Two year old you

Dear Fred,

17156074_2103858033173957_1695764839204359995_nToday is your second birthday, and whilst you’re spending some time with Daddy, I wanted to write a Blog about 2 year old you.

It was wonderful watching you and your friends enjoy your birthday party yesterday; clambering around on the soft play, eating “choo choo cake”, singing songs and generally having lots of fun. The only thing missing was your Grandad, who helped Momma plan the party – and was looking forward to it very much. In the car on the way to the party as I told you all the people who would be there, you repeatedly asked for “Gandad,” and Momma had to explain once again that she too would love to see him, how it was very sad, but how I was sure if he could, he would be there in spirit. I’m writing this because whenever you’re reading this Blog, Freddie; you will probably have forgotten the wonderful memories and times you shared with your Grandad. But yesterday you asked for him, and I know he would’ve loved your party and been so proud of you. Yesterday was the first big event  without Grandad around, and Momma did need a couple of glasses of wine at the end of the day.

So, two year old Freddie….

LOVES…. Thomas the Tank Engine, Postman Pat DVDs [you’re already quite au fait with changing the DVDs yourself in the player], chocolate buttons, Weetabix for breakfast, collecting the eggs from the chickens, playing on momma’s phone, driving your mini car – especially reversing when you’re supposed to go forwards!; Percy cat – who you call Lala, singing “twinkle twinkle chocolate bar”, Tots Rock on fridays, morning and bedtime “boobie”, reading books on Momma’s lap, going down the big slide at the park, bathtime bubbles … Your favourite meal of the week is chicken curry; the hotter the better…

DISLIKES …cleaning your teeth, eating the eggs you like to collect, sitting in the buggy …

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0,1,2

You are such a fun, cheeky little chap – forever making me laugh.It is incredible that you’re 2 already. I look back on the day you were born with such wonder and amazement, and always will. You rocked my world, little boy. Momma was pretty naive going into a pregnancy on her own, unsure what everything entailed. These have been the best two years of my life, and even in the present sadness, you keep me going and remind me of what’s important.

So bring on more adventures, little boy. You are so loved.

Momma xx

 

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20 months on; the gentle way

4This photo, taken during a recent autumnal photoshoot, captures the spirit, cheekiness, and character of my little Fred. I can almost hear his excitement! I was so pleased with these photos, taken in the park next to where we live; the park I played in when I was little, the park I walked around when pregnant, fell on my bottom in the ice a few days before Fred’s arrival, and the park Freddie and I have visited most days of his life.

Today this little chap is 20 months old. I remember this time last year being amazed that he was 8 months already …. it is both wonderful and poignant how fast these milestones occur. Daily Freddie is coming out with a new word or expression [he was wagging his finger at Grandad earlier and saying “noooooo”!] – he is already in size 2-3 clothes, and likes to hold my hand rather than be carried up/down the stairs. I concede that he is no longer a baby; he’s a little boy … walking, talking, full of personality and his own opinions [especially about the necessities of teeth cleaning]

Every monthiversary makes me think back to that night in March 2015 when Freddie made his appearance … a night I could happily reminisce about on a regular basis. I still feel so fortunate to have had such a positive, empowering experience of childbirth. It was without a doubt the most defining moment of my life. Everything changed at 4.39am on 5th March 2015. The world gained a Freddie, and I acquired a purpose; a little bundle of squishy newborn to love and introduce to the world. These 20 months have been the best of my life … the most exhausting, the most demanding … and yet this little person who grew in my tummy, has taught me so much, about unconditional love, and about what’s really important. I’ve let him guide me, and as such he is still breasfed and we still co sleep. Some people raise eyebrows and think this is an issue, but it works for us … one day he won’t want boobie anymore, and one day he will sleep in that beautiful room momma painted for him .. until then, I’m quite happy to settle down beside him at night .. even if I will be woken by a hungry, hair pulling milk monster in the middle of the night. These days go so quickly … and from the outset I’ve wanted to treasure it all ….

I wanted to blog tonight, yet realise I’m too tired to write anything of any substance. I couldn’t let 20 months pass by unnoticed though … so now I’ll cuddle up next to my boy, listening to the fireworks booming in the distance … looking forward to the adventures tomorrow will hold.

