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Coming Clean – Mummy Struggles

This blog is not what it was. When Elvis was newborn, when I was struggling so hard in the early months, I blogged and tweeted all of the time to try and cope with it. I don’t know what this blog is anymore, but it isn’t that.

I’m struggling.

The past 4 nights, Baby Robin has cried, screamed from 7-9. She cried everytime she’s tired and needs to go to sleep. She won’t take a dummy. She won’t nurse to sleep. She screams when I rock her. She screams when I put her in the pushchair for sleep. This screaming for sleep is all the time. All. The. Time. But after 7pm it’s Hell.

The past 4 nights, from 7-9 I’ve pretty much cried constantly.

I can’t handle it anymore.

She only sleeps on me during the day. She wakes as soon as she’s put down. She has no routine. She needs to nap at tea time when I’m trying to feed Elvis and SHE ONLY NAPS ON A PARENT!

I spend my day trying to get her to sleep and SHE SCREAMS.

It’s too draining now.

It all feels so hard when I know things are better, easier than they were. It feels so hard to me.

How do I get her to sleep that final nap when I have Elvis?

How do I get her to sleep for long enough independently?

How do I get her into a routine when Elvis already has one and she wants something different?

How can I do what she needs when it contradicts what Elvis needs?

Every time she’s screaming I feel like everyone nearby is wondering what I’m doing wrong. If I’m home alone, I think my neighbours are thinking I’m rubbish. That I’m a bad mother.

Why can’t I stop her screaming? I’m her mother and I should be able to.

How the fuck do I stop crying?

~ P

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Routine: 3 Months

Okay 3 months in and we’re definitely getting there. Nights are kind of all over the place. Some nights there’s one feed, other’s there are 2. Sometimes she can only go 4 hours overnight, others between 5 and 8. Evenings are picky, too. 7pm is apparently naptime for 20-40 minutes and by half 8 she wants to feed and goes to sleep for the night.

Daytimes, well mornings, are my favourite time of day. I go out by half 9, by ten she’s asleep. I often have to wake her at 12. At 1 she falls asleep on the nursery run. Sometimes she wakes as soon as we’re in, other times she can take an hour or two.

Afternoons are the worst time for keeping her asleep. Both because I have Elvis to deal with and she just can’t keep herself asleep. Even on me. That makes her overtired by 4. So all she does is scream. Daddy comes home to a Toddler zombified by the TV, a Baby who is too tired to sleep and a Mummy who really can’t cope anymore.

So I think I need to structure her. If she’s asleep at 10 and then 1, that’s 3 hours apart. So I have to get her to sleep at 4 then 7. Not just after. When she wakes at half 1 after the nursery run, after only 30 minutes, I have to get her to sleep more, not play.

At least it’s worth a try. Isn’t it?

Maybe with more structure, with more guarenteed sleep, she’ll be calmer on an evening and perhaps we’ll get closer to a bedtime. Maybe. I hope.

Wish me luck.

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6 Months of Sleeping With Your Baby?

I had trouble sleeping last night after reading an article that popped up on my news feed. In fact when I got up this morning, leaving my 13 week old baby alone in our bedroom, I got really panicky. It isn’t the article itself (which tells the sad story of a 7 week old who died in their co-sleeping crib when left alone) it was more a comment someone put on facebook when the article was shared.

Why was  a 7 week old left alone to nap? When guidance is all naps and sleeping to be in the same room as a parent?

The comment was probably same room as mum because I feel there’s a huge bias on the parenting pages that it’s all about the mum. Anyway, is it really practical and possible to always have your sleeping baby with you for 6 months?

With Elvis, he was younger than six months when he moved into his own room, younger than 6 months when we started to emphasise that the cot was for sleeping and not playing. But we lived in a small house. Could it have been possible? 6 months of all sleeping in the same room?

How about when it’s your second child?

Every morning I leave Robin alone in her Moses basket as I get up and see to Elvis. If she cries, someone goes to check on her except on a Friday when I’m alone with him and he’s having breakfast.

Please do not get me wrong here, I completely understand why babies should sleep near their parents for as long as possible, but can it be done? 100% of the time?

Robin sleeps in her Moses in her cot right next to me overnight. On nights where I can’t sleep, I go in another room but Daddy stays near her – I could not leave her alone at night. Not yet. Her naps are in the pushchair or, if rocked, put down in the Moses in the lounge. Her pushchair is kept in the hall or kitchen, all doors open if she’s asleep. Am I going to wheel the pushchair into the lounge making the carpet dirty? Should I sit on the stairs next to her pram? Should I keep her near Elvis who’ll wake her? Take her out to the garden in the heat whilst I play with Elvis?

Do parents for at least 6 months keep their sleeping babies nearby in the same room?

Naps and night times?

Have you?

~ P

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TV Watching: The 100 Season 2

Part way through season 2 I began reading the book and quickly, obviously saw the differences and similarities. The key thing I took was a potential Clarke/Bellamy pairing; I hadn’t seen it during season one. So there I am watching season 2 and I think okay, I can see a Clarke/Bellamy thing a bit. I say a bit but because I love me some Clarke/Finn pairing.

