is going away soon, all I would say is CALM THE FUCK DOWN! Routine, naps, sleep is all going to go out the window. So just accept it. And don't let it ruin the holiday. I mean do you think your husband is running around frantically panicking about when his child is going to have a nap? Pretty sure he's probably just thinking, I wish my wife would chill the fuck out and when can I have my first beer.
Someone asked me to give some tips on travelling with a baby and I feel like all of you gave me the best bits of advice (thank you!) but here's a few that worked for me. (Just incase you haven't reliased, I was most worried about the flight - and his routine going tits up.)
My husband was great - I joke about the divorce lawyer but I didn't get that much rage. He put up with my mini-meltdowns and I only wanted to scream WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK ARE YOU DOING? a couple of times. Like when he came in the room at midnight from the wedding mortal, and instead of using the keys quietly, he knocked on the door and 'whispered' IT'S ME. And woke up Rafe. So that was a fucking laugh a minute. But we survived!
While we were away, Rafe turned six months old. Seriously, where has the time gone? I swear I just held my baby boy for the first time yesterday. He's just growing up so fast and it's just incredible watching him change and see his little personality. He can sit up on his own - but not for long and still has plenty of wobbly moments but it's just crazy seeing him sat on the floor like a proper big boy. He still flat out refuses to roll over (even though he can do front to back) and hates tummy time - but I was told babies can only master one skill at a time. He's also so chatty and although he's been giggling for a couple of months, he's doing proper laughs now. Which literally makes my day. I've never met anyone who finds me as funny as Rafe does. Though I do look pretty hilarious most days. One of the milestones babies are supposed to reach at six months - according to some baby books - is sleeping through the night. Fuck if that is ever going to happen. Although Rafe some nights has just been waking up once for a feed anytime between 12-3. But it's so hit and miss. The other night he went from 7-3 before waking for a feed. WHAT?!! So the next night I thought I'd go to bed really early to try and capitalise on sleep - imagine sleeping for eight hours? I think I would cry. I also thought if I get a good nights sleep, I'll be super refreshed. I'll get up. Wash my hair, try and look presentable/less tramp like and do some exercise in the evening. So I went to bed at 8. And did Rafe wake up at 3? What do you think? Stirred at 10, woke up at 11, tired to settle him but no joy, fed him at 12, then woke again at 4.30, then 6.30. So I got up, dry shampoo on hair and that evening ate a 'more to share' bag of maltesers all to myself. The intention was there.
Rafe has also decided he can't self-settle at bedtime anymore. He can through the night but before bed, he's not having any of it. He might be still unsettled from the holiday - or he has been quite windy - or he just wants to keep me on my toes. I'm hoping he will settle again because doing the whole teaching to self-settle is as fun as sticking pins in my eyes. (Why is it that babies can scream the house down and as soon as you pick them up - they are knocking out z'ds?) I'm hoping that this isn't...I dare write it down. The six month sleep regression someone mentioned when we were deep in the shit of the four month sleep regression. I've only just recovered from that one. Send help if it is. And tequila. Oh, talking of help. Naps. Well we are still on 30 minutes - in the pram. The odd few times he has done longer but trying to get him to nap in the cot is still pretty impossible. But not giving up! Just feel like I need to have vodka on standby when I attempt napping in the cot. Although another mum contacted me and said her son was the same as Rafe and loved a catnap - but he is one now and has amazing naps. So there is hope.
I have a million questions about weaning and routine but feel like I have blabbed on far too much so will keep them for next week!! But what I will say - the first solid poo. OH MY GOD HOW CAN IT SMELL THAT BAD?
Rafe was weighed the other day and he is 17Ib. So doubled his birth weight - and more so feeling proud. He's a proper chunky monster now!
And finally, thank you to everyone for their comments and for sharing my last post. Just as you say my blog helps you - knowing other people are going through what I'm going through keeps me almost sane! So thank you.
Royal Marine Wife. Mum to Rafe.