Tag Archives: Emotions

Dear Dexter

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Dear Dexter,

Well you’re now 5 months old which simply doesn’t seem possible! Although it seems only yesterday I was rocking you to sleep in the hospital, you’ve transformed our lives so much we just can’t remember what life was like before you were in it. Despite this, mummy and daddy stll joke that it feels like we’re on borrowed-time and are just looking after you until someone comes to take you back! We’re just so overwhelmed with pride and love for you that we struggle to put our feelings into words.

This has definitely been an exciting month for mummy and daddy as you’re so much more active! We’ve now regulated Lottie (your activity mat) to your toy chest as you seemed to be signing that you’re ready for something new. So this month you’ve road-tested some ‘big boy’ toys and have begun spending time in Ermintrude (your sit-me-up cosy as renamed by daddy), and have much more tummy-time.

You continue to love gazing at yourself in the mirror and you’re responding more to squeaks and music from your toys. Our favourite thing to do is place a favourite toy slightly out of your reach, flip you on your tummy, and encourage you to stretch out and reach it. We’re not convinced you’ll be crawling by the end of the month but we’re getting there!

Image courtesy of Tegan Suzanne Photography

You continue to be the most beautiful baby mummy and daddy have ever seen. You are beginning to recognise us more now and we know you are always pleased to see us as you reserve your bestest smiles just for us. The funniest ones are when you first wake and we scoop you up for a cuddle, and when you’ve achieved something new and mummy and daddy clap to reward you. Those smiles are so wonderful as they’re almost half excitement / half bewilderment – as though you can’t understand what all the fuss is about.

Image courtesy of Tegan Suzanne Photography

As you rarely cry, people are always commenting how well-behaved you are, and mummy can not help but feel proud. You’re a wonderfully social baby and are happy to be fussed over by complete strangers. You seem to take every new experience in your stride and it’s comforting to know you trust mummy so implicitly.

We’ve had the odd night where you’ll wake in the night. This is pretty out of character for you so you’ve caught us unprepared. In our bleary-eyed state we initially made the mistake of bringing out the “big guns” at 2am; bottles, cuddles and popping you in the bed next to us. Although these tricks are undoubtably successful, they seem to take much longer in the middle of the night! It’s pretty clear however that mummy and daddy are too fidgety to embrace co-sleeping. I’ve often woken in the night with pins and needles only find you’ve fallen asleep in my arms. I’ll also worry continually about daddy rolling onto you as he isn’t aware you are next to him. In any case, the very act of picking you up, rocking, or feeding you also just serves to wake you up even more, which isn’t the desired goal in the dead of the night!

Image courtesy of Tegan Suzanne Photography

Finally, mummy has been deep in conversation with Father Christmas this week and he’s sent some amazing things through the post. It’s been very tough resisting the urge to give you your new toys straight away. I simply can’t wait to see your little face on Christmas morning when you rip open the paper and see what you’ve got xx

All in all it’s very exciting and we can’t wait to see what next month has in store.

Love Mummy and Daddy xx
NOTE: These stunning shots of Dexter were taken by Tegan of Tegan Suzanne Photography. If you’d like to know more about her packages, you can like her on FB here

Giggles, gymnastics and posing at 4 months

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I can’t believe how quickly you’re growing! Looking back through photos of you laying next to your earliest cuddly toys, you seemed dwarfed by some of them! Now, you’re able to grab and chew them with ease.

Your little personality is coming into its own now. You’re cheerful and endearing, sweet-tempered and loving. A tearful tantrum is always followed by a smile and you’re able to calm yourself down now without mummy. You’re also an avid chit-chatterer and each day you’ll make a new sound. Giggles are now prolonged and more frequent and just when mummy thought she couldn’t love you any more, she finds a little bit of extra room in her heart with every laugh you give.

Your legs are now super strong. Everyday you’ll come into mummy’s bed in the morning after daddy has gone to work. You’ll finish your long sleep with mummy then wake us up at 8am by kicking off the bed sheets and giggling beside me. You also love to stand up. After changing your nappy on your mat, you’ll stretch out your arms towards me and I’ll pull you up by your arms into an upright position. Standing there smiling in your sleepsuit you look like a mini gymnast after a world-class floor routine.

