Persephone: Parent

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Operation…Yucky!

The lurgy has hit the household and I, once again, feel like I’m dying. It’s just a cold, maybe a mild flu (achey, hot sweats, cough, dizzy/feint spells), but I am always over the top dramatic. Lucky the lurgy hit after my day away at a convention in London. Technically it hit whilst I was away. Yep, the first time that Daddy had both children on his own all day long and they both slept, taking it in turns so he only ever really had one to deal with. Typical! It did result in me getting a message once I was on my way home –

Can you get a taxi from the station rather than walk? We have vomit.

Oh, dear. Elvis then slept all day Monday, too. Ahh, Monday, the day that was supposed to be our last day together for Robin and I. Elvis hijacked it. Tuesday, which was supposed to be the first of 9 super productive spring cleaning days ended up being me watching TV with Elvis (who was hyper and no longer sick, but we didn’t know that at half 7) whilst Robin had her first morning at nursery. Wednesday, which was supposed to be second super decluttering day became a 90% on it day as I started to feel the affects of the bug, but both kids were at the nursery and I got most of my to do list done.

So, today, Thursday, supposed to be day 3 of 9 of cleaning, decluttering, jogging, shopping, being me and being amazing… I slept in until 9am (Daddy did the whole breakfast and get to nursery on his own. He’s amazing), had a bath, ate cereal, watched The 100, bought cookies and cereal. Moved a box. Ate cookies. Tried to nap. Had lunch and lemsip. That was at 12 just before I headed off to pick up both kids. I started to feel better with that lemsip. I think I just needed that amazing rest. This illness has given me such a short fuse. Robin seems to have skipped it. Although this evening she kept crying for incredibly random reasons. She hit me in the face and I jokingly said “Ouch, be careful, no, that hurt.” No sternness in my voice at all, and with a smile. She burst into tears! Elvis has spent the week having what I guess people might call normal toddler temper tantrums, but they’ve been whiny.

“I don’t want to get up!” Whiny meltdown. “I want cinnamon squares.” Whiny meltdown. “I’m tired.” Whiny meltdown. “I don’t want to go bed.” Whiny meltdown. “I don’t want to watch TV.” Whiny meltdown. “I’m tired.”

Seriously, go the fuck to bed because I have an awful headache and want you to just stop fucking whining!

This week I have been far worse than shouty parent. I have been screaming parent. I have wanted to swear at my son. Because swearing tells the other person you mean business, right? I have come so close to wanting to hit him. Just. To. Shut. Him. Up. All because I was tired, drained and exhausted and my head hurt so much. But I went to bed for over 12 hours and spent Thursday morning doing absolutely nothing and I feel better. I feel no guilt because I wasn’t being lazy, I was being protective.

Yeah, I still haven’t done my first jog of 2016 (I had planned to jog on days 1 and 3), I still have a lot of things to do on my to do list, but my junk room is already looking more spacious, I still have clothes shopping to do for work (supposed to do on day 2), but I still have 6 days left.

Unless Robin gets ill. Let’s not go there.

Robin, who has taken to nursery like a pro. She’s even happy wearing her shoes now! Everyone keeps commenting on how good of a baby she is (yes, I kind of hate how a baby is judged by how well they sleep and what their temperament is like, but it is partly true, Robin goes to sleep easily, she is so laid back and easy going, she literally leans back on you and giggles looking up, if you aren’t there she simply bangs her head on the floor and laughs!) I guess in a nursery situation “good” babies are simply because they make the workers’ life a bit easier. Robin started crying in the garden, so she was taken up for a nap and was asleep in a minute. Because she rarely cries. She’s also not overly fussed to see me when I turn up. She’s incredibly content.

Oh, and despite his mood, Elvis came home from nursery this week with two sunflowers that he’d planted and a lovely Mother’s Day card with a tree handprint and pink finger print leaves (it’s Stickman’s family tree, apparently).

Before the lurgy hit, I had an amazing weekend. I did my weekly weigh in (forgot to post, but reached my first target! Whoop!), then I spent the day at the arcades and climbing castles with the family. Went on a date night with hubby and after a lovely meal, snuck in a cinema trip and watched Deadpool (weird, not quite my taste, but hilarious). Sunday I spent in London and met 5 actors from TV and film. I finally met Greg Grunberg and Miltos Yerelomou! I’ve waited years! I’m not sure I’ll do a weigh in this week as I still feel a bit rough and, quite frankly, I have a good reason for slacking. It’s not being lazy or indulgent, it’s trying to recover and resting. I guess I’ll count myself lucky that this thing hit once both were in nursery even if it only gave me a few hours a day rest!

