I was just going to post it on my Instagram stories, but I saw the ‘potential’ of it.
Did I ever think that I’d be including a photo of my computer screen in a project? No. To be fair I probably have done it before in other projects that aren’t shown or it may have been edited out of one series.
I am not sure why I have been so obsessed. Possibly, because we’re dealing with a second lockdown and I can’t go anywhere? True.
I was like ‘she has to be awake for 90 minutes, then 105 minutes twice, then 120 minutes. She can’t go to bed unless she has been awake for those full wake windows’. So some days her bedtime was getting a bit later.
Do I think that most people are watching TV/on their phones whilst feeding their baby? Yes.
Have I enjoyed watching The Addams Family movies? Yes.
We live in weird times where we aren’t able to do a lot of things right now, so I don’t want to take away things that I do have. I will try turning it down and talking to her more though – or do I just say this on my blog to try to not feel so bad?
<25th October – I haven’t watched a film while feeding her in a while…>
I seem to talk frequently about how my life is 3 hour cycles during the day.
I have mentioned before about how I feel like I am getting worse at eye contact.
I have always been better at one to one conversations than group ones. I always find them awkward – particularly now in the age of zoom. I have arranged one for today, but I do not think I will attend as I do not feel up to it. I feel too crappy and I feel like the whole thing will make me feel worse.
It was quite late in the day so I felt anxious for most of it. Pre-pandemic I would worry about what to do when I got somewhere and I would try to map it all out in my mind. Pandemic measures have just made me feel more nervous, but in the end it was fine and if we go again I will know how it all works (or most of it if the rules change).
We just floated B on the surface and moved her about. She did drink some water… Oops. She seemed to enjoy it though (the swimming, not trying a new drink) and didn’t cry at all.
It was an operation to get her dressed quick after though as she got very cold after we got out. We had to bath her when we got home and I washed my hair at home too as there were signs that said we weren’t allowed to use shampoo at the pool. So it was a day long thing in the end really.
I do want to go again, but I think every week would be a bit much.
Though I did figure out how to get her pushchair rain cover on properly yesterday so I feel a little less awkward about going out now. I realised that I had lost some of my confidence with going out – we had been going out as a family for a week and I was still not used to B’s new pushchair situation.
I am definitely going to try to go out everyday though and just keep an eye on the weather.
I wrote all the hashtags before the shoot – except for this one. I am adding this as B plays on her mat. She is getting more grabby – with her hands and feet.
Just because I am not showing her face does not mean that she can’t be in more shoots. I guess there is only so much that we can do, but she does not seem to mind just sitting/lying on me whilst I take photos.
<25th October: A few days after this shoot and hashtag we decided to leave Liverpool and move in with my Nan in Birmingham. We arrived yesterday. Packing a flat up with a 4 month old during a pandemic was not easy, and now I am looking at the mountain of stuff wondering how we are going to unpack it all.
I tried to start on it all this morning, but I just didn’t know where to start. The good thing is we don’t need most of it right now, but it’s definitely going to be a challenge.
I could have added updates to a lot of this post like I usually do, but I address a lot of it in following posts and… I’m tired.>
To be fair the coding course is quite mentally tiring, plus everything else. The weather is colder and it is getting darker earlier, which just makes me want to hibernate. Annoyingly it’s the best time of the day to work – it’s currently 20:44. I did some coding earlier in the day, so I think I will just read my book a little tonight instead. Exciting.
Just a small amount of blood. I am hoping it goes away quick and is just my body preparing for them. Fun times.
My period tracker app says my period is 350+ days late.
It’s not the end of the world obviously, but to not have had one in so long and then have it start when I am going swimming for the first time in an even longer time is just bloody annoying – does that count as a pun or something?
I have heard that some women have not had them for a year or so after giving birth because of breastfeeding.
<In the end it was only very light for 2 days, so was that my period? I don’t know. It was probably my body reminding itself how they work.>
I was thinking that maybe we should ‘upgrade’ her, so when I saw that other Mum friends had moved their babies to chairs I knew it was time.
It’s weird not being able to see her so well, but hopefully she will like looking around at people and things. It’s strange putting her in it, but I guess before long it will become normal. She looks nice and snug in it.
<I am still finding it weird. There is a little flap to check on her, but as she is usually wearing a hat I can’t see what she is doing, so I have to peep around the front.
When it’s windy her footmuff blows up at the bottom where she is too short to have her feet at the moment.>
It did seem a bit dumb that I could not see someone at their house, but I could see them in a place full of other people.
