Hands up if your child went back to nursery after Christmas break and is now poorly? Damn you nursery germs.
But on a very positive note – I heard baby's heartbeat this week. Forgot how it is one of those moments where time really does stops still. ❤
So yes. Yet again – nursery germs strikes. Though could also be the toddler groups he goes too but either way, we have a snotty boy with an ear and skin infection. Started last Sunday where he woke up and was roasting hot and had a temperature most of the day. I was at work on Monday so my parents had to take him to the doctors (hello mum guilt). The dermatitis on his face is infected and he also had an ear infection, which he was given antibiotics for. So he is not quite himself, off his food, not sleeping great (send help) and is loaded with snot. And since Thursday he has developed a cough and the poor champ has been up all night coughing, which not going to lie. Has been pretty tough as kind of wrecked and I can't have wine - or cups and cups of coffee!! Hopefully he will be back to his old self soon though. He was off nursery this week – so kind of dreading him going back again next week. What will he catch this time round?! Yes, I know it’s all good for his immune system in the long-term, it’s just not so fun right now is it?
It has been a bit of a tough week, just not sleeping great in general thanks to needing to pee every five minutes – and also Rafe has been really, really unsettled. But we are one more week closer to my husband coming back (hopefully next month) so just slowly adding to the things he needs to do/help me with when he’s back. Basically – you do everything pal. I’ll sit here and watch Peaky Blinders. (Thank you for the recommendations on box sets – decided to start with Peaky Blinders – as Tommy, well he ain’t bad to look at is he?)
Had my 16-week midwife appointment this week. They never checked to hear Rafe’s heartbeat at my 16-week appointment in Scotland so it was a nice surprise they did this time. The midwife found the heartbeat straight away and I forgot how special that moment was. Like, there is an actual baby inside my tummy! I have to do another urine sample as my last tests showed either a) I have a urine infection b) I have Strep B c) It was a contaminated sample. If it is Strep B, I will have to be given an IV of antibiotics during labour. I was a bit alarmed when she put a big sticker on the front of my notes saying ‘ALERT!’ Group B Strep but the midwife assured me it was nothing to be worried about. Did anyone else find out they had Strep B when they were pregnant?
I started pregnancy yoga classes this week. Last time round I followed a DVD which was great – but there is literally a class round the corner to me so I thought I’d give it a try. It was just what I needed to be honest – although gentle, I was reminded about how unflexible I actually am – with or without bump. The class is very focused on breathing and hypnobirthing techniques which is so relaxing – but I must admit I did struggle a little. At the beginning of the class, the teacher had us focus on breathing and imaging the different stages of labour. Naturally, I started having flashbacks. But I was in the best place to try and ground myself which was what I was taught in my sessions but it did make me realise as much as I can think to myself “I’m fine now” – although I might be able to deal with the flashbacks better than before I got help, I don’t think that memory of the fear will ever disappear. The trauma may feel less painful and 'real' but will always be there in some form. And there is always going to be triggers and moments that are difficult for me. And that is why I am going to reach out to someone to enquire about hypnobirthing classes (thank you to everyone who recommended looking into them). They are pricey but I think for me, personally, may be really what I need. I don’t want to go into labour anymore terrified than I need to be. Without putting any pressure on myself to have 'the perfect birth' this time round. I'm not even thinking that far ahead yet to be honest, but don't know whether I'm doing that subconsciously or whether it's because I have so much else going on.
This week I have had really bad dizzy spells – did anyone else experience these during pregnancy? I can’t remember having these first time round. Also been extra moody too – but some might say it’s just my normal winning personality. Also feeling HUGE! Okay, I know I’m not huge but comparing bump photos, I look more like I was when I was 19-20 weeks. But I know people say you seem to show more second time round. But all the dizzy spells, mood swings and feeling podgy, don’t really matter when you hear that heartbeat – and also feel those first flutters, which I felt this week. It was around 19 weeks with Rafe but I think because I am more aware this time round as know what to feel, I’ve been able to feel movement this early, rather than thinking I’m just going to fart. There’s no other feeling like it. And suddenly makes it more real. Like I’m actually having a baby. I’m pregnant again. Madness. Good madness.
Really missing my husband this week. It's hard to try and fill in the weekends sometimes. It's a time where my friends have their own plans with their husband and kids, as I would if Chris would be back. And it's not like the 'good old days' of the 20's where I could always rely on one friend to go boozing with! But know this trip is nothing compared to the months and months he's been away before so just need to try suck it up! But it is hard. So if anyone has any stories about how annoying their partner has been this week, please share so I am reminded how annoying my own husband can be!!
