Down to Bristol to see the fam. Little T was a dream. Drinks were flowing, laughs a plenty were had by all.
But, i was late. A fair few days late. I mentioned this to Mr Me on Sunday, i couldnt possibly be pregnant, could I?
Theres a 0.1% chance we could conceive on our own, and i thought we had avoided my fertile window. But we were worried.
In the last week we had come to a decision. We dont want another baby. We dont want to go through the anxiety of another rainbow pregnancy, we dont want to go through the IVF stress of will it/wont it in order to achieve a pregnancy. We dont want to risk another loss. Little T has seemingly not got Mr Me’s blood conditions or my asthma, would the next baby be as lucky?
Our lives are pretty awesome just now. Little T is a great baby, sleeping through the majority of nights, happy and content.
On a more selfish note, i cant face the 1st 8 weeks again, im enjoying being able to have a glass of wine, drink coffee, eating paté and soft cheese. I like being able to afford nice holidays and having a spare room. We work well as a 3, Mr Me and I have found our rhythm again. All in all life is pretty perfect.
Was that all about to change?
2 under 1? Really? What would we do? Financially it wouldnt really be viable. Id be permanently exhausted. A tandem pram costs a grand. How would i cope heavily pregnant with a 10/11 month old? 2 in nappies?!! The exhaustion of pregnancy, on top of parenting exhaustion? We were terrified.
The T word (termination) came up. It would be an option. But could i really go through with it after all we had been through? I didnt think so.
Only one thing to do, test and find out.
Cue a family trip to the Trafford Centre and Boots. A latte later, and there i am peeing on a stick in a Costa coffee toilet. Classy but I had to know whether i could have a glass of wine at lunch!!
Never ever have i hoped for a negative test. Those 3 minutes were agonising.
1 line!! Whoop! Mr Me’s sperm hadnt made a miracalous recovery! Pass the wine!! In fact pass me 2. (It was nice wine)
So, what this taught me was: A, i really am not ready for another baby, and B, i need to get back on the pill ASAP but it looks like ive not ovulated so it may be a very long cycle!!!
Little T burst his way into the world 14 weeks ago and forever changed our lives for the better!
I really struggled with being a Mummy in the beginning. I found it hard to accept my new role, to accept the change in relationship between Mr Me and I. I was warned id be tired, but i didnt understand, i was warned it was hard, but i didnt understand.
Now i do. Im permantly tired, thats the new normal, so i can cope with it. Sleep deprivation is a thing of the past, because we are used to it. For example, i got 3ish hours last night whereas Little T got 11. Go figure. Think i was waiting for him to wake for a feed all night, not daring to believe he’d sleep through.
One off or is this the start of 11 hour nights? The latter would be amazing but i wont count on it, yet.
Since allowing myself to love him, im finding my new role as Mummy, so rewarding. I love watching him learn and grow, although it seems to be going so so fast. Everyday, his smile melts me, i cannot believe we made something so so beautiful and clever.
The last few years seem like a bad dream. Ill never forget Milo and Millie, how could i? They helped shape who i am, but our rainbow, Little T, glows through those dark clouds, and makes those times seem so distant, that the grief is manageable, the pain dulled somewhat.
So at 14 weeks, my little man can smile and grab, hes so close to rolling over but hates tummy time. He loves music, and the car, he has a favourite toy, and being the centre of attention is his forte. He is the most amazing waste of time, i can spend hours just watching him. I cant believe how lucky i am.
Today has been hard, Little T has been and continues to be so fussy at the bottle. He takes a few sucks, cries and spits it out and then screams bloody murder for it back again and the cycle repeats. Ive tried new bottles, new milk, faster flowing teats. Nothing settles him.
I feel like a failure. Like he hates me. Hes an angel for and around other people, including Mr Me but i feel like i just cant get it right.
Its soul destroying. Hes moany and whiney and i have less patience than i expected. Apparently i used up all my reserves going through IVF.
