A day in the life of a new mum, home alone, 10 weeks in…

1.30am

Baby is wriggling and writhing around. It’s been like this for 2 nights now around this time. Reflux? Colic? Who knows. I think colic, trapped wind. I assume she’s hungry too so I prepare to check her nappy by going to the bathroom and running some warm water in preparation for cleaning her bits with cotton wool. Yep I’m still using cotton wool at 10 weeks which is apparently old skool.

I then go downstairs and prep a bottle – I don’t always breastfeed at night as it makes me super sleepy and I worry I’ll fall asleep on her. Night time is also the only real opportunity I get to slather my tits in thrush cream as we’re still battling passing that back and forth as I breastfeed during the day. I add some ‘baby tummy tea’ to her bottle to help with the farts. I return upstairs and she’s sort of sleeping again. So now what? Wake and change/feed her? I get back into bed and start googling because that’s how we do. I’m looking up different tummy massage techniques for expelling baby farts and come across ‘water wheel’ (I just think ‘wagon wheel’ and make a mental note to see if they do dairy free versions in the morning because yum?) and ‘belly button smile’. In for a penny…I lift her sleepy warm body out of her snuz pod and put her on my bed. I start water wheel and then move on to belly button smile before doing the old faithfuls; bicycle legs and knees to chest. Some little pops come out but nothing too pleasing. No, no, no, I want the almighty thunderclap of farts to emerge. It never comes. Just itty bitty pops. 

It’s 3am before I know it. HOW? She’s squirming. I decide to check nappy after all…Then I feed her whatever she wants to take from the 130ml bottle. She decides 80ml is enough. I do loads of burping including circular burping which a NCT pal taught me last week and then put her on my shoulder where she snoozes easily and i’m a knackered but content mumma as she nestles in. Her little noises. The smell of her fluffy, sort of freshly washed head.

4.15am

I transferred baby back to snuzpod but god it’s precarious- she’s still uncomfortable 🙁 And I’m pretty much awake now so should I just get up?!

Decide to turn the room fan off – even though it might be acting like white noise? and put some Baby Einstein strings music playlist thing on via Spotify. 

I can officially say that John is home TOMORROW. He has a show in Hamburg tonight and then is home Monday. He’s been away since Weds. I think it’s very important he has some daddy daughter time on his return. Like at least a weeks worth right?

I check email, looking for a reply from the midwife/lactation consultant/osteopath lady to see if she can see Elodie for this night time squirming windy issue. No reply yet. 

Ok I really should try and sleep. ‘Sleep when baby sleeps’ and all that. Oh how I HATE that line. 

The fluffy white dog next door starts barking in its back garden so I’m convinced there’s a wannabe intruder lurking. So I run to the back rooms – one where I change baby, and the bathroom – and pull the windows in on the latch. I’m going mental.

4.29am

Nope, she’s really uncomfortable. I get her out of her snuzpod and onto my shoulder. She’s sick down my neck. Totally fine baby girl, mummy’s here. I water wheel her again and she’s asleep. But in my bed – noooooo. Do I risk another transfer or let her sleep here for a bit while I, I dunno, online shop? Pinterest? Meanwhile, the birds outside are having a fucking party. Question. Why are there seagulls in Hertfordshire? 

5.30am

So, we co-slept. With John away I shifted right over to his side and gave her loads of room. I rested with my knees tucked up at right angles to my body on the advice of a lactation consultant I saw a few weeks ago. She murmured and writhed (the baby, not the consultant) but she got a bit of rest, I think I got some too but would often reach over to her and give her tummy a gentle rub.

6.30am

I have a really upset baby. I run and wash my boobs (thrush cream) and then quickly put her on the left boob. She tucks in. I’ve read somewhere that breastmilk can act a bit like a laxative so hoping this early morning feed helps her release whatever is stuck. I needed to wee when I ran to wash my boobs just then but didn’t. Damn. Dog is circling the bed wanting his breakfast. Cool. The thing about sausage dogs is they aren’t allowed to do stairs because of their fragile frame. I mean this one never attempts to go down a set of stairs anyway, but it means he’s reliant on a human to carry him. So I keep having the dilemma while on my own of who do I take downstairs first? Baby or dog? Either way means leaving baby for – I know – all of 30 seconds. But still…I tell Rupert that it’s too early for his breakkie and to get in his bed. He’s such a good boy and does as he’s told.

