So Christmas was a wonderful blur. Rafe was spoilt rotten and we had a lovely time with family and catching up with friends. He didn't have a clue what was going on but loved being shoved in a Christmas outfit everyday....It was such a notable difference for me though - obviously. There were no late nights, or hangovers - or singing All I want for Christmas is You badly after a bottle of wine. (Those were the days.) And I did feel a little sorry for myself when Rafe was still feeding so I told people to start Christmas dinner without me and I heard clinking of glasses and everyone saying 'Merry Christmas!' as I was trying to shove a boob into a very fussy baby. (Another wonder week). But next Christmas I'll start on the wine before Santa comes so it's okay. Unless as my MIL said: "You may have another one by then." HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.
And we'll leave it at that.
But it really was an extra special Christmas and it's crazy to think that this time last year, Rafe was just a twinkle in his dad's eye so to speak. 🙈 Rafe got some lovely presents, one of my favourites’ was from my SIL. She made a box with quotes around the side, one included: "Children are made readers on the laps of their parents." And inside was the full collection of The Chronicles of Narnia, Winnie the Pooh and Beatrix Potter. Made me quite emotional.
I genuinely don't know what day it is most days due to exhaustion but Christmas has made it worse. I knew I'd hit an exhaustion wall when it took me five attempts to put my knickers on. I kept putting them on back to front until in the end I had to have a word with myself. "For fuck sake woman - pull yourself together." Then the following night I put Rafe's baby grow on the wrong way (legs in arms and arms in legs). And because it's Christmas I really wanted to try and stay up past 10pm. Managed one night so felt hardcore but regretted it immediately when Rafe woke up not long after I'd dozed off. I think your body gets used to the exhaustion in a way but then there are some days when you just can't quite put your kickers on the right way. Remember lie-ins? And sleeping eight glorious uninterrupted hours? Yup, me either.....
Talking about exhaustion - I have to talk about the fear of waking your sleeping baby. That feeling deep in your stomach when you're about to doze off as you think you've got him to sleep then PING. He's wide-awake. HIYA MUM. I feel like I have become pretty skilled at getting Rafe down with absolute silence. Although the other day, after bath time and boobie time, Rafe was zonked out after an unsettled hour. I'd managed to put him in his sleeping bag without waking him (an amazing invention but getting one on without waking up your baby should be an Olympic sport) and I popped him on my chest as a shuffled down the bed, avoiding all my pillows, like a fucking ninja. Put him down, looked up to God and mouthed - THANK YOU, then turned around and kicked a bag full of clothes that were under the bed. TING. Wide-wake. Cue sobbing in the corner of the room - from me, not Rafe. I think it's different when you wake the baby up by accident but God help if somebody else does it. I thought pregnancy rage was bad but 'little sleep for mum rage' is a different level. It's been like Grand Central station at my parent's house over Christmas and the other night around midnight I was woken up by my dad's snoring which I genuinely think could be used as a repetitive noise in getting SAS soldiers to break under pressure. Then my brother and his girlfriend were only brushing their teeth but it sounded like they were having a mini rave in the bathroom. Then the sheer panic/rage came. I knew Rafe was close to waking for a feed and was desperate for a few extra winks. Only thing on par with never waking a sleeping baby is waking a new mum who hasn't slept in three months. So I did what any normal person would do and that was to mutter "are they fucking kidding me?" under my breath and imagine going into the kitchen in the morning and grabbing some pots and pans, banging them together while screaming LALALALA, just to make sure they are woken up. Thankfully Rafe was zonked out. And I think my poor husband was just thankful my rage wasn't directed at him for once. Until the morning when he was banging around the bedroom trying to find gym clothes. "If you wake him up I will fucking kill you." Nothing too drastic. Or this is the best one. I get Rafe settled finally, start walking downstairs to see my brother turn on the HOOVER. The hoover!!!! And he woke Rafe up. So I grabbed him by the hair like we were five again. It worked. So basically if you wake me or Rafe up I will end you.
Rafe's been going through his third development leap called 'the world of smooth transitions' (check out the wonder weeks app/book - fascinating) which has meant he has been extra fussy but he's coming on so well and managed to hold his head up on his own the other day. And grab a rattle. It's amazing how proud you feel! He's becoming a proper little person - who still hates naps. But I just bloody love him. His smiles literally are the best thing in the world. And my favourite thing is in the morning when he wakes and you go over to see him, he does the cutest little smile you have ever seen.
As I mentioned in my previous post - Rafe saw a consultant at the Freeman Hospital on Friday. She said that it is still borderline whether he needs surgery but will see him again in two months. The hole is 4mm but she said he is safe and reassured us to have a good New Year and it was good news that she was not referring him for emergency surgery. I still got upset as it's just such a worry but trying to remain positive. He's putting on weight (12Ib 2oz) and is alert (loves to wriggle and keeps kicking his legs) and you wouldn't think he was poorly. So just need to think of the positives - rather than dwell on the fact he may need surgery. And once again he was a trooper being poked and prodded by the doctor and charmed the nurses with his smile. Thank you so much for all your well wishes - means so much.
So wanting to end on a positive! I can't believe we are about to go into 2018 - how fast has this year gone?! I still can't quite believe we made a baby - and he's here! What a year. They say becoming a mum is the most amazing, rewarding job in the world - but it's the toughest. And I couldn't agree more. So looking forward to the little fella reaching new milestones and sharing with you all along the way. So Happy New Year to you all - please have a drink for me!! xxx
Royal Marine Wife. Mum to Rafe.