I feel like i shouldnt complain. I waited 8 years for this. I paid so much and lost so much. And now im shit at it. I cant settle him. I feel shit.
Hes no routine to speak of. He eats when he wants, sleeps when he wants and seems to scream inbetween times. Its bloody hard and i dont know what im doing wrong.
The occassions that hes a shit biscuit (hard work but super sweet hence shit biscuit) for Mr Me serve to remind me its not just me. He can be a shit for others. But mostly its reserved for me, hes all smiles when Daddy walks in
Those 5 minutes of contentment, or when he sleeps on me or beams are me, make it worth it but at times i just feel im not cut out for this.
Talk keeps turning to whether we will have another. Im 10 weeks in so no idea how im meant to know at this point god alone knows. But my answer makes me feel guilty. Its a resounding NO right now. The thought of a new born and toddler is terrifying. Im barely managing as it is. But theres 5 potential babies frozen in Cyprus and the guilt of not giving them a chance combined with knowing how lucky we are to even have Frosties is overwhelming.
I loved pregnancy, til the end, i dreamed of a big family and dont like the idea of Little T not having a sibling, but the thought of doing this again but with a walking, talking, little person in tow just fills me with dread. I hate myself for feeling this way.
On a different note…The way i look has gotten me to the point, where for the first time ever, i want to exercise. I downloaded an app that promises maximum results with minimal effort, “7 minutes a day of HIIT for a fitter, lighter version of you.” I bought active wear and everything to help me commit. I was excited to start. And i did it. All 13 exercises. The last one being star jumps. I was hot sweaty and exhausted, but so close. So i started jumping…and, promptly wet myself!!!!! THIS IS WHY I DONT EXERCISE. I have no pelvic floor it seems. I wasnt even aware it was happening….until i felt very wet. Pass the Tena Lady….no wonder you get free samples in after birth gift packs!! (Ive since replaced star jumps with additional abdo crunches and no more accidents)
I have the feels. All the feels. Im besotted, hes amazing, i cant remember life without him
But it took 8 weeks. 8 weeks to admit i loved him, 8 weeks to allow myself those feelings. To be honest im still cautious but my heart swells with his first smile of the day, regardless of my fear.
Infertility sucks on many levels. The months (years) of trying and failing. The agony of a period. The hoops to jump through en route to IVF, the hundreds of injections, watching all your friends have babies. People getting bored of your journey, the agony of IVF failures, of cancelled cycles, of feeling you are worth nothing as a woman. I could go on.
Basically its shit. And you know what, it continues to be shit even though i now have my very own mini human. Why? Because it hindered the love…it took so long for Little T to feel like mine, rather than me looking after someone elses baby. I was waiting for the bubble to burst. A small part of me still is and always will be, i guess.
Im still jealous of the fertile people, they decide to get pregnant and within months, are. No military planning, no saving thousands of pounds. Just happens or a little cycle observation and bam, preggers.
I still envy a bump. Stare in awe. Wish i could do it without investing time and money. Its silly, but true.
Baby loss literally built a wall around my heart. A wall im still chipping away at. Losing 2 children, 2 (IVF) babies, is soul destroying. It messes you up in so many ways. Ways i thought id dealt with. Then Little T came along and i realised i was messed up in ways i didnt imagine.
For weeks i thought i would lose him. That he would die. Thats what my babies did, they died. I was beyond terrified to love this tiny human in case he left me. I couldnt contemplate another loss. I just knew it would break me. So i kept Little T at arms length. Worried that loving him would mean losing him.
That fear consumed me. For so many weeks. Until the fear of seeing my baby, my offspring, in pain. The 8 week immunisations. Thank god for them, not only for the protection they offer but for opening my heart.
Feeling guarded, not loving my child. Shameful? Not at all. Just the way things are after the hand id been dealt. I will always admit to these feelings, ill never regret what ive been through. I truly am a better person for it. Never did i think itd extend this far into my life though…
There have been a number of firsts over the last few weeks. Some good and some not so good.
