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The Bump Chronicles: The postpartum Years.

This is the post excerpt.

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The Bump Chronicles began as a regular whinge on Facebook about how crap (in my opinion) being pregnant feels. After the safe delivery of my rather hefty bundle of joy we progressed to the ‘Postpartum Years’. So two weeks and six days into my full-time role as ‘Mummy’, in between soothing a crying infant, getting covered in all sorts of unsavoury bodily fluids and trying to remember to feed my two house panthers, I thought I’d share snippets of my ‘parenting journey’. Think less epic, life affirming voyage, more traffic jams, faulty brakes, getting ripped off at service stations, throwing up in the car type of journey and I think we’ll be on the same page!

 

 

You’re still my baby.

As it’s 1.08 am, we’re actually on Wednesday I can now say my baby is due tomorrow.

We’ve just had a small wee related incident. All in bed, lights off. Hubs is sort of asleep. I hear the boy’s door open. Decide to head him off before he renders hubs definitely awake. Get to him at our bedroom door, he’s clutching Miaow Miaow we cuddle and I tell him gently he needs to go back to bed. We pad along the landing to his room, as he climbs into bed he’s mutters ‘Sorry Mummy’

(I get a flashback of Vinegar gate, but since that we have no vinegar left after that incident and I can’t smell it, is he sorry he got up?)

‘You have nothing to be sorry for darling, into bed’

‘All wet mummy’

And then I notice. Great big wet patch on the bed. And his pyjamas are soaked, top and bottoms, so is his vest and socks. We’ve had a leaky nappy. I strip him down, put new nappy and clothes on, hubs is now definitely awake and comes to change the bed and in around five minutes the Bald Kitten is tucked up in a clean, dry bed with his teddies.

But what I can’t get out of my head is just how tiny he seemed. Tired, disoriented and tiny. Our baby.

He seemed tiny to me on Monday too. Although perfectly capable of drinking from a cup, every time he’s given one now he just throws the contents about with gay abandon. I had to change him as he was covered head to toe in squash. And I was really bloody cross. And I told him. ‘You’ve made mummy really cross that was a very silly thing to do.’ (I get that you’re behaviour made Mummy cross is what I should have said, but hopefully this one incident of not making that clear hasn’t scarred him for life…)

He didn’t say much, but he did pick up his felt shopping basket and start squeezing the felt pepper that was inside. And in an instant I felt awful. Watching his little hand and chubby wrist as he explored the toys almost absentmindedly. Was I too hard? Am I expecting too much? Does he know how much I love him? Was I in the wrong for getting so annoyed about it?

The Bald Kitten is tall for his age. According to the Health Visitor, and various other people not using a graph to come to that conclusion. Some assume he’s older than his two and a half years. Am I a little guilty of the same?

Very soon (Well hopefully very bloody soon, I’ve been pregnant for like EVAH!) he’ll have a little brother or sister and they will seem bloody tiny compared to him, overnight he’ll seem so much bigger and more advanced. I’m so frightened that I will expect more from him than is fair. I’ll expect him to be more than two and a half.

How much is he going to understand? I don’t want him to feel pushed out, I get that it will be hard for him, he’ll have to share us. He’ll have to share everyone he knows and loves. Can he handle that? How do I make sure that he knows he is loved as much as he ever was, that he’s still our little prince that every day we marvel at him, that we made something so perfect and beautiful and funny, that we are so bloody proud of him we could burst?

So to you, darling boy, there’s going to be some changes around here. And we hope we’ve prepared you for them. We promise to remind ourselves that you are little and still have a lot to learn about the world and your place in it. We promise to be calm when you get cross with the baby. We promise we’ll understand when you inevitably tell us you’d like the baby to go back. We promise that you will still have the same room in our hearts that you’ve always had.

And son, your sibling is so lucky to have you as a big brother.

xXx

Hooray for Dads! A soft play observation.

We came to soft play on a Saturday. Mistake. It’s rammed. It’s Hubs’ first time at a soft play and today is definitely a baptism of fire. It’s literally his worst nightmare in action.

I am sat at a grotty table with remnants of food and pop from the previous occupiers smeared over the top, wishing I had antibax wipes and wondering why in the name of arse there are so many staff milling around and not one is cleaning a table.

But I’m also watching. There are a lot of dads here. Old, young, fat, thin. Scrambling over brightly coloured plastic filled with foam. Some are simply hovering ensuring their offspring are safe. Some are clearly having more fun than the kids, I have seen one sort of throw himself down a set of yellow platforms closely followed by 3 very excited boys. I’ve seen one daddy do the dad growl, leaping out from behind what is essentially a punching bag with a gorilla on it to find his small boy in tears, to then drop to his knees hold the boy and ask ‘What’s the matter?’

