Persephone: Parent

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Poxy Weight Issues

Robin was weighed on days 3 and 5, she’s lost about 9.3% of her birthweight. Elvis got weighed on day 5, had lost 8%.  I’ve been advised to top up with expressed or formula but I wonder if either option will cause supply issues and possible latch problems if I use a bottle. Although our latch is better than the other day and my milk is definitely in. However, I’m so engorged, I have no idea if she’s ever draining a boob. So is she getting to the fatty milk? Although fatty/watery milk content is not that simple.

Meanwhile, I keep having hot flushes and severe shivers either from a post op infection, milk coming in or my engorgement has led to an infection. It happened last time so I want to rule out breast infection. Either way, we have an extra midwife check tomorrow to weigh her again and I’m really worried. I actually can’t tell you how frequently she feeds or how many feeds she has in a day. I’m not clock watching. I stopped clock watching at night to combat my insomnia about a year ago and I’m not starting now.

Surely it’s all about feeding on demand? And during the day she never goes longer than 3hours; she feels constantly attached!

Meanwhile Elvis has chicken pox. He’s dealing ok but he’s clearly not happy. All I want to do is cuddle him but I have a baby who may be losing too much weight permanently attached to me and my son no longer wants me.

It’s heartbreaking. It really is. I can’t lift him for another 5 weeks so I can’t get him in and out of his cot, take him upstairs. She will currently only really be settled by my boob and sleeps longer on me. But it’s me who feels like I’m failing both of them. I’m not getting her to feed properly and I’m not the parent my son wants or needs at the moment. And Elvis being poorly breaks me. He’s why I discharged from hospital early. And I can’t do anything for him. And she may not be thriving.

Happy Saturday,
~ P

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The Failure of Those First Few Weeks

I had felt like I was over the first few weeks of Elvis’ life. The few weeks where I hated everything. where I was desperate for some sleep, where I actually kind of wanted to send my son back or have him returned to me as a toddler. I’m not even sure how long those few weeks were. Was it just 4? Was it nearer 8 or 12? I remember at about two or three weeks old, I strongly considered returning to work just for a lunch break. I remember within the first 4 weeks, desiring a toddler more than a newborn. I remember at about 8 weeks old deciding that I could no longer bedshare, by 3 months old we weren’t anymore. If I looked at my diary, if I re-read all of my blogs from that time period, I would be able to pin point all of those moments with a to-the-hour accuracy. But I don’t want to because I don’t want to dwell on the past. I don’t want to think about my failures, I don’t want to be reminded of how, why and when I was a lousy parent. And I think I had got over the failure, the lousiness, the disappointment in myself (disappointment that, after wanting something so much and trying and fighting so hard to get, it was not as amazing as I thought it should have been. Not that I ever thought parenting was going to be easy), except now I keep thinking about it.

Is it because I’m due number 2?

Is it because I see more and more people I know have babies and not fail?

Is it because I do worry and fear that it will happen again?

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Two Nights In

Robin was born on Sunday night and I fought for discharge by Monday evening. I missed Elvis, didn’t want to spend more time away from him and I co-sleep with newborns which hospitals frown on so I needed to get home. Well, 3 nights of life with 2 at home and Robin has some pickle in her!

She likes to sleep during the day and she’ll sleep independently. She likes to feed at very certain times and at others will signal feeding but then literally hold a nipple in her mouth and go back too sleep. My patience at this point with Elvis was non-existant so Robin has it better.

Okay I’m so slow at blogging, it’s now night 3 at home. And I’m flashing back to newborn Elvis. It isn’t as bad. It can’t be as bad. Robin got weighed yesterday and has lost 8%. She gets reweighed Friday and can only lose 2 more. Elvis was borderline on the 10% loss on day 5, he wasn’t weeing or pooing. I knew there was a problem – my milk took 5 days to come in. Well Robin is weeing, pooping and my milk’s in – day 3.

It must be better therefore.

