Our first 8 weeks

As Finley hits the 2 month mark the newborn haze has finally lifted, my hormones have settled and I have found a few minutes to actually reflect on how it’s been. Plus I’ve managed to write this post! *Pats myself on the back*

The first thing I have to say is that despite having done this before I have been on a crash course in newborns yet again. Clearly I’ve forgotten everything from last time (well it was 8 years ago!!) but also, and I’m sure you’ll be as shocked about this as me, it turns out that all babies aren’t the same. Who knew! Seriously – Finley couldn’t be any more different to my daughter so even when I thought I remembered things it hasn’t helped.

So, what has my crash course taught me?

I can ‘go with the flow’
Despite my being a self confessed control freak I have actually managed (with some struggle I admit) to go with the flow. I am amazed at myself. I haven’t tried to get a routine and I haven’t given myself the opportunity to worry about what problems I’m storing up for the future (It’s the ‘best not to think about it too much’ approach). In fact, I’ve done all sorts of things I never thought I would! For starters I have enjoyed rocking, feeding and cuddling Finn to sleep. A lot. I have breastfed him for comfort and shocked myself by being ok with it. I have also driven out in the car for no reason other than to get him asleep and I don’t care because he slept!

Crucially though, we have survived the first few weeks, Finn is doing well and even finding his own flow to the days and nights.

March 11 - sleeping at last

It’s the hormones!
In the first 5 ish weeks I was incredibly emotional – crying a lot and feeling very much like I was mad to do this again. I had totally forgotten what I’m like when I’m hormonal and sleep deprived.

With the passing of time, support from some amazing friends and family, the settling of my hormones and a little more sleep, I am now on the other side of those mad few weeks.

I have also stopped feeling guilty about the fact that when people tell me ‘time flies’ I’m actually ok with that! Having a newborn is bloody hard work so as far as I’m concerned it’s ok that the first few weeks fly by – it really is possible to enjoy them at the speed they are without feeling the need to slow it down. I for one have enjoyed watching Finn learn to control his limbs, learn to smile, learn to coo and ‘chat’ and learn to to bat things … see I didn’t miss anything.

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Cluster what?!
Whilst I had never heard of, or experienced, cluster feeding before, Finn was apparently born familiar with it and every evening all he really wanted was to be latched on for a good couple of hours. Is this about hunger and him getting lots of food? Well maybe a bit, but I’m pretty sure that it is mostly about comfort when he’s tired at the end of the day and the fact that he just likes it. My initial instinct was that there was no way I was sitting with him chomping on me for hours in the evening but there is no denying that when I went with it, I had a happy, sleep boy who goes to bed really well and when I didn’t – well it was a more stressful, screamy type of evening. I can now say that as he turns 9 weeks old this has started to slow down a lot.

So there you have it – my reflections on our first 2 months. I wonder what the next two will bring!

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A photo shoot from heaven

This is Finley – just short of 4 weeks old – taken by the fabulous photography by Sinem.

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I hadn’t planned on writing a post about this at all – I mean, thousands of parents take their new baby to have special photos taken. It’s nothing unusual and certainly nothing new – I took my daughter when she was little and lots of my friends have done the same.

This photo shoot however, was different. I was really fortunate to be able to take Finn for a newborn photo shoot with an independent photographer based near us (Birmingham) and the whole experience was quite frankly a little slice of heaven.

This was one of our first trips out after Finley’s arrival. I have to be honest and say that I very nearly rang to cancel that morning because I was tired, Finn was needing a sleep but (as always) fighting it and I felt totally stressed about how awful it was going to be. I’m so glad I didn’t.

On arrival, Sinem (the photographer) gave me a huge smile and took Finn in his car seat through to the room where we would be. It was warm, relaxing and inviting. Five minutes later I was sat with a cup of tea, some biscuits and empty arms! Finn was being soothed and snuggled by Sinem who, with the patience of a saint, proceeded to carefully and gently sort Finn into the outfits and positions she wanted for the pictures.

For over 3 hours I sat back and relaxed – really relaxed. This was not just about the photos but about the whole experience and the calm I felt for the first time since Finn was born. The fantastic pictures produced were the icing on the cake! Of course the other aspect was the fact that I watched a total stranger soothe and comfort my little boy with amazing expertise and most crucially relaxed patience. I truly believe the latter are the two key words and remembering this in some of the tough moments since has really helped.

