We’re two weeks into the family of four and we’re still adjusting.
Daughter has shown a good interest and care of the new boy – she wants to see him when she wakes up and say good night when she goes to bed which is great to see.
She’s not as impressed with her parents though, and is giving us a hard time, pushing and testing her boundaries and inventing excuses if we upset her by telling he off..
Three examples of our daughters’ imganiation:
- “You made me sad because you helped me too much on the climbing frame”
Real cause of sadness: She wanted to stay at the playground but it was time to go home
- “Daddy made me sad because he wouldn’t let me brush my teeth”
Real cause of sadness: She refused to brush her teeth herself so I did it.
- “I’m sad because Mummy wouldn’t let me get dressed”
Real cause of sadness: Wifey told her off for not getting dressed
We thought daughter might have a problem with the boy and direct anoyance and frustration at him, but didn’t expect us to be at the receiving end so much. She seems to love him and now regularly tells us that we make her sad which is really hard to hear. We have to keep reminding ourselves that she’s only 4 and is trying to process some complex emotions.
Now that our lovely boy is here I’m going to catchup on a few posts about how he got here. As this one is titled, it’s about making babies. Turn away now if you don’t want to read about depression and sex.
Still here? Weirdo. Anyway…. You’d have thought that making a baby would signal good times for a dad who is depressed.
Lots of sex with wifey – what’s not to love?!
Unfortunately it wasn’t that simple. Here’s a list why:
- Anxiety. When I’m having a bad day I don’t like myself very much, and when I feel like that I find it even harder to think that anyone else likes me. This doesn’t put me in the mood for sexy times.
- Rising to the occasion. The medication I take on a daily basis makes it pretty hard to get hard and stay hard. This makes making babies tricky.
- The finale. If I can overcome point one, and manage to beat point two, the most challenging problem is that the medication knocks out a lot of sensation in the old chap, and getting him to complete the job is almost impossible.
- Points 2 and 3 amplify point 1.
It took about 18 months from “yes, let’s make a baby” to “we’re having a baby”. Those were a long 18 months. How we did it:
- Regular discussions with a GP who gave me confidence to be honest and frank about the whole situation.
- Trying Viagra. Didn’t do anything but did make us laugh about what to expect!
- Lots of sex. Sounds obvious but when ever the time was right we’d give it our best shot.
- Not strictly monitoring the time of the month – checking precisely when wifey was most fertile added more pressure to perform and ended up being counter productive.
- Varying medication – when we knew roughly which week would be best to conceive I’d lower my dosage so the physical effects of the drugs weren’t so strong. It meant the mental effects of my mood and anxiety were stronger but we’d work together and try and overcome those – there was no overcoming the physical side effects of the drug.
So if you’re depressed about being depressed and its holding you back from having a baby, PLEASE don’t loose hope. It might feel impossible but it can happen. Talk to your GP (with your partner if that helps) and keep trying different things, both physical and mental. And enjoy the intimacy and love of trying as much as you can.
There’s only one main difference between having a boy baby compared to a girl baby so far that I’m certain every other parent can relate to – the contents of their nappy.
The anatomical differences are more challenging than I expected, after spending four years getting used to cleaning up female parts (which took some getting used to), I am now faced with a tiny willy and balls to look after.
Here are my top four differences I’m faced with when dealing with tiny boy parts:
- Willy’s are dangerous, keep that thing covered at all times!
- Wiping a willy with a cold wipe often encourages more wee to clean up.
- Cleaning up is always uncomfortable for the chaps little chap, a cold wipe is never appreciated by the boy and he cries every time.
- Whereas I was used to being careful not to get poo into places it shouldn’t, I now spend ages chasing poo around places it shouldn’t, and the miniature jewels really get in the way, it’s far more fiddly. I have some appreciation for women who first encounter this set of features and wonder what the hell they’re meant to do with them.
Our family is all together. We’d made plans for daughter To stay with a cousin for a few nights once labour began, and yesterday daughter and son met for the first time, and today everyone was back home together.
Daughter was deliciously excited when she first met her new brother, but also still quite nervous. She’d want to look and study him, but didn’t want to touch.
Now that everyone’s home she’s grown in confidence. She’s given him a cuddle and keep “checking on him” in his Moses basket and reporting back the he’s awake or asleep (mostly asleep so far) and just gets on with things. So far he hasn’t made much of an impact, we did the same things we’d normally do, but with a sleeping baby in the room. When wifey wasn’t feeding him she was sleeping, and I think daughter is missing mummy time a lot – it’s still going to be a while yet until things sort themselves out below enough for her to crawl around on the floor with daughter playing.
