Tuesday, 26 April 2016

10 Things I've Learned As A New Daddy This Week (Part 11)

1. Mara is a very efficient wee girl, she likes to fill her nappy at the same time as she is being fed.

2. When a nappy leaks there are no winners. The stench from the one I was tasked with changing on Sunday is still lingering. I toyed with the idea of getting the Karcher pressure washer out of the shed purely to clean Mara on Sunday night. That one almost broke me!

3. If you manage to keep your house clean all the time, then you cannot fully appreciate that hour every other week when it actually is.

4. Parenthood is a fly bastard! Literally, the second you think you may have mastered a part of it, something changes and you're automatically shite at it again.

5. As far as aftershaves go I'm normally a John Varvatos kinda guy, but recently Mara has been insisting that I wear Eau de Spew. Apparently it's a new craze and all the new daddies are rocking it...
(The above image also applies to us dads!)

6. Me and Caz are making like Dusty Springfield and "Wishin' & Hopin'" that her new Sleepyhead bed will live up to the hype and give us some respite from the lack of sleep.

7. Our local council are forging ahead with their absurd plan to replace everyone's black rubbish bin with one half the current size. So I'm extending an apology to my neighbours just now in case they catch me being a nappy ninja in the middle of the night and hiding dirty diapers in their bin!!

8. Trying to clip and file a baby's nails so they stop clawing chunks out their face is like trying to clean the blades of a lawnmower while they're still turning. You will get injured.

9. Bath time is becoming something she likes now! Mara is starting to behave more like a little fish splashing about and trying to swim instead of feeling like she's whitewater rafting!

10. Mara had her first ever play date with little Joshua, her room mate from SCBU, on Saturday! They were so cute together lolling about on the floor and babbling away to each other before ultimately falling asleep! It's obviously exhausting being a baby, especially when you don't sleep at night!

Monday, 18 April 2016

10 Things Ive Learned As A New Daddy This Week (Part 10)

1. That moment when you think there's something the matter with your baby but then you quickly realise they're just having a massive shite.

2. Sleep deprivation is a headf**k
I lay in bed for a bit this morning questioning myself as to whether I had just woken up or just come to bed.

3. I have discovered that I have an issue with places that don't offer baby change facilities for dads to use. We went out on Saturday for our first meal as a family and I got quite annoyed that Caroline was expected to change Mara's nappy! Where did that come from?! Its 2016! The Year Of The Dad (according to the NHS anyway!) #DadsForChange

4. Repeating the word ‘sleep’ to your baby in different accents of varying quality is not effective in the slightest. You end up sounding a bit like Dory trying to speak whale in Finding Nemo. They just look at you like you have something stuck to your face.

5. My most consistent and vivid fantasy these days is about owning a second outdoor bin.

6. Some baby pukes have the force of an angry power shower. Papa G & Grannie can testify to that! Apparently, she looked something like this on Sunday night...
Mara wasn't the only one who had to get changed...

7. Me and the wife don't have names anymore. We're simply mummy and daddy.

8. Bibs with Velcro on attack all the other washing in the machine like sticky, parasitic bastards. Muslin cloths tend to fare worst. Luckily, we have about 400 in constant circulation!

9. It's impossible to tidy the house. You can move things around and put them in different rooms but the house will remain a shit hole. With a faint aroma of baby sick and desperation.

10. When she pukes, Mara has a fantastic aim! Just the other morning when burping her she managed to sick up right down the sleeve of my house coat and cover my elbow! Not a drop on her though!

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Thoughts Of A First Time Mum (Part 1)

1. Mara feeds 8 times a day. I refer to these meals as breakfast, brunch, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner, supper, midnight snack and It’s-4am-and-I’ve-been partying-all-night-and-now-I’m raiding-the-fridge-looking-for-food-happiness.

2. We were in the Special Care Baby Unit for 5 long weeks. These weeks consisted of regimented feeds, nappy changes and kangaroo care. Once home, we realised we had become totally institutionalised. For the first 24 hours with Mara we just sat about, looking at her and then at each other. “Do you think we are allowed to have her out for a cuddle now?..

3. Constant expressing whilst in SCBU makes time just disappear. 3 hourly expressing basically takes away a third of your day - I have 16 hour days. The sleep deprivation also makes you slightly mad. So much so that I found it increasingly amusing to sing Labrinth's “Express Yourself” at 3 hourly intervals. This strange ritual became so normal that when I sang “Express Yourself”, Mark would respond with “Do Do, Do do do do Dah do”.

4. While in SCBU, I learnt a new language. Let me demonstrate:-

Actual Conversation:
Loving Wife: Did you sterilise that stuff I left out?
Loving Husband: No. Do you want me to?
LW: *sigh* No, it’s fine.
Realistic Translation:
LW: Why haven’t you sterilised that stuff?
LH: I couldn’t be bothered. Do I have to?
LW: Yes!!! FFS.

5. I think there are incidents in life which teach you the true meaning of phrases you use every day and perhaps do not totally understand. I now feel I understand the terms “applying your war paint” and “putting on a brave face”. Every day, I forced myself into the shower, blow dried my hair and put on my make up. This was literally “war paint”. I was preparing myself for battle and hiding behind a mask. I always thought such frivolity in the face of a crisis was vanity. Now I know differently. On the third week, I felt that in order to combat the excessive crying it was time to bring out the big guns. Liquid eyeliner was duly applied… there is no coming back from tear-streaked eyeliner.
There are three progressive rooms in SCBU - Panda Pad, Zebra Zone and Monkey Mansion. On day 21 we were hanging out with the stripey horses so there was no way we were going back to the panda house! No tears!!

