The time of our lives

It’s been 16 days since B was born and our lives changed gear. (*Eek, three weeks since I started writing this blog post a few days ago!) And yet it feels like he’s always been here. I guess he’s been in existence for 9 and a half months, and in our minds and wishes for years before that. A year ago I couldn’t even imagine him and yet right now I have a two week old baby on my lap, breastfeeding, whilst I try and type out a blog post on the laptop! (Multitasking!)

I started writing this post in my head about a million times but it’s taken me until now (the day after T went back to work after his two weeks paternity leave) to start writing it. We’ve just been having the most amazing time. If I tried to put it all into words I don’t think I could do it justice so I’ll probably end up babbling incoherently. Sorry! I have loads of thoughts whirling around in my head so I’ll try just to put down some first impressions of parenthood.

Proper planning does not prevent p*** poor performance

You can’t really plan for how stuff is going to be (see my birth story, last post). And also you can’t plan for how you’re going to feel. I absolutely haven’t felt like I thought I would. 

For example, I really cared about the birth experience before it happened, and as soon as it did – I didn’t. And I also was really anti having visitors in the first few days – but we ended up having plenty in the first few weeks, and I was totally okay with it. 

The whole thing made me realise that the best laid plans… well, they help, as long as you’re okay with changing them as different things happen. I’m actually glad I went through the thought process of what would happen with the birth, because even though it didn’t happen as I’d planned it, I was able to adjust okay when it did. 

It’s not as hard as people say it is

This is my recurring mantra. I honestly can’t believe how much people drone on about how hard having a baby is, and that hasn’t been my experience at all. Maybe because B was so wanted, or maybe I’ve just adjusted really well, but I haven’t found it hard at all. 

Luckily my healing from the caesarean was pretty easy and I was able to walk the day after (albeit gingerly!) and I was very motivated to get out and about so I was pretty much back to normal by week two. 

And I never expected this but breastfeeding came really naturally to both of us. He definitely has a preference for one boob over the other (I think I have a more difficult angled one!) but he fed as soon as he was able and fortunately I had no pain or issues with giving him milk. I think that has had a huge impact on how I feel about everything because I’m sure if you have problems with it then that can be really stressful. 

The sleep deprivation everyone goes on about isn’t really that bad at all. I am not getting up early for work so it’s not a big deal. I can sleep in for longer in the mornings (when he wants to sleep!) and go to bed later. I am sure it will kick in when I go back to work but right now it’s a fairly straightforward thing – he wakes up, I feed him and/or change him, and we both go back to sleep. 

So really the whole thing has been way more enjoyable than I thought. I’m really loving this part – I think I had really low expectations of sleepless nights and crying babies and it’s really not that bad. And I kind of figure this it is the worst bit so generally I feel really positive about it. 

The funny thing is people always ask how you’re coping like they expect you to be having a terrible time. People can’t believe I was up and about so soon after having a c section. B just sits in the sling and we go all over the place. He is very portable! I think once you get over the nerves of breastfeeding in public, the world is your oyster!

It’s strange how people want to talk about how awful they say / imagine having a baby is. You instantly get people talking about sleepless nights, nappies and endless feeding. And the thing is, they are right. You do have sleep, but it’s just on a different schedule. You do have to change nappies but I have mainly outsourced that to the proud dad, who has taken it as a point of pride to get a clean baby bum! You do get woken up randomly (especially if you have the boobs!) but you don’t really care. 

The thing is, when you’ve waited and hoped this long… You love every moment of it. 


We are family (sing it!)

It feels so awesome to be a family. We already were, with Dog, but I think having a baby just cements that. Dog does not really know what to make of his little brother so far. We’ve done our best to make sure he feels happy, but he’s definitely a bit cautious and subdued. On the plus side for him, we have been at home a lot more than usual and he’s had a lot of extra treats. I am hoping he feels happier soon and he knows he’s still my best dog. 

As soon as I got back to the ward after recovery, T presented me with my “push present”. This was something we had discussed in a kind of jokey way because none of the guys in our NCT (antenatal class) really knew about it. Anyway I told him that it’s traditional to have an eternity ring for your first child, and there so happened to be one I liked… which he duly produced as soon as I was back on the ward!


I’m really happy with it. It’s funny but I’m not even bothered about getting married, as I’ve been married before and I think we are more committed anyway. It is just nice to have a little symbol of our commitment and also obviously our little B as well! (And Dog!)

