Me, Being Mummy: Week 4

TO SUM UP: ROAD TRIP AND REFLUX
Hi Guys!
This week feels like it has passed by in a blur! Half of it I have forgotten, the other half is a foggy memory. Not due to a half arsed interest in life or a lack of appreciation for the people we have seen, but simply a side effect of existing on little/no sleep for the past how ever many days it’s been. I don’t even know!
The culprit of this lack of sleep has been the ever evolving saga that has emerged from Baby Bear’s reflux.
We have been carefully navigating our way through the week’s feeds, administering his Gaviscon infant by alternating between breastfeeding then bottle feeding him expressed breast milk with the medicine mixed in (all in pretty high volume so have felt like a Cow in Cornwall!!) whilst theorising different things that could be causing Teddy’s discomfort. It’s hard that they can’t communicate what is wrong… would be so much easier if they could say ‘Mummy, it hurts here…’ Then I’d be confident of doing the right thing. I am gradually working out what each different cry means, but it’s a slow process…. and one that hurts the ears and breaks the heart too! Rationality dictates that despite how it seems, each time he cries there is nothing seriously wrong. But when you are very sleep deprived, juggling muslins and Gaviscon infant sachets all to the tune of a screeching little person… its easy to lose perspective.

It’s tiring being a Baby bear! Note: How cute are his little pixie ears?!

Perspective being that he is actually a good baby who is flourishing, despite a few digestive issues. They cant be that bad either as he’s growing well, evidence being the baby grows he no longer fits! The rapid amount of growth is amazing in babies! And he seems to change in little ways almost overnight. His nappies have been wet (and some of them near on nuclear!) so that is also a positive sign that he is doing well…. and that pampers are being kept in business.
As always, we had lots of visitors this week and also got out and about to various places. We had our first road trip to go and visit Paulibear’s family near London and Teddy slept the entire journey…. even when we pit stopped for Costa! He had lovely cuddles with his family and we felt a real sense of achievement for making the round trip journey.
We also went for a picnic with my family on Sunday to make the most of the sunshine. Teddy had more cuddles whilst we munched on cake and sandwiches under the shade of a big tree. Sounds like an Enid Blyton book doesn’t it?!haha!
It was nice to soak up family time and see friends though, seeing as Paulibear has had to go back to work this week. Part of me is happy to get the ‘holiday period’ over with so I can adjust to the reality of being just me and Teddy for a lot of the day (or night, depending on Paulibear’s shift). But a lot of me is sad about having to wave him off to work. It feels like I’m losing my arm! The past 4 weeks have actually been the most amount of time we have ever spent together, and we have enjoyed every moment of it… even during the frantic bits at 4am whilst not knowing whether we were coming or going!
It’s also sad for Paulibear. He has to go to work rather than be with his new baby. I can’t even relax going to the corner shop for 5 minutes so a 12 hr shift is a real space of time to be away from us. But, these are the rules of the time we live in and there’s no other option. We’ll adjust just like everybody else does and once a routine sets in we will all be content again… I’m sure of it. But, in the meantime, I’ll be lumpy throated and missing him like mad whilst watching the clock tick by!
The most daunting bit of Paulibear going back to work (apart from the fact I won’t have him around to make me laugh, hug me when needed or be a spare pair of hands when mine are full) is the fact that I am totally responsible for this little being we’ve created. Going out and about was suddenly so scary, to the point where I had to have a little pep talk with myself (and Paulibear) and tell myself to ‘Man the f**k up’. What am I gonna do? Become a hermit and never step outside again?? Ridiculous concept. Such a surprise too because I never thought it would scare me at all. I hadn’t even considered the possibility! My main cause of anxiety is the misleading concept that the whole world is watching and waiting for me to mess up. If Teddy cries, people will stare. They will think I have neglected my baby’s needs or something. They will think I am doing a crap job.

First of all, who the hell am I to think that the rest of the world has nothing better to do than stare at me whilst I navigate my way around my life? People don’t care a hoot! Second, if people do stare… why do I care so much?! I don’t know them! And if I do know them, they won’t be staring, they will be offering to lend a hand (hopefully). And if anyone thinks I have neglected my baby’s needs and that I am doing a crap job, I know differently and that is all that counts.

I love a certain saying and it has fast become my mantra that I tell myself when heading out of the door: ‘Parenting is the easiest thing to have an opinion about, yet the hardest thing to put into practice’. As long as myself and our little family are safe and happy, the rest is all fluff really isn’t it?

Additional information and findings from this week:
– Breastfed babies can go days without a bowel movement apparently. This is terrifying due to the unpredictability of when it is going to happen – or even IF it will happen, constipation is always a looming prospect!
– When a bowel movement does happen…. It is unlike anything you have ever witnessed. And if you like chicken korma, you will never order it again. 

– Breastfeeding continues to be one of the biggest commitments/challenges known to self. Shall probably write up my breastfeeding musings in a separate post.
– Road trips with a baby in a car that has just 3 doors and a 6 foot 4 bear driving, means you get very cramped in the back seat. I contorted into so many different shapes during our journey that I am considering creating a new sport called ‘car yoga’.
– Having visitors and going out is good for the sanity. For the body however, it is exhausting.

– Sleep deprivation leaves your eyes burning, your hearing impaired and your limbs feeling like they are made of lead. You start sentences and don’t finish them, you drop things and trip up over your own feet and when you go to lay down, you feel like you have forgotten how to sleep. Very strange!
– Makeup, showering, hoovering, polishing and cooking are no longer priorities for me. In fact, they are luxuries.
– The look of concentration on your baby’s face whilst they take in all the features on yours is fascinating to witness. Seeing them respond to images and sounds is an amazing thing!
– Changing nappies/breastfeeding in public gets easier with practice. The critics and the spectators eventually blur into the background.

– Putting the brake on the buggy is imperative…. at all times. Especially when the baby is in your arms as opposed to inside the buggy to weigh it down. Having an empty buggy get blown into the road and towards oncoming traffic by a freak gust of wind is mortifying. Not to mention it freaks the hell out of the oncoming traffic. 

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