Saturday, 2 July 2016

Cuddles in the morning

Dear little one (or squeaky majicky)

I have some catching up to do. On sleep, mainly. But here I am at 3am writing you this this letter. You are having a wriggle in your cot. You don't sleep next to me anymore, so the monitor now shows me when you have woken up. I couldn't wait for you to fall asleep on your own, without me having to come and put your dummy back in. But we just had a lovely sleepy cuddle, and I realised that once you fall asleep on your own, these sleepy cuddles will be few and far between. So don't worry just yet, I'm here to help you sleep. 

I wanted to start to write these letters to you when you were a tiny new born. Just a few weeks old when we were getting to know each other, but time has just slipped past me and suddenly you are starting to eat proper food and sleeping all on your own, so before I forget what those first days, weeks and months felt like, I want to get it all down, starting at the very beginning. 

So these letters are for you, my beautiful daughter.  I love you.

Love, mum xxx

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

A great time to start blogging

There I was, sat in bed, cuddling my 7 week old baby. She didn't do a lot in those first few weeks, most babies don't. Cuddles with her were calming and still, and she slotted right into the curve of my left arm perfectly.

Sat in bed that morning, I decided to write a blog post. And publish it. I had never had the guts to do this before, posts were deleted from my phone weeks after writing them. But I had so many thoughts and emotions I wanted to get out, and those sleepy cuddles with my daughter, especially at 4 in the morning, when I was cuddling her for at least an hour after feeds so she wouldn't be sick everywhere, was the perfect time to get it all down.

"Yes!" I thought! I've finally got my blog started! Posts came thick and fast, and then....shit got real.

I always knew I would look back at the first few weeks of having my daughter and think "they were actually the easy days". It was all brand new to me. The tiredness was unreal, I never knew you could exist on that little sleep. The worry overwhelmed me. I doubted myself at every turn. But I soon fell into a routine and things, dare I say it, became easier. Manageable, at the very least. Then a wonderful thing started to happen, my little girl started to grow up, and develop, and suddenly no two days were the same. The smiles came (even if we did have to wait for 9 weeks!). She rolled over, front to back (did this five times one day, and has not shown a bit of interest in doing this since). She holds toys, she tries to eat toys. Basically, she is growing up, and suddenly I have much less time. The days are similar, but she demands so much more time now. Time I just want to spend with her with no distractions. (ThAts right, jax teller is for the evenings only now!) Cuddles are now me remembering those first few weeks whilst she tries her hardest to sit up, and wriggles around. Play time is about an hour of cooing, dangling toys in her face, singing, before she gets tired and goes from 0 to mardy in three seconds. Nap times are usually fought till the end.

So blogs fell by the wayside. In the evenings I just wanted to collapse in front of the tele and not think of anything in particular, but it made me angry that I finally plucked up the courage to start this, to stop within weeks! Anyone who knows me is probably not all surprised by that!

So here it is, a blog to start blogs again. Hoping that putting this out there will be the kick up the arse I need to start getting my thoughts down on paper. Or an iPhone, really. Besides, I have 6 episodes of sons of anarchy left to watch, so surely will have more time after that!

Sunday, 27 March 2016


Before becoming a mum, in those wonderful (and bloody hard!) days of being pregnant, I had so many thoughts and opinions of how I was going to feel, what I was going to do, when my little girl arrived. I would not buy to many clothes she wouldn't get to wear. I would not co sleep. I would let her stop at her grandparents house overnight. I wouldn't beat myself up if I couldn't breast feed. I would try and go back to work full time. I wouldn't spoil her. She wouldn't be allowed McDonald's, except as a treat. She wouldn't have a phone to young. She won't wear make up too young. We will have the sort of relationship where she can tell me about crushes, and boyfriends.

You may be laughing, if you are parents already. There is a huge difference, I'm quickly coming to realise, in theories and practicals. And although my little one is only 10 weeks old, I'm learning that the things I swore I wouldn't do, and things I swore I would, are completely turned on their head for the most part.

 Some of these things I have faced already, some I have yet to face, some I am dreading facing. But I am now realising that I certainly don't need the added pressure of expectations, especially ones I have set for myself. I am just setting myself up to fail most of the time.