Until next time,
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,
So we have some news….
Two under two. A breeze right?
So yes, that pouch isn’t just chocolate, turkey and more chocolate. Baby number 2 is on the way! Just got over the slight suprise but feeling so very lucky. We weren’t exactly trying – but also not exactly being cautious. (You can fall pregnant when not using contraception you know? Who would have thought it?!) But I’m a firm believer in ‘what’s meant to be’ and this was a very lovely ‘surprise’. I’m almost 15 weeks now and this first trimester has well and truly kicked me in the metaphorical balls. I didn’t have much sickness with Rafe but I am still being sick most mornings – but on a positive note, I just tend to wretch throughout the day and not actually be sick so winning on that front. I can eat – it’s just hit or miss whether I might barf or not. But I know some women can't even keep anything down and are so poorly so I know I'm lucky I'm not as bad as that. Pregnancy is so glamourous right? But I must admit, it has been quite a challenge looking after Rafe, especially when I’m breastfeeding and feeling/about to be sick but thankfully my husband has been back over Christmas so has been a huge support. And even though I feel like I was pregnant just yesterday, I have forgotten how exhausted you feel. And would you believe, these past two weeks where I haven't been able to sleep, RAFE HAS BEEN SLEEPING THROUGH THE NIGHT. I know, shut the front door. Finally! But I have major pregnancy insomnia + feeling sick + nèeding a wee + waking up expecting Rafe to wake up but hey, Rafe is sleeping through so let’s all have a moment of contemplation here to reflect on how this is an ACTUAL MIRACLE. I wish I could share some words of wisdom but it just happened. Yes, I’m annoying I know. But there is hope!! The only thing I do differently is the humidifier I would only use if Rafe had a cold, is always on every night. He has mostly been in his 3.5 tog sleeping bag as it really has been getting quite nippy in his room – and I guess we have been so busy he has been worn out most days. So don't know if any of these things have helped. But hoping we have just turned a new corner and he has finally learnt that sleeping is AMAZING. Still hates naps though. But hey, can’t win them all can you?
So yes, this pregnancy is already feeling so different. I feel so guilty saying this but unlike last time, where I was taking bump pictures every week, checking what size baby is, I keep forgetting this time round. Having a toddler – plus working and putting on 50 loads of washing a day kind of takes over. It’s like I sometimes forget I am pregnant, if it wasn’t for the being sick every morning, I think some days I would forget. Other mums have reassured me that this is normal and second pregnancy and baby is so different – but of course not less special. I’m just taking each day as it comes. I haven’t even thought as far ahead as the birth yet, I don’t know whether that is me subconsciously doing this because of what happened during labour with Rafe or simply because I just haven’t thought about it. It’s hard when it’s so early on, I remember it was only until after the 20-week scan with Rafe I started thinking – oh I’m having a baby. I'm really trying to be as positive as I can right now and focus on how very lucky we are but know I can get support if I need it.
I do feel worried about Rafe though. It might be the hormones but I do get so emotional thinking about how Rafe will cope when baby arrives. I just don’t want him to feel left out. He’s still my baby! I know having two so close together will be lovely for them (I think it’s another boy) and he will love being a big brother, but I do worry. But I plan to just try and chill the fuck out and try not to worry. But anyone who knows me will know I am chief worrier of the worriers...and my hormones are on another level right now!
So...the past two weeks. We’ve had such lovely family time. (Hope you all had an amazing Christmas and Happy New Year! How fast did it go? I swear I blinked and was back to work.) Rafe seems to have changed so much in such a short space of time. He’s still not walking yet but is more confident on his feet and he is chatting more (he basically has just been saying mum, mum, mum over and over, but has started saying dad, dada, hiya and then random other babbles). And he’s laughing so much more. He’s gone from being quite a serious baby to just giggling away which is just so special. He’s just turned into a proper toddler. And has developed a little temper. Not quite a tantrum but if he gets frustrated or you tell him no, he does this hilarious facial expression and basically has a little huff. I’ve been warned the terrible two tantrums are on another level though...
We had him at the doctors this week as he has had a little rash on his face for weeks but just thought it was sensitive skin as would come and go, but it got quite bad over Christmas so we have some steroid cream for him. Felt major guilt for not taking him sooner but hopefully it will clear up in the next few days. I feel like I have loads more to tell you/I have rambled on but I have also forgot what day it is – but baby news is pretty big announcement ay?!