Season 2 was similar to season 1 – fast paced, plot twists that change the whole damn thing, not being overly soapy given the high percentage of teenagers and having character evolutions that seem natural as it happens but looked back on seem a bit far fetched.

Fast paced – the two seasons have covered, how long? A few weeks? Maybe a month. And how much has happened?

Plot twists – there was no way the Ark was going to come down, there was no way the Grounders would work with the Sky People. Each episode brings another huge game changer that often I don’t see coming. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes the twists are obvious – there was clearly no baby left on the Ark with Jaha – others completely blindsided me – WTF, Finn! (I had to pause, rewind, cry and consider not watching it ever, ever again!)

As for the character evolutions, well, given the small time frame can someone explain Clarke and Octavia? How about anyone’s hand to hand combat skills? Or how many Grounders speak English? Or how quickly Sky People pick up Ground-ease? Why is there a Grounder language and English? How has Octavia, essentially locked up all her life, learnt to fight, hunt, track so quickly? How come Finn can trackso well? When did Clarke learn to ride a horse?

I guess the thing I truly like and admire about this show is they aren’t afraid to change things up. They aren’t afraid to literally change a whole section of the show – there is no Ark anymore, the children are not alone. They can give certain characters multiple second chances – Jaha on the Ark, Murphy on the ground – but give others no chance – Wells and Finn.

I may never forgive them for Finn, however I will keep watching! And was it just me who spent most of the tail end of the season kinda thinking there are more than just the kids now, the 100 remnants, perhaps donation could be the solution? But it wasn’t until the season finale that it gets mentioned.

Can’t say the Land of Light part interested me or the apearance of the uber amazing Erica Cerra, but I’ll see how it plays out next year. I feel like Clarke’s plot is done. I’m puzzled at how I seem to now find Bellamy attractive and I miss Finn. He and Clarke could have wallowed in their murderous genocidal acts together.

~ P

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Monthly Update: Month 23

I cannot believe it’s only a month until he’s two! Two!!!

Weight, Length, Height: 2 stone, 86cm tall.

Routine: No change.

Bedtime: No change.

Naps/Length: No change.

Favourite toy/objects: Over a year after we first bought Sophie The Giraffe, Elvis has finally started chewing her!

Clothing age: In 2-3 tops but they’re big and baggy. Trousers are a mix of 12-18 and 18-24 – his legs are too long for 12-18, his waist too small for some 18-24. He’s in size 5 nappies.

Foot length/Shoe Size: 12.7cm long. In size 6.

Milestones: his vocab has come on leaps and bounds and his colour recognition is much better.

Our swimming ability: he now tiptoes over half way into the baby pool, is trying to blow bubbles and hot potatoes each week. He also collected each correctly coloured rubber duck but hates dunking.

What I’m reading/Favourite Books: I haven’t read anything in the past month at all. His favourite book at bedtime is a Winnie the Pooh collection we have and a book about diggers, tractors, bulldozers and the like.

New Foods: Pie! Sausage meat in Toad in the hole.

Words: The sentences: “Daddy gone work” again and whilst watching Sofia The First and the Curse of Princess Ivy “‘Fia fall down”. He can also say dinosaur. Baby doesn’t just “cry” anymore “Baby sleep” “Baby wake” “Baby cough”. Oh, and Baby has a name “Bonalle”.

Signs: he signed and said stop when I was pushing him on his bike in the garden.

Number of Teeth: Still ten but he is definitely teething. This tooth/teeth are taking forever!

Fears: Nanny’s carving knife set him right off and I think the TV version of Gruffalo’s Child scared him.

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Biological Nurturing

Something I never actually tried first time around when it came to breastfeeding was biological nursing. Someone did advise me to, but I didn’t. I don’t think I trusted my body. Second time around and this breastfeeding position was the only thing that got me through the first week or so.

And after bad nights.

It’s essentially lying back and feeding. Not on your side (which I have never gotten to grips with), but reclined although not flat on your back. You let baby find their own way to the milk, too maybe with a bit of guidance and then, suitably comfortable and supported you can chill out.

Initially I found it tricky in bed overnight to try and lie back and feed. My wound and poor abdominals made getting up and down very tricky, especially with a sleeping newborn on my chest. But daytimes on the sofa surrounded by cushions?

Oh my goodness, super comfy!

I know mums that continue using this position for months. And I can see why because it so relaxing and super easy to nap through! How better to recover from a c-section than lying on a sofa feeding baby and being waited on hand and foot!

~ P

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Sleeping Like A Baby

My baby is the noisiest sleeper ever. And I thought Elvis was a noisy sleepy baby. Right now Robin is lying on me as we rock in the nursing chair making her tired noise. She’s bloody loud. She’s also sucking or chewing her finger. The moment it comes out more noise!

The past two nights have featured a lot of snuffling, grunting, noise in general. The past two days have featured a problem with deep sleep napping on me or daddy. I don’t know what’s going on. I’m only awake today as she slept on my arm for 4 hours last night. Due to cosleeping she went 7 hours between feeds and only woke for a feed at 4am because I shifted her into her cot.