Breastfeeding. I went into the breastfeeding situation, naively, thinking it would come naturally to us both. And given time and a less stressful situation, I think we would have cracked it. But for a health reason, which I will talk about on another post I'm sure, we switched to a half hearted attempt at combi feeding, before switching to bottles. I said I would beat myself up, or feel guilty. I did both. A lot. Which is ridiculous. I felt guilty that I hated pumping. I felt guilty that she didn't seem to like my expressed milk as much as formula. I hated how she fought breastfeeding, after realising it was much easier to drink from a bottle. It took a couple of weeks for the guilt to go, and even now I have pangs. I now feel guilty about potentially breastfeeding any other children we may have, giving them something I couldn't give to my first baby. All pointless guilty feelings that added nothing but stress and upset to a situation.

Co-sleeping. Not for me, I said. She will be in a Moses basket, I said. That's until it gets to 5.30 in the morning and I have had 2 hours broken sleep, and she is either being so sick after her last bottle that I'm now out of Moses basket sheets, or grunting and making noises like she is doing a version of 'Old McDonald' that I couldn't sleep if I wanted too. So onto my chest she comes. And we sleep in relative quietness (her daddy snores) and I wake up at every tiny move she makes. But we sleep. I then feel guilty that she isn't getting used to her Moses basket, and I feel the pressure of ''making a rod for my own back" which i know is a ridiculous notion this young. So I'm either tired, or feeling guilty, and so far that sums up 50% of parenting for me.

So I'm trying to stop putting pressure on myself. Pointless pressure, which just leaves me upset if I can't achieve what I have, unrealistically, set out to. I know it will take time. But why worry about things that haven't reared their head yet. I have tackled the breastfeeding, or lack of it. And as long as we're sleeping, we are both the better for it. We will tackle her stopping at her grandparents house for the first time, probably with wine. And more sleep.

And as for the routine I have previously mentioned.....I have achieved this 2 times. And obviously I felt terrible about it. I almost cried because she hadn't had a bath tonight. So, no more pressure. If I get the bath, book, bed done in an evening, hurray, if not, it really isn't the end of the world.

Definitely a work in progress. How do you cope with the pressures in life? And more importantly the pressures that we put on ourselves?

Friday, 11 March 2016

So what is it they say about "best laid plans" and all that!! Little one has been so sleepy. Sleeping right up to her next feed, and I couldn't keep her awake! I also didn't want to stress the situation but waking her to give her a bath, as it is hardly the calming atmosphere I wanted to have her settle in! So I will start day one again...tomorrow...


Starting a routine....Day 1

Wish me luck. Im going to try and start getting my little girl into a routine today. She will be 8 weeks old on Sunday, and up until now she has fed and slept when she wants, and that can vary from day to day, so I'm going to try and bring order into our lives!

The first thing that will change is her bath time. Currently I like to give her a nice bath in the day time, when we both have a nice chunk of time to relax and have a bath and cuddles. Somehow there seems less time in an evening. Next is book time. I brought her first book recently, "The Hungry Caterpillar" which has always been one of my favourites. (It was the book my auntie bribed me with when my mum was struggling to get my dummy off me, I took the bribe, handed over my dummy and never looked back).

So here goes, I'm going to try and keep her awake between her 3 o'clock feed and her 7 o'clock feed, then at 6pm start the bath and book and cuddles, ready for a bottle at 7pm, and then hopefully some sleep (for her, and for me...its been a long night). Don't be fooled, I have made these plans before and they have fell by the wayside. I foolishly woke her up for a bath once, to start a routine, and it was the most stressful bath we had ever had, and she loves the bath! We will see how we get on! Will keep you updated on the process!


Thursday, 10 March 2016

The worry was real....or was it?

