Baby, Parenting

Just Keep Swimming

I haven’t blogged in a WHILE. It feels like ages if i’m honest. Things have just kept cropping up, been busy and i’ve started weaning William, and that makes mealtimes/breakfast/nappy changing time that little bit longer – I will be doing a blog post about my experiences of weaning so far shortly so watch this space for that one – it involves a choking incident which I am still struggling to get over..

ANYWAYS.

I thought i’d do a blog post about something me and the little (well he’s not so little now – he’s 24 weeks and weighs 19lbs 11oz my little porky sausage) man get up to every week. And to be honest, me as an individual doesn’t really enjoy that much. SWIMMING.

It’s not that I dislike swimming, i’m just actually really shite at swimming. Everytime we go abroad, I always have to get hubby to hold my hand the first few times we go in the pool and I NEVER go to a point where I can’t feel the floor. You should see me in the actual sea. I’m like a crazed lunatic digging my toes into the sand,but then the thought of some weird sea creature biting my toes gets in my head so I just sort of doggy paddle in the water trying to look cool in my bikini from 3 years ago while all these ultra cool hip women who are all size 8’s just smoothly swim past me, wearing Armani sunglasses and a waterproof obligatory Michael Kors watch their boyfriends with a 53 Plate audi bought them for christmas the previous year, that they instagrammed with the caption “the boy did good”. 

Anyway, I digress. Because of how RIDICULOUS I am and have been in the past (i’m sure I have been rescued from a swimming lesson while I was at secondary school by my P.E teacher as I had a little panic attack – not embarassing at all I assure you. I think after that I was on my “period” for approximately 8 years, and never did swimming at school ever again. MEGA LOLZ.) I want William to be comfortable in the water, and be a good swimmer, not just for the holidays I hope we are going to be going on in the future (nudge nudge Norms – Cyprus????) But also for safety. I want him to be competent and able to get himself out of trouble if the awful circumstance ever occurred. 

So I take him every Tuesday with my bezzie Laura and her little girl Chloe. Its lessons, and I use that term very loosely. I mean the instructor isnt teaching him butterfly stroke, And how to do a forward roll turn with a backflip from a 13ft diving board, I mean he’s only just learnt that he has feet for goodness sake. But it’s things like throwing a ball in the water and us holding the babies and encouraging them to try catch the ball with their hands, and encourage them to kick their feet and legs, holding on to the sides and moving along, lots of singing and woggle use. (Anyone who doesnt know what a woggle is, its basically a massive sponge like thing that floats, and its like 6ft long. Google it. Hours of fun.)

Then there is also the SUBMERSION. Well, I was more nervous about that I think than the prospect of people seeing my post-baby body in my Sainsbury’s swimming cozzie. I mean what happened if he DROWNED?? (Obviously he wont – I have hold of him the whole time.) He always looks mega shocked and very taken aback at whats just happened. He also looks at me like a piece of shit on his shoe, that he cant actually believe that I have just done that to him. But it is literally for a split second,and to be fair it makes it lots easier at bath time washing his face, as he gets used to his face being wet. He just hates his ears being in the water, which I think most people do. 

One thing I wasn’t ready for was the amount of CRAP you have to take for one 30 minute swimming lesson/”lesson”. I mean. It’s ridiculous. You have to take a fair amount of shit with you out and about everyday anyway, but going swimming is on a whole new level!! Here’s just a little list of all the crap I take with me every week:

  • Swimming costume for me
  • Swimming costume for William
  • Towel for me
  • Towel for William
  • Pants etc for me
  • Change of clothes for William (I usually take him in his PJ’s then get him changed into new clothes afterwards)
  • Spare clothes in case he sick/shits/pisses on previous set
  • Moisturiser/baby oil for his skin as he gets dry skin after swimming
  • Nappies
  • Disposable swimming nappies
  • Nappy bags
  • Baby Wipes
  • Bum Cream
  • Dummies
  • Teething Gel
  • Milk
  • Muslin cloths/bibs
  • Spare milk in case he is mega hungry
  • Plastic fucking bag for all the bleach smelling wet shit
  • Change for bloody lockers because of course they couldnt possibly be free could they (imaginary eye roll)

I mean…..seriously. So all that shit is crammed into a bag, plus you have your usual changing bag, when you walk in the receptionist probably shits hersef that you are staying for 2 weeks and are going to ask her how she likes her eggs in the morning. It really is THAT much. Plus all the other shit like Calpol “just in case” etc etc – my life is now just carrying crap around in a 15 tonne bag “just in case”. 

But it really is so funny to see William in the water, interacting with the other babies, and me, its nice because it’s something we can do together, just the 2 of us, and he has to put all his trust in me, which is a nice feeling. It’s a really good bonding time for us. 

However I do look like a shitty mum because I literally have NO IDEA what half the songs are, something about a monkey swinging in a tree and a crocodile coming…?? Also using said woggle further up in the post as a horse, literally straddling this bloody 6ft long sponge sausage jumping around as if you’re on a horse…its very degrading. As if having your fadge out with half of the local hospital (in which you work at) coming and eyeing it up isn’t bad enough. You then straddle and jump about on a 6ft piece of sponge. Getting off the thing is the worst. Whilst holding a beast of a baby. Needless to say, my street cred (if I had any) is literally being sloshed away with baby piss and spit down the local council’s drain. 

Also, getting dressed and dried afterwards is quite a stressful experience. You are there with a 56 year old beach towel that your grandma once used in the Cold War, wrapped around you which keeps sliding off, trying to wrestle a slippery chlorine-smelling baby out of a little swimsuit which has gone skin tight onto his little sausage rolls, sometimes not on a baby changing table, because there are like the smallest amount of changing rooms with baby changing facilities, and trying not to drop water on them, they are cold, tired and more often than not hungry (well mine is), so they usually KICK OFF. And I don’t mean a few little cries that can be subsided with a few raspberries on the belly or a tickle under the chin. I mean like a full on, screaming, coughing, kicking MELT DOWN. As if the end of the world is nigh.  So there’s always that thought looming over you as you exit the pool, trying to walk fast (because you can’t run in a swimming pool can you) because your baby is cold and because you don’t want to see someone you know and for them to see your cellulite, that you blame having on being pregnant when really you had it before.

But all this aside, the endless baggage, the stressful change afterwards, the dry skin and the stinky washing, swimming is so much fun! It really really is, and I would DEFFO recommend that if you have a little one, and you are able to then take them. 

Baby, Beauty, Friends, General, Parenting, Personal

An Open Letter to My Friends

Dear Friend, 

It’s me. Tara. Aka Mummy. 

I’m sorry I haven’t seen you in a while. I know you text me 4 weeks ago asking how things are and how William is doing, and that we needed to catch up soon. I did see it. I did want to reply. I really did. But these days, I barely get time to sneeze or go for a piss in peace. And by the time it gets to 9pm and the baby has only just gone down to sleep after me trying  since 7pm, all I want to do is eat something (But I usually dont) and go to bed myself. So please don’t be mad that I didn’t text back. I agree, we do need to catch up. I miss you too. 

I’m sorry I forgot to send you a birthday card. Or a Christmas card. They were written, and on the side ready to post/pop in to you. But the truth is, I can’t really “pop” anywhere these days. Gone are the days of just nipping out, as now it takes me an hour just to try and get a shower, amid all the crying, sicking, changing shitty nappies, cleaning up dribble from various areas of my hair, putting a dummy back in, finding said dummy that baby has spat out and managed to sit on, winding, sssh-ing, reassuring the baby that I haven’t abandoned them , that I’m merely washing the smell of baby shit and B.O. from my body, only to be a sweating mess again in 10 minutes after picking the baby back up to stop him from crying for him to show me the reason he was crying was in fact because he had trapped wind that turned into an acidic white vomit that is now all over my freshly soap and glory’ed skin. Excellent.