However, just because I’ve done this before, nursed a newborn it doesn’t mean that she and I know what we’re doing. I have a few blood blisters starting to form. I’m hoping I’ve noticed in enough time, that it won’t get worse, but right now I’m very protective of my nipples.

Last time I was exhausted, my breasts ached and I needed sleep. Husband and I stuggled to become parents let alone understand what c-section meant and we had to do it all on the fly. This time we already are parents, we understand what major surgery is. All I have to do is see to Robin. She’s mine. Elvis, the house and me are all The Husband’s.

Ot certainly relieves the pressure but I do hate it regarding Elvis. But my surgery prevents me being a normal mum just as much as the baby on my boob. It will pass. I have far more faith than last time. I just need this pain to pass.

~ P

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Unless I labour Spontaneously (or already have!)

I’m  writing this at 35+3 but plan on scheduling it for January. I fully plan on attempting VBAC (we have the choice here that after one c-section, we can have electives ever after even if there is no medical need), but have decided on an elective section if I reach term plus 12. I could wait longer, I might have to fight medical staff to wait longer, and I already feel fed up of pregnancy. Those two weeks after I reached my due date with Elvis were awful so I really don’t see myself wanting to prolong it past T+12. Unless I labour spontaneously.

Not that I like, at 35 weeks knowing the exact date my baby could be born. I mean, the date for the section could be their date of birth (unless I labour spontaneously) and I find that weird. I kind of find that wrong. For me. In my head. Maybe if I booked that date for an induction, I’d feel better because that could take longer than a day, the date of birth would still be unknown. Unless I’m too ill or there’s a massive rush of emergencies, my section will be on the date booked. Unless I labour spontaneously.

I could have opted for the induction, I think the catheter, physical induction sounds nicer than the hormonal one I had last time, but if interventions lead to more interventions (a common thought regarding labour) then the induction could lead to an emergency section. Wouldn’t a planned section be nicer, calmer, more relaxed and enjoyable than one termed an emergency? Unless I labour spontaneously.

But I still don’t like knowing, potentially, my child’s date of birth already. And I’m refusing to tell anyone of the date other than hubby’s bosses. And I’ll continue hoping that I will labour spontaneously and have a surprise date of birth!

~ Px

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Robin Is A…

image

Girl!

Two days old, 9lb and maybe has more hair than Elvis did at the same age. Birth was not how I considered, potentially more traumatic than the first time but I feel more confident and at ease with my decisions. Currently very glad that I have one of each as I really don’t think it’ll be happening again!

~ P

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Parenting Wisdom of Star Trek Deep Space Nine

I’m currently watching Deep Space Nine, Season 4 episode 17 and there has just been a scene between Julian Bashir and Miles O’Brien. I’ll try and find a transcript later, but the jist of what O’Brien just said was: “Well, now that Molly (his and his wife’s pre-school daughter) is a year older, I was hoping to spend more time with Keiko (his wife). You know, like, go out in the evening.”

And all it made me think was the fact that so many people have told me that I’m crazy for having such a small age gap between Elvis and Robin (others have plenty smaller though, fcol!) and here is a reason why it isn’t so crazy. I haven’t been raising Elvis for 3 years, yearning for a weekend away or an adults holiday, getting to the point we can do that and then having Robin come along. Nope, I’m in the getting it all out of the way camp.

Don’t get me wrong, everyone has their own choice, their own decisions and their own wants. I don’t do newborn. Or at least I didn’t a year ago. Either way,  the very thought of spending so many years as a parent of young ones… it just is not me. I know a few mums that have multiple children over a huge age gap (10 years eldest to youngest, 12, and 20!) and that thought, at the moment, absolutely horrifies me.

Maybe I’ll change my mind. Maybe in ten years time, I’ll jump back on the baby bandwagon, but right now, I could not think of anything worse! I love my son and I plan on loving Robin, but that doesn’t mean I should want to parent young children. And it isn’t that I yearn for my life, selfishly away from my family. No, if anything I want to be everything I was but from within my family. It may sound corny, bit I want to show my children the world. I don’t want to turn to a 5 year old, a 10 year old, and say we can’t do something because of the baby,  because I’m pregnant. Yes, that might sound like I want to get on with my life, and it kinda is. My life with my family.

