I have been tagged and, for once, I am going to respond to the tag almost immediately (the next morning, at least), because it’s a New Year meme and therefore both relevant and time-sensitive.
The rules are to thank the person who tagged you (thank you Kelly), list your 5 high points for 2009 and tag 5 other people to do the same. Simple, really.
1 Starting this blog
I’d been blogging over at Mummy and Daddy Clark since shortly after Rosemary was born, but decided I wanted something more about me as a parent, than about Rosemary – that blog was (and will be again, now I’ve decided to revive it) aimed at far-away relatives, so they could read about Rosemary and her progress, and see photos and videos of her. I’d started reading some parenting blogs and read a few articles about them and thought I’d like to try my hand. There was a little part of me that thought it could be the way to fame and fortune, but just in the way that you dream about winning the lottery (I’m surely not the only one who does that?), but instead it brought me an amazing circle of friends, some fantastic reading material, and a very enjoyable pass-time. It also somehow put me in the radar of the PR companies, which was very flattering and gave me the opportunity to meet some really lovely people.
2 Rosemary starting playgroup
Rosemary started nursery school last November, but she didn’t start playgroup until May, as she had to wait until she was 2 years 9 months. She loves going to both and gets so much out of it. Playgroup seems to be the one she enjoys the most, though (maybe that’s ‘play’ versus ‘school’?), and that’s where her closes friends (for the moment) are. It also provided me with the opportunity to actually talk to some other parents (well, one in particular – ‘Hi, K!’), which is a relief, as I thought I might never manage that. And it also meant that I was able to work something vaguely resembling normal office hours, with a few extra evening or weekend shifts required now and then. (Of course, all that went to pot in October – see High No. 4 – but never mind, I fit the work in somehow!)
3 Our holiday in France
This was a real biggie. We hadn’t been on a proper holiday since our honeymoon in 2004. We were meant to go on an all-inclusive 2-week holiday to Kenya in January 2006, but found out I was pregnant. Having had an ectopic pregnancy in 2004, the doctor advised us not to go, as we would be there at the point that would be the highest risk of ectopic pregnancy. And I came pretty darned close to dying last time – didn’t want to be away from ambulances and operating theatres, just in case. (Fortunately, it wasn’t an ectopic pregnancy, as you probably worked out!) And, in true, sod’s law fashion, we were supposed to be going on a big all-inclusive holiday in Mexico in November this year, but couldn’t do that because we got pregnant again (see High Point No. 4).
Instead, Chris’ parents took us to Normandy for a week. Which, I have to say, was a much more appropriate holiday for Rosemary. We all had a wonderful time and hope to be able to repeat it in the future. Rosemary talks about pretty much every day and asks about when we can go to France again. It was a really wonderful and relaxing week. The only down point was not being able to drink copious (or even teeny tiny) amounts of red wine and eat bucket-loads of smelly cheese. We definitely need to go back, soon.
4 Giving birth to Eleanor
Well, this had to come into it somewhere, didn’t it? It was a long wait, though funnily enough she was actually a few days early. I’d been expecting her to arrive since August, but she held out for a very nice birth date (11.10.09) instead. And she gave me the birth I wanted – in the fantastic midwife-led unit, in the birth pool, with nothing but gas and air and Chris’ hand as pain-killers. It was a truly magical experience, albeit still extremely painful! And, whatsmore, we got us a beautiful little baby girl as a result of it. Eleanor is now almost 3 months old and is truly a little charmer, babbling away and smiling and giggling at us. Though it would be nice if she would go to bed on time a bit more often!
5 Overcoming early breast-feeding problems
Now that we’re at almost 3 months, I wonder how breast-feeding could ever have been difficult. It was the same with Rosemary – early struggles led to a 2-year breast-feeding journey – but the struggles this time were a lot worse and I came extremely close to giving up. I am so glad I didn’t. We’re now exclusively breast-feeding, though there are a few cartons of formula and some bottles still sat somewhere, just in case.
Eleanor feeds with pretty much no trouble at all, even when she had a really bad cough. Most feeds are around 20 minutes long and she goes back to sleep straight away after her middle-of-the-night feeds (though I wouldn’t mind if she would sleep through instead – her sister didn’t for a helluva long time, so I won’t hold out too much hope for that). She’s getting big – haven’t had her weighed, but according to my approximations based on me standing on the scales without her and then with her, she seems to already weigh about a stone. Pretty sure Rosemary didn’t weigh a stone until she was 4 or 5 months, though may be remembering wrong!
She’s now feeding in an easier cradle-hold, which means I can feed when out and about without waving my boobs around (not that I have a problem with anyone doing that, I just prefer to cover up if I can) and without needing a cushion to rest on.
I’m considering buying a hand-pump so that she can breast-milk when out and about with my mum (who will be looking after her a couple of times a week fairly soon), so we can throw out the formula completely.
So, getting through those first few weeks was really a major accomplishment that is reaping rewards for everyone now.
Now I have to tag five other people to do this…