Being a full time mum

So, a week on and the car is still not fixed … fingers crossed, the part we need replacing is due to be delivered today!!

Because Wilfred isn’t enrolled in a nursery, I’m very aware that I need to offer him a varied week full of new experiences, socialisation, learning and fun. Usually, I have him up and out of the house by 9:30am. But lots of the groups we attend and friends we visit are a bit of a jaunt by car, let alone on foot!!  Being without the car, I was seriously panicking we’d both be going stir crazy with cabin fever. 

However, I am pleased to report that we have had a lovely week together. I’m not sure I could do it all the time, but having a week out to simplify things and spend time together has been really nice. We have had friends over for coffee and play dates … but for the most part, its been just us and a less scheduled and quite laid back week. We’ve taken some walks in the local area, spent lots of time in the garden and played indoors. We’ve definitely (both) used our imagination more coming up with games. 

Going forward (once I’m back on the road), I think I’ll try and schedule more down time in our week. Usually, if I’m at home, I’m cleaning, cooking, organising something … I’m rarely sat just ‘being’ with them and enjoying their company. 

Sx 



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That moment …

On Friday I’d spent a good hour getting myself and both kids ready, changing bags packed, snacks prepared and children bundled into car seats, when I discovered the car would start. Wilfred announced “mummy’s stalled the car!” (where does he pick these things up?) … I’m trying to get the car to turn over, have now started arguing with my two year old (“I did not stall the car. It’s just broken”. “Mummy broke the car!” Etc.), Rupert starts crying while Wilf’s still chanting “bro-ken bro-ken bro-ken!” and I realise I desperately need a wee. 

Moments like this … when you have to decide what to tackle first, are probably the hardest part of ‘duel parenting’. 

My advice is to take a deep breath and treat the situation like a plane crash. Sort yourself out first. You are no use to your children if you are flustered, distracted or, in my case, desperate for the loo! 

… Next, decide (calmly) what is the most pressing matter and remind yourself that in 10 minutes’ time you’ll be sat inside with a cup of tea (waiting for the RAC). 

Motherhood is essentially a course in management, I’ve found. And as with anything, the longer you stick at it, the better you get. Every day is easier than the last and 10 weeks in I think we’ve really found our feet. Which is just as well as I no longer have wheels!

Sx

Keeping me busy

The last time I wrote, Rupert was a mere two weeks old, Richard had just gone back to work after the quickest paternity leave ever and I was adjusting to life with two. 

Fast forward 4 weeks (yes, my baby boy will be 6 weeks tomorrow!!) and we are in a routine that could do with a little tweaking (couldn’t we all?) but on the whole is working for us. I have been up, showered and dressed every day and out of the house most days, so I consider that a win! I will post about my daily routine with two when I get time … But right now I am on the verge of sleep and Rupert is settled in my arms. 

So for now, I will leave you with some photos of the last month … Particularly loving watching Wilf and Rupert’s (or ‘Ruby’ as Wilfred refers to him) relationship blossom. Melts. My. Heart. 

S x

   
    
   

Two weeks old

Little update on Rupert, now that I’ve been discharged by midwifery team and he is two weeks (and two day) old …

I’ve been quite surprised about all the things I’d forgotten about newborns. I mean, I only had my first baby two years ago … But it seems like a distant memory. I’d completely forgotten that your nipples are sore and raw when you start breastfeeding! I had about 4 days of agony every time he latched. Not fun. Particularly when you’re already sleep deprived and hormonal! Lansinoh Lanolin cream has been a lifesaver, although it’s £10 a tube(!) it’s definitely worth it. 

The sleepless nights are different this time. First baby, you’re up all night … But try to nap when the baby does, during the day and take a lie in when they finally fall asleep at 8 in the morning. This time round, I have a two year old to entertain / spend some one on one time with whenever the baby is asleep! So if I don’t sleep at night, I don’t sleep at all. However, I am more convinced he won’t die if I fall asleep and don’t check him every time he goes quiet like I did the first time round. Haha. 

Post-partum wise, I have recovered so much faster. I still have my mummy-tummy pouch, but I actually weight less than before I fell pregnant. Two kids and a home to maintain will keep you on your feet all day. Not a bad thing!! I’m definitely more decisive with how things are going to work. Generally, the baby fits into the toddler’s routine. When he needs to feed, I have some jigsaws etc. that I put out to keep two year old entertained. It’s a work in progress to keep them both happy simultaneously, but we’re getting there!

My pregnancy ‘cravings’ of cleaning products (the smell, not taste!!) has not gone away. Which I’m pretty thrilled about. I was worried the house may descend into chaos once Rupert was born, but I’m just as motivated as before to clean the kitchen and smell the CIF. I’m now thinking it was maybe a strong beating instinct rather than a craving and I’d still like the home to be tidy and welcoming for guests and my family. Generally, I think with two children, you just can’t leave something until later. It will just build up!!

I’m thinking I might try potty training Wilfred when the weather improves with summer … The never ending nappies aren’t much fun and take up quite a bit of my day. Not to mention, the money we’d save if one of them was nappy-free. 

Richard is back at work and we’re all rubbing along ok. Generally, it’s all gone rather smoothly. Pleasantly surprised!

S x 

   
    
 

Paternity Leave

Paternity leave has now come to an end … It has been so lovely, having Richard at home for just over a week and enjoying our two boys together. 

