Hello everyone, so I've been thinking a lot over the past couple of days about how much my life has changed since having the baby, and one thing I keep thinking about is my relationship and the complete change in the dynamic of it. We used to both just be so easy going, I loved to go out and party (still would, given the option), I could go see the girls and go to the gym, you know a few bits of me time? I miss those. And my fella, well, he would do whatever it was he did when I wasn't there, whether that be seeing his friends, his dad, or the other love of his life... his playstation. But we hardly ever argued, we never really had crossed words either, I mean the biggest argument we ever had was when a random dirty old man I'd never even knew existed sent me a dick pic on facebook messenger, and whew was that a doosy of an argument. But we have argued so much since the baby and while they may seem like the smallest arguments, I'm sure anyone who has had a baby or is pregnant will be able to relate to the blind fury that you are filled with when you have these, the deepest, most intimate arguments regarding the tiny human you both co created together. So I thought I'd share them with you.
So without further a due, I present to you, our top 5 arguments we have had in regards to parenting:
#1, The babies sleeping arrangements. Now I know so many people will know exactly what I'm talking about. I'm aware people are under the impression that sleeping arrangements are so straight forward and there is nothing more to it than buying the moses basket you both like, right? WRONG! How much more complicated that 'conversation' becomes when you get a first time mother who is very stubborn and more up to date with horror stories of SIDS and babies suffocating under cot bumpers and an already father set in his ways from past relationships (word of advice, don't say 'I did this with such and such', it will NOT fly with a new relationship never mind a new mother, I'm saving you!). I had visions of the baby sleeping in our lovely grey egg moses basket next to me every night, few cries here and there and that would be the only issue, oh how laughable. My boyfriend was convinced, wholeheartedly, that the baby can sleep in the bed with you. Lets not forget the fact that I birthed a tiny 6lb 14.5oz baby, and my boyfriend is near 6 ft tall and weighs 14 stone. One roll and my baby would be breathing his last breath, sound drastic? No my love, that is reality, and I saw how easy it was for myself one day when he had a nap in our bed, I woke to hear this little noise as we had both dozed off (not that rare an occurrence when you are both surviving on around 3 hours sleep). I woke with a jolt to find my boyfriends arm across our babies face and I had never been so terror stricken in all my life. It isn't his fault, we BOTH dozed off, but that was the moment I decided he wasn't even to nap in our bed because if we got comfy God only knows what could happen. I thought my fella understood but he didn't. I had to repeatedly remind him of his giant man arm almost suffocating our new born! It took me having one giant bitch fit emotional breakdown and tell him that this was literally life and death, and failure to actually follow this one tiny rule would result in our relationship ending. If I feel something isn't safe, all my eggs are in that mother fucking basket! We had what seemed like endless fights over it and I mean at least once a week. I don't give a shit what others do, I don't care how easy it was with others before or even after but my baby aint here for proving a point. So lesson learnt = NO co sleeping, they warn you for a reason, leave your ego at the hospital doors, and your bollocks as well mate because after pushing out the equivalent of a lumpy grapefruit out of your japs eye, you've got NO chance of winning a baby centred argument. We change in there man, accept it or leave.
#2, Tummy Time. Oh for fucks sake, this can of worms again. Right lets get one thing clear, I have ONE baby, and I intend to keep it at ONE for as long as I possibly can. I want me and him to experience every single thing that motherhood and childhood have to offer us. I want him to pass every mile stone with ease, I want him to love it all and don't want him to be behind others feeling left out. Not that it is late enough for all that yet I mean for Gods sake the kid thinks his reflection is another child sitting on my knee? But I decided that we would start tummy time, yes we started it after most probably do, we first did it at around 3 weeks but my baby screamed loud enough to wake Thatcher from her grave and steal kids milk again, honestly. So we stopped for a couple of days, BIG mistake. So I then conversed with a few others about this on facebook, because lets face it, I have a big family and a lot of women with kids on there it's like one giant focus group, everyone has an opinion. The running theme was to keep at it, one even said they stopped due to the same reason and they believe that is why their child didn't crawl until they were about 9 months old thus further hindering their ability to walk for a while longer too. So I told my fella, look, tummy time twice a day every day until he learns. But in my fellas defense our baby has been holding his head up since birth but still not my point. Imagine when the other babies are crawling round and he's lying on his back like a flat headed potato crying because he wants to be picked up, and he's like that through no fault but ours, not on my watch Wally! My fella gave me a fair bit of push back on this as well, but no no, none of that. I hit him with exactly what I just said to you, but he still wasn't ok, he still resisted, and why I don't hear you ask. Because 'he clearly doesn't like it', the baby he meant by the way. The baby also didn't like the bath for a solid 6 weeks, or getting his nappy changed but low and behold here he is bathed with a clean arse. We don't give up in this house matey. about 2 weeks we argued about this on and off, every time I said to the baby 'it's tummy time' all I'd hear is 'Oh here we go, he's about to cry'. Like I know! I live in the same house, I hear the same cry, the only difference is I get it ten times harder because even though I couldn't breastfeed, I still leaked every time he cried like a fucking split Evian bottle. Lets cut a long story short, we stuck to my guns and my fella came around eventually even making the baby do tummy time when it was his morning to get up with him (we take it in turns, I highly recommend it) and after a few weeks he has really taken to it and is brilliant at it and even rolled over for the first time yesterday, which may have been accidental we don't know, but I'm taking it as a win anyway.