How much did mummy and daddy struggle getting a shot of you on your legs?!

You continue to take such stunning photographs and seem to enjoy posing. Mummy and daddy both have photos of you set as the background on their laptops and you seem to recognise yourself whenever you catch a glimpse of our screens.

We have had the odd bad day. You gave your dad a fright a few weeks ago when you screamed for 2 hours whilst mummy was having a few drinks with her friend, and yesterday you refused to let me put you down all day. We put these outbursts down to you feeling a bit tired or a bit unwell. They are always short-lived and never a problem.

We’ve had just one accident so far when mummy dropped an iPhone on your head. You sustained a tiny cut on your eyebrow and mummy stayed up all night crying. I’m sure this is the first of many knocks and scrapes but I could do without another for a few months as I was devastated.

Rolling still seems a long way off, but your sitting is progressing well and its only a matter of time before you can do this unaided.

This next month will be a big one for you. We have the challenge of introducing you to ‘grown up’ food, you’ll be going swimming for the first time ever with daddy on holiday, and I suspect we might get a ”mama” or “dada” out of you. We’re also moving house and moving you into your own room, and mummy is going back to work. These are massive things for us both to deal with and I’ve had lots of tears myself as I’ll really miss being with you during the day. Daddy will be with you from 10am – 3pm and I know you’ll make him as happy as you’ve made me with lots of giggles and little milestones. Just don’t forget mummy please, and save some smiles for me in the early evening.

A self conscious mummy

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They warn you that motherhood brings out just about every emotion from fear, to pain, to joy, to happiness <Insert yours here>. What I wasn’t prepared for was this overwhelming sense of self-consciousness; I feel judged by everyone, all of the time.

When Dexter and I make our daily trip to Tescos Express, I can feel people staring and appraising. They’re looking at:

  • My choice of buggy; how much did it cost? Is it secondhand?
  • They’re peering in at Dexter to see how he’s dressed; is it weather appropriate? Is the sun in his eyes?
  • They are scanning the look on my face; am I glowing and refreshed? Or, is my hair out-of-place and my make-up dishevelled?

Those same people are trying to guess my age; am I one of those school-leaving, council estate, benefit reaping charlatans we all hear about on Question Time. I don’t have any issue with young mums at all but I’m a young-looking 29-year-old so have no reason to be so paranoid. This is undoubtably because I feel young, I feel inexperienced, I feel scared – and I bet every inch of that is etched across my face.

At the supermarket I feel people are peeping into my shopping basket to see what I’m buying; fatty foods are met with a look of ‘knowing’, Infacol or Calpol brings out the sympathetic nods, wine makes people stare in horror. If I buy cigarettes people look at me like I should be shot on the spot.

My health visitor recently came around and I watched every word I said; I couldn’t be too confident or she’d think I didn’t need her help (I can’t afford to miss out on her expertise as I know so little); I couldn’t be too anxious or she’d make me fill in one of her little questionnaires and before you know it we’d have social workers around every day poring over my efforts at motherhood looking for an opportunity to step in with a “Oh I wouldn’t do it like that, it’s like this”.

Even on Facebook I have to make sure Dexter is constantly seen in a positive light; “He’s sleeping so well”, “He’s’ a joy to look after”, or “He’s so handsome” – just so people can see how well I’m coping and won’t feel the need to jump in with their two pennies worth. In the same breath I’m dishing out the same advice I hate to all those pregnant mates who haven’t had the benefit of my infinite wisdom.

I think I’ve always been a little nervous and anxious – I’ve had moments in the past where I’ve been unable to get out of bed and hid away from everyone for days on end – I even missed a Christmas once when I was upset about a relationship break up I felt like a complete failure and unworthy of a Turkey meal with my family! It’s clearly something I need to get over or poor Dexter will suffer and inherit my lack of confidence.

