Category: baby

Settling in

Today was B’s first day at nursery (childcare / daycare). Fortunately for me it wasn’t a full day but a “settling in” day. So he was just to go for two hours and that was all. 

We turned up on time (I insisted) and I think they weren’t actually ready for us. Now we live on a big estate and this is the larger of the two nurseries so for various reasons (longer opening hours) we chose this one. But they do seem to be a bit… disorganised. I don’t know if that’s just nurseries or something. I have no experience of it. But it seems a bit chaotic. (Ripe for a bit of business process engineering!) Or maybe I’m just an over anxious first time mother. 

Anyway they were able to do the settling in. First day it’s two hours with parent(s). Next day it’s one hour with parent(s) and one hour left at the nursery and third settling in day is two hours left at nursery. 

There were three other babies when we went to look in the baby room. Although B won’t be in that room because he’ll be in the baby baby room! Ahhh. They’ve just redone it and it looks more like a bedroom / playroom. The next room up is for the babies who can sit up and are starting to toddle. But not many babies go to nursery at B’s age as most mums here take a year off. 

The lady said if there’s no-one in the baby baby room then they’ll go and hang out in the bigger baby room. It struck me that he’s basically starting his school journey! As he’ll be there until 5 (all being well) and then off to school! So crazy to think when he’s only 5 months old. 

B was pretty chilled about it all, but I reckon it’s because we were there and it coincided with his not very fussy time (day time). He looked around a bit, sat on someone’s lap, then fell asleep on someone else’s lap. 

I guess I’m probably more worried about it than he is! 

It’s weird for me right now because I am not really back at work full time. I’ve had to be in the office but I can leave early, plus I can work from home most of the time. For example this week I was in yesterday, and I have to go in tomorrow, but the rest of the week I can work from home. Working and traveling isn’t very pleasant right now as we are in the middle of a heatwave. We Brits love to complain about the weather but it’s truly horrible! We don’t have aircon in most places so we are just all melllllllting like the Wicked Witch of the West…

I think if I was properly back at work I would feel worse, but I feel like I am still with B a lot. And maybe when he goes to nursery full time I’ll feel worse. I think I’ve been lucky so far that I don’t feel we are apart as much as I anticipated and also so far he’s been at home with T when I’m away, so it’s not like I feel bad leaving him with his dad. 

So I guess next week will be the big week. I’ve just been called to work on a bid at work – which is the kind of work where people work long hours instead of the nice quiet time I’ve been having. In one way I’m happy to be back at work doing some actual work. But in another I think… waaah, he’s just too young! I’m trying not to think of it as a bad thing as I don’t want him to feel negative about it. 

We had to fill in loads of paperwork about preferences and care, and it just seemed soooo inefficient but I suppose they need to have a record of stuff. One of the things I am worried about is them not being able to figure out the feeding, as he’s still exclusively breastfed. I had to explain how he has bottles of expressed milk but the issue for nursery is he’s not really in a routine as he’s fed on demand. I hope they manage it as I have made a big effort to pump milk for him and it’s one thing I can do for him when I’m back at work. It’s strange how the small things just seem to matter more now… I would be really upset if he didn’t have my expressed milk for some reason, because it’s been such an effort. 

Trying to put my finger on how I feel right now. I think resigned… I mean I don’t feel as depressed as I thought I would, but I still deeply feel that I would prefer him not to be at nursery and to be with me. I feel that the amount of care given to kids at nursery is so much less… and maybe it’s just an over anxious mother talking, but I just don’t feel they care in the same way. I guess I feel a bit uneasy. Is that normal? I don’t know. 

My hair is falling out!

There’s a lot I could write about the slightly shoddy thing that is my post partum body, but the main thing of note is: my hair is falling out!

I’ve always had lots of hair. It’s the kind of hair my ex used to get annoyed about getting everywhere (because of course you can help your hair, right?!). Now we have a dog, my hair on any normal given day is intermingled with his among the general detritus of the house. 

But post partum my hair is just falling out all over the shop. 

I didn’t really worry at first because I have a lot of hair. I’ve always had a lot of hair. 

But lately it’s gotten beyond a joke. I first noticed a few strands were coming out but that was normal. 

Then when I brushed my hair, there was so much on the brush that I had to bin it every time instead of once every few times… but I thought that was because – with a new baby – I didn’t brush my hair as often so it was a bit knotty. 

Anyway in the last few weeks (B is now 22 weeks, 5 months old) my hair has started falling out in clumps. It’s everywhere!

I wonder how much I’ll be left with? I’m sort of hoping I can get by with less hair (as I always had a lot) and/or my hair is regenerating!

Although a friend of mine said hers never recovered after having her two kids…

Of course any amount of bodily discomfort is worth it because I had our miracle baby. And we are so happy being parents! I still thank my lucky stars every single day. Any complaining seems a bit… ungrateful. 

But I really would quite like to still have hair…

That nursery rhyme is sexist!

It wasn’t until I had a baby that I realised how sexist the traditional nursery rhymes are. Especially The Wheels On The Bus!


 

The wheels on the bus go round and round…

The mummies on the bus go chatter chatter chatter…

The daddies on the bus go shhh shhh shhh…

I’m sure there are lots more examples although I’ve tried to block a fair few out of my mind… (The Farmer Wants A Wife springs to mind!)

On a slightly related note, I realised how much I like singing and clapping along to the B-I-N-G-O song. 

There was a man who had a dog and Bingo was his name-o

B – I – N – G – O

B – I – N – G – O

B – I – N – G – O and Bingo was his name-o!

(Repeat ad nauseam)

You can thank me for the earworm later…

Halfway somewhere

I seem to have fallen into a strange in between life. I’m supposed to be back at work, and for all intents and purposes I am, but my work has decided that they can’t really accommodate a breastfeeding mother, so I’ve been told to work from home when I don’t have meetings. 

It means I sort of feel like I’m back at work, but I sort of still feel like I’m on maternity leave because I’m at home like before. My friend sent me flowers to commiserate my first week at work and I felt like a bit of a fraud! But lovely flowers!


It means I’ve pulled back a bit from the SAHM / maternity leave group of people as I was going back to work, and yet I’m not really back at work yet because I’m still at home a lot of the time, so it’s a sort of limbo. 

My slightly grey mood is probably also a result of staying up late to watch the General Election last night – I feel like my brain is in a bit of a fog! (For those not in the UK, we had an election and there’s now a hung parliament which means nobody won with enough majority to govern on their own – so there’s change ahead.)
So I’m spending the majority of my time since being back at work, working from home. Of course I’m thrilled to spend more time with baby B, and Dog, and T. T thought he was going to be a single dad for a while but that hasn’t really happened. I did go into work to meet my boss and so T took B for the day to see his parents.

