Nurserycam is the new Twitter

Today marks the close of week number 3 back at work. And I have never been so glad that it’s Friday!

I knew going back to work would be difficult. It’s a major gear change having a baby but you get used to it very quickly and I, for one, didn’t want to shift back into work mode.

So, I set a handful of days to go into the office and some to put Strawbug into daycare as a practice run for both of us. I’d been warned that I’d cry every day for approximately 3 weeks when I went back and had to leave her every day. I was advised to keep a big box of tissues and a make up bag in the car to clean myself up before going into the office.

The “practice” days were extremely hard. I honestly felt a dull ache in the middle of my chest as if someone had reached in and ripped my heart out. It was a physical feeling as well as a deep emotional sadness. And there was me thinking it was the baby who was supposed to suffer from separation anxiety!

The first “real” day at work was awful. I cried the minute I got in the car after dropping her off. I thought I just might throw up. I cried all the way to work and thought of nothing but Strawbug until I picked her up at 5:30pm.

I’d returned to a new, slower paced role and to get started I had some learning to do. So, I spent most of my day reading. I say reading. What I was actually doing was looking at a book with my iPhone hidden inside constantly logged into the Nursery Webcam watching my baby girl. I’d been warned to avoid this specific activity for some weeks also, for obvious reasons. But instead of making my pain worse, it strangely made me feel better. After all, I’d spent the last 6 months just looking at her constantly. Marvelling in her beauty. Amazed at her presence. Obsessive, maybe. But I didn’t care. I still don’t. And now, through the magic of the internet, I could still look at her. I could see that she was still breathing, still alive, crying but alive, so she was OK…’ish.

I started to write this blog 2 weeks into returning to work, my iPhone lay between my arms still permanently logged into the Nurserycam watching Strawbug playing around on a playmat. I’d stopped crying every morning after dropping her off. Although I was still extremely sad to say goodbye. And it hurt like hell.

This week, we’ve both been a little under the weather. I’m not sure if it’s that or if it was destined to be a bit of a rollercoaster ride, in any event. But, it’s been hell. There have been tears again most days. I’m completely shattered both physically and emotionally. To the extent that I’ve been in bed by 8pm every night this week.

I’m not the only mum in this position. Almost 30% of Mothers work full time (Office for National Statistics). Whether it’s because they want to or they need to is another blog entirely. For me, it’s definitely purely a financial need and I would stay at home with Strawbug in a heartbeat if I could.

And as I update the post now, I’m still not doing much work. And I still think of nothing but Strawbug 24/7/365.  And I can’t help thinking, which will go first… nurserycam or my job. After all, something has probably got to give!

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New Years Resolutions

Once again there has been quite a gap between my blog posts! Oh well, quality not quantity eh? (here’s hoping I have the former “down”!)

“The first three months are a bloody hard slog!” says my BFF, yogaswerve, who’s also my oracle on all things baby related. Our baby girl had colic from weeks 2 to 14, but even without that I’d probably agree. Little time for personal hobbies like blogging or fitness. Though I still managed to find time to eat chocolate and a veritable mountain of cookies and assorted biscuits. I still do.

Week 15 was Christmas and then came the New Year and here we are a couple of weeks into 2011 and still chasing the Holy Grail that is “a routine”.

So, whilst my baby girl snoozes on my lap (I’m not molly coddling her – she still has a bit of reflux and has to stay upright for 20 minutes after feeding, she also happens to have fallen asleep), I thought I’d write down my resolutions… Some are a little more realistic than others but I’ll let you work out which is which for yourself.

1. Lose 2 stone
2. Attend a Zumba or a Dance class (something energetic to assist with #1)
3. Re-start Yoga (again)
4. Write retrospective “diary” of pregnancy and mummyhood
5. Save up for a mac (for documenting #4)
6. Try, really try, to post regular, meaningful, interesting and humorous ditty’s on my blog.
7. Spend as much time with my baby girl as possible (she’s growing so fast and she is so much fun to be around!)

Apart from winning the lottery, that’s all I got… But to be honest, I’d settle for winning at nappy roulette once in a while!

Guilty Pleasures

Two things stick in my mind from when I first went on maternity leave; (1) everyone told me to rest… lots… as it would be my last chance and (2) after 2 days of daytime TV I resolved that I would be as active as possible to avoid it numbing my mind completely.

Two things are most prominent in my life now; (1) I’m permanently tired and (2) when my baby girl does sleep, I veg in front of daytime TV!!

I’m not sure which was the chicken and which was the egg, but having caved into spousal pressure some weeks ago and re-investing in Sky TV (including upgrading to HD!!) I am now addicted to E! (no, not the party drug, the Entertainment channel).

