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Fully functioning adult?

Today, my husband locked himself out of our house and its contents, including the keys to the campervan, which contains the spare buggy, so he couldn’t pick our son up from the nursery by vehicle or on foot and had to sit in the garage for over an hour.  Wondering when we will become fully functioning adults.  |(I did intend this to be a longer post but I forgot my password so it took me ages to log in.)



Mum of four month old – what a to-do!

Here is the to-do list that I currently have on my phone.  This explains why I sometimes do things like taking the dirty dishes out of the dishwasher and putting them away in the cupboards.

Well, I’m off to finalise my decision about voting on the future of Scotland while steaming and pureeing some sweet potatoes, sorting out childcare for when I return to work and remembering to drink more water.  Not to mention finding the time to clean out my lady cupboard.  Enjoy.  (The parts in brackets are where I feel an explanation is needed).

  • sort out H’s clothes
  • sponsored walk
  • tax credits
  • blog
  • thought diary (I suffered with anxiety quite badly during the last half of my pregnancy and after H was born)
  • e-mail Richard (my boss)
  • print stuff off mumsnet (I asked about the age at which children start school in Scotland)
  • print stuff off Facebook (about childcare)
  • sort out childcare
  • Wardrobe (husband changed the cubby hole in our bedroom to a ‘walk in wardrobe’ so we could clear the spare room for the baby baby – lovely idea but the reality is a mess)
  • look for freezer (cheap one to store breast milk, pureed food, cheap multi-buys etc in garage)
  • sort out i-pod
  • Ring UWS re. postgrad (started one with Strathclyde while first pregnant, quit due to tiredness, nausea and brain ceasing to work properly, now need to find another one as original one might not qualify me to do the job I already do)
  • Activities listing (of stuff for mums and babies to do in local area)
  • Back up photos
  • Make notes from groups
  • Claim money back from Unison
  • Referendum (on Scottish independence – research and decide how to vote)
  • Check how long left on credit cards
  • Type up pole stuff
  • Mend clothes
  • Change name on survey sites
  • Baby book (work on building book of memoirs of H’s first year)
  • Read washing machine instructions
  • Sling (using it outward facing)
  • Bath seat
  • Read baby books
  • Read health visitor stuff
  • Sell crib
  • Sell stuff on E-bay
  • take dress to Polish tailor
  • flexible working request
  • reply to Strathclyde re postgrad
  •  E-mail Alison
  • E-mail Alicia & Lesley
  • Sort out lady cupboard (not a euphemism, we also have a man cupboard)

Breastfeeding rocks / Breastfeeding sucks

We all know the reasons that breastfeeding rocks.  Those who are breastfeeding can use that information to feel better about their cracked nipples, disturbed nights and milk stained garments, and those aren’t  have it pushed in their face every time they go online to research formula milk or come into contact with anyone from the medical profession.

Your boobs look amazing when you’re due to feed.  I mean really amazing, huge, high, round and firm.   However, I strongly suspect you have to make the most of this while it lasts, and that my going braless in a halter top days are behind me.  When I looked in the mirror at myself immediately after I had fed my baby, the breast which I had just fed from definitely wouldn’t have passed the pencil test.  Even if it was one of those big novelty pencils that you can buy at Blackpool.

Breastfeeding helps you to lose weight and get back into shape, as it shrinks your uterus back quickly and burns calories, around 500 a day.  Unless of course you treat it as carte blanche to scoff willy nilly, including cake, chocolate, ice cream (for the calcium) and many many biscuits, which you ‘need’ for energy as you’re generally up more during the night than mums of formula fed babies.

You have to pay for formula milk, while breastfeeding is free.   You also need lots of equipment to feed formula – sterilisers, bottles, teats and brushes, whereas you need none for breastfeeding.  Apart from sterilisers, bottles, teats and brushes for when you want to feed expressed milk (or formula if you can’t keep up with the demands), a breast pump to express the milk in the first place,  Lansinoh cream for your nipples, nipple shields for when it all gets too painful, nipple shells to protect your chapped nipples, breast pads to soak up the leaky milk, nursing bras, scarves to drape over yourself when feeding publicly and specially shaped bottles to stop your baby developing ‘nipple confusion’ which you will then ditch for traditional ones when you realise your baby can’t extract any milk from them. I have made a very expensive commitment to breastfeeding.

