The things people don’t tell you when you become parent

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When we found out Mummy Pig was pregnant we were ecstatic. We got married in 2012 and wanted to start a family. Gracie wasn’t conceived until November 2013. Unfortunately prior to this Mummy Pig was diagnosed with the early stages of cervical cancer. We are really fortunate to have private healthcare and booked into BUPA. Within a few weeks Mummy Pig was having a small operation to remove part of her cervix and the rest is history. She has fully recovered and we went on to have a happy and healthy baby.

*** Just at this point #NoFear #GoSmear tell your wives, partners, girlfriends to have their smear test, there is literally nothing to be afraid of……so I am told! Mummy Pig now has yearly smear tests which she says are a bit uncomfortable but nothing to worry about (fortunately we can have annual checks with BUPA, I think they are three yearly on the NHS) ***

Before Gracie was born we spent time reading about what to expect, the best stuff to buy, best practises yada yada. Nothing can prepare you for the real thing. Nothing.

Lesson 1 – Food glorious food.

We decided that Gracie would be solely breast fed for the first 6 months and we were lucky that this worked out for us. #nojudgement here, bottle fed, boobie fed, wet nurse, who cares a hungry baby is definitely not a happy baby! Do what is right for you guys and don’t let the pressure of others dictate what you do – first lesson we learnt.

Due to the C-section Mummy Pig had to stay in hospital for 2 nights. Her milk didn’t come in, at all. Poor Gracie Piglet was bloody hungry and had no milk. What mean parents we are for making her starve! The midwife gave Gracie some formula out of a small cup, I still don’t know if this helped or hindered. She definitely slept after that feed and we witnessed Milk Drunk for the first time, it was the best thing ever! Mum’s milk is supply and demand. The more the baby suckles the more milk is made/quicker it comes in. No one told us this, they just went straight to the formula. It felt like they wanted to shut that screaming baby up rather than help Mummy understand the lack of milk issue.

When we got home Mummy Pig’s milk still hadn’t come in…boy did Gracie cry, solid, for the whole day and night. I remember just sitting thinking this cannot be normal, babies like milk, Mummy’s feed babies. I was at the point that I preferred 3 day contracting Mummy! Eventually milk arrived, loads of milk, we bagged milk, bottled milk, froze milk, bloody milk everywhere! And from that point on we had a happy, breast fed baby.

Those first few days were torture. We didn’t realise milk just wasn’t there and it took some time to come in. If breastfeeding is for you, persevere, if not, buy a Tommee Tippee perfect prep machine – Gracie moved onto formula at 6 months, I wish we bought one!

Lesson 2 – Bits….Swollen bits. When Gracie was born I couldn’t help notice how big her minnie was. I thought it was weird, but I’ve never seen a baby before so what do I know. I said to Mummy Pig I thought it looked a bit swollen and she agreed. We also noticed her little boobies. Her chest had two tiny little swollen boobies. What do we do, Google of course, perfectly normal. Weird, but perfectly normal. Apparently, the hormones from Mummy are transferred into baby, after a few weeks or so, all reduced back to normal. Also, baby girls period…..this is even weirder. Gracie had some discharge at about a week old, again, good ole Google and Netmums, totally normal. Why are we not told about these things in advance??

Lesson 3 – sometime she loves me, sometimes she dislikes me. Gracie is often so affectionate, loves kisses and cuddles, she love checking up on people to see that they are OK. She always tells us she loves us and that we are her best friend.

Gracie also tells us, mainly me, that she doesn’t like us and that we’re not her best friend. She told me the other day that she didn’t want a Daddy anymore. I thought FFS, all those sleepless nights and you don’t even want a Daddy! Apparently her friend at Nursery doesn’t have a Daddy and she wants to be like her. My initial reaction was to inform Gracie that her friends Mummy was a bit of a slapper, who’s been round the block a few times and wasn’t 100% sure who her Daddy was…..but Mummy said I couldn’t. Instead I told her that families come in all shapes and sizes and that she is very lucky to have a Mummy and Daddy who care very much about her.

Gracie is very fortunate and we do everything we can for her. No one tells you how honest children can be, from not being her best friend, to telling me I have a spikey chin which needs making smooth, to having a big belly. Kids are honest….too honest. Sometimes it’s beautiful, other times it can break your heart. No one can prepare you for the honesty that comes with kids!

Lesson 4 – Polly Parrot. Why are we not told that children are literally parrots. Every time I say something Gracie will repeat it. We stopped swearing around her as soon as she was born to avoid any accidental swears later on, and its worked. So far, touch wood, she have never said a naughty, ever.

Gracie was shopping with Mummy Pig a few weeks ago. Standing in the queue in New Look, at the top of her voice ‘Mummy, why can I smell poor people’ Mummy nearly died…..I of course was in BIG TROUBLE!! So apparently, I may have mentioned, whilst in a certain supermarket, that it smelt of poor people. How was I to know that Gracie was listening. Also how was I to know that kids say everything they hear??

Be wise Dads with your words Dads, you never know when it will come to bite you on the bum!

 

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