The Bump Chronicles: The postpartum Years.

This is the post excerpt.


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!



‘Unusual’ baby names. We’ve gone too far.

I am a member of a parenting group on Facebook, it’s huge and in addition to women posting obviously positive pregnancy tests and asking what everyone thinks… (We think it’s positive. Because it’s positive. Like the example on the box that the test comes in. And the instruction leaflet contained within the box…) people ask for name ideas.

The most common post is something along the lines of ‘Baby girl/boy due in x weeks, really struggling for names, give me your unusual baby names.’

Always the want of ‘unusual’. Then they come, many sound like they were thought up under the influence of strong non-prescription drugs.

Now I’m not here to tell you what to call your child but for goodness sake your child has to live with this name. They have to write it on marriage certificates and drivers licenses and have it called out in school and during appointments, it will be the first thing potential employers know about them. So perhaps spread your net a little wider than Facebook.

The problem is everyone is so obsessed with their child being unique.

Your child will be unique. They will be the only the only version of themselves. They’ll grow and amaze you and make you proud. They’ll excel at some things, and struggle with others. There are so many ways they will distinguish themselves and their name will just be a name.

My name is not common and it’s a boy’s name. And I hated it as a child. I could never (and still can’t) find it on pens, key rings and bookmarks in souvenir shops. I didn’t know a single other person with my name and I longed for a ‘normal’ name. I cursed my mother for not calling me ‘Jenny’. And for having the following conversation too many times:

‘Yes Chesney, yes it is a boy’s name. Yes I’m a girl. My mum thought it suited either. No, nothing to do with ‘Chesney Hawks’ yes I’m sure, I was already in school when his song came out. Oh right now you’re singing I am the one and only. No that’s not the first time I’ve heard that joke. Actually it’s after Chesney Allen. No not many people have heard of him. Do you know the song ‘Run Rabbit’ from the Second World War? No I don’t suppose you do. Well he sang that. Yes I do know there is a Chesney in Coronation Street. No I don’t watch it. Can you excuse me I’d like to go stab myself in the face.’


Or imagine this:


‘Yes, Sunset -Rose-Ocean-Banana?

‘How did I get my name?’

‘A random stranger on Facebook suggested it sweetheart’

Really? Arsecloud is rather unique as a name for a person but you won’t find me rushing to get it on a birth certificate.

So please, think about this. There is a very fine line between ‘unusual’ and ‘stupid’, I think we’ve all seen enough internet to know society won’t be kind.

In other news:

Got the glitter glue out earlier. The boy actually enjoyed being creative. We’ve just got to wait four years for it to dry.

I correctly predicted that I wouldn’t sleep last night and have been a bit of a shouty mama today. I have zero tolerance for Paw Patrol related tantrums.

I thought it would be nice to have a hot chocolate with the Bald Kitten earlier. I was wrong. It’s all over the sofa, all over him and for some reason I can’t fathom he kept putting his fist in it.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

Dec the halls! Hark the herald! Eat all the Quality Street! It’s Christmas! I love this festive time of the year, beautiful lights brighten up my evening commute, supermarkets stock more cheese than usual and everywhere you go you hear the Christmas hits!

I put my tree up today. I’ve been itching to do it for a while but wanted to get a work event out the way first so I could relax.

I pictured an idyllic afternoon of artfully placing baubles with the Bald Kitten. I’m not sure he could have been less bothered. He put one bauble on the tree and continued to watch Paw Patrol.

My plan for tomorrow is to hand make cards for the family. I have a feeling it’s not going to go how I imagine. I think by the time hubs gets home there’ll be paint everywhere but on the cards and I’ll be crying and vowing NEVER to go on Pinterest again.

Bedtime is a sodding nightmare. I dread it. I’m exhausted but I can’t sleep. I just can’t get comfortable it’s like torture. I try staying up late but it doesn’t help. It’s making my patience practically non-existent, especially when hubs keeps doing annoying things like breathing and chewing.

My nipples are now brown but I still haven’t got that line thingy down my tummy. I seem to remember having it by now last time. I can’t see my feet (or my fanny) and it’s time for hubs to get on toenail painting duty. Which I’m sure he’s eager to get started on account of how nice I’ve been and will be over the next two months. Again anyone suggesting lack of sleep is just prep for baby will get a throat punch. I’ll sleep like a log when baby is born. Just not for long periods of time.

