Persephone: Parent

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Congratulations! You Cease To Exist

A.K.A Grandparents think they’re far too important!

I am so going to get into trouble for this post! I got a text a while ago announcing a birth. It reads: Hi just to let you know Baby Blah Blah was born this morning. Mum is battered and bruised but my new grand daughter is worth it xxx

Oviously the baby was not named Blah Blah. No, first off, I found it very impersonal that the new babba’s Grand mother did the announcing. I don’t believe that it is a Grand parent’s prerogative to do this, although, perhaps she was tasked with this by both parents. It was my husband’s job, not my mother’s. But that’s me and my family.

Secondly, I found the message hugely disrespectful to the mum in question. Now maybe that is simply because I have had such an issue with identity since becoming a mother. From before Elvis was even born, my mother insisted every other day that no one would want to visit me, they were all coming to see Elvis. No one would care how I was coping or processing things, everyone would want to hold Elvis, know how he was doing. I would, according to her, cease to exist. What even to my husband and own mother? How can I cease to exist when I was, at that point, the person who had just had major surgery and was the most important person to that little baby?

So, perhaps due to my own issues, I find the comment that “my new grand daughter is worth it” almost revolting. Really I do. First off, what exactly did you do in getting the grand daughter? Wait outside in a waiting room, or back at home. Did you get battered and bruised? Maybe you did 30 years ago, but do you want the world to know that? Meanwhile, how does your daughter feel? Oh, you’re in pain, never mind you have a daughter now and I’ll shout it all to the world.

People have to stop only seeing the baby in a birth. People have to stop telling mums to get over the birth because all that matters is the baby that they have. People have to stop only wanting to see the new baby. People have to stop deciding that they are more important than a parent.

I think Elvis’ grandparents had an issue with me breastfeeding him. I had one grandparent ask me if I was breastfeeding purely to lose weight. I had another, after we’d started weaning him, declare as they fed him spoons of yoghurt “see, mummy’s not the only one who can feed you”. Do some grandparents think that their grandchild is a do over? Do they think they are as important, have as many rights as the parents? Why did we have some grandparents race across the country to meet their grandson and then never send a Christmas or Birthday card to him?

I can remember one hot August day last year when Elvis was still under 3 months old and we were too far from home when he got hungry/thirsty and would not stop screaming in his pushchair and I started to get really upset, walking as fast as possible to get him home and my mum, in the way she does, spoke to him as if he understood completely and said “You’re upsetting my daughter.” And I remember thinking, yes, I am still your daughter. I am not just the person who gave you a grandchild. I am still me. I will always be me and sometimes, selfishly, I want everything to be about me.

And that poor other new mum, in her battered and bruised state, was completely overlooked on the day that she did one of the hardest things a woman a can do, a day that can be one of the most amazing days in a person’s life, was ignored. Sure, that child becomes the most important person in the parents’ lives, but you still have to consider each other and others. And, as a grandparent, if you annoy the parents, you can be written out of the story.

Have you ever felt pushed out of your own family by others?

~ P

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Sunday Best: Southsea

To try and combat Elvis’s shift in daytime naps, I tried to fill up the first weekend of a new routine with fun activities. On the Friday, we skipped swimming due to a severe nappy rash that I thought chlorine might irritate, we went to the local playpark with a friend and her son with a picnic lunch. On the Saturday, we spent an hour in the local library reading books and on the Sunday we headed to Southsea for loads of fun!

Now, the naps! Oh, my. So, on a weekday (Monday to Thursday), Elvis finishes nursery at 1 and naps from near 2 until about 4. This sees him well until bedtime. On the three days of the weekend, well, he has started fighting an 11am nap and then getting too tired by bedtime, but there’s no time for a second nap. So I decided that I would shift his 11am until 1pm and with hubby at the football on the Saturday, I decided to try it.

The first weekend worked.

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What I Learnt

First time around, doing all the reading and attending all the classes, I was under some huge pregnancy and parenting misguided notions, and I’m hoping that second time around I’ve learnt from those facts or helpful advice.

1. Having painkillers, epidural or an actual C-section is not the easy way. It is not the cowardly way either. It makes you no less of a woman, parent or human being (even if I do have some vagina jealousy — I am jealous of those who have given birth naturally).