Another thing I’ve noticed more is that because we aren’t married, B was referred to as “Baby [my surname]” in the hospital. He is taking T’s surname so his surname has effectively changed. It does feel slightly weird him having a different surname to mine, but I feel okay about it. He looks way more like me, and my brother’s kids have our family surname, so it’s not like it’s dying out. He’s the first grandchild on T’s side and probably the only one, so it feels okay that he takes their name. 

The other big thing for us is that B is the child of two adoptees. Which is kind of more crazy for me because T has met his birth mother, whereas I have never met any of my birth family since I was adopted as a baby. It is crazy that B looks so much like me because he’s my first blood relative I’ve ever known. It’s sort of a sad thing and it’s sort of a happy thing. 

You probably don’t need the stuff you think you need

I think it probably is hard to imagine beforehand how you’ll feel. I know I really couldn’t imagine it. Anyway I took all this stuff in to the hospital with me and ended up using hardly any of it! The makeup was extremely optimistic, haha. And I waited until I got home to have a shower. 

I really thought I would care about how I looked but when it came down to it, I didn’t really have the chance to worry too much. After the birth, I said to T that I must look a state but he said no, you look beautiful. I can confirm that I checked later in the bathroom mirror and my hair was sticking up in a matted mess, and I looked absolutely knackered, but I’ll take it!

The other thing is how much stuff you maybe think you need for the baby but you probably don’t need. We haven’t even used the buggy yet and he’s three weeks old! Although he’s quite light now and I can imagine I won’t want to carry him forever! Also, you pretty much just need some basics like nappies, clothes and a sling for the baby and the other stuff can wait… I may do another post for anyone who’s interested!

Also, you will get a lot of stuff you definitely don’t need when you have a baby! I have been well and truly told by T, who laughs his head off at me every time we get another doudou. The backstory is, my go to present for all friends who have babies is a doudou. It is a small animal toy holding a blanket. Now, I was always very proud of this present as one friend I got it for told me that it was his kid’s favourite toy. 

How many doudou have we received?

About five so far. And counting…

Don’t get me wrong. I’m grateful. I really am. I just find it funny that I thought I’d come up with a super original present that everyone likes, and really they are probably thinking, “Oh god, it’s another bloody doudou!” πŸ˜‚

People are so happy for us, which means they’ve been super generous with the gifts, but thank you cards are hard to get round to. I mean it’s three weeks down and I’ve been sort of writing this post in the background and I have hardly got halfway through the thank you cards! It’s nuts. I’m hoping people don’t expect too much of us!

To tell or not to tell

As followers of my blog may know, aside from this (relatively anonymous) blog, I kept my pregnancy off social media. There were lots of reasons for this but mainly it was down to pregnancy after loss and not wanting to count chickens or have to deal with pregnancy discussions when I wasn’t ready for them. 

So aside from people who were invited to my baby shower or who had seen my not inconsiderable bump in real life, most people didn’t know I was pregnant. Which meant that any announcement would come out of the blue. 

T and I debated it and he agreed it was okay for me to announce B’s birth on Facebook. Facebook has an option to add a child to your profile and you also specify the parents so both of you are tagged. T is a lot more private on social media than I am, so we even debated whether he was happy for me to post about B, but we decided it was okay for me to do it and tag him, as long as it went to my subset of friends (as I tend to post just to about a quarter of my friends and not all of them). 

In the end, I made a brief post with a photo of B and it was really nice. We immediately had tonnes of congratulations pouring in. It just felt great after so many years of it never being me, and obviously it’s nice to be celebrating something you are really happy about anyway. So it was kind of awesome and I didn’t really feel like I had missed out on pregnancy congratulations or anything. 

The one thing I did have a bit of an internal debate about was whether to make any comment about our journey to get here. The infertility and operations and ivf and treatment… I’ve seen other announcements referencing these and always kind of thought I would want to highlight this if we ever had our own announcement. Mainly because it’s always hard to see new baby announcements as if it is yet another super fertile couple with an oopsie pregnancy. 

But… in the end I decided not to. It’s hard to explain but I just really want this part of B’s life to be about celebrating and not anything more complicated. I have to respect T’s preference for privacy also. I feel that all my close friends know already about my medical history and also if I discuss it in real life, I always mention how B happened – with a lot of intervention. So I guess it’s a balance of privacy and openness. I want to shout it from the rooftops… but I also want to respect T’s and B’s privacy. 