In reality I pass only 2 or 3 people on those supermarket trips and they aren’t at all bothered about me or my son. The health visitor is probably desperate to get out of my house so she can move onto the next mummy who isn’t afraid to admit she needs some support. My Facebook pals have probably got fed up of hearing about Dexter every 5 minutes and opted out of viewing my updates on their timeline. We’re simply a mother and son and are going to make the same mistakes as every one else in the world.

I have no reason at all to be so worried and know how ridiculous all this self doubt sounds. Everyone I meet tells me how fabulously smiley he is. The doctors and health visitors have been positive about every weigh-in and head measurement. He actually seems a little bit beyond all the major developmental milestones cited on mother and baby websites! Best of all, I know he loves me and trusts me and I know there is nothing I could do better as a mum than I do already.

So maybe this is just how everyone feels. I wouldn’t be a good mother if I didn’t worry! That said, at the end of a long day spent pretending to be the Stepford Mum, I always look forward to the solitude of my home, with my Craig and my Dexter – It’s less scary here!

 

Your Dramatic Entrance!

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Here follows a mini timeline of your birth:

12:30pm (15th May 2012)

Mummy arrived at Reading town centre as she had a photo shoot at work at 2pm. Mummy was in a bit of a strop as she didn’t feel like having her picture taken and thought she looked hideous. The plan was to get her hair cut before the shoot so she got into town early. On the way to the hairdressers she popped into to see her best mate Paul Smith at his work (Goldsmiths Jewelers) with a belated birthday pressie.

1.00pm

Mummy got her hair cut at SuperCuts (a ‘cheap’ hairdressers in the Oracle – the only place that would see her at such short notice). The hairdresser was a very camp Thai guy so mummy was chatting and beginning to relax into the day.

2.00pm

The photo shoot! Mummy was having pictures taken for the re-launch of her work website. She wasn’t overly impressed with the photo but hey, she was 8.5 months pregnant and tired. She over stayed her welcome afterwards for some cuddles and a good old gossip with the girls (Charley, Charlotte, Nic, Nikki and Laura).

4.30pm

Daddy picked up mummy and they went food shopping at Tesco’s. You’ll soon find out that shopping with Daddy is a royal pain in the butt; he likes to ‘browse’ the aisles and spends AGES comparing the prices of everything. Mummy was beginning to feel you wriggle about and thought she felt the first twinges of you getting ready for birth. She was so excited she posted about this on Facebook.

7.00pm – 10.00pm

You were wriggling away and mummy was feeling a little uncomfortable whilst she was watching the telly.

10.00pm

Mummy went to bed – she wanted to lay straight as she had a few mini cramps. She wouldn’t feel you again for a few hours.

12.00am (16th May 2012)

Daddy had come to bed around 11pm and wanted to get his head down for work the next day. Mummy wasn’t tired and her mind was racing with thoughts of you so she went to watch a film in the living room (Four Brothers).

12.15am

Mummy felt some water between her legs and thought her waters had broken. She felt down between her legs and felt she was soaked right through. When she lifted her hand up she saw it was bright red with blood. Mummy panicked BIG TIME and shouted to Daddy to help her. She was running throughout the flat and shaking as she thought it was bad and you might be in trouble. Daddy and mummy rang the hospital and they called an ambulance.

12.30am

The ambulance came and took mummy to the maternity ward at the Royal Berkshire Hospital. Daddy followed behind in the van. The ambulance men were very nice and told mummy not to panic.

12:45pm

Mummy was taken on a hospital trolley to the maternity ward. They strapped her straight into a machine so she (and they) could hear your heartbeat through her tummy – mummy cried because she was so relieved you were okay. The nurses then felt her tummy and tried to work out whereabouts you were inside of her. There had been some problems with your positioning throughout the pregnancy; at 36 weeks you were upside down with your tiny feet pointing downwards. In order to give birth safely you had to be the other way around so the doctors had massaged mummy’s tummy to get you the right way up. The nurses wanted to make sure you hadn’t been cheeky and pushed yourself back into the ‘naughty’ position or she’d have to have a Caesarean section (where they cut you out of mummy’s tummy – Daddy calls this “coming out through the sunroof”). A scan determined you were still head down (Yayyy!) so they thought you would be okay.