I think she has a cold. I hope she doesn’t want to cosleep all the time, it causes all manner of aches and pains in me.

So I can either get no sleep as she grunts away, sleep in the spare bed or cosleep.

Meanwhile, my new decision to get off the sofa and go walking on a morning means she sleeps a lot better in her pushchair but I rarely put her down for other naps at home. I guess I’m worried that she’s losing her ability to sleep alone – she’s not getting into a deep enough sleep unless on me or in a pushchair.

And she still won’t take a dummy.

But, hey, we’re 11 weeks in. Is this a sleep regression?

~ P

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Gift Wrapping – Made Easy!

My mum is a QVC addict and most of my Christmas presents came in these super amazing bags – Gift Mate at QVC. They also do an Everyday set. I think I was more in love with the bags than the presents; it’s just so handy and clever. I hate wrapping paper and the fact that most places won’t /can’t recycle it.

These bags aren’t ideal for every type of present and, although they’d save you money if you could re-use them every year, the chances are you’d give them away to someone else to re-use! They were good for clothes which can be difficult to wrap, and teddy bears. I think I got toiletries in them, too. They drawstring close and are made of a foil type material that seems quite hardy. Obviously the ones I now have, have only been used once and they weren’t handled by children.

I probably wouldn’t use them for children (where’s the fun in that for kids?) But I might even buy my own set of Everyday bags. The small ones are a perfect size for jewellery and the biggest size easily fitted a teddy bear bought for Robin. I think they make a perfect addition to other types of gift wrap in your collection – ideally to also convince everyone else you know to use them so you get a fresh supply!

I love anything that decreases waste!

~ P

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Routine Envy

I frequently suffer from envy and jealousy. Maybe it started during my infertile, TTC, days, watching enviously of all the women that could get pregnant. Or maybe I’ve always been like it. Maybe I’ve always compared myself to everyone else I know. It’s not pretty and I am certainly not proud of it, but it’s me.

Mainly I end up trying to avoid people/places where I can get this envy. This includes me removing or blocking people on facebook – I’d rather remain friends with people than see things that could make me envious/jealous of them.

The biggest envy I have of other friends at the moment is having a bedtime and having sleep. Whilst Robin feeds every 3-4 hours during the day and I try to stick to 8, 11, 2, 5 if she doesn’t want to or sleeps through one, I can’t help it. So she can’t have a bed time. She also tends to do a long nursing session for bedtime. So she can’t have a bedtime.

I could maybe force one. If she has her feed before 6, I could still try and get her to nurse to sleep at 7. But if she wants to nurse for an hour, do I really want to sit in a dark room alone with her for that long? I must have done it with Elvis. Except he rarely nursed to sleep and when he did, he did it at 6:40 and it took 20 minutes. He was in a firm routine.

But which came first? Firm routine or bedtime?

And should I really be jealous of mums with their bedtimes and an evening to themself? What would I do in those 2 hours? Watch TV, talk to hubby? Maybe I should say what would I do in those 2 hours that I can’t have a baby sleeping on me? Chores, eat, go out, go for a run? Okay I would like to go running or swimming but not the other things.

And we have a fantastic morning routine. She feeds about 4 or 5, maybe 6 and goes back to sleep. I get up by 7, Elvis leaves for nursery at half 7 and Robin wakes by about 8, giving me half an hour to do chores. Or to nap if it’s been an awful night. So why should I be jealous?

And those mums who have the audacity to complain that they only got 7 hours of sleep the whole night as a 6 hour block and then 1.5 chunk when I can barely get 3 hours in a row to make maybe 7 in total a night, well, maybe I am envious that the dads can do that for the mum as they’re bottle feeding, but we could do it if I could be bothered to express, if Robin would take a bottle and only if hubby would be willing.

Or the mums who’ve already left their bubbas overnight, I guess I’m envious that they can even though I wouldn’t want to leave Robin yet. I blame a lot of my jealousies on that I’m breastfeeding. I could express. I could try Robin with a bottle. I could do formula as I’m not anti-formula. If I did any of these things then perhaps we could have a bedtime routine, perhaps I could go out. But I don’t want to. She’ll get there.

Elvis did and Robin already has herself a morning routine. It’ll happen.

Now if we could get past the 4am gruntathon!

~ P

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New Year’s Resolution. In April

It’s an easter resolution really, I guess. And not truly official yet.

I don’t remember feeling like this with Elvis. I have a burning desire to exercise. Possibly because I can’t. And I feel really ugly and fat. Possibly because I had a baby ten weeks ago and keep eating chocolate to make me feel better about being stuck in a nursing chair (it doesn’t make me frel better).

It’s spring. It’s sunny and I sleep relatively well at night.

I’m going to go on walks with Robin. Power walks. I’m going to stop the eating of chocolate. I’ve got out my mum’s left behind sit up thingies and I’m going to use them.

I don’t want to weigh 12 stone anymore.

~ P

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