I am Some Things You Should Know Mum

Things that no one tells a soon to be Mamma.

Please be aware that this is a NHB (No holding back) post which may contain TMI for some readers! 😂😂

If you read this and wish you hadn’t, too bad really… But you can’t say you weren’t warned!

The Early Days

1. The first visitors to the hospital will be a blur. I was so out of it on adrenaline and whatever horse tranquilisers they’d given me that my first visitors still talk about how “great” I was… And yet I don’t remember a thing about the first day!

If you have other kids, manipulating the visitors so that your kids and then Grandparents are first in, is a military operation! Hopefully it will only be your nearest and dearest who come along initially.

Most people are good at knowing that it’s best to wait until Mamma is settled at home before they visit. There are no rules of course, but in my little rule book, only go to the hospital if it’s one of your closest friends or a close family member.

2. The interruptions: You’ll just have drifted off to snooze after finally getting your little one to nod off and the door of the ward shall swing open and in comes “The Beeper”.

The Beeper is the little Blood Pressure monitor and fancy trolley the lovely nurses push from ward to ward to make sure you and baby are doing OK. It looks like Johnny 5 and has a habit of appearing at the most inconvenient times.

Don’t get me wrong. The nurses have a schedule and have to do their rounds and it’s all in your best interest, but you will learn to loath the Beeper. But it’s only for a few days and it makes going home to your own bed all the sweeter.

3. Your first toilet trip: With Mini-Me, I read all the books. ALL of them! My Darling mother happily answered my questions with brutal honesty. When I found out I’d be having her by section, my amazing friend told me all about hers in her colourful language.

Having grown up on a farm and having helped out, hands on I might add, with MANY C-Sections on Cows, I felt quite prepared. I put my faith, my trust and my vulnerable self in the care of the surgeons and all was right with the world.

But NO ONE prepared me for the first toilet trip…when you go for your first pee, apparently it’s normal to feel like you’re being sliced open again without anaesthetic this time! I swear to God, I thought I was going to die right there on the loo. It was not pretty. The pain almost made me puke.

And as if that wasn’t terrifying enough, the first poo is fecking horrendous! I have it on good authority that it is the same for Mummies who deliver vaginally. Again, I thought my entire insides were falling out.

I roared so loudly that The Him actually called for a nurse and she had to come in to convince me that no, I hadn’t just passed my bowel and no, I wasn’t going to die. But don’t tell anyone. How undignified and ridiculous right?

4. The Boobs: Now, for me, this was a big deal. And I mean Big in every sense of the word. As a woman of the Fried egg club, to wake up on day three with two bald heads in my bra, was quite the trauma. I swear to God I looked like Jordan. I’ve always wondered if I’d like to have boobs… No. No I wouldn’t . Thank you. No. Give me my fried eggs any day.

 

5. The journey home: My memory of this one still makes me laugh. The walk from the ward to the car with your lovely car seat is one of the most surreal experiences of your life. I hadn’t stepped more than 6 foot to the bathroom in 4 days.

Suddenly I had to waddle my way down corridors, into lifts (oooooh that bump takes on a whole new level of weirdness after a section!), through a lobby (carrying balloons to boot!) and out into the car. It was like running 20feet and then thinking you’re ready for a marathon the next day.

Daddy is grinning like a Cheshire cat while you shall be torn between scolding him for swinging the seat too much when he walks, and holding your ladybits in because they feel like they are about to fall the hell out of you with every step!

Getting into the car is a challenge and then there’s the drive home. I dare say The Him didn’t go above 40mph the whole way out to the house, because of the precious cargo and of course because of my delicate state. We both give out about Dooters on the road, but Oh my did he dooter out the road that day!

6. The tears: Oh tears. You unpredictable little feckers… They come in waves. You have NO control over them. They’ll arrive at the worst times. And you’ll possibly laugh at the same time because you will have no idea why the hell you’re crying! But let them flow. It’s completely normal! I’m still crying over anything and my Baby is nearly 3!

toes

7. The Visitors: While you’ll want nothing more than to see people and introduce your new bundle to your loved ones, bear in mind that your first day or two at home will be exhausting, emotional and terrifying. If I had been able to pay the midwives to come home with me, I would have. I remember getting to the house with The Him and the Car seat and being soooooo frightened. There was no buzzer. There were no nurses down the hall. It was just us. But we were fine.

babyboots

8. Newborns aren’t overly interesting:  Ok, they are actually much more interesting than you ever thought they were. But here’s the key. YOUR newborn is interesting. To YOU and your partner . Don’t be offended if your visitors only start at the baby for a few minutes. Yes of course they’re interested and of course they’ll think your baby is gorgeous, but while you can watch this little person doing NOTHING for hours on end, to others, it is exactly that…a little person doing nothing!