I did not know this. I just found out tonight. Great…
I get it – they can’t just make lots of exceptions, but there are no baby groups, I can’t get support from my family and now I can’t see the few friends that I have in Liverpool. Obviously it affects everyone and not just us, but it is annoying. What can we do though?
I think having a pushchair makes it more difficult as you can’t just easily get away from people fast. People have no problem walking super close to you.
A preacher guy wasn’t wearing a mask and came so close to me to try to give me a leaflet. I just said ‘No!’ loudly as I was so freaked out by him coming close to me. I think he made a ‘Ooh’ sound back or something.
We just wanted to get home and B needed to be fed.
Often her naps in the morning are quite good and we have a consistent cycle, but by the afternoon her naps get shorter, so I knew it did not matter too much. Though I will try not to let it happen again. T just seemed keen to play, so I thought why not.
She still falls asleep a lot when I feed her. I feel like I should talk to her, but there’s only so much I can say and she doesn’t seem to care so I try to read to her. Though recently I have just started to watch films as I need to relax and this seems like a good time to do it.
Yesterday and today I have been watching the 2000s Charlie’s Angels films. I have never seen them before. Maybe because lockdown is so dull I feel like I need some action in my life? I hope B learns karate or something.
I know it is the coding course that is bothering me the most. I don’t do well with educational deadlines. I’m ahead of schedule, but still I’m getting stressed out? I’m a weirdo.
T told me to have a rest whilst B napped, but I said I was going to take the pictures for these hashtags. He said I’m nuts. I think he is right…
Will I ever stop being tired? I was going to have a nap this morning during B’s first nap, but she sleeps so well then that I knew I should get up, stretch and try to do some coding.
I’m attempting the 30 days of yoga again. I think I tried too soon before when I had a big gap (diastasis recti) and so it wasn’t the best idea. Now I think it is okay to do it though.
Oh joy. Though my Nan is under lockdown in Birmingham, so now I feel a little glad that we don’t have to try to attempt some weird meetup in a pub. Obviously I’d love to see her, but logistically it would be a right faff.
Yesterday to get into the building I had to walk by two guys who were smoking right by the entrance. They barely moved for me and then I awkwardly had to open the door and get through with the pushchair, whilst they continued to stand right by it but acted like I was not there. I guess from today they will be told to move.
I can not really imagine a world where I feel safe around strangers/lots of people again. Though I did adapt pretty quickly at the hospital when I had B…
It is full on and I have been doing it for three months. Tiago does look after her too, but Monday to Friday 7-5ish she is mainly my responsibility, then I need to worry about producing her milk at all times.
We have been struggling with giving her a bottle feed a day as she struggles with the teats, but I think we have fixed it. I decided to get her some slow flow teats and that seems to have done the trick. Sometimes I let her suck my finger (that sounds odd) and I realised how strong she was getting, so with the other teats I think she often is drowning in milk. She had a dream feed last night with the slow teat and she drank most of it.
(5th October – The slow teats definitely did the trick. She has a dream feed with a bottle every night now and she usually feeds quite well.)
I feel like I have so many conversations going on all over the place and I am bored of them. I just want to have in person conversations, but it is difficult.
(5th October – Rules have got stricter since. I am trying to have a social media detox of sorts. I’ve deactivated my Facebook, made a long password for my Twitter that I don’t know and logged out, trying to go on Instagram less, and aiming to have more video calls and less WhatsApp chit chat.
I am finding social media difficult at the moment. Some people are living under less strict rules and have something that resembles a ‘normal’ life. The weather was so bad today that we couldn’t even go for a walk.)
Sometimes I see women pushing pushchairs on walks and I hope they’ll talk to me, but I’m so awkward now with not having much in person interaction. I usually have my sunglasses on and can’t make eye contact when they’re off.
It’s just a weird time to meet people with social distancing and all. I’m writing this on 18th September and it looks like new rules will be introduced for Liverpool tonight.
(5th October – Yeah they changed. There are no baby classes that are easily accessible for me right now. I’m finding zoom classes awkward and I haven’t attended one ‘live’ in weeks.
I actually just got an email to say that she’s thinking about going back to in-person classes, and they’re out of the way for us. So looks like I’ll be looking into other options and probably having to embrace zoom again.)
I say we, but really it’s me as I’m the one looking after her all day.
