12 Months of Robyn

 

Happy 1st Birthday little Goblin.

It been a whirlwind of a year! Cant quite believe Robs has been with us for 12 months, feels like she’s always been here smiling away and yet its also gone incredibly fast. The 12 months have been one massive adventure of learning, playing and developing. From being a “little dipper” to a one year old that waves at everyone possible, charms everyone she meets, barks at dogs and calls everything “BA” or “mumumumum” its been incredible.

There are the challenges such as lack of sleep at the start and losing your independence a bit but you forget about it all when they smile at you. Below are some facts I wish I had known before having Robs ¬†and pictures of her over the past 12 months, some iphone shots in there too ūüôā

  • The pregnancy bit –

So the hardest part I found about this is the part that no one tells you, if you are use to your independence the moment you announce the news to friends and family you become a bit like an object. People mean well but I found it odd that before my doctors appointments were private, suddenly the world and his wife want to know when they are, what happened at them and when your next one is! It was nice of people but at the same time you feel like a circus attraction.

Invest in at least one pair of maternity jeans (you will probably live in them for the first month after baby arrives!) and one maternity bra, yep there is certainly a gap in the market for pretty maternity bras! Its like someone decided,  your a mum, time to disappear and blend into the background with no style.

Dont spend the whole time worrying about what you have drank or eaten, as long as your not downing shots like a student on freshers week and eat healthy and get regular excercise baby will be fine, happy mum, happy baby.

Antenatal Classes – mildly horrifying and I think if they sent couples to these before you got pregnant to hear all the gory details of labour then you wouldn’t go near your partner ever again! Also if you walk in and there are dolls all over the seats, don’t put it on the floor to sit down, you will be met with a stern look and told to pick your “baby” up off the floor and hold it properly. Wouldn’t advise throwing the fake nappies at each other either, swear they where noting down our details for social services.

Hospital Bag – Don’t be a moron like me and pack like you are going away for a romantic weekend! Your future stitched up sweaty bloody self will want to cry when they discover after labour that you have packed lacy thongs (just the thought of stitches and lace together is wrong), makeup and delicate pretty expensive dressing gowns instead of comfy pyjamas that you won’t mind ruining.

Write that birthing plan, just don’t expect anyone to ever read it. I wrote one which consisted of get baby out safe, you are best to go in with no expectations than this as lets face it thats their job. I would have loved the thought of a birthing pool but was realistic that I was not in charge and just figured that I should go with the flow as it will all be over and done with in 24 hours….or 52 in my case.

When you phone the hospital to say you are in labour, they won’t take you seriously until you are doubled over your car bonnet in agony. At that point its time to go in, before then they will probably encourage your to stay at home and sleep…….not gonna happen!

Take up the offer of a bath in the hospital, its the best thing ever.

Leave your dignity at the door, luckily you are unlikely to see these people again and by the time your 8 cm you will no longer care!

  • Baby is here! Yay what now?! –

Google became my best friend. I remember everyone leaving me on my own on the first night on the ward with her and looking at this tiny alien watching me. The whole time thinking when are the adults going to come and help with this and asking google every question under the sun. “Can newborns choke on their sick?” “What can they see?””Why is baby crying?” “Why doesn’t baby liked bathed?” “Why is baby still crying?” “How long can one person survive on no sleep?!” “Can you die from lack of sleep?”.

Avoid those hospital shower full length mirrors, they are just mean and must be distorted!

There nothing quite like having a baby scream at the sight of your naked body in the shower to help your self esteem. Scott tried to convince me it was just my wet hair scared her….I have my doubts, the look of horror said it all!

Try and get out walking every day, I started as soon as I got out of hospital, yeah its sore, yeah my body just felt broken but it got us in a good routine each day of just being out and about. Plus she slept most of the time and think it got Robs understanding the difference between night and day better.

The colic at night time and the 4am feeds will soon become a distant memory, I remember looking out the window thinking the rest of the world was asleep and it was just me and her and its a lovely feeling knowing this little person depends completely on you. Yes its tiring, yes you will be so tired the days feel like they blur into one, but it doesn’t last long so try and make the most of it because weirdly enough you will miss them when its time to go in their own room and sleep through the night …..its ok though as they will be up again at 7am.

I don’t have any advice on night time routines, Robs started sleeping well from about 5weeks old and I can’t pin point anything special we did, she has always been mixed fed which maybe helped but apart from that I can’t even say we had a good routine as she would get dragged around with us and our busy lives.

Once baby is here give up on dark coloured tops for a while, baby will choose to decorate it for you!

It would take me ages to get Robyn to go for a nap, only for me to sneeze and she would wake up with a fright and start crying….good times.

Robyn hated baths as a newborn, she loved them in the sink for some reason!

I was like a crazy person for the first 6 months, I was convinced someone would steal her! This included worrying that someone would come in an steal her from the house so always locked every door. I also had this irrational thought that she would disappear or that I left her a service station on our many trips and spent a lot of time checking the back seat of the car¬†convinced she would somehow disappear between Southwaite and Tebay services despite not stopping!…

Asda home delivery in your first few weeks is your friend.