I met with my boss and he confirmed he wanted me to work on some internal stuff for a while, but because of the whole pumping thing I ended up leaving early and so T wasn’t home from his parents’ place so I felt kind of emotional to be wandering around by myself knowing my baby wasn’t at home. On the plus side I got to spend a bit of time with Dog, who probably feels a bit neglected by me lately (although I think he enjoys not being grabbed and cuddled all the time as I think he found it annoying!). 

So after the meeting with HR, they arranged a pumping room for me at work, which I duly used when I went to meet my boss. They actually banned me from using the disabled bathroom so that’s one thing. Which I can cope with, as it wasn’t particularly pleasant. However the pumping room is not exactly ideal either. I felt during the HR meeting (with three people) it was kind of trying to force me to accept the solution, which was that they make a meeting room slightly private for me but I have to give them 24hrs notice and I also have to tell them the exact times I want to pump on any given day. Anyone who’s pumped knows that’s not an ideal situation but I accepted it and I tried it when I went to meet my boss. For reference, the legal obligations are here: http://www.acas.org.uk/media/pdf/b/s/Acas-guide-on-accommodating-breastfeeding-in-the-workplace.pdf

The room they’ve given me is a small teleconference room. It’s actually fine size wise. It has a desk which means at least I didn’t have to put anything on the floor. And a power socket as the pump I have (Medela Swing Maxi) is a battery eater otherwise – it takes 6 AAA batteries for 1.5hrs pumping which is like three sessions! The problem with the room is that they don’t have a lock and it also has a big window (partly frosted opaque) which needs covering up. So their solution is to use 2 pieces of flipchart paper and to put a sign on the door saying not to come in, and then give me a doorstop to wedge in so people can’t open the door easily should they choose to ignore the sign! All this stuff needs taking down and reinstating in between sessions!

Anyway, I decided I would ask for a morning session just after I arrived at the office and then a lunchtime session. I’d leave early so didn’t do a late afternoon session. The whole thing worked okay, but I just get so much less milk during pumping at work than I do when I’m at home. 


I managed 2oz each session when I tend to get around 4oz or more from each side when I pump at home in the early evening. It took longer too. It just felt like a lot of work and hassle to do but then I guess I hadn’t done a full day’s work and also I haven’t done it at that time each day, so my body isn’t used to it then (and when I’m home with B, he doesn’t drink so much during the day). 

What I’m finding difficult about it is that if I’m partly working from home then I don’t really get into a routine with it. If I’m home with B then I’m not pumping as he just gets it from source, although I often try and do a pumping session in the evening to stock up so T can give him one bottle a day. 

Obviously when he’s at nursery he’ll need more than that, so I’m just trying to figure out when I’m going to pump to supply that. I’m feeling a bit confused by the whole thing because of the lack of routine that I thought I’d have when I went back to work.

I’m glad to be back at work in a way, in that everyone at my work is very nice. I’m kind of concerned about it because I don’t feel that I have enough to do right now, and maybe people find it weird I’d complain about not having enough work, but I sort of feel like if I’m going back and foregoing more maternity leave, I should be busy and doing well so I can get promoted etc etc! 

I just feel a bit torn between lives right now, but I suppose that’s normal. And I’m very lucky my job is allowing me all the working from home time. I guess they’ve kind of had their hand forced because they can’t accommodate the breastfeeding, but I still seem to get on well with my boss so I’m hopeful we can continue to have a good relationship. I guess I just want it to be worth going back to work. I don’t want to miss out on B for nothing.

Also, I think the going back to work has precipitated a change in my relationship with the local mums. Over the past few weeks I was kind of getting a little frustrated with them, because they cancel things at the last minute and don’t commit to things. I think maybe we are just different sorts of people but when I make an arrangement to meet up, I expect it to go ahead unless someone’s sick or something. Nowadays they seem less keen to meet up – maybe they just hate me! But also I find they only confirm stuff at the last minute or they cancel stuff the day before. 

Maybe it’s because my time off was more precious to me that I more wanted confirmation of what we were doing, but anyway, it has gotten to the stage where I kind of feel like we are not on the same page. The two mums I was most friendly with are more friendly with each other, as they live really close. And one of them especially is kind of making a bid to be one of the leaders of the local mums… This is the one I used to hang out with a lot. 

She tends to cancel stuff at the last minute and I just feel that she’s gotten a better offer. I’m fairly laid back but after a few times I started finding it annoying. She’s also very competitive in terms of sending updates on what her baby’s doing, and buying stuff for the baby, and I’m just not into it.

I think the main thing that happens as the babies get older is that you realise that you all have different parenting styles and maybe that means you have less in common than you thought. I really felt like I got on with them all but everything with them seems a bit more high stress, with routines and so on. We haven’t had much trouble with B because we just kind of go with the flow. I never try and put him to bed early, and I guess we are what you’d call attachment parents, we co sleep and babywear, so he’s not really a big crier and he’s just generally an easy baby.

I say this not to sound smug but more to illustrate that we aren’t very organised parents or set in our ways… He just hangs out with us and we haven’t changed our routines too much. We still go to bed late and because we are off, we get up pretty late too. It means we don’t get up at 5am like the other mums seem to do. (I’m so glad as I can’t cope with 5am wake ups.) I think maybe they think I’m lazy or something because we don’t have all these fixed things we do, and I can’t relate to the constant stress they seem to have. 

Some people don’t even seem to enjoy having a baby – it’s like they are obsessed with trying to escape on a night out. I don’t feel I’m missing out at all – perhaps because I never thought we’d get to be parents. I don’t think that makes me a better person; just a different one. But anyway, I sense a distance growing between us.

Because T and I have both been off I’ve had a different experience too – they do a lot of mum stuff but I don’t do much of it as I feel it would be mean not to include T when he’s off too. It makes you realise how much parental stuff is left to the mums. I also can’t understand why mothers complain about it because it’s great. Maybe it’s great where we are in London, but there’s so much to do that socially you really wouldn’t suffer being a mum, unless like me you are going back to work. There’s stuff for mums and babies every single day. And loads of places you can go, and classes and so on. I actually feel exhausted just thinking about what some of them do. I think even if I was alone at home I’d want days where I just relax at home!

So overall, I think I feel a bit like going back to work has been an anticlimax. Right now I’m not fully back at work and I’m not at home on maternity leave any more, so I’m sort of stuck between two worlds. I don’t think I’m depressed or anything, but my mood has been a bit down over the past week, because of the whole back to work thing and then feeling like I’m half and half. 

