Pre-School Day 4

Protocol at Noah’s school states that you can’t send your child for the first 48 hours of any vomiting episode which has meant we’ve had to keep him off today. 

This, for him, is the best news EVER but now I’m worrying about the knock on effects this will have. He is still struggling with the concept of school and any gap in his attendance will just prolong this process and I so desperately want him to settle in there as quickly as possible. 

We have to go to Exeter next Friday which we can’t change so this means he’ll have another day off then and it’s beginning to worry me a little.

How on earth do you make them want to go to school? I thought he’d love it, I truly didn’t envisage this

The Fourth Star

You’d think I’d be used to this by now, right?

A familiar face comes and gets me, warning me of an imminent power cut and uncertainties of how far we’ll get before the engineers test the generator again. I joke with her and discuss the improbabilities of the engineers carrying out this sort of work outside ‘their’ working hours.

We get started and get the first part done before the power goes off and as I lay there in the dark staring up at the forest scenes taped to the ceiling tiles her words keep resounding in my eyes “It’s not the size it should be”. I need an internal scan as soon as the power is restored and I wait. This uncomfortable and intrusive procedure confirms that the tiny little heart I’ve been nurturing for the last 11 weeks stopped beating a couple of weeks ago.

A second opinion is needed and I’m doing ok. Until the second sonographer, full of sympathy, confirms what I knew, but had hoped against.

I fall apart.

There in the dark, I wonder who’s making that barking noise and realise it’s me. Uncontrollably, I sob like a baby.

Why?

I’ve never broken down like this before.

I frantically try and build that wall that’s protected me so well in the past to save my dignity but I struggle to glue the bricks together.

Why has this one hit me so hard? Sadistically I can’t help but stare at the little kidney shaped image on the screen and I realise, for once, that since the birth of my most precious Noah, that shape wasn’t ‘just a cluster of cells that wasn’t viable’ that little shape was a life, a person, my child that hadn’t made it. It hurts. It hurts more than I ever thought it would. I feel like someone has driven a poker into my very soul.

Turning down offers of support, “I’m fine, I’ve been through this before”. Yet in this moment I kick myself because all I want is a hug, a massive hug, one of those hugs that takes some of the pain away for just that instance. A hug only a loved one or true friend can give. Yet here I was discussing with a known stranger how I am going to proceed. I’m numb. I just want to get back to my boy who I’ve left my brother, I just want to hold him, to hug him, to kiss him, to look into his eyes and be grateful that at least I have him, I just want to get out of here.

Thankfully, as a ‘season ticket holder’, she lets me go without having to sit in that waiting room awaiting a consultant to talk me through what I already know. I turn down that forget-me-not decorated ‘sympathy’ pack, opt for the ‘natural miscarriage’ option and I race back to the car to phone D and break the devastating news while he’s hundreds of miles away and not able to do anything.

In just 6 days we would have been announcing to family and close friends that Noah was going to be a big brother, in 6 days time! I was beginning to get excited about it… More fool me. Now I’m left waiting for my useless uterus to clear itself of ‘the product’ once more. ‘The product’, my child.. MY CHILD.

I still feel sick, I still feel tired, I’m still enduring those first trimester headaches but for no reason whatsoever. I ask myself, why? Why me? Why does this keep happening to me? What have I done to warrant this once again.

But then, why not? Why shouldn’t this happen to me? What makes me so special that I feel that things like this shouldn’t happen to me? Nothing, that’s what. I just have to deal with it and thank the universe that my beautiful, healthy, happy little boy is in my life and, god willing, who knows whether he’ll be blessed with a sibling in the not too distant future.

As for today? I wait for this to be over, pray it’s not as traumatic as my second and think of my four little stars that were never destined to be, but love like they were.

28 Weeks Old

What a busy start to this fortnight.

Continuing on from our trip up North, on Saturday 24th May I have to congratulate you for sleeping a five and half hour stretch last night, first time in weeks and given we were in a strange place you did brilliantly. Of course you awake before 5 which had me wandering the streets of Derby so your coos and giggles didn’t wake up the rest of the hotel. We had an earlyish breakfast where the waiters and waitresses were showering you with adoration we set off to Doncaster to meet your Dad’s side of the family.

