Thursday, 12 December 2013

8 months

In my head, I expected to be a very organized mother by 8 months. I thought baby will not have many ways of surprising me. I was wrong.
Apparently, even 8 months old have troubles. If they are not teething (have 6 good teeth, lets take a break), they may suffer from separation anxiety or have a disturbed sleep due to their fast development. I don't know which one it is in our case but we are not sleeping. Again. Up at 1, 3, 5 am and feeds are very much expected.
We are co-sleeping. It is the only way to get baby to sleep. It started sometimes in September, during the teething times. Suddenly, my child developed a radar which made it aware of its body approaching the cot while fast asleep in our arms. Baby screamed murder. The only way to get it to sleep at night (and I mean at night 10 - 11 pm, we don't do early bedtimes in our house) was to breastfeed or hold half sleeping child after the hopefully last feed. So I wasn't very keen on yet another feed and negotiation over lying in cot. I slipped baby next to me in our bed. And baby slept. It was supposed to be temporary. But nobody has the energy to persist with the cot, it is still a big enemy of our darling child.
We pretty much don't do naps unless on top of me or in a pram - maybe. When I have no chance to go out due to mountain of house work or bad weather, there is no chance. During the day even our bed is making sleeping child to wake up and get hysterical.
Baby is very mobile, practices all fours, but who needs crawling when it is possible to roll all over the place and grab everything and anything that is not suitable for children. I am so busy....
I had to swallow my pride and ask a health visitor to give me some advice. Dinner, bath and story don't work. Baby is manic till 11, expects company and entertainment, there is no calming down. I am still seriously lacking me time and relationship with husband is taking its toll. We are tired, don't manage to do all we want to and need to do and tiredness makes us argue. In one way, we are great team, in the other way, we hate each others' guts.
So after being mother for 8 months, I am not sure I know what I am doing. But I manage to do much more than I could some 6 or 7 months ago, I am physically back where I was before pregnancy and I have a baby that is healthy, strong, beautiful and developing nicely. So all is not bad in the house of terror.
I am thinking a lot about my past, my life that was and I think I should go back and reflect, to stretch my creativity a little. Lets hope I will be able to do this in the following weeks. Also, I should make more effort to keep in touch with other mums, talk to people and tweet some amazing words.
This month, my challenge is much simpler. I decided to look after myself more. I style my hair and try to do a little bit of make up, take more care about my appearance. In my head, I would do something different every day and take a selfie. Reality: I do what I can, as usually, I don't do much when I don't really sleep and tracksuit is still the outfit of choice. But my beauty regime is much better and my skin is thankful.
Anyway, enough for today, somebody is getting impatient while busy trying to soil the carpet. Where are the times baby would lie on the changing mat giving me a break?

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

50 000 words later

My inbox is filled with pep talks, yet it took me almost two weeks to realize that nanowrimo started again. I did think about it every now and then but I was quite sure I will not make this year. Then I didn't even manage to remember it.
I have very fond memories of last year. Pregnant, starting to get uncomfortable if sitting for longer period of time, I wrote my 50000 words in one month. It was great. I think lots of women experience sudden spur of creativity and desire to organize stuff during their pregnancy, I had a strong urge to get on with my writing. It was a good idea. After nano I took a break in December and then, shortly before my due date, I finished a draft of my novel.
In my head, I expected to be busy once I had the baby. I thought I will need to recover after birth, get over the first weeks, slowly set some sort of routine and finally return to writing. Yes, nice thoughts indeed.
Baby is seven months old. There is no routine. When a hope for one started to appear during summer teething started and is more or less constantly present in our lives. We have times of peace when I am gathering strength and times of teething when baby is very unpredictable, needy, sleepless.....
So I am coping with running the house expect for cooking - evenings are too busy for mummy still breastfeeding. But I did bake couple of nice cakes! I do have an occasional exercise, manage to maintain simple beauty routine, but my book is still lying on the bottom of the drawer. I do hope to fit some reasonable time for writing into my routine soon, but so far even to post a blog is a challenge.
How do all the women who publish or start a business while on maternity leave do it? How do the perfectly put together mums on the street find the time? Not everybody is coping alone, some have their mothers and sisters and friends near by and it makes a big difference.
Besides writing, I am also realizing that it is a year since I joined twitter and facebook in order to keep up with nano and what was going on generally. I am as hopeless at this simplified version of communication as I am with real friendships. Again: where do all the mums find time to hang on all the networks and chat? Every couple of days (or weeks), I try to catch up with what is going on, save some interesting articles to read 'later' and very very occasionally I manage to post an update or tweet. I can not be bothered to be constantly on smart phone taping away and lots of ideas for clever funny remarks are missed, but at least I still see the world around me and don't ignore it as majority of people out there hung over their precious gadgets.
Not only do I have a pile of books to read, I also have a pile of magazines and interesting Sunday papers columns by the bed. Baby feeds for shorter periods of time which means no more long reads in the small hours. Thank goodness for i player, I can not watch TV in real time, I need to pause and do what is needed when it is needed.
In one way, I find it quite refreshing not to be up to date with what is going on in the world. Most of the things don't really matter in the day to day existence. I am locked up in a parenting bubble and see the world through the eyes of a baby who is trying to make sense of all the new things around. I find mothering rewarding and interesting. Now, at seven months, the progress is really fast, baby learns something new every day, I wouldn't want to miss it. I am as much needed as in the first weeks if not more.
Yet I would love to be able to get some me time and write again. An hour a day, nothing more. Husband goes to work and it is work, I know, and sometimes when he is leaving and I am there with a laughing baby, he seems quite jealous. Of course, he doesn't see the endless washing loads, the negotiations around house chores, and the endless feeding and nappy changing, but he doesn't understand that he does get his time out, away from it all. Even when he entertains baby in the evening he tends to come over to me and engage me, or leave the baby with me too soon because he has got some emails/calls/whatever else to do. He wants us to socialize more, I really need some ME time. He thinks I have got me time all the time.... We argue when we don't get enough sleep and rest, the arguments are over stupidest little things and don't last.
Sometimes I catch a glimpse of other mums together in coffee shops, or partners with pram and at the very moment I see them they seem so sorted and happy. I must remind myself that many people who see me with my baby assume the same, that nothing is at it seems, everybody has good and bad days, good and bad moments. Altogether my life is good. I just really need to sort out some writing time....

Thursday, 24 October 2013


I love  Christmas. It is a very special time of a year, time to be with the loved ones, connect with those who are important to us, time to slow down and enjoy the end of the year and the beginning of the new one. Part of Christmas is decorating the home, preparing nice food, giving and receiving presents. During the weeks leading to Christmas I get the feeling that the stuff and endless spending are the most important part of the holidays and it annoys me. Comes boxing day and sales craziness (I've never been to the shops on that day, just watching it on news gives me reason not to leave the sofa), it seems the holiday is only an excuse for yet more consumption.
It usually starts right after Halloween, the shops clear the scary things and the treats and in comes the Christmas theme. With each week the pressure builds.
I thought I was used to it. It's part of the deal, retailers need to make money. But this year I feel annoyed. Only at the end of September did I walk right into a display of advent calendars placed very conveniently right against the entrance to Morrisons. As if to 'gently' remind us that before we even started autumn we should begin our count down to the spending time...
Week after that Tesco displayed first few shelves of cards and wrapping papers probably for the part of population who can not wait to wrap the presents and write some cards.
Now every year people say that Christmas produce and offers come sooner and sooner and I always thought I know how it works - January is about sales, then we have Valentine, Easter, summer stuff, Mothers' and Fathers' days thrown in between, summer sale, back to school, Halloween, Christmas... But this year is a little different and it threw me out of balance.
Why all the pressure? Retailers must know that people will spend money on Christmas, they do every year. No matter how tough the times are, people either budget or simply go crazy with their credit cards. So why can they not let us breathe and look forward to the special time of the year?
This will be our first Christmas with baby and I am looking forward to it. Baby will not be aware of anything, we have got a chance to have really great time, be together without compering what we bought . We will be lazy or have some nice long walks - depending on weather and mood. No matter what the advertisers throw at me, no matter how early in the year they start, I will not get crazy and start redecorating the house, buying bigger and better telly and zillions of useless gifts. Our food will be home cooked and our sweets will be home baked, because this is part of the celebrations. Preparations for Christmas are as great as Christmas itself, if not more. Our decorations will stay the same because they carry memories. Maybe I am not making my bit for the recovering economy but I refuse to give in to the dictate of spend spend spend and I hope I will bring up a child who doesn't measure its success with things or money. I still remember how I loved Christmas as a child and I will do my best to make this time of the year special for my child and family, but the secret is that I do not need more stuff in order to have great holidays.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Week 24

Baby is 24 weeks old, we are approaching half year of our existence together and this relationship is definitely not fading. I am one big proud mother.

Speaking of mothering, I am still recovering from a visit of my mother. We didn't spend so much time together since I left home many many years ago, I time my visit at parents' place carefully, a weekend is more than enough. Mother came for a week because of baby - she never visited me in any places I lived no matter how far or close I went. We are not close, we didn't have a great relationship to start with. She brought me up but she never understood me, never tried. I never realized what she wanted from me, I just knew I wasn't the way she thought I should be.

