It is really hard to know what to do – maybe she is just hungry? She is eating quite a bit at meals at the moment, but maybe it’s not enough?
(Spoiler for future blog posts: We finally started it – hello night 9 tonight – and it’s been great to sleep. B hasn’t had a night feed since we started. Why did we not do it before? I also do not mind the mornings so much if I have slept well. Hurrah!)
I felt like Nan was going out too much before as she was so bored. Now she is a bit scared, which is sad but I am glad that she seems less keen to go out now – especially as she will hopefully have the vaccine soon.
I have been saying lately that I am so negative. I ran out of hashtags before I could name two positive things, but I know that we are lucky. Tiago still has a job, we are living in a nice, warm house and B does seem healthy.
I remember going to CBT while doing my Neblina project and the guy said I had low self-esteem. I felt like a fraud with all of my work that I do and I was quite annoyed about it. However, he was right and I still need to work on it a lot.
What happened to the mother of the one month old doing face masks? I need to find her again.
I wish I could have bottled the hormones I had a week after B was born. I felt so high and confident – I could have taken on the world. I really miss that version of me. I feel like that was the real me deep down under the layers of stress, guilt and shame.
I can hear B giggling at T from here. I’m also listening to Sparrow Sleeps – which are lullaby versions of songs that I liked when I was a teen. I’ve been listening to Relient K, but now I see they have albums of Say Anything and Alkaline Trio… It’s quite nice to write to as I don’t get so distracted by the lyrics though I am kind of singing along anyways.
(I wrote this on 26th December and I’d already forgot about Sparrow Sleeps, so thanks to me for the reminder!)
We thought that we were cursing things by staying up late two nights ago, but as she slept fairly well we just ended up watching the whole of Pearl Harbour. I thought I would turn it off at 11pm, but there seemed like no point as we were so close to the end.
Tiago says I can’t win as I feel bad for wanting more time for myself, but when I do I feel guilty about it and don’t really enjoy it.
T fed B all her meals yesterday (though dinner didn’t go well so I gave it a go). I tried to just read my book (The Sanest Guy In The Room by Don Black), but I kept getting distracted by my Nan and life. I usually read e-books now, but this is a physical book that my Mum got me for my birthday.
I felt like I didn’t need to speak to them anymore, but my mood does go up and down a lot. I know they won’t be able to help with some things (they won’t be able to give me time off – though like I’ve said before I don’t want time away from B), but maybe it might help me to try to change myself for the better.
It’s so stupid that it gets to me. I know that most of social media is fake and most people don’t show their true feelings etc. I am happy for other people, but it says a lot more about me than it does about them.
I’m also currently reading a book about periods (Period by Emma Barnett) and it says something about talking about them being quite off limits for a lot of people. Well, I’ve now talked about periods and cysts in my project so…
It is unbelievable how much babies grow in the first six months though. I remember my friend sending us a 6 month onesie for B and thinking nah she is never going to be that big in 6 months time. Well, she is…
We give her a lot of water with meals and between if she doesn’t have milk. We give her a milk feed in the morning and in the evening, but after her terrible dinner we gave her milk to make sure she had enough. I think she was just teething really badly and food was irritating her. Possibly?
B didn’t want to anymore, so I shouldn’t feel bad about it though I feel like I might have jumped to formula a bit too quick before.. You never know. She wasn’t feeding well and we were moving, so it seemed like the best thing to do to make sure she was getting enough.
I feel like the whole breastfeeding journey has been very up and down. There are a lot of what ifs… but I do just need to let it go. Easier said than done.
Well, I guess the next shoot can be a family portrait.
Tiago asked if I could cut his hair tonight, but my Mum was round so she looked after B while I did it. I did feel very nervous, but like last time I quickly got into it. It is quite therapeutic, but hopefully next time I’ll do a better job of it.
I never like how hair looks when it’s just been cut, so maybe it will look better in a few days. I do need to work out there not being such an abrupt change in length in hair between sections though.
I keep saying that I’d love a week off, but I do not want that time away from her. I know I will not get a week off and it will not fix everything anyways. I’ve been mothering for nearly 6 months now; I knew it would be intense but living it is completely different.
