Making mummy friends

Making mummy friends

I feel like I’ve lost quite a few friends since getting married and becoming a mother. I’ve talked about it before. So I’d really like to make some mummy friends.

The only trouble is, how exactly do you make friends as an adult?

When you’re younger, it’s not so bad. There are clubs and societies at university. It’s easy (for some people) to start up conversations in bars or clubs, etc. But I don’t get out much now. If I do, it’s to super-exciting places like Sainsbury’s or the petrol station. Not really places you go to socialise!

It’s probably exacerbated by the fact that my husband and I only moved to this area a couple of years ago. Between work and wanting to be at home a lot for the rabbits, I never made local friends. (Of course, my husband has loads. He picks up friends easily. So not jealous.)

So I feel like I’m starting from scratch here. I need some sort of remedial friends making class. Ironically, probably going to such a class would be a good place to make friends!

I’m very lucky in one way. Two of my closest friends had babies last year as well. Unfortunately, they both live in Wales and I don’t. But WhatsApp is an amazing tool, and I’m also able to keep up with lots of childless/childfree/older-children-having friends on there.

It’s just not quite the same as actually meeting up with someone, though.

I see my mum a couple of times a week, and my husband has hardly any commute at all, so he’s around a lot. But I think it’s important for the baby to get to see other people – and other babies. I don’t want her to go to nursery or a childminder or school and have that be the first time she’s ever really interacted with people her own age.

So I’ve done a few things.

We’re going to a weekly baby sensory class five minutes away from our house. We’ve been to one so far, and the baby wanted to feed through most of it, but did enjoy staring at the other babies. And I got to talk to some other mums, which was cool. (Most of them wanted to ask about babywearing because I had her in the wrap – I felt pretty accomplished!)

In addition, I’m part of a local Facebook group – I have been ever since we moved here, but never really contributed. I was just there to find out about travel delays, upcoming events, etc. But the other day, someone asked about setting up a group for mums who are feeling lonely or don’t really know anyone and want some mummy friends. Over 100 people replied! We’re meeting on Wednesday. Exciting!

So, wish me luck!

Do you have any mummy friends? How did you meet them?

Babywearing and us

babywearing

Like most expectant parents, we dutifully went out and bought a travel system before the baby was born. But now that she’s here, I find that I’m actually babywearing more than I thought I would!

Practising babywearing before she arrivedWe have two carriers at the moment.

My husband prefers the Baby Bjorn We, which I got him as a birthday present when I was about four months pregnant. He likes the buckles and he can put it on very securely.

Pictured is one of his first practice attempts! Cherry, my old baby doll, stood in for the baby as I was still pregnant at the time.

We’ve been on a few walks where she sat in the We, and she fell asleep each time within seconds. We even went out a couple of days before Christmas, when it was so snowy, and she was still wonderfully toasty and warm.

I don’t like the idea of the We so much myself, and I mainly resort to our stretchy wrap. (We just bought a cheap one from Amazon with good reviews, rather than an expensive brand name – I didn’t want to shell out too much money until I knew if I liked it!)

I know they can seem a bit intimidating, but we used this tutorial and it’s really not as daunting as it sounds. I can pre-tie most of it and leave it on, then just pop her in as necessary.

We babywear around the house, as it lets me get a lot done! I can do the vacuuming, clean the kitchen, do some cooking, on those days when she really doesn’t want to be put down. She might cry a little as I’m first putting her in, but she quickly falls asleep. The movement as I walk relaxes her, and we both really enjoy being so close to each other.

Babywearing around the house

And, last week, we took our first trips out with the wrap too!

We went to Sainsbury’s, which was brilliant. I was able to use a proper trolley, rather than just trying to balance everything on top of the pram. Also, she slept happily rather than being upset by all the bright lights and starting to wail halfway down the dairy aisle!

Babywearing out and about

Then, emboldened by our success, we used the wrap on our way to baby sensory class! More success!

The class is only a five minute walk away, but the wrap still relaxed her enough that she was fast asleep by the time we got there. And, on the way home, she was wide awake but really enjoyed looking around and chattering away to me.

I know we won’t be able to use the stretchy wrap for too long. You generally hear about 15-20lb as being the upper end of the weight limit before the wrap starts to sag and needs to be retied very regularly.

When she outgrows the stretchy, I’ll probably get a woven wrap. I just love the flexibility of wrapping!

Do you babywear? How do you find it?

Wardrobe Wednesday: pretty in pink

wardrobe Wednesday

I admit, I love buying clothes for my baby girl. She has far too many, probably, but it does mean I don’t need to do laundry multiple times a day! I also get pretty much all of her clothes in the sale. She has a Nana who buys lots of clothes for her as well, so she has a pretty huge wardrobe. Hence, Wardrobe Wednesday.

Here’s one of my favourite outfits from the past week: the vest and pinafore are a set from Marks and Spencer (newborn size, finally fitting now!), and the little bow is from Amazon.

I know she doesn’t really need bows, but it’s a little hair clip, and as her hair is growing so fast, I thought it best to have some clips waiting in case it starts to get in her eyes and annoy her.