I’m the sort of person who likes to go in 100% on things, and the problem is right now I’m spread thinly between both. I need to figure out how to be happy with the balance. 

Quite honestly I wish I could stay at home full time with B, but it’s not possible financially. And I should be grateful that I have a job with a sympathetic company which will allow me to work from home and relax a bit and still get a good salary! Maybe when we’ve moved house – hopefully next month – I will be able to relax into the new reality.

How not to pump at work

Aka what to do when your company hasn’t quite figured out how to accommodate the breastfeeding laws… Plus pictures!

Yesterday I had my first day in the office. It wasn’t quite a full day – I only had one meeting so I left early. I was catching up with a new manager in my team who may well end up being my (sub team) manager. My boss had said don’t bother coming in until we meet on Tuesday, and to work from home, but I said I’d try and meet this new manager as I wanted to use the time wisely and I really don’t have much (any!) work to do at home. 

The new manager is a woman (rare in my industry!). I actually interviewed her even though she’s about two grades above me. My boss tends to send me to do the cultural / female interview! As I love my company and so they usually want to work there after I’ve talked with them! (I wasn’t the deciding factor. More of an add on so a woman interviewing wouldn’t see only men!)

Anyway. It was kind of illuminating. For one thing, I got much more of an insight into the company’s stance on pumping for breastfeeding mothers. Turns out nobody has asked for it before! I suppose the law only came in relatively recently. 

The Equality Act 2010 states that it is illegal to discriminate against breastfeeding mothers. In practice this means that employers need to provide a room with a lockable door for breastfeeding and ideally with a power socket. It also means people can’t prevent you from feeding in shops and cafés, etc. 

Most clients have a suitable space in the shape of a meeting room or a first aid room. But our base office doesn’t. It’s not that fancy an office as we are a client facing business so most people who work at the company are usually out on client site. I had suggested to HR and the office manager that I could use one of the small meeting rooms and they could stick some paper over the window. But there’s no lock on the door… 

The HR woman (probably the first HR woman I’ve gotten on with so well!) was super apologetic and said that she’s told my boss they couldn’t accommodate breastfeeding mothers in that office so I should be allowed to work from home! The office manager agreed and she’s seven months pregnant and said she wouldn’t stand for it!

For my meeting, the first meeting in over four months, I had a good catch up with the new manager. She’s in her 50s and has kids and seemed relatively sympathetic. She said I definitely shouldn’t work longer hours than contractual hours, which was refreshing. (Official working hours are 9-5 but nobody ever works this. But I would have to leave at 5 or soon after to get back in time to pick up B from nursery, once he’s there all day.)

The kind of weird thing was that she said she’d gone back at 6 weeks each time she had a baby as she had to, being the main breadwinner*. And she said she didn’t need to pump at work. Apparently her breasts just adjusted and didn’t leak milk or whatever and she fed her kids when she was at home. (*I am too but didn’t feel the need to say this! But it’s the reason I am going back to work instead of being a SAHM which I would love to be.)

Now it’s a fairly recent development but B is kind of showing signs of moving towards reverse cycle feeding. He has a big feed or two at night and less during the day. So I thought in time this might happen, especially as B has been really bottle resistant. (We have tried giving him one small bottle of expressed milk a day and he typically takes 1-2oz under sufferance! And I mean sufferance! Screaming!)

However when I was out yesterday, he ended up taking way more than usual from T via the bottle. Almost 5oz in 3 bottles! When he seems only to snack during the day lately and he always resists the one bottle a day we try to give him, so this was unexpected. I was thinking maybe 1-2oz not almost 5. I don’t know if he was comforting with the bottle but he’s pretty good at self soothing with his thumb now he’s realised where it is!

So to provide for a day like that in expressed milk, I would most likely have to express during the work day. Currently I express in the early evening when I’m at home, but I feed him a little bit during the day so it makes sense that I’d have to pump at least once during the day to provide that for the next day. Today I pumped once at work and once at home. But if I do the pumping when I’m back at work, I would really rather do it at work as I want to spend the time at home re-bonding with my son, not pumping. 

I think what this woman was saying was that her kids had formula when she went back to work. This is not what B is used to, and until today he wouldn’t even take more than 2oz under sufferance. I am really reluctant to give him formula given this is the only thing my body managed to get right! It’s all very well this manager woman saying she didn’t need to express milk, but I currently do! 

The thing that really annoyed me a bit was apparently she said this to my boss when he asked her, as she’s The Other Woman in the team. (“I didn’t need to express milk so she shouldn’t really need to and so you don’t really need a room for it.” Paraphrase.) Err that’s not how it works, honey! B is exclusively breastfed and he’s drinking/ feeding during the day – so I need to pump. Whether they like it or not. It’s protected by law! 

It kind of gets my goat when women are not all sisterhood-like about these things. It does us a disservice when there’s always one woman going “Don’t make allowances for women because I didn’t need them and I was fine!” I mean, she was nice and all but perhaps a bit old school in that way of showing how kick ass she is, how she didn’t need breastfeeding laws and whatnot. I appreciate previous generations had it harder, but why should we not want positive change?

My boss – who I’ve always adored in a work way and get on really well with – is apparently really stressed in general due to our targets and reorganisation and is really p*ssed off that this is one more thing that needs to be accommodated, and that our office doesn’t have the facility. (Now since I’ve been away four months they’ve built a whole new canteen so I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect one small locking private room with power source!) It was definitely a bit demoralising to hear he’s not happy although the manager lady and HR assured me it’s not personal and he still likes me. 

I felt a bit upset as I was kind of a bit of teacher’s pet before I left and I don’t really want that to change! I feel like I’ve made a massive effort coming back so soon (most women here take a year) and they didn’t pay me for maternity leave so the least they could do is appreciate my effort! So I have to wait and see what he has in mind for me to work on, when we meet on Tuesday. We shall see. 

Anyway, I figured since I had brought all my pumping stuff I should give it a go. They had no room so I went in the disabled bathroom. I felt like I was well prepared with all my pumping gear and no idea!

Turns out that it is pretty horrible to pump in the disabled loo… Having done it once, I can totally see why HR didn’t recommend it. It was really difficult and it made me realise how much you depend on oxytocin and feeling relaxed to get the milk flowing! Suffice to say standing around in the disabled loo is not conducive to those warm smushy feelings!

Anyway, without further ado I give you: My day in pictures! This captures the full horror of pumping in the disabled bathroom… An experience I’d rather not repeat!

I left Baby B sleeping after feeding, around 08:00. You can see Tiger from our babymoon in the corner of his cot. It felt so hard to leave him. His little chubby legs!

