Monday, 31 March 2008

It started So Well

Sunday started out bright and sunny all round, after a fractious Saturday afternoon and evening with a litlle girl who, although overtired, refused to sleep, we needed a sunny Sunday.

Isobel and I went for our regular stroll and Daddy came too.

We stopped for coffee and chatted. We actually had a non-baby conversation, like real people do.

Baby still asleep we strolled along the river, stopped to sit outside the White Swan and enjoy a sunny sunday tipple. Just like real people.

Simple pleasures.

The afternoon started well with a little girl happily playing then dozing off in her beanbag.



PD went off to watch the football (his simple pleasure).

Then she got overtired again; she cried again; dinner was eaten one handed again; so we all went to bed at the same time, again.

Saturday, 29 March 2008

One Month and I Think The Feeling is Mutual

I'm sitting on my bed, wearing a t-shirt with a target shaped milk stain on my right breast, typing this one handed because my other arm is occupied by my beautiful little girl who is watching me intently.

I have written several times about how much time I spend gazing at her, well, at last it seems to be mutual. Over the last 10 days Isobel seems more awake and more focused and I'm proud to say much of that focus seems to be on me! I think she really knows who her Mummy is.

(A good example of this is the bathtime picture posted on PD's blog yesterday: Isobel loves her bath and normally is fascinated by the blue and white tiles that surround it, last night while PD focused his camera on her, she, in turn, only had eyes for me.)

Four weeks ago with a lot of shouting and not a lot of pushing Isobel arrived; four weeks ago I still had a social life; four weeks ago I still sent flirty emails. Now, well now I write emails about poo and consider a social life actually spending an evening on the settee with PD.

Would I change it? No, not on your Nelly. Not even when she is screaming; not even when I think her heart is about to break with real tears and everything; not even when I just don't know how to comfort her.

It's not always easy but I'm sure it is always worth it.

Friday, 28 March 2008

Poorly Sick

Isobel and I will mostly be spending the day at home today, moving quietly from bed to settee. We may even stay in our pjs.



I'm sick, she's snuffly* and, let's face it, it will a perfect day for Isobel as Mummy will be available all day for cuddles. (Obviously, this is not a great sacrifice for me - it makes up for not being able to take Night Nurse)

*I have placed a towel under her crib mattress to raise her head and the snuffly-creaky-door noises coming from her crib are slightly quieter.

Thursday, 27 March 2008

Evening

Ah, at last a whole evening stretched ahead as we had, unusually, settled Isobel in bed by 8 o'clock.

Unfortunately, as I'm poorly sick I was in bed by ten past.

(I started the day with the snuffles and a swollen neck but I went about my business with a pocket full of tissues. By the afternoon I felt like I'd been hit by a lorry: I ached all over and even my aches ached.)

Hair Today ...

... gone tomorrow.

Yes, I'm referring to Isobel's receding hairline. Poor thing has inherited that from PD and although she still has more hair than he does, she is definitely thinning on top.

All that lovely (surprisingly) dark hair she was born with...





... is going and waiting to be replaced with the fair (and heaven help us, ginger hair) we are expecting.





I can't bring myself to trim her hair, even if in some lights she does resemble Barry from Eastenders.


(Pictures courtesy of PD's Photoblog)

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

A Proper Person

Today we registered Isobel's birth and thus the fact that we are indeed a family.


We just hope Isobel finds us more inspirational than our occupations.

Mornings

It may constitute spoiling, but I'm sure it can't do any harm.

I'm not the only one who loves our morning cuddles in bed:




Monday, 24 March 2008

Into the Groove Baby

We had lost Isobel's rhythm, but today we are back in the groove.

We have successfully kept to our two hourly pattern and I have managed, equally successfully, to talk Isobel out of an overtired screaming rant.

So successful have we been we have even braved the snow to meet friends in the pub for lunch. In the company of a banging but adorable 16 month old, surrounded by other screaming children and political-ranting adults, Isobel chilled. Martin, Faye and Nicholas, and Gary and Javier joined us for our first family lunch outing.

She fed, she slept and she pooed. We ate and PD drunk. All must have been good as Isobel didn't need to shout at her parents once!

We are all ready for bed and it's only 8:30.

Saturday, 22 March 2008

Who's Counting - Three Weeks

Isobel is three weeks old. We are just about heading into our fourth week and, as every week has been very different, I'm wondering what surprises this one will hold.

Isobel is adorable, but she can also be a little trying and we really are trying to be the perfect parents (well, just parents I suppose).

