Bend and stretch

This week Hector discovered his toes. As we use re-usable nappies, he is rather bulky in the bottom department, so can only really engage with his toes during nappy change time. He is loving it! Every time we take off his nappy he reaches straight for his feet, and yesterday he managed to put them in his mouth, much to his – and our – delight.

We went to yoga yesterday and I did some gorgeous stretches but Hector got a bit frustrated towards the end for some reason and wasn’t too keen on letting me enjoy the relaxation bit. Hmmmmm. I came away feeling way too stressed for someone who had just done a yoga class. I noticed that he was doing his own little ‘bend and stretch’ sequence whilst I did mine, something he has also developed in the past couple of weeks: when we do a nappy change, I like to do ‘kick-kick-kick’ and ‘bend and stretch’ with him and he has started doing in by himself now. A little future yogi?!

This afternoon we are going to go swimming, his first proper swim in a big pool. How exciting!

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Back in action…sort of

Hector is six weeks old today – where have those weeks gone?! Yesterday we went to the post-natal yoga class. I was pretty chuffed to get there after trying last week but failing at the first hurdle: getting out of the door! The class is very chilled, with mums and babies doing their thing: you are free to stop and feed your baby or walk around if they are crying and so on. At first, Hector was fast asleep in his sling, but soon woke up wanting a feed. After a ‘top up’, he was quite awake and we did a move where you lay your baby on their tummy over your knee. He seemed to like this, so much so that he threw up all over my trousers, himself and the yoga mat. Oh dear.

We will try and go again next week and will hopefully have a less messy trip.

So, six weeks on from his birth, my life has really changed, nobody can prepare you for just how different things are with a little guy in tow. He is truly gorgeous and a real delight to be around, but we have had a difficult couple of weeks where he has been suffering from a gurgly, painful tummy after feeding. This could be called colic, but he doesn’t scream inconsolably, as with ‘colic’, and you can see it’s definitely relieved by wind or filling a nappy. It’s heartbreaking to see him crying though, his little eyes looking up and his voice sounding like a plea of ‘owwww’. 😦 Our midwife suggested trying cranial osteopathy, so we have an appointment, but not for another couple of weeks.

The past six weeks have been a time of ‘firsts’ for our little boy: his first trip out (to Hampstead Heath), his first Tube ride, first gallery visit (to see Anthony Gormley at the Hayward), first smile/laugh (these were very early, around the second week)…and this has been a time of firsts and unexpected experiences for me too.

Things I would not have imagined six weeks ago 

– Being able to manage on just a few hours sleep – I am normally so grumpy without sleep, but Hector doesn’t cry in      the night, just wants lots of feeds then goes straight back to sleep. People say you should catch up by ‘sleeping when baby sleeps’. Yeah, right! That’s when I put the washing on, cook food, tidy up, check my mail…

– Talking to so many complete strangers: people stop us on the street, on the Tube and so on, so they can ask how old  he is, what his name is and say how gorgeous he is 🙂

–  Breastfeeding in unusual public settings. When we are out and about and Hector wakes up, he generally wants feeding straight away, and there’s no way you can carry on. This has resulted in a whole new approach from me: ‘he needs feeding, so I will stop right here, right now, whatever’. We have fed in many crazy spots: on the bus, on the train, at the check-out at Sainsburys, in a furniture display at Ikea, in the park, at the bus stop…I’m quite proud of myself for getting over my nervousness about this.

– Looking into the eyes of my little chap and crying with joy. It can’t be described, but it’s the most overwhelming feeling I have ever had.

Thumb Twiddling

This is a strange and exciting time. Edward said last night that it feels like we are twiddling our thumbs, waiting for something to happen. When you have a set date to work towards, it’s so much easier: you cram everything in over a period of time, pacing yourself and timing things just right. Apparently only 5% of babies are born on their due date and 75% are late, so this thumb twiddling could go on for some time!