2. Having painkillers, epidual or a C-section will not stop you from breastfeeding.  I swear, these things are the very reason I was so anti having them all. Every antenatal class, all the breastfeeding information made it sound like painkillers, etc would seriously hinder breastfeeding. I am in no way trying to say that they don’t have an effect on bf, but I successfully fed for 366 days and had pain relief, epidural and a C-section. I asked a friend the other day and she said she remembered feeling like that – her two children were C-sections and breastfed. Even worse, on my first meeting with the VBAC team, the midwife, after asking how I fed Elvis and how long for, then told me that a having a C section in general causes problems for breastfeeding. Did you not hear me, woman?

3. Babies who breastfeed will do so constantly, on demand, they will be clingy and only want Mummy for milk. Nope. I was so worried about getting a clingy baby just because I was feeding.  My son never rooted around for milk on me and has always had a streak of independence. I wonder if he can’t smell sometimes, because he truly never rooted. I watched 9 month old baby-friends get tired and root on their mums, never, ever happened with Elvis.

4. All babies have growth spurts. All babies will have sleep regressions. Well, I never noticed either in 15 months.

5. Formula fed babies sleep through the night quicker than bf. That’s funny! I did, in those first two months of sleep deprivation worry that my bf baby would never sleep through the night. At 4 months my bf baby was, my formula fed baby friends still aren’t at over a year. Even now I know toddlers 6 months older that have far more sleep issues that Elvis, now they’re all on cow’s milk so clearly it has nothing to do with formula versus breast, it’s just the person!

6. Babies cannot self wean from the booby before a year. Well, I stopped offering at 9 months and he didn’t ever ask for it (I did still force him twice a day!)

7. Everything passes. Everything gets better. In those first few weeks I truly couldn’t believe those things. People told me that after 2 weeks things would look up, then 1 month, then 2. Nope, it was never going to happen. I could not see that far away. I could not see how it would ever happen. Well, it did. I survived.

8. Dummies are awful, a human nipple and should be weaned by one. My son had the human nipple option and screamed when all he wanted to do was suck to sleep and he kept getting milk from me! As for weaning by 1, Elvis only has his dummy in a cot and is never allowed it elsewhere. He isn’t addicted to it, he doesn’t take it everywhere with him. He simply sleeps with it. How is that awful?

9. A C-section is awful, painful and, as it’s major surgery, will leave you bed-ridden and mentally scarred. A natural birth is easy and has no long lasting effects. Ummm, how about tears, stitches, being unable to sit down, forceps causing headaches. I know some mums who have issues regarding having had a C-section, but not me. It was the best thing for me and my baby at that point.

10. Every baby can take a bottle. Okay, we’re talking breastfed here and maybe, with enough practice they can. Maybe once you find the right kind of teat and you can express enough, or find the right formula that doesn’t upset their tummy. And maybe if you can get them to accept it from you, Daddy or a complete stranger. Maybe if you don’t have milk that needs flash boiling to stop it spoiling after a few hours even in the fridge. All that effort? For a night out? Dude, I have the rest of his life to have a night out, go to the cinema, so rather than figure all of that stuff out, I will not leave my baby for more than 3 hours at a time. And don’t tell me otherwise.

11. Some babies don’t like cuddling. I honestly thought that every baby wanted to be held. Elvis didn’t.

12. Breastfeeding is natural and won’t hurt if you’re doing it right. Really? So, just because something is natural means that you’re perfect at it straight off? Sex is a natural thing, right? The means to procreate is nature at it’s best, yes? So was your first time amazing? Did it rock your world? Did you get pregnant the first time you ever did it, of the first time you wanted to conceive, did you? Or did it take practice to become fantastic? Did it take time to get it right and make a life? So why should breastfeeding be fantastic and perfect straight away? Yes, babies are born with a suckling reflex, it by no means means that they can latch on perfectly straight away. Once established, feeding shouldn’t hurt, if it does, there probably is something that needs correcting. But at the beginning… nature isn’t perfect. And in that time where nature has an imperfection, where mum and baby are both learning something new, perhaps awful things occur, but no one mentions blood blisters, milk blebs, mastitis and engorgement before baby arrives, do they?

13. Something I wish that hubby had been a bit more aware of and I only told him about the other day – when a woman’s milk comes in, it can hurt. I could barely hold Elvis against my chest for a day or two because my breasts ached so badly. Hubby never realised this and didn’t try and take over a simple act of lifting him up to change his nappy.