6.57am

She’s asleep in my arms and has done some farting. God I’d like to get a bit more sleep as I’m averaging 3.5-4 hours only in the last two nights and finding zero respite during the days but I can’t move her, she’s so comfy and I think laying horizontally across my body, turned in towards my chest is helping with the wind. So here I’ll just sit? Pinterest the extension project, check WhatsApp for when John is online in Germany, refresh emails, and of course, instagram.

7am

She stirs and does a little burp and looks up at me with her big baby blues. God you’re gorgeous my little bear. It doesn’t matter that mummy isn’t sleeping, I’ll do anything you need or want. I put her back on the nip and away she goes. 

I’m hungry. Dinner lastnight consisted of a slice of toast with apricot jam, a digestive and a handful of blueberries shovelled in my mouth directly from the punnet. It’s 100% better than the night before where there was no dinner. I’m managing lunches as she wriggles in her pram in awe at her hanging toys there but evenings alone are really difficult as that’s when she’s starting to show signs of discomfort so literally wants to be on me all the time. There’s no time to pop even a jacket in the oven let alone butter it, toss some salad around it and actually eat it? 

So while she’s still suckling, let’s think about the next steps. Depending on her mood and general vibe after this feeding sesh I may try and shower. Now this routine consists of me getting the Moses basket and her favourite book and placing her in it on the floor of the shower room. I then have what can only be described as a FUCKING QUICK SHOWER where I talk or sing or make her current fave ‘bbbbrrrr bbbbbbrrr’ noises at her the whole time to let her know I’m there and won’t be long. Of course she hasn’t a sodding clue what I’m trying to communicate. She’s *generally* ok with this situation because of said book. Showers just aren’t the same, well lols, nothing is. Everything I do is rushed. There’s no time to waste. When John’s back I am going to ask (it’ll probably come out as a whiney beg) him to have her while I take a bath. This mumma needs a moment to relax a bit. My body is tightly coiled, not through stress per se, but through the way I bend and arch and hold her throughout the day that my bod just isn’t used to. I haven’t had a bath for what must be 11-12 weeks now and it used to be one of my go-to relaxation aids.

On that note, I’m also vowing to myself to start one exercise class a week from this week; yoga or pilates. Probably pilates as I want to feel my body do more pressing stuff, want to feel it ache the next day. I know…but you know what I mean right? For a YEAR now I’ve been sort of scared to move. I did pregnancy yoga and walking but that was it and even with those I was so acutely aware that something so precious was inside me that I didn’t want to harm in any way. So it was with constant trepidation that I’d move my body beyond normal day to day activities. I’d often say to John that I couldn’t wait to get my body back and by no means did I mean ‘figure’. I really couldn’t care less about that just now and feel strangely confident with this new bod. What I meant was I wanted my body back for just me, not to share it anymore. Selfish? It was more about feeling so super restricted because of fear of the little life inside me. Maybe that’s a hard one to explain when super tired. Let’s move on…

7.30am

She’s back on the boob so I multitask and do some Instagram storying asking peeps for Colic help. Cranial Osteopathy is a big yes from the crowd and also a homeopathic product called Colic Calm – add to basket!! 

8.30am

Still in bed under her…dog still isn’t fed, he’s livid. I’m still not showered. I’m staring at the mound of washing at the foot of our bed. The laundry basket is overflowing and there’s a second pile just as high as it leaned up at its side. I really wish I had Mary Poppins powers to get some shit done while I’m just sat here, you know, keeping a human alive. I’d like to click my fingers to send the dirty towels swirling up and down the stairs, popping themselves in the washing machine and enjoying a nice gentle 30 degree cycle before slipping themselves into the tumble drier for a spin.

9am

Baby trying to squeeze a poo out. She always gets a bit panicky so I switch her over to the right boob to relax her…and some farts thud out. WINNING!

