Emma's Journey to Baby

“Some say love is holding on and some say letting go… “

So Teddie is 4 months old. It’s a bit early to let him go off and fend for himself you might say. Don’t worry  I would agree! But blimey ‘they’ didn’t tell you how hard it would be to let them go to be looked after by someone else did ‘they’?... Or maybe they did, but you just didn’t really understand until it was your turn. Ok so I class myself as quite an empathetic kind of girl so I did empathise with Mums (before I was a Mum) when they left their babies as we went off on our spa weekends or girl’s nights out. When asked if they were ok leaving them my girlfriends would respond  that they do miss their kids but they also need ‘ME’ time too.

So as well as ‘Me’ time, couples need ‘US’ time, I’m told, and our ‘US’ time was on the horizon. The first time we were leaving Teddie overnight. It was my 35th Birthday which is also our 2nd Wedding anniversary and Valentine’s Day! Yes I have one lucky hubby – only 1 date to remember and only 1 annual celebration making a dent in his pocket.

My step sister offered to look after Teddie so that we could go to London and paint the town red… how very exciting don’t you think? Though if I’m honest, I think deep down I thought can’t we just take him with us? It’s not like a dog where he can’t go into museums and pubs and shopping centres. But in reality getting the Tube and Taxis all over London wouldn’t be quite as free and easy with a Pram and ten tonne of baby paraphernalia. Maybe we will save our family trip to see the Queen until Teddie can walk…

I was apprehensive about leaving him but it wasn’t that I was worried he wouldn’t be totally looked after in my absence. My Step Sister is very attached to Teddie as she spent his first days with him in hospital when I was in Intensive care. So whilst we were off gallivanting in London, even though I wasn’t there to check he was breathing whenever I felt the urge, I knew she would be doing it too. She did tell me when we returned that she did check him lots when he was asleep as he is such a quiet sleeper! Unlike his Mother my husband might add…

So I knew he was in good hands and I had even got my head around the fact that someone else would be driving him in their car without me being able to see him in his car-seat via a special mirror I have. I’m still undecided as to whether that mirror is a help or a hindrance. I swear Teddie doesn’t blink, well obviously he does but rarely. So I often sit at traffic lights calling his name in the vain hope he will look up or avert his eyes from whatever it is he is gawping at so I know he is ok. When he isn’t staring into space he is mostly just asleep but how do I know he is breathing?!! I have been known to pull over just to check him mid-journey. I am told by friends I am not alone in this and they have also been known to stop several times to check on their precious cargo.

I do realise that one day my baby will have to go in other people’s cars and oh my god one day he will actually drive himself, but that’s ages away isn’t it? Though I’m told it goes so quick…

I now know why my Mum wouldn’t let me go in boyfriend’s car when I was 17 until he had been driving for 3 months. “Emma, you don’t learn to drive from passing your driving test, you need to get used to the roads!”  I now know how sensible that sounds, and I didn’t betray my Mum on her ruling. No meant NO and I wasn’t about to disobey her. I thought she must have her reasons and I abided by her rules. I wasn’t an angel but I was really quite good and I do believe that it was due in main, to my Mum’s stern but fair discipline that I turned out ok ;-).

So we can discipline our offspring, and set boundaries and instil rules but in spite of all that we do have to let them go … We have to let our kids go to other people’s houses, we have to leave them in other people’s care, at friend’s parties, watching other peoples televisions, playing in other people’s gardens… we have to let them go in other people’s cars. We just have to hope that all that time we spend going on and on about the do’s and don’ts when they are with us, stays with them when we can’t be with them. Unfortunately you can’t sit in class at school with your child every day, or god forbid go on their first date! Teddie has to get used to the fact that some days I won’t be there. I’m sure some days he will be glad… 

So yes we went to London and we had a great time. No checking our watches to see how long it was since his last feed, no looking for the Baby Changing in Harrods… But I did wake up in the night wanting to know if my baby was ok and I think I even expected his Moses basket to be next to the hotel bed!

Teddie was spoilt rotten in our absence. My niece flew over from Germany as a surprise to spend the weekend with him, my other Step Sister and Niece visited and had Teddie-time too, he is loved so much. But when we returned do you think he would look at me?  I could not wait for a cuddle and a big grin but my heart sank as my family witnessed Teddie snubbing me as I eagerly tried to coax him into giving me one of those gorgeous smiles I usually get every day, all day long. He was holding his ground. I imagine him thinking “I am not just going to be all smiles for you Mummy, you left me and I didn’t know that you were coming back, I am going to make you sweat for a bit…” And boy did I sweat, I think it wasn’t until about 30 minutes later that I got my beautiful boy to smile at me properly. I read an article that states at 4 months babies do not know when you aren’t in the same room that you are still ‘somewhere’ because they don’t understand that something still exists if they can’t see it.  So as briefly upsetting as it was for Teddie (photos prove he was smiling all day when  I was gone) and as mortifying as it was for me to not get smiles on demand, I do know how important it is to teach Teddie that if I am not there I do still exist. 