I said to Tiago earlier that I am jealous of his life as he gets to go out for work and do stuff. He went on a bike ride last night. I want to go on a bike ride.
Yesterday all her naps were no longer than thirty minutes. Then I messed up with her last nap of the day as it took so long for her to go to sleep that it then basically became her bedtime. I hadn’t done any of her bedtime routine and we missed out a feeding.
We gave her a dream feed and she didn’t wake up, but she had been asleep for so long that of course she was going to wake up early in the morning. I tried to delay her feed and it worked a bit, but after 6 hours I gave up. It is recommended to not use the dummy as the first way to extend sleep, but I was so tired that I kept giving it to her first.
Last night felt like the latest I had stayed up in a while, but I did not achieve anything as I was so tired and just faffed.
I am guessing she will wake up soon so I won’t have to worry about what picture it’s going to be right now. I don’t know how many more pictures of myself in my underwear in my living room I can deal with.
I will probably try to take a picture with her, so I should set my stuff up ready.
(It felt like the easiest thing to do was to do a shoot whilst I fed her. She moves her hands/arms around a lot whilst feeding now, so I like that I got one with her arm like this as I love arm poses. I think I have also been feeling overwhelmed though as I often feel sore from feeding and so I was dreading feeding her at times.)
I have had these similar phases for years. I guess I am just tired and I’ll snap out of it. Yesterday I had one of those (frequent) realisations that so many people are trying to do what I am trying to do.
I made my YouTube channel originally knowing I would get mean comments, but a mean comment yesterday made me feel really crummy. Usually people write something mean and then delete it as they know they’re being an asshole, but this person still has not deleted it.
It’s also annoying when people write something as if it is not your channel. As if it is a random video on someone else’s channel where the person who it is is not easily identifiable.
I guess you never know what is going on in someone else’s life. Sounds like they’re going through a bad time too if they feel the need to leave horrible comments on random videos.
I love the confidence that people have to write such things. Well I guess it is easy when you have no profile picture and a name that is nothing like your own. I find leaving comments awkward and I usually only write positive ones…
(5th October – I was feeling a lot better, but today I seem to have slipped a bit. Tiago was off work last week, so it was nice to have more support in the day. Now he’s back working again – though only in the other room, but I don’t like bothering him.
I don’t like not knowing when we can see my family again. It was nice to see them when we could and to have a bit of support, but now it’s all been taken away from us again. Obviously we’re not the only people affected by this and some people have less help, but it is frustrating.)
I actually need to wake B up now to feed her.
I have been trying to get up at 7am every day to have something that resembles a routine. This morning my alarm went off (the first day that I set one) and I pressed snooze. I thought B would wake up shortly anyways.
Woke up again and it was 7.40am. Okay we’ll try again tomorrow…
I don’t see why I make it such an issue when I know that she usually will have a nap again after an hour. I like to get stuff done in the morning so I can relax a little – at least I have done something today now.
(5th October – I will wake up at 3am and be wide awake, but I always feel AWFUL at 7am. I wanted a nap this morning, but I knew it was a good time to get things done as she usually sleeps alright. I then planned to nap in the afternoon, but I thought I better do the washing up and other things.)
T does an excellent job of tidying the main room (living room/dining room/kitchen/my ‘studio’) but the other rooms seem to get a bit forgotten. Typically we said we wanted an early morning inspection when I feel like we need the time, but it will be good to not spend the whole day worrying. They have inspected it as a mess before.
They do not know we have a baby. I thought they would see me at an inspection and it would be obvious, but those inspections got cancelled due to the pandemic. Do you have to call to say you’ve had a baby? I don’t think so, but tomorrow they will see anyways.
I am not the world’s tidiest person, but I would actually love someone to have B for a bit so I could tidy the hell out of this flat. I want to organise things properly and get really into nesting mode.
I guess I could do it, but I write blog posts instead. And I actually feel much better after having written this one.
(5th October – We managed to get the flat looking alright and she never even commented about us having a baby. It turns out that one of our fire alarms has not had a battery in it since we moved in, so luckily that is sorted now. I was sure that they had tested it before, but obviously not.)
Apologies for another picture of me in my underwear. I said that I would not change my clothes for shoots, and as the weather is warm whilst I write this (on the 15th September) I am just lounging around like this.
It is just easier for feeding, and as I haven’t been out yet today I haven’t had to put any other clothes on. I guess it is an accurate portrayal of having a summer baby in a warm flat…
(Since writing this the weather has turned and I’ve been enjoying lounging around in a long sleeved top and pyjama bottoms.)
