So we survived my first week back at work. But there were tears. (All from me). I cried all day Sunday. I cried during the whole of the 'last maternity leave walk' to get Rafe to nap (he had 30 minutes). I cried when putting him to bed. I then cried in the shower on Monday morning. I cried when I got photos throughout the day from my husband of Rafe having fun. And photos of him on Tuesday at baby yoga – a class I loved. I cried when he didn’t react overjoyed to see me after my first day. (Though he made up for the next day by jumping up and down and squealing – I hope with joy). So, yeah pretty emotional still. Though honestly – it has been okay, (despite the tears) it was not as bad as I imagined. But I do think it was never about going back at work. It was more that maternity leave had ended. Someone messaged me and said it was the 'end of a chapter' and I think that sums it up so well. I’m sad because our little time together is over. Although we will have so many more memories to come. The months after you have your baby are the most intense of your life – good and bad. You feel the strongest emotions you have ever felt – whether that be pure, unconditional love – or genuine deep-seated rage at your husband snoring. You are in this little bubble with your baby, learning about each other, changing together, every step of the way. And you go through some very tough times (cluster feeding, sleep regressions, exhaustion to name but a few) but you experience some of the best moments of your life. It’s the time when you truly bond and it’s a time you’ll never experience quite like it again – it’s so special. And I think that’s why I’ve been so upset - and still am quite emotional but I hopefully won’t be ugly crying for too long. Just maybe a few more weeks...Like many people have said – it’s just about getting used to the new norm. And treasuring the days off and weekends. The little moments - our before bed breastfeed is my favourite. Just my little pal and me again. And seeing Rafe’s face at the end of the day is pretty special. And you don’t have to think or worry about naps! And you get to have hot cups of coffee! And adult conversations. And to be honest, it’s been good to use my brain again. So to everyone as emotional as me about going back to work – you will be okay. And so will baby. Rafe does not seem phased at all. And it’s good for him to have quality time with his grandparents - and nursery, when he starts in a couple of weeks will be great for him. It’s not as bad as you think it is going to be. I promise. I know it's only week 1 - but it can only get easier right? And you’re not alone – we can all ugly cry and eventually enjoy a hot cuppa together. But this little chapter has been pretty amazing hasn't it?
So Rafe’s been sleeping amazing since being back at work. HAHAHAHAHAHA. Not a chance. Sunday night he was up loads – which was ideal. Send coffee. It’s just been hit or miss whether he’s slept okay – randomly on Wednesday he slept all the way through. SHUT THE FRONT DOOR. And wait for it – so did I!!!!! The last two times he did this I kept waking up but I think I must have had about 8 hours which I can’t remember when that last happened – maybe about a year and a half ago? It was flipping marvellous. I felt like conquering Everest the next day. Though the next few nights have been rough. He just doesn't seem to want to be put down. He’s teething and just being a bit of a whinge pants – though this leap has two more days left so maybe he’s going to be a dream sleeper after that?....
Rafe had a 6-month check at the Freeman Hospital to see how his little heart is this week. I was a little worried he was going to be pulling all the wires off him and not wanting to be poked and prodded but he was an actual legend. And the doctor is happy. He’s obviously putting on weight (have you seen those knees?!) and thriving. The hole has got a teeny bit smaller – though still quite big, but the doctor said it is not causing him any issues – and is in a ‘safe place’. So it’s still not dangerous. Just need to keep an eye on him and will be back in 6-months. Hopefully they may never need to intervene – but I’m naturally always going to worry. But it was a relief – and all the nurses and other people in the hospital kept giving him lots of attention so he was in his element!
When did you stop breastfeeding? I always had in my head that I would breastfeed for 6-months and through those early weeks of really struggling, this deadline kept me going. I never thought I’d still be breastfeeding this long (though had to replace two feeds with formula since back to work) – and also actually have grown to really love it. Especially now – I love our little morning feed, his super sleepy feed before bed and even the night feed. I kind of have in my head that I will stop when he is one – but that’s actually only a few weeks away and I don't feel ready - and Rafe isn't showing any signs of wanting to self-wean. I’m not going to be like the Little Britain sketch (bitty!), though not judging anyone who continues to breastfeed as long as they want – I just don’t know when to stop and if I actually want to. I know they say up until babies are one – breastmilk (or formula) is their main source of nutrition, so seems like the natural place to stop but I just don’t know. Advice?!
We get the keys to our new house next week – hurrah!! Though going back to work, maternity leave ending and moving into a new house all within a couple of weeks is a teeny little bit stressful and I may need to eyeball vodka at some point. But exciting times ahead.
Rafe's first, very, very wobbly steps were a one off I think - he's started just hopping like a kangeroo so don't think he'll be on his feet anytime soon. Though not rushing it! Still just rolling and a few little commando crawls but know he will just do it when he's ready.
So yeah, a lot going on this week! Thank you so much for everyone’s comments and messages on my last post. As always, it’s so good to know I’m not alone. Raising a glass of wine to you all.
P.s Thinking of first birthday presents (how has this happened?!) and quite want to get Rafe a teepee play tent - any recommendations? Ta!
Royal Marine Wife. Mum to Rafe.