Monday, 21 November 2011

Treasuring time

Not a lot of spare time for me at the moment, as you'll have realised from the lack of new posts on the blog ;-). Whilst with our first baby, my husband and I found it difficult to even find time to shower or make some food, second time round, we're managing a lot better with fitting in those basics at least. Yet, there's a lot of things we struggle to find the time for, like keeping on top of the washing, cleaning and household chores and having a moment to put our feet up with a book or film is a luxury we're not enjoying as often as we were.

Having family around to help out in these first few weeks following our daughter's birth has really made me recognise the value of time and how quick we are to take it for granted. I've felt lucky to have our families take both children out for an hour or so to allow me to do one of the many tasks I've been meaning to do, to catch up on a bit of sleep or as now, to write my blog.

With just one child, I'd got into a nice routine with our son with set times when I could get jobs done or do something for myself. Now there's a newborn around, those precious moments have disappeared for the time being. After you're used to having spare time that you don't even stop to think about, it's hard not having it all of a sudden. However, it's a useful lesson in reminding us that time should be treasured.

Although these first few weeks and months with a new baby and toddler can be a bit tricky, stressful and certainly tiring, I don't want to wish away the time with our daughter while she is such a tiny vulnerable little being needing lots of love and care. I'm all too aware of how fast a baby grows up now and how important it is to enjoy each day with them. This time round I also know that the challenges of getting through weeks on very little sleep, the bouts of crying that seem neverending or the days when everything seems to go wrong are stages that are going to pass.

Probably sooner than I realise, I'll get settled into a new routine with two children that will once again provide pockets of time where I can get a few things done. For now, I'm happy to take each day as it comes and not to worry if I feel like nothing gets done. I might not have these sentiments every day (we had a fairly good night's sleep last night!) but on the days I don't, I will endeavour to remind myself of what really matters - not the housework but being there for my two little ones.
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Monday, 7 November 2011

The waiting game

First things first........I had my baby! It was a girl! So many people, including lots of random strangers in the street told me I was having a boy so I'm especially pleased to have proved them all wrong - you can't judge a bump by its shape :-). It was a lovely surprise and my husband, son and I are really enjoying the new addition to our family.

I have already mentioned on here that my son was born at 38 weeks and how some people assuming the second child would also be early, started acting like it was late once we passed the 38 week mark. Well, our daughter arrived at exactly 41 weeks so I had to endure 3 weeks of questions, comments, and 'tips' on how to get things moving along.

Aside from running a marathon, I really had tried lots of the suggestions for helping initiate labour. Three cups of well-steeped raspberry leaf tea each day, spicy food, lots of walking, running up hills and chasing my son and his friends around the park, that and everything else on lists like this one. Some people swear that something in particular contributed to their labour starting but I think it's pure coincidence. Baby comes when it's ready and when your body's ready for birth.

A quick glance at three different pregnancy books I have at home revealed that 'late' is not really late until you reach week 42 and beyond. In most cases, baby will arrive within 10 days of the due date and according to one book I have, "studies show that about 70% of apparent post-term pregnancies aren't post-term at all", it's simply a miscalculation of the due date / date of conception.So why does everyone treat 'late' like it's such a big deal?

I was thankful that I was living in the UK, planning to give birth at a birth centre where there's a focus on natural births and no pressure for induction unless there's any medical concern for mum or baby. I've heard too many stories of people who've used private healthcare and have been persuaded to have an induction earlier than necessary that has resulted in an emergency c-section or an otherwise traumatic birth.

Whilst I felt relaxed about my pregnancy lasting longer than first time round and was feeling fit and well, I couldn't help but start to get a little stressed out when people would ask me, 'what's going to happen?', 'when will they induce you?'. I didn't feel like those kinds of questions were very sensitive or helpful when I was only a few days 'late' after all.

One thing I have taken from the experience of having a 'late' baby is that I won't be one of those annoying people asking a pregnant friend or aquantaince where her baby is when it comes to her due date and the baby is yet to arrive! I don't think I was before but I'll certainly be more aware in the future of what I say to anyone in that situation.

A mum-to-be has a lot to deal with in late pregnancy; the hormones, the excitement, the trepidation, the preparation (both on a practical and emotional level) and she doesn't need people adding to it. As I know myself, a healthy new baby is definitely worth the wait, whether that's an 'early' 38 weeks or a 'late' 41+ weeks.

Were you early or late with your babies? Did you have any comments or unsolicited advice from people that you'd have rather done without?
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