~ P

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#41Weeks

By the hospital dates, somewhere between 41 and 42 weeks by my dates. And I’d been quite fine. Mainly positive and upbeat.

I’ve temporarily blocked/removed/avoid social media and real life people/discussions that could lead to my own negativity. I’m trying my hardest to keep a positive state of mind, not just with the Birth Affirmations plastered around the house, but when people ask how I’m doing. Or when they say you must be fed up by now?

Well, yeah, I kinda am, but there’s no point dwelling on it. There’s no point in me telling you about my aches and pains. Yeah, I want this baby born. Yes, the longer it all takes to start naturally the more doubt sets in that it won’t. But there is nothing I can do about that so why moan at everyone?

I do feel the timetable, the scheduled C-section that I think I can still cancel/delay. I do keep having the thought that I only have X number of days left. But then I try and remind myself that there are no odds, there is no mathematical or scientific equation that means the fewer days left, the less likely for things to happen.

I have had wobbles the past few days. Mainly I think because an extreme tiredness has washed over me. Yesterday I burst into tears in a shop because I couldn’t remember what I needed. Today because my husband offered to collect Elvis from nursery. Today is the third day in the row I’ve given in to napping. Today I’ve simply eaten or slept. Elvis is either ill or teething, but he’s doing his normal in either situation and sleeping. He loves his sleep. Which is amazing when I’m desperate for mine.

And when I say I’ve given in to the sleep, usually I’d fight it to make sure the washing was done, to pick him up from nursery, to buy bread, to bounce on a ball. Nope. Dirty dishes, no bread and I haven’t touched the ball. I’d be asleep right now but I’m tired of lying down.

I’m literally tired of everything and I’m really hot. Boiling. And we’re in the middle of winter.

On the labour front, well, my body keeps on seeming like it’s making some changes one day and then doing nothing the next. All of last night I had a back pain that felt like baby had gone back-back even though I’d been sitting/lying correctly and it just wouldn’t fo away. Then I fell asleep and awoke this morning without it. Was it baby being back to back? Was it back cramps? Did it subconsciously keep me awake part of the night hence my tiredness?

A lot of people believe that human gestational periods should be closer to the 41 than 40 weeks, well, mine must be! Only tomorrow left and then Husband starts his paternity so I really can rest up and see how this baby’s arriving….. sleep…..

~ P

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Monthly Update: Month 20

I really regret not doing these for the past 7 months. I think, because I stopped getting him weighed and things becoming more constant, I didn’t see the point. But what about the milestones? Maybe there were a few months when he didn’t do anything new so I got bored. He did continue developing though – certainly his communication.

Weight/Length/Height: about 72cm tall and about 2 stone but our weighing scales aren’t super accurate. I, at 39 weeks pregnant, am 14 stone!

Bedtime: 7pm for him, sometimes the same for me – haha, pregnancy for ya!

Naps/Length: He has one a day. Sometimes so do I. His is from 2-4 but ideally would be 1pm. He’d still need waking at 4! We have tried a day without napping and we both survived, but the next day he had a melt down!

Number of feeds in 24hrs: Three solid meals, a snack and extra breakfast at nursery.

Favourite toy/objects: His bouncy horse (NiNi), his shape sorter (which he cheats at) and his VTech Toot Toot Cars and garage. He also loves to wear hats or cover his face and walk around “blind”.

Clothing age: 12-18 trousers but they need to be rolled up and have an elasticated waist. 18-24 T-shirts and 2+ for vests – on the rare occasion he wears them.

Foot length/Size: He’s been the same shoe size since 15 months old – size 5.5 and he doesn’t seem anywhere close to having a growth spurt!