She spent her three week anniversary getting overtired and refusing to sleep, and then the rest of the day asleep on Mummy (which I must admit, just between you and me, I did enjoy; it's nice being needed, and it broke my heart a little seeing her take milk from a bottle).

As my Mummy said to me this morning 'Children and Dogs (she has 2 Great Danes) make liars of you: just when you think you have a nice routine, they change.' This is certainly true this weekend.

But I'm sure there will be far bigger challenges in the years ahead, and while we are learning to parents, Isobel is learning to be Isobel.

x

Friday, 21 March 2008

Express Yourself

Last night I unpacked my steriliser, and this morning I fired up my breast pump.

Look at what I produced - I'm quite proud.
The dairy is open for business.



Whilst we are talking about self-expression, I suspect Isobel wishes she could dress herself today. I am afraid she is wearing an embarrassing outfit and I'm ashamed to say I bought it. I will describe it to you - she'd never forgive a picture - but first I must mount my defence, it looked better on the hanger than it sounds and on a cold blowy day in London Town it is toasty warm.

Ok, it's a GAP white velour babygro with pink and red spots.... I know, what was I thinking.

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Feeding On Demand

Just a note to remind all Mums that on-demand feeding only works in one direction.

Today we had an 11:20 appointment and if Isobel was following her 2 hour cycle she would need feeding at 11, just the time we needed to leave.

Me, being an evil Mummy thought I could stir Isobel 10 mnutes early so she would feed before we left the house.

BIG mistake.

She stirred; she even half-heartedly fed. Then I went to put her coat on...

She was sick.

Yes, she rewarded my ingenuity by vommiting all over both of us. So we were late anyway!

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Life's Unfair

When both your parents post unflattering pictures of you on the same day.

Sorry my pretty little girl. x

Stupor

After a feed Isobel often resembles a dunken old man:

She gains an extra chin to dribble on.....


And passes out.








Monday, 17 March 2008

I am happy

I have just re-read a couple of posts from last week and realised I may have given the impression that I am constantly curled up in a heap crying. Nothing could be further from the truth.

I am still loving being a Mum and feel incredibly privileged that Isobel chose me to be her Mummy. I still find it a wonder and a delight*. I'm fascinated by her and could gaze at her all day just to revel in how beautiful and perfect she is, and be amazed that we created this little tiny human being.

I don't think we are doing too badly: she gets herself to sleep (mostly), she feeds well (and fast) and is really good in the night.

With a lot of love and a little luck hopefully we can conquer the niggles.


* Even when, at 6 o'clock this morning my darling daughter decided to cover my pj trousers, her changing mat and everything in between (i.e bed and floor) in bright yellow poo. I am sure PD loved being roused by me asking for help because I was covered in sh.t. (He did laugh - I knew I shouldn't have written that she saved this trick for Daddy.)

Sunday, 16 March 2008

What Do I Know

I've been a Mum for two weeks now.

Does that make me an expert? No.

Does it mean I can offer advice? I hope I wouldn't be so presumptious.

Does it mean I know my own child? ..... Sometimes; but other times when she cries for seemingly no reason, I'm not so sure.

But I do promise Isobel I will get to know you better, and I will always do all I can to help you be happy - maybe then we both will cry a little less.

Friday, 14 March 2008

Draught Please Barman

Today we met up with two of our NCT friends, a shortage of space in local cafes led us to the pub - it was the only place that had room for prams, honest.

So, that was a first, the first time we had met up as Mums with our babies and it was quite cool to compare notes. It was also funny to discover that while our babies are little individuals they do have an awful lot in common. Disappointing to know that those little expressive faces Isobel pulls are pulled by other babies too - although they obviously don't do it so prettily!


Another first for me was that I breastfed in public! It was something that I had worried a little about, I'd even bought a down-with-the-kids scarf as a foil, not that I had it with me today. Anyway, faced with a hungry baby I did what was neccessary. Funnily enough Nia was brave enough too. We had all previously joked about going out dressed as fresians to manage this feat on mass.




So, three little friends met for the first time. (Jasper was there too but he and his amazingly wild hair stayed asleep in his pram.)


Hopefully next Thursday we will all be there again.


Thursday, 13 March 2008

All By Myself

Yesterday for the first time in nine months I went out all by myself. If you think about it, for the last nine months Isobel has been my constant companion.

Ok, for most of that we-two-were-one, but nonetheless I was never truely on my own. And I suspect for the comng months Isobel will be with me pretty much all the time, certainly while I'm breastfeeding.

