Age: 1week & 6days

We have stumbled upon a gift from the God’s these last couple of days, and it comes in the form of a Tommie Tippee dummy!  Gabriele is like a changed baby, he goes from fidgeting, flailing his arms and legs and screwing up his face without a dummy to calm, settled, soothed and peaceful as soon as it touches his lips. I don’t know how we’ve managed without it for so long. He also had his hearing test at the hospital which he slept straight through as the nurse placed a little grommet in his ear and played beeping noises, apparently the machine picks up on movements from tiny hairs inside the ear to know that a baby’s hearing is working properly, and Gabriele was fine.

Gabriele Sleeping With His Snuggle Bunny And Dummy

I guess I had this negative perception of dummies, which was incredibly unfounded and not based on any personal experience. When we had Millie I bought her a dummy but she never liked it so I never tried her with it again and our Chihuahua Joey enjoyed suckling on it instead so it automatically became his! After that I saw every baby that had a dummy as a kind of point or win to Millie for not needing one, in my mind I saw a dummy as a cheat or easy way out and a way of gagging a child to keep them quiet, and Millie was content and quiet without it.

But Gabriele is completely different to how Millie was as a baby and I’m only just beginning to understand or realise now that not all babies are the same. Millie didn’t need constant soothing whereas Gabriele does. He started with such long periods of breastfeeding, although I don’t know if that was down to hunger or comfort. Then when we switched him to formula he was able to drink so much we added an extra ounce to his feeds and then switched him to hungry baby milk, which he is still feeding an extra ounce each time. I believe it’s because he is so hungry all of the time as when he attempts to feed he opens his mouth wide and moves from side to side desperately, or sucks his fingers, my neck and face. So when I give him a dummy I have an underline feeling of guilt that I am soothing him without food if he is so aggressively hungry and not getting a feed when his poor tummy is begging for it. But at the same time I tell myself the dummy is bringing him comfort and contentment without overfeeding him as the last thing I want is to influence him to overeat for the rest of his life because of his feeding routines as a baby.

There seems a fine line between what a baby wants and what a baby needs and I wish there was some sort of way to tell what they are asking for. He is such a happy cuddly baby, he never complains and is so content when he’s in my arms or feeding, it’s just those little moments when he’s searching for food and I hesitate over the dummy or the bottle when deep inside my heart is still heavy for moving away from breastfeeding.

Gabriele’s Date Of Birth Tattooed Below Millie’s On My Wrist

Yesterday I got Gabriele’s date of birth as a tattoo. When I had Millie almost five years ago I had her birth date tattooed onto my wrist in roman numerals and as soon as I found out we were expecting Gabriele I’d often look at my wrist trying to image the date that would sit below Millie’s one day. I find it’s a very personal and sweet reminder to have the children always with me in a way that isn’t over the top or garish, and there is something vulnerable and honest about the inside of the wrist. I like to be able to keep the tattoos in an area where they can be concealed, so when I wear a watch, bangle or sleeve nobody knows they are there but me.

This morning I hesitantly approached the bathroom scales much like a reluctant trainee lion tamer that I have become these last ten months. I’ve spent so long avoiding the scales that my cautiousness and self-confidence have been running riot and as I stepped on I screwed up my face, closed my eyes and tilted my head back to try and make myself weigh less!! Peeping with one eye I was shocked and delightfully surprised to see the scales beaming back 10st 7lbs at me, which is a half stone loss in six days. I never thought I’d see the day when being over 10st would make me so happy, but I genuinely wasn’t expecting to have lost so much so quickly but I’d expect the weight loss to slow down a lot now and become more of a challenge to shift the final stone. For this week’s weigh-in I’m not complaining, as it was incredibly easier than I thought!

My Weight Loss 2 Weeks After Giving Birth

This week I’ve been eating like a bit of a silly sausage; lots of pasta, galaxy chocolate bubbles, rhubarb crumble, semolina, curry, burgers and onions, oven chips, salted cashew nuts, and more jacket potatoes. I don’t feel like I’ve been particularly healthy as I’m still trying to wean myself off of the “if I want it I might as well have it” mentality that pregnancy so kindly bestowed on me. I think my only saving grace has been the fact that I’m on the go day and night, feeing, cleaning, shopping, cooking, walking back and forth rocking Gabriele to sleep; it’s not easy raising a baby who needs your constant attention, and being up day and night not knowing what day it is or when it will all end is tiresome to say the least. I crave a rigid routine of feeding and waking on the hour but it seems Gabriele has other ideas just now! But I know it won’t be forever, and the older he gets the easier it becomes, so in a way I have reached the top of my Everest right now and from here on it’s a gradual slalom to the bottom of the slope where a nice cold mojito is waiting for me

Body wise my clothes are fitting more comfortably, I still have a bit too much bounce in my buns and my belly squishes rather than pinging like a trampoline but I’m taking the softly softly approach. I’m desperate for the six week mark to pass so that I can work my stomach muscles and get some form of a body back, even if it’s not the body that I’m hoping for, surely anything must be an improvement from how I am. I’m still bleeding from birth but it’s slowing down gradually. For the first week that I had him it was a bit of a mission to get used to using sanitary towels again which I’ve avoided with a passion since the age of fourteen; but I have this image of a tampon like a raft on the white rapids ejecting itself with any sneezing or coughing and making it’s way gallantly down my trouser leg and out into the world in all it’s bloody glory whilst I’m having a conversation with a well-wisher or doing the weekly food shop. So perhaps the dreaded sanitary towel is a bit safer with it’s jumbo jet wings and copious amount of glue that manages to get twisted and chewed up in my underwear like a piece of strawberry bubblegum by my insatiable mammoth bum cheeks!

Emotionally I’m more settled and peaceful now but still some way off of being back in control and sitting pretty. It’s almost a release to be able to clean and tidy the house because I’ve always found a happy clean home is a happy clean mind. I’m still straightening cushions and keeping my place mats and cups at right angles, but I don’t quite have the energy to polish the front door step just yet. We’re still having visitors thick and fast and last night after an unexpected request last minute we entertained friends and family whilst I juggled tears from a poorly Millie, feeding hungry Gabriele and holding back the barking dog all at bedtime. I managed to eat two stale tiger bread rolls at half past ten last night as I was feeling weak, starving and hollowed out through lack of sleep. I’d gladly take a hangover over a baby-daze any day because at least with a hangover you can sleep it off face down on the stairs and then gobble a greasy fry up in the morning whilst reading the paper in your underwear. But with a baby the sleep deprivation is always there like a constant watery hollowness that sinks in through your eye sockets, poisons the lining of your stomach and weighs down every muscle and bone in your body. And when my head touches the pillow at night, if only for twenty minutes at a time it feels as if I’m floating on air on a warm summers day, and I lay desperately with my eyes pressed shut tight trying to make the most of the cool darkness inside my burning eyelids. It is such a tedious and torturous period of time for a Mummy to go through because you so desperately need every last ounce of energy you have left to carry on.

Until next week, I may just stay laying here on the sofa, pinned down by our beautiful little sleeping angel. It seems the only time I get to communicate with the world is when I’m stranded in the cushions with a snuggled up babba, bliss x x x

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Tracy Kiss

Social influencer, Bodybuilder, Mother, Vegan
London, UK

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