Our beautiful daughter is four weeks old today and to celebrate we went out just the two of us for brunch with the ladies from NCT.
Six mummies with their gorgeous babies, four girls and two boys. Our NCT group is actually made up of 7 new families and so when we are all together there will be four baby girls and three little boys. We met in a cafe today and as one by one we walked in we each had a massive proud mummy grin on our faces. It was a lovely thing to see. A great way to start the day.
Life is hectic here. Four weeks have passed since I gave birth and David has still not been able to do a full days work. A combination of new baby, post birth recovery, illness and sickness bugs and buying a house have meant that getting into any kind of routine has just been impossible. I think that I am also suffering with a little bit of baby blues. I am hesitant to say post natal depression at this early stage but I do wonder some days.
Our saving grace I think is that Matilda Mae sleeps. I go to bed about 11 and don’t feel that I am properly roused again most days until 4am. Matilda likes to have a feed and a snuggle and a whispered chat at this time before going back to some sleep at some point before or up to half past five! I don’t mind really. I have survived on much less sleep and am sure I will again when the time comes to move her from our bed where we currently co-sleep into a bed of her own.
Matilda has a gorgeous crib but she is not very keen on being in it. She likes to sleep on a person, in a wrap or sling, in our bed, on the sofa in the hot spot where I have been sitting or sometimes she will doze in her bouncy chair. I know that soon we must get her to sleep and settle in a space of her own. I just don’t yet feel ready for that level of sleep deprivation!
I also told David that at four weeks Matilda would have a bottle. One bottle every 24 hours. He is keen to know that she will take a bottle in case of emergencies and because Esther and William never would which made things hard for me in the long run and so hard for us all at the times when I felt I couldn’t cope. With Matilda, David is keen to know that should something happen to me he can look after Matilda. This would also mean that I can take Esther and William to their classes and leave the baby at home with Dave. It gives us options. And I must remember that I am mummy to three children now not just Baby Tilda.
The question that is niggling me though is do I really have to start messing around with expressing or can that one bottle a day be a formula milk feed? I am a champion of breastfeeding, I believe it is best for mummy and for baby but formula feeding is not that bad and surely one bottle a day cannot cause much harm. As I said to my NCT ladies today you cannot line children up in school and say, ‘Right you were a breasty, you were fomula fed …’ It makes no difference, you cannot tell. I was formula fed and there is not much wrong with me?!?
There are just two days left now until the bank holiday weekend and half term. I love half term as family and friends are not working and so I get some company and some support. We have three real activities planned a jubilee picnic with royal fancy dress on Sunday, a ride on the train at Tonbridge Park on Wednesday with my best friend and her family and an extended Henley family visit to the zoo on Thursday. I can’t wait.
Next term will be my last term having every day with all three children as Esther and William will start pre-school in September. I have been busy planning our schedule. On Mondays we all go to Fun Train which is singing and action rhymes and musical instruments. Esther and William love this and Matilda Mae tends to snooze on through.
On Tuesdays we will be going to the toddler group in our new village to meet some of the mummies and toddlers we will be living alongside. I am feeling very nervous and also excited about that.
On Wednesdays we will be going to Tumble Tots if I can make it work having all three of them there.
On Thursdays I am hoping to take Esther and William to a local independent gymnastics class but I will need an extra pair of hands to help me with this.
On Fridays we see my best friend in the afternoon who is also the Godmother of all three children and we all adore seeing her.
It all sounds so easy when you write it all down. It is not easy though and in fact Tumble Tots this week was heartbreaking.
It was Tuesday. It was baking hot and the Tumble Tots hall felt like an inferno. Too hot. Uncomfortably hot. The class was much busier than usual and I was not feeling very well. It would seem Matilda Mae was not very happy either and she wanted the world to know. The gym equipment had been set up in a circuit around the hall. This was not usual and it made it very hard for me to help both Esther and William. We ended up, all fours of us, stood in the middle of the circuit watching all the other toddlers and their parents go round. I felt so awful. What kind of mother was I to bring my children to do this activity and then not be able to help them do it. I almost left the class just 10 minutes in but I could not get everyone back to the car on my own and so we stayed. Esther, William and I joined in the activities the best we could with other Mummies sharing the cuddling of Matilda but it was hard work and I felt like I had failed Esther and William. At the end of the class as were trying desperately to get home and put the whole sorry affair behind us I crashed my car into a gate post trying to get out of the car park. For me that was the final straw, I drove home in a blind emotional rage knowing that something had to change.
By the time David got home from work I had calmed down. All the babies were fed and watered and we were ready to get on with our day. It was horrible though but has also made me more determined to find a way to make this work.
One of the hardest things about balancing all three children is the times when Matilda needs feeding, which with the heat of recent days has been constantly.
It is impossible I have found to fill the paddling pool, take off someone’s soggy shoes and simultaneously breastfeed a baby. I can just about fill up toddler snack bowls with baby on a boob! There is so much to learn! To do.
Matilda has thankfully got the hang of feeding now so no more sore nipples for me!
The four weeks have flown by. There have been some amazing highs and very emotional lows. My husband has swooped in and saved the day on many an occasion. The twins are so used to having him full time now that they are very disappointed when they get stuck with me. They never ask for me anymore which makes me very sad but I hope it is just during this transitional phase and that soon they will be glad to have their mummy fully functional again.
Does anyone have any experience of this?
So it has been an eventful four weeks and there are still many stories to tell as we make allmake progress day by day. Every day is both a challenge and a blessing with our beautiful Matilda Mae.