Little T smiled for the 1st time…at the GP. She had literally just asked if he was smiling yet, i said only windy smiles for him to smile at her!!!!! Since then we have managed to see a few more smiles but none caught on camera and ive no idea what made him smile so cant replicate it!!!
Im on my period for the first time in 10 months. Although not painful it is heavy, and long. Im used to 2 days of fresh blood and a few days spotting. Today is day 5 of fresh red blood!!! Been through a pack of sani pads and onto my 2nd since Saturday. This better not be a sign of things to come as im not a fan.
Mr Me and I went on our 1st date night since Little Ts arrival. We spent 90% of it talking about Little T but the other 10% we were just us. Not parents. Just a married couple, in their 30s, drinking cocktails. That time as a couple was so valuable, so needed. For weeks we had barely seen each other, let alone had a conversation so to sit and eat and just talk was wonderful. It was actually kinda hard to go home as the cocktails were going down so nicely!
This week was the 1st time ive admitted to a health professional im struggling a bit. The health visitor asked about meds and i said i was thinking of upping my antidepressants. Im not super low or anything but im quite anxious. Plus ive never done well in my own company and as much as i try to get out, im on my own with the baby. The HV gave me details of a group for Mums who are struggling and i really need to contact my counsellor but i cant seem to do it. My self confidence is beginning to drop, im anxious about walking into a group on my own!!!
Im finding it hard due to the pressure i feel. Which is self inflicted. I feel like i need to manage being a Mum beautifully. With no hiccups. After all ive waited 8 years for this, it should be everything ive ever wanted. And it is. But its also sooooooo different to the picture i had in my mind. Im happy to tell others how well they are doing despite sleep deprivation etc. But cant take my own advice, ever.
I worry im missing subtle clues, that my baby is in distress and i dont know. I look at the online baby group and then come off it again as its overwhelming. I really worry im not doing enough with Little T, that hes bored or that im not stimulating him in the right way. He goes on his tummy once a day on his gym and listens to songs and we show him toys of various colours and textures….is that enough???
There are times ive wondered why i yearned for this, times ive wondered if im cut out for it, times ive wondered why ive inflicted this on myself and Mr Me. But then Little T looks at me with those big eyes and its all worth it or i see Mr Me and Little T together and know its absolutely worth it.
Right now id do anything for 8 hours sleep, a warm meal and a full body massage. Carrying about my 9lb+ son is not good for my back!!
Speaking of my body, ive not lost an ounce of weight in weeks. Its starting to get to me. Im on my feet a lot and barely have time to eat so how am i not losing weight??? I have about 4 outfits that look OK so its kinda like being pregnant and wearing the same outfits over and over again!!! I need to join baby gym really, but as above, im nervous!
The weather is fabulous, hot hot hot. Normally id be loving it being a bit of a sun worshipper but with a new born its hell!!!
I cannot keep the poor kid cool. He wont sleep upstairs as its beyond hot.
The gro egg of doom taunts me with its red glow and sad face on a nightly basis at the moment
Dont get me wrong its a brilliant bit of kit but at 3am when the boy wont settle, i can feel it judging me!!!
To move on from the weather thiugh….
Yesterday was Fathers Day and Mr Me got to celebrate AT LAST.
Little T got him an engraved box with lots of pictures round the side, and a card of course.
Mr Me fancied lunch out so off we went to the Trafford Centre as we were able to control Little Ts temperature somewhat there. Whilst waiting for a lift, a lady asked me if i was behind Confessions of Little Miss PMA!!!! She told me she had been reading for years and recognised us from pictures. Id been spotted. Im famous! I was so taken aback but so so grateful to her. You dont know it but you made our day, so, thank you!!
We had a lovely lunch and i got my pushing present…
I still cant get my wedding and engagement rings on so this is a place holder until i can. I love it!!!