The pressure build up inside them of shit is unreal, the fact it could reach up to the back of her shoulder blades was impressive.

Try the baby groups. I hated the thought of these and remember the feeling of wanting to cry at my first one when she was 3 weeks old thinking is this my life now. Give them a go, it takes time to adjust but I have met some great mates in my first steps group who I see every second day now and would have gone insane without these girls. Between the 12 of them there are some amazing characters. Some of them are so inspirational, from the one who travels the world with her three kids and was also the last one standing after our first night back out drinking, to the one I met who felt the same as me and missed her life in the west end of going out and freedom (was nice to realise I wasn’t the only one who didn’t fit into the mum mould). ¬†I have been very lucky to have some good best friends too who have been a permanent fixture throughout my time being pregnant (even flying home from new york early with me) and new life with Robs.

Take them swimming as soon as possible, Robs now loves swimming and its lovely family time.

Babies sound like tiny walkers/ predator at night in the dark. Their breathing and raspy noises are quite scary to try and fall asleep too.

Good luck with trying to watch your favourite tv shows within the first 6 months, unless you can lip read. Robyn had an uncanny radar for knowing when Humans was about to start and would kick off right through it. (She also did the same through her uncles much loved new star wars movie night, only falling asleep as the end credits started.)

Even when you do manage to fall asleep get used to waking in sheer panic throwing the covers around and shoving your partner out of bed convinced the baby is in there somewhere with you….Robyn is one and I STILL have been known to do this. Scared my roommate half to death in Paris shouting “where is she!where is she!” in the middle of the night convinced Robyn was in the bed.

Its amazing I didn’t loose weight faster, Robyn would wait until our dinner was ready and wake up and scream until one of us gave up and played with her. Lost count of the amount of cold super noodle lunches I had in the early days. Used to sometimes balance plates on her back to try and eat lunch as she wouldn’t let me put her down.

Your clothes are a game to them, see what area they can cover in sick that isn’t in your vision.

Hold off getting a mummy hair cut, tempting when at 4 months old not only does your hair fall out but baby will enjoy pulling out fistfuls of whatever is left.

Invest in a jumparoo….best invention EVER! Along with the bottle maker this two things have been the best buys.

By the time they are 6 months old its like living with a tiny pyscho path. Its unpredictable, you can’t comprehend what it will do next. From trying to hurt itself at every opportunity to full force smacking you in the face when you least expect it.

The illusion of having your sleeping baby calmly cosied up to you in bed is a myth, its like trying to sleep with a tiny bully kicking you and punching you in the face and squirming.

Your time is no longer your own, and you will get used to not being able to go to the bathroom by urself anymore. Theres ALWAYS  a tiny set of eyes watching you.

Get travelling! Those trips you always wanted to go on, do it now! We took Robyn to London when she was 5 weeks old and she was no problem, and at 7 months we flew to Thailand for my brothers wedding. She had a ball. yes there where challenging moments, the last flight she was tired and kicked off a bit but wasn’t surprising after 22 hours of travel, the rest of the time she watched Dora the explorer and flirted with all the air hostess. Keeping their skin safe from the sun is hard work but so many more pros, she swam every day, watched the sea and waves, loves eating out in restaurants (home dinners she finds so dull now) and could not get enough of all the lights and music in the bars. The bonus of babies at this age is she can’t crawl yet so she slept in the basinette on the flight and was very content to be in her buggy on long walks during the evenings.

Robs has completely broken me, from someone that rarely cried before and couldn’t really stand to be in the same room as a baby now the premature baby pampers advert has me in tears! Its like she opened the flood gates and now anything baby related has me in tears…BROKEN!

We are far from perfect parents, we don’t have a fantastic routine we stick too or anything but we have tried to keep doing the same things we used to and just bring Robs with us. She came up to knock hill when she was 2 weeks old, flew for the first time at 5 weeks, went swimming at 8 weeks old etc The main thing is I try and just be relaxed about stuff with her, yeah she’s hard work but also great fun. I try not to be scared of doing things like eating out, or going to festivals or traveling with her and she has always loved doing whatever we are doing. We have had a few nightmare situations, the car breaking down ¬†in the snow for hours and no spare food was not good and going out walking ¬†only for it to start hale stoning a mile from the car was also not a highlight. Despite all the craziness it has also been the happiest time ever. To quote my brother “she is the happiest little sprog in the world” and I am convinced she is a little old soul. Its the oddest thing having something that loves you more than anything (sometimes think she does prefer dogs and her toy sophie and Peas the rabbit) and as they start to smile and babble nonsense it gets even nicer. I was so happy before but Robs has brought a whole new level of happiness I didn’t even think was possible, I can’t wait to see what the next 12 months will bring….even if it does consist of my entire wardrobe and floors being covered in yogurt, scrambled eggs, or what ever she has decided to decorate the place in.

(The photos below are not a true representation of what having a baby is like, however I didnt think photos of my messy trashed house, Robs covered in food or other stuff or me in my mum uniform of oversized jumpers and leggings would be quite so interesting on the blog!)

7 Days old and already first party, her uncles 30th in the West End.
2 weeks old and up to knock hill
Photos below taken by good friend and talented photographer Victoria Lamburn.