The Baby Chronicles: 10 Months

You are officially the most wonderful baby in all the world. You are inquisitive and love to explore around the house: literally climbing the walls and ransacking the shelves and table tops. You can walk now with the aid of your baby zimmerframe and can stand unaided for a few seconds until you wobble. When you do it you look so accomplished and happy with yourself. Not long and I’m sure you will be walking unaided. I still want to eat you up and frequently snort around your neck saying “I’m going to eat you up like a piggy!” You think this is very funny and giggle like mad.

I also like to call you monkey face. You still pull wonderful faces and squint your eyes, just like your Daddy. You are now getting better at attempting to use a spoon when you eat but dinner time has to be just so with everything at the right temperature or you will go into melt down and cause an almighty mess, launching everything from the highchair. A cheeky monkey indeed.

By night you are now a dream. I am proud of myself and of you for sticking to our routine and you sleep through the night. Apart from the other day when you had diarrhea! Your explosive bum kept you up! What I love the most is going into your bedroom first thing in the morning and you are waiting patiently for me to arrive, whilst quietly playing with your toys. We are both so pleased to see each other and your face fills me with joy. Our day together can begin, in which the joy multiplies in your company until you are ready to go to bed again. I am back to work full time next week and I will miss you so. We shall have to make the most of the time we have together – swimming, music and baby dance classes are lined up and ready to go on my day off. I can’t wait to see you blossom further in all you do!

Summer of Love

I am full of the joys and hopes of late summer. Who would have thought it? It is only 8 months since the bombshell. My self-esteem is back as I am desired again and desire to be with someone else. The best thing is that it has taken me totally by surprise.

I started online dating back in June as a distraction, as a self-esteem boost and as a way of getting over my ex. By golly it’s worked. I am back to work properly after my maternity leave at the start of September, so I knew it was just a temporary affair as once I’m back at work I will not have the time. Baby girl and work is the priority. I had some shocking dates but it was fun to gossip about and good to have a bit of social life when everyone else I know is in a couple. There was the Hobbit, the Silver Fox and then ‘Fit but bald’.

Now ‘Fit but bald’ lasted a few weeks – I thought he was a nice guy but something didn’t quite sit right with him. I fancied him and felt at ease in his company but I always came away thinking there was something missing. There was no great meeting of the minds and call me shallow but his prospects were not great. I could not see it lasting long term. But I stuck with it simply because I wasn’t after long term. However, Fit but Bald was obviously pretty keen on me and started texting relentlessly, talking a lot of bollocks and talking very seriously about ‘us’. I think I got so carried away with fancying someone again after nearly 11 years that I stuck it out a few too many dates knowing he wasn’t right. I needed to get the hell out of dodge! So, slowly over a space of a week my text messages got a little standoffish until he finally got the point. I broke the news I didn’t want to see him again via text. Sounds harsh but I did offer him the chance to meet for an explanation. He realised his mistakes and bowed out graciously. Phew! I don’t think I’ve ever had to dump someone. Easy. But then it was only a few dates!

However, since him, a rather lovely man contacted me on the dating website. We emailed a bit back and forth about the obvious like what the hell happened with my shit-bag ex and it didn’t put him off! If I could compile a list of what would make my perfect man for me at this stage in my life he would tick every box on that list: professional, ambitious, intelligent, solvent, sporty, kind and generous. He’s also gorgeous: inside and out. I have been on 2 dates with him and there was mutual instant attraction and spark. He is taking me out for dinner for date number 3 and I’m so flipping excited I could explode! I need to play it cool and take it slowly with this one because I’m a smitten kitten and cannot believe my luck.

My daughter is also growing more wonderful everyday. She is pure joy and love and now sleeps through the night and because of her I feel happy. Perhaps it is her joy and happiness that is making me myself again and to have the confidence to attract such a great guy.

Now, what to wear for my dinner date?……

(Soon to be) Smug as Fxxk

I always wanted my blog to be inspirational as well as cathartic in light of my soap operatic rise to single-motherhood. Subsequently, I have rarely written about how hard I have found aspects of raising a baby single-handedly. I once wrote how a friend told me to ‘fake it ‘till I make it’. And so, I didn’t want to write things that were self-indulgent or negative so that I could forge a new path ahead, not look back and heal my broken heart.

