Gabriele is gobbling his way through his SMA Hungry Baby Milk for which I am switching to Aptamil Comfort Milk as soon as he has finished this last tin. Gabriele is so incredibly windy, from both ends before, during and after feeds we’re at a crossroads with what to do. We have been using Infacol before feeds to relieve some of the discomfort but he still whimpers and winces as he drinks his milk as if he is having tummy pains or trying to push. His nappies vary from very runny to little hard balls daily so I have been trying to get him to drink as much water as possible and he is managing 5oz of water and a touch of orange juice during the day. The weather has been in the mid to high twenties all week and I think coupled with the thick hungry baby milk and the dehydration that hot weather brings, this may be causing his nappies to be a little more firm which teamed with trapped wind makes him very uncomfortable.
Because his tummy is stuffed up, Gabriele is eating a lot less but more frequently; where he used to have 5oz of hungry baby milk every two hours he is now feeding a couple of ounces every 45mins or so and it is really messing up his routine. It’s impossible to make him wait for his milk as he gets so desperately hungry and upset that a dummy or water won’t keep him calm, he won’t stop at anything until he gets his milk, and within several minutes of drinking it he falls asleep and stops.
We’re hoping with the new Comfort Milk which claims to help with trapped wind and constipation, that Gabriele will be able to have his feeds and get into a proper sleeping routine throughout the day and night. Although he doesn’t have constipation as he delivers ploppy nappies three or four times each day, we do notice that the texture changes considerably with each nappy and want to avoid getting to a point where he can’t pass his stools by intervening first.
So at night he continues to feed every hour and a half, and his wind and grumble tummy keep him awake for almost an hour after each feed as we try to settle and calm him, but as soon as we lay him on his back within minutes he wakes up in pain again like a squeaky boiling kettle. I don’t know if he’s doing it from discomfort or just because he’s lonely on his own. I love giving him cuddles but I don’t want to turn him into a needy nighttime baby because during the day he is so content and relaxed it’s lovely. But when he cries I can’t leave him, it breaks my heart to hear his sad little calls and whimpers, regardless of how destroyed and tired I get I will always pick him up when he cries, whether he is a baby or fifty years old.
Speaking of nighttime troubles, Luca and I seem to argue every evening in bed and it’s become our routine now. It’s a bit like a game of poker; nobody wants to show his or her hand until the very last minute for fear the other will be better off. By the evening I can feel my mind wandering and my eyes struggling to stay open so I ask Luca to keep an eye on Gabriele whilst I get ready for bed, and like clockwork Luca says he needs the loo, goes for a cigarette in the garden and then finds baby bottles around the house to sterilise. By the time he’s finally ready to take control of Gabriele so I can go up to bed to sleep, suddenly he’s also ready to come up to bed as he’s done everything he needs to so we both go up together.
When I finally get to bed after his feed, change and winding, and I’ve been to the bathroom to do my face and teeth and toilet, I go into the bedroom and Luca is already sound asleep; and if I wake him up I get the same line every night “I’ve got work in the morning, you haven’t!” and I glare at him in the darkness in the hope that my eyes will be so bright with fury they will wake him up with such blinding heat he will stay up for all night feeds and let me sleep. Ha as if!
So we have this same sodding stalemate each and every night. When I’ve been up all night with Gabriele and rushed around all day with both the children, the house, the cooking, the dog, the chores and my own work, come the evening when I’ve clocked up almost twenty hours of consciousness I’m so destroyed I’m craving for Luca to come home so that he can take guard of the children and I can have just a moment to wash the dried milk out of my hair and dare to have a nap. But when Luca get’s home from work after a busy day the last thing that he wants is to to be given the controls of the runaway train. I understand that he feels tired too, but he sleeps all night and I don’t. I understand that he works during the day, but my maternity is spent being a slave to the children, home and him. I don’t get to sit down at all during the day; if I’m not pacing Gabriele up and down trying to get him to sleep I’m desperately washing the dishes or scrubbing the toilets before he wakes up again.
So Luca has this misconception that I sit and eat biscuits and do little more than watch daytime TV all day on my maternity leave, and I suspect that Luca gets to work after a nice nights sleep and laughs his head off when he sits down to chat with his friends, in peace and quiet away from the chaos and responsibility of our home and children. But regardless of who is right, at the end of it, I need to sleep and Luca needs to help me with the home and children more. I’ve been fortunate enough to have seen the situation from both sides, I’ve worked my arse off and come home to an uncooked dinner and housework waiting for me that I get on with without question, and I’ve also been up all day and night on maternity leave raising two children and having Luca’s dinner ready on the table when he gets home to everything perfectly in order. However, Luca has only ever worked, returned home and had his dinner waiting on the table and the house spotless, as I’d imagine the vast majority of the male population also do.
So, even though I believe I come out of this with the short straw, Luca doesn’t seem to realise or acknowledge my efforts. I love him to bits, he makes me so happy and we love our family dearly. BUT every bloody night, as the clock edges towards midnight and the moon comes out we turn into these gnarling, savage, desperate animals who both shout and snap and throw negative remarks as we try to make each other realise who is the most hard done by, who has had the least sleep, and who is most likely to fall down the stairs first through tiredness. It’s almost a competition to see who is the closest to collapsing wins, but really we’re both losers, because I’m losing out on my sanity, and Luca is losing out on special night time moments with our son.