My husband is overseas for a bit which has been a little unsettling for Rafe these past couple of days. Obviously he doesn’t understand but we’ve been so lucky to have my husband around for three weeks as the week before Christmas he was working in the North East so was able to bath Rafe every night and then for two weeks over the hols, he was with Rafe pretty much all day everyday. It’s hard as you get so used to them being around when they are on leave and then when they go away again, you have to get back into your old routine of just you. And baby and dog. It's hard/sad/lonely but you soon do. And you've just got to get on with it. I feel upset for Rafe as know he misses him in his own way even though he doesn’t know what it means but I play a video of his dad every morning and night and his little face just lights up. I know my husband will find it hard too but sure the time will whizz by. In the meantime – I need box set/series/documentary suggestions please?!
So I think that's it for this week...So yes, my blog will take a slightly different turn, it will be a mix of the adventures of life with a toddler, being pregnant and then when baby number 2 comes – what life is like with two under two....A pretty amazing adventure. But maybe a little bit tough?
What a year.
I’d say that this year has been one of the most difficult – and the best years of my life. Having to deal with not only the four-month sleep regression – IT WILL HAUNT ME FOREVER – but coming to terms with the trauma of Rafe’s birth really hit me pretty hard. And it hasn’t been easy. All the bits in-between have been slightly challenging too…Walking miles to get Rafe to sleep, getting rage at wheelie bins, hating my husband for snoring while I nursed Rafe, getting mastitis – which HURTS LIKE A MOTHER-FUCKER. The loneliness, the realisation your boobs will never be the same, the exhaustion which actually makes you hallucinate (I thought my neighbour’s house was on fire – thanks four-month sleep regression), the worry that you just aren’t doing anything right. And some days you just want to cry. But even though I’ve had some of my toughest moments – I wouldn’t change it for the world. Well maybe my husband for Tom Hardy. JOKES…But being a mum has changed me more than I ever thought it would. I never thought I could love someone so much. And I look at Rafe every day and feel so incredibly lucky. He’s gone from being this teeny tiny baby, still only a few months old at the start of the year – to this whirlwind of a toddler who makes me laugh every day. He is an absolute superstar.
Thank you to all of you for being with me throughout this past year. Your advice and support always means so much. It’s so good to know I’m not the only one going through what I am going through. And I know some of you had a really tough year – but remember, us mums. We are pretty fucking fabulous. And to your son, your daughter – you really are their world. They don’t care if you have saggy ass boobs and a moustache. (My New Year’s resolution is to stop looking like a troll….wish me luck). Rudyard Kipling wrote, ‘God could not be everywhere and therefore he made mothers’. Which even if you're not religious, is pretty beautiful. So don’t forget to tell yourself how fabulous (say this in John Barrowman's voice) you are – even at 3am when you're up for what feels like the 50,000th time. You're doing amazing.
I just want to wish you all a Merry Christmas – and wish you lots of love and happiness for the New Year. Please do a few shots of tequila on Christmas Day for me!
I’ll be sharing some photos over the Christmas hols on here and more on Instagram, but ‘officially’ I’ll be ‘seeing’ you all next year!
On the 1st day of Christmas, my true love sent to me, a toddler whose nose is runny,
On the 2nd day of Christmas, my true love sent to me, an ‘up all night’ cough and a toddler whose nose is runny,
On the 3rd day of Christmas, my true love sent to me, no sleep and a toddler whose nose is runny….
Hands up who has yet another poorly baby with the 5,000th cough and cold? I love Christmas. Hate winter bugs.
I honestly feel so sorry for Rafe. He was just getting better and then bamb another cold and cough! And yes, I know this is all good for his immune system and he will hopefully not be ill much when he is at school but fucking hell – give the poor lad a break. He’s been so blocked up, had to stand in the bathroom, running the hot tap and shower to unblock his nose throughout the night. He’s understandably not sleeping great but hoping he is coming out the other end of it. He was much better for nursery on Wednesday but if he picks up another bug I may have a nervous breakdown. Okay, slightly dramatic but it’s awful to see your baby poorly and there’s nothing you can do. I have been recommended Sambucol Kids to give Rafe over the winter – it’s basically like a vitamin tonic (for over 1’s), which is supposed to boost their immune system I think. So worth a try! PLEASE WORK.
