My last post about hitting the nine-month mark and wondering where the time has gone, got me thinking about what I would do differently if I could wind the clock back and also what I said I would do/definitely not do when I was still pregnant and pretty much oblivious to the tornado that was about to hit. I’ve written a little about some of the things I used to say – compared to the reality and if I was speaking to my pregnant self now, I’d be mostly saying – ERM OKAY THEN. YOU DO THAT. But the reality is so different.
“I’m going to be really strict with getting baby to sleep, I’m not going to make a rod for my own back – I don’t want a bad sleeper.”
Reality: Walk 8 miles a day to get baby to sleep, won’t self-settle and losing my mind over naps.
“I won’t ‘let myself go’ and will make sure I still look half presentable when I leave the house.”
Reality: Handful of times I’ve worn make-up and looked ‘half presentable’ leaving the house. My go-to outfit, still, is nursing top/shirt and either leggings, (the maternity leggings have only just retired) and tracksuit bottoms. Dry-shampoo gives me life.
“I’m going to get back into CrossFit and running once I’ve passed that 6-week mark – I will even do workouts in the garden while baby sleeps." (HAHAHAHA)
Reality: It’s the absolute last thing on my mind. I do a lot of walking and every Sunday I fully intend to ‘start on Monday’ and try and do some exercise once Rafe is in bed but I just want to sit in my PJ’s and watch Love Island. Oh and you all know I’m partial to a full biscuit tin.
“Our relationship won’t change – let’s still make time for each other.” I said to my husband pre-tornado.
Reality: Who is my husband?! It’s a huge test on your relationship, I know I’m not alone. You love them more – but equally question if they were ever this annoying – and if they were, how did you cope. And don’t get me started on the S word. That would mean shaving my legs.
“Yeah, we will definitely be able to come to your wedding abroad – will just leave Rafe with my parents."
Reality: Too nervous/don't want to/can't leave overnight/still breastfeeding/would mean shaving my legs.
“I really want a small age gap – maybe we should try for another baby when I’m still on maternity leave?” And we will just leave that there. (Disclaimer: Not criticising anyone who has a small age gap between having another tornado – I’m just not quite ready yet! And it would mean possibly shaving my legs.)
It was so reassuring to read everyone’s comments about going back to work. It’s good to know I’m not the only one nervous and also wishing they had treasured those early weeks more. For those a little apprehensive and emotional about putting your baby into playgroup – a lovely mum commented on my post and it honestly made me feel so much better. I cried reading it (obviously), I know I’ll still be upset but hope her words will reassure you.
I just wanted to reassure you about the playgroup because I’ve just gone back to work (also financially motivated- to pay a mortgage) and my wee one (8 months) is going to nursery 3 days a week and with in-laws 2 days. We had some visit hours/days over the last few weeks and I was so nervous. He’s a sociable baby and never cries but I was filled with dread at the thought of him getting upset and then confused that I wasn’t there to comfort him. We’ve been together every day of his life! How would he cope!?
Well, after his first hour visit alone, I came back in and he was so busy playing he didn’t look up to see me (a little bit heartbreaking but good) and then after a 5 hour half-day, I walked in to see him playing away with a lovely member of staff and when he saw me a smile filled his face and he began moaning for a cuddle. It was the greatest feeling!
My sister is a nursery teacher (unfortunately in a different city) and she reminded me that the staff soon love the babies they work with. She can tell me the details of how every baby she works with likes to nap, their favourite foods, even their nappy habits!
Already, I can see how much the staff care for my baby by their smiles when he arrives and the detailed report they give me at the end of the day. He is happy to be left and comes home with a smile.
As for work- I’ve found I’m totally distracted when I’m there. The working day flies by and you have the best ending to the working day and the weekends are more rewarding than they ever were.
So naps. Wouldn't be a blog post without talking about naps! I said I would be less stressed – and I have been (ish). And trying to let Rafe lead but I think I’m just totally missing his sleepy window now. I think he can stay awake three hours between naps but don’t know whether that’s a bit too long/some days it seems too short. I’ve still been trying to get him in the cot for one nap, but I just honestly think that Tom Cruise’s next Mission Impossible film should be about getting Rafe to nap during the day in his fucking cot. It’s mind-numbingly, absolutely impossible. Even though he is so tired. Oh and getting him to sleep longer than 30 minutes needs some kind of Harry Potter fucking magic. But I’m calm. And not stressing. And going to see where we are next week….
I dropped his lunchtime boobie feed last week as he wasn’t showing a huge interest in it and he’s been on three meals a day for a while now. He doesn’t seem to miss it at all and my boobs adjusted well which is a relief. So now we do 7am breastfeed, breakfast around 8ish, 11am breastfeed, lunch around 12.30ish, between 3-4pm breastfeed, tea/dinner 4.45/5pm and then breastfeed before bed. This week I’ve tried dropping the afternoon feed and replacing with formula and we’ve had some success. He takes it well (around 5oz in the MAM cup) and from other people – but not a huge fan of me doing it. I think he just wonders why I’m not feeding him and tries to pull my top down so I feel quite guilty – but then the next minute he’s gulping it down! And my boobs are killing. Seems to not enjoy me trying to drop this feed but hoping they will chill out in a few days. Because I don’t know how much he is getting from me, how much does formula/combi-feeding mums give oz wise if they are still feeding 4 times during the day and once in the night? (He’s feeding mostly just once through the night now – the odd times still twice – hurrah!)
Hope everyone is enjoying the sunshine – long may it continue! Best go shave my legs…
Until next time, Faye x
Royal Marine Wife. Mum to Rafe.