As soon as we go in the car you started chirruping so we sang you to sleep (good old ‘Wind the Bobbin Up’) only for me to discover the reason for your angst when noticing the colour your trouser leg was turning. I felt terrible. Bless your heart. I mean don’t get me wrong, you’ve had plenty of diplomatic incidents but I’ve never had to knowingly let you sit in it. This resulted in an impromptu stop at Granny’s to get you cleaned up and changed. This did mean you got some exclusive Granny and Grandad time plus we got to pick up the Jumperoo that your Granny got you along with a walker.

Next port of call was your Great Nana. Well, she doted on you, she’d prepared the back room for your arrival where the pure white carpet caused me much anxiety, thank god I took your rug! It was lovely seeing her having only met her once before myself. It was such a shame it was raining her garden was beautiful and I’d have loved to see you on the grass.

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Next stop was a family (your Grandad’s side) party where once again we had to wake you just after you’d fallen asleep. There were lots of people there (you’d have to ask your dad the names and connection as this was all new to me too) for you to meet and your Dads Aunty Linda had knitted the most fab bunny for you which you instantly put in your mouth.

You handled it so well despite being dragged from pillar to post. Having every single nap disturbed and meeting a plethora of new faces.

On Sunday we headed home stopping in at Grandad’s for a couple of hours to say cheerio. The start to the journey didn’t go well and resulted in you having a total meltdown on the M42 which in turn led to us having a meltdown because we couldn’t do anything to comfort you until we could get to a service station. By this time I think I was crying more than you as all I wanted to do was cuddle you and couldn’t. Of course as soon as we stopped and I unharnessed you your crying stopped. We decided to stop for an hour and set off again, which set you off again. This time however you settled fairly quickly and ended up sleeping all the way home – 4 hours! Well done gorgeous!

Since we got home we both developed a cold so haven’t really done a great deal except the usual and mundane.

Health
Another cold! Don’t! My fault! More saline, Zcalpol and Snuffle Babe.

Teeth
On the 4th June I noticed 2 long indents in your lower gum and realised this was obviously the reason for your fractious behaviour lately.
On the 6th June 2014 you cut your first tooth. Your lower front left to be exact and I don’t think the right one is far behind. I can’t believe how quickly it happened. Honestly there was no evidence of them until the 4th and here it is erupting through your poor little gum.

Firsts
On the 26th May we put together your Jumperoo and all I’ll say is that you LOVE it. Your little face lights up the moment you get settled in it and we have to triple bib you because you get that excited.

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Also on the 26th May we put you in your pushchair for the first time after Daddy sat you up in your pram whilst we were walking around Sainsbury’s. It’s still a little too big and I need to get a rain cover for it before we can use it permanently but you did enjoy it. Trouble being you want it in it’s most upright position which means you’re leaning forward too much just yet. If we recline it you just want to sit up so we’ll stick with your pram for a bit longer, get our money’s worth out of it 😉

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Again, on the 26th (busy day) you entered the exciting world of solid foods, more about that below and here.

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Following our hotel stay and your ever improving sitting position I haven’t used your bath support since the 31st May.

On the 2nd June you did your first 360 degree turn on your tummy, now there’s no stopping you grabbing what you want… And what we don’t want you to!

On the 2nd June you also sat totally unsupported for nearly fifteen minutes you just need to concentrate a bit more and we’ll have cracked it.

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On the 6th June your left tooth broke through your gum. I realised this had happened at about 3pm when You chewed my knuckle and I felt a rather sharp bit. This will explain your unexplained scream and crying session an hour previously. I reckon that other one is going to break through in the next day or two. Bless you darling, it must be so painful and yet you can still small and giggle with it all.

Character
You’ve been a bit grumpy of late, this is probably down to your teeth but when you’re not you are the most delightful little boy. You’ve always got a smile ready for us and there’s nothing more comforting than seeing you search for us when you’re in the arms of another or if we leave the room. You’re full of mischief and always want to be where you shouldn’t be and playing with things you shouldn’t be. You’re so inquisitive and study new things intently.