Fashion Police, Kimora, Holly’s World, Keeping up with the Kardashians and Kendra… my God! Kendra – she’s my main guilty pleasure.

Who’d have thought an intelligent, overweight, 30-something, brunette from the North end of the UK could relate to Hugh Heffners ex?! But I totally do… the series they are repeating at the moment is the one where Baby Hank is a few months old and Kendra is going through all of the highs and lows that the rest of us first time mums do. Albeit she has a nanny to help and the money to fly to Vegas for a weekend off. Still, I get it. I totally do.

You can imagine how excited I am to see the new series starting this Sunday. A chance to see how my life will turn out when my baby gets a bit older like Baby Hank. Really??? you say… NO! But I am excited. What can I say, I’m addicted to the show now and I think I’ll still get it for a little while yet – probably until I go back to work.

Back to work – what a thought 😦 ugh! dreading it. I foresee major separation anxiety and paranoia about whether my brain works again. Even pre-Kendra, I’m sure I lost a bit of my brain when I gave birth. Now post-Kendra… well, I’ll leave that to your imagination…

So there you have it – confession of a first time mum, on maternity leave in the cold rainy North of England (yes, the weather is just an excuse and no, I’m not convinced either that I wouldn’t do it if it were summertime). My guilty pleasure. Roll on Sunday… Go Kendra! Go Kendra! You’re not alone now….

Today, I blog!

Today, I blog again…

My beautiful little girl is nearly 9 weeks old and the last 9 weeks have been the best and the worst of my life. People tell you it’s the hardest and the best job in the world (being a parent) and they’re right!

I once blogged about how overwhelmed with unconditional love I was for my little furball when he came into our lives. But my love for my baby girl is a gazillion times stronger than that. I could never have imagined it until the first time I looked at her.

Still now, every time I look at her, even when I’m at my lowest ebb; having had no sleep for days and she’s been screaming her little lungs out for what seems like hours (she has colic), all I can think of is that she is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. How amazing she is and how lucky I am to have her. I miss her even when I’m just in the other room.

And my love, respect and admiration for my Beloved has grown too. Don’t get me wrong there have been times when the tiredness has presented, let’s call them, significant challenges. But I could not have delivered her without his fortitude. I would not have survived the baby blues or my battle with breastfeeding without his love and support. And I have grown as a person by learning to let him (and my friends and my family) help me.

She is definitely Daddy’s little girl! He brought her into this world with his own hands and she’s had him wrapped around her little finger ever since. But that is a good thing. He will love her and protect her forever, we both will.

Our family has grown and will hopefully continue to grow… although, I’m not sure where we’ll put them. This one tiny little girl has accumulated so much stuff in 9 weeks, we already need a bigger house. How is that possible?!

 

Is it good to share?

1 week to D-Day.

I still think it will be longer and I’m trying not to fixate on the date… but I can totally understand why women get to the home stretch and “just want it out!!!”. I feel really good today and managed to have a reasonably good night’s sleep last night but the 2 nights/days before that were pretty challenging. But I’m not here to complain about my pregnancy woes, nope. Today’s post is about how much information should I put online about our baby?

I know I said that this wouldn’t become a mummy blog… but what else can I write about, when my every waking thought is consumed by Strawbug?

I’ve been thinking about this blog subject for quite a while. Ever since I announced my happy news actually.

Putting details of your life online whether it be a blog, Facebook or Twitter can be risky for anyone. I myself, don’t even share my own name on this blog or my Twitter account and I try very hard to disguise anyone in my life that I write about (unless they have already set the precedent of “going public” with who they are online). Some might say that I’m copping out but I do it because whilst I enjoy the process and the experience of writing and sharing, I find it much easier to share feelings anonymously. I also do it out of respect for others in my life. I don’t feel I have the right to publish details of their lives online without their permission. After all, its possible that these details could be read by millions of people across the world (not that my readership is anywhere near that high, but it’s out there, it’s accessible and it is possible).

On the other hand, it is the acceptable convention of social networking to share personal information, photos etc. of yourself and others online. And the internet provides a useful tool to enable today’s distributed families to share these things in almost real-time. It provides support systems and information to many who feel isolated because of the fact that we no longer live in local family units. It’s quick, it’s easy, it’s free.

The downside of the internet is that it can be accessed by anyone, and by that I mean unsavoury types. Parents spend many hours worrying about who their kids are chatting to online, putting security software in place to try to prevent them accessing the types of sites where they could be harmed and (hopefully) educating their children about the dangers of the internet and how to avoid them.