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Good Food Habits

I think I have quite a bad relationship with food. Well, good if you consider the fact that I love food and could eat all the time. I quite frequently eat until I’m past full. Since the New Year and my Operation: Yummy Mummy, I have slowly started changing my relationship with food. I put my food into my fitbit food diary so kind of calorie count – my aim is to restrict take aways, unhealthy snacks, not limit or alter my usual meals.

I’ve been doing better. But I still have bad days. As part of my PND/PNA therapy we learnt to use an activity diary to try and track when our moods drop to try and find a cause. Well, yesterday I felt low and I know it was because I ate badly. So I considered what I ate and when and have come up with the following changes:

  • Freeze flapjack so I don’t have a whole batch sitting in my fridge. I kept eating it in case it spoils!
  • Don’t cook extra for myself when cooking a quick meal for either child. Just because I know I’ll want some sweet potato fries. No, just no. Also applies, don’t eat their leftovers no matter how badly I want a fish finger!
  • When having leftovers for a meal, spoon it out of the tub onto a plate/bowl. Last night I ate all the pasta (except for whatever I kept randomly spooning onto Robin’s tray) as it was in the tuperware tub. I ate too much as it was leftovers and more than 1 portion. It’s too difficult to see in the tub.
  • Alter food input on weekends where I am nowhere near as active. Today, I’m trapped in the house with both kids. My activity levels are way down yet I’m still overeating. Or maybe eating my normal amounts but less active. Not good.

Realising these bad habits and finding solutions is one thing, actually sticking to them is another. I just ate multiple jelly babies and two pieces of flapjack as I was bored whilst both children slowly finished their meal 😯

Somehow I need to find some willpower and motivation, simply being just 0.7kg from my goal (potentially 2 weeks away) is not enough of a motivation apparently. But then, how am I supposed to not feel low when I’m stuck in the house with both children, Elvis being a bit ill and super tired and cranky. I didn’t even dare risk going to the shops today. How do I entertain myself on those types of days?

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Mum of Two, Surviving Tonsillitis

At least I’m assuming I have tonsillitis. It started on a Saturday night, the night of the clocks change, when I started to just feel really hot. I guess I’d had a bit of a headache all day, but didn’t know what to put it down to. Saturday night the fever started, the all over head pain and sore neck. Sunday I tried to rest.

I still had a fever.

And how easy is it to rest with two children?

Luckily it was the weekend. Hubby let me sleep in a separate bedroom and woke me for the one and only feed Robin needed. He took over Elvis during the day as much as he could given the toddler’s current clinginess to me. And Robin let me have some decent naps (she still only sleeps on me during the day). I was still feverish Sunday night and Robin was a bit more of a pickle with needing longer feeds overnight which I really, really could have done without.

Luckily, I awoke Monday in less pain and not quite so feverish but my throat was swollen as were my glands but my neck hurt less so I assumed I was fighting it.

The problems were:

* I just wanted to be alone. You can’t with two especially not one so young.

* I desperately considered doing formula for the nights so I could sleep but who knows if she’d take a bottle and I don’t want to compromise her immune system now. But I want stronger drugs!

* She’s too little for set naps and sleeping alone so I could barely get any respite from parenting from wake up until bed.

I am so thankful for my husband helping so much and that I had the worst of it (hopefully) on a weekend.

Now, I’d just like to eat food without it tasting absolutely foul!

~ P

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Monthly Update: Month One

Weight, Length, Height: Okay so at 39 weeks pregnant I was 14 stone, and had 2 weeks of growth left. At birth, Robin weighed 9lb 1oz, dropped to 8lb 4oz before starting to gain again. At 4 weeks old she weighed in at 10lb 12.5 oz. And I weighed in at 12 stone.

Routine: Haha! That’s a lie actually we do have some routine. She feeds every 2.5 to 3 hours in the day and is already having a 4-5 hour gap overnight. Nothing else. Yet.