Oh classes. I love to pass the time and know that B is getting a lot of stimulation. It has brought a whole new set of concerns though – especially yesterday when she was due to have a nap when the class started. She slept to and from class and I’ve just had to let go of things. It is good for me.
But yeah, just feeling like the awkward new kid is no fun.
Sometimes it is negative to compare yourself to other Mums, but this was something that was a positive recognition – what can I be doing better at? Often I will just daydream when playing with B and go into myself a bit too much.
I seem to be a bit obsessed with wanting to talk to people. I don’t know if I really even want to – it just seems like a way to pass time. I just want the best for B, and for her to get enough stimulation everyday and to be happy. I’m sure she’s fine and I need to stop worrying so much.
It’s such a weird time. Mothering is the most intense thing I have ever done in my life. It’s good that we see my Mum and she looks after B for a bit while I cook and do whatever.
Weaning is stressing me out. It’s just full on. Before all we had to do was give her milk – now I’m having to meal prep more and things. Soon it will feel normal, but at the moment it just feels like a lot.
I don’t think this was a great post. I was just trying to write hashtags and this post while B was asleep. I need to think about the photos now. I think with pictures of me crying at least it’s an easy thing to do and share, but I want to try to do something more creative/me.
(23rd December:)Well, there’s a picture of me with my head on a table. I guess it sums up how I felt, but I did do others that were less dramatic. I couldn’t decide between a few, but Tiago said he liked this one best. Sometimes when T says a photo is his favourite it makes me realise that I don’t like the picture, but in this case I went with it.
Hello! I’m writing this on 20th October <and adding notes on 5th November.>
This shoot was inspired by photos I took on my birthday shoot, but didn’t choose for the final picture.
Before I did the shoot I did a yoga video for stress – it was nice, but I did still feel stressed afterwards.
I finished a 30 days video class yesterday, but I am thinking that maybe I accidentally skipped a few classes as it seems like it ended so soon? I feel stronger, but the problem is when you finish something like that it is knowing what to do next. She does have other programs that I need to try to get into (mentally) ASAP.
<I am trying to get through a new 30 day challenge, though today I did the same video as yesterday as I felt like I could have done it better. I was doing some 10 minute videos, but they really weren’t enough. This morning I also did a baby yoga class with B as the more stretching I can do the better!>
When I say everything, really I mean a day off from responsibilities. I just miss the days where I had all day to do my own thing, and I got a lot done but also faffed. There is no time for faffing now.
(Though last night I did watch some orangutan videos. I’m more emotional at animal and baby videos now that I have a baby.)
Though I do not want a day away from B. I love when she smiles at me. The other day she had a little giggle fit which was really sweet.
I guess things will be different when she starts to eat solid foods and she doesn’t really need me 24/7, though I will miss the ease of breastfeeding and not having to prepare food etc.
<Now that we live with my Nan, things do seem a little less full on, but I still do feel overwhelmed at times. My main concern at the moment is that she is getting stimulated enough. We do the same things everyday and there are no in person classes by us, which I think would be good for both of us.>
I find it so weird that when you have a baby you pretty much get left to it. I guess in ‘normal times’ you’d have more in person support from friends and family, so people don’t see the need to worry about you.
<It has been good to see family lately and get some reassurance about things.>
I am nearly done with my coding project. I just need to edit the look of it, then I am going to take the rest of the week off (and probably another week) before I start the next and final course.
<I finished it, but now I don’t know how I had time to do a coding course. I’m going to leave it until next month I think.>
Next week I need to unpack and adjust to living in Birmingham really.
<Still need to unpack…>
Once the course is done I will have a lot more time to work on my stuff in the evenings, which will be good. I do like getting stuff done in the morning though so I feel like it’s not hanging over me all day.
<I didn’t finish the book before I had to send it back for the next person. I do want to get back into reading as I miss it, but I seem to favour sleep over staying up late to read these days.>
I do plan to, but the other night we were going to go for one later on in the day but by then it seemed easier for Tiago to go by himself. This is why I aim for the mid-afternoon really, so that if it is missed we can aim for the next one and then the next one. Actually I think we did move it twice…
I need to start ranting in a diary again so I can save all the mushy happy stuff for this project. Though the whole point of this series is to be as honest as possible, but I hate coming across as so whiney.