#3, Milk, milk, milk. Of all the arguments I think this one ground my gears the most. In the hospital my boy wasn't drinking much at all on the SMA formula, I was awake literally all night with him in the hospital alone the night after I had given birth (3 days no sleep, another thing I HATE and think is completely wrong with the system!). I spoke to a midwife in there on call that night, who after about an hour and half of trying to feed and wind him, told me he had a lot of wind. I don't know about everyone else but my baby squealed until his voice went hoarse, now I know I had only known him for around 24 hours at this point and she had more experience being a midwife than I did being a mother, but I don't know, I felt like after carrying him for 9 months I knew him pretty well. I got her to change it for aptamil and Bob's your uncle he fed! It then took us around a month for me to realise that my baby has reflux, so after much research and to-ing and fro-ing I decided to get him the anti reflux milk. This worked for about a month until he started to get REALLY whingy. He would slam his legs down in the middle of the night in his sleep, he would squeal while he was out for the count and his nappies, oh my life, the nappies. It was the most horrific thing I have ever smelt in my entire life. It smelt like off vinegar, that is the only thing I could compare it to. I'm fast on Google, so after some research it seemed he had a CMPA (cows milk protein allergy), so next day I called the dr who then put us onto some specialised formula. This is where it got REALLY interesting. I was SO excited to try this, I hippidy hopped to the shop and got his milk (lies I made my fella go, because COVID) but he came back with it and I even said to the baby 'look babe we'll try your nice new special magic milk and you'll feel so much better in a couple of days'. I really had high hopes. But when it came to giving him that formula, would he drink it? Would. he. shite! I'd get him taking small amounts but he would push away, then pull in and again, this went on for the entire feed, but I was invested. I really wanted this to work. I'd put up with a few sleepless nights and whingy days if it meant he would get better. Did my fella agree? Did he fuck. Once again the bed situation. I flipped out, because as I said we alternate mornings. So I heard him shouting 'Oh no I'm doing your aptamil mate because you're just whinging with this'. With that I flew down the stairs and the argument ensued. It didn't go too far to be honest, with us it seems to be more it's me telling him off, a small rebuttle but inevitably I win due to my logic, reasoning and proof and his argument being 'it's easier right now this way'. I swear we had the exact same argument at least 4 times until he just flat out gave up and did the same and low and behold, 3 days in he was perfectly fine and eating away.
#4, Let me take the baby out! OK, so I know the whole 'dads are just as important as mums so should get just as much of a say' thing is huge, and yes it's true, but it also isn't. Sorry. I grew him, I birthed him, I gave things up for him because I had his best interest at heart over my own. I mean for Gods sake I'm lactose intolerant and I STILL gulped down milk like it was going out of fashion, because every single medical article I read said how important calcium is for his bones and I wanted him to get the most he possibly could! I still remember the first time he took him out without me, it was only to the bottom shop. HOWEVER, once he had been gone for around 5 minutes the anxiety hit me like a tonne of shivering bricks to the point my best mate had rang me because she knew how I would be. While he was gone, the heavens opened and it started to piss down. I'm walking round the kitchen, I'm checking the windows I'm opening and closing the door. She starts laughing 'this could only happen to you' then the rain went off, and just as quick as it went off, it started again! then I heard thunder and then BOOM lightening. I shit you not there was an actual storm at the time. I put the phone down to ring my fella and just as I went to ring I saw him outside so I ran through the house and flung that door open as if he had an army behind him ready to steal my child (that's how I felt). I dragged the pram off him and ran it in the house. NO RAIN COVER! I knew he would forget something bloody important. So I flipped out yet again, first argument as a mum. He thought it was funny 'I was only going the shop, I didn't know it would rain did I, calm down' he said laughing it off. Little did he know in those 15 minutes he was gone I had every scenario run through my head that would involve me no longer having a baby. In my head he hadn't made it to the shop, he had hit a snag walking down the road, a wheel had come off the pram and my baby had inadvertently rolled slap bang into the middle of the road where a stranger had grabbed him and thus running away with my child. That's right! He didn't know that 8 of those 15 minutes he was gone I had sat on the couch crying and mourning the loss of my baby? So it came as NO shock when COVID came about that I instantly said a big fat no to him taking him ANYWHERE. The numbers were rising, the government were failing and you think I'm going to risk my baby catching this because you want him to get