Friday, 27 January 2012

No sleep..

I didn't get much sleep last night. And no, the little man only woke up once - it was the bigger man who snored for England. At one point, I tried to turn him onto his side and nearly propelled him off the bed, such was the force I used.

In other news, massive kudos to my mum for saying "perhaps it's not sensible to take the birthing ball"'s now for sale for a very reasonable 99p on eBay! However, she did make my heart stop this morning. MrM had left the defunct birthing pool in the van, so I removed it as I am obsessed with maximising my miles per gallon. I left it in the front garden and my mum saw it. "Can I have...."

I was imagining her swimming in it in the back garden while she finished the sentence...."the big blue bag that it came in?"

It's a very useable blue canvas bag which I thought was covered in blood, but isn't. Mum, you are a recycling fashionista, not a hoarder. More kudos your way <3

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

A day of firsts

The little man and I went to a baby massage session today but I'm not sure how much relaxation he got out of it. We arrived and had a lovely chat with a nice mum that we met on the NCT course. Her baby is so cute and dinky - mine, born two weeks later, is twice the size. It did make me laugh when she said her baby had enormous feet and her face as she glanced at the McBaby's giant trotter.

We lay our babies onto the mats and the course leader asked us to introduce ourselves. What I had forgotten was that my mum had dressed the little man in a pink babygrow while I got his pushchair ready. Even in these days of so-called gender equality, I did look like a fool when I said the name of the baby in pink. She then asked us to undo their babygrows and start massaging their legs with oil. Anything that is vegetable based will do for this.

Despite there being about 20 baby girls and 3 baby boys, it was very peaceful, the same sort of atmosphere you get for a back, neck and shoulders massage. That is until we rubbed oil onto our hands, rubbed them together to warm it up and then showed the baby your hands so they would know that a massage was to follow. Then, with my hands covered in oil, and copying the "Indian milking" manouevre where you rub your hand up and down the baby's leg, MrBaby forced out a poo that sounded like a cannonball being fired. If we had lived nearer to the coast, the lifeboat would have set out for sea.

Everyone looked at me. I pretended it wasn't my baby but then he started crying. And not the gentle little yelps that small babies do, but a breathless scream, accompanied by his face turning purple.

"I'll change him" I whispered, wiping my oily hands down myself. I crept to the back of the room whereupon someone from the other side of the room shouted to me to let me know where the changing room was. I then had to get my changing bag which was under another mum's bottom and carry a screaming child past lots of relaxed babies to the changing room. I changed him, he continued to scream and I fed him when I returned. This was the first time I'd done so in public; I am quite shy and discreet. Unlike my son, it would seem.

He eventually finished feeding, I burped him and did his babygrow back up. I then realised, of course, that I needn't had done his legs back up. I undid them again and put him on the mat to continue his massage. I put oil on my hands, warmed them up and did the "Swedish milking" move that everyone was doing. As I made contact with his leg, the course leader thanked everyone for coming and proclaimed it to be the end of the session.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Guess the weighr...

The fact that we use both imperial and metric has always amused me. And after reading this FB status from my friend, I've been doing some maths to ensure that we have the McBaby's weight correct!

"It turns out midwives can't convert kilograms into pounds! Have just found out that our little girl was not 8lb 3oz at birth but a much smaller 6lb 9oz!!"

Friday, 20 January 2012

Home birth group

All three of us made it to the extremely helpful home birth group meeting for the first time since the McBaby's arrival. IN the lead up to the birth, I'd found these sessions mostly to be very supportive and useful. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to return the favour and provide any inspiration myself. I only glossed over our birth story as the other lady's was much more successful and interesting, but it was useful for me as I felt a tiny bit better at failing at the birth as it turned out that some people there HAD used gas and air!

I also returned all the bits and bobs that came with the birth pool, but we agreed that after the pool deflated disastrously that I would just dispose of the actual pool itself. This was fortunate as I couldn't find it anywhere but I happened to find it by chance when someone collected a set of shelves from us, along with my lovely Mexican blanket and a deckchair in our van. COuld use it as a paddling pool I guess.

No going back now....

So the name we chose for the wee man is now official! He was exactly a month old yesterday (so we were just about within the allowed 42 days in which you have to register a baby - boy did that go fast) so MrM and I took him to the registry office at the lovely SHaw House to make him all legal, despite the fact that I thought we might save him half a million pounds worth of tax by letting him live under the radar...

We arrived and went upstairs - I've only been to SHaw House once before but didn't make it to the top floor where the building's history is clear to see. We were bang on time so shown straight into the registrar's office where we underwent what seemed like a gentle job interview.

The McBaby decided to chortle to himself at an apt moment during the process. The registrar asked MrM what his middle names were which made him laugh much to her amusement. And unfortunately, due to my mumbling and MrM's strange girly nickname for our son, he very nearly got called something completely different. I had spent the past few weeks joking to MrM that I might tell the registrar that the baby's father was one of the Levellers so we both checked the draft certificate particularly carefully!

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Cow and Gate

I've had such appalling customer service from Cow and Gate that I told them we were switching to Aptamil....and have just noticed that it's part of the same company. Damn.

The problem arose when I noticed that the instructions on their follow on milk tell you to beware of "scolding". Since I assumed they meant "scalding", I thought I should check the provenance of the milk. Read this story to see why I might have panicked....

I called the customer service department. Not interested. Called PR - not interested and rude too! I now have 20 packets of follow on milk up for grabs!