I’m also sorry I haven’t popped to see you after work because as well as how long it actually takes me to get out the house now with a small human, the amount of crap I have to bring with me for a small outing is actually unbelievable. I have a £60 bag, which is essentially the size of a weekend holdall bag, filled to the brim with so much shit, that it won’t zip up, and when strapped to the pram it makes the pram wonky and lean one way. All this crap just in case. Gone are the days of me leaving the house with my keys, phone, purse and perhaps a lip gloss and hair brush in a cute little Michael Kors bag. I don’t even use a handbag anymore.  I don’t need one. It’s not like I have time to put on my new Barry M lip gloss anyway. Plus, even if I did, within 3 minutes 45 seconds William would have smeared his little hand into my lips and subsequently into my hair and I will be basically a walking talking scarecrow with a baby attached to me hanging from my knotted but shiny and glittery hair in Barry M shade 678.

I’m sorry that you can’t pop here after work like we used to do. When we used to get chippy teas or naughty takeaways and sit and watch Corra Norra and laugh about Audrey Robert’s funny noises she makes or swoon over Danny Dyer and talk about all the rude things we’d do to him if we ever had half the chance. The truth is, I don’t even know if Audrey Roberts is still even in Corra Norra anymore, by the time I sit down after putting the baby to bed all the good telly is finished and I’m left with some weird fishing programme or QVC selling me a hoover or overpriced hand cream. The term “bath, bottle, bed” is followed as loosely as possible. It’s more of a “do whichever stops him crying and puts him to sleep” the fastest routine. So I sack it off and go to bed, to wait for the next time the small human beast will wake screaming at the top of his lungs like he is sitting in a pool of his own piss and up to his eyeballs in mustard poo, and hasn’t been fed for 45 days. (Obviously he isn’t any of these things).

I’m sorry as well that when we do meet up, I don’t have anything exciting  to tell you anymore.  No gossip from work.  No funny stories to tell you about how I bumped into so and so we used to go to school/college/on nights out with and she’s looking like God knows what now , or her new fella looks like someone from Shameless. Or how I saw this really cute outfit in New Look that I thought would look amazing on you. Or talk about what the Kardashians are up to this week and oh my God did you see Kim K in Heat magazine..? All I’ve got to talk about now is nappies, how many bottles of milk William has had that day and how many ounces he drinks, and how he cried all morning  and the only thing that would console him was me blowing raspberries on his feet. I’m sorry that this is boring for you. But literally, that’s all I have to say. Because that’s what my day consists of, day in, day out. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Sleep, Feed, Change, Wind, Cuddle, Clean up, Play, Sing Row Row Row Your Boat, repeat. 100 thousand times over.

I’m sorry that I can’t go with you on that night out. I would of given anything to go out with you, get dressed up in something other than leggings covered in milk and spit, and a t-shirt that smells questionable under the arm pits. I would of loved to have been able to go out without carrying the contents of my house, not worrying about lip gloss being smeared into my hair, and sitting at a table that doesn’t need to have room for a pram. It would of been amazing to drink something other than cold tea, from a clean glass rather than a cup that has been used for over a week and not washed because you just simply haven’t got the time or the energy to stand and do dishes.

The truth is, since becoming a mother I have in fact turned into a bit of a shite friend. And for that I am sorry. But the truth is, I’m not sorry I’ve become a mother. 

Yes, I look back on the times when I could leave the house freely, carry my little bag around in the crook of my arm, smell clean and divine and have washed hair that’s nourished and conditioned and not stuck in some bobble and unbrushed for the 3rd day in a row, and feel a little bit sad. I do miss the life I had, when we could hang out whenever we wanted to, go have a drink willy-nilly and end up getting in at 1am wondering how the hell we managed to end up in a club on a Tuesday night?!

The truth is though i don’t miss the life, I miss you. However, being a mum is my priority now. The nappies, the milk, the gummy smiles and the belly laughs at me tickling under his arms. The 4am cuddles because he’s had a bad dream and only mum cuddles will do. This is the life I’ve got now, and I can’t imagine any different. 

It’s not that I don’t want to see you. It’s just that with all the other crap that’s going on, it’s hard to fit it all in. 

I am a mum. But I am still Tara. It’s just Tara has changed. But she does still love you. And I just wanted to let you know that even though we don’t see each other as often as I’d like or as you would like, I still care. I just can’t do a lot of the things I used to any more. My priority is now this tiny human I pushed out my vagina, and unfortunately all the other stuff has to wait. 

Please be patient with me, this is all new to me and I maybe haven’t got the whole social life-parenting-ratio figured out yet. I’m not doing it on purpose. And I’m certainly not pushing you away. It’s just life has now changed.  I enjoy nothing more than lying in bed staring at a tiny human I made, or singing The Wheels on the Bus to try and make my baby smile while holding a wet wipe over his little you know what so that he doesn’t piss everywhere while I change his nappy for the 50th time that morning.

But please know this. I’m always here, if you ever need me. And again, I’m sorry.

But if you ever need wet wipes, I’m the one you should call. I’ve got thousands of the fuckers upstairs.

T x

Baby, General, Parenting

Hey Roomie!

I thought I’d do this next post BUT I would just like to say that there is no right or wrong way to bring up your child, and this is just MY experience and way I have done things.  Also, please no criticism. Us mums need to stick together! 

So, in case anyone was unfamiliar, the Government has decided and given us guidelines about all aspects on bringing up your children. And the guidelines for sleeping are basically, that they should sleep with you in your room, be it co-sleep, in a crib or moses basket or the sort, until they are 6 months old. This is to minimise the risk of sudden infant death syndrome  (SIDS). 

Well that’s all well and good, but what happens if you want to (or need to) put your baby in their own room earlier? Please note again that I’m not a health care professional nor am I a member of this so-called Government who make these policies up. I’m just a first time mother giving whatever works a go.

So basically, William is 4 months old (19 weeks to be PRECISE) now and he is in his own room, and has been since he was about 11 weeks old. 

Cue the shocked and appalled gasps and people running to their phones to ring  Esther Ranson up at Childline HQ. 

The truth is, it all sort of..happened by accident. That sounds ridiculous. Let me explain.

We have Williams room all set up and it has been since before he was born, you know you do the whole painting and decorating the nursery before they arrive, all excited, only you can’t really do anything because your heavily pregnant and crouching down to paint skirting boards isn’t really an option when your top heavy as you just fall over, the baby squashes into your vital organs and you end up panting and needing someone to help you up, which is a job in itself as your about the same weight as a male walrus with tusks and everything.

Anyway, Williams room is all set up, ready for him to eventually go in there. We have a cot, a changing table/chest of drawers and wardrobe, and a chair so we can feed him in there if we so desired. It was all lovely and tidy and looking like something from a mamas and papas catalogue, shiny and new.

Our bedtime “routine” (I use that word loosely, there is no set time for bedtime, we just work it around when he’s had his “tea time” bottle and take him up a couple of hours after that) consists of us bathing him, and then going into his room to get him dressed and lotioned and potioned up and ready for his last bottle. We used to, when he was first born, take him downstairs to feed him then put him in his moses basket and sit in deathly silence downstairs afraid to make a noise as he is a light sleeper, and risk waking him up. We eventually got sick of this, and I was getting pissed off at trying to lip read Danny Dyers Cockney slang in EastEnders  (its bloody hard that. Plus he’s got a sexy beard thing going on. I don’t really lip read to be honest I just gawp at the fitness. Thank you BBC for employing him)  that we decided to put the moses basket upstairs and get a monitor with a screen so we could keep him upstairs and have some time to ourselves and eat tea etc etc without tiptoeing around like church mice. So I bought a second hand BT monitor from eBay and off we went. 

The only problem was, that William is a little chunk. He was waking up because he kept wriggling up his moses basket and having his head pushed up at the top, it was a very strange position. He obviously moves around a lot in his sleep if he isn’t in his sleepyhead. So me and Norms just used to use that instead, put that on our bed and let him sleep in that as he couldn’t move around, and quite honestly he was so comfy in there he didn’t feel the need to. In case any of you don’t know what a sleepyhead is, it’s basically a massive breathable pillow thing, one pillow is in a U-shape and with a little mattress pillow thing in the middle, and it’s supposed to make them feel safer and like they are being held/in the womb/very comfy cosy. Google them. They are ace. To be honest if they did them in adult sizes I would buy one. 