So when I look at these beautiful pictures of Finley I not only think about how gorgeous my little boy is (yes I’m biased!) but I also remember how wonderful those 3 hours were.

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A letter to my baby boy

To my darling Finley. At 3 and a half weeks old I couldn’t love you more and we are doing pretty well. I had totally forgotten what having a newborn was like so it has been a new world for both of us! For the record it’s a mix of tears, smiles, poo and short bursts of sleep. :-)

Our cuddles together are moments I will cherish forever and I am still amazed every time I look at you that you really grew in my tummy and that you’re finally here. It’s something I know doesn’t change because I still often look in wonder at your big sis and she’s almost 8!

finn and mummy

Of course being your mum is inevitably challenging at times – I mean you can’t tell me what you need so we play our little guessing game quite regularly. I even guess right occasionally. You also really don’t get it when you need to rest – I think your a bit too nosy so that often spells disaster aka overtired crying (mostly you and occasionally me).

And of course as ever I wish I was better at some stuff and more confident in my own instincts. I wish for example that I could stop my brain over analysing everything and in particular worrying about the problems I’m creating for the future or whether what I’m doing is right (right by whom I Wonder?!) I am a nutter for having these thoughts and I know this, but my brain doesn’t seem to register it.

I also wish I could stop googling all the time as if there is AN answer to everything, but its an instinct I apparently can’t override. I’m actually secretly googling stuff now so no one knows I’ve looked – I think it’s an official type of addiction but sadly i can’t find that when I google it.

Ah well – perfect parenting truly doesn’t exist and this I know, but one thing I can promise you is that I will always do my best for you and strive to do even better. I am so excited to watch you grow up and so proud to be your mum.

Welcome to the world and welcome to our family.

Love always,

Mummy

family finn

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Binky Linky

He’s finally here

So this is going to be a short post because I really just wanted to share the news that our baby boy is here! It’s also because I have no energy or sanity to write more – everything I have is currently dealing with a newborn. Enough said. 

Born on 20 January weighing 81lb 12 (more on that in due course) I am delighted to introduce Finley (Finn). 

   
 
Back soon folks! 

Overdue but excited!

It’s official – this baby is showing no signs of coming and at 41 weeks and 3 days it is fair to say that I have had my moments of grumpiness about it. It’s a funny thing really – we didn’t want him to appear at Christmas, but then as soon as Christmas was done it would have been great for him to be here! Even the children have made multiple comments about how long I’ve been pregnant. The fact that I’m measuring a little big hasn’t helped and with me measuring 46cm at my last midwife appointment it’s fair to say I am slightly suprised that I can still stand up…

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The Christmas fortnight, aside from being generally fantastic, was also interesting on the baby front with a fair bit of excitement. First because I was measuring big but wanted the option of a water birth I was sent for a scan at the hospital. The scan showed that baby boy was big but not abnormally so and all was fine except….he’d gone from head down and well engaged to breach. (Isn’t there a saying about you solve one problem, then find another?!)

Two days later, with my labour bag in toe, we were in hospital where the consultant performed an external cephalic version (ECV) to turn the baby. Baby turned head down without any problem and after a little monitoring to check all was well we went home. Following all that excitement we’ve then had … nothing … nada …. no change …. no signs …literally nothing. As the Christmas period came to an end I was feeling quite deflated and, if I’m honest, dreading going back to the school run. When it came though it was actually quite nice to be back to our routine (bizarre but true!).

Now we have a date set for me to be induced and so the excitement is building once again! It’s not my ideal scenario but at least I know the latest day things will get started. Having been induced when Ellie was born it’s familiar territory and whilst there is still time for him to make his own appearance, I feel like we know where we are.

Ellie’s very own birth plan (she takes after her mum!) stating what she will do and where she will go when the baby comes is still ready by the door, as is my birth plan (and hospital bags) but now we have also precision planned what happens if I do go in on the induction date. It feels a bit like the calm, organised bit before the storm aka a baby – but hopefully that’s just my warped sense of humour!

So that’s all folks for now – but hopefully we’ll have some very special news for you soon!