At least now when I come downstairs to be awake and cry about being awake (it’s happened several times) I’ve got a nice tree to look at.

In other news:

Marms has spent the day sleeping on our bed and scowling at us whenever we have the audacity to enter our own room. The little shit also got paw prints all over my nice shiny bathroom.

Turning off all the sets of lights I’ve put up takes about 20 minutes.

Two weeks left at work!

If you want to needlessly send yourself to the edge, decorate in December.

Despite vowing when I was pregnant with William that I WOULD NEVER touch a paintbrush in December, here we are again. We have painted the baby’s room and haven’t stopped this weekend. We’ve been to Ikea and spent a fortune, we stayed up half the night assembling flat pack furniture and were up again at arse-o-clock on Sunday to get the Bald Kitten’s new bed and furniture assembled and to paint the hall, stairs and landing. Except with didn’t get to pick up a paintbrush. Today hubs has had the day off and we’ve drilled about seventy million holes in the walls and hung seventy million pictures. We’ve sanded, taped, rollered and brushed. And painted again. In fact it’s 10.00 pm here and we’ve just finished. We’re knackered. But we both have work tomorrow. When we get home it will be finding any bits we’ve missed or haven’t covered then cleaning all the pictures frames to re-hang them and hoovering the equivalent of the Sahara Desert in dust. And then in the evenings making sure that each room in the house is cleaned so I can put up the Christmas decorations on Sunday. Which wouldn’t be such a task if I wasn’t working and extra full day today AND half of Saturday at the Christmas Fair of the Charity I work for. Followed by family festivities that are actually starting before the fair finishes so I’ll be late which coincidentally is a real anxiety trigger for me.

This week wouldn’t be as stressful with the house being a complete shit hole, which is some sort of reaction to you getting a paintbrush our. It doesn’t matter where you’re painting, a large or small area the whole house becomes absolute chaos (another anxiety trigger!).

This may be why hubs found me crouching on the kitchen floor in floods of tears earlier. I was hoping the boy and I could make cards together this week but I just don’t know when that can happen. I’ve got too many deadlines this week. Some I’ve set myself, some are set for me. I’m both eager to get to, and wanting to avoid at all costs, work this week. Eager because once this fair is over I can relax a bit but it’s not all I’ve got on. I suspect a I’ll get a load of emails from people who haven’t read the sodding emails I sent weeks ago, several times, giving them all the information they need. I mean I repeat myself all day to a two year old, it’s gets a bit thin when I have to do it at work too…

So anyway, second coat done. Paint everywhere, stuff everywhere hubs and I are knackered and that won’t be going away anytime soon and I have made a vow to all that this is DEFINITELY THE LAST SODDING DECEMBER ANYTHING OTHER THAN A TREE GETS DECORATED.

In other news:

To prepare our Shark for all the vacuuming it’s going to be doing this week I washed the filters. The Bald Kitten took this opportunity to bite a chunk out of the sponge filter.

Captain and Marmite have buggered off to snooze in a house less chaotic than ours.

I finish work in three weeks.

30 weeks and feeling it.

30 weeks today! Only ten more weeks left of this shit. EVERYTHING hurts. Back and shoulders particularly, I am NEVER comfortable and the joy of NOT BEING ABLE TO SODDING SLEEP has been bestowed upon me this week. It is so frustrating being tired and yet not being able to get to sleep. I love sleep, I need sleep, I am not a nice person without sleep. Hubs is in for a rough ten weeks.

I also keep tripping over things, a hazard when you can’t see your feet. Made more hazardous by the Bald Kitten’s penchant for leaving sodding cars all over the floor. And the cats, generally being dickheads and trying to trip me up.

I feel the weight of bump now and it’s heavy. I think I should go for a swim with the Bald Kitten on Sunday and feel weightless for a bit. Providing they’ve got a crane to help get me out again…

Getting down onto the floor is easy (especially with support from a cat with sinister intentions) getting back up is a rather different story. Getting in and out of the Kuga is easy, the Astra is a COMPLETELY different story. I get in and out with all the grace and style of a fart.

Rolling over in bed is now AT LEAST a three point manoeuvre made more like a crystal maze challenge with the addition of the threat of indigestion. I’ve not actually had it, but a hot feeling, just under my boobs (is my stomach there now?!) and a hot sicky feeling in the back of my throat. Good to know that when I eventually get to sleep there is plenty going on to wake me up again.

