The last few weeks have been MENTAL! I’ve been so busy with one thing or another it’s gone by like a blur so apologies for the lack of posts lately – I will aim to do better in the future!
So here’s a recap of what Mama Bear and Baby Bear have been up to the last couple of weeks:
We FINALLY got the call to invite us on the five week course from the children’s centre (and just in the nick of time if you’ve read my Protesting post!) which I signed up to as soon as Jack was born so getting on the course was super exciting.
Baby massage is designed to help soothe and comfort your baby, as well as create a strong bond, plus its suppose to help them sleep better and help alleviate wind, colic and cold symptoms – there’s some information about it on the NCT website if you want to learn a bit more: https://www.nct.org.uk/parenting/baby-massage
So anyway, now that Jack is a bit bigger, I wasn’t sure how he would get on with having a massage but so far, so good! The first week we learnt a foot and leg routine and Jack pretty much just laid there and let me do it. He’s quite a chilled out little guy anyway but he seemed to enjoy it – he didn’t cry and fell asleep on the way home so I assume I did a good job.
Last week we worked on the tummy area and Jack was a bit more restless. He kept wanting to see what was going on in the rest of the room so I let him sit up and watch everyone else. As we were working on the tummy zone, I had to take his nappy off to do it which was fine except he’s started wanting to stand up quite a lot as well lately and sitting just wasn’t cutting it. Trying to force a slippery oiled up squirming child to lay down or sit without causing a scene is very difficult so at one point, he was just standing stark naked in front of everyone, giggling. Such an exhibitionist! Mind you, another mother was having a similar problem with her son – must be a boy thing!
As well as our baby massage course, we have also started swimming lessons too ( I told you we’ve been busy!)
I think that learning to swim should be up there with talking, reading and writing in terms of how important it is as a life skill and I believe that the younger you can learn to do it, the better.
I had swimming lessons as a child both in school and as an extra after school activity and, although I’m not a particularly fast or strong swimmer anymore, being in the deep end of a pool doesn’t phase me in the slightest. James, however, is not very confident in water and although he is getting better the more we go, it is a skill which in hindsight, he wishes he had learnt as a child. Neither of us wanted that for Jack; we want him to feel confident in the water and know instinctively what to do should (God forbid) he ever fell into a pool or river or something like that.
As soon as Jack had his last set of jabs, I researched local swim schools and found one which used the hydrotherapy pool in our local leisure centre. Unlike many of the other swim schools in the area which charge extortionate amounts (particularly the franchises like Puddle Ducks and WaterBabies), this one, Bubbles Swim School, was more reasonable at £10 a week (for a 30min lesson) and was in walking distance so I thought we would give it ago.
Jack loved it. He just took it all in his stride and wasn’t even phased with his (controlled) submersion. The teacher Zoe is brilliant with the children and uses toys in the water as something for the babies to focus on, sings nursery rhymes and uses repetitive control words so that the babies know to prepare themselves (such as, “Jack. Ready. Go” – and I dribble water down his face, or “Jack. Ready. Hold.” – and I encourage him to hold onto the side of the pool). We are in the pool with them the entire time but there’s no use of arm bands or inflatable seats which some people pull a funny face when I tell them that. They are obviously good things to have maybe if you are taking your baby swimming as a family or with older children, or going on holiday but the point of the swimming lesson is that they learn to to it on their own so I think it’s a good thing not to have them in a controlled environment.
The swimming part wasn’t the bit that I was most nervous about however, it was the logistics of how to get us both dried and changed in potentially a very small cubicle (because on busy days the family change cubicles fill up quickly!) – but, I made sure we were organised so we managed with no problems!
I’m really looking forward to going again next week!
A few hours after Jack’s first swimming lesson, he started coughing, sounded all congested and suddenly became very snotty. I think it’s pretty normal for children to hate having their runny noses wiped and nasal drops applied but even though I know he needs it done, I hate making Jack upset! It makes me feel like I’m a bad Mummy!
Anyway, he’d had a bit of a cold the previous week but it had pretty much teetered off so I’d gone ahead with swimming anyway but now I wondered if I’d made the wrong decision. The congestion seemed to clear when he coughed but I was thinking all sorts -what if maybe he was allergic to the chlorine or if I hadn’t gotten him dried and dressed quick enough and he had a chill, or what if he had secondary drowning from being dunked? Is that possible?! A million things that I could have done wrong went through my mind.