Teddie just so you know, I’m going to be coming back all my life as long as there is a breath in my body because... I may not be able to be with you all the time. But the truth is, no matter how big you get and how much I learn to let go, when I m not with you there will always be an invisible tie that links me to you for all time. Even when your hand is too big and you’re too grown up to want to hold mine. Whenever you need my hands, to feed you, to hold you up, to cheer you on,  my grip is on you… and even though I will let go on the outside, inside I’m always holding on.

Dear Teddie... I hope you know.

Dear Teddie, I hope you know…

You are coming up to your 3 month Birthday, wow. A whole 90 odd days on this thing we call Earth already...

Baby blogger

 

Wow what a whirlwind 12 weeks they have been!

I know people tell you but I don’t think you can ever really know how much becoming a parent will change your life. And not in the ways you are told either, I don’t think.

For one, the amount of times people have said to me “ooh, you can’t just pop to the shop anymore”. Well to be honest I never really just popped to the shop anyway! If I haven’t got ‘it’ in the house then I do without ‘it’, or there’s always shopping online. You see I like a simple life… and to me, just popping to the supermarket was never something I did even as a singleton, if I could help it. I would only ever venture there if it was for something dreadfully important like…wine.  Home delivery was made for me! Oh and it also helps that my husband actually enjoys doing the food shopping!

So ok, I can’t pop to the shop, hallelujah, I didn’t want to anyway! ;-)

My Mum always said that you should use your money to make your life easier and that is what I always try to do! So the same has gone for things to make life easier since my baby arrived in the world. We have bought a machine to prep the water so it’s the right temperature for the milk. That was a godsend at the 3am feeds. Definitely recommend it if you aren’t breastfeeding.

No one can really explain to you how guilty you can feel that you couldn’t breastfeed your baby, even if it was out of your hands, and you convince yourself (you know it’s true but it does need some convincing and support from friends) that the formula has all the vitamins they need because your body couldn’t supply them. But when they get their baby snuffles, you do sit and think, is it me, is it because I didn’t give them my milk to keep them well.  I hope you know I want to do everything I can to keep you well.

Another thing we invested in was a changing station complete with bath (and guess what, I ordered it online!!). On it we store everything we need for bathing and changing, including bath robes and even any medicine.  It is just the right height for us to change baby and is so compact and can be wheeled around so is great for space saving. Bath time is one of my favourites I think! Teddie loves the bath and it’s fascinating watching his little face as he figures out what’s going on and then relaxes into the warm water when he feels safe. He has started to grip really tight onto us now as we lower him into the bubbly bath, his survival instincts really kicking in. I hope you know we would never hurt you intentionally, but human nature means that we are bound to hurt you as you will hurt us, but we know that our love will see us through.

No-one can prepare you for how wonderful it is to see how much everyone else loves your baby! From Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins and friends, near and far, the baby really does bring everyone together.  We just had our first Christmas and I am lucky enough to say that Teddie had all his Grandparents at our House to share the special day, he has 3 lots, what a lucky boy! We hope you know how special you are to us all.

No one told you how any times you would touch the back of your baby's neck! Since Teddie was born and we spent the first two weeks of his life in the hospital, I have always checked he is warm enough by feeling the back of his neck. We do have a thermometer too (another online delivery, added to the order for baby nail clippers and a special spoon for medicine to prevent spillage when administering!)…no-one told me to check his temperature by feeling the back of his neck, it was just something I did instinctively. I hope you know that all we want to do is keep you safe.

Your instincts are there for a reason, trust them!  The amount of times in the past I have always said a woman’s instincts are rarely wrong. So the same goes for Motherhood.  You just sort of know what your baby wants instinctively, I think. Of course there must be some trial and error but 9 times out of 10 I bet you knew first time what  it was they needed when they  made a noise/ cried or wriggled, gaining your attention. Try not to doubt yourself, there are plenty of people who will do that for you!

Teddie, you have been super spoilt with love since you arrived here in this world. Long may it continue, and to quote a famous John Denver lyric -  “if I should live forever and all my dreams come true, my memories of love will be of you… “

When you smile, I hope you know that nothing else matters and I’m just glad I love you so…  

A dear friend of my Dad’s said to me that your baby chooses you. I hope you did choose me and I hope you will always know how glad I am that you have changed my life, I hope I am everything you wanted!

Love always, Emma (your doting Mum).



Teddie's Story

Hello everyone... It’s so nice to talk to you.

Teddie blog

My Mummy has told me all about you and how she loves to write to you. She said she's been writing about me to you for the last 9 months... She said she loved me before she met me! Will you tell her I loved her too?...

Sorry, I haven't even introduced myself. My name is Teddie. I was born on the 17th October 2016 at 1:20 pm. I weighed 6lbs 3oz. I was all cosy asleep in my Mummy's tummy then all of a sudden I wasn't! For 2 weeks before I was born my Mummy and me lived in the hospital. She keeps telling me she can't believe I grew in her tummy!

