As we approach the six month mark I remember when I was pregnant having an idea in my head of what life would be like with a six month old baby. I'd have lost all my baby weight. I'd be back into CrossFit. I'd also be running again. I'd be weaning baby off the breast. I'd be the Delia Smith of the baby food world, prepping meals like a pro. I'd be back into all my pre-pregnancy clothes. Baby would be sleeping through the night. I'd have definitely had a few nights out with tequila my best friend. I'd have left baby overnight. I'd have two eyebrows. I'd not be wearing any maternity clothes. I'd be a real life yummy mummy. Reality: Live in maternity leggings. One eyebrow. Baby up at least twice in the night and LAUGHING at the thought of sleeping through the night. Overwhelmed by weaning - baby-led, purée...done next to no 'real' exercise, haven't even smelt a gym. Pretty much look like a homeless person most days and still have a stone of baby weight to shift. Had no more than three hours away from baby. And my boobs look like spaniels ears. So yes, the yummiest mummy around.
I've wrote about this a lot. The expectations vs. reality and my vision of being a mum couldn't be further from the idea I had in my head when I was pregnant. But I've said it before - nothing can actually prepare you for the joy, tears, monotony, pain, EXHAUSTION, love and husband RAGE you will experience. (My friend summed up husband rage perfectly when she said it literally starts in your stomach and boils up as if you're going to explode. 😂) My reality six months on is slightly different from what I had in mind. I honestly pictured myself with my gym clothes on (activewear, activewear...) pushing my baby through the streets and hoping people were thinking: "bloody hell, has she just had a baby!" (In a good way.) But the reality is me trailing through the streets with a dog I am constantly screaming at "YANKEE MAN FOR FUCKS SAKE!" every two seconds while trying to get a baby to nap more than 30 minutes, wearing my maternity leggings (which give me a saggy arse according to my husband), my husband's jumper with dry shampoo on top of dry shampoo. And that has pretty much been me from day one of motherhood. I haven't really evolved. And it's not like I'm depressed or down. I've spoken to other mums who feel the same. I just don't have the motivation. I know people say "you need to look after yourself when you have a baby", but you become bottom of the list. I'm just so tired most of the time, I really can't be arsed to put makeup on, shave my legs - I look like I've been dragged through a hedge backwards most days. I've put makeup on a handful of times and done my hair. And with Rafe not napping much during the day (FML), or if he does sleep longer than 30 minutes it's because I'm out with the pushchair, it's not like I can do a home work-out if I wanted too, or pluck my eyebrows - and by the time I get him down to sleep at night - do I really want to go for a run? FUCK NO! I just want to eat biscuits. Hats off to people who do though. 🙌 I think with breastfeeding as well, I feel so restricted as I'm the only one who can feed him - so I can't leave him for an afternoon - or a night (although that scares me 🙈). But now my husband is home for Easter leave, I'm going to try him with a bottle everyday for the 1pm feed and see how he gets on. (He took 3oz from my husband straight away - with no fuss the other week. I swear my husband must think I'm making it up that he won't take a bottle. But since trying again, he's been Mr fuss pot. Another mum messaged me and said her son was the same so she breastfed him and then mid-feed would whack the bottle out and he would take it. Until eventually he would just take the bottle without any boob trickery. So going to give that a go.) If it works, I might be able to pop to the gym/lie on my bed for four hours in peace. From the start of breastfeeding and when I was pregnant, I always had six months as my goal. But definitely want to carry on for longer - just really want to try and do a bit of combi feeding to get a bit of a break. To be honest, I don't think I'd ever have been a yummy mummy. I was never one to get dressed up during the day and basically lived in tracksuit bottoms on the weekend so I was never going to be prancing around looking like a goddess.