There is nothing positive that I can find about the implications of breastfeeding for your wardrobe.  All your clothes need to be stretchy to allow speedy access,  bigger than normal to accommodate your pre-feed breasts,  most dresses are out of the question unless you are fond of exposing yourself in public, and of course there are the nursing bras.  Much as I am happy to breastfeed, I am looking forward to the day when I can wear a dress with an underwired bra that doesn’t look like a surgical device.

While breastfeeding, your body behaves in some quite unusual ways.  Depending on how you feel about it, it can be embarrassing, annoying, comical, or quite cool.  The ability to spray milk feels a bit like a superpower.  Unfortunately, there is no way to direct the flow so it’s more like a sprinkler than a hosepipe.  When you’ve just given your baby a big feed from one breast, you can look noticeably lopsided.  The worst effects tend to be in the early days, before you get the supply and demand thing sorted out.  I remember being in a supermarket and wincing with the pain in my enormous, solid, lumpy left breast, saying to my husband ‘I’ll have to squeeze some milk out in the Bongo’ (our camper van).  Once in the Bongo, I released my red hot breast and attempted to squeeze some milk out into a muslin which I had in my changing bag, not yet aware of the problems with directing the flow.  Jets of milk were flying all over the place, nearly causing my poor husband to come off the road.

Breastfeeding is pretty instant, which is handy as at home it’s just a matter of whacking your boob out whenever the baby is hungry.  The current guidelines on feeding formula are that you have to prepare a fresh feed every time, which means waiting for the kettle to boil, making up and cooling a feed, presumably while your poor baby roars.  Breastfeeding in public can be a different matter, depending on how brave you are.  There are all kinds of drapey scarf things which you can wear to camouflage yourself, which some women use and others don ‘t worry about.  For me, I felt quite comfortable breastfeeding in the Bongo, at mum and baby groups, in booths at cafes and restaurants with sympathetic friends and in the park, but less so in front of my own family, my husband’s family or when out alone.

While pregnant, I was looking forward to being free of the dietary restrictions once the baby was born.  However, you can only drink teeny tiny amounts of alcohol at strategic times, have to limit caffeine unless you want a buzzing baby, and should also limit fish which might contain mercury and artificial sweeteners if the stricter baby books are to be believed.  Still, I’ve been enjoying the freedom to munch on stinky blue cheese, pate, prawns and not having to check the labels of food and grill waiting staff to check they don’t contain any forbidden foods.

This is becoming a bit of an epic, so I’ll sign off for now and finish my ramblings in another post – it’s taken me ages to write this as my baby has almost completely stopped napping during the day, and watching mummy tap on the keyboard is not one of his favourite pastimes.

Excelling himself

I’ve had a lovely week with my baby this week, hence the lack of posts. He’s managed to vomit directly into his Dad’s drink, but has made up for it with some radiant first smiles.

He has also learned to swing his arms, which is probably a very important step in his acquisition of motor skills. This also means a) he has spent most of the week punching me in the tits b) he has been punching himself in the stomach and face, sometimes so hard that he looks at one of us in a startled and offended way as though he thinks we’ve done it.

Happy monthiversary!

Cannot believe my little baby is a whole month old already, he’s changed so much.  He’s already lost his newborn look and is turning into a chunky little boy, has started making eye contact and cooing, including a particularly cute sound that he only makes when tickled with your hair.  Looked back at his newborn photos yesterday and am already feeling nostalgic, and amazed that we have survived the first month and kept him alive and well despite a few minor confusions and mishaps.

We will be celebrating with some breast milk and an outing in the pram (him), a 0% Radlers and catching up with Game of Thrones providing sleep patterns allow (me).



You know you’re a new mum when …

  • It’s a Saturday night, you have vomit in your hair and it’s not your own
  • Burps and farts are considered a great achievement
  • You fondly remember the days when leaving the house was a simple procedure
  • Clothes are chosen for their ability to conceal your stomach whilst allowing speedy access to your breasts
  • You find yourself customising songs to apply to the baby – Let me take you to the (baby) cafe by Electric Six anyone?
  • Your husband overhears you on the baby monitor saying ‘show your bummy to the mummy’
  • When ‘titty time’ is not for your husband / boyfriend / lover any more
  • You find yourself giving updates on the state of your vagina to people you’ve only recently met
  • You can’t envisage being able to ‘nip’ anywhere again
  • When Lansinoh and Infacol are your most precious possessions
  • When your getting ready routine is reduced to two things – being clean and wearing clothes
  • When stacking the dishwasher and replying to a text take all day