I only started to feel as a valuable daughter once I settled with husband. That is what she always wanted: me settled with a good man. She lives a very isolated life, married for a long time, my father and her grew very dependent on one another over the years, but I wonder if they are together because they really want to. I was always proud of my independence and my achievements, she couldn't understand it. So I settled, she could understand me better, she was happy. Then I was finally married - good. Then there was my first pregnancy - even better. I miscarried and paradoxically the person I wanted to call first was my mother even though she never helped me in any of my crisis before. But after the loss of a baby she understood, it is women thing,  the time we need one another. I couldn't get pregnant for a long time and the feeling of connection and approval faded again. She couldn't understand that I wanted a child but didn't insist on having one, in my opinion life was still worth living even without being a mother, she thought I should have go for medical assistance few months after the miscarriage. I don't know if it is a generation thing or if women in general tend to blame themselves but all the time she assumed my miscarriage happened because of something I have done and I wasn't getting pregnant because something was wrong with me.

Once she found out about my second pregnancy she was happy as never before and so proud. And now she is the happiest grandmother, so happy that she even made her first big trip overseas by a plane. That is the power of my baby.

So there she was suddenly in my home very out of her element. She is used to rule her little world, dad pretty much complies with the rules she creates (he wasn't allowed to come with her as her kingdom must be well looked after and a week is too long to leave it unattended) and suddenly she is here, I am the lady of the house and I don't rule, I exist. I leave husband to do his own thing, I don't plan meals in advance, I don't do things the way she does. We do trips and I breastfeed in public which shocks her, we are showing her England and the culture and she keeps explaining to me how she does things and clearly can not understand that it will not change my (or whole of England) ways. She expected me to still feel weak from childbirth (she had kids in her twenties, everyone did back then so I am a geriatric mother in her eyes, no matter how healthy and strong I obviously am), spending time at home, so our itinerary shocks her but she becomes a very keen tourist and observer. She makes me so proud!

There is a woman who, long ago, chose to be unhappy. She seems to look for the negatives on everything. I was constantly told how I should arrange the house and the garden, how the food could  be cooked differently, how I should feed, bath and care for baby, my wardrobe was one big disapproval, too. She didn't want to see that the way we are and do things suit our family, that the way we deal with baby clearly works for us all. Maybe she suffered from the 'passing on knowledge symptom' but we never did that so why to start now?

She kept talking about her many many illnesses and issues, health problems are big part of her life. She collects illnesses like people collect stamps, she even seems disappointed when she doesn't have something that other people she knows have. She assumed I know most or all of her diagnoses since she mentioned them in the past but I lost count long ago. So I fed her all the things that were supposed to potentially kill her and yet nothing have happened. She clearly can digest garlic, dairy, strawberries and nuts and she clearly survives without exact meal times, checking of blood pressure three times a day and all kinds of herbal teas. But she did bring half of pharmacy with her, even the special pills case with compartments for each day of the week. She held to it like people hold to good luck charms. Long car drives didn't make her uncomfortable and she doesn't suffer from insomnia because I could hear her snoring every night. Observing my mother, a stranger in a way, made me think that happiness is our own choice. No matter how hard life is we make the choice how we deal with what comes our way. I deal with troubles when they approach me. She looks for them and sometimes goes out of her way to find them. Why is she like this I will never know.

So husband and I listened to her lists of possible improvements which will never happen and we heard how she does things or how she did things when I was a baby. We tried our best to accommodate her, to make her first big trip special and at the end we took her to the airport, and she was visibly twitching to be back in her own little world, to rule again. We were looking forward being our own little unit again with all the chaos that suits us. She saw her first grandchild and it made her very happy. Me and her didn't get any closer, didn't gain any understanding of one another which was to be expected and I am fine with it. I don't know if she is because we don't discuss feelings in our family - she knows exactly how we feel and explains it to us - one of the reason I left our family home early and traveled far...
Oh dear, I hope that the saying about women becoming replicas of their mothers is not true..... On the other hand, if I had a great mum who was my best friend, I would probably not be so keen to go, see the world, be adventurous, live life to the full, be independent. I might have wanted to stay close to her and everything would be different. So whether she wanted or not she made me who I am and there is a good chance that she is secretly proud of it.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Nappy here, nappy there, nappy everywhere

My life evolves around nappies. Do they need change/wash/ collect/ fold/ put on/ take off... Nappies. I like my terry nappies. I mainly use basic terry nappies, sometimes a muslin square or a bamboo nappy. We learned how to fold them so they sit comfortably, I wash them every 2 - 3 days, they dry easily, especially since we got our outdoor drier (the best thing we ever bought, seriously), they are perfect. My friends believe they are high maintenance but they are not. There is lots of laundry to do when we have a baby anyway, so the extra load every couple of days is nothing special. Some people asked me if baby suffers from nappy rash and I can say that so far we had no problems at all. Not even in the hot weather that we had this year. Years ago, when paper nappies were not a mainstream thing, when babies had nappy rash mothers were advised to use fabric nappies for a while. Nowadays thanks to powerful marketing it is the opposite: old fashion nappies are believed to cause it. Well, they don't, they are great and I feel good about consuming less, saving the environment and saving money. Having a baby is quite expensive anyway, however easy I am trying to make it.
And when explosive nappy emergency comes, no nappy will prevent it. Poo will get everywhere...

I had three so called s**t emergencies last week:
No1 - Baby was lying on its bouncy chair while I took a load of washed nappies out to dry. Baby was quiet and I thought proudly how my dear baby is growing. Only last week my escape to the garden to put the washing to dry was met with screams from the house. I finished outside, came in and saw a very happy baby on the chair. A suspiciously happy baby if you ask me. Baby lifted its leg and then I saw it: mustardy poo was overflowing from the nappy onto the nappy pants, dress, leg and even the chair. Baby looked very proud indeed. So I untangled it from the chair and holding it away from me hoping nothing more will spill I quickly moved upstairs and started the cleaning process. All that baby was wearing plus the towel it was lying on plus the chair cover needed to go for a wash (didn't I just finish a load? How am I supposed to be eco-friendly and wash only when I have got a full load?  Well it was a full one, full of s**t I mean....). When I returned upstairs I found my child lying naked on the plastic changing mat swimming in wee. I didn't expect that. Where is all the waste coming from? So I quickly fetched a clean towel, wiped the still very happy baby and prepared a bath.

No 2 - Baby lies on the changing mat, this time on a towel. I take its clothes off to wash and change it for the day. I go to the closet to pick up an outfit, muse about how beautiful day we have and before I can pick anything I hear a familiar farting sound. I turn around to see my baby pooing happily on the edge of the mat. If it moved a centimeter it would shoot onto the carpet - lucky me. I quickly run to the baby so I prevent it from swimming in its poo or putting its hand in it - very lucky and I saved one nappy! So here we go, lets run a bath..

No 3 - What is better on a beautiful bank holiday weekend than a picnic? We are enjoying a possibly last summer picnic with our friends, sitting on a blanket near a river, sunbathing, I am breastfeeding, embodiment of an earth mother herself. Baby feeds nicely, then it farts once, twice.. It doesn't sound too suspicious so I don't want to disturb the feed. Moments later I want to adjust baby's position and as I slide my hand down I feel something warm on my fingers. I lift my hand and see the familiar mustardy consistency on my fingers. 'S**t emergency!' I call to my husband who has got a beer in his hand which he is unable/unwilling to put down and risk spilling so it takes all four of us to get the baby of my lap, spread out the changing mat and start the recovery mission. While we fuss around, the passing by dog walkers seem very amused, some of them probably congratulating themselves that they decided to have a dog instead of a baby and thus prevented their brains from melting because how difficult can it be to change a nappy? How difficult indeed....

Just to be clear: most of my nappy changes are very smooth and uneventful occasions. To be so lucky three days in a row is hopefully only a coincidence.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

The Art of Survival

Having baby made me a survivor. First I survived labour. I had a nice pregnancy, felt very prepared for my baby to be born, wasn't afraid and waited and waited and waited.... And then came the induction, the labour itself, the doctors and forceps and the biggest pain ever. But with it came great happiness and I survived.
Then I went on surviving not sleeping, constant breast feeding, cracked nipples, frustrated baby, growth spurts, mastitis, thrush, sore back, sore hips, sore everything and my new life, the new role, the new me - very much not me, just extension of the baby.
During last month I survived visits of my father in law, visit of my mother (that's the biggest surprise of all: that she came and that I survived it) and my husband and I are still surviving teething with second wave of non-sleeping.
We built up some sort of routine, baby slept much better but then came the tooth, and the next one... So we have got a light sleeper who hates day time naps, feeds a lot and grows teeth sooner than usual. And we (I) have to cope with it. I am in survival mode for most of this year. I am finding it difficult to put my thoughts and experiences into sentences. Baby isn't very happy about sharing me with my computer and writing. I carry on trying my best.
Husband and I bicker much more, we are both busy. I am full time mother, he is busy at work plus helping around. I didn't cook a meal since early April - evenings are about feeding for the night. But we do eat by the dining table again, as a family, with baby on his or my lap overseeing us. Our baby loves to socialize. Last weekend we hosted a barbeque and baby went from one arms to the next, bathing in affection. 'Does baby ever cry?' People asked me, jealous if they were mums of young kids themselves.
'Just come over when I am home alone, you will see.'
Baby cries when I try to put it down for a nap or for a sleep that it obviously needs. It cries when left alone while I am doing some home work or dare to visit bathroom. Baby knows what it wants and how to demand it. And I am getting better and better at surviving. Baby is a great personality and makes me immensely proud and happy, but there are moments when I wonder how do I manage and how will I manage, how much longer can I go on like this? But then again, lets see how far we came already. I am clearly better at surviving than I thought!!!!

Monday, 22 July 2013

The Art of Napping

My baby is having a day time nap! It happens once every couple of weeks - like a full moon. What to do with myself? Have a nap as I should myself? Do my hair or nails - finally! Write a blog? Make a cup of tea and follow twitter feed about royal baby? Oh, Kate, my thoughts are with you. Hope it will go well and you will enjoy motherhood. Hope you will not feel cheated that nobody warned you about all the things that happen once the baby arrives.

