The baby chronicles #6: Things on the mind of the new mum

Weeks old: 6
I like: Grabbing mummy’s hair, boobs, dancing to Alkaline Trio with daddy
Mummy is learning: To tie up her hair, to like Alkaline Trio

So I am 6 weeks into this mum lark and some of the fog is starting to lift… sometimes. While Little O still does most of his sleeping on me, he does longer stretches of it most nights which means I am getting just about enough broken sleep to function as a human being. Not a human being who could do things like work at an actual outside the home job for money or do calculus but one who can dress, eat and keep a small human alive. (As a side note, how on earth do American mums who only get 6 weeks of maternity leave, usually unpaid, cope with returning to work at this stage???).

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This lifting of the fog has made me a bit more conscious of the thoughts that drift in and out of my mind, like:

I wish I could sleep without a bra on! Sleeping without a bra on would be more comfortable and convenient for night feeds but boobs that are used for baby feeding, leak and if you sleep without a bra on, you wake up in a puddle of milk.

My body is such a weird shape. I’m not that far off my pre-baby weight but my body is a bit out of proportion at the moment. I can fit some of my pre-baby jeans but most of them are too tight in the belly. My bigger jeans that fit in the belly are too loose in the bum! My boobs on the other hand are like footballs.

I have nothing to wear.  I thought my maternity wardrobe was pretty limiting but my baby feeding wardrobe is even more limited. I can only wear stuff that I can easily rearrange to breastfeed in. Pretty much all of my dresses are out. Also breastfeeding bras are very, very unflattering so a lot of my clothes just look… wrong.

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We call this pimp sleeping

When is daddy getting home? Mr O has started a new job and still has gigs in London, which means he sometimes isn’t home for some hours at a time, as is normal for the partner not on parental leave. Since Little O doesn’t like being put down it can make even going to the bathroom or grabbing a snack very hard. It also means there is no respite when Little O gristles for hours. I do not know how single parents cope. After 12 hours I am losing the plot. As a tip to dads (or whoever has gotten to go out without the baby), take over as soon as you get in.

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I’m letting myself go. I have never been obsessed with my appearance but I used to get my nails done, blow dry my hair, put on make-up, wax my eyebrows. These things don’t happen anymore. I have blow dried my hair 3 times since Little O was born. As I am the only one who can feed Little O, I have never left him since he was born for longer than it takes to have a shower. I can’t see that changing in the near future and so things like a pedicure and a haircut seem totally out of reach and I feel very rough around the edges.

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I am turning into a clown. Little O now smiles. It is literally the cutest thing I have ever seen and so I will do very, very silly things to make it happen again.

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I am doing it all wrong. I don’t think this ever stops. I constantly wonder if I should be doing literally every single thing I do relating to Little O better or differently and whenever I get frustrated or exhausted I feel like I’m not coping… which brings to the forefront all the fears I had when I was pregnant. But today when I took Little O to be weighed (5kg/11lbs now) and the health visitor asked me if I was enjoying it, I sincerely said, “yes, l almost all the time,” so I must be doing something right.

 

 

18 Comments

  1. That boy is definitely Churchill reincarnated! Keep him away from the cigars.
    My step-daughter is a single mum, so copes alone with our grandson. Basically, she gets nothing done, and that’s at twenty months. More joy to look forward to, Abbi. Only another 25+ years to go, before he can look after himself! (Hopefully…)
    Best wishes, Pete.

    1. So that’s where all the cigars went! My hat goes off you your step-daughter. I’m not surprised she struggles to get things done.

  2. I’m glad it’s getting better! Y’all are so adorable. And while I understand the feeling not put together, I think you look great. ❤️

    We’re eligible for up to 12 weeks of unpaid maternity leave if we’ve worked full time for the same employer for at least one year. Pending employer approval. With proper documentation. So mostly, not going back to work at 6 weeks isn’t an option, because full time jobs are harder to find now that they have to provide health insurance. Crazy, right?

    1. Thank you so much! I am shocked by how America treats pregnant women and families. All UK employees get 39 weeks of statutory government pay but most employers offer a lot more. I get 20 weeks of my full salary paid over 26 weeks and then 13 more weeks of statutory government pay. That would be what most women are likely to be offered. I am also surprised when I read American mum blogs how many women are against better maternity benefits. It makes me very sad.

      1. A lot of us are against a lot of useful stuff because they’re perceived as either communist or socialist which are bad, bad things, you know.

  3. Ah, Abbi, I think you are looking great, no matter about the manicures and the hair – although that must be an adjustment! You guys are looking happy and healthy, so that is awesome!

    1. Thank you! That’s so sweet. It’s amazing the little things you take for granted.

  4. Oh my goodness!!! Little O is simply adorable! Thanks for the updates on your new life as a mom, Abbi.

  5. Have a look at lilypadz for night time. They were a godsend as I had exactly the same problem as you. I hated sleeping in a bra and these stopped all leaks. Not sure what I would have done without them!

    1. Thanks for the tip. I’ve had a look and I think I might order them. Just wondering what your experience of taking them on and off in the night to feed was like?

  6. My gosh, he’s beautiful. I wonder if mothers ever grow out of feeling like they’re doing something wrong constantly! But it’s so nice to hear that you’re finally getting at least a little bit of sleep. Perhaps the mani/pedis will come at a later stage!

    1. Thank you. I don’t parents ever do. I’m 35 and my brother is 32 and my dad says he still worries he’s doing things wrong.

  7. MIB

    Awww…that last photo! 🙂

  8. I thought I was doing everything wrong. Pretty sure I’m still doing nothing right! Oh man – I remember how hard it was to find “post-baby, breastfeeding”clothes! Far easier to find maternity clothing. Nothing fit right! It was easier to just keep wearing the maternity clothes, but that made me feel so gross & frumpy. And my kid is 7 now and I think I’ve still only managed to paint my nails, hmm, probably less than 10 times. ; )

    1. I still wear some of my maternity clothes because they’re comfy but I do feel frumpy a lot of the time. We’re probably all doing everything wrong but somehow the human race survives 😘

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