I’m incredibly excited about meeting our little guy, seeing what he looks like, feeling the body that has made lumps and bumps against my skin, touching the little elbow that currently sticks out near my belly button. I do have moments of nervousness though, wondering if I will cope with the pain, hoping that all is well, wondering if we’ll know what to do with him when he arrives, if it just comes naturally.

I have been keeping a book: ‘eric’s book’ which is full of text and images, telling him all about his journey. Something to pass on to him in the future. It’s interesting looking back and reading about how we felt when we knew he was coming, seeing how my bump has grown. It’s an amazing time.

In miniature

(to follow on from the last post, I did catch up on some sleep: I went back to bed and had a little lie-in, then I have had a couple of good nights since. It helps that the neighbours have been away for the weekend, no door slamming at 2am!)

So, I am now enjoying my rest before the arrival/delivery. I have been swimming, done some serious gardening, a bit of reading (but it sends me to sleep!) and the whole house looks spick and span. I have also been preparing eric’s clothes – you need to wash baby clothes before they wear them because their skin is so delicate. Ahhhhhh.

baby vests

baby socks

So, I am now 39 weeks – a week to go but he could really come at any time. This is a strange stage: we are accutely aware of every little thing: ‘is it a sign?’ ‘is this it?’. We are also aware that he might decide to stay put for another couple of weeks, so I need to distract myself a bit! My midwife came by on Friday and it seems he has positioned himself even better: he is now lying towards my left, which means less of a distance to turn on his way out. Unfortunately Marijn (our MW) is now on holiday for a couple of weeks, so it would be good if he holds on a bit because I would really like her to be there.

Right, off to put my feet up 🙂

Busy, busy, busy

Oh, I’m not being slack, I’m just too busy to update on here at the moment. I’m frantically trying to finish a big project before the arrival – 60 meters worth of project, so that’s a lot of drawing! I’m aiming to get the bulk of the work done by Monday so I can begin to wind down. I’m finding I’m getting really tired now and really should be taking it easy (only 17 days to go!) – yesterday I went for a ‘quick lie down’ and woke up half an hour later, all heavy and disorientated.

In terms of exercise I haven’t really done much lately because I’m too busy working, which is annoying because a nice relaxing swim would be lovely. Tomorrow we are off to the ‘Preparation for Birth’ yoga workshop, which I am really looking forward to, so that should make up for it. I’ve been doing my own stretching and flexing anyway, so haven’t been entirely inactive.

I shall let you know all about the workshop…Edward is a little aprehensive, so we’ll see what he makes of it.

Does my bump look big in this?

Hmmmm, just wondering about the size of my bump. People often seem disappointed that I’m not huge (and not waddling, or craving twigs and coal), but I feel quite big enough. Here’s a photo taken yesterday:

Bump 36 weeks

I am now 36 weeks (and a few days) and the bump measures 42.5 inches around the widest point. When my midwife measures him, he’s the right size for the number of weeks and that’s reassurance enough for me. I suppose I have just been sensible throughout the pregnancy and not seen it as an excuse to stuff myself silly with cakes – I certainly haven’t stopped myself having the things I want, but I seem  to have found a balance where the baby gets what he needs and I keep up my energy levels.

I’m sure the regular swimming and yoga must have helped too.

Squish!

I went to pregnancy yoga this morning and found the bump really got in the way for the first time. There was a particular exercise we hadn’t done for a while and I found I was quite restricted in one direction, compared with last time we did it. I measured my bump this morning, just out of curiosity, and it’s now 42 inches at the widest point!

Throughout the class, Eric was wriggling around and really making his presence felt – at one point we were sitting cross-legged, leaning our upper bodies forward and he seemed to push outwards and say ‘Hey! Watch it – I’m getting squashed’ I’ve been doing lots of all-fours poses at home in an attempt to persuade him into the best position and, last night, I could feel something round and firm near my rib-cage – I’m hoping this was his bottom. I love all the movements, they really fascinate me: when I woke up this morning there was a lump just above my belly button, like an elbow or something!