Baby fell a sleep at 1.30, I put it in the cot and started fixing my hair. It was the first time I would have nice wavy locks in about 5 months. I thought what color will I paint my toes. It will be second time I painted them in about 6 months.
At 1.50 there is a massive scream coming out of the cot. Baby just realized it was having the nap and got pissed off with itself for allowing it and with me for supporting the ridiculous idea. Baby hates naps! It fights off the night sleep for as long as it can, too. Husband and I hope that our baby is a genius in waiting as we read that very clever people need less sleep than the rest of us.
 I calmed the pissed of baby and had to feed again. Growing spurt? Day feeds are not even an hour apart. Could be growing spurt, could be comfort (brace yourself duchess... but you will probably have plenty of helping hands around). The disturbed night sleep might indicate a growing spurt, too, as baby rewards busy days with some good night sleep, but not in the last two days.
Anyway, baby felt asleep again at the end of the feed, so I am waiting if it is another mistake in waiting or if I am in for a real treat. My hair is in rollers and I am going for french manicure on my toes! Yes! I still wouldn't dare to paint my hands, though. Apparently Beyonce had mani-pedi and her hair done for labor. I saw a documentary about her and was fascinated with her mother making sure her rollers were holding while she was in a hospital bed. Really??? Is Kate's hairdresser present now?
I scrambled my sweaty locks into a bun while pushing and puffing and didn't even dream about matching nail color, I gave up painting my toenails weeks before my due date due to discomfort.
Baby's asleep for half an hour, twitching occasionally. Am I in for a treat? I will only know too late. I am so glad I don't have to run around in the heat with a pram, trying to entertain baby! Will I be able to finish this post and paint the white tips on my toes?

Babies don't come with manuals and I can not plan my days. I am not sure how much time I will have for myself today but I am very sure I will not spend the time doing house work. Husband doesn't have to know, but he will be suspicious - if he notices my toenails and my nice hair of course. Men are wonderfully clueless when it comes to these things. Luckily, he wouldn't notice that I cleaned the windows, too, so I can skip the home work and pamper myself.
Baby does allow me to do the chores if it is in a good mood and allowed to watch and I am keeping contact while working. I put baby on a vibrating chair which offers good views, put it on a floor where it can see me and go on with cleaning while maintaining eye contact and bursting into songs and dance occasionally. If it works, I can clean the house like that. Sometimes I have to hoover with baby in a sling which is a good workout. Considering that I stopped loosing weight I take it as a bonus workout. Because working out is one thing baby doesn't like at all. When I try to exercise baby is not having any of it, even if I try the eye contact and entertainment going on. Strange. Clean my home but forget about doing something for yourself only, mother! Yes, I could exercise right now, but sitting down with a cup of tea and a computer is somehow much more exciting. Let me go on with the french toenails now.... I almost forgot how to do it and my nail polishes seem quite dry. I wonder why.

Saturday, 13 July 2013

The First Quarter

Baby is three months old, a quarter of a year - that's how long I am a mum. Before that I was pregnant, so 2013 is all about the new me. I am a new person.
ONE thing could be added to the long section of: why did nobody tell me? - my general shocks about motherhood. After the overload of information regarding pregnancy and labour I still feel like I am left in the dark. Last week I found out that mastitis can come back even to people like me with good established breastfeeding. My baby feeds well and grows like magic. And we can now be one of the smug parents who announce that their child sleeps through the night. Well, most nights, we had some issues probably due to the hot weather. But for many nights in the last 3 weeks my baby would fall a sleep between 10 and 11 and sleep till about 5. Miracle. I can not describe how I felt when it happened the first night. And sometimes baby can even add an extra nap between 6 and 9 but again, it can change due to the hot weather or general mood.
So I would wake up around 5 with heavy lactating breasts and wet top. And then, last Friday - on a very hot day - I woke up with fever, feeling achy and with tender left breast. I knew straight away what was going on, I had the same symptoms when baby was 2 weeks old and we were still learning how to breastfeed properly. But now baby feeds like a dream, there are no issues with latching, no stress. Yet thanks to the long sleep my body needs to adjust and clearly it didn't adjust straight away. I would expect it to happen in the first days not after few weeks of sleep. So what am I to do? I can not wake up without my baby waking me. I could express extra milk during the day (if there was any, we feed a lot during the day though) but how can a woman who haven't slept in moths wake up without a baby being hungry?
I did manage to put myself together. Luckily it was weekend and husband had to step up and help a lot. He wasn't very happy about it, he hoped to watch all of the sports and do some gardening but he was asked to do the changing and entertaining and walks plus the cooking and tiding up. I realized how much I actually do in the day. He assumed baby will be interested in sitting on his lap watching Top Gear while he has a beer. Well, not really Daddy!

I am fine again and hope that mastitis is gone for good. We are enjoying the summer and as I listen to the great expectations of the royal baby, I think about the past three months and I am glad they are over. I am glad my baby is getting bigger and its needs are changing. I am still pretty busy but I have got a clue, I am not afraid of handling the baby, I know how to feed, change and bath and my baby is finally used to the big world and enjoys exploring it. Newborns are cute and so innocent but they are very hard work. Sure, Kate will have enough people around for help and support, but she will also have to get used to herself, her new body and new persona. Three months after the birth I feel I am getting in touch with my new body and new me. I will not go back to pre-baby me, but I fell like a person again and I have a great sense of achievement. I am busy, but finally not too busy to notice I am happy.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Officially.... The Worst Mother....Ever!!!!!

'Don't beat yourself up love, it happened to all of us. You're not the first and not the last, believe me.' The nurse at children s' A&E was friendly, sympathetic and put me at ease. My baby was at ease already, watching intently the new place and procedures. The nurse examined my baby and took us to a separated booth because we didn't yet have our immunizations. There, I could breathe again while waiting for the doctor.
What happened? Basically, I have been an absolute idiot, that is what happened. I had a perfect day with baby, we were doing great, and in the late afternoon I wanted to go for a quick walk and buy some bread and milk... So I put baby in the pram and take the pram out. We have few steps at the front of our house and I learned already how to take the pram down safely with the baby in it (in the first weeks I would take the pram down first, then bring the baby; bit fussy and demanding plus complicated upon return when baby usually cries and when taken in the house expects a feed immediately, not being put away and me leaving to sort the pram...).
So normally, I will take the pram out the front door, turn it so it is facing to the side, away from the stairs and keep my hand on the handle while reaching for the door to close and lock. Simple, normal, I did it like that without thinking day after day.
Why didn't I do the same this time? Why did I loose my guard? Why did I not use my brain? I honestly can not tell. Maybe having such a good day made me too confident, made me to forget. Maybe my stupidity took over.
I let the pram face the stairs. I let go of the handle as I reached for the door. For a second the pram stood freely. Then it started to move. Slowly and swiftly it went down the stair and I watched as it felt on its side and my baby rolled out of it and ended on the edge of the stair and rolled onto the next where it stayed hanging. My darling baby looked so small, helpless and precious, all I could do was to watch as it happened. I noticed how tiny my baby really is. It sort of curled itself into a ball and for a moment I thought: it is over. I killed my baby, I lost the most precious thing in the world, the dearest being to me and it is all my fault.
Baby started screaming almost immediately and I rushed down and took baby in my arms. Baby seemed shocked, surprised and cried but there was nothing visibly wrong. I cried out loud for my husband and rushed back to the door. Husband could hear me and knew something was really wrong as this wasn't my usual voice. We took baby home, husband picked the pram and to my great surprise he was calm, encouraging and wasn't angry with me in the slightest. I must admit that if it was him who have done it, I would probably not be as nice to him. It just showed me how great person he is, no matter how frustrated I can get with husband sometimes, he is the best partner I can wish for and he is able to love me and support me when I almost killed his baby.
I knew straight away we have to go to the hospital and husband agreed but wanted to go inside first and make sure baby is fine. There was nothing, no bruise, no cut, baby was just upset, looking at me with a shock in its eyes and crying again. I am sure it could feel the panic in me. I picked red book and changing bag, we got the car seat ready and left for hospital. I sat at the back with baby, holding its hand, looking intently for any signs of head injury, thinking about internal bleeding, concussion, and about social services taking our baby away from us. I started to shake and the episode kept playing over and over again in my head.
We waited at the A&E and as I said the nurse was sympathetic and didn't find anything wrong. But according to the protocol we needed to be checked by a doctor, then a pediatrician who would decide what will happen afterwards. So there were three sets of people who asked me what happened, three sets of people plus a pediatric nurse who listened to the story of my stupidity and idiocy. They didn't seem judgmental at all. They all probably saw worse cases then us. But it couldn't make me feel any better. I have done some stupid things in my life, but I never felt so horrible. How could I let my baby down like this? How could I be so careless towards the person I love most in the whole world?
It was a long evening. Baby seemed more and more like normal itself as the surprise washed over, it seemed amused by all the fuss around. Every doctor and nurse considered our baby healthy and fine. Every one of them asked if baby was strapped in the pram and I always had to answer: no.
I always assumed that safety straps in the pram are there to be used when the baby is mobile, to prevent it from falling out of the pram. I didn't realize they are there to prevent my baby from me!