So yes, been a bit of a rough beginning of the week but thankfully my husband is working in the North East before his Christmas leave so he has been able to help out at night. And only wanted to kill him a couple of times while he was snoring and I was feeding. While he is back, I’m thinking of trying to replace Rafe’s night-time boobie feed (still feed morning and before bed too) with cow's milk. I still want to carry on breastfeeding but honestly, I’m just bloody knackered and I do think that he doesn’t need (unless he’s poorly and needs comfort) even my milk in the night as he can and does sometimes sleep through and eating plenty too. But it’s hard as I am torn because I know especially when he is ill, boobs are great for comfort. So I’m not sure – anyone else give a bottle of milk in the night? Any advice? Or does he even need a bottle in the night? Just don’t know what to do for best, just a bit conflicted at the mo – think I’m just a tad frazzled. And I look like a troll. And with my husband home for a decent stint, I was thinking it might be the time to try and drop another feed while he is home. Help! Or maybe just having one of those weeks!
Next week will be my last post before Christmas and was going to have a little break (still post pictures on Instagram and here) from the blog till the New Year. Just wanted to be reassured that people are still enjoying what I am writing, the format week by week, or they want more/less content? Obviously some weeks I can write an essay – but other weeks not so much – so I know I’ve asked this before but don’t know whether to still keep the same format (weekly blog if I can), as well as sharing more photos on both Instagram and here?? Let me know what you think, value all your opinion. I actually can’t believe I have almost 2,000 followers! Amazeballs. You’re all legends.
Till next week,
I’ve always loved Christmas. But as you are rather dramatically told (after you have had a baby – nobody tells you this before) that you will at some point during those early weeks and months, ‘mourn your old life’ – well that definitely hit home for me during last Christmas. Although it was of course, so incredibly special as it was Rafe’s first Christmas, I must admit I did feel rather sorry for myself too. Don’t get me wrong – I knew how incredibly lucky I was. But there was a lot going on inside my little head (I understand more about that now) and Rafe was only a few months old and I really didn't (and still don’t) know if I was doing anything right at all. And for me, before Rafe, Christmas had of course been about being home and being with my family and friends. But honestly – without sounding like a plonky – it was also a time where there would be a merry amount of booze consumed. Especially when I was younger and didn’t have crow’s feet and saggy boobs, Christmas Eve in Whitley Bay was like the best night ever. Starting in Weatherspoon’s, drinking a jug of woo woo and dancing to Christmas songs all night was at the time – pretty fabulous. And a few years ago, I loved going out on Boxing Day for a ‘few’ drinks (and shots of tequila) with my friends. And I remember last year, sitting upstairs while my family all chinked their prosecco glasses while I was trying to get Rafe to latch on and I felt a mixture of guilt because I had my little boy and was so lucky – but also aware that I wasn’t going to be drinking tequila and singing Mariah Carey and I felt well - a bit pump. And it wasn’t about the boozing that I was missing – I guess it just hit home that my ‘carefree’ life where I could pretty much go out anytime I wanted, wherever I wanted, at the drop of a hat with a shot of tequila – well that was over. And I wasn’t ‘mourning’ the jugs of woo woo, I just realised the ‘old’ me had become the Ghost of Christmas past. But you know what? What is even more special? MORE SPECIAL THAN GETTING DRUNK TO MARIAH CAREY? You ask. Seeing Rafe’s face light up when he sees the Christmas tree for the first time after his mum and dad tried quietly to put it up – without killing each other the night before. Although he still doesn’t really have a clue what is going on, it just feels even more magical. Like real magic. And I love Christmas even more than I ever did. And in years to come, when Rafe believes in Santa – he can leave him a couple of shots of tequila and a jug of woo woo out for Rudolph….
Like I said last week, I’ve been a bit poorly which hasn’t been overly fun and juat as I was thinking, it's been almost two weeks of no nursery germs...Rafe has literally just come down with another cough and cold. Last night was particularly rough as he was so blocked up, coughing and teething. His big bad boy teeth are coming in (think that's the right term) so he is really not happy. Poor lad. Amen to Calpol and baby Bonjela.
