Persephone: Parent

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Needing… Something

I’m having a bad few days. I’m sure it’s a combination of many little things. I know I should try and think on the positive, but it just doesn’t seem to be helping.

Hubby’s back at work. Elvis is on his second day of being a bit clingy, crying easier than usual. I feel like I’m losing or have lost most of my old friends and those that are still around don’t want to be. My nose is constantly running. I’m awake half the night coughing my lungs up. I have no idea what’s wrong with E, possibly he’s having separation anxiety from his Daddy? I tried to talk to friends about him being back at work, received comments implying I’m lucky to have had him. Only new mummy friends have really had any sympathy.

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Growth Spurting?

I’m not sure if he is, but along with me losing all ability to register early hunger cues (or Elvis has stopped giving them) E also seems to be feeding little and often.

And it’s killing me.

I seriously keep thinking about stopping.

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Persephone: The Worrier

I am a born worried and this post may reveal more than I planned, or sound wrong without explanation.

I worry that I’m not the best mother I can be. I worry about my making a decision, doing something that is not in Elvis’ best interests, or that has some sort of long lasting damage down the line. I worry that I’m finding all of this parenting thing harder than others, that I’m too weak. I worry that I’m wishing my son’s youth away. I worry about my relationships – friends and husband.

However many of these are silly, normal and will pass. I’ve been a full parent for 8 weeks almost and my worry about not feeding my son sufficiently has long passed; I’m sure however many of these worries will too.

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Noticing the Small Things

Firstly, I am loving my new tablet, the keys are bigger when I’m blogging so there should be fewer typos and I don’t keep missing the ‘space’ bar.

The other day I bought a second cot mobile, this one from a nearby second hand shop. Yes, I know he doesn’t need two. No, I’m not going sleep deprived crazy. I wanted one that isn’t wind up and that also reaches over the changing table. And that’s what I got.
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Mummy Moment: Nanny to the Rescue!

This is Wednesday’s mummy moment because I was so far out of it yesterday! Honestly though, what a difference a day makes!

So Wednesday was just awful. Husband woke up, I was crying. Husband went to work, I burst into tears. Health visitor came around, I didn’t cry and Elvis fell asleep on me. HV left and I tried to go for a nap, Elvis woke up and I cried.

So I ran away to Nanny’s.

With Elvis.

Whereby I fed him and handed him over before going to sleep in the spare bedroom – the new carpet has cars all over it so it’s clearly for him. Well I maybe dozed for 20 minutes and got up after an hour. I miss my mum’s house (we lived there until we got pregnant). I miss having a spare bed. I miss good, solid thick walls and ceilings so I really couldn’t hear Elvis cry.

But we need our own family space.

After getting up, I realised that there’s no food for me there! So Nanny kept her grandson whilst I popped to the shop. It’s the first time I’ve been out without him. He’s been out without me plenty of times.

Perhaps its the exhaustion or always knowing that it isn’t for long, that Elvis is always with someone I trust, but even at 5 weeks old, I don’t miss him or worry about him. Is that so wrong?

So I bought and ate lunch, stayed at Nanny’s all afternoon and went food shopping on my way home at 5pm. There was only an hour to wait for husband but as soon as we got in Elvis started crying.

And so did I.

Hubby got home, I was still crying, took Elvis and I went for a bath – more mummy moments.

Thursday and I’ve had sleep, no mummy moments and tears? None in over 12 hours. I would like Elvis to stop feeding sleep soon though – there’s a sure start session I’d really like to go to in less than 12 hours!

~ Persephone M

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Errors (A Comedy of)

Today was going so well… so well until we both decided to start hurting Elvis.

He’s slept alot but then I also had a lovely playtime with him. We lie on the bed and I pull funny faces, smile and encourage him to get mummy, which means touch (hit) my face with his fist. And he gets kisses when he does. He also plays follow the hairband – I use it to remind me which boob I’m on – and noticed that he was following my wrist with his eyes. Then he had some tummy time and then we shared a quick nap

Then the errors!