Muscle Development & Coordination
Movement: As I mentioned above you’ve mastered a 360 degree turn when on your tummy now and you get so frustrated because you can’t move forward in a similar fashion.
Sitting: 15 minutes unsupported sitting, you just need to concentrate more but you’re intent on mastering standing and jumping than sitting.
Standing: You are so strong on your legs now and since the arrival of your Jumperoo you love bouncing, be it lying in your crib, pram, standing on our lap or on the floor… Bouncing is your ‘thing’!
Coordination: Your hand/mouth coordination is pretty much perfect and BLW is simply enhancing this.
Speech: You’ve been quite quiet lately but when you do babble you go for it. No new sounds this fortnight.

Entertainment
One word… Jumperoo! I can not emphasise enough how much you love this plastic noisy monstrosity. Your face just lights up as soon as you’re settled in it and after a couple of times getting used to it you now give it some right welly, to the point I think you’re going to take off. Thank you Granny!

Sleep
No change, let’s not dwell!

Growth
I haven’t weighed you this week. I think they think I’m a lunatic taking you every fortnight so I’ve decided I’ll do it every four weeks from now on. I can see (and feel) that you’re putting on weight, you’re still in 3-6 month clothing but with this warm weather you have been in your 6-9 month rompers as I didn’t expect you’d need them so early.

Feeding
On the 26th May we started your journey into the world of solid foods. I was terrified. I have no idea what I’m doing and you haven’t swallowed anything yet but we’re getting there. I’ve decided to follow Baby Led Weaning (BLW) principles and I’ve written a more comprehensive post about our first 10 days here.

I swear I say this every fortnight just lately but this fortnight has seen you develop so much. With the start of weaning and now, today, your first tooth making a show I feel my baby is slipping away from me and a little boy is making an appearance. This is such a bitter sweet thing. Although I’m looking forward to hearing your voice, watching you grow and teaching you things I feel I’m mourning my little baby too.

I know you have to grow up Noah, but don’t do it too quickly will you my darling.

Sleep…

Sleep has to be the most underrated luxury one could ever have. You never think of it as a luxury but it is. You don’t give it the credit it’s due until you go without it for a length of time.

When you find out you’re pregnant you understand that when the baby arrives you’ll go without sleep for a while and you’re totally prepared for this. People relish in telling you about it’s rarity in the first few weeks and you know this, you’re not stupid! You take comfort in ‘knowing’ that you’ll sleep when the baby sleeps as everyone tells and think that’s fine but this simply isn’t the case. These same people tell you that it’ll only be for the first 6-8 weeks and you know that the time will soon pass and before you know it you’ll all be sleeping like, well, babies?! This too is another crock of shit by the way.

How naïve.

Firstly, sleep evades you LONG before baby arrives. The first trimester you’re dog tired, you could sleep through anything and on anything and quite often do. I often found myself dozing off in my car waiting for a clients’ appointment time or on a break in a layby somewhere along the A39 and was more often than not asleep within half an hour of getting home in the evenings… The plus side of this was enjoying nice, early mornings – I’ve never been much of a morning person until this time.

The second trimester you start to feel more human again, you’ve tonnes of energy and feel on top of the world and sleep returns to your ‘normal’ pattern, you don’t go to bed early because you kind of like having your evenings back yet you’re still awake early.

The last trimester of pregnancy where people tell you to ‘stock up on sleep’ (oh how I wish that was even a possibility) in preparation is a whole different ball game. Not only are you getting and feeling heavier, you’ve got a million and one things going through your mind which become unfathomable to ‘sort out’ at night. Your hips feel like they’re being cracked apart, slowly. All you want to do is lie on your right side or your back but for fear of reducing the blood flow to your child or just plain impossibility you can’t and it’s all you can think of because after months of lying on one side your shoulder, neck and knees start to ache too despite the pregnancy pillow that was your saving grace earlier on. Your bladder is quite literally the size of a pea, and the baby starts to play football with your ribcage or stretches out so it feels like it’s popping out your sides at hourly intervals. Needless to say all these factors, and probably a few more I’ve forgotten about, are not conducive to a good nights sleep.