Anyway, we had been thinking about moving Wills into his own room for a couple of weeks back in December, as he kept waking up all the time in our room. Not for a bottle, for winding, for nappy change or one of the other 100,000,000 things it could possibly be that you have to guess, but because of us. I am a light sleeper and move around the bed a lot when I sleep. Beds creak and make noises. Plus normal human noises, heavy breathing, farting etc etc. Plus there was one other major factor. Well I say factor. I mean thing.  The wild bush pig next to me, aka my husband. He snores like I DON’T KNOW WHAT. Seriously. It’s like having Pumba from the lion king next to me, I’m half expecting him to burst into a verse of Hakuna Matata any minute. He is SO. LOUD. And it was waking the little guy up. So we had been discussing it and what we were going to do and how we were going to do it. 

It just so happened that one night, it was my turn to bath and put William to bed, so we did the bath time  (my favourite time of the day, William is so cute in the bath) and I slathered him in all his lovely smelling Potions and decided I would feed him in his room, as he was getting aggy and wanted his milk RIGHT THERE AND NOW and couldn’t possibly wait a millisecond later (its as if they’ve never been fed – cue the calls to Esther again – this time probably from the neighbours the way William screams the bloody place down). So I sat in the chair and gave him his baby crack (milk) and then it hit me. Like, really bad.

I really, really needed a wee. Like, really. You know when you need a wee so much it hurts your insides and one sudden unplanned movement could cause a flood. Yeah, one of those. And since having the milk machine my pelvic floors aren’t what they used to be. I mean, I can hold my wee, but not for as long as I used to be able to. I remember once I held a wee in all the way from York area to Manchester on the train while on a hen do, and carried on drinking, because the toilets were out of order. I ran off that train like Usain Bolt, and left the other girls behind. It was a close shave let me tell you that. Anyways.

So there i was, my little babe literally in arms, he had just fallen into his milky sleep and I so so desperately needed a piss. Shit! I thought to myself. I remembered I hadn’t got the moses basket ready before bath time and the sleepyhead for some reason was in his cot, (I think we put it in there to keep it out the way) and I didn’t have enough hands to move it without waking him up. I needed to make a decision and it needed to be a fast one. Before I covered my little 11 week old baby in piss. This was not a drill.

So I just did it. I placed him in his little sleepyhead that was in his cot, covered him with a blanket and dashed out to the loo. It was one of the best wee’s I have ever had. When I was finished I crept back into Williams room, convinced he would have woken up as he wasn’t in his usual surroundings and I had quite literally just plonked him in. But alas, no. He was still asleep. So I got the monitor and set that up on the side of the cot, and decided to see how it went. 

I went downstairs to hubby and asked him if he thought I had done the right thing, should I go get him out, is it too soon? He just sort of grunted something about seeing how it went, probably engrossed in some shitty police interceptors programme, so I sat and watched the monitor as if it was telly and Danny Dyer was on it topless. But I didn’t need to. That night, William slept 7 hours straight.

SEVEN. 

WHAT. THE. FUCK. 

I went to check on him probably a million times, to make sure he was breathing and hadn’t slipped into some sort of coma, but everytime he was fine. 

He obviously needed the quiet and darkness, and probably thats the reason. When he woke he was like a different  baby. A baby who had caught up with their sleep. He was all smiles and giggles and just generally happier. So we tried again for the next few nights, and he did the same. Maybe not for as long, but he certainly slept longer and better than he was doing in his moses basket or his sleepyhead on the floor in our room. So we never looked back. This is just how we did it, like I say, totally by fluke and because my bladder was about to burst. Some people may have put their children in their own room earlier, and some may not want them to leave their room ever and thats fine. This was just our experience. Now this isnt to say that William sleeps brilliantly every night. He still has his nights where he wont settle, and he just wants cuddling and being on somebody, or he will wake up 45 times in the night and it will generally be horrendous. But thats what babies do. They are crafty. They trick you into thinking that you have won the battle, when really they have already won the war. Sometimes William still sleeps with me for a couple of hours in the morning, because lets be honest, a couple of hours of precious uninterrupted sleep is better than getting up every 5 minutes to put a bloody dummy back in or give them a rock and a “ssh”. 

One thing I wasnt prepared for though was how MY decision about MY child would cause a Health Visitor to be quite rude, really. Now if your reading this and you’re a Health Visitor, dont worry, i’m not slamming you all and saying you are all in some kind of evil witches cult sat there around a cauldron. But this PARTICULAR Health Visitor was a bit shitty really, and she made me feel like a bad mother for making the decision to put William in his own room when we did.

Basically, I take William to one of my local health centres to get weighed every Tuesday, one of my best friends works there and its a good excuse to get out the house and I also get to catch up with her while I wait to be seen. Well this one time, I STUPIDLY mentioned when the Health Visitor asked about how William was sleeping, that he was in his own room. I was met with a right salty look. Literally you could of seasoned about 70 portions of fries with the amount of salt that was in that look. Then came the questions. In the obligatury sarcastic and patronising tone;

“Why is he in his own room? Can I ask what made you decide to do that? What is he sleeping in? What’s in the cot with him? There aren’t any toys are there? You do know the Government guidelines say 6 months? Do you realise he could suffocate? You really should all still be in the same room. What exactly is a sleepyhead? Is it safe for sleeping? He could put his face in the sides and suffocate, we’ve had babies die by being in their own rooms too early. It really should be 6 months…”

She trailed off when she was met with my returning salty look and heavy sigh. She just basically (or so I felt) accused me of just being a bad mother. How DARE she? I had actually made the decision based on the fact of what I thought what right for him – considering he is, funnily enough, MY CHILD. I then answered all her sarcastic condescending questions, about how he is too big for his moses basket, his neck was getting bent by him moving up and around in the basket, the snoring, we have a monitor and watch him, explained what a sleepyhead was, and that he cant suffocate because he is in a sleeping bag and cant actually roll over yet, and that the sleepyhead is actually completely breathable, and yes its safe for sleeping as the clue was in the name (????). She just sort of looked at me with this patronising look in her eyes, as if she wasnt believing anything i was saying, and that I was the world’s worst mother and Satan should come and take me away in his fiery carriage and William should be blessed with holy water to rid him of my cardinal sin. And then proceeded to tell me AGAIN that the Government recommended babies stay with their parents until they are 6 months old. I answered with “Well the government aren’t in my house day after day and don’t know my baby, do they?” And then I just kept quiet, didnt say anything else. I think she got thr hint i was pissed off, and promptly shut her trap and started to write down in Williams red book how much he weighed. The air was very tense, literally you could of cut it with a knife. I politely said goodbye and turned on my heel, going to my friend and telling her what a bitch the health visitor was. Inside I was seething. I’m sure she was just doing her job, trying to give me some helpful advice, yet the way it came across was not in that way. I think sometimes Health Visitors can come across as a bit patronising , some of them are old school, and sometimes the way that you possibly do things may not be the way that either they would do it, or the way the “Government” (whoever these people are who think up these rules are) would recommend. I think they mean well, obviously, however sometimes the way that it comes across is sometimes a bit demeaning and can make you feel a bit shit. So from now on, I just tell them what they need to know, and that’s the way I choose to deal with that.

The point of this post was just to share an experience, and also just to say, that whatever decision you make for your child, you are the only one who can make it, your the only one who knows your baby inside out, so don’t ever be made to feel bad for a decision you have made. Because lets face it, no one really knows what the fuck they are doing. We’re all just winging it day to day, getting into bed on a night and wondering how the fuck we managed to get through another day without anything monumentally going tits up.

Baby, General, Parenting

Night Fever

When I was preggo I knew that night feeds would be part and parcel of having a new baby. Of course. I mean I didnt come down with yesterday’s rainfall. However I just didnt realise how consuming and how often it would happen. 

I mean I wasnt expecting William to sleep 13 hours straight a night from coming home from the hospital, no no no. But I was living in some rose-tinted hopeful fairy-land that he would be one of those so called “good babies”, you know the ones from my previous post who apparently sleep through the night when they are half a day old.

