I can’t believe it’s been three months since I last wrote – where has the time gone? Well, I tell you where it’s gone: doing my L4 counselling course! Boy, it is intense, and hard work juggling all the work that goes alongside it with looking after a baby full-time.
Thankfully, I am enjoying it more than I did at the beginning. I find the content fascinating, and I’m learning heaps about myself. But it’s also causing me to feel quite unsettled. I’m having personal therapy as a requirement of the course, and that means I’m looking back a lot to my own childhood and how my parents raised me. I didn’t think I had a huge amount to bring to my sessions, but it’s like opening Pandora’s box and now there’s all sorts to explore. I thought counselling was supposed to make you feel better – at the moment, I’m so up and down about everything, it’s a really hard process and I keep crying! At least I’m not at work yet, so I don’t need to be professional!
On the baby front, there’s been so much change, I’m gutted that I haven’t been documenting it on a more regular basis. Where to start? Baby R is now commando crawling as of six and a half months, which has resulted in one visit to A&E as she fell off the bed – entirely my fault. I turned my back for one milli second and over she went. The mom guilt… I can’t tell you how terrible I felt. I’ve also started weaning her. This is not going well! She really isn’t bothered about food, except this dairy-free yoghurt I have (that’s full of sugar) and hummus (I know… talk about a middle-class baby!).
I stopped breastfeeding about a week ago, so she’s only on special hydrolysed formula for her reflux now. And her reflux has gone! Thank goodness – just like the doctors said, she grew out of it around six months. As a result, our baby is finally much, much happier. When I wrote my last blog, I was honestly worried there was something really not right with her. I’m sorry to say that, but it’s true. I remember my husband picking me up from the counselling course at the end of September, and him being in a panic as she was an absolute nightmare that evening, as she typically was. And we both sat in silence as we contemplated why – we’d had IVF. Perhaps there was a higher chance of something going wrong, given my husband’s dodgy sperm and my ageing eggs. Anyway, that thought continued to go through our minds for many weeks – what is wrong with our baby?
And then, almost overnight, she just changed. She was sick less, was more active on her front, she’d smile more and more. I started being able to take her out in the pram without her screaming, which we now had her in more upright so she could take in the world. She was more easy to put down for naps, as the sleep training started to work, so she slept more. She was sitting up on her own too, as well as talking – bah, bah, bah, gah, gah, gah. Our baby transformed before our eyes into this lovely little child we’d only dreamed of before. Don’t get me wrong – she’s still feisty and vocal. But she is so much happier – the way she always smiles just melts my heart.
Lockdown 2.0 sucked a lot. I have made some mommy friends, but you can’t see people in your own homes, so it’s much harder to coordinate walk and talks outside. My baby classes have all been cancelled as well. I’m normally quite good at being on my own, but I’ve felt more sorry for myself as the weather turned wet, grey and cold. Baby R and I go on lots of walks around town just for something to do, come rain or shine. Our routine is typically up, bottle, play, a nap in her cot, a feed and then a walk, another nap while I grab lunch and watch Countdown, then a third feed and solids (always a thankless task), a pram walk for her catnap, and then bath, bottle and bed. And on and on it goes, day in, day out.
We hit a huge milestone last week as Baby R slept through the night. Not an 8-5am, as we’ve had three times, but a 7:30pm-7am. What an amazing feeling that was! She’d just turned seven months. Of course, I didn’t sleep through the night – I think I woke up twice. And it’s not happened since. But she did it, which means she’s capable of doing it again! I’m definitely feeling less tired as she’s sleeping more, but we still have the odd night when I can’t get back to sleep and feel horrendous. I’m not good without my sleep.
We also found out yesterday Christmas is cancelled. We’re in the newly created tier four, so our trips up North and down to Cornwall are all out the window. I’m feeling very sad about it – I was so looking forward to having a bit of a break and seeing my friends and family. Instead, it’ll be me, my husband, the baby and two cats. It’ll be nice, but I worry it’ll feel like any other day. I’m finding it hard to be motivated to make it special but hopefully the disappointment will pass by the time we get there and I’ll enjoy it a bit more.