Surviving the Fourth Trimester, Just.

Blog writing has definitely changed. I’m currently sat on the floor, writing this on my phone whilst shaking a light up turtle over Teddy’s face as he lays on his baby gym, waiting for the next strop which, by the sound of him, is imminent.

Today marks three whole months of being a mummy to my little boy. It feels like an eternity and a minute all at the same time! I’ve missed blogging a lot, so thought I’d take a minute to catch you all up on my first three months as a mummy.

(Quick update, the strop I predicted escalated QUICKLY, the turtle has been ditched in favour of the boob, but more on that later).

The First Six Weeks

We were extremely lucky to have Ross at home for the first 42 days of Teddy’s life. As I recovered from my c-section, I don’t know what I would have done without him in that time. I didn’t know how to work the pram, the car seat, basically anything that required any muscle or brain power. I relied on him for most things, and there was definitely tears the night before he returned to work!

Aside from my needs, I am so grateful that he was able to witness every little change in Teddy in those early days. I dreaded Ross missing Teddys first smile but let’s face it, he was always going to be the one to make him smile first!

Those first six weeks feel like an absolute blur. To anyone enjoying that first little bit of being a parent, make sure you soak up every second of those sleepy days. They do not last forever! It doesn’t even seem possible that all Teddy used to do is feed and sleep.

Except, it didn’t actually feel like that was all he did. He cried. A LOT. There was one day where I decided he actually hated me, and lol I probs was not cut out for this job. Feed him, he screamed in my face. Talk to him, he screamed in my face. Try and get him to sleep, he screamed in my face.

That was only one day that I’m really remembering there, but my point is, there were really difficult days. I found it difficult to browse social media, or chat to friends, only to hear about their peaceful babies. I felt like I had an endlessly grumpy baby, and I couldn’t imagine it ever changing. Spoiler, I still can’t.

Feeding and sleeping

The sleep deprivation is real. At the start, and now. Every baby is different, I know that, but it doesn’t make it any easier when another person mentions that their baby sleeps through the night.

At around 10 weeks, Teddy started going to sleep at 7pm, and I could expect his next feed to be anywhere between midnight and 1.30am. He slept for more than 6 hours! I thought we were onto a winner, and he might slowly start building that up. HA! Nope sorry Mum, I’m going backwards and I’d quite like to wake up every 90 minutes now, ok?

He’s still sticking to a bedtime of around 7.30pm, but now I can expect his next wake up to be around 10.30-11.30pm, and then he will be awake every 90 minutes for the rest of the night. To say it’s frustrating is an understatement, mostly because I find it impossible to settle him back to sleep without feeding him, except he’s rarely hungry when he’s feeding that frequently. He’s snacking, and is constantly restless. We actually realised last night that he rarely lets me settle him, because all he wants from me is the comfort of the boob. Ross finds it far easier to settle him, because feeding isn’t something Teddy associates with him, but I don’t have the option of Ross calming him down all night when he has to be up for work.

I’m not expecting any miracles, and I know it’s normal for tiny babies to wake up so regularly, but all I would love is three to four hour chunks, it would make all the difference!

Do you know the only thing I can do for now? Ignore what everyone else’s baby is doing and ignore the positive comments people make (“he’ll get there soon!”), because none of that helps, I just don’t believe anyone who tells me that. I’ll just have to ride it out.

Getting out and about

A few weeks ago, I lost all confidence when it came to taking Teddy out, and to be honest, I’m still not the care free, out and about mum that I thought I would be.

He gets incredibly grumpy when he’s tired. You know when everyone tells you that the best way to get a baby to sleep is to take them out in their pram? LOL LOL LOL. If I put Teddy in his pram whilst he’s tired, the screams become relentless and louder by then minute. He simply cannot put himself to sleep. Those babies that drift off the minute they’re put into their prams? The ones that fall asleep in their bouncy chairs, or in their baby gyms? Who the hell are these babies!! How does this even happen!

He generally lasts about 2 hours before he needs another nap, but I can guarantee you that he will not just drift off once he gets tired. Once 2 hours hit, the screams and grumps usually begin. I feel like I live my life in little 2 hour groundhog mini days. 2 hours awake, get my grumpy baby to sleep, a sleep of who knows how long (often with a 10 minute wake up and resettle) and then we go again.

If I try and go out with him, my brain is constantly worrying about how long he’s been awake, when his next screaming fit is going to be, and is it all worth it?

But it’s getting easier, right?

Hmm. I have the Wonder Weeks app to track his leaps and predicted moods, and this week it tells me most parents start finding it much easier at this point. That they glow about their happy babies to anyone who will listen. Except I just don’t feel like it’s getting any easier just yet.

You will never hear me describe Teddy as a happy, chilled baby, because I don’t think he is. Yes, I have amazing moments with him where he flashes me his beautiful shy smile, or a huge open mouthed grin. I have moments where he snuggles into me, and I absolutely love him more than I ever knew possible. But I’m always waiting for his next grizzle. I feel like he is constantly on the edge. He needs constantly entertaining when he’s awake. If you leave him to it, the meltdown will appear quicker than you can imagine. Leave him in one place for too long? He will let you know about that too.

I live for those nap times because I know that at the other end of a good nap is a happy baby. I dread him waking up before he meant to, because I know that he will be in the worst grump.

Lol, right on cue I just had to rescue him from his cot, screaming, because he woke up.

It’s tough writing about the bad bits because I don’t want anyone to think I’m not enjoying being his mummy, that I’m seriously struggling, or I’m ungrateful for this little gift that I never thought we would get. None of those things are true. I am fine, and I love him more than anything, but some bits are really tough, and I don’t feel like enough people are talking about those bits.

Now, excuse me whilst I use the boob to calm him down once again. And probs feed to sleep because I don’t know what else to do. And then probs sit here and think about all the things (like feeding to sleep) that I’m doing wrong. Whilst everyone else enjoys their peaceful babies, that drift off to sleep by themselves, feed more than 2 hours apart, and settle into the perfect routine. LOL.

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