Thursday, 28 May 2009

the first few weeks...

again, for the sake of continuity, i've decided to do a little condensed run-down of the first few weeks -you know, the interesting bits - i'll spare you the progression of the consistency of baby poo ;)

the maternity ward
i couldn't get out of there quick enough! don't get me wrong, the staff were lovely, and i felt very special when the daddy showed up with the biggest bouquet of flowers EVER, and when i was surrounded by lovely visitors cooing over the baby & telling me how well i'd done, but the night time was torture.
seriously, imagine a woman who's just done the most exhausting job she's ever likely to do, who is in dire need of a little kip, while trying to take care of the tiny little person she's just produced... why would you make her share a room with a dozen other sleep deprived women & their screaming babies?! (plus of course, the food was dire.)
so yes, very pleased to get home!

week one
...a blur of hours spent just gazing in amazement at the gorgeous little person we'd just brought home :)
plus nappies, daily piles of blue envelopes from the postman, more nappies, lots of visitors, and yes, more nappies. good times :)

week two
...was less good. our little man dropped 14% of his birth weight & we ended up back in hospital for a few days :( he was fed through a tube for 24 hours, which was horrible, had a cannula in his hand for antibiotics - without a doubt the scariest few days of my life :(

but, thankfully, he was soon shouting for boobs again, and we got to go home. again :P
unfortunately, after gaining a bunch of weight, he stopped again. the health visitor thought maybe he was a 'lazy feeder', which seemed mad to me as i'd often be sat feeding for an hour at a time, but anyway.
she suggested 'topping him up' with formula, which we've been doing since, and it seems to be working.
(had a HV visit today & he's up to over 8lb - yay!)
i'll probably write more about feeding at some point, since it's been quite a big issue for us, but i'll leave it there for now.

week three till now...
having got over the little bump in the road, things have been great since :)
there have been a few milestones... registering as an official member of society & getting his birth certificate, first bath (pretty sure I got wetter than he did!), first train ride! (pram + train = tricky, practice needed!), and a whole bunch of other fun, plus a lot of getting to know eachother & falling head over heels in baby love :)

now, the daddy has sadly had to go back to work (boo), but the little dude & I are starting to find our feet & getting closer(ish) to finding a daily routine. (ish!)
we've been out just the two of us (why was i so scared of that?!), we're managing to be up dressed and fed before noon each day (!), and we've been investigating some groups and other things to check out next week.

all in all, i'm loving being a mum :D

setting the scene...

as i said in my first post, my little boy is actually 5 weeks old already, but for the sake of continuity (i'm a bit neurotic like that!), i wanted to share my 'story so far'. so, here we go...

my little dude, or LD , or the noodle (on account of his being all long & wriggly!), arrived on April 20th 2009. but let's rewind 9 months (41 weeks and 3 days actually - he kept me waiting!), and i'll give you the readers digest version of my pregnancy.

the daddy and I had decided, after much discussion, that we wanted to take the plunge. we wanted a baby. so, i stopped popping pills and started taking daily folic acid supplements instead :)
we didn't want to get all obsessed with the 'right' dates and all that stuff, so we just let down the defences (hahaha!), and carried on with the good stuff (:D).

in august 2008, i missed an important visit from mother nature - got myself a stick to wee on, and then got the doctor's confirmation that yep, we were having a baby!
we were absolutley over the moon, and spent the next few weeks just grinning at eachother like loonies :)

we were fit to burst after a week, so gave in and told a few close friends - the temptation to share the news with anyone who'd listen was immense, but we resisted and managed to wait till about 10 weeks to 'go public'.

that's when i felt really pregnant - saying the words out loud to people felt bizaare, but brilliant. everyone was so pleased for us - and i'm sure it was mostly hormone-induced, but it was a really special & emotional time :)

i was very lucky - hardly any morning sickness, no swelling, no headaches - just an unquenchable craving for anything cheesey!! i was really impatient waiting for my bump - it felt like i was at that 'just looking a bit chubby' stage for years - hated it!! but, just as everyone warned me it would, time went very quickly, and before i knew it, i was the size of a planet & having trouble getting off the sofa without help! i loved it though. i really bonded with my bump, as did the daddy, and of course it was lovely to have everyone tell me i was blossoming and blooming and glowing! (though i really didn't always believe them!!)
by the end, this was me & my bump:
SPT: 2nd April: the final countdown...
that feels like years ago now!

