So, it has been quite an emotional week of ugly crying most days. Not just because Rafe wakes up at 4.30am now (FML) – but because it’s been my last week on maternity leave. It honestly feels like yesterday I was telling work I was pregnant and now it’s back to the Sunday night blues. I held on to dear life to the mid-morning breastfeed this week and even though I’ll still breastfeed him before work, bed and during the night, it was hugely emotional for me. I can’t quite put my finger on why but when I fed him that last 10am feed on Wednesday, I was literally crying my eyes out. Poor Rafe must have been thinking what is wrong with this woman? Maybe it’s because it was the final thing I had to do before going back to work, or I think a part of it – and one of the reasons I’m so emotional, is that I felt like once I stopped with that feed, he wouldn’t really need me anymore. Dramatic yes, I know he still needs me, but I’m going to have to loosen those tight, slightly routine obsessed, maternal hands and let other people take care of Rafe. Yes, it’s for four days, it’s not like my husband who doesn’t see Rafe for weeks on end, but for 10-months every day, I’ve been Rafe’s mum. I still will be of course but every day, every hour, (with only a few afternoons here and there without him), it’s just been us. Just me and Rafe taking on the world – one nap disaster at a time. In our own little bubble. And I’ve blinking loved it. And I feel very lucky. Don’t get me wrong – it’s been hard. Really, really hard some days. Whether that be navigating the early weeks of what the hell am I doing. The exhaustion. The breastfeeding struggle. THE FOUR MONTH SLEEP REGRESSION. Cold cups of tea. Walking 50000 miles a day to get him to nap. I’m sure the ‘living off one hours sleep Faye’ would want to fight me for saying this but I just want to do it all again. Start my maternity leave from the beginning and relieve every single moment. Even the poo in the bath moments, the hourly wake-ups, buying 50 different breastfeeding pillows to realise that my own pillow works fine, pushing the pram in wind, snow, glorious sunshine, (I’m going to actually miss those long walks to get him to sleep, honestly I am!), those newborn cuddles I wish I’d treasured more, his first laugh, the first time he smiled – just having Rafe to look after and not having to worry about much else – (apart from everything else), just me and my little pal, getting through each day, one wobbly, winging it step at a time. So yeah – I’m pretty emotional about it.
I didn't think I'd be this emtional as it is going to be quite a gradual back to work routine as we are still at my mum and dads so I won’t have my own little office yet and Rafe won’t be out all day while I’m working - though I’ll be busy and I really want to try and get back into the ‘work frame of mind’, I’ll be able to sneak a cuddle in if Rafe is around – so I know I’m VERY lucky in that way. (We are getting keys to our new house at the end of August – hurrah!) I guess a lot of my emotion is about how different everything is going to be – my little maternity bubble is bursting and it’s back to reality almost. I won’t just be mum Faye, I’ll be work Faye – even back to being wife Faye…maybe. But you know what, that might not be a bad thing. I think as much as these 10-months I have been able to whole heartedly, ‘just be mum’, it will be good for me – and Rafe, to get a bit of the old Faye back. Though not quite old Faye – don’t think tequila loving Faye needs to ever make a reappearance. Or does she?
So apart from tears, we’ve had a lovely family week with my husband being home. I haven’t wanted to kill him too much so it’s all good. Having him there to help during the night has been amazing too – although Rafe is not playing ball and has decided that he wants to wake up numerous times throughout the night and also wake between 4.30am-5.30am and want to party. And not go back to sleep. So I’m currently looking like I need to sleep for a year (I do) and need to drink coffee all day long. It’s two weeks left off this leap so I’m hoping it’s just leap related or I may start ugly crying on a regular basis. And I’ve tried getting him to nap in his cot but that’s not happening, but next week that’s my husband’s problem....(He will have Rafe while he’s still on leave for a few weeks and then grandparents will take over – and nursery once term time starts.) Rafe has also been teething so bad so night times are a laugh a minute at the moment.
Like I said earlier, I’ve dropped another breastfeed (and replaced with formula - thank you to everyone who shared their routines with me), which has been the hardest one. As well as the ugly crying, it’s also been quite painful as it’s the longest I’ve gone between feeds so my boobs were killing the first few days. And still are to be honest. I've had to keep expressing a little in the sink as I feel like they are going to burst. Oh the glamour. But I’ll still breastfeed in the morning, before Rafe goes to bed and then through the night if he needs it. I know all babies are different but when do they stop needing a feed through the night? Do you need to wean them off the boob?
Rafe’s not crawling still (I know he will do it in his own time) but he’s really trying. He has a new trick where we ask him how tall he is and he puts his hands up in the air and it is literally the cutest thing in the world. Oh and he purposefully feeds the dog now so Yankee loves him. And yesterday he took his very wobbly first steps! My mum was holding on to him for dear life but after standing like a statue and not showing any signs of moving - it felt like a big achievement for him to move those chunky, chubby feet!
It’s been quite an emotional post this week but I guess it’s like most things, the dread of something is always far worse. And maybe I'm being over dramatic but it just feels like a huge change and one I'm not quite ready to jump straight into yet. But once the first few weeks are over, I'm sure I won't be ugly crying every day....
P.s If you've left a comment on my blog posts recently, it looks like it has went a bit tits up so apologises, I have been replying. It is technology, not just my tired-ass baby brain!
Royal Marine Wife. Mum to Rafe.