Obviously he wasnt. As is any normal baby. But nothing really PREPARES you for the whole night feeding thing, you assume your going to be tired and that you will just “sleep when they sleep” during the day. Well let me tell you;

  1.  That is very hard to do, especially when hubby or partner goes back to work and you have all the house chores to do. On your own. With this little thing there watching your every move. Crying and wanting your 100% attention, no less.
  2.  Sometimes, your baby only sleeps for a very short period of time in the day, so you cant actually realistically get anything done even if you wanted to. I mean who can put 3 loads of washing away in 25 minutes?
  3. When you first have your baby, sleeping through the daytime is impossible because every tom, dick, harry and their cousins-first-sister’s-dogs-uncle-twice-removed wants to come and see you (well, really they want to see the baby but they also have to see you while they are at it) so even if you wanted to catch 40 winks, you cant as you have to play hostess while your there smelling of baby sick with bags the size of China and 7 day old greasy hair.

So you’re there, lying in bed, all cosy and wrapped in your duvet, finally able to sleep on your stomach after 9 months of doing some kind of yoga pose (crouching hidden moon dog??) just to be comfortable, when you hear a murmour from the moses basket beside you. You peek down, trying not to make eye contact. Surely not..he only went to sleep 20 minutes ago..he cant be waking up already? You decide to leave him, he might be dreaming. But, nope, sure as anything, he starts whimpering and slowly starts to cry. All manner of thoughts cross your mind. Here’s some of my regular thought processes before doing a night feed:

How can he not be tired? I am so tired!! If i’m tired, surely he must be too? (he then proceeds to yawn loudly, as if to rub salt in your already gaping stinging wound, litte twat). How can he still be hungry? Surely he cant be? He only had a bottle so-and-so time ago..surely he cant still be hungry? Maybe he’s hungry because he was sick and he’s had a massive shit..but surely not THAT hungry..maybe he’s thirsty? Can i give him water? Maybe he wants his nappy changing again. But i only changed him an hour ago..surely he cant want his nappy changing again..what has he got in there? Maybe he just wants a cuddle? But if i pick him up am i “making a rod for my own back”? 
And so on and so forth. Basically you spend 10 minutes asking yourself rhetorical questions which you will never know the answer to unless you actually get up and go see if he wants changing/feeding/winding etc, all the while your baby is slowly crying louder and louder and going more and more red in the face and looking like a vine ripened tomato with legs and arms in a 2.5 tog sleeping bag. 

So you get up, while your darling husband/partner/boyfriend/whoever lays there blissfully oblivious, snoring away in slumberland. That is, until you kick them in the shin/slam the door/slam the bottle on the side/place said crying baby in the bed right next to his ear/chunter and moan “ILL FUCKING DO IT THEN” under your breath (at the top of your lungs)/other miscellaneous loud and disturbing action to make sure that the bloody prat wakes up, because if YOU’RE awake then damnit HE’S going to be awake too. Even if there is no use for him, you’re sure as hell not going to be awake at this ungodly hour on your own.

So there you are, this crying little baby at 2.17am (or some other ridiculous time) and your going through the same routine for the hundredth time. Change the nappy. (why do the worst, biggest, foulest shits always happen on a night time? When lighting is at a minimum? Like, hello???? I need to see the creases of skin in order to get all the mustard shit out of them.) Make sure baby is warm/cool enough. Wind the baby. See if the baby wants feeding. Clean up any spew. Change clothes after said spew is found in baby’s hair/eye/ear/all down front. And so on and so forth.

Now, some people say “ooh, make sure you cherish those moments, they wont last forever, soon they wont need you anymore” etc etc. Yes, I understand this point. And yes, its probably true, when William is 4 or 5 and a little independant dude, he wont need his Mama as much, and I’ll probably look back and think “oh, i miss him being small and dependant on me, i should of listened to all those people” while watching him outside playing on his bike while I cry into a cup of tea comfort eating a Terry’s chocolate orange or 5. But let me tell you, at the time, your not thinking about the future. Well, you are. Your thinking that in about 45 minutes time you will (hopefully) be back asleep. Until the next feed. And the whole chunter/kick spouse/ask questions/cry saga starts again.

The truth is, babies need lots of milk. Be it booby milk or formula, they are little eating machines and in the first few weeks they need to have lots and lots of milk to grow properly. I mean let’s face it they have gone from being fed whenever they wanted and whenever they didn’t want it for 9 months, every different type of cuisine on the planet, to being outside their cosy little cocoon and not having an endless supply of food/nutrients. Like when I say they need lots of milk, I mean they need LOTS OF MILK. Little and often.  Like every bloody hour or 2. So be prepared to kiss goodbye to sleep, because you can bet your bottom dollar that they will wake every hour or so through the night wanting more of the milky goodness. William is 4 months and still wakes for 2 feeds at about 2am and 6am. (But then again he’s a right Bruce Bogtrotter little greedy urchin. He’d drink a pint of bloody Aptamil if we put it in front of him with a side of pork scratchings.) 

Also as I said before be aware that for some unknown and obscure reason babies always seem to want to go for the biggest rankest cacks in the night time. And because they are in your room in their little moses basket/crib etc the easiest option is to change them on your bed. So be prepared for your boudoir, your place of solice and tranquillity to smell like plop plop of the most toxic kind. You’ll walk in throughout the day and wonder if you’ve left a dirty nappy in there. You won’t have. It will just have a lingering smell of baby shit and puke. Soz. 

While your lying there waiting for your husband to wake up and possibly, maybe, you sleep and him do the night feeds (it won’t happen often- just so we are all aware) you will lie there probably seething more and more. Why won’t the little knob just sleep? You eventually get up and go through the whole wind/cuddle/change/feed cycle, feeling majorly pissed off with your little human and cursing them and wishing they would go back to sleep.  Then they do the worst thing ever.  They smile at you. Or they grab your finger.  Or gaze into  your eyes with so much love and contentment that you’re there with them and no one else, that it touches you deep in your soul, and you start to feel guilty. Like, really guilty. Especially because you’ve just called them a little bastard while wiping piss off your dressing gown. So then you start to cry (through sheer exhaustion and being delirious but also through that bloody mum guilt) and convince yourself and your baby that your sorry you shouted and you hoped they would enjoy their milk and shower them with kisses and cuddles and try to make yourself feel like less of a shitty mum for losing your rag. 

The truth is everyone has these moments, it’s part and parcel of having a new baby.  But I’m not going to spin you a line about how easy it is. Because it’s wank and hard work. But whoever said being a mum was easy? And let’s be honest, you get through one shit night and you feel proud of yourself. And so you bloody should. We all need a theoretical pat on the back once in a while. Plus it means that glass of Pinot grigio is totally justified. 

Parenting

No BS about BF

So my last post was about what happens after you’ve had a babba. I just wanted to do a post about feeding – what worked for me, what didn’t, how I felt, what products and tools I used and all that jazz. (Tools..Like I’m on 60 minute makeover 😂).
OK so we all know there are 2 methods to feed your sprog. Breast or bottle. Each one has pros and cons, each person has their own views on both. It often leads to mums and parents being judged for their preferred or chosen method. Which i think is totally WRONG. But we’ll get to that later.

When I was preggo I was very undecided about which method I was going to choose when the chosen one made his appearance. I had friends who had breastfed and loved it. I had friends who didn’t want to entertain it at all. I had friends who tried and it wasn’t for them. I had friends who wanted to but for one reason or another couldn’t. I gathered their advice and stewed on it for a bit. Me and norms spoke about it but I was still undecided. I don’t know what it was, I just wanted to make sure I was making the right decision for me, my baby and our lifestyle. Norms works away you see, so I wanted to know that when I was going from be on my own, sometimes for 5 nights at a time, I was going to be able to manage and do the night feeds without any extra agg.

Of course, the professionals, the midwives, health visitors, antenatal class leaders all recommend you breast feed if you can. And they literally do try to push it on you. In all the leaflets I got throughout my time up the duff, there were pages and pages of advice and information on breastfeeding, and like 2 pages on formula feeding. It’s wrong really. What happens if you can’t feed your baby from the breast because of medical reasons? You shouldn’t not receive the same amount of information just because of that. Everytime you had an appointment, they would ask, “and how are you planning on feeding baby?” It puts a lot of pressure on you, your fat, swollen and can’t walk, then you have this big decision to make about this human your going to squeeze out your fanny and somehow keep alive.