Then you go into labour and it’s game over.

I don’t think I slept for at least 40 hours from the start of my labour, not because it was a long enduring labour because it wasn’t, nor that Noah was a crying baby because he wasn’t but because all I did was stare at him and panic that if I fell asleep he’d somehow cease to be. Then of course when I did start sleeping I was awake feeding every two hours, totally expected and prepared for and if I’m totally honest I was fine with it although the midnight feed was always the crippler after that I just got on with it. You adapt to your new zombie status and know it won’t be forever and you get by.

They tell you to sleep when the baby sleeps which is quite possibly the single worst piece of advice ever churned out and although in the first few days, yes you do sleep when the baby sleeps, but after this time the laundry starts to pile up, you run out of the meals you’d diligently prepared and frozen prior to baby’s arrival, the carpet starts growing a carpet of it’s own, the bedclothes start to feel a little crusty and you daren’t even think about the state of the bathroom. Not everyone has the luxury of mothers that’ll come round and do these menial tasks for you while you ‘get some rest’, oh how I wish I did. Still you get on, you’ve been told that it’ll only be for the first 6-8 weeks.

However after a few weeks you start to read about how other babies his age are starting to ‘sleep through’ and you pray tonight will be ‘the night’ and every night you’re met with bitter disappointment. People tell you 6 weeks is the magic number, then you pass this and it becomes 8, then 12, 16, 20. Now if you follow me on Twitter or Facebook you’ll know that Noah is now 23 weeks and still no closer to sleeping through than when he was 3 weeks old and some nights his sleep pattern is worse. You start to believe it’s because you breastfeed exclusively but then babies 5 weeks younger and also exclusively breastfed have left you behind. You cry at stories of how a new mum with her newborn has slept 6 hours.

The only way you can survive is by telling yourself that you’ll never sleep again and never, under any circumstances, expect any two nights to be the same.

People told me when he was 18 weeks old that it was ‘time to put my foot down’… What?!? How the hell do you put your foot down with a 3 month old, he’s not doing it to be naughty, he wakes, feeds and settles again, he isn’t hankering for attention. They told me he was reverse cycling, this would only be the case if he slept all day, which he doesn’t. They told me to give him a bottle, I’m sorry but I refuse to give him formula simply in the hope of getting a longer stint out of him, if it was affecting his health in anyway then yes I would have considered it but he’s healthy and happy just doesn’t need much sleep. Who’s to say that formula with all it’s unnatural bulking agents would have any effect anyway. On busy days where he misses his daytime naps you think, stupidly, that he’ll be shattered and therefore sleep more… This simply isn’t the case, in fact he sleeps better at night if he has his naps during the day, if he misses them we know we’re in for a rocky night. Of course getting him to sleep during the day can be as difficult as getting him to sleep through at night.

I’ve come to the conclusion Noah isn’t a sleeper, and why should he be? I wasn’t. I joke that this is my karmic retribution for putting my own mother through this hell.

Don’t get me wrong we have, on several occasions recently got a 7 hour stint out of him from when we put him to bed at 1830/1900. The problem with this is that you enjoy having your evenings back and don’t turn in yourself until 2200/2300 meaning you’re still only getting, at most, 4 hours. After this, of course, we’re back to 2-3 hour feeds and invariably a 0430 wake up time. Just lately we’ve even lost this 7 hour stint and have reverted back to 1,2 or 3 hourly feeds.

I had advice, via Twitter, from a baby sleep expert who told me to wake him totally at 2230-2300 for a feed and theoretically he shouldn’t need food again until morning, this just started his 2/3 hr feed pattern earlier… Needless to say I’ve ditched this advice.

I recently logged his sleep/feed pattern for a fellow blogger friend who’s going to compile several 6 month olds (or there abouts) routines for a blog. Ours makes for sorry reading. To be fair on him he has got another cold so obviously will be thirstier and due to nose blockage wakes himself up more (I’m the same with a blocked nose so can’t expect any less for someone so tiny), never the less this was his typical pattern over those three days.

