Sometimes you can just have a bit of bad week and are left feeling well and truly sorry for yourself. You miss your husband. You just want a little break from being ‘mum’. You want your eyebrows back. You need wine. Your pay has all but disappeared already. You still have morning sickness. You have milk blisters – why? How? Why? Why do these exist? You're exhausted. Then something stops you in your tracks and you realise what really matters. I watched a little bit of Dirty Dancing (classic) the other week and Rafe was loving the tunes. One in particular – ‘Do you Love Me’. So after being a negative Nancy all day, before bath-time, I put on that song. And Rafe’s face lit up, no joke. He zoomed towards me, I picked him up and we danced around the room like absolute idiots. And he laughed and laughed and he didn’t want the song to end. I realise that sounds cheesy AF, but most days this week, we have danced. And every time he hears that song, he knows what is coming. And those few minutes are absolute gold. And everything else does not matter. In years to come, when Rafe is a teenager and he doesn’t want to dance with his mum anymore, I’ll think of those few minutes of us dancing around the living room and I will smile. Because those are the memories and the moments I won’t ever forget. I will be able to close my eyes and go back to that very moment like I'm right there. I won't remember the milk blisters, or the monobrow or the difficulty and challenges that being a mum brings. The three minutes of one song, where it’s just me and my boy, dancing – and his laughter. Those moments are what matter. Because those are the moments that make everything worth it. Oh and now I'm crying. HELLO PREGNANCY HORMONES.
But hey, milk blisters. Hurt like a mothertrucker right?
Thank you for everyone’s messages of congratulations, strangely made it feel more real now I’d written it down. Thankfully, haven’t been sick for a few days now, still feeling queezy in the morning or if I’m hungry but feeling so much better. I had to see a consultant on Monday as because of Rafe’s hole in his heart, they want to do a further ultrasound after my 20-week scan, just to check this baby’s heart – as it was never picked up on any scans with Rafe. Sure it will be nothing to worry about but reassuring just to have that extra scan – and means I will see baby again. My 20 week’s scan is in a few weeks and my husband will still be away – he missed Rafe’s 20-week scan too. We never found out the sex last time round – I wasn’t tempted at all. I love surprises (husband doesn’t!) and there was and will never be another feeling like the midwife handing me my baby and finding out we had a boy. Best moment of my life. (Though I had an inkling it was a boy all along!) And also when my husband rang the grandparents to say "you have a grandson", that was so incredibly special. But I must admit, this time round I am slightly tempted, although I have that same inkling again, I’m tempted to find out just so I know whether we need to buy much clothes as have so much of Rafe’s stuff packed away. And just more curious this time round – but also, loved not knowing last time....Anybody else not find out the first time, but found out the second time round? I might get them to put the sex of the baby in an envelope as wouldn’t find out without my husband being there. Either way – it’s exciting. Just in two-minds what to do!
A few people have messaged me since I mentioned Rafe was sleeping through. In particular, about whether I weaned him off his night-feed and that was why he slept through. (We’ve had a few unsettled nights this week but just had to cuddle him back to sleep – he has a bit of a cough and I think was unsettled still from his dad not being here, but haven’t had to give him any milk). I mentioned in my blog before Christmas that I was thinking about trying to wean him off the boob in the night. Another reason for this was, which I didn’t mention then, was because I had really bad sickness around that time and was vomiting in the night and even though he was just feeding once in the night, I was just pretty worn out. And breastfeeding was taking it out of me. It wasn’t a pre-planned decision, I was still debating it, when one night over Christmas I was feeling really sick and Rafe woke up so I told my husband to try Rafe with a bottle of milk. He did of course, protest and cry to start with and was looking for me, which was hard I must admit. But the next night when he woke, he was a bit better, same the following night and then I think the fourth night, I gave him the bottle and he was happy and then the fifth night, my husband just had to cuddle him to sleep – didn’t need a bottle. Then he started sleeping through. I have no idea whether this is a coincidence or because he wasn’t getting the boob, he was able to settle himself and sleep through – or whether it was simply Rafe being able to sleep through because he was ready. I’m not sure! If he does wake up now, he doesn’t try and get to the boob but again, is that because he knows it might not be offered – or because he isn’t hungry? It’s so difficult as of course, breastfeeding is also about comfort, not just being hungry. So I feel guilt there – and also, guilty because should I have tried self-weaning? But I just don’t think he will self-wean and will not give up the boob willingly! It was gradual though as I haven’t dropped a breastfeed for a while, so maybe that helped too? He does do hour long feeds morning and before bed so well and truly stocks up! I just know it will be hard if he gets poorly and won’t settle as I know boob helps. Someone has recommended Dr Jay Gordon’s night weaning method which I think is quite gentle - which I was going to look into before sickness started and made the choice quite abruptly - so might be worth having a look if you're thinking of night weaning? At the end of the day, you do what you feel is right for you and baby. It’s always going to be hard, especially the first few days. I’m thinking of weaning Rafe completely in a few months. I wanted to feed till he self-weaned or up until he was two and I know you can tandem feed both newborn and toddler but I honestly would find that quite tough. Also heard your milk supply start to drop in your second trimester, anyone found this? So yes, I feel guilty and feel deeply sad that my breastfeeding journey with Rafe will be ending in the next few months (going to wait to try when husband is back and drop morning feed then before bed feed) but I know, without sounding full of myself, it’s an achievement breastfeeding this far. And it's been amazing. So amazing. Oh dear, now the tears are coming…damn you hormones!
And still on the breastfeeding front. MILK BLISTERS. What the fuck? Those bad lads are hell. I’ve never really had then before, or at least I thought I did but cripes. So fucking painful. I’ve been bathing my nip in Epsom salts and then the blisters have naturally opened so basically I have open wounds on my nipple that are bleeding slightly and when Rafe nurses, it is horrendous. But they have started to clear up thankfully. Honestly, women are hard as nails, the amount of shit we put up with!
Think that’s enough blister talk for now....Till next time,
Royal Marine Wife. Mum to Rafe.