3.15pm

After a consultation with the doctor,  they thought you were doing well but were still worried about mummy’s bleeding. They took her to another room to strap her up to a monitor which would continuously track your heartbeat and mummy’s. Both mummy and daddy were very tired so tried to get some sleep. At this stage both mummy and daddy suspected the nurses would send us all home as mummy’s bleeding was much better.

4.00pm

Mummy needed a wee so got up to use the toilet. When she did, there was lots more blood and mummy began to cry. The doctors were called in and a decision was made to deliver you straight away. This meant mummy had to have a Caesarean section after all. The next few hours were chaotic as mummy had to sign lots of forms to consent to the operation. Mummy was scared but also secretly happy as she was scared to go home.

5.15pm

Mummy and daddy went to the operating room. Daddy had to wear scrubs so looked like a doctor. Mummy had to wear a special gown and had to be numbed from the chest down so the doctors could get you safely out without mummy feeling anything. Mummy’s memory is pretty hazy from here as she was very scared and anxious. Needless to say – the operation began. One day, when you are older, daddy will talk you through it as mummy has largely blocked it out.

5.51am

YOU WERE BORN… 38 weeks – 5lbs 14 (16th May 2012 @5.51am)

 

The legend himself – our tiny miracle xx

Week 15

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Not too much to report for you baby, but mummy has had loads happening this week. She’s been feeling you move around and hiccupping inside her belly. It’s not exactly painful, more surreal. Interestingly you have a routine already and will wriggle and jerk just when mummy is trying to sleep, and straight after she’s eaten. Just so you know, this is when mummy is at her tiredest so thanks for that! 🙂 We’ve tried to help with this by adding 2 more pillows to the bed – this makes 6 in total. Mummy has always slept on her front so it’s going to be tough adjusting to sleeping on my side. If I accidentally flip onto my tummy then don’t hate me! Mummy will get used to it.

I’m getting tired again too. My heart is pumping approx 20% more blood around my body to get you the essential oxygen and blood you need. This places a bit of strain on mummy and makes her sleepy. You’re also quite heavy which tires mummy out even more!

You’re quite noticeable now and mummy looks enormous carrying you around. People have begun to comment, and some have started to guess at what you might be; a boy or a girl. Only 1 person has said girl so far, the rest all seem to agree with mummy that you’re a boy.

I’m also sneezing a lot more, suffering with a stuffy nose, and coughing a little. This is where mummy’s immune system is in overdrive looking after the two of us. Nevermind, I’d rather suffer than you so hopefully I’m sheltering you from the colds and viruses making the rounds. My memory is also a little rusty and I’m a bit slower that I used to be. The books all say this is natures way of making sure I de-stress and take it easy – here’s hoping it comes back though as mummy has lots to do in December at work.

More importantly, mummy and daddy are getting along much better. We were never really angry at each other, there was just lots going on and mummy’s hormones were making her horrible to be around.  Now things are back to normal and we’re happy again. This is just in time as I know you can pick up on my moods now.

Baby at 15 weeks

Baby at 15 weeks

Now onto you…

  • You’re now about 7 inches long and weigh in at 2.5 ounces – this makes you the size of a grapefruit!
  • You’ve grown soft, downy hair all over your little body. Mummy and daddy won’t see this hair as you’ll have shed it before you meet us. This is to protect your skin from the constant exposure to fluid, and help regulate your temperature inside mummy. Just as well as it’s freezing outside at the moment! You brand new seat glands will also be helping with this
  • Speaking of hair, if you are going to be born with a full head of hair, this is already decided. As mummy and daddy have dark hair, I suspect you’ll have lots of this!
  • You also now have eyebrows to frame your eyes
  • You can grasp things now, although there’s not much around to grab hold of! You can also suck and swallow and (as pictures before have shown) you’ll most likely be sucking your thumb xx
  • Your little leggy’s are now growing longer than your arms so you’re looking more like mummy and daddy
  • The bones in your ears have hardened, further improving your hearing. You are supposedly fascinated by my voice and comforted by the sound of my heartbeat. We’ve heard somewhere that if we start singing to you now, there’s a good chance you’ll recognise the tune when you’re born. This frightened me a bit – we’ll have to watch our p’s and q’s and avoid pop music with swear words!
  • Your salivary glands are also now starting to produce saliva. You’ve started moving your tongue and lips quite freely. Hopefully you won’t exercise these quite so much when you’re born as mummy and daddy will need plenty of sleep whilst we adjust to having you in the world

That’s all from a development point of view. It’s also been a big week for daddy as he turned 41 on Friday. Mummy will post about this tomorrow. Love you baby xxxx

 

 

 

 

A mini round-up!

