This isn’t my usual happy, bubbly and quirky post. Because I’m really not in a happy, bubbly and quirky mood. Things in my immediate vicinity are fabulous, Lily is finally healthy again (although still snotty), Shauns probation is up so can finally really relax into his job, Lilys day mother adores her and tells me every day what a lovely child she is, how easy, sweet and happy she is (she does back this up by saying ‘whew but she doesn’t like to sleep). I’m job hunting and although I haven’t had to much joy yet, I have that, just around the corner feeling. I’m more in love with my husband than ever and we are happier in Durban than I have ever been.
However I’m NOT happy that external meaness has infiltrated my families life. To make it worse, I can’t even talk about it online which sucks because that’s my first response. I vent online to my support group, and now I can’t. But its really pissing me off that people feel the need to be nasty and insecure and take it out on those I love. On those who strive to be kind and good to all they meet. Its just not cool and its really put a black cloud over my head today.
Also? My maid lost a crucial part of my breastpump today. The little rubber part that does the pumping part. I HATE expressing so much already, and now my pump is useless. The pump I had loaned from a friend isn’t working and so now I’m totally stuck. Its driving me mad. To make it worse? I spend hours expressing milk and then my little monster won’t drink it. She’ll happily drink tea or water but will not drink milk or formula while at school. what can I do about this? She eats while there, breakfast, lunch and snacks but won’t drink her milk! I’m going to introduce cows milk at 10.5 months in her food and will start trying to skip a feed with cowsmilk when she’s one, but until then, what can I do???
Fathers day on Sunday started most unfortunately in hospital with a very sick little Lily. She had a fever of 39.2 on Saturday night and woke up with it at 38.5. We decided to take her as she had been ill since Wednesday. We thought it was just a cold but the fever worried us. Thank goodness we took her because she has a very bad case of tonsillitis! Poor baby. She’s given it to Shaun and I as well now, but we’re both sucking it up, parents can’t get sick!
So Shaun spent his first fathers day tending to a sick wife and baby, while feeling awful himself. That’s Shaun. He’s an amazing dad and husband. When Lily was newborn he would cook every night when he got home, make sure I ate and drank enough & helped me so much. I would never have survived those first few weeks without him. Now he plays with Lily and always makes her laugh. I often hear the two of them giggling away at something he’s done! Her fave trick is to throw all her balls out her ball pond and watch him put them back. he’s ever patient and kind and will follow her around the house while she’s crawling looking for me, while I sit in the bath, take her back to the lounge with him, only to follow her back 10 mins later. I love you my handsome love, thank you for all you do for us and for looking after us while we were all sick!
My dad was in Rio, so I couldn’t even talk to him asides from bbm. I’m incredibly lucky to have such an amazing dad. He travels the world, is out the country sometimes weekly but still calls to check in a few times a week and sends tweets and texts often. He followed his dreams and is now top of his game! He is an amazing role model for me, Shaun and Lily. He started out right at the bottom, and has worked his way up in a job he loves (although its way to stressful if you ask me). He has maintained his crazy sense of humour, compassion and kindness through everything. He is generous and loving and deals with a lot from his two kids, we really do give him grey hairs some times! Thank you for being a daddy instead of just a dad, for always being a voice of reason, for making sure my husband got home safely on his bachelors, for teaching me about forgiveness, for crying at my wedding-but sending your blessings as well, for being a wonderful grandfather who dotes on Lily (and always bringing her something from your trips-the latest a pair of clogs from holland!), for listening to me talk for hours about my next big idea, for keeping my popples safe and looking almost new for Lily, for always being there. I love you. To the moon and back.
I remember watching a tv show with Shaun, when we were in the UK, on bullies. He said ‘what the hell, that girl is pretty, she wasn’t bullied!’. I turned to him and said, ‘and me? I’m pretty, and I was’.
I was never bullied in the sense the girls on tv was, I wasn’t beaten up, or driven to hurt myself. It was really just a constant nagging in my mind. It was when I was in Primary school. It was a certain group or older girls (they’re always older, always in a group- aren’t they?) Who would taunt me whenever they had an opportunity. You see, I was a goody two shoes. I wanted people to like me so I was good. I didn’t break rules, I didn’t push boundaries. I liked being good. I liked people liking me. So, naturally, they hated me. I avoided going near them, changed my route if I saw them and eventually they left school and all was well. When I think back to it, I don’t remember their names, their taunts or even how long it went on for. I’m very very lucky! I know that it scars some forever. I was once told by a boy who, for some reason was trying to hurt ‘you’re so fat, I bet you weigh…’ I can’t remember the number exactly but it was spot on. I was devastated. Not to long after that I got a similar comment from a very good friend and I remember both clearly. They have always stuck with me.