My work outfit. It’s a Friday so I wore jeans! I’m a bit bad in that I often wear black jeans because I kinda think they just look like trousers anyway. My Sarah Wells pumping bag is in the bottom left corner. Check out the disabled loo! It’s nice and big but…


My Sarah Wells bag contains the Pumparoo (which you buy separately). If there is one thing I’d recommend pumping mums get, it’s the Pumparoo. Quite aside from the fact it’s in one of my favourite naval motifs, it is super handy for occasions just like this. It is a fabric bag which has a large waterproof zipped compartment and a smaller zipped compartment, plus a clip on/off “staging mat” (see next pic) and it folds up small when not in use. The idea is you can put your used pump parts in the office fridge in between pump sessions and you don’t need to sterilise more than once a day. 

The staging mat clips off the side with poppers and has one waterproof side. It means you have a clean surface to put your pump parts on. Believe me if you’re in a public bathroom you need this!


It was trickier than I thought getting everything set up. I do this every day at home but I have plenty of space there. I found it quite stressful!

At home I am very relaxed and I don’t have any issue getting milk out most of the time. At work, people were waking past and there was lots of noise and it took ages to get half of what I usually get. I tend to get 8-10oz in 15 min and at work I did 4.5oz in half an hour. It was a bit demoralising. But also I don’t know if my body’s used to making milk in the evening which is when I usually pump. So maybe I’m not used to milk making at lunchtime! B usually eats just little snacks during the day. 

It wasn’t much fun during this time as initially nothing was coming out and also people were making loads of noise outside the bathroom. I kept wondering if someone would be rattling the door handle trying to get in or wondering if I was depriving an actual disabled person from using the bathroom. (There aren’t any in our office as far as I know.)
 

It was pretty difficult and uncomfortable in the end. The disabled loo has no seat so I had to perch on the edge of the toilet seat, or stand up. I could hear people going past and it just didn’t get me in the zone. I kept worrying someone would come in. Turns out having a lock is important! But also knowing someone won’t try to get in is also important!

Anyone who has breastfed or pumped knows that you have to release oxytocin (“the love hormone”) to release the milk. When you’re with your baby, you naturally release it. When you’re pumping, you need to think of your baby. The pump bag even has a little pocket to put a picture of your baby in for that very purpose. 

When I left home that morning – I realised I’d forgotten the blasted ice blocks! The Sarah Wells pump bag has a section that is separate from the rest of the bag which acts as a cool bag. 

So what was I to do with all my hard earned milk?

Well, my office provides free soft drinks…


On the plus side, when I got home all the boys were pleased to see me. B was crying and he stopped as soon as he saw me. It made me feel happy!

A brief reprieve

So tomorrow (Wednesday 31 May, 2017) is meant to be my final day of maternity leave. Actually Monday 22 was meant to be my first day back at work, but I took annual leave to eke it out until the beginning of June. Somehow that seemed easier. 

My boss had told me he didn’t want me to go back to my previous client and to go to our base office instead. It’s 1hr away instead of half an hour so not ideal, but hopefully I’ll be back on a client soon. (My last client was a bit… interesting, and probably doesn’t warrant me working on them full time.) 

So I was calling around HR and the office manager to see if they’d get me a room for pumping (as per UK law for breastfeeding mothers). The office manager told me she had told my boss they don’t have anything suitable and so I should work from home!! 

Now ordinarily I’d think this is a great idea but realistically it’s just not going to work. The whole point of me going back to work is to get back to my career and do a good job and hopefully get promoted. Much as I’d like to sit around in the sun at home, my job is based on client work or being in the base office and other than occasional wfh Fridays it’s not really practical to spend all your time at home. 

I said I was totally willing to give it a go in our office. There’s a small videoconference room / phone booth I could use but there’s no lock on the door so they’d have to put a sign on (“Do not enter under any circumstances”) and there’s the small matter of papering over the window, but I was willing to try it. 

Thing is, this is a job that pays more than I’ve ever been paid and it’s miles better than my old one (no obvious misogyny/ possible racism for starters!) so I want to try and do well at it and keep it!

Anyway the office manager was completely against it and told my boss that it was unacceptable. (I think the law is in the UK that they need to give you a private room with a lockable door and power source… that’s not a disabled bathroom. Or something.) I said I didn’t mind trying it. As I said, realistically my job is not one you can do from home in the long term so I need to try and do something that works in the longer term. 

So my boss calls me and says he doesn’t want me to come into the office yet as he doesn’t think we can accommodate the pumping… so to work from home for my first few days until I meet him on Tuesday! I think he’s afraid I’ll sue them or something. 

So that’s three days I get back. I mean, I’m not sure how I can really work from home other than checking my emails… and maybe do an online course or something… but really. Not much work to do. 

It’s a strange feeling as I’d psyched myself up to start work in two days on Thursday and now I don’t have to go in until Tuesday. But to an office that’s an hour away rather than half an hour. With no pregnancy bump to use to get a seat! Ah well… We shall see. 

Some photos… mainly of food!

So… a few days reprieve! I’ll take it!

Mother’s Day (video)

Mother’s Day in the UK was a while ago, but I saw this video on Facebook from the Today show and it made me cry. 

Mother’s Day message – Today
Everything has changed for us with the arrival of baby B, after many years of infertility, medical intervention and loss. This time last year I had just got my positive pregnancy test for B and I was so scared it was going to go the same way as our previous year’s pregnancy, little PB who was lost to miscarriage. 

For Mother’s Day here in the UK I posted this message on Facebook, with a picture of my mum with me and one of her with baby B.  

“It’s my 39th Mother’s Day as a daughter and my first as a mother. Heading to see my mum, who first met me when I was a few days old and has loved me ever since. She’s now [Grandma] to B but she’ll always be [Mum] to me. 

Both of us had a long and difficult journey to be a mother. Thinking of all the mothers out there today, especially the mothers without children and children without mothers. I promise not to take it for granted. ❤”

I hope for anyone who finds this day difficult that you know that we see you. And I hope that next year you’ll be celebrating Mother’s Day with happiness.

Things I want to remember 


I’ve been a mother for almost seven weeks and I don’t know where the time has gone. I think I’m still in the phase where I can’t quite believe that it’s happened, but it has. Our lives have changed irrevocably and I’m still in a state of disbelief that finally it has happened for us. 

Here’s the thing: Every drop of this life is precious. I never thought this day would come so I didn’t spend a whole lot of time thinking about it other than in the abstract. But here I am, living it. I’m snatching time to write this blog when it’s past 1am and B is snoozing in his side sleeper cot next to me. And on the other side, T and Dog are snoring away. I couldn’t be happier. 