They don’t see the miraculous progression from yesterday, or that the baby is holding your focus for a few moments longer… or that her grip seems more purposeful. So don’t get offended that your friends seem to politely stare at the baby for only a few minutes, declaring his cuteness or that she has your eyes, before moving promptly on to some other topic of conversation. It’s normal.

And be honest, you’ve probably done it yourself many times. Because other people’s babies are not that interesting are they?

lasagne

9. Lasagne can make you cry: The gifts and parcels and flowers will come and be hugely appreciated. But the most welcomed and remembered offering to the home of the newborn…is food! And the best kind of food is something that can be portioned, reheated, frozen or even eaten cold from the casserole dish. Think curry. Think chilli. Think lasagne. You never realised how good lasagne tastes. It’ll make you so happy that may cry tears of joy.

10. You suddenly won’t care who washes your knickers: Maybe this was just me. Before I had Mini-Me, the thought of someone else doing my washing would have driven me mad with shame. Not because there’s anything wrong with my smalls, No! But I could never have even entertained the thought of my Mum or Mother-in-Law washing them.

And then I got over that VERY quickly. Because the first time I realised that the washing machine was going without me having started it, my initial panic was so overwhelmed by total gratitude that I even surprised myself. Now, I still don’t like the idea of someone washing my knickers, but for the first few weeks after birth, you really shouldn’t give a damn.

So now you’re home. And you could probably add 10 more things to this list. Add away Supermums.

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I am Some Things the Baby Books Forgot to Mention Mum

I am ‘Some things the Baby Books forgot to mention’ Mum

Feel free to sing along!
“Nappies and dodees” should be read/sung to the tune of “Raindrops and Roses” from The Sound of Music.

“Nappies and Dodees and cute little sockies

Big teddies, small teddies, horseys that rockie,

Elephant mobiles that fly on their strings

These are just some of the new baby’s things.

Baskets from Moses and funky shaped pillows

Grufallos, Minnie Mouse, Wind in the Willows,

Breast pumps and bobos and wee plastic pots,

Plastic spoons needed for feeding your tots.

Where’s the dummy?

Close the stairgate.

Get the nappy baaaag.

I simply can’t deal with this amount of stuff

I miss the space that I had.

Cushions and door clips and safety latches

Lift all those candles and hide all the matches

Puke cloths and poop bags and powders and creams,

Lego and Stains on all of your things.

Carseats and carriers, high chairs and bouncers

Moniters, teethers and measures for ounces

Video moniters keep mammy calm

And Daddy’s still learning how to fold up the pram.

Toys toys toys toys

Toys toys toys toys

Did I mention toys?

I simply am listing the simplest of things

We gather for girls…and boys.”

The BS Bibles spout such shite as “Don’t worry! Babies don’t need to take up ALL the space in your home.  Dedicate a shelf or drawer in your living room to baby essentials to keep them close at hand.  The Baby’s clothes etc should be kept in Baby’s nursery (includes image of pale grey amd white, empty, tidy nursery…)  The moses basket should be in a well appointed space, not too close to any radiators or drafty doors/windows. A well organised changing station will help keep the home mess free.”

nursery

Beautiful, isn’t it?

Where does it prepare us for the explosion of STUFF that ensures that EVERY nook and cranny of your once tidyish home gets covered in Baby?  It’s like a giant Baby lifts the roof off your house and projectile VOMITS a load of utter CRAP all over EVERYTHING.

No room escapes and while for the first few weeks you might be able to contain the Baby stuff to a few baskets or to one corner, once they begin to play with toys or move about, the house slowly becomes overwhelmed by toys that seem to reproduce and multiply while we sleep.And just like the list the BS Bibles give you, this is by no means exhaustive.

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This was my kitchen on a good day!

You will find more crap to add to it and you will wonder why you didn’t take millions of photographs of your lovely fengshuiyed, Cath Kitsonesque, picture perfect home BC to send to ‘House and Home’.

And as for new furniture or carpets?

Don’t bother your arse until they’re old enough to know NOT to write on the cushions with glitter glue. 
Wrecking balls…

Absolute wrecking balls. 😂😂😂

I am Starfish Mum

Today is Memory Monday.
I had a savage blast from the past this week Ladybelles.  💗

On my Instafeed, there popped up a beautiful photograph of a friend’s beautiful wee babby.
Nothing unusual there?
But I felt like a truck had hit me.