Speaking of which… I really want to share some photos but with my blog readers rather than the general public. So I’m going to put some photos – for a limited time! I’ll delete them shortly! – on another post, which will be password protected. And I’ve kind of hidden it in the thick of this post so only people who read it will know the password, which is [redacted – mail me and ask nicely!], so please feel free to check them out before they are deleted! πŸ™‚

A final thought… (for now!)

In these halcyon days of B’s early existence in the outside world, I’ve been thinking how long the journey has been to meet him. In my last post, I referenced my very first post where I wondered – way back in April 2015 – whethere we would ever be parents. And that’s nothing compared to the years and years of infertility and operations and pain we had to get here. 

I’ve been working out the stats. I’m not sure exactly what they are and one day when I have time, I will try and work out the exact numbers. But here is (approximately) what it took for us to have B. 

  • 16+ years of infertility
  • 3 operations 
  • 6 hospitals
  • 10 doctors
  • 2 cycles of IVF
  • 19 eggs retrieved
  • 2 transferred embryos
  • 2 pregnancies
  • 1 loss
  • 200 injections
  • 6 intralipid infusions
  • 11 medications
  • 1 caesarean section 

(I was going to add in all the attempts to get pregnant but thought that might be somewhat boastful, haha.)

It’s sort of mind boggling. I don’t believe in religion but I do feel like B is a miracle baby! And I’m so happy he is here. T and I are completely in love. And Dog is getting there! I just feel so lucky and still can’t really imagine this is real.

And here’s the big thought that makes everything worthwhile…

T said the other day that if we hadn’t had all the other attempts then B wouldn’t be B. Any of those other eggs that didn’t get fertilised, or the embryos that didn’t make it, and even our baby we lost were different potential humans. 

And our little baby B who we’ve already come to know and love is a perfect accident of biology, who was helped along by science, and he’s wonderful. 

I didn’t enjoy the waiting and hoping and heartache and wondering if it would never happen, but it has, and life is good. 

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55 comments

  1. My Perfect Breakdown

    I adore every single thing you’ve said in the post! We found the start of Baby MPB’s life relatively easy, just like you in terms of sleep and schedule and going or and about (living in a hotel and flying across North America multiple times was a tad bit stressful though). I think for us that cam down to pure luck, we had a baby who loved sleep and was content when he was awake and so those early weeks were pretty easy. (And he still loves sleep and is content so long as teeth aren’t killing him). As I read about your happiness I cannot help but be reminded of how fortunate I am too. 😊
    All of this is to say, I’m just thrilled for you and your little miracle baby!! ❀❀❀❀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nara

      Thank you! Well just to prove a point, B decided to stay up all night last night and now (afternoon) he’s sleeping soundly in the sling! Haha. What a little bugger! Thing is, he definitely isn’t the best sleeper at night but it’s not a massive problem when I don’t have to go to work during the day. We will definitely have to try and get him to sleep properly once I’m back at work!
      Thank you so much for your good wishes. It does remind me of when you got your little one and how happy you were/are! It’s nice to reminisce! X

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Chancing A Dream

    OMG, so many congratulations to you!!!! I loved this post…will definitely take it with me to read again and again for bits of wisdom (especially the “you don’t need everything you think you do”), now that i’m in the mood to buy all the things for the adoption! Sending you lots of good wishes and can’t wait to hear all about motherhood!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nara

      Thank you! Yes I definitely don’t think you need much for a baby in the first place. Just the essentials! My parents were reminiscing about bringing me home and they said because they had so little notice about picking me up (I was adopted at a few days old), they had hardly any supplies and had to quickly go round the shops and buy some stuff! And they managed okay! πŸ™‚

      Like

  3. sewingbutterfly

    I agree with you! My caesarean recovery was also amazing and easier than people said. The sleeplessness etc was also a lot easier. Breastfeeding however was a complete disaster for us. Went great for 2 weeks and then he just shredded my nipples, wouldn’t latch properly (we had always been a bit 50/50 with it anyway) and then I got severe mastitis…recovered from that but my supply vanished, so formula it has been since 3 weeks old (he is now nearly 10 weeks). At first I cried a lot about not breastfeeding and then I realised that most of my emotions came from other people’s perceptions that I was a bad mother for giving up so ‘easily’, it took a while but I am okay with it now.

