Monthly Archives: August 2013
I have so many lingering questions about Moo’s birth. In fact, they’re much more than lingering, they’re all consuming at times. They eat away at me, scarring my memories. I wanted things to be so different. I wanted the experience to be empowering, moving, I wanted it to touch my soul.
When I think of the time I spent labouring at home, I feel those things. I was strong, in control and focused. I stayed at home as long as I felt comfortable. The pain was intense and I paced the upstairs of the house. I struggled in the car, with no idea how close to the pushing stage I was.
I arrived at the hospital and gave my urine sample. From there it goes down hill, fast.
I want to know why I had to be monitored constantly? Why did no one read my birth plan? Why could I only push for two hours? Why wasn’t I encouraged to stay mobile and let gravity help? What was in the drips? Why was I put in stirrups, adopting the most ridiculous position to give birth in?
Was Moo in danger at any time? Why did I tear so severely, even after an episiotomy? Why was I injected with that placenta delivery stuff when I’d requested not to be? Why did I hemorrhage? Why was my husband left on his own with Moo? How long was I in theatre? Was I put under because if the tearing or the blood loss? Why could I hear you arguing about how to treat me?
I feel so let down. I’ll most likely never know the answers to these questions or the many others I have, the biggest one being ‘why me?’
It’s not the body I used to have.
My stomach is a lot more squidgey, elasticated trousers are my new best friend. It doesn’t sit flat, or feel firm and it won’t ever see the sun in a bikini again. But it’s ok, it grew my baby.
My boobs aren’t what they used to be. They don’t point in the same direction they used to, gone are the days of a cleavage skimming top. But that’s ok, they fed my baby.
My legs are bruised and battered and they haven’t seen a razor in a while. My feet hurt and my back aches. But it’s alright, they carry my baby.
My face has more lines and my eyes look tired. I’ve got dark bags and could do with a tone and cleanse. The bouncy smooth skin has gone, I’m quite pale. But it’s fine, I’m waking for my baby.
My hair isn’t as shiny as it was. It doesn’t smell quite as floral, it doesn’t remember what a conditioning treatment is. There’s no time for salon appointments and nail painting. But it’s fine, I’m taking care of my baby.
I’m proud of my new body. It won’t walk the catwalk or model for Vogue. The admirers aren’t queuing in the streets and the size 8 skinny jeans are long gone. But my body grew life, it nourishes it. I play on the floor, pace the bedroom at midnight and take 30 second showers.
But I’m blessed, I’ve got my baby.
Grass stain remover
Bad dream destroyer
Sun cream applier
Ice cream man
School report reader
Hide and seeker
I’ve recently come across photos of this Spanish toy ‘El Sacaleches De Bebe Gloton’. It’s a breast pump to go with the breast feeding doll.
Many breast feeders don’t see the purpose of this and bottles have no place in their homes. I however, love it! Bottles are a huge part of my life. it’s not how I planned it, but there you go. Moo sees me pump daily, and often tries to use it. I’m always reluctant about this, as my pump and accessories cost over £250. This would be a great way for Moo to ‘pump’ and give her milk to her baby, which she also breast feeds.
We’ve had the most wonderful weekend in the capital as a family. We stayed with some friends and visited the aquarium and Camden. It was a lot less stress than I imagined. Moo slept well, ate well and was happy seeing the sights. Using the potty was mostly a success, she loved their dogs (eventually) and enjoyed riding the tube.
It’s less of a nightmare than I thought it’d be using the London Underground with a pushchair. The local station had lifts, escalators are ok and with two of you any stairs are manageable. It helps that the pushchair is so light, even laden with changes of clothes and a packed lunch. Why I didn’t take the carrier I don’t know.
The aquarium was fantastic. You must book in advance as there were people outside queuing for 90 minutes, and others being turned away. Moo particularly like the jelly fish and the turtles, and finding Nemo, of course.
We’re now travelling home in the car. Moo is not amused. She’s requesting that we sing Happy Birthday to various people, and things. The most random being yoghurt and the dining room. How a child’s mind works is a mystery, but I love it.
If someone asked me what my happiest memories of summer 2011-summer 2012 were, I’d struggle to tell you. I mostly remember the bad times, the tears, the anti depressants, pumping myself like a dairy cow. I barely remember my niece being born, Moos first Christmas.