With all this in mind I wanted to get more information so went to a few antenatal classes and also a breastfeeding class. If you are pregnant and it’s your first time, I’d deffo recommend going. Some stuff was a crock of shit, like how to dress a baby after its bath. Of COURSE it’s going to be easier to dress a doll. A doll doesn’t flail it’s arms and legs around and squirm around all slippery after you’ve lathered them up like a slithery Johnson’s Baby smelling slug. I digress. But do try go, they are free and I happened to meet one of my lovely friends there. It’s a good opportunity to meet other mums who are due around the same time as you, and feel your pain, waddle the same as you, have to use the loo 875489 times a day like you, and have the same questions as you.

So I went to these classes and still came out none the wiser. I went to the breastfeeding awareness class hoping this would help me make my decision. It did. The way they describe breastfeeding is wonderful. Like it’s the most amazing and natural thing, that you and your baby are going to have this amazing special bond that you just can’t get with bottle feeding, that the baby will just know what to do, your liquid gold milk is something that Jesus Christ himself has sent down from heaven and blesses your child’s soul with every little sip it takes. It sounded lovely. It sounded natural, and women had been doing it for millions and trillions of years, and still do do it, so why should I be any different? I was going to do it. I had bought things for bottle feeding just in case, but I wasn’t going to need them. I was going to do this.

So when we went into hospital, I had packed some of the aptamil little starter sets, in case anything happened in labour and for some reason I was not going to be able to give our son the boob, for example if i had a traumatic labour, had to have surgery afterwards etc etc. I was adamant I didn’t want to use them.

After William was born, me and the midwife tried to put him onto my breast to feed, and for that all important skin on skin contact. He wouldn’t do it. I moved position, she moved my tit here there and everywhere, but nope, he just would not suck on my nipple. She explained it might be because he wasn’t hungry and the trauma of labour needed to wear off, or that he had enough fat stores to see him through a few hours so we should try again later. I was so pumped with adrenaline I didn’t really worry. Besides what did i know? 

So about 4/5 hours passed, we had moved from the labour ward to our own room, and William still hadn’t fed from me. I asked the midwife if this was normal. She said we should try to feed him and she would help me. I cannot begin to tell you how weird I felt, I was so unsure of what to do, it’s not like how you imagine it. You see women on telly or in films or in a coffee shop who just whip their baps out and the baby is there suckling away. I felt stupid asking how I should hold him. So we tried again, holding him in different positions, getting me to move my boob this way a touch, move it that way a touch, lean forward, lean back, don’t just put it in his mouth make him work for it, can’t you try to get your milk going a bit, have you tried to express, why don’t you try the other breast…In the end I got so hot and bothered and sweaty I started to cry. William was getting agged the fuck out being poked and prodded and manoeuvred more than a Dodgem at Hull fair, he was trying bless him, but for some reason he just wasn’t getting it, and my milk just wasn’t coming out enough for him to smell it and his instinct to kick in and him search for my boob. I felt defeated. I was so tired and all I wanted to do was feed my new little baby, experience that bond they had told me so much about. But instead I had to sit there holding him while this woman I had only just met had hold of my right tit, and taught me how to self express, and while we did that she caught the little amounts of the colostrum in a syringe and we fed William that way. I was reassured that this was perfectly normal, not to get upset and just to persevere, it’s not easy but when it happens it just happens. In our hospital we have breastfeeding peer support workers, who are lovely people who volunteer and go round the hospital teaching and helping you to breastfeed, answer any questions etc etc. The midwife said she would pass my details on and get them to come see me so they could maybe help me and give me some tips and advice. 

I felt so shit, like I was supposed to be able to do this natural thing and I couldn’t. Why? What was wrong with me?

Anyway, the more I tried with it, the better it got for a while. He latched on, but just wasn’t getting much milk. The peer support people came round and they were lovely, but it was much of the same, getting your boobs out, someone you don’t know riving your tits around, your baby’s head being forced into positions, getting hot and sweaty, getting frustrated, feeling embarrassed, the list goes on. I was just told that maybe he didn’t want anything, he was latching on fine, it can take a few days for my milk to come in and not to worry. So I didn’t. But then when Norms had gone home and I was all on my own, I started to worry. What if William was starving? Why couldn’t I feed him like all the classes and midwives and health visitors said I would be able to? I was dreading him waking up for his feed. What if it doesn’t work that time too? What do I do? If I press the buzzer will the midwife think I’m wasting her time?  Will she think I’m a shit mum?

Anyways, he woke up an hour or so later, and I changed him (the meconium- see previous post for THAT delight) and I tried to feed him again. And again it wouldn’t work. I tried for about an hour. In the end William was so hungry and Confused with all the different positions I’d put him in, he might as well of done a bloody baby yoga classes bless him. So I pressed the buzzer and this amazing midwife called Nicky came in.  I told her what I’d been doing and it wasn’t working, and got upset again. She was SO supportive.  Like honestly, I was so overwhelmed and tired, and she just expressed some of my colostrum for me, gave me a cuddle and a really good talk. She honestly was like an angel. I’ll always be thankful to her for coming in and being so nice and also being honest.  She made me feel like I wasn’t losing my mind and gave me the reassurance to be patient and keep going.  So I did. And again, William seemed to latch on and I actually felt him start to take some milk. This was it. I’d got it. He’d got it. We’d done it.

The next day was much better, we spent the day in hospital just the three of us, in our little bubble, William was getting better at feeding and I was becoming a little more confident. The breastfeeding support people seemed pleased with how I was getting on and so did the midwives. When norms left at 10pm on the Tuesday night I didn’t feel half as worried answer I had the night before. 

But I should of been. Honestly. It was the worst night  of my whole fucking life.  It started off so well, William had fed just before norms left, I was all set to have a couple of hours sleep before he woke for his next feed and seed infused peanut butter nappy. But that was not to be. Honestly, it was as if William had been possessed by that girl off the film “The Ring”. He was just non-stop crying from about 11.30pm. He cried all the way through me trying to feed him, wouldn’t latch on, wouldn’t suck when he did eventually latch on, wouldn’t take to any of the positions. So I tried to express some milk, but I couldn’t do it. When you’ve expressed by hand loads your nipples are so sore.  Like red, inflamed raspberries on your tit ends. And when you think of expressing, you think of milking a cow. It’s not like that. It’s only the very end of your nipple which you use. You literally are pulling it off, or so it feels.

So I’m sat there, my baby is crying and I’m trying to express with one hand, which is impossible, and soothe him with the other. I sat like this, embarrassed and ashamed that I couldn’t do it myself, until about 1.45am. In the end William was so beside himself I pressed the button and slumped on the bed, him next to me crying and me crying too. Now some of you might be reading this thinking I am being dramatic, it can’t be that bad, why didn’t she press the help button sooner? I can’t tell you how much I wanted to be able to feed my baby myself, be this amazing mother and woman that you see with her baby attached to her bosom, smiling and all goddess and natural beauty-like. The woman that the magazines, teachers at the classes want you to be, and you see on Instagram, looking all goddess like, proud to be boob feeding their little cherub. I know now, looking back, that I put FAR too much pressure on myself. 

So this lovely midwife came in, and we hand expressed again, and the tiniest little dribble of colostrum came out. He took that little bit from a syringe again. She calmed me down and told me not to worry, and If i needed any help not to leave it so long. I felt better, William was asleep in my arms and that was that. 

However, about half an hour later he started crying again. So I started the whole cycle again, changed nappy, and tried to offer him my boob. Again he wouldn’t take it. He seemed hungry, he was doing all his cues, searching for my nipple etc etc. so I tried again, put him in all these different positions, he got more and more Aggy, so I pressed the buzzer again after a good 40 minutes of trying. The lady who came in wasn’t the same as the previous one. I was greeted with “what do you want?”. 

Fucking charming. I nearly spat at her. 