9.20am

Oh hey! She’s still on the boob. And possibly pooing at the same time. Clever girl. Dog famished.

9.26am

Ok, time to get this show on the road people. Nappy change. I make up a new song. “A monkey monkey moo, I love you”. And repeat. I file her nails. Writing this next bit from the future as I feed her downstairs. Anyway, before shower we had a play as I changed her and Rupert got in on the action and was super cute, although got to watch him as he gets overexcited. No baby poo, just wee. So those were just well stinky farts earlier as I was breastfeeding. Wow.

9.46am

Shower time. I decide to STILL not feed Rupert and opt for a shower instead. He’s running around my feet. Patience little sausage. I put Elodie in her Moses basket and cart her off to the floor of the shower room, her Moses adorned with her two fave upstairs books. She’s on the edge. Doesn’t know whether to be cool or play up. I strip off, breast pads and sanitary towels (yep still bleeding, must speak to the health visitor about that, keep forgetting) tossed into a nappy sack and I crash into the shower. On your marks….

While I’m showering, about 25 glorious seconds into it, one of the cloth books falls on her face. I yank that shower door back and spring out to retrieve it. Back into the shower. 

After showers these days it takes that bit longer to get dressed; fresh breastpads and sanitary pads to attach, oil to rub in my c-sec scar. Baby patiently waits but is defo on the turn.

10am

Dressed (in creased joggers and a tee that reads ‘COCKTAILS!’ which is ironic as I really don’t want alcohol), I lift the Moses avec Bebe into my bedroom and decide that Rupert needs to get downstairs for a pee. So I LEAVE baby upstairs and sweep the dog up into my arms, plus two empty baby bottles, a bib and a muslin (autocorrect always wants this to read Muslim which is wholly inappropriate in sentences like ‘I threw a clean Muslim over my shoulder and she puked all over it’ but I digress…) and dash onwards. I fling open the back door, he charges out. Then I run back upstairs and collect baby who still isn’t kicking off (thank you thank you). I place her in her pram bassinet because of the dangly toys she likes there and feed Rupert. Then I wipe down all surfaces that possibly came into contact with his food. Time for her bottle plus a sachet of baby probiotics that I’ve had her on for a month or so following the antibiotics she had to have in hospital. She’s getting more aggravated in her pram as mummy is JUST NOT GOING QUICK ENOUGH. She’s been on the boobs for near on two hours all told today so we’re going to go for a bottle now. 165ml of warm organic yumminess. It’s made and we’re on. It’s 10.15. I snatch my soaked oats (ok this makes me sound really organised..no no, I’ve decided to soak porridge oats in milk overnight now purely as a time saving exercise in the morning because mornings are MENTAL). I tear up a medjool date (ok now I sound like a div), throw some blueberries and raspberries on the situation and move towards the chair I feed her in. Yeah she’s now crying. I hoist her up and smell her head and tell her ‘milky is coming bubba!’ and fasten a bib around her which always makes her mega excited about life. We start to feed. It takes half hour and I must’ve kissed her little soft chicky head around 100 times.

I then have to keep her upright for atleast 20 mins because of wind and sick and trying to avoid a bad case of both. So she falls asleep in the crook of my arm and we just stay there. I carefully reach for my bowl of oats and shit and rest that bowl on my free knee and spoon that goodness in my mouth like there’s no tomorrow. You never know when you’ll next eat when you’re a home alone mum. 

She has a gentle nap, wakes up with a smile and does what sounds like the most mega of shits EVER. I’m so proud. Get it all out baby. She doesn’t enjoy pooing, she looks scared so I reassure her that it’s cool as she turns dark red and strains so hard, flaring her baby nostrils. 

11.27am 

I take her upstairs to finish her mammoth shit.

