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!!!!