 

 

 

 

Gratefulitis

The past month has been blighted by every flipping “itis” out there … tonsilitis, bronchiolitis, and this week – conjunctivitis! In 15 months of parenting, including pushing a 7Ib 9oz baby from my vagina with no pain relief; a second degree tear, cracked bleeding nipples, and an average of 4.5hours sleep a night – eye drops have been my biggest challenge yet … how the fecking hell are you supposed to single handedly do this? I’ve used the Steve Irwin and crocodile analogy before, but seriously … imagine Steve Irwin trying to get chlorophenicol into a crocodile’s eye … It has been a long week, and it’s only Wednesday [geez, it’s really only Wednesday] – initially we had hysterics [from Fred] and feeble tears from me. I’m too soft. I never imagined I would be a softy soft parent, but it seems I’m headed that way … I can’t bear my boy crying; I just want to scoop him up and cuddle him and make everything okay. He’s so cuddly [sorry Fred, if you’re reading this in 15 years time cringing!]

So it has been a bit fraught; worrying about the excessive gunky snotty slime which has oozed from his eyes … deliberating whether I should go to work and leave him … and struggling to get him to sleep in this very muggy humid heat.

13240009_1937899016436527_8858631791589882928_nThen amidst all the worries and goo, you suddenly have a moment and realise your life is pretty damned perfect, even with the chlorophenicol in the fridge. This time two years ago I wasn’t yet preggers … I had no intention of being preggers, and my life was drifting along at a casually okay sort of pace, living in a houseshare … not sure of what next; complaining if I’d slept less than 7 hours in a row. This evening I made chicken curry [Freddie’s favourite] followed by strawberries and cream. I think my son would eat curry every night of the week without complaining [maybe those years in India somehow transmitted across the placenta] – After tea we went to the park on his trike, where he swung on the swing and chuckled until it rained and we headed home, via the shop for an ice cream. I took this photo at our garage, looking up at our flat and our shiny car. Two years ago this wasn’t our world [I say our world, and yet Freddie didn’t even exist 2 years ago; how is that possible, how could the world exist without him in it?!!] …and when I look at this photo I feel such pride, such achievement; because hell; it took some determination and strength to go through pregnancy and flat buying alone [nevermind childbirth and motherhood!]

We are so lucky, me and my boy … and it takes my breath away how awesome and unpredictable life can be … what a miracle it all is …

And next week, we are off to sunny Woolacombe on our holibobs …

Throwback Thursday; the crowning moment

12074844_1826377267588703_6970948816460228828_nEvery Thursday I remember that Thursday 32 [yes, THIRTY TWO] weeks ago when I became Freddie’s Mummy. I’m sure one day a Thursday will pass without me remembering every detail … but in many ways I hope not! Whenever I see Sarah, my birthing partner; we inevitably talk about that day in early March when my life gained its purpose and the world gained beautiful Freddie. We talk about the days and night before too, and remind each other of little anecdotes; countless walks around the park, the tuna sandwich on the antenatal ward, nearly falling off the birthing ball, toppling over in the pool when the midwife first checked for the heartbeat as I forgot my huge bump unbalanced me … the “Hits of the 1990s” CD we found in the delivery room and played and contracted to through the night. It amazes me that my not so little Freddie lived and grew in my tummy. THIRTY TWO weeks since he made his entrance. Wow. When Sarah and I were pacing the park, we had no idea what Freddie would look like, what his little personality would be, and how life would change forever in that final push. The crowning moment.

This week two friends have had babies and others are freshly pregnant; it makes me slightly broody and even more nostalgic for Freddie’s birth; I hanker to press rewind and relive these glorious 7 months again. I never imagined myself to have children; at 32 I was single and possibly lacking direction. I’d always followed the cliched heart, and travelled after university. I’d done some pretty crazy things; I’d lived a rollercoaster hedonistic lifestyle, and whilst there were some amazing experiences and memories, I’d be lying if I said there weren’t some regrets, and there wasn’t a certain loneliness. Of all the things I’ve done, having Freddie, being his mummy – is undoubtedly the thing I’m most proud of, and the defining moment of my life. Still, 32 weeks since his arrival, and over a year since I knew I was going to have a baby … I look at Freddie sleeping at night, and can’t quite believe he’s mine. I never thought motherhood would happen to me, and it has … and somehow this gorgeous, chuckling, chubby cherub is mine.