I have seen the midwife today and she has informed me my iron levels are low and to take pregnancy vitamins. So it seems my moaning about tired but it not being due to iron was erroneous. I’ll be putting iron rich foods on the shopping list for hubs tonight, and it’s steak for tea! The bald kitten has informed me he wants ‘nuggets and chicken’ for dinner. I’m not entirely sure what that is. I’m sure whatever offering I present to him will be refused.

I’ve also been informed that due to needing a close eye kept on my perineum a water birth, *the* water birth I’ve dreamed of is sadly not an option. Hubs and I will be writing our birth plan and although some things I can’t have, hubs cutting the cord and telling me if we’ve made a boy or a girl is still an option and to be honest if it all goes tits up like last time the one thing I really care about is Kevin announcing the sex of our wee bundle. (All I insist on if that we makes sure before he says anything.)

The boy NEEDS to get to bed early tonight he’s so tired (still not napping!!) and bedtimes are usually tantrum filled as no one wants to go to bed less than a knackered toddler.

That’s how my days are occupied at the moment, uncomfortable, tired and trying to placate a toddler. Just think soon it will all those things with the added bonus of a newborn. I’m sure it won’t take baby long to realise we’re an organised chaos sort of household.

In other news:

Three weeks left at work! I’d definitely be more excited about this if I didn’t have soooo much to do before I go.

We’re getting the bald kitten a new bed. I’m not sure I’m emotionally ready for this.

We’ve very nearly finished our Christmas shopping! Huzzarh!

Simple Pleasures

I’ve had a lovely day today.

Well after all the rejection I suffered this morning! I heard the bald kitten get up at around 5.15am, hubs was fast off so when the boy staggered in I asked if he wanted to get in with Mummy. ‘No’ was his simple, swift and chirpy reply. I felt a tad put out so when I heard Captain miaow I felt smug as Captain is a mummy’s boy. Imagine how I felt when he blanked me and curled up on hubs! That stung. Furry little ball bag.

After being shunned by all the boys, we started with something festive, off to the garden centre to see all the Christmas decorations, the boy was good for a bit then put a swift stop to that and was SATAN for the remainder. I’ve made a large mental note of all the decorations I’m going to buy when I get paid.

After the morning fun/wrestling an angry and unreasonable toddler we dropped him at my parents. His cousin is there as it a ginormous crate of Lego. The boy has been finding all the wheels and scooping Lego up into a cup and pouring it back into the tub. I think he likes the sound. But it should keep him amused for a while.

We popped back home and got to do all the things we don’t really get to do on a weekend. I had a bath, a deep bath, with the bathroom door closed. No bald kitten to add a boat, then ducks. Then himself. Then make me put cold water in. And I’m pretty sure every time the boy gets in the bath with me he has a wee.

The real magic happened when I got out the bath, I read my book, in the middle of the day THEN I HAD A NAP! An actual nap. Without being poked in the face, jumped on or shouted at! There has been NO PAW PATROL on in this house this afternoon. I got ready to go out without a toddler gouging chunks out of my makeup. And applying brow powder to the side of my face whilst exclaiming ‘ahh, that’s better!’

I’ve had a full face of makeup on. I took full advantage of being able to do it uninterrupted and I’m pretty sure I’m wearing a little bit of every cosmetic I own. Probably look a bit OTT, but have no regrets. Then we went out, for a meal. At quarter to 8. Quarter to 8!! I can’t tell you the last time we left the house at this time! We ate with family. Not a single Fruit Shoot was ordered. Hubs and I hadn’t brought a single car with us. We didn’t have to ensure another plate of food was a suitable eating temperature before starting our own. There wasn’t that point when we had to leave early because a tiny human can’t and simply won’t sit at a table whilst grownups talk about boring crap that isn’t the Paw Patrol. Hubs and I ate safe in the knowledge that if anyone did a poo, they’d be sorting themselves out! No mid dinner bum changes for us! Huzzarh!

I’ll feel sad tomorrow though. I love the sound of his door opening and him coming in for cuddles. (Even if they aren’t for me!) When he decides it’s time to cuddle Mummy and wriggles his little bottom towards me, shoving Miaow Miaow into my face for cuddles too.