Literally counting down the days until the Christmas holidays – it will be the first chunk of time I have had with Rafe since maternity leave. And my husband is home so just looking forward to family time – and having Chris do everything. Jokes…Although his Christmas leave will be a bit bittersweet as early January he is going away for a couple of months so not overly excited about that. He’s been away since we had Rafe, but not for such a long stint where he won’t get to come home at all and contact might not be great. So although he’s not around normally during the week, we’ve been lucky for a while that he’s been home most weekends. But we will survive, just always the thought of it and those first few days that are really hard. Will just have to stock up on the chocolate and make sure I have plans to keep us busy every weekend and fingers crossed it will fly by.
Rafe’s not walking yet – and some days just doesn’t seem bothered to try at all. At first I was starting to worry as I was comparing him to other babies of the same age who had been walking for a while – but I need to not do that. And remember he will walk when he is ready. I remember the health visitor saying some babies don’t walk till 16-18 months and that’s normal. He just loves whizzing around crawling at the moment. We try and encourage him best we can but at the end of the day, Chris and I are incredibly stubborn and like us, if Rafe doesn’t want to do something. He simply won’t! So will see. Would be nice to think he will be wobbling around over Christmas – but equally I’m not going to stress about it if he doesn’t. He’s at such a special age at the moment that I am just loving seeing how he is developing his little personality every day. The way he chats away (no idea what he is saying!) to himself in the morning, to how he loves to share his food/stuff it in your face and how he finds it hilarious if you jump out and give him a shock. I’ve been watching Babies, Their Wonderful World on BBC 2 (highly recommend) which looks at the incredible changes in the first two years of life and it is just fascinating. You don’t actually realise how much babies are taking in at such a young age. So best start curbing the ‘what the fuck are you doing?’ conversations with my husband….
Until next week,
As much as I am a huge advocate for breastfeeding, I am also very aware of how exhausting it can be. Especially in those early days. And as we have plodded on and come over some pretty big hurdles, now Rafe is 13 months, as I have said previously, it is something I have grown to love and cry every time I think of that last breastfeed we will have. And I almost forgot, with him only nursing morning, before bed and once in the night, (all quite short feeds) how much it can drain you. Not just physically – my boobs resemble a Bloodhound’s ears, my skin is so dry – my feet, my feet look like something from Lord of the Ring’s – I’m basically a mummified corpse. So, yes, physically draining – and mentally too. With Rafe being poorly, he has totally gone off his food (something else to worry about…) so he has been having mammoth nursing sessions lasting over an hour. Which I forgot how hard they can be sometimes. A much-needed comfort and nourishment for Rafe but I think the exhaustion of being up so much in the night with this never-ending cough and cold and nursing for hours on end, I feel like the life has been sucked out of me. Slightly dramatic I know but like I’ve drank that Hocus Pocus potion and my youth has been stolen. Again, dramatic I know. Think I just need a spa day, a full-night’s sleep, someone to pluck my eyebrows, shave my legs, a spray tan, a bottle of wine with friends…Just maybe a few hours where I don’t need to work, take the dog out, feed the baby, change the baby, clean the house, put another load in the washing machine, have a poo in peace - just some me time. What is that?! Urgh, now I feel selfish (damn you mum guilt) as Rafe is a snot monster at the moment and it’s not his fault he’s poorly (NURSERY GERMS) but guess I’m just a bit Hocus Pocus’d out. Can anyone else relate?
So yes. Poor Rafe is still poorly – he is getting better but this cold and damn flipping cough is just lingering on and on. The last cough he had lasted bloody five weeks – honestly if he is ill for Christmas I will cry. Positive thoughts Faye, positive thoughts. I kept him off nursery this week but when he goes back next week (I hope he is well by then) I am honestly dreading what he is going to catch next. Yes, I know it is good for him in the long run and his immune system but the thought of going through another cold, cough, viral rash, if he does get hand foot and mouth, chickenpox…just fills me with absolute dread. I just feel like we haven’t had proper happy Rafe for a while now and just snotty, tired and grumpy Rafe. He came into my bed the other night as was just so snotty and upset and he fell asleep holding my face and although I was so tired and just wanted sleep, it was the cutest thing in the world and although he is poorly and I’m a mummified corpse, it was a precious moment that I needed.
