Dr Google

Paranoid parenting strikes again… I started typing in to Google this morning as Bimp has a wheezy cough. And google did that thing where your previous searches come up. I realised with some horror, I have come to rely on Google to raise and at times diagnose my child… Previous searches include:

The Baby Whisperer
Tracy Hogg
Baby Ear Infection
Baby screaming on back
How long can I keep baby in a car seat
Apple and Banana Cake
Feeding Baby Evaporated Milk
Medical Advice Baby Cold
Rand Farm
Baby Activities Lincolnshire
Ball Pit
SIDS
Toddle Truck
Rockabye Baby
Capybara
Fluffy Spiderman Pyjamas
Mother and Baby Magazine
What Should I Buy a One Year Old
Controlled Crying
Gina Ford
Katie Hopkins and Peaches Geldof
Meningitis Symptoms
Puddle Ducks Swimming
Baby on Board Badge
Calpol

And thats just the last six weeks…

The Birth Plan

The Birth Plan. The what? I looked cluelessly at my midwife. Honestly, I had no idea. I didn’t even know such a thing existed. A Birth Plan? Hmmm, like “waters break, contractions start, take drugs, have baby. Preferably in fifteen minutes”?

Apparently not.

Once she realised I genuinely didn’t know what she was talking about, she started to explain. A Birth Plan covers all your options. Where would you like to have the baby? erm, in hospital with as many qualified people surrounding me as possible. Had I considered a home birth? erm, no. I live in a tiny rented flat with very thin walls. My loud, shouty, next door neighbours may look even more disapprovingly at me after they’ve listened to 12 hours of contractions. You could consider a maternity unit rather than a full up labour ward? er…. I looked blankly at her again; at which point, I think she became pretty convinced that I was either stoned or stupid or just badly prepared (the last of which was spot on). Maternity unit – straight forward births, no complications, often attached to main hospitals where you’ll go if complications develop, no epidurals available. Labour ward – for complicated births and drugs. There’s far more to it obviously but you get the gist.

Perhaps you ought to go away and have a think about the options. There’s a sheet in your maternity notes to write your birth plan on. There is? Oh, yes, I see, there it is. On page 9 of the notes I haven’t read. Look at all those options.

A water birth. In a mini warm swimming pool. That sounds nice. With music. Of my choice. What would I want bump to emerge to? Perhaps an opera, La Boheme? A bit tragic. Maybe… Don Giovanni? maybe not.

What else? Hypno birthing. Hypno what? seriously? Yes, apparently. And for those who got the practice in and understood it far better than I did, apparently it was quite helpful.

Use of drugs? Would I want to go a bit earth mother and try and do this without drugs? Or would I want to have an epidural from the moment I arrived* until the bump was, oh, eighteen and financially independent? Well, hey, I’ve been through some pretty tough stuff so you know I’ll give it a shot without but if the consultant thinks I need drugs (or I begin weeping) then perhaps I’ll take some gas and air (ha!)

Who is your birth partner? Do you plan to use a doula? Again, I had to turn to Dr Google. Who knew a doula could be available on the NHS! A great idea and a thousand pent up, nervous husbands breathe a collective sigh of relief.

So at my next appointment, I presented my Birth Plan to my midwife, not without a little pride in this complete work of fiction I had created. She read down, nodding. This looks great, she said. But I need to warn you. Birth is a complex and long process and lots of variables can change throughout. While I see you’ve gone for the hypo birthing, whale song, water birth, I should warn you not to hang your hopes on it entirely. Yes, it may well happen like this. But if things change, then you will need to be flexible. A lot of women often feel they have failed if the birth doesn’t go how they wanted it to go. You haven’t, its just the team around you need to change the plan to ensure you and bumps health. Wise words as it turned out.

*note to self, “from the moment I arrived” was what I expected. It got explained to me once in hospital that that wasn’t quite how it worked.

The Dad Bounce

Bored?

Conduct a small social experiment.

Give your baby to a male friend. Not permanently. Just a short term loan.
What does the chap do?

If he starts a gentle but rhythmical bounce (think Beyonce in ‘All the Single Ladies’ but perhaps with less twerking), he’s a dad.

If he freezes, looks slightly terrified and then grins at you as if to say ‘yes, I’m done now’, he’s not. Bless him. Smile beautifically, retrieve the baby and promise you’ll never do it to him again.

Today its just not happening

Just about awake after my second cup of builders this morning. Child has so far played on the play gym, bashed the plastic teether repeatedly on the plastic drum for half an hour, bounced himself silly in the jumparoo, drunk his milk, regurgitated his milk, eaten his breakfast or at least most of the ella’s kitchen baby banana brekkie that didn’t end up on the floor, himself or me, and is now beginning to whine for sleep. In the five minutes I now have before whining becomes a tantie, I need to wash my hair (to remove banana, if nothing else), dress (in whatever I reach for first in the wardrobe while simultaneously trying to ensure child doesn’t roll off bed), pack the Go Pack with nappies, wipes, muslins, milk, food, spoon, more wipes, nappie bags, teething gel, calpol, dummy, sudocream, antibacterial hand stuff, more wipes and a toy. And a blanket. And possibly a Mack because it looks like it may rain. And a woolly hat, shoes, mittens and a hoodie because the temperature dropped over night. And a teat for the bottle of milk. And more wipes.

And then leave the house.
And then go back to the house to pick up your wallet.
And phone.
And car keys.

Sir Ken Robinson