Friday, May 6, 2011

My Beautiful Little Girl

Introducing Anya

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Beginning

Gosh doesn't four months go by very fast. Anya was born at the beginning of January 2011. She was born naturally with very little intervention.

We had a few ups and downs with her losing 13% weight in the first week so we had one visit back to hospital for that. Since then though she has gained weight steadily and is over 12 and a half pounds at 8 weeks.

I had three weeks off from her birth which was so good to have. As new parents we frankly found it a major shock to be left with a little person to look after not having a clue how to do it.

Everyone told us 'the first six weeks are the worst and then it gets better'. They weren't wrong either. How anyone deals with a baby when they already have another baby or toddler I don't know. That was the most challenging six weeks I have ever had. With the sleep deprivation and the not having a clue what to do it was so stressful.

New Normality

We are now in a better place and people were right because after 6-weeks it does get better. We still don't really know what we are doing but are getting better sleep amounts.

She slept through quite early on for which are truly grateful. We are now in a routine of bed by 7, bottle at 10:00pm and then she normally sleeps anywhere from 5 to 7 am. Getting this was such a breakthrough and it only really came about when we put her in her own bed at 11 1/2 weeks. She had really outgrown her Moses basket anyway.

She is a eager feeder and was on 7oz bottles after about 7 weeks and we only put up her evening and morning bottles to 8oz when she slept in her own bed. Admittedly to help her sleep through better.

So we have routine and sleep and our evenings more or less back. This is our new normality!

Responses

The thing that makes all the stress of the first few weeks become worthwhile is the first time you get a proper smile or little cooing sound from your baby. It absolutely melted my heart when she first did it, I almost cried. Her cute little coo just makes me well up.

Now she is nearly 18 weeks she is much more interactive and you can have lots of fun playing with her.

She babbles away to her self and loves blowing bubbles. I think she may be quite talkative when she finally starts really talking.

There is also nothing quite like going into her room first thing in the morning when she has woken up and seeing her respond with a smile to you when she sees you.

Emotional Journey

What I didn't anticipate was the huge range of emotions that you go through as a new parent. You are so tired to start with that everything seems like a mountain. It is only after those 6 weeks that you start to realise where you are emotionally. You suddenly realise the huge love you have for this little person and that you would do anything to protect them and keep them safe. The level of anxiety you feel when you think there is something wrong with them is just astronomical. I have never been a huge worrier but find myself sometimes obsessing over the slightest thing.

The other big challenge is not having any time for yourself and you realise how selfish you have become living as just a couple. All the little things you used to just go and do now have to be planned around the baby. Simple pleasures like reading, watching telly, eating together, surfing the web become difficult to fit in. When you do get time to do them I find I am too tired to read etc...

There is so much more to say and I hope to be more frequent on updating this blog now I have a little more time. There is so much to learn being a parent and it is truly exciting and wonderful to be given the privilege of being her Daddy!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Any Day Now!

Haven’t posted for a while as been rather busy with work and other obvious preparations. We are within two weeks of the due date now so everything seems to be revolving around waiting.

The Babies room is complete, we have what we need to begin with clothes and stuff wise. Now we just need the baby to arrive safely.

I am working arounf 45 minutes from home currently so every time my phone rings my heart jumps, ‘is this THE call?’ My wife keeps telling me it shouldn’t be sudden like that but you never know. Plus we have a 45 minute drive to the hospital if it isn’t rush hour or potentially considerably longer if it is.

Am I excited? Am I terrified? A little bit of both I think. It is difficult to prepare for something so huge if you have not experienced it before.

The health visitor has been today. Now we have even more information to read and digest and of course we have the ‘Red Book’.

Gosh this baby stuff is all very overwhelming and we haven’t even got them yet.

My next post will hopefully have some good news.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Preparations and Bonding

We are at T Minus 10 weeks, 4 days today.

Preparation

Last weekend we bought the Cot and mattress for our baby from Babies-r-Us in Hove and various other smaller items. However the Cot somehow seemed a big milestone in the process of preparation. This was a cot bed and is potentially the item our child will sleep in for some years. For me and I think my wife, it was a really big deal and somehow made the whole thing seem more real. I don’t have the constant reminder with me like my beautiful pregnant wife does. So these decisions and purchases bring home the reality that, God willing, we will have a baby to look after in a few weeks time.

That may seem weird but we go through our daily lives, getting on with what we have to get on with and dare I say it you forget how your life is about to drastically change in ways I simply cannot imagine.

Bonding

Given that we only have around 10 weeks to go and possibly far sooner, my wife has a wonderfully developing bump, Or Model bump according to the Midwife. The baby is moving, kicking, punching and this can be visibly seen. At first I found this to be quite weird when I felt the baby kick for the first time weeks ago. Now I really like it and find it exciting and cute.