Will it ever stop being weird? I don’t think so. How has it been 3 months already though?
(I was thinking this morning – 2nd October – that I haven’t said this in a while, but obviously I have. We generally have a few free hours these days between her going to bed and her dream feed, which is when I usually do my coding course. I am so caught up in my own stuff that I do sometimes temporarily forget that I have a kid. That sounds bad, but it is because I still find it weird that I grew a baby inside me.)
I have been trying to go to bed earlier. We ended up getting home late, so I fed her and we all went to bed around 11pm-ish? She woke up at 4am and I gave her her dummy thinking that she would be crying again within 5 minutes. I lay down again and I can’t remember when she next woke up, but in the end I fed her around 7am.
When I say 8 hours between feeds I mean 8 hours from the start of her last one to the start of the next one.
I woke up around 6am and managed to do some yoga, before I woke her up to feed her. I want to start getting up at 7am every day to try to have some kind of a routine.
(2nd October – The last few nights she has gone the whole night without eating until 7am-ish. Last night she only woke up once, whereas the night before she woke up about 6 times, but I just tried to leave her for 5 minutes before intervening, and the night before that she woke up a lot and I usually just offered her the dummy straight away, which shouldn’t be my first response really. I’m learning…)
(2nd October – Everything was fine; babies are supposed to sleep a lot. I was reading the other day that someone was struggling with their baby was not sleeping so well at night and someone recommended an earlier bed time. Apparently it made a big difference. Before we were aiming for a bedtime of 8pm, but now we try for 7pm-ish. )
She has her eyes closed whilst I feed her, so I need to work on keeping her more awake during feeds still. I thought she would not need a nap so soon, but she was getting cranky half way through the video so I thought I’d see if she wanted a nap.
It also says to expect other things like clinginess, loss of appetite and other things. She seems to be feeding well at the moment, though I need to use nipple shields as one is quite painful and she only seems to like the other boob if it has a nipple shield on. I guess it is like sucking a dummy full of milk? The bad one just doesn’t seem to heal though.
(2nd October – I am just using nipple shields all the time now. I know you’re not supposed to, but sore nipples are horrible. I do occasionally go without to try to build up my resistance or something, but it just seems easier to use them. Okay, I’ve guilted myself into using them less.)
We always try to go anywhere after she has been fed. Sometimes when she is overtired she will sleep after a feed, but not last night.
Before we left the first service station we checked her nappy and it seemed fine. However, as she was crying after we left we thought it might be her nappy so T changed it on the front passenger seat (on a changing mat) at the next service station.
She was still upset after we left there, but she calmed down a little after I played white noise on my phone and tried to sooth her more. I sensed that she might just want to be cuddled, but obviously we couldn’t do that in a moving car.
She can have a long sleep or just wake up loads. I get it though, sometimes the more tired I am the harder it is to sleep. Like when I barely slept for 2 weeks after she was born…
Well she cries for other reasons, but it’s the hardest to fix. Feed? Easy (well, less so with bottles these days). Nappy change? No problem. Over tired? Oh no. I am trying to get better at realising she is tired though.
B was asleep and the food in the oven needed half an hour to cook. You never know when she will wake up, but I managed to do a shoot, hashtags and half off this blog post. I’m writing the rest while she feeds – this is probably why she falls asleep while eating.
So at least I won’t have all of this to worry about tonight. I just need to select the image to accompany all of this…
I do not really like the pictures in this project, but perhaps just doing something is better than nothing. That’s generally how it is with my work, but it would be nice if I really liked the pictures. I used to really like my pregnancy project, but looking at it yesterday maybe it isn’t even that good. I guess it is just a document of a time and that’s fine.
At least I slept well last night and had a good nap this morning.
Like I said when we visit people the routine goes out of the window. I prefer to take her out in her pushchair now, but it does not fit in the car along with everything else. This will be corrected today. I started to listen to Carrie Fisher’s biography as an audiobook whilst on walks. I love the speed up setting – particularly with my library app as you can set it to whatever speed you like. Sometimes 1.25x is too slow and 1.5x is too fast.
Wake up, feed, change, play, nap and repeat all day. I shouldn’t complain as it is rewarding, but my very first self-portraiture project was about the cycle of life. Sometimes I do find the monotonous of existing a bit dull, particularly during a pandemic. Rules are changing again, so we won’t be able to visit my Nan at home for now. Hopefully it changes again soon but who knows. We nearly didn’t make the visit, so it was lucky that we got to see her at home when we did.