So I only went to Waitrose to do a neccessity shop, but as it's a pretty mindless activity it still left me time to ponder being on my own. Is it something I crave? Not yet.

But Not Alone

Having such a close knit NCT group has been a God send. It's so nice to know that there is nothing I need to go through alone.

We all do things differently it seems, and all our babies are different (as you would hope!). But we all have some things in common.


After my exhaustion driven melt down into tears yesterday evening (no daytime naps for 2 days had taken it's toll!) it is good to know I'm not the only one who needs an 'afternoon nap to avoid evening hormonal tears' - thank you Nia.

It's not that I can't cope, or that I'm sad about being a Mum, I was just tired and in need of TLC and general reassurance. (Let's face it who doesn't want those things hormonal or not.)

Far Out Hippie Chick

One of Isobel's favourite spots is her pram. It's just as well as this where she has most of her daytime naps and obviously is her main form of transportation.

She is as happy in it awake as asleep...


... we think it is the effect of the flowers, man.

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Weigh To Go Isobel!

Hooray, Isobel has regained her birth weight and a little for good measure!

She is such a clever girl.



Hooray for me because I'm back in my old jeans - ok so maybe not my 'skinny' jeans, but my non-elasticated pre-pregnancy jeans all the same.

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Spot the Mistake



Yes, that's right - in our house baby wears the hair.

Monday, 10 March 2008

All Girls Together

PD has gone back to work today, leaving Isobel and I to play on our own, and me with strict instructions to SLEEP.

I'm feeling quite proud: by 11 o'clock we were both dressed and the bed was made. Baby girl was back in her crib, sleeping prettily...


She still is, I'm just waiting, eagerly with baited breasts, for her to wake up.

It was cool last week us all being together, and not just because PD does the lion's share of nappy changes; it was good just hanging out together in our little family.

Sunday, 9 March 2008

Yellow...

(2 seemingly random posts only linked by a colour)

... Dots

At NCT class we were given little yellow dots to stick in places to remind us to do our pelvic floor exercises (you know, on the kettle so you do them while making a cuppa). If it wasn't so very wrong I'd pop one on my daughter's forehead and then I'd be bound to restore myself to virginal proportions.


... Poo

Yes Isobel, our little angel, could poo for Britain (or SA for that matter). Bright yellow mustard poo, that leaves her little bottom at such velocity it can leave a trail four feet across a white bedroom and still make a mark four feet up the wall. (I have resisted taking a picture - she'd never forgive me!)

This trick is usually left for an unsuspecting PD who has, with his lightening reflexes, managed to step out of the way on more than one occasion.

Saturday, 8 March 2008

Happy One Week Birthday

My daughter is now a whole week old, a whole week more delightful and I'm a whole week more in love.

It has been a fantastic week, my best ever. I really wouldn't have believed it would be possible to have so much love for one little person, even after a broken nights sleep I am still excited to see her in the morning, and every morning it is like Christmas. I'm a very lucky Mummy.

We have managed to overcome a few difficulties: my rock hard boobies were softened with hot flannels; my lack of confidence over breastfeeding (no-one has shown me how) has gone since she is a happy growing baby who in no way is screaming hungry; the pressure of a slight, and I mean very slight case of jaundice and the further need to feed her more; the pain of contraction like after pains every time I fed her that left me crying for parecetamol and ibuprofen - these have gone now.

I have been emotional, crying because I was worried I wasn't feeding my baby properly, crying because the cleaner hadn't cleaned the oven, crying because she is SOOO beautiful, but I'm not sure I'd call this 'the baby blues' (yet).

We are left with a patch of niggliness from little Isobel in the evenings that has left us flumoxed as to how to soothe her, but I'm sure we'll figure it out.
Otherwise, Isobel has established a lovely predictable rhythm that even makes my nights a breeze: She feeds for about 10 minutes (a bit of a guzzler), has a brief doze, nappy change and maybe a play before sleeping, only requiring feeding again 2 hours later. At night she wakes every 2 / 2 1/2 hours, but wakes so gently I can feed her in bed, change her and return her to her crib within about 40 minutes and without stirring PD, we fall asleep instantly ready to meet again 2 hours later.

So, our first week as a little family has left us thinking...

Isobel you ROCK. xxx

(I am aware that all this may change, but leave us in blissful ignorance for now)

Friday, 7 March 2008

Just a Little Prick...

well, that's what they said.

Offer her some breast, they said - she'd just fed so she wasn't interested. I held her close; they did their heel prick test.

She screamed... and screamed... and screamed some more.