There are dads in tracksuits, jeans, fashionable dads, functional dads, dads that look like they haven’t slept in weeks! Dads that are their kids double, dads with weary ‘kill me now’ expressions, dads proudly escorting tiny girls in tule skirts.

And there’s hubs. Currently in a labyrinth of foam and primary colours. Keeping the Bald Kitten away from the curly bastard slide (although he hasn’t ruled out going down it with the boy). I have to say my main concern with hubs is, should a child hurt the Bald Kitten, he would not be able to contain le rage, and drop kick the little shite off something tall.

I’m taking him to Startbucks after this, caffeinate and calm. That’s le plan. Also the Bald Kitten just tried to eat the leftover muffins from the previous occupants and cried when we took them away….

Anyway, DADS! It’s about time society starting recognising them. We need more changing facilities that aren’t exclusively in women’s toilets. Support for new dads, because their whole lives change when babies are born too. And is it not high time they got longer paid paternity leave? Hubs gets two weeks. Only 10 working days with his newborn, only ten days to get used to having a bigger family. And then he’s back. He’s probably had no more sleep than me, but he’s expected to be a highly functional team member. As if he hasn’t rocked an infant to sleep for the seventymillionth time, as if he hasn’t shared the frustration of a baby who just won’t stop crying. As if he hasn’t come home from an exhausting day to find me struggling/ in tears/ hysterical and cleaned up and made tea and given me half an hour to myself.

Three cheers for daddies!

In other news:

I seem to be struggling with what side of road I should be driving on.

In Tesco today, someone behind me farted. Really loud. What sort of heathen society do I live in?!

I’ve been walking round Next, pulling all the tops to see if you could expose a boob.

39 weeks.

I’m officially 39 weeks. And I’m so bloody ready to have this bab. Everything is a struggle at the moment. Standing up, sitting down, getting up le stairs, getting down le stairs. Being patient. It’s all getting too hard.

To top it all Me, Hubs AND the Bald Kitten all have stinking colds. The Bald Kitten regularly has a coughing fit in the early hours, and last night hubs was sort of but not screaming in his sleep. I can’t really explain the sound. It was both creepy and annoying. Hence the exclamation ‘Kevin! Stop making that noise you sound like a fucking ghost!’

He jolted awake and said something about not being able to help it as he was asleep. Shortly after this the Bald Kitten did his best impression of a poor Victorian, coughing his way to an early grave in some grotty workhouse. I got him a drink and climbed into his bed whereupon he enthusiastically explained that Santa has lost his magic star and the pups are going to help him. If he’s not watching sodding Paw Patrol he’s telling us about it.

The boy soothed back to sleep I crept back into my own bed and actually fall asleep. Although nearly cried when what felt like only five minutes later I was woken by the Bald Kitten because daddy was going to work and I need to be up so we don’t get a repeat of last weeks ‘Vinegar gate’.

There was a new born at football today. Will was fascinated. Which naturally meant I had to take steps to stop him poking it. I actually felt my insides tug when I gazed at the teeny baby. Although fuck you insides!! This could be us if you get your arse in gear and start labouring!

I *should* be starting dinner about now but ‘I can’t be arsed to do it’ is a massive understatement. Thank goodness hubs and I made all those meals for when baby arrives, who knew I could be organised?

In other news:

Le preggo ball is inflated, I’m ready to bounce this baby out!

I’m feeling rather fragile so am not enjoying the musical accompaniment to the telly. (The boy smacking hell out of a drum.)

We’ve not had snow here yet and I’m making sacrifices to the gods to ensure it doesn’t. I am NOT going to give birth stranded on the M6 in a snow drift.

38 Weeks.

You may have seen the recent memes doing the rounds about how January is approximately 974 days long. If you factor in an early February due date you can double that.

I’ve been feeling rather serene this week. Aided by the fact the Bald Kitten was palmed off on the Grands for two days. But my body, that’s another story. EVERYTHING hurts. I’m pretty sure everyone that knows me is sick of hearing about how much my arse hurts but I’ll keep sharing until it stops.

We had a slight ‘brown alert’ situation last night in that I genuinely thought I might be in early labour. Turns out I was wrong, just some mild Braxton Hicks. I haven’t particularly slept well as I spent a considerable amount of time thinking ‘am I? Wait is it still hurting? Try and focus on any pain. Oh scrap that actually that’s bad advice. Man I’m tired. Oh ffs I need ANOTHER wee!’

I have managed to put makeup on today too. Initial panic when my eyeliner went very wrong and it looked like I was trying to be Cogsworth from Beauty and the Beast. That rectified and enough highlighter applied to confuse a CCTV camera. (You’ll probably only get that if you’ve seen the latest series of Luther) we set off to football.