We returned home with instructions on what to look for and a phone number to the children's ward. Baby was fine, I was sleeping lightly, making sure baby is sleeping, anxiously waiting if it will wake up for its night feed as usually.
Nothing happened, night was quiet, baby didn't develop any complications, not a slightest bruise. Baby doesn't even remember what happened a week ago. I was the one left traumatized. The fall is burned in my memory, it keeps coming back. I still feel incredibly guilty. It took me four days to brave a trip out with the pram and I wanted husband to be there and see that I behave responsibly. He didn't really understand why I insist on that, he was busy with other things, for a change he seemed to me like absolute ass, and the anger helped me to get down the stairs swiftly and walk all of the emotions off. Parenting is a challenge, but I never realized how much of a challenge it can be. I learned my lesson, baby is always strapped in and the pram (a little bit scratched now) is never left facing the stairs or without me holding it. Husband has something to hold upon me, to remind me when I seem to be too righteous, the episode is slowly becoming a little legend we can share between us with a smile. We were lucky. Babies are much tougher than they seem to be, a midwife told me that after my baby was born and she was very right. However, it is not an excuse for us, we shouldn't loose our guard while taking care of them.

Why do I write this? To remind all new parents to be really careful, it takes a second for an accident to happen. And, paradoxically, I feel an urge to talk it through, get this episode of my chest and somehow it is easier to share it with random strangers on the net than with my mother (oh she would be crossed with me for doing that to her only grandchild!) or friends. People will probably judge me, but they are strangers, they will not remind me about it or pass the story on to other people to prove how bad a mother I am. Nobody can make me feel worse than I already feel. My baby is fine and doing great, it is all that matters to me anyway.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

About my baby

As I am writing my frustrated parenting updates I talk about my baby. I don't specify the sex, mention its name and I am one of very few mothers who didn't update any cute baby photos anywhere - not in the blog, on my twitter, facebook, nowhere. Why is it?
I decided to share my thoughts and feelings online mainly thanks to my writing. It was my decision to go online and share my life with the world. My baby didn't choose any of this. So I decided it will be only fair not to involve the baby more than necessary. The important thing is: I am a mother of a beautiful and healthy baby. One day, when the baby is ready, it will have its own identity online. Until then I will mention the child in my posts, because it is impossible not to - I would have nothing to write about, my life at the moment is only about mothering, nothing else is going on. But this is still a blog about me - us.
I refer to my husband as 'husband' for the same reason. I can not not mention him when I write about my personal life, but again, it was my choice to blog, not his. If he wishes (and I so wish he did!) he can start his own online ranting blog and reveal himself. But he is too busy watching whatever instead - probably cricket or surfing.
Husband read my blog though and was quite surprised. Apparently I sound like a negative person, it isn't clear if I really enjoy motherhood. Also, I speak so much about myself and so little about the baby. Well why not? It is my blog and I want to let the world know how I feel as a mother. I could talk endlessly about the beauty of my baby's eyes, about the quiet moments we share, about the love I feel for my baby, about its absolute geniality and uniqueness. But this blog is me as a mother - tired, sometimes frustrated with the transition and the loss of individuality. Suddenly a normal thing like brushing my teeth and doing my hair feels like an enormously selfish thing to do. And I do miss being myself sometimes. When my baby demands constant attention, I do believe I would be much better mother if I could have a little bit time to myself, that's all. I am not sorry I have got a baby and I do not regret it, I am just sometimes overwhelmed and my blog allows me to say it and hope that some day someone will comment and say: you are not a horrible person for saying that, I can understand you.
But baby is growing. We passed the 8 weeks and 5 kilos in weight. And we are doing well. Mostly, there is the spark in baby's eyes, the interest in the world around, the recognition when husband or I approach, the search for my presence when a stranger holds my baby or when we are in an unknown place or situation. Baby started to smile around the third or fourth week but now baby smiles first, not to copy us, but to communicate. And it feels great, it is my reward for the tough first weeks. And now it doesn't feel as tough, now, although I am still sleep deprived and breastfeed a lot and have little chance to do anything else, I am certain I could do it again, I am much more confident. The confidence in me as a parent didn't arrive because people around me recognized my hard work or because my baby established a routine and I found myself again. The confidence came with the smiles, with the little steps of progress I notice day after day. Baby is different every time I look at it. When my baby smiles at me and knows it will be picked up and taken care of by me, when it looks at me with amusement and curiosity and trust, when it seems entirely happy, I know I managed to take care of my baby, I know that I helped my baby in the transition to the big wide world and that my baby sees this world as a good, safe and fun place. And although I am not done with mothering and there is lots of work ahead of us, I am confident in myself, I know that I can do it and I really enjoy it, it is a job that makes perfect sense to me and it is the most rewarding job ever.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Witch Hunt

Baby is 6 weeks old. Should I celebrate? There should be pattern developing.. The only pattern I noticed is: do not expect any patterns. If baby gives me hope over a day or two, it will change the next day.
Nights are not too bad. 3 or 4 hours breaks between feeds - success. Why is it possible? Because that child doesn't nap! Day naps are rare. Days are desperate. When husband is around and able to help I can shower, go to the toilet, do the laundry. I am able to do a quick clean. Husband has to sort cooking, dishes, hoover, garbage - and his full time job. For a while he did cleaning, too, but I took this responsibility of him as soon as I could. He doesn't do the best job and keep putting things of. So even my rushed 'quick over' is better than his best effort.
Anyway, my days are my nightmare. Baby is mellow in the morning, we feed, change nappy, feed some more and then I hope for some hygiene and breakfast. But baby is having none of it. My baby feeds a lot, falls a sleep on the breast, I try to burp the baby, but it just sleeps on me. I put baby down. Baby seems to be sleeping. I put the kettle on, start preparing food or rush to do some chores or into the bathroom. Baby starts to fuss. Baby wakes up. Depending on mood baby will be calm for a while or scream straight away, but whatever the situation it will end up with screaming baby and me desperate to finish what I started. If it is cleaning or laundry, whatever. If it is my food I am upset - I don't mean eating, I mean preparing the food. I am quite good at eating and drinking while breastfeeding by now, I am a one hand wonder. But if I am sitting on the toilet or just climbing into the shower, what am I to do?

Today I made a big mistake and googled: 'my 6 weeks old baby wants to be held all the time'. Good news: I am not alone, there are more of us in this situation. Bad news: the forums are pretty clear that any woman who expects to leave her baby alone for a while is a horrible woman and doesn't deserve a baby. I feel I have been judged by a jury of super mothers. How dare you ask for me time, they say. You have to answer to your baby's cries, baby needs come first. Who mentioned anything about me time? The post was written by a woman who is, like me, unable to put her baby down for a little while. Since when is bowel movement considered me time? Apparently little babies need a response and company. Yes, I did know that. But I didn't realize I am supposed to provide it non stop. And I should enjoy it while I can, soon my baby will grow and refuse being held. It is hard to enjoy the cuddling and holding when you do nothing else all day long. According to my baby I should either hold it or feed it, baby can be put down only to be changed but requires entertainment throughout. As a good mother, according to the forum, I should forget about doing anything else and respond to my baby's cries all the time. I know baby is too little to self soothe. But who are those women? How do they manage to be fully responsive all the time? Do they have super powers? Or are they simply mean witches who want you to feel bad? Because women do that to one another, they can be pretty mean.

So I am done googling stuff. The only positive thing is that I know I am not alone. Other women have babies who want to be held all the times, too. That is enough for me to know. As for the advice, they can keep it. Did I damage my baby today because I did take a shower, prepared some food and sorted laundry of its clothes so baby has clean nappies and stuff to wear? Only time will tell, but honestly I don't think so.
I keep ending my posts with saying that motherhood is hard. It is basically a slavery. There are moments I enjoy it very much but there are moments of desperation mainly triggered by exhaustion. I realized quite soon after I brought my baby home from hospital that sometimes I will have to tend to myself in order to be able to take care of the baby. Again, I am not speaking about me time, I mean meeting my basic needs: food, drink, toilet, shower. How am I supposed to enjoy those precious moments when I can smell myself, my bladder is about to burst, I am starving or dehydrated? Could the net super mothers tell me how they did it? I have to make sure I am physically and mentally able to do the mothering, so sometimes my baby cries because I have to wash, eat, or drink. I even had moments when I simply had to put screaming baby down and leave the room because I couldn't take it anymore and couldn't be with the baby. I needed few moments away, so I took them. Life is tough.

I think that these super mums who managed to ruin my day think back about their early motherhood and remember only the good bits. Now they are convinced that they managed it well. As with labour, we tend to remember the good outcome and forget about the pain and suffering. I am glad I don't have much time for internet forums. They can be useful but they can be pretty damaging, too. We should mother by our instinct instead and forget about what people think or what worked for them.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

5 weeks

My baby is enjoying its fifth week with us and as a gift I was allowed to sleep almost 4 hours during the night, then, after a long and a little bit stressful feed I was given 3 and half hours extra. Is my baby growing into a little person who sleeps for longer? We are also starting to smile and communicate,  it is a nice change. Up until now it was sleeping, feeding, screaming, occasional moment of staring at me or windows or the ceiling. The little person is growing fast and changing rapidly.

The health visitor came in today and swore that it will get easier and I will get to sleep one day soon, but even today I feel like a superhero, who would think that last night could be considered a very good night?

Breastfeeding is going well. My only problem is that longer breaks mean fuller breasts and when baby starts feeding the fast flow makes him gasp and gulp and if there is no successful burp my darling will vomit a little bit. It happened last night and although it was quite easy to get over, at 3 am everything seems much more dramatic, I was wondering if I should consult the doctor about it. Could it be something serious? But today we are fine again, so I assume it was just an episode.

Right now, by 5 pm, baby is enjoying a nap which is shocking, usually by this time of a day we are having an almost non stop feed and one grumpy little person. I am so surprised that I am unable to nap. Is it possible that the hardest times are ending? Could I start returning to being myself again? The person who takes care of her appearance and wants to publish a novel? I managed to mop the floors today and to tidy up downstairs, what a nice achievement.