I reckon it has worked. On the whole, I feel happy these days and not just because of the wonderfully exhausting, all-consuming love of my daughter. I have wonderful friends and family too and my social life has picked up as I’m not shy to ask for baby sitters. I’m also dating a rather nice chap (Mr. Fit but Bald for those of you who read my blog regularly). Rather than moping and continually licking my wounds I feel like I have made myself happy again.

So, now I’m emotionally in a better place I feel like I can talk frankly about baby girls’ sleep issues and boob addiction without me going under emotionally, If I hadn’t had to contend with the baby blues plus my husband leaving me for another woman I think I would have been able to wean her off boob and get her to sleep through the night much sooner. But in all honestly, the night shift I found a lonely place. I had no moral support. My attachment to my daughter as my saviour during a very difficult time meant I couldn’t bare to hear her cry and that a breast feed in the night was not only a comfort for her but for me too. It is a magical bond that I know, despite a longer than necessary 9 months, I will miss once she is finally weaned.

I go back to work properly in September and my job is hard. I am nervous about how I am going to manage my job and look after my daughter on my own. I used to be exceptional at being very efficient at my job but that was before I became sleep deprived, existing on 5 or 6 hours sleep a night, sometimes waking up to 4 times to deal with baby issues. I need to nail her  sleep issues if I’m going to survive at work.

Thankfully, since moving house I have discovered a wonderful Health Visiting team in my new area. That combined with feeling stronger inside means that I’m going to do it. I’m on night 3 of controlled crying and it seems to be working. No more breastfeeding during the night to get her or me back to sleep. It’s been surprisingly manageable. Baby girl is 9 months now and can stand in her cot and scream like a banshee but I’m not an anxious mess anymore, I know she’ll be fine and I know she’ll never remember. Plugging my ipod in helps too. First night I had to let her cry for 5 minutes then comfort and then stepped it up to 8 then 10. After the 10 minute slot she when back to sleep herself in the cot and the following nights, although she woke wanting boob, she didn’t scream the house down and was easily put back to sleep. Tonight is night 3 and she settled herself to sleep (that hasn’t happened since moving house) so it will be interesting to see how long she sleeps in once chunk and how many times she wakes. It can only get better if I am consistent, just as my outlook on life has.

I’m quietly proud of how well I’ve dealt with a life shattering and altering event and how wonderful my daughter is in daylight hours. If I can sort her out at night time too I will be as proud as punch at what I’ve achieved this year: I may even announce it and be smug as fuck again on Facebook like everyone else.

News flash! – This is the next morning after night 3 and she only flipping didn’t wake up once in the night! She slept from 7pm-6am. I on the otherhand have gotten into a stupid habit and woke frequently! Tonight I will ignore my internal alarm clock and wake a brand new woman. Come on baby girl – keep it up! #smugandproudasfuck

The Baby Chronicles: 9 Months

You have lived outside of my body for as long as you lived inside of me. To think that you started as a seed and have grown into to the beautiful girl you are today.

You can crawl now and love to roam around the floor picking up your toys. However, Mummy’s toys appear to hold far more interest – remote controls, mobile phone and car keys. Your favourite trick is to drop them off the couch or high chair just so I can pick them up pass them back to you for you to giggle as you drop them again, and again and again. You are very clever and very playful and still love hoisting yourself into standing – especially when in the bath. Not ideal for a safe bathtime, baby girl!

You also love it when I put you on my head and say, ‘Where’s Athena gone?” I then woosh you down to the floor or to my lap and you love the motion giggling and smiling away. Your giggles melt my heart especially when I sing you silly songs about throwing socks in your face or flying to the moon and you love it when I blow raspberries on your belly.

You impress all your relatives: grandparents and aunties. They think you are the best thing in the world and spoil you rotten. And quite right too! They think you are the cleverest little girl in the world and I couldn’t agree more – you love to dance and rock on your bottom or from side to side when you hear a song you like as well as clapping your hands.

You have always made fantastic noises with your mouth but you are starting to mimic brilliantly now – we were convinced you said ‘duck’ the other day in context and I know you call me ‘Mama’. Your new sound you like to make is sniffing out and in through your nose whilst squinting your eyes – boy do you look like your Daddy when you do that!

You love your Mummy as much as I love you as you give me the most terribly wet open-mouthed kisses like a vampire – they are the best kisses and hugs I know and cheer me up no end, kind girl.

So, my darling, you are clever, musical, kind, active, funny, playful and beautiful. I wonder what other talents you will show over the next month?