i really did enjoy being pregnant though - i loved the midwife appointments, hearing baby's heartbeat, the scans (amazing!), shopping for baby goodies, antenatal classes, visiting the delivery suite - it was terrifying at times, but so exciting :)

admitidly though, i did get impatient at the end. i was convinced i was going to deliver on my due date. HA! not likely. a week & 3 days i spent eating spicey food, having lots of sex, drinking red raspberry leaf tea, taking hot baths, cold baths, long walks, short walks, bouncing on an exercise ball, you name it, i tried it - all for nothing!

finally, on Sunday afternoon, I felt a twinge. I remember thinking 'wow, if that was a contraction, this is going to be a doddle'. silly sily me!!
by 11pm, they were hurting, but manageable.
by 4am, I was screaming the house down & my man decided it was time to go to hospital.

my labour was NOT what I had planned.
the birth plan page in my notes was full of hope for a natural, calm, straightforward delivery. fate had other ideas.
by the time i got to hospital, i was 5cm dilated, my contractions were about 5 minutes apart, and i was getting very very vocal!
i got in the bath, i moved around the suite, i tried lying down, standing up, bending over, nothing was comfortable :( i ended up in the birthing pool (which i had sworn against!) for about 4 hours.
when i was re-examined, i was 6cm dilated.
ONE centimetre, in about 6 hours. i was exhausted, i was in agony, and I decided to cut my losses & accepted an epidural.
which failed.
what happened after that, to be honest, is a complete blur to me, but in short, every contraction I had was causing mine & baby's heartbeat to dip, so the doctor decided an emergency c-section was needed.
i remember feeling like i was in an episode of ER, there were doctors & nurses whizzing about all over the place, i was crying my eyes out, the daddy was trying (and failing) to keep me calm, it was incredibly traumatic, and I think I've probably blanked a lot of it out, basically though, it got so bad, that they wouldn't even let me be awake during the op, & the daddy wasn't allowed in the room.
The next thing I knew, I was waking up, feeling very dizzy, and the first thing I saw was my man, holding a tiny little baby. Our son.

It's still hard for me to talk about, but I do feel sort of 'conned' at not being able to deliver naturally, especially after working so hard. I hate that I didn't hear his first cry, and that his daddy didn't get to cut the cord. But, I have to make myself look at the bigger picture. It didn't happen the way I wanted it to, but the end result was the same - I have a gorgeous, healthy, baby boy.
And he's the best thing in the world :D

And there you have it.
April 20th, 09:35am, my little dude joined the world, weighing in at 6lb 16oz, and life would never be the same again.
And I couldn't be happier :D

where has the time gone?

so technically, i'm a little late in starting this blog, as my 'new arrival' is already 5 weeks & 3 days old! (first thing i learned about babies? they make time fly!!) that said, i'm getting used to being perpetually behind with everything, so i suppose i may aswell start as i mean to go on!

anyway. there are two main reasons i want to blog about my baby:
1. therapy! :P - or to put it another way, it's a good way to babble about all my new mum discoveries, tribulations & delights without completely boring all my non-mummy friends to death! plus, hopefully it'll help make sure my brain doesn't completely melt into a gurgly-goo-goo mess!

2. motherhood is easily the biggest & scariest learning curve i've ever faced. don't get me wrong, i am absolutely loving it - but that's not to say that i haven't had (several) moments of complete despair where i've been convinced i'm the worst mum ever & i'm never going to get any good at it!!
all the helpful (yet often completely conflicting!!) advice you get from health visitors, midwives, doctors, strangers on the street, old ladies in the supermarket & well meaning friends & family can be utterly overwhelming and confusing.
if you make the mistake of reading every book you can lay your hands on (like i did!!), it can be even worse!
i'd never claim to be offering any sort of 'expert advice' (i'm very new to this remember!) - but so long as my little man is happy & healthy, i figure i'm doing a decent job - and if reading about my trial & error proceses helps someone even less further along even a tiny bit, or just makes them smile in a moment of despair, then that makes me happy :)

so that's the motivation for the blog.
i have no idea what i'll end up posting, because every day is completely unpredictable & totally different to the last.

but to be honest, i think that's part of the fun :)