So then is it fair, or safe, to then post photos of those kids on Facebook? or a blog? and share details of who their kids are and what they did today with, potentially, the entire world?

I’ve googled (as is my want) and searched for any studies or theories that may answer my question (in whatever way). But all that I have been able to find is thoughts, research and advice about kids using the internet and online safety software or education.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not judging any proud parent who puts photos of their kids on Facebook. Heck, I’ve already done it here on my blog before my baby is born! I’m just generally struggling with the idea, and I’m not sure what the right thing to do is for Strawbug. I genuinely wouldn’t want her or him to come to any harm as a result of something I had done.

So, what do you think? Is it risky? Am I being over sensitive or should I employ the same rule as I do with others in my life and assume I don’t have the right to openly disclose such personal details?

Leave a comment… I’d love to know what you think.

All Change

So, today was my last day in work before Strawbug arrives. It was a strange day. I’ve been looking forward to it for so long but in the end it felt kind of weird. Kind of sad. It’s been a long long time since I haven’t worked and my job, my ‘career’, has been (for the best part of the last 15 years) a large part of the definition of ‘Me’.

Now, I know that I’m about to change that definition forever. And I have wanted nothing more than to have a family with my Beloved for quite some time now. But, it’s still a massive change for a very independent girl (OK I’m clutching at straws with ‘girl’!).

It’s ironic that my job is (was) all about the management of change. And I’ve never been change averse. In fact, I’m the complete opposite of change averse. I get bored easily and have spent large periods of my life changing jobs, cities and homes every six months. And because of this I find it very difficult to understand why (some) people are really quite terrified at the prospect of change. I’ve always (well mostly) seen it as an opportunity (the exception being when I’ve been dumped, and in which case I’m not sure it was the ‘change’ that was bothering me).

So anyway, back to me not working… I guess maybe the way to look at it is that I’m on secondment for personal development purposes. Because I’m fairly certain that once Strawbug arrives, daily life will return to good old hard graft, although I expect that job satisfaction will be off the scale in relation to what I’ve been doing for the last 15 years.

And although I’m excited, I still can’t really imagine what life will be like once the baby is here. But then, when you haven’t had kids before, can anyone?

For the next couple of weeks though, I’ll be taking the view that I’m on holiday. Which is fine, I can get my head around that. I’ve had staycations before. And just think of all the time I’ll have for blogging and Twitter!

Burn Baby Burn

Short blog today… thought I’d share (briefly) my own experience of one of those great joys of pregnancy – heartburn/indegestion (I “/” them because in all honesty, I don’t know the difference between them or which one I’ve got!)

Since the beginning of my pregnancy I’ve suffered from heartburn (I’m going to pick this one and stick with it for the purposes of telling the story). I’ve had a staple pack of chewable Rennies in every handbag, drawer and car glove compartment for the last 6 months (well not every car, cos we only have one). More recently I’ve added a bottle of Gaviscon to the remedy collection (carrying one everywhere) and also had to completely give up eating bread related products… Well, I say give up – truth is I love bread so, it’s more like “hell mend me” (as my grannie would say) when I do give in and have a piece of toast or dip a piece of pitta into the sour cream and chive dip. I know the risks and sometimes I just choose to pay the consequences, OK?!

Last night, I was already extremely uncomfortable (and very very tired) on going to bed (…at 9:30). As usual I couldn’t get comfortable (body and bump permanently feel like I’ve overdone it at the gym) and for some reason the heartburn quadruples at night.

To cut a long story short, heartburn led to severe nausea. It subsided after about 10 minutes, and when I lay back down again a wave of stomach acid raced up my oesophagus , along the back of my throat, all the way up and then down out of my nose! What the???????!!!! Got to say, never had that before.

Sounds funny now, I know but my God does it burn! And it just kept coming!

I managed to cool the burn in my throat and my stomach with my trusty Gaviscon but how on earth does one medicate the point where your nose cavity meets the top of your throat? I thought about snorting some milk, but it seemed a step too far.

In the end, like a martyr, I sat and suffered till it passed and I eventually got to sleep about 5:45 this morning just as my Beloved’s alarm was going off for him to get up for work.

I feel like I’m always complaining these days, and I shouldn’t because I know I’m lucky (tired, heavy and unglamorous but lucky) to have a gift of such magnitude coming my way in a few weeks. But, jeez, it can be hard sometimes to remember that. Especially at 5am when you’re sat in the dark on your own, you’ve had no sleep, your eyes are watering and you’re mopping up acid dribbles from your nose.