Key:
W: Wake up
BF: Breastfeed
S: Sleep

29/4/13
S: 2120 BedNest
W: 0100 BF: 0100-0115 S: 0127 Bednest
W: 0300 BF: 0300-0320 S: 0350 Bednest
W: 0520 BF: 0520-0535. BF: 0720-0740 S: 0740 Bed
W: 0815 BF: 0940-0955 BF: 1100-1115 BF: 1240-1250 S: 1240 Boob (cafe)
W: 1305 BF: 1450-1500 S: 1525 Pram
W: 1800 BF: 1830-1850 BF: 2000-2020 BF: 2100-2110 S: 2120 Bednest

W: 0015 BF: 0015-0030 S: 0030 Bednest
W: 0300 BF: 0300-0310 S: 0320 Bednest
W: 0400 BF: 0405-0415 S: 0415 Bednest
W: 0630 BF: 0720-0740 BF: 0820-0830 S: 0940 Pram
W: 1130 BF: 1135-1150 BF: 1320-1335 S: 1335 Boob/Lap
W: 1455 BF: 1540-1555 BF: 1735-1745 S: 1745 Boob/Lap
W. 1800 BF: 2000-2020 S: 2050 Bednest

W: 0345 BF: 0345-0400. S: 0430
W: 0555 BF: 0555-0610 S: 0610
W: 0710 BF: 0710-0717 BF: 0920-0935 S: 0935 Boob/Lap
W: 0945 BF: 1125-1135 S: 1135 Boob/Lap (baby group)
W: 1210 BF: 1400-1410 S: 1410 Boob/Lap
W: 1510. BF: 1605-1613 BF: 1855-1910 S: 1920 Bednest

I long for 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep but don’t expect it to be any time soon and don’t get me wrong if I never slept a full 8 hours again, if it meant Noah grows into a happy and healthy man I’d handle it because that’s what motherhood is about but just once would be nice. Please?

As I post this we’ve just got through a night from hell where I got Noah to sleep by 2100, the whole family was awake again at 0200. Mummy, Daddy and even the cat were looking and feeling rather bedraggled whilst Noah just smiled and cooed until finally falling asleep at 5am to only wake again at 7. After a five mile walk he finally dropped off to sleep in the last 1/2 mile and is still asleep now at 11.

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We’re off to Port Isaac now to spend the night with the in laws. Lots of stimulation, upset of routine, night storage heaters and a strange environment… Wish me luck!

Footprints and Memories

When my niece was 4 months old my sister-in-law took some paint prints of her hands and feet and framed the results for a Christmas present for me. I loved this idea and still look at them and reminisce, she’s 13 now and about to start her GCSEs.

When Noah was 1 or 2 weeks old I bought a My BabyLog Printing Kit to enable me to look back and remember how tiny his hands and feet were and perhaps to use one as a tattoo template for the future. Not knowing which paint to use and knowing how blooming messy it would be led me to this purchase.

If you know me at all you’ll know that I’m quite a perfectionist when it comes to things like this and I’m also the biggest procrastinator the world has ever seen. Combining these two personality traits along with the instructions for use has meant that I have only just (last week) got round to doing it.

The instructions call for:
Preparation… Ok this I can, and did (many times) do.

Once opened it will dry out quickly… Oh, first hurdle, this is a terrifying prospect.

A calm, distracted or sleeping child… Oh, there’s the second hurdle for a perfectionist and perfect excuse for a procrastinator. Now if I had done this when I had intended to do it this would not have been an issue. However the older he has got the less, calm, distracted or sleepy (without being attached to me) he became.

A clean and dry body part… Easy, except when you have a child that is constantly chomping on his fists with over active saliva ducts coupled with having to work fast before the wipe dries out.

A hard surface for the special paper to be secured to… No problem.

The person applying the wipe must NOT touch the paper… On your own this is impossible, and I now know why this is a steadfast rule!!! Perfectionists nightmare, gone is the intended perfect print on a piece of unblemished paper! In fact my fingerprints feature heavily.