My husband is sitting by the desk, working. He is so happy he doesn't have to assist me with 'taming the beast' as we used to call our evenings. The baby would get so grumpy late afternoon and it would last till late evening - apparently they do it to stock up feeds for the night. If it meant longer breaks I didn't mind, but being woken up every hour and half after an afternoon like that made me desperate, emotional and upset.

I should try to have a nap. But I can not help thinking how every extra minute the baby gives me counts. During the day, I am desperately catching up with house work, paperwork, emails, calls. During the nights and evenings I sleep and sleep. My days are unpredictable and the highlight is my morning shower - the only 'me time' of the day. However, my maintenance is very simple. I didn't style my hair in the last five weeks, just put them back in a plate so they are not in a way and I can fall a sleep without doing anything about them. Same goes for skin care: cleansing and moisturizing in the morning, nothing in the evening. But now I do find time to take care of my nails (just to keep them short though) and I shave again, I didn't stop washing my hair regularly. On Sunday I even managed to put on my face mask while husband entertained the baby.
I wonder around the house in tracksuit pants and shirt which used to be husbands. The shirt is almost permanently undone as there is no point in fiddling with the buttons when baby demands yet another feed. To put something on when we go out for a walk is a challenge, but it feels nice to fit into my jeans and wear things that are not baggy and loose. Last weeks nice weather caught me by surprise, I wasn't ready to show off my skin, after so long time being pregnant and weeks of mothering, it is hard to return to being myself, or being seen in bright daylight in a simple dress.

But as I think about last night and look at the sleeping (for now) baby, there is a hope that I may put on skirt and a nice top sometimes soon, apply a BB cream and mascara and take it off in the evening (cleansing in the evening seems like a waste of precious sleeping time at the moment), or even do my hair and paint my toenails! I may even get out of the house for longer and spend more time around. And I probably will revise my novel sometimes this year! There is light at the end of the tunnel, I can see it now. Looking back, the beginning is really hard, but it is so rewarding. Seeing my baby growing and happy is the best reward I can get. My life is different and it will never get back to where it was, but it is so much richer, I am glad it is the way it is. Lets push my luck and try to nap....

Friday, 3 May 2013

Why didn't they tell me?

My last post feels like a century ago. Was I really pregnant? And yet it does seem that I was pregnant forever. Labour felt like such a big deal, the defining moment of my life. And it was, don't get me wrong. When it finally happened, it was intense, long, surprising and highly rewarding at the end.

The thing is: the labour I was so anxiously waiting for was just a beginning. There are so many information and speculation about labour (and I should write about mine more - it was a big deal) but at the moment I am too overwhelmed with what happens after. Why didn't they tell me about the after? Yes, we know there will be a baby here. Labour is only the beginning of a whole new life. A life that doesn't belong to me anymore. I knew it will be hard. I knew I will be sleep deprived. But I didn't know how much.

I was told newborns feed often and sleep a lot. Nobody told me they can feed more or less non stop, sleep at the end of the feed but stay unsettled the moment I try to put baby down and get some rest. Nobody told me how hard it is to figure out breastfeeding, I wasn't warned about cracked nipples, mastitis, mouth thrush, growing spurs and general fussiness. Is there a conspiracy going on?

When my baby was born I thought: never again. It was hard. But in few days time I was so deeply in love with the baby I thought: it is worth it. Three weeks later not so much. My mindset at the moment is: labour is OK, the stuff afterwards, the first weeks, that is the real hell. If I will be asked about having another baby, this time will probably be the reason I will not be keen. The only good thing is, I could die in labour but it is much less likely to die of mothering...

There are days when I think I did figure my new baby out and I do manage to dress up properly and do a little bit of work around the house. Today is the first time I was able to check my emails and post a blog, yet it was disturbed about four times by feeding. But the moment I think I am getting the hang of things and I can do motherhood, my baby changes its act and decides to be completely different. What worked yesterday doesn't work today and any progress is reversed.

I am exhausted. Thanks to very supportive and understanding husband I am helped as much as he is able to. Seeing me nearly in  tears this afternoon he took the baby for a long drive. Drive calms baby down and gives me a chance to have a nap. All I need is some sleep. Being so sleep deprived makes me emotional and blame the poor baby for its behavior which is not fair on the poor little thing.

Conclusion? This post doesn't make much sense and seems quite negative. Motherhood is tough. But to have a moment of calmness with my baby makes it all worth it. Sleeping for three hours and waking up to the 'ready to eat' noises makes it all worth it. Seeing my baby doing so well makes it worth it. Being a family makes it worth it. But it is the toughest job in the whole world.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

41 weeks

OK, I am still pregnant. After all of my preparation, after I finished a book and printed it out and put it away so I can do revision once the baby lets me, after all of my beautifully calm and healthy and uncomplicated pregnancy, I am living in a limbo.

Last week I posted a blog about a midwife who met me for the first time a day after my due date and completely freaked me out. And I hoped I will overcome this and the baby will come. First babies are apparently a week late, it's normal. Well, today it is the beginning of week 41 and all I can say is that in the past week I may have felt few cramps which may be a 'practice' contractions, or wind, or they may be completely made up by my mind always watching out for THE SIGN.

During the week I ate four pineapples, drank 5 liters of raspberry tea, ate chilli in everything apart my porridge in the morning, did yoga, meditation, affirmations, pep talks to the bump, pressed all the right points on my feet and legs, had long walks every single day. I wouldn't mind for the baby taking its time, clearly it is happy inside me, the only problem is the deadline given to me by the midwife last week. The thing is: my body is coping very well, my pregnancy was (is) a blast, so why would suddenly everything stop and the baby would be left in me beyond the time it needs with an old aging tired placenta which, as I was told, can not support it anymore?

Now, at the very end, I started to search on forums and panels (I thought I will do lots of this during my pregnancy, but actually didn't feel the need to until now), looking for people like me and I see lots of women who are scared and worried. I am not, my mind is clear and positive, I am ready, I don't care that it will hurt. I just want the labour to start naturally on its own, same way as my pregnancy started. Instead of being told that I NEED to be induced I want somebody to explain how could such a natural process suddenly stop progressing. Are all the induced women just talked into the induction  by health professionals who like everything by the book or because they just can not bare being pregnant anymore? Of course this isn't about me only, the main concern is will I harm my baby if I refuse induction?

My mother was one month overdue with my older sister. She told me that in the times before ultrasound the due date was less accurate. My friend has an eighteen years old daughter, she was overdue, too, but at the time it wasn't such an issue, they simply let her wait (and she didn't mind because she got pregnant in the final year of high school and at her age exams were more of a worry - I believe that is the price we 'mature' mothers pay, we worry more).

I know I have got a right to refuse induction. I just don't want to harm my baby and I am trying to rely on my instincts, but everything is getting mixed up in my head.

Husband is becoming impatient. After getting all supportive last week and spending his four days off on my walks and pineapple mission he wants to see results. He is hissing at my stomach: 'Get out!' every time he passes me. Baby's hiccups and movements don't interest him anymore. To massage me is a chore. Reflexology is a witchcraft. For some strange reason he doesn't even want to have sex with me. This morning he disappeared in the study making it clear that he isn't interested in accompanying me on yet another walk. He told me the baby is coming, we are seeing our midwife tomorrow if not, and we will take it from there. Well nobody will stick two fingers up his cervix tomorrow so of course he is relaxed. His support has got its limits, he wants to see results for it and as usually he can not really get why am I emotional and irritated. I wish he could always say and do the right thing but I don't know myself what it is. And he is the closest person right now so he will get my frustrations channeled on him. Unfair, I know.

I feel like I am left alone in the whole world, pregnant forever. Time is running at a very different pace, too slow at one hand, too fast at the other. Too slow considering how long it takes for the labour to start, too fast considering the midwife visit and the decisions I will have to make. I felt in harmony with my body and with the baby, now I feel like I am either not doing enough or the connection is lost. I feel like having a strike today, but at least I ate a whole pineapple, so I can tick that off and wait and relax a little bit more.....

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Today I finished my book

I am two days over due. While everybody says that hardly any baby arrives on the due date and first babies are generally late, suddenly I keep getting annoyed. Since before my due date husband kept asking: 'Do you feel anything? Any contractions? Anything different?' And he would ask me like that every couple of hours. As if in the case that I did go into labour I would just keep quiet and waited for him to ask.
The day after my due date - yesterday, was the day of my ante-natal appointment. My midwife is on holiday, so we had to go to a drop in at a near by children's center. The waiting area was full and husband didn't get any better idea than announce that we are over due. A day, people, a day over due! Yest there were all the sorry looks and suggestions of a long walks....
The midwife didn't know me and we both realized how blessed we were so far to see the same midwife throughout my pregnancy so far and a lovely one on top of that. This new one did hardly check the baby but kept telling me about the thing they will do to me (or should I say to my cervix) in a week time if I don't go into labour and about getting my induction date. As if I was awfully late. And I should take long walks, eat pineapple and have sex - all of it a lot. I felt like a complete failure, like if I should have had already delivered or do something about it. I left feeling rubbish and the only good thing was that husband didn't really click with this new midwife, too, she may just have been in a strange mood or annoyed because the clinic was busy and she was there overtime, but our day was ruined.
My pregnancy so far was great. Everything was well, now I only need my baby to arrive. By itself. I want to avoid induction or any funny business around my cervix, I believe that it will happen. Since about the end of 38th week I keep observing myself, unsure of what to expect. But I thought that the real stress starts only by the end of 41st week, which is still faraway?
To add more to my mood my family and our friends keep asking: any news? Again, as if we wouldn't tell them. Luckily my husband finally realized that him asking me won't do any good to my mood and knows that I will tell him as soon as the magic contractions arrive. For the rest of the world, I wish I could move away into a cave and quietly wait.

