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Monday, 10 December 2012

And Baby Makes Four...The First Two Weeks



It has been nearly two weeks since our little man entered this world. Time has passed in a happy blur.  Days of the week have morphed from one into another, to the point I’ve asked; ‘What day is it?’ with worrying regularity. Hours seem to have flown by, with little distinction between day and night, unsurprisingly really, given that I’m awake for most of both.

Motherhood second time around is just as wonderful as the first time, in some ways, an enhanced experience, due to the confidence that comes with having done it before. Still, there is so much that I’d forgotten; meconium filled nappies, engorged breasts, how windy babies scream, that as soon as the cold air hits an exposed baby boy in a nappy change, there’s a likelihood you’ll be covered in a sprinkle of tinkle. That if you pick a naked crying newborn up, it will surely poop all over you. It’s all coming back to me now, rather like riding a bicycle. Instinctively, I just seem to know what to do. And rather like getting back on a bicycle after a prolonged absence from cycling, bits of me are also aching in places I’d forgotten they could ache.  Thank goodness for Lanisoh.

The first two weeks with EB has been much easier than I remember our first weeks with Pip being. Pip spent most of his second week in hospital, so I’m relishing the calm of this time around.  EB sleeps a lot, he feeds a lot; his latch is a little hit and miss, but he’s getting the hang of it.  This is where experience has helped, because in those few moments where breastfeeding has been tricky, when he’s got mightily cross when he can’t latch on, I have found myself calm and patient, I’ve had the confidence that we’ll get there in the end and each time, we have. 

Pip has been fantastic, although with the attention of doting Grandparents for much of the past couple of weeks, it hasn’t really been representative of what ‘real life’ will be like.  For the most part, he’s taken EB’s arrival in his stride.  The thing he seems to have found most difficult to deal with is EB’s crying, he will clap his hands over his ears and say ‘ Mummy, make it stop’.  To be fair, EB does seem to have rather a loud cry; there's certainly nothing wrong with his lungs.  On one occasion this week, Pip stood at the crib and sang a lullaby for his little brother.  When his sweet tones failed to stop the escalating wailing, he made for the living room door with tears in his eyes.  His lullaby hadn’t worked, and to a three year old, if a lullaby is meant to soothe a baby to sleep, that’s what should happen.  Seeing his tears, after trying so hard to make his little brother stop crying, pulled on my heart strings so hard I literally felt physical pain within.  In that moment, I felt torn between comforting EB and comforting Pip.  Thankfully, Husband was around to help with EB, and I was able to hold my oldest in my arms and reassure him that it was nothing he had done wrong, that despite his crying, I  was sure EB had appreciated his lullaby.

The hardest part of this past couple of weeks has been managing Pip's pre-school drop off on my own with the two of them. I've only had to do it on my own a couple of times, but frankly, it's been a nightmare.  On those occasions EB's chosen to poo, be sick, cry at the worst moments, whilst Pip has stuck to his regular trick of needing the loo at the last minute, spilling something down himself, insisting he needs to take a particular toy with him. We've been a well and truly disorganised rabble.  Trying to logistically manage getting them both in and out of the car and then find a parking space whilst avoiding the traffic warden has been painful.  I have continually questioned why I didn't send Pip to the school three minutes around the corner. Clearly more focus is going to be needed to minimise ongoing stress at drop off/ pick up.  As far as I can tell, it needs to be planned like a military operation. I just need to find the brain space for long enough to suss out how I'm going to do it.  In the meantime, I try to see the funny side of these calamitous moments; for instance, the poo rocket that shot right out of EB all over my cardigan just before we were due to leave the house this morning. Sometimes when you're up against the clock you just have no option but to use a baby wipe and move on.
 
Taking into account the sleepless nights, I feel remarkably good in myself. No less tired than in the last weeks of pregnancy. In fact, I’ve noticed I have much more energy to play with Pip now. I’ve felt much less sluggish than I did in weeks 38 and 39. My body clearly appreciates the lighter load.  My balloon like stomach is deflating nicely or so I thought, until Pip asked ‘Mummy, why is your tummy still fat? Do you have another baby in there?’. You can always trust children to give you an honest appraisal of how things are.  Despite my son’s unintended ego quashing, I'm fairly happy with how my post partum body looks two weeks in. That said,  I’m a big believer in the 9 months on, 9 months off rule,so I’m not going to stress about losing the paunch yet; that's a focus for sometime in the new year - once all the mince pies have been eaten.  Emotionally, I haven’t had too many wobbles either. Less so than last time.  I’m trying not to sweat the small stuff, to not be too controlling or do too much.  So, I’ve missed the last post for Xmas to Australia, despite my best efforts to get to the post office on two days this week - it’s not the end of the world.  Likewise, I’m not sure if I’m going to get around to finishing my photo calendar this year to gift to Grandparents. It’s currently half finished, but if I don’t get to complete it before the print deadline they’ll just have to have it in January.  I can’t be all things to everyone right now, and there’s no point driving myself crazy trying to be. 