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I’ve really neglected this blog over the last few days so I’m feeling a little guilty. In fact, it’s been so long since I last posted, I’ve had to keep a list or I’d forget what to talk about. The truth is, I’ve been hugely busy at work, I’ve been feeling incredibly rough, and I’m more than a little stressed! It’s hard job being a mummy-to-be, full-time at work, and trying to be the model blogger!

Let’s start with where we left off – the scan…

Pride of place - our first photo of baby!

Pride of place – our first photo of baby!

This was of course, the best day ever! We had a trainee sonographer (Doreen) who was a sweet girl of around of around 18 (?). As she was trying to complete her training and impress the lead nurse, she spent considerably more time inspecting the contents of my ever-expanding belly than most. It felt like we were in there for around 30 minutes which was fantastic as we had more time to get-to-know baby. I was a tiny bit overwhelmed and had a mini cry, but Craig was much more together.

Baby wouldn’t stay still and was bouncing around and stretching. It was really interesting to see all the things I’ve described in ‘development posts’ live on the screen before us. We were able to see all five fingers and toes which was truly amazing for something so tiny. I remember saying aloud how I thought it looked like a boy, and Doreen seemed to confirm this by referring to ‘him’ and ‘he’ throughout the scan. I have no idea if she was able to confirm my thinking so early, but she definitely didn’t contradict me. Oh and the due date hasn’t changed – baby appeared to be 12 weeks and 4 days (6.2cm) so this means we’re looking at the 30th May / early June – just in time for summer xxx

We booked scan no 2# for the 11th January (20 weeks). At this time we should be able to find out whether we’re having a boy or a girl (if baby decides to give us a sneaky peek!). We’ve had conflicting advice from friends and family on whether to keep this as a surprise or not, but I’m leaning towards finding out. As I already know in my heart, it’s a ‘blue one’ -this will just confirm what I already know so we can buy suitable things. Let’s just call it women’s intuition.

Following the scan I had the photos blown up to 8″ x 6″ for friends and family. Having then spent a further £40 on frames in Debenhams, you can imagine how disappointed I was to get home and find out I’d lost the copies (don’t worry the originals are safe). I was absolutely gutted and cried for a few hours Sunday night 😦

Speaking of dates…

I’ve already mentioned January 11th but it’s also worth plugging in 13th December (our 16 week midwife appointment). I’m dead excited about this as Louise has tipped me off that we should get to hear baby’s heartbeat.

Choosing  a name!

Guess what name we won't be choosing!?

Guess what name we won’t be choosing!?

After weeks of searching, I also found a baby name book whilst browsing in town on Monday with Paul. As I knew it would take me less than day to pick out the gems from the utter rubbish – I was holding out for a charity shop to come out good for me, and Cancer Research didn’t let me down. Interestingly Craig and I seem to be picking really traditional names. This is really strange as I’ve been keeping a list since I was at university with names I have fallen in love with; a real assortment of Welsh, Latin and obscure names from TV programmes. Among them were Beba, Sian, Daisy , Eva, Penny… the list was endless. Since I’ve been pregnant, my choices have changed completely. Instead, Craig and I want something noticeably English with a few syllables to complement the shortness of ‘Mills’. I also originally had my heart set on something that couldn’t be shortened, but again, I’ve changed my mind. I now seem to prefer names that offer up plenty of choices e.g. Isabella: Ellie, Izzy, Isa, Belle, Bella etc.

I don’t want to give anything more away now as it’ll ruin the surprise but needless to say we won’t be picking the one in the picture above!

As for me!