(2nd October – Well, Liverpool has more lockdown rules now. So for now we can’t see anyone in their homes or gardens, and yesterday they announced a new rule of not mixing in pubs and restaurants – before it was just advised against.)
(I felt much better after finishing this post as I had been productive. B and I had a playtime full of smiles, and I got out for a walk. Win.)
I’m sat at the dining table writing this. Looking down I can see so many crumbs around my seat… We’ve started to use a fabric table cloth now so I am hoping this will help me make less mess, but it seems like there is more on the floor instead of the table now.
We had thought about getting one before. Obviously it won’t work every time, but we were impressed. We had to comfort her first though as it must be a shock after being able to throw all your limbs around to suddenly be confined.
(29th: We’ve put her in her winter one now as it’s been so cold. She seems to like it. The other day I tried to just use it as a sleeping bag (with her arms out), but her hands got cold so we’re swaddling her again for now. I’m quite jealous – it looks very cosy!)
If she wakes up around the time we’d do a dream feed then it’s fine, but if not then that’s probably her longest period of sleep for the night so it’s better that I get some sleep too. Before I would stay up to do her dream feed, then she would not fall back to sleep for ages and I’d get so cranky as I hadn’t slept so it wasn’t good.
(29th: Tiago’s been doing her dream feed now with a bottle.)
I like to read at weird times of the night now. Though I wake up at 5/6 when she wants her next feed and I feel fine. Tiago usually looks after her once I’ve finished feeding, so I can get some more sleep but then I usually wake up feeling awful. I’m going to have to start getting up at 7am like a lot of the sleep schedules recommend. It won’t be so bad now if she is sleeping better.
We usually do a dream feed, but the night before she did not sleep for hours afterwards so we thought we would skip it. She woke up by herself at 10.30pm, but at least I had got some sleep so when she didn’t go back to sleep for over two hours I wasn’t losing it like the night before. I ended up feeding her and she fell asleep on me, then stayed asleep when I put her in her cot.
Tiago said she woke up at 2am, but he just gentled rocked B’s chest and she went back to sleep. Apparently I woke up but I don’t remember it. They tend to wake up between sleep cycles, so the tips were about not rushing to feed them and trying other things first. They also said that no one really sleeps through the night, but we just learn how to go back to sleep.
Also, it still felt like I had only been asleep for 5 minutes.
I had it tied with another towel, then I tried to use a headband. Tiago replaced the ice with a bag of beans but it was too awkward, so I got something that is meant to be put on your boobs for pain relief. It shapes to my nose a bit better, but I think the initial ice was the best thing.
The thing with babies is you never know how they will react, so it’s so easy afterwards to say ‘I should have done this’. Also Tiago looked after her whilst I had a bit more of a sleep, so I didn’t really know how long she had been trying to sleep for etc.
I usually cover over her hands with the built in mittens in her onesies, but as she sucks her hands more now I think it is good to leave them uncovered sometimes so she can self-soothe. However, her hands get quite cold and I think this is why she wakes up sometimes.
(Note: We now swaddle her during naps/sleep at home, so we don’t have this issue so much at the moment. When she starts to roll over in her cot then we won’t be able to swaddle her anymore though.)
The nail file is so awkward, I find it harder than the scissors.
I wear masks in shops and inside places, but I don’t while walking – though I think this will change today. Shops don’t seem to tell people off for not wearing face masks. Some restaurants have all staff everyone wearing masks or visors, whilst others don’t have them on. It looks like the rules are changing again anyways.
(Note: Now we have local lockdown and we have to wear masks in communal spaces in the building we live in. A lot of people still don’t seem to, but I do.)
I started to read when I only had 10 days left. I assumed I wouldn’t read it and would just return it like I do with a lot of books, but I’ve got quite into it. It’s called Diamonds at the Lost and Found by Sarah Aspinall. I love a good childhood memoir, but I was mainly drawn in by the cover on the library app. I tend not to read too much blurb as I like to be surprised.
(Well I finished it and now I’m reading Such A Fun Age by Kiley Reid.)
If you’re interested it was some olive tapenade on bread, some Sao Jorge cheese on bread and two eggs. I was worried the eggs would run over her head, so I asked him to put them on toast but the bread was small and I knew I would make a mess. Fun times.