    Enjoy your time away from work and all those precious snuggles

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nara

      Well just to make things funnier, B decided not to sleep last night! He’s now snoozing away merrily in the sling (2pm!). The bugger! He is pretty bad at sleeping at night but great at sleeping during the day! I guess you have to have something. Bf is fine for us but I do think sometimes he’s just crying and I’m not sure why. I think maybe wind. Your bf experience does not sound fun at all! I really don’t think that you should feel bad about it. I don’t feel smug (so sorry if it comes across that way), more relieved that it worked okay because I am sure I’d feel stressed if it didn’t (and more palaver with bottles and sterilising and stuff). I don’t think you should feel you gave up easily – it sounds like you tried all you could even though it hurt (eek) and nobody could expect more. I wasn’t breastfed because I was adopted and I’m fine! I think similarly people think it’s “bad” to have a caesarean but I don’t feel bad about it because I had 64hrs labour and I know I tried!! In the end it’s about what’s best for baby, not adults. X

      Liked by 1 person

      • sewingbutterfly

        You didn’t sound smug at all, just relieved πŸ™‚ 64 hours is insane! I didn’t have labour at all, the little bugger was far too comfy and everything we tried failed, my OB still doesn’t know why he never engaged, stubborn baby! I am actually quite calm about the whole formula feeding thing now. I was formula fed myself and I am perfectly normal. I will confess….I don’t sterilise the bottles. We live in a first world country with clean water and I wash in super hot soapy water as well. We haven’t had any issues. My boy sleeps really well at night but awful during the day. It always has to be something, lol.

        I love my wrap/sling, Otto falls asleep in it ALL the time. Perfect for getting stuff done. Sometimes they cry and just want cuddles or to feed for comfort (as we bottle feed our son has a dummy for that). If our son had wind we gave him a warm bath and it seemed to help. So excited for you, we are at 10 weeks today and he gets more interactive every day, his smiles are just the cutest freaking thing on the planet.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Nara

        Haha. Yes I’m the same with the dummies. It feels weird to sterilise everything. I just run it under the tap! He doesn’t use them much though as seems to prefer my finger!
        You’re lucky with night sleeping! Although day sleeping does at least mean you can do stuff… I’ve had some nice lunches! πŸ˜‚
        What sling do you have? I do like mine although I am not convinced it will work until he’s 3! We will be using the pushchair eventually I think. He’s just so portable now! A bath sounds good – our midwife said don’t do it for at least a month, which sounds nuts!
        I can’t wait for him to smile! ☺️

        Liked by 1 person

      • sewingbutterfly

        We bathed him in hospital! Our midwife said to bathe him once a week for the first few weeks, after that so it almost daily as part of his bedtime routine if we can.

        Like

      • Nara

        Oh on formula I read all the stuff on it and apparently the benefits disappear by school age. Main benefit is for health reasons when they’re little (and easier to manage amounts / obesity) but by the time the kids are at school there’s pretty much no difference. Also all the kids in our family were bottle fed as my mum couldn’t bf the bios either. And we are all normal and healthy! I mainly prefer bf because it’s less preparation and easy to do, but I don’t really feel militant about it!

        Liked by 1 person

      • sewingbutterfly

        Yeah, the WHO hasn’t found any long term benefits and the short term benefits I can work around to mitigate the use of formula. When I stopped breastfeeding I think I read nearly every study!

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  4. Arwen

    Love this post! Sounds like b is a relatively easy sleeper so far! Like you I found the early days pure bliss, for the first six months it felt like the easiest most natural thing. I actually just wrote a post about six months onwards and how only then I started to struggle but I don’t have the energy to edit it properly yet hahaha πŸ˜‚
    Mucho love x

    Liked by 2 people

    • Nara

      Haha no he’s a terrible sleeper at night! He prefers to sleep during the day and party all night, the little bugger! Fortunately for him he’s cute so gets away with it, and his mother is off work so it’s not a big deal. Although I’m sure I’ll feel awful when I have to go back if he’s still nocturnal!! I am not looking forward to going back at six months although T has one month off on his own after I go back, so hopefully he will get him into a routine before B goes to nursery! Hope you guys are all well! Xx

      Like

  5. Nora

    He is gorgeous!!! Congratulations, I loved reading about this special time first-hand, it isn’t often that people take the time to share about it. Would love to hear more about the practical stuff too, expecting our baby boy in 10 weeks!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nara

      Thank you! Congratulations on your little boy! The last weeks go pretty quickly I think and once you’re at 37, can happen any time! Do you have a blog? Hope that everything goes great for you!

      Like

  6. Amy M.

    I hate how people always try to bring you down and tell you all this negative stuff about labor or having a baby. When I mentioned being induced on my FB page, so many people told me how horrible it was and lasted for days blah blah blah. But it was fine (except for her fat head getting stuck!) and she was out in 14 hours! I think people just dwell on the negative so much, it drives me nuts! I’m so glad you’re having such an easy time with him! You deserve an easy baby after all you’ve gone through to get him here lol!