But I am proud to announce that after weeks of hard work (some days of doing nothing, some days of hard writing) I finished my novel. All 32 chapters, all 88 493 words. I wrote last two chapters early in the morning after a bad sleep (dreaming about getting ready for my cervix to be poked and explaining to my husband that I really don't feel very sexual these days - I want stuff to come out of me, not to get in!). So I am done. I was afraid I will not finish it before giving birth, that I will loose the flow, as I know how difficult it is to catch up after a long break, but I did manage at the end. And now I feel completely ready for the baby to arrive, no unfinished business here.

I finished my book, went out for a long walk, came back home, made a pot of raspberry leaf tea, printed out the novel so it is ready for revision and now I can write a very satisfying blog post about a finished project. All I need to focus on is to get the baby out of me. I am ready, husband is ready and eager (well it's not him doing the labour, is it), our home is ready. I have all the time and energy for walks, pineapples, curries, and positive affirmations. Come, my precious, come....

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Week 39

Week 39 is fun. Last week my husband was panicking because our friends decided that we are not ready enough and have no idea what is expecting us. Besides that, everybody had a need to give him all the horror stories possible. So he kept coming home wondering if we should try to get my non-traveling family to come over, if he will know what to do with me, if I will cope. How will he know how far my labour progressed? Will he be checking it? (NO NO NO). What if the baby needs some help? What if the umbilical cord is around its neck?
My midwife - as I am lucky to see the same one every time I go for my check, will be on holiday next week and he took it as a personal insult. Somehow, in his head, he assumed that she will be holding my hand through all of my labour. How did he even think it is beyond me, the fact that she has got the clinic in my GP surgery doesn't mean she will be around while I am giving birth, does it? I never thought so, but here we go, he was really upset about it and I am glad he wasn't able to come to the last appointment with me.
I really like my midwife and thanks to that I have an absolute trust in all of her team and whoever will be assisting me during the birth of my child. But ultimately, it is my job to birth the child, so I have an absolute trust in me and my baby. We will make it.
It doesn't matter that I don't have a family which will come over or many friends. I prepared very well, I am calm. If people assume that my calmness is due to ignorance they should first find out how ready I am (and how ready I helped my wonderful husband to get!) before unnerving my birth partner. What are friends for again?
But over the last weekend I was panicking myself. We were practicing how to put together the pram, how to put the car seat in and I couldn't get it at first. I started panicking that I will be horrible mother once the baby is here! I am very fine about my pregnancy and about the labour but now I have to start to look further and it is indeed scary.
What am I supposed to do with the baby? How do I bring it up? Looking back, I have a feeling I brought myself up, I remember being quite reasonable as a child. But of course I needed my parents a lot. Will I be any good at parenting?
There was a video sent to us by another helpful soul about the four kind of cries. Apparently babies usually need one of the four things so a well tuned parent will recognize by the cry what it is, helps the baby swiftly and never ever ends up with endlessly crying frustrated baby. I didn't hear any big difference between the apparently different cries and when I thought I did I couldn't remember what it was for.
'Can I just leave once the baby is out? It's only fair, I carried it around for a very long time, it's your turn now!'
My husband found it amusing. Where will I go? No idea.

But it was last week. Now all is well in Real household. We decided that our team works well and we will take it forward one step at a time.

I am huge. Baby is engaged and wiggles a lot, I suppose it is annoyed with the lack of space. I am inviting it out: more than enough stretching and kicking space out here! I hope we will have birth on term. I don't want to be induced. And I am tired, I don't sleep well, I am slow. I try to stay active as much as I can as I feel better that way but in the evenings I am finished - as if I was on a trek. I am also afraid to go too faraway by myself. So over the weekend my husband took some walks with me but during the week I am very careful and scared to go for a swim by myself. It is apparently quite normal.
Most of all, I am ready. It is Spring now and I am having a Spring baby. It woke me up at 5.30, all excited about the equinox (probably). So come! Anytime!

Thursday, 7 March 2013

37 weeks - almost there!!

I am officially ready and my baby is officially ready, too. It is still moving freely within, last week we had our check and it didn't engage yet. I don't think anything changed about it so far. Well, we still have couple of weeks, so the baby can enjoy the cosiness and comfort of my womb and I can... enjoy what? Last weeks of pregnancy are demanding. I still feel good but now I am discovering things like agony with number 2 - hello piles! I am short of breath, tired, slow, unable to sleep comfortably and if people are not sensitive enough I may cry. Yes. But I am happy and proud nevertheless.

I spent a lot of time getting ready and organized and I am trying my best to organize the world around me, mainly husband. He just doesn't understand that our lives will become a chaos very soon and that whatever he can do NOW he really should do.

I am cleaning obsessively because it may be the last proper clean I will be able to do for a while. I am stacking up things, freezing food and agonizing over laundry - will husband run out of socks and shirts? He is unable to think ahead and realize that if he only has got one shirt left he needs to wash, dry and iron some. Same goes with socks and underwear. Once you take the last thing out of the drawer it is too late. How can men not realize such thing? Yet even if he does realize, the control of a washing machine is a mystery to him. It is a machine, he should love it as men do enjoy anything with displays and buttons, yet somehow it stays a big enigma to him.

I am busy preparing baby's things, making sure I have got the newborn stuff ready and somehow it annoys me that I have to think about husband in a way as if he was my first baby - a very needy one.

Yet he is great. He gives me massages and prepares himself to be my birth partner because he is the only person able to do so. I don't have a close enough friend or a family member to ask, he is my closest person. We worked as a team up until now and my pregnancy brought us even closer.

I am now on maternity leave, he is quite busy and we had the chat about his leave. At work they know when we are expecting the baby and once I go into labour he will start his leave. He asked me how long should he take? Does he even need a leave? What?
His argument was he will not be of much use to me in the first days. I will be taking care of the baby most of the time. As a man he sees the birth and the breast feeding as a thing he can not influence too much.
So I tried to explain to him again: he will be shattered, labour will be long and he will be with me. If he manages to stay through without fainting, of course. Then he will want to bond with the baby. I am having a relationship already, I feel it moving in me all the time, there is a strong connection. He feels the movements sometimes and sees my bump, but I don't think he is as much aware of the little person as I am and I think once the baby comes out (and I will get my body back! yes!) he will need his own bonding time and I will be more than happy to see it.
But that is not all. My plan is to rest and I need him to take over the house, take care of the cleaning and cooking and shopping, to make sure we have got everything we need, to communicate with the world as I don't think I will be in a rush to go out or think about the world outside (I will be on baby planet), yet obviously we will need to share the big news.

That is the one thing that worries me, the way how unaware men are about all the little things that need to be done. What I do around the house without thinking I have to ask him to do if I need his help. He will cook but he will not take the cookbook back to its shelf. He will wash the dishes but he will not clean up the kitchen counter at the same time. He will clean the cooker but not the wall behind it splattered with tomato sauce from his cooking.
He will wash the sink but leave the tops of the taps dirty although the stains from water or toothpaste are so clearly visible.
He will clean the toilet seat but not lift it and clean it from the other site.
He will take the bin out but not clean the lid if it is dirty, he just replaces the bag.
He doesn't mind to the weekly shop but he will not think about the meals in advance and prepare the shopping list, check what we need. If he takes out the last toilet roll or tube of toothpaste he will not think about adding these on the list.
And so it goes on....

That is the thing - we see things (mess) differently and approach chores differently. I see what needs to be done, he does a task (the one task he was asked to do). I will spend longer doing things because they need to be done, he will say he didn't notice. How can he not notice? Do men not see mess? Yet he is a germophobe, he washes his hands obsessively and is generally good at helping around, but he doesn't notice dirt on the bin, in the bath or in the toilet.

Husband lived alone for a while so he knows the basics, but when I ask him to do things, he does them in a way as if they were beneath him. I don't expect a man to be crazy for chores, yet why should I be? Cleaning and house work aren't my favorite things to do or a way to make myself proud, I do them because they need to be done. And I like to be organized and take pride in my work, even if it is a mundane thankless chore.

So he now understands that I want to take some time after birth, recover and get used to taking care of our baby and I wish not to worry about domestic chores. His role during his leave will not only be to enjoy his first child but also to take care of us. He understands it and agrees, yet I am freaking out. I don't want to have to keep asking him or reminding him, I just want things done for once! How will it be? Only time will tell, obviously. Nothing will stay the same, that's for sure. But I don't expect husband to finally understand and appreciate all the invisible work that goes on around the house. Whenever he does help I feel obliged to praise him, whatever I do stays unnoticed because same way he doesn't see mess he doesn't notice when things get done. Isn't it a nice thing to be born a man? Hopefully we are having a girl....

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

35 weeks

I am 35 weeks! I am massive and a good night sleep is a thing of mystery to me. Not only does the baby tend to wake me up whenever it wants to. Two nights ago it decided to kick my right ribs in such a strong way that I actually shook up and woke up. Then it wiggled within doing some sort of dance routine. Its moonwalks over my ribs are usually amusing but this one was mean, really mean.

Than here comes my husband. He had a cold over Christmas and he couldn't shake it off. He got antibiotics after almost a month of coughing, nose blowing and snoring. Then the antibiotics killed his helpful bacteria in the gut and he got some digestion issues, felt tired and weak. It was actually my fault because I didn't make sure he eats probiotics with his antibiotics. Who would expect a man to think about that? He got over it. During this time he is able to work, traveled to a conference in Malta and managed to enjoy a weekend at the bachelors for his friend. For all these events he manages to be fine and active. Than he comes home, refuses to accompany me to swimming even though I am super conscious of the way I look (and the fact that I only fit into bikini) because he is feeling sick or weak or both, he snores at night and complains during the day. He was fine for a while but now his cough is back and aren't his eyes red? Is he getting an infection? What do I think?