Bedtime: We go upstairs about 9pm,have a feed and are asleep by ten. Other than waking for feeds, she then sleeps until about 7am. Wake up time depends on how light it is outside. Apparently both of my children knew day from night pretty quickly, it just depends on when the sun rises!

Naps/Length: She refuses to sleep properly during the day so she can have very quick naps or mammoth daytime sleeps. Mainly only on me. With a nipple near her mouth. I’m finding it quite difficult really. If she decides she wants to be awake after a feed (which is fine in principal) she can’t make it to the next feed being awake so just screams. I jiggle her, rock her and she calms but fights sleep so much. And she’s so heavy now. Even in a sling I can’t carry her all the time. I might be getting good sleep (we are bed sharing) but I still tire very easily. I find myself crying a lot.

Number of feeds in 24hrs: We’re averaging 8 or 9 over a day with my food intake not having actually increased at all. Unlike last time.

Favourite toy/objects: My Boobie!

What she hates: wet wipes on her bum. I think it’s the coldness of them as she doesn’t scream at cotton wool wipes. She hates when I go for a bath and she can scream for the whole 20 minutes. And other baby basic hates like being put down, mummy taking more than 2seconds to get a boob out and sometimes the scary man who everyone calls Daddy.

Clothing age: outgrown newborn and definitely in 0-3 clothing. And I reckon we’re going to stop size 1 nappies. Just in case she has a growth spurt and then we havea load she can’t fit in!

Foot length/Shoe Size: Born with a foot measuring 8cm, today it is 8.2cm.

Milestones: She can track me/my finger and can now turn her head left to right whilst lying on her back. She also has moderate neck strength already. I also, honestly, think she’s trying to smile. She likes looking up at her dragonfly swatter on the Fisher Price rocker. Major milestone of having had 3 baths in a month! Already within 4 weeks she’s awake slightly more and happy to be under her gym, in her rocker or on her change mat.

What I’m reading/Favourite Books: She fell asleep to me reading Tabby McTat one night. I’m nowhere close to reading anymore of Storm of Swords at the moment but am about half way through The 100 which is on my Kindle. I’m really enjoying it, but it’s making me torn on my “ship” in the show.

Parenting Revelation: It is soooo odd going from routine to none at all over night. Because we have a toddler in tow and I can’t seem to remember the first few months at all. From 4 months, Elvis had formed a routine that I worked with. I have no idea about the first 4. It’s so odd to still have Elvis and his patterns and then Robin who sometimes dozes for 10 minutes and then is ready for another hour. I can only hope that she falls into his routine!

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Poxy Chicken Pox

When Robin was 5 dayd old we noticed that Elvis had an odd spot on his shoulder. Then there were more and more spots. It was clear that he had chicken pox. I didn’t bother, or even consider, taking him to the doctor. I rang nursery, they told me how long he had to stay off and then Daddy took him to a local pharmacy and came home with Piriton and Eurax – antihistamine and soothing cream. We already had bath emollient from my pregnancy rashes but baths didn’t seem to relieve his itching.

I also rang the midwfery center where I was reassured that Robin was covered by my pregnancy plus I’m breastfeeding.

Yep. Well, at 21 days old, we noticed a few odd spots in her hair. I hoped they were simply some hormonal thing. I knew they weren’t.

Sure enough the next morning she was pretty much covered and some had already blistered. After her first feed, I rang my GP where the receptionist told me I had to come in for a walk in appointment, waiting up to an hour. I tried to explain to the incompetent woman with zero medical training that I had surgery 3 weeks prior, walking is difficult, that my newborn was contagious, that my newborn was susceptible to all the other patients germs. Tough luck, I was given the option to make the walk in clinic or wait a day to get a GP phonecall.

Apparently on clinic days with a walk in, GPs refuse to do home calls. Even for an at risk, vulnerable, 3 week old? According to the stupid woman who refused to budge and even try to ask a doctor, yep. It’s a joke.

So, I sped my way there to not miss the end time of the walk in slot. Then had to fill in her paperwork as Robin isn’t even registered. And I’m in floods of tears – worried about her. And what if she wakes, feeding no longer hurts but she’s dribbly and it’s awkward still.