Will had a great old time, kicking every single ball, in all directions and shouting ‘goal!’ regardless of where the ball actually went. About half way through he wanted to ‘see the baby’, and I desperately had to keep my top pulled down to stop him lifting it and showing all the mums and dads my ginormo belly.

With last nights Hicks on mine and Hubs’ mind we’ve fuelled the car. Just in case. Although William did NOT want any petrol in the car and I am NOT allowed to go the the hospital to have baby and daddy is definitely NOT allowed to come with me. Sooo I’m hoping when it does happen we’re gone whilst he’s in bed and NannyGran can face the inquisition.

On leaving the petrol station I stalled the stupid bloody car AGAIN. Muttered ‘Fuck sake’ which was LOUDLY and CLEARLY repeated by the toddler in the back. Several times. I’ll not add the finishing touches to my Mum of the year speech just yet…

We get home (arse still aching) the boy refuses to move off the drive. Have to drag him to the steps as it’s been over 40 seconds since I last emptied my bladder. The boy is howling, I ask him what is the matter, he needs a hug apparently. Natch the hug is the priority but I send a prayer to the bladder gods that I neither cough nor sneeze before I’ve been to the sodding loo.

I did have activities planned today (I was going to get the boy to wash ALL my makeup brushes and pretend it was a game.) but I’m now resting my arse and letting CBeebies do the parenting. I have made him a nutritious meal in the form of chicken nuggets and chips. Full of all the essential beige vitamins. And he’s had a special biscuit. (It’s just a biscuit but I told him they were very special and hammed it up so much he genuinely believes there is something magical about the chocolate chip shortbread). Now all I have to do is keep him hydrated until daddy gets home and takes over parenting. (And hear all about my achy arse.)

In other news:

They boy is walking around on tiptoe. This is usually an indication a poo is imminent. His face is all red. Bloody marvellous.

My hairline is getting alarmingly high. It won’t be long before it looks like it’s sliding off the back of my head.

I have not re-read this.

Nesting

It’s safe to say I’m nesting.

I made the mistake of watching the Marie Kondo series on Netflix and have been picking all sorts up all day to see if they spark joy. Most of my clothes do not, but I’ve only got rid of a few things as I’ve no idea what’s going to fit once Little Pea makes an appearance. (Although I imagine not a lot). My cats spark joy, except whichever little shit was sick on the sofa…

It’s my first official day of maternity leave today. I celebrated with a bath and a nap which pretty much guarantees I won’t sleep tonight. The house is in good order but keeping it clean and tidy with a toddler is definitely tricky. The Bald Kitten can make a mess in no time. It’s actually quite astonishing how quickly he can undo half an hours work.

I have to say, although I’m nesting I’m not quite as extreme as I was last time. (Although there is two weeks for that change…) About half an hour before we had to leave for my induction appointment I decided the doors upstairs were filthy and needed to be scrubbed!! I’d washed the sofa and it was less than an hour after getting him home that the Bald Kitten weed all over it. Who knew newborns had so much range! The kitchen had been gutted of all its miscellanies and the cupboards all scrubbed. I might get round to the kitchen cupboards again but I imagine the Bald Kitten will want to ‘help’. I’m pretty sure the stress of that could bring on labour. (So maybe I’ll give it go.)

As much as I’m eager to meet baby, I have to keep reminding myself that when baby comes everything will be different. Something I never appreciated before the Bald Kitten. I never cherished the time left where I could be truly alone. Now I have so little time just me and the boy. I can’t help but worry how he’ll feel with baby number two. We’ve planned to do things as a family that he’ll enjoy. Thomas Land, a castle, rides on his new bike. But I haven’t factored in my ability to go to these places having not long had a baby.

I suppose it’s only natural to worry. As a mum, I can’t bear the thought of my boy being sad. But we’re preparing him, we talk about the baby, we’ve shown him all the baby things, I’ve shown him the Nursery we’ve played with his baby together using some of the toys for the actual baby. He’s as ready as he’ll ever be. And the bike really should help sway him.

In other news:

Two weeks to go. Have I had any indication baby might come early? No. Absolutely not.

The boy made ‘Bird pies’ with NannyGran today. They were actually those lardy seed cakes you make for the birds but you can’t say the ‘c’ word around the boy if you don’t have cake to give him.

Is it a developmental stage when your child can alert you to the presence of cat sick?

Team Pink or Blue?

With under four weeks to go it’s not long before we get to squidge our newborn and discover if we’re team pink or blue!

