Eight Weeks

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Iris is now eight weeks old. Actually she’s eight weeks and four days old, but I got a bit behind.

At six weeks and three days, Iris suddenly started to smile. Now she smiles all the time! She makes me work hard for them though. Silly voices and funny faces are necessary. Only for me. She smiles much more for her Daddy. I think she likes his beard! I say this because today she smiled at the doctor, and he has a beard too. Mostly she smiles at the dog.

Today she hasn’t smiled much.

We’ve been to the doctors for her first jabs. She didn’t take it too badly at the time, crying for about half a minute before falling asleep. She then slept in the sling while we walked the dog. But now she seems to be feeling terrible! I’ve never heard her scream like she has been this evening. She’s definitely in pain, poor flower. So I’ve given in and she’s had her first ever dose of Calpol. It’s definitely calmed her down. I’m considering missing Slimming World tonight so that I can hold her all night (I don’t think I’ve lost any weight anyway!).

Other developments this week include finally stopping all the colicky screaming in the evening. She still cries a bit but we can settle her quickly now. She’s also grown! I’ve got a whole bag of tiny baby and newborn clothes that don’t fit now, and some she was wearing just a few days ago! She weighs almost 10lb now, and is 58cm long, compared to 7lb and 54cm at birth.

I feel like I’m really getting to know her. Her different cries are easy to tell apart now, and I can confidently say when she’s tired or hungry. She knows me too, and isn’t fooled by somebody other than me or her Daddy trying to comfort her. My mum has been here since last night, and although Iris enjoyed looking at her she started to cry when she heard my voice.

Also this week, I went running. Twice. I used to run frequently until I got pregnant, but that was almost a year ago. My first 2 runs have been much easier than I expected them to be and they’ve felt so good!! Part of the reason I hated pregnancy so much was because of the way it restricted my movement. I had to do this slow waddle with sore hips, when I all I really wanted was to run!

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Our Birth Story

Today the story of Iris’ birth is over on Mum’s Days!

Writing it felt odd and was hard work. I had so many drugs that it all went a little blurry. It was also over 30 hours long so there was a lot to remember!

Find it here: High Risk Pregnancy

I Am Not Fed Up

Today, out of the blue, without me saying a word to them, somebody told me to ‘take it easy, sleep when you can, take your time and everything will slot into place’.

What a nice thing to say!

Well no, not really. See everything already is in place. Life is pretty damn perfect. Yes, Iris wakes me up at night to feed her and trying to leave the house can be a pain in the arse. But I’m not stressed and I’m not unhappy. I am not having a hard time.

Why do people keep assuming I’m fed up?

Or worse, sad. I’m not sad. I know lots of people do feel down after having a baby and often they don’t or can’t reach out for help. But I don’t think that’s a good enough reason to assume that all new mothers are miserable, dissatisfied with their new role and stressed out. Having a new baby is a HAPPY THING.

I’ve always valued mothers. Because of the work I’ve always done I guess. But generally I’d say it’s an undervalued role. People don’t see being a stay at home mum as a worthwhile thing to do. For some mums it’s not right and they do want to return to work. Good for them. But please don’t feel sorry for the rest of us! I’m only 8 weeks into this parenting business and already I’m sick of people feeling sorry for me.

Also, while we’re on the subject, enough with advice, ok? I probably will need advice at some point and I’ll ask. I’ll then be grateful for the advice I receive and I will say thank you. In the meantime things are good, it’s all going well and I’ve got it under control. It isn’t broke, so stop telling me to fix it. Or how to fix it.

Rant over.

Seven Weeks

Today my little Iris is 7 whole weeks old. 

Iris 7 weeks.

I find it hard to believe that the whole childbirth bit was only 7 weeks ago. It feels like a lifetime, and I feel pretty good, physically. I had a rough time with the labour and birth (more on that soon) and expected a much longer recovery time, but I was out and about doing stuff within days. Which is good because the dog turns into an evil house-destroying monster when he hasn’t had a walk. 

I find it incredibly hard to believe that I looked like this just 7 weeks ago.

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Now I’ve got an entirely different body. It produces milk that makes Iris gain weight at an incredible speed. It has stretch marks and saggy bits that weren’t there before. It doesn’t fit in any of the clothes, too small for maternity clothes, too big for the pre-pregnancy stuff. It makes me have an identity crisis regularly because it just doesn’t look like the body I think of as being my body. 

Mostly I look at my body in awe. It MADE Iris. It grew her from too small to be seen by the naked eye, to a 7lb pink wrinkly newborn, and continues to grow her, even on the outside. Since her birth, I’ve kept her alive and healthy with my boobies! For 7 whole weeks! Isn’t that magic? It amazes me every single day!

Everything has changed. Not one thing is the same. I’m an entirely different person inside this different body too.

I’m her mum. I’ve never been her mum before. It’s a pretty amazing thing to be. 

As for Iris, she’s just incredible. She smiles now, sometimes, and it makes me feel totally overwhelmed with love over and over again. She’s wise. She looks wise, don’t you think? When she looks at me I can see already that she’ll teach me far more than I’ll ever be able to teach her. 

My favourite thing to do is watch her sleep. She snores gently and its the most beautiful sound in the world. Sometimes she sleeps on me, like she is as I type this, and I love this even more. She makes funny faces in her sleep. Little frowns. Little grins.