6. My insistence on showering and applying make-up lead to a couple of the nurses calling me “Glam”. Let me be frank, I have never been called glam before. Not on my birthdays, not on my wedding day, not when I have spent hours getting ready for a night out. Therefore, the first time I heard this comment I was flattered. The second time I was mildly suspicious. The third time the phrase “throw the dog a bone” came to mind.

7. This one works best if you are aware of Mark’s season ticket to St John’s Hospital…*
I spent 3 days in the labour ward. When we arrived home around midnight on day 4, I had to be practically carried into the house. With adrenaline and dihydrocodeine both having worn off, I was feeling rough. So rough, I commented that I felt like I had been hit by a bus. Mark’s response was:
“Well, I HAVE been hit by a bus, so I can tell you that you will feel better soon.”

*Mark has visited the hospital more than your average cat, with a catalogue of work accidents and general mishaps. Obviously, NONE of these were his fault. A double decker bus drove into his van around six years ago, earning him a brief stint in a neck brace, a short stay in hospital, a week off work and the ability to tell his post-partum wife that he knows real pain.

8. The privacy screens in SCBU double as invisibility cloaks. The couple opposite us barely broke breath to each other for the 7 days our babies were roommates in Monkey Mansion. However, come feeding time, pull over the screen and let the bickering commence. This applied across the board. I have heard marital issues, staff gripes and disgruntled patients. Myself and Mara were party to a world of drama behind our screen of concealment - it was like The Steamie but set in a hospital. One woman wouldn’t even look at me in the corridor, but the second that “cloak” went on I discovered how much she hated her sister-in-law, and that her husband could, and I quote, “get to f**k”.
Well, that made up for me missing TV for the past month.

9. Post birth, through the haze of gas and air, I suspected that one of the attending doctors was Irish. I mean, who doesn’t love an Irish accent? And so I enquired if he was, in fact, Irish. Mark did not take this well - “I’m RIGHT here”

C’mon, even if I was actively hitting on the doc, I’m fairly sure that we wouldn’t have stood a chance after meeting in that situation… the allure is gone!

10. Towards the end of my pregnancy I noticed I had developed a bit of a toddle.  Yes, the increasing bump had lead me to walk with one foot headed to Glasgow and the other to Edinburgh. This was nothing compared to the post birth limp. You may have heard of the Walk of Shame and the Stride of Pride, but when I shuffled from the labour ward to SCBU, I realised the existence of the Waddle of Woe.

11. It must be f***ing great to be a man. I know, controversial comment considering the title of Mark's blog, and this bold statement will probably mean this is the first, and last “Thoughts Of A First Time Mum”. However, the term ‘sleeps like a baby’ is being embraced by more than more member in the Irvine household. 3 hourly feeds are brutal and unfortunately I cannot make an incomprehensible noise, roll over and sleep for another 2 hours. This is before I even start on labour, never mind 9 months of pregnancy. OK, I can only claim 7 months of pregnancy. We ladies, the fairer sex, have been given a raw deal… Mother Nature is a sadistic bitch. Would I change it for the world? No chance.

12. I have been genuinely overwhelmed by the kindness and support that people have shown us. Mara has received so many well wishes, cards and presents and I have been touched by them all. Many of these messages helped us through difficult times in SCBU. From our best friends, to people we haven’t even met, from our neighbours to 
those far and wide… Thank you so much!

Friday, 1 April 2016

10 Things I've Learned As A New Daddy This Week (Part 9)

1. Whoever designed baby clothes and onesies that button down the back is a sadistic son of a bitch. On the plus side, envelope sleeves are a godsend!

2. Formula milk must contain essence of asparagus or something just as gross. Mara's wee stinks now. It would bring a tear to a glass eye!

3. Elvis and Mara met for the first time on Monday night. Neither was too impressed with the other! 

4. I don't know what Caroline has been eating recently, or if it's because we're making the switch to bottles of  formula milk, but Sweet Jesus! Mara's nappies have been absolutely vile of late! Like, rancid, and FULL! So much so, Caz physically retched this morning!

To quote one of our favourite movies, Jurassic Park - 

5. A baby that hasn't pooped in over 24 hours is a ticking time bomb waiting to go off.
I'm almost certain the lingering stench of Mara's last nappy has taken value off our house!

6. Until you put a soiled muslin cloth to your nose to check if its clean or not, you have no idea what the word "rank" means. No idea at all. Honestly, it could bring down an elephant from 20 feet away.

7. Getting a crying baby to sleep is similar to a game of Snakes & Ladders. One wrong move and you're back to the beginning.

8. The short film from Disney/Pixar, LAVA,  has been instrumental in getting Mara off to sleep the last few nights. I played it on loop for an hour this morning while I paced the living room just to get her to settle. If you haven't seen it before, click the link above, its only about 6 minutes long but really sweet. Let me know what you think of it!

9. For those of you who have seen me in the last 2 months, you may have noticed I'm carrying a bit more timber than usual. This is down to the erratic eating that has occurred since Mara propelled herself into our lives 2 months early. Also what eating half a packet of biscuits with a cup of tea at three in the morning for 4 weeks will do to you. Its not entirely Mara's fault!
I joined up to our local Pure Gym at the start of the year in order to get myself fitter, not just for myself but for Caroline and baby too.
Now, there is no greater incentive for me to get back to the gym religiously than my daughter confusing me for her mum and trying to breast feed from me in the middle of the night through my t-shirt while I'm trying to cuddle her to sleep. 
I felt a bit like Robert De Niro in "Meet The Little Fockers!" 
Mara - "Hhhmmm, I don't remember this restaurant having a carpet before..."

10. Mara is growing up so fast, and getting bigger and stronger every day. She's now up to 4lbs 8oz and outgrowing clothes already. This makes me happy and sad at the same time.

A Special "New Mummy Thoughts" will be up by the end of the weekend!