I only get four months off before I go back to work and I can already see it slipping away and I kind of want to stay in this bubble forever. A secret: Everything is so much easier than I’d been led to believe. I’m not sleep deprived. I don’t feel exhausted. Breastfeeding is relatively easy. Weight seems to be coming off. 

The way people talk about new motherhood and being a parent is that it’s a massive drag. I had super low expectations. I kind of thought it was a means to an end before the real fun started (when the kid could walk and talk) but I’ve been blown away by how much I enjoy it. 

I absolutely didn’t think I’d be a natural mother. And yet if I didn’t have a decent job that pays the bills, I’d be tempted to jack it all in and spend every waking moment being B’s mum. I wonder if I have a massive dose of hormones or something making me go all doolally. What happened to the stone cold hearted me? I’m not sure. I’m kind of mushy nowadays. 

I love him being here. My only biological relative. He looks like me. My genes. I’ve never had that before. Being adopted, never knowing a relative who looks like me – it’s a huge thing. Life changing. 

I think it’s been easier for me to adjust partly because breastfeeding has been pretty smooth. Of course there are some teething problems (not literally!) but on the whole it came naturally to us and B has put on loads of weight! He was 5.44kg a few days ago, up from his birth weight almost seven weeks ago of 3.61kg. 

My friends from NCT have all had problems breastfeeding so I’ve been really lucky. Although they all had easy births so they joke I was due something easy! All but one of the babies has been born although we think the last one has just been born but not announced. B was the second biggest at birth. The only caesarean! It means he has a nice unsquashed head! Also the only boy so lots of girlfriends to choose from! (I’ve told him it’s perfectly fine to have a boyfriend!)

I don’t feel smug. Maybe it is because we wanted him so much. I don’t take any of it for granted. To be frank, I really doubted I’d even be able to breastfeed so it surprised me it came so naturally. And gradually other “hippy dippy” stuff has snuck in. I’m totally not the mother I expected! I can’t let him cry and I carry him around a lot. My Earth mother friend (you know who you are, haha) finds this hilarious, I think. I keep messaging her one more concession to earth-motherdom so I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before I become a full blown hippy!

We kind of have a focus group because of NCT, our antenatal class, where all babies have been born within a few weeks of each other. It’s been really interesting especially as one of them who I’ve mentioned before is really negative. I sort of feel like it is my job to perk them up a bit! (Not her though. She’s beyond redemption. She whines about everything.) 

It’s interesting because I feel like our experiences are similar but how we experience it is different. Like if you look at it, I actually had the most traumatic birth. I also got an infected c section scar and B ended up in hospital with bronchiolitis. So really we’ve probably had more than the others to deal with but we do seem to be the most happy. 

I think I just expected it would be really hard and it’s much less hard than I expected, so I feel kind of giddy rather than depressed. Like the sleep isn’t that bad if you don’t have to get up and go to work! And I’m used to interrupted sleep because Dog sleeps in the bed and regularly shuffles about! And although I do get tired feeding during the night, I think of it as a phase that will pass. 

I just don’t resent it at all. I feel hugely lucky to be able to be doing this. I just never thought I would get the opportunity and I love it. And the hard part won’t last forever. The others have talked about how they’ve been crying and stuff and I haven’t done that at all, not through stress or exhaustion. Only slightly teary eyes through a bit of happy emotion!

The other funny thing: Other people’s babies leave me kind of cold. I have met some great friends through NCT. Out of the seven couples in our group, I’m good friends with two of them and we recently added a third to our “splinter group” (after a gruelling audition process, haha). I get on great with them but I definitely have that thing where I love my baby but I am not gaga for other people’s. I like them but I don’t go mad for them like others do. I guess the baby madness only extends to my own! But it’s great to have some friends in the same position. We meet up once or twice a week. B actually has a better social life than I do!

And I’ve done things I didn’t think I’d do. One of my friends persuaded me to try Baby Sensory classes. It’s so odd and I laugh to myself thinking of what my team would say if they could see me singing “Say Hello To The Sun” (with actions). I didn’t think I’d be mad on breastfeeding but I am. I feel like I want to do it for a year if I can. I’m going to have to pump when I go back at four months. I want to do that for him. And I wear him in a sling a lot of the time. I really didn’t see myself doing that but it just makes sense. I’ve even ordered a wrap to try! I’ve gone full on Earth mother! I’ll probably be puréeing his food later!

So yeah. I’m in a baby haze. I’m not bored. I don’t resent him. I don’t dislike this phase at all. I’m loving it. 

We reached the six weeks milestone which T was avidly waiting for! We had to mark it in the way of resuming (extra)marital relations! It was kind of comical and kind of reassuring it all still works. On the plus side, an emergency c section means my pelvic floor seems fine! Don’t think my stomach will ever be the same though! The weight has dropped off but I still have a saggy stretch marked pouch. I suppose the caesarean does that. I thought I would really upset about it but I’m not letting it bother me now. That saggy stripey pouch gave me my baby! 

They keep asking in hospital and appointments about contraception. We discussed it and I said I wasn’t worried as it never happened for 16 years. T said, “I didn’t realise we were having another baby!” Truthfully I would see it as a miracle but I really don’t yearn for another child. I am over the moon at this one. And there is no way I would put myself through the mental and physical pain again, if we were actively to try. I think we are just going with “What happens, happens” approach! So B will be an only child then!

So B is here and I think of him as perfect. I wonder what he will be like as he gets older. He’s outgrown two, almost three sizes of clothes. I realised that the sizes on clothes don’t correspond to ages at all! He’s in 0-3 months now at 1.5 and I can’t see him getting much more wear out of them!

The grandparents are super proud. Both sets are loving it. My folks come round once a week roughly and they just want to hold him and grin. It’s been great though. A very bonding experience for us. I’ve found myself talking to them about adoption a lot. That’s probably a whole other post. I can’t believe B is now older than I was when I went to live with my parents. He’s still so tiny and he still needs me so much and he will only settle being with me. I think of the few days old me and wonder how that must have felt to me. My parents are actually really great about talking about this stuff. I think they realise in a way that having B has given me a lot of peace. 

My sister is still pregnant! I’m so glad. I was dreading how it would pan out if it went wrong but they are approaching the halfway mark. And she’s having a girl! Which means I get to buy girl stuff for her kid so I don’t miss out on girly things. Truth be told I love having a boy. Although I’m sure in future I’ll be able to take my niece to do the girly things! Spa days and afternoon teas hopefully. Although no reason why B wouldn’t like those things!

My brother has been having a really difficult time. The other siblings and my parents and I have tried to help but he is at the point where he refuses any help. My folks are so upset. I think partly it is pride as he wants to provide for his family himself. Also I’ve said on here before, I always called him The Golden Child as he had a charmed life. He’s in his thirties and this is the only bad thing that has ever happened to him. But it’s really bad. 