Wipe over area being printed, not too much but just enough… Don’t you hate those totally unhelpful instructions?

For footprints hold child’s ankle and press gently and firmly onto the paper then move up and away from paper… Oh my god! Holding a wriggling (he’s gone well past the 5 minute calm & distracted window now having become intrigued in what his crazy mother is doing) ankle is one thing, to hold it onto the paper long enough is another. Remember that secured paper? Not anymore it isn’t despite being anchored on all four corners as he decides to curl and uncurl his toes ridiculously quickly whilst giggling like a maniac and batting at my hands with his drool drenched palms.

Handprints can be tricky (no shit, Sherlock) so it’s best to be carried out when they’re asleep. Roll hand from base of palm to fingertips… There are 2 fundamental issues with this instruction. One, the sleeping part, Noah doesn’t sleep and if he does it’s either in his pram on a walk, attached to me after a feed (not to be moved else risk waking up) or at night in bed! This leads on to two, an intrigued and now overstimulated baby grabbing and clawing at the paper whilst having his palm rolled against the paper.

As with all prints the image will smudge if the paper or body part moves whilst printing… The number one reason as to why I had put this off until now and the number one reason why I do not have my perfect images.

The results were not as I had intended but exactly what I expected, me being me and all:

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All in all this experiment was an epic fail and with my next child (God willing) I SHALL do this when they are tiny. I will! Honestly! Who am I kidding, in future I’ll stick to poster paint then we’re not limited to attempts. Also I’ll force the assistance of his father.

I have reserved one piece of paper and half the wipe (hopefully sealed enough back in it’s wrapper) for another aided attempt, I’ll probably get the courage to try it again in about 5 years!

Has anyone else attempted this? What did you use and at what ages?

Follow Me?

I don’t claim to be a brilliant writer but I do find this blog stuff quite therapeutic and I am now trying to increase my blog stats and become more visible so I become more PR friendly, but where to start?

I’ve done shout outs on my Twitter and Facebook and a fellow blogger friend has been helpful with introducing me to a couple of Facebook pages. I’ve also recently signed up to Bloglovin but what else should I do?

How do you get your blog to appear in search engine results? I tag, keyword and categorise and even when I google specific blog titles nothing appears. Do I need to go professional in my blog layout?

How did you start out? What did you do to publicise yourself?

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Mother’s Day

My mum, my beautiful, intelligent, funny, witty, kind, caring, popular, strong, heroic mum… where do I start? She is quite possibly the love of my life, second only, since November, to my boy.

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She sacrificed so much for us, she worked tirelessly to bring the three of us up to respect and care for others. She raised us single handed when my Dad had to go to Nigeria to work, she scrimped and saved to give us what we needed and often what we wanted. She was known not to eat herself so we had food on the table at a particularly bad time financially, working two jobs then coming home to do freelance typing just to pay the bills. She threw us the most amazing birthday parties, kids loved coming to our parties, in fact kids loved simply coming to our house for her cakes and warm welcome, never did she make them feel uncomfortable or in the way when I’m sure at times they were. I have the most wonderful memories of my childhood with her. She was strict but fair, we were never spoilt where objects were concerned and if we were naughty she never failed to punish us, the worst punishment of all was knowing she was disappointed or ashamed by our behaviour. However she loved us openly and never ever made us feel that we weren’t the centre of her world as she was ours.

As I grew into an adult our relationship changed from mother/daughter to best friends, we did pretty much everything together. We holidayed together, shopped together, worked together, often lived together, partied together, cried together and laughed together. Not a day went by when we didn’t talk except when I went travelling where phone calls were limited to, at the very least, once a week. She never turned us away, never made us feel that we couldn’t turn to her if we needed her and we so often did. She sacrificed so much for us and never asked for anything in return except that we be happy.

She’s the strongest woman I know, she’s a fighter, she tackled everything head on and with gusto. She wouldn’t let anything defeat her without a damn good fight.

