Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The one where a Health Visitor is unhelpful and I am run over by a bus

I feel as if I've been run over by a bus, not that I have any idea what that feels like and so I am possibly being a little over dramatic, but this two children thing is hard work.

I have been thrown from the calm ease of paternity leave, where not only was Mckdaddy at home, but we were inundated with visitors who would entertain an energetic two year old or hold Nano Mck when he just didn't want to be put down.....all day

Now, that has all changed. By 6pm on the first evening, as I surveyed the carnage in my home, I felt in a state of shock. Unable to really piece together what had happened in the previous twelve hours. Some days there is not two minutes where one, or often both, of the Mcks don't need me and at times it is totally overwhelming.

By Wednesday, I had reached my limit and sent Mckdaddy this video to show him the carnage that had been created in just a few hours.

Watching it back made me smile and for that reason alone I guess it did it's job. It also prompted Mckdaddy to phone my Mum and ask her to offer some help. 

As usual I turned to my on-line friends for support and honesty and they assured me this was all totally normal and the feeling of total bewilderment would pass and I would be able to brush my hair again one day. Then, I spent the weekend with some of these fabulous women at Cybermummy which was the biggest confidence boost I could have hoped for. Nano behaved beautifully and I got loads of compliments praising me for being dressed and having make up on. The lovely Spudbaloo even described me as wafting around with confidence, which is perhaps the greatest compliment I've ever had.

I came back tired, but on a wave of positivity to carry over into week two, until I had a visit from the Health Visitor. How do they manage to make you feel worse, even though you know they are trying to be helpful?
Everything seems fine with Nano, he's put on more than a pound in the last two weeks. She's a little concerned that his eyes still seem a little yellow and so we are off to the hospital tomorrow for a blood test. I think it's just a precaution, as he seems fine in every other way.

The issue was when she asked how I was doing and although I told her I was fine I did make my flippant, albeit true, 'run over by a bus' comment. Suddenly, her face changed, her brow furrowed and her head went, sympathetically to one side. Alarm bells were ringing and I know that's a good thing, but what I really needed, when I added "that's normal, right?", was for her to reassure me, that it is normal, or at least not unusual to feel a little battle weary at this stage. Surely, she could tell from the rest of our conversation that we are doing OK, that I'm doing OK.

Instead, I was left with the feeling that perhaps I'm not doing so well and perhaps I should be expecting to find this easier. It left me thinking that sometimes those that are there to help new mothers actually put more pressure on us to have found our feet by week three. It certainly made me realise that I won't be so honest with her in the future and will save my doubts and truths for my friends, the people who actually help.

As for the shock of finding myself at home with a baby and a toddler, I think it's wearing off a little. Yesterday was a good day, today wasn't. I guess that's just how it's going to be for a while.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Cybermummy Meet & Greet

If you didn't know already I managed to bag myself a Cybermummy Ticket, persuade Mckdaddy to accompany me to London, basically to look after the Little Mck's, book a hotel, buy train tickets and find a great sponsor in the form of Huggies, in the space of 24 hours.

We leave tomorrow afternoon and I am nowhere near ready, but still I have my priorities right and am blogging instead of packing.

Carly at Mummys Shoes is hosting her brilliant Meet & Greet linky again this year. A great opportunity to put faces to names and blogs. So, this is me:

Name: Emily (but will probably introduce myself as Mummy Limited seeing as when I say Emily at Blogging events you all say "Huh? Who?")

Blog: Mummy Limited

Twitter ID: @mummylimted

Height: 5ft 2inches

Hair: Long, straight, brown, with the odd blond bit

Likes: Tea, cake, Birkenstocks, Red painted toenails, Twitter, Presseco, the back of Mini Mck's neck, the shape of Nano Mck's head, laughing so hard I can't breathe and clean bed clothes.

Dislikes: Soap operas, Baby sleep training books, Marmite, changing nappies, People who offer advice even when you don't ask for it or want it, Rubbish Tea.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

3 Word Gallery - There's always coffee

I walk into the kitchen and a little voice in my head whispers "Coffee". I put the kettle on and Mini Mck walks in, asking me to pick him up, which I do. I smell something most unpleasant. After some negotiation, I manage to get him upstairs and into a clean nappy.

