06/08/2018

How do you take their batteries out?

I'm almost seven weeks into motherhood now and every time I think I have found my stride, another hurdle presents itself.

At first it was breastfeeding, then it was colic. There's been a lot of talk about breastfeeding in the media in the past week as it's World Breastfeeding Week (yes, apparently there's a 'week' for everything now!) Colic, I think we are finally on top of now. We have such a happy baby now compared to a few weeks ago. It's so nice having spells of her being awake and playful, rather than her just screaming the house down from the second she woke up until she went back to sleep.


Don't get me wrong, she still screams now. Oh, boy, does she scream. The health visitor came today and she demonstrated her screams for her. Apparently little girls like to scream. Either way, she's definitely finding her voice now.

Peyton will be seven weeks old on Wednesday and now weighs 10lb 12oz - a whole 3lb more than her birth weight. The health visitor was super pleased with her weight gain - she is perfectly following the 50th percentile and is doing super.

It was so reassuring for me to hear that, given the struggles we have had with feeding. Some days are still hard. I can tell straight away now when she is going through a growth spurt as she feeds like there is no tomorrow. She can also be really fussy around the boob - whining, pulling off and back on constantly, screaming, grabbing... I understand this is her way of "putting her order in", so to speak, and trying to "up my supply".

I've learned so much new breastfeeding lingo since joining all these support groups on Facebook!



Anyway, back to the hurdles.

This one isn't so much about Peyton as it is about me. Mum guilt.

Yep, it hits you like a train. I honestly never thought it was a real thing when I'd see people talk about it before I had Peyton but, believe me, it's as real as she is asleep next to me.

And, I know, I have only grazed the surface of it. I sense when I go back to work, and have to leave her at nursery, I'll feel the full force of it.

For now, though, I feel guilty for wanting 'me time'. I know that's the most ridiculous thing in the world. If I was reading another mum saying this, I'd be all "don't feel guilty, it's important you have time for yourself and remember who you are." But, here I am, feeling guilty for not wanting to spend every waking moment with her and wanting some alone time.

Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love spending all my time with her. She is developing such a funny, cheeky personality now and the big gummy smiles she gives me make me melt. She's also just discovering her tongue and keeps sticking that out at me, which is the cutest thing. But sometimes, when it gets to the end of the day and I've not had a minute to sit and eat anything substantial, or have been stuck underneath a napping baby for over two hours who I know will wake up the second I put her down, I just want some time to myself. Gosh, I know how awful that sounds now I've said it aloud.


When Tom gets home from work, this would be the perfect time. He hasn't seen her all day so they can have their time and I can just do me for a bit. However, breastfeeding kinda interferes with that a bit because you can guarantee the second I start to do something that involves me being in a separate room (usually cooking tea or just simply having a wee with the door closed for the first time that day) she needs a feed. And I don't begrudge that, I know I'll miss her needing me so much when she's all independent and swears blind she doesn't need me anymore. But sometimes I just wish mother nature had enabled men to lactate as well so that Tom could help out.

I'm sure he wishes the same, I know he finds it hard, too, not being able to feed her. That's why we've made such a point of bath time and bedtime being all done by him. And this is where I get my me time. It's nothing grand, it's usually just enough time for me to watch a couple of episodes of Emmerdale/Coronation Street and have a shower and wash my hair. If I'm lucky, I also will remember to pluck my eyebrows and shave my legs. And I shouldn't grumble, because I know that's more than a lot of other mums get to do.

The other week my mum looked after Peyton for an hour and I was able to go and get my nails done and, honestly, it was beautiful. But do you know what? After longing for that "me time" and the comfort of knowing I could have an hour without worrying about feeding her, or her having a mini meltdown or a poo explosion, I really missed her and couldn't wait to get home to her. And I felt so guilty for wanting that time in the first place and leaving her with my mum. Not that Peyton will have known I even left - she slept from before I went until long after I was back!

I really hope I am making sense and not just sounding like the worst mum in the world!

I went back to Slimming World last week to try and find a bit of the old me, buried deep beneath all the pregnancy weight I gained. I took Peyton with me so everyone could see her, and didn't stay to group, but it was a nice start. My dad was there so he took her while I went for a wee in peace and was able to get weighed.


I know some people will think I've gone back too early, and I shouldn't be thinking about losing weight already. But I needed to do something. I've been feeling so, so unhappy with my body it honestly makes me weep. On Saturday night I got in the bath after Tom had bathed Peyton and just cried as I looked at myself. I have 100s of stretch marks on practically every part of my body. My face, arms, hands and feet are about the only places that have escaped them. I'm smothering myself in so much bio oil that if you hug me too tight I would actually slip right out your arms.

And here's where the mum guilt kicks in again. I know I shouldn't hate my post-baby body. I should be grateful for it, for growing our baby girl for nine months and for keeping her safe. So many people long to be able to have a baby, and carry their own, and I am so fortunate I was able to do that. I am so in awe of what my body was capable of every single day. I just wish I didn't look so horrible underneath my clothes now!

This is such a depressing post, I am so sorry for waffling on. But it feels so good to get things off my chest and to make sense of what is going on in my head.

I've been desperate to write a blog all week but haven't been able to find the time. If Peyton isn't asleep on me then I'm winding her or we're having playtime. And when Tom has her I'm usually tidying up, cleaning up, putting washing on, making tea, making my breakfast for the next day to make sure I actually get to eat something... Now, for example, I've just fed Peyton and she's gone down to bed.

Our current situation.

Rather than go to sleep myself, which I really need to do because we didn't have as good of a nights sleep last night as usual (I really shouldn't complain, though, because even though she was awake for two hours she still slept for over eight hours in total from 10.45pm until 9am!), I am sat here rambling on.

I'm going to end on a more positive note, because oh my god I am absolutely loving being a mummy (honestly, despite what this post might sound like, I am!)

She has started smiling, as I mentioned earlier. And, oh, it's the most beautiful little smile.


The noises she makes are amazing, too. It's almost like she's trying to have a conversation with us. Sometimes it seems like she actually understands what we are saying (I know she doesn't, but it's nice to think she does!)

She's also just discovered her tongue, and keeps sticking it out to us at random opportunities. She literally looks so, so cheeky when she does it.

She's also found her ears and nose, and we often find her with a finger in her ear or up her nose (the latter she gets from her father!)

And the sleep she lets us have - I really, really can't complain. And I shouldn't. I know we are very lucky.

So what if she screams when we go out for lunch sometimes, and so what if she cries while in the queue at Costa, she's a baby at the end of the day.

And the explosive poos that shoot out of her nappy and leak down her leg, the sicky burps that she does in my face which leave sick splattered over my glasses, and the times she wees all over the mat and her clothes the second I take her nappy off. I wouldn't change any of them.

Even when it's been a testing day with more crying and screaming than smiling and cheekiness, I still look at her every night and marvel at how amazing she is. And, as that mum guilt creeps in again for me wishing she would cry less or let me put her down for five minutes to eat a sandwich, I give her the biggest kiss, tell her I love her, and apologise for repeatedly asking where her off switch was or how I could take our her batteries.



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