I’m shattered, I’m losing my concentration at work, and I’m hungry all the time. Yesterday was particularly bad one as I ate 2 Burger King burgers, and two sausage rolls from Greggs. As it’s all saturated fat, this is really stupid and I literally cried when I got home. I’m getting ridiculously fat and it’s embarrassing. I don’t want to deny myself food as baby  needs to eat and my body is using up lots of energy reserves to power us both. However, I will be buying fruit every morning from now on as it’s depressing to think that I’m throwing bad food at such a tiny constitution. I get so many things wrong as a mummy-to-be and this shouldn’t be one of them. It’s just as easy to nip into M&S and buy some strawberries, as it is to queue up in Burger King.

I’ve also been feeling really insecure and paranoid. Things that should take 30 seconds, now take 30 minutes, and I worry that I’m slowing down too much at work. I also find post-it notes on my desk (that I’ve written  5 minutes earlier) and wonder how they got there! They say this is pregnancy brain but its way too early for that! I’m hoping its tiredness and it’ll pass but it’s worrying me nonetheless. I’m going to monitor this over the next week and try not to be so hard on myself. I just really hope it’s a blip and things will get back to normal.

Of course, this could just be tiredness. I’ve definitely been more short-tempered and irritable with Craig! I know he’s really trying so 90% of the time I feel like a total bitch, but my emotions are all over the place and stupidly difficult for him (and me) to track. We’ll argue over the silliest things so this has got to change. Baby needs a united front at the moment so everything else should take a back seat whilst we iron out these wrinkles.

That’s it from me! This has been a long post and I’m shattered.

Week 11… What a week!

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In 3 hours 7 minutes I’ll be 12 weeks into my pregnancy so this one is very late coming!!! I’m also wayyyy too excited about the scan to concentrate on this post so apologies if it’s a little ‘bulleted’.

Baby is now about the size of a small lime, about 1.5 inches (35mm). It is almost fully formed and is weighing in at 8 grams

11 week old embryo
11 week old embryo

The webbing between fingers and toes has disappeared and tiny tooth buds are forming. The senses are rapidly developing and baby can now feel. This is the beginning of quite an active phase for baby who will be somersaulting in copious amounts of amniotic fluid. Baby enjoys wriggling, kicking, and stretching and these small movements help to strengthen the developing muscles and bones.

These movements are also becoming increasingly sophisticated – baby can punch and arch its body, flex its fingers, form a fist and wrinkle its forehead (aw!). It can also suck and swallow and is able to move freely. The intestines are already able to process the liquid that the baby is swallowing. The kidneys are producing urine and baby is swallowing amniotic fluid and wee’ing regularly (great…). This is important because it helps to regulate the amount of amniotic fluid in my womb.

Baby is starting to develop hair, irises, fingernails and toenails. Although its head is still nearly the same size as its body, head growth begins to slow. The brain has become more complicated and all the areas you would normally find in a newborn’s brain are present.

Finally, the diaphragm is forming so baby will hiccup regularly.

As for mummy….

Well I will soon be entering the second trimester of pregnancy and it’s recommended I now take time to concentrate on interacting with baby. Some baby sites insist that I think “happy thoughts” because baby can now sense my mood and will react to it. Hopefully this will be possible now as Craig and I are through the worst of it and my irrational moodiness seems to have lifted. If I’m honest, I wasn’t so keen on the first trimester as I felt a little bit out of control. I’d regularly cry and sulk and seemed to pick fights all the time. Even though it wasn’t my intention, I was difficult to talk to and pushed Craig away constantly. This may have been, in part, due to starting a new job.

Speaking of work – I’ve finally told Laura (my boss) – she gave me a massive cuddle and promised all the time off I needed. I have a review with my MD on Thursday so expect more on this over the next few days. I feel really positive though, like a big weight has lifted. Even though I’m not planning on taking lots of maternity leave, I feel confident they’ll respect my decisions and try to support me as best they can – I can’t ask for any  more than this and I’m really pleased.

One more sleep until the first scan… Craig has the afternoon off and so do I (just in case we get a little weepy). I literally CAN NOT WAIT so I’m off to bed so it comes around sooner.

Goodnight everyone xxx