It confirms to me they are alive and kicking so to speak and here lies something I realised today triggered by a horrific news story and from a TV program. I already feel a huge amount of love and an enormous desire to protect my child from harm. They are already embedded in my heart as part of me. I get anxious when the baby is not moving about, much to the annoyance of my wife. I say hello to the bump and hope my child recognises my voice when born.

Goodness knows what I will be like when they are born. I really don’t want to be an over protective Dad. I am overprotective of my Cats let alone a child. I believe a child needs to learn by doing and making mistakes along the way. All part of the learning to be a parent process that I hope to be making in a few months.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Antenatal Class…. Done!

We reached, what to me anyway, is a milestone this week. We had our Antenatal Class. Where we live this is done over a Saturday in a single shot rather than split over several evenings.

It was one of those awkward ‘lets put a load of strangers together and talk about some personal things’ type day. There were mostly couples there, with one exception, which was good to see. Maybe I expected less men to turn up. Anyway we all sat in a big semi circle and had to introduce ourselves and when our due date was and if we wanted the baby to come early or late. Since due date is 26th December I think I want the baby to arrive late so we can have our last Christmas together as just a couple and without having to travel anywhere etc…

Anyway the class itself was for me quite informative. I being a man, want to know all the information in advance so I know what to do, how to help and apparently crucially when to shut up. This I am told is important, because a woman in labour goes through a grumpy phase and at this point it is wise to say little except give encouragement. I could make an outrageous comment here but I won’t!

Overall I think it was very helpful for me. I cannot and would not speak for my lovely wife. The crucial thing for me is when is the correct time to drive the 45 minutes to the Hospital so that we don’t get sent home again? This was not altogether clear but should be fairly obvious. I am not convinced!

We had to sit through a couple of DVD’s as well which were frankly Horrific and laughable in that order. The first one clearly was an NHS hint to not have an Epidural and the second I simply cannot say because it is ridiculous.

I found the opening question of the whole day to be the funniest ‘How many of you think that giving birth will hurt’? Everyone puts their hand up! Then after trying to convince us that actually the body is designed to do this and pain is caused by the woman being stressed and creating hormones that go against the other hormones,or something like that. Apparently it is not pain it is ‘intensity’ at various levels. Then after trying to convince everyone she asked the question again and no one put their hand up. I guarantee everyone still thought it would flippin hurt, they were just too polite to say.

I think the hardest thing for me will be watching my wife enduring such ‘intensity’. Another part of the Fall I am not looking forward to experiencing.

So am I all prepared? Can you ever be?

Friday, September 3, 2010

Are you Ok in There?

Ok this is my first post on my new ‘Dad’ blog or whatever you want to call it. Our Baby is due around Boxing Day but I am sure they won’t arrive on that exact date. They never do……apparently! Likely later as this is our first.

This Sunday we will be 24 weeks and I believe what is termed ‘Viable’. The point at which for the medical profession, the baby becomes worth trying to save. I have a greatly different view to that but I am not going to start down that road just now.

We have had all our normal scans and extra ones at 6, 12, 20 and 22 weeks. One at 6 because of a referral by our doctor. An extra one at 22 weeks as our little one would not turn over so the person doing the scan could not get the spinal measurement at 20 weeks (I hope this is not a sign of things to come). This turned out to be good as we got some better pictures at 22 weeks and a confirmation of the gender. That will remain a closely guarded secret! Thankfully all scans came out as normal and no problems were identified that can show up at that stage. So introducing:

P1020308I find these scan pictures to be both incredible and frustrating. Incredible because they show my little baby, my own child, moving about in there, being ‘knit together in the mothers womb’ to use a biblical phrase from Psalm 139. It is a staggering miracle how a baby grows and we get to see some of that thanks to modern technology. Yet frustrating because I want to know more. I want more scans so I can see how they develop. I want to know what they look like etc… I am not naturally a patient person as you may have guessed. Something that I am sure will be worked on in my character.

Our baby is at the stage where they can now hear sound. They can hear my wife and I talking. I hope they get warm feelings from their parents. I wish I could know what is going on in there all the time and that they are ok. Is this parental worry kicking in even before they are born?

I guess it is normal and healthy to worry a bit about your child, even before they are born. I am not a great worrier about life in general, my faith keeps me from that. However here I find myself already having parental worry and being very protective of my lovely wife who is carrying our child. To her annoyance I worry about every ache and pain she has and expresses. Gosh what am I going to be like when they are born I wonder? If it is anything like I am with my little black cat called Oscar, then utterly terrible!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

New Blog - A work in progress!

Hi and welcome to my new Blog. I have only created it today so it is a very new baby so to speak. Please call back soon for actual content.