55 minutes of germ exchanging and we get to see a doctor. Robin stays asleep during the exam and everything! Then the doctor starts talking to herself about possible treatments. Out loud she’s discussing how Robin might need oral medications. Or even intravenous ones. Now I’m trying to stay calm.

She calls the hospital, the consultant paediatrician says nope, no meds needed. So I leave and head to my mum’s as Robin is about ten minutes away from a feed and my boob has felt like exploding for over half an hour. Half way there the doctor calls me. The paed changed their mind due to Robin’s age and I need to get to the hospital. Take a change of clothes she says. For both of you.

Well, that’s nice – I’ll be allowed to stay because I was already panicking over feeding her. I continue to mum’s – Robin needs a feed – and call my husband to get what we need and come get us. I ask mum to get Elvis from nursery, ring the nursery, feed Robin, have a cuppa and then head to the hospital.

I hate hospitals.

We got seen very quickly and shown to our own room. Well, Robin was contagious. We saw a nurse and then a doctor. Both of them made it clear that, even in a newborn, chicken pox is not a huge problem itself. Obviously it is a viral infection so she would be tired and fighting it even with my immunity but the problems are side effects. I believe pneumonia and brain swelling were mentioned.

Then the doctor started describing the 2 to 5 days course of meds that she’d need. Two days of IV drugs via a cannula in her wrist and then see how she’s responding. And off went the doctor to check with the consultant. At this point, her temperature and heart rate were all normal.

I lost it, however.

I was relatively ok with the thought of being in hospital for two nights. I didn’t want to go that long not seeing Elvis but Robin needed it. I’d already discovered that a parent is encouraged to stay, they get free parking, there’s free TV unlike on the maternity ward and breastfeeding mums get three meals a day (luckily I got a lunch as I was starving). But she mentioned cannulas. And how small her veins are. Now, I’ve had cannulas at both c-sections and they hurt.

And I had two this last time as the midwife couldn’t find a vein. How wete they going to find hers? The doctor even started looking at Robin’s ankles. She said it would be best for us to leave as they did it because Robin would take no comfort from us and she wouldn’t remember. We would.

I kept trying to reassure myself that at least she wasn’t actually ill, at least we knew what was wrong.

But a cannula… she’s too tiny.

The doctor came back. She and the consultant had done some research. Apparently the recommendation for IV drugs is when the mum catches chicken pox close to birth. I guess because the baby wouldn’t have any immunity through the pregnancy. That wasn’t our case. The doctors decided that when awake, Robin was alert and happy. Clearly she was fighting the pox relatively well. Or my body was for her.

So they agreed to discharge her, after taking my bloods to check my immunity (although 2 days later and they haven’t told me my levels) so no drugs, no overnight stay and no cannula, but a kind of wasted day. It left me knackered! But it was emotionally draining and how much am I fighting the pox for her without me having the virus?

We’re snuggly at home, she’s spotty and blistery but generally okay. I’ve gone back to co-sleeping as she was mucousy at night. It sounded awful, like she couldn’t breathe. But it doesn’t seem to be hurting me. Yet.

I hate chicken pox!

~ P

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One Year Jabs

We went for Elvis’ first year vaccinations a few days ago and to say I was scared was an understatement. I was petrified, desperate for hubby to come with me. How was I supposed to hold a big, heavy, squirmy one year old who was going to be in pain?

He was fine until I started having to shift him into the right position on my lap. It was as if, in that instant, he knew something bad was about to happen. He started screaming!

Then the 3 needles came out. Well, he was already crying.

When the nurses were done, I stood up immediately and he calmed a bit looking out the window but completely calmed when I gave him cheerios. And he’s been fine since. I’m so relieved!

When are the next set?

~P

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Sacrifices

I’ve decided what one sacrifice I would trade when it comes to being a parent. There is one thing that I would give almost anything to be able to do.

I am full of cold, had a busy day and I am full of cold. I would give anything to have a lemsip and some of that desire must be a placebo effect because I don’t crave decongestant tablets. My head is so blocked and it’s making me sooo tired.

It was one thing to give up lemsips whilst pregnant, but whilst breastfeeding, too? My son is almost asking too much of me. Except if I were that desperate I’d take it and the risk as it’s so minimal. But it’s a risk. So I’ll suffer and wait for the first cold I get when we stop breastfeeding; the lemsip will never be taken for granted again!

~ P

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