I know that every baby is different and maybe Robin won’t sleep through as early. Maybe Robin will never learn to feed quickly. Maybe they will be clingy and only want me for milk. Maybe I will have a C-section again. But I survived one birth, newborn and year. I can do it again. The biggest difference that Robin will bring is I won’t pander to anyone else’s needs but my family. Maybe with an increased parenting confidence I will also find the confidence to tell people to butt out of our lives!

~ P

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Grandparent Visit — Trips Out

During a recent visit from Hubby’s parents we tried to pack in loads of fun things with Elvis. Sadly, Elvis is trying to drop to one nap a day so it was kind of tricky. After 5 and a half hours at nursery (without a nap), Elvis wasn’t really up for fun places in the afternoon. It’s probably why he spent that week having problems sleeping at night.

It wasn’t all bad though, we still had fun at the fair, pretty good times at Paulton’s Park and were amazed at the aquarium!

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Baby Envy

Firstly, Elvis and his tempers have gone! He is having trouble with his naps sometimes (dropping to 1 but length depends on time of day) but whatever his problems were they seem to have settled down. I think it was just the upheaval – the move, the changes in nursery, the house guests. I am so relieved. I mean, it does make me wonder if when Robin arrives, Elvis won’t have some sort of regression with his tempers, but that’s in another few months.

I’m trying to encourage Elvis to walk more. He loves walking and running, but if I have the pushchair he just wants to climb in it. I don’t really blame him. The only thing is I haven’t bought, and really don’t intend to, a double pushchair. I will try and get a buggy board, but he needs to be walking home from nursery in January/February. And it’ll be raining and snowing which will either encourage him because it’s fun or not! Am I putting too much faith in / pressure on him?

On an amazingly positive note, Elvis let me hold a baby! Back in July he wouldn’t even let me go near one. I was his. I knew that he would have to adapt to Robin, but I hoped he wouldn’t have that immediate jealousy. Well, he let me pick up and then comfort jiggle my friend’s 6month old. I think he’s also making steps with sharing, too. There’s hope for Robin!

No, there’s hope for all of us!

~ P

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25 Weeks and 3 Days Pregnant with 73 Week Old!

I’m really struggling this week. Even though we’re in October, it’s still as hot as summer. I mean it’s dark when I get up, dark before Elvis finishes his bath, but it’s still baking hot outside. Although at least I can dry all my washing outside! Whilst a lot of my pelvic pain has gone since my physio appointment, walking is still a pain. Couple the heat and walking pain with the nursery pick up and it’s exhausting me. I finish work at 12, walk home, get puschair, walk to nursery, get Elvis, walk home possibly via some shops and it’s been over an hour of solidly walking.

I then nap all afternoon out of exhaustion and feel crap all evening.

Meanwhile, my aches and pains are making me feel so distant from my son. When he was newborn, I struggled and daddy stepped up; Elvis loved Daddy far more than me. Fast forward to 16 months old and Daddy gets him dressed, Daddy gets him ready for bed, Daddy reads him bedtime stories. All I do is cook his meals, get him from nursery, wash his clothes, clean his dishes. At the moment I still have bathtime fun with him, but I’m becoming more and more hands off. I stuggle to bend over and pick him up. I feel like I’m losing my son and I’m only going to get bigger, more achey and even less hands on.

I started this post the other day (in preparation for my 25 week check) and literally overnight (from the 4th to 5th October) it has become freezing cold, rainy and stormy. So now, I am going to have to do that hour of solid walking in the cold and rain, without a proper coat yet and with barely any sleep. Didn’t I mention? Apparently, my body is doing that thing where it prepares you for your newborn by waking you every 3 hours, just to get you ready. I don’t need to be told, I don’t need to get ready, I did it a year ago! So, please fuck off, body, and let me sleep a whole night! I have insomnia. I have random wakings. Now, I have the rain too! Only 15 weeks, right?

How about my gender predictions…

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Number Two/How?????

I read a blog by Mum of Boys, and, well, oops, I didn’t plan a second, but, here are my thoughts (my initial thoughts are – What? I won’t be welcome at under-1 groups? At all? Or at my mummy friends houses? How will playdates go for Elvis? How will they go for Robin? Holy, crap.)