So when the baby allows me to rest I am woken up by him or by wondering if there is something serious going on, if he is having some bad illness, if he will even meet his baby he wanted so much... Seriously, the thoughts that come to your head at about 3.30 am are crap. Your normal reasonable mind is not active, the speculative bad worrying mind takes over. It is dark, quiet, you are trying to sleep while the man next to you huffs and puffs and the brain decides to speculate. Annoying!

I am trying my best to keep up. During the day I usually come to a conclusion that husband will survive. I secretly think that he is feeling left out with all the attention on me and my pregnancy (although it is OUR pregnancy, I don't mind to share, really) and his symptoms are more or less of mental nature. I do not think he is succumbing to some rare illness I think he needs more attention. I am trying my best to be nice to him and be as helpful around the house as I can, but aware that if I do too much he will assume pregnancy is swimmingly easy and won't make much effort. As always it is up to the woman to keep the balance and make him believe he is the controller. Sounds mean but it is true.

If I am active I feel better (my yoga teacher recommended as much activity as possible and she was right), plus I hope I will be tired and therefore sleep better. It helps to go to bed early and catch some extra sleep in the hours I would usually watch TV or a movie. I am probably in training for sleepless nights in the future.

I am not writing much, somehow there is so much to do! First of all there was an urge to clean, then I started washing and sorting all baby clothes and stuff we were given so far and I also had a sudden urge to source all the rest. I am getting ready. I have to get ready. Nothing interests me more than be ready for the big arrival of a little being who needs all of this stuff. I found great pram car seat combination on gumtree for a fraction of its original price. We are being given a cot. I spent half day researching reusable nappies. It is a science. Which type to go for? How do I know what will work? I chose a compromise - terry nappies. They cost less and I grew up with them, so did husband. We can not actually remember it but we did survive and our mothers did, too. So they can not be that bad. Now, as soon as there is space on the laundry line, I have to start washing the nappies and practice the folding. Laundry lines are full of baby's bedding and towels and wash clothes, we were flying through Boots and Ikea on Saturday morning with a long list in the hand, trying to stay ahead of the usual Saturday crowds (what is it with people actually wanting to spend their weekend in a shopping centers?). We have got everything we assume we need including Paracetamol (for the beginning of labour) and changing mat and... Well since probably only people in similar situation to mine are reading so far you have got pretty good idea what we have, but I must say I am proud of our organization skills.

The idea that I will be a full time writer during those last weeks was a little bit naive. But I did manage to catch up with what I have written so far - half of the novel is done and I can carry on, memory fresh, new ideas in my head. It helped to look back although it isn't recommended to revise unfinished novels but I needed to catch up and refresh my memory, that's all. It helped, I am very inspired. I hope I will get better once my nesting instinct is satisfied at least for a while.... Tomorrow.....

Thursday, 7 February 2013


Husband is getting ecstatic because he will spend a weekend with his friends playing golf and having some bloke time. It is a bachelor weekend for one of the guys, but it will be a civilized one, or so I am told. It is so obvious he is very much looking forward getting away from the pregnancy books, baby clothes drying on the line, birth plan and bump watch and I can not blame him.
And I? Well I am very much looking forward to having the house to myself, to sleeping alone in our big bed stretched from one corner to another, to do whatever I want to do, to eat whenever I want to without worrying if I should prepare the same or something else for him (we have dinners together but during the day is very much whatever suits our schedule). I love my me time, my alone time.
My husband always worried about it. He is very sociable and his friends are as important as close family. He loves to spend time with other people, he makes friends easily, chats without long pauses. Sometimes I suggest an activity I would like us to do and his first reaction is to think who could join us, although I meant just the two of us doing the thing.
The fact that I don't really have so strong friendship or keep in touch with people I met is difficult to understand to him. But I think he finally gets that it is the way it is. Unlike him I didn't go to university where his strongest friendships were established. I traveled a lot and my jobs and circumstances changed quite a few times so I didn't really keep in touch with people from school or kids I grew up with.
During the years I bonded with people and had nice friendships but as soon as I moved away it drifted away. I do exchange occasional emails and Christmas cards with few people but I do lack the need to do more. When I finally meet with some of those who were very close to me I find one thing difficult: instead of wanting to know what I am up to NOW (which is what interests me about them very much) they seem almost unhappy I am no longer the person they remember. When I met my old friend from Austria last year, all she wanted was to chat about my ex because she still didn't put her head around the fact that I left him, moved on, started to live with husband and got married. My ex is so faraway from my life and I didn't understand why do we need to spend the one afternoon we have talking about him when there is so much going on in my REAL life.
This meeting helped me to build up my theory that however strong and nice friendships I did have, they lost their validity and point the moment I moved on. I don't mind my friends moving on but I expect them to accept that I do, too.
I don't have the need to chat to people all the time, every day, make endless phone calls, have weekly coffees. The fact is that I like to spend time alone, I am looking forward to it, a trip to town isn't an excuse to arrange a meeting.
I like to enjoy the time I have. Share some experiences, cook a nice meal and invite friends around, have a quality time we can remember is more valuable to me than weekly natter over the same topics. Same goes with communication. I am not very fond of skype and I find it very disturbing being called up when I am in a middle of something. Computer is mainly a working tool for me and since I write from home, it may seem like I'm constantly available. Lots of my friends don't do letters and I love nothing more than putting thoughts to paper. At the moment even emails are too much of a fuss for them. I should be on the social sites more and I did join facebook and twitter, but somehow it isn't helping much. I don't have the will to check for updates zillions times a day, I have better things to do (including daydreaming). I simply can not get in touch with the idea of instant availability which is supposed to improve our lives, of the need to be in the moment, share every stupid detail now and here in order to be a valid person.
In the past I did feel strange thanks to my very sociable husband. I hoped I will make more effort and change for the better with him but the truth is I learned that I am who I am and it is fine. I am a loner.

Now I am bombarded from left right and center that I will need bags of friends to get through the early motherhood. Isolation is apparently a trigger of depression. Will I be more isolated than I already am? The thought of a baby depending on me 24/7 sends sometimes waves of panic through my head. In less than two months I will have no me time at all. I was told that I will make friends easily, mums love to hang together, no one else understands them. I see some people/friends are already loosing interest in me thanks to my pregnancy. They are at a different stage in their lives, I get it but I may enjoy their company more than one of fellow mums. I would love not to loose touch with the world around and talk about other things than babies and sore nipples.
I was also told that most new friendships will be build during my pregnancy, from ante-natal classes and so forth. Well, I had very high expectations from the first class we attended but I must say all couples stuck together, there were polite smiles and short conversation but I didn't notice people keen on making lasting connections. Maybe it's because we are all with our partners, I thought. On week two husband was away for a business trip so I headed for the class alone, ready to use it to my advantage. When I was seen alone nobody even joined my table as if I was a bad bad person - and those people did see me with a partner a week ago, they knew I wasn't a lost single mother cause. Our last class was cancelled due to snow so I am still friendless and still fine with it.
It is just the way it is. I like to accept people the way they are and I would love to be accepted the same way. I am friendly and polite but not clingy or very chatty. I am fine by my own. So what?

On that note, I will have my last private yoga class next week. My teacher will start her maternity leave and I really hope we will be able to hang out to practice together once we have the babies. There is a friendship I would love to keep - or develop. I know she is providing a service but the chats we have and the atmosphere of our sessions is such that I see it as more than going to a hairdresser or for a facial, more than a service which I pay for. So clearly I do like company of people, I am not a complete loner venting on my computer far faraway from any living soul.. Am I perhaps too picky?

Thursday, 31 January 2013

about discipline

Discipline is a lovely word, isn't it? It is one of the words we start to appreciate when we grow up. It makes us feel and look and act grown up if/because we have got discipline.
I am 32 weeks pregnant now and discipline is high on my agenda. I have a feeling that if I don't become super - disciplined NOW or soon, I will not manage once the baby arrives. I have a vision of myself giving birth, being super - happy and after few hazy days recovering slipping back to my discipline - using all of my spare time (however little of it, I am not naive) to my best advantage.
I am quieting down, there is not much work left for me. I am not in a full time job, thankfully I am able to exist with occasional jobs only as I spent the years when most people build great careers traveling the world and the freedom I got used to plus lack of reputable CV meant I never caught up with the real world. I don't mind, I can have my own plans and projects and divide my time the way I want to. Of course, all of this wouldn't be possible if I didn't have a very supportive husband (thank you my dear). My small projects involve a little bit of PA work or translating and revising other people's works which is always exciting. I sometimes volunteer, too. We are not rich, my husband isn't a high flyer, but the truth is that we don't need that much stuff as we are made to think.
Another thing regarding my lack of work is that I spent over 2 years trying to get pregnant, I had an idea of building up some proper career but I felt pregnant, miscarried in 12 weeks and since then I sort of hoped it would happen at any time. It didn't and we kept trying and I wanted to be prepared and relaxed so why stress about job interviews anyway, right?... I did get pregnant finally after I started considering a job, was updating a very poor CV and searching online. I didn't apply though because we were also moving house which kept me pretty busy and before I could put myself together - whoala - I was pregnant!
So if there is any of you trying to conceive and getting frustrated I have an advice: don't give up but start to get busy with other things, make your mind worry about another things, make plans B and C and I hope you will not need them, or will be able to put them aside for later... But that's not what I wanted to write about.
The theme was discipline. Last week I started fretting about my lack of writing and planed to get back to my productive creative self. How do I do so far? Words planned to day:  9000. Words actually written: 3935. I sat down twice, not every day except Sunday. Oh dear, the fact that I have got more time at the moment as I don't have anything else going on, doesn't mean I am any better. Discipline is still something I hope to establish but I am working very slow at it. Why do I get so slow? I used to be able to fit so much into my day! Now everything takes time, so much time. Are all pregnant people so slow?
Plus I will have to start getting ready, put the things I will need together, take the classes, prepare for birth, pack the bag, fight over names - I will need the discipline even more because nothing is easier than sit online and research/discuss/review/compare baby products and dilemmas.
And why do I have this panic feeling that by end of March my life will end? Whatever won't be done can be done after the baby is here, right? I am not disappearing into thin air, I will still be me. A little lighter even.
Lets stay positive. I have a good life, I am transforming myself into a proper housewife and I am working on my discipline. I am improving. OK, last week was hectic, lets see what can I do in the coming one....

