Considering I have a two months old baby boy, I don’t think I could be more chilled as I sit and write this. I’m currently watching Pickle snooze in his pram, in the sunshine, outside my parents’ touring caravan near New Quay, Wales – dolphin central! It’s glorious. I used to come here every year (believe it or not) and when we were trying to organise Pickle’s first seaside experience, it was top of my list. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… I’m such a creature of habit. LPD should have just finished his day at work and will be whisking his way to join us by catching a train from Birmingham (hopefully in the right direction… He has been known to board trains going the opposite way before now!).
It’s the perfect way to celebrate what has been, by all accounts, a really lovely month. As much as I loved the first month with our baby boy, this second has surpassed it: less crazy hormones, more confidence and Pickle is really beginning to develop into the little boy he’ll grow into. He’s so much more alert so we’ve had GREAT fun playing on his play mat, listening (and me poorly singing) to songs – he prefers the latest dance hits rather than nursery rhymes it turns out (Major Lazer is his favourite!) – and so many walks in the fresh air.
Breastfeeding has stopped being an anxiety-inducing painful affair and I’m really beginning to enjoy it now. Whereas to start with I found it very stressful, now it’s a wonderful way to bond with my baby boy and I look at how much he’s grown and feel proud to have been responsible!
And boy is Pickle a long one! At his last measure, he was over the 91st percentile for length (with his other measurements sitting on the 75th). Takes after his Daddy already. I’m already bracing myself for him being taller than me by his 11th birthday at this rate.
At the start, I was very worried about our sleeping habits. I say ‘our’ because I think I can claim partial responsibility for how and when he was sleeping to begin with. For the first week of his life, I don’t think Pickle slept anywhere except on me. And I was happy for him to do so – I so enjoyed and craved those sleepy cuddles and couldn’t bear to put down when he fell asleep in my arms. Plus I didn’t want to risk waking him! Now though, we do a bit of both. He still enjoys a post-feed snooze and whilst sometimes I’m happy to have an excuse to stay confined to the sofa and wait for him to wake up, I’m also able to pop him in his Moses basket or pram (which he sleeps better in) during the day. At night, we tend to put him in his SnuzPod for the first portion of the night, and once he wakes for a feed, I then take advice from my breastfeeding support worker and do some safe-co-sleeping for the remainder of the night. On occasion, he’s managed a 6 hour sleep stretch (!!!!) but waking up every two hours is also a regular occurrence!
Now that I can drive, it’s been wonderful to have an increased sense of freedom too. I’ve taken Pickle to visit friends, go shopping and to various baby-classes. My NCT group has been a real lifeline – sometimes we meet up as often as 4 times a week! These wonderful new Mummies deserve a blog post of their own because I could go on all day about how much I value their friendship, support and wisdom! You can’t put a price or value on having such a wonderful support network.
LPD and I have also settled more into the rhythm of life as parents. I certainly felt there was some kind of disconnect during that first month, and I can admit to feeling somewhat resentful that he was able to go on with his life relatively normally whilst my whole world had been turned upside down. I remember getting irately annoyed that he could just come home from work and go to the toilet straight away. He doesn’t know how lucky he is to be able to wee anytime he wants! I would think to myself. Bearing in mind, I’d have probably been needing the toilet for most of the day but never had the opportunity to go. Simple things… The thing is, I’d get myself all annoyed and bitter but it wasn’t like it was LPD’s fault. I think it’s all just part of adjusting to the new roles and changes to our relationship. I didn’t expect a baby would change the nature of the relationship between LPD and I but it undoubtedly has and I’m sure over the next however many years we’ll experience all sorts of peaks and troughs. I’ve always said I’ll never take him for granted though, and as long as that stands, I’ll always feel like the luckiest woman alive. He’s my absolute rock and best friend, and the most wonderful Daddy – a complete natural!