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

"Midwife on Call"

I have just read (in one sitting) the lovely "Midwife on call" by Agnes Light, a memoir of a life in midwifery. Highly recommended, it's a chatty novel telling stories of hospital life in the 1970s, homebirths and the changes in policy. It's the human stories that are most compelling here, and having just had a homebirth myself, very heart warming to read case studies with the author's experiences of hysterical parents, multiple births and sad stories of babies who didn't make it.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

91st percentile

The little man may scream and make people think he's starving but it's simply not the case. Last night, I fed him from both sides before my friend appeared at the door. I didn't tell her that I'd just fed him, so she kindly bottle fed him a whole carton of formula before he had had enough.

Today, there was a knock at the door. I initially thought it was someone from the Guinness Book of Records, but it was in fact the health visitor who had returned to carry out the hearing check that she couldn't do last week thanks to the noisy weather and new floor being put down.

The hearing in one ear is fine. The other will be tested next week as the little man parped in her general direction and then started screaming with hunger, despite the fact that I had fed him 20 minutes earlier.

So I felt better after she'd weighed hiim and discovered that he's actually in the 91st percentile for his weight. I thought he was big because we made a hand print when he was asleep, causing him to wake up and scream bloody murder.

The hand print on the left is from a normal sized baby. The one on the right that barely fits into the frame is our little man's paw print.

Saturday, 7 January 2012


Bliss! I got out of the house for some peace and went to Sainsbury's where I had a coffee and a read of the paper and McBaby had a sleep.

While we were there, we saw two former colleagues; one of whom had her daughter with her (she's two and gave McBaby a pat on the head) then her mum carried my coffee to the table - thanks Cat!

I then had five minutes to read the paper before a man walked in through these doors.

Unfortunately, he had forgotten that he was carrying a little girl on his shoulders. There was an almighty crack as she whacked her head on the threshold.

She cried and cried, but then seemed ok, so I got back to my paper. Then a lady came over. "Can we sit here?" she asked. I theatrically looked at all of the empty tables that surrounded us and said yes. What was she playing at? Was she making the point that I shouldn't have a comfortable chair? Or that as there was only me plus baby that we should sit at a smaller table?

"Should I go?" I asked. She glared at me and didn't answer, so with one hand I collected my coffee and with the other picked up my handbag, the baby and all of his paraphernalia. We left the supermarket and crossed over the road where there's a pedestrian crossing that no one ever stops at. A car stopped - and it was an Audi at that. I hesitated, but he waved me across. Then of course, a Volvo came the other way and didn't stop, nearly knocking baby and I flying. I caught up with him at the lights and was about to give him a piece of my mind and a driving lesson. He stopped for the green light and then when it turned to red, he drove off.

I love our town....

Friday, 6 January 2012

Reusable nappies

Whenever I go shopping, I always mentally berate people who tip their groceries into new plastic carrier bags. I feel passionately that we must conserve resources and that reusable bags are the way forward. After all, it was only in the 1970s that people came to expect that the supermarket would provide their bags. And wouldn't petrol be cheaper if you used less plastic since it's derived from oil?

So, I felt a twinge of hypocrisy as I noted this week that I must have used more than 100 disposable nappies for the little man in the last two weeks. Not only is this a heap of landfill and hopelessly bad for the environment, but our council is now only collecting our rubbish once every two weeks. Thanks to a new floor being put down, our bin is bursting at the seams and we've got about 10 days until our next collection!

That's why we contacted the council and asked them if we could try reusable nappies. They actually phoned me on the 19th from a mobile number, so my husband answered it with the immortal line "She's just pushing our baby out, can she call you back?"

However, someone from Veolia came round today with a big bucket, some liners, some washing liquid and a massive bagful of nappies. She talked me through them all and I asked if there was any way to know which was which. She then helpfully produced a booklet that detailed how each one worked, which would have saved her a lot of explanation!

So the little man is wearing the first one and it's quite bulky, but very cosy and warm. It sounds like he's not far from making use of it, so I will report back with how we get on!

Thank you for my teddy Mrs Doula!

Thursday, 5 January 2012


The McBaby doesn't have jaundice! We had a nice walk into town through the wind and rain to establish that!

In other news, now I've had the baby, I watched One BOrn Every Minute for the first time and man, oh man, I am glad I didn't have him in hospital!

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Hey diddle diddle

It's just horrible outside so I decided to sing some nursery rhymes to the little one. To my horror, I can't really remember any of them accurately, but manage to cobble together the words to "hey diddle diddle, the cat and the fiddle."

As I sing it to the little man for the third time, he flashes me an enormous smile, then reaches out with his hand, makes a fist and sticks it into my mouth. He can't talk, but his actions speak volumes!!

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Health visitor

We had a visit from the health visitor today which coincided with the theft of our baby. Looks like someone broke in and took our placid little bundle of joy and replaced him with a naughty boy who won't stop feeding and crying. I strongly suspect the thief also stole our remote control as I can't seem to find it anywhere.

Unfortunately, the health visitor wanted to do a hearing test which was problematic as MrM and I had chosen today for a workman to do some renovation work in our living room. The McBaby certainly had no trouble hearing that! Coupled with the weather, this was a no go and means that she'll have to return next week to do it.

As an aside, I was somewhat mortified to see that after drinking a mug of coffee that I'd made for him, the workman declined a second and actually went out and bought a Starbucks coffee. Oh dear.

The health visitor ran through a list of questions and told me that she thought the McBaby had jaundice. Is it bad that I didn't notice? I thought it was a part of his Chinese heritage!

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Quote from Kids 2008 - Theresa Bloomingdale

"If your baby is beautiful and perfect, never cries or fusses, sleeps on schedule and burps on demand and is an angel all of the time, you're the grandma...."