We go back downstairs and my brain tries to pick up where it left off ten minutes earlier. "Coffee" it says, just a little louder and more impatient. Back in the kitchen I put the kettle on for the second time and add a spoonful of coffee and sugar to a clean mug, straight from the dishwasher. Nano Mck starts to fuss, ready for yet another feed. I know I may be stuck for half an hour or more and so rush to the loo and grab a glass of water. I go to take Nano out of the sling that is strapped to my front, but before I do my brain and body scream "Coffee, coffee, coffee." I put the kettle on for the third time and this time manage to pour hot water and milk into the cup.

Mckdaddy has been back at work for 3 days and I am adjusting to life as a Stay at Home Mum of two. It is hard, incredibly hard. My body, brain and emotions feel bulldozed and I have ended each day feeling shell shocked, almost unsure of what has happened to me during the day. I finish each day with hair that is scary and a mixture of breast milk, baby sick and food on my clothes. I shower and fall into bed.

It is full on from 6am until 8pm and there are moments where I want to weep and I feel I'll never get the hang of it and in those moments there is only one thing to do.  Put the kettle on, because there's always coffee.

Friday, June 17, 2011

A short list of things I've learnt this week - The Newborn Edition

1) It is possible to have a baby that will sleep in their crib and not have to be touching a person the whole time.

2) Even though you think nursing pads are not doing anything useful, they are in fact doing the very important job of preventing milk from leaking on your shirt. It is therefore not a good idea to forget them only 12 days after giving birth and then go out for the morning.

3) It is unusual that both your children will nap at the same time and therefore when they do you should savour every minute.

4) It is possible for a baby to feed, puke, feed, puke, feed, puke all day long and you can never have too many babygrows and muslin squares when you have a child that does this.

5) Health visitors have a knack of making you feel as if you are a rubbish parent even when your baby is putting on weight and sleeping soundly and your toddler is happily playing and chatting away in a very endearing way. However, midwives are fabulous, or at least all the ones I have dealt with have been.

6) Words with Friends is the perfect companion when you are feeding day or night. However, it is highly addictive and you may find yourself still playing even though the baby is fed, winded and fast asleep.

7) The worst thing you can say to a new mother who's body is still recovering and is now making milk is that you are tired or that you need a nap.

8) Just as when you see your partner become a father and it makes you love him even more, when you see your first born become a loving and accepting big brother you find that it is possible to love him more.

9) When you have toddler and a baby everything you try to do takes eleventy seven times longer than you think it will

10) I should have got one child out of nappies before having another one.

Many thanks to Victoria who blogs her lists of things she has learnt this week as she travels the world with her family. As you can imagine her lists are more exotic but her pictures are not as cute.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Moment to moment

When a new person arrives, one that relies so completely on you, there is really nothing you can do except live moment to moment. I have been desperate to blog, with so many thoughts and emotions that I want to get down in writing, but I just haven't been able to carve out the time or summon the energy until now.

Life with a newborn takes on a strange pace, it has it's own rhythm that is quite different to anything else. Frenetic and at the same time unhurried, I find myself switching from bouts of action to indulging myself by gazing at my new son for what seems like hours, but isn't.

Inevitably, we are trying to remember what Mini Mck was like at this age and are failing miserably. Unable to remember if the screaming for hours and 2 hour waking throughout the night starting as early as this or took it's time to build. I do remember that Mini Mck had to be on a person for most of the night in order to sleep. Elijah or Nano Mck, as he will now be known here, is definitely not like that.

He seems to have arrived in this world knowing the difference between night and day mostly waking only once between bedtime and morning. he is yet to sleep with us at night and after a marathon feeding session in the evening he drops off in my arms and I can put him in his crib. I am hoping that his big brother doesn't persuade him that sleep is for wimps.

He is feeding really well, although it helps that one of us knows what to do. I had forgotten how long it takes to feed a newborn. Mini Mck was always a quick snacker. Nano Mck is both greedy and a bit lazy, he likes to take his time, indulging in a full 3 courses with a little rest in between each one, so it can take a while.

I wish I'd known all the things I know now when Mini Mck was born. This time I am not constantly checking my watch, fretting about how long has passed between feeds or how long he has been asleep for. I simply feed him when he asks for it and let him fall asleep when he needs to.

We are still getting to know one another and so for now we will continue to live moment to moment until he finds a rhythm of his own.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Silent Sunday

Silent Sunday