Oh Lordy, this is turning into a moaning mini post! So…Christmas! Too soon? I know it’s still only November but we have got into the Christmas spirit this weekend and has done us all good. I managed to get tickets for Fenwick’s (department store in Newcastle if you have't heard of it) Santa’s roof top experience. There's a couple of experiences you can do, we chose to watch The Snowman, eat popcorn and drink mulled wine. Also met Santa's elves obviously! Was so lovely. And Rafe didn't try and escape and sat relatively still though was enhaling popcorn for most of it. And Rafe saw his first Fenwick’s window which carried on the Snowman theme which was just magical. My mum and dad took my brother and I every Christmas when we were little so it’s so lovely to carry on that tradition. I also wore make-up for the first time in a long time and even straightened my hair so was nice to feel half human! We are off to see our local Christmas light switch on later so well and truly getting into the Christmas spirit. Can’t wait to eat my body weight in food.
I thought I had gotten over the stress of what Rafe should wear underneath his flipping sleeping bag but prepare for questions….so it has been getting quite cold in his room at night – going down to about 16 degrees. At the mo he is in a 2.5 tog with a vest and babygrow but I have bought a 3.5 tog but now I don’t know whether that will be too hot for him? Help! When he goes to bed, because the heating is on, it’s normally 20-21 and then gradually drops. I think he might be too hot in the 3.5 straight away – but then don’t want to disrupt him by changing him in the night but guess I could change him mid feed but want to keep him sleepy. HELP!!
Again, a bit of a short one this week. I’m off for my spa day…WHO AM I KIDDING? Need to take the dog out, put another wash in…
Nursery can be great for interacting with other children and for learning and development. But you know what it is NOT good for? GERMS. NASTY NASTY GERMS. Basically nursery is a place where germs go to party. Finally, after over a month of Rafe being poorly with a cough and viral rash – a few days into feeling well again. BAMB. He is loaded – and I mean loaded with cold. (I have to wash his sheets every day as they are green. Yup, barf.) He has another ear infection and also we suspected hand foot and mouth. I have been dreading that bad lad for a long time. I had to go and get him from nursery on Wednesday as he was not settling (he had a cold, but seemed okay, although did scream when I left) and they noticed a couple of blisters in his mouth – and he does have a little rash around his mouth too. They’ve had a case of hand foot and mouth going around so they thought it was best to get him home. Major mum guilt again as when I walked in he was crying and I thought they might think I was the worst mum ever for not noticing the blisters. But I thought it was just from banging his lip – really didn’t think anything of it to be honest. So felt like poo. And you know what I should have not mentioned last week? I should never have uttered those blissful words ‘my baby is sleeping through the night’ – as well, that has gone out the window. Poor bubs is coughing and sniffling all night. It’s literally never ending for the poor champ. I know it’s good in the long run to build up his immune system but ain't a laugh a minute now.
So in the end, I don’t think it was hand foot and mouth. The doctor was unsure as was only one ulcer/blister and he had no rash anywhere else but his mouth. He is just absolutely loaded with the worst cold. He coughed and was a bit sick the other day and it was literally just snot. Honestly feel so sorry for the champ. You can tell it's really taking it out of him - he pretty much slept all day yesterday. It’s just a never-ending cycle of cough, cold, cough, virus, bloody virus. Sleep has been as you can imagine, fucking shite. But just got a plod on and pour coffee into your eyeballs. And then vodka later on.
Randomly – and I don’t know whether this has anything to do with him being poorly. But he hated swimming last week, even though he seemed well. And then for the past week, he has got really upset in the bath. Holding on to the sides for dear life. And he normally loves the bath and splashes away. I just can’t think why he would suddenly hate the bath – unless it is all connected to being poorly. Who knows? Another thing to add to the: ‘What the fuck is wrong?” baby list.
Thank you for everyone’s advice on how to get involved more in offering breastfeeding support. Once Rafe is better (hopefully soon!) going to look into how I might become a peer support worker/breastfeeding support worker in my area. I’ll keep you in the loop!
Sorry it’s bit of a short one but in-between working and cleaning up snot – it’s been a bit manic this week. Any miracle cures on getting rid of colds would be greatly appreciated!