I explained the problems I was going through and she kind of sighed, and said she would be able to come help me but I’d have to wait as she was with someone else and everyone else was busy. I nodded feebly. I mean what else was I supposed to do? I was really struggling and giving myself a really hard time, and to be honest William was finding it hard too and making it difficult for me. So for this midwife assistant to come in and be so rude and abrupt, it really knocked me for six. 

So she came back about 10 minutes later, and we went through the same thing again. In the end, she ended up just expressing some milk for me again, and I sat there numb and blankly staring at the wall, feeling ashamed that I couldn’t do this simple task for my own baby I had grown for 9 months. The awful woman left, and William just wouldn’t settle.  He cried and cried, wouldn’t go in his crib, wouldn’t wind, and would only settle on me. So I held him for a while, let him fall asleep on me and tried to put him back in his crib. By this time, it was about 5am. I was shattered. I hadn’t slept all night, with trying to get William to feed for such a long time. He was over tired, and wouldn’t settle unless he was on me. A midwife came in and heard me crying (and him, screamer) and she got me a bedside crib and made a little towel pillow for him to feel like I was still holding him.  I eventually fell asleep with my hand holding his asleep cross our bed about 5.45am, and they wake you up for breakfast at 7am on the ward. YAWN.

I felt so defeated, really down in the dumps. I had put so much hope on breastfeeding that when it didn’t work as I thought it would do, I felt like a failure. Especially when I couldn’t even express for him. I felt like I didn’t want to do anything for him as I wouldn’t be very good at it. When norms came at 9am, I sat and cried and cried. I made him give him a small bottle of formula as I couldn’t bear the rejection and humiliation and awful feelings again after that terrible night, and people coming in and judging me, looking at me with pity because I couldn’t feed my baby.  I even made him change him. I couldn’t do it. I felt so shit. 

We went home that day, I couldn’t face being there for a third night, I wanted to be at home and do things our way, experiment with what worked and what didn’t. So when we went home we decided to try express using a manual  pump. I managed to express 2oz of milk. But he wouldn’t take it, I tried a bottle, my finger, a syringe, a cup. He just didn’t want it. I had had enough. I was fed up of the crappy feelings, people telling me it would get easier, random people coming and riving my boobs around, we were at home and we decided to go onto the bottle.  I cried and cried as I gave him the formula. I felt like such a failure. I felt like I wasn’t a “natural” mum. But William took thay 2oz of milk and was so much happier. So we never looked back. 

I can’t begin to describe the relief.  But also the guilt. And when the health visitors come over I was met with their disapproval at changing to the bottle, but I broke down in tears each time I explained how I was feeling and how horrible it was today they quickly reassured me that a full and happy baby no matter how they were fed is what’s important, but also a happy mummy is very important.  It really is true true that your little ones pick up when your feeling down, stressed etc.

We were met with another challenge. William for some reason did NOT enjoy the tommee tippee bottles we had bought. He just wouldn’t suck the fucking thing. We tried different teats, different positions. He just couldn’t get on with them. Bloody typical. We switch to the only other option and he doesn’t like the bloody device it comes in. My child is so picky. Fuck knows where he gets that from  (norms. Me. Both of us. I couldn’t possibly say). So off I went onto Instagram and looked at what bottles other people were using. I read a lot about MAM bottles so decided to go with them. They have this square-ish shaped teat which is silky coated, and they have holes in the bottom of the bottle covered by a rubber cover thing, to help with avoiding colic. Tried him on them….and he TOOK IT. HE FUCKING TOOK IT. GUZZLED IT DOWN LIKE IT WAS HOLY WATER. Praise Mary, Jesus and Joseph. 

Because he’d not taken a lot of my milk in the first 2 days, and because he then decided to veto all the bottles we had spent a hundred million quid on, he lost about 12% of his body weight.  We had to get him weighed every day for a few days, then take him every other to get him weighed to see how he was doing. Thankfully when we changed to the MAM bottles he started to put weight on again and now he is thriving, if anything he’s a TANK now.

One other thing I wanted to just mention is about when your milk comes in. Whether your decision is to use the booby juice or not, either way your milk will come in after you’ve had your baby. Mine came in about 4-5 days after he was born. Let me just say…when it comes in, YOU KNOW. Your boobs go rock hard. And I mean, rock hard. As in you can’t touch them, look at them, if you knock them of something or someone it’s as if you’ve been run over by that herd of wildebeest in the Lion King when Mufassa dies. It’s HORRENDOUS. I got a fever when my milk came in. Shaking cold, but sweating like a pig. I felt as though I was getting the flu. Make sure you have paracetamol in just in case you have a similar experience.  I thought I was off my head. It made me feel spaced out. Something else to look forward to. You push something the nice of a melon out of your Minnie, then you are blessed for are few days with two honeydews on your chest. What’s mother nature’s obsession with melons? 

Basically this post is just for all you mums to be, or new mums maybe having a hard time feeding your babbas to know your not alone, and just to be prepared that it is hard work. I have friends who persevered and are having an amazing experience. But the feelings I felt, how low I felt, the guilt, that was not ok, and I just wanted to share that, and to say that whichever way you decide to feed your babies, do what’s right for YOU, your BABY  and your BODY.  Don’t get yourself in a rut like I did, ask for help. Don’t be embarrassed. These midwives, breast feeding support workers, health visitors etc have seen boobs and arse holes and everything before. And they actually aren’t judging you. It may feel awful at the time, but whatever happens along the way your always going to do the best for your baby. It’s your natural instinct. It’s what suddenly comes alive in you when you give birth. You become a MOTHER.

Don’t feel like you’ve failed, your baby doesn’t think you’ve failed, they think you are the most wonderful and beautiful person on this planet. 

General, Parenting

What really happens after you have a baby. Like..REALLY

OK so, you’ve pushed a small human out of your Minnie, been stitched up and have adopted a new waddle and your in your little post labour bubble. But what really happens in those few days and weeks after your…you know…NOT PREGNANT anymore.


You are pregnant for SO long it’s so strange looking at yourself in the mirror and not seeing a baby bump.  You literally feel anorexic. I couldn’t believe how slim I looked (obviously I wasnt). And I could see my feet, my Minnie  (if I wanted to, but I couldn’t bring myself to look at her for a good couple of weeks. I Darent. What would I find??) 

When your in hospital after the birth you feel so elated and proud, it really is the best feeling. Nurses and midwives are coming in, telling you what a great job you’ve done, how beautiful your baby is, how well you look, etc etc. You and your husband/partner are in awe at how you have created such an amazing little thing. You just find yourselves staring at your baby and smiling from ear to ear like some kind of crazed loon. It is amazing and it’s so surreal. But there are also some parts which i, even though I was warned about them, didn’t realise how much it would impact me until they actually happened. 

For example! You are told you are going to bleed after birth. like a really big, long period. I wasn’t particularly bothered by this, my periods were horrendous all through my teens, I had awful period pain to the point where I was off school and would sometimes nearly pass out. And they were bad as in heavy bad. Surely it would just be the same as that?

WRONG

No mate. Then bleeding is worse. Like your wearing this massive ugly fucking maternity pad and you have to change it every hour or so. And there are big lumps and weird shit in it. BE PREPARED. When people say stock up on maternity pads, they mean it. I went through a pack of 12 in one day.  ONE DAY. I MEAN..YUCK. Go to boots and get as many as will fit in your basket. Take a friend. Take Dale Winton and do a frigging supermarket sweep. IT IS NOT A DRILL. You’ll be so thankful to have more than you need.

Your legs will suddenly decide they can’t work properly. I can’t speak from the experience of having an epidural, it may be different it may be worse or better than my experience. But after a natural labour I found that I turned into this doddery like little old lady that needed help getting out of bed and walking to the loo unaided was a distant rose tinted memory. I held onto walls, people, myself (fuck knows why I mean what use is that), I was so shaky and nervous. Like when you’ve had sex in a weird position then you get up and your legs are all shaky. I was like that for about 4 days. 