Not knowing has been hard in that we can’t say to the Bald Kitten ‘your brother’ or ‘your sister’ but using ‘the baby’ has worked fine. And, as I’ve said before, I like that hubs is the first to know. That he knows before I do, that after all the waiting and supporting me through birth he gets to know first.

At the start of this pregnancy I thought I was having a girl. Then a boy. And now I’m still leaning towards boy. But at the same time, I don’t have a clue what’s floating around in there. Hubs asked me if I’d be disappointed if we had another boy. And I can honestly say no. I wouldn’t. The only thing I’d prefer is brown eyes. The Bald Kitten has his Daddy’s beautiful eyes and I’d quite like a child with my eyes. Seeing as all babies are born with blue eyes, it might be a while before we know this.

We’ve asked the Bald Kitten if there is a boy or a girl in mummy’s tummy he’s said boy up until yesterday when he said girl, but I don’t think he understands the concept of gender, he’s just saying words.

Everyone has thoughts on gender and I’ve even read some posts on parenting groups where people admit they are disappointed with their child’s gender. I struggle to wrap my head around this. And I feel utterly heartbroken for the little soul that’s a disappointment before it’s even born.

I saw on a crafting group on Facebook today, a lady had made a blanket for her friends baby, it say ‘Alfie, when you took your first breath, you took ours away’. The sentiment is sweet but a bit too ‘hun’ for me. What really pissed me off about it all was what she’d written to go with it: After three girls my friend is FINALLY getting her little prince.

Errrr.

What

The

Actual

Fuck?

So what were the girls? Disappointment after disappointment? Do people even think about these things. I’ve had a woman tell me about how she finally got her boy, she has girls but girls are horrible so she kept going until she got a boy. And had no issue saying this in front of said girls. SERIOUSLY! WTF IS WRONG WITH YOU? I’ll accept people have preferences, but why in the name of arse would you say it in-front of the disappointing kids you didn’t really want. Or am I the weirdo for genuinely not having a preference. (I’m just so excited to find out!)And all this crap people say about the mother-son bond. I mean the Bald Kitten loves me but he is a daddies boy. 100%. Daddy is the go to parent. But that works out well for me at four am when he wanders out of bed for a chat…

So I think my closing message is: Don’t be a gender wanker. You’re lucky to have a child.

In other news:

The boy has been playing with his baby on The Baby’s play mat. After he’d given it a brew.

We had probably our last meal out as a family of three today!

Less than three weeks to go!

Our first football ‘lesson’.

Hubs and I have a tendency towards couch potatoism. It’s not conscious it’s just we’re always tired and we like watching telly. We don’t, however, want to pass our potato ways onto the boy.

I want him to get involved in activities he’ll actually enjoy but I can tell you now I’m not going to be one of those parents who takes her kid to EVERYTHING. If the Bald Kitten wants to try something so be it. But I’m not signing up to everything just so I can have a pissing contest with other mums.

You see them boasting about all the groups little Tarquin goes to, how he’s so busy, how they go straight from school to karate, then an hour in the pool, not forgetting the private tutoring in the evening. Saturday morning is Rugby training, more swimming, photography club. Sunday morning football practice etc, etc, ETC!!

When does little Tarquin get to do his homework or play with friends? Would you need the tutor if you didn’t insist on exhausting the poor thing week in, week out?

Ask yourself: am I signing them up for this or for me?

Anyway, I digress. First football ‘lesson’. Hubs told the Bald Kitten he was going to play football. So that’s all I heard. All morning.

‘We play football today Mummy?’

‘Are we going to football?’

‘I’m playing football today Mummy’

‘Shall we go into the garden to play football?’

And whilst we were driving to the venue and I got a bit lost: ‘Mummy, are we going to play football today?’

When we finally found the venue (a smidge late) we hurried to the building. Well, I hurried until I heard a little voice say ‘Slow down Mummy you’re going too fast!’

The session was ‘unstructured’. It was a big room with 3 pop up goals, pop up tunnels and about 45 footballs. (I counted them). The man running the session was zipping around all over the place interacting with all the children.

The Bald Kitten was off! There were balls flying all over the place. He loved it! He was kicking balls all over the place. In his enthusiasm I did get an elbow to the nose and a football thrown in my face. Not quite sure he’s premiership material yet but he enjoyed himself and that’s what matters.

We did have a bit of a strop when the balls were put away, accompanied by a sulky declaration that he didn’t like football. He soon cheered up, and is looking forward to next week!

In other news:

I have had a lovely chat with the breastfeeding team. Feeling much better equipped to start boobie feeding.

Tried to have a relaxing bath today, was joined by the Bald Kitten who as soon as he was stood in the bath had a great big wee.

To make pregnancy EVEN MORE fun, I think I’m getting tonsillitis.