First, as Daddy was trimming nails, Elvis’ piercing painful cry – he’d drawn blood. Oops.

Then, at bathtime as I was washing his face, I decided to wash under his nose with a flannel as he inhaled. Oh the tears! Essentially I tried to drown Elvis. He’s enjoyed his other baths so I’m hoping I haven’t scarred him for life.

Rookie mistakes that we’ll learn from, but still I felt awful at forcing him to drink bath water!

~ Persephone M

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Screaming Down the Shops

Everytime that daddy takes Elvis out he’s as good as gold and falls asleep in his pushchair. I can’t even get Elvis to Nanny’s without him squinnying a bit. There must be a better spelling for a word I may have made up.

Two days ago I spent my first full day alone with Elvis – it was the day of no naps. And I decided to pop to the local shops simply to buy a father’s day gift, baby nail files, food for tea, nappies and to register him at the GPs. It was 4 places. And in 3 of them he started crying, stopping only after I pushed him back outside.

It was only a slight cry, but I was still helpless to do anything. If he needed feeding, changing or winding well they’d all have to wait – I was only out 30minutes in total and I fed him before we left.

Yesterday as my break from the house, Nanny took us supermarket shopping. Again we weren’t actually gone for that long. But it was long enough for somewhere in the fridge aisle Elvis started screaming.

And I mean screaming. Not a few whimpers or a few cries. Out and out screaming.

Eventually Nanny popped off on her own to grab her essentials and in the cleaning aisle I took a moment to take Elvis out of his seat and give him a cuddle. He stopped screaming and didn’t start up again when I put him back in.

Now I’ve read that after feeding, changing, winding, crying may simply be because they want a cuddle but am I supposed to recognise that cry? Am I supposed to cuddle him in the busy food aisles or abandon my shopping? Am I supposed to semi ignore him and passers by stares because he’s still a newborn baby and I can’t tell him to stop. It’s not like with older children where a parent may have a lack of control hence the screams.

If the weather’s okay when it’s officially morning I might take Elvis out to the local shops again – we both need fresh air – and hopefully this time there will be no screaming.

There never is for daddy!

~ Persephone M

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Day 2 of no naps!

Seriously Elvis, you’re supposed to nap in the day.

I did have a tearful moment last night despite there being no cluster feeding from 5 til 9/11pm. Instead he fed from about 8 until 11 with a huge gap where he simply cried. He was overly tired from not napping all bloody day (except the one I got us both down for). This time the tears were not because of my feeding related pain or because I was exhausted. They were simply because he wouldn’t stop crying and I had no idea when it was going to end or if the night would be difficult.

The night (after he went down gone 11) went fine and normal. 3am feed, 5am feed, 7am feed, 10am feed. With sleep for both of us inbetween. Elvis then screamed around the supermarket, fell asleep on the return journey and woke up as soon as we got home.

He has had a slight nap about 2 hours ago where I rested and he’s currently asleep on my chest. I want him to have a nap (overtired babies aren’t fun!) but I also want to rest myself so I am going to try putting him down…

Is he napping less because he needs stimulating? So far I haven’t attempted anything other than feed and change him then sleep. When does he need me to start playing with him? And how am I supposed to know?

~ Persephone M

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Settling to Sleep

We’ve already encountered this problem a few times with Elvis. And with myself! There has been the occasion where he will just not sleep.

Nanny says that, as a baby, I never slept. This must be my karma. Except I’ve had my own adult sleep issues for a few years.

Elvis has had days and evenings (we seem to escape nights, knock on wood) where he refuses to sleep. He’ll take the breast and fall asleep immediately, waking up as soon as I move no matter how long I wait. And then he gets to a state where he simply screams. He’s fed, winded and clean; he’s tired and can’t sleep.

So what am I supposed to do?