I actually did a baby class with B for the first time in ages between the shoot and writing this, which was really nice. I need to focus more on being the best Mum I can be, but it is difficult sometimes.
Mothering is the most intense job I’ve ever had. It is rewarding, but it is also exhausting.
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…
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 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.
When I wrote the hashtags I gave the image the temporary name of ‘Lying on my front again is so weird’. Sometimes the temporary name becomes permanent or often it’s just a reminder to think of something else along those lines.
Lying on my front again was weird, but I am also loving it – which isn’t so obvious through the image as showcasing a new love by lying on a hard wooden floor probably wasn’t the best idea.
It took me a bit of time to choose which image I wanted to use to represent the hashtags, but in the end I went for this one (obviously). I like the awkward hand peering out, though I’m not a fan of my remote being in shot. Tyra Banks would also be annoyed at my lack of neck, but whatever.
I just took it to test out where the camera was pointed, but I quite liked it. The stain on my dress (maybe I’d just done the washing up actually?) and my space socks. I only just realised today that one of them is inside out, which I guess says a lot about getting dressed with a young baby. The inside out sock was what sold having to post it.
So, expanding on some hashtags:
I had to read this a few times. I was like why won’t she? Why wouldn’t she? But reading on I realised that I meant she wouldn’t stay by herself much without getting upset.
It was nice to see them, though it’s odd to go to a place that you used to go to a lot before and realise how much the world has changed – people in masks, it being closed for now etc. I’d said to them that when my baby was born I was going to stop by a lot to see them and to make sure I was getting out for a walk. I’ve only stopped by a couple of times so far, but hopefully that will change soon.
At one point I was putting a little table on top of the dining table in order to be able to work standing up, but then a laptop stand that I ordered on Kickstarter MONTHS before arrived. I use both of them these days; I used the little table the other day to edit my dance videos whilst B was in a wrap. She fell asleep whilst I danced and I wanted to sort stuff out whilst she continued to sleep. I was worried that if I put her down she would wake up and I wouldn’t get stuff done for a while.
It looks like I managed to do the shoot an hour later (I couldn’t remember, I had to check when files were made).
I don’t think I slept on my front much, but like I said I never really thought about it so maybe I did. Perhaps I did as I had an urge to lie on my front from time to time, as I mention in the #IWantedToLieOnMyFrontAtTimesButObviouslyItWasImpossible hashtag.
Looking online it says it’s to do with a large vein down your back on the right side called the vena cava. It carries blood to your heart, which then goes to the baby. Apparently lying on your left side also helps with kidney and liver function, which means you should get less swelling in your ankles, feet and hands. I didn’t have much swelling, but I thought it might have been down to exercising a few times a day?
It would freak me out when I woke up on my back, though at times I was too tired to register how I had slept. I guess you’d know if you really had to roll over ASAP, but I mainly tried to sleep on my left until it was uncomfortable and I’d have to sit up to be able to switch to my right.
I was on a mat on the wooden floor and it felt pretty hard, and just really odd doing things that I hadn’t done for a long time. I think I’ve tried to go back to ‘normal’ exercise too quickly. I was doing a 30 days of yoga thing recently, but then I read more about Diastasis Recti and I think I need to work on closing that gap still.
The video above explains it a bit. I was doing it a while ago, but I didn’t take it that seriously.
Then I watched this video:
And I thought I better change these habits. I didn’t think that I was picking B up like how she demonstrates is wrong, but then I caught myself doing it 2 times today. I also haven’t been rolling to my side first, so that’s changing, and it also mentions slouching whilst feeding. If she had seen how I was feeding in hospital she would have been appalled… I slouch a lot though so I’m trying to correct that.
I’ve been using an app to remind me to do Kegels, and I think that may have helped a bit. I’m not sure, but at the hospital they said to do 10 sets of 10 today unless I want to regret not doing it when I’m older. I think it has made a difference as thinking about it lately when I’ve sneezed I haven’t been like ‘that was a close call’.
The doctor at my 8 week check said that breastfeeding can act as a natural contraceptive, but she recommends using other forms. I wouldn’t take the risk, particularly after hearing that a woman opposite me on the hospital ward was breastfeeding her newborn, whilst her 10 month old baby was at home. Maybe it was her plan, but I highly doubt it. If you don’t want that to be the case for you, then I’d suggest that you play safe…