  1. Apparently the second pregnancy will be harder, there’ll be no lazy cuppas with other pregnant mums-to-be and you’ll be covered in food, dressing more practically
  2. Being unwelcome at Mummy groups – or your toddler and “been there done that attitude” won’t be welcome
  3. More sleep in the hospital than in the few years leading up to then
  4. You will welcome visitors, simply to entertain the toddler
  5. You will be up and on your feet much quicker, if only to get the toddler out of the house!
  6. You will not sleep when the baby sleeps, you’ll be watching toddler TV
  7. No morning lie-ins after a night of feeding
  8. There will be no time for friends and a social life, even online
  9. You’ll “miss” the developments of the second as they appear from out of nowhere whilst your attention is on the older child
  10. You will not, even for one second, regret the decision to have number 2.

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Photo Challenge Draft: Obsession

I have a few pins on my pinterest board “Photography”, but I decided to use the most recently pinned one. The original blog is from here: Little Bennet.

Now, I’ve decided that I’m going to do this one. I. am. going. to. do. it! It’s part of my trying to organise my blogging regime, I have sorted out and scheduled poetry posts on my original blog (Persephone’s Posts) and I am planning two blogs a week on here, not including any for this new photo challenge. Now, I know that there is no way that I can do it in 30 days. That’s just impossible, so instead I will try and do it within 30 weeks, but also with a maximum of two photos per week.

Here is the original list from Little Bennet:

  1. Self Portrait
  2. What you wore
  3. Clouds
  4. Something Green
  5. After Dark
  6. Obsession
  7. Changes to Come
  8. Routine
  9. Someone you Love
  10. Childhood Memory
  11. Something Blue
  12. Sunset
  13. Cannot Live Without
  14. Eyes
  15. Silhouette
  16. Faceless Self Portrait
  17. A Good Habit
  18. Technology
  19. Your Shoes
  20. Something You Want
  21. In My Bag
  22. Inspirational
  23. Patterns
  24. Animal
  25. Strangers
  26. Close-Up
  27. Celebration
  28. Flowers
  29. Black And White
  30. Self Portrait

The photo is not my obsession, it’s from a recent day-trip to a Model Village and, to me, building this kind of village, spending so much time preparing it, maintaining it and using all of that effort, well, that’s an obsession. And there is nothing wrong with that whatsoever. I have plenty of obsessions. I think, within limits, they can be quite healthy:

image

An Entire Village.

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Pregnancy Problems With The Second

Everyone experiences pregnancy differently.  Just as everyone experiences parenting differently. Perhaps not many people understand that. Perhaps I never truly understood that until I became a parent (which might be why I find parents within my own family who are so unsympathetic highly odd – my own mother told me to suck it up when I had nausea until Kate Middleton was hospitalised with sickness!). I also wonder if any woman has a perfect pregnancy or a perfect parenting journey. Is perfect possible?

The point of this post is to describe some of the problems I’m experiencing with pregnancy number 2 maybe because of already being a parent. It’s in no way a moan that I have it bad when others could have it far worse!

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TV Watching: The 100

Okay, I’m about 9 or ten episodes into this new show — spoiler warning! — and I’m enjoying it on the whole. Certain aspects are hugely obvious – best friend’s fate after the truth, that Desmond was not all evil, Clarke’s mum’s fate and the Grounder formally known as Calvin Valentine. But, even with certain glaringly obvious plot developments, it is still immensely enjoyable. Some of the characters don’t seem to make stupid, moral decisions for the sake of the plot – like Bellamy’s pardon.

It’s quite a fast moving plot. The initial advert here revealed there were Grounders which we at home thought was a bit spoilery, but seeing as my latest episode had a launch ship apparently crash land in a firey inferno, well, none of it was revealed too early.

I guess my take on the show so far, in one word, is contradiction. There is no way that the Ark is dead. No way that Clarke’s Momma burnt up. No way that Bellamy was going to pay for his crimes. But then it still has shocks and plot twists, for me. The Exodus ship crashing – I thought they’d make it leading to a planetary 100 vs Grounders vs Workers and an Ark Workers vs Priveledged. Whilst it appeared obvious that Raven would be Finn’s girlfriend just as he did the deed with Clarke, the non-teenage-soap handling of it has been a surprise. Not to mention that Clarke seems to be more like Bellamy (ruthless) than the compassionate peace wanting Finn, quite a turnaround.

I have two questions though: are the books any good? And will the show be renamed with the rapid killing off of the 100? Or will there be some way to top them up with people from the Ark, because the Ark is not dead. I’d bet money on it!

 

Px

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