We’ve given him a dummy (breaking yet another parenting rule of giving a dummy before being a month old) which he’s sucked for ages but remained awake – clearly not hungry. We’ve tried all the soothing, rocking, walking, calm singing stuff, feeding. He still keeps crying.

I’ve been there myself. When I suffer from a bout of insomnia, on occasion I have been known to get so stressed and worked up that I have a good cry and then fall asleep. Is that what newborn Elvis is trying to do?

In general sleeping has become so much easier since Elvis arrived. I used to hate any kind of noise and would regularly kick hubby out of bed for breathing too loudly. Now, with hubby and Elvis snoring, one either side of me, I simply sleep. Since Elvis has arrived I’ve actually been far cuddlier in my sleep despite the noise of hubby’s breathing.

Cuddles from hubby is my one rule when trying to settle Elvis. I need my cuddle and I think it’s helping our relationship. We both cuddle Elvis loads, but rarely get any alone time – that cuddle in bed with Elvis asleep in his moses basket is our one alone moment each day.

Except when Elvis won’t settle. And then what am I supposed to do?

Often we get to a point where I feed him again and eventually it works, but he often doesn’t cue for that feed, but it works. Last night it took 2 hours of trying everything until a feed eventually worked. Yesterday during the day co-sleeping was what worked.

What next?

~ Persephone M

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Day 21 Curveball

Elvis is officially now 3 weeks old today! And is it sad that it means I’m almost half way to when everything settles down. Or that it’s now 5 months and 1 week until I can introduce solid food.

Breastfeeding shouldn’t have a countdown on it! But we’re still in the newbie stage.

So after a horrendous cluster feeding session last night, Elvis’ nighttime feeds were much better. He did start constantly feeding at 5am though. Until hubby left for work and I decided on co-sleeping.

Any other time that either of us has settled Elvis on us it’s been on the chest/stomach both of us with heads up. This morning I did it by laid back feeding first. I’m not sure how well the feed went as I got sleepy and stopped supporting his head, allowing it to be at an angle to his body. Apparently he won’t swallow in that position, according to all midwives, but he didn’t complain.

But sleep we both then did for a few hours and after a bit more laid back feeding, we got up at gone 11am.

Unfortunately today’s curveball is that he then spent all afternoon (usually asleep) wanting to feed simply to sleep and everytime I put him down he’d cry. So he’d cue for feeding and fall asleep within minutes.

I tried to make lunch. He cried.

I put him down to change him. He cried.

I needed the toilet. He cried.

Eventually I gave in and went back to bed with him. No feeding but got him to sleep across my tummy again. For over an hour.

And soon hubby came home to a wide awake Elvis who hasn’t wanted to clusterfeed yet but also won’t settle fully.

I seem to be better at the napping part of breastfeeding/newborn raising. And there seems to be far less pain. But I’d like him to sleep and not need quite so much nursing because if everything says I can’t let a newborn cry, how am I supposed to do anything?

Apparently allowing a baby to cry makes them feel unloved and unworthy of their parents’ attention. It scars them for life (although it seems that everything does that – there are far too many parenting rules). Is this just if I let him cry or if he cries at all? I mean surely if crying raises the heartrate and dries their throat out, it’ll do that whether it’s a two minute cry because I’m on the toilet, a three minute lunch break, a nappy change or actual neglect.

I started this blog entry last night (Tuesday, day 21) and it’s now almost 4am on Wednesday (first wake up feed after we got him down at 11pm), but before feeding him (for which he was already screaming because I missed his cues due to being asleep) I needed to change his nappy and he near screamed the street down. Was I supposed to leave him in the dirty nappy to not make him cry?

Yesterday he was such a picky boy though that he’d still be in yesterday’s dirty nappy if I truly don’t let him cry. Every baby cries and as long as they are clean and fed, is there anything more a parent can do? Even for a newborn?

~ Persephone M

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