Eight months. Can’t believe Rafe is eight month’s old! Seems like only yesterday we brought him home for the first time and I was sat on my rubber ring, crying to my husband: “I DON’T KNOW HOW TO LOOK AFTER A BABY.” I said BB (before baby) that I knew life would change and people say the same to me now: “I know life will change when I have a baby.” But YOU HAVE KNOW IDEA. Absolutely NO IDEA how your life will be turned upside down. And it’s amazing – don’t get me wrong. I feel like I was put on this earth to be Rafe’s mum and I feel lucky every day. But the change is pretty huge – and it can be overwhelming – and is really, really, really hard at times. If someone said I had to try and put how it will change into a few sentences, I would say: “Imagine being the most tired you have ever been, times that by 100 and you will feel like that every day, but you will do more in one day (and night) than you ever have done before, yet you will feel like you have done absolutely nothing. You will not drink a hot cup of tea again. Your husband will become your rock – but he will also annoy you to your absolute core, especially when he decides to ring up car insurance companies when you are just about to go out with baby and you will think/say to him WHAT THE ACTUAL F ARE YOU DOING? on a daily basis. You will feel a love for your baby that you can’t even put into words, you will feel so fiercely protective and completely overwhelmed with absolute joy when they smile, laugh – and look at you for the first time. Most Saturday nights will look a bit different to wine and tequila-filled haze – a 10pm bedtime will make you feel rock and roll. Your life will feel unrecognisable at times – but more complete than you ever imagined. Oh and watch out for turds in the bath.”
So as we hit eight month’s old, this week was the first time in a while I have been ‘alone’. As a military wife, it is something that comes with the job so to speak. Before Rafe, I could go up to five months not seeing my husband. It was hard but you just have to get on with. There were the odd few nights alone and during the day when Chris was at work, it would just be me, Rafe and the dog when we were still living in Scotland. But since moving back to the North East and back in with my parents till we get our house sorted, although they may be at work during the day and I take on the nights on my own (I wanted to get used to doing this) I always normally have someone to chat to in the evening. And they obviously help out as much as they can when they're around (as do the in-laws) but this week my parents went on holiday (selfish). But we have all survived! Kept myself busy and in the evenings, I managed to sit and watch some TV (I decided to see what the fuss was about with Love Island, so that was good for my body-confidence.) So it was actually quite nice to be honest. It’s going to be more full-on when in our own house, back at work and with husband away but I’ll just have to stock the fridge with wine and chocolate to get me through...
I did have mastitis in the end. Wonderful. I was given a week of antibiotics and fingers crossed they have done the trick. Going to attempt milk in the MUM cup again in a few days and hope my boobs don't have a nervous breakdown.
Although I get people contacting me and commenting on my blogs – I am still so surprised at the responses I get and this week I was particularly taken aback when I was at a baby class and a lovely mum stopped me and asked if I was the Marine wife and Mum. She said she was saying to her friends that she thought it was me and had to come tell me she loved my blogs. I went so shy – which is unlike me! So apologies to the lovely woman who came up to me, I was just taken aback and a little lost for words – for once! So thank you, you really did make my day – actually my week. And as I said – I felt famous haha!
You’re supposed to rest when you have mastitis but how is that ever possible? And because normally if my dad is not working, he takes Yankee out in the morning – and I take him out in the afternoon on one of my non-successful pram walks, I’ve been walking what feels like all day every day - at least 7 miles a day. One day it was 9 miles. With Rafe only having one nap that day. So that was fun. I don’t mind when it’s nice weather and I enjoy the exercise and if Rafe sleeps – but I really can’t be arsed to walk 9 miles every day when I’ve had little sleep and Rafe doesn’t even nap in the end and Yankee keeps rolling in mud….get a dog, have a kid they said, it will be fun they said…
I haven’t even attempted to get Rafe in the cot again as just haven’t been able to. Quite a few people have contacted me with loads of advice and tips about napping (THANK YOU) so I need to have a proper look at them and give them a go. Going to try next week and get him in the cot for one nap a day. He’s just been all over the place this week sleep wise. Someone reminded me he could be going through a wonder week – and yes, we are officially in leap 6 so I think that might be a reason for him taking two hours to get to sleep at night and flat out not sleeping much during the day. Also there's a wonderful sleep regression round this age. (Still not recovered from the four month sleep regression.) He literally fights and fights sleep. He is getting so overtired some days, he just ends up falling asleep when feeding. I wouldn’t be as obsessed if he slept well at night – or if he just wasn’t tired and was happy only having the odd catnap – but you can see he is tired and needs a good nap. Some days I just want to sit him down and have a good heart to heart. “Listen mate, you’re tired, I’m tired, let’s just go have a two-hour nap in the morning, a nice one hour in the afternoon – it’s easy.” But don’t think that will wash with him. Night-times have been a bit of a challenge as the poor kid is teething, won’t self-settle and some nights it has taken two hours to get him down. Literally tried everything to get him to sleep and in the end, back on the boob seems to settle him. Last night I thought fuck this for a laugh and didn’t even attempt to self-settle and shushed him to sleep. Through the night he seems to keep waking up at 2am for a feed and then literally will not go back down for hours. Friday morning it was 2am till about 4.30am. He just would not be put down. In the end, I’ve just been bringing him in with me and he seems to settle straight away (they’re cleverer than you think) just to get a couple more hours sleep. So I think it’s a mix of going through a development leap, teething and just not wanting to self-settle. In my delirious state at 3am, I was thinking about how amazing it would be to go to some kind of retreat, just for mums, where they just have the comfiest beds in the world, where all you do all day and night is sleep – and be served cups of tea and biscuits. And not just any old cup of tea – A HOT CUP OF TEA. Imagine that? The dream.
Fingers crossed for a full night’s sleep and a hot cup of tea for you all today. Until next time…
Royal Marine Wife. Mum to Rafe.