Well, it’s been 13 months since my last blog. I’d “blogged in my head” just hadn’t found the time (or patience) to write anything down.
These last 13 months have been emotional. I went back to work – part time. A change in role and responsibilities that would allow me to spend more time at home with my mini beast. Wonderful for adult interaction, using big words (or at least not sounding out “ba-na-na” for the twentieth time), going to the loo alone. Not great for the guilt of leaving my little one while I revel in those “luxuries” associated with returning to work.
It was tough. Tougher than I imagined. Tough because of the range of emotions I felt – guilt, was I a bad mum for going back to work? Sadness – the potential of missing out on my baby growing up. Apprehension – would I even be able to remember how to work? Excitement – I’d spend time with adults (followed by guilt for being so selfish). Exhaustion – my wonderful little man didn’t sleep through the night until he was 15 months old and even then it was hit and miss.
I soon discovered the range of emotions was heightened as I was expecting my second baby. Having struggled to conceive #1, I was elated that not nearly as much medical intervention was required this time or half as many heart breaks along the way.
Little miracle #2 arrived by elective C-section (avoiding the possibility of another 78 hour labour and emergency c-section as per #1) on 13th March this year. I tap this out on my tablet with a sleeping baby on my chest after a hectic day as a mum of 2, who’d have thought it
As I love a plan, I’m especially grateful that my weeks now have a (small) sense of routine to them:
Monday: #1 goes to nursery so I can focus on #2 (and think back to how lucky I was with having just 1 to deal with – yet still being a total wreck)
Tuesday: Nanny takes #1 to Jumping Jacks, so a little break for #2 (#1 is very interested in #2, in a sweet, yet violent way)
Wednesday: Dad helps
Thursday: Wing it
Friday: Wing it
Saturday: #1 goes swimming (nice long nap after)
Sunday: Hope there is someone around to help / wing it
Today is Monday, a slightly less conventional Monday than most – I’d usually attempt to sneak a little sleep in while #1 was at nursery but today I had a physio appointment in the morning and #1s nursery day cut short for his first dentist appointment (poor little lamb landed face first on the kitchen lino covered concrete floor – blood everywhere and black gums, watch this space for either discoloured or absent teeth). Knowing I had approximately an hour to get everything done I managed to sort out the mountain of washing, tidy up (shove toys in brightly coloured ikea furniture) and express.
Ahh, expressing. I remember this from the days with #1. A double electric pump, sterilising the three hundred attachments and fitting them together in the hope that they’d work. Getting myself a freezer full of the good stuff only to find #1 refuse to take a bottle. Flat. Out. Refuse. There’s no reasoning with a baby, no “if you don’t drink this, you’ll be hungry”. Nothing. I remember quietly sobbing to myself as I thawed the milky ice pops in the sink, watching the milk swirl down the plug hole. The exhaustion of expressing and feeding. Wasted. Don’t get me wrong, I know I was lucky to be able to breastfeed etc etc but in that moment, liquid gold was draining away. Along with part of my soul.
Not this time, I tell myself. This time I will express and give #2 a bottle earlier. Time check, great, 30 minutes to get this done.
Plumbed in, I managed to spurt out a quick 150ml without interruption.
#2 took to the bottle without batting an eyelid, back to the breast without any fuss too. I couldn’t be happier! Today is a parenting win for me. Today is a good day. It’s important to remember the positives as well and the negatives, no matter how small they are (even though the less than glamourous mechanical sucking sound will stay with me for a long, long time).