Rafe has officially started solids! So that's one extra thing to lose my shit over. So many questions...What is baby-led weaning? Do I really give him a stick of broccoli? Can I just start with purée? Will he choke? Will he be constipated? What happens if he is allergic to something? Do I need to be on poo watch? (I am obviously 🙈) What high chair should I get? (IKEA Antilope everyone recommended- it's amazing.) Will he be okay as he's not quite six months? Who is Annabel Karmel? The list goes on....So I asked the health visitor about starting him a little early as he was actively wanting to take food out of my hand and she said as long as he can hold his head up, was showing interest in food and had good hand to mouth coordination then he was good to go really. It's mad how much changes over the years. My mum's health visitor advised my mum to start me on baby rice and 10 weeks old as I was a gannet. No real change then. There's so many books around with so much advice I was of course feeling slightly overwhelmed. To be honest, I've listened more to my two friends who have children to find out what they did - more than any book. I have got a couple of Annabel Karmel books and been looking at baby-led weaning but I think I'm just going to do a mix of both purée and baby-led. So last Sunday, as we were sitting down for breakfast, we popped Rafe in his high chair and he had breakfast with us at the table. Which was lovely! We tried him on baby porridge first which he loved. He literally was grabbing the spoon and bowl out of my hand. My friend said she always has her girls' holding a piece of food for them to play with/put in their mouths - as well as feeding them herself. Just to get used to holding food, especially if doing baby-led. So I just cut a bit of toast into a solider and he just holds it - sometimes puts in his mouth and has a little suck. We just tried baby porridge for a few days for breakfast as I just wanted to see how he got on. Then added bananna to it yesterday which he wolfed down. Then I made some purées (Delia Smith eat your heart out) and popped in feeezer in these little ice cube trays. We've tried carrot and going to try sweet potato today. He seems to like anything he has been given at the moment. So once he gets these first tastes down - I think I'll start introducing more finger food and mixing flavours - but still also making my own purée. Will see how he gets on. It seems quite daunting - but exciting. He also seems to like water which is good. Still not sure about how to use the sippy cup though 🙈 But I actually love seeing him enjoy his food. Anyone got any fave recipes to share?
We are off to Iceland for my cousin's wedding in a couple of weeks and I am so excited/slightly terrified. What will Rafe be like on the plane? How can I breastfeed during take off if he's strapped in? What happens if he won't take a bottle? Will he cry the whole way? His routine is going to go out the window which is making me worry. So basically HELP. Any advice for taking a baby on a plane? How to cope with messing up bedtimes, potential feed times? Taking baby to a wedding? Basically - do I just need to calm the fuck down and not stress? At the end of the day his routine is going to go out the window. It's only a few days. But I'm not exactly the calmest of people am I?
Naps, oh fucking naps. So we have had disaster days where Rafe's fought his naps completely. And getting him to nap anywhere but the pushchair is impossible. But then we've had successes. But only with other people. He stayed asleep while my MIL pushed him in the pram for TWO HOURS. Which is the longest nap he's done. But if it's me pushing him - he'll still only really do 30 minutes, which is joyous. Really need to try and get him to nap in the cot - even just for one nap as would be nice to be able to put my feet up for 30 minutes. But it's just the thought of fighting through the tears to get him down to sleep. It's exhausting and for an easy life, at the moment, I'll just continue to walk around by estate swearing at my dog as he bashes into the pushchair, while I pray to the nap Gods' for Rafe to sleep. And as for night-times. He's normally still waking twice for a feed which isn't too bad at all compared to the joy of the four-month sleep regression hourly wakes. Do breastfed babies ever actually sleep through the night?
Loved all the reaction from my last post about the difference between men and women. Was thinking more about that the other night when I was up at 4am feeding Rafe and my husband was snoring away. Ahhh. That's always a fun moment. I just keep reciting my mantra: MUST NOT PUNCH HUSBAND IN THE FACE. Damn him and his worthless, milk free nipples.
P.s. The clocks going forward was fun today wasn't it?
Royal Marine Wife. Mum to Rafe.