Emotionally ive been feeling much more positive. Until this morning when i was knackered due to having 2hrs sleep and Little T just whinging for nearly 2 hours. I couldve broken down next to him. I had no patience so i walked away, made him a bottle, and he eventually fell asleep. I got an hr and a half too which made all the difference. When i woke up i was refreshed and able to deal with grumpy Little T. Its amazing how much brighter things seem when youve got 3.5hrs sleep in your pocket. Even if it is broken. Happy Days.
We have been to baby clinic today, Little T is now 8lb 15oz and finally able to start using the sleeping bags we bought as he kicks off blankets. Of course its now too bloody hot to use such a thing but itll be great when it cools down. Poor lad is currently just sleeping in a vest at night. During the day hes in a nappy under a muslin. Usually hates being naked but thats how hot it is.
The poor fur babies are beyond themselves too.
Splash is camped out by an additonal water bowl and i found Smudge in the bath yesterday!! Id hate to have a fur coat on in this heat!!!
I definitely feel more confident at this parenting thing, we are getting out almost everyday, it no longer takes an hour just to leave the house. I can read Little Ts cues more easily, hes gaining weight and most importantly ive kept him alive for 5 weeks!!!!
Im still overwhelmed by it all sometimes. Its not how i imagined but i am being rewarded. We think he is close to smiling which will be amazeballs. Its much harder than i imagined. I didnt expect my relationship with Mr Me to change as much as it has either.
We will be going on date night this week just to talk and reconnect. We miss each other for sure and Mr Me did confess he was struggling which actually made me feel oodles better as i thought it was just me. Itll be nice to have one on one time for a few hours to remember we are not just parents. Plus im looking forward to a few cocktails 🍾🥂🍹🍸
Ive sounded very doom and gloom since Little T was born. Honestly i am enjoying motherhood, its just very different to what i expected and has literally changed everything. People tell you it changes everything but you dont really understand until it happens!!
But its all worth it…
When he fixes on me with his massive eyes, im transfixed, i cant look away, i can see him studying my face, know he knows that hes safe and wanted with me. My Mum says it his ‘look of love’
When he grabs my finger, my top, my skin, even with his razor sharp nails. Its like he holds onto me for security. I make him feel safe. So does a muslin mind you, but you know. I like to see him grab anything, i have a proud parent moment
When he burps/farts/poos im reassured that his little body is working properly and i marvel at the fact that Mr Me and I (and Team Miracle) made this perfect little human
When he smiles, i melt. I know its only wind at this point but hes got an amazing smile.
When he pouts, i melt. I dunno who taught him to pout but its perfect!!
When he makes random happy sounds, its like hes telling me something, like how the side of his pram really is super interesting. Without fail ill make up a conversation between him and i and often outloud, much to the amusement of onlookers
When i look at his face and see my mouth and eyes, his Daddys hands and forehead and chin, it reminds me of how much Mr Me and I love each other and how hard we worked to make this amazing little human
When people stop me and tell me what a gorgeous boy he is and how much they like his name, im so proud that hes mine.
Little T is officially a person!! We registered him on Thursday. It was a fairly momentous day. I never thought id have a legal tiny human with a birth certificate and everything. An actual real birth certificate. A legally recognised child. Wow.
The same day that it was made legal, the day i officially became a Mummy, was also the same day as my 1st #mummyfail
After registering him, we had lunch, including little T, we then laid flowers at the Manchester memorial. Very sobering at the best of times but with a newborn it was something else. I had goosebumps. The whole city is grieving as one. The pain was palpable but so was the sense of community and determination that we will not be beaten
As we made our way back to the car, Little T was getting hungry, and i hadnt packed another bottle!!!!!! We had to go straight to the Prolonged Jaundice Clinic so the poor guy screamed for about an hour. I have never felt so awful. What a shit parent. Ive learnt from it and ill never leave the house with 1 bottle again but my word! It was just the worst feeling.
Not only that but i cut his little finger when clipping his nails the other day!!! The boy has really sharp nails and scratches himself, and me, a lot but from now on ill only be filing them down.