But come the morning we turn from gnarling beasts to humans once more. Like something straight out of Disney the birds are singing sweetly, the sunlight trickling through the window with the morning breeze, and suddenly our squealing, windy, cranky baby turns into sleeping beauty. Luca wakes up bright eyed and bushy tailed, Millie runs into the bedroom to tell us it’s morning and time for breakfast and I look like an electrocuted scarecrow; with back-combed hair from too much pillow friction getting up every half an hour all night, my eyeballs like dusty dry balls of African-earth, my face haggard and ageing more with every sleep deprived second that passes, and my armpits and shins in serious danger of starting a bush fire! Why is it the less sleep you have the quicker your stubble seems to grow? I’m shaving morning, noon and night and I’m convinced I can still feel stubble. But when I brush my hair in the morning handfuls of hair come falling out in clumps it’s scary. I know it’s the pregnancy hormones leaving me as my levels balance out, but a girl is never happy to say goodbye to her hair in such frequency. Let’s just hope I’m left with more than two strands by the end of the week!
As part of my mummy-make over I’ve been having some pampering to make myself feel better. It started with healthy eating to drop the excess weight from my pregnancy, having my teeth whitened, eyelashes tinted, a nice suntan from taking the children on walks, the red veins treated on my face and finally a lump taken off of my head.
I’ve had a lump on my head for a few years now that popped up one day from nowhere and have been gradually growing bigger ever since, and also a mole on my chest that has grown over the years since I was a child. Initially I went to see my doctor when I was pregnant to see what could be done about it and he advised that they could both be removed after Gabriele was born, so a couple of days ago the time had finally come for me to be hacked up and I couldn’t wait.
Luca, Gabriele and I went to our local GP’s as I geared myself up to lose my two lumps. But when the doctor/surgeon/nurse? saw the lump on my chest he advised it looked too much like a mole to be tampered with, and it would cause such a large scar in an obvious area it would be best left alone. I was a little disappointed as I was hoping it would be bye-bye-boobie-mole, but if it wasn’t dangerous at the size, shape and colour that it is then there is no need to worry about it.
So as Luca sat next to me pulling a variety of fearful, horrified, disgusted and curious expressions, the doctor shaved, wrapped, pricked, sliced and stitched the back of my head. I tried my best to bite my tongue and stiffen my neck as he tugged my head about and mopped the blood, moments later a horrible white lump plopped into a jar of water next to me and I felt as though I’d been kicked in the head at a kids football match. I can only describe the lump as a piece of chicken from a pot noodle; white and lumpy! As I’d never seen it, I was curious to look at this enemy that had suddenly become so obvious on my scalp, it was both sickening and satisfying at the same time. I don’t know if it was the pregnancy or natures course that made it grow so suddenly, but it was a great relief to have it gone.
After he stitched up my head and showed me the hair he had cut off to do the operation I was somewhat relieved that the worst was over. He put three stitches in the two-inch wound on the back of my head which he advised must stay clean and dry for one week. Now, my only problem being, with this beautiful hot weather and the need for me to be out amongst the public daily, not being able to wash my hair for a week and having to keep my crusty, bloodied stitches clean and safe from the grease ball I will undoubtedly become without being able to get my hair wet, it isn’t the nicest position to put a girl with long hair in. If it was hard enough to sleep with a nightlife baby, it’s twice as hard now that I’m trying to stop my head from popping open. For the first day it felt like the wound was trying to pull itself back open, as he had to cut away enough skin to be able to remove the lump and surrounding tissue, so it felt constantly like the stitches were pulling against my head. Today it feels very itchy and tingly and I’m desperate to scratch it but know that I can’t; it probably doesn’t help that it’s so hot day and night, and without being able to wash my hair I feel clammy and greasy and unclean. I’m extremely paranoid that somebody will bump or bang my sore head and every time Luca comes near or Millie wants a cuddle I wince and put my hands up and say “be careful!” you’d think for someone who had not long bore a human from their loins, that a few stitches in the back of the head would be nothing but it’s incredibly tender and surprising how much movement your head has that pulls on the stitches constantly.
My discomfort coupled with lack of sleep sent me on a junk binge last night and in two days I’ve pigged my way through popcorn, chocolate aero, nuts, crisps, toast, onion bhaji’s and ice-cream and it’s only made me feel worse because I still have a stone in weight to shift and at this rate I’ll be putting on weight! I’m feeling restless and more than a little tortured. I dream of the day when I’m no longer sleep deprived, greasy and a washed out beach whale. I flitter between dreaming of us with five children and the fun of family days out in the sunshine, to sleepless nights and begging for sanity with a newborn. One moment I feel invincible and the next I want my mummy! But I know it’s not for long, because pretty soon he will be crawling and I can swap sleepless nights for a smashed up home!
Millie’s paperwork came today for her to start big school in September and we’re very proud, pleased and excited for her. It seems so strange to think of my firstborn at full-time school, it’s as if the years are creeping away from me and our baby is no longer a baby. I cherish every second we share and dread the day when she tells me she’s leaving home. Having children has made me realise how short life really is and how we have such little time to make the most of our little ones childhood because it is all said and done far sooner than we think. When I was a child time seemed to stand still and it took forever to get just one year older, but since leaving school the clock spins so fast I never saw the last ten years run straight past me.
No matter how much I worry, panic or moan, nothing will ever distract me from keeping focus on what is important, the health and love of my family and the future we are carving out bit by bit and day by day for the benefit of our children and future generations. So for now I will put my rambling mind to rest and give my babies a nice big squish x x x x