There are certain things you can do to prepare when you find out you're having a baby.  You can go out and buy baby vests, sleep suits, socks, mittens, hats, blankets and all the rest. And then have a melt down mid shop that you have no idea if you need long sleeve vests, or short sleeve, or no sleeve, so buy packs of all 3, in sizes to last them a year (if you're like me).
You can go nursery shopping, and choose a cot, and wardrobe, or cot and chest of drawers, or all three, or just a cot? Now, do we need a changing top with the chest of drawers? Cot or cot bed? Are the slats to far apart on the cot? Do we use cot bumpers? Why are they selling cot bumpers if they are not recommended? *another half an hour in the middle of mothercare googling parenting forums to see what other people use*
You can navigate your way through the minefields that are travel systems. What pushchair do you want? Do you want the car seat to fit on it? Wait, you need to buy adapters for that? are you going to use a car seat base? Does it fit in your car? *cue a mini argument in mothercare as we really don't know the answers to any of these questions*

All the things you have to sort out before your little one even arrives, it absolutely baffled me. Overwhelmed is not an accurate enough word. I felt like a rubbish mum already, I had no idea about half the things out there on the market for our new arrival! I trawled through endless lists showing what I needed to buy, what the essentials were, all the while listening to every other mum I knew telling me what was necessary, what wasn't, what I would be mad not to buy. It was amazing how all of their opinions differed. In the end I had to trust myself. And I brought what I thought was necessary for me, including a room and bath thermometer which broke after 3 weeks (I haven't replaced it, I feel confident enough to know if the bath/room is too hot, most of the time) and a Snuza hero, which clips onto the nappy and sets of an alarm if breathing stops for more than 15 seconds. I haven't used this yet, waiting until my little girl gives us the gift of sleeping for more than 2 hours at a time between the hours of 12 - 7 am. She does sleep, she just makes the loudest grunting, squeaking, whinnying noises that I have no doubt of her breathing.

All of these decisions were so huge at the time, and I stressed about them all. And cried. And even when everything is ticked off your lists, you still fret about what you might have forgotten. And don't get me started on the hospital bag (more on that in another post I think!) The worry about all the things i needed to buy was real. Until my baby was born. And suddenly, worries over shopping lists turned into real worries, like how on earth am I going to look after a baby? Is she too hot? Is she too cold? Is she eating enough? Why is she being sick? Should poo really look that colour? Should she poo this much? Hang on, she hasn't pooed for 2 days, is that normal? These are now my real worries (and a load more thrown into that!) that I actually laugh at the stress I put myself through when we were buying everything for her!

Leave a comment if you have found yourself feeling like this, or if you are currently at the buying stage, or at the "oh no why haven't they poo'd" stage! I'd love to hear from you!

P.s you're going to need Muslins. Lots of Muslins.

Sunday, 6 March 2016

Dear Mum

Dear Mum,

You never told me how great this is. Being a mum. I'm pretty sure you mentioned how hard it is, but I probably wasn't listening. I was too busy listening to Mcfly, or worrying that someone would grass me up for smoking.

Even when I'm so tired, and stressed out, and about ready to cry, I look at the little face that I grew inside, and I feel calmer. Okay, okay, I still feel tired/stressed/on the verge of tears, but it's all for this little one, and that's okay. I didn't actually think I could be this tired, and still actually make it downstairs to make a bottle. (I have been so tired I've been trying to put her dummy in her eye before now...) But something gets you through. Coffee. The answer to that, for me, is coffee.

I wish I could talk to you about all of this, I wish I could phone you up twenty times a day with all my worries (there are a lot of them) as even though I now know us parents are all winging it, hearing your voice, your advice, would soothe me.  But I'm 7 weeks in, and can't have messed her up to badly, so i must be doing some things right. (And some things wrong...see above re dummy)

She's beautiful mum, really beautiful. (Obviously I'm slightly biased!) And I'm starting to get to know her now, her little cries, her little faces she pulls. I even get the occasional smile...not too many though, she's saves most of them for daddy. Was I a daddy's girl as a baby? Who did I smile for first? Who calmed me down the quickest when I was crying? I have so many questions that I hadn't even thought of until having a daughter! But don't worry, she has met her uncles, and aunties, and she will meet my aunties, and uncles, and I find out all the stories I can from when you and dad were younger, and as she grows up i will tell her all about you. I can't wait to show her pictures, and tell her stories. She will know you.

Love, your daughter

P.s She has your middle name