Family and friends have been brilliant. There seems to be something about babies that brings out the best in people, either sending their wishes and kind words, cooking for us, popping into see us.  Babies seem to bring people together, reaffirm bonds, friendships.  Everyone seems to have fallen completely under EB’s spell. Not least me.  He reminds me of a little seal pup, his eyes are so dark blue.  I’m completely in love with him.  Sage advice from wiser souls has been to enjoy every minute of this phase as it’s gone so soon.  Despite the pressures of Christmas/ the house renovation project/wanting to give Pip his fair share of attention, I really am trying to do this.  As one of the cards I received this week proclaimed, ‘Babies are such a nice way to start people’.  They are, it’s almost a shame they grow so quickly. Already EB’s toes are pushing against the feet of the newborn babygro’s.  The 0-3 month sizes look so large, I can’t believe he’ll soon fill them, I’m drinking in every minute and savouring every second of these precious days.

16 comments:

  1. Another lovely post! You sound so serene and relaxed amongst the poo and tears :)

    Thank you for a beautiful read - I hope to channel some of your composed, tranquil vibe into my imminent birth.
    xx

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    1. Thank you! Wishing you the very best of luck for your forthcoming arrival *and sending tranquil vibes* x

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  2. What a lovely, memory-filled post about your new family :)) I smiled at the use of a baby wipe instead of a full change - needs must sometimes eh?! Glad to hear that you're doing so well, long may it last! X

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    1. Yes, my poor cardigan...but charcoal is a most forgiving colour I find! Just to set the record straight, post the school run it did make it into the washing machine :0)

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  3. How rubbish am I - I haven't even managed to pop by to say Congratulations! I would echo those people who tell you to enjoy those early days - they are gone so fast. As for getting out of the door on time - just imagine back to when Pip was born - bet you couldn't have got out of the house in time for school then and you only had one! It's amazing how much more you manage with no 2 (albeit that life becomes even more chaotic) and then wonder what the hell you were doing with no 1 - what did happen to all that time?! Take care and enjoy a wonderful Christmas with your two little ones x

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    1. Yes, you're right, when Pip was born it took FOREVER to get out of the house! I couldn't even drink a cup of tea without it going cold :0). So, yes, I do wonder what the hell I was doing with no 1! Am definitely more speedy second time around.:0)

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  4. lovely post and one i can so relate too!

    Congratulations again x

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  5. Poor Pip, but it's so nice that he wanted to help. Glad that things are going well despite the morning rush (I've not even started to think about how I'm going to manage that in the future). xx

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    1. If you're going on foot in the mornings I think a baby carrier/sling is the way forward. I go in the car as it's just over a mile to Pip's school but I've ordered a wrap sling that I'm then hoping to tuck EB into when we get there/ have to get out and wait in the cold for it to open. x

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  6. Oh how lovely - so pleased to read it's all going so well for you, and that you are settling into things with a take-it-as-it-comes-easiness. And what a wonderful big brother Pip is being - and well done on his valiant efforts to soothe his baby brother - how totally adorable! And good for you in reigning things in and only doing what can be done - there's only so much a new mum can do - friends and relatives will understand. This brought back many a fond memory of projectile poo - loved that you only used a wipe - I'm guessing the cardigan was of a similar tone? :o). X.

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    1. Cardigan was charcoal coloured, obviously the way forward as you couldn't see a thing!

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  7. Wow congratulations i am so sorry i have not popped over and chatted for awhile. Its so funny how much of the early days you forget once you reach the toddler years and how quickly it all comes flooding back. Sounds like you are all doing fantastically and im in awe that with little sleep you can still write a truly beautiful post.xx

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    1. Hello, thanks for commenting. I'd been wondering how you are - keep well and I hope things continue to improve health wise into the new year. x

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  8. I'm delighted it's all going so well for you. Keep enjoying every minute - you don't need me to tell you how precious it is. By the way, for some reason I can't comment on your posts from my iPad. I've tried loads of times but failed, so rest assured that I do read every one but can only comment if I'm on the desktop!

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    1. Ah, thanks Primrose Hill. Not sure why you can't post on the ipad, but thank you for the heads up. x

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