The beautiful reality

11249308_1767432720149825_8086319384727243268_nIt is 8.26pm and I’m sitting in bed with a sleeping Freddie beside me, full of momma’s warm milk. I look down on his beautiful little face with wonder; just as I did that first night in hospital; amazed, in love, proud. I’d heard people talk of this love, but I never imagined it could be so strong. How precious, how animalistic is this surge of maternal protection and devotion. My baby boy. I want to treasure all these moments, because I know they are so short … that one day my little boy will sleep in his own bed, will move out and live his own life. When he does, I want him to have had the happiest, most loving childhood I could give him. I always want my boy to look back on memories of fun and laughter; of fairness and adventures. I want him to know his momma loves him so very much.

11390150_1767296210163476_8134550675833472040_nI’m sure most new mums ponder what they did before they had children; how they spent all that free time … and how they enjoyed that unbroken sleep and lie ins. This time last year I was living in a house share, returning home from work in an evening, going for a jog, pouring myself a glass of Sauvignon Blanc as I cooked supper … totally oblivious to the fact that in 4 weeks time I’d be peeing on a stick which told me I was preggers. Since then I’ve bought my own flat, moved in, decorated, and had a baby! Quite the year, really … my nails are now devoid of polish [you can guarantee baby would cry before it had dried, and given the amount of washing I do, it would chip within hours], I haven’t read a book in months, my legs are reminiscent of a blonde gorilla, my bikini line is like the Congo, and a showers main purpose now is to get clean, not indulge in Soap & Glory therapy. I haven’t worn heels since last autumn, and I caught myself debating which sick stained cardigan was most wearable the other day. No pregnancy book can prepare you for these absurdities … the beautiful reality of life with a baby. Everything, every last drop, is devoted to the wriggling, soft skinned person you carried in your womb.

Yes, I would like a little more sleep. Fredders is feeding every 2hours during the night, and sometimes it is hard to wake myself sufficiently to release the boob from it’s bra. However, as my little boy sucks and I stroke his head … I wouldn’t want it any other way. When morning comes, usually around 6am … he is full of smiles for Momma … so innocent, so delightful and pure. That old adage is proving true, it won’t always be easy, but it will be worth it. And now … I should snuggle down beside Freddie,and pray for the luxury of three  hours sleep!

A closet lactivist

TIBERIUS - WIN_20150529_104441I am choosing to blog in preference to cleaning the kitchen floor. I have a hot cup of coffee beside me and a gurgling smiling Freddie in his vibrating bouncy chair. Just as I was about to sit down the doorbell rang, and I answered it to the scariest looking Jehovah’s Witness I’ve ever seen. He handed me a leaflet which is now in the bin, and I contemplated telling him I’d got to run because I had an appointment at the blood transfusion clinic.

I feel the need to type at speed [with two hands!], because I’m sure there will be either sick, poo or tears before I’ve finished the coffee and the paragraph. I am feeling quietly pleased that both baby and Momma are clean, dressed, and fed by 10am. The washing up is also done, laundry on, bathroom given a vague clean. Baby Freddie has taken to being wide eyed and smiley at 5am [must buy blackout curtains!] I’ve been particularly tired these past days as I’m getting over a cold, and I’ve been worried about baby boy’s chest. I guess it’s also the culmination of 12 weeks of broken sleep. Last night he fed quite a lot, but I can’t remember the times, at one point I fell asleep with him latched on, and woke up in a pool of breastmilk, dribbling on the pillow, half biting my tongue. Attractive. This is a total benefit to being a single mum; no need to worry about the levels of glamour at 3am. I love co sleeping, without co sleeping I would be another level of zombie altogether. I think this is the 12 week growth spurt, judging by the new thigh rolls on baby boy.