I feel bad for ever feeling jealous of him because I wouldn’t wish this on anyone. (His child has a serious health problem.) We are all trying to help but I don’t know what we can do when he keeps refusing. (Including financial help.) We are just all hoping that they can get help and that things aren’t as bad as we are fearing as right now everything is unknown. It is really sobering as I know that this time last year I was feeling terrible that our previous baby’s due date fell around his baby’s christening. So much has changed in a year. 

My other friend is still going through chemo but the good news is that the tumour has shrunk! I’m really hoping this is it for her. She’s had a tough time dealing with chemo as she’s been really ill. I’m very aware that we’ve had this huge exciting wonderful thing happen in our lives but others are dealing with some horrible stuff. We are just trying to be there for her. 

So that’s a bit of an update typed on iPhone in the middle of the night. People ask what I do all day and I reply, we are so busy but I’m not sure what we are actually doing. Being a family. We were three and now four. Dog is being a big brother. We have new roles. I’m learning how to be a Mama. 

In the blink of an eye more weeks will have passed. I already can’t remember what it felt like to be pregnant… I know I had years and years of pain before then but it feels like that is healing. Just as the scar from my caesarean is healing, so is the pain of infertility, the pain of thinking I could never have this, and the pain of losing our first baby. I can still remember it but it’s not such a deep stabbing pain any more. And the other pains I’ve experienced in my life… the sadnesses… They all pale in comparison to the love and happiness I’m feeling now. 

Baby listmania

So I said I’d do a post for those who are interested on what we actually needed / have used for the baby (B) versus what I thought we would need. This has been sitting in my draft posts for ages so I’m going to post it! 

(I have about a million thoughts and feelings swirling around in my head that I need to blog about, but somehow don’t seem to be able to formulate much right now. Suffice to say we are really enjoying parenthood. It’s better than I’d hoped for. I really hope all my friends still in the trenches get to experience this. I’ll try and do a post on that stuff soon, if I ever get comprehensible.)

So, recommendations for Stuff. I know all babies are different yadda yadda and we are definitely not experts or the first people in the world to have a baby! So feel free to ignore!

In fact both T and I were amazed we didn’t really need a lot of stuff in the first place, although you do need to go out to the shops fairly early on. This was quite easy for us as we have shops onsite on our estate plus other larger shops just outside in the town, so it wasn’t difficult and was a good excuse to get out of the house in week 1. 

Anyway, I’ve broken it down into a few categories and we’ll see how it goes…

Hospital bag and antenatal stuff 

I really think we ended up bringing a lot of unnecessary stuff! But I had gone off lists from NCT (antenatal class) as we had no idea. I think they’re slightly into overstating it as we traveled fairly light and it was fine. 

What you need:

  • Hospital notes. (I kept forgetting these – best to leave them in your bag!) In the UK they ask you for these at every appointment and tire meant to carry them around with you so may as well stick them in your bag. 
  • Something to sleep in x2. You will probably labour in something else and you don’t want to sleep in that later. I took vest / shorts as that’s what I sleep in. I just got a couple of cheap sets in a larger size than pre pregnancy size. 
  • Something to labour in. I brought a swimsuit / tankini but didn’t end up using the birthing pool due to the birth not going according to plan. I just wore the t shirt I was wearing to the hospital and pants. I thought I would care what I was wearing but I really didn’t!
  • Pants! (Not trousers – knickers / panties) Ideally big enough to fit hospital pads in, which are huge. They give you disposable ones in hospital. I had also bought some disposable ones but they were awful – too big – so I preferred wearing my own normal pants, which are bikini style so can just about take a big pad. I later bought some “granny pants” (big knickers!) to wear during recovery… well, more (seamfree) boy shorts than anything else. I’m still wearing them five weeks on! They do help with healing after a c section as my normal bikini pants aggravated the scar. 
  • Maternity pads. They did provide some in hospital but the ones I brought myself were better – they had sticky on and the hospital ones didn’t, and were a better shape. NB In Boots (UK) they have two types. You need the big thick ones initially but then you can use the smaller thinner ones by week 2. TBH I have not been able to work out much difference between maternity pads and normal pads, except you want long ones. So Always Night are also fine. And eventually, pantyliners are fine (end of week 2 / beginning week 3 for me).  
  • Slippers. I brought some fold up ones shaped like mice that my best friend got me for Christmas!
  • Dressing gown. I brought a light maternity one which I got in the Mothercare sale for £7. Hospital was sooo hot so it was good I didn’t bring a heavy one but nice to wear rather than the open back hospital robes!
  • Nursing top and bra. Came in handy for when we had visitors. 
  • Something easy to slip on to sit around once you are up and to travel home in. I really didn’t want tight fitted stuff as I had a caesarean. I wore tracksuit trousers or maternity jeans, t shirt, coat / sweater, slip on shoes (I live in TOMS). 
  • Basic toiletries like toothbrush/toothpaste, hairbrush. 
  • Contact lenses if you wear them!
  • Bottles of water and bendy straws. This was a tip from the midwife and we drank the entire 12 pack. Straws definitely came in handy when I couldn’t easily sit up / was nursing. 
  • Camera. You’ll want to take pictures. Also camera phone but now is the time to take the proper pics. 
  • Chargers. All of the chargers for phone, etc. 
  • iPhone. I have become dependent on it. iPad is too big / heavy when dealing with baby!
  • Baby bag (see below). 
  • Car seat. Make sure you know how to fit it in the car and also how to put baby in! We almost didn’t and had a mini argument in hospital about how to do it!
  • Blanket. For baby in car seat and you can also use it in hospital if you’re staying in. I now leave that blanket in the car. I also have a collection of blankets like one on the sofa, one in the cot, one in the baby bag, pram, etc. 
  • Optional: Contraction counter app. I had this on my iPhone and used it linked to my Apple Watch to time contractions. It did help with this setup as it got to the point where I couldn’t really speak. 

