One month to go!

So there’s one month to go until the big man visits and leaves behind something nice or a lump of coal for BattleKid.

Christmas in the BattleHousehold has roughly taken on the same format year on year. A nice meal and bottle of wine on Christmas Eve, and exchanging of one present with BattleDad. Watch some Christmasy stuff on tv before bed. Get up late on Christmas morning, Irish fry-up for breakfast, exchange the rest of our presents, put Christmas dinner on, chill the wine and generally chill out for the rest of the day after doing an ET and phoning home to wish everyone a Merry Christmas. Not so this year!

This year it’s all change in the BattleHouse as it’s our first Christmas as a fully fledged family, complete with BattleKid and the two BattleDogs. And to say I’m excited would be an understatement! Santa stopped visiting our respective houses a long time ago, and while he returned to visit our siblings houses when they had children, we’ve been living in the UK longer than most of them have been born so have missed out on the spirit of things that Christmas with children brings.

Now we get to revisit those magical moments all over again and maybe start some new traditions of our own. I’ve been getting excited for a few months now but I think this weekend was the first time I saw BattleDad get excited as we did a little Christmas shopping on Saturday. Needless to say it was all about the boy on Saturday and I can only hope BattleDad follows on from previous years and pulls some seriously good surprises out of the bag that is internet shopping! He hasn’t disappointed me before, I just hope he remembers me now BattleKid is on the scene……

Are you looking forward to the feastive season or is it a time of dread in your house? Do you long for January the 2nd when it’s all over with for another 356 days or do you wish it lasted longer?

Trust your instincts (Part One)

They say you should trust your instincts when you are a parent but as a first-time-parent, you are also looking to those more experienced for advice and help. However that said, I wish I had trusted my own instincts in the first few days following the arrival of BattleKid.

I left hospital 30 hours after he was born with absolutely no guidance as to how to look after myself to enable me to heal well. You see BattleKid was born in theatre after 24 hours in labour via an epidural and forceps delivery, assisted by me having an episiotomy. Up until I started trying to deliver him, I had been labouring well using hypnobirthing techniques in the birthing pool and some gas and air. What we discovered just before I was wheeled into theatre, was that his head was getting stuck between my pelvic bone and his shoulder. The doctor thought we might need a c-section but she asked to try a forceps delivery first. I was thankful at the time for the more “natural” delivery and was just glad we had gotten our little boy out safely (having heard some horror stories afterwards that came from situations similar to ours). However, the next day as I left the hospital with our newborn, I wasn’t given any advice as to how to look after my wound nor what to look out for.

emotions as a new mum, trust your instincts
24 hours old, waiting to go home.

The day after arriving home, an on-call community midwife attended our home to check on both of us and she advised baths with tea tree or lavender to help healing, as well as keeping the area clean and dry. Now, my scientific alarm bells started ringing here as I knew the stitches used were dissolvable and to me, giving them contact with water may dissolve them quicker. However, my first-time-mum, weary tired, emotional state let me believe, as someone more experienced and trained in the field, she was giving me the right advice and so I tried to follow it as best I could. Now getting into and out of the bath was a challenge as I was unbelievably sore and couldn’t sit straight at all.

A few days later my assigned midwife attended and told me that the stitches were coming undone, but not to worry, the area would “heal in time”. This upset me terribly as I had wanted to avoid an episiotomy if I could have but failing that, I just hoped I would heal ok and in a timely manner. I had been doing what the midwives had advised and was doing my best to rest and now I was told it would take longer and to remember “we’re never the same down there after having a baby”. Seeing me so upset, and with an infection to deal with alongside a newborn, BattleDad didn’t like what the midwives were saying and marched me to a private hospital to be examined by a consultant, whose face said it all.

The result……. 13 days after giving birth I had my first ever general anesthetic to repair an episiotomy which the consultant said “would never heal on its own”. While it took until BattleKid was 16 weeks old for me to start feeling somewhat normal again and able to sit correctly, I eventually got there. After the surgery I had showers for the first two weeks and the stitches held for about 10 days before starting to dissolve. I then took shallow baths with tea tree and lavender oil with some salt added and was taking Echinacea too to try help heal things. Thankfully things have healed as best they can, and I’m ok. Cosmetically things could be better but I’m not complaining. I’m just glad BattleDad convinced me to see the consultant as who knows there we’d be now, 10 months on. I’ve read horror stories since and feel sorry for those mums who either don’t question what their midwives are telling them or don’t see someone for a second opinion, be it their own doctor or someone else. I went private because my own doctor didn’t want to know and I’m glad I did.

Apologies for the tmi post, but in hindsight I wish I had trusted my instincts in those first few days and avoided the baths all together, having showers only. Maybe things would have healed better and I wouldn’t have needed surgery. Who knows. All I can say to other new mums is go with your instinct. You don’t have to listen other people’s advice, even if they are the professionals!

Cath x

PS. This post in entitled Part One as I’m sure there will be other “trust your instincts” posts in the future.

Good Afternoon!

And so a new blog is born…..

Hi! I’m BattleMum, first-time-mum (ftm) to BattleKid and wife of BattleDad.

I am currently on maternity leave but will soon be returning to work. Hurray! You might think this is strange as many new mums don’t, or reluctantly, return to work, but I’m actually looking forward to it. Don’t get me wrong, I love my little man and enjoy our time together but with BattleDad working away during the week, I’m seriously craving adult company and conversation. See, I’m a mad scientist by day working for a company who do various types of chemical testing and I actually love my job, and have been missing it. No two days are ever the same in my job and I think that’s why I like it so much. Every job before it has lasted exactly 1 year and 9 months. I kid you not, if you saw my LinkedIn profile you’d see that statistic; 1 year and 9 months. But I’m coming up on nearly 7 years in this current job and I think that speaks for itself.

It will be a shock to the system for both myself and BattleKid but I think it will do us both the world of good. He will get to socialise with other children and grow as a little person while BattleMum keeps her sanity and sets a good example for him by working and earning money. This is a principle which I think is important to pass down to your children. There is only one thing that I have reservations with, and that is the length of day he will have to spend in nursery. My job is 30 miles from our home and while mornings won’t be a problem, it’s the evening commute to collect him from nursery where I’m worried. I’m even planning to drive to work for 5pm to try out different routes in the next two weeks before I’m back to work. 7.30am to 6pm is a long day for BattleKid but I’m sure once we’re into the swing of things we’ll be grand. Won’t we?

How have your little ones fared in nursery and do any of your little people have as long a day in nursery as BattleKid will have?