The memories come to me as flash backs at times, any little thing can set them off, a smell, a song, an anecdote from a loved one. This morning it’s a photograph. It’s one of the few early ones of Moo and I that I have. We’re both beaming at the camera, Moo wearing a cardigan knitted by her Nana, green with daisy buttons. I loved that cardigan.
And then I remember.
Cuddling Moo to sleep, bouncing her gently in my arms. A finger in her sweaty fist. The smell of skin and milk. I can almost feel the weight of her. the heat radiating from her chubby little body. I didn’t care that I was ‘making a rod for my back’, this was how I enjoyed spending her nap time. I’d love to cuddle her to sleep like that, just one more time. It’s proof that even in the darkest of times, when you’re consumed by crazy, the real you is still there, fighting to get out.
Weekends are my husbands turn. If Moo wakes in the night ) which she does at the moment), he gets up to see to her, to warm the milk and tuck her back in. It’s the only positive of bottle feeding that I can think of.
But tonight when she cried out, it was different. It was a cry of upset and panic, and I was immediately awake. She needed me. I’m usually a heavy sleeper, with my husband poking to rouse me to her moans. Moo wanted to be held for a long time tonight, clinging on like a koala bear. I rocked her and sniffed her hair as her little chubby hands stroked me. Moments like that won’t last forever. One day she’ll be grown, possibly comforting her own children. It’s incredible how many thoughts and images flash through your mind in those few minutes.
She’s snuggled back in now, with her cuddly toy of choice, flat Eric, talking to herself as she drifts back off to sleep. I’ll lay here for a while, just thinking. Pleased I could hold her when she needed me in the night, sad that there will come a time when she won’t.
Tiny, perfectly formed. Those soft pink pads of flesh. Edible. The smoothest, softest skin, undamaged by earth and walking and uncomfortable shoes.
They’re growing before my very eyes. Changing. Toe nails need cutting, new shoes need to be bought, splinters tweezed and stubbed toes kissed.
Wrinkly immobile baby feet have been replaced by feet that can run, jump and dance. Kiss those precious baby feet, they don’t stay for long.
I’ve just read this article:
Here’s my response:
What else do new mothers expect to be doing with that time? Surely feeding your baby came with the newborn package? How can nourishing a new life be time wasted?
Washing, cooking and cleaning can wait. Isn’t the priority feeding your baby in the best possible way that you can? Long soaks in the bath are sacrificed, that’s what being a parent is about. (And breast feeding in the bath is pretty awesome).
Bottle feeding takes 6.6 hours a week less time, apparently. Does this factor in the washing and sterilising? The kettle boiling? Waiting for the milk to cool? I know I’d rather spend that extra time laid down with my baby snuggled in.
Soft skin, rhythmic breathing, that gorgeous newborn smell, stroking curled up fingers and tiny toes… Time wasted?!? I don’t think so.
I can almost get my head around the fact that breast feeding isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. But to say that it’s time wasted is ludicrous. I can’t think of anything else I’d rather be doing.
I’ve had enough today.
Climbed on, wee and poo everywhere, nagged at, whined at, run away from, no bin bags, dirty house, tired, disorganised, covered in food and bogies and urine.
Today has been a long day. I can feel the crazy creeping in on days like this. There’s not enough hours in the day to get everything done, and if there were I’d want to spend them laid in bed in a quiet room on my own. Running away seems a sensible option. That and burning my house to the ground so I don’t have to tidy it. I need some toddler free time to sort every inch of it and throw everything away. I like a homely home, but this amount of crap can’t be healthy. I also need my husband to put the bin bags back where they belong.
The witching hour, as I’ve named it, is the time between 5 and 6pm. In trying to prepare dinner and Moo *has* to help. I’m watching a hot stove, a toddler balanced on a chair doing her ‘cooking’, tidying as best I can. Moo is getting angsty, wanting her dinner. More goes on the floor than in her mouth, she must share mine and insists on chopping everything with a knife. I’m desperate for my husband to get home, raging if he’s a few minutes late. This one hour can make the whole day feel ruined.
Go away world, I need five minutes peace.