What you don’t need that I took:

  • Breast pads. You don’t need them until your milk comes in which is Day 3ish and I didn’t stay in that long. But I guess you’d need them if you did. When you do need them – Lansinoh are far and away superior. The own brand ones didn’t stick properly and bunch up. 
  • Vast quantities of toiletries. I didn’t end up using them. Thought I would but waited until I got home for a shower as I didn’t want to leave B alone. Maybe a bit crazy as they had showers but it was fine for me to wait. 
  • Makeup – ha! Totally expected to want to wear it but don’t think I even thought about it until week 2. I felt fine. Must’ve been new mother glow! Confession: Didn’t brush my hair until day 2. Was needed after labour!
  • Snacks. They said we’d want them but I really didn’t bother with much.They have food at hospital and I was just too busy. It maybe depends how long you stay in but B was delivered late Sunday night and we just stayed in Monday then left on Tuesday so didn’t eat much. I had a bag of crisps plus the hospital food! I had some Haribo sweets the next day. 
  • Lots of clothes. Didn’t end up wearing them. Kind of slummed it in hospital and then just wore something light to go home in. 
  • Biscuits / chocolates for nurses / midwives. It’s a nice thought but because of what happened we didn’t really have continuity of care. So didn’t know who to give them to. I think we will send a thank you card when I get round to it. 
  • Champagne was suggested but wasn’t really in the mood as there was no fridge and who wants warm champagne?!
  • Mood lighting. They suggest battery tea lights and fairy lights for a natural birth but I had an emergency caesarean so it didn’t work out that way. T did get them out during my labour and I barely noticed them. Same goes for the music which I didn’t use despite having hypnobirthing tracks downloaded. I just never really got to that stage of having my own room to set up for birth, so it wasn’t really necessary. I also had photo books that T had made me as they suggest having something nice to focus on during birth, which was a lovely thought but never happened. The books are nice though!

Baby bag 

We took a separate bag for B which we’ve carried on using as his baby bag. We think we have it down to a fine art now and have streamlined it. It’s a rucksack which is for babies but is quite neutral just with lots of pockets and space. 

  • Baby clothes. We took quite a few for B for hospital and only just had enough. You need (in the UK, winter): 3 short sleeved bodysuit vests, 3 long sleeved bodysuits, 2-3 sleepsuits, hat, scratch mittens, jacket/cardigan, socks. Usually in his nappy bag I have one change of clothes for the day. 
  • Nappies. He wasn’t small so didn’t need mini, and he uses size 1 Pampers. We just brought a whole pack to the hospital. Usually in the bag I keep at least 4. (Update: This has sat in drafts so long he’s now in size 2!)
  • Wipes. We use Water Wipes as he seemed to get an irritated bum from anything else. I just take a whole pack. 
  • Nappy cream. We use Bepanthen and seems to work fine. I got travel size to go in the bag. 
  • Changing mat. Turns out he hates having his nappy changed and especially hates being on a changing mat. I guess it’s cold on his back. At home we use a towel which can be washed. Out and about we have a small fold up mat (Polar from Amazon, under £10) and also you can get disposable changing pads from Pampers which can be used a few times depending on if they get dirty. They are nice and soft. From hospital they give you bed pads so they also work as nappy changing pads, so take any spares! Also it turns out you can use puppy training pads as disposable changing mats! We have hundreds!
  • Dummies. Spare ones clipped into inside pocket. 
  • Muslins. They do come in handy although you can get away without them. They are cloths you use to wipe up baby milk / sick / drool. I tend to tuck one in the sling and a couple in the bag. 
  • Red book. In the U.K. all babies get a red book which is their medical records. We keep it in the nappy bag. 
  • For shorter trips I use the Skip Hop changing mat pack which is a mat and smaller case which holds a few wet wipes and nappies. It’s good if you don’t want to take the whole big bag out with you. 

Stuff for baby at home

What we needed in the beginning:

  • Sling. I have used this so much. The one we have is the Soohu sling from WeMadeMe. It was tricky to set up but now it is, it’s easy to plonk him in for toting about the place and you can even use it as a discreet breastfeeding cover. So works for me. I might even consider wraps later down the line now I’m feeling more adventurous!
  • Cot. We have the Snuzpod side sleeper cot which is joined on to our bed. Would I buy it again? Well my in laws bought it for us. It’s quite expensive but it’s a nice style. He is not keen on sleeping in it yet – he wants to sleep on a person! But hopefully he will get used to it. It suits him until six months and then we will have to figure something else out. TBH I can see us cosleeping (which is soooo bad) although may try to get him into a pack n play. He’ll be in our room for a while as we don’t have a spare room (it’s currently a walk in closet). Update: He now sleeps in his cot for longer during the night and we use it in conjunction with the Cosydream sleep nest. 
  • Newborn baby clothes. We totally didn’t appreciate that newborn size is different from 0-3 months. There’s even an in between size called Up to one month. So we ended up needing a load of newborn clothes which now at three weeks he’s kind of grown out of. For what it’s worth, I totally didn’t know what babies need clothing wise. In the UK, babies tend to wear shorty vests underneath (short sleeves and short legs). At night they wear a sleepsuit over that (long arms long legs, all enclosed). During the day they wear a long sleeved babygro (long arms short legs) over the vest, plus some trousers and socks or shoes. I guess girls maybe wear something different. Anyway I totally thought the vests were actual outfits but they’re not! And you need a few changes in case they get dirty, which happens! He moved to Up to one month size at about three weeks and I think he will move to 0-3 months in a couple of weeks. For me the best baby clothes for boys (as there seems generally less selection) are from M&S and baby Boden. 
  • Nappies and changing bag. See separate section!
  • Blankets. We used a baby blanket in the car seat that I just leave in the car. And tend to wrap him in soft blankets if we are on the sofa with him. Not baby blankets. But in bed we moved away from blankets to the sleeping bag and then the swaddle bag. It seems an easier way to get him to sleep. Blankets are handy when out and about too. I have a cute small one from Tobias and the Bear that I take with me in his baby bag and he can lie on when we are out and about. I’m also eyeing up one from Mori. 
  • Muslins. They say you can’t have too many. I got some half price in the sale and pop them all over the place. 
  • Nappies. They’re always on offer in various shops, up to half price. So it’s worth buying them in bulk!
  • Nappy disposal bin. I’ve had debates with friends over this. I think it depends if you live in a house or a flat. We live in a top floor apartment and so we don’t take rubbish out all the time. It definitely helps to have somewhere to leave stinky nappies which contains the smell! We have the Tommee Tippee Sangenic bin and it seems to be working fine. 
  • Room thermometer. We have the gro egg which is a glowing egg. It means you know how much clothing he should wear to sleep in. As a rule of thumb, it’s one layer more than you. 