Hubs and I have work to do, so however early I want to retrieve the bald kitten, jobs first! We are clearing the soon to be nursery so it can be painted. Work that is quicker and easier without a two year old ‘helping’. The plan is Madre is popping round tomorrow and we’ll get it painted. The only thing to do after that will be brave Ikea to get the furniture. Then hopefully I’ll be feeling a lot more ready for Little Pea’s arrival. The Bald Kitten has been cuddling bump a lot recently saying ‘Hello baby, see you later baby!’ Hopefully he feels the same way when baby gets here…

In other news:

My innie is now an outie and I can’t tell you how much it freaks me out!

I have eleven weeks to go. (Shiiiiiiit)

Last night my MIL laughed so much she gave herself a nosebleed. Good times!

Preggo admin: done.

After sitting in the hospital for over an hour yesterday to get what can only be described as a harpoon jabbed into my arm followed by five minutes of stinging, I can now relax a bit because my preggo admin is done!

Now when I say pregnancy admin, I mean all the little appointments and tests before they basically leave you to get on with it. I’m not talking birth plans or hospital bags. I’m yet to do those.

So I’ve had my bloods, dating scan, abnormalities scan, consultant appointment, another consultant appointment, glucose tolerance, more bloods and last but not least anti-D injection, maternity leave notice given and approved! Phew!

Now all these nitty gritty bits out the way I can get on with things. I’m at the fun stage where people keep telling me I’ve suddenly got massive (Just what a girl wants to hear). I’ve not had full blown indigestion yet but it’s been trying, naturally I’m looking forward to being woken with a mouth full of my own stomach acid. Baby is very active, it’s favourite hobby is jumping on my bladder. I love hauling myself around to get to a toilet to do a teaspoon of wee.

I’ve got some annual leave to use up so I’ll actually be finishing work in December! I’m pretty stoked about it but have to keep reminding myself that the last thing I’ll be doing is resting as I’ve got the bald kitten to look after. I have a feeling the TV will feature a LOT from January until him and the baby are ready to leave home.

In other news:

I don’t care how close up to your due date you worked, I’m buggering off on maternity leave as early as possible.

The bald kitten has been waving at bump and saying ‘hello’ to baby, I’m hoping he’ll still be this nice when baby is here.

I’ve put a play tent up. Marmite has claimed it. It’s where she lives now.

Is today over yet?

Someone has stolen my son. They have replaced him with an angry unreasonable demon that I can’t wait to put to bed.

Hubs has popped out for afternoon tea with a friend (how very British!) and I’m stuck with the spawn of Hades. He’s poured squash on the carpet. Tried to pour it in the wheetabix tin. Tried to kick Captain and laughed at me when I told him off, demanded an apple that he’s not frigging eating and had an absolute shit fit when I sat down with some cashew nuts. He didn’t want to share he wanted them all. So stormed out of the living room into the hallway, shut the door only to (frequently) open it and shout ‘That’s mine mummy!’

Can’t a girl eat a bowl of nuts in peace? Can’t she do the ironing without the little sod throwing a ball at her? Can’t her offspring listen when she tells him to stop pouring squash over his trousers?!

Not. Today.

I am in the ‘very to extremely’ pregnant bracket now and tired. I’m so tired I could cry. All I was is a nap and a snack I can eat without being shouted at. That’s not unreasonable is it?

He’s been affectionate at times today, but that’s mostly involved climbing on me and jabbing bump with all his pointy limbs. In fact most of his affection today has been downright painful.

In my head, there are so many things I’d like to do. Like carry on sorting the room THAT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE A FINISHED NURSERY BY THE END OF OCTOBER!! I need to get the pictures up in the hall. The same pictures I’ve been meaning to do for over a year. I need to dust the light on the landing that has now become a giant spider palace. I need to get that last bookcase out of the ‘nursery’ I need to investigate why the bald kitten from Hades’ teddies smell mouldy and I need to wash them. I need to clean the cupboard by the cooker. It’s truly revolting in there which is weird as it’s mostly got boxes of tea in it.

And I need to get my head around the fact that I’m having a baby in February. Because I haven’t got my head round it yet. Not even close.

But I don’t want to do any of those things.

I. Just. Want. To. Sleep.

That is not an option. So we I’ll try and neutralise the demon with a bubble bath…

In other news:

I’ve been listening to Christmas songs. This will form my daily soundtrack from now until NYE.

90% of my house is sticky.

I think the bald kitten is having a poo as I type. This really is the day that keeps on giving.