11.47am

We come back downstairs and the 12-1pm Tesco delivery is early. She starts hiccuping, I start hunting for the front door keys which I swear I already brought down. Nope. Back up we go, she’s getting upset. Back down we go and she does another shit on our descent. That’s going to have to wait now. I negotiate chasing Rupert out into the garden and Tesco man brings the shopping in while I hold her. Rupert is going mad outside. ‘Sorry just anywhere will do’. Ok, the floor because it seems all surfaces are taken up. Christ, I need just 10 mins to whizz round and tidy at some point. I put her in her pram and put the shopping away, no time to throw out old stuff too, will get to that ‘later’. I’ve got John his fave choc orange rice cake things, biscuits and some Wicked Kitchen vegan wraps. I decide to listen to a chapter of Mum Face hopeful that baby will have a little nap now she’s pooed for England. Nope. She’s hungry and starts wailing. I pick her up and on the left boob she goes, it’s 12.10. She still has poo in her nappy. I’d really like a coffee and to brush my teeth.

While she’s feeding I am hands free as she rests in and on my arms. So I request a cranial osteopathy appointment online for her for next week because her nights are getting more unsettled, more windy. What else can I do while I’m here…

12.43pm

She startles and leaves the boob. She looks asleep but looks can be deceiving…

12.47pm

So look at that, it’s nearly lunchtime but I don’t feel ‘ready’ yet. I look like I’ve been exhumed. I’d quite like to arrange my hair in some way and pop a little makeup on. Nothing fancy. But even though she’s been on the boob a lot today already she’ll be due her bottle top up anytime now. So do I just get that going now or aim to have something myself first (and my longed for coffee?!) If I put her down, she’ll cry because it’s so near feeding time. Hhmmm. Before I know it it’ll be 7pm and the start of the bedtime routine/wind down. 

Fuck! She still has shit in her pants. Ok so that needs sorting before anything else…however she’s attached herself to the boob again, so we wait.

13.01pm 

She’s continuing her poo from earlier so all good. I squirt boob milk up her nose. Not great.

13.10pm

Nappy change upstairs. A little bitty poo, hhmmm. Is she done? Who knows. She’s not happy this nappy change because she’s now hungry again. I can hear the neighbours dining al fresco. 

Somewhere between 1-2pm

She kicks off. Really crying. I can’t put her down as she wails but I have to to make her next feed. It’s awful to hear and I actually wonder what looks the neighbours are giving in my direction as our back door is open. I need to eat too so I grab a ready made wrap from the fridge, make her bottle and fetch her to the chair I feed in. She is SO unhappy and I feel a little emotional now. I wanted today to be happier than yesterday, a really tough day. Keep it together Vicky, she’s just hungry and you’ve got the goods. We sit and feed. Half way through and after a burp, I get my wrap and take a bite then continue to feed my babe. I need to get her down for a nap after this but I’m worried she’ll only do so in my arms. Need to try. As I’m feeding her and feeling a bit bleugh, no joke, she reaches for my little finger and grabs it. I know she didn’t choose to do that to comfort me but my Christ I am. I love her SO MUCH. My little tiny bestie. 

Somewhere between 2-3pm

She’s not happy unless I’m holding her, touching her. Poor little lady. I’m not confident enough with wearing her in a carrier/sling yet and think it’s too hot for that too. So I have to leave her to cry in her sleepyhead while I frantically sterilise bottles and clear some surfaces, empty the dishwasher and put a fresh batch of water in the distiller. I hate it. I treat myself to a coffee through gritted teeth and a tugged at heart and go sit next to her. I put her on the right boob and click play on Mad Men. This sounds like a luxury to be watching Netflix right? I’d honestly rather have half hour to whizz round the house trying to restore some order. 

Rupert wants feeding. 

Somewhere between 3-4pm

I feed Rupert and realise I forgot to defrost another tub of raw grub for him so I top it up with some Lily’s Kitchen which thankfully John had stocked up on.
I breastfeed on the left before taking her upstairs to change her heavy nappy. We have a play upstairs on her play mat as she increasingly tries to reach the dangly toys on her wooden play gym. I then think it would be a grand idea to plan ahead and get some things ready for bath time later – shit, is her towel dry? I empty the bin full of nappies and put that at the top of the stairs. Fully intend to put that in the actual bin outside later. Get my various sanitary and breast pads ready. We head downstairs, I retrieve her bath towel and prepare a bottle for her. I also wash the little jug and flask I use for her bedtime tea. I sterilise everything again. I then have a quick read about separation anxiety and wonder if she has some of that at the mo.