Snoozing

Every evening at bedtime she screams and screams and nothing I do will help her to calm down. It drives me mad and makes me sad all at the same time, and I wish I could help her feel better. Then all of a sudden it’s gone and she’s happy again, and she nods off to sleep. Sometimes I’m so tired that I wonder how I’ll cope with the evening’s screaming, but I always do.

I love co sleeping. I thought I’d be terrified of rolling onto her. But putting her in a crib, away from me, feels all wrong. Being next to her, ready with the boobies as soon as she needs them, feels RIGHT. 

We’re getting out of the house every single day now, even if its just a walk with Seb. Some days we go to a breastfeeding support group. Other days we go shopping or just walk around town. People tell me I’m doing well for being out of the house, but I don’t understand why. It’s easier when we go out. Yes, getting out is hard work and timing leaving home for when I think Iris has a full tummy and will be settled for a while is practically impossible. But when we get out its fine and Iris seems happier. I’m happier too. 

Me and her daddy, we’re a real team. I just keep loving him more and more since the arrival of Iris. He’s such an amazing dad, with endless patience and love. When he rocks her and sings to her my heart just melts. 

The whole world has changed. You did that, Iris. Thank you.

Shoes Made of Jelly

I think we’ll kick this off with something a bit less serious!

I’ve got a real thing about jelly shoes. I’m addicted. I own 3 pairs of these things now, and have insisted the kids, my sister and my niece all have them and wear them too. I’m forever recommending them to people and I wear mine almost every day. Can somebody please buy me the flouro yellow ones?

Sun Jellies!

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Aren’t they pretty?

I wear them in the sea, in the river, to walk Seb, to parties. I even wore them into hospital to give birth. I hate it when it’s cold and I can’t wear them!

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I’ve even considered wearing odd shoes when I’m having difficulty deciding which pair to wear, but wasn’t brave enough to leave the house like this!

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There’s only one thing I like wearing more than jelly shoes, and that is….

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SPARKLY GLITTER JELLY SHOES!!

Ok, I’m probably just trying to relive my childhood, but these things really are amazing. In the last few weeks of pregnancy we had some kind of crazy heat wave and my stupid feet and ankles were swollen to the size of melons. They hurt like crazy but I still needed to get out and Seb the dog still needed to be walked. Everybody said ‘wear flip flops!’ but that weird scrunchy thing you need to do with your toes to keep flip flops on just wasn’t working for me. Jelly shoes were the only things I could put near my feet without wanting to cut the stupid swollen things off, and I could wear them all day without them hurting. Actually, there’s no reason I would try to relive my jelly-shoe-wearing childhood, because I only ever had cheap ones from beach side shops as a kid and they shredded my poor little feet to pieces. Blisters and plasters don’t really mix with splashing in the sea. Sun Jellies are soft and stretchy and super duper comfortable, even when they’re full of sand!

The only problem with them, as I said before, is sometimes it just isn’t warm enough for sandals. But I think I’ve found a way around that little problem. Yesterday I discovered Skimpies jelly boots! They’re made of transparent jelly, and you style them up by wearing colourful socks underneath. HOW COOL IS THAT? They’re also having a sale so I have of course ordered a lovely yellow pair and some colourful socks too. How exciting! We’re off camping in a couple of weeks in North Wales. It’s going to rain, lets face it. These things will be perfect.

So now I have jelly shoes for all weather! Yay!

*I just love jelly shoes. Nobody asked me to write this or paid me for it in anyway.*

Blogging

Those of you who started following this back in May when I started writing it have probably noticed that I deleted it all. Apart from one post, which I thought I had deleted. Not sure how that one survived.

It’s an enormous shame because I’d written some pretty good stuff and some of it I wanted to document and remember.

I have a huge dilemma when it comes to blogging. I love it. I love writing and the way that getting my thoughts out into the world makes me feel. It’s an emotional release. I’m even quite confident about my writing and I think I’m not too bad at it.

My problem is my content. For blogging to feel good, for me, it has to be about me. It has to be about my life. For this reason it usually ends up being about some fairly personal stuff. I’m ok with this when my twitter followers and my mates are reading it. That’s great. Those are the people I intended for it to be read by.

Facebook is a whole different ball game.

Call me mental if you like, but there are some people I don’t want to read this. If they’re reading it, I don’t feel I can rant and release in the same way. Not because I don’t trust them or feel they won’t support me. Just because I’m self concious about my feelings. These people include my mum, my dad, my grandfather, and a few others. All on Facebook.

Also, it’s kinda weird to think of old school friends reading it when I haven’t seen them for years and years and didn’t even like some of them when I was at school. I should definitely get round to removing them from my life.

This blog, those old posts, got shared on Facebook with my real name linked, and I instantly freaked. DELETE DELETE DELETE. I couldn’t remove the link from Facebook because I didn’t post it and I felt silly asking. So the posts had to go. I moved them to drafts so that I could save them but never got round to it and now they are permanently gone. Forever. And that is that.

I regret it now. I wrote that huge long post about pregnancy and those are memories I want to preserve. But it’s too late.

I’m back here now. Things have changed. I have had a baby! I’m a proper grown up now, right?

So lets give this another go. Hopefully it’ll stay away from the people I’d prefer it to stay away from and I’ll be able to continue to be brave about these words being out in the world.

If I freak again and this disappears, then so be it. We’ll see.