My point is, I hope my dear Lily never has to deal with that. I’ll bring her up to be kind, good and gentle and I hope I don’t open her up to be bullied by those who aren’t. My mom and dad helped me a lot in those years, they told me that I can’t expect everyone to like me, and its a very good lesson to learn! But I WANT everyone to like Lily, why wouldn’t they? She’s perfect!
I’ve mentioned in a previous post, the worst thing my child could be is a bully. To me this encompasses a racist, sexist or any other ist. Ill work my hardest at ensuring that she’s not.
Were you bullied? Has your child been? How did you handle it?
The books all tell you what to expect, how baby won’t sleep, will feed every two hours, how your nipples will hurt a bit, how the babies first poo is a black tarry substance, how baby may spit up a bit after a feed, how its best to let baby suck as long as she wants at the beginning, how you may be a bit tender after the birth.
What the don’t tell you, can fill up a few books too!
They don’t tell you just how exhausted you will be. Babies sleep a lot but they wake up a lot a lot. Lily woke up every two hours. I had to hold her up for half an hour after every feed because she had reflux, so she would sleep and I would watch tv. This meant that I only slept for an hour at a time. It was exhausting. I was so exhausted I was delirious at times. I once woke Shaun up, totally freaking out because I was convinced he was sleeping on James. My cousins baby. I pulled the duvet off and searched for him and couldn’t find him -obviously. When I saw Lily sleeping in her crib, I realized I was crazy! I often dreamt that I had fed her and would wake up expecting to have her in my arms. There is no way to prepare for that level of exhaustion. You just suck it up and get used to it! They also don’t mention the murderous thoughts that go through your head when someone who is sleeping 8 straight hours a night, moans that they’re tired, or when you see your husband sleeping peacefully while you’re changing another nappy and getting ready for another feed. Murderous thoughts I tell you.
You nipples do hurt a bit. A lot. And they bleed. And get blood blisters and cracks. Let down hurts to, so everytime baby latches it feels like deep heat has been rubbed on your boobs. Also as soon as she starts to suck it makes your uterus contract which hurts to. You also get so thirsty that it honestly feels like you might dry up and die if you don’t drink a swimming pool sized glass of water. The books don’t tell you that, I guess they don’t want to put you off breastfeeding. It shouldn’t though because the sore nipples heal after a week and so do the tummy cramps. The let down feeling lessens after about 8 weeks or so and stops all together after 3 months. You stop getting thirsty around then too. Also breastfeeding really does help with weight loss and makes your baby happy and healthy. Its so worth persevering with it. I’m really going to miss it when I finally stop.
The black tarry poo? The books don’t tell you how it lasts a week, sticks to everything and is gross gross gross. Also they don’t mention that a bit of a spit up can turn into a projectile vomit that leaves you soaking to your underwear.
Also you will be tender after the birth. So ‘tender’ that sitting, standing, walking and rolling over suck. You will dream of those salt baths because they give you 10 mins of relief. Again though, pain doesn’t last forever. It goes away and you get to feel strong and powerful that you got through it.
Having a baby and parenting is not something you can prepare for. Its something that you have to live through and learn on the job. No one can tell you that, even though you’re tired, sore and miserable, you look at that gorgeous child that you made from scratch and forget about it! She’ll smile or giggling or coo and you forget about all that you deal with and you realize why you do it. Because there is no more rewarding job in the world. I’d happily bath in salt forever, have bleeding nipples and sleepless nights, if it means that I get to wake up to a gummy smile, a sloppy kiss and some warm snuggle everyday.
Seriously if someone is rude to me it ruins my whole day, I know its over sensitive but it does. How hard is it to smile dammit? Would it kill you to say hello?
Today I’ve got a sick baby and an empty fridge and grocery cupboard so I HAD to go out. I took the pram so that she would be comfy and warm and I hooked bags to the handles which I filled with groceries. When I got to the cashier Lily started yelling and wanted out so I picked her up, out of the pram and put the bag of groceries on the counter. I’m now juggling a crying baby, pram, handbag, trying to get loyalty cards out my purse and the cashier looks at me. That’s it. I say ‘hello, how are you’ (yes I can still be polite while juggling a million things, one of which is a crying, snotty baby). She looks at me. She looks at the bag. And sits. She refuses to help me unpack it. seriously. She can see how frazzled I’m getting but sits and watches me unpack everything and then repack it.