Your boobs. Oh. My. God. I will do a post a bit later about my breastfeeding experience and struggle, but for now just let me tell you, your tatas will leak. So get some nipple pads. I got some cheap ones from Home bargains but there are lots of different ones around. In my opinion why spend lots of money on something that is just going to get oily weird yellow shit on and then get thrown away, but everyone is different and that’s cool. I leaked from about 30 weeks pregnant so was wearing breast pads most days, it stains your bras and it is so weird, the colostrum is what leaked in my case. It’s like the first bit of your boob milk. To touch it’s quite greasy and like I said, stains your white bras. After William was born I would sit with him and sometimes if I have just got out the shower or wasn’t wearing a bra or pad I would feel something cold on my stomach and look down and it was as if my tit was a bloody tap, it would pour out. It really is weird. 

The first poo. Now. This is something you are told about and have seen pictures of. But until you are faced with it you don’t really believe it. The meconium. It really, truly is like tar. It’s black and slimy and sticky and you use about 34567797543 wipes to clean your innocent baby’s botty. You look at them and can’t believe something so small could do something so rancid (I would love a meconium plop compared to what we have now – honestly it’s something when you say that). Just don’t think about it. Just do it. Put that baby’s legs in the air and wipe..It’s good practice for what’s to come.

The shits are awful, William is 3 months old now and they still make me gip and my eyes sting, it’s like poison. They’re different with whichever feeding method your going for. The formula poos are different to the booby poos. Formula poos are like korma colour and smell fucking rats. Like honestly, it’s pungent. While I boob fed they didn’t smell as much, just had a seed like texture, looks like some kind of food substance you would see a yoga teacher putting on her toast whilst having a green smoothie and meditating on the beach in her size 8 bikini. So yes – be aware of the poos. Make sure you have shit load of wipes. Aldi, water wipes, boots, Johnson’s, pampers, they all do the same thing. Just take lots in with you. And nappies.

Baby blues. This is a real thing. No one told me about it. A couple of days after you have given birth,your hormones are all-over the place. your body is essentially grieving for something it has carried for nearly 10 months, and all of a sudden you have all these feelings and emotions and hormones and it’s all very overwhelming. I found myself snapping at norms and my family for no reason at all, then bursting into tears and sobbing and sobbing  with all this emotion, then feeling fine a few minutes later. When William was 5 days old, Norms went out to buy a lottery ticket, I was feeding William and I was just looking at him, crying my eyes out, my tears were falling onto his little face. I just felt so much love for him and was so happy. I must of looked fucking mental. Norms came home and thought something had happened. When I told him I was just so happy he looked at me like I had 3 heads, I was that hysterical. Then I snapped out of it and was back to my normal, sleep deprived moody bitch self 😂. But no one had told me about them, so I was quite taken aback when I started feeling like this, however the midwives reassured me that I wasn’t losing my marbles, it was just baby blues. 

The sleep deprivation is hard. Try and get as much sleep on maternity leave as possible because seriously when your up every hour or so, you are literally like a zombie. 3 months on and I’ll be honest…It’s not much better 😂😂 but it’s all worth it. Those quiet times when it’s just you and your baby cuddling and looking at each other really are some of the most amazing moments of being a mother. 

Your relationship will probably suffer. Without meaning to, you kind of..Push your partner aside. You are both so tired, don’t have a fucking Scooby Doo what your doing, family and friends want to come see you every fucking day, you don’t have time to eat or shower or do anything, so you neglect each other a bit. The first couple of weeks are hard but trust me it does get better. And your not the only couples who maybe aren’t speaking like you used to, snapping at each other over nothing, questioning what the other is doing, telling them they maybe aren’t pulling their weight. It will pass. It’s a massive lifestyle change and shock to the system, these people and magazines who say that it was amazing and it brought them closer together instantly and it was all fluffy bunnies and unicorns with rainbows and marshmallows are talking absolute crap. It’s hard, you both have dragon breath and B.O and leg hair the same length but you will come out the other side and laugh. 

Wees and poos aren’t the same. You lose the ability to know when you need to wee, so it just comes on all of a sudden and sometimes , SOMETIMES you don’t make it in time. Just be prepared. I still laugh and sometimes piss myself now. The feeling does come back, and for a while afterwards you don’t actually have the ability to push your wee out, you just have to sort of sit there and waist for it to finish. But it all goes back to normal. Your first cack is a scary experience. You know you need to go. You want to go. But you daren’t push. You have flashbacks about the last time you pushed like you needed a poo. What happens if you rip? Will I bleed? Will it be hard? Will it hurt? Will you die? What if another baby plops out you didn’t know you had in there like Sonia from EastEnders? All these things were going round in my head. You just have to sit there and you’ll find its not as bad as it seems. I was shouting to William “oh no it’s coming out, oh no William I’m doing it, oh god oh god” like what is this 1 week old baby going to do? Toddle round the corner and pat my head with a cool flannel and tell me it’s going to be ok? Heck. 

It’s so surreal, you spend the first few days in, well a daze really. But whenever your feeling glum or overwhelmed just remember, you have the best reward for all the pissing yourself, scary poo, bloody pants and leaky tatas. 

General, Parenting

Labour – it really is

So I haven’t posted in a while mainly due to it being CHRISTMAS 🎅 however William is napping on me (cardinal sin), Norms is out looking at golf watches (don’t understand either) so thought I’d write about my labour experience.

I was always petrified and I mean PETRIFIED of labour. I’m not a fanny, I was just convinced I was going to die. (Dramatic) I had a heart murmur when I was younger and it’s always baffled me how the human body can do such a massive traumatic thing and not give up the ghost afterwards! I mean don’t get me wrong, not everybody has a straightforward and easy labour, and some people unfortunately don’t live to tell the tale. With all the negative press (especially in our local press) about all the bad things that can happen in childbirth, or the state of our NHS etc etc I was getting myself in a right tizz.

So I was due on 17th October 2016. 2 days before our 3rd wedding anniversary and our 7 year anniversary of being together. What a wonderful gift that would of been! I was all geared up to be late. The more and more into my pregnancy I went, the more I was convinced I was going to go over my due date. Little did I know I was going to be 2 weeks early! On the dot!

So on 2nd October  (it was a sunday) we spent the day at my mums putting the pram and car seat together. The men were doing my head in – not wanting to read instructions, telling me they knew how to do it, they were men, they were masculine etc etc. In the end I ended up bending and lugging shit all around my mums living room to her pleas of “don’t Tara you’ll send yourself into labour”!! On the evening I got a bath and felt something drop in my belly. Like as if it had fallen down from its lodged place. It was SO WEIRD. I looked at my bump in the mirror afterwards but it didn’t look any different. Obviously the baby was just having a jump around or something.  I went to bed that night, not feeling any different, just mega tired. I hardly slept all night, I was so uncomfortable. Listen, I know the last few weeks of pregnancy aren’t the easiest, but I was much more uncomfortable than before. Up and down to the loo about 10 times, tossing and turning, heartburn straight from the depths of Damiens Cove, weird dreams about labour, feeling hot, feeling cold, snotty nose, sneezing, runny nose. Everything possible. It was about 4am and I had slept about 40 minutes all in all. I just lay there wondering how long this was going to last. Then Norms got up at 5am to go to work for 6am. He was going on his new bike so I could use the car we shared. The tyres were flat. So there i was, 9 months pregnant holding his bike in the living room while he pumped the tyres up at 5.45am. Oh the glamour 😂

Anyways, at 7am I woke up after I dozed off, needing a Wee. Like DESPERATE for a wee. As I stood off the bed I noticed my pants and the mattress were a little wet. “Oh God I’ve pissed myself” I said out loud. I was wondering  when that was going to happen. I’d been close with the pressure of William on my bladder. And now it had happened. So I waddled off the the bog, and the water kept coming out of me. More than a wee. Like someone had turned a tap on in my nether region. I still had a wee, then when I stood up, the water kept coming. All over the bathroom floor. A weird pink colour. It was then when I panicked. And the reality hit me.  MY WATERS HAD BROKEN. Ohmygod ohmygod ohmygod ohmygod. What do I do? Am I ready for this? What if I die? Our baby boy was on his way. Oh my jesus. Then I realised.  Norms was at work. He was going to Wales. What if he was stuck in traffic and couldn’t turn around? Oh bloody hell. I rang his phone. No answer. I rang again. No answer. FUCK. I tried again…nope nothing. What the fuck was he doing??!!! I tried his phone in his lorry.  He answered. WHERE THE FUCK HAVE YOU BEEN were probably the first things to come out of my mouth. I then told him he needed to come home as my waters had broken. We agreed I would ring the hospital then ring him back. I rung the antenatal unit and they told me to ring them back when the day unit opened about 8.45. It was about 8am at this point. I was getting period type pains..would I last until then? 

this was me just after my waters broke.