I cried... and cried... and cried some more.

She just hasn't been so happy and content today, so we've spent the day chilling and cuddling.

Hopefully tomorrow she will get her rhythm back.

Thursday, 6 March 2008

Mother and Daughter Chats

It's funny, although Isobel is now just about 5 days old I find myself wanting to use words like 'always' when describing things. Like, Isobel always wakes up gently; or we always have a cuddle in with Mummy and Daddy in the morning. It does feel like she has 'always' been with us.

I do spend an extraordinary amount of time just gazing with amazement at the wonder that is our little girl and chatting to her. I find all her expressions fascinating, especially when she seems to purse her lips to say oooh seeming to copy me. (I know this isn't the case yet, but I am a smitten new mum.)



Imagine how upset I was to find out that the fact that Isobel 'always' seems to get niggly in the early evening, may be down to the overstimulating nature of said chats! Yes, last night when I took her from Daddy, who was seemingly ignoring her while watching TV, I may have interrupted her peace.


Now I knew I was intelligent but I didn't realise my chats were so high brow.

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Rubber Duck

Another first: this evening we gave Isobel her first bath.





Obviously with the aid of a rubber duck.

Outings and Outfits

While I was looking the other way (probably gazing adoringly at my little girl - which takes up an extraordinary amount of my time), someone has put a pair of hot rock hard melons in my bra!

Meanwhile, we went on our first family outing today; we we went all the way to Waitrose. PD and I even had coffee and cake.

Isobel was more impressed with her outfit than the trip - she slept all the way through it.


Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Thank you Grandma


My mummy has been looking after us, and it's been nice having her around for these first few days, and not just because she cooks amazing rare roast beef and yorkshire puddings.

It's funny how, whatever your relationship with your mummy is like, there are times when you just want her to be there.

I hope my little girl feels the same way about me...

Thank you mummy. xx

Isobel's Home

We came home Sunday afternoon, 26 hours after we arrived at the hospital and it seems like Isobel has always been with us.

Did we ever sleep all night...

Please look at PD's Photoblog. (Proud Dad, previously known as Reluctant)

Sunday, 2 March 2008

Elvis is in the Building

Actually it's a far bigger star than Elvis; Isobel Grace arrived yesterday at 5:20pm and both parents are smitten.

It started as any normal Saturday, except perhaps that RD and I were revelling in the fact that it might be one of our last Saturday lie-ins. At 9am while we were enjoying said lie-in, we both felt something 'break'; yes you guessed it, it was my waters.

Somewhere between trickles and dramatic gushes we had showers and wandered of to the hospital to be checked. As I wasn't having contractions we didn't even pack the bags in the car - we'd do that when we came home for breakfast.

At about 10:30, in Labour Triage my contractions started, after a scary dip in baby's heartbeat, and while I was still merrily breathing my way through my contractions RD was dispatched to get bags. While he was away things really started to kick off, he returned to find me leaning over a ball having a rather annoying tens machine applied. This was quickly dismissed in favour of gas and air - laughing gas, unfortunately the giggles didn't last long.

At 2cm, with a 'paper thin' cervix and a very low baby's head, I was shuffled off to the bath, dragging my trusty gas and air along with me. The bath didn't do the trick, so much for my 'Natural Water Birth' ideas.

I very politely, and I mean politely, I said please and everything, requested drugs. The midwife examined me and tried to reassure me that the worst was over - lies, lies, LIES.
Anyway, we trouped of to the labour suite at about 4pm, just as my Mummy arrived. Meptid was administered, but I was already shouting for the hard stuff - again politely (I believe I only swore once!).

Poor RD and Mummy at this point I really wasn't asking for any help, all that lovely massage oil I'd packed for back rubs between contractions, well there was no between contractions and all I wanted to do was chew on my gas and air and grip hold of the bed. But I was glad they were there.

The dishy anaesthetist arrived with the drugs - I've never been so pleased to see anyone in my life. As he set everything up and I tried to hold still, the midwife had a quick check of how things were going...

Baby's head was already there; the midwife fought off the anaesthetist and 3 or 4 pushes later Isobel Grace was born at 5:20pm.

(Thank heavens for the cone head design of a baby's head. )


Yes she was a little sticky, yes her head was a little coney, but she was beautiful. RD was moved.
I held her and fed her while we waited for the placenta; RD cut the cord and then she really was her own little person, but our little person at the same time.


The proud parents - yes that's us!


A very proud Grandma

Proud Dad

(Yes, she arrived just in time for Mother's day!)