Thursday, 24 January 2013


I spent time reading a few pregnancy books in the past week, mainly to do with natural birth. There are some good tips in them on how to cope with labour pain without medications and a good one is to distract the senses - moving the body, using stress balls, look at objects or pictures, use sounds and listen to music. How do I create a perfect playlist for labour? Apparently, most women have a mixture of music styles from relaxing music to techno so they can pick and choose. Will I be able to fiddle with my ipod which tends to annoy me even without being in a contraction? You probably noticed I am not the best with technology, I try my best but find it mostly frustrating.
If I only knew how my mood and musical taste will develop and how long playlist I will need. I will probably want to start quite slow and calm and move on to gangster rap towards the end.... Husband hates rap and hip hop so I may loose his support by then plus who wants this kind of lyrics to be the welcoming sound to the world for a new born baby? Time to think about the others, not only about myself, but on the other hand it is my labour right??? Last time in my life when everything is about ME.
I am not sure what I will do but so far I have got one candidate for my birthing playlist: Alicia Keys' Superwoman. Very suitable for a victorious entry into motherhood. More tips welcomed dear readers.

Speaking of technology, I spent last few days revising a translation. It was printed out on a paper and I actually enjoyed reading the pages, marking out points I found relevant, being busy without getting frustrated with the moods of my wonderful new computer or distracted by emails and interesting stuff from internet. To do a little bit of work also reminded me that there is more to me than being pregnant and since I have got only about two months of me time left, it is time to get my nanowrimo hat back on and start working! I was supposed to move onto revising by now, that was the plan, but since the end of November (and my great victory, feels like years ago) I wrote my book ONCE. Shame on me.
I still hope that if I organize myself properly I will find it easier to return to writing once my baby arrives. Of course I will be busy, but if I push myself I will surely spare some time to write.
I made the first step today, I transferred my writing to this new shiny computer and hope that I will open the files most days in coming weeks.

Looking around the internet, I noticed the world is full of pregnant women and new mums with lots to say and reading their blogs is fascinating. So far it is taking me away from researching baby stuff I need to start buying and participating in online discussions. I am definitely more of a reader than talker. So lets take it easy and be a writer, too. If I could write 50000 words in November, surely I can do the same in February with a last week of January added in as a bonus.... Before my brain completely melts in nesting madness, I can see it slowly approaching with a hungry knowing smile....

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Week 30 - time to get organized

Yesterday I was over the moon. I found out I will be part of mumsnet bloggers forum. It is a great achievement. I started setting up my badge to let the world know. I am still trying today... And it doesn't work. I can not add it to my blog, whatever and however I try. The advice in the mumsnet mail is great but blogspot doesn't cooperate. Where are real people who could answer a question??? I am frustrated to the core of my poor soul. Why oh why, just when I partly recovered from trying to figure out a new computer I was given for christmas, do I have to encounter yet another technical challenge? Since the new computer can be slightly moody (who on earth thought we need such a thing as windows 8? just let me live and work with something that works please!) I thought - cleverly - I will try with my old computer today, maybe is some sort of settings I don't understand. But no, there is no mumsnet logo, no nanowrimo badge, nothing but plain background on my dear new blog. Who knows when will I manage to solve it. I typed a request into a great anonymous forum but I may as well go out to the garden and shout at the sky. It may work better, actually.

Husband is away on a conference this week, I am alone to take care of any challenge that comes my way. Considering how confused he was with our new computer I don't see him as a great technical guru anymore anyway (sorry my dear). Maybe he knows some super geek who could help, chances are better on his side than on mine.

Of course that when husband is about to fly to Malta early on Monday morning it starts to snow. Of course the cold weather comes on the day when I have to walk to the ante-natal class by myself. I should have learned to drive, not just get a driving license years ago and never sit behind a wheel again. I negotiated frozen footpaths and managed to make it for my second of three ante-natal classes. Since last week I am noticing pain in my left hip and a pubic pain. Apparently a gift that comes with pregnancy, my joints are getting softer. I am trying to make smaller steps and to be gentle on myself, but I constantly feel my body which is unusual. Besides my bump there are feeling in areas I didn't notice ever before. 10 more weeks to go...

What does help? I carry on with my private yoga classes and I must say I do feel better afterwards. There are no miracles, I didn't expect any, but I learned how to move with awareness and how to adjust myself to the changes. Plus I am super relaxed after my class. I am so glad I started with it. Funny thing is that my teacher is pregnant at the moment, too, so I feel like I am hanging out with a friend. I was thinking about joining a post-natal class but as this teacher will be on a maternity leave herself we thought about an unofficial get together for a practice instead of a regular class. Our situation is similar - no willing grandparents near by and husbands at work, so we will be able to meet with our babies and she will not have to worry about providing a proper teacher service while busy taking care of her possibly crying child. It could be a start of a wonderful friendship.

I am thinking about quitting my frustrations when I finish typing, switching the computers off and going for a meditation class. I found out that Buddhist center has an afternoon meditation drop in and I feel a great need of it. I want to get into a habit of meditating and I know I work better under a guidance.  Besides, it is a practice for normal, not pregnant people, and it would be a great chance to forget about myself for a moment and simply be (if the baby in the bump allows - it likes to remind me of its presence very much). The roads seem quite normal, if there is no risk of slipping I will gladly take a walk. Otherwise I will spend my afternoon in endless frustration possibly shouting at my computer.

I was supposed to go back to writing and finish my novel before my baby is due.Today I wanted to make a plan and start writing with NO EXCUSES.  But just to maintain and publicize a blog seems to be enough of a challenge at this very moment....

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Too much choice, too much advice...

OK, I am officially in the last trimester of my first pregnancy. And I can feel it. The bump is suddenly in a way. It was a moderate bump but now it is stopping me from walking around corners without bumping into them, being fast, turning in bed without noticing, sitting and dressing or undressing without a thought. Whatever move I make the bump reminds me of its existence.

Baby's moves feel different, too and they are actually visible now, which makes husband very happy.
With the last trimester and Christmas behind us we can start to get ready. Getting ready time was a project placed in my head - I could see it in the future, happily ordering and getting only necessary stuff. But the reality is that once I started my research I am bombarded with too many products, too much information and too much choice. Who said that choice is good? I need nappies (washable, I am not giving my baby 500 years worth of landfill mountain as a gift for the environment) - give me nappies that work, not 50 websites claiming they are the best and confusing comments and forums where nobody has a clear opinion. Same with a sling, a cot, a car seat, basically with anything.

My friends are keen to donate stuff they don't need which I am grateful for, but I am stuffed with a massive bag filled with pink clothes and I don't know the sex of my baby (newborns are colour blind anyway, surely my eventual son will not be damaged if he will spend some time in a pink onesie) and I already have 2 Moses baskets. I will soon run out of space without putting together sensible amount of things I will really need and use. Apparently I will not find out WHAT I actually need and will use until the baby is here anyway, so maybe I should go back to simply enjoying myself and hope for the best.

With donated items came the advice. Yes, my friends already had all the children they will ever want and besides de-cluttering they also feel the need to tell me what to do. They feel they really know how parenting works and husband and I are clueless. Somehow the fact that while they popped their dear babies ones and twos while husband and I were struggling to conceive seems to make them believe we have no idea. The fact is that husband and I had plenty of time to observe their parenting and make up our own idea about how we want to function as a family in the future. But because we didn't do any parenting yet, our dear friends assume we want to listen to their advice and stories and follow them to the letter.

At the same time I noticed that while I am very occupied with the pregnancy/birth/newborn, those parts became very blurry to my friends and they keep telling me how to deal with older kids and work-life balance. So thank you but no thank you. We are not on the same boat really.

What I do think after absorbing the baby talk (and thanks to the now very visible bump there is clearly more to come) is that every woman starts her motherhood with an ideal image of ideal mother version of herself who is blessed with an ideal baby, than this image disappears as the real motherhood starts and once she finds the ground she starts explaining herself in order to make herself to feel better. I don't think there is an ideal mother or ideal baby anywhere in the world but I think that we should just try our best - as with everything in life. I would just love to be able to do my best without being constantly judged by others and I am a little bit afraid of the competitiveness that comes with parenting. I can hear the comments my friends make about those not present and I am pretty sure the same happens regarding me when I am not around.
So my friends don't like reusable nappies or natural births but I do and instead of accepting it they keep trying to put me off. Not very helpful.

 My yoga teacher mentioned how I should observe myself in a non-judgmental way and be open while I practice but I am trying to take this advice to my everyday life. I don't want to judge my friends and their parenting or choice of baby clothes, whatever they do is clearly good for them and that is what matters. I just hope they will do the same to me and allow me to go thorough my own motherhood my own way - whether it is different from theirs or not.