air, dirty air, ARE YOU CRAZY? The first time I took him out during this I argued with my fella the majority of the time for forcing us out against our will like some kind of crazed reverse kidnapper. My boyfriend is a good dad, a hands on dad, but you can't see this virus and I'll be damned if I let you take my baby out and him get infected all because I wouldn't say no. and Yes, before anyone asks I have said these words to him. His return argument was to accuse me of calling him a potential murderer. I know I sound completely over the top and paranoid but trust me, until you are stuck with a new born in the middle of a global pandemic, in the most incompetently run country, run by a group of people who seem to be fuelled by nothing more than lies, money and corruption, you will not understand my panic. These arguments are still on going now as my boyfriend is deeply into conspiracies, he's blamed everything from 5G to the media for this virus, basically everything but what it is actually supposed to be. Whereas I have a mother who works in the hospital and a best friend who works on a COVID ward so I know the darkness of this. My word will be final on this, we have basically agreed to go on a walk every 2nd or 3rd day and so far it's working for us.
#5, I don't need a break! Oh me oh my, I can at least agree that this one is about 80% me. Since being pregnant my hormones and metal state have taken some what of an erratic turn. Seriously I used to be such a switched on, together, competent, independent woman. At least on the outside. It is as if over night I turned into this crazy, deranged, anxious, paranoid, clingy she demon from the depths of hell. Honestly. One of my friends thinks I have post natal anxiety and in all honesty she is probably right, I looked it up and I tick every single box, or at least I did. My fella bless him, we agreed that if I started showing signs of any kind of mental illness related to pregnancy or the baby then we would go to the doctors absolutely no questions asked. But what do you do when the health visitor and midwives don't come round any more? What do you do when they don't even call because COVID is a great excuse? What would YOU do if it was drummed into your freshly hormonal mind, that if you left the house even once you could land your entire family in a coffin? Would you go to the doctors to talk about your feelings? Because I didn't. I faced a complete lock in and not only in reality but also in my mind, and does actual reality even count if your mind is living in a world filled with fear and panic anyway? I don't think so. So when my boyfriend would ask to take the baby for a walk or tell me 'I've got him babe you go for a sleep you look tired', all I hear is 'you're incompetent' 'you look a mess go away from us' or 'if we ever break up I'll be using this against you in court' because I have known it to happen and yes my mind did go there. Unless you have any kind of PND or PNA you will not understand, I'm sorry if that makes you think I'm being a bitch but trust me this thought process is NOT something you want to be a part of. Any time he would ask me to take a break I would physically shout at the man. I would be like a breakdown repeating over and over every single time he told me to get some sleep or take a few minutes. He told me to do my hair once, in the nicest way bless him and he would have the baby downstairs because God forbid he took him out, and honestly what ensued was, in hindsight, the most unnecessary argument I think I have ever caused to date. Him caring for me almost resulted in us breaking up because in my dishevelled head what I heard HIM say was 'go sort your hair out you look an absolute show, I don't find you attractive, I've never loved you and the baby doesn't need you he's got me'. I blew that shit UP! Any time he asked if I needed a break or nudged me in that direction the arguments would ensue. It honestly got to the point where if he went to ask me I'd see him ramping himself up for the argument that was about to break out, but after some time and some returning to my sanity I have relaxed about it a lot and come to realise that you know what, sometimes I DO need a break. We all do. Full time mum doesn't mean staying awake every single second of my life on the off chance the baby moves and I miss it. Life doesn't work that way and in a funny way it has taken me having a baby to see that I can actually relax.
I just wanted to put this one out there for all of the couples going through, or about to go through a really tough time. Arguing is healthy and you know what, if we can survive some of the shite we have argued about you can get through anything life has to throw at you. Really, people prepare you for the shitty nappies, they talk constantly about your pelvic floors and stretch marks, they tell you about the lot of it, but NO ONE and I mean absolutely no one seems to tell you about the strain it most definitely will put on your relationship. It will make you both tougher and more resilient but oh my goodness, it will make the ugliest sides of you both become magnified some days and guess what, there is absolutely nothing you can do about it. So don't hide it, let that freak flag fly and you never know, it just might go your way.
May the odds ever be in your favour.
Stay safe and don't be a stranger.