Maternity (and paternity) leave.

The sleeping pattern of a baby I thought was erratic but for the first couple of nights William sleeps from midnight to 6 without a feed and my husband and I silently poke him to check that all is ok.  He’s fine, of course he’s fine but he’s testing us, making us feel comfortable before the sleepless nights begin…..

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We bought the moses basket off a friend, we knew how expensive they were and going by what other parents had said figured he wouldn’t be in it long.  How right were we, but we didn’t think it would only be two nights!  So two days after that we decided to get a crib, brought it home and he still wasn’t settled in it so that’s when we invested in a Cacoonababy.  (Or the miracle and best recommended product to us!)  Even though we both agree that was one of the most expensive items we bought for him to date but it was totally worth every penny!

My husband and I both work at the University of Southampton which gave us good maternity and paternity leave.  We spent two weeks trying to get into a routine, as well as taking William out in his pram getting used to being out and about (I do like to socialise!)  We enjoyed visiting family, and we were inundated with visitors which was overwhelming but well received.  William got so many cuddles those first few months of being home, because while he was in hospital we were the only ones that were supposed to hold him (apart from the nurses).  Although I sneakily let my niece from Devon have a cuddle because we didn’t see her very often and didn’t know when she’d be up again to see us.

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My niece Laurel with her baby cousin

It was lovely having the time the 3 of us, I loved being able to share the duties.  I knew eventually after those 2 weeks I’d be alone and I was very very nervous, silly really because I’ve got plenty of family and friends around me but most of them were at work Monday to Friday during the day.

When we stayed in I would spend time laying on the floor with him playing with his toys, he had a little rocker that I’d put him in but he preferred being on me (a bit worried at that time that he would get attached, but I had nothing to worry about.)

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It was great being out and about with him, pushing him around in the pram and him getting fresh air and me getting exercise (I was also comfort eating).  The fun bit was when I would need to feed him, he had colic so always had trouble bringing up wind.

 

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Taking William to work

Christmas was quite quiet, the whole family went over to my parents and they cooked dinner and we all took turns with holding him while we ate our dinner. Mum still had the obligatory Christmas decorative outfits and accessories that were becoming an annual thing.

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Merry Christmas you filthy animals

I was feeling so tired, but William had started to sleep 4 or 5 hours a time so in theory I shouldn’t have been that tired.  I remember everyone saying ‘sleep when the baby sleeps’ but it never happened in the day, I just couldn’t do it.  Then one particular day he was asleep in the cot alongside of me and I fell asleep on the bed for 3 hours and you would think I woke up refreshed but I woke up feeling worse so I found it easier to just keep myself busy in between whether it be housework or reading.  I found it hard to write in this time, but I’d hoped one day I would make up for it!  (Still waiting for that moment by the way!)

We were still feeling lucky to have him after those weeks at home while he was in hospital, it felt nice when he was home but very very overwhelming.  It was making me stronger though, not weaker which is normally my response to stressful situations.

I never realised how overwhelming it was being a mum, but I felt the need to try and change it into a good thing.

Continued…

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