In 2000 she was given the devastating news that she had cancer of the breast. Again she put on her bravest face and started the biggest battle of her life, never letting her humour or smile evade her, not in front of us anyway. She beat it after months of surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. I have never been so totally in awe of someone in my life, her bravery and positivity were inspiring to more than just us. She wasn’t just our hero, she touched the lives of so many people and rarely lost touch with anyone she came into contact with and as such had hundreds of friends across the world. This was never more evident than at every birthday and Christmas where the sheer number of cards that she received spoke volumes.

Unfortunately the cancer returned years later, it had metastasised and again her battle began to prolong her life. She fought it so well until unfortunately her body couldn’t fight any longer. Our relationship changed again and as her health began to fail I became her carer. It was my turn to look after the woman that had looked after me for 35 years and yet still her foremost concern was us and how we were. She never ceased to amaze us and despite medical opinion she saw in her 70th birthday, filling her room at the hospice with well wishers to bursting, so much so I was literally pushed out the patio doors. Even here she made friends, the staff loved her, she filled the place with light and laughter even when she was obviously in so much pain. That year, 2008, I celebrated my last Mother’s Day with the woman that defined me. Unfortunately 9 days after her birthday, on April 13th, we lost our brave, beautiful, wonderful, precious mother. Our hearts broke and continue to break to this day. Not a day goes by where I don’t think of her and miss her. A hole was left which nothing can ever fill.

The last five years I have tried to hide from Mother’s Day. I avoid card shops and florists, I turn my head away from gift shop windows in the run up and tend to lock myself away on that Sunday so as not to see the happy faces of mothers and daughters out on walks or out for lunch. I’m jealous you see and bloody angry that this evil disease has robbed the world, us, of such a precious person when there are so many wicked people still roaming it. I hate Mother’s Day.

Now here I am in 2014 no longer avoiding it but being the centre of it because now it’s taken on a whole new meaning… It’s now my badge of honour. I am now that mother to be celebrated. I’m not sure how I’m going to cope with this change having harboured such ill feelings for the last 5 years. I hopefully got all my tears out of the way last night in the hope that there won’t be any sad ones shed today.

I find myself missing my mum even more since the birth of my beautiful Noah. She would have doted on him and I feel he’s been robbed of this beautiful woman, of a doting grandmother so although this is now ‘my’ day I still find myself struggling to see it that way, I feel like a fraud, in my mind it will always belong to the woman that brought me into the world, she was a real mother.

My mum was my first love. She was my life. She was my everything. Now it’s my turn to hopefully give Noah the same wonderful memories and to instill the same moral and social principles. She’s a tough act to follow but I hope I do her proud.

Happy Mother’s Day Mum, I love you.

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12 Weeks Old

Happy Valentine’s Day my beautiful, darling boy, today you’re 12 weeks old!

3 months… 12 weeks… 84 days… 2016 hours… Where the hell has the time gone?

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So where are you at my gorgeous boy?

Since our last update at 2 (calendar) months the last three weeks have seen some monumental advancements in your development.

Jabs
We took you to have your first round of jabs on 23rd January, as predicted I was a complete mess, thank god your father was there! You, my angel, were a little star. You handled the first jab with a very mild grimace, the second however was a stinger and you made sure we knew about it. You did, however stop crying long before I did. The happily chugged away at the rotavirus vaccine then promptly projectile vomited the sticky stuff all over the clinic floor, not to worry… We didn’t like the nurse much either ;). As also predicted I then spent the next 24 hours constantly checking your temperature armed with Calpol should it rise… It didn’t! In fact the only side effect it had on you was that you pretty much slept the day away the following day. Now we have the joy of the follow ups on the 20th of February.

Baby Massage
We missed our first class due to the above but have managed the last 3. On our first lesson you were as good as gold up until Sandra started, then you let out the loudest of screams… All the other babies stared at you in awe, this resulted in you feeding for the first half of the lesson which meant you thoroughly enjoyed the second half as most of the other babies started to get fractious. The second class was more successful even though you (and all bar 1 other baby) didn’t much appreciate being laid on your tummy to massage your back… Your face my darling will be etched in my memory, it was so disenchanted and helpless it made me chuckle (evil mummy). It would also appear you and little Tommy are flirting with the same young lady, I think you definitely get that trait from your father!