Am I expecting to much? If it was me I would have helped, if I was the person behind me I would have helped too. Maybe I expect to much of people but seriously, its ruined my day. I wish people were just a bit kinder and a bit more friendly.
PS: on that note, on being kind, I want to ask you all about giving money to beggars. Do you? Do you give money or food or clothes? I read an article online saying you should never give money because they buy drugs/alcohol and cigs and I must admit that’s how I feel usually but I feel so awful when, like this morning, I see a little boy in PJ pants, no shirt or shoes in 18 degree weather, begging. I didn’t have any money on me so I didn’t give him anything but feel very guilty now. A week ago I gave a woman R30 because she looked like she was going to cry and I felt bad. I KNOW she smoked or drank it because she’s a regular, but I felt so bad. I have so much. Think I’m going to start crocheting beanies for the kids and go through my cupboards for some warm clothes and hand them out at the robots. At least then I’ll feel like I’m doing something.
What do you think?
I’ve written before on how I want Lily to grow up with a good self image, I don’t want the D(iet) word mentioned in my house, as well as the F(at) word or even the T(hin) word to be honest. I’ve never had a very good self image, I’ve always wanted to be thinner, browner, blonder, shorter and smaller. My mom (sorry mom) has always been the same. She’s gorgeous and yet is always striving to look…different to what she does. And I’m the same. I WILL NOT ALLOW this for Lily. She will be perfect no matter what, and I don’t want her to strive to look like anyone else. I want her to love herself and think of herself as perfect, because she is! and you know what? So am I. For the first time in my life I look at myself in a new light. My body that I’ve always hated? It carried this gorgeous child for 9 months. It created her from scratch! Those hips that I always despised and wished were smaller? They are a perfect perch to rest my baby on. My boobs which have always been to big, are feeding my baby and providing the most amazing nourishment for my child (as well as a lovely soft pillow for her sleeping head!). I feel confident and happier than I’ve ever been. I feel confident in my abilities as a mother, wife and woman. I feel that now, I will be able to ensure Lily grows up confident in herself, and loves her body and what it can do and know that she’s perfect, in every way, no matter what.
I’m sorry if this post seems self righteous, or self possessed. Its not meant to be. Its just how I’ve been feeling. Happy. Confident.
Last night I was chatting to @brono_bell on twitter, she has a newborn baby boy and I immediately started giving her advice. After a few tweets I thought about it and thought, I hope I’m not being an annoying assvice giver! You know, the person we all hate who just won’t shut up with the advice that goes against most of what we believe anyway?!
Its just so hard, I remember so well when Lily was NB and those first 3 months are so hard. You have no idea what you’re doing, you’re exhausted and sore and the advice of twitter moms got me through most of the long nights. Sitting with a baby on your boob for hours at a time, only for her to puke it all up all over you, sucks! I gathered all the advice I could get, sorted through it, and decided what I’d use.
I know, the advice sounds idiotic anyway. Sleep when baby sleeps? How the hell do you do that? There is so much to do! Laundry, dishes, baths, cooking, twitter. I was constantly busy doing who knows what. I did washing the day I came home from hospital! Hung it on the line and tore my stitches in the process. Yes. Ouch is right. To be fair to myself it was clothes that I had worn in hospital and they really needed a wash. But Shaun could have done it, I should have waited and let him do it. Instead I did it myself and instead of being healed up in 2 weeks, it took me 3 months. I was also so exhausted from getting up every 2 hours that I was constantly tearful and nauseous from the exhaustion. So, use it don’t use it (and you probably won’t) but sleep when the baby sleeps. You need 6 weeks to get over the trauma your body has gone through. SLEEP WHEN BABY SLEEPS! Shower/bath when daddy gets home. Stay in your PJs (less washing). Use the meals that you’ve cooked while you were pregnant and froze. Or have soup and toast or get hubby to cook.
I also battled with letting baby suck as long as she wants. Lily would sometimes drink for an hour at a time. My nipples were blood blistered and sore and all I wanted to do was stop! But I did it and it worked and we’ve not had many milk supply problems because of it.
So I’m sorry if I’m a pain giving all my pregnant or new mom friends advice, if I’m annoying TELL ME!
But before you do, stay strong, bath in salt, let baby suck, don’t express, drink jungle juice, sleep when baby sleeps, cook meals for the freezer before baby is born and forget about housework! 🙂