Hello Merlot old friend

For those of you who are as clueless about all this baby stuff as I was before Baby Girl, turns out, you can pump breast milk to use in bottles. It saves for a few days in the fridge or up to two weeks in the freezer. I have been very excited about this as it means Baby Girl’s dad can join in with feeding… and give me a break! Also means we can leave her for a few hours with our parents for a break one night & not be panicking she’ll wake up hungry & I have to dash back.

However, the midwife, the baby books & my antenatal class recommended that you waited six weeks before expressing milk. This is for two main reasons:

  1. your milk production needs to become regular before you start expressing. This can take a few weeks while your baby gets a bit more into a routine.
  2. your baby can suffer from ‘nipple confusion’. Suckling from a nipple & a bottle are two very different techniques for a baby & apparently they can ‘forget’ how to suckle from a nipple if you give them bottle (or dummy) too young & then you’re a bit stuffed.

Well, I got bored of waiting & Baby Girl feeds like a trooper so figured one week wasn’t going to make a difference. So we’ve cheated & started at five weeks instead. And last night, Baby Girl’s dad fed her for the first time. He was very nervous but she guzzled it down in about 10 minutes flat. (Her usual feeds are, on average, 20 minutes long with me.) Then, happily sat burping, draped sleepily over his shoulder.

The only downside for me was that it took me over an hour to express 100ml of breastmilk for a single feed. Felt like a lot of work for only 10 minutes of her time! Happy to report, however, today I expressed 100ml in about 15mins; it seems that my boobs have already responded to the change in production needed for expressing even just once a day. So tonight’s feed is chillin’ in the fridge waiting to facilitate some Father-Daughter bonding time. Meanwhile, I’ll be enjoying my first glass of red wine in over 10 months. Hello Merlot!

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No, this is not a torture implement. It’s a breast pump.

Sense of achievement

Baby Girl is 5 weeks old today. It was time.

So, for the first time since bringing her home, today I showered & washed my hair while alone in the house with Baby Girl. Let me be clear, I have showered in the last 5 weeks! Just that I’ve made sure to shower before her dad leaves for work or once he’s home in the evening as I was nervous to leave Baby Girl unattended.

But today, after her feed, she sat in her bouncy chair in the bathroom while I had the fastest shower of my life. If anything, she seems rather excited to have discovered a new room & it was only me who was in a state.

Never did I think that having a shower would hold such a sense of achievement.

Counting sheep

Cruel irony!

Baby Girl slept 10:30pm to 3am tonight. Was awake 30mins including her feed & went straight back to sleep. What every new parent dreams of!

But after four and a half weeks, I’m now so not used to sleeping for longer than two, max three, hours at a time that I find myself wide awake, unable to fall back asleep.

Woe is me.

Baby (still) on board

Until I was about 7 months pregnant, next to no one gave up their seats for me on London’s public transport. Basically, until I looked like I’d topple forwards with the weight of my bump (being only 5ft tall, I stuck out about as far as I stuck up!).

Well, nothing’s changed. People view pushchairs as a nuisance & when I used the baby carrier, no one offered me a seat. FYI peeps, a baby in a carrier is just as heavy as a bump. & it’s just as tiring given the lack of sleep I had the night before. But don’t worry, keep your seats young, able, girl with headphones blaring & thirty-something banker-wanker. I’d hate to put you out. It’s only 100% clear that I’m definitely carrying a baby now, not obese.

Public transport & newborns don’t really mix all round to be honest. In four and a half weeks, so far my experience has been:
1. No room on the bus for a pushchair. Wait another 10-15 minutes & hope for the best.
2. No access at local tube station, stairs only. Best of luck if you’re on your own with a pushchair.
3. Following 1 & 2, got new baby carrier. Dropped bag with said carrier down the gap in the tube on the way home whilst battling to get pushchair on the tube. Cue sheer mortification as they had to delay service & get multiple tube workers to help retrieve said carrier. World, swallow me whole.
4. Went to get on bus, Baby Girl screaming place down & couldn’t be calmed so turned around & came home rather than risk being that person on the bus.

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And this week, we booked out first holiday with Baby Girl. Which involves a plane. We must be mental.

Snap!

Today, I’m wearing jeans, a loose fitting white shirt & white converse. Baby Girl is in her carrier on my front.

On the tube there is another mom. She’s wearing jeans, a loose fitting white shirt & white converses. Her daughter is in a pushchair, however.

In case you didn’t get the memo, there are some unwritten uniform rules for new moms in London.

4 weeks old

I can’t believe it’s been a whole month. Time is flying by and Baby Girl is growing fast.

In the last two days we’ve noticed she can just about straighten her legs in her newborn onsies, but her toes are right at the end of the foot bits. When we tried her in 0-3 though, her arms were flapping in all the extra material! She seems a little out of proportion still.

At one month, her hearing is now fully developed & she’s incredibly alert, taking everything in. We play games with her, pulling funny faces, sticking out tongues, blowing raspberries & other sounds to see if she’ll copy. So far nothing but she watches us intently & moves her mouth as though she knows that’s what she has to do. So probably not long now.

Her eyesight is strengthening every day. This is now how she sees us, from 12 inches away:

4 weeks old

Pardon?

Baby Girl likes to sit looking over my shoulder. Because I’m right handed, she usually sits on my right shoulder. This is also optimum burping position. So as a rather windy baby, she spends a lot of time there.

In the last three days, Baby Girl’s cries have suddenly got a lot more piercing. Her lungs have had a growth spurt or something. And I subsequently feel I’ve lost a few decibels of hearing in my right ear.

Just another peril of parenting they leave out!

My First Mother’s Day

I have been spoiled today by Baby Girl & her Daddy.

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It started with tea, croissants & bluebells in bed. And a very special present. For our 4 year anniversary, Baby Girl’s dad gave me a small heart pendant & a ‘mojo’ bead inscribed with ‘the Bees Knees’. Today, I received a second mojo, with Baby Girl’s name on it. My two most important people in one necklace. Perfect.

He also cooked me a Sunday roast. Sadly this only confirmed Baby Girl is no where near a routine as we thought we’d planned to sit down to eat an hour before she usually feeds, only for her to wake up exactly an hour early! Unfortunately, a roast doesn’t keep so well for 40mins. C’est la vie.

Love is…

The English language has it all wrong. We have one, single word for ‘love’. Yet if Baby Girl’s dad had ever got me up at 2:30 in the morning, burped in my face & peed on my hand, it’s pretty safe to say we wouldn’t be where we are today! It strikes me we need different words to describe two far removed types of love. They really aren’t comparable.