My First Mother’s Day

I have been spoiled today by Baby Girl & her Daddy.

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It started with tea, croissants & bluebells in bed. And a very special present. For our 4 year anniversary, Baby Girl’s dad gave me a small heart pendant & a ‘mojo’ bead inscribed with ‘the Bees Knees’. Today, I received a second mojo, with Baby Girl’s name on it. My two most important people in one necklace. Perfect.

He also cooked me a Sunday roast. Sadly this only confirmed Baby Girl is no where near a routine as we thought we’d planned to sit down to eat an hour before she usually feeds, only for her to wake up exactly an hour early! Unfortunately, a roast doesn’t keep so well for 40mins. C’est la vie.

Love is…

The English language has it all wrong. We have one, single word for ‘love’. Yet if Baby Girl’s dad had ever got me up at 2:30 in the morning, burped in my face & peed on my hand, it’s pretty safe to say we wouldn’t be where we are today! It strikes me we need different words to describe two far removed types of love. They really aren’t comparable.

Baby Acne

I know, go figure, it’s a thing! And poor Baby Girl has it.

It came on over the weekend & got steadily worse over the following few days. Teeny tiny baby sized pimples all over her face, the top of her head, even her eyelids. You can imagine as a first-time-Mama, I became increasingly worried.

Trusty NHS website says it’s a common enough condition & will clear up in its own time. But there wasn’t enough action in this explanation for me. To the message boards!

Turns out breast milk is a cure for everything. Apparently it has numerous antibacterial properties & is full of white blood cells, making it nature’s very own antibiotic for all manner of baby ailments. Including acne.

Last night I expressed a bit of breast milk & wiped it gently over Baby Girl’s face & head. This morning, it’s looking much better; a lot less read & I’d say at least 50% of the pimples are gone.

Note: best to do this just before a feed as bless her, she seemed very confused & upset by having breast milk wiped on her. As her dad put it, ‘it’s like slapping me in the face with chicken then wondering why I’m hungry.’ He’s can be oh so eloquent when he wants to be…

Breastfeeding

When I first found out I was pregnant, I assumed I’d bottle feed. But Baby Girl’s dad felt very strongly that breast was best, & the more I read up on bottle v breast, I too was converted.

Why? I was always ill as a child. (I wasn’t too well as a teen actually either.) My immune system has always been a little weak. Secondly, I’ve suffered from asthma since I was 2, at times quite severely. Also, I was an extremely fussy eater – mixed with an extremely wilful child, I was every parent’s worst nightmare! All these things have been found to be more common in bottle fed babies, as I was from day dot.

There are other explanations for these occurrences: I lived in Barnet, North London until I was four. An area with the high numbers of asthmatic children at the time due to it being in a bowl & pollution collecting. Asthma & / or the steroid-based inhalers also weaken the immune system. Once my Mom started the ween my into solids, she found i was extremely fussy about the texture rather than the flavour of the foods; something that continued through childhood & in certain cases even now. Which bottle nor breast could have solved.

However, it didn’t seem a risk worth taking. So Baby Girl is being breast fed. And so far, it’s going pretty well.

Of course, everything I eat flavours my milk. And after a fretful week last week with Baby Girl seeming not too happy with my milk in the evenings, we did a bit of research. Turns out, potentially problematic foods are:

  • chilli / spicy foods
  • garlic
  • citrus fruit
  • chocolate
  • cow’s milk products (ie containing lactose)

Well. Chilli / spice, garlic & lemon feature in our diet quiet heavily. And since cutting these out (or down significantly) she seems much happier & is feeding like a trooper once more. I won’t lie; I’m very relieved it doesn’t seem to be the cow’s milk! There would be a horrendous irony if my lactose intolerance was cured but I had to have a lactofree diet for Baby Girl!

As of around 6 weeks old, my milk supply will be firmly established & I can start expressing to use in bottles. I’m really looking forward to this. Not only so her dad can share some of the responsibility & bonding time that occurs whilst feeding, but also because I won’t have to whip a boob out in public! Still not overly comfortable with that…

Flying solo

Baby Girl’s dad went back to work today following his two weeks’ paternity leave. We’re on our own.