Till next week,
At nursery this week, the staff told me another child accidentally knocked Rafe over. He was absolutely fine and wasn’t upset for long – and it was an accident but I honestly just wanted to cry! (And find the kid...) I just can’t get over sometimes how unbelievably and fiercely protective I am of my little boy. Before I had Rafe, I of course knew about maternal instinct and imagined it was incredibly strong but until you have a baby, I don’t think you can comprehend how overwhelming that instinct is. And it makes me laugh as I remember thinking in my head I am going to be a super relaxed mum, give my children their freedom to explore, make their own mistakes, travel the world, loosen those maternal reigns. My husband and I use to argue as I went travelling to Oz, NZ and Fiji when I was 18 and I always said that I would let my own children do the same. And he would say: “absolutely not! The world is a dangerous place.” And then we were at fireworks the other night and he said to me: “Just imagine Rafe when he is a teenager asking to go watch the fireworks with his mates.” And I replied, “absolutely not! I will have to go with him.” Haha. Oh what a change. I know I’m not going to be able to follow my teenage son around to make sure he is safe – or stop him from travelling the world if that is what he wants to do (and I must remember what an incredible experience that was) – but I just worry so much. Is this just me? I mean I worry about him going to school, if he makes friends, if other children are nice to him, growing up, dealing everything kids have to deal with these days - just everything. All I want to do is protect him forever. All this over a kid knocking him over?! Do I just need to go get a wine? Imagine what I am going to be like when he brings his first girlfriend home? MOTHER-IN-LAW FROM HELL. HAHAHA. Joking. Not joking….
I thought Rafe was going to be quite upset when I took him to nursery this week as he hasn’t been for three weeks due to half term and being poorly. He was a bit shy to start with but didn’t cry when I left and I was told he was quite happy all day and was just commando crawling everywhere and playing with all the toys and doing some painting. When I arrived to pick him up, I was confronted with the sweetest sight in the world. Again I wanted to cry. He was worn out from a busy day and he was fast asleep on a little beanbag. Honestly I thought my heart was going to explode. He looked so blinking cute! I had to wake him up though and carry him into the car in the rain so that was a fun moment. But all in all a success at nursery. And they have this little app now where I can sign in and see what Rafe is up to – if he is napping, photos etc…which is so reassuring and lovely to see what he is getting up to.
Thank you for all your support again on the breastfeeding front. I always worry a little when I write about breastfeeding as I don’t want to upset anyone who may have chosen not to breastfeed – or who struggled as I honestly aren’t judging either way. And I don’t want to come across as someone pushing breastfeeding down people’s throats – but, at the same time. Just as nap refusals and zero sleep is part of my life – so is breastfeeding. As time has gone on, I’ve started to become quite passionate about breastfeeding – again, not about waving my boobs in people's faces.– but just that I wish there was more support out there for women in the UK who choose to breastfeed – especially as our breastfeeding rates are so incredibly low, which I find quite shocking. I just wish I could help in some way. I signed UNICEF'S call on UK Health Ministers to break down the barriers that make it difficult and often impossible for women to breastfeed in the UK (you can sign it here) but really want to try and do more. To offer more support to mums who do want to breastfeed. Become a breastfeeding support worker maybe? Or should I be brave and share more breastfeeding photos to ‘normalise breastfeeding’? Or is that just going to come across as ‘pushy’ and annoy people? Anyway, just want to know if anyone else feels the same – and if they have done anything about it? Any bf support workers out there? Any good groups to join? Or maybe start some kind of campaign? (I have no idea what I really mean by this!) Or shall I just put my boobs away and keep my mouth shut?!!
Rafe’s been so much better with food this week. So much so you put a mix of food in-front of him and he shoves it all in his mouth! Going to start trying him out with different recipes again as he is so much better. What’s your baby’s (I should really start saying toddler now but doesn’t feel right!) favourite meal?
At the beginning of the week, I was still pretty wiped out as Rafe’s cough, although better, it seemed to be never ending and still bad at night. But something unheard of happened twice in a row this weekend...RAFE SLEPT THROUGH THE NIGHT. Yup, can you actually believe it? I'm hoping this is the start of something beautiful that will continue because I scared my neighbour the other day in my wrecked state and well...Wouldn't a week of full night's sleep be the dream? Imagine?! I wish I could share something I tried differently that suddenly worked but I honestly did nothing different from our routine. Sorry, not very helpful I know. I think maybe it is a mixture of him being much better, able to self-settle now and with his appetite increasing as he got better, maybe he is just also quote full? Who knows?! Babies are so confusing. I'll keep you all in the loop!
Oh and before I forget. Fireworks was a success! Kind of. I think Rafe was overwhelmed with the amount of people around and by the time they started he was pretty tired so he had a bit of a cry. To be fair, he probably didn't have a clue what was going on! But all is all, a nice little family day out. He still won't be going out to see a display without me when he is older though, haha.
Till next time,
P.s Christmas! I need some inspiration! What are you getting your little ones? Obviously don't want to go over the top, just a few gifts and stocking fillers.