The smallest of things can really knock you. Being referred to the Jaundice Clinic made me feel i wasnt capable of looking after him properly. Even though he is still Jaundice, the Nurse Practitinor was happy that it would resolve on its own, still though, i couldnt get it cleared in the 2 weeks specified so #mummyfail
I couldnt breastfeed #mummyfail
I cut his finger #mummyfail
I didnt pack enough food #mummyfail
Not only am i making rookie mistakes but im also missing being pregnant which i feel guilty about. I waited so long to be a Mummy and now i am, i miss being pregnant.
However, the NCT girls who have also given birth, miss their bumps too, so im not alone or weird.
Even though it was tough at the end and my anxiety was up throughout, i miss feeling him move, i miss the way i looked, i miss the feeling that i was doing something amazing. Now im just flabby, with no clothes that fit!!!! But my belly button bar did go back in with ease the other day which pleased me no end!!
Despite all my #mummyfails, yesterday Little T and i flew solo as Mr Me went back to work. We survived. And with smiles on our faces. We didnt get out but i did organise a drawer
I applied for child benefit and kept the boy alive so im classing it as a #mummywin
I missed Mr Me terribly but i was proud that we got on well without him. I managed a shower, getting dressed and made up, lunch, sterilising and making up bottles. Ok so everything took an hour and a half longer than normal (when Mr Me is around and since Little T’s birth) but it got done and that is a #mummywin
The feelings are coming. I stare at him and marvel that i made him, i study every part of his face, admire every expression and movement. I would do anything to protect him. I miss him when he sleeps.
Its not the ‘rush’ i expected, was told about, instead its a slow creep of emotion that in time will consume my very being. Its not what i was expecting but its more than i ever dreamed it would be.
He hasnt been taken off us, nothing bad has happened. Little T is still here. And it still hasnt sunk in!!
My breastfeeding guilt is fading fast now as my supply has gone. Its reassuring to know that when im in my lavender bath soothing my sore bits, and he stirs, Mr Me can take over.
There is more control with a bottle too, i know exactly how much he is taking which plays into my control freak personality perfectly.
Apparantly he is still a bit Jaundice meaning he has been referred to the prolonged jaundice clinic tomorrow. Mr Me and I then had a #badparentmoment where we questioned what we did wrong. 2 hours later the midwife came round and said the health visotor who referred him was being overly cautious. To me he looks whiter than ever and his eyes are less yellow today than yesterday too. Ill keep him in daylight as much as possible today but with plenty of wet and dirty nappies going on im really hoping we get discharged at his appointment tomorrow.
Im not the parent i thought id be. I thought id freak out the minute he squeaked but i dont, im calm even when hes really shouting and ive impressed myself.
My fear of SIDS is lessening. It never actually crippled me as much as i thought it would. The sensor pad is a massive reassurance and as im awake 22 hours of the day anyway….
I jest, im getting better with sleeping. I can crash in the afternoon when hes asleep in his moses basket sometimes and Mr Me and I are taking the nights in shifts so we both get a few hours of good sleep each.
The sleep deprivation is getting easier to manage now too. My pain is subsiding which is allowing me to relax more, and i can drive again!!!!! This really helps with my anxiety as i love to drive and it gives me a huge sense of control. Im a terrible passenger and i think Mr Me is secretly glad i can drive myself about again too.
We, as a 3, have been fairly busy. Little T had 3 photoshoots last week (meant to be 2 but was wide awake for one of them so had to go back) and weve also been out to the pub twice and to the Trafford Centre. Going to the TC was a massive thing for me. For years ive watched new Mums push their babies around in gleaming prams and wondered if itd ever be me. And then it was and it made me so proud.
I am very proud and very protective of Little T. I think hes amazing and i stare at him for hours without realising. When he fixes on me with his big eyes and i talk to him, its wonderful. But still no rush of love so to speak. Ive no doubt itll come though, the instincts are there, i just need to get over my fear that something will take him away from us. It is lessening day by day i think but after 8 years there is a lot to wade through before reaching the other side.