Back in the days of being preggers, I never realised how much I would WORRY about my new bundle. I worry he’s pooed too much, I worry if he hasn’t pooed enough. Poo becomes a key topic of conversation with other mummy friends, even in public. “It was a bit green the other day” you say, between ravenous bites of a cheese toastie. I worry he’s too hot or too cold, I find myself worrying about him falling off bikes in years to come, and heaven forbid, wanting to join the army. Dear me. Hormones! Must. Not. Be. Neurotic. That said, his chest is getting better, and he seems to quite like the vile smelling yellow amoxicillin. Phew.

Yesterday the key topic seemed to be Breast Feeding, and whether mum’s felt pressurised to do so [or rather, “breassure”]. I watched the TV “debates” whilst feeding my boy, leaking breastmilk everywhere and realising that I am actually a closet lactivist. Obviously it’s a choice, but isn’t everything in life? I am totally pro breastfeeding, not least because it’s free, and saves me the hassles of sterilising bottles! For me it was never a choice, this is natural; this is what my meagre knockers were made for, and it’s golden nectar for my baby! However,

[pause whilst I get crying baby from bouncer]

I think there may be a misconception that just because breastfeeding is natural, it is somehow easy. I probably thought this before Freddie was born …. and actually, he made it pretty easy at first, latching on straight away and generally loving his milk/gaining weight. However, at 3 weeks in with my first bout of mastitis, it was far from easy. Yet by this point I was so in love with breastfeeding and the bond it created between me and my baby, that I was determined to feed through the pain. I will never forget pushing my 3 week old baby to the out of hours GP service on a saturday morning [why do I always get mastitis on a weekend?] boob red, hot and sore …. only to be told they were running 50minutes behind. Freddie started crying, I think I started crying when I had to feed him from the offending boob – he needed his nappy changed but I couldn’t lose my place in the queue … it was miserable. By the second time I got it, I recognised the fevery symptoms immediately, and popped the antibiotics. I really believe that breast is best, and I don’t have a problem feeding in public. In fact, a few weeks ago I ended up feeding on a park bench in a very indiscreet top because Freddie was crying and doing the “tongue thing” in his pram.

I do think these glamour shots of very rich women breastfeeding in luxurious surroundings push the “easy” image … whilst I lie in pools of my own breastmilk, unshowered and dishevelled.

In fact, I’m now balancing breastfeeding and typing … cue screenshot. And yes, that is baby sick on my shoulder!

Momma said there’d be days like this …

Momma's little boy

Momma’s little boy

It has been nearly two months since I blogged; two months of nappies, leaky boobs, baby sick, and love. Woah, has he grown! Tempus fugit. These precious days of new things and challenges, are so wondrous; so poignant. I’m sitting in bed beside a snuffly little Freddie; his first cold has developed into a chest infection; and as I sat in the doctors waiting room this afternoon I found the tears welling in my eyes as my little boy coughed. Never before have I loved so much. If only it could be me coughing [actually I DO have a cough, but that’s not the point] Never before have I worried so much, cared so much. Baby boy will be fine, his momma will cuddle him and feed him her milk, she will sing him to sleep with out of tune lullabies and she will feed him the yellow coloured strange smelling antibiotic “juice”. This is the first “illness” of many, and I know that I have to reassure him, that he can’t see my tears and fears. It is life, I tell myself … life is going to happen to him whether I like it or not. I am not immortal, I cannot stop the world from hurting him, from germs infecting him.

Prior to the plague descending, baby boy and momma have got into a great routine of Baby Sensory classes, Baby Swimming [oh, how I LOVE the swimming!], Tiny Tots and brisk walks in the park. We sip coffee with other mummies, and we ponder the “Wonder Weeks” and the transition from 0-3 to 3-6month clothes. This Thursday it will be TWELVE weeks since Fredders burst out of my vagina and into the world. Twelve wonderful weeks. Twelve weeks when I’ve worried more, slept less, and LOVED more than ever before. I remain amazed that it is possible to function on such little sleep. I’m equally amazed that evolution has not given women more than two hands.

Now I must curl up beside my little boy and attempt some sleep … I will try to blog more often, as there are often anecdotes I would like to share.