Things got interesting at bath time when the boy had his first full wash down. He didn’t like it one bit and began crying. The girl looked utterly bewildered and shocked by this horrible noise and backed away involuntarily saying “I don’t like it, whys he making that noise?!?” She got a little upset and kept asking for it to stop. We explained how everything was new and strange for the baby, and he didn’t understand what was goi g on and crying is pretty much all he can do if he’s confused or doesn’t like something. We also tried to explain that there’s probably be lots more to come, but it’s ok, she doesn’t need to worry, mummy and daddy will look after him and make sure he’s ok.
She later told wifey she didn’t like the baby wants him to go away. I was expecting her to come out with that at some point, but not when he was less than a week old!
I’ve made it through another delivery, and I think I feel ok.
This time it was quite different. Here are ten things I recognised:
- Number 2 was much faster, within 24 hours of the first contraction we were back home with a new baby.
- It was much calmer, there was just a midwife and her student there which was a much nicer experience, and there were far, far less complications.
- Less blood. This time it felt more normal, I can still remember how much blood there was before, it still frightens me.
- I didn’t think wifey’s life was in danger this time, that was a massive bonus (though there was a moment I feared for the boy)
- It wasn’t so overwhelming, I knew I could deal with this, and that wifey could too.
- I actually felt a little bit useful this time as I wasn’t as freaked out and could offer better emotional and physical support.
- We hadn’t met the delivery midwife before, but that was ok because she was awesome, and so was her colleague who took over shortly after we arrived. I think it’s a fair generalisation that most midwives are awesome.
- For wifey, if your body isn’t totally butchered below in delivery, it gives you a much better start to being a mum.
- The boy was massive, I was ready for being in awe of his frail tiny newborn babyness, but you could absolutely tell he was overdue and ready for the world.
- I was quite conscious of my anxiety, but had the foresight to take a maximum does of medication in the morning and managed to keep on top of it.
All in all a good start all th get considered. Here we go…
And so we wait.
Tick follows tock follows tick….
No baby. Our lives continue to be perched on the edge of the newborn abis.
Feeling pretty nervous about it now. Last night I read through some of my post from this time four years ago in 2012, I’d forgotten how tough it was, it Got me quite scared about what’s coming.
Reading through the old posts, I do talk about how a lot is down to confidence, and I certainly have a lot more of that now which is a good thing.
I’m hoping it’s a bit like learning to drive – when you first get behind the wheel you can’t imagine how you’re going to be able steer, change gear, accelerate, check mirrors… do all those things together… it all feels overwhelming. But slowly and surely things come together and before too long you’re not thinking about the basics which first flumaxed you, there are bigger things to worry about, like switching lanes on the north circular to make your exit while avoiding being cut up by white van man. And even when you haven’t driven for a while and have to pick up a hire car, you soon get the hang of it.
Daughter got some lip balm in a stick for her birthday and it’s making her feel very grown up.
Mummy, I need it to look pretty
Daughter, you always look pretty, you don’t need that to look pretty.
Not when I’m grumpy mummy, I don’t look pretty when I’m grumpy
She’s got a point….
Baby is over due. We’re fed up.
Today I felt a bit like a single dad as it was a mostly daddy and daughter day. We had a good time though, we went to the park round the corner, had a ride on her scooter, she ate a good lunch (the healthy carrots and tomatoes had to be bribed with wotsits) and we planned dominoes and did some reading.
But I worry about her relationship with wifey as they’re not able to play together much and that could be the case for some time, more out of time than the current physical difficulty when the Boy arrives.
I feel very conscious of wanting to make the most of the current situation where I can easily give the Girl my undivided attention, and I fear how I’m going to manage sharing myself between them very shortly.
This pregnancy seems to be all about waiting.
For months we waited to see if this month would be the one, and for months we were disappointed.
The midwife appointments gave us more things to worry and wait for – bump is too big, test after test to rule out all the nasty possible causes.
Them waiting and waiting to get in the right position, before giving up and having him forcibly turned, and then waiting to check he hadn’t wriggled back…
And nOw he’s overdue and we wait. They tried a sweep today and that didn’t work, things weren’t properly aligned. So again we wait.
Baby continues to grow.
And we wait.