Persephone: Parent

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70 Days And Counting: What I Learnt Today

Still having a few days of annual leave that need using by the end of March, I opted to basically take every Wednesday off so, for a month at least, I don’t have to work more than two days in a row.

My only plan for these Wednesdays off is to go swimming when there are fewer people there. At 4, 5 or 6 in the afternoon there are too many swimming groups or families with young kids or teenagers on a date. I have no idea why you’d go on a date to a swimming pool!

So today I went at 3pm, before schools let out and during a slot where kids can’t go free and it was lovely! Half the pool and only 7 people max.

And I also decided to attend a Pregnant Mums Breastfeeding Class. I have another booked for an evening session so hubby can attend, too.

So, what I learnt:

  • A day old baby has a stomach the size of a marble and it holds 6ml. A lot of mums give up breast feeding early as they think their baby isn’t eating enough when they maybe don’t realise it can only hold 6ml.
  • One of the things colostrum does is seal the newborn’s stomach. The stomach is actually perforated and without sealing those holes milk will leak out. If a baby misses the colostrum (being breast or bottle fed) they have a higher risk of GI infections and UTIs because of the milk leakage.
  • Breast fed babies stop feeding when they’re full or when the breast empties (breast and stomach are tuned to each other) which is why they have a lower rate of obesity later in life.
  • A lot of parents don’t realise how small their baby’s stomach is so, when using a bottle, when the baby stops they wind the baby and continue feeding. With winding, some milk is regurgitated creating space for more. This isn’t as common with breast fed babies.

I also saw this amazing video of the first skin to skin contact from an unmedicated baby that had immediate skin to skin. The crawling and suckling reflex was amazing. It really felt miraculous and I can only hope my labour is “normal” and I get to see my baby do that!

~ Persephone M

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What I’ve Learnt…

I bought another parenting/pregnancy book yesterday. I’m not sure if I’m going overboard; if I am I’d give the excuse that I waited 3 years to get pregnant so its okay!

If anything I think I’ve been overly cautious over the last 6 and a half months. I’ve only just started buying the birth essentials that we/baby will need – nappies, nappy bags, cotton wool, wipes. And only enough to get us through a few days.

So this latest book is written by Jo Frost and is about confident parenting for the first year. There’s a section concerning what advice Supernanny gives about what you and the baby need immediately – its helpful to be organised!

I’ve also read the first 3 month section as I reckon I might be too busy during those months.

And what I’ve learnt is:

  • Supporting a newborn’s neck is not just because their head is far too big for their neck and body it’s also because if they don’t feel supported there they startle. Its like the falling reflex.
  • Breast milk, during a feeding session, starts out fast and thin -giving baby a drink. Then it slows and thickens up with fats – the meal!

~ Persephone M

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73 Days And Counting: Preparations

Okay, so to total up all I’ve bought so far: I have over 200 baby wipes, over 100 cotton wool pads, fewer than 30 newborn nappies, baby shampoo and lotion, and 200 nappy bags.

Not a bad start.

Bought and waiting to be brought around is the cot-bed, dresser with changer top and push-chair including car seat and in car base.

We’re still decorating so are waiting to bring the bulkier stuff home and, apparently, it’s bad luck to have the push-chair in the home before baby arrives.

What I did go and buy this week (partly to take advantage of a sale at Boots and partly due to research) I went and stocked up on sleeping bags.

First, from Boots, I got the twin pack of Gro Company’s Swaddle. And it was half price because I also bought their 2.5tog 0-6 month Gro Bag with car seat adapter. I thought having the car seat aspect would be perfect as I have a weekend away planned when Little One will be very, well, little.

I also got all the extra points of being a member of the parenting club.

After internet research the night before my shopping trip, I’d learnt that many places do their own version of Gro-Bag’s Sleeping Bag but they’re not supported by FSID. I also read that TK Maxx often have Gro Bags. So I looked and I found!

They had a huge range. I did try and go for neutral ones even though I know this bump is a boy. I picked up 4 for just over half the RRP of a Gro Bag anywhere else. I got both a 1.0 and 2.5 tog for the 0-6 month and one of each for 6-18 months (based on maybe not getting out or TK not having suitable 6-18 month bags in 6 months).

I’m not usually a brand whore, but what with all the FSID backing stuff, I’d prefer Gro Bags to begin with. Especially if I can get them cheaper!

I did also buy a Sainsbury’s own Tu Sleeping Bag for 0-6 months. It’s inner is polyester where Gro Bags are 100% cotton and, imo, it doesn’t feel as nice as Gro Bags do.

Gro Bags also have all zip fastenings completely covered from scratching the LO and the youngest range comes with poppers on the arm hole so smaller babies are still safe. Obviously I won’t know how essential any of this is until LO’s wearing them! At normal prices, the Sainsbury’s sleeping bag can be a third of the price but that became only a £5 saving on TK’s prices.