It is such a responsibility, to be a mummy, to love them and give so much of yourself to them; to entertain them and allow them to entertain themselves … to introduce them to the world, and deprive yourself of sleep, time to shave your legs, evening television [aside from CBeebies bedtime hour] and clothes without stains on them. It’s as exhilarating as it is exhausting, and I just want this little boy to always feel so loved and secure; to look back on a happy childhood with laughter and imagination. Perhaps I feel this all the more intensely because I’m a single mum; because I don’t want my son to ever feel like he’s missed out on anything. Perhaps the reason I blog, is not only to share, and to store memories for when the boy is old enough to read them … but because these monologues replace the conversations I would imagine having with a partner at night when the baby sleeps; parenting philosophy, the things you’ve done during the week … Maybe one day, this Bridget Jones will find her Mr Big, but he’ll have to be pretty damned wonderful, and embrace Freddie with his whole heart.

And tomorrow, we are off to the seaside. I shall report back.

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.

Mastitis, Baby sick and lots and lots of breastmilk

My Hungry Little Caterpillar

My Hungry Little Caterpillar

Having the time to blog is now something of a luxury. I’m sitting in bed with my baby beside me, all plump and satiated; having drained the milk of both boobies [and puked the excess down my cleavage and new nursing bra!] THREE WEEKS; how is my baby boy THREE weeks old. Time has taken on a whole new concept in the past weeks; as have day and night … life is simply and wonderfully revolved totally around Little Lord Freddie.

The week hasn’t been without its challenges; last Saturday I found myself at the out of hours GP with mastitis after a sleepless and painful night. Ouch. Serious ouch. It’s also quite hard taking a 2 week old baby to the out of hours unit alone …. whilst they give you a specific appointment, such as 10.47am [really? 10.47?], you still have to wait 2hours to be seen, during which you need to feed baby several times through agonising pain … and realise you need to change a pooey bottom but don’t want to lose your place in the queue. Fred and I were both most relieved when the prescription was printed and we could go home chomping on the antibbiotics. I very nearly joined him in the wailing. Aside from a sniffly nose, I’m feeling much better and the boobies aren’t sore anymore [thank goodness!] Incidentally I did find it funny that the doctor asked if there was any chance I could be preggers … erm, NO.

Breastfeeding is amazing … despite the mastitis … I find it the most nurturing thing you can do for your baby. I feel like the 9months he was in my tummy, I sustained him through my food and the placenta … and now he’s here, I can carry on nurturing him. The unbilical cord may have been cut, but Momma’s milk can feed him. And feed him well, as he weighed in at 9Ib this week! I can definitely tell he’s put on weight …. getting heavier to carry up the stairs in his car seat!

As for the lady bits, I actually braved taking a mirror to the brutalised bits, and [continued several hours later; baby and momma now fed and changed and ready to face the day!] – anyway, ladybits – not as mashed as I thought. Looking quite normal. The human body really IS amazing.

Still, in the small hours when I look at Freddie beside me; I wonder how on earth I created anything so perfect … and ow wonderful the world is with him in it. He’s mine, he’s really my baby boy …..

Warning graphic feminine content

It has been 5 days since little Fredders entered the world, and yet I can no longer remember a life without him in it. People say there is no love like the love of a mother … but until you have your precious warm squishy bundle in your arms, you cannot comprehend it. Your purpose in life is suddenly gravitated around the little piece of perfection you grew in your womb. Observations from a 5 days post partum momma [no stigmas barred]

1. After spending a great deal of time whilst in the birthing pool declaring that I was going to poo and that it felt like Freddie was coming out of the wrong hole, one of my biggest fears post delivery was the inevitable first poo. I’m relieved to report that my insides didn’t fall out when it happened …

2. People don’t really talk much about bleeding after childbirth; in fact I was quite horrified at the one birthing class when it was suggested we buy maternity pads. Why? I’d asked innocently. Oh boy, now I know. I had a mild panic attack at what seemed to be an enormous piece of womb which emerged one day, and yet was reassured that practically, to quote a friend, if it isn’t as large as your fist, you’ll be okay. The human body really IS incredible [still alive]

3. Your breasts suddenly inflate within a matter of hours on the day your milk comes in. Woah. I mean, seriously! When people said I may leak a little bit, I imagined the odd drop – not to be walking around as if I’d poured a pint down my pyjama top. That said, breast feeding is THE best feeling, so I can totally deal with the sore nips. Natural coconut oil is proving a god send …

4. Throughout my pregnancy I craved steak and glasses of cold milk. I can’t bear the thought of either one now …

5. Not getting round to cleaning your teeth until 3pm is totally acceptable

6. Little boys willies have a good spray on them, especially when changing a nappy!! Poor Fredders got himself in the eye one day, and my glasses got a good spray the next!

BEST JOB IN THE WORLD.

Talking of which, Master Freddie is stirring, so it must be time for some boob-juice. More snippets soon ….