I rung the ward back up at 8.45 on the dot. Norms had just walked (biked) through the door, and they told me to keep the pants and pads my waters had leaked onto and go in as soon as possible for me to be assessed. This was it. The bags were packed ready to go. I was so glad they had been packed since 32 weeks. We both got showers and I ate a muffin, in case I didn’t eat all day. Then we were off. The contractions were getting stronger now but were still not in a pattern. Then because it was rush hour traffic the ten minute trip to Hull royal took about 20. I was riving around in the car in agony. Someone on a bus that was as stationary next to us gave me a funny look. I didn’t care. I felt like my fanny was going to explode. 

We got to hospital and I had to wait about 30 mins to be seen. In that time I think I scared the people in the waiting room with my moaning and groaning and wriggling around in the seat in pain, it was when a midwife came past and saw my panting when I was finally seen. I was taken to a room and the midwife sniffed my pants and maternity pads, and had a look to see if I was dilated and actually in labour. When she told me our baby was coming and I was 3-4cm and we would have our baby today I nearly shit all over her hand. I couldn’t believe it. I looked at norms  with a mixture of happiness, fright and total shock. The midwife said we needed to go up to the delivery suite straight away and asked if I was OK to walk there. I said yes. That was a mistake. It took about 20 mins for me to walk a 2 minute journey, half of which was in a lift, due to the contractions getting stronger and stronger. Someone even came out of their office to see what the noise was all about, to be greeted with me slumped against the wall holding my vagina. Good job I don’t work in that department of the hospital, that could of been slightly embarrassing. 

I got up the delivery suite and was shown into my room.  It was big, ensuite bathroom with shower and bath, little sofa in the corner and a bed in the middle. I ignored all the medical shit in the corner I couldn’t think of thay otherwise I’d put my flip flops back on and waddle straight back out of there. 

The contractions were about 2 minutes apart at this point, it was about 11am, and this continued until about 12ish. I was on the ball, on the sofa, waddling all over the place trying to breathe through the pain. It’s so weird – when the contractions stopped it was like I was myself again, then they would come and I was turn into a moaning groaning grunting beast from a swamp similar to the Gruffalo. It got to about 12 and I said to the midwife “I think I need a shit” (I had already prepared her for my foul language just in case she was easily offended) so she said it would be good if I went. So I did. I’ve always said I’ll be honest in this blog. So please don’t be offended, but anyone who has been in labour will probably tell you at some point you go for a crap. Well mine was in the toilet but it was HORRENDOUS. I’ll leave it there. I asked the midwife to stay with me in case I pushed my baby put while I was pushing my poo out. She said I wouldn’t, but I insisted so she waited like a saint outside the door. Bless her. 

I then asked her if I could have some pain relief as I hadn’t had anything up to then, no gas and air or anything. So she checked how far along I was, and I was greeted with ” well your about 9-10cm now, so it’s time to start pushing if you feel the need to, your baby is on his way!” And that was that. No epidural for me. I’d gone so far without gas and air, I needed to push, what was the point now? So I started pushing. It’s a weird feeling. It’s like your pushing for a poo, but nothing really happens. I started pushing around half 12. I was on and off the bed, on my front, on my back, on all fours, I just couldn’t find a position that felt right. After an hour and 15 minutes of pushing, the sister in charge came in to help and told me I needed to push harder. I had a contraction and pushed. She told me off for screaming.  She told me to push from the other end and not my throat. She had me pull my legs up to my chest, one foot on her and the other midwife’s hip and to push. I did this for about 10 minutes. I was getting exhausted and my contractions were easing off, with me only being able to push 3 times with each one. Norms said that they started getting the trolley out with the equipment on such as forceps and utensils to make a cut. I was NOT aware of this. I was just trying to remember to breathe. I was shattered. I had zero energy. I didn’t want to do this anymore.  Couldn’t they just send me for a cesarean?? I was fed up. 

The sister then told me I really needed to push with all my might as my baby was getting tired and as I was too, my contractions were slowing down and it wasn’t good for my baby. I told her I was trying but I was too tired. She then told me “it’s called labour for a reason – because it is. It’s not supposed to be easy but you can do this. Your doing so well, don’t give up now, your baby is going to be here soon. I can see his head and he has lots of hair.” I asked her if she was just saying that to try make me hurry up or whether he was actually nearly here. Norms said he could see the head when I was pushing and he did have hair! 

I suddenly got this burst of energy. I was going to do this. I wanted to meet my baby. I wanted to not to pregnant anymore. I wanted to get off my back as I was in agony. I was READY AS FUCK. 

So with that burst I told them I wanted to push. So I pushed and I pushed. The head started to come out. It stung like frigg. I kept shouting to the midwife that it was stinging. She said it would. The head was there. She asked me if I wanted to touch it. I told her I did not. She then told me that with my next couple of pushes he would be here. When my next contraction came she told me to push slowly. I didn’t listen to her. I pushed with all my might. The head was out fully!!! She then told me to pant and not push yet. I had a massive wave and contraction, and gave an almighty push. His body just sort of….flopped out. Then I heard the cry. The most beautiful sound I’ve ever heard. I had done it. I did it! I had given birth! The sister told me I had done it! My first words to her were “am I dead?!” She laughed. I was being serious. I was delirious. Adrenaline was pumping through me and she placed him on me and I looked down at this chubby, red, gloopy shit covered face. I’d done it.  His eyes were tightly shut and he was all squishy. But he was mine. I’d done it. I’d given birth. He was safe. I was safe. Norms was with me. I’d never felt so much love and pride in all my life. It is the most indescribable feeling. 

William Arthur Mills born 03.10.2016 at 14.12 weighing 7lb 13oz. The most wonderful gift I’ve ever received.

After labour we cuddled for a little then the placenta has to evacuate. That is literally like having a poo out of your fanny. And it’s massive! I had a look! It’s weird, like a mixture between a brain and a jellyfish. Then I had to be stitched up. I only had a second degree tear, so a moderate one.  The midwife assistant asked me if I wanted gas and air to help with the pain of my stitches. I laughed in her face. She probably thought I was very rude. I explained I had just pushed this baby in my arms out with no gas and air and said there was probably no point in her getting it all out. And we laughed and laughed then she stuck a massive needle in me and sewed me up with what I can only describe as parcel string. It was delightful. (Sense the sarcasm).

After that it was time to take your first shower and piss after labour. Walking after labour is tricky. I felt like I’d never had legs before! I decided to have as shower rather than a bath because I was scared if I sat down in the bath I’d never get back out of it. And in my case, the first wee wasn’t all that bad. Bit stingy, bit scared to push it out, as the last time I was pushing it was to try and get a 7lb 13oz baby out of my vagina. It haunts you for days.

Me and norms then ate the buttery-est white toast and I had  two cups of the sugary most strong tea ever and it was literally the best meal of my life.

After that you go to a room and that’s where you stay until you go home. Your wheeled through the ward and I honestly felt like a queen with my new baby in my arms, husband behind me and that post labour glow (sweat). So all in all I was in labour 7 hours or so. I couldn’t believe how fast it had gone. Now don’t get me wrong I am very lucky,  some people’s labours are days long and are very painful and have complications. I am very thankful that mine was short and straightforward. It’s something I’ll never forget for the rest of my life.  Norms was amazing and so supportive, and I honestly can’t thank the midwife and staff at the Hull royal infirmary enough throughout the whole labour and after birth experience. The NHS really doesn’t get the recognition it deserves. The midwife and midwife assistant also came back to see me after their shifts had finished to check I was OK and see how we were doing. How lovely? Especially after I’m sure I called them all fuckers and bitches about 10 times.