Why?
Because the perfect little one was wearing a hip harness and suddenly I was back 5 and a half years, remembering things that I haven’t thought about in, well, 5 and a half years.
Mini-Me wore the same little hip harness for 9 weeks.  Her hip dysplasia was diagnosed when she was just 24 hours old.  A student doctor spotted it, and within a few hours, she’d been fitted into the contraption that would (and thankfully did) fix her little hips.
She’d been breach from 28 weeks in my womb and was born by C-Section, folded in half with her left leg up against her left ear. Her wee ear was bent forward, that’s how crushed over she’d been!  (I remember laughing because the Furbaby came to us with a floppy left ear too.  The things that go through your head eh? 😂😂)
But anyway, in the space of a 10 minute examination, everything changed.  Now, in hindsight, we know we were soooooo lucky.
We were lucky that the student Doctor had been invited to check her. The Doctor had missed it.  We were lucky that the hospital had one of the little harnesses in stock, so she didn’t have to wait in pain.  We were lucky in that she responded well and after 9 weeks, we got the bad old harness off.  We were lucky as no surgery was required, and apart from a little phase of physio until she was 2, no follow up action was required.  She didn’t walk until she was 20 months.  In hindsight, I should have enjoyed that!  Princess has been CLIMBING since 11 months and I’m feckin exhausted! 😂😂
It’s not a big deal.  There are a million other things that we could have been told.  There are a million parents who would tut at something as insignificant as hip dysplasia.  In the scheme of things, it’s not the worst thing that will happen.  And yet, when I saw this photograph, I was over run by emotions and memories that as I spoke to The Him, I realised that I have pushed to the back of my brain.
And like everything to do with parenting, when it happens to your baby, to you, regardless of how seemingly small the issue is, it’s still your issue and it’s still horrible to deal with.
I was sitting there with my seemingly perfect little girl. and then we were the parents who had to learn how to hold her. Who had to deal with not being able to bathe her ourselves.  Who had to explain why she looked like a wee starfish (so cute).  Who got sympathetic looks from people when we were out and about.
None of the clothes she got could go on her.  She didn’t FIT into the car seat we’d bought for her.  When she had a poonami, she couldn’t be washed properly.  Her skin was chaffed and raw where the harness rubbed constantly.  She was restrained, just when she should have been free to kick and feel.
Of course, we figured out ways to deal with all of these little problems quickly.  The staff in LUH were fantastic. The moment the Doctor pulled her wee legs back and strapped them into the harness, she let a huge sigh out of her and fell asleep instantly.  She slept for 6 hours straight.  She had been in so much pain up until then.  Every time I had changed her nappy, I had wondered why she was screaming.  Then I suddenly knew and ironically, it was that realisation of her pain that softened the blow for us. So we did what all parents do.  We pulled ourselves together and got on with it and where we couldn’t shower her with water, we showered her with kisses.  😘😘

Yes it was horrid.  Of course it was hard, as a first time Mammy especially, to suddenly have everything change.  My expectations shifted.  My visions of nightly bath routines and pretty outfits went quickly out the window, but we got on with it.
And in hindsight, it wasn’t that big of a deal.

Except that it obviously was more upsetting for me than I gave myself credit for.  The photograph brought back so many memories, good and bad.  It got us talking about our little Mini-Me and those few weeks.
And it made me wonder why I’ve never thought about it?  Why I’ve never thought to write about it?  Why have I put it all so far away into my mind?  I have no idea.  I was so relieved the day that the consultant took the harness off her.  And once the physio told us that she was developing just fine, slowly but fine, I cried with joy.
The day that I saw the photograph of my lovely friend’s little starfish, My Mini-Me had won the sack race in the school sport’s day and was on stage dancing that night.  And so my memory flashes were short-lived and my next reaction was that I needed to tell my friend that it will all be worth it.  That it’s a good thing that it was detected early.  That it’ll be off before she knows it.  I told her the little tricks that we found, like using emulsifying ointment and light bandages to stop the skin chaffing. Like putting light tights for age 3-4 over her wee legs and how she can still put on pretty dresses.
But most importantly, that it’s completely fine that she’s finding it difficult to deal with or to feel upset, because there is no Blue Peter Badge for brave Mammies and Daddies and sometimes, shit things happen.😳
But thankfully, in our case anyway, things were and are fine. (Look at how cute our little Starfish was!  It was actually hard to get used to needing 2 hands to hold her after the harness came off!)  She is sine and my friend’s little one will be too
So there we go.  Have to be serious sometimes you know!?.
Has anyone else dealt with hip dysplasia?  Do you have any tips or advice that you’d like to share below for my friend or any other Mama who might be dealing with it right now? Please share or PM me if you’d rather not be identified.
Hope you all had a lovely day. 💙💙💙💙
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