Milestones: He has just learnt to say Da and Nanny along with Baby. He’ll say Mama but not often! He signs a lot more over the past month. And he loves to complete jigsaws. He bounces and says Jump! He’s started dancing which is the cutest thing ever!

Our swimming ability: I gave up swimming at 20 weeks pregnant and took up yoga. Elvis kicks and breaststrokes his arms as I hold him in the water. He’s also super confident walking in the shallow end and dunking unaided. He’s also finally started spitting out pool water rather than drinking it.

What I’m reading and his favourite book: I’m in the middle of Storm of Swords. He loves his Bizzy Bear books and simple word books if they have animals in them! Or tractors.

New Foods: He’s finally started eating meat! Processed as he refuses fresher meats but it’s a step!

Teeth: 10 in total. 6 on top, 4 on bottom including a molar each side top and bottom. He hasn’t had a new tooth in 3 months-ish.

Signs: I’m still teaching him new signs, especially animals with no sounds. I love that he’s started signing snake with a sssss sound, frog and giraffe.

Words: Mentioned above. I love baby and star! And hoover!

Fears: toys that move “on their own”. I don’t think he understands how they move and it freaks him out.

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Guilty Love

This is what I feel with regards to Robin, to the unborn baby that actually, I don’t necessarily even love. I don’t hate him/her. I just don’t know them. How am I supposed to love them?

Do some mums feel that kind of rush of love when they get that positive test? When they feel the first kick? Or when they first hold their child?

I don’t think I ever really did with Elvis. I felt immense relief when he was born – that an impossible journey was over. Finally.

At some point I fell in love with him of course!

But now I face the problem of the sibling.

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40 Weeks Today

An unscheduled post – today is the due date. According to the hospital and their scans. As far as my dates, which are not super accurate, I’m already at 41 weeks. Maybe I’m somewhere in the middle.

I’m starting to feel the pressure. I have a C-section already booked for if I go overdue and I can feel the countdown to that day.

Babies come when babies want to.

I’ve written a list of birth affirmations; I’m going to stick them up around the house later on. I need to keep positive. I’ve been working on removing everything negative in my life. I understand that I have labour envy, I’m not sure it’s even birth envy. I have no regrets about having had a C-section but I do regret how the “labour” went. Or didn’t go!

I will birth this baby.

Whether it’s before the deadline or spontaneously before then – I will birth this baby. Whether it is by natural holes or a repeat C-section – I will birth this baby.

The greatest opponent is the one within my head.

I understand this and have worked on removing everything that my opponent keeps reminding me of. Temporarily I have removed, blocked, deleted friends, family and groups on all social media. I get envious. I get jealous. That is me. It’s quite simple. If those things can make me feel greater jealousy then, at this point, I need them gone.

I am doing everything my body needs me to do.

I am not ball bouncing, doing daily yoga and repeating affirmations to help stimulate labour, to help bring about my baby and a VBAC. I am doing it all for me. I am doing it to help my own pains – physical and mental – not to get the right baby position or to help my waters break. It might all help during birth, whatever way I birth. Or even after birth.

Millions of women have birthed babies, it’s what they’re designed to do.

And I have birthed a baby. I did not have a labour but I still birthed a baby. I still had a recovery whilst being a new parent.

I have still been having niggles. A few tightenings on an evening which do feel more uncomfortable. Early this morning I had some cramping but I had just got out of a warm bed. I never felt these kind of tightenings, these “menstrual” cramps last time. I feel like maybe it is my body preparing and I keep worrying that it might not prepare itself quick enough, but baby comes when baby wants to.

Although with this absolutely awful stomach acid, Baby can hurry up! Haha. During 18 combined months of pregnancy, I have never had acid this bad and awful. My itchy stretched tummy feels better but I keep imagining that this kid has rapidly expanded, putting on loadsa fat and is now squishing my tummy loads!

I will succeed.

I just have to stop equating succeed with spontaneously labouring, with having a VBAC, with being natural and doing it myself/baby led. Success means to birth this baby by any means, whatever means, and to have them be healthy.

~ P

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