    Like

    • Nara

      Yeah everyone said things about caesarean being awful and not being able to walk for 12 weeks or something which was scary as we have lots of stairs! But I’ve been fine as long as I took them slowly in the beginning! You’re right, people love a horror story!
      Unfortunately he’s not exactly an “easy” baby as he doesn’t like to sleep at night! I think it’s just that I don’t mind him waking me up so much, because I’m glad he’s here. Also I don’t have to work now so it’s okay. I’m sure it’ll be awful going back! Also last couple of nights have been difficult as I have antibiotics for the scar and I think they’re disagreeing with him. And he has a blocked nose! It’s horrible listening to him trying to breathe! I’m hoping the doc gives us something to help with it. But otherwise we are good! Hope you and Cadence are well! She’s such a grown up now, I saw her videos!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Amy M.

        For the past month or so C has been waking up with a stuffy nose, I feel bad for her. Especially when it gets stuffy when she’s nursing, I feel like she can’t breathe, yet she just keeps eating lol. I hope B starts sleeping a bit better for you! I can’t remember when she started sleeping decently, I think she was a couple months old. Last night was HORRIBLE!! She was up at LEAST twice an hour between midnight and 6:30am, sometimes more. And she barely napped today, so I’m really hoping she sleeps well tonight!!

        Like

      • Nara

        Argh, I’ve just posted as we are in hospital. 😰 I think it is just being over cautious as he’s so new. But doesn’t feel nice! I guess he’s in the best place.

        Like

  7. Courtney

    What a happy post! You sound so happy!

    I’m like you, the baby just wasn’t hard. People around me talked about how exhausting it was, “sleep when baby sleeps” etc and it just wasn’t an issue at all. I never felt exhausted and the same was true when Bryson came along 2 years later. I truly think that in many cases, the experience is what you make of it.

    You will remind B of those 200 shots some day. When my kids get vaccines, they say, “I’m getting 3, Mommy got more than 100 to have me.”. I don’t correct them that it was 300! πŸ˜‚ Telling them about it really does help them keep their shots in perspective!

    Enjoy that baby!

    Like

    • Nara

      I am happy! 😁 I really am. I think it’s not that it’s all easy, it’s just that I have wanted it for so long so I don’t see it as a major hardship. Although he has been unwell so we are seeing the doc today – he has a blocked nose – which is not fun because you can see they’re suffering and can’t help them. But I do feel generally fine, like I figure I’m off work so it’s not like I have to get up early.
      Haha about the shots! I bet I haven’t even guessed correctly. I had all the IVF ones but I also had the heparin ones (which were awful!) and clexane after the c section so I think 200 is a conservative estimate! πŸ˜‚

      Like

      • Courtney

        I just skimmed your post about poor B. I hope he’s better soon. That sounds just awful.

        I never had heparin – I’ve heard it’s terrible. I thought the progesterone shots were the worst, but the repronex were a close second because they stung so much! Don’t forget your IV’s from immunity treatment… πŸ™‚ They really are intrigued with that many needles once they start getting their own shots – it’s been very helpful to put it in perspective. Not guilt – perspective!

        Like

  8. ourgreatestdesire

    What a fantastic post! I completely agree with you about this parenting thing not being hard right now. I thought it might be because I didn’t physically give birth so I wasn’t exhausted and hormonal from that but I honestly love every moment so far of being A’s Mom. I am just so happy for you all.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Nara

      Aww. I really think the giving birth thing is not the main part! The new human in your life is the big change! I bet it’s awesome being A’s mama. So glad you’re doing so well! X

      Like

  9. mum100blog

    Oh this has made me so so sooooo happy reading this. What a wonderful post about your thoughts and love for B, and for each other. I love what you say about motherhood coming easily to you. I must say, I hear all that stuff about sleepless nights and nappies, and I think I’m not going along with all this! Infertility and IVF kind of changes that, I think. Maybe I’ll think differently in another 20 weeks time about this, but for now, I don’t want to buy into those stories. You enjoy every single moment of this precious time. Same as you, I’m not religious, but our babies are miracles for sure xx

    Like

  10. The Pregnancy Pantry

    Awww congratulations Nara; so happy for you and your beautiful family. After reading your struggles; you must now feel so blessed. I look forward to reading more updates and congratulations to you all again xx

    Like

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