Mid-week I’ll be checking out another high street shop for some basic baby clothing!

~ Persephone M

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Two Thirds of the Way Across

I’m still waiting for my original blog to catch up before I release this blog and publish these posts so I’m trying not to write too much. I will post these few in quick succession though so that both blogs end up back in real time.

My estimated due date, EDD, is 13 weeks today! How freaking scared does that make me?

That means, although nothin’s accurate with these things, that I’m on the final third and, seeing as it’s all measured in thirds, the pregnancy journey – No Man’s Land – is on the final stretch. I sometimes worry that I’m not supposed to get worried. That after three years of trying to conceive (TTC) and being diagnosed as having unexplained infertility, that because of all that effort and stress, the fact that treatment worked should make all of this the best thing in the world.

I’m not one of those people that have enjoyed pregnancy. I spent the first 3 months petrified. The second three (which are supposed to be the nicest) flashed by without me realising that they were even there. And now at the beginning of the final three, I already feel too hugely uncomfortable. It hurts to lie on either side or my back. My pubic bone still randomly hurts, although not as bad as at week 19. And I still have 13 weeks to go!

I spent the first three months declaring that I hated the pregnancy so much (not being pregnant, just its effects on my body) that one child will be more than enough. Of course, having had medical help to conceive it’s all together possible that we would need treatment to get pregnant again anyway. But I’m distracting myself from the rest of the hugeness that will happen (although I’m being fed up with being told I’m *too* big) by getting the house in order, buying the bulkier things I need to sort out. I like shopping so it should provide a good distraction.

And although I feel crappy when trying to sleep at night, Baby Bump is more active during the morning so doesn’t keep me awake and going swimming regularly helps me feel better. My lower abdominal pain is only really present when I walk and the rest of the time I feel fine.

If only near strangers and my parents could stop saying I’m far too big and must be having twins or have my dates wrong. They’re about to give me a complex!

~ Persephone M

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How I Got Here

Having taken to the metaphor of the WW1 trenches, I wanted to give some simple information on my journey to here for any of those that are new to this blog.

I began my attempt at trying to conceive (TTC), over three years ago with my DH, which I have now likened to being stuck in the disease ridden, downright depressing near-death hole of the trenches. Here are some blog entries from my original blog on TTC (there are plenty more over there, but mainly poetry based just check out the tag TTC):

And then, after deciding on Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) rather than the free, but more invasive IVF, I met with the fertility nurse about starting the first round, which managed to get me out of the trenches and running across No Man’s Land. Here are those blogs:

And that covers the first 4-5 weeks of my journey across No Man’s Land. I now have about a third of this journey to go.

Let’s keep our fingers crossed!

~ Persephone M

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Introduction: No Man’s Land

I’m starting this blog to keep my new, current  journey separate from my usual blog. I linked to someone else’s blog from my original who described her journey (and my previous one) as being in the trenches. According to her metaphor, I’ve managed to escape the terrible trenches of trying to conceive (TTC).

I want to expand on her metaphor and introduce myself on this new blog. Some of the readers might be the same, but I fully understand why some won’t follow over; I wouldn’t. The trenches are where my fellow bloggers still are and where I barely survived for three whole years. In the mud and rain I wallowed for 3 years. Surrounded by the doom and gloom where even the sun could bring no heat, merely a bitter chill.

I suffered in wet dark conditions where my feet sat in the mud and mould, losing parts to gangrene or the rats. I shared those 3 years with rats and fleas, the constant fear from the bullets flying overhead. Hoping that one day the gunfire could cease long enough for me to pop my head up, perhaps glance across No Man’s Land, maybe even try and make it across to the other side.

And after 3 years, 3 so very long years, I managed a peek at No Man’s Land. More than that, with footholds and bullet-proof armour, I began my run across No Man’s Land. And run I did. And running I still am.

My fellow blogger had left her analogy at those of us who escaped the trenches and I’m not saying any of this to negate her views. I fully appreciate and understand how she means it: for 3 years I was always one of the soldiers left behind. Until I got given that bulletproof vest.

So, yes, I’ve made it out of the trenches. This time I’m the one that’s leaving the others behind.

But I’m still running across No Man’s Land. I haven’t made it to the other side yet. There’s no more rats, no more fleas, no more rotting feet, no more stale biscuits and meager rations and the skies are void of any gunfire noise.

Anything can go wrong in pregnancy, anything can go wrong in labour. Anything could cause me to stop. Dead. Anything could make me turn tail and flee back to the safety of the trenches. Perhaps I could trip. Or my armour might not be good enough, it could allow just one stray bullet in.

I know I’m a lucky trench-survivor and all I can do is hope I become a No Man’s Land survivor. With that hope, I can’t blog this run on my original blog, but I also can’t ignore the running and wait until I get there. The running, crossing No Man’s Land is a journey too.

I will always remember everything about the trenches. Its part of me now and forever.
~ Persephone M

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