The pinafore is velour – so soft, and comes out of the washing machine practically dry already!

Wardrobe Wednesday

Getting baby’s first vaccinations

baby's first vaccinations

Baby is eight weeks old this week. She had her first vaccinations this morning.

I know that vaccinations are a really hot button issue. However, to me, it’s an absolute no-brainer. She will absolutely have every vaccination that we can get her, unless we are advised otherwise by qualified doctors with an extensive knowledge of her medical history.

Why we believe in vaccinations

Put bluntly, I want my daughter to have the best chance at living a long and healthy life. Vaccinating her against life-threatening illnesses is an excellent way to do that.

I struggle enough seeing her strain with hiccups. I can’t imagine 100 days of whooping cough. Have you ever seen or heard a baby suffering with it? I want to limit the suffering she goes through in her life.

The meningitis vaccine wasn’t available when I was a child. A girl I knew at school nearly died from meningitis. She was off school for almost a year. Working with older people, I’ve seen the effects of polio, for example, on people who caught it before the vaccine was available. I don’t want that for my daughter.

I work with and know some people who are immuno-compromised. They cannot have vaccinations. I don’t want to be responsible for my daughter passing a deadly illness onto them.

Our herd immunity is dropping. More and more people opt out of vaccinations nowadays. Maybe it’s because of the falsified MMR study, maybe it’s fear, maybe it’s just because they’re worried about the potential side effects of vaccines, but whatever the reason, we’re getting to a point where society is risking an epidemic of these illnesses again.

I’d far rather a day or two of fever and grouchiness than meningitis, diphtheria or measles.

All of that to say, we intend to follow the NHS vaccination schedule unless told that there’s a reason we shouldn’t.

Our experience

We had a letter a couple of weeks ago, once baby was registered at the doctors. It invited her to come along for vaccinations against:

  • meningitis B
  • rotavirus
  • pneumococcal infections
  • diphtheria
  • tetanus
  • whooping cough (pertussis)
  • polio
  • Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), a bacterial infection that can cause severe pneumonia or meningitis in young children
  • hepatitis B

Phew, that is a lot!

Fortunately, the last six are a combined jab, and rotavirus is oral. So three jabs and one oral syringe. Not too bad!

We turned up there this morning, Calpol in my bag ready to give her afterwards (the MenB jab can cause a fever). The nurse gave her the oral rotavirus one first, which she loved. Then two jabs in one leg and one in the other.

Baby screamed like she was being tortured. Partly because she was hungry, partly because she was cold and had had her legs exposed, and partly because of the injections.

The nurse took me through to the feeding room at the surgery. I fed baby for nearly 45 minutes before we headed home. I gave her Calpol about five minutes after the injections, and it seemed to help. It was her first time trying it and she did love the sweet taste! She can have it every four hours. The nurse said to keep on dosing her throughout the day.

We got home and she slept for a bit, woke up and was giggly (is there such a thing as a Calpol high?) and then suddenly switched to crying and feeling miserable. I think her legs probably ache and feel a bit heavy. So we danced and sang around the living room for a couple of hours. Then I put her in the car seat and we went for a drive to help her sleep.

We’re home now, and she’s lying in her cot, sleeping but whimpering occasionally. Poor baby, I think it’s the first time she’s known discomfort.

But I’d far rather she feel a bit miserable today than that she catch any of the illnesses she’s been vaccinated against. I’m so grateful we live in an era of vaccinations. I’m so grateful to the NHS for providing them to us free at the point of delivery.

Baby sleeps off the discomfort of her first vaccinations

A look back at 2017

2017

Wow. Well, what a year 2017 was! Let’s look back.

I started it with three bunnies in three separate rooms, a husband with a long commute and no baby. Mentally I was doing okay, but a friend had recently passed away and the grief cut deep. (Still does.)

Here’s a look back at some of the big things that have happened this year:

I had a baby!

Obviously my big story of the year. My daughter is nearly eight weeks old and most of 2017 was dominated by my pregnancy and her arrival. Pregnancy wasn’t easy for me, and I struggled a bit both physically and mentally during it. I can honestly say, though, that it’s worth it. She’s lovely and means that, despite any rough patches in 2017, it was overall rather a fabulous year!

Lots of the momentous parts of the year have been as a result of this. Finding out she was on her way, the scans, telling family and friends… She’s made it a really memorable year!

Barbara Rabbit settled in.

She’d only just moved in with us at the start of 2017. She was shy and skittish and uncertain. Now she’s a happy, feisty girl, fiercely bonded to her new brothers. Bonding the three of them has been amazing – I love watching them together.

I turned 30.

I still feel young at heart, though! The concept of turning 30 doesn’t feel so scary now, really.

I started maternity leave.

I’ve worked since I was 16, so taking any serious amount of time off is quite a new concept to me. It’s great, though. Spending my days with the baby, getting to have this chance to bond, is wonderful. I’m already feeling a bit wobbly about having to go back, although I’m committed to doing it for my family.

I started this blog!

It’s a lot of fun.

Let’s see what 2018 brings! Happy new year, everyone.