What we didn’t need in the beginning: 

  • Pushchair / stroller. It’s week 3 and we still don’t need it. Although I guess I’ll start using it at some point soon. We got the Stokke Scoot. (Edited to add: We have started using this at 5 weeks. It’s great, but we definitely didn’t need it earlier and it’s still easy to use the sling on public transport. It’s nicer for strolls as B is getting heavy now!)
  • Dummies / pacifiers. I started using these around week three. They say not to until later in case it interferes with breastfeeding but I can’t see that happening as he loves to feed. I also got the clips that mean if it drops out of his mouth then it doesn’t fall on the floor. I have one clipped on the sling, one in the changing bag, one in his cot, etc. The only ones he will currently take are Tommee Tippee. (Update: Philips Avent are the currrnt winners.)
  • Older clothes. Like I said, 0-3 months is too big for a newborn. He’s three weeks now and has put on almost a kilo since birth but still isn’t in those yet. He’s sort of grown out of newborn but now in Up to 1 month clothes which are slightly bigger. Also, we got loads of hats as presents and they’re still way too big. One month on, my favourite clothes for boys are from (UK shops) Mini Boden, JoJo Maman Bébé, the Little White Company, Mark’s & Spencer. Also I got some cute clothes from Europe in Bruges and Italy, and when I was in the US, I loved the store Janie and Jack. I think it’s sort of harder to find cool boys’ clothes but I enjoy the challenge! I like him to wear funky / classic and animal stuff, not so much cartoony stuff that seems to be everywhere for boys. I’m sure he won’t care!
  • Mobile. We haven’t fitted it to the cot yet. We do have Whisbear (white noise teddy) which we’ve used although I’m not sure whether it works. He doesn’t stay in the cot for stimulation so we don’t use the mobile yet. 
  • Bouncy chair. We thought he could use it for when I need a shower etc but he hates it so far! I had high hopes for the vibrations but he just screams. Hope it works in future. (Edited to add: He is only now getting used to it at just over a month. It’s handy for when I want to shower!)
  • Baby carrier for Dad. We got a proper carrier from Stokke but he’s only just started using it. T felt B was too small for it initially even though it says suitable from birth. It was a lot more expensive. I’m thinking the sling has more ROI. (Edited to add: T started using this at around a month old and it is working well but definitely more fiddly than the sling.)
  • Sleeping bag. We got a cheap one in the sale and he did use it a while, as he really didn’t seem to take to the cot blanket and it caused him less trouble. Then I decided to try swaddling so got him a swaddle bag (I got one from MORI for newborns to 3 month olds) which seems to help as long as he doesn’t realise he’s in it. I use a mix of the swaddle sack until he wakes up and gets mad he’s in it, early morning, and then switch to the blanket. I have a bunch of nice blankets but use the Snuz branded ones in the Snuzpod because it looks cute. 
  • Bath stuff. The midwives said not to bathe him for at least a month! You wipe them down to clean them but apparently they don’t need it and the natural fluids from childbirth are apparently good for them! Have to say I felt a bit squeamish about this but he was fine. We bathed him for his one month birthday! We used the Angel soft touch bath support which is like a reclining seat the baby can lie in whilst you bathe him. It worked great. Also a Nuby turtle bath thermometer which helped get the water to the right temperature. It’s cute! And we used Burts Bees baby bath which I received as a baby shower gift. I felt like it was nice but left quite a strong smell. I was glad when he got back his new baby smell!

 

So that’s it for now! This has gone through a few edits as some stuff has become more useful as time has gone on, but it’s a representation of what we used in the first month. We are now at 5 and a half weeks. I can’t believe it! We seem to spend our days doing a lot and not very much at the same time. I wouldn’t change it for the world. I’m already dreading going back to work as I only get four months off, but trying to focus on the good stuff right now. 

I’m so enjoying motherhood and I can barely believe it has finally happened for me. B is a lovely baby and even though he’s a bit nocturnal, we have all settled in really well. It’s hard to believe that just over a month ago he was still inside me, and this time last year he didn’t even exist as we contemplated our second IVF cycle (and I was hugely pessimistic). In fact during February 2016 I was at an all time low as we passed the due date for our first baby, PB. 

I’ll never forget the pain of infertility and loss. It was something that went on for so long, over 10 years for me. And yet now, with baby B snuffling on my chest, Dog snoring and T snoozing beside me, I can feel the pain recede into memory. I feel at peace. I am hoping for others that they can find their peace. 

It never rains…

So a quick update because you can’t even imagine what has happened in the past 24 hours. Thank you to everyone who sent get well wishes for B. He does seem slightly better. 

Story update (cut and pasted so you know some of this!)

After much faffing (GP to make an appointment then the actual appointment then told to go to A&E then referred to paediatrics) we got admitted to hospital last night for observations so have been in overnight. 

They think he’s okay – suspected bronchiolitis – it’s just because he had a lot of snorting and snuffling and he’s only three weeks old. 

Anyway as luck (or not!) would have it, we were evacuated from the ward about 07:45 due to a fire! Which is nuts. We were inside in another place but as you can imagine it was kind of chaotic. The staff were amazing. They all pulled together and spent the whole time trying to reassure us. Imagine how scary it must be evacuating a ward full of babies, let alone the older kids. 

I felt sorry for other people as they had sicker kids and B was just in for observation and did seem better overnight because they sucked out his snot using a machine! He really didn’t enjoy it but it seemed to settle him quickly. I need to get one of the mouth sucking snot suckers as apparently they’re the best. The things you do for your baby!

Apparently bronchiolitis goes away on its own and they don’t treat it in newborns unless they need oxygen – he doesn’t at the moment as he can breathe but is just snuffly. We were discharged and the more serious cases have been transferred to another local hospital. 

Then I went to the midwife unit to get my scar checked out as I got given antibiotics on Sunday and they told me to come back today. I got referred to the doctor as it’s worse than it was. She confirmed it is a bit worse and apparently I also have another urinary tract infection so I now have two lots of antibiotics and two lots of painkillers! Argh. I had a few UTIs during pregnancy and never really noticed them but it was worrying for the baby.  

We are just waiting on the prescription and can then go home and rest. Luckily B is just sleeping after being awake early this morning! Unfortunately it’s the hospital pharmacy which has a 1.5hr wait and we finally got to the front of the queue to be told they don’t stock that drug so they’re trying to get in touch with the doctor. Bearing in mind there’s been a fire in this hospital so they’re all a bit overstaffed. For certain meds you have to get them from the hospital pharmacy so can’t go somewhere else to get them. So we are stuck waiting… I last left the house yesterday. I want to get home and relax and feed B and snuggle with Dog! And poor T has to get to work having missed half the work day already. 

Agh, another update: They don’t stock breastfeeding safe antibiotics for what I need so I now have a note to take to the GP… who typically has a 3 day wait time for prescriptions. They have written urgent at least… agh. So we are on way home and then I have to go and ask the GP! 

It never rains but it pours! 

(Don’t get me wrong. I am massively grateful to the NHS for everything. And the fire and B’s sickness… Everything could have been so much worse.)

Kind of can’t believe B is having such drama and he’s only 25 days old!