Character
The last couple of weeks have seen you come on in leaps and bounds. You are such a chilled darling little boy unless you have something to quite rightly squawk about (nappy, food, sleep). Gone are the fractious days and these days I can actually put you down whilst you’re awake and although you’ll watch my every move like a hawk, you’re quite happy for a while.

Smiles
Although you’re still not giving them out freely you have certainly mastered this heart melting ability and know exactly when I need to see it the most. First thing after waking you’re at your most smiley and beam up at me from your nest. On the 9th February at 2100hrs whilst watching Top Gear you did your first proper unforgettable giggle. Your daddy told me you had performed it about half an hour earlier but didn’t believe it till you did the same for me. It sounded like a very slow pneumatic drill accompanied by the biggest smile but you’re quickly going to master it.

Muscle Development
You’re holding your head up really strongly now when in our arms, you’re not letting it loll half as much, though when you put it down you do so with a bit of gusto still. You particularly like ‘standing’ on my lap whilst leaning against my chest and holding your head back to stare up at the artwork and cats on the lounge wall, this fascinates you and makes you smile from ear to ear. I often wonder whether you’re seeing someone that isn’t ‘there’ you’re smiling so much. You’re managing to roll onto your side now too so gone are the days we can turn our backs on the changing table. You’ve also been making motions to sit up so I have been offering my fingers for you to hold and pulling you into a sitting position which you love, and hold, until your head becomes too heavy for you, your progression is amazing.

Speech
You are becoming very vocal now and are experimenting with your sounds. You’re turning into a right little chatterbox. You now ‘call’ for me when I leave your line of sight and are experimenting with your varying sounds surprising even yourself on occasion. Only this morning, whilst we snuggled up in bed after Daddy left for work, you made a start on your first raspberry!!

Entertainment
The last couple of weeks have seen you chill out so much. You’re becoming aware of your toys and love to feel their different textures. You’ve been fascinated with the Winter Olympics, the skiing and ice skating being your favourite. You’ll sit happily in your bouncer, or lie on your mat, for a fair bit longer now meaning that I can actually get some housework done and eat whilst you’re still awake and not in your sling. You love looking up at the black cats that are perched over the arch into the kitchen and we find you regularly grinning like a Cheshire cat at them, you’re definitely going to be a ‘cat’ person like your mummy and daddy.

Sleep
You’ve always been a wonderful sleeper/feeder at night and I’ve never had cause to complain but there was a time last week you seemed to regress to a time never known to us. You seemed to be having mini feeds and having them every hour and a half… It was a very long night! Now this is where I brag, and possibly regret it… The night before last I can proudly say you slept for 5.5 hours straight, fed for an hour then slept for a further 4.5 hours. Of course I didn’t sleep so soundly as I kept checking on you but well done you. Now whether I put this down to us having the full bed to ourselves (Daddy’s away on business this week) coupled with the first use of your gro bag or just fluke I don’t care. Last night you didn’t sleep quite so well but, what with Daddy being home, you did drop your midnight feed AND slept in your Bednest ALL night meaning you slept for 4 hours then 3 then we spent all morning snuggled up in bed watching the Olympics and listening to the horrific weather outside. I’m hoping this is us turning a corner but with a growth spurt imminent I’m not counting my chickens just yet.

Routine
I’ve decided not to pin any hope on any definite, long lasting routine just yet. You have your own routine which seems to change every few days. You’re happy, it works and that’s all that matters.

Growth
It would appear you are forcing your reflux into submission and have decided to totally skip the 11s and have grown a massive 19.5oz since your 10 week weigh in and are now 12Ib 0.5oz which means I can stop fretting over the fact you have just been gaining the average 6oz a week over the last few weeks. Well done Bean, I’m so proud of you and your miraculous healing tummy. You’re still in your 0-3 month clothing and although a couple of sleep suits are becoming a little short, on the whole you’ve still got plenty of wear left in them.

You continue to amaze me. You continue to fill my heart more and more each day, I never knew my heart could hold so much love for one person and just when I think I can’t love you any more I look at your beautiful face and it fills up some more.