I was very nervous yesterday at the thought of this. Partly because there are times when she simply won’t settle for me & her dad takes her & she settles straight away. We think perhaps I smell of milk, which makes her think she’s hungry when she’s not. Also, she loves to be held & often just won’t be put down. Which when you’re on your own makes even going to the bathroom tricky!

But we’re 4 hours in & so far both surviving. I’ve even managed to have a quick bowl of cereal thanks to the amazing vibrating bouncy chair we have. We finally got batteries for it yesterday & thank god because I’ve tried her in it after her feed & she’s been happy as Larry (minus a small hiccup session). It’s a magic chair! Every new parent must have one.

They told us so

Over the years I’ve heard numerous tired faces say, ‘being a parent is a thankless job’.

Well, at 5:30 this morning, after already having been up an hour & half changing, feeding, burping & entertaining Baby Girl when she was looking at me wide eyed & bushy tailed, I understood what these folk had been getting at. Just as her eyes had finally started to droop, she projectile vomited her entire feed all over me, narrowly missing my face, waking herself up again & setting us off on the conveyor belt of change-feed-burp-sh sh sh-sleep again.

Perhaps I’m not yet tuned in to baby-speak, but personally, I don’t consider being a target for sick up a thank you.

What’s in a name: part II

We invest so much time & effort coming up with the right name for our kids. Knowing they’ll carry it with them throughout their lives, a badge of identity if you will…

And then we never ever actually use it. At just two weeks old, we call Baby Girl by more nicknames than we do her actual name already. (Which we’re not publishing on the blog for privacy reasons.)

Growing up, I got called everything from Beanbag to Mushy-Pea-Face. The irony was I’d been given a short name to ensure people couldn’t shorten it to annoying forms…  what my parents failed to seem to understand was that Brat Pack or Petal Pottle were far more annoying than any shortening of an actual name!

Alas, I fear Baby Girl is headed for the same path I trod; that of embarrassment & despair every time her parents’ call her, cringing at whatever new name they’ve come up with this time! So far we’ve got:

Piglet – owing to the snuffling movements & noises she makes when she’s hungry & the snorting when she’s getting impatient for the boob. It’s like she’s snuffling for truffles.
Taco – when we wrap her up in her blanket & swaddle her (fajita might be more appropriate but we didn’t think of that at the time)
Baby Girl – quite self explanatory
Little Miss – again, rather obvious why
Hicup – due to the amount she has really quite violent seeming hicups!
Gammy Eye – due to her blocked tearduct (very common for newborns) which causes her to wake up with a sticky eye
Houdini – because she wriggles out of everything, including even her electronic foot tag at the hospital! Midwife was amazed!
Girl 2 – nice, loving name from her dad there…

+ 6 plays on her actual name (including one that’s poo related. Again, self explanatory after last week’s explosion on my dressing gown! & one that’s dinosaur related – it’s a long story).

The best laid plans…

Tonight, my parents brought dinner round for us with the plan that I’d feed Baby Girl, get her down, eat some dinner then her dad & I would pop across the road for a drink for an hour. We’re not particularly cabin-feverish but we thought it would be nice to take the opportunity.

It’s now 9:30 & we’ve still not made it out the door. Baby Girl has fed three times, been sick – down me – had wind (which makes her cry, so we didn’t like to leave then), a mammoth diaper change… We’ve pretty much resigned ourselves to the fact we’re not going, made some popcorn & we’re putting on a movie.

It’s like Baby Girl knew we were leaving her even for an hour. I’m told this is a very common trait of babies… A sixth sense if you will. I’m told we should get used to it.

Baby Girl’s first growth spurt

She’s 11 days old & already Baby Girl is having her first growth spurt.

After a great week of breastfeeding, this weekend, it was as though Baby Girl forgot how to latch on, which caused a very frustrating two days for both of us. (Thank god for nipple guards or she wouldn’t have fed successfully for two days, I swear!)

We looked it up & this is sign number one of a growth spurt. She’s so hungry that she panics when she comes to latch on. Tell tale sign two: her near routine (we were getting good at baby-led 4 hour feeds on the dot) goes out the window. Again, this is because of the increase in appetite to fuel her growth spurt. On Saturday night I fed her 4 times in 4 hours. My arms were about to drop off!

And today, both her dad & I think her hair is longer & thicker, her face has thinned out a little & she seems even longer when I’m feeding her. It’s amazing how fast they change. I feel like if I blink I’ll miss something.