Who would have thought one whole hour of the clocks going back would have caused so much mayhem? Gone are the days I used to think that an extra hour in bed to nurse my hangover was the dream. No, no. Children have other plans. Like waking up at 5am every day. Refusing naps. Being over tired at 5pm. IT’S ONLY ONE HOUR. WHY? HOW? I honestly think my permanent look for life is going to be a bedraggled witch. But on the plus side, it gets dark earlier so no longer have to continue to re-stick a black-out blind or obsess about the sunlight peeping through a tiny crack. You can’t win them all I guess. But we've had self-settling success, finally! And I've figured out what to say to people who want to question why I'm still breastfeeding - starts with F...
So it’s been yet another exhausting week. Like seriously, I don’t need no Halloween costume. Rafe still has a cough, but is getting better. And his ear infection and viral rash seem to have gone the distance (thank God). But since his birthday he has been poorly. So pretty much the whole of October he has not been not himself. Cough, viral rash, ear infection – plus teething. It’s been a laugh a minute. I do feel so sorry for him as he really has gone through it and just hasn’t been himself at all. He’s been nursing quite a bit in the night too but think it’s been more of a comfort thing than the fact he is hungry. So we are both pretty wrecked. I genuinely find it hard to string sentences together which was fine when I was on maternity leave – not so much when I’m at work. But he is so much better and makes you realise how much being poorly takes it out of them as he is full of beans now.
Rafe’s still being really fussy with food but a lot of it is down to him being poorly so haven’t tried anything new or even attempted to tackle it to be honest. I’ve just been giving him what I know he will eat – just to get anything down him at the moment. The dog still gets a lot of his food and I find I am picking remains of Rafe’s tea off Yankee’s ears on an evening, but hoping he picks up next week. Though however poorly he is – wave a yogurt, biscuit - anything sweet in front of him and he is like a moth to a flame.
Thank you for everyone’s advice on breastfeeding the other week. As always, it’s good to know other people have gone/or are going through the same experiences I am. Especially when people touched on the pressure they felt. I guess it’s kind of funny that to start with, you are encouraged to breastfeed, yet it seems, from my own experience and also others – that once baby hits one, it seems like you are then judged for still breastfeeding. Like you can't win. I have had the ‘you’re still breastfeeding’ comments and ‘when are you going to stop?’ question seems to come up more often than it ever did. A few months ago we were at a local park and there was a woman there with her friends, all of them with children. Her little boy was walking and must have been maybe 16-18 months old. He was running around and then he wanted to nurse. So his mum sat on a bench and breastfed him for a few minutes while she chatted to her friends. He finished and then happily started playing again and as the other mum covered up, her two friends looked at each other and both rolled their eyes. It made me quite upset and really angry. Your supposed to support your friend when they are breastfeeding, however long they decide to nurse. It's fucking hard sometimes! Honestly, still gives me rage now! I would never question/judge how anyone else chooses to feed. At the end of the day, I just need to do what is best for Rafe and I. So just going to keep on doing what I'm doing. The World Health Organisation recommends to feed until 2 (obviously can carry on for longer or less) so I think I will aim for that and if we stop in-between that time, that’s okay too. And if people have an issue with it, well in the nicest possible way they can fuck off.
I think we might have had some progress with self-settling at night…So since time began, I have been shushing Rafe to sleep. Tried self-settling a while back but then kind of gave up after some success and then a regression came and it all went tits up again. And I honestly didn’t mind the cuddles. But as he gets bigger and heavier, my back is absolutely hanging out. And it was just by chance that one night I was desperate for a wee so I put Rafe straight in his cot after he fed and he cried (obviously), but after going to the loo and popping my breast pads in, pottering around for a few more minutes – BAM he was asleep. WHAT THE FUCK? So, in the night, when he fed and I put him down, he cried a little, then went to sleep without shushing. So I have been literally just saying night, then put him down, walk away and I leave him to have a little cry then normally, within 5-10 minutes he is a sleep. I don’t leave him longer than 10 minutes as I know that he is just not going to settle but fingers crossed – it seems to have done the trick. I never really liked leaving him to cry it out, but for a few minutes if he doesn't go down straight away works for us. So there’s hope kids – hope!!
Taking Rafe to his first fireworks display tonight. He's not a huge fan of loud noises so this could be an eventful night...We've bought him some special headphones so hopefully they will do the trick! Wish us luck...
Until next week,