4.30pm

I start another feeding sesh. Shit are we missing John on the telly?

I notice the two hard boiled eggs I chucked on the hob earlier – that’s dinner sorted at least. I can’t see the dining table for washing plus my makeup bag that didn’t get opened today. Ah well who cares. Just me and my girl and she doesn’t seem to mind that mummy looks like a toe… or is that why she’s so unsettled?

5pm

I switch on BT Sport for the UFC Prelims, to hear John’s voice and to see how the show he’s been busily prepping for goes. I start checking Twitter for viewers comments about the show.

5.07pm

Massive shit happening on my lap as I feed her 🙂 

5.45pm

We head upstairs to change nappy. We play, I sing Twinkle, twinkle little star and it’s like she’s never been happier with me. We do some tummy time until she hates life and I then have a quick look at wrist rattles online. I swing by our room to check the temperature, 26.7 – gah! Open more windows hoping for breeze. 

I need to file my nails 

18.10pm

We’re downstairs and she’s on the right boob for 6 mins then she sleeps in my arms.
I’m worried about the lack of naps today – haven’t recorded them.

18.22pm

She’s back on the right boob again, then I eat those two boiled eggs followed by an apple – LOLS – dinner apparently. 

7.25pm

She’s enjoying a 165ml bottle which takes her 35mins – I then carry her around as I prep her tummy tea, collect clean muslins from the tumble drier, and generally gather what I need upstairs for the night.

I have to put her down to sterilise everything so I sing her new fave, Twinkle, twinkle little star as she’s by my side in the kitchen in her pram – she literally LOVES it. Smiles all round.

8.15pm

Time for the bedtime routine. I take Rupes upstairs first then dash down for Elodie who I plop straight on to the play mat while I prep her bath and Rupes runs and hides through fear that I’m running the water for him.

She’s done another little poo I discover as I undress her for bath time.

I bath her and she’s very happy about that. She’s starting to splash around and have fun in there too which is a delight!

Before dressing her I do some light tummy massage.

8.45pm

I decide to put her on the left boob in bed instead of giving her a bottle – I order her some wrist rattles as I feed her plus a wooden teether and a wooden rattle from Amazon. Big up my multitasking self.

9.15pm

She comes off the boob and now I have the fear about the cot transfer!!! Didn’t go well. Even with a particularly tuneful rendition of twinkle twinkle little star. Cry cry, stare stare at mummy as I have my hand on her tummy (‘still touch’ technique to reassure). Remember I haven’t frickin burped her since the boob. I get her out and get a burp out too. Yassss! I then cradle her in my arms at the side of her snuz pod until she’s out. Cradle a little longer because IS SHE OUT? Do the gentlest of transfers to the cot and PING! HI MUMMY LOOK AT MY BIG EYES CAN I HAVE A CUDDLE PLEASE? Except I’m again bursting for a wee so I leg it to the bathroom and do that. I light foot legged it back to the bedroom and she’s asleep? How does she do that? How does she convince me that she’s never ever going to sleep ever again so help her god and then in a matter of seconds she’s gone while I’m out of the room? I head back to the bathroom, sort sanitary and breast pads out, wash boobs and actually don’t put the thrush cream on tonight as I might breastfeed in the wee hours, I so prefer that but just worry about how much, or little she’s getting and that we might end up being up on a night feed for double the time if she then needs a formula top up. I slip on nightie, wash my face and brush my teeth for what I realise is the first and last time today. Grim.

I’ve got the fan on in the bedroom because it’s 27.2 degrees – GAH! – so the sounds of my climbing into bed next to her which are so minute but that usually wake her every god damn time are masked. Success. I’m now writing this as it’s just turned 10pm and I’m thinking about nestling down myself. 10pm is a respectable time and I’ve been up pretty much 21 hours. Goodo. 

See you in a few little button nose.

Fuck. Forgot to soak my oats.

Vx

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