We had planned to go to the Warner Brother Harry Potter Studios the following day for my Dad’s birthday surprise so I was panicking that we’d have to cancel that as well… I was all flustered and worried!
It got to about 11pm when Jack woke up really upset and his cough sounded a lot worse so I thought I’d ring NHS Direct for some advice. They got someone to ring me back from the local MedOcc and they suggested that I bring him in for a check just to be on the safe side but the next available appointment was at 1.30AM! The lady doctor examined him (Jack had woken up by then and was giggling at her – he’s such a flirt!) and thinks he has an upper respiratory virus which should go within 2 weeks but that providing he was happy in himself, we would be fine to go out as planned. Phew!
When we got back to the waiting room, there were another two mummies with their children waiting to be seen and this sort of “knowing” look of sympathy went between us all – we were all there at stupid o’clock and beyond tired for the same reason in that we were worried about our little bear cubs!
My friend Kate and I discovered that on a weekend morning for only £2 we could watch a children’s film at Cineworld and bring the babies along too!
So we thought we’d give it a go and suprisingly made it through the entire thing! We did anticipate having to leave if the babies started screaming but they were very good. Obviously they didn’t understand the film but they were fascinated by the bright colours, lights and sounds and Jack was particularly interested in the projector light.
It’s nice that the cinema offers screenings like this where noone cares if your child cries or talks – definitely going to go again!
Sunday started off well – we went to our second protest about the children’s centres ( a protest picnic at Rochester Castle which was a brilliant turn out, there were hundreds of people!) and then we went to our friends for lunch to meet their new baby. She is absolutely gorgeous, like a little doll, and so light! Jack weighs over a stone now so it was mad thinking he once weighed the same – everything over the last five months have gone so quickly.
Then the little thing happened.
Somewhere between lifting Jack out of his buggy and bring him into the house, he scratched the side of his nose (I think with his nail even though I’d only just cut them) and it started bleeding.
It’s quite a shock when you turn around and suddenly your baby has blood running down their face. I was a bit like “Oh!” but knew that it was just a scratch and nothing to worry about. That is unless it’s still bleeding 5 hours later!
I thought it would stop by itself quite quickly but it didn’t. It was more of an ooze than free flowing but was dripping down his face so we has tissues trying to stop it. Of course Jack kept trying to rub it as well so blood was getting every where and it was all a bit of a mess.
When we got home, it was about 2 hours since the scratch and it was showing no sign of stopping so we rang 111 again. We were starting to get a bit worried – why wasnt his blood clotting? Does he have some horrible anti-blood clotting disease we don’t know about?! They suggested we tried pressure on it for a full 10 mins – which is a feat in itself as holding down a baby’s nose for a long period of time whilst they wiggle and scream is very difficult. In the end we had to make what was effectively a straight jacket out of a blanket and distract Jack by playing Peppa Pig on the phone!
When that still didn’t work (we are nearing 4 hours by that point) we rang them back up and so they suggested A&E. Feeling stupid but still concerned off to the hospital we went.
We were pretty much laughed out.
In fairness we were seen within 5 mins which was very good but the Doctor just took one look at him and said “It’s just a scratch, it will stop by itself but you have to leave it”. She then smiled at us and quite sarcastically went “First time parents?!” Well talk about making us feel stupid lady! We were only going on the advice of NHS Direct to come in anyway and then she told us that ringing them is as stupid as Googling symptoms.
So we left feeling embarrassed, stupid, £2 lighter (damn parking charges) and with a baby covered in blood all down his face, alarming people as we walked by. We were also pretty annoyed by the doctor’s comments.
We know it was just a scratch but you don’t expect it to still be bleeding such a long time after the incident and so what if we are first-time parents? I would rather go to the hospital a thousand times and there be nothing wrong than not go the one time when there is. Grrrr!
Eventually the bleeding did stop but we did have to put Jack to bed looking quite gross!
So very busy as you can see! Sorry for such a long blog post today – well done if you made it to the end!!!