Everyone thought I would be really heavy because Mummy looked really big but she had something called Pre-eclampsia which filled her body with fluid and made her ever so bloated! It meant that she would have to stay in hospital and I would have to be born early. I was really comfy laying across her tummy and hadn't moved down into position to swim out so the Doctors said I had to come out of Mummy's tummy by something called a c-section rather than the other place that babies come out of! My Mummy and Daddy cuddled me when I came out for a few hours but then my Mummy went away for a couple of days... I could still see her though because there was a photo of Mummy and Daddy on their Wedding day in my cot. They looked so happy!

When I was 1 day old my Daddy and my Nannies and Grandads and Aunts and Uncles looked after me with some other ladies with blue dresses on. But I could only see my Mummy on the photo. I didn’t know where she was but I knew she wanted to be with me and I missed her heartbeat. My Daddy changed my first nappy – hehehe that was funny!

When I was 3 days old my Daddy took me to a different hospital and my Mummy was there. She had photos of me next to her bed. Just like I had photos of her in my bed. She also had my Cardigan with her and I recognised the smell of her from a scarf I had with me in my cot. I was so happy to hear my Mummy's heartbeat and feel her skin on mine. I gave her a cheeky smile, it wasn’t wind!

My Mummy had been asleep for 40 hours in something called a Coma and was in intensive care. She still smelt and sounded like my Mummy. And she hugged me so tight and said she was so glad that I remembered her. She was worried I wouldn't know who she was - as if! She didn't stop talking for 9 months. I wasn't about to forget that voice in a hurry. Or that laugh! She loves to laugh. Mum still had her sense of humour. My Aunty had bought her a chocolate bar with Christmas trees on the day she woke up and she said when she realised she had lost a whole day - "Don't tell me it's bloody Christmas!".

The Doctors said Mummy's positive attitude and zest for life would help her recover quicker. It is also what helped her wake up quicker but she told me it was the thought of me that did that! Mummy had blood clots on her womb after having me so went for another operation to have a balloon inserted in her uterus which applied pressure to stop the bleeding. Mummy had HELLP syndrome which is a complication of Pre-eclampsia. HELLP syndrome is a rare liver and blood clotting disorder that can affect pregnant women. Mummy was also given a drug called Voltarol which is an NSAID (Non steroidal anti inflammatory) after her c-section. The Doctors told her afterwards that NSAIDs should not be given to women with Pre-eclampsia as it can cause adverse reactions.

My Mummy was in a coma after having me because all of the above led to acute kidney failure. She said she remembers having me but that a few hours later it all goes blurry. This is when her body started to shut down and she was taken to intensive care. Mummy is so thankful to all blood donors as she had to have 5 blood transfusions. She also had to have 2 lots of dialysis. When she is feeling better she is going to do a talk at a blood transfusion seminar to stress the importance of blood donation. Mummy, Daddy and me will forever be grateful to all of the Midwives and Nurses and Doctors that looked after us all at both the Hospitals. They do amazing jobs and we all feel very blessed to now be home. Mummy is still under the Consultants care and is on so many drugs she actually bought a Medicine cabinet. Her eyesight was also affected but she used this as an excuse to buy some designer frames! She does have nerve damage to her eye though so now has an appointment at the Eye Hospital. She said she will be able to do a review on Trip Advisor soon on which hospital and which rooms are the best to stay at in Brum!!

Mum now knows all the top consultants at both hospitals she stayed at and they said her recovery is remarkable due to the trauma she has been through both physically and emotionally. One Consultant said that Mummy was everything she had learned in training all wrapped up in one and that everything that could go wrong in labour did! There is a review being held on Mummy's case as it is so unique and she is practically famous at the hospital where I was born. She did say she always wondered what it would be like to be famous. Those who know her well, will know she doesn’t do things by halves!!

I am a month old now and thankfully we have been home 2 weeks, our house is much cosier than the hospital and we are having a great time. Mummy and Daddy have so many friends and family that my wardrobe, toy box and bank account are already full. But all I really want from all these generous people is their time and their love. Mum never worried about the birth when she was pregnant and always joked that it was the next 30 years that worried her. She loves music and this has made her recall the lyrics from the Baz Luhrmann song: "Don’t worry about the future or know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind. The kind that blindsides you on some idle Tuesday."

Ironically the day she totally missed of my life was in fact a Tuesday. But tell her for me won't you that we have LOADS more Tuesdays and we are so gonna make up for that little one she missed!! I was getting to know Daddy that day anyway, he’s ace by the way! And all my other amazing family members, gosh I’ve been born into one crazy happy team! Mum’s friends and family have told her never to scare them like that again and she jokes that she didn't think she had been given enough attention this year so has made up for it now! But seriously she loves you all dearly and if this experience has taught her anything it is JUST DO IT. TODAY. Whatever it is you want. That's what she's been telling me to do. And I'm listening... I am EATING, SLEEPING, POOING, REPEATING. And it's great! I definitely recommend it.

Well I better go, I need some more milk, better turn on that ‘I’m hungry’ cry. They don’t seem to mind it at all. It’s just at 3am they don’t seem too enamoured… They said it’s a good job I’m so flaming cute! Great chatting to you. Mum said she would go through it all again to get me, but glad she doesn’t have to!

Lots of love and sloppy kisses, Teddie x