We’ve visited family, seen friends, went to a children’s farm, been shopping and to soft play centres. But most importantly, we’ve spent time at home together, getting to know the newest member of our family. 

I’ve just had my first day managing these two by myself … It went better than I expected to be honest!! Even though Wilfred has a bit of a cold and last night was the most restless we’ve had with Rupert. Things can only get even better, then, right? Rupert is still sleeping a lot during the day (he’s only 11 days old), so I can spend his naps getting through the housework, making lunch, playing with Wilfred and stealing toilet breaks in peace!! 

I’m sure the coming months will present more challenges. But I’m just pleased to have survived the first day and made it to the end with a smile on my face. 
Onwards and upwards. S x

   
   

We had a baby!

Rupert Phillip James Marston arrived at 6:39am on Saturday 5th March (just a day shy of Mother’s Day), weighing 7lbs 11oz. We are totally in love with our new (smaller) baby boy. He seems tiny to us (after Wilfred’s whopping 9lb 6oz’s). 

My labour was induced on Wednesday after some Reduced Foetal Movement, I was given a Prostin Tablet to kick-start things, it’s purpose (unlike my first, induced labour) was to ripen my cervix (rather than necessarily start contractions). I did contract a bit and used my TENS machine that first night to help with the pain. I also had a lovely dose of pethidine when things picked up, which helped me sleep. I dilated 3cm before the prostin tablet stopped working (once it dissolves, it stops releasing the hormone). 

Then we were on a waiting list to have my waters broken … This often starts labour ‘naturally’ but they will defer to an Oxytocin drip (Syntocin in my case) if things don’t pick up. A room became free on our third night in hospital and we ended up having the drip (along with an epidural … Which is standard procedure with Syntocin because it is released so quickly into your body, it artificially creates very strong and regular contractions, which are full on with no build up). 

I got my epidural and settled down to have a nap (Richard was snoozing on a reclining chair next to me). Once the drip kicked in, I very quickly noticed that I was feeling contractions and could still move my legs. Turns out the epidural had gone in slightly off -centre and was only affecting one leg, rather than blocking me completely. 

Things ramped up quickly, they were unable to rectify epidural as the drip was already working so quickly. I turned to gas and air. And swearing. The contractions intensified and I could feel intense pain in my left thigh and pelvis. Luckily, my midwife, Michalene was amazing! She really guided me through how to get the most from the gas and air and breathe through the pain. 

As the pain became more frequent, I demanded she ‘check me!’. I wanted to know how dilated I was. She refused as she said I was doing well and she didn’t want to discourage me if it wasn’t much. I repeated ‘f*cking check me, now!’ (Apparently I’m delightful under the influence of gas and air!), which she reluctantly did and informed me I was 9cm! Which explained the intensity of it … I had gone from 3-9cm in 3 hours with contractions one on top of the other and hardly any break.

The next hour is a bit hazy. I totally zoned out from her and Richard and closed my eyes, breathing through the pain and puffing on the gas and air. She asked if I felt like pushing and I didn’t know … But tried anyway. Pushing was the best pain relief I’d had yet. So I pushed like hell. She kept telling me off for doing it when I didn’t have contractions! I wanted to squeeze my legs together but she told me not to because the baby’s head was coming … I think my exact words were ‘don’t f*cking lie to me’. Because I just couldn’t imagine that we’d reached that point. But sure enough, after a few pushes, I felt his head born. Shortly followed by his body and massive relief. 

The pain completely stopped. And I met our beautiful baby boy. Richard cut the cord while I held Rupert to my chest and marvelled at myself for doing what is thought I couldn’t do… give birth without massive pain relief and intervention (no forceps this time round. And not even a little tear!). 

Given the option, although I’d try and avoid induction … I don’t think I’d have an epidural next time at all. Which is huge for me – I’m totally a ‘take the drugs if you need them’ type girl. But the experience and sense of achievement totally overshadowed the pain in the end and my body is practically back to normal which has been a huge bonus, caring for two children! 

S x 

   

    
 

Catch up … March Baby!

Well, I didn’t give birth in February. So little one’s officially going to be a March baby. I am 38 weeks and 3 days today and still wondering how long baby is going to make me wait …? Kind of had it in my mind that this baby (being a second baby) might come sooner that Wilfred did (he was born at 40 weeks and 6 days), but now I’m resigning myself to ‘he’ll come when he’s ready’ and you can’t rush these things! 

I’ve been give an induction date in case I don’t go into labour naturally (22nd March), although THAT seems a long way off. I’m pretty uncomfortable at night now, I’m getting loads of Braxton Hicks which can be uncomfortable and struggling to keep pace with my two year old!!

I keep going back and forth re: the idea of a stretch and sweep at my next midwife appointment (Thursday). I found them so uncomfortable last time, but I also want to meet my baby now. Not sure. Think my decision will depend on how much sleep I’ve had the night before and whether or not my back’s aching on the day! Haha. 

Feel free to send some labour vibes my way! I’ll keep you updated. 

… In other news, I have restored a solid sleep cycle and afternoon nap for Wilfred … I’m limiting his night’s sleep to 10 and a half hours, which is giving me back a 2 hour afternoon nap! Which I am really appreciating. Feet up, cup of tea and taking life easy while I wait for this one to arrive. Life will never be this peaceful again!

S x